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October 21, 2004

Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam

I know, I know. You're wondering why someone in the 21 st Century is using a dead language. It's an echo of Cato's old line, Carthago Delenda Est. Full details are here.
What is it that you need to know? Two phrases:
"The European Union must be destroyed" is Unio Europaea delenda est.
"Therefore, I conclude that the European Union must be destroyed" is Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam.
Suggested usage is that the first simply be dropped into everyday discourse. "Yes dear, I'll make the tea and Unio Europaea delenda est and while you're at the supermarket can you get some more baby wipes and a pack of condoms otherwise we'll be doing this again in 10 months time, and by the way, Unio Europaea delenda est.
The second phrase is for use on more formal occasions such as The Sun reporting that the EU has outlawed curved bananas (a true story by the way). At each revelation of such blithering idiocy one should sagely remark Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam. The revelation that the EU accounts have not been approved for a decade would be met with the phrase Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam, the mendacity with which CAP is run similarly, the Common Fisheries Policy....well, you're getting the idea. At each new example of the fraud, lies, foolishness and pustulent bureaucracy under which the continent of Europe is groaning, the wise man will simply mutter, Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam
One might adopt either phrase as an email signature line, make bumper stickers, coffee mugs, shout it from the rooftops.

Just in case there are any who do not yet understand the driving force behind this, allow me to explain. I do not hate "Europe", I hate the "European Union". It is precisely because I am European, because I love the place in all its variety, the peoples, cuisines, cultures, that I believe that we must destroy this gargantuan monstrosity which seeks to devour our freedoms and liberties. OK, serious bit over.

The above phrases are free for use to any who wish to do so. A link to here would be appreciated but is not required.
I am also beginning to collect graphic representations of the sentiments above. If you can think of a good one, please post it and let me know. I'll also post it here, along with a link to your page. These images are also free to anyone to use in a non-commercial manner however, I think that politesse and fair play both argue that you should only use them if you also include a link to this post, and to the post from which it originated.

From Gordon at Cranky Neocon
From John at The England Project.
From Jeff at Protein Wisdom
From Manahm Pistoff

From Carnivorous Conservative

From Institut pre Slobodne 

Keep 'em coming folks!

October 21, 2004 in Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam | Permalink


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» Old Europe: Seek and Destroy from BoiFromTroy
First, the European Union banns curved bananas. Next thing you know, they'll be banning Bill Clinton from entering the country with his, um, hidden strengths. The chaps in jolly-old England love the European Union as much as Guardian Readers (heart)... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 22, 2004 4:22:05 PM

» Unio Europaea delenda est from Cranky Neocon
Or in English, "The European Union must be destroyed" Tim Worstall, respected economist and gladiator movie fan updates Cato's Carthago Delenda Est declaration and directs it to the European Union. How would you use this phrase?... on more formal occas... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 23, 2004 2:15:57 PM

» Unio Europaea delenda est from Carnivorous Conservative
Well, you never know who you might get hooked up with in the blogosphere, or where it will lead you. Crany Neocon, who I've been reading lately, had a post that led me to Tim Worstall's blog. Well, imagine [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 24, 2004 9:16:48 AM

» Unio Europaea delenda est from Beautiful Atrocities
Try to use it in a sentence as often as possible, as when a sophisticated Euro mentions that the EU has banned curved bananas. [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 26, 2004 6:34:09 PM

» The Special Halloween COV WITH YOUR HOST MADDY!!! from The Twins Tell the Truth
WELCOME WITH YOUR FAV 13-YEAR-OLD TO THE COV From Josh Cohen Online Oh Come On!-Review And Josh, I agree liberals can be pretty dumb, and even me, a 13-year-old, knows that. How pathetic. I am like one of the only... [Read More]

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» It's Latin, Silly from TechnoChitlins
Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam Heh, Indeed. Hat Tip: the InstaMan... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 8, 2004 4:02:27 PM

» Unio Europaea Delenda Est from L'Ombre de l'Olivier
As I demonstrated below I'm no photoshop wizard, but seeing as I keep on writing posts about the EU and its many many failures it seemed to me that I really ought to try and make some logos for Tim Worstall's list. [Read More]

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» http://beautifulatrocities.com/archives/2004/10/_victims_of_dec.html from Beautiful Atrocities
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» Unio Europaea delenda est from Gavin Ayling - English, Rationalist and Liberal Conservative
Tim has asked for graphics to help spread the use of this latin phrase and the following is my modest contribution which, I hope, shows that England, at least within the UK, is anti-EU. [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 20, 2005 3:58:22 PM

» The EU is an "Empire" – Barroso from PJC Journal
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» The EU is an "Empire" – Barroso from PJC Journal
Yes, you read it right, the EU President considers the EU to be an Empire. He said Empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, what he didn’t say was this one was made with trickery and lies imposing diktat. It may be an emp... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 10, 2007 11:15:04 PM


Not to be poking with sticks, but more to point out an anomaly.

