HISTORY is little but an inventory of errors. Even the best and most erudite can suffer delusions. Whenever I am in Washington DC I find many of those I most enjoy encountering come from the US State Department, a sort of graduate school that specialises in fallacies. The rest of the planet regards the State Department as on the side of the angels but gaspingly naive.
A defining folly that resides in the State Department is an almost uncritical perception that the European Union (EU), the commission and all its works are a good thing. The argument is a stale remnant of the Cold War. We are talking bulwarks here. The US government regarded a prosperous Western Europe as the best assurance against a Red Army assault. What happier idea than the reconciliation of a crushed Germany with its ancient enemy France, victorious but depleted? In 1946 I readily accept this was all relatively wholesome and benevolent.
Yet what made sense 60 years ago is more than threadbare now. It is false. The Soviet threat has evaporated. If we did have a device to deter any imperial ambitions of Moscow the deterring agent was Nato not the common agricultural policy.
I think it is possible to detect a few stirring from their slumbers in Washington. The endless jostlings with