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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  • Hieroglyph

    From the outset, I have thought there was exactly zero chance of Brexit happening. This is entirely unrelated to the actual result of the referendum, and entirely related to the wishes of the security state. Referendums, alas, appear to be PR vehicles, where democracy is given a pat on the head, and the result fixed. I remain entirely unconvinced about the Indy Ref, and think Remain will win, in similarly dubious circumstances.

    I note that, like Indy, exit polls have now been declared verboten. For no reason I can understand, a key referendum will, once again, have no exit poll. Anyone who can’t see how dubious this is, just isn’t trying very hard; it’s dodgy as all hell, and a blatant sign that something is afoot. We will see, of course, and I may be proved wrong. My prediction: a late surge in EU enthusiasm, and a large amount of postal voters who love the neoliberal free trade agreements of the EU. 52% – 48%, and we will Remain. Pollsters ‘proved wrong’ again, and so the world turns.

    I have no dog in this game, though would vote Remain, with no especial enthusiasm. The idea of the EU, that’s excellent; the actual EU, that’s pretty average. However, the EU still has a re-distributive element, and the Brexit Tories do not, so that would just about swing it for me. Can’t say I’d be gutted though if Cameron was forced out, after losing …

  • Paula Varley

    I didn’t think you’d last the whole campaign ! This puts you on the same side as Tony Blair, you do realise that, don’t you? I am from Norfolk too, and we are mainly voting Leave this week. For my part, I too like our immigrants, it’s the lack of democracy and accountability that I can’t abide. When Merkel unilaterally overturned Dublin II last year, to open the external borders to migrants, she may have done the wrong thing for the right reason, but what defined the moment for me was – she had absolutely no right, nor authority to abrogate a treaty obligation, on a compassionate whim. The EU cannot function if member states cause havoc by making it up as they go along. Unfortunately, the faking of the currency convergence criteria in order to launch the euro on time was another time when Germany led the way in bending the rules upon which it is otherwise so insistent. I suspect Remain will take the day, because the establishment will not permit the UK to leave – too much is at stake. The least I can do is to vote against it.

    • bevin

      I agree with almost all you say.
      We live in a culture, an empire, in which lying and cheating have been increasing for a century-essentially since the Russian Revolution revealed the depth of the divide between rulers and ruled, which had been apparent since the first winter of the Great War.
      The Security Services a couple of rooms full of enthusiastic amateurs in 1914 have grown to become a shadow state. Parliament, once truly sovereign, if only because it was dominated by the ruling classes, has become a cheap sideshow, featuring a cast of second rate celebrities without either talent or shame. The entire state apparatus has become a parody of the imperial thing that it came from, lacking the saving grace of sincerely believing in its mistaken ideologies and reduced to simply plundering, bullying and cheating.
      Capitalism doesn’t work and those running it, know it. And yet they will not risk the possible discomforts of attempting to negotiate changes. They wait for its collapse and, in the meantime, which could last decades, they take everything that they can with no thought for the morrow.
      That is why they are ready to consign entire populations into poverty, generations into debt bondage and under employment and the planet itself into unprecedented crisis.
      The age is exemplified by Fukushima where 600 tonnes of molten fuel are beyond control. And the world looks away pretending that it just isn’t a problem.
      The EU is cracking up. It can only continue to exist as an empire in which the peripheries serve as colonies, run by comprador elites and caudillos-until it explodes.
      With nothing to contribute intellectually or spiritually to a world in which the “west” is increasingly distinguished by its cynicism and nihilistic brutality-its fascism- the question of what Britain chooses is ceasing to matter very much. A backwater in 1492, western Europe is likely to be one again by 2092- pirates we were and pirates we remain. Too bad that we couldn’t make more of our opportunities, by building a decent just, fair and charitable society for example. It would have been an example to all the world and some sort of compensation for all the harm we have done. “The evil men do lives after them.”

      • Resident Dissident

        Since the Russian Revolution eh? And how did that alternative to the inevitable collapse of Capitalism fare?

