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Exactly what do they think a eurosceptic is?

Posted by Helen Sunday, March 27, 2005

The usually sensible and well-informed business section of the Sunday Telegraph had rather an odd article in it today. Martin Baker was profiling John Elliott, chairman of EBAC, that sells water coolers all over Europe, and a well-known eurosceptic (though his achievements as chairman of NESNO ought to be put next to some appreciation of what Neil Herron and others had done before the organization was even thought of).

Mr Elliott, has been prominent in the Business for Sterling and No to the euro campaigns; he clearly dislikes regionalization of the UK; and he absolutely loathes the bureaucracy that emanates from Brussels and crushes any kind of entrepreneurial spirit across Europe and Britain.

Nothing odd about that, you might think. One assumes most businessmen and businesswomen think roughly along those lines. Not according to the Sunday Telegraph’s finest, they don’t.

Martin Baker finds that there is an

“… obvious irony in all of this [growing sales across Europe] is that Elliott is a loud eurosceptic”.
Perhaps it is the loudness that has surprised Mr Baker. Otherwise, for the life of me I cannot see what is so ironic about a eurosceptic who trades internationally. Au contraire, Mr Elliott is just the sort of successful businessman who is likely to be clobbered by the eurocracy and regulatocracy, who having never done a day’s work in the real world, assume that nobody can possibly get on in life without being told how to do so.

The Working Time Directive, says Mr Elliott, is the most stupid thing ever. Mmm, well there is hot competition, but we need not argue that point. Still, it seems to surprise Martin Baker:
“It is, in fact, bureaucracy that Elliott dislikes. He may be a eurosceptic (and is violently opposed to any idea of Britain ever dropping sterling) but he is not anti-European or xenophobic.”
Like duh! Really, if journalists in the Sunday Telegraph business section produce this sort of bilge, what can one expect from other sections of the media? Perhaps, Mr Baker should spend some time reading this blog.