Such is the dearth of talent among Tory Parliamentarians that Esther McVey, now representing the safe seat of Tatton, who could not be considered an intellectual heavyweight even by the most generously-minded assessor, has recently served as a Cabinet minister, only resigning because Theresa May’s flavour of Brexit was insufficiently batshit for her. So her latest faux pas should come as no surprise.
Ms McVey latched on to a Tweet from the Brexit Central feed, which, in accordance with its policy of shouting “Project Fear” about information it deems unpalatable, while trying to scare the crap out of its audience, told “After 2020, all EU members will have to adopt the euro”. This is complete bunk. There is no such compulsion, and nor will there be.
The article Brexit Central cited, from the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, is from 2014, and was written by Andrew Lilico, who was wrong then and has been wrong ever since. It seems Ms McVey did not bother with fact checking, and merely Tweeted out the Brexit Central misinformation, telling “Are the public aware of this ? And the many other things the EU has planned for its member states after 2020?”
Condemnation was not slow in arriving, with James Felton responding “19 days till brexit and you’re still sharing lie-filled articles that were debunked when they came out in 2014. If you had developed the concept of shame you’d be ashamed of yourself”. Labour MEP Julie Ward was not happy either: “This is wholly untrue. Delete the post. MPs pushing debunked lies from 2014 is irresponsibility of the highest order. Take it down”.
No prizes for guessing how much notice Ms McVey took of that - well, at first, anyway. It should not surprise anyone, though, that Lilico’s preposterous verbiage from 2014 is gaining traction with those possessed of the Brexit paranoia - as well as over-enthusiastic Tory MPs. After all, this is the kind of rubbish that has been going the rounds recently under the guise of a non-existent “Lisbon Treaty 2022”, which does not exist.
Still, details, eh? The Euro compulsion, which still does not exist, has been debunked recently by Steve Peers of the University of Essex, who concluded “Normally I do threads on official documents like legislation, or think tank papers, but today I have been asked to debunk viral online claims about the scary ‘Lisbon treaty 2022’ … it's bat****”. You can see the thread, along with claims and debunking, HERE.
Small wonder that Martin Belam observed “Ultimately it seems we are living in an age where politicians face no consequences for promoting untrue conspiracy theories”. Esther McVey eventually deleted the Tweet, but it remained up overnight and has once more convinced the electorate of Wirral West that they did the right thing in 2015. Also, she has failed to apologise. As James O’Brien reminded her, “Deleting isn't apologising”.
As with her disrespecting of the Hillsborough victims, so with her cluelessness over anything EU related: Ms McVey really doesn’t do Twitter very well. Or politics.
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