    • Shatnersrug

      I think your first comment is a fairly preposterous statement. It’s the same type of binary thinking that dogged the Scot indie ref. I’m sure there are a number of other things Tone and Craig agree on, which is why I presume you are making a nudge nudge quip and not actually serious.

      Merkel is a dreadful person, as are the rest of the neoliberal banker PR people that have the cheek to call themselves the people’s representatives but their time is passing, we as the people of Europe have a fantastic opportunity now to stand up for ourselves within politics and start to take democracy back, the European project could become a shining light, should it be wrestled back from the lobbyists and bankers, but if Britain leaves then France will follow and we’ll be back at war with each other within 15 years.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I have actually been busy all night- not been to sleep yet – My intention was to walk – about 10-15 mins to The Polling Station and be The First To Cast My Vote To Leave at 6:00 am

    I got the time wrong – an hour out. The polling stations do not open till 7:00 am…

    “Faithless – I can´t get no sleep/insomnia”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnySDsNGD6o

    LEAVE

    Tony

  • Dave

    I’m sorry but a Scottish nationalist that wants open borders and presumably membership of the Euro, wont have a Scotland to be nationalist over, for long, considering Scotland has a small population, easily outnumbered if the immigrants went there instead of London. And replacing the Bank of England with the European Central Bank will reduce your influence on economic policy.

    Pragmatically a prudent Scot should support devolution in UK rather than devolution in EU as a more secure way to build, perhaps, an appetite and confidence for genuine independence (own currency outside UK and EU) which seems to be the SNP position and thus should vote Leave to strengthen the UK border in a vital step in protecting their own.

    You appear to think Scottish independence is the way to inflict a blow to the neo-con agenda, perhaps it would, but in the meantime vote Leave and inflict a far greater blow and I’m surprised you don’t want to take the opportunity to do so!

    • Muscleguy

      As an independent nation in the EU we get more MEPs, we get our ministers at the table in the decision making and the horse trading. We get Commissioners. We get our people negotiating fisheries not some blowhard English Lord as currently happens.

      At the moment Scotland’s voice is barely heard. We can only tag along to meetings with Westminster’s permission and that is usually denied. It was on the last fisheries round.

      As an independent nation in Europe we can make common cause with like minded nations and win friends and influence people. We can be like Ireland, only richer and better educated and less priest ridden.

      • michael norton

        David Cameron
        Gordon Brown
        Anthony Blair
        Alec Douglas-Hume
        Harold McMillan
        Ramsay McDonald
        Bonar Law
        Henry Campbell-Bannerman

        at least some of these people have Scots blood in them.

  • Hieroglyph

    Further to my previous post. A week ago, Brexit were 10 points up. Yesterday, I saw them 4 points up. Today? The Guardian tells us vote is too close to call. And still no explanation for lack of exit poll. How curious is the incuriousness of journalists. Assange has already raised a house-arrested eyebrow, but expect nothing from the BBC.

    • fred

      Yes there is an explanation for the lack of an exit poll, one I have stated often but still gets ignored. In these days of mobile technology there is no need to pay people to stand outside polling stations asking people how they voted, you can just ring them. It gives a more accurate result as well.

      Odds have shifted overnight, William Hill are offering 7 to 1 on for remain, 9 to 2 against for leave.

      Of course this isn’t going to stop people claiming the referendum was rigged when remain wins and pointing to the lack of an exit poll and one of the surveys which put leave ahead as proof.

      • glenn_uk

        Fred, that’s just silly, with all due respect.

        If some group wanted to conduct exit polls at my polling station, how would they know I’d just walked out of the place, if they weren’t there to see me do so? How would they know my number? Why would I even answer an unknown number, or tell the person at the other end anything at all?

        “Mobile technology” be damned – it has absolutely zero to offer in terms of efficacy over people standing with clip boards, asking questions of people leaving the polling station.

