Referendum Free Zone 150


I declare this blog an EU referendum free zone. There are several reasons for this:

a) I gave my views in the broadest possible manner a couple of days ago.

b) I live in Edinburgh. I am entirely confident I shall be remaining in the EU, one way or another

c) I refuse to campaign alongside the Tories, even if other Tories are campaigning the other way

d) Incredibly, the appalling Will Straw has been appointed to head the Remain campaign, his sole qualification being that he is the child of the UK’s second most famous war criminal and shyster.

That is my last word on the subject till 24 June.


150 thoughts on “Referendum Free Zone

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  • CanSpeccy

    @ Fedup:

    Thousands pay tribute to Latvia’s fallen Nazi troops

    The Latvians were occupied by the Nazis at the time so had no choice, if the wanted to fight the Commies, but do so under the Nazi banner. On the whole, there were probably correct in considering Stalin worse than Hitler.

    And anyhow, isn’t everyone at CM.org.uk for the Nazis? I thought Craig was with the Nazi Kievites against the beastly Putin with his miniscule economy, smaller than Spain’s, smaller than Poland’s, smaller, probably, even that Latvia’s.

  • fedup

    Hate speech!!!!!!? Piss off is not hate speech.

    That is the trouble with white supremacists, they like to give it, but the moment one returns the favour and fucks around with them; introducing them to the facts of life, their oh so fragile egos just cannot take!!!

    Don’t wriggle out of your protocols of the elders of Riga, the same city that regularly holds Nazi parades commemorating the fallen SS heroes!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Is this a Titanic Moment? – are they Really going to kill us all?

    Even The Marquee in Wardour Street was never that packed,,,and it wasn’t a cover band playing someone eles’s songs…

    Why was the grotty rock venue – that no one can find…totally rammed…

    Why did they have only 2 bar staff – and two functioning toilet bowls…and several hundred people there?

    And yes we did pay to get in…My wife is still in the area in another pub with our friends…

    I did give fair warning…this is just completely ridiculous…when it takes over 30 mins to get a beer,,,and its like we are all teenagers packed into a sardine tin…except the average age is – well not much less than mine…

    So I got the bus alone…got off the bus..near our home…and met a mate…

    I then go to our local with him…

    Totally Rammed too – could hardly get in…

    What’s going on?

    Almost No one could give a shit about live music until David Bowie dropped dead…

    Now all the over 50’s are out..

    I know when to go home..and I have never before felt claustrophobic…but I don’t do sardines that well anymore…particularly not for a cover band when I can’t get a drink.

    London Buses are Brill.

    Tony

  • defo

    Son of the self appointed elite gets huckled for selling a bit weed, wrist slapped, goes on to a failed parliamentary bid, and is shoe horned into a no doubt well paid job heading up the Remain campaign. I’m sure he’s well qualified for the post !

    Son of a working class guy, from the wrong side of the tracks gets huckled for selling a bit weed, and it’s welcome to the criminal justice system sonny. Game over.

    If indyref 1 taught us anything, it’s that democracy is a mirage, a sham. What the establishment wants, it gets. Whatever the cost.
    So much hot air is going to be wasted in the run up to June, the Remain has already been decided. The last few days were merely a pantomime to keep up the sham.

  • John Goss

    Tony, if my memory serves me Arthur Koestler was Hungarian. He was a great writer. The first book of his I read was The Sleepwalkers a history of astronomy, much about how the Catholic Church prohibited progress by making people like Copernicus go back and rework his calculations on the basis that the earth was flat. Every character comes to life under his pen. Another highly readable book of his is The Case of the midwife toad, which tells the story of Paul Kamerrer’s experiments with alytes in which Kamerrer made a case for the Lamarckian school of evolutionary theory. On this he did not finally win me over but he was very persuasive.

    He suffered imprisonment under Franco and was for a long-time under threat of execution. (In certain people’s eyes here that would make him a criminal.) He was opposed to capital punishment and co-wrote a book Hanged by the neck which went some way towards the abolition of hanging in the UK. A few of his books are a bit iffy (the supernatural stuff) but even with those he is persuasive. When he and his wife died in a suicide pact he left behind several legacies including a Chair in parapsychology and art awards for prisoners.

