Apparently no longer welcome at the Daily Mail – they’ve got plenty of certifiably batshit pundits there already, thanks – Leo McKinstry has decamped to the Express, where he churns out why-oh-why straight-from-the-bar rants guaranteed to make a positive contribution to banishing insomnia. He has also, since I last looked in on his column, managed to stop mangling his words.
Yes, this time last year, McKinstry was caught having a Stanley Unwin experience that was more folly than deep joy, as the absence of sub-editors following all those Dirty Des economy drives meant nobody checked before his copy got published. Or perhaps the legal eagles fell asleep. Anyhow, his latest rant is about the EU, on which he tends, as ever, to avoid facts at all times.
“The European Union has always been an enemy of democracy”, he puffs, managing to miss that thing called the European Parliament. “It is a bureaucratic empire that governs with neither legitimacy nor contempt” he goes on, having missed those European elections we had in 2009, and the ones we’re going to have next year. Perhaps he should check with his colleague Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn.
After all, O’Flynn, being a fan of UKIP, will know all about European elections. But meanwhile, McKinstry is off and running, praising Young Dave: “at last a British leader has had the guts to challenge the EU’s remorseless destruction of our independence”. Ah yes, the old “Brussels is an alien spaceship coming to steal your children and sell them into slavery” canard.
But do go on. “Even more importantly Cameron promised that this new settlement will be put to the public in a straightforward in/out referendum before the end of 2017 ... With this speech Cameron has transformed British politics”. As Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, the last referendum did not bring the result the Express would like to see, and the numbers are worse for the antis right now.
And secondly, as Peter Oborne inconveniently observed, Cameron has done no such thing: he’s just stopped the Tories tearing themselves apart over an issue that, despite all the hype, still does not rate very highly with the electorate. McKinstry should look at the poll numbers after that speech to see that the Tories’ position was hardly improved, and Labour’s got no worse.
But poor Leo is on autopilot: “Under the EU there can be no national interest because there is no concept of individual nationhood”. That’s why they’re called “Member States”, then, is it? Does he get paid in money for this drivel? The hardcore Europhobes will no doubt lap this up, but McKinstry will convert nobody with his fact free ranting, so this is just so much Phil Space journalism.
Keeps him out of the pub and out of mischief, though. Mustn’t grumble.