In this fascinating account of the euro debate (front page splash in the Spectator), Peter Oborne and Frances Weaver analyse the deeply unpleasant ridicule and smear tactics used against eurosceptics, whose views have since been vindicated. They:
recall the errors, falsehoods and libels uttered by the advocates of the single currency by politicians including Danny Alexander, Paddy Ashdown, Tony Blair, Ken Clarke, Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Peter Mandelson and Chris Patten and journalists including David Aaronovitch, Oonagh Blackman, Diane Coyle, Andrew Gowers, Johann Hari, Will Hutton, Philip Stephens and Hugo Young
show how institutions such as the BBC, the Financial Times and the CBI surrendered any pretence of impartiality in their reporting of the euro
explain the lessons which must be learnt as the UK enters a defining stage in the debate over its relationship with the EU
As Peter Jay writes in the Foreword: “This book tells the most recent chapter in that story with a clear eye, sparing few blushes and sketching with rare insight the pathology of mind, a kind of group dementia, which progressively blinded those who should – and could – have known better to the nature of the betrayal they were perpetrating.”
Allister Heath, City AM Editor's Letter: “As Peter Oborne argues in Guilty Men, a brilliant pamphlet for the Centre for Policy Studies, the strategy was to create the impression that those arguing against the euro were mad, racist or xenophobic. This moral and cultural bullying almost succeeded. It is high time that those who got it so wrong hid their heads in shame – and that business and the City makes sure it never again backs these kinds of economically irrational, corporatist and undemocratic projects.”
Today programme: Peter Oborne vs. Denis Macshane discussing the way the euro debate was framed. Macshane: “you won, we lost.” Oborne: “William Hague warned about it, Margaret Thatcher warned about it and they were treated by the BBC, by the Financial Times as mad.