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The EU bureaucrats cannot cope with democracy

 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, and other leaders of Group of Seven industrial nations, from left, European Council President Donald Tusk, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama, Abe, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker view the scenery as they pose for the family photo during the first day of the G-7 summit meetings in Shima, Japan, Thursday, May 26, 2016.
Leaders of Group of Seven industrial nations view the scenery as they pose for the family photo during the first day of the G-7 summit meetings in Shima, Japan on Thursday CREDIT: JAPAN POOL (AP)


The cat is out of the bag: the EU bureaucrats have let it be known that they do not approve of member states picking political leaders they disagree with or who contradict their elitist world view. Speaking at yesterday’s session of the G7, Jean-Claude Juncker attacked Boris Johnson, suggesting that his Euroscepticism was not “in line with reality”. Martin Selmayr, Mr Juncker’s chief of staff, went one step further with a tweet that was truly beyond the pale: “G7 2017 with Trump, Le Pen, Boris Johnson, Beppe Grillo? A horror scenario that shows well why it is worth fighting populism.”

Voters do not like being told that they can or cannot vote for someone just because an unelected foreign bureaucrat fears for the consequences.

Mr Selmayr’s words were an attempt to tar Mr Johnson by association, ludicrously suggesting that his politics are comparable to nativists and  neo-fascists. Mr Johnson, we should not have to remind anyone, is a liberal Conservative and has described himself as “pro-immigration”. He has also served two hugely popular terms as mayor of London and could one day lead the Tory party. Mr Johnson’s accusers are bureaucrats who are clearly deeply uncomfortable with a true democrat – especially one who has such an unusual rapport with the public.

Mr Selmayr’s demand that “populism” be combated also betrays the EU’s instinctive distrust of democracy. Its founders were desperate to construct a supranational institution that would ensure that the people are always governed by their betters. As such the EU is inherently anti-democratic: demonstrated by its treatment of Greece and an approach to referendums best summed up as “you can vote as many times as you like, so long as you eventually vote for what we want”. The conflation of Mr Johnson with leaders who genuinely do pose some threat to stability indicates that the EU’s ruling elite are unable to comprehend that reasonable people might disagree with them. Anyone who questions the status quo is a potential extremist, they seem genuinely to believe.

The irony is that men such as Mr Juncker and Mr Selmayr do not realise how much they are encouraging the decline of their own EU project. Voters do not like being told that they can or cannot vote for someone just because an unelected foreign bureaucrat fears for the consequences. Populism feeds on alienation and resentment. Yet again, the EU proves to be its own worst enemy – and one of the best weapons in Leave’s arsenal.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/05/27/the-eu-bureaucrats-cannot-cope-with-democracy/

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