It’s never been entirely clear why Brits seem to come out in hives whenever the EU is discussed.  Any notion of fair and considered debate – something that we like to think is part of our pragmatic nature – very often gets thrown out of the window and we end up with the rehashing of stereotypes and the recycling of basic factual errors.  The EU/ECHR confusion I’ve discussed before is symptomatic, and not just with the traditional sceptic sources.


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Posted in Conservatives, David Cameron, EU, Europe, Eurozone, Germany | Leave a comment

by Mike Aaronson

Right now it is impossible to watch the News on TV, to open a newspaper, or to go online, without coming across discussion about the merits or otherwise of international intervention in Syria and Iran. In the case of Syria the main driver is human protection in response to the government’s brutal crackdown on its citizens, whereas in Iran the issue revolves around the threat to international peace and security posed by the government’s continuing refusal to meet IAEA demands for transparency about its nuclear programme. Nevertheless a common element is an acceptance in Western policy, academic, and media circles that coercive intervention is a perfectly legitimate subject for discussion; one may be strongly for it, strongly against, or somewhere in between, but there is little if any questioning of why we are discussing this at all. Is this not rather odd?

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Posted in Intervention | Leave a comment

An exchange today on twitter with @UKnotEU and @EUlondonrep reminded me that it’s easy for even those with a good knowledge of the European Union to get confused.  Thus the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) suddenly got rolled into the EU (European Union), when it’s actually a part of the Council of Europe (CoE), which has nothing to do with the EU’s European Council, possibily because it was being confused with the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which is part of the EU.  Easily (and often) done, by political commentators and students alike.

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Posted in EU, Europe | Leave a comment