Archbishop Peter Smith 3
Conservative Party

Archbishop slams George Osborne: "ludicrous.. scare stories.. all over the place.. he doesn't know"

 

It isn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury or York (unfortunately), but the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith, who heads the Bishops’ Conference department for Christian responsibility and citizenship. He made his remarks in an interview with Vatican Radio, which they title: ‘Catholic bishops call for “informed debate” over Brexit vote‘; which the Catholic Herald titles: ‘Archbishop criticises George Osborne’s Brexit “scare stories”; which the Spectator titles: ‘Catholic bishops split over Brexit as Archbishop accuses Osborne of “ludicrous” scaremongering‘.

It is stretching his words somewhat to conclude from this interview that Archbishop Peter Smith supports Brexit and thereby ends 40 years of Roman Catholic episcopal europhiliac consensus. Certainly, he criticises the euro and rails against centralisation and EU bureaucracy, but so do the Anglican bishops, who all agree (or those who have spoken agree) that the EU isn’t perfect, but believe that leaving would not assist it in the pursuit of perfection, so far better to remain a member in order to nudge, guide, collaborate and compromise with our European family in pursuit of the common good, as caring neighbours ought. Neither the euro nor the immigration/refugee/economic-migrant crisis is sufficient to justify leaving the EU: we need Europe, they would say, but not this one, which is the apparent view of Archbishop Peter Smith.

Far from advocating Brexit (“There are risks on both sides”; “I’m not sure which way to vote”), the Archbishop calls for a mature, informed debate – and then warns of the dangers of leaving: “If we pull out there could be… a chain reaction” which he doesn’t want to see because “we need solidarity with the European countries, all of us together, because if we work together, whether it’s economically or in other ways, it gives us stability and a strength which we wouldn’t have if we were all divided again.” His manifest concern is the re-fragmentation of a 500-million-strong continent, with each of the 28 member states reasserting their national identities and self-defining their individual relationships with the whole. He doesn’t want to see that at all.

Without wishing to rain on anyone’s Catholics-for-Brexit parade, this doesn’t sound very much like an argument for UK secession from the EU. Christian Remainers would all talk of the need for solidarity and of the virtues of working together – “economically or in other ways” – which is the source of national stability and strength. The Archbishop explicitly refutes a break-up of the EU and a return to nation states (“..if we were all divided again”): for him, supranationalism nullifies nationalism; the UK’s stability and strength is irrefutably fused with unification, but one based on common values rather than political-bureaucratic coercion. In this, he stands exactly where most Church of England bishops have planted their mitres: for an EU (“Europe”) that looks to the dignity of the human person rather than the belligerence of national sovereignty.

It is on the question of sovereignty where the Archbishop scratches many itching ears: “There’s an awful lot of work to be done on the political side to try and make the whole of the European Union more cohesive without it overtaking the legitimate sovereignty of each of the countries.” Read and understand: there is in that “legitimate sovereignty” a thesis of political philosophy, for one person’s legitimacy is another’s authority and justice. It was Ted Heath who gave the assurance that EEC accession would not entail the erosion of “essential national sovereignty”. For some, this was a lie. For others, it is a simple matter of disagreement on what of sovereignty may be deemed “essential”. Clearly, for Heath, it wasn’t a very great deal. For Archbishop Peter Smith, sovereignty isn’t (or ought not to be) a Brexit battle cry: he wants a “cohesive” European Union which accommodates members’ “legitimate sovereignty”. Well, so do all the Anglican bishops, who would be quite happy to meditate and pontificate on the thresholds and limitations of legitimacy until two cows can be conjoined in holy matrimony. Rather than emitting ‘Leave’ signals, Peter Smith is doing as he says Roman Catholic bishops customarily do during elections: raising “some of the issues (he) might think about before (he) come(s) to vote”.

But where the Archbishop speaks eloquently, forcefully and prophetically is in his condemnation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (and putative Conservative leader) George Osborne. His economic forecasts, the Archbishop says, are “all over the place”; “very often the Chancellor is wrong”; “he doesn’t know”; he is resorting to “scare stories” and “ludicrous” economic projections in order to instil fear into the people.

Frankly, both George Osborne and David Cameron have disgraced their offices of state in this referendum campaign, with their lies, hyperbole, disinformation and deceit. Whether or not the UK takes the first step toward leaving the EU on 23rd June; whether or not it becomes our Independence Day or is confirmed as the day we resigned to plod inexorably toward becoming an offshore regional council of a United States of Europe, David Cameron and George Osborne will go down in history as Tory charlatans, cheats and political frauds. They have successfully re-toxified the Conservative brand and made it impossible for many to support a party led by either. You cannot call a referendum on something as crucial as fundamental identity or the determination of national destiny, and then collude with corporates and conspire with other elites to feed the electorate a diet of blight, pestilence and woe. It’s enough to make a man never trust a Tory again.

  • steroflex

    ” the Archbishop calls for a mature, informed debate”
    Yup – we need to know what the plans for our future are among the European elite. (Spinelli ‘s Constitution for the European Unon, Five Presidents’ Report).
    We also need to join EFTA and the EEA to sidestep the economic argument. Once we are safeguarded, we can negotiate to our hearts’ content for as long as it takes. Then at the end we can take our rightful place among the global ISOs, the WTO and other bodies where at the moment we have to toe the EU line.

  • Anton

    Tory MPs for Brexit are now so cheesed off with Cameron that if they narrowly lose the vote they say they would force a vote of No Confidence against him. That would force an election which the Tories could win but only with the right leader… and all Troy MPs would know that fact and choose such a man to lead them into that election. Or it could all be bluff. Or not. Interesting times…

    • CliveM

      Why would it force an election. Didn’t when Callaghan took over, or Major or Brown?

      • Anton

        Were any of those votes of no confidence passed in the House?

        • CliveM

          And? A vote of no confidence may lead to the fall of the govt but not necessarily lead to a GE. If the Torys elect a new leader and he can pass a no confidence vote , there would be no GE. In addition an MP at risk of his seat will try and avoid the need for a GE. All of this is further complicated by fixed term parliaments.

          • Anton

            Read the small print re the fixed term: there are exceptions in the case of a No Confidence vote. Can we agree that it is a situation of such potential complexity that the uncertainty is being used as a bargaining counter?

          • CliveM

            I’m certainly not saying Cameron won’t be toppled. However I thought Tom Harris’s comments in yesterday’s Telegraph, of the advisability of that and how and when it is done interesting.

  • Busy Mum

    Whether RC bishops are (nominally) for or against Brexit, the fact that their pronouncements on the issue should have any weight at all in the Protestant UK is what keeps them united at heart.

    • Catholics count for 1 in 12 of the UK electorate.

  • Dreadnaught

    The EU is a pension-plan/business goldmine for failed politicians and the despicable B&Q presentation by the Dave Dastardly and Mutley double act, was surely scraping the barrel of doom-mongering cliches of gruesome prognostications.
    Given how much Eurocrats say they do not want the UK to leave I wonder why Cameron did not present them with the prospect of an exit and possible breakup of the Union to press home the grievances we have against this freewheeling undemocratic juggernaut. Instead he must have left them laughing in the aisles before coming home with egg on his face and telling us lies about how much had been achieved.
    To have never mentioned [as far as I am aware] to us, that he even considered using the argument of the potential consequences of the UK leaving, indicates how little regard he has for the people of Nation State he purports to lead. The big boys must really have enjoyed holding his his arse to the radiator.

    Not once in the run-up so far, has he addressed the prospects of a European Defence Force, an EU President, the eventual external border of the EU; the iniquities of unaccountable spending, the admittance of Ukraine and the Balkan States, with their 4th Division economies; undisguised racism and anti-semitism. He ignores the endemic criminality, corruption and never ending animosity between Christians and Muslims in Bosnia/Croatia/Serbia/Albania, that still survives despite the deaths of our troops.
    He has not mentioned what impact EU expansion will have on Russian and Western foreign policy when they do again what they did in Ukraine and Crimea or any country where there are a significant residue of Russian diaspora. This is without what 77 million Turks in an increasingly Islamic state will imply.

    All he can guarantee is that there will be jobs for the boys as long as we remain supine to political ambition in surrendering our democratic principles and sovereignty.
    Dave and his clique which now includes Comrade Corblimey & his Commie Cadre, is quite happy to sell us out for the benefit of his own post domestic political/business careers in Europe, however brief … naturally.

