War montage
European Union

Cameron: Brexit could lead to World War III

 

Today is Europe Day, marking the anniversary on 9th May 1950 of the Schuman Declaration which proposed the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). By pooling the means of coal and steel production, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman argued, another war in Europe would become an economic impossibility and a political improbability. And so the ECSC was established in 1951, with its founding members, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. This then morphed into the European Economic Community, which very subtly became the European Community, which developed into the European Union, which is fast becoming the United States of Europe.

David Cameron is of the view that Brexit – UK secession from the EU –  is likely to lead to war. He doesn’t say how, why or between which European nations: he simply ruffles human insecurity: “Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt? Is that a risk worth taking? I would never be so rash as to make that assumption. It’s barely been 20 years since war in the Balkans and genocide in Srebrenica.”

Meditating on the serried, silent rows of white headstones in Commonwealth war cemeteries, he declares: “Britain has a fundamental national interest in maintaining common purpose in Europe to avoid future conflict between European countries. And that requires British leadership, and for Britain to remain a member.”

It isn’t clear why remaining a member of an anti-democratic political union and being increasingly absorbed by its labyrinths of opacity and bureaucracy mitigates the possibility of war. Does having Switzerland or Norway outside the EU increase the likelihood of armed conflict? Why should Brexit lead to war or genocide? Some would argue that the EU’s very polity is the cause of social tensions which are far more likely to escalate into civil unrest, if not war. Look at Greece (Golden Dawn). Consider what is happening in Austria (Freedom Party), Germany (Alternative for Germany), France (National Front), Netherlands (Freedom Party), Italy (Northern League), Denmark (Danish People’s Party), and Hungary (Jobbik). These aren’t all trifling 4% fringe parties: some of them are attracting the support of more than 20% of the electorate. When people are coerced by a single currency and corralled by a common borders, there is a feeling of impotence and disenfranchisement; of a loss of identity, history, culture and tradition. No wonder the ‘populist’ parties of the nationalist ‘far right’ are on the ascendancy. You can’t buck the people.

But the Prime Minister is persuaded that only by remaining in the EU can another war be averted. There is something a little unbalanced about this. Where is the historic perspective that the age of empire has passed? Where is the apprehension that the EU (28 states) is not Europe (c50 states)? Where is the judicious political discernment in the assertion that the fear of war justifies the emasculation of sovereignty and the abatement of democracy? David Cameron doesn’t appear to grasp that the European Union is the supranational beast which is the very cause of antagonism not just for millions of Britons, but for millions upon millions of Greeks, Italians, Germans, French, Danes, Dutch… It is easy to forget that some of these nations have voted time and again against EU treaties and the centralising direction of policy, only for their democratically-expressed wills to be set aside by the oligarchs of Brussels beholden to a dominant Germany. This, surely, is what Britain fought two world wars to prevent.

While the European Parliament Information Office goes into overdrive for this glorious celebration of Europe Day, it is time to reflect seriously on the consequences of remaining. If we vote to stay in the EU, the sovereignty of the people will forever be subject to unaccountable, immovable, infallible, self-perpetuating Europhile elites. It will be no form of sovereignty at all. The existing common policies of agriculture, fisheries, transport, airspace, security, economy, energy, environment, justice and citizenship will extend incrementally to public health, education, taxation, civil protection and military union. There will be a United States of Europe ruled by a President of Europe. He or she will not need to solicit your vote. You will not be able to remove him or her from office. And God will not get a look in. Why should He? The Enlightenment Project of immutable human rights will have reached its zenith. What need the ancient sea of faith or the creeds and rituals of mythological Christendom? Have not these things been the historic cause of enmity and bloodshed? What need democracy? Has not this fomented resentment, division and sectarianism? Come to think of it, what need the people?

  • grutchyngfysch

    Whenever people wonder how demagogues like Trump can be taken credibly by portions of the electorate you have only to look at so-called serious and respectable politicians like Cameron to see how utterly histrionic and facile politics has become. Why not believe some ranting bombast when the Prime Minister comes out with crap like this.

    • johnb1945

      That’s an ironically ranting and histrionic post.

      BTW – the idea that the EU is a force for European peace is not stupid, it has a sound basis in history.

  • Anton

    The only possible response to these comments of Cameron’s is to laugh.

  • pobjoy

    If WW1 and WW2 were crude attempts to enslave Britain, and if the EU is a stealthy way to do so, now uncovered, then the instinct to revert to crude means is to be expected.

  • IanCad

    Please! Please! Please! May this be, at last, the final piece of idiocy that drives this unwise placeman from the leadership of the CP.
    Astonishing drivel. Wars are made far more likely through treaties and unions. WW1, WW2, US Civil War, Nato?? —-.
    Come on backbenchers – your moment is now. Steel your spines, Act on principle, Throw off the yoke of convention, Be as men, Grow a pair —.

    • David

      “Wars are made far more likely through treaties and unions”
      Well said Ian.

      • IanCad

        Thanks David.
        It is a sad fact that by far the majority of the electorate think exactly the opposite is true.

  • len

    Cameron and those behind him have shown that they have utter contempt for the electorate by trying to scare them into submission.This tactic has never worked with the British people(quite the reverse in fact)

    • Terry Mushroom

      Unhappily I’m not so sure this time.

  • Dreadnaught

    Excellent post Cranny. Cameron is scaremongering because he knows here has failed to get the EU to listen to reason.
    If Russian Latvians or Ukranians for instance decide to afjust national borders we would have a repeat of the Crimea annexation.
    Had those areas been already in the EU we would presumably be ar war with Russia or its proxy right now. The EU is recipe for being drawn into a war because of its ever expandind outer borders
    Its just plain lunacy to think it makes the case for security.

    • bluedog

      Exactly. We must not forget Cameron’s dream of an EU stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals. One can think of other European leaders who had similar ambition…

  • The Explorer

    Ever since the unification of Germany, the containment of Germany has been the key issue of European politics. The attempt to stop Germany from controlling the continent by force led to two world wars. The answer is to let Germany dominate the continent peacefully. The EU is the acceptable way of doing this. Break up the EU and Germany will once again become militant, and achieve the same result by force. Peace at any price. That, in essence, is the argument.

    • Busy Mum

      ..and that is why I was the only sixthformer who did not rejoice at the demise of the Berlin Wall. The (re)unification of Germany has always brought trouble.

      • Ivan M

        Wow, just like Maggie Thatcher.

        • Busy Mum

          …and just as unpopular. I learnt at an early age that feminists were the biggest hypocrites on earth; my top-performing all-girls’ school held the Iron Lady in great contempt….becoming PM just was not enough to qualify as a heroine and so I understood, though dimly at the time, that there was a hidden agenda lurking beneath every careers session and every role model and every ‘women in history’ unit…..

          • Ivan M

            So you emulated her in being against the Reunification. I must say that you were precocious.

          • Busy Mum

            Sceptism about the reunification of Germany came from my own knowledge, before I had any idea what Mrs T thought about it.

          • Ivan M

            They should have given you an A+ for your History and GP. I would, even though I disagree with you.

          • Busy Mum

            What do you perceive to be the benefits of the Wall coming down?

          • Ivan M

            The wall was artificial, sooner or later it had to come down. It largely marked the end of the Second War. It was most of all against the human rights of the Germans as a people.

          • Busy Mum

            Well, I suppose Israel’s security wall is also artificial. How will you feel if – or rather, as it is artificial, when, sooner or later – that comes down?

          • Ivan M

            I don’t care about Israel one way or another.

          • Busy Mum

            So why do you care about Germany?

          • Ivan M

            Why care about anything? The Wall was an iconic symbol of the Iron Curtain, it had to come down. Whether the Israeli wall comes down or not does not bother me.

    • @ The Explorer—Break up the EU and Germany will once again become militant

      The only militancy likely to come out of Germany from now on is of the Islamic variety, and that will happen regardless of whether the EU lives or dies. Thanks to the Mad Mutti and her fellow quislings, the new improved Europe—sans Europeans, sans Christianity—is coming along nicely.

      • The Explorer

        Agreed. Note I said THE argument, not MY argument.

  • Ian G

    If the argument is fear, then the argument is lost. But firghtened people don’t listen to reason and Cameron knows it.

  • Royinsouthwest

    King George III went mad but have any previous British prime ministers ever become clinically insane while in office? What are the men in white coats waiting for?

    • Politically__Incorrect

      The men in white coats are probably on strike over their contracts. Even if there were any available, there may not be a spare trolley in A&E for him to wait on. The RSPCA may be persuaded to sedate him with horse tranquilliser though.

      • Old Nick

        If they are not busy with lawsuits against the worms the horses tread on as they so cruelly paw the turf.

  • Findaráto

    The EU causes a few insular Englishmen to grumble, but it’s never provoked a popular uprising.

    The governed are perenially discontent with their governments, so whatever the EU does, there will always be someone to criticise it and complain that THEIR interests are not being represented. They have the right to vote for the government and the government has the right to appoint EU commissioners, so to call Europe undemocratic is an out-and-out lie. But why should that surprise me coming from a conservative Christian? Lies and misrepresentations are your stock in trade.

    There has never been an armed conflict between two EU active member states. But before the EU existed, armed conflict was commonplace. That the EU guarantees peace between its members is therefore an established fact. We leave it at our peril, because if we leave it, we destabilise it and if it breaks down then we revert to the situation as it was in the first half of the twentieth century and before: competing, squabbling nation states between whom war becomes almost inevitable.

    Only a structured and binding union can prevent that. Small nations like Switzerland and Norway can exist on the outside without destabilising the whole because they count for little in the overall mix. But if Britain leaves then confidence in Europe will falter placing the whole thing in jeopardy.

    This is what Euroskeptics want. They want to kill the EU because they think we’ll be safe on our island and who gives a damn about what happens to Johnny Foreigner?

    What better evidence could there be of their xenophobic Little Englanderism? And of their profound lack of Christian concern for their fellow man?

    • Ivan M

      The EU has nothing to do with the prevention of wars between its member states. At the end of WWII, the Europeans had exhausted themselves, only to be overshadowed by the US and the USSR. All the Europeans had figured out that collectively they had cut off their own hands and feet. There is never going to be a hot war between the European states, since all that will result in is large scale destruction resulting in hardly any change. Further they lack the surplus manpower to conduct wars as currently engaged in the Middle-East and Africa. No one is going to reopen the Danzig or Rhineland question, since it makes better sense to engage in trade, tourism and investment to ameliorate any hard feelings.

      • Findaráto

        If this is the kind of childish naivety that characterises the Leave campaign, I’m surprised that any of you are considered adult enough to vote.

        Of course every nationalist with an axe to grind is going to immediately forget his centuries old grievances just because you tell him he has no other choice.

        Wake up from your sad delusion. It’s doubtful that Britain will survive Brexit and remain in one piece. Scotland will almost certainly leave. Perhaps Wales too. If Europe disintegrates so will many nation states and this will reawaken many dormant border issues and ethnic conflicts. Look at what happened when Yugoslavia broke apart. Europe without the EU risks descending into at best uncertainty, at worst total chaos.

        • Ivan M

          Yugoslavia was unfinished business from WW2. The difficulties could only be resolved with blood and iron. But even there the Serbians let Slovenia go peacefully. The difficulty was with the claims of the other three constituents which had been suppressed under Tito. This is not so with any of the issues that you brought up; here the model will be the Velvet Divorce between the Czechs and the Slovaks. I hear that there are attempts to get together again. Life goes on, the separated may eventually want to get together again under different circumstances.

          • Findaráto

            You hear what you want to hear, and what you want to hear is that what you think is good for you must also be good for everyone else. So you decide in advance what they will do and refuse to recognise even the possibility of another more violent outcome.

            This is the kind of intellect that will vote for Brexit. The “I’m alright Jack” brigade that doesn’t give a toss what happens to anyone else as long as they get what they want. At whatever cost.

            I think too highly of the British electorate’s common sense to believe they’ll vote to leave the EU. Just as the Scots chose to remain in the UK, voters will make the sensible choice and not take a risky leap in the dark that could ruin us for generations just because of the jingoistic nonsense being spouted by a motley crew of xenophobes and naysayers.

          • Ivan M

            I am surprised that a cynic like yourself is all blubbery over the EU. I guess one has to worshipful over something, even if it is evanescent.

          • Anton

            Or unfinished business from WW1. Or from the 3-way split between Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Islam running back to mediaeval times.

        • Dreadnaught

          Sounds like you are saying that The balkans were
          better off under the USSR the proto EU model. It is you who is naive.

        • Politically__Incorrect

          “..Perhaps Wales too…”

          LOL. I take it you don’t live in Wales. UKIP just won its first seven seats in the Welsh Assembly. Wales will not split from the UK in the event of Brexit. The appetite for independence from the UK is very weak here. However, people here are sick of the EU as much as anywhere else

          • Findaráto

            I’ve never set foot in Wales and probably never will. Mines don’t interest me and there are bigger and better mountains in Scotland and on the Continent. If you can’t ski down it, what’s the point?

            In any case, whether Wales stays with England in the unlikely event of a Brexit or not does not change the fact that Scotland is likely to opt for independence, so the UK will be no more.

            Perhaps it will take a revival of the Auld Alliance to make the English and their Welsh corgis (snappy little beasts who swirl around one particular Englishwoman’s ankles constantly begging for handouts) understand again what encirclement actually means. I trust it won’t come to that, but if the EU does break up, you can be sure that France’s first port of diplomatic call will be Edinburgh.

            What was that summation of England’s parlous state at the start of Elizabeth I’s reign? “The French king bestriding the realm having one foot in Calais and the other in Scotland”. In the first Elizabeth’s reign the dawning of the colonial era and the wool trade kept England afloat. Where are our opportunities now? If we lose unrestricted access to Continental markets, with whom do we trade?

            Brexit is economic suicide. And a politically retrograde step setting us back 500 years. Even to think of voting for it is lunacy.

