The Self-Appointed Elite 331


I am an unrepentant enthusiast for the European Union, indeed a European Federalist. I think the freedoms of movement of people and goods within the EU are the most profound political achievement of my lifetime, and have made the world a very much better place.

I am therefore flabbergasted by the group of unpleasant elitist bastards who apparently will lead the pro-EU campaign for the referendum. How could anybody wishing to win a vote believe that a Board including Peter Mandelson and Danny Alexander is going to help? While the appointment of Lord Rose seems to confirm belief in the “Michelle Mone theory”, that selling knickers grants universal expertise.

Most egregious of all, the Executive Director is Will Straw, whose main qualification is that his father is a war criminal. Founder of the rabid anti-Corbyn website Left Foot Forward and every bit as Atlanticist as Liam Fox, Will Straw is as insanely pro-United States hegemony and as ultra-Zionist as only an extreme Blairite can be. He really is a deeply unappealing figure.

I have no doubt they will be flooded with corporate money. But what I want to know is this. If this referendum is supposed to be a democratic exercise, where every citizen is equal, what grants this self-serving sample of the metropolitan elite the right to nominate themselves as the In campaign? I don’t see how any decent person can have anything to do with them. Having had a lot of respect for Caroline Lucas, I must say if she really is going to work alongside Will Straw then my respect for her is going to plummet.


331 thoughts on “The Self-Appointed Elite

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  • Sixer

    How is everyone going to vote in the referendum then?

    I am genuinely uncertain.

    All for free movement of people and goods, like Craig. All for internationalism. Want the protections of worker rights that would be under threat if we come out.

    MUCH less happy about the various democratic deficits in the system that the elite technocrats seem to have no desire to change. And suspect the whole project has been hijacked by the neoliberal corporatists and banksters, which can’t bode well.

    So, what to do?

  • Mary

    Seconded. The appalling newly ennobled Lady Brady is there too. She is late of the Sullivan porn and football empire plus a few other connections.

    ‘Brady has also been the chairman of Bauer’s Kerrang!, and had a seat on the board of Sport England.[38] She was a non-executive director of Channel 4 television[38] but resigned to take a position at Syco, the company jointly owned by Simon Cowell and Sony. In September 2010 she joined the board of Arcadia with Sir Philip Green, resigning from a non-executive position with Mothercare where she had been for seven years. In 2012, with BHS, she launched her own range of women’s business attire with the money raised going to charity.[39] She is an Ambassador for Barclays Lifeskills, which aims to offer young people workplace experience.[40] She is also the Patron of the Life After Stroke Awards and an Ambassador for Well Being for Women.’
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karren_Brady#Other_business_involvement

    Also a Cameron appointee as Small Business Ambassador and an advocate of Better Together.

    ‘But leading businesswoman and Tory peer Karren Brady, who is on the campaign’s board, went even further. She said: “We cannot cope on our own in a very tough market.”‘
    https://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/story/britain-facing-bleak-future-outside-eu-campaigners-warn

  • BannerQueen

    I’m pro EU, despite the way Greece has been treated, as well but this lot and I understand Tony Blair will do nothing and I repeat nothing to help the cause. In fact they will be a great big FAT hinderance.

  • Noah

    Maybe the solution is to set up an independent Yes campaign that runs parallel to the official one?

  • Jon

    On the EU, I have struggled a great deal, as the Left has done broadly. Is it a symbol for internationalism and cooperation, or a anti-democratic project to enshrine corporatism in the law? It is both, arguably.

    I think before the Greek crisis, I would have been minded to vote Yes, with deep reservations. Now I would be inclined to vote no, after seeing what the system did to ordinary workers.

    I agree with the comments about the self-serving elite. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that this is a particular view on the Left, and I don’t know if the wider electorate – who will make their views known when the referendum comes along – tend to see things in the same light. That’s worth considering as the Yes/No groups on the Left start their public campaigns.

  • MJ

    “I think the freedoms of movement of people and goods within the EU are the most profound political achievement of my lifetime”

    Makes you wonder how Norway and Switzerland get by.

    “I don’t see how any decent person can have anything to do with them”

    Don’t then. Vote No.

  • glenn

    As soon as Mandelson appeared in favour of continued membership in the EU, my inclination was to vote against it. It is quite unbelievable that people like him, and Blair, consider us a grateful nation, eagerly awaiting their wisdom and guidance.

    Having said that, I’m not sure the EU is that great anyway anymore. It’s more of a corporate enabling committee, the bureaucracy is unbelievable, with vastly overpaid and overstaffed supposed representatives, plus all their money-grubbing hangers on.

    It prohibits us from helping our own industries (apart from the farming industry, of course), and the endless expansion makes it ludicrous for us to treat all economies as equals, and subject to free movement of all workers, benefits and so on.

    Not finally, but to cut it short – the cruel way Germany has punished Greece is enough reason on its own to have nothing to do with it any longer. If I want to be ruled by Germany, I would move there.

    This former enthusiastic supporter of the EU into a complete cynic as a result. I’ll almost certainly be voting “NO” when I get the chance, particularly if miserable wretches such as Mandelson keep reminding of the type of people who’d like us to vote “YES”.

  • K Crosby

    I like the idea of a Europe but not this one, a millionaires’ masturbation club. Clearly a vote to stay in this Europe is misguided, if you want a Europe of emancipated people, rather than emaciated helots; if you believe in Europe, vote OUT.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The EU is just like the USA when it comes to voting – i.e., they are both a mess but opting out is just going to help making matters worse.

    Britain leaving the EU is worse than staying, but it will be little better in Brussels with NATIO working 24?7 to make it just a tool of Washington and Jerusalem.

  • nevermind

    If there is no other ship sailing the same course, but without the TTIP anker Lord Rose is carrying, then there is no choice for Caroline.

    The history of the Green Parties in the EU Parliament is littered with attempt to change/reform the unelected overarching powers of appointed anointed prats who think that its their life’s aim to suck up to corporations and ultra rich individuals.

    Alternatively Caroline can speak out against the racket that is asking for an extension to their marriage with Fraulein EU and denounce them as globalist monetarists who want it their way, only.

    or join them and get more attention for her views from the media, able to speak out and tweak bloggers consciousness.

    I for one hope that the pro EU campaign does not get divided into 101 different groups, each and every one diluting the debate, with none of them having any clue how the EU actually works.

    The momentum is here and now! Do the progressive thinkers in Britain launch a rival campaign?
    Are they all in tune as to what they want?
    Unless someone spells out whether they actually want reform as part of their horrendously loud intake of air they’re sucking in, we will get some very simple debates and discussions about the navel of the various campaign groups, personal bile and nothing whatsoever of substance.

    One thing you can be sure of, Caroline Lucas provides substance when she gets the opportunity, so does Molly Scott cato. That said,the Greens are just another political party, they are not occupying moral heights, and they can be as muddled as any of the main political parties.

    Pretty boring to follow this band waggon so early, was there nothing else in the world worth making a fuss about? the EU will be debated to death, campaigning does not even come into it.
    What will the coverage look like for the next two years? A shower of bent banana stories and personal excesses of some, vs. the overwhelming economic/democratic advantages, social changes, a more united EU,etc.

    If there is to be any reform of the EU, TTIP should ideally not be forming a part of it, but be held at bay, so far only 11 countries have signed this deal at the cross road, and its not in their favour, they will have to accept international electronic surveillance and GM foods. Lawyers will have a field day when the TTIP really gets into carving out a world market in those countries, demanding competition for their goods and services, demanding a legal market share over and above what consumers want.

  • Gordie

    Provide the punters with good info pros and cons, leave it to them to decide. The British state always thinks it needs to lead the punters by the nose via Elite opinion and propaganda. Will be very disappointed if pro independence politicians join forces with Tories, labour, and their team of corporate bullshitters

  • Mary

    Wonder how much a ‘transitional allowance’ comes to? Why is it paid?

    This is from the register of interests of the dreary nonentity promoted by Brown known as Baroness Ashton.

    ‘Category 9: Miscellaneous financial interests

    The Member has since November 2014 been receiving a transitional allowance from the European Union in her capacity as former EU High Representative/Vice President’

    http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-ashton-of-upholland/2500

    Nice little earner.

    ‘The basic monthly salary of the High Representative is fixed at 130%[9] (higher than a vice-president but less than the Commission President) of the highest grade of the EU civil service (grade 16, step 3),[10][11] which works out at €23,006.98. There are other allowances on top of that as all other conditions of employment for the High Representative are aligned to that of the Commission.[11]’

    ie Euro276,000 pa plus plus

    also a salary as Vice President???

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Representative_of_the_Union_for_Foreign_Affairs_and_Security_Policy

  • Rob

    I am also pro-EU, and have been for as long as I have been capable of understanding it. Nevertheless I have been profoundly shaken by the TTIP issues and the way Greece was treated. Still, it seems to me that we are likely to get clobbered by TTIP -or similar, or worse – even if we leave. And in any case if we want to trade with the EU we will have to comply with the regulations whether or not we have a say in shaping them. A vote for ‘out’ will just open the door to the likes of Liam Fox, Werrity, Gove, and all the other ex-Atlanticists to invite the US corporations in to take over instead.

