I Will Vote Remain Because I Love My Mum 543


After voting tomorrow I shall fly down to take part in an alternative online referendum results programme from the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, to give you a chance to hear a discussion of the results without having to listen to yet more neo-liberal spokesmen spouting establishment propaganda.

It is no secret I am an enthusiast for the EU. However as an ardent Scottish nationalist it has of course crossed my mind that it might be a plan to vote tactically for Brexit, to provoke a new independence referendum.

I have decided against this for two reasons. First, there is no way the Establishment is going to allow Brexit to happen. And second, I love my mum, who is English and moved back from Inverness to Norfolk following the death of my father a decade ago. I wish England and the English nothing but well. It would be wrong to wish harm on the English to further a tactical gain for Scottish independence – which is coming anyway.

I cannot vote Leave in the hope that England will leave and Scotland remain, believing that would harm England. Besides, an independent Scotland inside the EU would be disadvantaged by having its only land border with an ailing England outside the EU.

Having successfully kept the EU debate off the blog, I think for the last day we can fill our boots. I like the EU because it has in truth burnt internal national borders. I like the EU because we cannot control EU internal immigration. I love all the vibrant Europeans who have moved here, and the fact I can leave whenever I wish and settle in Lodz or Naples. Without the EU immigrant influx, the UK would have experienced zero economic growth for the last ten years.

There is one anti-EU argument I detest worse than anything Nigel Farage has ever said. It is the “left wing” argument that immigration depresses wages for British workers.

This argument is pure racism. It presupposes that the chance that a British worker might get £10 rather than £9 an hour, is more important than giving a Romanian worker moving here the chance to get £9 an hour rather than £3. Just because one is British and one is Romanian. Racism, pure and simple.

There is of course a much more sophisticated argument about the massive economic boost given by migration increasing demand in the economy, including for labour. If migration harmed an economy the United States and Germany would be the poorest countries in the world, yet they are not.

But I prefer to point out the inherent racism of the Little Englander wages argument, because it pricks the “left-wing” credentials of those who make it.

I am a strong internationalist and I view the EU as the most solid achievement of internationalism to date. The danger of the EU has always been that its internal freedoms would be accompanied by barriers to the world outside, but that is decreasingly true in the economic field as trade barriers have fallen radically, especially to the developing world. It is only an increasing problem in the migration field with the EU reacting to the refugee crisis – whose acuteness is a direct result of neo-con war policy destabilising the Islamic world.

The EU has great supra-national institutions. These are broadly politically neutral. They are used for neo-liberalism at the moment because at the moment most European governments, including the British one, are neo-liberal. But neo-liberalism will not prevail forever. Its consequences in terms of economic insecurity for the many and an exponential increase in extreme wealth for the few, are already undermining popular consent. As only a few diehard economists cling to trickledown theory, the obvious consequences for social stability have started to undermine the intellectual confidence of the elite and their propagandists.

To put that another way, the cleverer rich (ie not Philip Green) have started to realise that if things go on this way, they will be decorating lamp-posts.

The pendulum swings back towards social democracy. Trade treaties with clauses demanding the breaking up of state ownership will fall into abeyance for a few more decades. They are in any event by no means confined to the EU. Banking regulation will, bit by bit, strengthen. Action on tax havens will accrue incrementally.

The EU is a powerful potential force for economic regulation, and we will see it being put to that proper purpose again, with a little patience.


543 thoughts on “I Will Vote Remain Because I Love My Mum

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  • Barbara Brown

    I guess that your mum Craig has also experienced war as a child. I was a refugee; evacuated from my home in London when bombs fell all around us and Zeppelins floated overhead. I don’t want that for my children/grandchildren. I think we are stuffed if we stay in stuffed if we are out but I would rather be friends with my neighbours than be at odds. We have to try for a better world as a collective. We can’ t do it alone. We must struggle alongside our brothers and sisters for a more peaceful world. Life is so precious so I too will vote in.

    • Tom Welsh

      “I would rather be friends with my neighbours than be at odds. We have to try for a better world as a collective. We can’ t do it alone. We must struggle alongside our brothers and sisters for a more peaceful world”.

      Beautiful sentiments, Barbara, which do you credit. But unfortunately that is not how the world works. There is no “collective” when it comes to politics and economics. If you think aabout it, you understand very well that how Britain is run is decided by politicians and civil servants in London. They are somewhat answerable (in theory) to us as British voters – although watching a few episodes of “Yes, Minister” should dispel any belief that the theory of representative democracy has much bearing on reality.

      For the UK to be part of the EU does not make us any more part of a collective or a community – that is completely separate from politics. Instead of elected politicians who have at least to pretend that they are answerable to us, and whose concerns are at least limited to the interests of the UK, we are ruled by a clique of largely self-selected officials who are not answerable to anyone. The argument that they are appointed by someone who was elected by some people who were appointed by some other people who, long ago and somewhere else, were elected by some real voters doesn’t hold water. Being elected is not transitive. Almost everyone in politics has been elected by real people at some point – even Tony Blair.

      Like it or not (and most of us don’t like it) politics is a harsh, realistic business – “the art of the possible”. Experience shows that representative governments are better than unelected ones, and that – other things being equal – smaller nations and communities are better than bigger ones. When I was a boy I was an avid SF fan, and looked forward to day when we would have a benevolent world government. Now I am older and more experienced – sadder and, I hope, somewhat wiser – I realise that was just a beautiful dream. A world government would likely be the worst tyranny that has ever existed; if we want to regain any measure of freedom and kindness, we need to go into reverse and work for smaller political units that give less scope for corruption and arbitrary rule.

  • MJ

    “there is no way the Establishment is going to allow Brexit to happen”

    Have to agree with you there. One of the strongest arguments in favour of leaving the EU is that it is undemocratic and disempowers ordinary people.

    • glenn_uk

      That sounds like a very strong argument to vote LEAVE. Both because of the undemocratic nature you mention, and to see what the Establishment has to do in order to stop Brexit.

    • laguerre

      “One of the strongest arguments in favour of leaving the EU is that it is undemocratic”

      Really? It only takes five seconds to show that the EU is more democratic than the British political system. It goes – parliament majoritarially unelected, Prime Minister unelected (indirectly elected), Head of State unelected, the Whitehall equivalent of the EU commissioners unelected (Heads of department in Whitehall). What I liked the best that I discovered yesterday is that the whole idea of the EU being undemocratic is actually an invention of Boris Johnson when he was a journalist, according to Martin Fletcher, formerly of the Times:

      https://twitter.com/sturdyAlex/status/744116453293629440/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

      • Tom Welsh

        One of the strongest arguments for Britain to leave the EU is, IMHO, that people like laguerre (curious handle, by the way!) have such odd ideas of democracy… and justice… and equality… and fairness… and, well, everything. Here in Britain we have a tradition of what continental political scientists like to call “negative freedom” (note the cunning use of the word “negative”) which means that we consider ourselves free in proportion as we are not constrained. Many continentals prefer the idea of “positive freedom”, which – as I understand it – is where the state helps you to be free. I know which I prefer.

