Want the UK to leave the EU? It’s time to tackle the faux Eurosceptics

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

Not many readers would have thought the musings of Noam Chomsky would have found a place on this blog, but this blueprint for limiting and tightly controlling people perfectly describes what is taking place inside the Conservative Party today.

The subject on which MPs are being pacified and herded into a controllable pen in the manner Chomsky describes is the European Union.

The Conservative Party is limiting the spectrum of acceptable opinion among its MPs by encouraging some of the new intake to form a group to promote ‘moderate Euroscepticism’.  Irrespective of the construction of the word ‘Eurosceptic’ it has commonly been accepted as a description of those who wish to see the UK withdraw from the European Union.  But as we have seen in history, from time to time words are hijacked by people with an agenda who change the meanings and understandings associated with them.  The term Eurosceptic is currently being hijacked in this way by people who wish the UK to remain firmly inside the EU while giving voters the impression they support the majority’s wish to leave.

The members of this group, led by George Eustice (a former press secretary to David Cameron who laughably describes Cameron as a ‘genuinely Eurosceptic Prime Minister’) believe the EU can be reformed and the UK  must remain within it, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and the entity being fundamentally anti democratic.  Therefore, although the members of this group describe themselves as ‘moderate Eurosceptics’, they are not Eurosceptics of any type.

They are better described as Europlastics, cheap and nasty imitations of the genuine product.

As one might expect the group has started to attract some attention with some journalists attempting to define it.  Patrick O’Flynn of the Daily Express recently wrote:

So, what to make of a new group of Conservative MPs who do not wish to leave the jungle altogether but simply to gravitate further out towards its edge? The group of 70 or so younger Tory MPs is proposing that Britain renegotiates the terms of its EU membership with a view to repatriating substantial powers from Brussels.

These MPs, such as Chris Heaton-Harris and George Eustice, have solid Eurosceptic credentials. Their new group has been heralded as a radical innovation.

O’Flynn has unwittingly assisted in the effort to redefine the word Eurosceptic with his assertion, underlining the subtle corruption of the real meaning in order to undermine the term and make it meaningless to all intents and purposes.  However, O’Flynn adds some valuable background insight into this group that may help open the eyes of those who have been blinkered by the idea these people are anything other than Europhile:

But one very senior source from the Better Off Out part of the political spectrum puts his scepticism in striking terms: “This is just a Tory Whips Office stunt. It is full of people who want to be Cabinet ministers. They haven’t said what powers they want repatriated, when or how it is to be achieved.

“This is a cynical distraction to try to stall the momentum among grass-roots Conservatives for having a referendum on leaving the EU. They are offering a fake alternative to try to take the wind out of our sails.

“When nothing substantial gets renegotiated they will then just blame Nick Clegg and promise to do better when there is a Tory majority. If that occurs then they will find another excuse for effectively doing nothing.

“They are attempting to kick Britain’s subjugation by the EU into the long grass alongside human rights reform, immigration control and an inheritance tax cut.”

The story has more than a ring of truth about it.  George Eustice’s wing man in this little project is none other than Chris Heaton-Harris, a man who has developed a cosy relationship with the very Tory whips behind this Licensed Dissenters club.

It was Heaton-Harris who, at the behest of the whips, torpedoed a motion concerning the European Financial Stability Mechanism to bail out eurozone countries.  The motion would have required the Government to place the EFSM on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and effectively mandated British ministers to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement relieving the UK of liability had been agreed.  In so doing, Heaton-Harris put the interests of the EU ahead of UK taxpayers.

Unsurprisingly, it was also Heaton-Harris who led a group of 14 Tory MPs who sent a letter to the Financial Times arguing that the financial crisis sweeping Europe was an opportunity for the UK to shape Europe’s post-crisis order.  Without any sense of irony, having scuppered the motion to ensure the UK would not be subject to any financial liability for European bailouts, Heaton-Harris argued that the solutions to the crisis proposed by eurozone countries amount to no more than “throwing good money after bad” and will further expose the British taxpayer to any future economic meltdown!

If you are one of the majority of people who want the UK to leave the EU, it is time to ‘call out’ people like Chris Heaton-Harris and George Eustice, and those who support their efforts to stall momentum for an In/Out referendum, such as Roger Helmer.  Genuine Eurosceptics are being led up the garden path by these tricksters who professes to be Eurosceptic but in reality are Judas goats in Cameron’s petting zoo.

