Friday, 25 June 2010
I tried to explain to a Spanish friend after the game the very special relationship we English enjoy with the Germans. It may be something to do with working in the EU institutions, but I really do get the impression that we Brits are the only people in Europe to have any accurate recollection of the 20th century whatsoever. I find those old UKIP myths about Europe tediously dull, but it is absolutely true that in the European Parliament WW2 has been referred to as the "European Civil War". It is also the case that there were, apparently, no Germans involved at all. It was the Nazis, you see!
But surely my favourite moment was during a meeting of the EP Security and Defence sub-committee back in 2004. The Ukrainian "Orange Revolution" was in full swing, and there were real concerns that Russia might invade in order to partition the country. A rather fat German MEP stood up and called for the EU to send troops to act as a "blocking force".
There was a flaw in this plan... the EU did not actually have an army.
I was reminded of another mad German politician, 60 years before, who wanted to send non-existent troops to stop the Russians.
Politics: only the faces change!
The photo, incidentally, has nothing to do with the story, but aren't they great :)