What’s a Europhile? Someone who loves Europe? I certainly think so. But, oddly, the term now defines someone who loves the European Union, not Europe. I say oddly because, in my experience those who love the EU actually hate Europe with a passion. Their hatred runs so deep that they want to replace a beautiful, mature and diverse continent with a pastiche of homogenous, nation-destroying technocratic regions devoid of all vitality, democracy, diversity, and cultural and national identity.
The bizarre truth is that the object of their love – the EU – has no connection to Europe at all beyond its name. The EU defines a political structure that could be – and increasingly is being – imposed anywhere in the world. It’s a globalizer’s franchise, like McDonalds. We already have “Mc-unions” in Africa, Asia, Eurasia and, more quietly, in America. The “European” part of the EU brand is a marketing ploy, nothing else.
And don’t get me started with “Eurosceptic”. The word is meaningless. Who seriously doubts that the continent of Europe exists? The word we should be using to describe those hundreds of millions of us who don’t want the UK (and other democratic sovereign nations) to be imprisoned in the EU-philes’ dystopian volker kerker is EU-sceptic; the EU-sceptics’ major motivating force is a deep love for a free, democratic Europe (and globe) of difference, diversity and cultural vitality – the exact opposite of the goal held by EU-philes.
This is not idle nitpicking, particularly with an In-Out EU referendum allegedly on the horizon. How Brits who haven’t yet thought too hard about Inning or Outing feel in their gut about the merits of each claim – not how they intellectually unpick a predictably In-biased Tsunami of BBC and other EU-phile propaganda – will determine how they vote in the referendum. And those who assume that the Outers hate Europe, as the terms Eurosceptic, Europhobes etc indicate, will be repulsed by the thought of endorsing that perceived hatred.
But those voters who feel that EU-scepticism is synonymous with loving Europe will want to declare their love for Europe, for national self-determination and for individual freedom by voting Out.
The appalling thing is that the Out camp has so meekly surrendered this Euro-/EU- ground to the EU-philes. From Farage to Carswell, from Reese-Mogg to Gove, the Euro- prefix mindlessly abounds, rendering invisible the odious EU- prefix and sentiment that, if consistently applied where it is warranted, could be the determining anti-In factor of the referendum.
We need to retake this foundational, constructive reptilian brain territory. The Out camp MUST state with a single voice that “Europe” and the “EU” are mutually exclusive and galaxies apart, that the EU has nothing to do with Europe, and that Euro- and EU- are not the same thing. As of now, let’s make a commitment to not use “Europe” or Euro- terms to describe EU- concepts and beliefs. And let’s commit to challenging those who use “Europe” and Euro- to define EU ideologies, projects and activities.
Let’s also make a commitment to pointedly and exclusively using EU- terms when talking about the EU, and to vigorously challenge those who don’t, even if the conversation doesn’t proceed beyond that point. Yes. The distinctions really is so important to the outcome of the purported In-Out referendum that, in discussion, everything else comes second.
After all, would you want to support the cause of someone who you think hates Europe? I know I wouldn’t. But I’d be happy to support the cause of someone who loves Europe and who hates tyranny. And millions of others will be happy to do so, too, but only if they feel good about it and only if unequivocally given that option.