More on the British referendum, here’s Johann Hari’s clarion call for pro-Europe Brits to finally stand up and fight. The money quote:
This is a European country, and we must not allow a lying Australian-American billionaire and his paid lackeys to poison our sense of our own national interest.
Indeed. A minor quibble, however, with this statement:
No other major European political party – except for Jean-Marie Le Pen’s neo-fascist National Front in France – supports the Tory position of not having a constitution at all.
This is debatable. Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president and the figurehead leader of the most popular Czech political party, ODS, has gone on record saying saying he hoped the proposed EU constitution would be rejected. Not amended, mind you — rejected. Whether he wants a constitution at all, I suppose, would depend on what you mean by “constitution.”
There’s also the pesky Viktor Orban in Hungary, former Prime Minister and now opposition leader. It’s difficult to parse these leaders’ precise positions, because both are nominally pro-accession (although Klaus was notably silent in the lead-up to last year’s referendum on entry). But I think on the pan-European spectrum of attitudes toward integration, these guys are probably in the same neighborhood — the same area code, at least — as the anti-EU Tory contingent.
And they can’t be ignored; like Klaus’s club of crony capitalists, Orban’s Fidesz party is whipping the ruling Socialists in the polls.
UPDATE: Just yesterday Doug Arellanes posted a translation of a Klaus essay in Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes: “We Must Not Get Lost In the European Union!” I feel like I hate the man (and everything he represents about Czech society) a bit too much to say anything remotely objective about this article, but I’d be interested in hearing some comments.