The European Union has always boasted that it is a force for democracy; a guardian against a return to the authoritarian politics that have haunted various parts of our continent.
This, of course, as recent events in Greece have confirmed, is total nonsense. The EU elite power system is, and always has been, the major post-war threat to liberal, democratic values.
The whole edifice was designed, as John Laughland demonstrated in his seminal book The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, to limit the capacity of citizens to hold their rulers to account.
The idea of a pan-European government was driven in its early, post-war days by prominent individuals who had been associated with the fascist politics of the inter-war period. People such as Robert Schuman, who was an official in Petain's Vichy government, and Paul-Henri Spaak (active in the Belgian fascist movement).
The European Commission's original name, revealingly, was 'the Higher Authority'; a non-elected body that was meant to preside over the elected member governments; as indeed it does, albeit together now with the European Council, the grouping that brings together the political heads of government.
The EU is now returning the peoples trapped within it to a pre-democratic situation. Recently, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has articulated very directly what is expected of the governments and the peoples within the Eurozone.
Referring to the short-lived decision by the Greek prime minister to consult his people in a referendum as to whether or not they wanted to proceed with the EU/IMF bailout programme, he came out with this piece of typically Euro-Orwellian 'double-think';
"Giving people a voice is always legitimate, but [here we go] the solidarity of all Eurozone countries is not possible unless each one agrees to measures deemed necessary."
Deemed necessary by who? EU leaders who have no electoral mandate whatsoever in Greece? Further demonstrating the thinking inside the Brussels machine, an EU official who refused to be named commented in a similar vein;
"We are at war. The crisis is that bad. And its time that Greece put party politics aside and demonstrate national unity."
The logic of these sinister authoritarian statements is that no electorate should be given the ability to contradict the priorities of the Euro-elite, who will decide all the key policies relating to public expenditure levels, which industries should be in the state and private sectors, rates of taxation and so on.
'Party politics' must be put aside, apparently. Where and when did we last hear these sentiments in Europe?
BBC Newsnight's Paul Mason also alluded to the fact that the Euro-elite is now explicitly engaging in 'regime change' when he took on the French president at a press conference last week over the democratic implications of what was taking place. He asked Mr Sarkozy;
"It's evident that you and Angela Merkel, the two most powerful governments in Europe, are trying to change the governments of Italy and Greece. How is that just? And once started, where does it stop?"
This was met with an outraged response from Mr Sarkozy about Mason coming from an island and "not understanding the subtleties of the European construction". It would only have been marginally less crass had Mason come back with insults about Sarkozy sharing an obsession for pan-European government because he comes from the same country as Napoleon.
Mason also revealed rumour that, during the week prior to Italy accepting IMF oversight of its public finances, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had phoned the Italian president to explore the possibility of a change of government and that, according to Mason;
"EU officials have certainly been in contact with the Greek opposition to explore the creation of a national unity government."
Not content with imposing an austerity programme on the Greek government, the Euro-elite have also evidently been intervening to help to manufacture a revolt within the Prime Minister's centre-left PASOK party designed to remove him from office and bring about a new coalition government.
The aim was clearly not just to block the bailout referendum that George Papandreou had announced but also to prevent an election being called that might have thrown up results inconvenient for the Euro project.
To replace Papandreou, the EU elite have been pushing for Lucas Papademos, a former official in the European Central Bank and also wants another of its trusted old boys, former commissioner Mario Monti, to replace Signore Bunga-Bunga in Rome's hot seat.
The plan is now to concentrate new powers with the Euro-elite and to do this in a way that means there is no requirement to hold referenda or even, in most countries, debates and votes in national parliaments.
Article 352 of the EU treaty will be invoked to force through most of the proposed changes, including Commission surveillance of national budgets, while it is likely that the EU will in December also have to announce a new mini-treaty for bigger measures like the Financial Transactions Tax.
Heads of government, including David Cameron, hope that by bringing about the forthcoming transfer of powers this way, calls for an EU referendum will be neutralised. The argument will be that the treaty is too insubstantial to amount to a constitutional change.
Of course, Sarkozy and his fellow anti-democratic elitists have form in this area, having himself back in 2005 ignored the overwhelming French rejection of the EU Constitution in a referendum and then used his majority in the French assembly to steamroller through the tactically renamed Lisbon treaty.
The exact same thing happened in Holland following a vote of 62% against transferring new powers to the EU and, on two separate occasions within the past ten years, the Irish people have voted against new EU treaties only to be told that they must vote again.
Yet with its new policy of regime change, the EU's anti-democratic inclinations are now being taken to new, extreme heights. So when the European Movement next go on about their beloved institution's great commitment to democracy, just laugh out very loud, please.
written by Marc Glendening