What have the Greeks ever done for us?

I wonder, as democratically elected EU leaders pressurise the Greek government to impose demonstrably inefficacious austerity measures against its people, whether they will stop to consider where the term ‘democracy’ originates?

Or, for that matter, the splendid architectural features of the buildings in which they govern, the philosophies underpinning much of their societies’ governance or the roots of half of the words that they utter.

The original Athenian model of democracy has, of course, been changed a little, allowing at the time only property-owning men, over a certain age, born in the country to vote. Keep a close eye on the next Conservative manifesto, folks.

Nonetheless, I think that the best thing that the Greek government could do with whatever remaining funds they can scrape together from down the back of the Parthenon is hire a really good patent lawyer and make a case for intellectual property rights on democracy, classical architecture, drama and – let’s generously say ten percent – of all of the words in most European languages. Taking even a small payment for every use (and twice for every misuse) of the word democracy should be enough to cover the loans and, if the EU won’t buy it, they should just threaten to take back all of the columns they’ve influenced on civic buildings. Now there’s a threat to destabilise the union.

With the debt wrote off, they can change the referendum for one on sovereign money creation and then finally, just before the party starts, threaten to sue all of the Greek-teaching public schools in England in order to get the Elgin marbles back.

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2 thoughts on “What have the Greeks ever done for us?

  1. Good points. The way the EU overruled the will of the Greek people RE austerity was disgraceful and totally undemocratic. Those of us with progressive politics have a big problem with the EU; because the EU sceptic message has been hijacked so vocally by blatant xenophobes and mindlessly jingoistic Bullingdon wannabes, the notion of being anti-EU or critical of the EU is automatically equated with right wing ignorance and bigotry. We progressives need a proper progressive discussion on EU membership and renegotiation. Sadly, it’s a discussion we certainly shall not be getting in the upcoming referendum.

    The benefits of membership are clear and real, the dangers, pervasive, hidden and very often miss-identified and distorted (thank you Daily Mail and their ilk for that). Most of the these dangers are hi-lighted by the Greek situation.

  2. Yes, I’m broadly in favour of an EU, only the one that we have in lieu of a better alternative but there are times, I think, when it’s only being forced to consider the interests of others that prevents our own politics from dragging us into an Orwellian, right-wing plutocracy. Well, more of one. At least Europe still has a few functioning social democracies force feeding tiny scraps of social conscience into the mix.

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