The EU Sails Serenely Past the Wreck of the United Kingdom 278

The disgraced former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has accused the EU of “blackmail” in the Brexit talks. This puzzles me. The disgraced former Defence Secretary has repeatedly asserted that the EU is desperate for a trade deal with the UK, and that German manufacturers of Mercedes and BMWs will insist that the UK leaving the EU brings no interruption in free trade, with no concomitant requirements for the UK to comply with EU practice.

But if the UK’s hand is so strong, and the EU’s hand is so weak, then the EU surely is in no position to “blackmail” the UK?

The disgraced former Defence Secretary has never struck me as a man of great intellect. It is perhaps unsurprising that it has not occurred to him, that to accuse your negotiating partner, in the most public manner possible, of blackmail, is not a tactic designed to inculcate the cooperative spirit necessary in any complex negotiation. Worse than that, “Blackmail” is a cry of “please don’t hurt me, I am weak on this one”. Fox contrives to be both insulting and inept all at the same time. It really is quite astonishing that a man who is both entirely incompetent, and has the corruption and inanity of the Werritty affair permanently inscribed on his record, is in office.

But the most incredible thing of all is that, standing in Japan next to Theresa May, the disgraced former Defence Secretary looks competent and assured by comparison. The collapse of the UK is not a pretty sight.

Meanwhile, Brexit has one positive side – for the EU. Just as national parliaments have done through history, the EU Parliament has been increasing its power incrementally over decades, thus eating away at the EU’s democratic deficit. Officially, on Brexit the Commission negotiates, and the Council (of national governments) decides, while the Parliament is only consulted. But plainly the role played by Guy Verhofstadt, the Parliament’s Brexit rapporteur, is more substantive than that and in the real world the EU Parliament will need to be carried along in agreement. That is a good thing for EU democracy.

Secondly, allow me to crow yet again at the detractors of the Euro. The Euro is arguably the most astonishing economic project in the history of the world, a currency union replacing dozens of existing currencies in the world’s largest and most mature economic bloc. Its success is, on any rational analysis, far more notable than the inevitable teething troubles, pretty well all of which can be ascribed to countries joining at too high a rate allowed to their former currency. I have always advocated that the UK join the Euro and that independent Scotland simply adopts it. Commenters invariably rejoin by echoing the ludicrous prognostications by the Mail and the Express of the Euro’s collapse. I look forward before Easter to the Euro decisively overtaking the pound in value.

The EU will go from strength to strength. An independent Scotland will remain within it. The rump UK will subside with alarming speed, comforting itself with its imperial delusions and xenophobic pride at “controlling its borders” and keeping out those pesky foreigners, who kept blackmailing it.

278 thoughts on “The EU Sails Serenely Past the Wreck of the United Kingdom

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  • Salford Lad

    The Eurozone is a dysfunctional monetary system and has failed to bring prosperity to many parts of Europe.This is most obvious in the so-called PIIGS members: Portugal,Ireland Italy, Greece and Spain. The youth unemployment in some of these countries is in the 40% mark. with no signs of improvement.
    The construction of the Euro is such that the ECB ( European Central Bank ) controls the issue of the currency and monetary policy. The Eurozone states have no control and operate under what can be regarded as a foreign currency.
    A Eurozone State can only raise money by taxes (politically undesirable), Privatisation,( looting of States assets), or issuing bonds to the Private Financial markets.(neo-liberal trap).
    Under these criteria and the Stability and Growth Pact, a State has little or no ability to stimulate or invest in its economy.
    Germany is the main beneficiary of the weak Euro, its efficient and productive Industrial sector benefits with its exports. The remaining States which are less efficient and productive ,cannot devalue the currency to stimulate their export markets and are in a hostage situation.
    In a Confederation of States ,such as the USA, Canada and Australia, the Central Govt makes fiscal transfers to the less developed areas ,so that all pars of a Confederation have equal public services. This will be seen soon in the USA, to alleviate the flood damage in the state of Texas.
    This is not possible in Europe, because of cultural differences, and the media propaganda.
    The hardworking and frugal Germans do not wish to support the lazy and tax-dodging Greeks, etc,
    Britain has been lucky to escape the worst depredations of the failed Euro experiment, because it has its own Sovereign currency (Pound Sterling) and has been able to steer a separate path despite the attempted austerity policies of George Osborne.
    Europe has no future unless the EURO is abandoned and States are allowed independent currencies. It can still exist as a free trading area.
    Its present neo-liberal economic policies and austerity are a road to poverty and civil strife.

