The EU: A Soft Play Area 1984

On the evening of the 19th May an extremely passionate debate was held at the Rendezvous Hotel Skipton. Those present voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU. During the debate, one of the ‘remain’ speakers announced that no one over 70 should be allowed to vote in the referendum as they had no stake in the future. What I really believe he meant though, was that 70 year olds had not been exposed for long enough to pro-euro brainwashing.

After the event one of the ‘remainians’ who attended sent this email:

“Good evening
Well that was really a waste of time! I came to the meeting expecting a reasoned debate and was sorely disappointed. Even if people don’t share your views you can hope that they listen to to yours with a modicum of politeness. Afraid it confirmed all my worst suspicions about the Leavers!”

I chaired the meeting and I was shocked by both the comment of the speaker and the email response. The main complaint of the ‘remainians’ was that people had made up their minds. I fail to see what is wrong with that. The ‘remainians’ clearly were not going to be swayed by the eloquent defence of liberty and democracy by Steven Woolfe MEP, nor by the arguments on the economy and migration presented by Philip Davies MP. Why should the people who attended be expected to be swayed by the case outlined by Robert Sturdy and John Harris? This seems to me typical of the contempt displayed towards ordinary people by the ‘remain’ camp and is at one with the disgraceful comments made by Pat Glass MP who condemned someone as a ‘horrible racist’ simply because he was concerned about migration. The attitude of ‘remain’ can probably best be described in the lines of a poem by Bertolt Brecht. In fairness to Brecht he was writing ironically.

…Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Substitute ‘elites’ for ‘government’ and you have the attitude of the ‘remain’ campaign in a nutshell. People who want to leave the EU are a rampaging tribe, separate from the rest of the community, who aren’t just mistaken but evil or stupid. This was made clear last Monday, when, on the basis of yet another set of fiddled figures David Cameron announced those campaigning to leave the EU weren’t just misjudging the situation, but were immoral. (As David Cameron sent me a begging letter next day, he’s clearly happy enough to take my immoral money.) Moreover, at a recent surgery a ‘remainian’ MP announced to one of his constituents ‘you would have to be stupid to want to leave the EU.’ In other words, if you want to leave the EU you are either bad or thick. Your views are less worthy than those of the inspiring “bright, driven & passionate” pro-EU team. Who are ‘..cross party, international, open, exceptional people.” Unlike the thick, immoral oiks who support Vote Leave, and perhaps shouldn’t have a vote at all, especially if they are over 70.

The ‘remain’ campaign brings to mind a form of politics that I hoped was long dead. The attitude that says people who disagree with you are evil or stupid belongs to the darkest periods of 20th Century history. To understand what I mean we need to go back and examine the ideas behind the great 20th century tyranny of Communism. It rested on three pillars

• Marxist Leninism (the Communist ideology) was scientific, it could not be wrong; therefore, any failure was a failure of implementation not theory. The people who implemented any failed policy were at fault because of either incompetence or ill will.
• All problems had solutions and if the solutions derived from the ideology failed then this failure could not be attributed to the ideology.
• No Activity was non-political; therefore, there could be no limitations on the political sphere.

The first and second are relevant to the attitude of the ‘remain’ camp in the EU referendum. Let’s take the first, first; the EU cannot be wrong, it’s success is inevitable, so failures like the Euro are deemed to be the fault of the suffering people of Greece, Spain and Portugal, not the EU institutions administered by bureaucrats who have a doctrine of infallibility the Pope would envy. This leads inevitably to the second, all problems have an EU solution and if the EU solution fails this cannot be attributed to the EU. Therefore, if people are hostile to the EU, it is not the EU’s fault. It is because those people are stupid or immoral. Hence, you have a ‘remainian’ wanting to ban older people (who are more likely to be leavers) from voting; an MP telling a constituent in his surgery that he would have to be stupid to want to leave the EU; and a Prime Minister telling pro-Brexit members of his own party they are immoral (whilst still wanting their money). All this is backed up by the allegedly scientific claims of economists, bankers and world leaders who want to mould the British people like putty into the obedient little euro-drones the elite demands.

