Portillo in EU promotion shocker!
I did have a nice long post about a couple of nicely Eurosceptic articles in today's Sunday Times, but there was a Bloggerquake, and the entire bloody thing got lost. Being trusting in technology, I type it direct into the thing and never cut and paste from Word, so I have no backup. Piss.
Here they are, anyway, with far less well-considered commentary (which is also, thankfully, considerably shorter - I think I went into rant mode after a bit...):
First up, "French ready to spite Chirac on EU" - which takes the rather unusual line for a Eurosceptic paper of saying that because the proposed constitution should prevent a French farmer from being paid £60 an acre in subsidies (that's £60 an acre paid for by the EU taxpayer), it's a bad thing...
The rest of the article is overly simplified "us vs. them" stuff, where the current shift towards opposing the constitution which seems to be happening in France is a combination of old school French arrogance and xenophobia - largely against the British, but also against Turkey. Still, some interesting stuff in there hidden amongst the guff.
Second up is Tory ex-minister and leadership hopeful Michael Portillo, an arch Eurosceptic vby his own admission but whom I normally rather like, with a nicely constructed but overly simplistic take on the whole constitution thing:
"The integrationists want a constitution, president and foreign minister because those are the attributes of a nation state. The treaty does not bring about a United States of Europe, but it seeks to accustom us to the terminology and institutions of a country called Europe."Yes Michael. Of course. A constitution, president and foreign minister are the attributes of a nation state and there can OBVIOUSLY be no other motivation for wanting any of these than the desire to become a nation state. Which is precisely why practically every major City company has a constitution, Chief Executive (president) and external relations manager (foreign minister) - they're all wanting to become nation states too, aren't they?
As for the old and frankly stale argument about being "accustomed" to the "terminology and institutions" of some kind of European state, this is the typical bullshit which is repeated every single time the EU is mentioned. I could accuse Portillo of precisely the same thing - the more he blathers on about the EU, its terminology and institutions, the more his readers are going to be aware of it. If they're more aware of it they might start supporting it. Load of old nonsense, in other words.
There's more nonsense in amongst the rest of the article, which I would go through and dissect line by line, but that's utterly dull and would take forever. Instead, what with it being a bank holiday and all, I'm going to crack open a beer.
(Oh, and if anyone can tell me who all the people are who are voting in the Guardian's weblog awards, I'd be grateful. By my calculations, since polls opened on Wednesday evening this site has received more votes than it has had visitors in that time - and other sites on there seem to have disproportionate amounts of support for their relative Technorati popularities. As I am only getting about an extra 30-40 visitors a day from the Guardian, is there something dodgy going on, or what?)