Racism and Authoritarianism Reach Climax Together in the Brexit Bill 216


There is in practice a link between racism and authoritarianism. You don’t get many racist anarcho-syndicalists. You don’t get many anti-racist fascists. It doesn’t just work at the extremes – the “Alf Garnett” caricature of a devotion to the monarchy, strong central authority and the military, accompanying racism is a recognisable truth.

Yesterday, we got the joyous union of both tendencies, as Westminster passed the Brexit Bill which simultaneously promised to keep pesky foreigners out of Britain and remove centuries of equally pesky checks on executive power.

There is no motivation for Brexit other than racism. I still have never had a conversation with anyone – including here on this blog – in which their motivation for supporting Brexit did not come down to stopping Eastern Europeans from coming here. Those who consider themselves “left wing” like to frame this racism as a desire to protect British workers from wage competition – a peculiarly nationalistic concern for the working class of one nation only, with the chance for working class people from other places to better themselves completely ignored.

This is an extremely wealthy country. Yet many people are terribly poor. The extremely rich have through mass media promoted right wing populism diverted the blame away from the 1% who suck out all the wealth, and on to poor immigrants. The 1% are chuckling at the gullibility of much of the population they have kept in deprivation and propaganda-fed ignorance. Fortunately new media opens the possibility they may not chuckle long.

As I have repeatedly said, it is indisputable that immigration grows the economy and this effect is positive for wages, vastly out-weighing any short term effect from increased labour supply. If immigration damaged wages, the USA and Germany would have the lowest paid workforces in the world. The argument is plainly a nonsense. Not only does immigration in itself inject dynamism into an economy, EU immigration is linked to free flow of capital and goods from which the UK economy has vastly benefited.

If you do accept that immigration from Poland to the UK decreases wages in the UK because of increased labour supply, then you must in logic accept that it also increases wages in Poland due to decreased labour supply. It is a peculiar kind of socialism that objects to wage levels being raised in the country where they are lower. It is a “socialism” which values the working class in one country only. It is, to use the precisely correct term, national socialism. Which is why its going hand in hand with last night’s vote to remove all caps on executive power, is of a piece.

Popular racism is the only glue May has to hold together some kind of support after her dismal election performance. That is why she attempted to shore it up by the official “leak” of the Home Office draft document on how to implement a ridiculously hard-line anti-immigrant policy and strangle the economy. The government spends billions on security and today every printed or electronic copy of a classified government document bears secure and hidden signs that show its full provenance. They have extraordinary tools at their disposal to catch the “leaker”, but I guarantee you will never hear any more on this one.

Evidently pandering to the racist vote was more important to the Tories than success in the Brexit negotiations. Indeed, I concluded long ago that the most likely explanation of the Tories’ extraordinary approach to the Brexit negotiations is that they wish them to fail. Nothing I have seen since has caused me to reconsider. Having been clearly told “no cherry-picking” by the EU, the British government has replied it wishes to remain in science and education, trading standards, intelligence-sharing, defence and foreign policy mechanisms (to name but a few), and to retain its market access and open borders, while ending free movement of people and having its own exterior trade deals. This is the most unrealistic negotiating position it is possible to imagine. FCO diplomats are utterly baffled, and rigorously side-lined.

So having ramped up the racism, last night we had the authoritarianism.

Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament (including amending this Act).

That is one of the quite astonishing clauses that MPs last night voted through in surrendering the entire legislative power Parliament gained over 600 years, to the Executive. If the Act is held to limit the scope of that executive legislative power in any way, the government can simply make a provision to amend the Act to remove that limitation.

In decades to come, society will have recovered and historians will be scratching their heads over why decent people failed to stop this madness at this very obvious tipping point. To which the answer is, because they were bewitched by the attraction of simple xenophobia. They supported it as long as this “strong government” promised to reduce immigration. The axis of racism and authoritarianism once again attracted the weak-minded to be manipulated by the psychotic.

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216 thoughts on “Racism and Authoritarianism Reach Climax Together in the Brexit Bill

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  • Ian Seed

    To say “There is no motivation for Brexit other than racism” is just simply false.

    How about wanting to be in a position to make our own laws?

    Calm down. I understand you are under some stress but that is plainly hysterical.

    It doesn’t befit a man who wants to crowd fund a libel case to scurrilously hurl this slur at half the people he wants to tap up for money.

    • craig Post author

      Ian, I find it a most peculiar suggestion that I should amend my published opinions to try to garner money for my libel defence fund.

      Please specify six laws that the EU has undemocratically imposed on the UK. WIth an explanation of the process by which they were adopted.

      • Ian Seed

        Name 6 laws the EU has “imposed”?

        As you know, in the EU we must adopt EU directives (written by unelected bureaucrats and rubber stamped by a joke of an EU Parliament.) So while we in theory write our own laws and rules in the UK, they must comply with these EU directives.

        Are you seriously suggesting we have absolutely free rein to write our own laws when they must be within the parameters of EU directives? Do you honestly believe the EU hasn’t infringed on our sovereignty?

        And EU courts have seniority. Please don’t try to claim we have complete sovereignty. That’s just dishonest, as is your claim we are all racist (a claim which is deeply offensive too).

        Now I’ve responded can you explain to all of us your logic as to why racism is the “only motivation for Brexit”?

        You can explain to us how you decided you could discount every other factor – such as opposition to globalism, dislike of racist warmongers in the EU (eg the ones who helped insert nazis into Kiev, their support for jihadists in Syria), the fact that we prefer to set our rules free of EU interference, a desire to set our own trade policy, a dislike of corruption, etc – to arrive at your conclusion.

        • craig Post author

          Ian Seed,

          I am fascinated to know in what way the EU parliament passing laws is a joke, but the Westminster parliament is not a joke. The areas of competence in which such directives can operate are limited and agreed by treaty between national governments.

