Wednesday, March 05, 2003

This blog will contain the musings of a one-time Eurosceptic turned pro-European. Turned largely by the inanity of the innumerable Eurosceptic rantings. However, there will be few cases of rampant Europhilia - the zeal of the convert has not overwhelmed me. The arguments will be mostly balanced, and stupid claims from both sides will be equally vilified.

It all started here, with a particularly irritating article by Peter Oborne, a product of the same educational institution that tried to imbue a sense of moral superiority into me over the course of five years. In this article, published in The Spectator back in July 2002, Oborne's raving Euroscepticism finally convinced me I no longer wanted to be considered guilty by association.

Looking at the article again now, after a few months, I can't quite see exactly what it was that irritated me so much about it. Perhaps it's because the Referendum has been pushed back after all, and no catastrophic implosion of the "Yes" campaign has taken place, as Oborne predicted. I think it was probably the attempt at arguing that the "No" campaign is so well thought out and has no links with the Tories that really did it for me. It's so blatantly only a half-truth. An attempt at making the whole thing seem more respectable by a Conservative apologist. (For the record, I've never voted Labour, voted Tory once for reasons too boring to explain, voted for the Greens and Red Ken in the London Mayoral elections, and voted Lib Dem at the last General Election - I have no real party affiliations).

Either way, Oborne's article pushed me much further into the European camp than I had previously been, although for the previous few years I had been drifting in that direction. A Eurosceptic's attempts to suggest (to the largely sympathetic audience of The Spectator) that the opposition was about to experience a catastrophic collapse managed to convert someone who, a few years previously, would have been entirely sympathetic to his viewpoint.

This all started to convince me that it might be an interesting exercise to explore both camps more fully, and examine some of their claims and more zealous rhetoric in more detail. The trouble is, I'm a bit lazy, was too busy, and then kept getting distracted by computer games, books, comics and timewasting websites. But now I’ve started I’ll try and give it a go.

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