Some Eurosceptics have been stunned to see Helmer and friends being challenged in the last week by Autonomous Mind and other blogs such as EU Referendum, Witterings From Witney and Ironies Too as he has stated he wants an In/Out referendum.  Our exposure of the doyen of the Conservative Eurosceptic movement – an oxymoron if there ever was one – looking both ways on the EU has caused rumblings and is forcing people to look beneath the words at the all important actions.  That is as it should be, after all, how can Helmer’s position be squared with his endorsement of Heaton-Harris and Eustice, who are working hard to keep Britain in the EU and whose efforts to create a ‘moderate Eurosceptic’ grouping are seen as undermining the prospects of a referendum being held?

Helmer cannot continue to have it both ways and he needs to pick a side.  His ‘having it both ways’ position cuts the legs from underneath those who want a referendum.  By staying firmly inside a Conservative Party that is determined to remain firmly inside the EU, and giving support to those who want to keep Britain in the EU Helmer gives false hope to Tory members and supporters who would leave the charlatans behind if they realised there was never any prospect of their wishes being realised.

It is time to stop people being taken in by the Eurosceptics-in-name-only and time to show them up for what they are.

29 Responses to “Want the UK to leave the EU? It’s time to tackle the faux Eurosceptics”

  1. 1 Martin Cole 01/09/2011 at 9:46 am

    Well stated and argued.

    Thanks also for the link to Ironies Too!

    I do not wish, in any way, to criticize those Conservatives who have had the courage to join Better off Out, as I understand they thereby exclude themselves from consideration for a government post by so joining, it is to therefore be applauded.

    BUT, in looking again at the terminology we in future employ in resisting the growing Popperian tyranny of the EU, do we not concede a point to our opponents, by implying, that even within the present EU, we are nevertheless doing OK.

    We are not, instead of in future tagging myself eurosceptic, or eurealist as I once preferred, I now plan to be straightforwardly anti-EU.

    But what might Better Off Out be re-titled, to reflect the fact that we are very far from being all right while we are still within?

  2. 2 nick 01/09/2011 at 10:38 am

    I had to laugh, and still do when I think of it, when my MP (Peter Luff) told me in a letter before the last election that “David Cameron has a robust policy on Europe”.

    What weasel words! Designed to reassure me that, despite my doubts at the time, the “Cast Iron Guarantee” of a referendum was just that.

    The Conservative Party is just as “signed-up” to the EU as any of the other main parties. Those truly opposed to the EUSSR empire have no place in it. If they were honest people, the likes of Hannan and Carswell would leave the party. Failing which, they should shut up. And I say that as a one-time enthusiast for their ideas. Actions speak louder than words, as my gran was fond of saying.

  3. 3 2nd Sight 01/09/2011 at 11:45 am

    Anti-EU, Death-to-the-EU, whatever….! But we need to know why those who once seemed resonably anti-EU, have now Quisling-like changed their ground. It can’t be just the chance of a Ministerial position, because some at least of the 71 malefactors won’t be successful/chosen – even if the ill-begotten coalition founders (nice thought!) shortly.

    It’s the same as the global warming scam, & the future energy scarcity fraud (artificially created to put pressure on the unitiated & under-informed – which includes many MPs). According to the author of “Why the West Rules – For Now” (Ian Morris, 2010) there is a scare going round at very high government & academic levels that indicate all is gloom about the future & the West’s place in it. Especially viz-a-viz China etc.

    So if these 71 Tories have bought into this gloomy nonsense, then they will have bought into the nonsensical view (like the governments of Iceland & Norway seem to want to, though fortunately their citizens do not) that only the ‘big’ will survive in the future. Consequently, we had all better knuckle down & accept the EU, however unsatisfactory it is, rather than kicking into the gutter where it belongs!

    We need to hear from them exactly why they’ve changed their opinions. Only then can we fight them, & their pernicious ilk, effectively!

  4. 4 WitteringWitney 01/09/2011 at 1:05 pm

    Martin Cole writes:

    “I do not wish, in any way, to criticize those Conservatives who have had the courage to join Better off Out,….”

    Sorry Martin but I do when the likes of Helmer and Hannan, who have signed the BOO pledge, promptly then when writing include a ‘shore up Cameron’ paragraph or two.

  5. 5 WitteringWitney 01/09/2011 at 1:07 pm

    AM: Forgot to say in my previous – thanks for the link!

