In a display that supports the proposition that the level of payment for writing is in inverse proportion to the amount of research done – which underpins the frothing of Richard Littlejohn and, whisper it quietly, London’s occasional Mayor and regular collector of “chicken feed” from the Maily Telegraph Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – Nigel Jones has brought forth a truly steaming specimen.
Jones, another of the obedient hackery labouring in the service of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, has written a piece to order laying into the EU, with the appropriately jingoistic title “‘Very well, alone!’ Splendid isolation has always been Britain’s default position”. Once again, readers are regaled by a hack who cannot let go of World War 2.
So the Low cartoon is once again wheeled out, as is “The leftist media led by the BBC and the Guardian”. Then comes “the truth”, which warns anyone of open mind to be on guard against the opposite, beginning with “built over the centuries the continent’s most stable Parliamentary democracy”. The UK has had universal adult suffrage for just over 80 years, which is less than one Century.
And Jones’ history lesson is selective at best: Henry VIII is portrayed as a king “casting loose from Rome’s rule”, although that ended when the Romans left. The scattering of the Armada is inferred to be part of “the island nation’s determination to do it our way” when it was a most fortunate occurrence while Britain was not in a position of strength.
He glories in Britain’s “splendid isolation”, while forgetting that “Empire Free Trade” was nothing of the sort: it was Britain that was free to exploit its empire, while Johnny Foreigner was kept out. Many of those colonies ultimately tired of this lop-sided arrangement, with the resulting messy detachment lasting more or less from the end of World War 2 until relatively recently.
After blaming both World Wars on Germany – both simplistic and unfair – readers are told that “of the 27 members of today's EU, just two - Britain and Sweden - have not within living memory been either fascist, Communist or military dictatorships or occupied by foreign military powers”. Oh yes? You missed Finland and Ireland, and calling Salazar’s Estado Novo “fascist” is stretching it a bit.
But Jones really sells the pass as he calls the EU “utterly undemocratic”. That’s why there are elections to the European Parliament every five years, with no going to the country early when times are favourable, a tactic used to their advantage in recent years by Eden, Macmillan, Wilson, Thatcher and Blair. In pandering to the whim of the Vagina Monologue, Jones has had to bend the facts to fit – severely.
No change there, then.