An, errrrm, interesting piece in the ‘magazine’ section of the BBC website this morning where it conducts a very swift investigation into what our neighbours over the channel think of what is referred to a ‘the British problem’, that being are we in or out?
There’s the usual feeling from the BBC that any suggestion we leave is to be treated in the same way a suggestion that you go and take a dump through next door’s letterbox would.
But there are a few phrases contained within which exasperate and disturb me in equal measure:
A commentary by Michael Stuermer in the German daily Die Welt says it is “in the German interest to keep Britain in the EU at almost any cost”.
At almost any cost. Almost? So you’re saying you wouldn’t support the despatching of troops to these shores if we should be impertinent enough to try to leave this tedious little house party under our own steam. To be honest, if Germany needs to rely on us remaining in their western Soviet bloc, then they must be in real trouble.
Mr Quatremer argues that . . . “the new generation of Conservative leaders is fanatically europhobic”.
Excuse me whilst I go and change my pants, I seem to have wet them through laughing. Conservative leaders? Fanatical? Europhobic? Oh mate, you’ve seen nothing yet, I’m supposing you think Nick Clegg amounts to no more than a disinterested bystander?
The words used really could come straight out of Stalin’s propaganda office. Fanatical. Well, I’m not the one who is determined to sweep away all the nation states and bankrupt everyone in the process, no matter what. I really want us to leave the EU, and I wouldn’t describe myself as a fanatic, to call Cameron a fanatic is stretching reality to beyond breaking point.
Then there’s the use of the word ‘europhobic’. Once again, taking me as an individual with a much harder line than Cameron, I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a europhobe. I love Europe, it is the most amazingly diverse place and there’s few things I find more entertaining that wandering around her cities, discovering new things or new ways of doing things. The languages, the food, the national personalities, all of it, I don’t think any other continent has so much to see and do in such a small space, it is wonderful.
However, Europe is not the EU, I don’t want us to get out of Europe, that’s a silly thing for anyone to say, akin to saying you don’t want to live under a blue sky. Get us out of the EU? Hell, yeah.
But even then, I’m not phobic. My fear of the EU is entirely rational, based on past and current behaviour and their plans for the future, even their stated ultimate goal. Do I fear it? Absolutely, but it certainly isn’t irrational.