For months, if not years, there has been a clamour from those opposed to Europe, that has always been shrill and often effective. We are told that Europe is bad for the British economy, that being part of Europe means abandoning our allies in the USA, that Europe is obstinately against reform, dedicated to bloated bureaucracy rather than the needs of European citizens, that being in Europe means losing our identity as the British nation, that as a consequence, Britain should rule out joining the euro and should prepare to leave Europe altogether.Then said Mr Blair, "It is time we took each of these arguments in turn and demolished them".
Playing the economic card, Blair said 3.5m jobs depended on British membership of the EU and that last year alone 50,000 jobs had been created because of inward investment as a consequence of European membership. He said Britain was stronger because it was in the EU, although he accepted the need for reform of the Brussels bureaucracy.
And sitting alongside the now former prime minister – nearly fourteen years ago - was Ken Clarke, the man who is now telling us that leaving the EU would be a "fatal mistake".
Normally, people who are so consistently wrong become a laughing stock. But this does not apply to europhiles and the BBC. The FUD-factory is open house to predictions of doom. This, though, is the BBC report on the launch of British Influence yesterday.
Of all the quotes they could have picked from Clarke's speech, this was the one. But then, they are nothing if not predictable, boringly so. After nearly fourteen years, Clarke still churns out the same old propaganda, the same mantras, the same tired old claims – and he is still talking about "reform". But the FUD makes the headline.
Being the BBC, it seems, means never having to think up any new tactics.
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