    No, on the whole, I think we must be better inside the tent, than out.

  • Stephen Marks

    Yes the treatment of Greece is a disgrace. But how will the UK leaving the EU help Greece? Yes TTIP is a menace but again how will Britain leaving EU help defeat it? It needs unanimity for most of its clauses to go through. A Tory government in Westminster would sign up for it like a shot outside the EU and a Labour government in the EU would increase the likelihood of it being defeated by writing in more ‘red lines’ like those the Parliament has already insisted on – including writing in respect for ILO labour rights which at present the US does not accept and which Tory TU laws violate. Yes the Brussels bureaucracy is top-heavy and business lobbyists have too much influence. But are you seriously saying that the same is not true of national states? In fact on number of issues, including consumer protection, environmental standards and working conditions, civil society organisations arguably have a better record of prevailing against business lobbyists in the EU than in e.g. the USA, Russia or indeed the UK.

  • Robert Crawford

    Craig.

    It is a well paid job for them.

    Alistair Darling made a fortune speachyfying for the “Better together” mob.

    TTIP should be kicked into touch. The Americans are afraid of Europe. Too big and too powerful.

    The English government saw the financial benefits of being a Member, and the possibility of manipulating the E.U. General de Gaulle also saw the dangers of England inside the E.U. and said “NON” time and time again. When he was gone, England got in. Now they want out to align with America, because they can’t manipulate the E.U. and rightly so. England joined the E.U. and then bitched about everything. And had the media to do their dirty stories for them.

    When you can’t beat them, join them.

    If England leaves the E.U. it will be free to go to war with any country in Europe, with the help of America of course.

    Something to remember, the Russians are also Europeans. Now put them together and the Americans would be up shit creek without a paddle!.

    More importantly, how are you?

  • MBC

    You don’t need to be a member of the EU to benefit from the rules that bring freedom of movement and employment, or any of the progressive social and employment legislation.

    Norway is not a member of the EU but is part of EFTA. As such, it complies with the freedom of movement legislation and the social legislation.

  • Ben-Humps the anti-hemp Nations

    ” I think the freedoms of movement of people and goods within the EU are the most profound political achievement of my lifetime, and have made the world a very much better place.”

    Is that a feature or benefit Craig? I personally would like to see a laundry list of specifics, as my impression of such bureaucracies relates more to the cure being worse than the disease like most State endorsed meds.

  • Ben-Humps the anti-hemp Nations

    “I think before the Greek crisis, I would have been minded to vote Yes, with deep reservations. Now I would be inclined to vote no, after seeing what the system did to ordinary workers.”

    Yes. It’s like when a Corp releases software to make the employees job easier (ostensibly). Bugs remain for the workers to de-bug and Greece is a window into how it all works in reality, rather than delusional hope.

  • David

    The EU is the playground of the global corporates, the hiding place of inept bureaucrats and a gravy train for those that can find themselves a position of power, no matter how small or unimportant.

    Mass fraud, mass theft and mass incompetence = the EU.

    And lets not forget that they now want their own army as well.

    Its a dangerous organisation that has moved far beyond what it should be, a free trade area and nothing more.

  • DomesticExtremist

    Facts trump propaganda, I’m afraid Caroline Lucas (like yourself) is well meaning but misguided.
    The fact that the EU has been such a boon to the careers of our and every other member nation’s entrenched elite should tell you all you need to know.
    There is a big difference between the pre and post-Masstricht EU: Prior to Maastricht it was IMO a force for good, but post, it has been captured by corporate multi-national interests and their willing servants in the political class.
    We can talk about reform, but it has expanded way beyond any possibility of that.
    The only option for me is out, even though for a long time I was pro-EU.
    Our departure will embolden many growing Out movments across Europe and only that way can we hope to get back to something more pro-human and anti-business (as all government should be).

  • Cammy

    Norway and Switzerland cope as they are part of EEA….so are well embedded in EU structures around freedom of movement and trade….They however don’t get a vote

  • mog

    Interested in the differentiating arguments that Craig would make as to why he supports Scottish Independence at the same time as EU membership.
    The power shift over the forty plus years of my life can be summarised as one away from representative democracy and toward unaccountable corporate and financial institutions.
    Is this not, essentially at the root of the desire for Scotland to pull away from Westminster? If so, then how can you support membership of a corporate lobby called ‘the EU’? It has been captured, face it:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-didn-t-think-ttip-could-get-any-scarier-but-then-i-spoke-to-the-eu-official-in-charge-of-it-a6690591.html
    [I write that as someone who loathes UKIP and is a member of the Green Party]

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