Tuesday, 28 June 2011

England is to be abolished!

Or so Richard Littlejohn writing in the Mail today would have you believe. Here's the piece of drivel that's his excuse for an article (don't worry, you can follow the link without giving the Daily Mail any user traffic).

In it he brings up the old story that England is to be broken up with parts of it being merged with other European countries. What he's referring to is the Arcmanche region, shown on the map below.

Littlejohn rants and raves and practically froths at the mouth over this attempt to force southern England and northern France into one entity. Just look at the picture above (taken from Littlejohn's article), read the caption: "The new European administrative area". Reading this you could be forgiven for believing everything that Littlejohn says is true. And, as final proof, Littlejohn mentions at the start of the article that this has been denied as a "myth" by the EU and therefore it must be true.

Bullshit. Absolute, fucking bullshit.

Where do I begin pointing out the inaccuracies in this? Right, well, for starters this isn't something new. This story has already been mentioned once by the Mail earlier this year and I remember this same story being used by the Mail and the Telegraph back when I was still doing my GCSEs (so at least four years ago) and the Conservative party complained about it in an official document five years ago. But the story is even older than that. You see, this "new" administrative area was in fact set up in 1996. But, fair play to the Mail, it was re-established in 2005 so you could say it is only five years old. I fail to see how that counts as new though.

Ah, I hear you say, so it's not new, but surely you've just admitted it is an administrative district. Well no. You see, what ArcManche actually is is a network of councils along the coasts of the English Channel. The idea being to promote better relations and to help them work together to boost tourism. After all, my native Sussex is called 1066 country, but William the Conqueror set sail from the northern coast of France - surely that counts as 1066 country as well? Or there are things like the Bayeux tapestry - woven by English Saxons but displayed in Bayeux cathedral in France. Or St Michael's mount - both of them. Twin, off shore islands accessible only by causeway off of southern England and northern France respectively. Each sharing the same name and with an abbey built on them by the same monks in the same style out of the same stone. So obviously there's lots of scope for using that common history to boost tourism. And there are also all these things like cross channel school trips that benefit from councils working together.

But is it an administrative district? No. Because each council is obviously its own administrative district. That's why they're councils in the bleeding first place. And, if you look at the map you can see that some of the councils aren't members and one is only an associate member. So clearly they're not being forced into this at all if they're able to choose not be members in the first place.

In fact, the image which the article uses comes from the main page of the ArcManche website. Right above the image it has the following description of what ArcManche is:
"Arc Manche is a geographical area made up of the British and French territories bordering or in the English Channel. 
Since 2003 the Arc Manche has also become a political project resting on an informal and voluntary network of local authorities who can use the network to share best practices, coordinate initiatives and pull together project ideas to draw in EU funding, 
In October 2005 the Arc Manche Assembly was created to improve the visibility of the network."
Now, Littlejohn also talks about a waste of money. Well, who knows, money might well be being wasted. But counties on the south coast generally rely on tourism for most of their local economies - spending small sums of money to boost tourism doesn't sound like that bad an idea to me. And, let us not forget, this is Richard Littlejohn we're talking about here. A man who is notorious for never fact checking his stories. After all, he once wrote an article complaining about an immigrant gypsy mother that had named her baby Obama. Only, as it turns out, the mother was in fact a cat and Obama was one of six kittens.

So, let me spell it out so clearly that even someone of Littlejohn's limited mental capacity can understand it: This story is not true. It has no basis in fact and is an old, old story which has been recycled on far too many occasions.

I would like to pretend that this is just a one off blip in an otherwise fine newspaper but it's not. The Mail is a rag so terrible and biased that I would be ashamed to wipe my arse with it. All it ever does is spread lies, misinformation and myths. It's sole business strategy depends on shit stirring and scaring/enraging people about evil bogeymen such as immigrants, gypsies, the EU, Labour, feminists, muslims and god knows what else.

As far as I'm concerned Richard Littlejohn is scum. Utter, utter scum. And I'd say so to his face as well. A man like him, who gets paid £250,000 a year for writing bullshit stories about the collapse of Britain from his home in sunny Florida could at least have the decency to fact check his stories before writing them. I did. All it took was googling "arcmanche" and reading the wikipedia article that came up. It only took thirty seconds.

And this is what really pisses me off about Littlejohn. He doesn't fact check because it doesn't matter to him. All he cares about is writing his column to wind people up so that he can keep drawing his fat cheque. He's not a journalist, he's a troll. A professional troll paid to wind people up. And yes, I know he's succeeded in my case but that's only because I saw that the moronic, cretinous fuckers over on ConservativeHome had decided to link to it as though it was a real story.

At times like this I despair at the state of this country, I really do.


  1. Laveen Ladharam28 June 2011 at 13:02

    Interesting post George. Obviously all the swearing doesn't make one a better or a worse man, only makes them seem like the ranting Littlejohn himself. To call someone a 'cunt' is pretty degrading of yourself more than anything else.

    I also remember the article from a few years ago. Whilst I think RL is being a bit Daily-Maily (e.g. talking about Hazel Blears' expenses etc.) I do think that he makes a good point though. Plenty of money spent by the EU is wasted and we, as Britain, lose out. This is the fundamental point that he plays. As this is a 'political' rather than a 'community' project, one will naturally assume the worst and have suspicions. You may not like it, although I remember that for a LibDem, you are rare in that you are a Eurosceptic - and I welcome that.

    Also, I think that the abuse of the Prime Minister by Littlejohn is somewhat simplistic. The EU is more comparable to the Trade Unions of the 1980s. To defeat them, we need to be strong and we need to be prepared. Cameron seems to be laying the ground for this to happen.


  2. Swearing is a way of expressing the depth of my feeling. And, quite frankly, Littlejohn is a cunt. If there ever was a case where that term of abuse was appropriate, Littlejohn is one of them.

    And my point about the money is that it is not necessarily wasted. I don't know how much money is spent, as Littlejohn's figures can't be relied on, but, as their website says:

    "Since 2003 the Arc Manche has also become a political project resting on an informal and voluntary network of local authorities who can use the network to share best practices, coordinate initiatives and pull together project ideas to draw in EU funding"

    Now all of the councils in the arcmanche project are ones where the core of the local economy is tourism with a few other industries such as fishing and of course the income from the various ports on both sides of the channel. So a project where they collaborate and share best practice is a good idea. I'm willing to bet that if this was an internal partnership (such as between councils on both sides of the Welsh border) then you or Littlejohn wouldn't object in the slightest. The only reason the Daily Mail has mentioned this is because it's another opportunity to use the bogeyman of the EU.

    I may be a eurosceptic but I disagree with the EU in logical places and areas - not on the basis of lies, distortion and misinformation peddled by a newspaper that only ever encounters accuracy and honesty by accident.

  3. You're a Eurosceptic and a Liberal Democrat? That's an interesting mix (thus spake the pro-proportional representation Tory)

  4. Yep, I am. Or, to be more accurate, I'm in favour of the european principle but think that, as currently constituted, the EU is undemocratic, unaccountable, wasteful and corrupt.


I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

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