      • Chris Rogers

        I second that, Salford Lad gets to the real ‘economic’ heart of the issue, namely, the sacrificing of peoples livelihoods on the altar of the Euro is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier.

      • Jack Shae

        Sterling has fallen against the Euro, yesterday €1 bought 90p, 2 years ago it would have bought 67p, explain?
        “The UK economy was the worst performer in the European Union in the opening months of 2017 as the Brexit vote took its toll, according to official statistics that underscore the challenge facing the next British government. With economic growth of just 0.2% in the first three months of this year, the UK was well behind its European neighbours. Official EU figures released as Britons went to the polls on Thursday showed the growth for the whole of the EU was 0.6% in the first quarter. The eurozone single currency bloc also grew 0.6% in the opening quarter, buoyed by strong domestic demand.” Guardian Business, 2017

    • Laguerre

      Quite wrong. The Mediterranean regions, which used to be very poor, like Andalucia and Sicily, are now prosperous because of the EU. It’s not the fault of the EU that Greece made a mess of their entry, and basically lied (the previous right wing govts). They are free to leave, but haven’t. Same with Cyprus. You’re just citing economic orthodoxy, what ought to be the case, but isn’t actually. the Euro is actually doing very well at the moment.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Let’s start by not conflating the EU with the Euro currency, eh? And then let’s take a slightly closer look at Sicily, which has,, at 14%, one of the highest unemployment rates in Italy. Much of the employment is in agriculture and tourism, which are low-wage sectors. and most of the agricultural land is owned by the descendants of feudal landlords.

        And this story appeared recently, just for fun…

        Andalucia’s 28.9% (April 2017) unemployment rate doesn’t look so hot, either, despite the relative prosperity of Barcelona…

        Which rather supports what Salford Lad’s saying, doesn’t it? And where did you get the idea that Greece is ‘free’ to leave the EU?
        Haven’t you noticed that the EU is using every obstructive measure in its book to prevent us from leaving with more than the clothes on our back, if that? The EU’s got a lot more money tied up in Greece.

        • Laguerre

          “Let’s start by not conflating the EU with the Euro currency, eh?” Well, they can be conflated to a certain degree, because the mutual effects of one and the other can be difficult to disentangle.

          As usual your formerly good memory is failing. You have forgotten what Andalucia and Sicly were like before. Extremely poor. So poor indeed that even the Mafia left. Now they are prosperous as never before.

          As for unemployment figures, they are not convincing as significant. The further south you go the more inaccurate the official figures become, and the more people who work in the informal economy. I knew someone who wrote a study of youth unemployment in Yemen; nobody imagined that it meant anything, as few youth were officially registered as unemployed.

          Actually you could equally say that unemployment figures in Britain are distorted and meaningless, because the British government puts so much effort into pushing people off the unemployment lists. I do know that the reason they are higher in France, is because they are calculated relatively honestly.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            In other words there are no objective standards of comparison and you have no more justification for your view than I have for mine. However, rural Andalucia and Sicily were poor then, and are poor now. Whether that is relative to a pre-industrial urban society or a modern one, the differential is similar. Barcelona’s urban industry has flourished, farming in the hinterland hasn’t, even with the CAP

            In the case of the UK the Euro and the EU are distinct entities, since we do not use the former.

            Yemen is neither in the EU nor the Euro and does not impinge on this debate.

            You may find this 2010 document interesting. Note that while EU countries, notably the Netherlands and Italy, invest directly in Catalonia (for practical purposes Barcelona, treated as synonymous here), the US, Japan and UAE also contribute. And that they do not do so because of public subsidies, such as the EU’s:

            The experts and managers consulted said that public
            grants for foreign investment, seen as a pure economic
            subsidy, are slowly taking on a more subsidiary nature and
            have ceased to be a key deciding factor for companies.
            There is the perception among the experts consulted that
            the policy of subsidies might have initial positive effects
            but that in the medium and long term they produce more
            negative effects. They define it as a system that holds us
            captive and they advise defining a new economic model
            to replace it


        • Stu

          “Andalucia’s 28.9% (April 2017) unemployment rate doesn’t look so hot, either, despite the relative prosperity of Barcelona…”

          Barcelona is a long way away from Andalucia.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            You are quite right. Scrub the qualifier. Substitute ‘epitomised by the desperate condition of Cadiz’ if you wish. Rather hard to find positives in Andalucia.