To extend the parallel further, we are threatened now with a sort of Brezhnev doctrine without tanks by the EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker. Just to remind you; the Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy outlined in 1968 which called for the use of Warsaw Pact forces to intervene in any Eastern Bloc nation which was seen to compromise communist rule and Soviet domination, either by trying to leave the Soviet sphere of influence or even moderate its policies. The Doctrine was seen clearly in the Soviet crushing of the 1968 Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia. In short it meant that any deviation from orthodox Communism would be crushed militarily in case the ultimate, inevitable triumph of Marxist Leninism would seem less certain. Contrast this with the threats of just about every international body to those of us in Britain who want to leave the EU. The best example is the threat from Juncker himself. If we dare vote leave economic tariffs will come rolling into the City of London, as surely as did the Soviet tanks into Prague in 1968 and for precisely the same reasons. Brezhnev was worried that where the Czechs and Slovaks led, other Eastern Bloc countries would follow. Juncker and his fellow bureaucrats are worried that where Britain leads other EU countries would follow. This is no idle threat, hostility to the EU is rising across the continent. A French farming Union representative when asked about the response they would make to Brexit answered “Frexit”.

The British people are being bullied, harassed and lied to by global elites because we want to leave the EU to preserve our democracy and freedoms and to prevent Britain becoming part of a country called Europe, an issue on which one of the ‘remainian’ speakers on May 19th scandalously misled the meeting. He ignored the fact that the EU was designed to become a United States of Europe from its inception. One only has to read original speeches by Jean Monnet, a founder of the EU, more recently by the former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl and articles from former Vice President of the European Commission Viviane Redding to know that a United States of Europe is the ultimate destination of the EU.

Nowadays to believe in democracy and freedom puts hard working people beyond the pale. If you want to make sure that you can’t be taxed, or laws imposed upon you except by your own elected representatives, you are ‘stupid’ or ‘immoral’. This isn’t democratic politics, it’s a form of totalitarianism, a soft play area 1984. That is what will be in store for us if we don’t Vote Leave on 23rd June.

IMF Independently Predict Disaster if we Leave the EU Shocker!!

This is another guest post by my friend Benedict White. Unlike me, and George Osborne, he can do sums and understand economics. He’s very good on twitter. Please give him a follow on @BenedictMPWhite. He also has his own excellent blog which is well worth reading.

The economic powers that be all predicted catastrophe if we didn’t join the Euro. They all failed to predict the global crash of 2008. Now they are all predicting disaster if we leave the EU. The IMF, OECD and Treasury all predict the economy will be anywhere between 1.5% to 9% smaller in 2030 than if we stayed in the EU. Let’s be clear what that means. We won’t be 1.5% poorer than we are now, but that we will be 1.5% less rich than we would have been if we knuckled under to the EU, and meekly accepted becoming part of a country called Europe. I’ve comprehensively debunked their figures here and here . But even if the economic establishment have got their sums right for once (please suspend your disbelief), are we really prepared to chuck away all the civil and democratic rights won by our ancestors since Magna Carta for a miserable £1.50 for every £100 more we earn over the next 14 years? That’s the value the political and economic elite think we put on our freedom and democracy. One pound bloody fifty. That’s not a political campaigning point, it’s an insult to the entire British electorate.

If that’s not bad enough, where project complete bollox really goes into overdrive, is in the insistence that there will be NO economic upside to leaving the EU. No scenario in which the UK would be better off out. Let’s look how the economic establishment comes up with these fishy figures

1. They all used broadly the same starting point.

2. They all used broadly the same mathematical model.

3. They all make broadly the same assumptions.

Therefore, it’s no surprise they come up with roughly the same result. So how have they done it?

