Thursday, 29 October 2015

We Need to Talk about David

David Cameron has been to Iceland – I hope he stocked up on prawn rings and fish fingers – to spread the gospel according to St Jean. Jean-Claude Junckernaut has baptised and ordained Dish Face Dave and sent him forth as his emissary on Earth with a mission to bring good news to all mankind... but especially that happy breed of men, that band of brothers who inhabit this sceptred isle, this demi-paradise, this precious stone set in the silver sea, this blessed plot, this realm, this Europe.

Shakespeare, as is well known – check out your children’s history books – was a good patriot of Brussels and spent his life writing love sonnets to the EU Institutions, to whom all of Europe owes its survival. Had we not closed up the wall with our European dead, Agincourt may have been lost to the barbarian English who later succumbed to reason and embraced our glorious culture. Elgar, Nelson, Wellington... Churchill; all of them were able to triumph only thanks to generous EU grants and access to our open borders, a thing of envy the world over.

Before the EU the land of the Angles was a blasted wasteland where millions starved, grubbing in the dirt for seeds and meagre vegetables. Now, cradled in the warm and gentle arms of Mother Europe, Albion is a land of milk and honey... but only so long as she remains firmly clamped onto the fat teat of plenty that is Ma Merkel’s wondrous bounty. Outwith the union, the British Isles would once again become cold and bitter and envious lands. And we know because we have pamphlets which tell us so.

Yesterday at PMQs Cameron said, "If we don't get what we need in our negotiations I rule nothing out, but I do think it's important that as we have this debate as a nation that we are very clear about the facts and figures of the alternatives.” And there, right there, is your problem. There are no undisputed facts and figures, only speculation about what lies ahead, economically, in or out. The prosperity argument is a sham; nobody knows. Nobody.

But it is a tack which suits the ‘remain’ camp because all they have to do is to repeatedly state that on the outside of the EU we face a stark future of uncertainty, with no promise of anything beyond bare survival. This is palpable bollocks, an unimaginative line to take but one which the ‘leave’ lobby will find hard to counter. The ‘innies’ don’t even need to present a positive case for staying in, they just have to keep pushing the ‘fear of the unknown’ button.

Choose life...

But, forget all Cameron’s rhetoric about his impossible EU reform and a renegotiated relationship; I don’t want a relationship with the European Union – that’s the whole point. I want a divorce from it. The choice is not between the long road ahead or a blind alley, it is much simpler. In or out, servile or independent, British or European. The question is not so much where we want to be, but how we want to get there. And I would rather be at the helm of the national yacht, free to explore, than chained below decks to the oars of the EU galley.


  1. Another fine article, Batsby, but do you think, even for a moment, that we will ever be rid of the hated EU until it finally implodes?

    If the vote against was 9 to 1, it would still be the same old story; just take a look at what happened in Ireland and Greece, and what has only just happened in Portugal.

    We are, for the foreseeable future, f*cked, and everyone knows it. Heath was the arch-traitor, and all but Maggie have slavishly followed his lead. Generous, gold-plated EU pensions are waiting for them all, just as long as they obey their mistress in Berlin and keep up chained to 'the project'.

    1. I am as convinced we will never leave as I was convinced we were utterly wrong to have joined in the first place. There was a reason Heath never asked the British for their permission to sack the Queen.