          But I repeat the challenge – name six of these terrible directives.

          If you object to the jurisdiction of the generally excellent EU courts, I presume you also object to the International Court of Justice, the United Nations and indeed all other internationalist bodies?

          • Techno

            Article 24 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 states:

            “1. In the case of foods which, from a microbiological point of view, are highly perishable and are therefore likely after a short period to constitute an immediate danger to human health, the date of minimum durability shall be replaced by the ‘use by’ date. After the ‘use by’ date a food shall be deemed to be unsafe in accordance with Article 14(2) to (5) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.”

            This regulation is written into British law as Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations (England) 2013.

            This regulation is what causes supermarkets to throw out food on the day it expires. People are always complaining about this wastage and asking why it can’t be given to the homeless etc. Answer: because the supermarkets are breaking EU law if they do that.

          • Martinned

            I think you’ll find Craig meant “terrible” as in “imposed undemocratically”, not in the sense of “stupid”. (Because glass houses, etc.)

        • Jack Shae

          “written by unelected bureaucrats ” … the EU has a Civil Service the same as the UK Government, do we elect Civil Servants or appoint them through exams and interviews?. In agriculture, fisheries, external trade, and the environment, it’s fair to say that EU legislation and policy is indeed the main driver of UK law and policy, although the UK retains some freedom of action in these areas. In other important areas—for example, welfare and social security, education, criminal law, family law and the NHS the direct influence of the EU is far more limited.

      • Jack Shae

        Peace in North Ireland was helped by the EU and it will come as a shock to this new generation of the consequences if this breaks down and the war resumes. By the way, try and look after your health and well being at this trying time.

  • Ian Seed

    “As I have repeatedly said, it is indisputable that immigration grows the economy and this effect is positive for wages, vastly out-weighing any short term effect from increased labour supply. ”

    Is that why real wages haven’t grown for a decade? It’s not a “short term effect”.

    “Positive for wages”. You’re as bad an economist as you are a hysterical bad loser. I suppose that makes me a “racist” does it?

    Seriously, you need to address this problem that you’ve got. You’re not thinking straight.

    • Martinned

      Is that why real wages haven’t grown for a decade? It’s not a “short term effect”.

      No, that’s because a series of Labour, coalition, and Tory governments have run the economy into the ground while passing legislation benefiting the rich.

    • Jon

      I am not in favour of Craig calling folks “racist” for voting Leave, since I don’t think it helps make progress on the argument. However, if you retaliate in the same fashion (“loser”, “hysterical”) then you may be forfeiting your claim to arguing decently. Please post with as much kindness as you can muster!

      For what it is worth, I don’t think it is sensible for Leavers to deny that racism has nothing to do with it, in every case. Racial tensions seem to be on the increase, both here and the United States, and they seem to be motivated by similar nationalisms. However, given that Corbyn has been a fairly committed Leaver up until recently (and only for the sake of making peace with his party), there are clearly views in support of Leave that are not racist. (We can discuss as to whether they are valid, of course, but the point I am making is that people hold these views in good faith).

  • Loony

    How surprising to note a return to the racism smear. An honest commentator would seek to address the following:

    Polish demand for $1 trillion in war reparations from Germany.
    Hungarian government claim that the EU is raping European laws and values
    A demand within Italy that Italy introduce a parallel currency to the euro.
    Catalan demands for secession from Spain and the the consequent response from the Spanish government
    The essential abandonment of the rule of law within Germany that allows its main export focused industrial base the freedom to ignore any laws that it does not like.
    The bond buying policies of the ECB that are designed to suit German interests and manifestly discriminates against a number of peripheral countries most obviously Portugal.
    The laying to waste of Greece and why the liberal elite are so keen to ignore this, and when this is not possible to engage in victim blaming.
    Acknowledgement that the EU and NATO are intertwined and an explanation as to why the EU is funding actual Nazi’s in the Ukraine.

    All you really need to know about defenders of the EU is that they remain keen to smear their domestic populations as bigots and racists but simultaneously demand that wealth be removed from the EU and transferred to Nazi’s in the Ukraine.

    • Ian Seed

      Indeed. Craig seems to be forgetting that his wonderful EU literally helped to install nazis into the Ukrainian government and they immediately set about murdering thousands of civilians in the Donbass.

      Svoboda used to be on the EU’s proscribed list of political parties but the EU removed Svoboda from the list when Washington fomented a violent coup to install their puppets in Kiev.

      And given the destruction of the economies in the south of Europe it’s pretty obvious that the EU is the CAUSE of the rise of the far right.

      • giyane

        What about Mrs Fuck the EU? Sadly she is no longer in power to continue to tell the EU what to do.

    • Martinned

      Polish demand for $1 trillion in war reparations from Germany.

      Wait, you’re saying that because the Polish elected themselves a stupid, populist government, Britain should rush to get one too and give it as much power as possible?

      Hungarian government claim that the EU is raping European laws and values

      See previous

      A demand within Italy that Italy introduce a parallel currency to the euro.

      That’s probably not a good idea (for Gresham’s law reasons), but I’m not sure what your point is there. It certainly doesn’t say anything about whether the UK and/or Scotland would be better off in the Euro, since neither of those is in a comparable position to Italy.

      Catalan demands for secession from Spain and the the consequent response from the Spanish government

      Catalunya ought to have a referendum, but the EU does not have the power to make the Spanish organise one. Not so allmighty, huh?

      The essential abandonment of the rule of law within Germany that allows its main export focused industrial base the freedom to ignore any laws that it does not like.

      Not sure what that means. Dieselgate and/or other cartels in the car industry that have recently come to light? Those are being prosecuted as we speak.

      The bond buying policies of the ECB that are designed to suit German interests and manifestly discriminates against a number of peripheral countries most obviously Portugal.

