Leo McKinstry: “The EU is one of history’s most spectacular failures”

Posted: April 2, 2016 by tallbloke in government, Politics

The below is a transcript by Tom Bayley of a speech given by Leo McKinstry, a Northern Irish journalist and former Labour councillor, at an event hosted by Voices for Britain, on 2 March 2016.


The debate about the European Union is utterly surreal, a flight into absurdist fantasy.

To hear the REMAIN campaigners talk, you would think that the EU is a vibrant, healthy, well-run institution which serves our national interests by promoting prosperity and peace.

But that is a grotesque delusion bred of the most desperate wishful thinking. In reality, the EU is one of history’s most spectacular failures. It is a wholly dysfunctional, utterly mismanaged organisation where ideology and bureaucracy have replaced efficiency and democracy.

It is an ill-conceived experiment which has gone horribly wrong for decades, yet its supporters continue to insist that we must continue to be part of this gigantic project, even as it threatens the very existence of European civilisation.

Dream turns into nightmare

The dream of the federalist unity has turned into a nightmare for so many citizens of Europe. In a speech last year, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, proclaimed:

To my mind, hardly anything so perfectly embodies the achievements of European unification as open borders.

Yet those same open borders have brought us the squalor of the Jungle camp in Calaisand the frontier rioting in Macedonia.

Similarly, the federalist zealots’ obsessions with unrestricted free movement and cultural diversity brought the horrors of the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

Catastrophe on every front

It is the same story of catastrophe on every front where the EU operates.

  • The European single currency, essentially a political initiative to drive further integration, has entrenched mass unemployment on an appalling scale. The livelihoods of millions, especially in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, have been sacrificed on the altar of the federalist creed.
  • EU regulation on the “Marketing of Hazelnuts” contains 2,509 words, compared with just 70 in the Lord’s Prayer. In 2012, a high-level meeting was held in Brussels, attended by 76 officials as well as the President of the European Parliament, to agree the name for a corridor in one of its buildings. The meeting failed to reach a decision.
  • Eager to create all its own trappings of statehood, the EU has its own self-serving, expensive diplomatic service with offices in Barbados and Papua New Guinea.

Wrong then, wrong now

Full transcript here

  1. A Russian perspective:

    “Unfortunately, the sovereignty of Europe cannot be restored just by booting up social consciousness. The problems did not appear out of the blue; they are the result of the European political class abandoning its national interest. Europe is facing a very difficult period of transition, during which it is not yet a partner, but Washington’s shadow.

    Europeans have lost their sense of direction. They live in a mosaic, a fragmentary world that has no shared relationships. But life will force them back to reality, and I believe that eventually European democratic traditions and humanism will prevail.”


  2. Paul Vaughan says:

    “In 2012, a high-level meeting was held in Brussels, attended by 76 officials as well as the President of the European Parliament, to agree the name for a corridor in one of its buildings. The meeting failed to reach a decision.”


  3. oldbrew says:

    Our indecision is final 😉

  4. Paul Vaughan says:

    My suggestion for the name of the corridor:

    VISIONLESS TUNNEL (no meaningful end in sight…)

    Given how hard it has made us laugh, I’m sure that must be what it really is.

    extreme Indiscretion (with funds & time use)

    If ever there was delicious material for a stand-up comedian!
    Absolutely ridiculous.

    It pithily encapsulates exactly what’s just totally wrong with directionless bureaucracy.

    Honestly, I find it quite difficult to stop laughing about this. It’s one of those things a person remembers for a very, very long time. I can imagine myself laughing equally hard about this decades from now.

    So classic.
    Give them a prize for priceless optics.

    However much they spent on that meeting, the legacy was worth every penny.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    Bureaucracies ALWAYS destroy the society they manage, It is the nature of bureaucrats to strangle the life out of everything they touch. Why in the the world does a building corridor need a Name! Because that is what a bureaucracy does. WASTE time and money on paper work for themselves as well as everyone they touch.

    WE don’t NEED them!…pg

  6. graphicconception says:

    Excellent speech.

