The pro-euro campaign Britain in Europe has a list of 60 ‘anti-European’ organisations on its website and it makes for interesting reading.
As BiE point out it is a real alphabets soup, including the British Housewifes’ League and the spectacularly-named All Party Alliance Against Brussels (which naturally has no party support) but what is more interesting are the harder ideological opponents of the EU. The Libertarian Alliance, which includes Samizdata blogger Brian Micklethwait and another blogger David Farrer are named and of course more mainstream Euro-sceptic and nationalist conservative organisations are also present on the list.
In the same camp on the EU issue are the Communist Party of Britain (and the Communist Party of Britain Marxist-Leninist), the (Trotskyist) Socialist Alliance and Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party – I can’t describe how much I’m looking forward to the eventual referendum on the euro just to see these lot all sharing a platform with Nigel Lawson and everyone to the right of him.
Of course you can overplay the ‘unholy alliance’ angle. The ultra-left and the right are opposed to the EU for entirely different reasons. On the Red Pepper mailing list the other day one ultra-left contributor described the EU as being a ‘neo-liberal capitalist club’, yet the right are against the EU precisely because it isn’t such a free-market paradise.
But sometimes the single issue is enough of a bond to cross the ideological divide. According to BiE, one member of the Libertarian Alliance, Dr Sean Gabb, has backed Scargill’s party because “Mr Scargill is a patriot who has always campaigned against membership of the European Union”.
All in all it is a pretty effective piece of propaganda from the Britain in Europe people.
I mean if Nationalists, Conservatives, Libertarians, Trotskyists, Stalinists, Scargillites and Organised Housewifery are all opposed to the EU, is it not difficult to avoid concluding that Brussels must be doing something right?