        • nevermind

          ‘Haven’t you noticed that the EU is using every obstructive measure in its book to prevent us from leaving with more than the clothes on our back, if that?’

          How quaint, my heart weeps, so the Uk would be happy if the other 27 states pick up the commitments the UK signed up for, but wants to leave, just like that.

          What a grand basis for future trade agreements, everyone will trust Britain, won’t they, with such splendid record of keeping their word.
          I suppose the next thing you going to claim is, that we deserve to be fairly treated because we are always dealing fair, having just reneged on multiple obligations. Dream on.

          Those who advised Greece to join in 1981 were not working for the people of Greece, they were working for the same banks who are now charging exorbitant rates to bail out Greece.

          • J

            At this point I’m really quite amazed you think our government has any respect left to lose, anywhere. Whatever they do.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I detect internal conflict, Nevermind. Let’s try that on its head…

            Those who advised [Britain] to join in [1973] were not working for the people of [Britain], they were working for the same banks [who were bailed out by the British taxpayer].

            Looks ok to me. What say you?

            I am sorry to hear of your heart problem, but I think your objection would have more weight if we had not been the second largest net contributor to the EU, and if the EU didn’t have a clear record of stalling negotiations and even rerunning referenda in order to override national popular opinion. IOW, if the EU had been an honest dealer, then the UK would not be in a good moral position. As things stand, though, the game is between two cardsharpers and the moral argument doesn’t apply.

        • Jack Shae

          As the UK is dominated by an Anti-EU press the facts are left out to fit their narrative. In 2013 David Cameron the then PM signed off on the 2013 EU Budget which runs till 2022. This is a contract to pay for the various projects etc, the fact is that May who started of with not one penny has mentioned paying £36 Billion, which acknowledges an obligation. The hysteria of the EU exit by the UK does not make front page news in Europe and no one really cares if they leave. The EU will continue regardless as it has done so for the last 60 odd years.

      • jemand

        The Germans have intentionally broken Greece to ensure that it :
        1. is compliant with German plans for energy transport infrastructure passing through the country from Middle East & North Africa,
        2. conveys Greek share in Levantine Basin energy to Germany on terms very favourable to latter due to crushing debt,
        3. becomes a geopolitical military asset of Germany involving withdrawal from NATO and hosting non-NATO ‘EU’ forces in the Mediterranean Sea

    • J Galt

      In the UK the “youth unemployment rate” is probably higher than “40%” – the reality of unemployment in the UK has been hidden for years.

      I think I would rather be a Youth in the above mentioned Andalucia or Sicily than the grim, abandoned post-industrial wastelands of the UK!

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Salford Lad,

      Brilliant except for one thing “lazy” Greeks. They work harder than even The Germans, except they give the impression of being lazy to the stupid Germans, who they seriously dislike (though only admit it to us English).

      I understand the Greeks, cos I used to work shifts too.

      They work when it is cool.

      They tend to sleep in the afternoon when it is incredibly hot (siesta) and the Germans can’t get served.

      Otherwise, they work all hours God sends.


      • Salford Lad

        I meant no disrespect to the fine Greek people, who have been sacrificed on the altar of a failed European economic and monetary policy.
        I merely stated the meme put out by the media to demonise the Greek Nation, while it was being looted by the provision of unpayable loans to Greece.
        The IMF provided Greece with loans ,it knew could not be repaid. This is a Mafia extortionate tactic, which forced the Greek debt to be repaid by privatisation of its State assets. Looting by any other name, neo-liberalism in the modern parlance.

    • berlingooner

      moral equivalency seems to be the flavour of the month – the idea that the USA is somehow superior to the EU in it’s distribution of taxes is ridiculous. It only ever disburses funds to less developed areas in times of crisis or when the eyes of the world are upon it. The hidden tragedy of the Texas flooding has also been carefully media-managed with the Federal Govt immediately guaranteeing all those show have lost their homes (at least 50% of whom had no flood risk insurance) having access to rebuilding funds in the form of 100% mortgages. Disaster capitalism at it’s best.

