Thursday, October 04, 2007

Nolo Condere

EU Flag debate please
Dizzy has an interesting bit of gossip about Jon Worth allegedly refusing to take part in a radio debate with the Devil on the subject of the EU Reform Treaty.

If there is any truth to the story it could be simply a case of personal animus, in view of the Devil's memorable reference to Jon Worth on 18DS as "the screechy, whiny one", however, while it isn't a huge story even if true, it would also fit a general pattern of behaviour of extreme Europhiles when it comes to engaging with UKIP supporters.

When those speaking for UKIP were old fashioned, and dare I say it, slightly elderly gentlemen, relying on fairly bumptious appeals to patriotism and distrust of foreign influences the more avid pro-Europeans always seemed happy enough to engage in debate with them. Now they have figures like Farage, who regardless what you may think of him personally is very sharp, and can make a solid, reasoned case for his proposition, and the same people seem much less keen to engage in any form of discussion, preferring to squeal from the sidelines.

As it happens I have voted for UKIP once, in elections to the European parliament when the electoral maths seemed to suggest that the number of Conservatives to be returned from their list was pretty much a given, but a small swing to UKIP could help them win another seat at the expense of Labour or the Lib Dems. I am not though, in a UKIP supporter - I don't want full withdrawal, but I know that the current integrationist agenda tacitly supported by Labour and the Lib Dems is profoundly wrong too.

Just because I don't agree with the UKIP position though doesn't mean that it isn't useful to hear their position clearly explained and argued.

There are voices, like the Devil, who represent an articulate, reasoned Eurosceptic line, and to be fair to Worth, especially when on topics other than the EU, as much as I disagree with most of his positions, he can make a good reasoned argument for them too.

If there is any truth to Dizzy's rumour, it would be a shame. Those that believe in 'the project' should stand up and argue their case, even if it is against more challenging opposition than they have been used to in the past, rather than hoping that by avoiding debate their position will continue to prevail by default. They are losing the argument simply because they are not making their side of it.

Preaching, as so many do, the line of 'inevitability' and 'enormous' (but unquantified) benefits to audiences of the converted will not turn round public hostility to the EU, primarily because it comes over as just that, preaching.

As a postscript I should say that I know the person who e-mailed me in response to my Fantasy Blogging Rugby XV suggesting a fullback berth for Mr Worth, purely in the hope of seeing him creamed in a vicious tackle going for a high ball, and they are in no way connected to any known blogger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't hesitate. You can vote already about the EU.

Vote YES or NO to Free Europe Constitution at!