Monday, 18 November 2013

Whose Betrayal?

Criticising Nick Clegg is rather like choosing the (very easy) 'village cricket option' mode instead of ‘Test’ in the computer game Brian Lara Cricket when playing with England against the Netherlands – you’re guaranteed to win but it's so easy what's the point.

Yet the utterly completely shameless lying statements from Nick Clegg reported by the Telegraph so defies belief it still, unfortunately, prompts a response. The same man who wriggled so much on the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and backtracked on student fees where he lost all respect among a significant sector of his party's support.

Now the former MEP, Nick Clegg accuses UKIP of "unpatriotic" behaviour for wanting to "drive Britain out of Europe":
“I’m relishing the opportunity to make that patriotic case because I think the view represented by Ukip and large parts of the Conservative Party and Paul Sykes is a betrayal of the national interest and an unpatriotic approach,” Mr Clegg told a press conference in London. 
It's odd that Clegg decides to adopt nationalistic language in order to criticise a party which wishes to maintain the nation state. It becomes even more odd when Clegg thinks not being part of the EU is “unpatriotic”. As he is well aware the EU was born out of desire to abolish the nation state and that apparent populist mechanism commonly known as democracy.

The founding father of the EU Jean Monnet disliked intensely the messy business of the nation state and more crucially democracy. He wanted a more “organised world of tomorrow”. This desire to abolish counties is reflected in the EU “colleagues” language of never referring to their country by name but instead “the country I know best”, as Mary Ellon Synon described at a recent Bruges group conference:
You see, the word "country" is almost never used at the commission. About the only time you will come across the word "country" in Brussels is when you are standing by the baggage carousel at arrivals at the airport. There is always at least one suitcase with a sticker that says: "Europe is my country". Exclamation mark.

No, in Brussels one says "member state". You may imagine it means the same thing as country or state, but "member state" does not. Note that adjective. Member modifies state. Like "wooden" modifies "leg". The noun stays the same, but the essence of the thing is gone.

In particular, no one at the podium, from commission president Barroso down, will ever speak of his own country. At the commission, any one in what used to be 28 sovereign states is only ever "a citizen of Europe". Should any eurocrat somehow find he is cornered into referring to his own country, he is trained to refer to it only as "the country I know best".
As a former MEP, Clegg is well aware of this, not least because his own party's MEP's adopt the same langauge, for example Lib Dem MEP Graham Watson (my emphasis):
I salute the efforts of Commissioner Frattini and of the Finnish Presidency in trying to coax and cajole the Member States forward. Mr Rajamäki spoke of breathing new life into the spirit of Tampere. It is desperately needed.

But the fact is that the country I know best threw a spanner into the works when it insisted on having three pillars. Other countries are now blocking the process of repair. Unless we are able to bring in the footbridge - the 'passerelle clause' - we will never have a credible policy in justice and home affairs. We will continue with a policy like a push-bike when what we need is a Ducati.

Member States sit in their medieval fastnesses with the drawbridges firmly up. In the name of national sovereignty they are enhancing global anarchy. Our citizens demand better.
Clegg claims that he "relishes the opportunity" to debate the UK's position within the EU but he obviously means nothing of the sort and it's another example of the unaccountable arrogance. It leaves one pondering that if Clegg et al think the EU project is so wonderful then why do they have to continually lie about it? A project based on a lie by definition is fundamentally flawed.

And it's most revealing that they effectively reveal their desperation to remain members so much that it means they are not arguing with UKIP or Eurosceptics, but end up essentially arguing with the founding father of the EU himself.

Oh the irony!


  1. "The country I know best" is just another lie - because those debauchers of the truth know Europe not at all.

  2. It was Samuel Johnson who said that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. Not all patriotism mind but false patriotism. Who better to look to for a definition of a patriot....

    Upon reading it, i think we probably need more tar

  3. As much as Clegg's comments might offend me - and they do - it doesn't actually bother me. Clegg is a preposterous politician, an absurdity in a suit given a voice. Given the chance, that voice will elicit absurdities. It's in his nature, and I can predict it even if I don't have the opportunity to prevent it. But I can ignore it.

    What does bother me, however, is that this article is reported in a newspaper which purports to be EUsceptic, but can never bring itself to bear scrutiny upon these comments. Peripheral writers might be given a chance to slice and dice aspects of it - frequently in equally absurd manners - but their core senior staff remain reliably wedded to Conservative Party policy - and thereby to continued EU membership.

    Clegg isn't our enemy - merely a weak opponent given an inappropriately capable hand. Our enemy is in the siren Eurosceptics - who publish the tempting headlines to attract the unwary who believe the story has led them somewhere with substance - when in actual fact it has led them nowhere.

    1. You're dead right about the Telegraph, we have an excellent example of an alleged eurosceptic paper betraying its pro-EU credentials in an editorial from a couple of days ago...

  4. I see on C4 news just now that Goldman Sachs are threatening to move their European HQ to another EU "member state" if the UK achieves independence.

    Believe it or not.