  • Tom

    Well said. I’m voting Remain too.
    I’ve toyed with a Leave vote in curmudgeonly moments but this campaign has thrown into bold relief the kind of people who the Brexit cause attracts, and therefore the kind of people who would be allowed to run the country, unchecked.
    We cannot let Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay Brothers and the Daily Mail, and their ex-employees Johnson and Gove, get away with wrapping themselves in the flag while pursuing to use and divide the peoples of the UK for their own devious ends.
    Ultimately, while far from perfect, a Remain vote today is the positive choice, whether you’re naturally of the left or right.

    • Resident Dissident

      Well said when one Old Etonian is now damaged goods and clearly on the way out why in effect vote for another to replace him.

  • fwl

    If the EU were to become a super sized federal state along US lines that might be worth considering and whilst the US has it’s apparent so called ‘deep state’ it is a least on the surface far more accountable and many very controversial issues are surprisingly investigated, aired in public and widely discussed in the US, but even such apparent democracy is not on offer in the EU, neither now nor in the future. Our little Island’s democracy and transparency is flawed, but it is something.

    The Remain campaign is based on an appeal to short term economic fears. What is the real long term remain ideal? Do we understand it?

    Leave is pragmatic and appears to be more long term than the Remain i.e. willing to accept some immediate economic uncertainty for the avoidance of greater long term risks. Why allow ourselves to drift into some giant growing super state, which is far less democratic and open than the UK or the US, and which is set to be become less democratic and (as it starts to shake off NATO and US influence and instead rely on its own army – much to Russia’s delight) and less safe.

    At the end of the day there is much I do not know. Who pulls which strings are all unknown to me. I worry about the right wing, but to rely on the EU to guard us from our right wing is pretty pathetic.

    No man is an island, but Britain is. An island with alliances will do.

  • Dave

    Voting reform in a reformed UK is the way to avoid Leave becoming a Tory Brexit, and ironically the cross-party campaigns on both sides, including making ‘right-wing conservatives’ pro-NHS, proves consensus politics can work.

  • James Chater

    In 1975 I voted to stay in the EU or whatever it was then called because the extreme left of Labour and the extreme right of the tories wanted us to leave. If I had the right to vote now, I would vote to stay for roughly the same reasons, i.e. to avoid handing over the country to the likes of Farage, Johnson, Gove etc.

    • Richard

      You only “hand over” the country to such folk if people vote for them. Vote for someone else instead. And how is Farage worse than Junker for whom you can’t vote and never will?

  • Richard Proud

    I see that a French/English group `Operation Croissant` has been stopped from handing out Croissants at Kings Cross due to an old electoral law banning the corrupting practice of `Treating`, re. your article `Treating Jack Straw differently` 10th April 2015. Another example of one law for them and another for us.

  • Colin Valley

    In a world of complex and multi-interdependent relationships, who amongst us really believes leaving the EU will harm anyone more than the privileged elite class? This is why we must vote to leave the EU and kickstart something. We’re better than this and deserve better than this. Or are we going to let the Sir Philip Greens and tax haven Tinas with their botox and boat tans walk away with the pensions of 11,000 BHS workers?

    “Oxfam reckons the global rich have $7.6 trillion stashed out of reach of government taxation. Who out there believes that these people will surrender their wealth in obedience to a democratic mandate? Before the Syriza debacle, there may have been some excuse for thinking it possible. Not any more.”

    So what are we going to do? And are the privileged elites best placed to forge fresh, adult global relations or academics and trade unionists? As they have and shall continue to.

  • Simon

    oh la la craig. Life’s complicated when you have to decide which forum for your issues before debating the issues. A big current in Europe has been diplomats and functionaries from outside the metropole in their home countries, with whom you have much in common. At the outset, their rise corrected an imbalance, and their were obvious problems with the preponderance of national governments that they were able to fix, that they built their authority addressing, that national governments were often happy to have off their plates. That Europe, largely inspired by France, is finished. Germany, now united, now that we all owe them tons of money, is not going back to it’s docile ways, and the German vision is much crueller than the French one. But mostly, Europe will never be democratic because there’s no European people. With the people outta the picture, producers and financiers are free to help themselves, and they are.