    • toby cullen

      Get yourself to Italy, come see the state of the country and then compare. You simply do not know Italy. I can tell you for fact that Italians have half the personal debt levels of the UK, enjoy so much better health care, better and cheaper transport, eat better food, dress better. The PIIGS do not exist, just in the ignorant and wishful thinking minds of some, if not all, wee brits.

  • reel guid

    Ruth Davidson has defended Douglas Ross, the Gypsy despising Tory MP. She thinks his remarks were OK because there are “issues” with the Travelling community in Moray. There are issues probably because Ross was a Moray councillor for 9 years stirred it up. There are lots of right wing retired armed forces officers living in Moray because of the defence establishments that used to be there. No doubt many of them share Ross’s prejudices. No doubt this helped get him the Moray seat in the GE.

    Meanwhile Davidson has been saying that as First Minister she’d build eight new towns in Scotland. She doesn’t say how it would be financed. No public body has said eight new towns are needed. But she knows the unionist media will not say anything negative.

    Of course she’d insist on naming the places herself. What would she choose I wonder?

    North Britcastle
    Churchill City
    New Londonderry
    and… er let’s see….. Davidsonville?

    • Republicofscotland

      If I recall correctly reel guid, Ross’s area, is one of the very few areas, in Scotland, that does not provide settlements for the gypsy community.

      You missed out Murdofraserville, a very loudy and windy town. ?

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      In 1986, a troop of travellers took up residence at the Forres dump. They were extracting (mainly) waste metal from the dump.They were living in benders at the edge of the town dump, which is relatively close to the River Findhorn. I actually went to look, when my mother in law told me they were in residence as I was incredulous that there were still using these arrangements. (I thought they were all in caravans by then although I could remember the travelers living in benders from my childhood.

      At some point the local authority acted to take the children into care (some were infants). All hell let loose,as one can imagine forcibly removing children from their parents. I remember being rather shocked by these events.The local authority were rather heavy handed although their point was obvious-that the living conditions were utterly squalid and it seemed likely the children were at risk. There was a good deal of friction between the travellers and the local population and If i remember there were fights and other ructions.

      Some time later (early nineties) a large group of trvellers arrived in Banchory, this time being housed in caravans. Their campsite was ad hoc-i.e not authorised-just down from the North Deeside road near the river, where I walked for my constitutionals. They remained about three weeks. At their departure, I was astounded by the mess. They left a prodigious amount of rubbish of various kinds. There had clearly been no attempt to maintain the site, regardless of its lack of legitimacy. One would have thought it was in their interests to keeps some kind of order but I saw them discharging raw sewage from their caravans into the Dee. (I made a complaint to SEPA and got a phone call about six weeks later. (OOOH it s too late to do anything.The local authority had to clear the mess up at considerable cost. There was a squad working for two days.

      A traveler family in Aberdeen that i know about, are a blight on the local community. Violence, family feuds, burglary, vandalism, anti-social behaviour-(the list is endless). They terrify the majority of the local people due to their unpredictability. Tenants of Aberdeen City , I was amused to discover that the registration system for landlords , makes demands on the potential landlords in relation to their record and behaviour (i.e anti social tenants etc )this is quite right but I was struck by the thought that Aberdeen City would not actually qualify as a suitable landlord by the conditions of their own registration scheme.

      Now while I try to be tolerant, I must confess to being extremely unimpressed by all this. Travellers claim some kind of dignity, and consider they have a distinctive culture, but my impression is of utter disorder and chaos and any culture is degraded.
      I would never wish to be in sympathy with some intolerant Tory ‘despiser of travellers ‘ but they sure as hell don’t help themselves in the most rudimentary ways.
      No doubt there are many different travellers but I find it difficult to summon up much sympathy

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Agree. There are ‘good’ travellers, but the good apples are a rarity as far as I have seen. I don’t think a humane and compassionate attitude would survive a night sharing an encampment with yer average tink near Newcastle, after closing time.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      So there it is, out loud, the g-word. Davis really is as thick as mince. I wonder if he remembered to mention we’ll be cutting our F-35 order and scaling back our military…again..? Which is our only conceivable utility to US interests.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    ” This puzzles me. The disgraced former Defence Secretary has repeatedly asserted that the EU is desperate for a trade deal with the UK..”