      Which I guess is why the Germans are screaming bloody murder over QE while the Portuguese and a lot of other Southern European countries are well pleased? But seriously, what are you smoking?

      The laying to waste of Greece and why the liberal elite are so keen to ignore this, and when this is not possible to engage in victim blaming.

      In the case of Greece, victim blaming seems entirely appropriate. That’s what the Greeks themselves do.

      Acknowledgement that the EU and NATO are intertwined and an explanation as to why the EU is funding actual Nazi’s in the Ukraine.

      I don’t even know where to begin with that one. Stop reading Putin propaganda.

          • Loony

            What do you see?

            Do you see a small child engaging in an imperfect but recognizably Nazi salute and chanting “I will kill Russians”?

            Does it make you proud to know that you are sponsoring this kind of thing?

            Or is the whole manifest horror just too much for you and you instruct your brain to see lambs gamboling in a meadow?

          • Martinned

            I see a bunch of extremists who are in no way representative of the Ukranian people or its government. You’d have to be actively looking for a reason to think ill of that country in order to accept such a slander.

          • Loony

            I have no idea as to what extent they are representative of the Ukrainian people. Given the demographics of the Ukraine together with the situation in the Donbass it is hard to even define “the Ukrainian people”

            I do know that the EU is effectively sponsoring the people that you describe as a “bunch of extremists”

            It is therefore incumbent on those in favor of the EU to explain why sponsoring such people is an appropriate thing to do, and why it is that those who object to such sponsorship can be legitimately dismissed as racists.

  • Tom

    ‘As I have repeatedly said, it is indisputable that immigration grows the economy and this effect is positive for wages, vastly out-weighing any short term effect from increased labour supply. If immigration damaged wages, the USA and Germany would have the lowest paid workforces in the world. The argument is plainly a nonsense. Not only does immigration in itself inject dynamism into an economy, EU immigration is linked to free flow of capital and goods from which the UK economy has vastly benefited.’

    Growing the economy doesn’t automatically grow wages.

    More people + less social housing = higher housing prices (which are ludicrously high in the UK compared to a lot of comparable countries)

    Immigration isn’t the only factor affecting wages. This is why Germany and the US do not have the lowest paid workforces in the world.

    There are economic (and other) benefits to immigration, but you’d have to be quite well off and likely over 50 to think that current levels of immigration are good news for the British working class.

    I voted Remain, but to argue that the only reason for Brexit is racism/xenophobia is bullshit. I know people who voted Brexit for all sorts of reasons – some racist, some not. Mostly stupid, but then I’m still waiting for remainers to present their arguments for staying in the EU, over a year after the referendum.

    In short, this is why Remain lost – they assumed they could just brand Brexiteers ‘racist’ and that would be enough. In reality, the EU is a tool of international capitalism and while that might bring some economic benefits, most of those benefits are never seen by the poorest in this country.

  • AAMVN

    I agree the only possible rational motivation for Brexit is racism.

    The other motives are either cynical fig-leaves to cover the shame of racism or some magical thinking.

    It is quite feasible for the UK to shut its doors to immigrants or some particular type of immigrants and Brexit is a stepping stone to doing this. The likelihood of this utterly wrecking the British economy and also the UK’s standing in the wider world are lost on these deluded racists.

  • Loony

    “As I have repeatedly said, it is indisputable that immigration grows the economy…”

    Really! Why not examine the case of Italy.

    In 1999 the population of Italy was 56.92 million. Today it is 59.8 million. Italy has a birth rate of 1.37 per woman (i.e. below the replacement rate). The increase in the Italian population 2000-2017 is explicable only through immigration.

    In 1999 Italy had a GDP/Capita of Euros 26,253. In 2016 the Italian GDP/Capita stood at Euros 25,479 (all 2010 prices). In other words Italian GDP/Capita was 3.3% lower in 2016 than it was in 1999.

    So, either you are provably and demonstrably wrong or you are operating on your own personal definition of language that does not coincide with the general understanding of words – take for example your use of the word “indisputable”

  • Martinned

    That is why she attempted to shore it up by the official “leak” of the Home Office draft document on how to implement a ridiculously hard-line anti-immigrant policy and strangle the economy. The government spends billions on security and today every printed or electronic copy of a classified government document bears secure and hidden signs that show its full provenance. They have extraordinary tools at their disposal to catch the “leaker”, but I guarantee you will never hear any more on this one.

    True enough, but I sincerely doubt that a Brexit document that is not related to the negotiations, such as the ones that were leaked (or “leaked”, as you will), would be classified at that level. It would be OFFICIAL SENSITIVE, but not classified I’d say.

  • nevermind

    Excellent Craig, and to the point. Last night was a 1 billion takeover, nothing to do with democracy. The political call girls and men of doom were whipped into placing their crosses on a promise of a billion. That’s how easy it is to divert this wretchedly old system into a possible dictatorship.
    That the Conservatives, without a majority are in charge of every main committee is utterly wrong.
    And the taxpayer, not those rich organisations and people using the virgin islands and Turks and Caicos, they are ‘suffering’, all their accounts have been flooded and destroyed, their stale digital money is not to be touched in the rebuilding of their tax refuge.

    • nevermind

      ‘And the taxpayer will pay to rebuild the storm damage’, it should read last paragraph above.

  • theresa galton

    I voted for Brexit on the sovereignty issue.
    I don’t want to be some “region” is a Euro-superstate.
    You lefties have no problem with big unaccountable power-blocs, because you’re innately authoritarian.
    You throw the word “racism’ around to discredit people who rightly oppose you.
    You middle class wankers have always hated ordinary working class white people, especially those who voted Brexit – who are now labelled ‘supremacists’ and wicked ‘rayyycists’.
    All you do virtue-signal your own non-existent moral superiority to each other.

    • Martinned

      I don’t want to be some “region” is a Euro-superstate.

