Dan Hannan has pointed out recently a number of times how it seems to be that those who favour ever deeper European integration are perceived as 'nice' whilst those who oppose it are perceived as 'nasty'. This attitude to apostates carries itself through no matter the empirical evidence. No matter how gentle, reasoned and indeed reasonable one may be holding contrary opinions are beyond the pale, whilst no matter how vile the calumny, if it is uttered by those who hold fast to the faith, it is brushed off as nothing. (see the YouTube video below)
So imagine my delight, surprise and yes anger when at the bar last night, as I was buying a round, those I was drinking with called over and told me that somebody had stuck something to my back. Below is the picture illustrated.
Now this is not something that has happened to me since I was doing my 'O' levels but it is a symptom of what we are talking about. I looked around the bar and the average age must have been 30-35. We are not talking children here. We are talking about the pub nearest to the European Parliament. Its clientele is a mixture of political staff, commission and other institutional officials, lobbyists and a smattering of journalists and other assorted Brussels' flotsam and jetsam.
The message is clear. To whoever stuck it to my back, I am a Nazi transvestite, (with it must be said a remarkably good body - Tim Curry eat you heart out). What it makes plain to me is that rational debate is not of much value, and my opinions are so far beyond the pale as to be ignored. After all nobody even bothers to debate with a Nazi. Their views and opinions can be dismissed out of hand as unworthy of consideration. Basic facts such as my belief system being one of individual freedom rather than state socialism is neither here nor there, I am as a Eurosceptic not to be accepted as a moral equal in any way. I am dismissible, not merely that but I am also a priori evil.
I guess I should be flattered by the fact that somebody bothered to find a photo of me scribble on a moustache, glue it to a club flyer and lie in wait for me. I must have made somebody uncomfortable.
But rational, empirical debate in Brussels? I am obviously in the wrong town.