(Author's note - as ever, it is only appropriate to advise that I am not 'The Devil's Kitchen').
"...what really jumps put (sic) from (his) book ( Thatcher and Sons) is, well, a sense that Sir Simon is the British Establishment incarnate. He's never been an MP, I don't know if he's ever even run for office, but he's forever making references to having been on the board of British Rail and how he's served on this commission, that committee and the other quango."
In his Sunday Times piece today, entitled "Lovely new aircraft carrier, sir, but we’re fighting in the desert", Sir Simon writes,
"What is clear is that this government made a colossal error on coming to power in 1997-8. In the Strategic Defence Review (on whose lay committee I served)..."
In Which We Serve, indeed - and I rest my case.
One shouldn't be too hard on him, though. He published a nice wee anti-EU column in 'The Guardian' of 22nd February entitled "Blair risks ending up as one more crusader in the Levantine ditch".
In it, he wrote,
"Europe has never tolerated being led. It is a continent of cats, not dogs. Diversity is its glory, cantankerousness its defence. It is not a family or a community but a marketplace, a cultural entrepôt. Those who have sought its unity, even as a political metaphor, have come to grief."
All absolutely true - and yet he fails to draw the conclusion which is staring him in the face as to why The European Empire will fail.
It's all very well tossing out examples of failures such as Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon and Hitler, as Sir Simon does; but he fails to take into account that the European Empire differs from all those headbangers' deady confections in that it is not an entity created by a global scale psycho at the point of the sword - it is a creation of conquest by caste.
It was cooked up by influential intellectuals and bureaucrats, apparently for influential intellectuals and bureaucrats and to Hell with the people. Sir Simon comes so close to the truth when he writes "(Jacques Delors and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing) sought a united Europe under the hammer of central bureaucracy rather than the gun, but the ambition was the same".
Yes - but it was always that way. It didn't just start with those two.
All previous empires have failed, and for one reason only at the root; eventually, they cannot be held together by force. The European Empire, being the product of a pacifistic pan-European intellectual caste that knows that guns are bad things without knowing one end of a gun from another, will fail for no reason other than that, sooner or later, enough of its people will have had enough of its bad laws and will just start ignoring them. Instead of shooting people when they turn against them, the Eurocrats will just do what intellectuals and bureaucrats do and try to beat them into submission with regulations and newspaper columns. And the people will take no notice.
Its going down in flames will be a damp squib, not like the fall of Constantinople or The Battle of Berlin but instead like the final collapse of the Soviet Union; old flags will be run down, new ones run up and after that, and to a greater or lesser extent, it will be back to business as usual.
And it only seems fair to point out that when that day comes Sir Simon Jenkins, if not a media baron then certainly a media Junker, will be able to sleep in his bed knowing Simone Jenkinsois will not be competing for with him for committee slots or 'Guardian' columns.