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Peter Rhodes on an early Santa, a shameful slogan and three EU lies which may be true

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

AFTER my item on teachers who snaffled chocolate bars from small boys in ye olden days, a reader fondly recalls his former maths teacher who knew which boys smoked. He routinely frisked them for cigarettes and, once in the corridor, would remove the filter tips for a full-strength smoke. I dare say he is now in a better place.

ACCORDING to the Remoaners, there are three great lies spread by Brexiteers about the risks of remaining in the European Union. The first is that Turkey may join the EU. The second is that the EU is turning into an empire. The third is that the EU will one day have its own army.

THESE alleged whoppers are denounced as black propaganda, with the assurance that any such moves could be halted by Britain using its veto. But as I reported a few weeks ago, the BBC report from March 2016 confirming Turkey's EU aspirations has never been denied and is still available online. As for the EU's imperial destiny, the European Parliament's Brexit representative, Guy Verhofstadt declared only a few days ago: "The world of tomorrow is a world of empires." Finally, who says there's no chance of an EU army? Certainly not the EU's new foreign-affairs supremo, Josep Borrell who boldly announced this week that the EU must have more troops and "learn to use the language of power."

STILL,we've always got that veto, haven't we? Well, maybe not. David Cameron recalls in his newly published memoirs how all the other EU nations signed up to a euro treaty in 2011, after Britain tried to veto it. Cameron - and the UK's precious veto - were simply ignored and bypassed.

BEST news of the week was John Hay announcing that his package-trip firm, Hays Travel, has bought 550 branches of the defunct Thomas Cook empire and hopes to re-employ the 2,500 Cook staff. All those workers who feared being jobless in the festive season have a lifeline. I'm sure it's a hard-headed business decision but as he spread the news, John Hay, who by all accounts is a good boss well known for handing out generous bonuses, must have felt like Father Christmas.

BREXIT may divide us but I bet most of us are united in deploring the Leave.EU group's advert showing Angela Merkel with the slogan: "We didn't win two world wars to be pushed around by a Kraut." The words tell us more about the writer than about the EU.

THE giveaway word is "kraut." In the two world wars, British soldiers referred to Germans as Huns, Fritz, Jerries and occasionally Bosche. Kraut is an Americanism.The Leave.EU writer may or may not be a racist but he's certainly a prat. I'm guessing he never fought the Germans, wouldn't know one end of a Lee-Enfield from another and, like so many prats, gets his 20th century history from Hollywood.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world

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