  • len

    One can only wonder exactly what is the driving force behind Cameron and Osborne?.
    It was ‘the Judas goat’ Edward Heath who led the British People into’ the United States of Europe’ with false promises knowing full well he was deceiving people.
    Cameron and Osborne’s sole allegiance is to the ruling elites this has been made crystal clear by their actions whilst they have been in power. The British people seem to be regarded as mere pawns to be sacrificed so that the elites can carry on with their super- rich lifestyles.
    Cameron and Osborne can only be regarded as being similar to a couple of ‘dodgy car dealers’ full of promises but nothing to back it up……
    Would you buy a used car from them let alone place your future and your children’s future in their hands?

  • dannybhoy

    Could Cameron and Osborne be reincarnations of Blair and Mandelson? What dark arts could have been at work in Tory HQ.. the mind truly boggles.
    As regards the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith, yer man is showing an integrity and courage rarely seen amongst his Anglican counterparts..
    I am no advocate for the Catholic Church, but wherever Christian honesty, integrity and faithfulness are displayed I say we should show our respect and appreciation.
    In a funny way it seems to me that within the Catholic Church there are men who are willing to stand up for basic Christian beliefs. Whereas you can always count on Anglican wimps with their devotion to the holy trinity of political correctness, equal opportunities and inclusivity, to fudge the issue….
    Or divert attention back to the poor and needy…. :0)

    • Little Black Censored

      “The holy trinity”: perhaps there should be a fourth – “safeguarding”.

      • dannybhoy

        Safeguarding in relation to protecting children and young people you mean?
        I totally agree, but best done by a group of three or four I think, rather than one safeguarding officer.
        However not all Catholics (or Anglicans) are abusers, and if this bishop speaks from personal Christian integrity he is to be applauded.

  • preacher

    It seems to be that Osbourne & Cameron have opted for the ‘ Chicken Liken ‘ approach. ” The Sky’s falling in ! ” The Un – Dynamic duo warn of gloom & doom if we leave the E.U, Calamity ! they cry, disaster !. — But no facts !!!.
    They have all the appeal of frightened rabbits caught in the headlights. If this charade is all they can manage, they should Both step down.

    Compare ‘ Paxman in Brussels ‘ shown on BBC 2 If we really want to know the insanity of the E.U or read Steven Hilton’s in depth report & conclusions in yesterdays Mail, not forgetting that he & Cameron were almost joined at the hip for years ( he’s referred to as Cameron’s guru & was the man who advised him to run for the leadership of the Conservative party ). It’s scary reading, but it shows the gross incompetence currently taking place in the European Parliament.
    These are people who speak from insider knowledge & a wealth of experience, not as those with an axe to grind.

    When the Eagle’s chicks are fledged Mum & Dad push them out of the nest, they know that to grow & live as mature Eagles, they must learn to fly & hunt, the parents keep an eye on them & assist if they look in danger of falling, but to grow up one has to take the leap & use ones wings.

    So the choice seems clear – Eagles or Chickens, soar on high or spend your life scratching in the dirt & maybe end up on an E.U table !. Choose !.

    • David

      A very avian analogy !

      • preacher

        Chickens led by turkeys ? Surely not.

  • bluedog

    A fine letter in the DT from a man in Sarawak, Your Grace. He very astutely asks, if Brexit is a leap in the dark, how is Cameron able to make such specific prophecies of doom?

    Does Cameron have mystic powers of which we are not being told? Or is he just a complete fraud?

    One can only hope that the rank and file of the parliamentary Conservative Party finally summon up the courage to dump Cameron as their leader, preferably before 23rd June. After all, Cameron has already given notice of his intention to retire, bringing forward the date should not concern him over much.

  • Slack Alice

    Just read the latest Anna Raccoon blog. All the reasons for Brexit right there.
    http://annaraccoon.com/

  • David

    “Frankly, both George Osborne and David Cameron have disgraced their offices of state in this referendum campaign, with their lies, hyperbole, disinformation and deceit”.
    Yes indeed, that is manifestly totally true.
    But any Bishop, congregant or just plain member of the public, of faith or not, who believes that by staying in the EU we can help to reform it, believes that hope beyond hope, in the full face of decades of evidence to the contrary.
    The EU was designed to prevent, the people, and their representatives, from ever again getting their hands on the levers of power. It was designed to be fundamentally unreformable – it is a machine that keeps power centralised and under the sole control of a self-perpetuating elite. It is the ultimate post-democratic governing monolith. Political control is the very reason for its existence.
    How many more decades of evidence does anyone need before the stark, starring plain and obvious truth is finally accepted ?

    • Coniston

      We should all proclaim, as loudly as possible, that June 23rd is Independence Day.

      • David

        Yes indeed.
        But in practical terms what are you saying ?
        As a street campaigner for Brexit, it is a fact that we are so short of funds, even for basic campaigning materials like offering free A2 corex boards, we are not having the impact that we should be. So the “army” of enthusiasts is not getting the tools it needs for the fight. How many “LeavEU” boards have you seen about the place ?
        This contrasts with the ample funding of the “Remain” camp funded by big banks, and big corporates.

  • There is a difference between “legitimate sovereignty”“essential national sovereignty”.

    • carl jacobs

      No, there isn’t. There is no temporal authority capable of defining the difference.

      • One can agree by treaty to relinquish some sovereignty by becoming a trading partner and to cooperate in other areas without surrendering national sovereignty. Did Britain lose “essential national sovereignty” by joining NATO?

        • carl jacobs

          But nothing stops the state from withdrawing its agreement at any time. To forego is not the same as to lose.

          • And so it is with the EU; we can leave at any time.

          • carl jacobs

            So long as you maintain the ability to monopolize violence within your borders.

          • You’re not suggesting the EU would invade the UK in order to forcibly retain us as members, are you? True, force worked for the USA and the USSR and the People’s Republic China. Can’t see Brussels going for it though – and it would be somewhat tricky for NATO.

          • carl jacobs

            You’re not suggesting the EU would invade the UK

            Only in the hypothetical.

            force worked for the USA and the USSR and the People’s Republic China.

            And it presently works for the UK with Scotland. My statement was a statement of general principle. Legitimate sovereignty extends as far as the power of the state’s ability to enforce its will. That is what allows a state to withdraw from agreements that limit its sovereignty.

          • bluedog

            What is the real purpose of the EU military?

            NATO already provides an over-arching nuclear umbrella. Individual states have their own defence forces, within NATO. We are not given any sort of mission statement for the EU military, and if we were it would be a lie.

            No, the EU defence force would appear to be a putative army of occupation. Civil revolt in Ruritania? Deploy the 1st Panzer Armee on ‘exercises’ to settle them down.

          • There is no single European Union army.

          • bluedog

            Meanwhile the German Army’s 1st Panzer Division has assumed command of 2/3rds of the Dutch Army’s armoured brigade.

            As a result of it’s chaotic finances, the Dutch state had cut defence spending to 1.2% of GDP and mothballed its tanks. Now they have a handfull of them back.In a further move triggered by reduced circumstances, the Dutch landing ship Karel Dorman has effectively been taken over by the German Navy. The Dutch Marines remain notionally in command but the German naval infantry will be assigned to the Dutch on condition that Germany has right of veto on deployment of the combined force. In addition Germany contributes to the costs of the ship.

            The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, seems to be on a roll. She anticipates that both the Czech army and the Polish army will shortly come under German command. It will be seen that if this were to happen, the EU’s economic hegemon will become its military hegemon too, by aggregation of the Dutch, Polish and Czech war machines with that of the Reich. No prizes for guessing who is tipped to succeed Merkel.

            It follows that your comment about an EU defence force being resisted at all costs (with which one can only agree) has been already pre-empted by the Germans. One must concede that forming a military alliance with the Poles is truly a master-stroke. If only they had thought of that before.

  • Inspector General

    David Cameron and George Osborne will go down in history as Tory charlatans, cheats and political frauds…and made it impossible for many to support a party led by either.

    Isn’t that the unfortunate truth, Cranmer! One realises the reluctance that was within you when you penned these words, but it is sadly deadly accurate. And it is not just those two imposters. The disastrous policy of forcing list candidates onto constituencies by Central Office has resulted in a whole breed of non-Conservative politician, the metropolitan liberal, infesting the party. A good rule of thumb to identify these scoundrels is how they voted on the same sex marriage insult they rubbed their core supporters noses in. The Inspector doubts he will ever vote Conservative again at national level, for when those two are finished, more of the same will surely take their places…

    • Royinsouthwest

      Not charlatans, Inspector. Quislings surely!

      • Inspector General

        Despicable characters, Roy. Hatched from the same double yolk egg.

