Conrad Black succinctly lays out what’s the matter with Europe — and covers some important history in the process:
For all the flak President Trump gets for insufficient deference to America’s allies, Americans should be aware of the parlous condition of Europe, which long was regarded as the co-equal half of the Western alliance to the United States and Canada.
It does not require a geriatric to recall the piping days when it was commonplace to hear someone announce the coming supremacy of a united Europe. This was a fantasy wedged between the imminent economic surpassing of America by Japan, and then by China. The United States has potential rivals, some less cordial than others, and complacency is always unwise. But the decline of Europe, not its rise, is now the threat that should worry foreign policy specialists.
The United Kingdom, renowned throughout the world and for more than 300 years for good government with continuous though gradually self-reforming institutions since the Magna Carta in 1215, is suffering its worst failure of government since the American Revolution. Britain, in addition to having voted to leave the European Union, and now having failed to negotiate a soft exit and Parliament having declared that it does not want what the people voted for, is stretched between a narrowly pro-exit population and an anti-exit Parliament. The performance of Theresa May’s government has been so incompetent that the normal solution to such an impasse—a general election—probably would elevate the Labour Party now led by a Marxist anti-Semite, Jeremy Corbyn. That would lead to the implosion of the country into a state of ignominy and political degradation not seen since Richard III strangled the princes in the tower, and Corbyn would do nothing to clarify Britain’s position with the European Union.
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