The strange death of left-wing Euroscepticism

How did being a decent leftie come to mean sneering at Eurosceptics where it used to mean being one? Partly it’s about the politics of fear. Lonely, lost leftists, now more likely to fear ordinary people and their passions than want to stir them up, are desperate to dodge any kind of political and institutional upset, because who knows what would happen as a result. And so they cling to Brussels, viewing it as the political glue of a continent they fear would otherwise be rent asunder by conflict and prejudice and stupidity. There’s also a strong whiff of virtue signalling. Being pro-EU is sometimes a pretty thoughtless stance, designed to show you’re Good and Cosmopolitan and not like those fat blokes with tattoos who pronounce England with three syllables. It’s like wearing a ribbon.

But more fundamentally, the strange death of left-wing Euroscepticism speaks to the left’s abandonment of the ideal of democracy.

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