So, the wording has been set, and unlike the 1975 Referendum is not a blatant attempt to distort the results. You'd think the anti-EU lot would be happy.
But no. EU Referendum put up a post last night about British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's covering speech, which covers similar points to my last post - albeit from a very different perspective:
"Everything is 'spun', distorted, not real, mendacious in spirit if not actually in fact.".
As much as Dr. North (a former UKIP stooge whose evident intelligence is often submerged beneath alarmist, populist sarcasm, yet who can occasionally still come up with some compelling arguments) seems to think that such spin is solely the providence of the pro-EU camp, his own side are equally guilty. Hell, a lot of the time HE is equally guilty.
Nonetheless, some of his points are valid - assuming you can get past his accusations that Jack Straw is simply a "moron" and his assertions that "In a less civilised world, you would just shoot people like Straw", that is. I mean, I'm no fan of Straw, it must be admitted, but that kind of silly name-calling is precisely what we should all be trying to avoid if there's any hope of convincing that undecided majority of the population one way or the other.
It was precisely that kind of attitude and language from the Eurosceptic camp which made me start my journey towards thinking the EU is - essentially - a good thing. Peter Oborne (of The Daily Mail and Spectator fame, and who attended the same school I did) was the main culprit in my gradual conversion. I simply couldn't bear to be associated with people who spouted the kind of silly pap he did, even while agreeing (as I still do) with many of the basic arguments they put forward. The pro-EU camp are certainly self-righteous, arrogant, seem to assume that anyone who doesn't understand their point of view are a trifle dense for missing a self-evident point, and rarely bother to set out detailed and convincing arguments, but at least they also rarely resort infant school insults.
I don't want to get into a slanging match with the eminent Dr North. He evidently has far more time for blogging than I do, so if he picks up on this I doubt I will be able to respond as fully as I would like. What is a shame, I feel, is simply that someone with his intelligence and obvious knowledge of the issues still resorts to playground tactics when he could easily provide a detailed deconstruction of Jack Straw's entire speech. Not only would such a deconstruction be a useful starting point for further debate on the merits of the constitution, but if the debate is started off in intelligent terms it may stand a better chance of continuing in that vein.