        Here is a direct quotation from the Wikipedia article about the European Commission:

        ‘The European Commission (EC) is the executive body of the European Union responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.[2] Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate.[3]

        ‘The Commission operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission (informally known as “commissioners”).[4] There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state.[3] One of the 28 is the Commission President (currently Jean-Claude Juncker) proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.[5] The Council then appoints the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, and the 28 members as a single body are then subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament’.

        You will note that the EC is the executive body of the EU, which essentially holds all the power (like the UK Cabinet, for instance). So let’s see how democratically its members are elected. The President is proposed by the European Council and then “elected” by the European Parliament. The quotes are because the “Parliament” (ironically named) cannot originate any legislation: it is only allowed to accept or reject proposals. That being the case, there is little point in its rejecting a candidate, as another equally offensive will be proposed. Eventually the Parliament must “elect” whomever it is told to elect.

        That done, the Council then appoints the other 27 members of the EC. You can see how intensely democratic this all is. And, just to be on the safe side – in case a member of the EC should be tempted to advance the interests of her own nation – they have to “swear an oath pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties”.

        I prefer the British system, whose roots go right back to the Witan of Saxon times, whereby each constituency elects its own MP and knows who he is. That provides a measure of answerability.

        • laguerre

          Well, I don’t know whether you know, but Wikipedia is not a definitive statement of anything. As Craig has had the unfortunate experience, anybody can change anything to suit their political foibles, and present a false impression. For example, the statement “The Commission operates as a cabinet government,” is quite wrong, and probably written by a Brexiter like you, with an ideological commitment. It is a civil service commission which functions under the direction of the council of ministers. It is definitely not, as you falsely claim “(like the UK Cabinet, for instance)”. That is the kind of claim that Brexiters commonly make, in order to pretend that the EU is a monstrous foreign dictatorship. Demonising of the enemy is standard stuff in war. Throwing babies out of incubators, that sort of thing that is commonly found to have no basis later, but is useful at the point of battle. After all, who’s bothered about truth? Let’s just get the vote in.

          As I said, that idea that the EU is undemocratic was thought up by Boris Johnson as a jolly jape that any public-school boy would go in for, indeed any member of the Bullingdon Club.

          • Martinned

            I wouldn’t go so far. While it works under stricter constraints, I don’t think comparing the Commission to the UK Cabinet is inherently unreasonable.

          • laguerre

            It’s the countries which decide, each with its veto, not the Commission. They may decide not to exercise their veto, for political reasons, but the veto exists. That is not like the British Cabinet, where they vote by majority, and then the decision is imposed on the House of Commons, which operates through whipping, whereby MPs are expected to vote as told, and may be punished if they don’t vote as expected. Not much the same.

          • Martinned

            What you’re describing now is not the British Cabinet, but the leadership of the majority party. Those groups consist of the same individuals, but they are not the same.

            The Commission also decides by consensus/simple majority, and issues implementing legislation and decisions analogous to SIs, ministerial decisions, etc. in the UK.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The EU is an Anti-Democratic Dictatorship controlled by Washington. Our last hope of any Democracy again in anyone’s lifetime currently alive is to leave it.

    Tony

    • Macky

      That’s probably the biggest Elephant that Craig ignores; what we as Europeans really need is a Referendum on wheterever we want such a close “special relatiohship” with the US.

    • nevermind

      If its as undemocratic as the electoral commission, change it, Tony. But old buggers like us don’t do change, they talk about it.
      well, bar some.
      I have bought five votes, just to be sure to be sure, very cheap, people are so disinterested in politics due to this ancient two party cabal and its antics at the ballot box.
      Nobody will ever know and nobody will ever find out, all five will be remain and I don’t even have to walk to the ballot box, its a bit like postal voting.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        The vote corruption techniques have already been well tested in the Scottish Referendum, and went completely undetected..oh wait a mo….

        what was that Film being made that Craig Murray said he was in…he posted details a few months ago…???

        I’

        • Tony_0pmoc

          30 Apr, 2016 in Uncategorized by craig

          “How the BBC Stole the Referendum”

          “I suspect the next referendum could be much sooner than generally expected. Documenting and spreading awareness of the astonishing state propaganda campaign by the BBC is an extremely important task in advance of that. I urge you to make a donation, however small, to help Alan Knight finish the documentary How the BBC Stole the Referendum. Filming has been completed and I have seen a lot of the edit in progress, which really is excellent. I only play a very small part among a great many more distinguished contributors, but it so happens I feature in the little teaser of completed work they have put out for the fundraising campaign. I think it gives an idea of the professional production standards they are working to.”

          https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/04/bbc-stole-referendum/

    • Jams O'Donnell

      The UK Government (Tory or Labour) is an Anti-Democratic Dictatorship controlled by Washington

  • Matt Usselmann

    The fact is people do not like their wages cut.

    If they object they are not automatically racists, just because the most recent reason is that immigrants undercut their jobs.

    Or, let us put it another way. Kraft takes over Cadbury and changes working conditions so that wages in their factories fall. Using Craig Murray’s argument, he would presumably also term that racist, as we are preventing a FOREIGN multinational making more profits.

    If multinationals harmed an economy the United States and Germany would be the poorest countries in the world, yet they are not.

    • orwille

      The free movement of money and the free movement of people are two separate issues.

      • Matt Usselmann

        The point is,

        Craig Murray says the protest against reduced wages due to Romanian labour is “racist”.

        He would also have to say that the protest against reduced wages due to Americans who are the capitalists is “racist”.

        The point is, none of it is racist. Just because you criticise something which happens to be foreign, which has a negative impact on your income, does not make you racist.

        • orwille

          Being against the free movement of money (ie capital controls – see Bretton Woods) is not racist. Corporations are not human.

        • orwille

          Being against somebody doing a job that is on offer because they are not the ‘right’ nationality is something like racism

          • Matt Usselmann

            Issue would be the same if all the people from Cornwall came to take up jobs in East Anglia.

            Nationality is not the problem. It is the undercutting of wages by “X” which is a problem.

            X = anything: eg. right-wing government, automation, foreigners who work for less, Cornish, American capitalists with right to buy our chocolate factories, etc.

          • Matt Usselmann

            Issue would be the same if all the people from Cornwall came to take up jobs in East Anglia.

            Nationality is not the problem. It is the undercutting of wages by “X” which is a problem.

            X = anything: eg. right-wing government, automation, foreigners who work for less, Cornish, American capitalists with right to buy our chocolate factories, etc.

          • orwille

            Sorry can’t reply to your post. People (i.e. Humans) move, mostly, from areas of low productivity (i.e. material productivity, so not including many forms of modern finance) to areas of higher productivity, produce more, spend their wages back into economy, pay taxes and therefore bring a net benefit to mankind. Capital (owned by but not human) moves wherever the monetary profit is, reduces wages and employee benefits, raises prices, extracts (untaxed) wealth offshore, and thereby harms mankind. Not the same thing.