    • michaelkx

      In Europe there has been attempts over the ages for one
      country to dominate the others, Rome, France and Germany ( two corporals) and
      even we tried to get a foot in the door, and had some sort of legal claim, the
      Duke of Normandy. But this EU thing is just two country’s trying to do what the
      corporals could not. It will end in war, of some sort, as one will in the end
      wish to dominate all the others. Read your history chaps and chaps’ss .

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector was aghast yesterday when he came across a news report that the 18-24 age group are in favour of remaining by 3 to 1. One things for sure, if the young are greatly in favour of anything, there’s something wrong with it. Perhaps when they start to think beyond the next rave and dicing with death by swallowing chemical unknowns they might one day wish to leave the security of mummy and daddy and set up on their own. Only to find they are saddled with a 40 year mortgage on a one bedroom flat. One is quite sure said young do not give a tinkers cuss as to where an extra third of a million people arriving here, year after year, for ever, will be housed. Or the obvious increase in property prices resulting…

  • Inspector General

    An Inspector wonders what the continuing story of age old German expansionism has in mind for a rapidly depopulating Poland. No doubt the Fatherland will regain East Prussia amongst other land claims. The rest of that hapless country could then be forested over and turned into a massive hunting reserve for their bureaucrats (bureaukrauts?). Hitler would have been so pleased at that…and this time, there is no one to stop them! And how’s this for a nightmare. They might even move on their unwanted refugees to dear old Britain, with the English channel to keep them the right side of the continent. We’d become a prison island!

    Anything can happen if we stay put and remain in fief to the most powerful economy in Europe. When the British Prime Minister last met the German Chancellor, cap off, head bowed, he didn’t even get a piece of paper to take back that time. That is the most unsettling thing that’s happened of late. It’s absolute madness to delude ourselves into thinking we have any say in what goes on in that terrible organisation despite paying good money to be in it…

    Sieg Heil, you rotter, Merkel. Our appeasement of you is nearly over – find another country to pay for your dreams of domination and pre-eminence, your mates the Turks, for example!

    There. That’s seen her off, what!

  • carl jacobs

    There won’t be a United States of Europe. The EU would only be able to fashion a Hapsburg Empire of Europe run by an Imperial Class. You can imagine how effective that political agglomeration would be. You can’t make a united people with duct tape and glue.

    • Eustace

      There won’t be a United States of Europe for quite a while, but after a yet to be determined length of time during which economic, political and a certain amount of cultural convergence takes place, eventually we’ll see it.

      There are examples of multi-cultural nations that work perfectly well. Belgium with its three distinct cultural and linguistic identities had its problems but overall works perfectly well. There is certainly no “imperial elite” holding the country together against its will. All that’s required is the will of the people and, a sometimes lukewarm but nonetheless very real, Belgian identity.

      Most older people don’t feel European. Many younger people do. It isn’t their primary identity and we all identify with our member state nationality first and foremost, but a definite additional European identity is growing and will, not now perhaps, but in the future, be sufficient to keep a United States of Europe together.

      I don’t think I’ll see it, or if I do, not for many years. But that’s the direction we’re moving in. Nationalists hate the idea, but nationalists don’t control the debate and don’t get to dictate to others what they should feel. Just like Flemish and Walloon separatists, they’re entitled to their point of view, but they’re not entitled to impose it on the majority that doesn’t share it.

      As I’ve said from the beginning of this ridiculous referendum campaign, the Remain position is going to win easily because a majority is convinced that our future lies in Europe. We know that while a United States of Europe may not be appropriate or even desirable right at this moment, one day it will be. All that Leavers have convinced us of is their xenophobia, self-adulation and outmoded nationalism. Let them believe what they want to believe, but they won’t drag the rest of us down into the sewer of populist jingoism that forms the core of their campaign, which like the Scottish independence movement, has no aim or plan beyond sticking one finger up at its perceived enemy and damn the consequences for us all.

      This kind of political childishness and tantrum-throwing has no place in today’s world where real dangers and challenges require a united response from a united Europe. As it looks more and more like the referendum result will be a clear confirmation of our commitment to a European future, my hope is that the EU will emerge re-energised from this process. The Austrian result, narrow though it was, has confirmed that even one of the most conservative countries in the Union still believes that our future is best assured together rather than apart. If parochial Österreichers who’ve never really been able to see much further than the summit of the nearest Alp want to remain in Europe, the British result is a foregone conclusion.

      But then it always was. Only the self-obsessed braying and cymbal-clashing of the narcissistic extreme Christian and nationalist right wing that haunts sites like this one ever thought it had a real chance at winning this. Some of you probably still do. I pity the rude awakening you’re in for on June 24th. There’ll be much gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair. But narcissistic personality disorders being what they are, you’ll soon find a scapegoat to blame your defeat on. If I were Boris, I’d be considering my one-way ticket travel options back to Turkey right now. And just think: several more years of Teflon Dave in the top job. If he keeps this up, he’ll outlast old Queenie and may end up being our longest-ever serving Prime Minister.

      • bluedog

        ‘Belgium with its three distinct cultural and linguistic identities had its problems but overall works perfectly well.’

        Seriously? From wiki: ‘The Constitution requires an equal number of Dutch- and French-speaking ministers (regardless of the Prime Minister). Since MR is the only French-speaking party, it has more ministers than it would otherwise get with its electoral weight; this is compensated by having only Dutch-speaking Secretaries of State.’

        Now this means that Belgium isn’t a representative democracy at all, because representation in the government is pre-ordained by the Constitution on a demographic basis. In theory it is entirely possible for the government coalition (there is never an absolute majority) to be either completely Dutch or completely French, despite which the non-represented group (either Dutch or French) could be in the government as to 50% of ministerial posts. Is it any wonder that Belgium is frequently without a government at all?

        Pure farce.

        ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Government

        • Eustace

          Call it what you like, the Belgian system works. Only when nationalists throw a tantrum and refuse to work within the system is there any kind of problem, and even then it never lasts because they know that no matter how willing their compatriots are to elect them to positions of regional power, there is little support for breaking up Belgium.

          They have their security challenges, just as we do. They’ll solve them by continuing to work together rather than by breaking their country apart.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Recent terrorist actions and the obvious fact that a significant proportion of immigrants and, what is far more worrying, their Belgian born children have no loyalty to the country show that you have to be very complacent to describe Belgium as working “perfectly well.”

        • Eustace

          There are plenty of children of immigrants to Britain who show no loyalty to the country in which they were born.

          If lack of such loyalty is a symptom of country that doesn’t work, you may as well condemn Britain too. And every other country with immigrant populations.

          Belgium is an example of a multi-ethnic nation that functions in exactly the way that Brexiters say is impossible. Its existence gives lie to claim that different peoples can neither cooperate for their common good, nor develop a sense of nationhood and belonging that doesn’t depend on narrow ethnic loyalties. This is why it MUST be on the verge of collapse, because it can’t be anything else. Their religion says it must not exist, therefore exist it must not.

          Never mind more than 180 years of a shared Belgian identity that has survived two world wars and numerous other crises. That counts for nothing in the rigidly formatted mind of a Brexiter. Multi-ethnic is BAD. Ethnic purity is GOOD. Belgium must die because it is a crime against your way of thinking. Only it isn’t dead. It’s alive and kicking. And if one multi-ethnic federation can work, so can another. Like the EU. Again, alive and kicking and providing living evidence of the absolute stupidity of the ethnic purists’ creed.

          And it is a creed, believed with all the force of a religion. So argument is pointless. Deluded zealotry admits of no reason, so you won’t be persuaded by my arguments. But others will be and are. More than enough to comfortably win this referendum.

          June 24th will see people like you crawling back into the woodwork with your tails between your legs, there to gnaw on your anger and resentment for another generation until some future crisis sees kneejerk nationalist populism on the rise again. But if the lessons of the 1930s have been properly learned, which I think they have, never again will people like you be given power over us to tear apart what so many have striven to build since the end of the War.

      • Poor Linus. You are truly stuck in your own religion, of sorts. Is it a therapy? A scripted program?

        Your manifestos tend to creak into motion with a barely contained attempt to sound moderate and reasonable, then pick up in speed midways with the first mention of how the progressive jugend will burry us old farts to bring in the inevitable messianic era…such as it is in your soused decadent little mind. Then, like night follows day, you move on to gratuitous swipes at commenters, our host, politicians, the Monarchy or whoever you think stands in your way to nirvana and finally, as your synapses initiate the predictable chain reaction and pop away like a Victoria Day fireworks, the performance concludes in a show of absurd proclamations, lurid phantasmorgia and angry spittle.

        I imagine after this you have cigarette, followed by a shower. Whatever turns your crooked crank, bro! It’s fun to have you back (at least initially)…but any chance for a new act soon? No hurry; just asking.