          • Politically__Incorrect

            No mines left in Wales now btw. As to whether Scotland would separate in the event of Brexit, I don’t know, but I’m not sure that their love of direct unaccountable rule from Brussels is so great that they would entrust their economy to the uncertainty of a collapsed oil price. Indeed, some may feel that Brexit gives them additional autonomy anyway. I’m not sure they would be desperate to regain their status as an EU vassal.

        • rapscallion

          Good God – you really do come out with the most arrant drivel. Have you left school yet?

    • The Explorer

      You have summed up the argument very well. For it to work, of course, it relies on the European and global situation being the same as it was in the first half of the Twentieth Century. But is it? China is now a global power, and the workshop of the world. America is in decline. The European empires no longer exist. Islam is resurgent. Immigration is an issue in a way it was not then. The EU is arguably the solution to a problem that no longer exists.

      On the other hand, the former great powers have realised they are no longer great powers. If they want to be a force on the world stage they need to be one big power bloc. There are those who call for a Euro Army. Arguably, also, the EU as at least some within it wish it to become is a threat to world peace. .

      • Findaráto

        The problem now is geo-economic. Europe is needed as an economic counterweight to China. As independent small-fry we cannot hope to compete. As one united trading bloc we have a chance.

        And don’t forget Russia. It has form when it comes to annexing its weaker neighbours. The EU acts as a bulwark against Russian expansionism in a way that a mere defence pact cannot. It gives us a common identity and a shared commitment. Any government can take its country out of Nato on a mere whim. The EU is not so easy to leave.

        Our security depends on a strong and united EU. If we destabilise it by leaving, we might not be on the front line when the Russians start throwing their weight around, but the fate of those who are may be decided by our selfish and petulant actions.

        • manofsuffolk

          Prima facie, your piece is well argued. However, to anyone with a scintilla of knowledge about international affairs it is just plain wrong, at best, and wilfully misguided at worst.

          i) Europe has no hope of speaking with one unified, economic voice e.g. TTIP
          2) UK as independent small-fry – no need to say anything
          3) united trading bloc – see 1)
          4) EU bulwark against Russian expansion – Ukraine and NATO
          5) Common identity & shared commitment – there are so many instance of self-interest and fractures that it’s hard to know where to begin
          6) NATO provides genuine security (at least the US does – not sure I’d really trust the French, Germans et al to fight for us if really needed) whereas the EU is a collection of self-interested nation states with no mechanism (nor mandate) to speak with one genuine voice
          7) EU is very easy to leave
          8) Your last paragraph references Russia again – US/NATO support provided there. However, the EU has no ability to deal with any of the global security issues that currently provide the greatest threat to our national security. The EU is impotent globally, and massively punched below its weight.
          9) Selfish and petulant – wanting to be sovereign – does that really fit your definition? Why would Europe threaten a country who has spilled so much blood and treasure to preserve its security and independence simply for wanting to remain firm friends, but independent?

          On reflection, I think your comments must be tongue in cheek to have got so much wrong and to have mis- understood the psyche and proud history of this great country of ours.

          • Findaráto

            A united Europe already speaks with one unified economic voice. Trade agreements are negotiated at a European level. Regulatory matters are handled at the European level. All that we lack for the time being is coordinated economic policies between the member states, and that will come soon enough.

            When compared to the rest of Europe, or the US, or China, the UK is economic small-fry. If the EU breaks apart and the founding members, i.e.. Germany, France and the Benelux decide to stick together, which is perfectly likely, between them they’ll dwarf our economy. With no trade agreements in place between us, who will be the winner and who the loser? Restricted access to Continental markets will be our economic downfall.

            The Ukraine is not part of the EU. If Russia tries it’s bully-boy tactics against the Baltic States, their only hope of defending themselves lies in their membership of the EU. Russia won’t take us on as a single bloc, but if it thinks it can destabilize and break us apart, it will then quite happily absorb what it considers to be its own territory anyway. If I were living in the Baltics I’d be very nervous right now. But who cares about them, eh? Far distant countries of which we know little. Now where have I heard that before?

            The common identity you dismiss is certainly in its infancy, but it’s starting to grow, especially in the more vulnerable eastern parts of the union. You may not feel European, but I do. And I know many others who feel the same. We’ll be voting on that basis. You can choose to take refuge in an outmoded and insular John Bull Englishness, or you can move with the times and realize that we’re all in this together now and the Channel is merely an inland waterway.

            As for NATO, it serves a purpose. But it was founded to counter Soviet expansionism, and now that Russia is no longer a communist nation, a good deal of American backing for it has died away. Americans don’t see why they should commit billions to our defence to protect us against an enemy that no longer exists. Sure, Russia is still there and capable of harming us, but the ideological differences that fueled the Cold War have largely disappeared and with them Washington’s commitment to “saving Europe from Communism”. Europe has been saved from Communism. Time to invest valuable American resources elsewhere, isn’t it?

            Increasingly we’re going to have to look to our own resources to defend our territory. We can do this more effectively together than apart. As a union we’re a far more formidable opponent for Russia than we would be as separate countries. Our security depends upon the EU sticking together.

            The EU is actually quite difficult to leave. It’s easy enough to organize a vote, but as we’ll find out if we’re crazy enough to vote for a Brexit, the ramifications and complications of the secession process are endless. For a start, our trade agreements with other nations will automatically be canceled. As Obama has already indicated, reestablishing them will take years. We will not benefit from the favourable terms that membership of the massive Single Market brings us, so negotiations will be long and result in restricted access to markets our economy depends on.

            That alone should persuade anyone with any common sense that life outside the EU is a fool’s paradise. Add to that romantic ideas of British sovereignty and the obligations that other countries must feel towards us because of our marvelous wonderfulness, and you can easily see that those who want to leave are a bunch of fantasists and narcissists. Our overblown sense of ourselves is consistently ridiculed on the Continent and nobody feels any gratitude at all for what we might have done “for them” during the war. First and foremost we served our own national interests and trying to pass that off as noble heroism is viewed with a very dim eye. Our European partners find us tiresome, Quixotic and totally self-absorbed, but they recognise that Britain is an integral part of Europe and they’ll be weaker without us. Our “proud history” means nothing in today’s world and the sooner we realize that and stop dreaming about past greatness, the better off we’ll all be. We’re a post-colonial service economy whose only hope for prosperity lies in close economic and political ties with our nearest neighbours. Any attempt to isolate ourselves from Europe can only lead to our decline.

        • rapscallion

          Your analysis is frankly awful. Land size is no indicator of economic wealth. If it were, Canada and Russia would be the most successful economies on the planet. Funnily enough 8 out the worlds top economies have populations of less than 8 million. You quote us as being as “independent small-fry” which is a complete reversal of your position earlier when you stated that “if Britain leaves then confidence in Europe will falter placing the whole thing in jeopardy.” Which is it finderato? too important or small fry. The fact remains that the UK is the worlds 5th largest economy, a member of NATO, G8, G20, Head of the Commonwealth (comprising some 53 countries), have a seat as a permanent member of the UN security council, a nuclear power and originators of the world’s most widely spoken language. I suppose under your criteria we’d be isolated as well. Some independent small fry !

          The Russians have enough problems of their own without adding to them. Then again if you want to go prodding the Russian bear then don’t be surprised if he bites back.

          Our security depends on NATO, not the EU, never the EU.

          • Inspector General

            I say! Well done that Scally. You’ve had that temperamental old queen delete his rot. What an achievement!

          • rapscallion

            It wasn’t difficult was it. His “arguments” had more holes in them than the average sieve. Thanks anyway IG

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      “There has never been an armed conflict between two EU active member
      states. But before the EU existed, armed conflict was commonplace. That
      the EU guarantees peace between its members is therefore an established
      fact.”

      Some basic reading for you
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

    • rapscallion

      It’s difficult to know where to start with your comment as it contains so may flaws, but I’ll have a bash.

      Whilst there are indeed always a few you can never please, we do at least have the chance to vote it what is a best a very flawed voting system, but it does at least allow us the opportunity to remove those who presume to rule us. The same is not true in the EU. Not one of the EU Commissioners is elected they are appointed. Even Benn managed to come up with the 5 essential questions vis-a-vis democracy and the EU Commission fails on at the very least 4 of the 5. They are appointed, not elected. They exercise power for their benefit and no the people of the EU, They are not accountable and they cannot be removed by the people.

      Secondly. War rarely occurs between two democracies, whether they are in the EU or not. Oh, I’m sure you’ll find one case, which only show that the exception proves the rule. Armed conflict is still commonplace regrettably, but to think the countries of Europe are going to go to war with each other is risible and you know it. In fact it is its lack of ability to manouevre within the EU that is going to cause problems.

      It isn’t so much the EU isn’t democratic, its anti-democratic – it doesn’t even follow its own rules – look at the bailouts – all specifically forbidden, yet they still went ahead. Look at what Schauble said just prior to the Greek elections – “Elections change nothing”. Look at how the Greek and Italian leaders were removed when the refused to go along with what the EU wanted – replaced with unelected puppets – and you have the nerve to call this democracy? Really?

      You really must get over this idea the wanting the EU to end is xenophobic. The EU is not Europe (thank God), so please don’t conflate the the two. I love Europe, love visiting there, even some relatives now and again, but the EU needs to have a stake driven through its dark heart.

      Cameron raising the spectre of world war is absolutely ridiculous and fanciful. He should have gone the whole hog and claimed all first born would die and the rest of us would suffer a plague of locusts. Its just about as possible.

      • Findaráto

        EU commissioners are appointed by elected governments, which is no more undemocratic than appointing life peers to the Lords. You say our system is democratic and Europe is not. So why are political appointees acceptable here but not in Europe?

        There are so many examples of democracies fighting each other that it’s impossible to list them all here. But how about the US-British war of 1812? We burned Washington DC, didn’t you know? How democratic of us.

        What about the Polish-Lithuanian war of 1920? And the state of war that existed between Britain and Finland, an exemplary parliamentary democracy if ever there was one, from 1941 to 1944?

        Parliamentary democracies can and do declare war on each other. All it takes are conflicting interests and/or an upsurge of kneejerk nationalism. Both of which would almost certainly happen in a post-EU Europe.

        The EU binds us closely together and prevents such conflicts from taking place. Remove it and you remove the only guarantee of security and stability we have. The EU needs to be strengthened, not weakened. The only things that need a stake driven through their hearts are kneejerk nationalism and xenophobic reluctance to cooperate with our neighbours.

        • rapscallion

          I was not comparing systems, and I did not even mention the House of Lords, which contains virtually no actual aristocrats whatsoever.

          What did I say about the exception proving the rule. Well done. You’ve just proved my point.

          Your argument that having to be bound together so tightly as to prevent us fighting is facile, and frankly insulting to all the nations of Europe. Do Thailand, Vietnam. Laos, Malaysia, Singapore need to bound together to stop them fighting each other. What about Australia and New Zealand. Do they?

          What you so strongly refuse to accept is that I am more than happy to cooperate with my neighbours – I just don’t want to be ruled by them. Capiche!

          Oh yeah – cut out the stock phrases like kneejerk nationalism and xenophobic. It makes you look like a teenager who had just read the Morning Star fo the first time.

          • Findaráto

            Read what I wrote again and then blush when the penny drops. Who was talking about aristocrats? Certainly not me.

            If you don’t understand the parallels between the appointing of life peers and the appointing of the European Commission, there’s no point in talking to you. You clearly don’t have any knowledge of how Europe actually works.

            And your point about Indochina and Malaysia is just ludicrous. The region was consumed by war and civil unrest for most of the latter part of the twentieth century. If that’s the model you want for Europe, may your imaginary God help us all.

            As for the example of Australia and New Zealand, these two former British colonies considered federating at the beginning of the twentieth century. Indeed the Australian constitution still provides for New Zealand to accede to the federation if it ever so desires. Their economies are linked by one of the comprehensive “common market” agreements in the world and governmental ties are almost as close. A common language and cultural heritage enables this close association to work without the need for common institutions. It’s one partnership between two very similar countries, not a union of 28 disparate nations with no common language and a history of conflict rather than cooperation. Europe needs a formalized union, without which it would dissolve into chaos. Australia and New Zealand get along just fine without one, but that’s a very particular situation that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

            Your arguments all show the absolute need for European unity to be maintained and strengthened, not dissolved because of a few xenophobic prejudices and popular misconceptions about how the EU is run. Common sense admits of only one solution, but you’re not driven by common sense, are you? It’s all populist national feeling and tribal grunting.

            Sensible and reflective British voters outnumber the Neanderthal variety by a wide margin. The Remain campaign will carry the day. Of that I am absolutely convinced.

          • rapscallion

            Oh God, its pathetic – You do know don’t you that the House of Lords was originally populated by aristrocrats. Did I ever say it was democratic. It was a consequence of over 800 years of political evolution. but then if you’d studied history you’d know that. I do understand the parallel incidentally, which is why neither is a good idea, but then the Lords can always be overruled – something that the EU Commission cannot. So actually I do know how the EU works – not Europe incidentally. I’ve noted the deliberate conflation between the EU and Europe that you EU lovers continually spout. As for the Far east, I’m talking about the here and now you fool. Back in 1968 North Vietnam was a dictatorship, just like North Korea is now. Whereas the southern versions did at least try to function like a democracy. So my point stands. Democracies as a general rule do not declare war on each other. I know its hard for you to get this, but you have to look at the point in history first. Australia and NZ may have considered a federation but the fact that they are two former British colonies perhaps says all you need to know. They have common systems of law, justice and parliamentary democracy, something incidentally that we do NOT have in the EU. Well 27 countries operate under Roman or Napoleonic law and corpus juris, whereas we operate under common law and habeus corpus. They are in fact complete reversals of the other. It is one of the reasons why we do not “fit in” with the EU model. Churchill and de Gaulle could see it, but then they were better men than you or I.

            You arguments show that you have been thoroughly brainwashed and simply cannot comprehend that an opposite point of view is valid. Nothing I say will change your mind.

            By coming out with rubbish like populist national feeling, tribal grunting and not driven by common sense you only traduce your own position, not mine.

            Any further posts by you, I will regard as trolling and ignore accordingly.

          • Findaráto

            One only has to look at your ID image to see who’s been thoroughly brainwashed and simply cannot comprehend that an opposite point of view is valid. I doubt you even have something that can be properly described as a mind to change.

            In any case, my vote to remain will cancel out your vote to leave, so you’ve just been officially disenfranchised. Others will decide this referendum. Not us. I remain confident that the Remain campaign will win.

    • Royinsouthwest

      We have all seen what the EU leaders think of the Greeks, and even of the Italians where they more or less imposed a new government led by a technocrat on them a few years ago. We have also seen prominent EU politicians complain about possible threats to free speech in countries with right wing governments like Poland while ignoring Merkel’s attempts to encourage censorship of posts critical of her immigration policies on Facebook.

      • Merchantman

        I wonder who will be dredged up as Viceroy of Britain to encourage us to vote the ‘right way’ when we vote Brexit 23/6?

    • Albert

      There has never been an armed conflict between two EU active member states. But before the EU existed, armed conflict was commonplace. That the EU guarantees peace between its members is therefore an established fact.

      Well that argument is surely the most logically fallacious of this thread.

      • Old Nick

        Post hoc non est propter hoc

  • Ivan M

    Cameron brought war to the peoples of Libya and Syria. He should know something about this, though not in the direction of preventing wars.

  • David

    Cameron uses Project Fear as his only weapon as the best, evidence based arguments point to Leave. No explanations are ever given for his wild, emotional claims. The basic democratic deficit built into the architecture of the EU is never addressed. Similar points can be made regarding Osborne, who demonstrates little acumen for his role, and is cut from the same elitist cloth as Cameron.
    By exiting the EU we will proposer, become more democratic, be ruled by better laws and become safer, all whilst giving our European neighbours the gift of the example of our freedom, challenging the creeping, growing tyranny of the undemocratic EU.
    The clumsy bureaucratic machinations of the territorially ambitious EU superstate do much to threaten our world peace, Ukraine and Libya are classic cases. Moreover most European countries are inadequately defended. It is only NATO, well funded by the US, with heavy weight help also provided by the UK and France, which demonstrates serious military might, plus the political will, sufficient to deter aggressors.
    Cameron has little real judgement or understanding. Like Tony Blair, his hero, he has a low regard for our constitution, freedoms, culture or history. The man does not represent the British interest, only those of his remote, elitist friends.

  • Tomorrow, Cameron is expected to give the nation a cast-iron guarantee that Brexit will cause the sky to cave in and the oceans to boil dry.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Cameron’s warning about Brexit leading to armed conflict is both desperate and crass. Personally, I can think of nothing more dangerous than an EU with its own armed forces under the “leadership” of its unaccountable elite. They would probably drag us into conflict with Russia over Ukraine and the Crimea. First we hear that the EU is so financially fragile it will go into economic meltdown if we leave, Now it is so divided and jingoistic it will descend into massacre and genocide if we leave. Does DC really think we are as stupid as he is?

    There are fools, damned fools, and David Cameron

  • chiefofsinners

    A prophetic article today. And, right on cue, the prime minister of Austria has resigned, due to the rise of the far right.

    Here’s how to avoid war: Capitulate to Germany. If only we’d thought of it in 1914, or in 1939! Let’s do it now, says Dave. He has in his hand a piece of paper…

    • Albert

      Germany calls the shots now. Whether it is Europe’s immigration policy or Europe’s economic policy. Cameron must know this, but he then claims to make a patriotic case for staying!

  • preacher

    David Cameron is obviously a drowning man clutching at straws. As the 23rd draws near he can see that the only weapon he has is fear. So like many creatures, he try’s scare tactics, like the puffer fish or the hover fly, he blusters & threatens – but his threats are groundless speculation, scaremongering, without foundation.
    Let’s have a televised debate between Cameron & Gove, or maybe Boris would be available. Put some flesh on the bones David – who is about to sweep in & attack ? the hordes of Genghis Khan or maybe Sadiq Khan, oh sorry, can’t be him, he was elected, not selected by the E.U.
    The original tower of Babel which the E.U used as a symbol of humanity working together with no need of God was destroyed & now it’s successor is facing the same fate, the cracks are already appearing.
    ” Fire in the hole ! ” – stand well back before the big bang or be buried in the rubble.

    • sarky

      Cameron has bottled the televised debate. Last I heard it was going to be Boris vs Corbyn. Is that the final nail i can hear being hammered in????

  • Uncle Brian

    Dave is scraping the bottom of the barrel of gunpowder;

  • Is there actually a Brexit Campaign being waged?

    • chiefofsinners

      I’m doing my best, but no actual wages have come my way yet.

  • Merchantman

    Common Purpose. Is that what drives Cameron?

    • chiefofsinners

      Cameron purpose. That’s what drives Cameron.

  • Albert

    One wonders how Europe coped before we joined. In any case, anyone worried by Cameron’s comments, should read no less a Europhile than Lord Owen – now arguing for Brixit, on precisely the opposite grounds of Cameron.

    Does anyone seriously believe what Cameron says, any more? We can be quite sure that he doesn’t. A few months ago he was saying he might have campaigned for Brexit, and if this is such a threat to world peace, why did he call a referendum in the first place?

    So, as with his arguments about the economy, the more we believe him, the more we must doubt his judgement.

    • chiefofsinners

      There were nearly 30 years of peace in Europe before we joined the Common Market. They were not achieved by having standardised sausages across the continent, nor by insisting that bags of nuts are labelled ‘may contain nuts’ (directive 2006/142/EC). They were achieved by fighting the enemy until it was defeated.

      • We should withdraw our sausages immediately and protect our nuts.

        • chiefofsinners

          Really, Jack. Superfluity of naughtiness.

        • Albert

          They’ll regulate anything large.

        • carl jacobs

          Bad Jack!

        • Old Nick

          But will Miss K. Hopkins be withdrawing her sausage ?

          • Well she has promised but alas a suitable sausage cannot be found.

            “If Sadiq Khan wins London, I will run naked down Regent Street with a sausage up my bum in protest.”

      • dannybhoy

        ‘Hard boiled eggs and nuts..’

      • Albert

        Quite. And one of the things that has come to light is the degree to which EU foreign policy has contributed to the war in Ukraine.

        • The Explorer

          Germany has wanted the Ukraine since the days of the Teutonic knights. The Ukraine is simply a part of Germany with the wrong people living in it.

          The Ukraine was arguably the major cause of World War One: Germany prompting Austria to provoke Russia so that Russia would put itself in the wrong by declaring war and Germany could take the Ukraine. If you look at ‘Mein Kampf’, Hitler had plans for 30 million Germans in the Ukraine, with a few Russian slaves.

          Arguably, Germany still wants it: and provided EU money to fund uprisings.

          • Albert

            I’ve never quite thought of EU foreign policy as being one of Lebensraum before, but it certainly makes Russia feel threatened, which, under the circumstances, seems less than ideal.

          • Goodness, Explorer. Germany doesn’t need endless plains of black soil, a breadbasket and lebensraum anymore. Not with its glut of food and catastrophically declining population. Ukraine, like all non-Russian people who have been under the yoke of the Russian empire, whether under its savage tzars, brutal Soviets or the Putin mafia, simply wants its independence from Russia. All democracies should support Ukraine and other former satelites which want independence from that perennially failing empire.

          • The Explorer

            Certainly, no nation is ever uniform in its opinions. Just think at divided British opinion over the Boer War.
            When the Teutonic Knights looked east they seem to have been motivated by mystical fervour to civilise, rather than by material need. Lebensraum came later. Strands of both traditions might still linger. Seeing some of the reactions to the refugee situation on You Tube, I wouldn’t be confident about saying what’s still around in the German psyche.

          • Ivan M

            Germany does not need the Ukraine in the sense you mean. Some Germans do feel a sense of obligation to that section of the Ukrainians that are usually denounced as neo-Nazis by the Russians. This goes back to the days of Brest-Litovsk during the Civil War. The Germans could never decide what part the Slavs were to play in the Lebensraum. The current troubles though have more to do with the euphemistically named neocons bearing names such as Kagan and Nuland. As long they hold sway in the US, the bloodletting will continue, for they are neither capable or willing to acknowledge defeat or press for victory, but instead are adept at keeping things on a boil.

        • Uncle Brian

          The “degree to which”, in this case, is exactly 360º, isn’t it? Not a degree less.

  • Martin

    So now we know, there are no real arguments for staying in the EU.

  • Pubcrawler

    And there he was, gone.

    • The Explorer

      And just when Carl was saying on the previous thread that Findarato had been with us for a long time. Mind you, he’d been taking rather a pasting on this one.

      • chiefofsinners

        He had just accidentally confessed on the other thread to being Linus. I know it was an accident because when I picked him up on it he denied what was obviously true.

        “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light.”

    • CliveM

      I wonder why?

      Still, everything seems a little cleaner all of a sudden.

      • Pride. He cannot bear being ridiculed.

        • CliveM

          True, but why now? Anyway it matters little, I’m off for a drink to celebrate.

          • The Explorer

            He was being hammered on all sides on this thread.

          • CliveM

            Yeeeees. Not an unusual status.

            Anyway now on my fourth drink!

        • The Explorer

          We’ve previously mentioned someone else, rather more elevated and long-lived than Linus, to whom that also applies.

          • Elevated? Surely you mean cast down?

          • The Explorer

            Yes and no. Elevated in level of badness.

          • That is a descending scale.

          • The Explorer

            True. You get this sort of contradiction all the time with Tolkien’s Orcs. To carry out an evil instruction, Ugluk has to be loyal to Saruman and impose order on his followers. But loyalty and order are good qualities. Good qualities are needed in order to be effectively bad. Honour among thieves. This was a paradox noted by Augustine when he argued that evil was not the opposite of good, but its parasite.

          • 1) All things that God created are good;
            2) evil is not good;
            3) therefore, evil was not created by God.

            1) God created every thing;
            2) God did not create evil;
            3) therefore, evil is not a thing.

            “Where is evil then, and whence, and how crept it in hither? What is its root, and what its seed? Or hath it no being?” To this Augustine answered: “Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name ‘evil’.”

            Augustine observed that evil always injures, and such injury is a deprivation of good. If there were no deprivation, there would be no injury. Since all things were made with goodness, evil must be the privation of goodness: “All which is corrupted is deprived of good.”

            The diminution of goodness is what’s called evil. Good has substantial being; evil does not. It is like a moral hole, a nothingness that results when goodness is removed. To say that something is evil, then, is a shorthand way of saying it lacks goodness, or is a lower order of goodness than what ought to have been.

            Evil is the act itself of choosing the lesser good. To Augustine the source of evil is in the free will of persons: Evil is a “perversion of the will, turned aside from…God” to lesser things.

          • Anton

            Careful Jack. Check Isaiah 45:7, “I create evil…” As for your syllogisms, try: All that is not God is created by God; God is not evil; evil exists; therefore it is created by God. but notice that he uses the lesser word for create in this verse, not BARA as in the creation of matter, life and man in Genesis.

          • Jack will stick with Augustine, thanks, Anton. God is not the author and creator of evil.

            “I, the fashioner of darkness, the creator of light, I, the maker of peace, the author of calamity. I, the Lord, am the doer of all this.”
            (Isaiah 45:7; Douay-Rheims Bible)

            The Hebrew word for evil, “rah”, is used in many different ways in the Bible. In the KJV Bible, it occurs 663 times. 431 times it is translated as evil. The other 232 times it is translated as wicked, bad, hurt, harm, ill, sorrow, mischief, displeased, adversity, affliction, trouble, calamity, grievous, misery, and trouble. The word does not require that it be translated as evil. This is why different Bibles translate this verse differently. It is translated as calamity by the NASB and NKJV, disaster by the NIV, and woe by the RSV.

            The context of the verse is speaking of natural phenomena.

            “It is the Lord that speaks, and there is no other to rival me, no God but I; I, still unknown to thee, was fain to make thee strong, to what end? Because I would proclaim it from east to west that there is no other God. It is the Lord that speaks, and there is no other to rival me; I, the fashioner of darkness, the creator of light, I, the maker of peace, the author of calamity. I, the Lord, am the doer of all this.”
            (Isaiah 45:5-7).

            The verse is dealing with who God is and that it is God who speaks of natural phenomena (sun, light, dark) and that it is God who is able to cause “well-being” as well as “calamity.” Contextually, this verse is dealing with natural disasters and human comfort issues, not speaking of moral evil.

          • Anton

            The matter is certainly open to discussion, but what do you think is wrong with the logic I expounded? As follows: All that is not God is created by God; God is not evil; evil exists; therefore it is created by God.

          • What’s wrong? Evil is not a ‘thing’ that exists.

          • Anton

            You’re not heeding your heart when you write that. Everybody but philosophers understands the notion of evil. You have to be very highly educated indeed to understand that evil is an illusion…

          • Evil is an absence of good.

          • Anton

            In which case outer space is evil. Why does ‘immoral’ not mean the same as ‘amoral’? Which was Auschwitz?

          • Outer space was created by God. Everything God created is good. Auschwirtz was evil. Why? Because evil is behaviour contrary to the will of God.

          • Anton

            Yes indeed; in which case it exists, doesn’t it?

          • No … Auschwitz the place was a place. The evil that was there was an absence of God’s will. It was a deprivation, an absence.
            What is the point of all this?

          • Anton

            Your talking nonsense about evil. The Bible treats it as a noun, so God thinks it exists, doesn’t he?

          • You’ll need to take this up with Augustine and Aquinas, then. Augustinian and Thomist views hold that evil is a privation of good. According to this view, evil is not a thing that is out there in the world, but merely an absence of good. God did not bring evil into existence as evil is not a thing and so was not created.

          • Anton

            Wen you say it is not a thing, it is not a material thing but neither is love or hate or many other ‘things’ that we acknowledge as real. I’ll stick with the view that as the Bible treats it as a noun then God thinks it exists, and welcome any attempted knockdown of that from you or anybody who understands Augustine and Aquinas better.

          • Where does scripture describe evil as a noun rather than a verb? Bear in mind the wide range of meanings the Hebrew word has and also context.

