By Matthew Barrett
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Will Hutton's column in the Observer today must be a collector's item: it's the first time I've seen someone praise the European project so much in months:
"A curious thing happened last week. European governments rose to the occasion. The euro, confidently predicted by almost every British analyst and commentator to be on the point of collapse, survived. Instead, an effective package was put together that for the time being saved the day. It is almost certain that there will be more dramas and more financial muscle needed before the crisis is over, but now it is at last obvious that European governments can and will do what it takes to keep the single currency alive. Pro-Europeans have something to cheer about."
Hutton then adds the standard Europhile implication – those who don't favour a single European currency don't like European people:
"Writing as somebody well disposed towards Europe and fellow Europeans…"
This is, of course, complete nonsense. Daniel Hannan has refuted the "Eurosceptics are anti-European (and much worse terms)" sort of attack fairly regularly and articulately. Hutton moves on to characterise non-Europhiles:
"Nobody wants to hear this in Britain. Instead, there is an imagined nirvana of floating exchange rates, completely deregulated labour markets, low tax and a minimal state that will deliver the alchemy of capitalist prosperity and to which Europe stands opposed."
It's a real tour-de-force of Europhile myths and stereotypes.