    Lumping us all together, savers and spendthrifts, with our armoury of stereotypes of mutual detestation and galloping inequality, is a recipe for the mother of all civil wars. Now that Europe is vigorously stopping national governments from protecting their populations, from influxes of migrants in some cases, from hunger and misery in Greece, this could unfold in a fairly short time frame.

    It’s always interesting to spot the point in folk’s reasoning where the massive hypothetical enters, and ruins everything. When you refer to your strong internationalism, are you talking about pragmatic measures to strengthen what works in our international institutions, or a peaceful world without borders that you’ve hatched in your imagination?

    • nevermind

      Simon you vision is poor and sad, I hope that you have no offspring to teach such inaccuracies.
      A united Europe started with the Hanseatic league which gave the blueprint to Count Calergi, who worked with Winston Churchill.
      yes, one of the nations favourite politician was a European at heart, that is why you heard no quote at al from him during this puerile debate, he knew were our interests lie when he spoke to students at Zurich university in 1947

      ““There is a remedy which … would in a few years make all Europe … free and … happy. It is to re-create the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.
      We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”

      please do educate yourself its all there if you care to look

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

      • michael norton

        Most of the people in my town are going to Vote Leave, there are no posters, no wall art, not one for Vote Remain.
        To Vote Remain is a vote for despair.

  • Monteverdi

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/159572/david-cameron-calls-jewish-community-vote-remain-so-britain-can-support-israel-i

    And this is the speech made by David Cameron to me a British Jew [ above ] , that I should vote Remain not on the merits staying in the EU as a British citizen , but to protect the interests of the Zionist middle eastern State that is Israel .
    An astounding and profoundly worrying speech given to British citizens by a British Prime Minister .!!

  • Bert

    So the neo-liberal experiment is coming to and end! Really. It has taken long enough.

    As someone with an interest in theoretical physics we have a common practice that helps us to understand how things might work: it is called the thought experiment. It was obvious to many of us 35 years ago that neo-liberal economics would not work and, the first time I heard thatcher spout ‘trickle down’ I simply burst out laughing. That is a complete and utter failure to understand the simplest things about capitalist economics. Reading Craig’s piece I am reminded of something a read last year:

    Not long ago I found myself at a dinner party hosted by a bright and concerned member of the 1 percent. Aware of the great divide, our host had brought together leading billionaires, academics, and others who were worried about inequality. As the evening’s early chitchat burbled on, I overheard one billionaire — who had gotten his start in life by inheriting a fortune — discuss with another the problem of lazy Americans who were trying to free ride on the rest. Soon thereafter, they seamlessly transitioned into a discussion of tax shelters, apparently unaware of the irony. Several times in the evening, Marie Antoinette and the guillotine were invoked as the gathered plutocrats reminded each other of the risks of allowing inequality to grow to excess: “Remember the guillotine” set the tone for the evening. And in that refrain they confessed a central message of this book: the level of inequality in America is not inevitable; it is not the result of inexorable laws of economics. It is a matter of policies and politics. It was, they seemed to be saying, possible for these powerful men to do something about inequality.

    This is but one of the reasons why concern about inequality has become urgent even among the 1 percent: increasing numbers of them realize that sustained economic growth, upon which their prosperity depends, can’t happen when the vast majority of citizens have stagnant incomes.

    Oxfam forcefully brought home the extent of the world’s growing inequality to the annual gathering of the world’s elite in Davos in 2014, pointing out that a bus with some 85 of the world’s billionaires had as much wealth as the bottom half of its population, some three billion people. I By a year later the bus had shrunk — it required only 80 seats. Just as dramatic, Oxfam found that the top 1 percent of the world now owned nearly half the world’s wealth — and are on track to own as much of the rest of the 99 percent combined by 2016.

    [Stiglitz, J. (2015) The Great Divide. London. Allen Lane. [p.xii]]

    The above is used in good faith and subject to the terms of Fair Use and for educational purposes. If Craig thinks it is a copyright violation he will have to delete it.

    Bert.

    • Bert.

      A further point has arisen.

