The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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EU definitions of ordinary words

There was, in the offices of the Daily Beast in Evelyn Waugh's Scoop, frequent use of the phrase "Up to a point, Lord Copper". As alert readers will remember, it actually meant "No".

The EU and its supporters have a good deal in common with the Beast, when it comes to taking ordinary words and saying they mean something new and unexpected. Think "citizens' initiative" (a much-trumpeted formal right of European citizens to associate and jump through bureaucratic hoops to make suggestions which the EU can then freely ignore); "cohesion" (forcibly taking money from poor people in rich member States to help fill the pork barrels of rich politicians in poor States); "harmonisation" (one-size-fits-all uniformity); or "single market" (complex bureaucratic restrictions imposed on everyone scrupulously but equally).

If you want to know more about such things, help is at hand. In last week's Guardian, high-flying and extremely well-paid EU lawyer Miriam González Durántez (better known – to her annoyance – as Mrs Nick Clegg) wrote a noticeably vicious article about David Cameron and the EU referendum. It repays reading, provided you can avoid spitting out your corn flakes while you do so, if only because it happens to contain a quite stupendous bag of Europhile-speak. For your benefit, here they are, with some translations.

"Chances of young people" (as in "Cameron has impaired the chances of young people").

Translation: UK young people's ability to say they love the feeling of being European even if they never leave our shores; UK millennials' chance to be considered for the allocation of a limited number of free Interrail tickets courtesy of the EU taxpaper; the vital right of twenty-somethings to seek employment in countries where the youth unemployment rate is more than twice that in the UK.

"European project" (as in "Cameron has endangered the European project").

Translation: This refers not so much to the EU we know, as to a kind of ideal or transcendental EU. The Hegelian idea of the EU as a historical necessity: the EU as an unquestionable good: European unity as something so important that voters can't be trusted with it, and which has to be entrusted to – the people appointed by the EU to run the EU, since they're the only ones who understand it.

"European values" (as in "Cameron has endangered European values").

Translation. Political views shared by rich, left-leaning Europeans employed by the EU, the state or multinational corporations; mistrust of religion; support for human rights at all costs as interpreted by safely unelected members of the political class. (Compare "populism", which means the beliefs that unenlightened voters in such awful places as Huddersfield, Hanover or Huelva have a bad habit of expressing unless kept in check).

"casually" (as in "the vote on the UK's continued EU membership that Cameron so casually convened").

Translation: in accordance with a mere democratic mandate: something done without first getting approval in writing from supporters of the European project (qv) and European values (qv).

"Modern citizen" (as in "We Europeans like to see ourselves as modern citizens of our own country").

Translation: a citizen who finds it embarrassing to be called a citizen of his/her country: a citizen in the sense that a merchant banker posted to Glasgow for five years will call himself a Glaswegian; an ostensible supporter of the state but a true believer in European values (qv):someone clever enough to know that the nation state they are attached to is a mere passing phase due for inevitable replacement in the course of the European project (qv).

"Allegiance" (as in "citizens of the EU who can seamlessly pile up allegiances at ease").

Translation: A passing affiliation or enthusiasm; loyalty to a political class which itself has no loyalty except to European values (qv).

"Diversity" (as in "I grew up admiring the UK – its freedom, its ambition, its diversity").

Translation: Uniformity in choosing to categorise people primarily by matters such as gender, sexuality or skin colour; obsession with identity politics; acceptance of cultural relativism as a value above all values.

I've no doubt that you can add to this collection without difficulty. All you have to do is go out and by the next edition of the Independent, New European, or any number of other publications you wouldn't normally read. Happy hunting.

On comfort blankets
The EU, Spain, and Gibraltar
 

Comments 1

Guest - Adam Hiley on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 16:17

why doesn't the odious Cleggs of this world emigrate to their beloved EU and never to return

why doesn't the odious Cleggs of this world emigrate to their beloved EU and never to return
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Wednesday, 12 December 2018