Watching this process reminds me of the dark days of the cold war. Very quickly after the Second World War a whole new industry was formed around the ‘Kremlin Watchers’. These people would try to peer over the wall and through the wire into the hearts and minds of those running that weird amalgam called the USSR.

They would monitor speeches, analyse photographs and question Soviet officials all to discover who was in and who was out. That would then give them a hint as to which way the Russian and satellite political game was running.

The uncertainty of Kremlin intent kept the US at bay and sent shivers down the spine of the world where the force of Soviet control was felt but no accountability counterbalanced it.

It is also akin to choosing a Pope. Everyone waits with baited breath watching the Vatican chimneys awaiting the sign that a new Pope has control over the world’s Catholic community. No-one knows who or how they were chosen or how God has told them to lead their flock.

Today we have politicians and journalists around the world, but more worrying ordinary citizens in Europe, watching Brussels in the same way. Who will be chosen, how will it happen and what direction do they want to take the EU in?

The parallels between the old Soviet system, choosing a Pope and the appointing of such a powerful figure in the EU are ominous.

Are we in the EU in the future condemned to be nothing more than spectators looking at the decision makers in Brussels though binoculars and watching the chimneys for the black smoke to turn white before we have any inkling about where we are being taken, with or without our consent? Consider that we don’t even know for sure who the candidates are, or exactly what they stand for!

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