    Doesn’t puzzle me, for there is an arrogance of attitude which says:-

    > Britannia rules the waves…

    And the attitude persists…on and on…and – Brexit is that you? Or is it post-Brexit…and on…

    • Laguerre

      Varoufakis, though a brilliant man and often interesting to read, is hardly disinterested, and was in a particular situation, which rather affects his approach.

  • K Crosby

    ~~~~~Meanwhile, Brexit has one positive side – for the EU. Just as national parliaments have done through history, the EU Parliament has been increasing its power incrementally over decades, thus eating away at the EU’s democratic deficit. Officially, on Brexit the Commission negotiates, and the Council (of national governments) decides, while the Parliament is only consulted. But plainly the role played by Guy Verhofstadt, the Parliament’s Brexit rapporteur, is more substantive than that and in the real world the EU Parliament will need to be carried along in agreement. That is a good thing for EU democracy.~~~~~

    This is the Zentrumspartei voting for the Enabling Act to keep its influence in sectarian schools; we know where that led. The EU is a billionaires’ masturbation club.

    • Republicofscotland

      “The EU is a billionaires’ masturbation club”

      Of course the House of Lords is a paragon of democracy, and is stuffed full not with milionaires, but the average man/woman on the street.

      Those will glass houses springs to mind.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Slag Liam Fox off as much as you like, and I couldn’t agree more.

    Have you been to Greece recently, and experienced what The EU have done to a Great People?

    I have cumulatively spent more than a year of my life in Greece, and have experienced the changes.

    The EU has impoverished Greece and much of Southern Europe. It is complicit with the US and the UK with the destruction of Yugoslavia, most of The Middle East and Libya, and is heavily responsible for the migrant crisis.

    The EU may have a few positives, but the negatives massively outweigh them.

    At the end of the day, it is an unelected, centralised dictatorship, and an economic disaster area, for everyone except the very richest.


    • Laguerre

      It wasn’t the EU which impoverished Greece, but rather the follies of successive Greek governments. They were too ambitious with what is basically a very poor land (also true in ancient times). It needed very careful handling, but instead they borrowed without limit, and didn’t have the revenues to fund the debts. It reminds me a lot of Egypt in the 19th century where the Khedive was encouraged to borrow on the London and Paris markets, when there were insufficient tax revenues to fund the loans, for example for the Suez canal. Of course it ended with the British and French deciding to invade Egypt to enforce payment, although the French didn’t go through with it in the end.

      It is different with other mediterranean regions, I think though I haven’t studied the subject. They’ve developed to their present high level of prosperity through EU regional subsidies. Very wise choice if I have it right. At any rate, Andalucia and Sicily seem to have done well, in relation to what they were before.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Laguerre, it is extremely well documented (if you care to research) that corrupt EU and very Senior Greek Politicians, resulted in the impoverishment of Greece (knowingly), such that they themselves could become personally very much richer as they sold (gave away actually) Greece to the American “Great Vampire Squid” Goldman Sachs.

        Not until The Greek people demand their Drachmas back (and their Sovereignty), can they recover. Until that happens, they will continue to be robbed.

        • Laguerre

          So you agree that it was Greek governments (in the plural) that caused the problem. That was my point.

    • jake

      The author makes the point that Glasgow is 4.5 hours from London. Having driven there and back again on the same day it’s my recollection that it’s the same distance either way.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Torygraph take. They give space to Guy Verhofstadt, chief Brexit negotiator of the European Parliament.

    ‘Since the UK joined the EU, it has enjoyed a bespoke form of membership that is unique. An opt-out from the euro, but banker to the Eurozone. An opt-out from Schengen, but access to the security databases linked to it. A blanket opt-out from Justice and Home Affairs, with the possibility to opt back into the most effective crime-fighting measures. The list goes on.’

    The bankers might have done well for themselves out of it. The rest of us?

  • Loony

    The euro is indeed the “most astonishing economic project in the history of the world” – although not for the delusional “reasons” you espouse.

    At the time of writing 19 European nations now have negative interest rates, some are in the euro zone some are not – but all have been driven into negative territory by the policies of Mario Draghi and the ECB. Try to see through the polemic and ask what the likely long term consequences of being paid to borrow will be.

    Try to recall Cyprus and how Draghi insisted that Cypriot depositors be on the hook for losses. Try to remember how he cut a special deal with London so that Cypriot banks in London remained open just long enough for Russian billionaires to extract their money thus shafting the average Cypriot that little bit more.