      I don’t know how to break this to you, but the UK is going to be some region of Europe regardless. The only question is whether you want to have a say in how it’s governed or not. You can’t very well move the island to the mid-Atlantic.

  • Loony

    “If you do accept that immigration from Poland to the UK decreases wages in the UK because of increased labour supply, then you must in logic accept that it also increases wages in Poland due to decreased labour supply…”

    What have we hear? Why a sentence devoid of logic which seeks to shore up its own illogicality by referring to logic.

    Have you never heard of the Pareto Prinicple? Do you not know that there are reasons to suppose that transferring people from Poland to the UK causes economic harm to both Poland and the UK. Or, could it be that you know this only too well but that destroying the entire fabric of societies is in fact part of the liberal agenda.

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

    • Martinned

      Have you never heard of the Pareto Prinicple?

      Have you? Because the argument you appear to be trying to make has nothing whatsoever to do with the Pareto principle, which is a rule for deciding which of two (or more) outcomes should be preferred, not a model that shows how harm occurs in the first place.

      • Loony

        No, I have never heard of it certainly not in the form that you describe it in.

        It is not a rule, it is a principle which is probably why it is called a principle. It is not connected to deciding preferred outcomes and has nothing to say about harm.

        It does however inform as to reasons why exporting people from Poland may damage the Polish economy – which is exactly what I said in my initial comment.

        • Martinned

          I apologise. It looks like someone wrote a Wikipedia page about something they made up and named after someone long dead who had nothing to do with it in a manner that confuses this glorious new concept with another concept said dead person did propose. My bad.

          • Loony

            Actually I am not, but them I am a simple racist so may be confused.

            The Pareto principle states that 80% of outcomes comes from 20% of causes. It seems to apply over a wide range of activities, including economic activities.

            Thus it could be that 20% of Polish workers are responsible for 80% of Polish economic activity. If a substantial part of this 20% of the population relocates to the UK then it follows that the Polish economy will experience a disproportionate contraction.

            I do not know to what extent this is true – but it is a credible theory. It is certainly credible enough to refute the proposition that it follows logically that Polish emigration raises wages in Poland. It may may do or it may not. I do not know. All I know is that there is no logic deployed in reaching the conclusion that Mr. Murray reaches, a conclusion that he falsely attributes to be derived from logic.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            The Pareto principle is that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of their causes. I would have thought that the Pareto efficiency/optimality, which states that it is impossible to reallocate (resources) so as to make any one individual or preference criterion better off without making at least one individual or preference criterion worse off. (Wiki), would be more relevant to your case. Maybe I’m confused? As a fellow-racist.

  • AdrianD

    Sorry Craig, there is at least one non-racist reason for Brexit – and it’s the reason why I voted leave and would do so again tomorrow.

    You do realise that Freedom of Movement of People is just one of the ‘Four Freedoms’ don’t you?

    It’s the free movement of CAPITAL that needs to be curtailed – and until we do, the other three EU freedoms – of goods, services and people will be irrelevant.

    Until we restrict unfettered capital flows, impossible within the EU, all of the benefits of immigration and trade (which I do not doubt) will continue to be hoovered up by the capital rich. Rents will continue to be extracted all across the continent, opportunities will continue to be denied to people across the board, workers will continue to be played off against each other, taxes will be avoided, corruption facilitated and national governments threatened by the uber capitalists..

    Until we sort this out, freedom of movement for far too many will not be the choice or the human-right that we both want it to be, but a necessity. Already the idea of freedom of movement TO many states is a fanciful ideal with long-term youth unemployment rates of 30-40% and untold millions of young people not in education or employment across the continent.

    It’s because I like foreigners so much that I rather not see their economies buggered just cos we can’t be arsed to pay to train our own nurses (amongst many other reasons).

    Having just contributed to your defence fund in part because I don’t want to see criticism of Israel conflated with anti-semetism, I’m not going to let you get away with conflating a disgust with the neoliberal EU as it stands with hatred of foreigners in general.

      • AdrianD

        It would be one step closer – a step that could quite easily be taken following GFC 2.

        The decision to remove capital controls in the 70s was taken by one UK government – and that’s all that would be needed to reinstate them outside the EU. Do you think they would be introduced in the EU in any circumstances given that would require a pan-European progressive revolution? With respect, I suggest you’re the one doing the magical thinking if you think there’s a chance of that.

        Eitherway, I don’t think holding these views necessarily makes me a racist.

        • Martinned

          Eitherway, I don’t think holding these views necessarily makes me a racist.

          No, just stupid. You and everyone else who thinks Brexit is the first step to a Marxist dream world. Regardless of whether such a thing would be desirable, you’d have to be utterly ignorant of the realities of UK politics to think that such a thing is made more likely by Brexit. Just about any piece of socialist legislation is more likely to pass in Brussels than in Westminster.

          • AdrianD

            Absolute tripe. Who said anything about Marxism – I’m just talking about sensible steps to protect ourselves from the ravages of neoliberalism.

            In any case, anything even remotely socialist is directly precluded by the Lisbon Treaty and it’s endless pages of ‘third-way’, markets-know-best claptrap. That’s been followed by ‘Fiscal Compacts’ that make a virtue of austerity and perverse protect-the-markets judgements from the ECJ (that, for instance, outlaw cross-border collective bargaining). Rolling back any of that horseshit is going to take a decade even if there was a will to do it. By then it’s a nailed on certainty that we’ll have suffered another global financial crisis, but inside the EU we’ll be hamstrung to use only the meagre tools they offer us – and what makes you think they’ll do anything outher than protect he Northern banks again this time?