          • Macky

            “Capital (owned by but not human) moves wherever the monetary profit is, reduces wages and employee benefits, raises prices, extracts (untaxed) wealth offshore, and thereby harms mankind. ”

            Exactly what Tony Benn foresaw iro the EU back in 1963;

            “[I am against] the Treaty of Rome which entrenches laissez faire as its philosophy and chooses bureaucracy as its administrative method.”

          • michael norton

            Would it be racist
            to not want the FRENCH to build Hinkley Point C in Somerset?

          • Tom Welsh

            @Macky:

            “[I am against] the Treaty of Rome which entrenches laissez faire as its philosophy and chooses bureaucracy as its administrative method.”

            Cool! Managing to combine the very worst of socialism and capitalism… rather like the present-day British railway system.

      • nevermind

        No they are not, they are convenient issue the Uruguay and Doha trade talks forgot to take into account. Globalisation of trade inevitably means a globalisation of labour, so theoretically there should be no borders or obstacles put in the way of a working woman/man. Everything we granted these TNC’s led to ripping off the whole arm.
        Both treaties have to be reformed, urgently, a diplomatic issue of some calibre.

        • orwille

          You can have free movement of people and capital controls. Separate point from ‘free movement of money = free movement of people’, which might well be true. Personally feel Globalisation is not the problem, controlling interests are. The average worker has a better understanding of the problems they face than a politician so should be allowed to move to sell work.

  • Tom Welsh

    “This argument is pure racism. It presupposes that the chance that a British worker might get £10 rather than £9 an hour, is more important than giving a Romanian worker moving here the chance to get £9 an hour rather than £3. Just because one is British and one is Romanian. Racism, pure and simple”.

    Thanks for putting your views in such plain terms, Craig. You make it clear that you consider “racist” any attempt to offer British people a better standard of living and a better society than foreigners. But actually what else is the British government for? It may seem “mean” or “unfair” to work for the interests of British people, rather than the other 680 million Europeans – or for that matter the other 7.4 billion human beings in the world. But first, that is what it means for Britain to be a nation in any sense of the word; and second, it is not possible for a fairly average, if slightly richer, nation to pull 116 times its own population out of poverty.

    • Lord Palmerston

      > You make it clear that you consider “racist” any attempt to offer British people a better standard of living and a better society than foreigners.

      Do try to keep up with the ever-expanding definition! “Romanian” is apparently now a race, joining “Irish”, “Muslim” and other approved-victimhood categories.

      It’s fascinating to watch the “signalling spiral” phenomenon in action. “I care more for far-away people than for people nearer to me, see how humane I am” turns out to have ever-widening ramifications. We are living through a vast historic experiment to see what happens when a civilization follows the implications as far as it can.

      • Tom Welsh

        ‘“I care more for far-away people than for people nearer to me, see how humane I am” turns out to have ever-widening ramifications’.

        Especially when, as we see today, it results in far-away people turning up on your doorstep the following day. Oh dear.

      • Tom Welsh

        Why not abolish DFID indeed? Maybe we should do so until we have fixed poverty, disease and inequality in the UK. However, if you really feel it’s essential to give large amounts of taxpayers’ money to foreign governments so they can buy Western (mainly American) armaments, let’s at least limit the outlay to some reasonable maximum that we can afford to throw away. The current budget of around £11 billion is nearly as much as we give (net) to the EU, but it seems odd to hand out money to a nation like India which has its own space program, nuclear weapons, and which has more than twice as many billionaires as the UK.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    I too wil vote remain bit not without some reluctance.Mainly, I think that the opportunity afforded by Brexit to such charlatans and opportunist hypocrites as Johnson and Farage does not bear contemplation but I am not as optimistic that neo-liberalism can be rolled back without a huge fight, and that is why i am less optimistic than CM. I don’t think much will happen without a considerable number of ‘decorated lamposts’, but i think that the grip of the security system and the propaganda machine is so firmly established, that there is in effect, no conceivable way of overturning the entrenched power relations that the EU represents. i.e. we won’t actually ever see such events.
    Besides the most compelling issue that we face at the moment is the ‘environment’ which to the majority of people is not a matter where they have any conception of how to relate to the issues that are raised by it, or feel that they have any meaningful instrumentality. We are, to a huge extent , all of us, even the most highly committed environmentalists, utterly dependent on the technical, economic and bureaucratic systems that neo-liberalism has delivered, and enslaved us to. These things bring degrees of comfort and convenience which are impossible to deny to oneself-simply because we almost certainly would not survive long without them. In addition to the conveniences and comforts that the technical project that is neo-liberalism has delivered, we are now largely dependent on, or in hock to, (regardless of the ‘blogosphere’ providing an alternative perspective), the compelling cultural dimensions which are associated with neoliberalism (call it propaganda if you wish-but it is not that straightforward really).
    Climate change will ensure continuing pressure on human rights and the desperation of refugees,and migration, and the continuation of warfare as an instrument of control and compliance, especially with a United States and its acolytes, which are so entirely committed to the principle of hegemony. That has not changed, and will not change regardless of bogus politicians (such as Trump/Gove/Farage etc) ‘disruptive’ messages.

    • Loony

      You are correct in that neo-liberalism cannot be rolled back without a huge fight.

      The EU is a cornerstone institution of neo-liberalism and weakening it is as good a place to start as any. The EU is likely much weaker than it appears and a vote to leave the EU may be sufficient to bring the whole rotting structure crashing down.

      At the moment no sacrifice is demanded of you beyond placing a tick in a box. If you are not even prepared to do this then you are obviously not up for much of a fight.

      Unfortunately for you it is not really your choice to make. If you wont fight then other people will – and if it gets to the end game then the people that will be doing the fighting will be people who consider that destruction of the planet is preferable to surrender.

      • Martinned

        Wait, how is the EU more of a “cornerstone institution of neo-liberalism” than Whitehall/Westminster? Both are politically neutral; you get what you vote for. (And at least the EU has a degree of proportionate representation.) It’s not the EU’s fault that many European voters don’t agree with you, ideologically.

    • Tom Welsh

      So, to simplify your remarks, you are against everything the EU stands for as a matter of principle; but you will vote Remain because you have taken a dislike to some people’s personalities.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    “The tension will be greater than normal general election nights because the major broadcasters have not commissioned any exit polls over concerns about accuracy.

    There were also no exit polls at the Scottish referendum”

    “The Electoral Commission is forecasting that turnout could be as high as 80 per cent (significantly more than the 66 per cent who voted at last year’s general election).”

    We already know the result then don’t we?

    We also know how it is going to be achieved…

    Maybe 60% of the vote coming from The Electorate, and 20% coming from The Security Services – all mixed up with the Real Vote – all with The REMAIN box ticked.