    Look at the QE – look at the bond buying program. Arguably it would have been kinder to just bomb Greece.

    Now for the greatest joke of all that is Scotland. Take a look at what Aberdeen City Council are up to in bond markets, and ask yourself how this particular carry trade differs in effect from the past activities of Hammersmith and Fulham Council. Any memory greater than that of a goldfish will allow you to know that they lost billions and only were only saved by the English Courts ruling that the whole deal was Ultra Vires. You think that the European courts are going to step up to save Aberdeen?

    The whole thing is a sick joke made deadly dangerous by the fact that some people may actually believe this garbage and voluntarily enter into a state of perpetual servitude as their lives are destroyed by the euro which unarguably is “the most astonishing economic project in the history of the world” Slavery was more honest than this deal.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig Murray writes “The Wreck of the United Kingdom”

    If the UK is such a wreck (which it would be if we had adopted the Euro)

    How come it is so massively attractive to millions of people across The EU (and the countries we have bombed), resulting in an enormous rise in population – purely as a result of immigration – such that schools can’t cope with the rise.

    So many people move to The UK because it is the most attractive country in the World. I am actually quite proud of that, whilst Craig Murray calls us a wreck.

    This seems highly unfair to me for the countries that are losing their most highly skilled, talented and most determined people, because they are moving here for better opportunities. I do know some school teachers. They openly state, that the vast majority of their pupils are immigrants.

    “Schools warn of pupil places ‘crisis’ as half of councils fail to meet rising demand”

    “Schools in some local authorities are already operating at over 100 per cent capacity – a problem set to grow with the coming spike in the secondary-age pupil population”


    • Laguerre

      Britain used to be attractive to EU people. Now they’re all getting ready to leave. I personally happen to know an Irishman who refused a prestigious professorship in Oxford because of Brexit. The decline won’t be fast, but lots are feeling uncomfortable. The job market is global, why stay when you’re constantly having difficulty with your residence permit?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        The Irish, have never had any problem with residence in the UK, and it is highly unlikely they will in the future, unless they are stupid enough to remain a part of the EU. I know historically the British gave the Irish a really hard time, and I think the Irish were eminently sensible to fight for and obtain their Independence from the British. Unfortunately The Irish joke resurrected itself, when they gave away the Independence they had fought for, and allowed an even worse set of Bastards (The EU) to impoverish them again.

        The Irish would do a lot better getting out of The EU and again becoming part of The UK

        Us English really like them (apart for a few Protestant lunatics in the North)


      • Loony

        You have hit on a real problem.

        In 1975 (the date of the last vote on the EEC/EU) the UK population stood at 56.23 million. Today the population of the UK is 65.5 million.

        Given these figures not many people would be smart enough to recognize that the UK may have a problem with people leaving.

        Some 6 million people in the UK are estimated to have at least one Irish Grandparent (and hence qualify for Irish citizenship). Do you think the Republic is preparing itself for an influx of 6 million people?

      • Kempe

        Ireland and the UK have reciprocal residency agreements that were in place before the EU was even invented and won’t be affected by Brexit.

    • J

      “The UK because it is the most attractive country in the World.”

      I’ve run out of reasons not to leave except that it would mean abandoning all those left behind to their fates.

  • David Royle

    Thanks Craig. I fully agree with much of what you say. It is an apalling and sad spectacle and embarassing to see UK ‘negoiators’ behaving thus. It will allend in tears.No doubt like me you are remembering Islom Karimov today plus Uzbek independence day…Eid mubarak.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    We are about to go to an Irish pub, to meet some Spanish/Welsh/Jamiacan/Hungarian/Polish and other Eastern European friends to see a Geordie/English/Irish(Scouse)/Scottish band and hoping a few Russians turn up, as they are very generous at buying drinks. Yet us Working Class English are still accused of being racist.

    Now what exactly was the Racial mix at Doune The Rabiit Hole?

    Did The English Craig Murray turn up or was it 100% Scottish?


  • mark golding

    A ‘gold star’ to Mr Davis for teaching American grandmothers to suck eggs on free trade; most realise they are much better off after NAFTA. Stick to what you know Dave and champion free doms and civil liberties of a British people suppressed by fear.

