March 13, 2013
by Catherine Bearder MEP
There is a single word which has legions of Euro-sceptics flinging down their newspapers in disgust.
The word is ‘now’. NOW Brussels wants tightrope walkers to wear hardhats, NOW meddling bureaucrats want to ban the Great British tea room.
It is a word accompanied with a fist pumped in anger upon the breakfast table: “What are they are telling us to do NOW?!?!”
Tales cooked up with a fantastical twist on reality have consistently wound up the British public. For the British press, the Euromyth is king to a killer headline.
The invented tales – often conjured up with imaginative and theatrical aplomb – have the ability to terrify and, frankly, amuse the public.
Many Brits view the European Union with unnecessary doses of fear and scepticism, while other member states chortle at the UK’s paranoia.
In reality, the chunky catalogue of Euromyths has succeeded in spreading one thing: confusion.
This cannot be good for those in favour of Britain’s relationship with Europe, nor can it benefit the sceptics who want bags packed and return Eurostar tickets booked ASAP.
We are swamped with erroneous tales of alleged devious directives (name one?), and barmy plans (which exactly?) from Brussels.
Did we ever get busts of Jacques Delors on motorway bridges as one British tabloid suggested was imminent?
Was Britain forced to liquefy corpses and flush down the drain, as – apparently – the EU was proposing?
You can answer for yourselves.
However, David Cameron’s referendum pledge means it’s time to talk FACTS.
Otherwise, how can the British public be expected to make an informed decision? I’m sure UKIP would agree, but perhaps they are not keen for a debate without fabrication?
Rebutting falsehoods about the European Union has become a full-time job.
My Euromyth Buster campaign attempts to right some wrongs at www.facebook.com/EuromythBuster , but it’s hard work.
You could question how Britain’s relationship with Europe has flourished with such persistent attempts to undermine it?
Just open a regional newspaper, there undoubtedly will be a letter inside advocating Brexit and it will contain an inaccuracy or assumption on the EU.
Every day, drip-drip, the falsehoods wedge themselves into the public sub-conscience until they are taken as truth.
But we mustn’t shrug and ignore it any more. When a story screams ‘EU shambles’ or the ‘NOW’ word barks back at you, question it.
Join my Euromyth Buster campaign and the work the European Movement does locally and nationally to refute these Euromyths and put forward the truth about the benefits of EU membership.
I often stress, I’m not a walking PR machine for the Union, there are many things it could do better.
However, our continued place at the table is essential for jobs and growth in the UK, and more people need to be standing up to say so.
I don’t want to see it jeopardised by ranters who cherry pick the truth and replace it with made-up tales.
NOW that’s something which makes me angry.
Author : European Movement UK