1. The starting point is uncontroversial. We can all agree that we are currently in the EU, have a GDP of approximately £1.8 trillion and have no trade deals of our own.

2. The model. They all use something called the “gravity model”. Some insist this is discredited. It doesn’t matter, with the assumptions made the result would not be that different regardless of model.

3. The assumptions are as follows:

a) We keep all existing EU regulations because we love them. This isn’t just controversial, it’s inane drivel. One of the main reasons for leaving the EU is daft regulations.

b) We take an age about negotiating a new deal with the EU. This is possible, as we don’t know if the common sense merchants or vindictive bureaucrats will win the day. What we do know is that we buy more from them than they do from us, so they would do more actual damage to their own economy than to ours. Just imagine the meeting where Angela Merkel tells the CEO’s of BMW, VWAudi, Mercedes and Porsche. “Hello, I’m going to support punitive economic sanctions on the country which takes 20% of your companies’ exports.” No, I can’t imagine it either.

c) We do no trade deals with anyone else, or at least are very slow at it. EU slow, rather than say Australia quick. This isn’t plausible. An EU free trade deal has to please 28 countries. We just have to please ourselves. As well as getting rid of regulation, one of the things the leave camp favour is free trade, whether that be with the Commonwealth, the Anglo-sphere or in fact almost everywhere.

There are many good reasons to leave the EU, for most of us it is the desire not to become part of a country called Europe. We want to revitalize our democracy and return to honest, accountable politics. As Dan Hannan said “We fought a civil war in this country to establish the principle that laws should not be passed nor taxes raised except by our own elected representatives.” Today, that power, that we won in a bloody Civil War, is vested in European Commissioners, most of whom owe their position to having lost elections. Economic isolationism isn’t a reason to leave the EU, it is a reason to stay in. Once out, in Churchill’s words, “we will choose the open sea”, not a stagnating EU which has only just managed to raise its economic growth above that of Antarctica.

A Party Leadership without Credibility or Honour

The General Election last year was a triumph. I’ll never forget coming home exhausted on polling night switching on the TV, hearing the exit poll and cheering out loud. The coalition had been an effective government but I thought that, freed from the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives would be a better government still. David Cameron is not my type of Tory. I loathed and still loath his Overseas Aid policy, was horrified by the coalition Defence cuts which butchered our armed forces, thought his military intervention in Libya and support of the ‘Arab Spring’ not only stupid, but neo-colonialist, and despised the government’s craven appeasement of Spain over Gibraltar. Nonetheless, I admired Cameron’s social policies, particularly with respect to education and welfare. The educational standards of many working class children in the UK is a scandal, equally the best way for people to get out of poverty is work. Leaving people to rot on the dole is an abrogation of government responsibility. Under courageous ministers like Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith, a start was made to tackle these social problems. Their thanks? Gove was sacked just as his policies were bearing fruit. Iain Duncan Smith’s policies were made the victim of George Osborne’s failure to get the budget under control in other areas, like the wasteful virtue signalling of Overseas Aid. Cameron and Osborne appearing all nice and fuzzy to the lentil eating, sandal wearing, Guardian reading classes was clearly more important than giving a hand up to the most deprived people in Britain.

However, in the context of the first past post electoral system, the Conservatives are always the least worst option for government and thanks to UKIP, in 2015, there was actually a good reason for voting Conservative, without holding your nose, and putting a cross on the ballot paper with the fingers of your other hand crossed. In order to shoot UKIP’s fox after their successes in the early part of the 2010 to 2015 Parliament Cameron promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in his Bloomberg speech of January 2013. I found Cameron’s conversion to this course of action very entertaining, barely 2 months before at the Bentham Conservatives Branch autumn supper I had suggested just such a path to the Conservative Minister Kris Hopkins, only to have it rejected out of hand. The Bloomberg speech was Cameron at his best, thoughtful, sensible and statesmanlike. Kris Hopkins had obviously passed on my advice. More seriously, it illustrates, the weather vane nature of Cameron’s politics. He does not seem to have a principle, or a policy, or a person that he won’t sacrifice for short term advantage. Able ministers are fired on a whim, and replaced with photogenic nonentities, Owen Paterson’s replacement by Liz Truss is a perfect example of this. Policies that could help millions of people are abandoned on the altar of financial vested interests. Policies that should never have been taken from the backs of envelopes, where they were hastily cobbled together, are presented to the public with all due fanfare, before they are ignominiously withdrawn.

Here are a few of the embarrassing lowlights of Cameron and Osborne’s policy failures.

• The pasty tax.
• Tax credits.
• The reduction of personal independence payments to the disabled.
• The compulsory academisation of all English schools.
• The claim that death rates in hospitals are higher at weekends, when now we know they’re not.

• The promise that they were going to take superfast broadband to every house in the country has now been abandoned on the spurious claim people in the countryside don’t want it. That’s right, we don’t want roads, water and electricity either.

Hopefully, you are now getting a picture of how weak and inept this government has been, but this is as nothing to its abuse of the electoral system. Cameron and Osborne feel they are born to rule and are prepared to ride rough shod over electoral law and use the government machine to get their way to do so.

Let’s first examine the way the Camborne regime has driven a horse and cart through electoral law. As anyone involved in politics knows there are extremely strict limits on how much money can be spent in each constituency. For the vast majority of constituencies this is irrelevant, they are safe seats, the fortunate electorate in such constituencies see maybe one leaflet from each party and a few posters along the main roads. Where the spending limits are vital are in the marginal seats where parties pour all their efforts. There are about 100 of these seats, each with an electorate of roughly 70000, of those maybe 10% are swing voters. Effectively those 700 000 swing voters in marginal seats decide the result of every UK general election. The current scandal over Conservative election expenses is about the money expended on those voters. That is precisely what electoral law is there to control, and it’s those limits that the Conservative Party, under Osborne and Cameron seem to have gratuitously ignored. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty; and they would certainly deserve the benefit of the doubt, were it not for the way they are attempting to buy victory in the EU Referendum in precisely the same way. What makes it far, far worse is that they are doing it with our own money.

The first attempt at 1984 style government misinformation was the £9.4 million propaganda leaflet sent to every home in the country. That was bad enough, since then we’ve had George Osborne’s dodgy dossier and Cameron standing grinning while a foreign head of state threatened the British people. However, there is a still more insidious form of propaganda going on, all government websites have this link. This one happens to be from the DVLA it takes people to this website which contains yet more government propaganda. And I use the word deliberately because that is what it is. Take this claim for example
that 3 million jobs depend on remaining in the EU. It is claim that has been ridiculed and disproved for years. Here, for instance
and here It is estimated the government is currently giving the ‘Remain’ campaign the equivalent of £135000 per week in free online advertising on government websites. Now we learn Cameron is manipulating former public servants in order to support the campaign to remain in the EU

In short the heir to Churchill is aping the methods of Goebbels.

The Conservative party leadership is without honour and is indulging in News Speak because two spoiled ex-public schoolboys can’t bear to have their elite bubble burst by what they regard as the fruitcakes and loonies in the Eurosceptic movement, even those fruitcakes and loonies who David Cameron appointed to his own cabinet.

Please let me remind you:

• We are the fifth biggest economy in the world
• We have the fourth largest military budget in the world.
• We are permanent members of the UN Security Council, the G8 and the G20.
• Our trade with Europe has shrunk from 55% to 44% in a decade and is continuing to decline as the rest of our trade with the vibrant global economy grows.
• The only continent with a slower growth economic growth rate than Europe is Antarctica

The referendum and modern technology give us an opportunity to move beyond the confines of a continent with a stagnating economy, and a bureaucratic mode of governance that is antithetical to economic growth, individual liberty and democracy. Let’s take that opportunity while we can!