The EU is a 1950s solution to a 1930s problem. In an age which places a premium on responsiveness, litheness and deregulation, Europe is a clumsy, tottering mammoth. Its share of world GDP has halved in the past 40 years and will halve again in the next 20. Its demographic outlook is dire. Yet Brussels seems bent on intensifying all the policies that have brought it to its present crisis: higher social costs, more intrusive employment laws, tax harmonisation, the centralisation of power.
None of which shakes metropolitan commentators out of their conviction that wanting to leave the EU is reactionary rather than progressive. To pluck an example more or less at random, Rachel Sylvester in today’s Times writes of “a strain in the Conservative Party that shares with UKIP a hostility to modernity in all its manifestations”.
Get with the beat, daddio! There is nothing modern about the EU with its prices and incomes policies, its agrarian tariffs, its grants to heavy industries, its swollen bureaucracy, its five-year plans, its contempt for public opinion.
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Many journalists and commentators are either leftist or at least sympathetic to "progressive" liberal and socialist policies. That is probably one reason why they are blind to the reality that the European Union long ago is past its best before date.