            Did you pay any attention at all to the last election or to the current state of the polls? We’ve a revitalised Labour Party, led by someone with a proven anti-war record, an engaged and informed youth and an alternative media capable of cutting through the bullshit. We’re as close as we have been for decades to real political change in this country – but your preference is instead to rely on scraps from the EU’s table hoping that the right decisions will be made by a self-perpetuating network of Davos-set European elites who hold their respective populations in varying degrees of contempt. That’s beyond stupid.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    There is no motivation for Brexit other than racism.
    Oh yes there is
    Oh not there isn’t
    Oh yes…sick of this, Craig. There is no motivation for adhering to the EU other than globalism, the homogenisation of cultures, the subordination of the individual to artificial markets, rampant waste of material and talents, and zero-hours contracts for everyone. At least there’s a choice of evils for you.

    I still have never had a conversation with anyone – including here on this blog – in which their motivation for supporting Brexit did not come down to stopping Eastern Europeans from coming here. Those who consider themselves “left wing” like to frame this racism as a desire to protect British workers from wage competition – a peculiarly nationalistic concern…

    And you really deplore nationalists, don’t you? LOL

    • nevermind

      Welcome to all in the world and thank for bringing your libels to the most wretched system in the world, a system that guarantees that one side will pay dearly/loose everything/has to send their children up chimneys.

      How about giving us a little lecture how Britain would have fared if they had not/were not told to join the EU, Ba’al.
      How workers rights and and environmental controls and regulations over river/ water quality, a faster trade and or communication system for the public, who enjoyed to undertake free movement, an obvious fact, would have looked like during the seventies eighties nineties and now in the 21st. century, apparently?

      Did I mention, education, Euratom, ERASMUS, common security arrangements, CERN, science exchanges, the right to a fair trial…?

      What would the UK look like today if they had stayed outside the EU and not adopted the trade agreements that are worth some 6-800 billion per annum.
      Why should we all like being dragged down? why should we help and support it when there is not one indicator that this could work for all? ever.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        nevermind,

        I agree with you with regards to the EU having a positive effect with regards to “environmental controls and regulations over river / water quality” and “a faster trade.”

        Almost everything else has got significantly worse, and the EU together with the neoliberalism, globalism and austerity ascociated is at least partly responsible, for nearly everything getting worse.

        The degradition in the Education System, the Health System, and workers rights in The UK is absolutely appalling. the overall quality of life in The UK, especially for young people is very much worse. The lack of opportunities is completely disgraceful, and the real wages very much lower for everyone, except the very few with strong connections to the rich.

        Union protection for workers rights actually worked, exceedingly well. Now there is virtually no protection for “labour”, as except in a very few cases, the unions have been almost completely destroyed which has destroyed the balance between labour and capital.

        How many young people, can now afford to even try to buy a home, and ever hope to own it? The entire economic system has been completely corrupted. It could be argued , that this started with Thatcherism, but the EU itself is just as economically brutal as was Thatcherism, and in some cases very much worse. Just look what they have done to Greece.

        As regards Science, just like everything else it has been almost completely corrupted. Real science is now rarely taught in schools – what is taught is the story of science, which is as useful as telling the story of plumbing to someone who wants to be a plumber.

        Most so called “graduates” have a lower standard of education than the average 11 year old born in the 1950’s. If you don’t believe that, ask them to attempt an 11+ exam paper. they will look at you blank – as if its written in Chinese.

        Not all of this degradation is down to the EU, but it certainly hasn’t helped, and some people only believe it has due to incessant pro EU propaganda, to which I am totally amazed that 52% of the voting public saw through.

        Tony

  • Neil

    Craig,

    Please supply regular reports on the progress of your legal defence fund. You can’t expect people to donate unless you do (as you know, I have already donated. I may donate more, but not without knowing how the fund is going.)

    BTW, I agree 100% with everything you say in this post. Immigration detention (a euphemism for imprisonment) is an obscenity, as demonstrated by the BBC Panorama programme on Brook House, one of the two Gatwick detention centres where I have been a volunteer visitor since 1996 (actually it’s three detention centres if you include the first one at the Gatwick “Beehive”, which although it looked like something out of a WWII PoW movie, was actually the least unpleasant of the three). Strange how the advocates of immigration control never say anything about the horrors that are always part of any form of immigration control.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/09/shock-panorama-g4s-abuse-security-detainees/

    • craig Post author

      Neil,

      I was supplying regular reports but have been advised to stop in case the opposition apply for an order to seize all the funds to be paid into court to be held against their costs of they win.

  • Giving Goose

    There is a confusion with the Brexit voting population.

    If their actions are motivated by a feeling that high numbers of migrants are driving down wages, driving up demand for housing on a limited housing stock, putting pressure on GP practices etc, then where are the actions from the Brexiteers to limit Non EU Immigration?

    After all, it’s my understanding that the Government has always had control over Non EU Immigration but has just decided not to exercise this control.

    And where are the guarantees from the Brexiteers in the Government that wages will start to rise? Logic dictates that a definite date can now be set by the Government for a wage rise to come into effect, especially in the public sector. No?

    Indeed, if I were the Government and by an extension of this logic, can they not issue a manifesto right now, with a clear prospectus for the future, to include wage rises, zero forecast on homelessness, zero waiting time at GP clinics?

    *cough*

    I think you’ve all been conned.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Good question. To which the answer may be found in the necessity to concentrate on the immediate issue, which is the EU. And we are currently subject to EU regulations on what non-EU migrants come here, so that’s somewhat critical. I would imagine that should we find ourselves flooded with economic migrants once again, post Brexit, the debate will re-ignite. Hopefully whoever concludes the withdrawal process will have the sense to anticipate that reaction.

      • nevermind

        what, immigrants from Oz, US, China? working immigrants?

        btw. just so it registers, many EU migrants are leaving and many others, some in positions you don’t really want without replacement, are shocked by what they are hearing and will leave as soon as they can be replaced.

