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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Can I interest you in a slightly used Cliché?

Perhaps the reason I could never be a Europhile is no more than the fact that they resort to cliché and tired analogy at every possible opportunity. OK so we all do sometimes, but in the absence of any proper arguments, they seem to do it all the time. A chap by the name of Daniel Keohane has written a short piece imagining a Europe without the EU. It assumes the worst possible choices for every topic you can think of, even including Prime Minister Kilroy for fun. His Europe is unbelievably backward.
Lee was excited. He knew few people who had been to 'Europe'
This despite the fact that he seems to be a businessman. The population of countries far poorer than the UK include many people who travel abroad for business and pleasure. Lets not stop reality creeping in. Assumption 01: Travel is only possible because we are in the EU.
He said the Italians had dozens of different noodle dishes, all called 'pasta'. He also claimed that Italians drank wine with every meal. How could they? In Britain, only very posh people drank wine - the import duties made it far too expensive.
The man has obviously missed the fact that excise duties in the UK are very high and that the sales of even good quality wines at high prices are growing, and not just to posh people. Assumption 02: Without the EU, we wouldn’t even know that the Italians eat pasta.
The French government argued that state support was needed as long as the entire industry was in the grip of Boeing, sole supplier of larger passenger aircraft and parts.
Airbus is apparently an EU project, which is why I suppose it is a consortium of two companies (EADS & BAE) from just four countries. Assumption 03: Airbus would not have happened without the EU.
He walked past shop windows full of delicious looking chocolates. But Lee hadn't bothered to get any Belgian currency (what was it called again?). The exchange commission was exorbitant, so he had decided to buy only German marks.
I have been ripped off at exchange offices before, but only in countries where the exchange rate is “managed” is there ever a real problem. Assumption 04: Only the Euro allows us to eat Belgian chocolates. Of course anyone with any experience of Belgian chocolate (or beer for that matter) would know that it would be worth being ripped off in order to buy them.
The bus was stuck for almost five hours at the Belgian-German border, as the German border guards checked travel documents against their database.
I have passed the Greek – Turkey border in much less time. To say nothing of crossing between countries in Eastern Europe prior to accession. Assumption 05: Only the EU allows us to cross borders.
The British economy had been in a slump for almost two years, and his car parts business was doing badly. Lee had thought about exporting toGermany and France, where growth was apparently higher. But the German and French governments imposed massive tariffs on imported car parts, to protect their own 'national champions' in the automotive sector.
These tariffs have been allowed by an organisation called the WPO (World Protectionist Organisation). Assumption 06: Free trade is only possible with political integration. (how free is that?)
The television in the corner showed a programme about a maverick movement called the Europeanists. Both Lee and Pierre had heard of them, since some big-name national politicians had joined, including Joschka Fischer, Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Tony Blair. "You know, those crazy guys want us to open our borders, merge our economies and even have the same currency!" said Pierre. "Yeah, and they are talking about building a railway under the channel between France and Britain", replied Lee. "Just crazy"
He is assuming that Red Danny and Street Fighter Fischer actually want free trade? That’s far beyond parody. These are the kind of people who wish to force a 35 hour week on Chinese peasants for their own good. Assumption 07: The Channel Tunnel is an EU project rather than a Franco-Les Rostbifs joint venture. Even if we were to accept all of his ridiculous assumptions as realistic, he still does not manage to link the positive, Travel, Trade and Belgian Chocolates, with the reality, CAP, CFP and continuous power grabs. Why can we not have one without the other? If this is the best they’ve got, no wonder even Ken Clarke is deserting the ship.

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