"…truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
That, clearly is driving force behind the putative "yes" campaign, another example of which comes from the egregious Robin Cook, former foreign minister - the man who waxed so indignant about government "lies" on WMD..
Interviewed by Jon Snow on this evening’s Channel 4 News on the outcome of a possble British referendum on the EU constitution, he exuded confidence. As soon as people realised that three million jobs and three-quarters of a million businesses depended on our membership of the EU, said Cook, they would come round.
The claim of "three milion jobs" is, of course, so transparently false that it is barely worth rebutting, but the second is less obvious.
This stems from a claim made by Gordon Brown in February 2000 on the relaunch of Britain in Europe, in support of the euro when, on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Brown made the startling assertion that "750,000 companies export from Britain to Europe". It took until lunchtime for the figure to be corrected, with the government's own figures showing that the true number was 18,000.
Yet still Cook and his fellow travellers trot out the same lies. That is the shape of the campaign to come. They will lie, lie and lie again, hoping that if they repeat the lies often enough, sufficient people will believe them to make the difference – either that or they will bore people to death.
As we have observed on this Blog before, just to make the campaign a little bit more interesting, it would be nice if they could change the bodyguard occasionally.