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When Europhobia becomes simple bigotry

Once again I post from the Estonian capital, Tallinn. Though not exactly tropical, the weather is actually unseasonably warm: + 3 degrees Celsius.

In a brief moment I check out the news, and with it Mark Mardell's generally excellent Euroblog on the BBC website.

Unfortunately, I end up in a kind of dispair at the unrelenting determination of the British to destroy their own national interests. Mark had blogged about the fact that the European Investment Bank had provided finance to the commercial operations of the BBC. The extraordinary howls of protest that this normal commercial transaction has provoked, marks out the protesters as blind bigots. Their line of reasoning is that the editorial line of the BBC is pro-European (a debatable prospect in itself), and that this is because of the money that has come from "Europe" i.e. the European Investment Bank.

The EIB, though originally set up under the 1957 Treaty of Rome, is not a part of the structure of the European Union. Its shareholders are individual nation states, and it functions under the strict oversight of of external auditors and internal risk controls, which are fully transparent.

Like that of the World Bank and the IMF, the mandate of the EIB is intended to focus of development projects, though these are judged within a commercial context. The idea that the BBC is somehow being bribed to trim its editorial line would be outrageous- if it were true. It is simply not true, no matter what the paranoid Europhobic bigots might chose to beleive.

The fact is that the level of Europhobia in the UK is now reaching psychotic levels. Daniel Hannan, the Conservative MEP, was extraordinarily offensive the other day when he argued that the European Parliament was behaving like Stalinist Communists. Ten EU member states have managed to shake off the yoke of Communism, and suffered death and Communist oppression on an industrial scale. The result is that, certainly here in Estonia, it would be hard to find a society more committed to democracy. To suggest that these countries would willingly relinquish their freedoms, is just plain wrong. As a senior CEE diplomat said to me- "we are becoming more and more disillusioned with the utter failure of British leaders to engage with EU at any level; we increasingly feel patronised and ignored, and British isolationism is not just dangerous for the EU, but for the UK too".

The Europhobes have constructed a non-existent bogeyman. The fact is that the UK is going to pay an ever higher price not just for going it alone, but for telling those countries that choose a higher level of integration and co-operation that they are the enemies of freedom.

The contrast between the Northern Rock fiasco and the rather more deft way that the European Central Bank has handled the bail-outs in Spain is instructive. It is not just a function of the Bank of England and the FSA making mistakes in the bail out. The fact is that the greater liquidity of the Euro finance markets allowed the ECB more flexibility in financing their problem instituions. The less liquid Sterling market offered much less potential, especially given the sums involved.

Unless the British stop conducting the debate on the European Union as though the EU was some kind of pogrom against British liberties, then the nation as a whole risks becoming treated like the embarassing, aggressive British drunks that in summer litter the Old Town square here in Tallinn. British national interests are being sold down the river alright: by the bigots who can not be bothered to get their facts straight, and whose visceral Europhobia is offensive and irrational.


Newmania said…
Quite right C these ignorant small minded oiks of which I assume I am one do not deserve the great boon of membership of such a select club. In fact they did not deserve a country at all .Oh how much easier life would be for the svelte EU shmoozer without the irritation of their primitive attachment to their country and their own rule of it . Tiresome isn’t it ...and yes offesive I suggest a fragrant nosegay as you pass them.eeeooo

You are simplistic in your analysis that the bias of the BBC is connected to the EU grants (and yes yes we know it is an amorphous hydra whose heads are many...same movement its like Al Khaida with suits grants and latte ). This is really connecting two long held sources of fury by those of us determined that the country is not betrayed into non existence.

1 The extent of EU propaganda operations broadly to be referred to as “Persuading us without money” , vast and inexplicable to the British
2 The strong bias of the BBC which you will find stats to prove beyond all doubt in Robin Aitkens book.

The fact that the one collides with the other is just a nice way to tie it up , a bit like the EU Patio heater ban tying up the illiberal health fascist here and their cousins in gravy land . Nonetheless this sort of gerrymandering is entirely unacceptable to the democratically inclined British mind unused to either the corruption or the subservience of the Continent .Furthermore it may be your opinion that Germany will refuse to export BMWs if we come to some amicably separate arrangement but it seems laughably unlikely to me . In any case a threat I could probably live with comforted by the £5000 quid straight into my bank account currently performing some useful tasks as undermining borders and rebuilding Ireland.

I feel the economic case for the EU has come badly unstuck as the EU itself grows less important relatively and the economies in it slow down due to over regulation . The benefits of free movement within are somewhat illusory to those who live here and might wish to be a Plumber for example and the right to determine you fate is important as well.
You may say these ignorant and mentally feeble people are unable to “ Go it alone “ as if they would be alone and spineless as they are will collapse entirely without the charity the Germans and French have habitually shown us . I suggest we put it to a vote

How about it ?

I think you are well aware that the real delight some have with this act of cultural suicide is anti nationalism , anti US feeling and a wish to impose collectivist solutions on an unwilling population. Plus the money!

PS . On Northern Rock ...balls. The business was being run like clown show deserved to go under. True there were regulatory mistakes by Labour and the nauseating FSA but exporting our right to rectify the matter to slow coach siesta taking brilliantined Euro bankers does not appeal.

But you go on sneering !! It all helps
Devil's Kitchen said…
"The Europhobes have constructed a non-existent bogeyman."

Don't make me laugh, Cicero. This is pathetic: the people who have constructed the bogeyman -- the bogeyman of lost jobs and no trade -- are you EUphiles.

I am getting slightly tired of wheeling out the economic figures: do I really have to do it with you too?

Cicero said…
DK- You resisted the temptation :-) I am happy to go head to head on the numbers: I think that this is the only sensible way to talk about the issue.

Newmania: you did not. I hold no candle for the BBC, perhaps it serves a purpose, but is a generally rather self important organisation which is producing programmes ever more derivative and falling in quality. However it really is ludicrous to suggest that because the commercial arm of the BBC does a deal with the EIB, that its editorial policies would be compromised, just because the EIB is somehow "Europe".

As so often in our debates you get lost in fits of fury: The fact that stupid bans on patio heaters are discussed in Brussels or London does make it logical that the UK is the home of freedom and Brussels some Orwellian nightmare.

As for the vote: sure, I am not afraid of putting my case. However the level of hatred and fury that the Europhobes pour into the argument is such that it has to be: in or out? Put up or shut up?

Insults against European banker duly noted: but you totally missed the point.
Newmania said…
Newmania. However it really is ludicrous to suggest that because the commercial arm of the BBC does a deal with the EIB, that its editorial policies would be compromised, just because the EIB is somehow "Europe".-----

I think it is unlikely in this case because there was no plausible compromising left to do . It is not the case for the very many organisations that do campaign for integration which are funded by the EU a level of political corruption almost beyond the capacity of most Britain’s to Comprehend . So the broad thrust of the argument is a good one and this badly needs to be pulled out into the light. I have previosuly said it is a great mistake to see the EU movement as one organisation it is a complex of organisations often operating in national governments . Thats how they hide .(foil hat on)

As so often in our debates you get lost in fits of fury: -

Nonsense fits of energetic expression apt for any discussion hinging on loyalty or betrayal. It was the constant cry of the Common Marketeers that the opposition were loony and unhinged . Turns out they were right and we were being lied to.

The fact that stupid bans on patio heaters are discussed in Brussels or London does make it logical that the UK is the home of freedom and Brussels some Orwellian nightmare.

This is where you entirely miss the point. Because I am British I accept the majority view as disseminated through the process we have built up over centuries. I may detest it, and I usually do, but I accept the verdict . I do not accept that Poles , Germans and assorted foreigners have any right whatsoever to make laws for me . Their wishes are irrelevant because they are not British much as I wish them well. This is not “bigotry”. It is a wish for freedom self determination and nationhood . I want to know that the MP (Baker..), makes descisions and through him I do.

As for the vote: sure, I am not afraid of putting my case

You put your case that Poles Germans and French people have as much right to set our laws as the people of the country then. Best of luck with that,.

Yes you are afraid , that is why your Party has lied to the people about the Constitution which is typical of the way the political class have sought to mislead the country from the beginning of the so called Common Market. Your bravery is somewhat academic fortunately for you.
You say, its either ‘province status’ or out as a piece of sophistry .That would be fair if that was the option put to the people when the subject of our continuation as a country was last allowed to stray from the control of the elite. You want to slither down a slope but climb back up a cliff. For someone like me who is used to commercial negotiations of various sorts the fact you are reduced this level of manipulative sophistry speaks eloquently of your contempt for the people of this country and their loyalties.

I am of the opinion that this feeling that they are being treated like fools is if anything a more important point of rebellion than the Constitution itself. The Liberal Party in particular will regret being Browns poodles.
Wheatley said…

Thanks. Surely you can post some counter blast to my reactionary ranting? Most recent posting is a bit bland though.

See you soon,

Devil's Kitchen said…

I'll admit that this piece that I wrote for Wanabehuman is a little out of date (July '06, as I recall) but it's a reasonable place to start.

I will write a post using updated figures soon. But the EU Commission's Gunter Verhoegen put the benefits of the single market to EU businesses at about 200 billion Euros and the costs of complying with EU regulations at 600 billion Euros (IIRC).

The point being that even businesses that do not trade internationally (that's about 80% of those in this country) still have to comply with EU trading laws. This is patently bats (and needlessly expensive).


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