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June 07, 2005

Europhobes and Europhiles.

Various positions in the debate on the European Union get characterised by handles or epithets that are bandied about. Europhobes, Europhiles, Eurosceptics, Little Englanders, Tranzies....all are used to blacken the reputations of the opposition to the speaker and bolster the crowd support behind said speaker.

However, I’ve not really been able to work out which of these words describes my own position, at least not in full. Starting with the proviso that all of these refer not to the continent of Europe, nor to its varied nations and peoples, but to the political construct that is the European Union, none of them seem to apply to me. I’m obviously not a Europhile and in anything other than the most personal and individual sense am not a Europhage.   

To call me a Little Englander would be rather difficult, given that I have only lived there 1 year out of the past 15, make my living in running an international business and am, in fact, really a rootless cosmopolitan.

I am both sceptical of the EU and fearful of some of its likely effects (not in the loss of sovereignty that affects so many LEs, more in that I fear it will collapse economically with harsh results) but neither Eurosceptic nor Europhobic quite do it. They tend to imply that it’s just this version of the EU that’s not OK, or one that doesn’t contain the UK would be better.

That isn’t my position at all. I don’t think the EU should exist in any form whatsoever. That it is the Spawn of Satan, marked with the Number of the Beast and halfway down the Road to Armageddon is of course a statement of the utmost stupidity. Yet I do truly believe that we would be better off without the existence of the EU in any form or shape whatsoever.

I’m not against international co-operation or treaties, I think things like the WTO, NATO, EFTA and so on are all just peachy and dandy. I just want a menu, a smorgasboard (see! Good European that I am!), approach, whereby one signs up for this bit or that, but not for a bundle, one having to hold one’s nose on the bad bits of the Curate’s Egg to get the good bits.

So I need a word to describe this position. No, not that it would simply be better if the UK left, or that the EU might be reformable, or that we can muddle through and take the balance as being positive. A word that describes the position that the EU should not exist at all. If anyone can come up with something better please let me know but for the moment I plump for:


Hhmm. Tim Worstall, a proud member of the Euronihilist community.

Yes, I like that.

June 7, 2005 in European Union | Permalink


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Posted by: Mike Cunningham | Jun 7, 2005 1:36:25 PM

Didn't the WTO put out something repudiating regional free trade blocs like the EU and NAFTA anyway? Saying that they were in the name of free trade and deregulation but actually were like regional protectionist rackets? Where did I read that?

Posted by: katie | Jun 7, 2005 2:08:44 PM

Tim: you are right on.It is not the bits of EU that are the problem it is the concept.One way to demonstrate that you are right on the mark is to ask eurounionphiles what is the objective or purpose of the EU as presently structured,and/or as dreamed about by those who are pro-union?Most of the objectives that most of us would agree on could be achieved without the colossal bureau-cracy which seems to be the main objective of europartisans.Free trade?..easy to accomplish w/o the EU.Currency interchangeability?No one seems to have the slightest problem either accepting yuan and rupees or spending them.If currency conversion is such an obstacle to trade why is it that the largest global trade interchanges are with those currencies whioch are not part of the euro?Mutual defense.NATO held off the Soviet Union formore than forty years,and then when we,the Americans ,who provided most of spine and money for Europes defense,asked for help when we were attacked,were denied it by this new set of Belgian ingrates.Nevertheless,bi-lateral,and/or multilateral agreements,forged sentence by sentence with care ,rather than thrown into the maw of the Eurocracy would be far more likely to be successful.The E U reminds me of one of those giant organizations set up to solve a problem which sustain decades after the problem goes away solely to provide employment for its employees.

Posted by: john e morrissey | Jun 14, 2005 10:24:21 PM