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Richard North, 04/01/2013  


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In "attack dog" mode, Witterings from Witney takes on Open Europe on its own turf, arguing the case on Norwegian "influence". And, by the time WfW had been joined by Boiling Frog, Autonomous Mind, and yours truly, plus the invaluable input of Christina Speight and others, Open Europe had nowhere to go. 

Chief propagandist, Mats Persson has in the past been determined to project Norway as having "virtually no way of influencing the decision-making process [in the EU] to reflect its national interests", but the "team" now has to concede that the country does have "some" influence, although the boys and girls insist it is "marginal".

What they cannot do, however – and make no attempt at doing – is to address the issue of Norway's membership of a multiplicity of international organisations, which give it a huge amount of influence, and enable it largely to dictate EU laws, at a global and regional level.

Thus, even by withholding posts through its pre-moderation system, Open Europe cannot win the debate on its own blog, then failing to respond to the charge that it is the EU's lapdog.

Given that you would be hard put to discern any fundamental differences between the European Movement and Open Europe, the charge is not at all misplaced, especially when the europhile Prospect Magazine gives it the accolade of "2012 International Affairs think tank of the year", while sharing exactly the same ill-informed view on Norway.

Given how attractive the "Norwegian option" is, at least in providing a refuge for the UK while it makes up its mind how to reorder its relationships with EU member states, one can quite see how necessary it is for the europhiles to pour cold water on the idea. But Open Europe should be different. It has masqueraded as a eurosceptic organisation. For it now to join in the fray supporting the EU is unforgivable. 

Hunting as a pack, though, a quartet of bloggers and others has exposed the organisation for what it is, nothing more than a rather sad apologist for the EU that cannot even stand up its own arguments when challenged.

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