"Booze Cruise" ruling exposes Europhobe ignorance in the UK
There are some stories that are virtually guaranteed to bring out the worst of Europhobia in the British, and depriving them of their divine right to cheap booze'n'fags is one of them. However, the reaction in the forums on the BBC and the Daily Mail to the news that the European Court had not ruled in favour of Brits being able to buy cheap mail order ciggies from elsewhere in the EU was as ignorant as it was savage.
Typical anything to help the English rejected by Europe.
- Peter, Spalding, England
I'm in agreement with most posts here.
If we are a part of Europe we should be treated like all the rest of Europe. Instead out government decides we are only 1/2 in so that they can continue to bleed us.
Questions need to be raised on this and answers need to be given.
- Mark, Leeds
Common Market - what Common Market? Ripped off again - time to get out.
- Sp, Southampton
I also liked this contribution on the Daily Mail site:
Never mind booze and fags, I can't think of anything that is cheaper here than on the continent - except perhaps wages.
- James P, Canterbury Kent
I guess as a Daily Mail reader he also believes that the country is being "swamped" with economic migrants from the former Eastern European states now in the EU - presumably being attracted by the terrible conditions, low wages, and high prices in the UK
I was surprised that the BBC had initially left their forum on this topic reactively moderated - because with a bit of provocation from a poster claiming to come from Belgium it didn't take long for the Brits to rally round and start bringing up the one topic that Brits alone specialise in when talking about Europe - the Second World War
If only we'd left you to the mercy of the German army.
Kev Sutton, Stoke, United Kingdom
I see this morning that the Have Your Say in question is now fully moderated, and that "Watch Your Mouth" has caught all of the trolling.
Occasionally yesterday there would be a lone sane voice in the anti-European diatribes - even if their name was unpronouncable
Let's take a sober look at this comment from Chris J Green: "No one can be suprised at this ruling. Once again the EU are controlling us here in the UK."
This pretty much sums up the ignorance in most of the Europhobe responses.
The ruling has the opposite effect. It is actually a victory for anti-EU people, because it says that the setting of excise duties are a matter for national governments, not the EU. That is, the argument about how much tax levels is with the UK government, not EU
asefvasdv adfbadfb, Purley, United Kingdom
Of course, it is no wonder that this state of ignorance about the scope and relationship of the different European institutions exists in the public mind in the UK. After all, the Daily Mail could have portrayed this decision as a victory for the right of sovereign nation states to set their own rates of customs taxation, and explained that the decision of the European Court was one that defended Britain against the threat of harmonised taxation from Brussels. Instead they chose the headline "Euro judges block cheap online booze"
It is worth noting that if you are ever reading a story about how Brussels is imposing some ridiculous legislation or other on the British you can check up how accurate the reporting is in the Euromyths section of the European Comission's UK site. It describes its function as:
The European Commission's Press Office in London monitors the British press's highly distorted coverage of the European Union. Euromyths are scare stories based on hearsay, rumours and half-truths, many of which have been repeated so often that they have become accepted truths within the public and media consciousness. The A-Z that follows is often ridiculous and sometimes amusing. But the serious question here is about the journalistic integrity of a press that denies the British public the truth about the policies and institutions of the European Union.
Here is where you find out the background on some of the stories that have generated press hysteria in the UK over straight cucumbers and bananas, covered up barmaids, Mother Christmas, and banning bright British smiles.