    How can this be Prevented?

    Tony

  • nevermind

    Thanks for bothering Craig, the key to change in Europe lies with an unelected Commission which is currently dealing with TTIP and TISA, as Ba’al mentioned last night, unless they are accountable to voters, rather than 30.000 lobbyists and TNC’s/bankers in their home countries, not much will change without massive voter participation and action.

    Germany is dependent on immigrants to keep its economy going and the banks happy, their ageing populus requiring such measure, this will not change.
    I’m exhausted by all the false arguments that were created to placate and divert discussions.

    No fighting on the beaches reminiscing here, Churchill’s founding comments to the EU were totally blanked out, 1.2 million expats living and working in the EU never asked or featured in the debate.
    Add to that the awful decision not to let EU citizens vote in this referendum when they clearly are pulling their weight economically is an issue the Electoral Commission should have put right, over turned. But its becoming clearer by the day that they are toothless tigers with no mandate but that of the political parties, not voters.
    you said:
    ‘To put that another way, the cleverer rich (ie not Philip Green) have started to realise that if things go on this way, they will be decorating lamp-posts.’

    have we got enough Lamp posts? one would not like to hang these strange fruits into trees. Many other countries are waking up to the ceasing anger that leads us, Poland is a right wing liability at present, Italy is in full blown change, as are Spain and Greece. It feels as if we are challenged to be pounced upon from outside the EU.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcCm_ySBslk

    That all said, our blue boys above have been doing some severe attack l;oops above our heads for the last two days, no doubt they will say its due to the bad weather before…..

    • Martinned

      “unelected Commission”? So the Commission’s investiture vote was a figment of my imagination?

      Germany is dependent on immigrants to keep its economy going

      It might be, on sound economic logic, but I think sound economic logic isn’t very common in Germany these days. They don’t even seem to adhere to the laws of arithmetic.

    • laguerre

      “the key to change in Europe lies with an unelected Commission which is currently dealing with TTIP and TISA,”

      Nonsense. The commision is the equivalent of our Civil Service. Heads of Department in Whitehall are not elected. In any case the French are opposed to TTIP, and I can’t see them changing in the near future. On the other hand, if the Brexit vote wins, you’ll get TTIP faster than you can turn around. British politicians are quite familiar with brown-nosing the US. They’ll sign without hesitation. After all they’re “Atlanticists” in the main.

      • Tom Welsh

        “The commision [sic] is the equivalent of our Civil Service”.

        Funny. I didn’t think the UK Civil Service had been formally identified as the Executive of the UK Government.

        • laguerre

          “Funny. I didn’t think the UK Civil Service had been formally identified as the Executive of the UK Government”

          Funny, I didn’t think you had such a serious misunderstanding of the way the EU Commission works. Ah, I know – it’s because you believe Wikipedia, although there are many EU documents to inform you, and which are, let us say, more reliable than an encyclopedia which any nutter can change to suit his prejudices.

  • fred

    I voted No in the Scottish referendum and I will be voting Remain tomorrow. I hereby do NOT authorise Nicola Sturgeon to use my vote as an indication I want another independence referendum, I’m sure I speak for all who voted No in 2014 and Remain in 2016 when I say that. Win or lose in Europe it’s about Europe not Scotland, to try and link the two is despicable.

    A good piece on monsters, villains and EU referendums from J.K.Rowling.

    http://www.jkrowling.com/en_GB/#/timeline/on-monsters-villains-and-the-EU-referendum

    In other news people are flying Mexican flags at the edge of Donald Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/21/trump-golf-course-scotland-mexican-flag

  • Loony

    So concern that your own wages fall as a consequence of Romanian labor competition is racist.

    Being determined to smash the Greek society and economy whilst remaining unconcerned about falling Greek life expectancy and rising infant mortality is not racist.

    What is it about Greeks that means you can happily destroy them whilst retaining your moral purity, but when it comes to Romanians you must give them money – but always and in every case someone else’s money.

    • Macky

      “What is it about Greeks that means you can happily destroy them whilst retaining your moral purity,” ?

      The least damning answer is that condoning thing called “blinkered idealism”, the criminally naive sop that the EU can be “reformed”; it’s can’t, well not like anything in it’s current form; it needs dismantling & building up from scratch, where the welfare of all Europeans takes precedent over the interests of the elites.

    • nevermind

      Loony the last straw for Greece were sanctions that took a large chunk of trade with Russia away, but the false assessment by Goldmann Sachs in 1981, making Greece eligible to access the EU was the real killer.
      All those large farmers and Greek shipping magnates made much noise for joining and they did, now they need support and restructuring, but most importantly, they want their trade with Russia back.

  • Clydebuilt

    I will vote to Remain, however It is wrong to think that the only effect of EU immigration on working class Brits is to depress their wages from £10 to £9. It’s actually a lot worse than that. There are two employers locally who have replaced locals with EU migrants, one company sacked their tractor driver replaced by a Pole same thing happened in a near bye small engineering firm. That’s just my experience, how many times is it replicated across the country. We keep hearing farmers can’t get locals to do seasonal work for them so they have to bring in migrants. Perhaps if these farmers were forced to pay a decent wage, they’d have no shortage of local employees. A situation that would flow from a points based immigration system. I think we should Remain but I don’t think we are doing enough to safeguard our low skilled citizens. Australia has a points based immigration system for this very purpose.

  • DiamondFish

    Craig will be interested to know that the law against treating is apparently alive and well, as The Guardian reports that “operation croissant” had to be cancelled this morning:

    “This is an initiative staged by Parisiens who want to show Britons at King’s Cross station in London this morning how much the French want them to stay in the EU. The original plan was to hand out free croissants. But the organisers say they were advised by the police that this would be illegal (giving food or drink to people to influence their vote, or “treating” as it is known, used to be a standard election practice many years ago, but a law was passed to make it an offence) and so instead the organisers decided to hand out postcards.”

    • nevermind

      that law was passed in the 18 hundreds and it has been severely flouted by party politicians, especially the two main parties.

    • Martinned

      It’s one of the many, many things that Lutfur Rahman was accused of, although if memory serves it’s not one of the things he was found guilty of.

  • RobG

    Tommy Mair, the man accused of the brutal murder of Jo Cox, has made an extraordinary number of court appearances so soon after the event. Mair was in court last Saturday, then again on Monday, and his next court appearance will be tomorrow at 10am, the day of the referendum.

    Can anyone tell me what the reporting regulations are for a referendum like this?

  • Loony

    Filling up your country with Spanish waiters who barely speak English proves you are not racist.

    Preventing Indian Doctors and engineers from settling in the UK proves you are stupid. It is easier to get rid rid of Indians as they speak English and understand what Fuck off means.

  • Clydebuilt

    Fred….. You don’t speak for all who voted NO in 2014, Many soft YES and undecided were hoodwinked by the Last minute Vow, Gordon Brown’s vote NO for faster Change , Vote NO to build lotsa frigates on the Clyde, Vote NO to remain in the EU. these people are angry at what has transpired since the referendum. Every day that passes another Patriotic Better Together Vote NO promise fades away.

    • fred

      We had more than enough Nationalist propaganda and lies in 2014, this referendum is about Europe and for the Scots Nationalists to try and hijack it is despicable.

  • Loony

    In terms of the EU it does not really matter what the outcome of the referendum is.

    The EU must collapse and therefore it will collapse. The only question is when and how. If the British fail then it is probable that the next attempt will come from the French., If they fail then it will be up to Russia – they will not fail, but the collateral damage could include the entire planet.

    The British have the best chance of initiating a controlled demolition and thereby limiting the collateral damage to something that is manageable.

      • Tom Welsh

        The EU must collapse for very similar reasons to those that brought about the dissolution of the USSR. A central government composed of very rich, highly-educated people who think they know it all. An economy and financial system that is headed steadily south. And, to round it all off, an utterly disastrous foreign policy which includes opening the doors to millions of foreign refugees, some of whom are terrorists and many of whom have cultural and moral standards that are utterly incompatible with European values – let alone British values – and trying to start a war with Russia.

        • lysias

          Sounds an awful lot like what we have here in the U.S., whose long-term survival at least in its present form I very much doubt.

        • Martinned

          Wait, your beef with the EU is that it has adopted communism? That’s unusual for Craig’s blog. Usually the objection is a lack of communism.

          • Tom Welsh

            I didn’t mention “communism”. In any case, the Soviets described their system as “socialist”, and didn’t ever use the term “communism”.

            At government level, it makes no difference what ideological terms are flung around. As they used to say when I was in school, “Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man; communism is the opposite”. Fascism is fascism, and that’s what the EU is.

          • Martinned

            Fascism is fascism, and that’s what the EU is.

            If you say so. I guess they way to prove that is to follow the lead of Nigel Farage and vote leave…

      • Richard

        Says time – everything must collapse, the good, the bad and the indifferent. The more alert will have noticed that there is no longer a British Empire, an Ottoman Empire, an Austro-Hungarian Empire, a Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, … (and Ozymandias is looking a bit peaky of late)

        Though the people for whom it is an item of faith will keep it going as long as they can (cf. the Euro currency), the E.U. will collapse sooner rather than later due to the innate stresses and strains within it which, blinded by strong faith and exorbitant wishful thinking, its architects are able to ignore. The faithless can see it, however, and it is a question of when, not if.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    To put that another way, the cleverer rich (ie not Philip Green) have started to realise that if things go on this way, they will be decorating lamp-posts.

    This tastes of pie in the sky, and at some level you must know it. Its inevitable falsity undermines your argument on immigration, too. Sure, IF we built houses, IF we didn’t see wages falling in real terms year-on-year (you may not, but I do), IF the NHS could cope with increased numbers, IF zero-hours contracts were illegal…etc, etc… and, most importantly IF growth in the economy meant rising expectations for the majority (granted, a gold miner in Africa might benefit), the immigration issue would be closer to racism. But you can’t dismiss it so easily in the present case, and those IFs are not going to materialise any time soon, or at all.

    However, there is no indication that they would materialise under the Leave plan, should they have one, either. Or that the environment would be any better protected by Johnson than by the EU – badly, as today’s piece by George Monbiot in the Guardian points out. For both camps, If growing the economy means wrecking our life-support system, then so be it, get the chainsaws out, and light a fire on the remains. The EU farm subsidy system is another shocking abuse of power.

    This ‘choice’ is actually no choice, except for marginal interest groups. The global financial ethos remains supreme, the requirement for the cheapest possible labour costs, the maximum speculative leverage of intangible credit and debt, will persist – we aren’t structured to do anything else – and the sense of entitlement felt by the fat cats will continue to be massaged at everyone else’s expense. It may be done differently in the future, via different legal channels and loopholes. It may be better spun and camouflaged… but the public is not about to string Green up from a lamp post and end it all thereby (no, it wouldn’t end it all. It would be absorbed by the system).

    The only valid choice to be made is one of self-interest. I shall probably vote Remain, after long consideration, for that reason and no other. But I fully understand the frustration of someone who will be voting Leave, and I’m not so far away from their point of view as to give the likes of Blair much satisfaction.

    Let battle be joined, and may the selfishest man or woman win!

    • Macky

      “The only valid choice to be made is one of self-interest. ”

      Only to be expected from somebody whose response to the immoral UK arms sales to repressive regimes is to say, “well if we won’t sell to them, then the Russians will” !!

      • Ba'al Zevul

        It’s called ‘realpolitik’, Macky. and what you did there is called ‘playing the man, not the ball’.

        Politics is the art of the possible.

        • Macky

          No, this irrational reasoning for you voting Remain, is shown to be irrational by your failure to answer the question I put to you iro your response to the immoral arms sales, namely, would you accept somebody commencing fracking where you live, adversely affecting your drinking water, and your general quality of life, just on the grounds that if you object to that person, then somebody else would do it anyway ? !

          Short term self-interest is no self-interest at all.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            O dear. No question mark = not a question, Macky. So no answer to your earlier post. There is a question mark in your next one. So, I’ll answer it. I would object to anyone fracking in my vicinity. Not just Cuadrilla. Now let me see you unequivocally condemn all Russian arms sales., or would you like that as a question?

          • Macky

            You can cover your avoidance to a point exposing your hypocritical & unprincipled “if we don’t sell” argument, by hiding behind the absence of a question mark, but now that you have confirm that your argument was indeed hypocritical & unprincipled, based on the self-interest of British arms sales, I don’t see why your motivation for Remain, should not been considered just as unprincipled & solely based on your own personal short-term interest, which is exactly what you have just explicitly just confirmed !

            I oppose arms sales to repressive regimes that violate basic human rights no matter who sells them; you won’t catch me condoning it by saying, “If we don’t it, somebody else will” !

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Man, ball, Macky. My argument wasn’t in the least unprincipled. Merely sane.

            Because I’m not sure how you interpret “if we don’t do it…” as condoning anyting. It’s merely a statement of fact. Neither you nor I are going to wish it away. Whereas there might be some faint prospect of discouraging fracking at a given locality by protest (and they’ll still do it somewhere else), that option does not and has never existed for the much larger world arms trade

            As I have earlier tried to explain, I don’t think either EU faction is likely to alter the situation in which vast profits can be made, (some from arms sales), and transferred to the least deserving in society. I don’t think either option will help the man in the street, or benefit, more than the other, any cause I support. It’s elite vs. elite, in short. Therefore I incline to the option which benefits me personally, and slightly. This is not hypocritical, it’s rational.

            Think that’s all of your fury addressed for now. Some lines to ponder:

            “In this the poor old chap resembles
            Prosperous idealists
            Who talk as if men reached for concord
            With their clenched or grasping fists.”

