Daily Archives: June 24, 2008

Terrific piece by my colleague, Wolfgang Munchau, on Monday. Of course – I disagreed with every word of it. Unlike Wolfgang, I was glad that the Irish voted no to the Lisbon Treaty.

However – as a fellow columnist – I admired a splendid polemic. It had everything: anger, manic energy, a powerful argument, originality. But there was one point where Wolfgang lost me.

He wrote: “I do not want to get into the legal details of how a country’s departure from the EU could be accomplished. Suffice it to say that it can be done within European law as long as there is political will.”

Again, I admire the writing. The nostalgic in me thrills to the emphasis on “will” as a determining force in politics. I like the slightly sinister refusal to divulge the means by which Ireland and the Czech Republic will be forced out of the EU. (“We have ways of making you leave.”)

But I just think that Wolfgang is wrong. I don’t think there is a legal means to force a country to leave the EU against its will. Wolfman – if you are out there – please enlighten me. Readers, I welcome your views. Read more

Tragedy is traditionally meant to provoke pity and fear. But the world is in danger of reacting to the Zimbabwean tragedy with different emotions: resignation and relativism. Read more