  • David

    I’m in Greece right now. To the ordinary person, without access to hedge fund/ multi national company exchange deals, and who has to rely on the process where the spivs all take their undeserved cut, the £ is already pegging with the €. I have always wanted to have the euro but sadly, as with so many other aspects of European politics and finance, rational discussion is still very much a minority pursuit. I think one of the reasons the £ was stronger than the € was that the UK had the best EU membership deal of any large European country. Sadly that same UK still managed to nurture uncontrolled eurosceptic stupidity.

  • Andrew


    Suggest you take a look at ‘The Euro – and its threat to the future of Europe’ by Joseph Stiglitz, the American economist (and former advisor to the SNP).

    He argues that the euro can’t survive with its present membership, institutions and rules.

    He says it could work, given appropriate reforms, and outlines a couple of alternative ways forward, but the question is whether there’s enough political cohesion and solidarity to push through the necessary changes. (Probably not, given Germany’s intractable opposition to reform so far).

    A persuasive case by an eminent and dispassionate observer (published in 2016).

    • Why be ordinary?

      Indeed that’s the question EU leaders are most preoccupied with. Brexit is a side-show.

    • Laguerre

      I think everyone’s heard of Stiglitz and his ideas by now. They’re not new. He’s a good economist, but he’s also an American – they live in their own little world. Your dedication to the destruction of the Euro is indicated by your expression: “given Germany’s intractable opposition to reform so far”. Hard to think of anything further from the truth. You want the Euro to fail, so you want to believe Stiglitz.

  • John Penny

    Enjoyed this. My own feelings precisely. I just feel slightly sorry for those remainers obliged to live with the consequences of the actions of deluded Brexiteers and the lying opportunists currently running the country.

  • Laguerre

    I have the impression from this thread, as indeed from others I have read, that the Brexiters are going to go to the limit, even if it wrecks Britain.

    Evidently Glorious Britain must stand alone, if it has to. The Empire (translate: world across the seas) will serve us. That comes from the old attitudes of the 19th century and before. Britain succeeded then by its lack of interest in European quarrels, and the fact that most of its energy was directed to overseas colonies. The French, for example, were only half interested in overseas. Louis XIV was more interested in taking Namur, and Alsace, than in what his seamen from Brest were doing in Quebec or Pondicherry.

    Since then the world has changed. The world market is addressed by everyone. At any rate the advantages expected of the British empire have disappeared.. There’s no great advantage. A new strategy is needed. not that I see it with the Brexiters, who go back to the old.

        • K Crosby

          Tell that to the working class; since 1973, our advances in living standards have been heading back to 1870.

          • J

            I’ve alternated between poor or relatively poor all my life. Homeless for two periods during that. I work as hard as anyone I know. I’m quite talented but not exceptional. I haven’t shared in any of this wealth others have been talking about for decades but I’ve watched friends and acquaintances who have, fascinating how their attitudes and assumptions alter as their fortunes waxed and waned.

          • Laguerre

            Crosby, evidently you’ve hear of somebody called Margaret Thatcher. She was Prime Minister for quite a while.

    • Loony

      At a superficial level you are onto a winner with your current argument.

      The UK is finished – this time for real. Even a relatively low level of numeracy is sufficient to understand that the gig is up. There is nothing left to support sterling and for a country that imports about 50% of its food and energy this is a problem.

      There are no reasons left for the foreign man to invest in either sterling or sterling assets. So maybe they wont in which case the UK will collapse. Any collapse in the UK will likely lead to contagion – just like the collapse of Lehman led to contagion, except the UK is an awful lot bigger than Lehman. So big in fact that any UK collapse will certainly destroy the euro – and the Germans just don’t have the necessary full spectrum control to prevent the euro from being a casualty of a UK collapse.

      The Germans have another problem called Donald Trump. Either Trump reigns in the Germans and the Chinese or he doesn’t. If he does then the German and Chinese economies go into a serious reverse gear – which will do a lot of things including finishing the euro.

      If he doesn’t then at some point the US will collapse – and that will be a collapse so great that substantially all currencies will be destroyed, including the euro. The United Nations provide an early warning of potential US collapse with their own warning of growing internal conflict in the US.

      We are entering the final game – everyone is all in. The most likely outcome is that all players lose. However it is still possible for anyone (except the euro zone) to win. It all comes down to who best understands the game and who can hold their nerve. The fact that you have members of the British establishment trying to represent the global end game as somehow being connected to Scotland is suggestive that the UK fully intends losing. Trump is trying to win but is being sabotaged at every turn by the idiots that actually run the country – hence the UN warning of civil unrest.