            The rest is here:

            http://thepoeticalcorrectness.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/william-plomer-1903-1973-charles.html

            Have a nice day!

          • Macky

            “Because I’m not sure how you interpret “if we don’t do it…” as condoning anyting. It’s merely a statement of fact.”

            Context is everything, the subject was immoral UK arm sales to repressive regimes; and this “if we don’t, somebody else will” argument is actually know as The Futility Illusion, a ethically dubious argumentative fallacy, whose logic is faulty and self-serving, look it up.

            “Therefore I incline to the option which benefits me personally, and slightly. This is not hypocritical, it’s rational”

            This wasn’t the hypocrisy that I was referring to; instead this is the selfish rationale, of no use to anybody but yourself, so hardly worth consideration in a debate about the general merits or not of a political union comprising millions of people !

    • Ba'al Zevul

      PS. Iain Duncan Smith gets £150,000 a year for his family estate from the EU farm subsidy scheme, someone with less than five hectares gets SFA. Want to know how our destitution tsar will manage wiothout the subsidy? Or if? So do I.

      • Loony

        Well there you go then – vote Remain and help to subsidize Iain Duncan Smith. You seem to know a lot of words so no doubt you can construct an argument that people like this getting richer is in your own self interest. (unless of course you are Iain Duncan Smith)

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I’m just wondering where the money which Smith so obviously needs (and he’s on the Leave side, Loony – he’s your friend) will come from when he gets his wish. I am delicately suggesting that it is unlikely he will do without it. Perhaps he’ll grow the economy enough to pay for it? And that of his landowning chums? But I’m seeing no credible commitment from Leave to impoverish their many landowning supporters, so back at you. What will replace the farm subsidy?

          The nature of my own self-interest can be found in the observation that I am not getting any younger, and I’d like some of the money that went into my (very small) employer pension still to be available when I have stopped working for a public body strongly dependent on EU funding, and unlikely to attract money without strings from anywhere else. It’s not about IDS getting richer, but me not having a miserable old age. Which looks a hell of a lot more important once you pass 60, let me tell you. It’s realpolitik.

          If IDS consulted his own self-interest, he’d vote Remain, too, on the face of it…but no doubt he has his reasons, not unconnected with promised directorships, perhaps.

          • Loony

            Unfortunately the quality of your old age is unlikely to be overly effected by any vote regarding the EU.

            The entire economic system is on its last legs – we have clearly entered the looting phase now.

            Historically when economies are unable to be revived there is war. There are clear signs that “our leaders” are leading us down a road which ends in war with Russia. Leaving the EU would create a very small bump in the road, and it is possible (perhaps not probable) that it may foster the creation of further more meaningful bumps in the road.

            It is my contention that anything, no matter how small, that may forestall this outcome is in my self interest. This outweighs any concerns that I may have about my economic well being, and outweighs any concerns I have with being on the same side as liars and self serving egotists.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I feel your obvious hatred of stereotypes, Loony. And your desire to avoid categorising people who are very much like each other as. on the one hand, liars and hypocrites, and on the other as desirable leaders. I mean, John Redwood, IDS and Liam Fox are outside the league of Blair, Kinnock and Osborne, aren’t they?

            But it’s the war-with-Russia trope which indicates your real interest. If you genuinely believe it, of course, leaving Europe and strengthening our link with the US (remember who’s heading the Leave campaign) might be seen as national self-interest, which is so much nobler than personal self-interest. Although I have a feeling we’d be pre-emptively targeted, just in case, whatever we do. However, as this is exactly what Putin appears to want, the opposite interpretation, that it would facilitate the absorption of parts of Europe – now deprived of an important American connection, us – by Russia, might also merit consideration.

            Believe me, I’ve thought about it. And I’m with Voltaire – cultivate your own garden.

          • deepgreenpuddock

            When the UK joined, there were many, very quiet speculators ‘in the know’ who had bought up land and farms as much as they could, because they knew there would be an almost instantaneous hike in the price of farm land. As indeed there was.
            In the event of Brexit it is possible that British land value will fall.
            But yes i imagine that one of the first things to happen will be a howl of protest from the damaged land owners and some kind of reform to re-compensate these poor blighters-the Saudi princes, Russian kleptocrats and banking business spivs that inhabit these places now from the ‘supposed -350 billion’ that will become available from the cessation of the EU fees.
            It will be like the slave owners who were recompensed for the loss of their ‘assets’ at the time of the ‘abolishing’ of slavery i.e. the overt trading in human beings, but the actual condition of slavery not actually changing much since destitution is tantamount to slavery and servitude,
            or the appointment of the many ‘stipendiaries’ amongst the great and the good to administer the pennies for the impoverished, having creamed off the charitable pounds and shilings for themselves, at the time of the great potato famine.
            So what has changed.

  • Mencken

    Not voting for Brexit because the Establishment won’t allow it to happen is daft. Why bother voting at all if it’s a fait accompli? And to say it’s racist to say English wages are depressed by foreign labour is a category mistake – there’s plenty of evidence that it happens (and it suits neoliberals down to the ground to have a pool of surplus labour for menial work, whatever their public position).
    But more than that, we English are not a race, but a nation – whose poorest members (BME and white) will continue to be shafted by the neoliberal kleptocracy in Brussels ad infinitum when you get the outcome you want. To say it will ‘worse under Boris’ is the feeblest and most defeatist Remain argument of all – yet it is presented as the strongest. When we get TTIP, Craig, please remember that you voted for it.

  • Eric Smiff

    There is no way the establishment will allow independence for Scotland. The entire establishment rose up against independence, including the BBC.

    The recent rise of the SNP is purely down to the backing of Murdoch and snowball effect from that in the Herald and elsewhere. I am Scottish, never vote, but am developing a growing contempt for the corrupt and controlling SNP. No more than over the vile, proposed. ‘named person’ legislation which is apparently driven by officials, not politicians.

  • mog

    ‘It is no secret I am an enthusiast for the EU. However as an ardent Scottish nationalist it has of course crossed my mind that it might be a plan to vote tactically for Brexit, to provoke a new independence referendum.

    I have decided against this for two reasons. First, there is no way the Establishment is going to allow Brexit to happen.’

    – As posted elsewhere this is an admission that the vote is all but meaningless, that the Establishment whose corruption you (so rightly) commit to exposing is fully committed to and aligned with the EU institution. Your dual position is confusing to me.

    ‘I wish England and the English nothing but well. An independent Scotland inside the EU would be disadvantaged by having its only land border with an ailing England outside the EU.’

    – So to clarify, you are saying that the disadvantages of sharing a border with a Brexit’ed England outweigh the advantages of the likely calls for a second independence referendum in Scotland (one that your side would undoubtedly win). And if you honestly believe that the Establishment would not allow a Brexit to take place anyway, then surely a result for Leave would- if denied by Westminster and Whitehall, help force a second referendum as a reaction, no?

