Thursday, October 15, 2015


My 87p Collins English Dictionary defines a patriot as "a person who loves his or her country and supports its interests."   Maybe I should invest in a more expensive, up to date dictionary but the one I have seems at odds with Samuel Johnson`s idea of a patriot.

Now, the other day we had the launch of the group led by former Marks and Spencer Chairman Lord Stuart Rose who will head the campaign for Britain to remain in the European Union.   No less than three former Prime Ministers - Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major - have joined the group, which possibly tilts the balance of truth in Samuel Johnson`s favour.

The thrust of the campaign to remain in the EU is clearly biased towards the interests of business and the Westminster elite, which is unsurprising.   But Lord Rose`s contention that it is patriotic to remain in the EU and `lead it rather than quit,` is interesting for many reasons.   Here are just two of them.  First, of course, even if Britain votes to stay in then there is no way that it will ever `lead` the EU - that job has long since been spoken for.

But secondly, I`m genuinely intrigued as to how it can possibly be patriotic to surrender control of our borders, to give up virtually all of our sovereignty and to have nearly all of our laws, regulations and human rights decided for us by a huge, remote, largely unaccountable outfit whose accounts have not held up to audit scrutiny for any of the last 20 years and which costs us £58 million each and every day in membership fees.

I suggest that my 87p dictionary may have got it right after all.

No comments: