Alex Massie

Memo to Columnists: The EU does NOT have much in common with the USSR

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Janet Daley describes herself as a euro-sceptic of "apocalyptic dimensions". The evidence presented by her column today suggests this may be an understatement. Alas, this kind of euro-scepticism seems to drive its followers mad. This is the only sensible conclusion that may be drawn from Daley's final paragraph in which she writes:

On Europe, our hope can only be that the peoples of the EU will one day walk out from under their oppressors, just as the people of the Warsaw Pact walked out from under theirs.

It's also, I suggest, the kind of rhetoric that discredits the euro-sceptic cause rather than advancing it. Sober advocacy rather than ranting and raving might be a better way forward. Hard to see that catching on, mind you...

I say this because, at the moment, there doesn't seem to be a majority in favour of withdrawing from the EU. If euro-sceptics want that to change they should probably stop peddling nonsense that is contradicted by the evidence that people see for themselves. The EU really isn't very much like the USSR and it's most unlikely many people will be persuaded that, actually, it is and they're just too stupid to see the chains that bind them.

Also: perhaps we need a Stalin-themed companion to Godwin's Law?

[Hat-tip: Sunder Katwala]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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