    ‘I like the EU because it has in truth burnt internal national borders.’

    – I like the opening of borders but as you write further down, EU barriers to the people from the world outside are as strong or stronger than ever. What principle supports the replacing of state borders with continental ones? What is better about European nationalism over UK nationalism (or Scottish nationalism)? If the argument is that borders are tools of oppressors then the only answer is to do away with all of them, otherwise we are just changing the lines that demarcate who is ‘IN’ and who is ‘OUT’.

    ‘There is one anti-EU argument I detest worse than anything Nigel Farage has ever said. It is the “left wing” argument that immigration depresses wages for British workers.

    This argument is pure racism. It presupposes that the chance that a British worker might get £10 rather than £9 an hour, is more important than giving a Romanian worker moving here the chance to get £9 an hour rather than £3. Just because one is British and one is Romanian. Racism, pure and simple. ‘

    – Strictly speaking this is an anti-immigration argument not an anti-EU argument (all be it one that is used by some vote Leave campaigners). By confusing the two types of argument you are amplifying the simple polarising pseudo-debate that has pervaded the media coverage – i.e.’ you are a racist if you are anti EU.’
    I have no problem personally with people coming to this country to get as much money as they can, to take or send wealth back to their countries of origin, after all most of the wealth in the UK has come from exploiting or threatening people around the world. However, I do believe the argument that elites know full well the effects of high immigration on public sentiment, especially among the working and precariat classes. They use this cynically to distract discontent about wealth inequality within our society, and have done for a long time.

    ‘The danger of the EU has always been that its internal freedoms would be accompanied by barriers to the world outside, but that is decreasingly true in the economic field as trade barriers have fallen radically, especially to the developing world.’

    – Is this really to the advantage of the developing world though? The WTO and IMF structures have (for decades) purportedly been all about bringing down trade barriers globally, but the small GDP, less developed countries have always lost out.

    ‘The pendulum swings back towards social democracy. Trade treaties with clauses demanding the breaking up of state ownership will fall into abeyance for a few more decades. They are in any event by no means confined to the EU. Banking regulation will, bit by bit, strengthen. Action on tax havens will accrue incrementally.

    The EU is a powerful potential force for economic regulation, and we will see it being put to that proper purpose again, with a little patience.’

    – This is a very rosy picture of the future. No mention of the links between Neoliberalism and the neocon designs on expanding throughout Asia. No mention of the EU becoming more closely aligned up to an increasingly aggressive NATO that seems bent on pressuring Russia to the threshold of nuclear confrontation. I hope that you are right, but I fear you are wrong.

    I was going to not vote. On principle I think that the EU is anti-democratic, and that this has been clearly demonstrated recently : it serves the interests of finance capital at the expense of the majority of people and the planet. The ‘realpolitik’ of the situation tells me that if UK left it would fast track us to a very turbulent world situation. However, I think this is coming anyway, and that Remain would inevitably mean TTIP, TISA and the Neoliberal system becoming set in concrete; also a boost to the US plans for a global hegemony with Washington at its centre.
    I agree that the vote will not be allowed to go Brexit.

  • Loony

    In the last year or so Germany has taken in something over 1 million people from overseas. Most of these people are of unknown origin, with unknown backgrounds and unknown skills. Some of them are likely to be suffering from mental health issues such as PTSD Apparently these people are needed to help power the mighty German economic engine.

    Youth unemployment in Greece stands at 48.9%, in Spain at 45.3%, in Croatia at 40.3%, and in Italy at 39.7%. Apparently these people are not needed for any purpose whatsoever.

    How smart do you need to be to understand that this cannot possible end well. All the prescription sedatives in the world will not contain the rage that is developing in European youth.

    • nevermind

      How smart do you have to be to realise that these young unemployed in souther Europe do not reside in Germany. Why don’t we offer them some work here?

  • Eric Smiff

    The argument against the EU is that it is an unaccountable, Neoliberal dictatorship. An argument used by

    Jeremy Corbyn

    https://youtu.be/uw9EfSynAqY

    Peter Shore

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j-Gb8Pk2Pk&feature=youtu.be

    Tony Benn

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0wFii8klNg

    This was before the massively dumbed down emotional mush of modern discourse. UKIP are a media creation. They are akin to sticking a rattle in a baby’s face to distract it from whatever is upsetting it. It allows the virtual signallers to feel superior while they support what amounts to modern serfdom.

    I suspect the EU will impose TTIP. on Europe without a vote That may well be the point of this referendum. Public services, including the NHS will be sold off. They will be anyway, but at least it will be debated in Britain.

    TTIP is the elephant in the room.

      • Eric Smiff

        The EU is an unelected dictatorship. It will impose TTIP. That’s my point. The fact that Murdoch supports the SNP in order to give us continued Tory rule is a British problem.The Guardian is a corporate, establishment rag, the biggest recipient of HSBC online advertising and is very biased in its arguments.

        • Jim

          If you bothered reading the link I provided you would see that pressure from petitioning by millions of Europeans has managed to delay TTIP. Outside the EU we’d be unable to have that lobbying influence in decision regarding its implementation, and free for the vulture capitalist ‘TTIP on steroids’ the article describes.

      • Macky

        What sort of logic is that ? Vote to stay in the EU & fight against TTIP, even though behind its undemocratic closed doors, it has virtually rubber-stamped it already, because if you don’t a BREXIT right-wing government will probably implement it anyway !

        The obvious fly in the ointment flaw is writing off overall parliamentary opposition, Public opposition, and heaven knows, maybe even a JC Labour Government ! Or don’t we live in a democracy anymore ? 😀

        • Jim

          If you read the link you would see that millions of EU citizens’ lobbying has stalled the implementation of TTIP, which part of that sentence do you not understand?

          The deregulation of a Brexit UK economy by the likes of the Tory leavers in order to remain competitive would be worse than TTIP in this authors opinion. That is not ‘implementing it anyway’, what are you going on about?

          • Macky

            Get real ! When was the last time the EU ever, ever changed direction over anything because of listening to its citizens ?!

            LOL! So now it’s a choice of choosing between Domesday or Domesday on steroids! I actually would prefer to avoid both dates !

          • Jim

            Well you can choose to be unimpressed by the lobbying power of 3 million EU citizens to stall TTIP, I think it’s an achievement worth celebrating, and the battle is not over.

            The premise of the opinion piece was that such lobbying power would be lost in the Brexit scenario, and the alternative would be worse. It’s a good argument.

          • Macky

            So are you suggesting that the abysmal record of lobbying the EU trumps the potential of domestic opposition, both Parliamentary as well as Public ?

            Implementing something even more catastrophic than a general catastrophe, is really rather a superfluous point if either actually happens ! Best to try avoid both !

