Today I was awarded (along with hundreds of others) the Nobel Peace Prize — or at least a chocolate replica.
Following the formal award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Monday, the EU institutions have gone into an orgy of adulatory self-congratulation. At the door of the European parliament in Strasbourg is a ten-foot high video screen recycling highlights of the event, with short clips intended to celebrate the EU’s achievements, plus endless close-ups of Herman Rumpy-Pumpy, José Manuel Barroso and parliament President Martin Schultz — though as I Tweeted, there are no clips of street protests in Athens or Madrid, as European citizens demonstrate against austerity.
The EU institutions are proud of their decision to donate the Nobel Prize Money to good causes — although not keen to mention that their visit to Oslo to collect the prize cost a great deal more.
Many commentators found the award of the Nobel Prize to the EU, as it sinks into economic crisis and mutual recrimination, to be beyond parody. Some felt that an organisation which is seeking to give itself a military dimension was also not an appropriate recipient of a Peace Prize.
The Nobel Citation will become the prize exhibit in “The Museum of European History”, an extraordinary vanity project of the European parliament and its former President Hans-Gert Poettering (my former good friend who sought my expulsion from the EPP group), being built at a cost of over £100 million, and funded by the European parliament — or rather by you, the tax-payer.
It’s my view that the EU should worry more about jobs and growth, and less about patting itself on the back for very dubious achievements. The chocolate Nobel Medal reminds me that years ago I was given a chocolate €uro. It melted. But then I always said it was a soft currency”.