An Occasional Guide to European Politics: The Eurosceptic who hates the modern world.



The truth is, if he spoke with footnotes we’d all be better off. “The EU,” he declares, normally  a few glasses of Port on board and holding court down the golf club “is obsessed with interfering in our lives. Telling us who we can employ (Women), unsound chaps (homosexuals), fellas who don’t get the culture (Muslims or non-whites) and on top of all that, then ties us up in Health and Safety nonsense (Not poisoning employees) and telling us how to run our businesses (not putting rat droppings in tins of baked beans) It’s a bloody outrage!”

The truth is, and he doesn’t even know it himself, his gripe isn’t with Europe. Europe has become the bête noire, the evil incarnation of all that he dreads, but the reality is that all those things would have come anyway.

He’s not allowed come back from a liquid lunch on a Friday afternoon, and grope the 19 year old office intern. He can’t write “No Darkies, Poofters or Paddies” on job advertisements either. And yes, he does have to treat women equally, and not sexually assault them at the Christmas party, letting them know that if they aren’t a bit friendlier they can clear their desks on Monday.

EU or no EU, no modern western country tolerates that, and whereas the EU may be ensuring that standard is the same across Europe, those standards aren’t just from Europe, they’re from modern society, and he hates that.

His problem is that he’s bought into some fantasy that it can all be reversed, that if those bastards in Brussels are sent packing he and his balding, sweating middle aged pals can all revert back to some sort of 1970s sitcom where they get to do a Benny Hill around the office and cheat their customers.

He genuinely believes that Britain outside the EU will be on an equal footing with the US, China, Brazil, and the remainder of the EU. Why? Because “we won the Battle of Britain and the 1966 World Cup, that’s why!” He’ll even throw a nuclear submarine into the mix, as if that matters. It certainly didn’t in Libya.

But you know what the strangest thing is? In France, he has a counterpart. She’s a hard left socialist who despises the EU for nearly the exact opposite reasons he does. Because it is based around a single market (Market begins with an M, as does Men!), and free trade, and yes, letting people make profit (Profit!) across borders, and lets heterosexual white men (or rapist aspirants, as she titles them) hold jobs at all. In short, she hates the EU because it recognises globalisation, and stops protectionism, and lets people travel and work and make money, and doesn’t demand the immediate nationalisation of, well, everything.

They’ll never meet each other, of course, and more’s the pity. Be fun locking them up in a lift together for a few hours, all the same.

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