Tuesday, September 28, 2004

God, we're useless

Despite my last post, the "yes" campaign has a long way to go. As long as we continue to bitch among ourselves, the stronger the "no" campaign will become. Although they may seem obvious to us, the benefits of closer co-operation with our European brothers and sisters are not at all obvious to many others, as the MORI poll results in my last post demonstrate.

We're already fighting petty-nationalism and xenophobia hanging on from not only the two World Wars, but even from the Napoleonic and Hundred Years wars. We're already fighting ignorance and an entrenched euroscepticism in the mainstream press. If we start slagging each other off, and if the "yes" vote can't finally get its arse in gear and present some logical and sensible cases for continued and ever-closer membership, then we deserve to lose.

In fact, there's a very good chance that the EU would be better off without us anyway. We're the ball and chain around the European project's ankle, constantly retarding its progress with petty objections and refusals, and moaning about how if we'd joined in '57 we could have been in charge of the whole thing. Well, guess what? We didn't join in '57, and no amount of whinging about it is going to let us adopt our "rightful place" at the heart of the EU.

We can't spend all our time throwing our toys out of the pram in a huff and then expect them to give us our own way. Sooner or later we'll end up getting a well-deserved spanking - just like we did in '61 when our application to join the original six was flatly rejected. I don't think much of De Gaulle as a politician, it must be said, but he had it spot on with that one...

We've done nothing but cause trouble ever since we entered. It's meant to be a partnership of equals - that means co-operation and compromise are essential for its success. In our relations with the EU, we have been acting just like the US is currently behaving towards the entire world: arrogant, demanding, and unsatisfied until we've not only got our own way, but got everyone else to admit we were right.

We seem to be incapable of shedding our Imperial arrogance. Well, guess what? The globe's no longer pink. It's time for Britain to accept its place as a second string nation, snuggle up nice and close to its own kind, and not go gallavanting around the shop pretending to be as influential or as powerful as the USA. If we can accept that reality then the EU may just seem like a much nicer prospect.

Oh, and before any accusations of this being "unpatriotic" start appearing, answer me this - which is more unpatriotic - acting in partnership with as many other countries as possible in an attempt to increase the chances of a peaceful and prosperous existence for your country, or irritating people left right and centre with belligerency which not only invites both violent and diplomatic retaliation but also drains your country of finances which could be spent on healthcare and education?

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