Well, yes Willy

Looking back, not only to the referendum but to the years before, it’s clear that the greatest weakness of the pro-EU cause has been an inability to find ways of fighting Europhobic faith with passionately argued reason.

Why?

That is the great question. Other than the EU being, well, you know, our sort of things among wet upper middle class types, why?

Give us an actual reason other than guff about playing nice with Johnny Foreigner.

25 comments on “Well, yes Willy

  1. There are very few reasons. That is why the EU appeals so strongly to the irrational.

    Look at the anti-Brexit marches; a rag-tag collection of the elderly and confused.

    When interviewed they can barely string a sentence together, never mind articulate positive reasons for staying in the EU.

  2. Perhaps they should have tried reason, rather than calling people bigots. A bit late now, to start using reason rather than insults.

  3. Funny how Leavers are always castigated for banging on about winning two world wars, when Hutton cites the Remainiacs’ Europeanism as being honed in the experience of war and its aftermath.

  4. They never even tried to explain what’s so damn good about it. i’ve asked numerous times on various blogs. Crickets. It is an emotional thing, and a lack of knowledge of the world. We were only in the stupid thing from 1972. Before that we traded, travelled, had labour laws, freedom, a good position in the world. We would do all that again within weeks of leaving with no deal.

  5. There’s an article in the Spectator pointing out that, for all the bleating about the joys of EU membership from Millennial EUphiles, fewer and fewer of the little bastards are bothering to learn European languages.

    All that guff about ‘stealing our future’ and the ‘freedom to live and work in any EU nation’ when they can’t be bothered to do the thing most likely to get them a job on the continent.

  6. Ahh, no, I’ve got far beyond that.

    Say in Portuguese, sorry, I only speak a little Portuguese (descupla, fala poco portugese – ish) then march off saying stuff in the English latinate words, adding an o on the end, and slurring as if speaking Russian.

    Works pretty well. Have to remember a few bits, trabalho is work – tribulation – rather than lavoro – labour but complicate English in funny accent with added os.

    Hey, it gets the meat cut, the clothes dry cleaned (“lavar secco” works even if it might be a million miles from whatever the correct phrase is) and all that.

  7. “It is an emotional thing, and a lack of knowledge of the world.”

    One of my observations about remainers is that they talk about how it’s good for trade, but none of them work in trade. In fact, they work in the most parochial of occupations: local government.

    Apart from the general thing of being able to set our laws, I’m a leaver because at a gut level, I see more and more that we trade globally. Just look at shelves of wine in the supermarket. 30 years ago, almost all of it was European. It isn’t today. Most of our electronics is made in China, designed in the USA or Korea. And personally, I’m never building solutions for Europeans, but people in the Caribbean, Canada, USA, Saudi.

  8. There’s an article in the Spectator pointing out that, for all the bleating about the joys of EU membership from Millennial EUphiles, fewer and fewer of the little bastards are bothering to learn European languages.

    All that guff about ‘stealing our future’ and the ‘freedom to live and work in any EU nation’ when they can’t be bothered to do the thing most likely to get them a job on the continent.

    The ‘faith’ is their side. Much of it, I think, is rooted in a deep inferiority complex towards Europeans. The number of things I hear described as ‘good things’ or sensible in France, which would be denounced here as Tory Evil or “White Nationalism”, are remarkable.

  9. “Have to remember a few bits, trabalho is work – tribulation – rather than lavoro”
    Travail, or toil.

  10. Yes, I know, but allow me my little jokule there….from Latin tribulare ‘press, oppress’ seems to fit, doesn’t it?

  11. At the end of Hutton’s column is an info box saying, “The Guardian recognises the climate emergency as the defining issue of our times.”

    I can translate: “We’ll say anything to get rid of free enterprise.”

    Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.

    I find it astounding that a print newspaper would publicly and conspicuously make such an outlandish proclamation. It says a lot about how they view their position in the world. And it sets them up for catastrophic failure.

  12. They’re searching, ooh they’re searching for that passionately argued reason. But it will still i bet come down to an article of faith like all the others. Such as; it was the EU that stopped Germany invading its neighbours. and that the Euro is an ideal currency union.

  13. it’s clear that the greatest weakness of the pro-EU cause has been an inability to find ways of fighting Europhobic faith with passionately argued reason

    He says, after decades of being given national media platforms to promote his tedious Eurofetish. (The loss of democracy is part of the kink, bigots)

    His Guardian archive alone stretches to nearly 50 pages of search results, including his laughable predictions that we’d join the Euro or face economic decline, and this retrospectively lolsome column:

    Why I admire Putin
    Will Hutton

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/aug/13/russia.comment

  14. The Commission is a good organisation to propose primary legislation
    A Parliament with no power other than the occasional veto is a good thing
    Centralisation of land owners subsidies is a good thing
    Making it harder for the recipients of the subsidies to be more productive is a good thing
    Centralisation of fisheries policy and regional aid to Brussels is a good thing
    The EU, being a big organisation, gives us more clout in the world

    Well logically it could work if we make redundant a whole tranche of government, university administrators, civil servants etc to avoid duplications of functions.

