Often, Americans assume that the European Union is ruled by successful politicians; people who had a great career at home, and who then topped off this wonderful career by becoming one of the EU’s leaders.
Not quite so. In fact, many if not most of the EU’s ruling elite consists out of failures and politicians who are deeply unpopular at home. As Change Britain summarizes on Twitter:
The EU's latest senior appointments:
🇪🇺 A failed German Defence Minister
🇪🇺 A failed Belgian PM
🇪🇺 A former Finance Minister found guilty of negligence
🇪🇺 A Spanish politician done for insider trading@afneil asks: "How can Europe's future be safe in these people's hands?" pic.twitter.com/S097o2XCoz
— Change Britain (@Change_Britain) July 14, 2019
British commentator Andrew Neil has zero patience with talking heads who pretend that the EU’s ruling class are pure geniuses. “I still don’t understand why you think the EU is now in safe or even better, optimistic hands, with a failed German Defense Minister,” he asked one passionate Europhile who at least had the courage to speak with him, “a failed Belgian Prime Minister, a former Finance Minister found guilty of negligence in a multimillion-pound Euro scandal, and a Spanish politician who’s been a cheerleader for repression in Catalonia?”
“Why is Europe in good hands with people like that?” Neil asked rhetorically.
“Well, that is an opinion,” Ms. Europhile answered, “and certainly Ursula von der Leyen [the German Defense Minister he mentioned] has been criticized,” she continued. That’s when Neil cut her off. “She’s the second most, in the Der Spiegel poll last month, she was the second most unpopular politician in Germany. Her department has been under investigation for corruption scandals and dodgy defense contracts.”
“The Spanish politician who is now the EU’s foreign policy man,” Neil went on, “was done for insider trading. How can Europe’s future be safe in these people’s hands?”
Hilariously, Ms. Europhile stuck to her guns. “I think that the important thing to remember is that the Defense Secretary that you are calling a failed Germany Defense Secretary…” she said, at which point Neil interrupted her again.
“Well, it’s the Germans who call her that,” he said. To which Ms. Europhile responded with a lame “Not all Germans.”
Well, perhaps that her parents beg to differ, but every other German dislikes her tremendously. As Neil said:
“Most Germans do, including the Bundestag report on Germany’s unpreparedness. 66 percent of their planes can’t fly. 100 percent of their submarines can’t take to the sea.”
Yes, read that again: 100 percent — every single one! — of their submarines can’t go to sea. That’s how terribly they’ve been neglected under Von der Leyen’s leadership.
“They were sent,” Neil continued, “the German army, into the Arctic NATO exercise with broomsticks for guns.”
That’s literally true. As British newspaper The Sun reported a year ago:
GERMANY’S military is so underfunded its troops used BROOMSTICKS painted black as mock weapons during a Nato defence exercise.
But the highly embarrassing episode, revealed in a leaked report, is just the beginning of the country’s woes as it fights to reverse chronic army shortages.
“That’s the woman,” Neil said about Von der Leyen, “who’s now President of the European Commission.” Note, the European Commission is — by far — the most powerful body of the European Union. It is, in effect, its cabinet.
To top it all off, Von der Leyen is also in favor of a European army. This while she all but destroyed Germany’s defense forces. As Neil exclaimed:
“She can’t even get her own army to operate!”
Brussels is where European politicians go when they can’t get elected (anymore) in their own country.