The Last European

Daniel Hannan has a look at Czech President Václav Klaus and an interesting little bit of trivial about George Orwell:

I learned something new from a Daily Telegraph editorial the other day. Apparently, the title which George Orwell had originally wanted for Nineteen-Eighty-Four, his dystopian classic, was The Last European. These days, the leader-writer observed, the last European is Václav Klaus, the brave, prickly, stubborn president of the Czech Republic. He alone stands for European values – the rule of law, personal freedom, representative government – against a system that depreciates liberty and despises democracy. He alone has yet to sign the Lisbon Treaty.

Long-standing readers of this blog will be familiar with Hannan’s First Law of Politics: no party is ever Euro-sceptic while in office. But President Klaus is not a party. Indeed, he left the party he had founded because he felt it was insufficiently robust in its Euro-scepticism. Will he be the first ever leader to take on the system and win? Will he do what Winston Smith couldn’t?

One can hope, but I’m sure Mr. Hannan will forgive me if I’m a bit pessimistic these days.

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