Peter Sutherland’s legacy
Sir, – Despite being a hugely influential European commissioner, Peter Sutherland didn’t have to concern himself with anything so mundane as what the electorate thought of his actions.
“Taming nativism and nationalist trends” may have been “a daily part of Peter’s life”, as John Bruton claims (Opinion & Analysis, January 8th) , but nobody in the vast oligarchy of the EU has done more to revive these sentiments across the continent with his tireless promotion of an increasingly unpopular form of mass migration.
Then there were Mr Sutherland’s contentious remarks about the “homogeneity” of western nations, “ . . . that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine”, he informed the House of Lords in 2012, “however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states” (a reminder that contempt for the opinions of “low information” proles existed among the Euro-elite long before Brexit).
An enthusiastic federalist, internationalist and globalist, the former Goldman Sachs chairman operated without any mandate from the European people he lectured and that is another “problematic” aspect of his legacy.
In his Irish Times obituary, one of the WTO trade commentators is quoted as saying that, while Peter Sutherland “was not elected, he has had far greater political impact in the past two decades than almost all of the democratically elected leaders”.
While Eurocrats must gush at the thought of an unelected EU grandee wielding such influence, for some of us it is simply further proof of how unaccountable and wilfully antidemocratic that institution has become. – Yours, etc,