EU Reform: The fantasies and distractions continue

It was never going to take long.  As soon as polls showed recently that UKIP was on course to get the most votes in the European Elections, the lamestream media editorial writers and the party communications teams at Labour, Tory and Lib Dem HQs were preparing pieces like this:

The same old pledges and platitudes are being rolled out, from Sadiq Khan’s apology in an open letter to UKIP supporters, which then outlines policies designed to entice former Labour voters back to Labour; to David Cameron’s ‘understood and received the message’ soundbite before he went on to proclaim what voters want – with neither party actually asking anyone outside the Westminster bubble why 4.3 million voters put their ‘X’ next to UKIP on the ballot paper

A common thread among the legacy parties is that the EU has to ‘change’.  Having pushed this line for many months, they now use it as a crutch to declare that this is what voters want, and they all declare that if only we vote for them they will bring about the reforms we apparently want.

It is, of course, one huge steaming pile of freshly laid bullshit.

Snake oil isn’t close to the product these people are trying to sell.  Rather they are pushing a product that makes the fictional element ‘Unobtanium’ in the film Avatar, or the dragons storyline in the TV series Game of Thrones look real in comparison.

Whatever ‘reform’ the EU might be persuaded to adopt, it will be trivial and will not result in the return of any powers to the UK that reduce Brussels’ control over the free movement of people, control over the free flow of money to different tax jurisdictions within the bloc, control over the movement of goods and services and the tariffs applied to them.

But despite these facts and despite the legion of Eurocrats, Commissioners and MEPs who have stepped forward to point out these facts and explain that the principles of the EU that underpin it are non-negotiable, our politicians and media continue to talk about EU reform as if it is just a negotiation away – and groups claiming to be Eurosceptic continue to make public demands that renegotation is undertaken.

So it is that a significant proportion of those people who say they want the UK to remain inside the EU do so because they have been fooled into believing reform is possible.

They are being taken in by fantasies and distracted from reality – therefore allowing the politicians to avoid the reality that only invoking Article 50 of the EU Treaty (Lisbon) will result in a renegotiation of the substantive issues and only by leaving the EU will the UK be able to take control of the areas where people want to see change.

We can be in, or we can be out. But we can’t be a bit in between.

3 Responses to “EU Reform: The fantasies and distractions continue”


  1. 1 cosmic 27/05/2014 at 6:39 pm

    The Tories’ renegotiation line has been phenomenally successful. It sounds so bloody reasonable and it’s kept the debate from polarising into in or out. The fact that it’s a fantasy and the UK will never be allowed to pick the cherries from the cake much less turn the EU into something it doesn’t want to be, hasn’t sunk in. Hence the high numbers who say they’d stay in with a renegotiated position. 1975 all over again.

    A major failing of the anti-EU persuasion is not to destroy this notion.

    Note how well Clegg did in attempting to make a straight case for the EU.

  2. 2 Pogle's Woodsman 28/05/2014 at 8:41 am

    The sad thing is that people will be fooled if they wish to be. Something may sound too good to be true but if the alternative is to realise it’s a lie, people have a mechanism within them to opt for that which they think is offering them what they want. Goldfish memory syndrome. It’s all too prevalent in the tribalisms of the BTL contributions across the forums.

    Why would they believe ….’We get it, we understand, we’re listening’…. hours after an election when the originators of those platitudes didn’t manage to get the messages in the years, months, weeks and hours prior to the elections? Very possibly, in the act of voting, tribal voters compel themselves to believe it – because the alternative is to understand that no matter how anyone might vote, and no matter how clear the message of rejection of any politician might be, that there remains no democratic manner in which to send the political class – not least their own chosen party – an unambiguous communication.

    As per Clegg – has there been the single, remotest iota of concession that his party might be wrong on the EU? Not that I’ve spotted?

  3. 3 Geoff Yeo 28/05/2014 at 9:01 am

    The limit of hypocrisy by the tree main political parties has yet to be reached! Last week all who voted UKIP were politically ignorant, racist etc etc. Now they all want to win our vote back!!!


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