As Brussels dithered last week he spoke to the Google Global Leaders forum in Dublin.
In it he talked about the crisis as he and the elite see it, a problem of the way in which people, even politicians think,
How to solve this problem? How indeed? By the creation of something new,
The European Union will only survive the dramatic changes that the twenty first century will bring if the citizens of all EU states develop a common sense of European patriotism, alongside their national patriotisms.Oh really and how will that happen?
European patriotism, like national patriotism, is not something that will arise spontaneously. It has to be fostered by the use of symbols, and appeals to people’s emotions, by political leaders who make a conscious decision to do so.National patriotism doesn't arise spontaneously? No I suppose over the passage of centuries they have been built and created, but so slowly and so incrementally as to have the appearence of spontaneity. What the EU is trying to do is create a patriotism at warp drive. Which of course will have the opposite effect than that which they desire.
His prescription of a directly elected European President is just not going to work. Because no public figure (baring the odd pop star) has public recognition across the EU.
As Jody Corcoran has said in the Sunday Independent (IRE) about the background to this speech,
Motivated by a combination of immediate greed and a desire to maintain a form of social cohesion, the risk is that these forces will fail to see the bigger picture: that Ireland, like Greece, will end up a vassal state.So the omens are not good.
Add to that the influence being brought to bear by the grandees of Fine Gael, such as John Bruton, Peter Sutherland, even Pat Cox, the man most recently described as an "ultra-europhile".
Many prominent Europeans have privately welcomed the eurozone catastrophe, labelling it a "beneficial crisis": never waste a good recession, they say.
The issue is relatively simple, though: on that red-eye to Beijing, how will you want your great grandchildren to reply: "I am from Europe" or "I am from Ireland"?
Greece was finally forced to surrender last week; others may quickly follow. The choice is clear: nothing less than the sovereignty of the State is now at stake.