    Talha Ahsan, who Resident Dissident has called a criminal, won an Arthur Koestler gold award for one of his poems while incarcerated in solitary confinement following his extradition to the United States. The US never told the UK on what charge Talha needed to be extradited. The only way he could get out of solitary confinement was by plea-bargaining to a crime he did not commit (the US way of justice). Talha was concerned that people who corresponded with him in the US would think badly of him for confessing. “You know how it works” he wrote to me (I might be paraphrasing).

    I met Talha’s brother Hamja who campaigned relentlessly on behalf of his older brother. We went together to, or rather met at, the Koestler exhibition of prisoners’ works at Birmingham Museum to see Talha’s prize-winning poem. Today he is free to read his own work and I am thankful about that. My country, and its prohibitive laws, has much to answer for.

    http://www.the-platform.org.uk/2016/01/01/when-talha-ahsan-delivered-poetry-as-a-free-man/

  • fred

    “For now Fred, for now.”

    Yes that was then and now is now and for now the SNP are Unionists standing shoulder to shoulder with David Cameron.

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Fedup

    Hate speech!!!!!!? Piss off is not hate speech.

    That is the trouble with white supremacists, they like to give it, but the moment one returns the favour and fucks around with them; introducing them to the facts of life, their oh so fragile egos just cannot take!!!

    Don’t wriggle out of your protocols of the elders of Riga, the same city that regularly holds Nazi parades commemorating the fallen SS heroes!

    Are you saying, Fedup, that you’re not a liberal, or that the above-quoted is not hate speech?

    But no, I’m not a white supremacist. and I not Scotch. I just think it would be a pity to eliminate the element of diversity that the Scots have, until now, added to the human mosaic. You know, people like Adam Smith, David Hume, James, Clerk Maxwell, the last being, perhaps, the only physicist of the modern age who will be remembered in ten thousand years.

  • LordSnooty

    One would have thought something suitable to lead the Remain campaign could have been expectorated from amongst the Blair spawn; far more pedigree than Man’o’s runt.

  • Anon1

    “I refuse to campaign alongside the Tories, even if other Tories are campaigning the other way”

    What’s that supposed to mean?

    It’s hard finding yourself campaigning alongside these creatures isn’t it Craig. Tony Blair, Jack Straw, spawn thereof, corporations, mainstream media, the entire political establishment, everyone you ever fought against.

    No wonder you want to forget about your support for the EU.

  • Shatnersrug

    Craig, so you and I both shared a deletion from Nick Cohen’s ludicrous anti Corbyn price in Sunday’s Observer. Interesting that I merely asked a rhetorical question as to whether or not he was doing press for Genie Oil.

    I found his witterings make much more sense through that prism. It was particular interesting to me that that particular post went so quickly considering all the other non-Murdoch accusations I made were left and are still there as I type this. So could it be true, I’ve had a hard job trying to accept that his commitment to the zionist cause was purely a matter of tribalism – the idea that he is supporting an egregious company fits much better with the venal maniacal latter day Cohen that we’ve come to know and hate.

  • Iain Orr

    I’m glad Clark has reminded us that on major issues like TTIP, a Conservative government out of the EU would be even worse than one in the EU.

    THere’s a real dilemma for those who will vote “Yes” while also keen to see different reforms in the EU from those that Cameron – thank goodness – was unable to secure.

    Can the many creative participants in this website please come up with suggestions of ways to avoid a victory for the “Yes” campaign not redounding to the credit of Cameron, Straw minor etc?

  • glenn_uk

    Iain: Or, indeed, a the “No” participants not being considered the bed-fellows of rabid nationalists, racists, fascists, swivel-eyed Tories (red or blue, like Straw’s son), or Kippers (but I repeat myself).

    Personally, I’d like to see more campaigning from someone who has an ideological investment in the result of such a rare event in UK politics – an actual meaningful referendum – and I hope Craig will change his mind about taking on some sort of self imposed vow of silence in a particularly early observance of Purdah.

  • YouKnowMyName

    It’s been fairly clear since the whole european-project was launched in the late 40’s, early 50’s [with the help of the son-in-law of Sir Winston Churchill (and the CIA to name just two) entirely as a counterbalance to the Soviet Union] that the British political establishment of that time, and now, have always honestly prevaricated about the benefits/merits coming from of the greater european market, versus the actual sovereignty issues with deeper eu integration. There’s always been a split.

    I think it’s an honest debate, with genuine feelings & reasons on both sides; I look forward to following all , like Craig I’ll mostly be monitoring rather than prevaricating. tho’ it’ll be very interesting to see which way the JTRIG sock-puppets are programmed to blow the smoke & wind. . .

  • Richard

    I really don’t get this ‘Scottish independence, remain in the E.U.’ thing. Am I missing something? Is that not an obvious contradiction?

  • Chris Rogers

    @Ian Orr,

    For us actual left-of-centre types, particularly those who embraced the concept of a ‘Social Europe’ with a gusto its tragectory since the Prodi Commission has left much to genuflect on, not least the failed monetary union that has had a hugely corrosive effect on any notions of Pan-Europeanism.

    Since the mid-1990’s for every one step forward as far as social justice is concerned, its been two steps backwards in reality because of the imposition of a ‘one-size fits all’ monetary union experiment that is not fit for purpose or the economic realities of the Union/

    For this ‘social Europe’ fanatic’ the austerity and neoliberal economic reforms forced on Euro members since the onset of the GFC in 2008, and consequential Euro crisis in 2010 has completely turned me against the EU presently in existence, and rather than holding up Greece as a totem of all that is wrong with today’s rabidly neoliberal Commission, I hold up Italy and Cyprus, both nations being dealt with harshly. indeed in Italy we witnessed a virtual coup. That is not the Europe I subscribe too and the massive social dislocation caused by austerity measure that are the opposite of what’s required to get the EU working again is why I want out, given I see no chance of any significant change occurring in my lifeline if we continue with this charade.

    As for the UK, it’s a sad fact that its been the neoliberal infected parties of the UK that have been pushing the so called liberalisation and deregulation process in the EU, much of which has had a negative impact on the middle and working class across all EU member states.
    Alas, what chance do we have of changing things for the better in the UK if not only do we need to change matters at a Westminster level, but also at a EU level, where our voice is diluted by other nations who’s governments are also infected with neoliberalism.

    In a nutshell, the UK needs to get its own house in order first, which can only be done outside of the EU at this juncture in time. And remember, its far easier to get change at Westminster than it is in Brussels – the Tories luck will soon expire and it is to be hope a resurgent left can enact meaningful change that benefits all, including a firm commitment to a highly devolved Federal UK and abandonment of FPTP in favour of full proportional representation similar to the system they have in place in Federal Germany.

    Just one’s thoughts, but many of the European left are as opposed to the present EU as many in the UK are, that does not mean they are opposed to a European Union, but they are vehemently opposed to neoliberal economic prescriptions and a corrupt foreign policy driven by US interests via NATO, rather than European interests.

    I stand for European interests, I’m no Atlanticist and firmly believe a United Social Europe, one that one day may embrace both Russia, and indeed Israel, is to the benefit of future generations, among them my own daughter. As such, if we desire real change the present EU Commission must be faced with a real existential threat, one the UK electorate can deliver – despite efforts by certain eastern European members to defuse or derail this option as witnessed over the past three days.

    And under no circumstances should anyone on the Left join a podium with the Tories, and that goes for our friend from ‘RESPECT’.

  • Resident Dissident

    “In a nutshell, the UK needs to get its own house in order first, which can only be done outside of the EU at this juncture in time. And remember, its far easier to get change at Westminster than it is in Brussels – the Tories luck will soon expire and it is to be hope a resurgent left can enact meaningful change that benefits all, including a firm commitment to a highly devolved Federal UK and abandonment of FPTP in favour of full proportional representation similar to the system they have in place in Federal Germany.”

    I’m afraid you are dreaming if you think that the UK will become more like the Germans outside the EU. If we were to leave the Little Englanders and nationalists would be rampant – there would be an immediate burning of the provisions of the social chapter and as for pushing “continental” ideas such as PR and federalism you must be joking. You may not have noticed the recent opinion polls but the left is currently far from being resurgent.

  • Resident Dissident

    And if we were outside the EU – the first thing we would do is sign up to the European Free Trade Area – so like Norway we would be subject to all the market provisions of the EU, including TTIP, while at the same time losing any say in their formulation.

  • Resident Dissident

    And as an expert in financial regulation perhaps you might wish to comment on who would offer a counterbalance to the City’s constant attempts to water down proposals from the EU to strengthen financial regulation either in their own regulations or through Basel?

  • Resident Dissident

    “Can the many creative participants in this website please come up with suggestions of ways to avoid a victory for the “Yes” campaign not redounding to the credit of Cameron, Straw minor etc?”

    No, sometimes to get what you want you have to work with people you don’t like – and the history of campaigns is that unified ones work and disunited ones don’t. I appreciate that many here like to keep their ideological purity – but that is of course why their politics are generally unsuccessful. Human nature is such that there is hardly ever a clear majority of “good” people for one particular viewpoint so coalitions have to be made with others with whom you may disagree on other matters.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Germany’s irresponsibity was a major factor in reallly igniting the conflicts that engulfed Yugosalvia, not only the premature formal recognition of Slovenia and Croatia, but the behind the scenes encouragement & support to both the two breakaways leading up to that point;”

    So that’s your excuse for bombing the shit out of Vukovar – Germany’s behind the scenes support of Croatia and Slovenia before they gave official recognition after the bombing. Bomb first and then blame the Germans – YCNMIU

  • Resident Dissident

    “He suffered imprisonment under Franco and was for a long-time under threat of execution.”

    No he wasn’t – he was imprisoned by the French in Le Vernet – this is the subject matter of “the Scum of the Earth”. He escaped to North Africa and then England by joining the French Foreign Legion.

    Strangely enough Mr Goss avoids the subject of his major work “Darkness of Noon” – it couldn’t have anything about it revealing how Soviet communists are conditioned to believe that “the ends justify the means” by any chance.

  • Resident Dissident

    I stand corrected – Koestler was also imprisoned by Franco for 5 months during the Spanish Civil War.

  • Chris Rogers

    @RD,

    Yes RD, its nice to actually have positive thoughts about real, meaningful change.

    Most of your other dribble is but straw man tactics, as is your faith in opinion polls that got it all so wrong in July last year.

    As I’m not English I cannot speak for the alleged ‘little England’ tendencies those across the boarder engage in – and as for the ‘Social Chapter’, I think you’ll find our Tory friends have been gunning for this for a long time – indeed, what do you think Cameron was actually discussing with his EU peters, if not the watering down of anything that protects the common people, whilst continually fighting on behalf of interests resident in the City of London – who’s abuses are well documented in a book called Treasure Island.

    On all straw men you attack me on, the one issue you have ignored completely is the neoliberal ascendency within the European faux left, which is very much represented in the Commission, hence its bloody support for TTIP.

    But what’s the point in engaging with you as your snide remarks and personal attacks really fuck me off.

    You are a waste of space, a disruptor of certain repute on these boards, and as the host himself is aware a bloody ‘Resident Troll’

    Again, I know fuck all, despite having far more contact with those in real authority than you’d ever imagine, which can be verified by on JSD in personal correspondence we had.

    Can’t be bothered with you I’m afraid and take you underhand slights elsewhere.

  • John Goss

    “No, sometimes to get what you want you have to work with people you don’t like – and the history of campaigns is that unified ones work and disunited ones don’t. I appreciate that many here like to keep their ideological purity – but that is of course why their politics are generally unsuccessful. Human nature is such that there is hardly ever a clear majority of “good” people for one particular viewpoint so coalitions have to be made with others with whom you may disagree on other matters.”

    On this I agree. However, the question still remains how somebody with no previous track record, the son of a former foreign minister, has suddenly been elevated to lead the Remain campaign. That this campaign is aligned with the majority of Tories, and the Straw family has a disreputable neocon history, that Will Straw runs an anti-socialist “Left Foot Backward” group suddenly finds himself at the head of a most important referendum campaign with no credentials except having a father who helped take us into an illegal war with Iraq is questionable to say the least. His new position has obviously been approved by Cameron and others. These are the Blairite tories the Labour Party can do well without.

    As Iain Orr asks: “Can the many creative participants in this website please come up with suggestions of ways to avoid a victory for the “Yes” campaign not redounding to the credit of Cameron, Straw minor etc?” It might also be asked how he got to be a parliamentary candidate, though Darwen and Rossendale needs to appear to be right wing to try and squeeze votes out of the farmers and rural cap-doffers.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Talha Ahsan, who Resident Dissident has called a criminal,”

    No I called him a “convicted criminal” which is a matter of fact. You may disagree with how the conviction was obtained – but facts are facts.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Resident Dissident
    21/02/16 8:55am

    “Darkness at Noon”, not “Darkness of Noon”.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • mickc

    Jack Straw is loathsome, and Corbyn’s veto of a peerage for him was absolutely brilliant. No doubt Staw’s mates will help keep him on the gravy train somehow, just as Rifkind is being “rehabilitated”!

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