Kenneth Clarke is right about Europe

Kenneth Clarke is not a Tory. No Tory would wish to surrender his country’s sovereignty to a democratically unaccountable, supranational socialist organisation so thoroughly corrupt that for the 15th year running its auditors have refused to sign off its accounts.

Still less would any Tory think it a good idea to take £6.3 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash and spank it on a blogging donkey called Asino.

Asino, as you may have read in today’s Telegraph, has been touring Europe on a mission to encourage citizens to think about “European identities”. Here is one of Asino’s blogposts:

“We started really early today, Cristian slept in a bed in a house. It was a crazy morning waking up. I was under a chestnut tree sleeping in sand, when I opened my eyes there were animals all looking at me. I was embarrassed! Now I understand a little how people from different cultures may feel in the Netherlands.”

Pretty lame – (I particularly love that cowardly “may” in the last sentence) – but then Asino is only a donkey. And I suppose it is quite an impressive feat that for just £6.3 million the EU has developed a hoof-compatible keyboard and trained an equine quadruped not generally known for its vast intelligence to construct sentences in English. What bothers me, though, apart from anything else is the typically EU socialist attitude to commercial exploitation. If the EU gave a fig for taxpayer value, it would surely be trying to recoup that £6.3 million  by sending Asino on a tour of the world’s fairgrounds. I’ll bet they could easily find 6.3 million prepared to stump up a quid a piece to watch this marvellous animal in action.

Unless, of course, this donkey business turns out to be a hoax and that it is in fact this Cristian character who is secretly doing all the typing when no one’s looking. Imagine what a scandal that would be: £6.3 million blown on paying a donkey and its handler to travel round Europe, there to be patted by the primary school children of diverse nations and, er, to chew different types of grass and go “Eee awww”. God, if a story like that broke, you’d seriously begin to think the EU was a total and utter waste of money wouldn’t you?

Anyway, back to Kenneth Clarke. Look, don’t think it didn’t hurt me writing that headline. Just typing it felt like having my eyelids snipped off by scorpions and my eyeballs chewed by fire ants. But it’s true. Clarke was absolutely right to say, as he did in that maddeningly patronising, brown-suede-shoe-wearing, jazz-endorsing way of his, that Cameron’s allegedly bold new policies on Europe are nothing of the kind.

We’re in. We’re stuck there for the foreseeable future. And if you think Asino the donkey is a waste, wait till you see the extravaganza Brussels is planning for its EU Constitution ratification party.

Think a chorus of white rhinos singing Ode To Joy.

Think schools of blue whales doing synchronised swimming in a fish tank the size of Andorra.

Think of 27 planets being spray painted gold so that they look a bit more like the EU flag.

Think of whatever money-wasting scheme you like. If you don’t, you can be sure that somewhere out there, some bright-eyed Euro Stagiere is busily working on it already.