If tlie value of a currency depends onrntlie confidence of its users, then the depressingrnpHght of the euro shows thatrnmost Europeans have no confidence inrnit The woes of the euro hear witness tornthe faikirc of the “Monnct method” ofrnEuropean unificahon. Against tlie federalistrnvision of Altiero Spinelli (1907-rn1986), based on a constituhonal assemblyrncharged with creating a ”UnitedrnStates of Europe,” Jean Monnet (1888-rn1979) opposed his “functionalist” strategyrnof poliHcal unificahon through the gradualrnintcgrahon of economic structures.rnThe drafting of a charter of fundamentalrnrights for the fuiropean Union isrnpresently under wa’; the intent is to replacernMonnet’s monetar’ Europe with arnEurope of rights and values. But whatrnkind of rights and ‘alues? The currentrndraft does not provide for the rights to lifernand religious freedom, and a reference tornthe “religious, humanistic and cidturalrnlegacy” oi Europe, proposed bv thernBavarian Christian Democrats, was rejectedrnby Ereneh Socialist Premier LionelrnJospin, who said he could never acceptrna European identity based on arn”religious legacy.”rnAlberto Ccirosa is the editor of FumigVidrnDomani Flash, a pro-familv newsletterrnpublished in Rome.rnLetter From Australiarnby R.]. StovernCharlie Is Their DarHngrnOn October 2S, 2000, central Sydney’srntraffic stood still for hours, for the firstrntime since the Olympiad. Inside the late-rnV’ictoriau Town Hall, approximatelyrn2,000 pilgrims witnessed the Aboriginalrnfaith’s latest canonization: the state funeralrnof Charles Perkins, who had died onrnOctober 18 after 29 years of daily medicalrndependence on the “whitefella” culturernhe so despised—which, in his case, tookrnthe form of a kidne’ transplant.rnHuge banners bearing Perkins’ portraitrnwere scattered among the mourners, whornincluded gold medallist Cath’ Freeman.rnThose familiar with North Korean crowdrnscenes at the height of Kim Il-Sung’srnreign experienced a profound shock ofrnreeognihon, lessened onl b the indigenousrnsmoke-dancing.rnWidi one oice, local headline writersrncalled Perkins “Australia’s Martin I ,ntherrnKing.” (In an ecu crazier appeal to politicalrncorrectness, TV networks warnedrnAboriginal viewers to cease watching ifrnthey might be offended, “for cultural reasons,”rnby the idea of Perkins’ name andrnphoto being broadcast!) To New SouthrnWales’ Premier Bob Carr, Perkins warrantedrnplaudits for his courage in the ”relativelyrnlonely cause” of Aboriginal rights.rn”.Australia,” New South Wales SupremernCourt Chief Jusfiee Jim Spigelman said,rn”is a better and fairer place because ofrnhim.” Geoff Clark of the Aboriginal andrnTorres Strait Islander Commission (recentU-rnciuestioned b police in connechonrnwith four counts of rape) exhibitedrnmore originality Of Perkins’ decades-oldrnand taxpa’er-funded appefite for acquiringrnsome of Sydne”s most expensive realrnestate —notably a $I.25-milliou mansionrnin the modish suburb of Newtown—rnClark declared, “I think Charlie was arngreat businessman.”rnEer- newspaper in Australia’s capitalrneihes reprinted —and, when rebuked byrnreaders, failed to correct —the lie thatrnPerkins was Australia’s first Aborigine torngraduate from an Australian campus.rn(The first acknowledged full-blood Aboriginalrnwas actualK’ Margaret Valadian inrn1966. Yet part-blood Aborigines hadrnbeen graduating for decades; Australiarnhad so little legal .sanction against Aboriginalrnachieement that it produced internationallyrntouring Aboriginal cricketrnteams as far back as the I860’s.)rnLargely forgotten amid all the hooplarnwere Perkins’ April ^, 2000, BBC interviewrnurging indigenous peoples to disruptrnthe OKnrpies, and Perkins’ generalrninabilit}’ to work with others. His entirernadult life was full of clashes with fellowrnbureaucrats. Perkins’ passing, whateverrnelse it does, should make us ponderrnVoltaire’s dictum; “To the living we owerncharih’; to the dead we owe truth.” Werndo Perkins’s memon no sciviee by coatingrnit in sanctimonious treacle tiiat onhnourishesrnthe gag reflex.rnTabloid disinformation nohithstanckrning, Perkins’ closest American counterpartrnwas not, in fact, Martin Luther King,rnJr. (however similar the two men’s approachesrnto academic “scholarship”rnmight have been), but Adam ClaytonrnPowell, whom he resembled in both hisrnirtuesand hisices. Like Powell, Perkinsrncould, on occasion, smile and joke, if onrnIv to disann newsnren. (“I like whites,rnmarried one,” he said, assuring Sydne)rnMorning Herald columni.st Mike Carltonrnof his freedonr from ulgar racial prejudice.)rnThat he could call his memoirs ArnBastard Like Me indicates a certain impatiencernwith humbug —an impatiencernmarkedly absent from the attitude ofrnyounger Aboriginal apparatchiks, whoserninability to comninnicate in anything resemblingrndecent English is, pediaps, ourrnsole protection against their power. At arndeeper level, nonetheless, the gulf separatingrnPerkins and his successors is arndistinction without a difference. On thernslogans tiiat matter-ec|uating vhite Australiarnwitii Nazi Cermany; incessanth demandingrnthat John Howard, prime ministerrnsince 1996, publicK’ apologize forrnhis predcces.sors’ alleged sins in Aboriginalrnchildren’s schooling; decring the obscenernevil of anyone even attempting tornreduce the welfare dependence of Aboriginalrncommunities — Perkins had nornquarrel with today’s indigenous nomenklatura.rnA native of Alice Springs in the NorthernrnTerritor, Perkins w as born in 19^6 tornunwed parents of different Aboriginalrntribes — and, therefore, was doomed tornbanishment (if not worse), had he remainedrnin his original surroundings. (Inrnits sheer obsession with pnritv of bloodlines,rntraditional Aboriginal socieh couldrnlearn little from the Third Reich.) AnrnAnglican hostel oversaw his upbringing;rnin retrospect, he .saw this act of charih’ asrnpart of a “genocidal” conspiracy—whichrnnonetheless ecjuipped Perkins with thernskills to plav soccer at a first-grade level.rnIn an era when visiting Britain wasrncompletely beyond the means of all butrna minuscule minorit’ of Australians,rnPerkins enjoyed the luxury of not onlyrnvisiting the United Kingdom but beingrnpaid to live tiiere before he had turnedrn21. (He played for the British soccerrnteam Eerton; after returning to Australia,rnhe played for Adelaide’s CroatiarnClub.) Wdien he finalh’ received his artsrndegree from Sydney Unicrsity —at thernage of ^0 —he became the front-pagernhero of every newspaper in the land.rnBy then, he had begun devoting hisrnmain energies to acfivism. In 1965, hernkidnapped a Fijian girl to keep her fromrnbeing deported. He ostcntatioush’ describedrnhis bus trips to the Outback asrn”Freedom Rides,” though thev had nornloftier purpose than tlie exercise of hisrnfreedom to get drunk at white-dominatedrn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn