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My friend Alistair works in a hardware store here in Scotland and posted me this gem this evening…
By late afternoon we the workers had forgotten politics and were back just doing the job. A customer produced a mercury thermometer. I looked at it and said “The EU are trying to ban these!”
Then I caught the look in his eye, pure undiluted glee. “Not any more they’re not!” and we both fell about ourselves laughing.
We shouldn’t gloat, because it is not in our character to do so and regardless of the headlines, the closeness of the result only illustrates the deep divisions across the UK.
…but you’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh and that is the best way of healing those divisions.
In the last month or so I’ve delivered thousands of leaflets, button-holed hundreds of voters and hopefully changed the minds of at least some of them from unsure, or remain to Vote “Leave”. No-one can ever measure the real impact that they’ve had on any campaign because it goes from nil through infinitesimal to negligible.
What matters is the difference that we make in aggregate, across hundreds of constituencies from the Shetland Islands to Gibraltar and that ultimately is now in the hands of the electorate.
I have guided, advised and cajoled, but after I put out my 30 boards at polling stations around Perth and Kinross, between 04:30 and 07:00 hrs tomorrow, that is an end to my roll as a campaigner, my role then becomes that of an official observer for the “Leave” campaign to ensure that the votes people make, both for “Leave” and “Remain” are accurately represented.
I feel somewhat humbled to be quite honest, but I will do my very best to ensure that the genuine will of the people is expressed, even if the vote goes against us. I have no problem becoming a defeated underdog, because I have fought hard for something that I believe in, right or wrong.
One way or another, tomorrow will be a defining moment for Britain, “Leave” or “Remain”…
[Duck and cover perfected - I'm from Gateshead]. It’s neaded at 55 degrees North.
I have been tempted to comment on this many times but my reasons became manifold so let us laser this down to just one. It is not my only by any means but it is, for me, the killer.
EU immigration. Apart from the stats (guesses?) for UK2040 being dragged by Piglet from Eeyore’s arse there is a more fundamental flaw.
All the “Leave” arguments on EU migrants (and Brexit makes not a jot of difference to, say, Syrian asylum seekers) is they strain our services. Schools and hospitals and all that.
No they don’t. I’m not gonna bother with stats on EU teachers and nurses but cut to the chase.
The fatal Brexit flaw is it is Malthusian. It is the idea that people are a strain on the system and not the engine room of it. If that is true then it is not a German engineer or Czech electrician at fault for being here. It is the system that says it is people who are bad and that these islands are over-filled. This an utter myth though true in an artificial sense because we don’t allow the Polish brickies to build more houses. And we don’t because Daily Mail readers don’t want more houses so due to supply and demand their house price would fall.
Sorry, a house is for living in. It should not be something to brag about in terms of rising “value” down the pub.
People do work. Work cascades. The French pharmacist will buy pizza made by an Italian. The Italian will buy a British pair of slacks. And it goes on. And on.
That is how it works.
A vote for leave is a vote for Malthus. It is a vote for a dismal attempt to return to a past that never existed.
On the basis that one lot of second-guess vandalism deserves another, I thought I’d have a look at this. You may have seen the story where someone vandalised a pro-leave poster on the underground today. So let’s take a look.
“CRISIS – Immigration is out of control” – “Is it? The problems in the middle east are out of control!”
Well it’s certainly true that the middle east is by far, a more crisis-ridden crappy dump than even Greece. Just because there is a larger problem somewhere else in the world, it in no way invalidates the reality that EU immigration to the UK cannot be controlled and is therefore, by definition, out of control.
“AFTER – open borders do not work” – “I think they do. I quite like a trip to France/Spain/Italy without having to worry about a visa.”
Likewise, but that is not an argument which suggests open borders can co-exist with a comparatively generous welfare system and free at the point of use healthcare. Neither does it explain how unpredictable and often wildly under-estimated immigrant numbers can be adequately catered for in terms of infrastructure.
“CRISIS – The eurozone has failed” – “Define failed? If by still operating and growing, while being the second biggest economy and the ability to help millions of refugees – yeah, it’s failed.”
How about “being unable to provide employment for millions of its own people, especially in Southern Europe where youth unemployment is touching 50% (sic). Having banks on the verge of collapse, having stagnant or collapsing economies. That’s a pretty gigantic failure. Whilst it’s true the EU is still a trade block of size, its relative position in the world is diminishing and the whole concept of a regional trade block in a digital connected world is very analogue.
“AFTER – The EU is a diminishing trade power in the world” – “Where did you head this crap? It’s the second biggest economy in the world”
It’s true the IMF think so on an absolute GDP basis, but if you look at GDP per capita, there’s not an EU country in the top six. Furthermore, current position is not indicative of movement or direction of travel which is the claim.
“CRISIS – We are losing more and more of our powers” – “12% of your laws come from the EU not the 60% Boris claimed! These laws protect our farmers and the most vulnerable.”
It of course depends on what you count as a law, but I found a 2010 study from the house of commons library saying it was possible to justify any figure between 15% and 50%. Bear in mind the Lisbon treaty didn’t become enforceable in the UK until December 2009 and we could reasonably conclude that number may have been subject to upward pressure. I doubt you could find two farmers with good things to say about the CAP and I doubt the graffiti artist was a farmer. As regards the most vulnerable, you wonder how VAT on heating bills helps the vulnerable elderly during a cold snap. And to be honest, even 12% of our laws being imposed by a supranational, undemocratic, unaccountable plutocracy, is 12% too many.
So all things considered, I think our vandal might need a re-think
I originally copied out this quote intending to post it earlier in the week, but in light of (Commission) President Junckers’ invitiation to Boris to go and see how the EU works, it seems even more apposite now. This is how it works:
The mass of technical committees co-ordinated by the [Commission's] Directorates General may eventually feed their proposals up to the next layer in the hierarchy, the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC), which again joins together officials representing all the governments with officially accredited experts and other representatives from the various countries. From there they go to another body of officials, COREPER, or the Committee of Permanent Representatives of each member state, where the directive or regulation is agreed in its final form. Only then may there finally be a chance for elected politicians to pronounce on what has emerged from all these layers of bureaucracy, if a particular proposal is so contentious that it needs to be argued over in one of the endless meetings of the Council of Ministers.
But even here we are only talking about those types of legislation which in theory at least are decided by the Council of Ministers, such as Council Directives which must be implemented or “transposed” by each government into the law of its own country. The Council also issues Regulations, which differ from Directives in that they immediately become law throughout the Community and have to be enforced as they stand. There are also Council Decisions which apply as law only to some specific local situation; and other lesser varieties of law-making such as Council Recommendations, Opinions, and Resolutions.
On the other hand, the same categories of legislation can also be produced by the Commission itself. At least Commission Directives again have to be implemented individually by each state. But Commission Regulations, which as Regulations pass immediately into law binding throughout the Community, are produced by committees of officials meeting in Brussels and may not require any involvement by elected politicians at all. These official edicts represent the purest distillation of rule by bureaucracy imaginable. And in recent years, as we shall see, the Commission Regulation system has become the largest and fastest-growing of all the types of legislation the System employs.
- Booker and North, The Castle of Lies, 1996.
Show of hands: who has even heard of ECOSOC and COREPER before? Yet these are the bodies, comprising appointed bureaucrats, “experts”, and unelected “representatives”, that create much of the law that governs us. Most EU laws are never even seen by our elected representatives – any of them, whether in Strasbourg, Westminster, or any of its subsidiaries – let alone debated or altered.
This is why I saw the 2014 referendum as a dangerous sideshow. No matter what you think of the democratic credentials of Westminster, this is clearly, and quite deliberately, anti-democratic. It has to stop.
Rather than my usual stance of being outside the tent pissing in, I took the decision to actively work on behalf of the “Leave” campaign. The regional co-ordinator dropped off the above boxes of leaflets this afternoon, all that is left to me is to begin pounding the pavements of Perth dropping leaflets in peoples letterboxes and avoiding what postmen call “ankle biters” (in reference to the specific variant of small yapping dog that often plagues the letter carrying and leaflet business)
Our first formal get together is on Saturday morning at 10:30 when we will be setting up stall in the high street and fighting the good fight. Strangely enough, this is the first time in the political process that I’ve found something worth fighting for, probably because it is a straight-forward argument with quite clear boundaries and pro’s / con’s.
I’m actually looking forward to this…
Vote “Leave” on June 23rd.
* – For those wishing to help, contact http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/ please note that other political viewpoints on the EU Referendum do exist, just Google “Project Fear” for horrific tales of how BRExit will cause fire and brimstone to come down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
** – According to the Daily Mail voting “Leave” may increase or decrease house prices.
After the Austrian Presidential election the press world wide, with a few scattered exceptions, were reporting the result as pretty much 50/50, with the postal votes being needed before the final results could be known – but the results were not 50/50 at that point.
The actual figures after the 86% of the vote cast on the day were counted were 48.1 for the Greens, and 51.9 for the Freedom Party. Now, that is a pretty decisive result to my mind, and no close run thing. In order for the postal votes, 14% of total votes cast, to overcome and reverse the result it would require them to break roughly 80/20 in favour of the openly Austria hating, far left and anti-humanist Green candidate…
Now, one would have thought that would be impossible, but they did though.
I would just like to point out, that the Freedom Party is centre right, not the rather hysterical far right it is being painted. Nationalist, true, but liberal and democratic with it.
Finally, what is this with an appointed member of the nomenclatura, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, seeking to dictate who may or may not speak on behalf of the Austrian people?
One feels they are not even trying to hide their aims any more.
Was won by Ukraine. The song was poor by even Eurovision standards but it won… From a poor lot but I went for Armenia.
There are reasons for that. That was daring attire. OK, the Aussie entry was better but a little demure for me and whilst they had the best song and singer the Armenian lit my candle more.
Ukraine deserved it because whilst there is a women wearing next to nothing there is also the antics of Vlad the Bad. Here is the winner…
Mr Putin. You don’t make yourself generally popular by invading other countries.
I must admit to being a little worried by “BRExit – The Movie” as it had the potential to be little more than a UKIP Party Political Broadcast, but not a bit of it, Martin Durkin has managed to pack his argument against the EU with a combination of history, informative statistics and loaded it with exactly the sort of detail that will appeal to the man (or woman) on the street.
By avoiding the duller aspects of sovereignty and looking at how much the EU costs the average UK resident in their weekly shop, their wage packet and their tax bill because of the “dead hand of EU bureaucracy“, Martin has focussed on the heart of the debate on two issues:
- 1. Would we be better off in or out of the EU?
- 2. What would those futures look like (emphasising the good of leaving more than the downsides of remaining)
The movie itself is both upbeat and pithy, setting an exceptional contrast against David Cameron’s “Project Fear“. I watched the entirety of it in a single sitting and found myself pleasantly surprised and to a certain extent uplifted.
If nothing else, it is a clear articulation as to why we should vote “Leave” on June 23rd.
That is Alexandra Brendlova. (yes, “Carry On fans it is somewhat similar to “bendover”). She is a Czech model. A model advertising beer… Well who’d thunk that one up. But this is no ordinary beer… Oh, no.
Imagine woman of your dreams, your object of desire. Her charm, her sensuality, her passion… Try her taste, feel her smell, hear her voice… Imagine her massaging you passionately and whispering into your ear everything you want. Now free your fantasies and imagine that with a magic wand you can close it in one bottle of beer. The golden drink brewed with her lure and grace and flavored with instincts. Imagine the beer which every sip is a randez-vous with this hot woman of your dreams… she hugs you and kiss you gently, looking straight into your eyes… How much would you give for that beer?
Read the whole thing. It’s sort of inverse beer-googles. Thank you Poland and Czechia! It is a reason to vote “in”. Sorry my innuendometer is stuck at FSD. I must try harder.
Can you imagine the meeting with the bank manager to fund this?
“We want 400,000 Zloty and access to a Czech model’s vagina.”
“The dream of us all…”
If there is a point to this (and there isn’t) this frivolity (and it is obviously a novelty product) it is a sheer celebration of the freedoms these nations were for so long denied. There is something glorious in this. It also, in a sense, shows these are not the huddled-masses the Daily Mail thinks are overwhelming our NHS etc. These are modern, vibrant countries. I know because I been to them several times. I doubt the average Daily Mail reader has and quite frankly a bit Neville Chamberlain. “A far away country of which we know little”. Nev, me old China I can get to Prague cheaper than the train to London. Whether I sample vagina ales is another matter.
