Of scaremongers and Panglossians

Iain Duncan Smith has been in the headlines today, following a piece in the Daily Mail in which he made the all too familiar accusation that those campaigning to stay in the EU are guilty of scaremongering.

The “acrimonious” conduct of the UK’s EU Remain campaign risks damaging the government beyond the June referendum, Iain Duncan Smith has warned.

He said those making “desperate and unsubstantiated” claims about EU exit risked damaging their own integrity.

To be fair, Duncan Smith is well qualified to comment on this subject, having a great deal of experience of making desperate and unsubstantiated claims which damage the speaker’s integrity. Still, his comments did cause my eyebrows to rise somewhat given that Eurosceptics have hardly been averse to scaremongering themselves in the past. Remember those stories about how we were going to be swamped by Romanians and Bulgarians, which turned out to be nonsense? Or numerous reports of how dastardly EU regulations were outlawing insufficiently straight cucumbers, banning children from blowing up balloons or preventing us from composting tea bags, etc. ad nauseam?

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