As a school child in the US, I learned that Europe was that continent on the other side of the Atlantic. It included places like parts of Turkey and the USSR, islands such as Corsida and Chios. It also included the British Isles.

When, in the 1990s I was assigned to a job in London, I learned--from my British friends and contacts--that Europe actually started on the other side of the Channel. Put rudely, "Wogs begin at Calais".

Note that this view was not coming from rightist Europhobes, but was simply the common wisdom.

But I now see you making the UK part of Europe.

Could you explain, please?

Tim adds: Indeed. The UK is most definitely part of the continent of Europe. That is something that is determined by geographers, in the same sense that the Aleutians are part of America. Is the UK socially, or culturally part of "Europe" ? That is a rather different question and one best answered by stating that it is part of the Anglosphere, and whether that maps to the same geographical area as Europe is your choice. Rather what the argument is about in fact.
I do recall an old story about The Times, with a headline "Fog in Channel. Europe cut off."
Not us cut off from them, but them cut off from us.

Posted by: John | Oct 21, 2004 8:51:33 PM

might I suggest adding a strategic "quam celerime" for those occasions where Brussels really goes out of its way to do something truly venal such as hiding a massive corruption scandal

Tim adds: Agreed. Neil? You speak both Welsh and English. Surely you can manage a little Latin?

Posted by: Dirty Dingus | Oct 21, 2004 9:54:15 PM


thanks for the link and the nice comment for Manahm Pistoff. I've been reading all of you guys for awhile now and could not resist joining in the fun.

Your slogan could work in French too, comme ceci;
"L'Union Europeenne doit etre detruire".

I can't quite figure out how to make the little accents... sacre bleu!

Posted by: Boyahm Tiktoff | Oct 22, 2004 2:48:24 AM

Shouldn't that be, "L'Union Européenne diot être détruite"?

Posted by: boifromtroy | Oct 22, 2004 4:13:52 PM

Besser ist, "Die Europaische Union muss (oder "soll") zerstoert werden" ("oe" in "zerstoert" is "o" with Umlaut.)

It has been obvious for years that Brits don't know whether they want to be part of Europe, or if they think they have a "special relationship" with the US. So they are basically a junior partner in the EU--for example, they aren't members of the Euro-zone, but the value of their pound tends to follow the Euro, regardless, for obvious reasons. And they are held in contempt by the American political establishment--Tony Blair got absolutely nothing out of his little adventure with Bush in Iraq, for example. They lose either way.

Tim adds: why does it have to be either. Why not just be, um, free and independent?

Posted by: raj | Oct 22, 2004 5:16:24 PM

As an ardent anglophile from across the pond, let me chime in: let Britain be Britain. Or, put another way, "Vive la difference!" (Sorry, I don't know how to accent the 'e'.)

Posted by: Jim | Oct 22, 2004 6:25:52 PM

What's great about the EU is freedom of movement for people, and free trade and what goes with it (like common standards for cars etc.).

To me it seems that misguided English/British nationalism is behind a lot of the exaggerated criticism of the EU in this country.

Tim addds: If the EU stopped at the free movement of goods, people and capital, I for one, would be delighted. Why this requires common standards I don't actually understand. By banning, as has actually happened, apricot marmalade, both choice and freedom have been reduced. This is not how one builds a free market nor a dynamic economy.
There's more than just Little Englander sentiment to my objections to the system as it is.

Posted by: Heiko | Oct 31, 2004 8:38:52 PM

Common standards facilitate trade. It means that a UK car manufacturer can source car parts in Germany, and if demand for his cars goes slack, those car parts can be redirected to another market, say Spain, without any retooling required. It also means economies of scale are more easily achieved.