  6. 6 maureen gannon 01/09/2011 at 1:44 pm

    So another Sceptictank idea from the tory leader and whips.

    I am Not anti Europe, not Eusceptic but anti fraudulent body who wish to have my country regionalised to create a federal state run by an undemocratic bunch of self loading people who create problems to reach this aim.

  7. 7 Martin Cole 01/09/2011 at 1:53 pm

    WfW fair enough, I have had a look at the BOO website for the first time, its very limp wristed.

    Strange really, at the lunch for the 10th anniversary of the successful laying of the misprison of treason charges by Norris McWhirter and Rodney Atkinson, Lord Tebbit was much stronger, nothing about wrong trains, more getting off and going the other way! We appear to be going backwards.

  8. 8 Janet 01/09/2011 at 2:15 pm

    I would rather call them Euroseptics, badly infected by the EU, and liable to lead to the death of Britain unless eradicated by some hefty antibiotics.

  9. 9 maureen gannon 01/09/2011 at 2:19 pm

    Thank You janet what a brilliant response.

  10. 10 vernon e 01/09/2011 at 4:06 pm

    The europlastic movement is the start of a cunning plan. The future looks like this. The vote between the two main parties is split evenly and will remain so into the foreseeable – certainly to the next election. That leaves coalition inevitable and Clegg holds all the aces. Even the Boy knows that this ain’t a good thing (as the Milli person probably does as well). The only way out of the impasse is for one of them to come up with something that will swing the vote – and one of the few possibilities for that is, of course, Europe. The Boy is therefore giving timely encouragement to some “anti” EU sentiments to test the waters – could an all-out anti-EU policy perhaps do the trick? We’ll soon see.

  11. 11 maureen gannon 01/09/2011 at 5:25 pm

    Certainly food for thought > but surely that would be a bit deep thinking for the air-heads we have in power?

  12. 12 right_writes 01/09/2011 at 5:42 pm


    How much more time do you Tory’s need before you finally realise that they have absolutely no interest in leaving the EU? Their position of ‘in Europe, but not run by Europe’ has been a constant since John Major and that coupled with the treatment of ‘the blessed Margaret’ following her Bruges speech and all of the broken ‘cast iron’ pledges of Cameron ought really to illustrate this.

    Anything like that is far more likely to come from the socialists, once it starts to sink in that the EU brand of ‘internationalism’ is not the kind that they envisioned when they jumped aboad.

    And if you don’t like to vote or be involved with socialists, you could always get involved with the more libertarian (though also filled with Daily Mail reading) ex-Tories, United Kingdom Independence Party… It’s a good trick that… Citing your reason for existence in your title…

    Amongst the bloggers that I read and enjoy, most of them are (for one reason or another) anti-UKIP, but none of them take into account that, failing the remote chance that the EU will implode within our lifetimes, that this party is probably their best chance to lead this nation out…

    Many of them cite Farage as being the main reason that they don’t want to involve themselves. However, the irrascible Farage whilst prominent, is not invincible, and by dismissing the UKIP in their off-hand manner brings babies and bathwater to mind…

    On thing is for certain, there are no plastics in UKIP, even if there are a number of hangers and floggers!

    Conference next week… Be prepared for a deathly silence from Pravda Or should that be the Olympic Broadcasting Corporation?… Ooo er Missus, I meant the BBC.

  13. 13 WitteringWitney 01/09/2011 at 6:05 pm


    “On thing is for certain, there are no plastics in UKIP”


  14. 14 right_writes 01/09/2011 at 8:22 pm

    Wittering from Witney…

    “On thing is for certain, there are no plastics in UKIP”

    Yes… Sorry, that should have read… “One”


  15. 15 Julian Williams in Pembrokeshire 01/09/2011 at 9:52 pm

    Very well written. If this is a sample of what you write I will visit this site more often.

    Your article highlights one of the most powerful weapons in argument – the way words are defined and used. If you can dictate the language you are halfway to winning the argument, however weak your ground.

    It has taken years for the sceptics to extricate themselves from being branded “xenophobic little Englanders”. We won that battle, and now it is becoming fashionable to be an “EU-sceptic”, So they are redefining EU-sceptic into something weaker so that all the faux-sceptic can come into our tent. It’s PR and it’s clever.

