Slavo-Laff of the Day


Vaclav Klaus, principal architect of Czechoslovak post-Communist reform, and corrupt political hack, has gotten more mileage than anybody alive in cooing Hayekian sentiment into the anxious ears of market-friendly Western journalists, while turning around and dragging his feet on any number of domestic reforms that would undercut his political power. People who were on the ground (cough cough) have known that Klaus is nobody's Thatcherite since around mid-1992, (by 1997 his allegedly socialistic rival Havel had to shame him publicly for slowing down post-Communist transformation) yet amazingly, the guy's still getting away with it, in part by throwing out red meat to the EU = Socialism crowd. Still, this exchange with UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave is a milk-through-the-nose classic:

Q–At the last Thatcherite in Europe, you cannot be in favor of the political unification of Europe you deem to be inevitable.

A–I am a great admirer of Margaret Thatcher, but my views on the need to maintain the nation state as a building bloc for European unification are not related to hers. I am convinced you cannot have democratic accountability in anything bigger than a nation state.

Well, Vaclav, we've somehow been muddling along across the pond all these years. (Link, and sentiment, via Scott MacMillan)