DO you care who wins - Gush or Bore? The BBC has been boring us and gushing us with reports on the American presidential election since last spring's primaries.

Why? For no other reason than that this provides limitless opportunities for transatlantic trips and freebies for BBC correspondents. You are paying for this, dear reader. Even the Americans themselves aren't interested in their presidential election, as is shown by the very small number who bother to turn out to vote. Of course, they are interested in it now that it has turned into a soap opera.

What has the hype, the ballyhoo, the cheating and the lies and the whole sordid business got to do with us? Answer: nothing. For British people to worry about the US elections is a sign of madness. The truth is that it doesn't matter who becomes President. The American system is so hamstrung by checks and balances that any President has to apply to two houses of Congress and the Supreme Court if he wants to change his underpants.

If there were any real importance attached to the office of President, do you think wise Americans would have let Jimmy Carter attain it? Ask yourself this: if there were a real crisis why has there been no collapse of the US stock exchange? If the President were truly "the most powerful man in the world", why are the financial markets not in a panic because no one yet knows who the President will be? This transatlantic interest is all one way. I don't recall seeing more than the odd paragraph in USA Today or The New York Times about who would win the British General Election in 1997.

Our television channels cover those US sports of baseball and American football. When was the last time an American TV channel featured a Test match? Why don't they come across in hordes to report on the Gateshead Pigeon Fanciers' annual rally? It would all be far more interesting than the Gush and Bore saga.

I know you're all bored silly with the EU, but you'd better start paying some attention before the whole thing ends in tears and we wake up one morning to discover there isn't an England worth speaking of any longer.

Politicians in this country and on the continent constantly repeat that there is no question of our being subsumed into a European superstate. They can get away with these lies only because ordinary folk in this country are too bored to read the treaties.

Maastricht declared the aim to be "ever closer political union", and our Government - a Tory Government at that, damn it! - signed up to it. Now "ever closer political union" means what it means and not something else. And if we join the euro, then we lose the pound and with it the freedom to manage our own economic policy. We have already signed up to the Convention on Human Rights, which means that criminal and civil cases in Britain will increasingly be dealt with according to European models of law-making.

But there is something even more dangerous than even these misbegotten policies, as Dennis Healey, David Owen and Malcolm Rifkind pointed out in their letter to a national newspaper. I refer of course to the plan to create a European army. Of course, the usual liars and apparatchiks say it isn't an army, but only "a rapid reaction force". But in reality it is an army. As those three distinguished statesmen pointed out in their letter, the formation of such an army will weaken Nato and the American alliance, which has kept the peace in Europe for 65 years. The creation of a European army will destabilise the balance of power between east and west and could easily lead to war. The really disgusting aspect of this misadventure is that the usual liars and apparatchiks couldn't care less whether we have a European army or not. The army, like the single currency, the unified tax code and the prospect of a single European legal system, is merely a device by which it is meant to make the superstate inevitable. Wake up chums before it's too late