That “Non!” vote

Neil Kinnock, the former Labour leader and ex-EU Commissioner was interesting on Radio 4’s Today programme.

Talking about the French referendum result, he outlined a cogent case for regarding it as a wholly French-made shambles. He blamed Jacques Chirac for mismanaging the disastrous Nice summit which launched the thing on the world, and pointed out that instead of a simple document setting out the rules needed to make workable an EU of 25 countries, it had ballooned (under the tutelage of Valery Giscard d’Estaing, a former French President) into a bloated half-assed attempt to do for Europe what the Founding Fathers once did for the United States.

As for the interpretation that the Non vote was an expression of dissatisfaction with Chirac, Kinnock pointed out that it was the French Left who had put Chirac where he is today. Their failure to agree on, and support, a viable left-wing candidate in the last Presidential election led them in a panic to vote for Chirac in order to keep the fascist Jean Marie le Pen from winning. But on Sunday, those same leftists allied with fascists, racists, Europhobes and sundry discontents to ‘rebuke’ the guy they had installed in power. It was a truly great rant. If only Kinnock had been that sharp when he was Leader of the labour Party.