        • CliveM

          You didn’t read his whole post did you? More then I was able to manage (short attention span!)

          • Oh, was I supposed to read the thing? I already know the template. Don’t read it! You might vote to stay just to spare yourself another episode of Linus disapearing in a huff and coming back as somthinh else. Again. If that’s what reincarnation is like, I ea no part of it!

          • CliveM

            There will be a wailing and knashing of teeth from a certain quarter if we vote for Brexit.

            Personally the sooner his multiple rebirths achieve Nivana and achieve extinction the better.

          • Brexit won’t sgut up the Linus. A massive blck hole. Contraction of the Universe, Big Bang, rinse and repeat. Maybe.

          • CliveM

            Hmmm. You’re probably right.

          • carl jacobs

            You need to be more careful, Clive. Because I slightly misread this post, I thought Avi had missed something in Linus’ latest contribution. So I felt I had to read it, for perhaps some advantage over Avi might be gained thereby. A garnish to go with his affinity for Coors Light. Avi doesn’t provide many opportunities for advantage you understand. Reconnaissance must be continuously conducted.

            And what did I find? Nothing. Just an ordinary Linus post the reading of which cost me 30 seconds of my life. (Well, OK. I read about a third before my fingers started involuntarily scrolling.) This was all your fault, Clive.

            I should demand restitution.

          • CliveM

            Whilst I understand the desire to finally, get one over on Avi, you can demand all you want, not a penny will you get. You know Linus, you understood the risk you were taking. You will just need to put it down to experience and move on with your life!

          • First sentence, second paragraph clearly indicates that I’m making a general literary observation on the basis of Linus’ postings in the aggregate, rather than a specific critique of his comment above. My subsequent ramble makes it obvious that I barely, if at all, read his comment of the day (ever since Mrs P got her Friday posting, Linus’ essays have grown in size and increased in sulkiness).

            Once again, Carl, you have no actionable claim to any restitution. Although as courtesy and a good will gesture, I will send you a jar of my most recent attempt at white wine and vinegar pickled North Atlantic herring bits. Yum-yum-yum!

          • carl jacobs

            I was willfully led astray by Clive’s negligence. It’s a actionable tort. And that’s not a good will gesture. It’s an assassination attempt.

          • Hmm, feeling feisty and litigious today, I see. To what do we owe that courage to? Certainly not your watery brews. Begats! You haven’t gone wobbly, I hope, jumped on the Orange Ape’s band-wagon, like the lemmings in the GOP are doing, have you? My world reeled this morning when I saw that even the staid Dennis Prager got all realpolitik-like in an NRO article.

          • carl jacobs

            People project their expectations onto Trump. He becomes what they want him to be. But none of it is real.

            I’d threaten to shoot myself again, but Jack would be quick to say “You promised!”

          • You’ve already made this promise, Carl. The world is watching.

            As for litigation, it’s you who owes Clive an apology. Your failure to grasp the meaning of his words is down to poor English comprehension which, in this instance, was exacerbated by your pathological need to win at all costs.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not my poor comprehension. It’s the best inherent ambiguity in this sentence:

            You didn’t read his whole post did you?

          • Perhaps a dozen of us can divide up Linus’ post and manage to read it? Individually still in the dark, but collectively wiser.

          • carl jacobs

            No need anymore. The error has been exposed. It was never about Linus anyways.

          • It never is, but it might devastate him to learn this.

          • Followed by: “More then I was able to manage (short attention span!).” Perfectly clear.

          • carl jacobs

            Hypothetically speaking, a reasonable reader might have interrupted his reading at the point between those two sentences in order to investigate. Hypothetically.

          • Hmm …
            Ole!!! Ole!!! Ole!!!

          • carl jacobs

            So … ummm … Jack. What’s this about the Pope having a ghost-writer? A very liberal ghost-writer. Guess we know how to read those “disputed” passages now, don’t we?

          • Yes, it seems so. One Victor Manuel Fernandez.

          • carl jacobs

            That would seem to offer a definitive exposition of the disputed footnote.

          • When asked, Pope Francis could not recall writing said footnote. Can there be a “definitive exposition” of a muddled and confused document that really ought to be withdrawn?

          • Not a Holy Ghost writer then?

          • Not sweet Victor, no.

          • CliveM

            Context is everything.

          • CliveM

            I agree, I deserve an apology……

          • Sue him.

          • CliveM

            I will………..

          • Yes, people do, but Dr Prager? One of my favourite speakers. Not that he likes the Ape, thinks that Reps have no choice but to hold their nose and vote for it. He also used a dramatic Holocaust analogy that was totally inapplicable to the situation and bit over the top. Everyone’s going bonkers, the Brits with their fear of a Brexit, the Euros with their paralysis over an unarmed migrant invasion, even people in the conservasphere I thought highly of! My only solace up to the rise of The Donald was that finally a non-establishment, competent Rep would take the WH helm finally…and look what happenned!

          • He’s going to vote Clinton and then shoot himself.

          • Nah, if he stays firm to his principles and sanity, he can down-vote other names. including Criz or Kasich or even pen-in his choice from a third party. Their election system is weird and loopy.

          • CliveM

            Well to say wilfully is libel. I’m willing to settle out of court for a fee.

          • carl jacobs

            But I’m the injured party. And anyways. Jack is firmly in your camp. Are you sure you want to risk a trial knowing that Jack is on your side?

          • CliveM

            Jack is a wise and sage individual.

        • Inspector General

          Greetings Avi. One has found that although career homosexuals reject the concept of the Judaic-Christian God, presumably for the way He wags his divine finger at them when they bend, they are not completely without a higher form of guidance. They seem to devote themselves to a mystical ‘spirit anus’ that allows them to do anything they want, so long as it’s in the name of gay love…

          Just so you know, dear chap.

          • We’re behind the times, as it were, Inspector, so quell your words and even your very thoughts! Throughout all the lands bells peal and rainbow-hued banners flutter to the proclamation that “love wins.” And that loverly love, if mocked, ignored or even under-appreciated and poorly celebrated or insufficiently validated by the likes of us crusty dinosaurs, will soon turn to something very nasty. Not just bitch-slap nasty, but dreary nasty, nasty with the full weight of the ever-obedient old Bill and the affirmative action selected, gender neutral magistrate behind it.

          • Inspector General

            Hold the line, that man! Tis only the flavour of the month, is all. It will collapse just as the summer of love did in the late1960s. Steady when they come at us – and face them down!

          • Nay, t’is hopeless, Inspector. The hairy, flower-bedecked apparitions of yester-year are now our betters in industry and government, and the wastrels they managed to whelp and sire are now scouring the streets as the dour enforcers of that love! I fear that soon we’ll prefer to hide among the curry shops of the Mohammedans, where even the toughest of the lot fear to tread.

        • Eustace

          One more true believer in the resurrection of Linus, I see. Strange you should be a Jew. I didn’t think your people went in for that kind of fantasy.

          But then here you are on a Christian blog, so clearly you’re a Jew teetering on the brink of some kind of conversion.

          A word of warning though: they’ll still hold you responsible for slaughtering their messiah, so don’t expect all the prayer breakfast invitations to come flooding in at once. And once the first one does arrive, don’t expect them to forego fried bacon on your account. No, the kind of Christian who posts here is most definitely not kosher.

          • Stop it, Linus, your moniker shenanigans, with the by-now ritualized denials have become boring.

            To ease your worries, I’m not teetering on any kind of conversion; I simply like the blog, its host and the company here. But kind of you to warn me of the temptations of fried bacon; I was not always kosher and after nearly two decades, still miss its allure. So just for me, as my proxy, go and stuff yourself with a triple portion of crisply fried pork bellies and enjoy.

          • Eustace

            Thank you but no, pork belly is not a favourite. Too greasy for my palate.

            Not that I mind bacon in a general way, of course. But I prefer it lean and Danish to fat and Canadian (indeed you could say that’s a bit of a general rule of mine in life). And of course the tariffs make purchasing anything Canadian a most unprofitable business.

            Why pay over the odds for pig flesh that 10 to 1 comes from an animal fed a GMO Frankenfood diet when you can get something of superior organic quality from a suitably European source?

          • Hmm. I’ll have to introduce you to a nice fellow by the name of Linus, if he comes around again. You two think alike almost on every issue and he too has this thing about “organic” and frets about “Frankenfoods.” What a delightful coincidence; you two are the only ones on this blog who buy into that pseudo-scientific shite!

          • Eustace

            Ah the inconsistency of conservatives!

