If there is one thing we can all respect about fanatical EU federalists, it’s that they invariably tell the truth about the EU project even if to further its aims they slip in the odfd misdirection to keep the less informed on side. Contrast that with the UK political class, which spends all its time attempting – clearly with some success – to deceive the British public into believing the EU is only about the single market, rather than the decades-old objective of political union.
Reading the piss-poor Huffington Post ranks lower on my list of enjoyable activities than having teeth pulled without anaesthetic or undergoing a vasectomy with garden shears. But every so often that paean of quasi-Marxist groin-centric spherical objects, does manage to extract a valuable contribution from one its fellow travellers that underline the scale of the task facing we democratically-minded, classically-liberal freedom lovers. On Friday that digital equivalent of used toilet roll delivered one such soul-destroying jumble of bovine colonic detritus.
The former prime minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt, replete with those thick framed spectacles that are the essential fashion eyewear of socialist authoritarians the world over, for the benefit of the UK audience briefly used the tired but seemingly effective trick of conflating the EU and it destination of political union with the single market. Cue yawns, or in Nile Gardiner’s worthy case a short rebuttal in the Telegraph. But thereafter the true EUphile colours streamed through. Following the typical EU federalist falsehood came some welcome honesty:
Cameron will not succeed if he attempts to hold his European partners to ransom, exchanging acquiescence to EU treaty change over the eurozone for a unilateral repatriation of powers. Moreover, the rest of the EU knows that stability and economic recovery in the eurozone is vital to the UK’s own economic interests. Some have said Cameron is not going to get his way by pointing a gun at everyone else’s head. I believe a more apt metaphor would be that of a madman, threatening to blow himself up unless he gets his own way.
One issue on which Cameron has been deliberately vague is what powers he seeks to repatriate. Social and employment law which sets minimum standards for annual leave, maternity, working hours or health and safety practices? Police and judicial cooperation which leading law enforcement figures have said are vital to the UK’s national security? The Common Fisheries Policy, which is already currently undergoing major reform? Do the fish even know wherei (sic) international borders are anyway? The only thing Cameron will achieve by seeking to renegotiate terms of membership is that Britain will be left ostracised, resented and alone. And the failure to meet expectations back home for a repatriation of powers would risk sending the UK hurtling towards the exit.
We can but hope. But this honesty, even though it has been spilled out in a curious effort to make Britons want more of this rather than less, once again exposes Cameron’s empty rhetoric and the bleating of supposed business geniuses for what it is. What it also does is provide ‘outers’ with yet more valuable ‘horse’s mouth’ material to show the renegotiation meme so beloved of Cameron, the leaden Tories and their partisan cheerleaders, is a fantasy option.
People are being lured in to supporting a non-existant ‘renegotiation’ option or reluctantly accepting continued EU membership because of establishment scare tactics and the concealment of the benefits of independence; which is why Mr Catherine Ashton’s recent YouGov poll (for the EUphile Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the socialist authoritarian Fabian Society) saw a fall in the number of people aged 18-34 wanting to leave the EU with more in that group wanting to stay put. Across the whole electorate the split for leaving the EU/staying in the EU is 55% / 43%.
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People desiring a major renegotiation of the terms of EU subordination is perfectly fine in itself; but its prospects are even less likely than me fulfilling my desire of engaging in an extended passionate, Monte Carlo based extra-marital liaison with Bar Refaeli, Kate Beckinsale, Doutzen Kroes and Blake Lively. However many people polled say they support the idea, it’s just not going to happen.
While Verhofstadt then deviates back into the realms of lies and gross distortion by repeating the agreed line on EFTA and the ‘fax law’ fallacy, misleading people by describing the more than 50% of UK exports that travel through the EU as being exports to the EU, (the UK Treasury Pink Book, the OECD and the European Commission all put the figure at below 50 per cent, with the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showing the Eurozone accounts for just 47.1 per cent of our exports of goods) and desperately trying to convince people that having your voice and interests diluted and weakened by combining it with 26 other competing and conflicting voices and interests is more effective than using your own voice to articulate your own position, he has nonetheless offered some service. If little Guy reads the HuffPo comments in response to his rant he may also be rather disheartened to see how many people reject his premise and see the need and value to be an independent country again.
But before heading back to his seat on the gravy train and some back-slapping from the ‘colleagues’ who are desperate to keep the whole stinking ediface intact, Verhofstadt leaves us with a fisking opportunity:
In fields as diverse as the single market, foreign policy, trade and enlargement, the UK has shown that it can play a leading role. Crucially, Britain’s liberal instincts have helped ensure that the EU remains competitive, outward looking, and a force for peace and trade liberalisation throughout the world. It has achieved this not through blackmail, but by building alliances and pushing for EU-wide reform.
If put accurately and truthfully that would read: In fields as diverse as the single market, foreign policy, trade and enlargement, the UK has tried to play a leading role but has been ignored. Crucially, Britain’s liberal instints have been abused to keep it firmly inside an EU that is anti-competitive, insular, and a force for empty rhetoric and corporatism throughout the world. It has achieved this not through blackmail, but by being lied to and blackmailed by EU federalists who determine the UK’s alliances for her and reject every call for EU-wide reform.
Thanks for your help, Guy!