          • Anton

            The list of occurrences of the word in the Hebrew scriptures is at

            http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7451b.htm

            Finding which are nouns is not difficult. But I am not willing to do that if you will merely reply that “evil” is the wrong translation in those cases. I need your rule for deciding the appropriate translation before I set out those occurrences, to be sure that it is not “whenever it’s a noun it can’t be translated as evil because of the work of Augustine and Aquinas”.

          • Jack will stick with Augustine, thanks, Anton.
            “I, the fashioner of darkness, the creator of light, I, the maker of peace, the author of calamity. I, the Lord, am the doer of all this.”
            (Isaiah 45:7; Douay-Rheims Bible)

            The Hebrew word for evil, rah, is used in many different ways in the Bible. In the KJV Bible, it occurs 663 times. 431 times it is translated as evil. The other 232 times it is translated as wicked, bad, hurt, harm, ill, sorrow, mischief, displeased, adversity, affliction, trouble, calamity, grievous, misery, and trouble. The word does not require that it be translated as evil. This is why different Bibles translate this verse differently. It is translated as calamity by the NASB and NKJV, disaster by the NIV, and woe by the RSV.

            The context of the verse is speaking of natural phenomena.

            “It is the Lord that speaks, and there is no other to rival me, no God but I; I, still unknown to thee, was fain to make thee strong, to what end? Because I would proclaim it from east to west that there is no other God. It is the Lord that speaks, and there is no other to rival me; I, the fashioner of darkness, the creator of light, I, the maker of peace, the author of calamity. I, the Lord, am the doer of all this.”
            (Isaiah 45:5-7).

            The verse is dealing with who God is and that it is God who speaks of natural phenomena (sun, light, dark) and that it is God who is able to cause “well-being” as well as “calamity.” Contextually, this verse is dealing with natural disasters and human comfort issues, not speaking of moral evil.

          • Old Nick

            I think Augustine never got over anything (of all the things he got over in a long and various life) as he got over Manicheeism.

  • dannybhoy

    Excellent last paragraph. David Cameron is sounding more and more like Tony Blair when he was desperately scratching around for new reasons to justify the invasion of Iraq..
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/dec/12/tony-blair-iraq-chilcot-inquiry

  • sarky

    Can you smell it??? The heady mix of bulls##t and desperation.

    • Albert

      Vulgar thought this is, I find it hard to disagree.

      • Old Nick

        Yoda he agrees

  • The Explorer

    Do you notice how much shorter the thread now looks, minus a certain set of comments?

    • sarky

      Don’t panic, he’s bound to do an Arnie!!!

    • Uncle Brian

      What, not again?! I wonder why he keeps doing that. I don’t think I’ve ever observed any other case of this extremely odd perpetual self-deletion.

      • The Explorer

        Wonder if the next avatar will be EU focused in some way?

        • He’ll return as an Italian progressive Catholic lesbian.

          • The Explorer

            Got to hand it to that rapscallion. Disposed of him on a first encounter.

      • Anton

        It will be well worth asking him if we become confident that he’s back.

        • Pubcrawler

          Carl was pressing him on that. He was typically evasive.

        • Uncle Brian

          Yes, but he keeps doing it, time after time. We could run a sweepstake on how long his next incarnation will last. My bet is 100 days.

          • Ivan M

            It seems to be another aspect of his childishness, once he feels that the drift of the game is against him on a bad day, he overturns the checkers table. Grow up Linus!

  • Russell Brown

    People need to realize the Brussels terrorist attack was a media hoax, one in a long line, Boston, San Bernadino, Paris and Brussels.

  • carl jacobs

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if seven voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

    • sarky

      You do not know the power of the darkside.

      • carl jacobs

        Of course I do. Only a Sith believes in absolutes.

        • Who is the Apprentice? Now Darth Linus has disappeared, will Darth Sarky emerge?

          • The Explorer

            No. Sarky is too well balanced and integrated. The apprentice will be the next version of Linus, pretending innocence.

          • carl jacobs

            No, no, no. I’m the Dark Lord. They are the snivelling post-modern Jedi.

          • Ummm …

          • chiefofsinners

            He meant Dork Lord.

          • Excellent.

          • carl jacobs

            [GASP!]

            How bitter is the taste of betrayal.

          • An Arminian and a Catholic are closer to one another than either is to a Calvinist. Plus, you’re American.

          • carl jacobs

            An Arminian and a Catholic are closer to one another than either is to a Calvinist.

            That isn’t true by a long shot.

            Plus, you’re American.

            Ah. Still angry about that whole “amicable separation” thing, I see.

          • pobjoy

            Jean Cauvin (Calvin) was a Catholic whose absence of confession of personal conversion has been noted by historians (other Reformers at least made this claim). A lawyer, he noted with great concern the widespread failure of Catholicism to measure up to the expectations of Europeans who read the Bible, and to the expectations of all, including ‘lay’ Catholics, who suffered the scandalous behaviour of friars, monks, priests, bishops and even popes. Luther’s simple answer was to modify Catholicism to the minimum degree possible; but
            ordinary Germans knew no difference between transubstantiation and
            consubstantiation, and the moral turpitude of Germans led, in time, to evangelicalism, that at least fitted the soteriology of the Bible, if not to national moral revival.

            Cauvin, otoh, devised a lawyer’s means of continuance of Catholicism. by obviating conversion, by enforcing strict outward moral standards, and apparent agreement with sola fide and sola Scriptura, that had been the belief of millions since John Wyclif. ‘Calvinism’ became another fake Protestantism; this following invented the notion of ‘Arminianism’ in order to create a convenient label of counter-belief that would disguise its own heresy. But Arminius merely retained an orthodoxy of Catholicism (one of very few!) and jettisoned justification by works, that was no longer credible. There was nothing new aboiut that, because Wyclif and millions of Lollards had believed it before him. Those who use the word ‘Arminian’ as relating to a reality are therefore very likely indeed to be heretics of one sort or another.

          • Dork Lord Jacobs: “You have controlled your fear, Linus. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.”

          • carl jacobs

            You have a Typo in there that you really should fix …

          • Typo? Where?

          • carl jacobs

            You know very well where. And I’m being charitable calling it a Typo.

          • carl jacobs

            I suppose I should write this off as a manifestation of the chronic inability of Brits to correctly spell English words …

          • sarky

            Nah, I do look cool in black though.

        • sarky

          Your powers grow weak old man.

          • carl jacobs

            You can’t win, sarky

          • sarky

            The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

            “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.” –Ayn Rand

          • carl jacobs

            Ayn Rand: “You are too intelligent to believe in Gott!”

            William F Buckley Jr: “Madam, I am too intelligent not to.”

          • carl jacobs

            At that point, in any materialism, the main possibilities open up to Man. 1) His tragic fate becomes, without God, more tragic and much lonelier. In general, the tragedy deepens according to the degree of pessimism or stoicism with which he conducts his “hopeless encounter between human questioning and the silent universe.” Or, 2) Man’s fate ceases to be tragic at all. Tragedy is bypassed by the pursuit of happiness. Tragedy is henceforth pointless. Henceforth man’s fate, without God, is up to him, and to him alone. His happiness, in strict materialist terms, lies with his own workaday hands and ingenious brain. His happiness becomes, in Miss Rand’s words, “the moral purpose of his life.”

            The rub is that the pursuit of happiness, as an end in itself, tends automatically, and widely, to be replaced by the pursuit of pleasure, with a consequent general softening of the fibers of will, intelligence, spirit. No doubt, Miss Rand has brooded upon that little rub. Hence in part, I presume, her insistence on man as a heroic being” With productive achievement as his noblest activity.” For, if Man’s heroism” (some will prefer to say: human dignity”) no longer derives from God, or is not a function of that godless integrity which was a root of Nietzsche’s anguish, then Man becomes merely the most consuming of animals, with glut as the condition of his happiness and its replenishment his foremost activity. So Randian Man, at least in his ruling caste, has to be held “heroic” in order not to be beastly.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/213298/big-sister-watching-you-whittaker-chambers

          • Uncle Brian

            Thank you for that, Carl. I’ve never read Atlas Shrugged. From time to time, once every few years, it has occurred to me that I ought to. Now, however, I think probably not.

            Which reminds me of this. René Descartes is drinking beer in a bar. When his glass is empty, the bartender asks, “Another one, sir?” Descartes replies, “I think not”— and disappears in a puff of smoke.

          • carl jacobs

            Heh.

            The author of that piece is Whittaker Chambers. He was in the 30s a Communist spy for the Soviet Union. It was his testimony that put away Alger Hiss – a crime which the Left will never forgive. He abandoned Communism while still a spy, and escaped from that world of espionage at risk to his own life. He became a Christian and died in 1961 at the age of 60. Of him it was said that he abandoned the Lie for the Truth when he still thought the Lie would win. It was an astonishing act of courage and integrity.

            His autobiography is titled “Witness” and if I could only recommend one book, that would be it.

          • Ivan M

            Sam Tanenhaus’ biography of Chambers is an astounding read.

          • Uncle Brian

            That’s remarkable. I certainly recognize the name Whittaker Chambers in the Alger Hiss connection, but I’m sorry to say the whole story of his conversion and his book were completely unknown to me. I’ll get hold of it. I see it runs to something like 800 pages. Good. I Iike long books.

            BTW, I asked you a question about free will on the Week of Prayer thread. I posted it around this time last night and I don’t suppose you’ve been back to the thread since then.

          • carl jacobs

            Haven’t forgotten about you, Brian. Just been a confusing day. I spent all morning at the hospital (nothing serious – wife was having a 30,000 mile check). The thread about the RCC and the EU was an easy distraction for me.

          • Uncle Brian

            Okay, Carl, no rush. Leave it for some other time.

          • Ivan M

            You have better things to do with your time.

        • Anton

          Why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do;’
          Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
          To do’t
          – Hamlet, Act 4 scene 4.

    • William Lewis

      That’ll be Finders giving you the willies.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector sympathises with Her Majesty. It can’t be easy for her on the day knowing that silly arse will turn up to see her…

    Not even the inevitable German expansionism and their need to extend their sphere of influence (just look at what the bastards did to Greece! Last century and this one…) would manifest itself as a re-emergent military nation bent on conquest and physical occupation should brexit occur. Not with the hydrogen bomb around. However, there is a possibility that ‘EU Troops’ may be sent to quell disturbances in part of empire ‘where they are needed’ (Greece again). And maybe that would include the British army. Well, what used to be the British army. It will eventually become the EU Army when we are finally denied our future on this successful little island if we vote to stay in. So how’s that for predicting war! A damn sight more likely than Cameron’s delusions…

    • Well said Inspector. One can imagine any little up-rising by any EU member country and they will get to feel the crunch of the EU army jackboot upon them to stamp it out. Old habits die hard.

    • Ivan M

      Her Majesty seems to be a totally naive and ignorant person. A typical bourgeoisie housewife clinging to her chandeliers and corgis.

      • bockerglory

        Sadly I agree with you. She is old and not capable of handling the two-faced crafty Cameron.

        Such a shame. She should retire and become the King’s Mother. She would still be loved by the people.

        • Anton

          So that Charles can deal so much better with the Cameron?

          I was going to post a link to the climactic scene in which Francis Urquhart demands the King’s abdication, but it is gone from YouTube so I’ll simply say… 1649 and all that.

      • Uncle Brian

        “Clinging to her chandeliers,” Ivan? Buckingham Palace is a big place. Is that how she gets around, swinging from chandelier to chandelier, like Tarzan from tree to tree in the jungle?

        • Ivan M

          UC, it is an expression I learned from Rudy Guiliani’s divorce saga.

  • magnolia

    I am pondering how Brexit would make the US less likely to have sensible rational discussions with Putin, or how it would increase neocon power in Washington, at even four removes……..

    No, don’t see it.

    What next? Brexit will render the whole world infertile, kill off all sea life, make the sun so hot it burns all human life, set off several supervolcanoes, start a run on the banks, or help spread an as yet unknown supervirus called Linus Mark 23 which kills us all?

    See , I can do it too!!

  • sarky

    The EU encroaching on Russian borders is much more likely to start world war 3 than brexit.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    I’m afraid David Cameron has just revealed is total, absolute childish ignorance of war

  • Inspector General

    Let us not forget, on this religious site, that the EU practices a disgusting fishing policy whereby tons and tons of dead fish have to be dumped at sea because they were unlucky enough not to be in the evil EU quota.

    Well, We are about to get ‘British Waters’ back!

    Any man made organisation that wastes the harvest of the sea like this deserves to perish. After all, Christ was a fisherman, and one can speak for him and say he’d agree….

    • bluedog

      Wasn’t Christ a carpenter? It was St Peter who was the fisherman.

      • Inspector General

        He did a bit of fishing too. He walked on water, so it is said…

        • sarky

          So did dynamo!!!

        • Anton

          You believe he is the saviour; don’t you believe he walked on water?

      • IanCad

        More accurately; a fishing consultant. “Cast your net on the other side.”

        • Ivan M

          The Man was pals with the fishermen in Galilee. He seems to have known the Disciples before recruiting them. Then too, although there is no record of Him having eaten any meat, He did eat fish.

          • The Explorer

            Passover lamb? By inference, I mean.

          • Ivan M

            He broke bread and drank wine at the Last Supper. No mention of mutton. For all we know, the reference to the fishes, is to star signs, the age of Pisces. The Man may have been a vegetarian.

          • The Explorer

            Symbolically, He Himself was the passover lamb. That’s certainly the point made by John. Lamb was part of the Passover meal, and Jesus’ family were observant Jews. He called himself the Good Shepherd. Sheep were for meat as well as wool. If He’d been a vegetarian, He’d surely have chosen a different title? When He’s eating and drinking at parties, what startles people is that He’s with sinners, not that there’s anything unusual about His diet.

          • Ivan M

            He is the Good Shepherd. It sort of does not comport with His image, the One to whom to whom the sheep responds, to eat of the flock. But I have nothing decisive to support what I say. What is clear from the New Testament accounts, is that the Jews of that time, were no longer living as the people of the time of Moses. There has been development and innovation.