            Organic food is dismissed by many habitués of arch-conservative, ultra-reactionary Christian blogs like this one as a liberal fad. Like a belief in global warming and gender equality, it’s seen as a badge of belonging to a particular socio-political camp and therefore dismissed as a loony fantasy.

            Ironic really, considering that organic farming methods are as traditional as anything could reasonably be. All the pesticides and genetic modifications championed by conservatives are the results of the science they so deride when it comes to questions of religion and belief. So on the one hand science is good because it increases productivity and profitability, but on the other hand it’s bad because it undermines the religion that tells us how evil a profit-driven society is …

            Go figure! I certainly don’t understand how these two mutually exclusive concepts can coexist in the same mind!

            No wonder so many conservatives are so fat. To avoid the cognitive dissonance that results from hating science while at the same time worshipping it, and grubbing for money while at the same time adoring a God who tells them to disregard material things, they seek to lose themselves in consumption. Concentrating on working those jaw muscles means they have less time to reflect on the fact that what they’re eating is the gift of Mammon rather than of God.

            If scientists are evil, as we so often read on this blog, then they cannot bear good fruits, so the Frankenfoods that spring from their blasphemous test-tubes must be a terrible abomination.

            My own view is that GMOs are as morally neutral as anything else, however as they result from imperfect understanding of the processes by which life and growth occur, it is foolhardy to regard them as safe for human consumption or for general release into the environment until much, much more evidence of their innocuousness has been gathered.

            I take as an example the terrible rabbit plagues that occured in Australia and New Zealand in the 19th and 20th centuries. An organism that was regarded as perfectly harmless was released into an imperfectly understood environment and proceeded to wreak havoc upon it in a way that nobody, given the state of scientific knowledge at the time, could have foreseen, but which basic common sense and the principle of precaution ought to have rendered impossible.

            Frankenfoods may be perfectly safe. But what happens when genetically modified DNA starts to be cross-pollenated into the wild? What sort of disease resistance, vigour and hardiness are we equipping toxic and/or invasive species with? What plant and/or animal populations may explode as a result and cause serious harm to agriculture across the globe?

            None, if we’re lucky. But can we rely on luck? It seems to me that we’re approaching this in the same spirit as the early settlers in Australia, sitting on the verandas of our lovely and opulent wooden villas watching the pretty rabbits gambolling about in our newly fenced-off gardens and thinking how delicious that evening’s rabbit stew will be. Smug confidence and the assurance that nothing could possibly go wrong, while out of sight the little monsters have already tunnelled their way to freedom and are multiplying and dividing their way across the landscape, destroying it from beneath.

            We can’t blame the rabbits: they’re just doing what comes naturally. But we can blame ourselves and our boundless confidence in what we “know”, which with hindsight we may end up recognising as profound ignorance.

            Take a religious mindset of boundless faith and apply it to the ability of science to fill our stomachs and line our pockets and who knows what the end result may be?

            Organic produce is the nearest thing to a guarantee of protection against environmental disaster that we currently have. It isn’t perfect. It may even be no better for us than the most manipulated chimera of a transgenic wheat-maize-pineapple hybrid that looks like an aubergine and tastes like a medium-rare steak in a roquefort sauce. But at the moment we just don’t know. So I prefer to err on the side of caution. It’s an uncharacteristically conservative attitude for me, but conservatism isn’t intrinsically immoral. Only when it’s blinkered and based on animus, prejudice and dogmatic belief does conservatism become a force for evil.

            I don’t say that Frankenfoods will definitely cause disaster. I merely point out that they MAY, and urge caution rather than a headlong plunge into something we may end up regretting. Once modified genes have taken hold across entire populations and further hybridisation and natural mutations take place, there’ll be no turning back and we’ll all have to live with the consequences.

            So you can keep your genetically modified crops and animals. If a new variety of North American GMO tomato containing a gene or two from a polecat and a couple more from a piranha suddenly mutates into ambulatory form and develops a taste for human flesh, I’d much rather it stayed on your side of the Atlantic. Once it’s munched its way through all the humans and its own population collapses because of overpredation, we’ll be able to recolonise the continent with sensible Europeans who know how to leave well enough alone.

            Hmmm … so perhaps this GMO lark isn’t such a bad idea after all. Get to it! Hybridise and augment to your heart’s content. On reflection it may be better to start with a potato rather than a tomato. A nice native root stock with a maximum range to ensure full coverage of the entire continent. Then you could splice in something with a rhisome gene and a bit of mole so it can move underground, then add a dash of piranha and a soupçon of hyaena for the snapping jaws. A hint of basking shark for the capacious maw, and touch of labrador for the insatiable appetite should make for the ideal predator. So that’ll be you sorted out then… And as this is my idea, once you’ve all been disposed of, I bags the entire province of Sasky-Ashcan, or whatever it’s called, because I quite fancy the idea of a Little House on the Prairie holiday home (minus the submissive wife and annoying children, of course) where I can survey endless fields of golden wheat ebbing and flowing in the breeze. Very romantic, for a couple of weeks a year. The rest of the time I’ll get some Ukranians or Poles in to look after the place, and of course the whole thing will have to be torched to get rid of whatever GMO horrors the former inhabitants have left lurking there. But once a nice new crop of good old-fashioned European wheat is spreading across the landscape, it should become a useful addition to my existing land holdings. And as a European colony not subject to EU tariff barriers, quite a profitable one too, I should think.

          • CliveM

            Do you actually think anyone will read the whole of this. Other than yourself that is.
            Brevity is the soul of wit.

          • Eustace

            In my experience, brevity goes hand in hand with a limited vocabulary and uncertain orthography.

            Sound familiar?

            Read as much or as little of what I write as you like. It makes no difference to me. If you have trouble following complex sentences, try Donald Duck comics. Or The Sun. They both have a reading age of about 10-12 years. Or is that going to be too advanced for you?

          • CliveM

            Well for all its faults and limitations the Sun still talks less s&@t then you do.

            And it’s more entertaining as well.

            Have a good w/e Linus.

          • Eustace

            Yes, I expected exactly the style of reply I received, so no surprises there. Yet another Christian shows how empty his faith is and how little effort he puts into trying to follow his messiah’s precepts. Another brick added to the substantial wall of evidence that Christianity has no perceptible effect on its followers and that all this talk of the “fruits of the Spirit” is just propaganda.

            See, no matter how useless you think you are, you do serve a purpose. Repelling people from your hypocritical faith and making them glad they aren’t Christian is a real public service. So thank you. And every other Christian I’ve ever met, to a greater or lesser degree.

          • Samuel

            Dude
            “Thank you but no, pork belly is not a favourite. Too greasy for my palate.”

            We know cock o van is more to your tastes (:

          • Samuel

            Dude

            Why shouldn’t Jews not comment here, but you atheist secularists can?! Sounds like a form of discrimination to moi!

          • Eustace

            Jews can do what they like. But close association with Christians and general support of their religious and moral stance makes one wonder where Judaism leaves off and Christianity starts.

          • Eustace

            Jews can do whatever they like, but it’s very strange to see them commenting on a Christian website in away that makes them virtually indistinguishable from Christians.

            But then perhaps the kind of Eastern European Jew willing to emigrate to the blandest country on earth doesn’t have a problem with the concept of radical assimilation. I wonder, is his middle name Zelig by any chance?

      • Inspector General

        Linus Linus Linus…

        Oh, how the Inspector fears for your welfare over the coming weeks. You have set great store on a remain vote, conveniently blinding yourself to the polls that show it could go wither way, and you are a fellow who is used to getting his own way, are you not? Can we expect a belligerent temper tantrum from you in the event of your disappointment? It is not your fault that you possess the excitable Gallic nature, we British with our stoicism can only pity you for that, but in your case your nature, bad as it is, is compounded by you being a homosexual drama queen too. One wonders if as a result you are not mentally robust enough to cope with an out victory. So, in the interests of you surviving the event, one politely suggests you gather up all sharp instruments (and any coils of rope) on referendum night and entrust them to a friend for the duration – if you have any friends, that is…

        • Eustace

          Yet another who sees the Linus bogeyman everywhere he looks, I see.

          No need to fear for my welfare, old bigot. The referendum is in the bag.

          I’m not much given to Schadenfreude, but the sight of conservative Christian Brexiters falling to the ground and foaming at the mouth on June 24th will be an entertaining one, to say the least. Who knows, it might even be too much for some of the more elderly to bear. A rash of apoplexy-related deaths will certaînly decimate the ranks of the Leave campaign. I bet Cameron is counting on it.

  • Albert

    What an excellent post! Sadly, the scaremongering seems to be working – judging by the latest polls. It will be a disaster if we vote strongly to stay in – the EU will be rampant.

