UKIP with adverbs

The “Open Europe” boys apparently think that giving the EU a legal personality would be a huge transfer of powers from the UK to “Brussels”. Legal personality, essentially, means that the EU would be allowed to sign cheques – or rather that it could sign for the member states.

Well, that sounds like a big transfer of powers, no? The EU could sign away the spoons and we’d know nothing of it! Sadly, as always with Eurosceptics, there is a lot of discourse abuse here. The EU is a law-governed entity. That is to say, whether it could sign something is governed by its own decision-making procedures. Having legal personality would not give the Commission, or whatever, more power to make decisions, as it is subject to its own procedures. The only situation where “Britain” would lose powers here would be if we were to assent to something (if it was this important, it would presumably be subject to unanimity) and then decide to refuse our signature, after ratifying it!

Why, in this wild scenario, would we care? Wouldn’t we be leaving anyway? Enough of “Open Europe”, anyway. How does this stuff differ in quality from, say, David Noakes?

The Tainted Source

Book Review:
The Tainted Source
by John Laughland

A while back, I discovered that my great-grandfather’s estate in Ukraine, Apanlee, figures in a novel which is something of a favourite among neo-Nazis and Aryan supremacists. This led me to a number of websites that I wouldn’t regularly have frequented, including the Zundelsite and Stormfront’s webpage. There I found something genuinely intriguing: A new historical justification for anti-Semitism. They point to a book written back in the 70’s by Arthur Koestler called The Thirteenth Tribe. Koestler – himself Jewish – makes a case that Eastern European Jews originated in the somewhat mysterious medieval state of Khazar, located in part of what is now Russia. He puts forward evidence that many people in this multi-religious Turkic nation converted to Judaism, and that after the disappearance of the Khazar state these people remained Jewish and formed the core of the Eastern European Jewish population.

It is an interesting idea from a historiographic perspective. Others have taken up Koestler’s case since then. I am not a scholar of Jewish history and I make no claims as to the status or veracity of the Khazar hypothesis. What I found fascinating, in a sick sort of way, was how easily radical anti-Semitic movements in the Anglo-Saxon world manage to incorporate this notion into their worldview. For them, this leads them to the conclusion that the Jews aren’t really Jews, and therefore none of the Biblical status given to Jews applies to them. Modern Jews are, in their minds, merely a Turkic tribe that converted to the false Judaism that killed Jesus, and the real Jews were expelled into Europe by the Romans, becoming the Anglo-Saxon people.

It should go without saying that I find this latter hypothesis to be, to say the least, deeply suspect. In fact, laughable would be a better adjective to describe my opinion of it. I bring this up however, because the kind of thinking that motivates this radical reinterpretation of Jewish and Germanic history also motivates a book I have just read: The Tainted Source. Unfortunately, my finances restrict my ability to purchase books for review, and I have not yet had the gumption to write to publishers to ask for a reviewer’s copy. So, the books on Europe that I read tend to come from the discount rack, where many Euroskeptics seem to end up.

Just as Aryan nationalist justify their anti-Semitism by claiming that Jews aren’t really Jewish because of (in their minds) tainted origins, Laughland’s case against Europe is built atop the idea that Europeanism’s roots are tainted.
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