27, September, 2017
Why did Prime Minister Theresa May fly all the way to Italy to shoo the pigeons? Why did she speak briefly in what was a few days earlier an empty and dusty, abandoned room? It was indistinguishable from any other. It was allegedly inhabited only by pigeons.
Did she come only to ask for a two-year transition, an idea, she said, already written in the treaty? Was there an unspoken message in the place, not the speech? The British taxpayer might also ask:
‘Why on earth did the Prime Minister and Members of her Cabinet fly all the way to Italy to give a speech? And then getting back in the plane and winging it back to London?’
Isn’t this a huge waste of money? Prime Minister Theresa May had returned to London from the United Nations on Thursday, 21 September, accompanied by her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. They had plenty of time to talk.
The next day, Mrs May could have given the speech in any city of the United Kingdom. Why, then, did she take to the skies again? What justifies the cost (and inconvenience for journalists and the public)? Her office confirmed that the British taxpayer will have to pay for this foreign excursion.
Would people hear what she said more clearly from afar? Her television audience did not even see the historical backdrop. The British brought their own back panels so there was no telling what was behind the slogan: Shared History, Shared Challenges, Shared Future.
Both Theresa May and her pro-European husband Philip are savvy. Theresa studied Geography at Oxford, Philip studied Modern History. He was president of its renowned debating association, the Oxford Union. Both are practicing Christians.
Why not go to Rome and attack the false propaganda of the Brussels elite? Four Brussels Top Politicians on the morning after UK’s non-binding, advisory EU referendum of 23 June 2016 said UK had better leave soon, “as quickly as possible however much it may hurt.”
They were the people who had previously excluded the UK from ever having a candidate as President of the European Commission. They called it the SpitzenKandidat system. It was unveiled in the so-called Constitutional Treaty. But the Constitutional Treaty failed miserably, rejected by the French and Dutch referendums. The referendums in UK and five others were cancelled. They would give further Noes. So, without further referendums and scorning public rejection, politicians added the entire treaty to the Common Market Treaty of Rome, lock, stock and barrel. It was renamed the Lisbon Treaty. To do this they spent millions of tax-euros to create a big lie. They said European integration began in 1957 with the Common Market and the Treaty of Rome.
Mrs May could have said;
“What nonsense and waste! European unity began with the Schuman Declaration of 1950 and the European Community of Coal and Steel. We British should know. We were Associate Members of the Community in 1952. We passed an Act of Parliament to do so.”
Why pick a small room in Florence in the Santa Maria Novella? Why not, for example, the European University Institute? Prime Ministers often address universities.
The EUI was founded by an article in the Euratom Treaty , also signed in Rome1957. This year is its 60th anniversary. It could have been a special occasion to celebrate this. The EU has made a huge fuss about celebrating one of the two 1957 Treaties of Rome. It quite falsely spent huge amounts of taxpayers money saying that the Common Market or the Economic Community was the origin of the European Union. They wiped out all the years from the end of WW2 until 1957 as irrelevant. Just like the Stalin wiped out the image of personalities he had sent to the Gulag or worse.
A big speech at the EUI would have made a good opportunity to rectify Brussels propaganda and its atrocious Fake News on democracy.
The EUI, situated at a famous Medici Fiesole Abbey, had previously held a series of lectures on Brexit. Besides being the legal depository of EU archives, it has highly regarded departments in European Law (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies) global governance and European civilization.
But NO, it was not to be a university lecture. What was it then? Clearly Florence has some huge significance that justifies the travel cost. British insistence offsets the lack of an invitation from either the Italian Government or the city. Why breach normal diplomatic practice?
Did Mrs May want to make a particularly British statement? She could have chosen the British Institute in Florence on the river Arno. Earlier this year, Prince Charles helped celebrate its 100th anniversary. Its Acton library contains one of the largest collections of English books on the Continent. Founded during the First World War, the Institute has provided an open British window on the world.
What did PM May say to explain and justify this expense and rupture of custom? She began her speech — without anyone welcoming or introducing her — by saying:
“It’s good to be here in this great city of Florence today at a critical time in the evolution of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. It was here, more than anywhere else, that the Renaissance began –
- a period of history that inspired centuries of creativity and critical thought across our continent and which in many ways defined what it meant to be European.
- A period of history whose example shaped the modern world.
- A period of history that teaches us that when we come together in a spirit of ambition and innovation, we have it within ourselves to do great things.”
“To do great things” together sounds like a forecast. Yet it was not uttered on the hills of Fiesole where in Roman times the College of the Augures, pagan experts in divination, foretold the reactions of their gods. Mrs May’s message was about Renaissance.
So, which building did Mrs May choose from Florence’s rich history? Not the Uffizi Art Gallery. No, Prime Minister May and her ministers chose the former police academy! It had to be spruced up to accommodate the British speechifying. Why, this building?
The Scuola Sottufficale Carabinieri is no ordinary building. It belongs to the Great Cloister of Santa Maria Novella convent. It dates from around 1200s as a basilica. It forms a central position in the history of both western and eastern Europe and the rise of for technology of the last five centuries.
What then was the historic and geographic message that Prime Minister Theresa May was communicating by her extraordinary flight to Florence?
Why did she visit this building? What has this man to do with it?
David Heilbron Price
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