European partners

June 10, 2004 ,

THE British votes have all been cast for the European Parliament elections and the results will be announced on Sunday.

In Italy in recent years a suntanned media millionaire formed a political party Forza Italia (Come on Italy) which is now in power.
Its leader Silvio Berlusconi is Italian Prime Minister.

Is this what Robert Kilroy-Silk has in mind with the UK Independence Party? Perhaps he will soon rename it Forza Brittania.

Unlike Berlusconi, Kilroy-Silk is not new to politics.
He was a Labour MP at a time when his local party was controlled by the Militant Tendency.

It was so bad there that when his successor George Howarth gave his first monthly report to the local party, he was introduced as “the class traitor”.

Thankfully Neil Kinnock kicked out the extremists, but Kilroy-Silk had already left to become a daytime TV host.

His views really lurched to the right after that, culminating with his sacking from the BBC for comments about Arabs in a newspaper article.

But those like him who say we should opt out of Europe are wrong for the other reason Europe has been in the news.

In the last century tens of millions died on our continent in wars between countries which are now democratic partners in the European Union.

Frustrating and distant as European institutions sometimes seem, the price of being part of the European Union is worth paying when measured against the sacrifice made by D-day veterans, European Jews and victims of the Blitz.

Tragically, like many of his generation, Kilroy-Silk’s own father was killed in action.
When Britain went to war to defend Poland surely it was to build a democratic Europe of permanent peace and prosperity, and never again to permit division, periodic conflict and devastating warfare on our continent.