        Not unlike Theresa earlier, you sound as if you’d rejoice that the white working class has managed to get rid of the Polish shop round the corner, just when you should be thankful for all the immigrants keeping your underfunded health service going, picking your fruit and veg., driving your goods to the continent and cooking your curries.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I would much rather see our own feckless youth coming to terms with the facts of economic life than see part of the income from our own agriculture disappearing into the Schengen zone, yes. Your argument, incidentally, is one I have heard from several Turks, who wonder why, having as they put it, helped rebuild the German economy, Germany isn’t beckoning them into the EU.

          • craig Post author

            Those Turks are quite right, of course. The EU’s decision a decade ago not to offer Turkey a fast and realistic way in has resulted in the disastrous decline in democracy in Turkey.

          • Martinned

            Craig, I’m not buying that one. I don’t think it’s realistic to say that Erdogan wouldn’t have been where he is today if Turkey had been given a more realistic path to membership. He was always going to move towards illiberal democracy.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Does the heavy migration from there to seek work in Germany entitle Turkey to EU membership? Why? And, actually, don’t I remember you fulminating against the Kemalists who wanted to keep Turkey secular not so long ago? Erdoğan’s trading on his eastern religious base, poorer than the areas globalists want to invest in. The line against them was held since 1922 by Kemalists, nasty as they may have been (though probably an improvement on the Ottomans). The EU was refusing Turkey on human rights grounds long before Erdoğan, who has simply reinforced the previous objection. Also on economic grounds. It was Erdoğan who turned the lira from a joke currency, whose exchange rate had to be checked before buying an orange in the market, into something which if not particularly stable, allowed its owner to dispense with the wheelbarrow.

    • Martinned

      After all, it’s my understanding that the Government has always had control over Non EU Immigration but has just decided not to exercise this control.

      The Government has always had a degree of control over EU immigration too, but has likewise not decided to use it.

  • MJ

    “I still have never had a conversation with anyone – including here on this blog – in which their motivation for supporting Brexit did not come down to stopping Eastern Europeans from coming here”

    I’ve never seen that view expressed here. It is a product of your imagination. There were a whole host of reasons for voting Brexit that had nothing to do with East Europeans or any other immigrants. Anyone in favour of Scottish independence should understand those reasons perfectly well.

    • Martinned

      The case for Scottish independence – or at least the sensible case for Scottish independence – relies on EU membership. Without it, the whole idea would be completely infeasible. It’s about subsidiarity, not moving all power to Holyrood.

      In fact, as Gordon Brown’s successful intervention before the indyref shows, Scotland would be largely placated if only the UK Parliament could deliver proper federalism, with a distribution of competences between Westminster and Holyrood that is cast in stone, and cannot be overridden by the former on a whim. But since the doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty prevents any such thing, independence within the EU is all that’s left.

      That’s not the same as Taking Back Control, that’s insisting on a proper vertical separation of powers.

      • Republicofscotland

        Gordon Brown, is a idiot, he was wheeled out at the last minute to promote the disastrous “Vow.”

        The Scottish branch office of Labour also vehemently opposed, the full powers indicated in the Smith Commission. When the natives become restless and a second indyref is mentioned, the Scottish Labour branch office spouts the old federalism chestnut, it hasn’t a hope in hell of ever coming to fruition.

        No I think to win over a majority on Scottish independence, membership of EFTA, might be the way. It could appease those for and against EU membership.

        Alas the rUK, are blocked from that particular route. Norway is opposed to it joining EFTA.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          The UK will never allow Scotland to leave to join anything else, as the assassination of leaders like John Smith or even Willie McRe , or the use of covert American weapons to cause earttttthquakes and weather modification demonstrate.

          Sure, free to live in a climatic winter.

  • glenn_uk

    There’s no reason for voting for Brexit other than racism.

    . . .

    There’s no reason to oppose the State of Israel other than Antisemitism.

    . . .

    I imagine you’d disagree with at least one of the above, Craig. I’d strongly disagree with both – since both are lazy slurs designed to push anyone disagreeing with you on the defence, otherwise they fall into the default position of being assumed to be racist.

    • fredi

      There’s no reason for voting for Brexit other than racism.

      There’s no reason to oppose the State of Israel other than Antisemitism.

      Indeed, the cheap tactic used by the blinkered politically correct left, or the racist hard right. Call everyone who you don’t agree with a something ending with an ‘ist’

  • J

    A coup. If before we had doubts about the quality of democracy on these islands, none remains. It doesn’t exist.

    Unfortunately your almost unmediated Guardian view of Brexit ensures that you continue to conflate several different ideas into a general paste of argument and assumption, perhaps for strategic political purposes, perhaps to differentiate yourself from others you can identify enough to despise but can’t quite delineate. The effect is to dilute and damage your greater argument and to rule that the very real ambivalence many feel over the EU is impermissible, which I hope is your real intention because that at least that would be intelligible. The substantial effort you have made to polarise the discourse has in effect merely poisoned your ability to articulate, to succumb very much to the enduring strategy of those who utilise race every single time capitalism is in trouble.

    Intelligent and principled opposition to the EU executive has become impossible from your view. Despite their corporate and financial interests, despite none of them being elected or accountable, despite possessing the sole power to propose legislation within the EU, your argument has the effect of releasing this executive from all scrutiny in the minds of many middle class

    And here we are, struggling to muster opposition to the coup last night because we can’t even see each other, having fully accepted the territory of our enemies, that is to define each other by the EU as racist or not racist on that basis alone. Not by our actions, ideas or deeds, but upon whether we share a view defined by the Guardian. And divided upon that ground, thus disarmed, we shall probably perish.

  • Ishmael

    Well I seem to remember positing a Tariq Ali’s interview with Andrew Murray, illustrating arguments for Brexit that were not about racism or xenophobia.

    It is fanciful to imagine every vote was motivated by racism. Even if the campaign was largely led that way from the top, it’s certainty not that simplifiable. No way.