      I placed the Stiglitz quote above in HTML quote tags to make it clear that was a quotation from another person’s work.

      When the comment appeared it had the quote tags removed!

      This could lead to misunderstanding. When quoting someone else’s work it has to be made clear where the quotation starts and ends for proper copyright practice. One cannot use too much while claiming Fair Use and the original must be properly referenced. I wrote it so that the beginning and end of the quote were clearly indicated. The host server seems to have removed those quotation boundaries.

      Bert.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for your excellent post Bert, would you say that the liberal economic drive has over shot, that the 99% are angry enough to polish lamp posts?

      It looks like the party political conjurers/puppets to the 1%, will once again bamboozle the masses with fine words/lies before the edifice comes down, at least here in the UK. Not so sure about Greece and Italy, but as we seen from what happened in Tunisia, it takes only one righteous spark to set the line of powder alight.

      • Bert.

        I do not know when it will happen. Let’s face it, if I could make a good guess, they would ready for it.

        I do not really want to see a visitation by Madam La Guillotine. A bloodbath serves no-one well.

        Sadly the 1% will cling to power as long as they can so a bloodbath it will eventually be.

        The EU could be used to strike down the power of the 1%. They can dictate to each country – or do them terrible damage. But they cannot dictate to the whole of the EU – 28 countries is too big for them.

        In 2008/9 the EU could have regulated the banks until the pips squeaked. Then told them: “If you want to operate inside the largest economic block on the planet you do it our way. AND you abide by these regulations in whatever country you operate including outside the EU. Else you can leave. But, before you do that, leave the people’s money behind; leave the business’ money behind; and leave the European government’s money (which is the people’s money) behind.”

        Bert.

        Do you think the banks would have walked away from the most lucrative market in the world.

    • Gulliver

      Nick Hanauer has been talking about this for a while now: –

      https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming/transcript?language=en

      Unfortunately for every Hanauer there’s a dozen neo-cons happily denying the evidence and still clinging to the trickle down/laffer curve nonsense: –

      http://thereasonablerepublican.com/response-to-billionaire-nick-hanauer-if-the-pitchforks-are-coming-they-shouldnt-be-for-you/#.V2vhfPbgZgY

  • Tony M

    I think the case for localism swings it back to leave for me. Larger units cannot be anything but less democratic.

    • michael norton

      If we vote to Leave the hated E.U.
      can we stop the FRENCH from building Hinkley Point C in Somerset?

      • nevermind

        never mind your small matter of hate, please do tell us whether you have an alternative. would you rather have one of these in your back garden.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/19/rolls-royce-could-power-britains-nuclear-future-with-mini-reacto/

        don’t worry about it, but Rolls Royce has asked the EU for a technological grant to develop these small and dangerous plants. It all goes round in circles doesn’t it. A hard up Rolls Royce is rather pumping the EU for money than its own Government which is pushing their ideas.

        • fred

          I’ve been saying small scale nuclear was the way to go for years. Safe, reliable, carbon neutral.

          Why pay the Chinese to build massive power stations on site when we can get a British firm to employ British workers to build power stations in Britain that can be put on a ship and exported to the world.

          • michael norton

            A prominent Conservative donor has set out plans to capitalise on the threat of electricity blackouts by building a new £1.1bn link to France’s nuclear-powered electricity grid.

            Alexander Temerko, an outspoken critic of the Government’s energy policy despite his financial support for the Tory party, hopes to build the 150-mile undersea power cable to meet demand for imports of cheap power from Britain’s closest continental neighbour by 2021.

            The Ukrainian-born entrepreneur says the Government’s energy strategy is “detached from reality”, arguing a combination of decommissioning of coal power stations and a failure to support investment in their replacements will lead to electricity shortages.

            Now Mr Temerko has unveiled the new “Aquind” interconnector project, which would have a 2 gigawatt (GW) capacity – equalling the size of Britain’s biggest existing interconnector, and larger than any rival proposed project.
            from The Daily Telegraph

          • Martinned

            Seems like a plan: He’s putting his money where his mouth is, and in the process he’s giving the UK some much needed additional interchange capacity.

