If only the the English had set up the European constitution, there might, by now, be a federal European political system which commanded respect and did some good.
The European constitution is all skew-whiff because the Continentals ignored the English principle of separating the powers of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
In the European constitition the executive, represented by the Commissioners, has all the power; the legislature, or parliament, has no power; and the judiciary appears to be an undistinguished tool of the executive.
People soon suss out if a body is powerless and then they treat it with contempt. Since the European parliament was established, fewer and fewer people have bothered to vote in its elections for membership.
The result of this public indifference is that the Euro MEPs who get elected are becoming increasingly maverick, eccentric and marginal.
The European parliament now has 17 members dedicated to getting the UK out of Europe - the UKIP guys - plus a Swedish representative of the Pirate Party, dedicated to legalising file sharing and outlawing digital rights management, a couple of members of the British National Party which is anti-immigrant, and the odds and sods of various European right wing loony parties.
Adding to public contempt is the ludicrous exes system under which every Euro-MP gets some £3,500 in non-accountable exes paid into their bank account every week, to pay for office and staff expenses.
That comes on top of an £80,000 salary plus many other opportunities to fiddle even more expenses. The effect is to disgust the public. So they ignore it, and increasingly spurn the Euro electrions.
Adding to the unseemly farce is the two-seat parliament where the parliament shuttles between Strasbourg and Brussels at vast expense, and the disgraceful fact that no accountant has signed off on the EU accounts for 20 years.
This is not democracy, it's a corrupt kleptocracy. It could be dismissed as an amusing example of the Continentals' political ineptitude, if it weren't such a worry that weak, corrupt, European government will sap Europe's strength, competitiveness and liberty.