Sunday, March 13, 2016

EU Referendum shock of the week.

I nearly fell over in surprise this morning while looking at the front page of the Sunday Times at the news of a surprise celebrity endorsement for one side in the EU referendum, and thought "That has to be another wind-up."

It wasn't.

Yes, Jeremy Clarkson has come out for "Remain." I always thought his ultra-reactionary persona was a bit of an act but Clarkson as soggy liberal. and much, much more pro-Europe than, say, myself or David Cameron is going to take a bit of getting used to.

I'm not absolutely certain to what extent Clarkson was serious when he said he wants to see us make a "United States of Europe" work properly, including a single currency (British membership of which I've opposed for a quarter of a century) and with a common army. My word.

But whether you agree with anything else he said, he did make a suggestion to the British press which, as long as we are inside, might have quite a bit going for it.

"Today, in Britain," Clarkson wrote, "an MP cannot even put a cup of coffee on expenses without being torn to pieces by the media. A duck house will get him the sack. He can't look at a pretty girl or pick his nose, and woe betide any of them who say something that is slightly at odds with what they've said before.

"British MPs work and play in the glare of powerful follow-spots. They are monitored constantly by the newspapers - the same newspapers that tell us these people are powerless because these days all the big decisions are made in Brussels.

"Right. So let's switch our attention. Let's leave the "Parish councillors" alone and concentrate our big guns on the real decision makers in Brussels. Let's have hacks outside their houses all day long, waiting for one of them to do or say something wrong. Let's turn them from "faceless bureaucrats" into household names.

"This is the biggest problem with the EU right now. Nobody is really concentrating on its' leaders. Nobody is saying 'Hang on a minute ....' And that is why they are running amok.

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