          • The Explorer

            In ‘Luke’ 22: – 15, Christ tells the disciples to prepare the Passover meal and it says that He eats it with them.

          • Ivan M

            1-0 possibly. Passover meals may changed from the time of Exodus.

          • Pubcrawler

            “No mention of mutton.”

            They wouldn’t have mutton anyway.

          • Ivan M

            I meant that they could have done without the meat.

          • Pubcrawler

            Could they?

          • Ivan M

            Not for most I guess.

          • IanCad

            As do I. Particularly over the last few days. We had some family come over from Oz and the US, and as we have an excellent weekly fish van I stocked up on plaice and haddock. Well, they didn’t hang around – London’s more fun.. Since Thursday I have eaten fish for both breakfast and supper and the last fillet of plaice is sizzling in the pan as I write.
            Now; if I could follow Him in other ways —-.

          • Ivan M

            You lucky fellows living in temperate climes, still have large fish stocks to fish and eat from. In the tropics though the catches have fallen steadily. Partly as a result of overfishing, but even with all the fallow seasons being enforced, the catches have not recovered. I think the culprit is global warming, that has affected, the quantity of dissolved oxygen in the tropics, driving the fish schools to cooler waters.

          • Anton

            Would you provide some evidence for that, please? Warming in the postwar decades to 2000 certainly took place in the atmosphere, to the extent of a degree or two; did it also take place in the ocean, and how much less oxygen can brine hold for a one degree rise in temperature from about 29 to 30 degrees Celsius? Are fish sensitive to that amount? Does El Nino provide any evidence for that sensitivity?

          • Ivan M

            Obviously I don’t have the kind of data you require. I do know however, that it has gotten hotter. The dissolved oxygen is measured in parts per million. 4 to 6 ppm being the ideal, as I am told. As to why this is not being reported more widely I have no idea. The heat waves in India and the prevailing climate in Singapore, all point to higher temperatures. This should affect the quantity of dissolved oxygen in the waters.

          • Anton

            Some arguments, to have plausibility, unavoidably require numbers.

          • Ivan M

            I was there man.

          • IanCad

            We are blessed of piscine choice Ivan. Sixty millions of souls and still plenty of fish to go around.

          • Pubcrawler

            Despite the best efforts of the CFP…

          • Uncle Brian

            There are places on the coast here in Brazil where sharks were virtually unknown until about twenty years ago, and quite suddenly they have become a serious danger to swimmers.

          • Ivan M

            Could be the depletion of their traditional sources of food Uncle Brian.

          • Uncle Brian

            Or possibly the opposite. That’s one theory I’ve heard. In one case, a new port opened in about 1990. Large numbers of ships started arriving where no ships had ever come that close to land before. The crews threw their kitchen waste overboard, attracting the sharks that lived further out in the deep. Whether it’s the true explanation or not I have no way of telling.

          • Anton

            He kept the Law of Moses perfectly, and therefore ate lamb every Passover at least. He was wrongly accused of being a drunkard and a glutton with his disciples, and given that the most insidious lies are half-truths he clearly ate heartily, and how many vegetarians get such a reputation?

          • Ivan M

            Beer, wine and whisky are not forbidden to vegetarians.

          • Pubcrawler

            Most beer is, on account of the finings.

          • Ivan M

            Thats tough. Its like the Muslim friend I have who refuse to eat halal chicken on the grounds, that even the feedstock has to be halal.

          • Anton

            What is his definition of halal grain? It’s hardly had its throat cut in the approved fashion.

          • Ivan M

            He has a point. Chickenfeed has meat gristle, and who knows what else rolled in.

          • Anton

            Yuk, does it? I suppose they eat insects in farmyards.

          • Ivan M

            I know that the chickenfeed in Malaysia has fishmeal in it. He was being cautious.

        • Pubcrawler

          But who had caught the fish already on the coals in Jn 21.9?

          • IanCad

            You’re a very sharp man Crawlie. I completely overlooked that.

          • Pubcrawler

            Too kind. I don’t know Scripture a tenth — nay, a thousandth — as well as I ought, but that particular chapter I have a special fondness for and it ‘sticks’ with me.

          • IanCad

            So true! The image is delightful.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes. There is a real human intimacy between the Risen Lord and his Disciples in that episode that is not found elsewhere.

          • Anton

            Who says he caught them? A year or so earlier he had made fish appear out of thin air, to feed a crowd.

          • Pubcrawler

            There is that, although there were some fish preexisting that were multiplied, as elsewhere there was water to be turned into wine, so I wouldn’t personally use the phrase ‘out of thin air’.

          • Anton

            OK, but the number of fish at the end of the miracle minus the number at the start did appear ex nihilo.

          • Pubcrawler

            Perhaps, in the way that a single grain brings forth an hundredfold ex nihilo.

            But as for these particular fish, was Jesus in the habit of performing miracles for the material comfort or benefit of his disciples? In John’s Gospel, the miracles are explicitly presented as signs; what would this one, if it were one (which John does not state), reveal?

      • Anton

        He lived in Capernaum after Nazareth (Matt 4:13). Did he work there as a fisherman; is that why Peter and his brother instantly heeded his call to follow him (a few verses later), because they already knew and respected him?

    • Old Nick

      Pisciculi sumus

  • Anton

    David Cameron continues in the fine English tradition of understatement. For the truth, surely, is that Brexit would see the mid-Atlantic subterranean ridge open up, following which the explosion as billions of tons (sorry, tonnes) of water meets molten lava and instantly turns to steam would create a tsunami that submerges the whole of Britain. After that the Sun would go supernova and envelope the Earth with fire. But Dave tells us none of that, such is his brave commitment to our freedom of choice.

    • You are scaremongering! The Sun doesn’t have enough mass to go supernova. At most a red dwarf and Brussels can handle that.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        A white dwarf, please. From Prof Kaler’s website:

        The core in turn will illuminate the expanding debris to briefly create a planetary nebula (a misnomer having nothing to do with planets), and will then die and cool as an ultradense, dimming carbon-oxygen white dwarf about the size of Earth with somewhat over half the Sun’s current mass (showing that stars finish their lives with a lot less mass than they start out with).

        http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/sun.html

        • Ha! But it will become a red giant before collapsing into a white dwarf, so I stand vindicated on the color red being involved in this somewhere. Most importantly, though, the Sun’s collapse will be caused by shortage of hydrogen, so the UN needs to immediately impose a world-wide Solar Change tax (with H1 credits) on hydrogen use, because time is short (only 5 billion years!!!) and while hydrogen may be the most sbundant element in the universe, capitalism will surely fritter it away in no time. Just like oil.

      • Anton

        I know. But Brexit will change everything, Avi. You haven’t got it yet.

        • You are probably right. Look at what Obama alone was able to do; he stopped oceans from rising and polar bears from drowning, or something like that.

  • David

    Cameron looks exceedingly naive and foolish with his latest propaganda. What does he take us for ? His scary, almost hysterical stories are beyond contempt !

    The bigger threat to our safety is the provocative blunderings of the German led EU Empire as it antagonises The Russian Bear, on the edges of its Cordon Sanitaire, namely The Ukraine. Why they even turn on what they claim to be “their own”, namely the poor bastards of Greece !

    Whilst considering what endangers us, I’d add to that list of the risky, the amateurish antics of British PM’s like Blair and Cameron as they deliberately create war and bloodshed, not to mention the ensuing, continuing mayhem, in Iraq, Syria and finally Libya. It is the poor judgement and dubious morality of our so called national leaders that places us in harms way. For these “precious” strutting people are in reality but shallow, ahistorical Neocons peddling their flimsy Liberal Doctrine of “Just War” – these are the dangerous ones !

    • O, bullocks. Russia is still Europe’s main existential threat and appeasing it always makes it greedier. Let it have its way and you’ll soon be inside its “cordon sanitaire.” You’ve been “Finlandized” and no amount of gibberish about “neocons” will mask your fear.

      • Russia, China or Islam? Take your pick.

        • China is too far and the Islam problem is self-imposed.

      • The Explorer

        There’s an argument for saying that Russia sees its greatest threat from China. With its diminished population, can Russia hang on to territory it acquired from eastward expansion in the Nineteenth Century when China is hungry for resources?

        One way for Russia to boost its failing numbers would be to reclaim a few places: the Baltic states, Georgia, Ukraine…

        I don’t say that IS the situation: merely that it might be.

        • big

          Why would it want the Baltic states or Ukraine?…countries full of extreme nationalists and neonazis….of course NATO ie America would love it, it would give them the pretext to go to war with Russia and take ‘it out’ .. but Russia isn’t Libya or Iraq they would nuke us…is that what its come to?

          • The Explorer

            Russia’s population has dropped to 145 million. That’s not enough to take on China. Reclaim Ukraine and you’ve got another 60 million or so, just like that. As I said, it’s a maybe.

          • big

            sorry my friend you’re not making sense, if anything the Russia/ China axis is becoming stronger not weaker.

          • Ivan M

            The Russians cannot handle all the fronts – with China, with Japan (though not a hot one), with Turkey and the various Stans, with Nato – all at once. They will have to go nuclear in short order. The neocon plan for Russia is to pin her down in various wars of attrition. Who could imagine, that after Gorbachev did tear the Wall down, the successors of Ronald Reagan have the gall to call them the greatest threat to world peace.

          • Anton

            Gorbachev tore the wall down because the Russian economy was on the skids and unable to enforce its will, because Reagan leant on the Saudis to create an oil glut that lowered the rice of oil upon which Moscow depended. Honour to Ronald Reagan, the man who won the cold war for us.

          • big

            ….but we’ve squandered the opportunity, and now we have a new cold war

          • Ivan M

            You do the honours if you want to. RR was the icing on the cake, every American president since Truman had a role in winning the Cold War.

          • Anton

            Every American president oversaw a military which acted to that end. Reagan provided leadership and strategy that was notably geared to it, however, unlike his immediate predecessor.

          • Ivan M

            His immediate predecessor put in place the programs to build the B1, cruise missile and Pershing II missile programs. Believe stock idiots if you want to.

          • Anton

            His immediate predecessor cancelled the B1 program on 30th June 1977. Reagan re-activated it. Carter hand-wrung over Afghanistan that the Soviets do not keep their promises. He was surprised; wiser men would not have been.

          • Ivan M

            You are right about the B1, but it was the Pentagon that decided it wasn’t needed at that price. It was a time of high inflation in the US, that apparently could only be countered by the tight monetary policy that Paul Volcker instituted to the detriment of Carter’s reelection chances. As for Afghanistan, I recall that Zia-ul-Haq dismissed Carter’s offer of 400 million dollars to counter the Ruskies in Afghanistan as peanuts. Raygun Ronnie, jumped in head first, and Pakistan went on to become the cockpit of terror until relatively recently. Islamic fundamentalism, which seems to keep you awake all night, grew manifold under the great Reagan’s watch. You ought to be consistent about this.

          • Anton

            Carter’s chances of re-election were wrecked by the Iran hostage fiasco. Volcker simply did what was needed to deal with the inflation that had been let loose in the 1970s by Nixon taking the dollar off gold. I sleep well at night and my concern about Islam is determined by my love for my nation, not my own skin. One must fight the threat of the time, which Reagan did with great fortitude and skill.

          • Ivan M

            Great fortitude and skill my arse. The fellow was asleep half the time.

          • Anton

            He was pin sharp as his published letters show, and his public persona of a genial rightwing buffoon let him get on with it while the left attacked a straw man.

          • Ivan M

            Yah, someone who wore lipstick and blush when he was GE spokesman or other. Also signed the Latino amnesty that turned California into a province of Mexico. Very perceptive man that. Reagan came from a 14 to 15 point deficit to beat Carter. He really has to thank the obdurate Iranians for that. The Ayatollah held off the release of the American embassy hostages, until Reagan got elected. Between Volcker and the Ayatollah Khomeini, I don’t know who Saint Reagan has to thank more.

          • Anton

            Thatcher said that he understood the principles of American greatness and I trust her opinion above yours.

          • Ivan M

            Do so, you are a free man. If anybody showed great skill and fortitude during the closing days of the Cold War it has to be the German Chancellors Schmidt and Kohl and of course Mrs T who had to counter the CND people. The peoples of Eastern Europe, Lech Walesa and the great Pope John Paul II all played their roles adroitly. President Reagan was of course also there.

          • Anton

            And why am I a free man? Because NATO prevented the Soviets doing to Western Europe what they had done to Eastern Europe – and which the Soviets’ own archives reveal they would have done but for NATO’s no.1 member, the USA, led through the 1980s by Reagan.

            The people you name all played a fine part in it. But don’t forget Reagan in Berlin in 1987: “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would… advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace… Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Can you imagine Carter saying that in a speech about Brezhnev?

          • Ivan M

            The time was not right. The Helsinki Accord which in hindsight led to the freeing of Warsaw Pact countries was in force. These things take time. I started this only because you attempted to slander President Carter. I surmise that behind all your contempt for him, lies your lock step, with whatever the Israel partisans say. It doesn’t matter that it was under President Carter that Holocaust worship got a big boost. It doesn’t matter that it was under him that Camp David Accords took place. All he had to say was something on behalf of the Palestinians and that puts him beyond the pale.

          • Anton

            Actually I thought Carter a poor President long before he started Israel-bashing. (Those actions to the West’s greatest ally in a highly unstable and important region merely confirmed his unfitness.) When you start telling me what goes on in my own mind you discredit only yourself, which is a pity because this time I’d thought we were moving to some consensus.

            Helsinki was a disgrace for which Gerald Ford should have hung his head in shame. But what do you expect from a man who said in 1976 that “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe” and “I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union”?

            Do tell me if you consider John Paull II to have shared that view.

          • Ivan M

            I’ve made my points. I stand by them.

          • Anton

            By all means! But do answer my question: do you consider John Paul II to have shared President Ford’s view, when Ford said that “I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union”?

          • Ivan M

            JP was not yet the Pope in 1976. If President Ford had in fact said it, it was out of expediency. American Presidents say lots of things, what does it matter?

          • Anton

            You want to play dumb? OK. Do you consider Cardinal Wojtyla to have shared President Ford’s view, when Ford said that “I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union”?

          • Ivan M

            Hey, if it was Carter who evaded the question you’ll have a (rather weak) point. I did not watch the clip, and old television debates lack interest.

          • Anton

            No need to watch the clip; I gave you that simply to show I was reproducing the quote accurately. Do you consider Cardinal Wojtyla to have shared President Ford’s view, when Ford said that “I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union”?

          • Ivan M

            Your invincible catatonic idiocy shows through in this. The question should be do the Poles consider themselves to be better or worse off under the Helsinki accords than previously. The answer would be “better” and that is what the accords were designed to achieve.

          • Anton

            Your attempt to divert from answering my question shows through very clearly.

          • Ivan M

            You would make a very persistent Inquisitor, I think you missed your calling. Ford got caught out in the kind of dumb questions that the baiting public excel in. I can think of many questions that you would not be able to answer to any satisfaction, if you had the bad luck to be caught by the Indian police.

          • Anton

            Inquisitors seldom got the truth, because they used torture. They can answer for that to him; it’s not my business. Gerald Ford got caught out by his dumb answer. You are smarter, you duck the question.

          • Ivan M

            Don’t be too humble. You use a variant of the ELIZA Rogetian question-answer format, a very effective verbal torture technique.

          • Anton

            You mean I keep asking the same question to someone who is systematically ducking it, like better TV interviewers do to evasive politicians? (Google “Jeremy Paxman and Nigel Howard” if you wish.) It rapidly becomes obvious to viewers what’s going on, at which point there is no purpose in persisting. I have no wish to torture.

          • Ivan M

            Paxman I suppose can make you confess that you wish to rape your ___. I can see why he is a model for you to emulate.

          • Anton

            I think you replied while I was adding to my preceding post to explain the point of limited repetition of a question. My apologies for that. Please reread it.

          • big

            Anton your a free man because people like me signed up to protect you

          • Anton

            Depending on what military you signed up in and when I would gladly thank you.

          • big

            BAOR

          • Anton

            Then I’m grateful; thank you. BAOR would have acted as part of NATO, I think?

          • big

            Now don’t be facetious.

          • Anton

            I think I’m not quite working out what lay behind your comment about people like you signing up to protect people like me. Above, I was making the point that cold-war NATO was not viable without the USA, and expressing gratitude. I am of course grateful to others who put themselves on the front line against the Soviets, and especially to fellow Brits who were there.

          • Ivan M

            That puts you on the frontline. By the Grace of God, there was no war. Thank God that millions did not die.

          • big

            It was the front line….and if you went to the inner German border you could actually watch East German goons watching us.All great fun ….we also had to tolerate something called SOXMIS a Soviet military mission in Europe….. more good fun.

          • big

            He couldn’t be bothered to tell her about Grenada though.

          • Anton

            Yes, I thought that was funny. Though apparently The Queen was not amused.

          • big

            she didn’t

          • big

            I agree, its utterly insane.

          • The Explorer

            A Russo/China axis need not be significant. Look at the Hitler/Stalin pact and what happened to that.

            China regards sections of Siberia as “lost territories”, stolen by Russia in the Nineteenth Century. During the Taiping Rebellion, Russia took 350,000 square miles north of the Amur and between the Ussuri and the sea. Vladivostok was founded on land that had belonged to the Chinese until 1860. Payback time? It’s an area rich in natural resources: which is what the Chinese need. Chinese settlers are testing the water by moving into Russian territory. Russians in Primorive, the province around Vladivostok, expect China to annexe their region at some point.

      • Anton

        Not true. Islam is the biggest threat to European civilisation today. This threat is not wholly external.

        • big

          Aton the biggest threat to European civilisation is the liberal elite with the global agenda they follow……we’re not true citizens in this scheme, just a disparate bunch of market opportunities for corporate control

          • Anton

            Without necessarily disagreeing, at this point we have to define “European civilisation”.

          • big

            I don’t use the expression myself i suppose it appeals to europhiles?

          • Anton

            It appeals to me too; what was behind my comment is that the liberal elite with a global agenda is an outgrowth of European civilisation, unlike (for example) Islam.

          • big

            no, the liberal elite are the problem, they have helped impose multi cultural values on us not Muslims.I watched Cameron on TV the other day saying how we need to support Saudi.So we have a PM who not only supports our continued membership of the EU,gay marriage and general multi culti nonsense he also supports a country with policies that outlaws most things he supports here,i meen Saudi crucified some one this year!. So if this is what European civilisation has created,or become then you can keep it.

          • Anton

            I regard the liberal elite as traitors to European civilisation, but traitors are people from within the tradition; that’s really all I’m saying.

          • big

            As a civilisation project it has failed then?

          • Anton

            There is nothing inevitable about failure, but to my great sadness it does appear to be dying.

          • big

            Yes they are traitors.

        • Islam is an internal threat to Europe, one entirely of its own making. No one forced Europe to back the PLO, establish its Eurabia policy, welcome millions of Muslims or impose laws on itself which would hobble it from preventing mass migrations. But don’t feel sheepish about it; Canada is currently trying to fix its own alarming Muslim deficit by airlifting tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees (almost all Muslim) and bringing them here.

          • Uncle Brian

            And they still allow you to openly express your disagreement with that policy? Looks like the Canadian Human Rights Commission ain’t what is used to be.

          • David

            True. But the tendency to cultural doubt, self-debasement and flirting with cultural suicide, is common across the west, courtesy of liberal fantasies centred around relativism.
            But I’d better not climb onto another of my favourite war horses.

      • David

        Hilarious !
        Reds under the Bed !
        Or perhaps Ruskies are the new “monster at the bottom of the garden” that nice Mr Cameron tells the children about ? Pull the other one !
        My fear ? It is not of Russia, although they are not my best friends either. We should be working to turn them into useful allies against our real enemies – you know the ones that attack us. We should be developing trade with Russia, although as I say, they’ll never be best mates.

        • You watch too much of RT. Who are your “real enemies”?

          • David

            RT ? What’s that ? I hardly watch an hour of mainstream TV – the ultimate propaganda machine – per month.
            The real enemy spiritually is firstly secularism, followed by Islam. The physical enemy is Islam.
            Smell the coffee !

          • Then you should be working for RT, with a good contract, because you miraculously rattled off all the main points in current official Russian propaganda.

          • David

            Truly miraculous – as I didn’t even recognise their name.

          • CliveM

            Personally I’m curious as to why some think it acceptable and reasonable that the UK leaves the EU and be allowed to decide its own friends and alliances (which I do), but that members of the former Soviet Union (who lest we forget killed millions of its own citizens) are being provocative in wishing to leave the Russian sphere of influence and decide their own friends and alliances and that we in the west who support the right to do so are war mongers!!

          • big

            Because they are joining the EU Clive, which is not free or democratic,after they join the EU inveriably they also join NATO.The Americans would not tolerate a EU army or allow it to have military bases on the border of the USA,so why should the Russians?

          • CliveM

            But they are joining the EU by their choice.

          • big

            Cliive we joined by choice ,however there is a consensus amongst euro sceptics that the British people were lied to, I think it likely that the elites of former eastern European countries also lied,dont you agree?

          • CliveM

            Couldn’t say. However unlike the UK in the 1970’s, they will have a good ideas of the direction of travel. I’m sure they know what happened in Greece.

          • big

            To late,they are already signed up, and most of them are also in NATO,they have even less sovereignty than us.

          • bluedog

            Avi, in both wars in the twentieth century Britain was allied with Russia, it’s the way the geo-politics of western Eurasia seem to work out. It may happen again, although at present it’s the last thing anyone would consider.

      • big

        avi i think your a clever chap,and i genuinely meen that, but Russia a threat?….come the EU is the biggest threat to itself,including us.Its driven along by corporate expansionary greed with a bunch of politicos and revolving door lobbyists. NATO and the EU have advanced up to the Russian border its a crazy and dangerous policy,and if it goes belly up we’re all dead.

        • NATO and EU have “advanced” on Russian borders? How? By accepting membership of nations which want to be finally independent of Russia? And you say Russia is not a threat, but unless we allow them to re-colonize and dominate its former republics and satelites, “we’re all dead”?

          • big

            but they’re not independent nations are they? Above is a comment by Anton referring to Bukovsky and the EUSSR if this is true, and the EU is such an undemocratic ‘federal superstate’ backed by American power, how is the relationship different to what existed before? These are vassal states who do as they are told.

  • chiefofsinners

    There came into my possession today a handy leaflet entitled ‘Why Christians should vote to leave the European Union’
    http://protestanttruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Five-Reasons.pdf

    • Uncle Brian

      The chairman of the Protesant Truth Society, which has published your handy leaflet, is not altogether unknown to His Grace’s communicants.

    • Anton

      Not just Christians!

    • David

      The leaflet is a neat, succinct little summary of my position.

  • chiefofsinners

    On the ninth day of the fifth month, the word of the Lord came unto David son of Ian of the tribe of Cameron. Saying take up a lament concerning Britain and Brexit. Go tell this people that the sun shall be darkened and the moon turned to blood. Yea will I smite them with boils and what the bankers have left, the locusts shall devour. Verily there shall be wars and rumours of wars, and thou shalt drink thine own urine and eat thine dirt withal in the day that thou remainest not. Then did the elders of the tribes of Europe make an covenant with David, saying ‘thee shall we serve in the day that thou leavest Downing Street and give thee an cushy seat in our chariot of gravy.’

    • michaelkx

      oh how true.

    • David

      Sums up the traitors motivation nicely I’d say.

  • “What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.”
    (Adolf Hitler)

  • CliveM

    It’s a strange logic where you look at events in the Balkans and conclude that the answer is an undemocratic, federal entity, which ignores the wishes of those it rules and is dominated by one over powerful member.

  • Paul W

    Uncle Dave’s Cavin’ (Cabin) seems perhaps apt?

    The analogy stops there – anyone who has read Beecher Stowe’s UncleTom’s Cabin knows that the protaganist stood up to his cruel master and refused to reveal the whereabouts of female escapees.

    Uncle Dave has no similar nobility – he caves in – moral cowardice.

  • bockerglory

    Err…the Bosnian wars happened when Britain was in the EU. The EU did not stop that war. Many were slaughtered in Bosnian/Serbian war and EU was very late responding and it was the UN that became the main peace keepers. Germany was absolutely a disgrace during this episode.

    I do get annoyed when politicians cannot recognise a logical fallacy. Cameron was supposed to be a scholar and has lots of Grade As – just shows you how dumbed down PPE at Oxford Uni has become.

    • Anton

      It never was a proper course, but the real problem is that it attracts careerists.

      • magnolia

        So what are proper courses at Oxford? I have heard some classicists say any other course than Greats is dumbed down! But that was in the past and I think that supply and demand has changed since then, for not so many schools teach Greek or Latin!

        I know His Grace thinks PPE is not so great, as many drop Philosophy which is arguably the hardest part, and spreading over a wide subject range means you may study at less depth. I don’t know to what extent it is self-selected in terms of what subjects you cover. Didn’t read it myself so no particular horse in the race!

        • Anton

          It’s a mongrel course that attracts careerists. (I have the utmost contempt for academic economics anyway.) I’d be interested in who concocted it and why.

          • magnolia

            Well it was certainly academic economics that came up with QE. However even the guy who suggested it was astounded at how politicians took hold of it and took it far beyond what he regarded as possible …for reasons of short term political problem-solving.

    • johnb1945

      Logical fallacy?

      Look, 100 years ago the EU failed to prevent a massive war conducted over 2 rounds between member states that eventually went global and killed ~60 million people and featured the worst genocide in history.

      So I agree. The EU does not encourage peace, because it failed to prevent war between member states back then.

      Even though it didn’t exist.

  • Eustace

    I don’t really understand all this hatred of the EU. It’s an expensive club to belong to, but I think it does more good than evil.

    In today’s world it’s hard to be on your own. Brexit campaigners like to point to Norway as an example of a country that does just fine outside the EU. But Norway has the biggest sovereign fund in the world after many years of astute management of their oil reserves, whereas we’ve got little or nothing to show for ours.

    Another example often cited by the Leave campaign is Switzerland. But what do we have in common with a tax haven that has a secure and very high margin precision industry base? All we really have is the City, and if we vote to leave the EU then major financial institutions say they’ll leave London. So what will happen to financial sector jobs then?

    I think it’s too big a risk to take. I can’t see how this golden future promised by Brexit campaigners is going to materialise. Who will we trade with? Europe of course, but on significantly worse terms than now, which could take years to negotiate. While we’re waiting, how will exporters survive? Obama has already told us we can’t rely on the US to pick up the slack. Even if we devalue Sterling, if there are no trade agreements in place then British goods and services will be subject to EU and US tariffs. I wouldn’t want to be working for an exporter if that happens.

    I’m also very unconvinced by arguments about sovereignty. Membership of the EU inevitably means we have to give up certain sovereign powers, but then so do all the other members too. This strange idea that we’ll be ruled from Berlin takes no account of the fact that Germany has to give up the same sovereign powers as us. And although they have a lot of influence within the EU, which is inevitable given the size of their population and their economic might, they don’t get everything their own way.

    I’d rather be on the same team as Germany, and therefore able to influence how the team plays and share in its victory, rather than be on the opposing team and be defeated 9 times out of 10. And if that means a dilution of sovereignty, I think it’s worth it. What’s the alternative? A proud and independent Britain standing alone as an economic backwater? That’s what it looks like to me.

    So I’ll be voting to remain. I don’t know what the outcome of the referendum will be, but I certainly hope that my point of view carries the day. If not I think we’re all in for a very bleak future.

    • IanCad

      “— A proud and independent Britain standing alone as an economic backwater? –“

      Given the choice between the current state of affairs and your dire quote above I would still plump for the latter.

      • Eustace

        I don’t understand why. Our economy is doing fairly well at the moment. The City rivals Wall Street in scope and power. Unemployment is falling. Things are looking up, as far as I can see.

        What is so frightening about staying in the EU that causes you to want to place all this in jeopardy?

