Richard North, 28/01/2013
Thorbjørn Jagland, former prime minister of Norway, is the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee – which recently awarded of the prize to the EU. He is also the Secretary General for the Council of Europe.
By any measure, he is not exactly an impartial commentator on the EEA – as this paper makes clear. He is on the record as an active advocate of Norwegian membership of the EU, and author of “Ten Theses on the EU and Norway”, in late 2003, containing arguments for Norwegian membership as soon as possible.
Asking him, therefore, for his views on the utility of Britain leaving the European Union and adopting the Norway Option of EEA membership is about as productive as would have been interviewing Adolf Hitler in 1936 about the positive contribution of Jews to German civil society.
What then is the point of Dermot Murnaghan of Sky News interviewing the man? What possible value to the debate does he offer, especially when the man is lying through his teeth, declaring, “We don’t have any influence on the rules that affect us”?