Saturday, December 04, 2010

It's not that he's stupid

... m'lud. He's just a Tory. In fact, he's one of that peculiar breed of High Tory that can think out half the story, but then come screeching to a halt because he can't cope with the consequences. That is Charles Moore for you, writing in a paper that deserves to be behind a paywall for its own protection.

At least with Moore's piece, though, you only have to read the strap to get the gist: "As the euro founders, Britain must make a bolder case for root-and-branch reform," we are told.

There you have it. After making the case that the EU is a profoundly dysfunctional organisation, he does the old Tory trick of arguing for "reform". How one would go about attaining that desirable state, however, is never specified. Further, when you challenge these people as to how they personally would seek to achieve it, there is either vague talk about "handbags" or silence and an embarrassed shuffling of feet.

That, actually, absolves the likes of Moore from being stupid. Although one seriously wonders. Amongst other things, the man calls for the EU to have a "policy of free trade". How many times does one have to remind these people that the EU is a customs union? This is the very antithesis of free trade – a status which is so fundamental that to change it would mean changing the very nature of the EU.

Whatever else, even if the charge of stupidity does not stick, this type of person is certainly dishonest. But it is a special kind of dishonesty that pretends to address popular concern about the EU when the intention is, in the final analysis, to do absolutely nothing. But then Moore is a Tory.