        • IanCad

          Liberty, self-determination, dignity.

          • Eustace

            My question was “what frightens you about staying in the EU?” I assume you misunderstood it.

            While I believe that our liberty, self-determination and dignity will all be respected and even guaranteed by remaining in the EU, if I understand you correctly then you do not share that opinion.

            In what way will we be less free if we remain in the EU?

            How will self-determination be taken from us? We’re free to determine for ourselves whether we remain or leave. We’ll be free to elect our government, which will in turn nominate a commissioner to represent us in the European Commission. Our elected prime minister will continue to represent us in the European Council. Our elected ministers will continue to represent us in the Council of the EU. We’ll also continue to elect members to the European Parliament. So far, so democratic. At least that’s how it seems to me.

            And last but not least, in what way does the EU make us less dignified? If you mean it puts our ministers in situations where their embarrassing attempts to speak German and French make us cringe with shame then I’d have to agree with you. But apart from that, I can’t think of any reason why we’re less dignified within the EU than we would be without.

          • IanCad

            I don’t see where I wrote anything that would indicate “Fright.”
            Disgust – maybe.
            Of course our self-determination is compromised. Just as it in any club where the single member is subordinate to the whole.
            When a sovereign nation – of its own volition – assigns to a foreign cabal, any say in the running of their land; That is undignified. In my book it is treasonous.

    • Graham Wood

      “I really don’t understand……….” Perhaps you could make a good start by raising the level of your understanding in the reading of history, and particularly British history – say from the period of the Civil war onwards. Also your understanding would be enlightened by learning the views of many Brexit contemporary advocates who are competent or expert in their different fields.
      Their collective view broadly is that there is no compelling argument to remain in a 1950s corporatist, failed, and undemocratic parasitic organisation which if it served any purpose went out of date many years ago.
      Do try and raise the level of your understanding accordingly.

      • Eustace

        I think I do understand the lessons taught to us by our history, one of which is that isolationism has never been a long term winning strategy. Britain has never been so powerful as when we are fully engaged in Europe.

        But that aside, the condescending tone of your reply makes me think that worse is on the way. So I will try to “raise the level of my understanding” to understand that there’s no point in conversing with pomposity and disdain. Neither of these qualities have ever been known to change my mind. Quite the reverse. Good arguments just don’t need them.

    • Pubcrawler

      “Who will we trade with?”

      Who do we trade with now? (Clue: not just the EU)

      Your comment has the form and structure of a model GCSE answer, so you have learnt the basic techniques of presenting a case well. But it lacks the depth of knowledge and understanding to take it up to A level.

      • Eustace

        If all you can offer are casual insults, there’s little point in even trying to have a conversation.

        Thank you for taking time out of your day to respond, but if this is how you plan to continue, you needn’t trouble yourself again.

        • Pubcrawler

          Actually, Linus, I was being generous and constructive. No longer.

          • Ivan M

            You think so? Extraordinary man that Linus.

      • CliveM

        You got an interesting response!

        • Pubcrawler

          Yes. I think we have our first candidate.

    • Dreadnaught

      Ask yourself why the EU exists and you will find it is rooted in a post WW2 concept to keep the peace between France and Germany. The working model template was the USSR and not the USA.
      Like the former, it is authority is dictatorial and undemocratic with a policy of territorial expansion. Its long term objective is homogenisation of desparate nation states with unique languages,cultures and widely differing economies.
      It is already too big and run by self serving

      • Eustace

        I don’t sense a “powder keg of resentment” at all.

        It’s true that certain individuals seem to loathe the EU – for reasons that remain largely opaque to me. But most people’s opinion of it is much less extreme.

        I certainly don’t recognise your description of the EU as an evil empire plotting to turn us into identical Euro-robots. In fact I find it quite comical. The EU may be unwieldy and inefficient at times. It may cost more money than it needs to. Its structure may even need reforming to make it more democratically accountable. But none of this makes it evil.

        For me the advantages of EU membership outweigh these disadvantages, which I think you exaggerate to a degree that makes it very difficult to take your arguments seriously. I have to wonder why. It looks like the Brexit campaign’s very own version of “Project Fear” to me.

        Give me sensible reasons why you think Britain would be better off leaving the EU and I’ll gladly listen. I really don’t understand the Brexit position, which only makes sense to me when viewed as the expression of an emotional rather than a rational ideal.

        Emotional arguments don’t sway me. At least not enough to trump common sense. I’m as sensible of the national mythos as anyone can reasonably be. I’m a proud Briton and Englishman. God Save The Queen, There’ll Always Be An England, and all that. But the days of a proud and plucky Britain standing alone against all odds are long gone, it seems to me. Insofar as there was ever any sense to such an ideal, a big bogeyman of an enemy was needed to give meaning to our “noble cause”. The Spanish Armada, the RC Church, Boney, Hitler and Stalin were convincing in the role of evil monster. The EU is not.

        You’ve got your casting all wrong. You’re asking us to accept that Angela Merkel is really the evil Empress Palpatine. She just doesn’t fit the role. For one thing, an evil empress wouldn’t be caught dead in those frumpy trouser suits. And for another, she’s been forced into so many U-turns and compromises that she’s just not convincing as an autocratic despot.

        Why not stop with the rhodomontade and tell me why a future of uncertainty outside the EU is better than free and unfettered access to a continent-wide market? If your arguments make economic sense, how can I refute them?

        • Dreadnaught

          Deleted

        • bluedog

          You may not have read the report on the recent MORI poll which revealed that a large number of EU nations, including the French and Dutch, want their own referendums on continued EU membership. David Cameron has really started something with this idea of his, it’s time has come!

          • Eustace

            Some individuals in other countries want referenda on continued EU membership. The UK is not the only country with a dyed-in-the-wool nationalist protest movement.

            I’d very very surprised if either country holds a referendum on the subject. When Britain votes to remain, the lid will be firmly squashed back down on their single-issue grievance based politics.

          • bluedog

            If Britain votes to remain the anti-EU resistance will not abate, neither in Britain or other nations, Germany in particular.

    • David

      “I think it’s a big risk to take”
      The bigger risk by far is staying in the failing EU.
      By voting IN you are not getting stability – no, far from it. The EU is not a state of being, but a never ending process leading towards the total ending of any meaningful democratic control (other than at a Local Council level) in our own country with all control directed downwards, from on high.
      Added to that you’ll see the end of our far superior system of Common Law, the presumption of innocence and trial by jury.
      Our army will not be able to defend us as it will have to swear loyalty to the EU.
      Our ability to trade effectively will continue to diminish as the cumbersome, squabbling, bureaucrat led EU continues to fail to negotiate trade deals with the big economies like India, the US and China.
      Our porous borders will continue to be open stretching as far as Islamist rich ares like Turkey and Syria which will eventually overwhelm our excellent security services.
      Eventually even the Monarchy, the symbol of our nation, will inevitably disappear as we are all forced to bow to the EU’s corrupt, self-serving.
      leadership.
      O ye of little faith in your own nation’s peoples and skills !
      Oh no ! Safety is not to be found in remaining trapped within this failing, slowly growing, ever more centralised tyranny.
      Do open your eyes.

      • Eustace

        The situation as you paint it is unrecognisable to me.

        The EU isn’t failing. Despite all the crises it’s endured over the past few years, it stands firm. As does the Euro. Sceptics have been predicting its downfall since the first days of the financial crisis and yet here we are 8 years later and it’s largely held its value against other major currencies and shows no signs of disappearing any time soon.

        Our democracy is as strong as ever. Parliament is still sovereign. The Queen is safely on her throne with the succession more than assured and nothing in any European treaty calls for the abolition of the monarchy. The army is still under the control of our government and any moves towards a united European defence policy will require no more sovereignty to be ceded than was the case during the War when large parts of our armed forces were under US command.

        We already control our borders and if we leave the EU, other countries will have no incentive to help protect them. Indeed the French will probably use Brexit as an excuse to facilitate the departure of migrants from their soil, which means they’ll all end up here.

        So I really don’t see any merit in your arguments. I do however believe in British ingenuity and know-how and think we can use them to maximum advantage inside the EU. On a level playing field we can take on anyone and frequently win. But with one hand tied behind our back, we needlessly sacrifice our very real advantages.

        Why place roadblocks in the way of British companies who want to – and can – sell abroad?

        • David

          You are jesting aren’t you ?
          What planet do you live on ?
          The reality is almost the exact opposite of your ridiculous assertions. Perhaps you are a firm believer in the Goebells “big lie” technique.

          • Eustace

            I live on planet Earth. I don’t know where else I could live. Do you know of anywhere else habitable by humans? I certainly don’t.

            And no, I’m not joking. I’m perfectly serious. And I’m not a brainwashed Nazi sympathizer either. I’ve examined the issues calmly and decided that our future will be best assured by remaining the EU. I’m ready to be persuaded otherwise, but so far I haven’t seen any arguments that go even part of the way towards convincing me to change my mind.

            So far every Brexit supporter I’ve met has relied on bluster and emotional nationalism to argue his case. Whenever I ask hard questions like “what’s your plan for ensuring that exports don’t suffer if we leave the EU?”, all I get in response is flag-waving and appeals to patriotic sentiment. You can almost hear “Land of Hope and Glory” playing in the background. It’s like the Albert Hall on the last night of the Proms.

            I’m sure a part of the electorate will be swayed by such tactics. But I’m also sure a greater part won’t be. If there are no arguments beyond patriotism and a quite frankly ludicrous caricature of the EU as an evil bogeyman, I don’t think the Leave campaign will do much better than Ukip did at the last general election. I hope not, anyway. Like I said, we won’t perish in nuclear flames if Brexit happens and it’s silly of Cameron to suggest that we will, but we’ll be shooting ourselves in the foot for no good reason except to mollify a bunch of nationalists and flag-wavers. And I’d rather not see thousands of jobs disappear just to keep them happy.

          • bluedog

            165 countries in the world are not members of the EU and they trade freely with the EU under WTO guidelines. To say that trade and commerce will decline after Brexit is simply misconceived. The EU currently proposes additional controls on financial services within the EU that will reduce the freedoms of the City of London and possibly cause business to flow to EU centres. In fact, the biggest risk to the City is the EU. You have it backwards.

            Can I suggest you visit the excellent site JohnRedwoodsDiary where detailed and well-researched comment on the EU is made almost daily.

          • Eustace

            165 countries in the world have already negotiated trade agreements with their trading partners. We have not. If we leave the EU, we’ll have to do this and it will take years, not days or weeks.

            What will exporters do during this time? How will they compete when tariffs are imposed on their goods and services?

            Obama has already confirmed that a US-UK trade agreement could take years to set in place and as another Democrat looks set to take his place in November, there’s no reason to believe this timetable will change. Even if Trump wins, by the time he takes power and decides to give us what we want (and considering the insults that have been slung his way from the UK, he may decide he wants nothing to do with us – he’s that mercurial) when can we expect an agreement to be signed?

            Even with the best will in the world we’re looking at months. At least a year after Brexit. Maybe longer. And that’s with Trump in the White House. If it’s Clinton, add many months.

            How many exporters will survive a year or more’s effective exclusion from one of their key markets?

            Now multiply that by every other country in the world. Trade agreements will have to be negotiated with them ALL.

            Voting for Brexit is quite simply irresponsible. How many will lose their jobs as a direct result?

          • bluedog

            ‘Voting for Brexit is quite simply irresponsible. How many will lose their jobs as a direct result?’

            None. Freed from the shackles of the EU the British economy will boom.

            ‘165 countries in the world have already negotiated trade agreements with their trading partners. We have not. If we leave the EU, we’ll have to do this and it will take years, not days or weeks.’

            Look, I must not have been sufficiently clear. You don’t need permission to trade with anyone, the EU is not the world government, yet. Non-EU countries freely trade on a bilateral basis without a permit from Brussels. There are also Free Trade Agreements, both bi-lateral and multi-lateral, which enable special privileges to favoured trade partners on a negotiated basis. A free trade agreement is not necessary for nations to trade with each other.

            Let’s look further at the EU, and wiki is your friend. The EU has negotiated free trade agreements with no fewer than 22 different nations, and what an impressive group they are. Andorra, San Marino, the Palestinian Authority and EU dependent nations head the list. Then there are others such as Albania, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzogovina and Montenegro! Can it get any better? So far the EU has successfully avoided a Free Trade Agreement with the US, China, India, Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia and NZ, obviously none of whom are worthy of serious attention.

            So as you can see, when the UK leaves the EU, the field is wide open and Obama was simply posturing on orders of Cameron by saying we should go to the back of the queue. In this communicants view, the UK could negotiate an FTA with the US long before the chaotic and sclerotic EU squad has even passed through US customs and immigration

          • Eustace

            WTO agreements include fixed tariffs that vary from sector to sector, but which in many cases can hike the prices of goods and services significantly.

            If we trade under standard WTO rules with our (hopefully not) former EU partners rather than as a member of the tariff-free EU, we are at a significant disadvantage. Negotiating a more favourable deal will take years.

            The tariff burden will rise significantly for trade with the US also if we no longer benefit from the bilateral US-EU agreements.

            I don’t understand the mentality that would want to impose such a burden on exporting companies. Do you want to want to see unemployment rise? Do you want to make us uncompetitive in our major markets?

          • bluedog

            The UK runs a significant current account deficit with the EU. The EU will not want to loose the British market, Germany in particular. The Germans have already said they will not be applying tariffs on goods and services from the UK, and the Germans run the EU. Don’t they?

          • Eustace

            That’s a common misconception. We all run the EU. It’s only the British tabloids and a few populist politicians who peddle the fallacy that Germany controls everything.

            Let’s see what happens if we vote to leave. The Germans certainly aren’t stupid and if tariffs become a useful weapon, they will apply them. France most certainly will. As will the US.

            Our businesses will trade at a disadvantage. And all because a few petulant nationalists don’t want to play with the other kids on the European block any more.

            I just don’t get it. Talk about cutting off our nose to spite our face.

