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Maria, who died in November, was a radical Greek aristocrat. As a child during the war she was permanently marked by her experiences in German-occupied Greece. She opposed the Greek Junta passionately. She went to the extent of talking to the PLO in the shape of the “Jackal” about providing military training for young Greeks… » read more

Posted by Tom Spencer

A senior European figure, commenting on David Cameron’s demeanour during European Councils, is reported to have said “He is just not interested”. Margaret Thatcher, John Major & Tony Blair, whatever the other distractions of their premierships, were keen followers of the European debate. Only Gordon Brown, in the terminal stages of his decay, can be… » read more

Posted by Tom Spencer

In May of 2011 Wilfried Martens, President of the European Peoples Party and the Centre for European Studies, opened a CES Conference in London. He was asked about the future for European integration. He quoted George Herbert to the effect that “Storms make oaks take deeper roots”. I admired the elegance of the response, but… » read more

Posted by Tom Spencer

Valedictory Lecture delivered by Tom Spencer, Sometime Executive Director of the European Centre for Public Affairs – Brussels 8th November 2011 It used to be the tradition that departing British Ambassadors would send a final telegram home to the Foreign Office in which they spoke outside the normal constraints of diplomatic niceties. This practice may… » read more

Posted by Tom Spencer

Why does the great ape known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens insist on celebrating anniversaries? Does it have some evolutionary advantage? Maybe Darwin has somewhere argued that anniversaries are the most obvious way we have of sorting our memories into appropriate categories and highlighting aspects of ourselves that we wish to improve. Anniversaries are top of… » read more

Posted by Tom Spencer

My first political memories were as a child of eight in 1956. My father was toasting the success of the Anglo-French intervention at Suez. We then listened in horror to the last words from the free radio station in Budapest as Russian tanks closed in. “This is free Hungary. We fight for Hungary. We fight… » read more

Posted by Tom Spencer