    The trouble is that the scaremongering is just that: scaremongering. The figures that are banded about rest on two assumptions:

    1. The EU will not have a terrible financial collapse or suffer the dead weight of countries like Greece.
    2. The EU will punish us for coming out.

    1. Looks totally implausible. 2. is possible, but it will cost the EU more than it will cost us in terms of jobs since we run a trade deficit. Is the EU stupid or wicked enough to to do that to its own citizens? Given the treatment of Greece, it is possible. But the fact that the EU treats its own people so badly economically speaking, should be an argument in favour of coming out, not of staying in.

    Therefore, there seems to be no good economic argument for staying in, and since all the other arguments are in favour of out, it’s obvious how we should vote.

    • David

      I’d advise you to take the polls with a large pinch of salt. The polls of the GE were a disaster. I suspect that many are “influenced” by whoever foots the bill. The only poll that will count is the vote itself.
      Pray for Brexit !

      • Albert

        I’d like to think that’s true, but I doubt they are all wrong by so large an amount. However, they may make the remainians complacent, and the leaver have the courage to vote.

        • David

          As I said, the GE polls were VERY wrong.

          • Albert

            I read somewhere that the Mayoral elections were spot on.

          • carl jacobs

            They probably aren’t wrong. But even if Remain wins, all the problems with the EU will still be in place. Nothing will have changed. The politicians can’t get a definitive result because they can’t fix the problem. What they will want to say is “There, that’s settled. Let’s all pull together for the EU.” That won’t happen.

            I have always thought it more likely that the EU collapse would be precipitated from Southern Europe.

          • David

            Yes southern Europe is in a deadfall state. I recently drove the length of Italy, along the central mountain chain, so well away from the usual tourist haunts. Unemployment was clearly very high. The Italian economy is contracting rapidly as the euro is the wrong currency. Yes the ugly stuff could well break out in the south.

          • carl jacobs

            That is the void at the center of Europe. The Germans gave to care as much about Italian prosperity as they do about German prosperity. But they don’t. And that is because they are Germans first and Europeans second. Now you extend that to every other country in Europe and you perceive the magnitude of the problem.

      • Inspector General

        One’s own opinion of the GE poll debacle is that thanks to Mili Trotsky, folk were unwilling to let on they would vote Conservative to keep that unpleasant out. Maybe the same is happening again with those who are not happy with the EU and do not wish to be labelled anti social….

        • David

          One hopes so Inspector, one hopes so.
          Let’s keep our pecker up.
          We are now entering “The Final Count Down”.
          So I’m off tomorrow for three hours door step campaigning in Suffolk’s sleepy Stowmarket.

  • chiefofsinners

    The Scottish referendum forged the unity of the independence vote. That 45% of the electorate was enough for a clean sweep at the general election.
    It is the same with Brexit. Those who want it want it so much that it subsumes traditional political divisions.
    If the referendum is lost by the leave campaign, then an anti-EU coalition could win massively at the next election. Dave and George have cast the die by making themselves unelectable.

    • CliveM

      The 45% pro independence ‘coalition ‘ in Scotland is also predominantly left wing. In many ways they have a shared vision beyond simple independence. The Brexit vote doesn’t. I don’t see a coalition emerging.

      You’re right about Dave and Geaorge .

      • carl jacobs

        Isn’t the other 55% also predominantly left wing?

        • CliveM

          Yes a large portion about 50/50. What I was pointing out is that there is more that unites the independents in Scotland then the independence issue, which is why the SNP as a party are able to translate it into votes for itself.
          Brexit doesn’t have that same unity of vision beyond the issue over our relationship with the EU.

          • bluedog

            We’ve seen peak SNP. Within Scotland the realities of governing are catching up with them and outside Scotland the SNP are a political irrelevance, incapable of holding power in the UK Parliament in their own right. At some point the Scots will wake up and realise that as long as Scotland is in the UK, the SNP can only ever be the junior partner in a coalition government in Westminster. In short, there is no point in voting SNP except in elections for the Scottish parliament.

          • CliveM

            Well perhaps and personally I’d be happy for them to implode massively, but for as long as they hold power in Scotland the constitutional question will keep rearing its head.

      • dannybhoy

        Clive, why do you think there is so much acrimony amongst the Scots towards the English?
        I have never seen the same emotional intensity from the English towards the Scots…

        • CliveM

          I’m tempted to say because they’re inadequate! However it’s also the bigger neighbour syndrome. Anger at BBC metropolitan bias. Pissed off with Thatcher using Scotland to experiment with the poll tax. And also because certain parties in Scotland (not just the SNP) use or used it to cement their position. It’s scapegoating and misrepresentation.

          There isn’t really a good reason. Some are even illiterate enough to think the Jacobites were and independence movement!

          • CliveM

            Also I forgot to say to be English is to be a Tory and the Torys are hated in Scotland!

          • Uncle Brian

            Just three weeks ago the Tories came second to the SNP in the Scottish parliament election, winning 31 seats to Labour’s 24.

          • CliveM

            Hmm, still only about 22% of the vote. They ran a good campaign and picked up a lot of Labour second preference votes, as they had a clearer message on the Union then labour did (who had announced were going to give its MSP’s a choice on how they wanted to vote/campaign in any second independence vote).

            But calling someone a Tory (or sometimes blue nosed bad;@£d) is still a derogatory term.

          • dannybhoy

            “However it’s also the bigger neighbour syndrome.”
            My wife has a Scottish son in law who says the same thing. He’s a clever chap and lives here in England.
            I have always seen Scotland and Wales as an integral part of our history, and I want them -and now Northern Ireland- to get a fair deal. The reality is that England is the economic powerhouse and attracts talent from those other countries.

          • CliveM

            In the referendum campaign the SNP were able to articulate a vision and a process to independence. They were also able to counter a lot of the negative attacks by the Unionists. They also had clear leadership.

            There’s a lesson there for another campaign, whose name I currently can’t call to mind!

          • carl jacobs

            The US doesn’t really have a northern neighbor. As you know, the land north of the US is uninhabited wilderness, but there are legends in the popular culture of a mysterious place called … Canada. Some day we will have to send out an expedition to see if it really exists.

          • CliveM

            You need to be careful. Seemingly the leader of this legendary nation, is a famous pugilist who beats his opponents with a single mighty swipe of his fist. They might be too hard for you softy Americans…….

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, the legends speak of a fearsome Giant Beaver King, and his army of biting Moosen. But mostly they are thought to be harmless. It’s a little known fact that the Smurf cartoons were based on Canadians.

          • CliveM

            So the incompetent Wizard Gargamel is based on which nationality?

          • carl jacobs

            France

          • CliveM

            Ha!

          • IanCad

            French Canadians.

    • David

      Well let’s hope that the polls are totally wrong, again, and that the result will be conclusively Leave.
      However if not, because the EU governs so badly it will continue generating enemies from amongst the many who will either vote Remain or not vote at all. Many of the young, being by definition inexperienced, are often naively pro-EU. But they will not be so forever. So as the older Breixt folk depart from this life, their ranks will be replenished by the formerly very young.
      The tradition of freedom is too strong in many countries of the EU, especially ours, to be snuffed out by one failed referendum. Moreover as history shows, to every action that there is an equal and opposite (political) reaction.
      If a Remain result is followed by the EU clamping down hard on the UK then they will be encouraging, feeding, a strong anti-EU reaction. The EU is doomed and will fall apart. The only question is when and how.

      • Anton

        And how much damage will be done in the interim.

        • David

          Good question, to which I don’t have the answer, other than saying “much”.
          So if you have a prophecy, do share it with us.

          • Anton

            Not a prophecy, but I reckon that the EU might fall apart anyway. Its flagship policies of the Euro currency and the Schengen open borders agreement are both crumbling, nad soon people like Hofer in Austria who supposedly lost the vote 49.9% to 50.1% will be in power in quite a few countries. 72% of working-class voters in Austria voted for Hofer, who is claimed to be “far right” ie patriotic; just 5% of them voted for the alternative candidate, a Green. Europe’s leftists are now disconnected from Europe’s working class. While the left celebrates Hofer’s loss, the real loss is theirs as elections in the next few years will show.

          • David

            A sound analysis, I’d say. The future belongs to the anti-EU forces. The “elite” have ignored the common man for too long. The People’s voice cannot be ignored for ever – they will be heard – one way or another ! The internet is a great truth spreader. Let’s hope for a peaceful revolution, but it could turn nasty.

