A sense of déjà vu


MASSIVE DEMONSTRATIONS and anti-government violence sweeping many European cities fill me with a sense of déjà vu. Western media was muted in its coverage of the massive anti-G20 protests in Hamburg during which nearly 111 police were injured. Ironically, Russia media gave the best coverage. It was then I thought of events in the Soviet Bloc during the 1980s.

Little did we know back then where these civil disturbances were going? All we could do was watch and wait. Eventually, the dysfunctional Eastern Bloc crumbled. Perhaps the 22 nations surrendered to Stalin by Churchill and Roosevelt at Yalta in February 1945 was bound to collapse anyway.

From frying pan to fire: Those nations for whom World War II occupation dragged on for a further 45 years were to place their briefly freed shoulders in the European Union’s yoke.

Former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, who did know his hammer from his sickle, wryly questioned why the EU was modelling itself on the former Soviet Bloc. His concerns are increasingly voiced today.

The European Union boasts not one but two presidents, neither of whom is elected by Europe’s electorate. The EU regime, let’s call a spade a spade, is badly governed by 27 unelected commissioners. The Soviets called them commissars but a privy by any other name remains a privy.

The European Union’s parliament is advisory only. This might explain why only 30 MEPs out of highly paid 751 members bothered to attend an important EU parliamentary session on July 4. At least EU democracy can run on an empty tank.

When on 7/8 July the G20 shindig was held in Hamburg tens of thousands of demonstrators besieged the once-war ravaged resurrected maritime city. Dubbed the ‘Welcome to Hell’ campaign it wasn’t much of a welcome for the heads of state and assorted invitees in attendance.

Apart from the usual largely unelected heads of state who presented themselves at the shindig were some of the most unsavoury figures in modern history, several of whom are under investigation. Others, like U.S President Donald Trump, Britain’s PM Theresa May and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance, have the blood of millions on their hands.

Known by the company one keeps there were also in attendance the presidents of West African despotic regimes, Senegal and Guinea. Other vultures descending on the tax-funded banqueting binge included Christine Lagarde. The head of the International Monetary Fund was recently found guilty of fraud but no charges were levelled.

I am a bit old for street protests but I can’t help but think that on this occasion the demonstrators hold the moral high ground. If you want to see the EU’s future fast rewind to the Soviet Bloc circa 1989.

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