Thursday, 19 June 2008

Gallimaufry

What a great word. I have to say that I've never heard it before but I was very quickly reaching for my dictionary on reading Timothy Garton Ash's comment piece in the Guardian this morning.

I am now going to use it at every possible opportunity over the next few days before it bores me immensely. It will then join the list of other words that I have over-enthused over, used, and then dumped. Gallimaufry will join the ranks of scintilla, cornucopia, ostensible and so on. In fact, I'm a bit bored of it already- it might not last to the third date.

Anyway, back to Garton Ash's piece. His argument is that the EU is basically going to have wing it following the Irish 'no.' Well, I'm sure that's the case. But why not argue the case rather than simply going into institutional deal-making? Why don't pro-Europeans get out there and say, 'no, this is not a conspiracy, this is not about centralisation, this is a good Treaty that will make the EU more effective and democratic. That means that it will be in a better position to make us all more prosperous and more secure AND give us more of a say over our societies. It puts power back into our own hands.'

Let's do what is necessary to reassure people about what may be substantive concerns (in fact, why on earth wasn't it done before the referendum?) Beyond that, let's not get all defensive. Let's argue the case in a language that people can relate to. The EU is too important for it simply to become a lightning rod for political discontent.

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