        • Jim

          Yes, the lobbying power of the whole citizenry of Europe trumps the potential lobbying power of the little old UK, that makes sense to me. Particularly when the parliamentary side of the equation has Tories in the drivers seat until 2020 and a potential Johnson-Gove power base to look after all our interests in the eventuality of a Brexit vote.

          • Macky

            You really think that we UK citizens have more chance of stopping TTIP through lobbying the EU, than we do of stopping a UK Government implementing TTIP (or it’s steroid bogeyman) here in the UK ?!!

          • Macky

            “Yes!!!??!!”

            I think that must mean that this is another of your “‘I’m the only one arguments” again ! 😀

            Nevetheless your lack of belief in our British democracy has been noted, and in due course will be used against you in the interest of exposing hypocrises ! 😀

          • Jim

            Four more years of a potential Johnson-Gove-Duncan-Smith-Grayling horror show leads me to fear their handywork regarding the wellbeing of the average British worker more than the alternative, which as I’ve already pointed out, has had partial success so far. The TTIP battle is not over.

        • laguerre

          ” it has virtually rubber-stamped it already,”

          TTIP is far from rubber-stamped. The French are against it, and unlikely to give way soon, not when there’s a chance of rotten tomatoes being dumped on the steps of the Elysees.

          Brexit is however the route to fast-track TTIP in Britain. Nearly all the Tory magnates are “Atlanticists” – they’ll sign tomorrow, as soon as the US Embassy can print the text of of their computers, or maybe sooner.

  • Eric Smiff

    This article was posted as a response to continued American interference in Britain’s relationship with Europe. Specifically a speech by Mr Obama.

    EU is a CIA project. The Telegraph.

    “It was Washington that drove European integration in the late 1940s, and funded it covertly under the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.

    Nor are many aware of declassified documents from the State Department archives showing that US intelligence funded the European movement secretly for decades, and worked aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into the project.

    As this newspaper first reported when the treasure became available, one memorandum dated July 26, 1950, reveals a campaign to promote a full-fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the Central Inteligence Agency.

    The key CIA front was the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), chaired by Donovan. Another document shows that it provided 53.5 per cent of the European movement’s funds in 1958. The board included Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, CIA directors in the Fifties, and a caste of ex-OSS officials who moved in and out of the CIA.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/27/the-european-union-always-was-a-cia-project-as-brexiteers-discov

  • RobG

    Craig said: “First, there is no way the Establishment is going to allow Brexit to happen.”

    Granted, there are powerful forces at work, but it doesn’t always go their way.

    Look at the Scottish referendum, which, arguably, led to Labour being wiped-out north of the border in the 2015 general election, and the SNP winning almost every seat in Scotland.

    This in turn led to the completely unexpected flook of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader. The unprecedented hate campaign against Corbyn shows that the Establishment weren’t pleased.

    • John Goss

      The Corbyn success was due to a grass-roots movement looking for an alternative to the two Tory Parties: Conservative and Labour. Those of us who left the Labour Party have ever since been looking for somewhere to hang our hats which is electable. Corbyn has restored the fiath that Tony Blair all but destroyed.

  • John Goss

    The equation is simple.

    Remain = integration, integration, integration.
    Leave = discrimination, discrimination, discrimination.

    For internationalists there can only be one way to vote.

    Of course the minutiae is more detailed. The lawyers can argue over such trivia. There is a lot wrong with the EU. Stay in and change what’s wrong. Start with the bankers. They are a much bigger threat to our way of life than immigrants.

    • Loony

      One day before the UK referendum and the ECB balance sheet hits a new all time record high.

      Oh think of the opportunity to integrate with this. You don’t fancy that, then maybe we could reform it. Just how much of Deutsche Banks $57 trillion + of derivatives exposures would you like to reform. Never mind explaining how just think of the virtue signalling opportunities.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Paradoxically, if we exit, the pound will fall to levels which make it highly attractive to sell stuff to the EU. But we’ll no longer have the preferential entry. And we weren’t part of the USA, but look what Lehman Bros managed to do to our economy…

    • Tom Welsh

      “Remain = integration, integration, integration.
      Leave = discrimination, discrimination, discrimination”.

      That’s not simple, John: it’s simplistic. Integration – with what? Eastern Europe, in due course Turkey, and inevitable direct rule by the unelected, utterly undemocratic EC? The European Arrest Warrant which allows a judge anywhere in the EC to have you whisked from your home (do not pass your lawyer’s office or a judge, do not collect any money) to a prison cell where you will rot until it comes up his back to begin investigating – which could be literally years? Try it yourself, why don’t you.

      And as for discrimination, no one can possibly live in this world without discrimination – so it shows bad faith to chant it like a mantra without specifying what kind of discrimination you are complaining of. Sure, the Leave campaign would like to control and reduce EC immigration – but partly so we can admit more people from outside the EC (far more of whom have dark skins, different religions and customs, etc.)

      Your comment appears long on emotion but short on thought.

  • Bill McDermott

    It gladdens my heart to read your thoughts Craig. What a tragedy if the UK votes to leave the EU. Anytime I have been involved in international conferences I have had the sense that this is human kind at its best. That has been in the context of environmental matters.

    Sadly environmental matters have had too low a profile in this debate and I am afraid that it is too often the case that the UK takes a position of undeserved superiority in environmental conservation. The actuality is somewhat different when EU legislation and action amongst our continental brethren is so much better than our own efforts.

    • Loony

      Quite right Bill, The last time I was at an international conference with homeless Spanish people living in the woods and rapidly returning to a hunter gathering type of existence I too had the sense that this was human kind at its best.

  • Neil McKenzie

    Hi Craig,

    Well written, but I wish I had your enthusiasm as far as the establishment is concerned as the establishment has survived for nearly 2,000 years through bigger crisis’ than this. The establishment will protect the establishment at any/ones cost, even if that mention taking us to war or whatever. These Neoliberals will protect their interests before they let anything go, especially their power.

    They know exactly what they are doing and have their lifeboats reserved for when we hit the iceberg.

    Keep up thearly good work

    Regards

    • Bright Eyes

      A young man just now at an Edinburgh ceilidh for Remain said on Sky News he is voting Remain because he likes the music.

      Says it all.

      • Node

        I suspect that 99+% of the voters in this referendum, including me, will base our decisions on equally irrelevant reasoning, the real issues being hidden from us.

      • Tom Welsh

        Yes, because you cannot enjoy Scottish music unless we are ruled from Brussels.

    • MJ

      He did too! Craig said “And second, I love my mum, who is English and moved back from Inverness to Norfolk following the death of my father a decade ago”.

      So there you have it. A more incisive argument for Remain you’ll never find.

  • Krief

    I’m mildly flabbergasted to find that the reasoning you use to defend immigration/wages (who cares if the bottom layers of English society are a bit poorer if it lets some Romanians catch up) is the same as that used by ultra-free-marketeer Tim Worstall to defend inequality in Western society caused by free-trade (the third world poor are getting absolutely richer, while the first world poor are only getting relatively poorer).

    Weird.

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