I wonder how many other Eurorealists have, like me, attempted to take part in online debates regarding the issues surrounding the EU, particularly on those forums attached to articles on the BBC website.
The depth of ignorance displayed by the apologists for the EU is truly terrifying. They seem to have no idea about the realities of the organisation but live in a fantasy world where their vision of the EU is the reality and all the problems highlighted by those such as ourselves are either totally ignored, or else brushed aside as of no consequence, while their knowledge of the history of the European project is sparse, and usually wrong.
There are the usual crop of conspiracy theorists, whose main targets seem to be the USA or some sort of shadowy bodies whose machinations demand that the EU be destroyed. However the worst are those who have no idea how to conduct a debate and think that subjecting their opponents to personal abuse is the way to prove that their side of the argument is correct. According to them we are fascists, xenophobes or just plain stupid and they refuse to accept that the disasters being visited upon the peoples of Southern Europe are in anyway proof of the failures of the whole project. It is instructive to note the names under which they choose to write, as these generally reflect their world view. I just use my real name.
All this proves that those who believe that the Internet represents a step forward in democracy are deceiving themselves as it merely allows those who once would have been restricted to writing to the newspapers in green ink or yelling abuse on street corners to have a whole new avenue for broadcasting their uninformed and frequently aggressive opinions to the world. This is not confined to the issue of the EU as I have seen really poisonous postings on many matters, most of which would once have never been allowed under libel laws.
Anyone who reads 'From the message boards' in each issue of Private Eye will recognise how true is their lampooning of these forums.