Tuesday 21 June 2016

Remaining in the EU is signing a blank cheque


The EU has, on balance, done much good in Eastern Europe, though harm too. Elsewhere since 1999 it has been on the whole a big disaster. The Euro has destroyed the economies of Southern Europe, Schengen has failed to protect countries from invasion, the EU has shown that it cannot be a player in foreign affairs and it is clear now, as should always have been clear, that it can never be democratic because it has no demos.

Immigration is not a key issue - Brexit might not affect immigration at all - except that people who want a million or three million migrants to enter Europe without papers in a single year are very dangerous people - mad, bad and dangerous to know. The one strong argument for our staying is that Scotland might secede in ten years time. If we do vote for Brexit expect the EU to come up with a counter-offer. And more referendums till we get the answer right. 

I don't think we shall ever escape. And young people are educated in the pieties of internationalism, so this is our last chance.

Latest polls say it's 50-50. John Curtice, the Strathclyde University professor who oversaw last year’s accurate election exit poll, says: "After weeks and months of basically no change, it does look as though there has been at least some movement towards Leave in the wake of the advent of purdah.” 

Maybe the Jo Cox effect - carefully managed by Remain - is not crucial

Murder is terrible but how different the reaction to the murder by the IRA of poor Ian Gow and Airey Neave. To a large extent this reflects the new English habit of mass emotion which had not begun in the 1980s. Still, worth mentioning that Ian Gow and Airey Neave were killed by the IRA for political reasons but were not treated as martyrs - as fervent Unionists they were considered with suspicion. Private Eye character assassinated Neave even though he was a war hero. 

Even poor Drummer Rigby who was beheaded last year by Muslims in the streets of Woolwich didn't get this treatment - quite a few people seemed more worried about EDL demonstrating for fifteen minutes about the murder than anything else. The authorities tried to persuade us that the crime had no link to Islam or to politics. 

Had Farage been murdered or an Official Ulster Unionist of impeccable patriotism I wonder what the reaction would have been. The Diana-like outpouring of grief for Jo Cox is linked to her passionate belief in diversity and the benefits of immigration. I am not quite sure why.

It is no doubt largely spontaneous but has also certainly been carefully managed by Remain. Her funeral tomorrow - rather soon? - may also have an effect on the vote though I hope not. Her murder is irrelevant. Yet a number of people in the papers openly say it is a reason for voting Out and implying Brexit is the far right racist option.

Leaving and staying both seem to have more disadvantages than advantages at first sight but staying is not choosing the status quo but signing a blank cheque. Last summer, Europe’s leaders came up the “five presidents’ report” that laid down a step-by-step plan to achieve a United States of Europe: banking union, then a common budget and finally political union. Electorates will not put up with this - at least for now - but these people are running the EU.

Both options in the referendum are unattractive and scary. I think leaving is on balance the lesser evil. Perhaps, in the end, the strongest argument for the UK leaving is that staying is writing a blank cheque to people who dislike the idea of nation states or ethnic states. 


  1. The Brexit referendum is only a farce and a demagogic populist show, with three goals:
    - Organize a sham referendum (the result being known in advance) in order to simulate plebiscitary democracy and mass consultation
    - Reinforce the political position of Mr. Cameron after the victory of the anti-Brexit
    - Strengthen enormously the privileges of UK in the EU - actually, this is all that counts

    UK is in the position of an awfull old prostitute who, in order to somehow find custormers and raise the price, simulate that she is leaving.

    De Gaule, who knew you well, fiercely opposed you being admitted into the Common Market. You contorsionated like a circus artist to be admitted, only to demand all kind of exceptions, special statuses and privileges.

    Now, you imagined the Brexit-referendum like a new trick to maintain your special status within the EU.

    Disgusting trickery of an old courtisane.

    I wholeheartedly wish you a good Brexit.

    I wish you that Mr. Farage win the elections and becomes Prime Minister.

    May your dreams come true !

    1. If you venture into blogs written from the right wing lunatic fringes, tempered by catholic certainty, you must know you will be offended. My only excuse is that I have known said blogger for 40 years. He is, if nothing else consistently inconsistent, possibly deranged, definitely delusional. Bless him.

    2. I remember you spoke in very nasty terms indeed about Airey Neave after his death.

    3. You rejoiced in his death in fact. Admittedly you were only 17.

  2. The Diana-like outpouring of grief for Jo Cox is beause she was a pretty and young woman that seemed nice.

  3. It is time for Britain to “Brexit,” taking our leave of the European Union. This is not because of any particular EU policy regarding migration, the EU’s big budget, or other controversial topics. Instead, it is because of a fundamental flaw in the makeup of the EU: namely, under its rule, Britain is no longer a democratic country.

    Why Britons Should Vote to Leave the European Union
    by Dominic Burbidge


  4. I wish you leave us once for all.
    Unfortunately, we don't have that luck.
    ...and tonight, both sides will radiously proclaim "it was a victory for the democracy in Britain"
    What a farce !

  5. I think people who write anonymously should really add there names and stand and be counted. There is nothing wrong with putting your name against what you believe. I may not agree with Paul on many things but at least I am not afraid to say them to him openly and have an open friendly debate with him. Nicholas Hammond