          • dannybhoy

            The problem for the future of the EU is that it is set up to deal with bureaucratic issues within the Union, not the outside world.
            It is a political bureaucracy and the advantage is that within the EU no one is actually accountable for anything. There is a kind of ‘merry-go-round’ of revolving heads, all safe in the knowledge that no one really knows who they are; no one will remember them when they move on, and any mistakes committed will be buried by the rest of the politburo…
            Oh yes, and they alll get jolly good perks and pensions.

  • CliveM

    It always surprises me how negative people are with regards our negotiating position. If there is a Brexit vote, our position is strong. The Remain camp have peddled a lie that any ensuing market turmoil and economic insecurity works against our position. It doesn’t it helps it. The EU is in dire financial straits. Countries such as Portugal, Greece, Italy and even France are not well placed to weather such an economic storm. Germany won’t want to be faced with either bailing out some more of the EU’s members or seeing the single currency implode! A quick, fair and equitable divorce is as much in the EU’s best interest (arguably more so) as it is ours. Indeed its very existence may depend on it.

    Thing about entering a negotiation, setting false and unrealistic time boundaries works against a good outcome. The day after a Brexit vote, we will still be members. Still enjoying the trade benefits and still wielding a veto. Provided the UK doesn’t rush its negotiations, we can negotiate a good deal. AND if any member of the EU threatens us with ‘reprisals’, well the veto can still be wielded and we can pretty much cause the EU decision making process grind to a halt. If we are hard-nosed about it, don’t rush and play our hand well, they’ll be begging us to leave and offering us a better deal then we need!!

    Yes the uncertainty will impact in the short term, but used well in the long run, it can be of benefit to the UK.

  • carl jacobs

    This vote cannot be considered a one-off event. The EU is like a steam boiler with a raging fire box and dwindling water and a stuck pressure relief valve. This vote simply adds to the pressure by throwing more coal on the fire. If the outcome is “Yes” then the casing fractures. If the vote is “No” the EU still has no way to relieve the pressure. The fire keeps burning. The fireman keeps throwing coal in the firebox. And the water level keeps getting lower.

    The EU must eventually break apart. The only question is “What will trigger the explosion?”

    • dannybhoy

      Sounds like something dramatic from Thomas the Tank Engine…

    • Anton

      This blog, of course. We few, we happy few…

  • Anton

    A recently retired General (the one who warned Blair 48 hours before invading Iraq that without better plans we would win the war but lose the peace) tells David Cameron to “bugger off” over Brexit:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1701753/ex-general-tells-pm-to-bugger-off-over-brexit

  • Inspector General

    It’s rather ironic that Cameron came to the Conservative leadership and immediately gave us one of his proved to be worthless cast iron guarantees for that parliament. To wit, a referendum on the EU. One suspects that had it happened in 2011, he would have probably got his Remain vote. Of course, much has come from the EU in those few years since, and none of it any good, much of it atrocious. We now have Eastern Europe coming over here denying our feckless lazy the right to work, valuable fish are still being dumped dead at sea, and Greece has bankrupted itself through greed and is now living off benefits, as well as swarms of muslims from failed Islamic countries with a massive entitlement complex about living in a Europe that doesn’t want them.

    And the EU reforms since 2011? Absolutely nothing. And the EU reforms planned for the next 5 years? Absolutely nothing. Assuming there still is an EU in five years’ time and it has not gone the same way of the eerily similar Soviet Union…which it damn well deserves to…

    There. Said it!

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector would like to thank ‘Max the dog’ for up ticking a couple of his offerings. Just goes to show that our beloved pets also want out…probably…

  • Inspector General

    An aside from the essential topic, but today a court has ordered a ferry company to remove its Ladies and Gents signs from their ships toilets. Because a transgendered wretch asked them to.

    This is the end then. Don’t think normal society can take much more. We are going down for the third and final time…

    Perhaps our esteemed host could make of this madness tomorrow…

    • Hardly an aside. Once we bow down to the beyond-parody ludicrous and meekly surrender our wives and daughters to the upcoming crop of opportunistic loo-predators, we’ve entirely lost our senses and whatever courage we might have had. How much easier to frighten us into wherever else our betters decide to lead us.

      • bluedog

        Surely the solution is to create a third class of toilet labelled ‘Other’. The Ladies and Gentlemen can then conducted their business in the biologically ordained fashion. The ‘Others’ can do whatever relieves those of a gender-fluid persuasion.

        • Condor advised him to use the disabled toilets. Not good enough. He wants to pee with the women.

          • Inspector General

            One is informed the majority of transgenders still retain the ‘auld fella’ and have no intention of having him amputated. Thus, the ladies will be subject to the blighter shaking it dry in front of them…

          • The ladies do have separate stalls (strange term) Inspector where they relive themselves in private. Imagine a person, dressed as a woman, entering a chaps loo, lifting his dress and pulling his penis out in front of one? Not good.

          • The issue, Jack, is not the transgenders, the few “real” ones being generally a troubled but otherwise harmless lot, but the fact that along with the new regulation comes attached the right of anyone to claim transgender status and loiter in ladies’ or girls’ powder rooms, change rooms, or saunas. (Pending is the inevitable future court case over the right to a “Brazillian” at women-only spa!) That means you or I can go in, dressed the way we are and being who we are, without having to even offer a justification. At least this is what is coming up here in Canada and is in place in the many states of the US.

          • It’s all completely unnecessary and is being driven by a perverse and distorted understanding of ‘social justice’. As you say, most true transgendered people probably go quietly about their business and bother no one.

          • Uncle Brian

            Avi, it was somewhere in Canada, I seem to recall, that a few years ago a public swimming pool instituted a new timetable with certain times on specified days reserved for women only. It attracted criticism because the decision was made for the express purpose of accommodating Muslim women who said their religion prohibited them from sharing the pool with men. Do you remember this?

            Well, now, if the gender fluids take it into their pretty heads to demand admittance to the pool during the women-only hours, where will that leave the Muslim women’s rights?

          • CliveM

            Brilliant observation.

          • Anton

            Where are the Muslims when we need them? They are probably more disgusted at this nonsense than many, and they know how to make their presence felt in secular society when they choose.

          • Well, a mess certainly. But the case was misrepresented a bit as a Muslim’only issue. In fact, women-only hoits were once common, long before the arrival of Muslims. Orthodox Jews and conservative Christians also have mofesty issues and women who preferred some swim-time without ogling and hassles.

            But it won’t be the fellows with gender dysphoria who will alarm the women, but the fact that we now have complete gender desegregation in all public places imposed on everyone.

          • Uncle Brian

            hours, I expect

          • YES! Hours. Not “hoists,” which my head kept on going over to. Creeping decrepitude.

          • Hoits even.

          • Well, a N. English family name, it turns out. Not common in Canada, so any segragation by “women -only Hoits” would be a genuine civil rights violation, I suppose.

          • Samuel

            Dude

            I know a friend whose local council made the changing rooms of the public swimming baths “uni sex”, but without cubicles, which even for the urbane moi was a step too far . I’m pretty easy going , during our holiday in the French Caribbean , we were next to a nudist twenty something couple , bizarrely thou they turned out to be secular French speaking Israeli Jews who were on their honeymoon after discharge from the IDF , but they celebrated Shabbat with us, albeit they were in the buff. Anyway . The council argued they’d put on women only – for our Islamic brethren- sessions once a week.

          • Inspector General

            Well, drag queens would do that. One thinks of Paul O’Grady….

          • Drag queens are not deluded and don’t believe they are women. It’s a strange sight standing next to a Scotsman in kilt when he pees.

          • Inspector General

            You might not know that militant transgenders want to ban drag queening, Jack. The LGB types were rather disappointed at that, to put it gently….

          • Jack thinks drag queens in mini skirts show a lot of balls.

          • “If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”
            (Deut. 23:1)

          • Anton

            I take it that by “disabled toilets” you mean “toilets for disabled persons”? There is no need to compound this madness by colluding in the butchery of the English language. A disabled toilet is little use to anybody.

        • You can’t. The “transgenders” insist on going to the loo of their imagined gender and will not bend on this. The only way is individual, one person, stalls and a common (well lit up and open to view) washing area.

          • PS: I’m working on the Aviloo(TM) invention, patent pending: Pocket-sized, portable blow-up loo that can be set up anywhere and collapsed quickly upon completion of necessities…at home. school or the office.

          • Has Linus been consulted on what this might mean for the pissour? We wouldn’t want to upset him.

            Is this the correct spelling, btw?

          • bluedog

            Pissoir

          • You say pissoir; Jack says pissour.

          • bluedog

            Linus and I will be in furious agreement on this one.