Here endeth the lesson.
Nearly. An awful lot of immigrants to the UK from Central and Eastern Europe are highly skilled. How exactly is that harmful? How precisely can an Estonian nurse be seen as a drain on the NHS? When the NHS is short of nurses. Until we get out of the rut of thinking every human is a drag and not a benefit we will languish with 0.1% economic growth.
We didn’t object when Poles and Czechs (and many others) flew Spitfires in 1940 did we?
Well some of us (much later) did…
These are long-standing friends and allies The idea they are moochers is ludicrous. Who was it who did a “Ride of the Rohirrim” at Vienna in 1683? Where did the only person to ever win Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry come from and who laid my mum’s patio?
That is an epic fail even by BNP standards. Look closely at the nose.
And I still haven’t seen the big tent.
The government of Sweden contains environmentally concerned, Jew hating socialists, or, at least, we know it did it did until he resigned a couple of days ago. As a bye-the-bye, who believes this bloke was the only one?
And no, I truly have no time to piss away pandering to those jokers who claim they don’t dislike Jews, only Zionism(ists).
Admittedly, he resigned after having posted video in which he equated Israelis Jews to Nazis, but he was comfortable in posting the video in the first place. He saw nothing wrong with it.
So now we find that another, also an environmentally concerned socialist, and deputy Prime Minister no less, is equally comfortable in trivialising 9/11, labelling this deliberate act of hate filled terror ‘an accident’, thereby being an open apologist for totalitarian theocratic mass murder perpetrated against the civilian population of a free and open democracy.
Environmentally concerned Jew hating socialists and apologists for mass murder. In government.
There’s a couple of interesting discussions on the Steam forums about Valve removing the “EU2” pricing tier. Depending on where you lived in Europe, games used to be a different price: EU1 and EU2. Which seems fair enough: the people in richer countries have more disposable income to spend on luxuries like games, and the price those markets can bear is likely to be higher.
But that has come to an end. Understandably, the people who used to benefit from the lower EU2 prices are a bit annoyed. The price of the game in question here (The Talos Principle; highly recommended, by the way) has doubled for them.
Now. Three guesses at who’s to blame.
Moneybags Gabe Newell and his Evil Valve Corporation? Oh, come on, we’re talking about Europe here. Who do you expect?
In its latest plenary session, the European Parliament (EP) adopted the resolution “Towards a Digital Single Market Act” (see press release). The resolution of 19 January 2016 forms the response to the Commission Digital Single Market Strategy (DSM) as announced in last May and pursued ever since.
To be fair, in the individual case of Steam, this doesn’t directly affect us in the UK since we were already in a region to ourselves thanks to retaining Sterling, in which the prices were already comparable to “EU1” anyway (no doubt the Brussels bottom inspectors will be keeping their beady eyes on it to make sure they stay that way). But if you’ve seen surprising changes in prices elsewhere online lately, now you know why.
Note also how it’s still Valve’s fault because they didn’t lower all their prices to “EU2” levels, as if they’re supposed to sacrifice their revenue to the European (pipe-)dream. Yes, maybe increased sales would make up for it to an extent, but, not being a politician, I’m going to assume that they know their market better than I do. And that it’s not anyone else’s job to save them from their mistake if they’re wrong.
It never ceases to amaze me how willing people are to make excuses for megalomaniac politicians. Someone points out to them how this crowd of nobodies has directly harmed their enjoyment of life through its interference, and they still don’t want to break out the tar and feathers. (Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? No doubt they meant well. How dare the people they’re bossing around refuse to enter into the spirit of the thing? Selfish, that’s what they are. Just plain selfish. Give us our cheap stuff, you bastards.)
And this is only a tiny blob of seagull shit on the tip of a very big iceberg indeed. If we don’t vote to leave in June, it’ll be a massive green light for more of this “harmonization” stuff and full steam ahead towards A Country Called Europe.