  • Martinned

    Incidentally, some of you might be interested in today’s ECJ judgement in Anagnostakis v. Commission, upholding the Commission’s decision not to register a European Citizens’ Initiative aiming to cancel Greek debt. Simply put, the ECJ (upholding the General Court) held that the EU does not have the competence to cancel Greek debt, and therefore the ECI is not possible.

    http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=194282&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=534425

  • Peter Beswick

    There’s too much in this diatribe of Craig’s to single out the greatest nonsence but what Craig invariably does when he starts on a rant is start out from where he would like to be (and often where he thinks he is but isn’t really) and begins his journey from there.

    Miscalculating where you are is often fatal for navigators, on occasion you end up somewhere better than you thought you were going, that is a bonus.

    So where is Craig’s economics journey taking him? For that you have to know where he and us began the voyage. 1997 Tony Blair and Gordon Brown plot our course completely unaware that the US and EU (independently) were putting up false up beacons and lighthouses.

    The result: Two people in charge, not a fucking clue where they are going or why but steadfastly confident.

    Result? Destination? Here!

    Craig you are talking crap again.

    “The President:

    (page 5 – searchable doc – enter Gordon Brown stage left. The President attempts to plant a knowledge seed … that by raising the minimum wag greater numbers of the proletariat become entrapped. Gordon Brown completely misses the point – end of scene curtain.)

    There is one thing to look at. I know the United states are different than EU member nations, but you would be interested in how far big states can go in having different financial policies. New Jersey is an example it proved you can raise the minimum wage and create more low-wage jobs. I used this experience to justify our raising the minimum wage.
    But unemployment will go up if the rise is too big. Your unemployment rate is lower than other Europeans’ because of your flexible system.”

    https://clinton.presidentiallibraries.us/files/original/5aa4876f138a60330e869d23b372880d.pdf

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Think conditions are far worse than you claim, and they are only going to get worse. And British historians have never awakened to what is really happening politically.

    The worst new operations concern covert ones against people and their possessions. Will include even more troublemakers and leakers being killed, like the military opponents to the hardliners over the GFA, more Gareth Williamses, Dr. David Kellys and Gudrun Loftuses. Then innocent subjects like the al-Hillis will be set up for convenient murders for endless media attention.

    It’s even going to be worse than what the rambos are doing here in the States.

  • Kevin Laughlin

    It is curious to see Mr Murray using words such as ‘racist’, ‘fascist’ and ‘xenophobic’ to describe the actions of the people that he disagrees with, especially as he is such a supporter of free speech. He should know that it is words and phrases which utilises words such as these that are used to silence opponents, as they can and are increasingly used in law to do so. If one is a true believer in free speech, then one should avoid using such unproductive words such as these, and find a better way to advance one’s argument. To use this method of description to denounce the proposers of departure from the EU, when he himself is a vocal Scottish Nationalist who also desires the benefits of a smaller nation state, which prefers rule from Brussels instead of London is also mystifying.

  • DG

    Still conflating racism with xenophobia. Maybe you should read some of the other comments. Is it truly racist to favour my sons – who were born here (and are not working class) over other people, whether they are from eastern Europe, Canada or Africa? Race has nothing to do with it, as I expect my DNA shows I am mixed race myself.

    “propaganda-fed ignorance” – seriously? 11 O levels, 4 A levels, Diploma, Degree in management, reading Chomsky and text books on influence long before the internet hit people’s homes.

    “it is indisputable that immigration grows the economy” – are we talking real GDP per capita or just Pounds? Any idiot can grow an economy by letting more workers in.

    “If immigration damaged wages, the USA and Germany would have the lowest paid workforces in the world.” Strangely you make no mention of Japan, for decades a low immigration country with high wages. You are of course conflating average wages with wages in every industry sector when some are more subject to imported labour than others. Averages are of course great – unless you pulled the short straw.

    “Not only does immigration in itself inject dynamism into an economy” How many millions does it take? On the basis of your arguments we should let in everybody from every other country besides the EU as it is impossible to have too much of a good thing. Personally I believe there are limits.

    In all your waffle about people bettering themselves I note you make no mention of the economies and families from whence they have come. Is it “left wing” and “just” that poor countries are paying to train doctors and nurses and educate other staff, only for us to poach them, because it is easier for our bad, lazy managers to import staff than train our workers and provide better conditions for them so they are less tempted to leave? It is also the younger and more ambitious workers who move abroad.

    “Tories’ extraordinary approach to the Brexit negotiations is that they wish them to fail” Why, given Brexit will give them sweeping powers to change legislation whilst bypassing parliamentary scrutiny? Also they are the party of big business; not the little man. They wanted Brexit so much they did not make any contingency plans in case Leave won!

    For all your insults to people like myself, you are the one on the side of the majority of big businesses, who is unable to think systemically about the supply of houses, clean water, schools, hospitals and roads, which have high fixed costs and cannot be built cheaply just because a few more people have stretched local services past breaking point. Did Remainers publish any plans to address these issues? No. Nor do you recognise that average wages are just that, an average, and some people will be vastly more affected than others. At least you are in good company – Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the BofE.

    Now I have another insult to add to the list – national socialist – and yes, I know exactly where is comes from (NSDAP).

    • Ishmael

      You DNA does not have such a thing as “Race” in it. Humans are one “Race”, Though the term itself is (I understand) not used seriously in science.

    • Peter Beswick

      Good stab at it DG

      But the economist point needs to be framed as what it is.

      Q. The World’s greatest problem / threat? A. Too many people.

      World population 1958; Craig’s year of Birth: 2.9 billion, this year 7. 5 billion – increase of 4.6 billion, more than 2.5 times bigger

      I’m not saying its Craig’s fault,

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Hi
      I thought this was an interesting point.

