After last week’s featherweight entrants, we were onto some seriously heavyweight fibs this week. In truth there were only two contenders in this week’s EU dishonesty stakes.
The first was Jeremy Corbyn’s lacklustre attempt to explain why after a lifetime’s Euroscepticism he is backing ‘Remain’. Here is how the BBC captured the excitement of Corbyn’s speech:
‘The Labour leader said the EU could "deliver positive change" on issues ranging from mobile phone charges to clean beaches and protecting bees.’
Gosh. Well sign me up.
Of course all the brightest and most honourable members of the Labour party – Frank Field, Gisela Stuart, Kate Hoey – are campaigning for ‘Leave’. But it is undeniable that the debate lacks that authentic trade union voice of Euroscepticism. It is almost enough to make you miss Bob Crow. Nevertheless it is fascinating that when it came down to it Jeremy Corbyn – just like David Cameron, Theresa May, Sajid Javid et al – decided to put his own political career ahead of his own principles or the interests of his country. Still, at least it closes one debate. Many people who voted to make Jeremy Corbyn the Labour party leader argued that although he may be a bit dishevelled, a tad disorganised, and so on, he is at least ‘authentic’ and ‘principled’. This week simply provided further proof that he is just a disorganised man with dishevelled principles.
The only other serious contender for this week’s misleading claim of the week comes courtesy of our dear Prime Minister. How many levels of dissimulation could one count in his claim – before the audience at the Sky news debate – that people should not worry about Turkish entry into the EU because it will not happen until ‘the year 3000’. Does he expect the British public to have forgotten that he as soon as he became PM he went to Ankara and told the Turkish government:
‘It makes me angry that your progress towards EU membership can be frustrated in the way that it has been. My view is clear: I believe it is just wrong to say that Turkey can guard the camp but not be allowed to sit in the tent.
‘I will remain your strongest possible advocate for EU membership and for greater influence at the top table of European diplomacy. This is something I feel very strongly and very passionately about. Together I want us to pave the road from Ankara to Brussels.’
Does he expect us not to know this? Or not to know that these remain his views? What must be going on in his head when he says things like that ‘year 3000’ quote? The only explanation I can think of is that he is an adrenaline junky, hoping at some point to be caught. No doubt he will be. The only question is whether it happens by June 23rd or in the days that follow.