  • Monteverdi

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/robert-mundell-evil-genius-euro

    ” The EU is a potential force for economic regulation ” [ Craig Murray ]
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    In fact exactly the opposite Craig and I would suggest you read a little [ above ] about the the US/Canadian right wing neo-con economist Robert Mundell , the architect of the Euro , his scary reasons for creating it which was to encourage economic deregulation , labour market deregulation plus all the other objectives of the neo-con global economic agenda . I’m afraid you’re deluding yourself.

    • michael norton

      TURKEY‘flabbergasted’ by Cameron’s EU volte-face
      https://www.rt.com/uk/347761-turkey-cameron-eu-referendum/
      A senior Turkish official has accused UK Prime Minister David Cameron of abandoning Ankara in its bid to join the EU as the PM fights his Brexit referendum campaign.

      Chief presidential adviser İlnur Çevik said the Cameron’s apparent U-turn had left Turks “flabbergasted,” because Cameron had previously been very supportive of Ankara joining the bloc.

      Cameron said in May that Turkey would not become an EU member state “until the year 3000” – a statement which shocked some observers in the country.

      The British Embassy in Turkey continues to state on its website: “We have a dedicated team working on projects to improve Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU.”

      It seems David Cameron is a bit confused,
      perhaps, soon it will be time for him to step down?

    • Martinned

      The EU Institutions will enact whatever agenda its voters vote for. That’s democracy. As an institution, the EU is not inclined in favour or against any ideology or policy position.

        • Martinned

          You mean other than that it is constantly giving voters what they want? (Which, as you may not have noticed, is not the same as what you – or for that matter I – want.) The confusion among many Brits seems to be that they think democracy means getting what you want all the time, without noticing that there are other voters who may not agree with them. So it goes.

          • Herbie

            You have a curious definition of democracy.

            Where it means, NOT democracy.

            When the word means what you want it to mean you can throw it around quite liberally.

            When you use the term in future will you please ensure that you alert readers to the fact that it don’t quite mean what they think it means.

            Thanks.

          • Martinned

            I’ve been having conversations like this for years, with people insisting that the European Union is not a democracy. And whenever I’ve patiently dug out what definition it is that leads them to reach that conclusion, almost invariably it is a definition of democracy that leads to the conclusion that no country on earth is a democracy. You seem to be heading in the same direction. If you have a problem with representative democracy that’s fine, but then don’t act as if I’m the crazy one in this conversation.

          • Herbie

            OK.

            Play it whatever way you like. It still amounts to the same thing.

            In what way is the EU a representative democracy?

          • Martinned

            In the sense that everyone who makes decisions in the EU is a directly elected politician (MEPs and some heads of state) or elected by one (members of the European Commission and members of the Council).

          • Herbie

            MEPs are the only directly elected aspect of the EU.

            And their voice don’t matter much at all.

            It doesn’t even seem to matter how people vote in referenda. If they don’t like the decision, they tell them to vote again.

            The point is the terms “democratic” or even “representative democracy” don’t describe at all what’s going on in the EU.

            So why use them, other than to put a nice gloss on a very ugly bureaucracy.

            It’s not as if we don’t know this already.

            You see, had the EU been just an economic affair then we’d have no need of this pretence at all.

            The problem is that the EU has been sidelined by a much more dangerous geopolitical project on behalf of the US.

            The enlargement that just happened to coincide with NATO plans, for example.

            And that’s where everything started to go arsefaced.

            There’s nothing democratic about it. And nothing any longer representatively democratic about it.

            I mean, that’s why Europe is suffering so much. They taking one for the American team.

            The answer as some powerful political figures in France and Germany are realising, is to forge their own path away from the declining US.

            Probably wouldn’t have got to this sad stage had there been just a teeny weeny bit of democracy to balance the bureaucrats desire to please American masters.

          • Herbie

            Way of the world, mate. Way of the world. Powerful countries and less powerful countries. Normal and usual rather than “mad”.

            If you don’t understand what’s going on in the world then that’s not my fault.

