He argues that a popular President elected by an electorate consisting of 386 million people, in 27 countries, would send a powerful message to governments around the world.
He said that unless the bloc adopted "strong, collective leadership and direction," it would end up trailing in the wake of emerging economies. Having an elected President would represent a seismic shift in the EU’s 50-year history and pave the way for sweeping economic reforms and better tax policies, he argued. He shrugged off public fears about more control passing into the hands of EU institutions and called for a shift in the perception of the bloc's role from one as a peacemaker to one as a world superpower. Blair argued that the aim of a post-World War II Europe was very different from current needs. “The rationale for Europe today is about power, not peace,” he said.
“We won’t have the weight and influence a country like Britain needs unless we’re part of that European power as well,” he said in an interview with the London-based the Times. “Europe has got a fantastic opportunity, but only if it’s prepared to reform and change radically in the way it works.”
In advocating for a strengthened European Union, Blair also claimed that a popularly elected President would give the body an even greater air of legitimacy, as the sovereignty of its member nations is completely eradicated (in fact, the entire premise upon which entities such as the European Union and the United Nations exist is the eradication of the sovereign nation-state and the advent of a hegemonic, borderless entity, unified under a common currency, set of laws, and, if Blair has his way, one ruler). At present, the European Council has a President, Herman Van Rompuy, from Belgium, who was chosen by member governments of the EU. Blair did concede that a directly elected EU President has “no chance of being accepted at the present time.”
He also said areas where the EU should forge closer links to “make us more powerful as a unit” included tax policy, creating a single market, better energy and defense policies, and a single immigration and organized crime policy.
Though the United Kingdom has been a member of the European Union since 1973, it maintains its own currency (forsaking the euro and keeping the pound) manifesting the long British tradition of Euroscepticism, a reasonable and healthy distrust and opposition to sovereignty-compromising, Gramscian, social democratic bodies such as the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC). In fact, a YouGov poll conducted by the British Telegraph newspaper in 2009 found that only 26 percent of respondents were in favor of accepting the Lisbon Treaty, while 43 percent favored leaving the EU altogether. Such results make the UK (along with Latvia and Hungary) one of Europe’s most pro-sovereignty, anti-European Union countries. Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom solidified in the early 1980s under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a period in which most British voters opposed the overt socialism of Jacques Delors, then-President of the European Commission, who emphasized the concept of a “Social Europe” in his 1988 speech before the British Trade Unions Congress. Euroscepticism is best exemplified in the forming of the British Western Goals Institute (WGI), an offshoot of the U.S.-based Western Goals Foundation established by former John Birch Society President Lawrence P. McDonald, then-U.S. Democratic Congressman from Georgia.
As part of its opposition to the spread of communism, WGI led opposition to the then-nascent proposals for the European Union, as the EU is a demonstrably socialist entity. Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky warned that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union and in a 2006 speech, he called the EU a "monster" that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a full-fledged totalitarian state. Bukovsky says that in January 1989, a delegation of the Trilateral Commission came to see Mikhail Gorbachev, including [former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro] Nakasone, [former French President Valéry] Giscard d’Estaing, [American banker David] Rockefeller and [former U.S. Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger, who explained to Gorbachev that the Soviet Union had to comfortably integrate itself into bodies such as the IMF, GATT, and the World Bank. They artfully arranged for what they called a convergency, whereby the Soviet Union would mellow somewhat and become more social-democratic, while Western Europe would become social-democratic and socialist, under the guise of a Soviet-style European Union, with a similar bureaucratic structure and functioning.
In fact, Coit D. Blacker, writing in the Council of Foreign Relations-issued journal Foreign Affairs admits that Soviet leadership "appeared to have believed that whatever loss of authority the Soviet Union might suffer in Eastern Europe would be more than offset by a net increase in its influence in western Europe." ("Chronology 1989; East-West Relations." Foreign Affairs. Fall 1989-1990. pp. 230).
With its roots in Antonio Gramcsi’s Eurocommunist ideology, the EU had even been proposed by Gorbachev under the guise of what he called the “Common European Home,” a mechanism by which Soviet power could be redirected into a unified European Community. While Tony Blair noticeably believes that Russia does not constitute a strategic challenge or threat to the UK (despite instances of SVR spying, even in the highest echelons of Parliament, such as the notable recent case of Katia Zutaliveter and MP Michael Hancock), as far back as July 6, 1989, Gorbachev declared that a European Union would neutralize any conflict between two blocs which are at odds anyway:
The philosophy of the "Common European Home" concept rules out the probability of an armed clash and the very possibility of the use of force or threat of force – alliance against alliance, inside the alliances, wherever. This philosophy suggests that a doctrine of restraint should take the place of the doctrine of deterrence. This is not just a play on words but the logic of European development prompted by life itself.
Blair’s argument for a more fortified EU with an elected leader raises severe questions as to where his true loyalties lie. An advocate of globalization and a so-called “ally” of the United States in the invasion of Iraq (unsurprisingly, Blair and former President George W. Bush are establishment bosom buddies), it is unsurprising that he would advocate the further erosion of national sovereignty and the creation of a strengthened European Soviet. Blair, as a member of the Labor Party, actually fought to retain the party’s identity as distinctly socialist, and in his maiden speech in the House of Commons on July 6, 1983, Blair said, “I am a socialist through and through. I believe that, at its best, socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for cooperation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality.” His call for a strengthened EU is therefore a mere continuation of his true inclinations and beliefs; he is a Marxist committed to furthering a sinister institution rooted in the thought of Antonio Gramsci, Mikhail Gorbachev, and others who wish to lead the world down the path of global socialist revolution according to the models and dictates of a Soviet-style politburo.
Photo of Tony Blair: AP Images