The argument that the EU is a cunning scheme by which Germany can finally achieve its ambition of constructing an empire across the breadth of Europe has always struck me as rather cheeky.
On the surface it appears hysterical, and indeed many of its proponents would likely be attacked as such by the ungenerous (and leftwing) critic that came across this suggestion.
…but on the other hand, there is something to it – especially in a week when the German chancellor Angela Merkel has been declared Time’s Person of the Year.
Indeed, the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens is so convinced of the accuracy of this description that he calls it: “Something which seems to me to be so obvious that it barely needs saying, but on the other hand which many people find shocking.”
Allied to his thoughts on the historic position of Russia, Ukraine and much else in European politics, it makes for an intriguing half-hour lecture, seemingly from Keele University near Manchester, England.