      ” Is it “left wing” and “just” that poor countries are paying to train doctors and nurses and educate other staff, only for us to poach them, because it is easier for our bad, lazy managers to import staff than train our workers and provide better conditions for them so they are less tempted to leave? It is also the younger and more ambitious workers who move abroad”.

      Is it not the case that from some point in the Thatcher era such ‘strategic planning’ ideas were given up on basically, ideological grounds, the idea being that if there was a shortage of a particular occupation, (same as if there was a shortage of some widget), it was cheaper to just ‘import’ (buy in) the required skill or widget, and that the demand would generate the appropriate level of training places (or factory production). It is the corollary of free trade and part of the same ideology.
      That ‘philosphy’ of short termism /monetary gain above all, was imported from the Chicago school, where the cultural values were really very different to Europe, and where cross continent migration and the pursuit of material wealth was paramount, and where association, mutuality and cooperation were long ago sacrificed to the ‘dynamism’ of free movement of labour, and this was indeed part of the American national myth.

      i agree that such thinking is very flawed and that there is a moral as well as a practical dimension to matters such as training.There is also a cultural and identity dimension to immigration, which of course is conflated with xenophic attitudes and racism.

      I remember the distress of my now late aunt who felt as if her Scottish identity, and all her cultural comforts and the intrinsic communitarian and neighbourly values, which these had been part of, had been stripped bare by the developments of the last 30 years or so where she became surrounded by people who did not speak her language, always being challenged and watching what seemed to her like a ‘taking over’ or dilution of her connections and feeling of belonging. There was virtue in this connected community, but she was also inclined to a type of racism, and was rather xenophobic although this was always trumped or superceded by her intelligence and personal values of generosity and warmth. She would have talked disapprovingly about the ‘ Blecks’ who had moved in next door but would not have hesitated to offer hospitality and help if they werte in distress.
      I also suspect that the reverse also often happens where peoples’ intuitive wish to relate to their near relatives and fellow ‘nationals’- a rather fundamental impulse-causes them to lose sight of the discrimination, cruelty and absence of virtue of xenophobia and racism.

  • Jacomo

    Scary to hear the leader of the RMT union rabbiting on about ‘the will of the British people’ this morning on the radio. Apparently, ‘millions of working people’ voted to Leave, so hard Brexit it is (with all the accompanying fantasy of Britain suddenly transformed into a socialist state).

    Of course, millions of working people voted to Remain. But they are no doubt the wrong sort of working people, and aren’t accepted by the RMT.

    Scary times we are living in…

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I don’t suppose you’d be saying that if millions of people had voted for Miliband, and he’d won, while the other millions got the hump.

  • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

    You see the problem with that statement Craig, is it is just incorrect.

    A recent study by Funke et al., a statistical analysis from 1870 to 2014 of how we respond to financial crisis found that political parties of the far-right increased their vote base by 30%. When we start to look at thirty plus years of economic policy, as introduced by Thatcher in the UK, Regan in the US and Hawke in Australia, we begin to draw a picture of compounding problems. By analysing historical data can provide us with a much better methodology for understanding how to avoid the worst parts of history.

    The need to use a broad -ism, is well, sorry old chap, a bit intellectually lazy.

    Putnam would call it the decline of Social Capital, I prefer the term Demographic Rust. I highlight the problems that started with neoliberalism, how our Western World through thirty plus years of broken economic policy has delivered inequality, financial crisis and an erosion of institutional trust.

    Inequality is where the rust starts then it spreads like cancer; it begins eating away at our community structures. Crime, substance abuse, marriage breakdown, marrying later, racism and bigotry, these are just a few of adverse outcomes from inequality, lack of financial stability, an outlook to a not so bright future.

    The trouble with -isms is the propensity to create divides in the want of compartmentalising people, stick it in a box and add a label. We throw around words like ‘feminist’ or ‘racist’ because they are provocative, emotive, and recognisable, but, in doing so, we fail to realise the binary we have created, in which you are either feminist or anti-feminist, racist or tolerant, liberal or conservative. It is similar to the ambiguity a PC culture entails. A form of self-discipline which does not allow the overcoming of things like racism, creating an oppressed, controlled racism instead. -isms exist only in a sense in how we construct them, as with the variance of people so too is that construction. Each -ism is basically a construct of inconsistent claims. As unique as the person each deconstruction unbinds creating controversy and disagreement. Due to the inconsistency of -isms, there cannot be an exact nature of any -ism, truth and understanding are unique to each person, a relativity of realism in the mind of the person defining the -ism. When we have inconsistency, we have relativism in meaning which transpires there can be no resolution.

    To use a worn out expression, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just not their own facts.

  • Loony

    There is another way of looking at immigration and racism.

    Take for example the fact that the UK has a shortage of radiographers with about 13% of vacancies unfilled at anyone time. The only short term option to fix this gap is via immigration.

    So, you have a position whereby a country of some 65 million people is sufficiently bone idle and too stupid to train enough of its population to be radiographers. It therefore goes around the world effectively stealing radiographers from other countries (name a country with a vast surplus of unemployed radiographers) in order to attend to their own self entitled demand for medical treatment that they are unwilling to provide for themselves.

    What gives the British the right to steal the human resources of other countries and then act so self satisfied about the whole feral deal and pretend to themselves that their theft is a mark of their moral superiority.

    • glenn_uk

      Fair point – how about stealing nurses from the Philippines? Perhaps they are so over-provided with medical staff in such countries, we are doing them a positive favour by taking them in such large numbers. I’d heard that Romanians are rather angry that their best medical staff all leg it to the UK, where we cannot be bothered to train our own people (or pay them properly), and feel no compunction in poaching the resources of much poorer, smaller countries.

      Of course, all the above is nothing but racism of the most base nature – what else could it be?

  • Ishmael

    Unfortunately our major problems are people who like Craig, refuse to try to enact a responsible planned system according to need, instead advocating leaving it “market based” … Except for them, of course.

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