For foodstuffs this is less applicable, but still if standards (say for pasteurising milk) differ too much, they can make it more difficult to trade efficiently (say for Lidl to react to slack Yoghurt demand in the UK by redirecting the production of a French plant to Italy. That won't work if a processing step that's required in the UK is banned in Italy)

Tim adds:I'm well aware of the benefits of standardisation. I do run a business that trades on three continents after all.
My objection is to the idea that they are formulated by the bureaucracy and backed up by the criminal law (yes, just to be trivial, the sale of a banana with excessive curvature is in theory punishable by 3 months jail and a 5,000 pound fine).
Standards are better set by trade organisations, it is a great deal more flexible. Plus, adherence to such standards should be voluntary.
In more detail, I would want the law to state, as our own Common Law used to, that goods must be "of merchantable quality" or "fit for the purpose". I reject the idea that "The State" should be regulating in any other way how, to use your example, car parts are manufactured. That is best done by the car manufacturers setting their own standards.

Posted by: Heiko | Nov 1, 2004 8:40:57 AM

I was thinking of the kinds of standard the government imposes for environmental, public health etc.. purposes, where it does make sense to employ criminal law (eg sulphur standards for petrol).

Most (or maybe all I am not sure on that) European cars cannot be sold in the US, because they do not meet specifications (imposed indeed by the US government).

That is definitely a barrier to trade, though in the case of the car market, it's easier to deal with three main standards (Japan, US, EU) than with hundreds.

For many food products I agree that apart from them having to be safe for consumption there is no need for governmental regulation, be it on national, EU or worldwide level.

What I don't understand is your opposition to the EU itself. Why not argue for reform, where there are failings?

Posted by: Heiko | Nov 1, 2004 1:03:40 PM


The problem is where to start with the reform, so many items need reformed before the damage they do is too far gone to repair.

Posted by: dick | Dec 4, 2004 3:17:55 AM

Just a little hint for our heroes of grammar: It's "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam".

Posted by: Boris | Apr 5, 2005 2:26:21 PM

the curved bananas story is a sad one indeed.
But we never hear the success stories. Did you know that the GSM standard was instigated by beloved Brussels ? The europe-wide standard for GSM mobile phones lead to an advance for european industry that lasted for years. There are many other examples that never make the headlines.
I don't work for the EU, but I know that I would not be in my present job without "Brussels".

Posted by: BobJ | Jun 8, 2006 4:21:03 PM

Quamquam non necessarioso sumus contenti cum totis aspectis de organisatione et instutionibus hodiernis, generaliter putamus quod solutiones pro problemas reliquos non est destruere aedificata, sed anteponere progressiones pertinentes ad unitatem, transparentiam et democratiam.

Posted by: Kerry Goulde | Aug 7, 2006 5:34:22 PM

1. The Latin for union is conventus

2. As conventus is a 4th declension neuter noun and European is an adjective, it should be conventum europæeum in the accusative voice.

3. Ceterum does not mean therefore. Therefore is 'igitur' or 'ergo', as in cogito ergo sum. Moreover, et cetera gives it away.

4. Ceterum does not mean therefore. It means 'but'; I think this, **but** Carthage must [still] be destroyed

5. Censere means to argue rather than to think. Minor detail, but to think is putare

6. When trying to write it in Latin, you neglected to use the æ dipthong. Correctly written, it would be CETERVM CENSEO CONVENTUM EVROPÆAM ESSE DELENDAM if it has to be in capitals for ease of carving into stone.

Vae victis. Literally, 'woe to the defeated' but idiomatically ... well, insert your own idiom here.

Posted by: Dave Cole | Oct 17, 2006 5:46:21 PM

Although we are not necessarily content with all aspects of today's organisation and institutions, we generally think that the solutions to [outstanding or future] problems is not to destroy the building, but to put in place changes leading to unity, transparency and democracy.

That about right, Kerry?

Posted by: Dave Cole | Oct 17, 2006 5:50:04 PM

It is interesting to see people boasting around with phrases they don't even understand. Turning 'ceterum' into a consecutive 'therefore' would have given lots of error points at a Latin test. ceterum actually means 'by the way' another expression you suggested, hey congratulations, you found Cato's main idea! It is unneccesary to mention that the rest of the article is based on an erratic translation. Therefore it is not acceptable that you suggest to use them, save you want that people are laughed at.
SI TACUISSES, PHILOSOPHUS MANISSES (let someone else translate it for you to make sure you get it)

Posted by: Tomberry | Mar 18, 2007 6:49:39 PM