Thursday, October 6, 2011

Silent majority is much liked as long as it stays silent

Many moons ago I recall having an exchange of letters in the columns of a newspaper (cannot recall which one) with someone who asserted that Fidel Castro was immensely popular in Cuba for all the things he had done for the people of that country. Without going too deeply into the question of what had he done exactly, I asked why Comrade Castro, if he knows how popular he is, had never put that to the test by calling a free election. There was no reply.

Far it be from me to suggest that the EU and its members are in the same position as the unfortunate Cubans have been for the last sixty-plus years but one cannot help wondering where employees of the European Commission get their political understanding from.
According to Johannes Laitenberger, head of cabinet to the European Commission president, the commission has more allies in its bid to re-assume control of the eurozone debt crisis - currently managed in a piecemeal fashion by member states - than is apparent at first sight.

"The first and best ally that we have in all of this is the silent majority who too often is drowned out by a very vocal minority of sceptics and critics but which is much more solid than we care to think," Laitenberger said Tuesday (4 October) at an event organised by the European Policy Centre.

"I am very confident that there are enough people, enough institutions, enough forces, that can be mobilised. You sense that the tide is turning. Many people who at the beginning of the discussion did not raise their voices are more forceful, more decisive and saying more clearly what needs to be done."
There is, as it happens, no evidence for any of this though I have no doubt plenty of institutions, particularly those that are part of the European project one way or another, will support the calls for a single economic governance.

Of course, the great advantage of a silent majority is that one can attribute any opinion to it under the sun. The only condition is that it should remain silent and that can be achieved by making sure that nothing important is ever put to the vote.


  1. Mr Laitenberger's email address is over on Anna Racoon's blog. I shall be availing myself of it shortly to tell him where this particular part of the silent majority stands vis a vis the EU.

  2. So you are leaving the silent majority, Nigel, and joining the vociferous trouble-making minority? Dear, dear.

  3. Would those supportive institutions include the ones that the EC pays to lobby them?

  4. Hmm, let me think, John.