    May be a small country should set itself as a test bed for the EU’s ultra centralised policy. I’m prepared to offer up Scotland. With a deficit above the limit for admission, abolishing several layers of its own civil service and regulatory regimes would solve both problems of wanting to be in and meeting the criteria to do so.

  15. I could have been persuaded to vote Remain, and my biro hovered over my ballot paper for a full 30 seconds before making my mark.

    But it was the Remain campaign that made me vote Leave. I followed the campaign, and kept waiting for Remain to come out with something that that wasn’t either an insult, or an absurd prediction of disaster. That moment didn’t arrive.

    Events since have convinced me I was right, to the extent that I’ve taken two months off work to work for TBP.

  16. It seems to me that both remainers and leavers are driven by fear of the future.

    Remainers fear “loss of influence in the world”, a possible decline in trade with our closest neighbours and a fear of going alone and having to suddenly make decisions and create structures that were previously dictated to us by Brussels.

    Leavers are also driven by fear of the future. Fear of what will happen when the Lisbon treaty fully kicks in, fear of tying trade too closely to a declining group of countries and the eventual messy break up of an empire that tries to impose the same rules on the Finns as on the Romanians.

    The remainers, encouraged by the establishment, are more vocal (aka vicious) about it.

  17. @Tim
    saying stuff in the English latinate words, adding an o on the end, and slurring as if speaking Russian.
    How’s that work for you in Czechia? 🙂

    It’s very difficult to get continentals to identify benefits of EU membership – I’ve always ended up with quite parochial explanations. Germany likes the soft euro. France likes the CAP. Former Soviet states see it as an improvement on the Warsaw Pact and are net recipients of benefits. Smaller nations see it as a way of getting their views (albeit indirectly and highly filtered) heard at the top table. None of these are positives for the UK.

  18. “it’s clear that the greatest weakness of the pro-EU cause has been an inability to find ways of fighting Europhobic faith with passionately argued reason. The capacity to compensate with vivid argument, speaking from the heart, has been absent: ”
    Perhaps because the Europhiles are bit short of reasons to argue their case?

  19. @CJ Nerd October 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    it was the Remain campaign that made me vote Leave. I followed the campaign, and kept waiting for Remain to come out with something that that wasn’t either an insult, or an absurd prediction of disaster. That moment didn’t arrive.

    +1

    I found the Remain campaign astounding in how they had nothing positive to say about EU or it’s future direction; in fact they denied any changes would happen – EU was set in aspic

  20. What clinched it for me was someone saying vote Remain to stop Corbyn implementing his policies. The whole damned point was that if the British people elect Corbyn they should get his polices good ‘n’ ‘ard and not be protected by bureaucrats.

    I did, and still do, respect those who wanted to Remain because they want a fully Federal EU. I disagree but at least they are honest and are honest enough to say where the EU is heading. They ones I despise are those who think we’ll Remain and nothing will change.

  21. @BiND
    I did, and still do, respect those who wanted to Remain because they want a fully Federal EU. I disagree but at least they are honest and are honest enough to say where the EU is heading.

    But it isn’t just the Federal Superstate that I object to, it’s the technocratic (if not autocratic) nature of that state.

    I completely agree with your “vote Corbyn, get Corbyn” point, even if I shudder at the thought. That’s the point of leaving, the UK’s democratically elected politicians should be able to enact laws that they consider appropriate for the UK. If BoJo (or some future politician) stands on a platform of privatising the NHS, and is elected, they must be permitted to privatise the NHS. Unfortunately, I can’t ever see that happening.

  22. I started training as a Conservative Party agent in 1982 (in the fine constituency of Old Bexley & Sidcup, then more prosaically named Bexley Sidcup and represented by one E R G Heath MBE MP) and we had voluminous material about the EEC – from improving standards and harmonisation through to trade and defence. I knew almost nobody in the Party who was anti-Europe even when I moved to be agent in Luton (for the man dubbed the MP for Johannesburg, John Carlisle) and plenty who were keen on greater integration. The commitment to Europe – or rather the EEC – was positive and forward-looking right across the Party.

    All this changed with the decision to begin moving to financial integration (the ERM) in the late 1980s. Sir Alan Walters was pretty much right but the politics, after all those years of enthusiasm for integration, didn’t like this resulting in the Howe-Heseltine attempted putsch and the defenestration of Margaret Thatcher. The manner of this end and the way in which John Major conducted the Maastricht debate made first the membership then MPs euro-sceptic. The rest is history.

    There’s a positive argument for federalism but this was replaced with a preference for the fix, for technocracy and for essentially a bureaucratic attachment to the staus quo.

    Having been an ardent federalist into the 1990s, I voted to leave.

  23. @Simon Cooke October 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Simon Cooke of UEBS?

    Update: No
    https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/staff/2019/obituary-for-simon-coke

    “…launched an MBA programme and created the Management School (now the Edinburgh Business School). He espoused the principles of both good management and high quality teaching in his years running the Management School, and promoted the use of case studies and real-life experience in the classroom within practice-oriented tertiary education….”

    My bold: Yes, he learnt from Harvard and made MBA so intensive* one had to learn to prioritise and – in group cases studies – delegate

    * eg Seven three hour exams in one week [M-F] at end of T1 – Fail & booted

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