When the European Court of Human Rights announces a ban on crucifixes in Italian schools, you can either celebrate the liberal march of secularism or deplore the illiberal attack on religious expression and national tradition.

Perhaps there is a third option which is to say that this has nothing to do with rights and everything to do with Europe's manic drive to standardise behaviour and attitudes, in the same way as it regulates the transportation of livestock and the safety specifications of new mowers.

The crucifix is none of the EU's business and, as we celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall this weekend and the miraculous bravery and persistence of the Christian congregation of the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, who sparked the East German revolutions with candles and peace prayers every Monday evening, it is perhaps right to remember that the last Europeans to ban the display of religious symbolism in schools belonged to the communist regimes of the east. Read Henry Porter's full article in the Observer...