  • geoff

    good grief – the Euro is a disaster – just ask Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. If you fail to ask anyone wishing to answer this question – email Paul Krugman and he’ll help you understand the lack of basis for that currency. And I’m a fan of Europe – I loath Liam Fox. But don’t give that side any credit for the bias of your argument. Or have you had a shandy too many?

      • Kempe

        There is no mechanism in place for any country to leave the Eurozone. If a country were to leave because of a weak economy there would be a run on the new currency which could worsen the situation. In short once in there is no way out.

        • Laguerre

          There may be no mechanism, but you can still leave. A run on the new currency? That would depend on its value, wouldn’t it? If it were zilch, it would be because that currency was worth zilch. If it were the new drachma, it would be because the Greek government had f*cked it up.

          • Loony

            As regards to the euro “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”

            Look what happened to Burlusconi he was checked out to prevent an Italian exit. over 60% of Italians want to leave the euro – perhaps they too will be checked out.

            A lot of people in a lot of countries want out of the EU altogether – but who cares what the people want

  • sentinel

    the [European] Parliament is only consulted.

    It has the power to reject the withdrawal agreement: Art 50(2). Curiously British MEPs can vote on the matter. Imagine if the result hinged on the UKIP bloc.

  • Sharp Ears

    Many spondulicks going Liam Fox’s way including some for his bid for the leadership (failed!).

    Including £20k from Anne Street Partners Ltd, an Australian financial management company registered in the UK in Manchester and an address in Southampton.

    More £s from Mick Davis.

    A speech to AIPAC.

    and so on. Many jaunts round the world keeping the airlines busy.

  • Walter Cairns

    Craig is a little too starry-eyed about the EU, I’m afraid. It is just a staging post on the journey towards world government, which has always been the pet project of the NWO.

  • luxetveritas

    I am surprised that anyone advocates that a newly independent Scotland should adopt the euro as its currency.
    UK is very fortunate to have its own currency as it retains the control of its economic policies.
    Greece is very unfortunate to have the euro, as it now stuck in bondage to the bankers of Germany and France who control EU economies. If Greece had been able to devalue its currency, or default, its problems would now be over. That is what happened with Argentina.
    To advocate Scotland joining the EU makes some sense, though I do not advocate it myself. But to advocate the euro as Scotland’s chosen currency seems very shortsighted.

    • Laguerre

      It wasn’t the Euro that caused a problem for Greece; it was the follies of successive Greek governments. Greece was always free to leave the EU, and indeed the Euro – it was much discussed at the time. But they chose not to.

      • luxetveritas

        our comment ignores what i am stating
        if greece had a currency it could default
        if greece had a currency it could devaluate
        the “follies” of past greek governments controlled by oligarchs and their deceit aided by usa wall st is past
        these past incidents would not now control the fate of greece if greece had its own currencies
        without its own currency, greece is trapped
        you say greece could leave eu, but that is very problematic
        why should greece have to leave the eu, when its problems would be over if it simply had its own currency

        • nevermind

          Germany;s Greens and Free Democrats today said that they would support a fast track re entry for an Independent Scotland should it vote and wish to do so.

          If Greece’s richest individuals, those who for years benefited from the EU membership in their wheeling and dealing, who banked abroad and paid very little taxes in Greece, would decide to rescind the national debt, they’d still be rich and powerful.
          The problem is that EU countries, us included, don’t want to interfere in the more and more transparent tax evasion of our High Street champion stalwart financial companies, its a great past time for the establishment, commerce and a jolly to discuss at many a party…

          Now that is a reason, and always was a present and visible reason in Europe, to get involved in the centre, steer it towards a better accountable democracy, not sit on the fence swinging handbags or demanding repayment of funds.
          Who was ever interested in change? Who ever was disturbed by the appointment of Commissioners? Or argued for it to be changed into an elected body?
          All they were interested in was making money from the market they’ve joined, the advantages they’d gained, not the fact that they have been part of Europe and its trading relations for 2000 years plus.

          Britain should be as open as Europe, our grand children deserve it to be, there is no need to change one’s nationality once one realises that Europe is much stronger together, entwined and mutually responsible for each other.

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