A joint German-Franco debate in the Reichstag (Reuters)

New Year's Day 2013, in so far as the English-speaking press of the world was concerned, was dominated by the negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff in the US and the 40th anniversary of Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland joining what was then called the Common Market along with several mainland European states. With UK consent, that has morphed into the European Union.

History, however, seems likely to mark that day as the one on which the fiscal compact or Fiscal Stability Treaty (as it is now to be known) came into force - building on the yet to be finalised ESM [European Stability Mechanism] Treaty and the still to be agreed arrangements for the approved financial transaction tax.

Together, these three agreements in principle give effect to what in reality can only be described as "Greater Germany", a new type of sovereign state, up to now lacking any trace of democracy or citizen consent, or - so far - identifiable individual despot or tyrant at its head. When the latter emerges, we will recognise it among its historic predecessors without any difficulty at all as nothing but the full-blooded tyranny some, presumably, have always intended it would be.

While as yet we are thus denied a discernible hate figure upon whom we can focus our contempt, as befits such a collectivist conspiracy, there is no lack of high-profile placemen and placewomen to bear the blame. Prime among these figures are EU Commission President Barroso, EU Council President Van Rompuy, EU High Representative Ashton and Economic Affairs Commissioner Rehn, each contributing their own small part to the resulting dark mess that stains and has become putrid upon the palette we can now see represents the EU.

Barroso is the least cautious in his language on the intention behind the plans for this new pan-European tyranny and it was a mere two days into this new year before he returned to his native Portugal to deliver the following clear threat to assembled ambassadors: "Power is currently shifting not only between states but also over and above those states.

"The internationalisation of the financial sector, for example, shows that only supranational regulation through the European Union can restore real decision-making power to European citizens. The key is to exchange formal sovereignty for real influence."

Can nobody in national authority see the emptiness in the words regarding power passing above our heads somehow getting closer to the citizens, far beneath these elite figures who luxuriate in perks and excess while people in the outer reaches of the EU starve and the capital cities of the peripheral states are lit by the fires of burning cars and protesters' flares?

What of the Treaty of Windsor of 1386 (democrats everywhere should now demand to know), presumed to be still in force, marking the oldest alliance in the world - that between England and Portugal. To the shame of Foreign Secretary William Hague and Prime Minister David Cameron, they have aligned the United Kingdom on the side of Portugal's oppressors. How long before "Greater Germany" succeeds in crushing Great Britain with weak-willed and unseeing leaders such as these?

Martin Coleruns politically themed blogs, mainly Ironies Too, and tweets and comments almost unceasingly about the erosions of our liberties