Ruth's Diary


I'm pissed! >(

Oh and now I have to explain why. This is just how I'm feeling after watching this week's 'The Network' on Euronews, which you can watch on their website if you don't catch it during the week. 'The Network' is an interesting twist on the televised group debate, in which there's always 3 guests discussing a topic of the week, each one gets their turn to answer but must do it in 25 seconds.

The topic of this episode was the plans of the European Parliament to introduce a segment into the National Curriculum of each of its members to teach the history and function of the EU as a whole, that way its citizens can better understand the EU and its function in global politics, as well as have the ability to have a proper debate about it. The three guests brought in to discuss the pros and cons (or even its necessity) were: Doris Pack (MEP from Germany and a member of the Education Committee - basically one of the people who suggested this), Jonathan Even-Zohar (from France, also from the European Association of History Educators - basically the non-politically motivated expert) and William Dartmouth (the UKIP member and MEP - basically the obligatory Eurosceptic to give the impression that 'The Network' is impartial). Despite my comment on the channel's unwillingness to criticise the EU, the show's host, Chris Burns, was actually very good at enforcing the rules and making sure everyone got their time to speak.

Now at the inevitable point that Doris and William take pot-shots at each other, William says (or shouts, since he was interrupting Doris): "I'm British and you're German. (Both talk at the same time.) You're very much German, actually, because're trying to impose your views on other people."


Is it any wonder that everyone reacted as if it was awkward? Doris uttered in shock: "My God". Well done William Dartmouth, I hope you're proud of yourself. By saying that, you've offended me, everyone in the British German minority, everyone in Germany including the German Eurosceptics (they're not that vocal but they're there) and everyone in Britain! Especially those my age because no one thinks of the Germans that way any more. And frankly, you just embarrassed yourself. With that quote, you've sealed the reputation of UKIP as a party of xenophobic douchebags who: a) can't let go of the fact that Britain lost its empire a long time ago and: b) refuses to believe Britain is no longer a world power. So UKIP is basically a party who refuses to even consider it necessary for Britain to lose sovereignty to anyone at all. And the sad thing is, I know not everyone in UKIP is like that, Doris even knows that. When taking her turn to answer the stated question, she stated her good relationship with Emma McClarken (I think that's how it's spelt?) who happens to be the biggest critic of this new education proposal.

Oh, speaking of taking turns, guess which guest was the most willing to interrupt other people when speaking, instead of quietly waiting his turn like the other two? That's right, William Dartmouth again. (Although Doris did try to start answering too early towards the end.) To any European watching this episode of 'The Network', they would get the impression that Brits are loud, rude, far too eager to interrupt and arrogant. Which is honestly, not too far from the truth. But the point I want to raise is that this is the antithesis to what the British Right pride themselves on having: good manners. I have to also quickly point out that he referred to Jonathan as "the Frenchman". This doesn't help any with his already terrible image but it was very clear that William had simply forgotten Jonathan's name (no offence meant).

I wish I could actually discuss the issues and points raised in this debate, since the topic was an interesting and relevant one, but I'm still too pissed off to properly think. William Dartmouth, you make me ashamed to have any English blood in me whatsoever.

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