Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity


  1. It’s just a quick translation that I have made, not in best English but much better to understand the automatic translation.

    It’s a nosemonkey, a monkey with a huge nose, that greets you at the blog of James Clive Matthews. Is this an indication to the flair of this London-based writer whose passion is the European question and whose Nickname is “Nosemonkey” (proboscis, monkey with a big nose)? It may be, if you judge him by the long list of nominations for Best Blog that his site with its mysterious and somehow ridiculous name “Nosemonkey’s Eutopia” (which translated into French would be: « UEtopie d’un singe à gros nez ») has won.

    You don’t have to stop there, because its tone is rather serious, embellished with some British irony. “When I started my blog, in 2003, I had called it “Europhobia”. I find the Europhobes a bit up the pole: They exaggerate the smallest issues in order to justify their mistrust, James Clive Matthews is telling. But by talking a lot about the EU, the people were taking me more and more seriously. That’s why I told myself to also take me seriously and to change the name of the blog, which was a little confusing.”

    What is driving him crazy: The “Euromyths” put forward by the eurosceptics. The most famous among these, he writes in a recent entry, is the infamous myth of the “straight banana” which fills the tabloids for several years now (titling: Brussels forbids the straight bananas”). Yes, the level of detailedness of these regulations is stupid, which is why the Commission is going to dismiss them. But we continue to hear the people scandalising regulations that will soon cease to exist.”

    “In search of a European identity”, is “Nosemonkey” a convinced Europhile?

    “I am a moderate and a critical pro-European. But the idea that the EU represents intriguing than the reality that surrounds it.”

    “In search of a European identity” is written as a subtitle of his blog. “I feel British, he specifies, but I have German and French ancestors. I therefore ask myself about my identity. And I think the EU asks itself about its role and its function”.

    He is also criticising his own leaders whose animosity towards Europe he regrets. He therefore got angry about the recent replacement of Peter Mandelson by Catherine Ashton as EU Trade Commissioner. “Her only qualification for this function seems to be her title of Baroness of Upholland – maybe Gordon thought that this was linked to the Netherlands? (…) You cannot nominate someone unknown for such an important post. Brown has again reduced Britain’s influence in Europe.”

    This Europhile is isolated in a blogosphere that is massively eurosceptic, or even Europhobe, but this does not scare him. In the end, isn’t the nosemonkey sitting on top of his blog’s webpage a protected species?

    • Ta for that! It still amazes (and annoys) me how much these automatic translation tools struggle sometimes. Especially between languages as similar as English and French. Still, better than nothing…