    It may be we have already lost this one. The sceptics were always too inflexible and not cynical enough to deal with the slippery political classes. They have already stolen our cape. It is perhaps time to invent a new name for ourselves. I have no suggestions, but I am sure there are good ways to define what we stand for.

  16. 16 Autonomous Mind 01/09/2011 at 11:42 pm

    Many thanks Julian. Looking forward to more of your thoughts.

  17. 17 Brian H 02/09/2011 at 5:41 am

    Yes, they’re reinforcing the walls of the box, à la Chomsky, not thinking outside it.

  18. 18 parliamentofwhoresKevin 02/09/2011 at 6:58 am

    We have to stay in or Christopher Heaton-Harris will lose his thumping great EU pension.

  19. 19 Lynne 02/09/2011 at 8:58 am

    Another excellent blog post, AM. High time this Tory Eurosham was dragged from under it’s filthy little rock and examined more closely.

  20. 20 Julian Williams in Pembrokeshire 02/09/2011 at 9:28 am

    A term that expresses the deep water between the “faux sceptics” and ourselves is “Unreformed Sceptics” We were here first and we are sticking to what we have always said: The EU is an undemocratic dictatorial institution that we want to see abolished and got rid of.

    These faux sceptics, like Cameron, come from a world of PR. They really understand how to propagate a meme, and truth for them is not as important as getting a message across. This makes them much better than us at twisting and presenting words into the public domain.

    We do not have to sell out souls, or imitate their methods, but do have to be very aware of how thier methods work to counter them.

  21. 21 2nd Sight 02/09/2011 at 11:52 am

    How about “EU-rejectionist”?

    It wouldn’t be quite true for me to call myself a “euro-rejectionist” because, for the time being, I could accept euros as payment – though I would certainly at present be keen to change them into another currency as quickly as possible.

  22. 22 Julian Williams in Pembrokeshire 02/09/2011 at 12:58 pm

    True-sceptics is opposite to Faux-sceptic and is an immediately understandable put down.

  23. 23 john in cheshire 02/09/2011 at 7:41 pm

    Any party who’s leader is a member of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has to be suspect. Any MP who votes on anything that favours the EU cannot be relied upon to defend our national interests.

  24. 24 don wreford 03/09/2011 at 2:32 am

    I have no idea what the EU joining is or is not, is not Britain in Europe? is this not enough? Britain whom has been at war with most if not all of the European Countries, can we all settle down and be cozy? what is to me suspicious about all of these arrangements is who is behind it all? it has to be the Rothschilds or the other lot Rockefeller, the Politicians are there for there own good, they know they are in bad faith and the chances are everyone knows it is all in bad faith,.
    Politicians are there to confound the General Public and in the name of being for the GP, have the job to control your lives with the next dose of what is good for you, it is well for you some to say lets act do something, very well what shoot the policeman whom killed the Tottenham victim? or kill Rothschild? the hypocrisy has been in the Britain for centuries and is endemic as like a virus, we are all in the hands of the mold that has been set up in history, and there is little if anything that can change this destiny, corruption denied by all permeates from whom is at the top who ever that is, to the bottom of society, it is fortunate for those who are in the delusion of being Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Conservative, superior in what ever form you take, coming from Silver Street, Secondary School, Edmonton, and knowing your place is what? joining the EU? so what all of it is to entomb you into your being empowered when in fact you are all just fodder for the machine.

  25. 25 John Payne 03/09/2011 at 2:26 pm

    Excellent article, my views entirely. The politician’s tactics are just a mirror image of the university debates many of us went through, where one has teams for and against a topic in order to extract a weakness in the opposite side. The trouble with the Conservatives they make sure their policy wins the day.

    I am all for putting those so called Tory Euro sceptic’s on the spot but please, please do not allow pressure to be taken away from the Conservative Party policy elites, after all they are the ones pushing all the buttons

  26. 26 maureen gannon 07/09/2011 at 7:40 pm

    Well this confirms what I have believed all along , can we still send people through traitors gate.

    Words that are printable fail me, Mr Helmer can you please stick a few or your thorns where the sun don’t shine in your leader. a vote today for a referendum 84% how dare he defy the peoples will,

  1. 1 Operation Deceive and Destroy « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 10/09/2011 at 9:13 am
  2. 2 The Europlastics have been too clever by half « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 22/10/2011 at 11:05 am
  3. 3 Roger Helmer abandons Europlastic Tories and joins UKIP « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 03/03/2012 at 9:01 am
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