The EU debate is once again heating up with social media filling up with europhile flotsam. Consequently the above has been resurrected for another airing. It's always worth watching such things as they give us an insight into the pathology of europhiles, and it gives us picture of the dishonesty they will deploy closer to the referendum. Here we see the classic "British influence" meme dressed up as prestigious hard won knowledge.
Here we see John Peet opining that EU membership is central to our position in the world and that our influence depends on "being at the very heart of Europe". I have a strong dislike of John Peet. Usually men of his ilk display either dishonesty or ignorance, but Peet manages to combine both and somehow present himself as an authority. In just thirteen minutes he manages to rack up so many untruths it would take a days to deconstruct.
To pick three points at random, he first misrepresents the argument that we cannot trade with the rest of the world as EU members. This is a straw man. Nobody actually makes that argument. Thus he builds his Aunt Sally and knocks it down with eloquence to a largely ignorant audience who applauds his dishonesty.
The point about international trade is that the EU negotiates all trade treaties on our behalf. Trade is an exclusive competence of the EU, thus if we wanted to waive a tax or relax a regulation in order to facilitate faster trade with India, we would have to secure agreement from other nations who don't even have similar industries and we would have to add our concerns to the waiting list. The EU would then do it's usual trick of bundling up concerns in order to offer a package of trade measures in exchange for invasive permissions to meddle in Indian affairs - which can take as long as a decade.
Secondly, in one breath he argues that by engaging in "Brussels" we managed to end the policy of fishing discards. Something of a lie. We no longer discard fish as sea, producing the unsightly news footage that brings the issue to the fore. Instead fishermen must land the catch, pay a fine and then the haul is sent to landfill.
What we need is localised fishing authorities so that boats may use nets and fishing practices best suited for local waters to avoid such catches in the first place. But because we have standard boat types along with EU specifications of nets that are permitted almost anywhere in "EU waters" we see decimation of fish stocks and habitats. Because of vested interests, it is unlikely this will ever be reformed. The EU is inherently destructive in this regard and the EU has merely swept it under the carpet.
Lastly, he pulls the usual stunt of saying we need to be in Brussels to influence the "rules of the club", when in reality, that is not the top table and Brussels is merely the horse-trading by which we fashion the common EU position on a whole range of matters.
To take fishing as an example, the "rules of the club" are set by the NAFO, an international body on which the EU takes our seat. Norway, a non-EU member, has a seat at the top table, Britain does not. Thus we are forced to adopt the common EU position and must by order of treaty use our proxy vote to support the EU position without right of veto. Far from being at the heart of Europe, we are subjugated by it and prevented from engaging with the world.
The EU dilutes our global influence and makes us less agile in matters of trade and delays vital reforms to markets that mean other nations get to exploit emerging markets first. They are trapped in the mentality of the last century. It would be a man of astonishing ignorance who could stand there and say such things and indeed John Peet must be if these basics have escaped him through the course of his career.
But since he's a man of such prestige as to be speaking to the Oxford Union, we can only conclude that he is not so much ignorant as a pathological liar. Consequently any man who would knowingly deceive over such matters of critical importance does so from a position of blind faith in the EU ideals, which by definition makes him a zealot.
And that's really what we're dealing with in this debate. The John Peet's and Lucy Thomas's of this world care not a jot of the EU is good for trade or whether it is democratic or not. It is quasi-religious orthodoxy that must be upheld and executed at all costs. They are nether truthful nor rational. And for them the ends justify the deceptive means.
In all respects they are stuck in the dark ages. The fishing issue alone shows how more can be accomplished through global organisation where every voice is heard and rather than unions of nations, the modern paradigm is unions of industries and sectors organising at the global level in order to achieve better and faster agreements.
If anything the EU is the fly in the ointment that persistently complicates, compromises and delays the process, because it is insists on claiming such enterprises as its own, thus reinforcing the perception they are EU initiatives. The EU is plagiarist and a thief. It does so also as the global regulatory and cultural hegemon and uses trade as a means to strong arm weaker nations into compliance.
It is born from the belief that only the EU elites forcing their social democratic agenda upon nations can they be peaceful and enlightened. The evidence n Ukraine this week suggests otherwise. Nations must follow their own path and fight for equality and freedom for themselves. Such cannot be imposed. What lies beneath is a paternalistic authoritarianism, in the assumption that the Balkans and Eastern Europe are child races incapable of universal human values without the benevolent guiding hand of the enlightened EU.
For sure if you looked at the Balkans sand Ukraine you might well conclude that they have a point - but this is little different to the British colonial attitude to the Indians, as some how a lesser advanced culture in need of subjugation for their own good. The reality is that unless their rights are fought for and won from beneath, any imposition of "brotherhood and unity" can only end in bloody war. The Yugoslavian experiences teaches us this much.
In the end it is free and fair trade that brings about abundance and peace, thus the world needs the means to create a global single market that waits for no supranational government. Let nations speak unto nations.
In this regard it is ionic that europhiles say eurosceptics want to go back to the age of the British Empire, when that is precisely what we do not propose. It is they who are the imperialists, believing that without their supervision Britain would revert to the status of savages who would abandon the principles of justice, freedom, democracy and human rights. We should treat this for what it is, an insult to our history, culture and intelligence.