            The issue of American influence on EU decisions is out in the open now.

            That’s why French and German leaders talk about it, are divided by it and don’t really seem to have a plan out of it.

            Enlargement allied to US plans in eastern, south eastern and north eastern Europe are kinda obvious. The most obvious interference.

            So obvious that you have to wonder why anyone would deny it.

  • nevermind

    I give up, please rename this blog the Brexit club and then join Britain first

    • Martinned

      Wow, you must really have too much free time, if you’re going to scroll 10 years back through my blog, all the way to the days before Facebook.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Where are your personal photos and details on line, Bright Eyes? Would you like them posted here, without having been asked? If someone like, say, John Goss advertises his own blog here, that’s one thing. If someone is posting here under a nom de plume, and has not called attention to their other online activities, that is quite another. I think it is thoroughly discourteous to link to something in that manner without having asked permission. Would you have done so regarding someone whose opinions you happen to like?

      Not funny, and not clever. Nasty, jeering and disrespectful.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          Blush…I did not know that.

          I wonder if Bright Eyes did. If not, my comment stands. If so, then apologies.

      • oblivious

        Online blogs are hardly private JSP, it kind of defeats the object. Mind you don’t fall off your horse.

  • Loony

    The Telegraph is reporting on growing demands in Italy, France and the Netherlands for EU referendums.

    Any result in today’s referendum, other than an overwhelming vote to remain, will likely be sufficient to prize open the cracks in this monolithic monstrosity.

    • Martinned

      Who wouldn’t want to have a referendum where they get to vote themselves free steak dinners for the rest of their lives?

      • Herbie

        You mouth a lot about democracy, but don’t have much time for it in reality.

        I’m sure you’re one of those who believe that elites and their servants are the best people to run things.

        • Martinned

          It’s an old one, but today is as good a day as any to bring it out again:

          it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

          I used to think that referendums would at least lead to some kind of increase in the public knowledge of the issues, but this referendum campaign has cured me of that illusion once and for all.

          • Herbie

            You’ve just made my point.

            You mouth a lot about democracy when you’re looking for fine words to cover the ugliness of the system.

            But, you’re simply a technocrat and believe in technocratic rule.

            I mean, you’ve even claimed that the EU is democratic.

            Even its best friends don’t claim that, for fairly obvious reasons.

          • Martinned

            Yes, democracy is messy. It involves lots of people not getting what they want a lot of the time. But it’s still better than running the country by promising to spend the same fictional £350m on ten different things in the full knowledge that at no point you will actually have to make good on any of those promises.

          • Herbie

            It’s not democracy that’s messy.

            What’s messy is the pretence of democracy.

            Trying to ensure elite interests are protected whilst pretending that people have a say in things.

            Both the US and EU are largely dispensing with the idea of democracy for this very reason.

            Much as they’re dispensing/have dispensed with Christianity, when it became a hindrance to management objectives.

    • Herbie

      Doesn’t matter how anyone votes.

      The EU will collapse under its own internal contradictions soon enough.

      Would have been better to have disentangled before that happens though.

      At least we’ve still got our own currency which at least offers more independence than most of the other poor buggers have.

      • Martinned

        Agreed. We had a good run, but it looks like civilisation as we know it is about to crash and burn. Still, no need to sound excited about the fact.

        • Herbie

          I’m not at all excited about it.

          I’d like to see the US retreat to its own hemisphere, dump its clownish puppets in eastern Europe allowing free trade between western Europe and the East.

          The US is holding up progress on that, because it’s in their interest, though not that of Europe.

          At least that’s becoming a bit more obvious now.

    • michael norton

      Looks like David Cameron has conceded
      he will shortly be falling on his sword.

  • Phil the ex-frog

    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.

    There is one pro-EU argument I detest worse than anything David Cameron has ever said. It is the hypocritical “liberal” argument that opposing the EU migration laws is racist.

    The EU has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, lets the poor die at the bottom of the med, turns back refugees at gunpoint into camps they dread. Now there’s some racism for you to consider.

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