    There are those who think a vote against the EU is necessarily a vote against Europe and Europeans. This is not so. The vote is against the small team of elitist ideologues who want to play politics with other people’s lives.

    The trick to achieving an ideal solution is to pursue an ideal path to get there. This is where the EU fails. The path is all important. Riding roughshod over everyone’s rights and expectations is not the way but because they are unaccountable they can and do ignore such “minor” problems.

  7. Fanakapan says:

    I cant help but think that most of the inadequacies of which McKinstry complains maybe have more to do with the ongoing Global Depression which has endured since the fiscal system of the western world blew up in 08/09 ?

    As for the observations regarding the civil service of the EU, do we really believe that an Out vote will eliminate such nonsense ? Or will it be the case that we will simply repatriate our Eurocrats, who of course will not form lines at the Jobcentre, but seek similar positions in the resultant UK vacuum in the ranks of ‘Those who Serve’.

    Coming out will not eliminate bureaucracy, or poor government, it will merely change the office locations 🙂

  8. tallbloke says:

    Well, that would depend on how long the people of Britain were prepared to carry on voting for a class of self-servatives.

  9. oldbrew says:

    ‘Coming out will not eliminate bureaucracy, or poor government, it will merely change the office locations’

    But UK voters can do something about that, unlike the current Brussels-based set-up.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    The EU government is an added layer on top of the existing national governments. Once over about 26% of GDP, any added government causes lower economic growth rates. The EU, by simply existing, causes reduced economies. It is called the Rahn Curve.


    Exit will cause economic growth to improve by removing just that much impediment.


    Upon exit, those Eurocrats have no post. One would need to be created for them. It would simply require the existing UK government and people to not bother. IF Brexit passes, by definition, most forks would be feeling uncharitable toward the Eurocrats…

    Per the 2009 recession: by shifting the % GDP that is government toward “more”, it does dampen growth, but a typical recovery undoes that shift. This time “stimulus” via more government was applied to excess, so recovery has been even slower. Cut government (either by Brexit or by pruning national government) and cut taxes (Laffer curve puts ideal at about 20% or less) and your economy will boom. The easiest way to do that is just Brexit and dumping the EU Tithe…

  11. Graeme No.3 says:

    The often overlooked factor is the interest paid on rising debt. Not a problem with zero or even negative interest rates, but if the economy starts to recover various governments running deficits will be trying to re-finance bonds and face a rapidly escalating payout. No likelihood of them starting to run surpluses at any time, so the demand for bonds will be poor leading to interest hikes. So governments will have to meet recovery with cuts to expenditure, reducing the recovery rate.

  12. linneamogren says:


    Pat Condell has done some great videos on the destruction of Sweden. I for one believe the EU has ravaged Sweden along with the madness of our leadership for several decades. What will save Europe is a turn towards more nationalistic attitudes rather than subjugating them. The EU wants to efface our individual cultural identies so to build this EU superstate. Just as we saw in other social experiments and revolutions once the desired results refuse to bloom they double down on their drive to vacillate culture or human nature. Look at Germany where politicians openly say the time will come when Germany is no longer German. Well right there is a path to social abyss.

  13. p.g.sharrow says:

    While EU bureaucrats work to eradicate European nationalism another is being allowed to infest their great cities. The cancer of radical Muslim Shira is rapidly seizing control and driving out or supplanting the natives. For 1500 years this plague has been turning the civilized nations of the western world into backwards hellholes. 500 years ago the European nations, in desperation, organized themselves for war and drove this scourge from their shores. Will they do this again or convert and accept the backwards standards of Islam as a conquered people ?…pg

  14. linneamogren says:


    I fear surrender is more the path for Europeans since they live in greater fear of being called racist. But you are correct. The EU cadres are assuring two things. One a ruthless Islamic fascism and and two the elimination of a pluralistic secular society to that of a sharia theocracy. Think of that. Atheistic leaders are assuring the effacing of secular society. There are movements blooming and resistance to their goals but most likely these movements will be crushed by the EU cadres.

  15. Paul Vaughan says:

    Does anyone know of any good really concise (like super-concise) summaries of media dominance evolution in the EU over the past say 3 or 4 decades?