Letters to the Editor: March 2013

To the Editor

In urging the British Prime Minister to rethink his position on Europe, Joschka Fischer (“Eclipse of British Reason”, TVR February 2013) advises David Cameron to re-read Winston Churchill’s 1946 speech at the University of Zurich.

He quotes approvingly Churchill’s words “We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”

Revealingly, Fischer does not quote the concluding paragraph of the speech:

“France and Germany must take the lead together. Great Britain, The British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America and I trust Soviet Russia – for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.”

Churchill saw Great Britain not as a member of the new Europe, but as a friend and sponsor.

I suggest that anyone interested in the future of Europe, including Fischer, should re-read the speech.


Dr. John Doherty




NOTE: On a recent letter, we were amused to see the writer designated as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and were charmed once again by the elegance of diplomatic protocol.  Our comment elicited the following reply: 

To the Editor

When it comes to Protocol, I guess it’s a little like editor-in-chief, paramount chief, and so forth. When in Dublin, I live in Dalkey, where we have our own King, a benign parody of the powers that used to be. His full title is: “King of Dalkey, Emperor of the Muglins, Prince of the Holy Island of Magee, Baron of Bulloch, Seigneur of Sandycove, Defender of the Faith and Respector of All Others, Elector of Lambay and Ireland’s Eye, and Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of the Lobster and Periwinkle.”

Amongst my favorite movie scenes, are the ones where the mad lemur King Julien in the cartoon Madagascar  says: “I’ve got a bigger crown. It’s got a gecko on it”; at another point he asks his aged sage, Maurice, to hold his hand and wave it to the people…

Lately, an aristocratic Austrian friend of mine told me that Bruno Kreisky was once asked why, given Austria’s republican abolition of nobility and titles and furthermore as a Socialist prime minister, had so many aristocrats in the foreign ministry. His alleged answer was along these lines: “because they know how to behave and are not going to steal the silverware.”

A thousand years from now, when the written word is forgotten, let alone the printed one, and all is voice recognition in cerebro-cyber space, people may well trade today’s car registration cards or driving licenses as honourable antiques and use the words “driver” as honourable titles. They might even become hereditary.

After all, a thousand years ago, knight was just a man with a horse.


Grand Master of the Order of the Second-Hand Toyota Yaris


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