I’m not a ‘phobe’ – one who fears.
I’m an opponent – one who resists.
The ancient Greek for ‘opponent’ is POLEMIOS.
That makes me a Europolemicist, and my opinions Europolemic.
By calling us ‘Phobes’, the pro-EU section of the debate hopes to belittle us and make it appear that we all suffer from an ailment similar to agoraphobia ( fear of open spaces), or arachnaphobia (fear of spiders). On the contrary, we don’t wish to be put to bed and given counselling. We want to stop Britain from being subsumed in the EU, and we are fighting against the pointless destruction of European democracy.
A Phobe is someone incapacitated by their mental state. I can assure the members of the pro-EU faction that we are very far from incapacitated. We intend to actively resist. Hence the need for a new and more accurate term. Polemic is what we are, not Phobic.
As for the term ‘Europhile’, it implies a great love and fondness for the European Union. If the pro-EU were in reality so ecstatic, they would be able to give speeches not attacking those who are against the EU as Phobes, but inspiring the love they feel so strongly into the hearts of others.
But they never advocate the EU in positive terms. They merely try to dismantle the efforts of those who would resist by deception, and discourage them by name-calling. I see and feel no love from the likes of Malcolm Rifkind. I see someone who has got stuck inside the system, and cannot see any way out.
It’s as if he’s been programmed, brain-washed and is only able to see one side of the argument. He and his ilk show no love or happiness. They are just lodged in the place they are at, and are immovable. The term which suggests itself to me, for people like Malcolm Rifkind, Ken Clarke and others is ‘Eurocast’.
If they insist on using the word ‘europhile’ despite its inappropriateness, you could, if you wished omit the ‘h’. In many languages p and f are interchangeable, as they are here for example in the Philippines where I am writing.
Why not modernise the terminology of this debate, and make it more accessible around the globe? The word Europile would be pronouncable by billions more people.
But in preference, we need new terms. Let’s be either ‘eurocast’ or ‘europolemic’. It sounds much more grown-up. We’re either lodged inside the system, or we’re resisting.
‘Sceptic’ and ‘phobic’ are too adolescent and I’m afraid to say, soooooooooooo…..Malcolm Rifkind.