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Yet more Euro/EUro-twaddle

This article in the Independent by Pamela Schlatterer, described as “UK correspondent for German TV” (what – all of it?), is an amazing combination of illogical muddle and patronising sneering at all those British people who do not want to put up with illogical muddle such as hers. Above all there is her sheer refusal to concede that there might be any rational basis for British loathing, not of Europe itself, but of being ruled by EUrope.

For example, she says this:

Having said that, the last time I met my German and Dutch colleagues for an election meeting – we regularly team up to exchange ideas about the UK and its weird and wonderful ways – there was bafflement at the amount of anti-Europeanism in all parties’ election pamphlets. The attitude seems to be that it will not hurt to include a few sentences against Brussels in propaganda, no matter which party you are from.

Yes, and ask yourself why that might be.

We shook our heads at a country that seems intent on denying it is already governed by Brussels in lots of areas. The deep-seated sentiment against being “not independent” has crystallised into Euro-hatred, and even though the Prime Minister prides himself on being pro-Europe, under his leadership, things have got worse.

These mysterious British with their absurd desire to be independent! You silly woman, we British are not denying that we are “already governed by Brussels in lots of areas”. We are now well aware of this fact. It is merely that a lot of us do not like it and would like the process reversed. We have had it up to here with that it-will-never-happen-it’s-not-happening-it’s-happened EUro-rigmarole.

One of the things I personally most hate about the EUropean Union is that, by dumping itself down on top of Britain (with the enthusiastic support of lots of British people) it has caused other British people, understandably disinclined to make subtle distinctions between Europe and EUrope, to hate Europe. But such hatred is caused by EUrope. It is an article of faith among EUro-enthusiasts that EUrope makes for peace and fellow feeling. But a central government – any central government – is just as likely to stir up hostilities between different provinces (each blaming the others for the combined mess) as it is to make everyone like one another.

This paragraph I find especially annoying, because you hear this kind of tosh so often, and because it has been exposed as tosh a thousand times, yet still it comes back. It almost makes me hate Europe myself, if it contains International TV correspondents as stupid as this woman. Have a read of this:

I was raving the other day about a new central London café, which I see as a triumph of European food culture over sad English cafés. I got a bit carried away and exclaimed: “This island could be paradise: with better public services and more European influence on the food.”

Here we go again, the relentless confusion between doing something the way some other people do it, and having to be ruled by the same political apparatus as those other people. We do not have to be ruled by EUrope in order to have European style cafés in London, any more than we have to be ruled by China to have Chinese Restaurants. If we want European-style public services, we can install them whenever we want, insofar as we are capable of running them. And if we are not capable of running them, us being a province of EUrope will not change that. Raving is right.

With luck people like Pamela Schlatterer may eventually decide that we British are all so disgustingly anti-European and irrationally hostile to foreigners that we are all of us without exception complete scum who must be completely ejected from EUrope. At which point those of us who want to can get back to liking Europe without having to make those subtle distinctions can do so.

12 comments to Yet more Euro/EUro-twaddle

  • Effra

    She obviously belongs to the Schlattering classes.

    For 60 years Germans have been ceaselessly brainwashed into being ashamed of their national identity, taught to regard themselves as uniquely wicked and dangerous.

    Pride in ancestry, thus thwarted, does not simply disappear. It is diverted into other channels, such as the old German dream of Pan-Europa: the higher Teutonic destiny, a Neues Ordnung to be obtained by economic dominance rather than blitzkrieg.

    Impatience with those who refuse to share Frl Schlatterer’s vision of a German-led Europa has made her petulant. Also, like so many Germans since Hegel, she slips easily into a submissive, historicist way of thinking: the EU is destined to go on and on getting bigger and better, so why fight it? You Britons must knuckle under to your destiny, as we did when they abolished our currency without asking us if we wanted the “Teuro”.

  • Jake

    The people you quoted sound exactly like 1930s newsreels showing Austrian politicians extolling the virtues of being swallowed up by Nazi Germany.

  • Jonathan L

    this island could be paradise: with better public services and more European influence on the food

    Funny, those who are most against the idea of the EU, base their dislike on the lack of freedom that comes with the harmonise everything approach. Our love of liberty includes the freedom to eat European food, travel to Europe, learn European languages or partake of anything else remotely connected to Europe. We have just one simple wish, that we are allowed to make these choices ourselves.

    Such pro-EUropeanism is actually UK hatred. Its not seeing European Cafes in London that she wants, its not seeing British ones. She is standing up, not for the freedom to be EUropean, but for outlawing being British.

  • Let’s send her fish and chips in the post, wrapped in her own article. I don’t know what that means, but it might be fun.

  • APL

    “It is an article of faith among EUro-enthusiasts that EUrope makes for peace and fellow feeling. But a central government – any central government – is just as likely to stir up hostilities between different provinces as it is to make everyone like one another.”

    Which is why the Scots or the Welsh or the southern Irish love the English so.

    Unlike the English though, the EUro fanatics won’t tolerate the opposing view.

  • Brian, an excellent article. Not much to addd. Sorry. 🙂

  • That woman needs a nice salad, two vegs, roast beef and yorkshire puddings, and for dessert, a nice unpasteurized Stilton (ah, but the EU forbids it!) and pears. Not to forget Scotland, a nice single-malt for after-dinner drink.
    I challenge any cuisine to come up with something better.

  • APL

    You make a good point. And surely we English now get on better with the people of the Irish Republic than we used to, and Scotland/England hostility has abated a bit since Devolution, although that may partly be due to the fading of the English Tories and the no doubt rather temporary prominence of various Scottish Labour politicians, notably Gordon Brown.

    Wales has always seemed to me different, at any rate in recent centuries. There really doesn’t seem to be nearly such a strong urge towards political nationhood, although maybe someone whose moniker starts with AP might want to correct me.

    I also think that many of the objections to the idea of a single currency throw light on the economic difficulties of the north of England during the twentieth century.

  • SC

    Well said Brian. I couldn’t agree more that the most annoying thing about EUro-propganda is it’s insistence that if you don’t like the European Union proto-government you don’t like Europe, as if 350 million people and dozens of countries are defined purely by their master’s political bureaucracy.
    I particularly hate it when people like me, who want to trade with and learn from the whole world, are accused of being “Little Englanders”. No I’m not a bloody “Little Englander” and I point blank refuse to be a “Little European”.

  • Joe

    Good euro-robot. Now step forward and vote.

    Yessss master.

  • Lewis

    this island could be paradise: with better public services”

    As an American and frequent visitor to Europe, I am always puzzled by the claim of terrific European public services. I hear it all the time, “Well, yes, you Americans pay much less in tax than we Europeans, but our public services are far superior.”


    We pay fewer taxes AND our public services are superior. Nobody who can avoid it in Europe goes to public (state-supported) schools. There are no state-run universities of note on the European continent ; public libraries that actually loan books to the public are almost non-existent. European health services are a joke: antiquated hospitals, rude, ill-trained nursing and emergency staff, terrible ambulance services, and doctors ready to go on strike at any moment. The temperature went up a few degrees in Paris last August and 10,000 people died! Police and fire services are bad; any small US town has a better police and fire service than most cities in Europe. Crime in Europe is skyrocketing — despite efforts to under-report it or simply ignore the problem.

    In one area of public “service” the European Union does win: Europe has lavish state-owned media enterprises. We don’t have that in the States — thank God.

    My British friends, resist the EU, resist. You owe it to your history, your children, and to the idea of freedom — an idea which originated in your island.

  • HitNRun

    Better public services indeed. It’s interesting what kind of euphemisms statists can come up with when trying to suggest a tax increase.