          • Ah, the infamous ‘pissour-gate’ which triggered his descent into multiple personality disorder.

          • Anton

            Let’s call the whole thing ridiculous.

          • Goodness no, it’s pissoir. At least that’s how they spelled it in Vienna, and they would know, as they had to accommodate old Nappy and his troops twice.

          • Uncle Brian

            Nowadays the term urinoir is preferred, at least in official use. This communicant is old enough to recall using, back in the mid-twentieth century, the old vespasiennes.

            https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespasienne

          • Anton

            Perhaps it should indeed be blown up.

          • dannybhoy

            that’s ‘gusting.. :0)

          • dannybhoy

            Surely Traviloo??

          • bluedog

            There aren’t enough gender-fluids to prevail on this one. Even the thickest politician will realise that the majority won’t accept being bullied over such matters. The lavatory should be a safe space for quiet contemplation, not a mardi gras.

          • It has actually little to do with the handful of gender-fluids (I like that term!), most of whom would prefer not to raise a ruckus and to just be left alone to pursue their fantasy in peace. Neither are most gays into marriage and harassing Christian bakers. This is an issue of “social justice” (aka socialism) activists buggering up what they see as conservative society, typically starting with schools.

          • Plus, have you seen the queues at women’s loos? Men are so much more efficient at peeing.

          • dannybhoy

            The point is that transwhatevers cannot be given their own gender flexible toilets..

          • So who will decide if the loo seats should be up or down?

          • The courts.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I hope the lawyers will do something useful like cleaning the toilets when they are not on duty in court!

          • dannybhoy

            They’ll employ the toilet attendants too.
            It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it…

          • Samuel

            The people’s choice? Let’s have a referendum. Up or down? Will be the question

          • We men must resist the feminist Gynarchy and insist we pee standing with seats left up at all time for our convenience.

      • Inspector General

        You are right Avi. It’s linked. Another reason to quit both the EU and it’s even uglier sister, the ECHR, from which this judgement must surely emanate…

        • A Brexit, if it occurs, will enrage some classes and if it doesn’t occur, other classes. The insanity need not originate in the EU; other countries have shown that it is “globalized” phenomenon which can occur locally. Either way we are looking at culture-wars if we are lucky and real civil ones, if not. I fear the post-War glut and good times are long past over and we haven’t even started seriously unravelling yet. God help us, and more importantly, our children.

      • dannybhoy

        Ditto what the IG says, Avi. Of more interest to me is how the leftist/liberal social engineers have managed to seize control of the political processes in the EU and USA.
        Our societies are constructed in such a way that ordinary law abiding citizens are no longer desperate enough to vote by boycotting or besieging governments..
        So the democratic voting process has become a farce. Whoever wins an election has a script written by vested interests already prepared for them.
        From http://constitution.com/clintons-received-100-million-persian-gulf-leaders/

        Bob Amoroso at the U.S. Herald writes that, “the American political system thanks in part to leaders like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, has quickly become the largest ‘crime syndicate’ the world has ever known.

        He references the backroom deals made in Congress and the national banking ponzi schemes, which are now considered acceptable, because the general public assumes that politicians blatantly lie to voters with “reckless abandonment and without fear of recrimination or accountability.”
        Patrick Poole, a national security analyst, said, “the amount of foreign cash the Clinton’s have amassed from the Persian Gulf states is ‘simply unprecedented.’” He told the DCNF in an interview: “These regimes are buying access. You’ve got the Saudis. You’ve got the Kuwaitis, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. There are massive conflicts of interest. It’s beyond comprehension.”

        It’s George Orwell’s ‘1984’ in glorious technicolour! available on iPads and smartphones everywhere …

        • Of more interest to me is how the leftist/liberal social engineers have managed to seize control of the political processes in the EU and USA.

          In the good old fashioned way, Danny, with methods pioneered by religious and ideological activists since the dawn of history and more recently, perfected by Jacobites, Marxists, fascists and such. The chief principle is measured, incremental manipulation of individuals and society. This is achieved through imposing changes in language and hence perceptions, infiltration of institutions, communities and sub-groups and building of material, social and psychological dependencies. And, whenever possible, effective application of brutality; a cheap way to get a lot done quickly. Regarding the latter, in our day brass knuckles, riots and beatings have been mostly replaced by seemingly peaceful application of laws, regulations, fines, inquests, recommendations, censures and such. The process, which can impoverish your average middle class guy struggling to hold work, home and family together, acts as the punishment.

          What we’re seeing now is the exuberance of hubris, which seems to manifest itself every time the activists achieve most of their goals. After changing our language and shifting our worldview quite a ways, someone somewhere with a wicked sense of humour or the jejune desire to show off, has thrown the final systems test; whether we can be manipulated to call back white and vice versa. And yes, we can…and better than that, for who cares about colours or their superficial nominal reality. Much better to hit on central social institutions and universal definitions. So, marriage now can mean anything the courts proclaim, medicine now includes the application of killing, and sex can be divorced from biology and become a matter of individual belief or institutional redefinition and decree. And, we passed with flying colours.

          Our goose is cooked and future predetermined. This is why the Remain camp will “win,” why Trump and Hillary are interchangeable and it doesn’t matter who gets picked, why our borders are bound to be erased no matter what we say and why the communications technology which has liberated us in this initial growth period, will soon enslave and control us to yet unimagined extents. And, given the accelerated pace of these changes, most of us here will be around to see it all happen…if they let us stick around, that is.

          • dannybhoy

            “Soylent Green meets the Matrix….
            I don’t think I agree with “…..with methods pioneered by religious and ideological activists since the dawn of history”

            I think such a society as you so clearly set out could come to pass, but I don’t think the Almighty will allow it.

            After all, He punished the Libertines with a flood and trashed the One Worlders plans by confusing their speech at the Babel Conference.

            I also think that there are men who seek for truth (Confucius comes to mind), Moses even; but it is the people who organise the seeker’s findings into a system complete with priesthood, rules and regulations and fear that cause the problems.
            I don’t include ancient Israel in that because I believe
            (of course I do!)
            that God was revealing Himself to mankind, and Moses was the vessel and Israel the vehicle by which He intended to do it.
            I am torn between the complacency that comes from being old (just turned 70); and the belief that when I pop my clogs I will have to give an account of myself to Him and what I did and didn’t do whilst here on earth..

          • But Danny, this has happenned to every culture and civilization. And as bad as things are and will get, we haven’t come close to the depravities of Egypt, Rome, China, the Aztecs, European Renaissance….

            Learn about civilizational survival from your “elder brothers”: Keep your faith and morals, be good to all, try to enrich and improve the country you live in, love and care for your family and raise your kids well. Plan to stay, but have as many portable trades as you can acquire, so when the ingrates eventually go nuts and go after your blood, be ready to drop everything and to get the feck out well before the shit hits the fan!

            Wow 70! Yasher-koach old friend. May you live to be 120, as we say!

          • dannybhoy

            Or as we say, “Ad mea v’essrim..
            You are holding up the Jewish experience as a survival technique?

        • David

          So corrupt Islamic regimes, with no respect for democracy, are literally buying political influence within western countries, and undermining our systems. Isn’t globalism wonderful ?

          • dannybhoy

            Ist John 5:19
            “We know that we are from God and that the whole world lies under the control of the evil one. ”
            But to my mind it is the evil one who tries to convince us that rebellion and self serving with all that the material world can offer is the way to fulfilment..

          • David

            Hhmm, your point being …..

          • dannybhoy

            That unregenerate men will always follow their dreams.

          • David

            Agreed …… to destruction !

    • Anton

      Of the mind and the body, which can lie?

    • Anton

      Parents of girls at mixed schools are the ones who should lead the protests, and up the ante to whatever it takes.

    • dannybhoy

      S/he was on LBC this morning talking to Nick Ferrari. This is also going on in the US..
      https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-11-states-sue-obama-admin-over-transgender-bathroom-policy
      https://www.lifesitenews.com/topics/gender
      You’re physically either a man or a woman. What you are in your head should be between you and your therapist..

      • Anton

        Except that therapists are threatened by their governing bodies if they try to modify gender, even at the patient’s request. Currently therapy is a voluntarily regulated profession, but Nanny State is rapidly metamorphosing into Big Brother…

  • chiefofsinners

    Another howler from Dave last night. He now wants us to trade Britain’s sovereignty for £250 off a holiday.
    The harder he campaigns the more mercenary he sounds. Guess what, Dave? Some things aren’t for sale.

    • Anton

      EU must be joking.

      • Hahahah! Eleven hours later, I finaly got it.

  • Nought wrong with Unam Sanctum, Carl.