Monday, 5 October 2009

Serious Europhilia And Blithering Mendacity

Why it’s hard to take eurosceptics seriously | Nosemonkey’s EUtopia

[I wrote this last night while suffering from the delirium of a cold that won't go. I'm reaching the same height of feverishness now, but I stand by what I said. I've added a bit at the end.]

This is the kind of stuff that's seriously fucking pissing me off: the kind of naive 'oh we know the Lisbon Treaty isn't brilliant but..' routine of pro-EU bloggers and the 'you eurosceptics are your own worst enemies' nonsense.

The Lisbon Treaty is unnecessary, full-stop. It is not just a bloody 'cleaning-up' exercise.

Listen to this:
Every time you make such wild claims – and they turn out to be unfounded – you are alienating potential allies. When Lisbon comes into force and life in the EU continues much as before, proving all the claims that this treaty is in any way significant to be objectively false (because no matter what many eurosceptics claim, Lisbon *is* just a tidying-up exercise) – when member states continue to run themselves, when the threatened abortion clinics and enforced involvement in military campaigns fail to materialise – then anyone with half a brain will be able to see that the claims of the eurosceptics were false, and so stop paying them any further attention.

So come on, eurosceptic types – for your own sake start with the *proper* arguments against the EU. Stop all this hyperbolic emotional guff that’s characterised so much of the debate over the last couple of decades, and make with the convincing critical analysis. Stop with all the pathetic and blatantly false comparisons to dictatorships past and present. End the “EUSSR” meme – that only makes everyone who uses it look like a moron.

Instead, try pointing out what’s *actually* wrong with the EU, rather than make up nonsense about Lisbon ending Irish neutrality, forcing abortion, ending national sovereignty, creating a superstate and so on. You’ll find that you’ll win a lot more support – whereas at the moment you’re just preaching to the converted (as the comments to Hitchens’ piece perfectly prove).
Sorry, mate, but whenever a sceptic does make a valid point it is always disregarded - I've just witnessed that on The One Show tonight where after Freedland and Forsyth were given space to give their opinions, the conversation was carried on in the studio with Giles Brandreth(!), who basically turned it into the old cuddly story of us all getting together for our own good and that although we'll all be 'Europeans' we'll still be able to feel British. The essential point that this is about real political power being shifted even more from national government to EU government was never addressed.

Jonathan Freedland, to be blunt, was a fucking disgrace. He basically lied, presenting the old image of the EU as 'club' of sovereign governments, and so on. Frederick Forsyth was the only one who spelt out the facts. And that's a hard thing for me to admit, because politically he's not one of those people I have ever agreed with. Unfortunately what he said wasn't taken on board - even though he spoke directly, plainly and without 'hyperbolic emotional guff'.

Which brings me to the second point, which is that the Treaty does establish the EU as a state with its own legal identity and gives it the power to amend and extend its powers without the full consent of the peoples of Europe. There's lots of other stuff in the Treaty that the pro-brigade won't talk about.

And you know what? I used to have the same vaguely idealistic views of the EU as these pro-bloggers. I sued to bo along with the line that it was good the nations of Europe to work more closely together

I want to live in a country where I can vote for the party I want to govern. I'll put up with enduring a bunch of people I don't want because that's democracy, rough as it is. I don't want to live in a country where the laws of a foreign power take primacy over my own (even if they've been 'democratically' agreed by the odd minister whose been told what to do by civil servants); I want to live in a country where the laws are made by my own government.

Basically, I don't want to live in a country which is governed by foreigners. If that sounds nationalistic or old-fashioned or racist, I don't fucking care.


And if you don't fucking believe the EU is fundamentally a Franco-German stitch-up, driven by these two countries mainly for their own benefit and that they don't give a damn about the UK (so much being close to the heart of the EU) then perhaps you should pay attention to the words of Valery Giscard d'Estaing, a major architect of the European Constitution, who states the case quite plainly:
Il y a eu des inquiétudes parce qu'on pensait que la diplomatie française se rapprochait du Royaume-Uni au détriment de l'Allemagne. Ce geste va donc dans la bonne direction [l'installation en Alsace de militaires d'Outre-Rhin] car l'entente franco-allemande est le socle indispensable de l'Union européenne. On voit bien que le Royaume-Uni ne souhaite pas participer à l'intégration de l'Europe. L'intégration, c'est l'Europe continentale avec, au centre, ce grand ensemble que constituent la France et l'Allemagne. Le couple franco-allemand est la base historique de l'Union. Tout geste politique permettant de le conforter est positif.
(interview in Le Figaro, 2 Feb 2009).

You guys are all great Europhiles, so you all speak French, go translate it yourself.

Good night and fuck off.

No comments: