Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Time to fight back against the Europhobes...

"For almost forty years, we Brits have complained about Europe."
Douglas Carswell. 

Well you have Douglas and your fellow travellers that's for sure. But not this Brit nor anyone else who can see about the parapet of their own prejudice. Let’s look for a moment at what you are proposing. Basically it’s back to the pre War era before Europeans didn’t just say “Never again” but created the institutions to put it into effect. You see that first half of the 20th century when Nations stood apart and Nationalism reigned wasn’t really very good was it? A little local difficulty in Italy, Spain, Germany… The odd battle or two. And where were we the standalone Brits? Clutching on to our British Empire and special relationship. And yes both did come to our rescue. But then, post war, both crumbled as inevitably they were going to.

Take a look at the map Douglas. See that little group of islands off the west coast of the European land mass? That’s us. And that’s all we have. History, traditions and a decent-sized economy of course and hard-working and decent people as well. But to stand alone, like we did once or twice before? No thanks.

Fortunately the call for European cooperation made in the ruins of Europe was heeded. And gradually, from small beginnings, man’s greatest ever achievement in transnational political and economic cooperation was created. A Union of 28 nations with a common purpose and a basis of unity. And Britain has played its proud part in creating it. “There Is No Alternative”, as someone once said in another context. The “Anglosphere” beloved of the Europhobic Right? Don’t make me laugh. If it was a good idea don’t you think just one of the prospective members of it might say so? Dream on. It ain’t going to happen. Fantasy politics.

For twenty or more years our politics has been blighted by those who obsessively want to retreat from Europe. John Major’s “men in white coats” didn’t, sadly, take them away and lock them up. These are the people who at their most venal get elected to the European Parliament and then turn their fat arses towards it. They are the people who peddle simplistic lies about sovereignty and governance – as if the British Parliament had conceded all to Brussels. Not true. Unlike in Britain the EU is committed to subsidiarity and processes are continually underway to encourage decision-making not at the highest level, but at the lowest practicable.

I think that a referendum is a lousy idea but I suppose if we have to have one we might as well get it out of the way as soon as possible. I doubt that it will solve anything. If we stay in the EU will that stop the Douglas Carswells of this world from ranting on? Of course not. Like the mad people with megaphones who are always with us telling us we are doomed they’ll carry on. And if the antis win? Well we really will become second rate as a nation and a people. And that is not going to happen. The one good thing about the referendum is that it will galvanise those of us who see our future as a full, and effective member of the European Union to come out fighting. The gloves need to be off. We need to expose the dangerous bigots like Douglas Carswell for what they are. A grave threat to our nation – lets be gone with them.


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