This piece represents no more than extracts from two media, with suitable comments. Sorry about that, but there’s more to life than just sources offering scoops. What the two articles I’m reviewing here offer is an unconsciously unique insight into the psychology of the European social democratic mind. The first is from Der Spiegel – on the subject of why it’s so important to save the EU. The second is from the New Statesman – on the subject of today’s piece about immigration at the Daily Mail.
Below is the gem I’ve extracted from Der Spiegel today. Stressing the ‘enormous benefits we take for granted’ of the EU, this influential German mouthpiece says:
‘Paradoxically the success of the EU is also one of its biggest obstacles. People have come to take many of its achievements for granted, so much so that that perhaps they would only notice them if they ceased to exist. One only need imagine an EU in which passport controls are reintroduced at borders, there are no longer reliable food safety regulations everywhere, freedom of speech and of the press no longer exist under today’s standards (which Hungary is already violating, thereby exposing itself to strict scrutiny), and Europeans traveling to Budapest, Copenhagen or Prague, or even Paris, Madrid and Rome, are forced to exchange money and keep track of exchange rates. The notion of Europe as our home has become second nature to us. Perhaps this explains why we are prepared to jeopardize its existence so carelessly…’
Pause for hysterical laughter.
This is the same EU which has ignored every referendum ever held about what its citizens want. And as for border controls….anyone noticed any difference? I have: they’re even more invasive than they used to be. Food safety regulations?!? Scraping the barrel there somewhat. And anyone noticed the Spaniards or Italians taking any notice of them? Anyone think that before those regulations, we all had regular bouts of food poisoning? How long ago was there ecoli in the sprouting beans from, um, Germany?
This does point up one enormous difference between us and the mainland EU members: they take it seriously as a massive improvement to their lives – ask any French farmer; we see it as more bureaucracy, a melange of scheming troughers, and bloody expensive. But if Der Spiegel can publish this sort of bollocks, then it must be pretty convinced that its readers concur with the general conclusion.
Does the fact that we Brits don’t agree with this kind of naive idealism make us somehow eccentric and cynical? I think not: it loops back into a backwards remake of the old Monty Python sketch, as in ‘What have the Brussels Sprouts ever done for us?’
Bailout costs. Yes, but apart from that. £85 billion fee costs per annum. Yes, but apart from that. Anti City of London regulation. Yes, but apart from that. A trade gap of £55 billion. Yes, but apart from that. Bonkers Human Rights legislation. Yes, but apart from that. Massive net migration into an already overcrowded island nation. Yes, but apart from that….
The chaps and chapesses on the Progressive wing and a prayer of life still think the EU – and the more of it, the better – is just what the doctor ordered. My suspicion that you’d have to be mad to think that is borne out by a piece in today’s online New Statesman. Jumping on the obvious scaremongering of the Dacre Mail’s lead item about the immigration figures today, George Eaton points out triumphantly that the Mail piece is misleading. But the fact is, having done so, George fails to grasp that the net migration into the UK still feels unacceptable to real people.
This the weird thing about the soft Left: because a multicultural sardine tin strikes the average Guardian reader as being close to nirvana on Earth, it never occurs to them that 5.7 million net immigrants is far too many for a faltering economy already unable to employ upwards of 2 million people.
But the real cracker in the piece is this one below – stated out loud and ooooh, ever so bold, on the subject of the Mail’s right to exist:
‘One can only conclude that the paper’s journalists are either extremely stupid or extremely cynical. Mendacious journalism of this sort, designed to encourage the worst prejudices of the Mail’s readers, does not deserve to be tolerated.’
Thank you for that, good Doktor Goebbels. We shall be closing down this wicked newspaper forthwith, and sending copies of Eaton’s New Statesman drivel to the Culture, Media & Sport committee. I’m sure Louise Mensch will cheer it to the rooftops.