I like ranty libertarian Devil’s Kitchen. However, this may be the most inaccurate statement ever:
The EU isn’t a side issue: it is the only truly important issue in politics right now.
Now, let’s have a brief think about what happens in politics that actually fucking matters. I’m going to try and be impartial about this:
- Crime and justice. Whether you think politicians are destroying innocent lives by not hanging and jailing enough of our out-of-control youth, or whether you think that politicians and the media are making people paranoid about paedos and cutthroats lurking everywhere despite falling overall crime, or anywhere in between, you can’t deny it’s an important determinant of quality of life.
- Islamist terrorism, and the war on it. Whether you think that all Muslims need to be interred or they’ll rise up and slaughter us in our beds, or whether you think Tony Blair personally murders Iraqi children, or anywhere in between, you can’t deny that there are vitally important moral and politial issues to be resolved.
- Peak oil and climate change. Whether you believe that every single climatologist has lied about man-made global warming as part of a sinister plan to destroy the global economy, or whether you believe that we all need to return to the trees more or less right away before we die (and that we’ll probably die anyway), you can’t deny that this is going to have a huge impact on all of our lives.
What about the EU, then? Just for the sake of argument, I’ll accept UKIP’s contention that the EU costs us Â£40bn a year, or 3% of GDP – under their own estimation, this covers everything from direct transfer payments to “over-regulation”. I’ll also accept the point that – at least among some EU lawmakers – there is a drive to establish certain things that are legal in the UK at present and should remain so (e.g. Holocaust denial) as EU-wide crimes.
So, bending over backwards to paint the most damaging picture of the EU that I can, we’ve got something which makes us 3% less rich than we should be and that might exacerbate our own government’s attempts at restricting free speech.
If you accept those premises, then the EU is a bad thing – it would be nice if everyone were 3% richer and x% freer. But it’s still fucking trivial compared with any of the issues above (and they’re just a starting point of non-EU things that, as far as I can make out, everyone cares about…)