          • bluedog

            Well it was Merkel’s brain explosion to invite the Middle East to re-settle in Germany. Perhaps she had lost her Baedeker, and had forgotten that to get to Germany from Syria you have to go through a raft of other EU countries who didn’t share her views, and who bitterly resent the imposition of German guests. In doing this, Germany acted unilaterally and created obligations for other nations to discharge. Management by default. Ask the Greeks what they think of the Germans. Pretty much the same as what the Italians think, as it happens. Both countries have had to suffer EU imposed governments, largely at German behest.

            Suggesting that the US and France will impose tariffs on the UK is just unsubstantiated scaremongering. What reason has the US for doing so? Absolutely none. Ditto the French.

          • Eustace

            You clearly don’t understand how tariffs work.

            The WTO sets the basic ground rules and these apply to every trading relationship between member states of the WTO (including Britain, every other European country and the US, of course) unless a bilateral agreement supersedes them.

            We have NO bilateral agreements with any other countries. All our trade agreements have been made under the auspices of the EU. If we leave the EU, we revert to basic WTO rules, which include tariffs, until we can negotiate new bilateral agreements, which may take years.

            I don’t know how to make it any plainer. If we come out the EU, it will not impose tariffs on us by choice. It will do so by obligation until a new trade agreement is negotiated. We will move from a situation where we pay NO tariffs on our trade with the rest of the EU to paying significant tariffs in many areas. Our industry will be disadvantaged whether Germany or France “want” tariffs or not.

            One of the disadvantages of the EU that I’ve always been perfectly willing to admit to is that getting 28 member states to agree on something takes an awful lot of time. There’s very little sense of urgency once the negotiations begin. So we could be stuck with these trading disadvantages at best for a year or so, at worst for several years.

            The same applies to our trade with the US. We will revert to the basic WTO model, which is significantly less advantageous for us than the current agreement the US has in place with the EU. Obama has already said we won’t be his first priority in terms of trade negotiations. He’s in office until November. If Clinton wins, she’s like to take a similar stance. If Trump wins, sealing a trade deal with us won’t be his first priority. We’ll have at least a year, probably a lot longer, during which our exporters will be hobbled by increased tariffs.

            That’s what you will be voting for if you support Brexit. You’re perfectly at liberty to do so, of course. But I hope you’ll weigh up the consequences for people’s jobs rather than just blithely choosing to put in a spanner in the works of our entire export industry. What’s more important? Your nationalistic principles or other people’s livelihoods?

          • bluedog

            Other peoples livelihoods will be immeasurably better once sovereignty ceded to the EU is returned to the Westminster parliament. Once again when the electorate votes they will know that the government they elect is accountable only to them. Currently the government is accountable to the EU Commission. Most British legislation emanates from Brussels. If the British government objects to EU befehlen it gets taken to the ECJ where it hasn’t won yet. The forthcoming edicts on electric kettles and toasters are emblematic of EU oppression, an assault on British values.

            ‘The WTO sets the basic ground rules and these apply to every trading relationship between member states of the WTO (including Britain, every other European country and the US, of course) unless a bilateral agreement supersedes them.’

            Did you read my earlier post on the topic?

          • Eustace

            Your earlier post on the topic was ill-informed and inaccurate. It failed to take account of the WTO tariffs that must be levied in the absence of a bilateral trade agreement. That’s what our exporters are going to be faced with if we vote to leave the EU.

            Do you realise the effect that will have on already paper-thin margins?

            A vote for Brexit is a vote for unemployment and economic woes.

          • bluedog

            ‘ It failed to take account of the WTO tariffs that must be levied in the absence of a bilateral trade agreement.’

            In terms of dealings with non-EU states, common sense would suggest that the UK and counter-party would simply continue the preceding EU trade regime post-Brexit. Where there is no EU legacy regime, which seems to be the case in many instances, other rules might apply. For example, with other Commonwealth nations the ties are old and deep and the negotiations would scarcely be complicated. The same with the US. One would imagine that a provisional bilateral agreement would be easy enough to achieve.

          • Eustace

            I see the problem is that not only do you have no idea of the impact Brexit will have on our economy, or how international trade relations work, but you’re also ignorant of the political processes of the organization you say you know so much about, which is why you want us to leave it.

            If Britain leaves the EU, it opts out of the tariff-free EU trade agreement. Member states could vote to allow Britain to continue within the agreement, but this will be a complicated process that not every EU member will back. Why should they? Why give unfettered access to your internal market to a country that no longer wants to be your partner?

            The negotiating process will be long and painful and the result uncertain. Meanwhile Britain’s access to Continental markets will be hampered by WTO tariffs. For how long, we don’t know.

            By all means, let’s talk about common sense. A real expression of it would be to vote to preserve British jobs and British prosperity by choosing to remain in the EU.

            I see the odds are currently running at 3 to 1 in favour of remaining. Of course betting odds are no sure-fire prediction of referendum or election results. But they do give us a snapshot of current public opinion.

            Not long to go now. If those odds are accurate, you have a lot of work to do to convince a majority to vote for Brexit. Better get cracking where it counts rather than preaching to the converted (except me) on this blog, don’t you think?

          • CliveM

            Bluedog

            What we all need to remember is that the day after an exit vote takes place, whether in or out, the world goes on as before. We will remain members of the EU until the terms of the divorce are agreed. Which means our trade with the EU (and USA) will continue under the current arrangements.

            However the markets will be spooked. The way to calm them will be to come to a transparent agreement on the terms of the divorce asap.

            See where this is going?

            Europe will be poorly placed to sustain long term uncertainty, which puts the UK in a very strong negotiating position. They will need an agreement more the us. There is no reason to believe that the terms will not be agreeable to both parties.

            Whatever Eustace says about WTO rules will not apply. We will have an agreement in place long before we cease to be formal members.

            Besides who would want to prolong the membership of recalcitrant country, who will feel no stake in the long term good of the organisation?

          • bluedog

            ‘However the markets will be spooked.’

            Don’t agree. The markets have been factoring Brexit for some time and in the event of a successful outcome, one might expect a relief rally. The British economy is intrinsically sound, and this communicant anticipates that post-Brexit, the pound Sterling will assume a role as currency of choice for investors seeking exposure to the European economies without systemic sovereign risk so apparent in the Euro.

            Of course, it will take a while to sort out the trade position, but one imagines this is already being considered on a precautionary basis. Provisional agreements could be devised very quickly, and it would be grossly irresponsible if British diplomats and the Treasury were not actively employed on this task now. One understands that the FCO is trenchantly opposed to Brexit, with the possibility that lifetimes devoted to gaining easier access to Tuscany and the Dordogne may be as nothing.

          • CliveM

            Bluedog

            My view is if there is a leave vote, the more turmoil the better as I believe it strengthens the UK negotiating position and makes our partners more likely (imo) to be reasonable and fair in their negotiations.

            Last thing the EU or the Euro would need is turmoil and uncertainty. With the U.K. having its own currency, we would be better placed to ride out the storm.

          • bluedog

            Possibly. Try to find the report on the German economy by the US think-tank Stratfor. It’s free through John Mauldin’s blog (US). Compelling reading, completely destroys the case for Remain.

        • bluedog

          ‘Parliament is still sovereign.’ No it isn’t. The ultimate holding company of the United Kingdom is the European Court of Justice. This is what Michael Gove has been saying for months and it’s true.

          • Eustace

            Michael Gove is only telling a half truth.

            We agree to be bound by European law as part of our EU membership. But Parliament can change that at any time by passing secession legislation. Parliament is therefore still sovereign in that the ultimate decision about whether we obey European law rests not with the European Court of Justice, but with Parliament.

          • bluedog

            Yes, but until Parliament pulls the ripcord the ECJ dominates.

          • Eustace

            So you admit you were misleading us when you claimed that our sovereignty belongs to the ECJ.

            This is kind of misinformation that runs through the Leave campaign. Half-truths twisted and misrepresented in order to provoke an emotional knee-jerk reaction from a frightened and confused electorate.

            The more I delve into the minds of those who support Brexit, the less I like what I find.

          • bluedog

            No, I make no such admission. My statement is entirely accurate. The UK Parliament can repeal its own European Communities Act 1972 at any time, but the EU requires two years to negotiate an exit under article 50. It remains to be seen how that works out in practice. As things stand, prior to Brexit, the ECJ can and does over-rule the UK parliament.
            One tends to find Brexiteers try to tell the truth. The EU has different values as the esteemed Jean-Claude Juncker attested when he observed, ‘When things get serious, you have to lie’. And the whole EU is based on a lie – that there is no alternative to ever-closer union, failing which the Euro will implode. If only.

          • Eustace

            You can criticise many politicians on both sides of the European debate for telling lies.

            For example, the leader of the Leave campaign, the one and only Boris Johnson, last week maintained in front of a Treasury select committee that the EU had banned us from recycling teabags, had banned children under the age of eight from blowing up balloons, had regulated the sizes of coffins and had introduced other regulations costing us £600 million a day.

            All lies.

            He then went on to say that we should have the same trading relationship with the EU as Canada does. When reminded that Canadian agricultural produce is subject to hefty EU tariffs, as are most Canadian providers of services (as opposed to manufactured goods), he backtracked and said we shouldn’t imitate Canada’s deal at all.

            All in the space of about 5 minutes.

            This is the man leading your campaign.

            Good luck. You’re going to need it.

          • bluedog

            ‘Good luck. You’re going to need it.’

            Thank you. Once clear of the EU and the costs of the CAP and with the fishing grounds restored, there is every chance that the cost of living can be reduced. Protein in the form of fish may become cheaper, and perhaps Canadian wheat and beef grown on farms with economies of scale is better and cheaper than produce grown in France on small-holdings.

          • Eustace

            You have to win the referendum first.

            What were those odds again? 3 to 1 in favour of remaining.

            I know which side I’ll be backing to win.

            And thank you, but I’ll take organic European produce from small holdings over Canadian GMOs any day.

          • bluedog

            ‘What were those odds again? 3 to 1 in favour of remaining.’

            Rigging the odds at one’s turf accountant would be a small hedging investment for the ECB.

          • Eustace

            This is another aspect of the Leave campaign I find very difficult to understand. The persistent refusal to take account of reality. Bookmakers’ odds are one of the most accurate gauges of public sentiment. They don’t necessarily predict the outcome of an election, but they do tell you what the public is thinking at any given point in time. And right now, public opinion is heavily on the side of the Remain campaign.

            Deny this by all means. Make up whatever story you need to in order to keep hope alive that your camp will carry the day. But in order to turn this around now, the Leave campaign is going to have to change its game plan and score some very, very big goals. Continuing with the losing strategy of bitching and moaning about Europe and spitting venom at anyone who doesn’t share your point of view has signally failed to win the public over to your side so far. It’s hardly likely to fuel a massive swing in public opinion in these final weeks of the campaign, is it?

            I hope that behind all the public bluster you’re reconciling yourself to the very high probability of defeat. If not, when the blow falls in June, it will be a heavy one.

          • bluedog

            ‘I hope that behind all the public bluster you’re reconciling yourself to the very high probability of defeat. If not, when the blow falls in June, it will be a heavy one.’

            Of course there is always the unthinkable. But the EU is the gift that keeps on giving. Almost weekly there is some ham-fisted outrage or financial calamity. If Brexit is defeated in June, patience is the watchword. Greece, Italy, France or Spain will reliably produce crisis headlines on the economic front. Meanwhile the rape of the German and Swedish women will keep the pot-boiling in those nations. Throw in 75 million Turks on visa free entry and you will have civil revolt by Eid (Christian festivals are becoming redundant).

        • bluedog

          ‘The EU isn’t failing.’ So youth unemployment between 40 and 50% in the EU Club Med countries is a success? Even German GDP growth is struggling at a quarterly rate of 0.3%, and occasionally records negative figures.

          • Eustace

            Transitory economic figures do not indicate political collapse.

            If they did, the UK wouldn’t have survived the first major depression to hit its newly combined economy in the early 18th century. It survived the South Sea Bubble, and has survived every other depression since.

            If blinkered nationalism doesn’t break the EU apart, it too will survive its first major depression. What keeps it together are not employment or growth figures. It’s political will.

          • bluedog

            ‘What keeps it together are not employment or growth figures. It’s political will.’

            Ah, the old ‘Triumph of the Will’ trick. Get’s them every time, eh?

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Who are we giving up sovereignty to? A group of unelected, unaccountable, and for all we know unscrupulous stuffed suits. Now I call that big risk. I wouldn’t take too much notice of Obama either. he wants the UK in on this controversial TTIP arrangement which will favour the US far more than Europe.

      Have you noticed that some of the big organisations urging us to stay (IMF, OECD, CBI) also urged us to join the disastrous Exchange Rate Mechanism, told us we would have economic collapse if we didn’t join the Euro, and also completely failed to predict the 2008 Credit Crunch? I wouldn’t put too much faith in their predictions about Brexit.

      Also, why just compare ourselves to Switzerland or Norway? Why not compare ourselves to the majority of sovereign nations around the world, or even to the UK before it joined the Common Market? We are still the 4th largest economy in the world and no trading partner, including an EU member, is going to sniff at a chance to trade with us. Trade has a habit of transcending politics and ideology.

      Vote to remain if you wish, but I suspect that like others in the remain camp, you’ve been taken in by Cameron’s propaganda.

      • Eustace

        I’m actually rather disappointed in Cameron. He’s sunk to the level of the Leave campaign by trying to scare us with catastrophe scenarios should we leave.

        If we do leave, of course the world won’t come to an end. We’ll eventually work out agreements with other countries. We’ll continue to trade. But that trade will suffer. In the short term, quite drastically I believe. Even longer term we’re unlikely to negotiate terms as beneficial as those enjoyed by the EU.

        In the meantime, how will exporters survive the imposition of tariffs on their products and services when before there were none? Turnover and profit will nosedive. Unemployment will rise. Many companies will either fold or relocate, so by the time these trade deals are worked out – which could be several years hence – who will have survived to take advantage of them?

        If you want to talk about ill-feeling, imagine how a company director or an employee will feel about those who voted their jobs out of existence, all for the sake of a vanity project set to music in the form of The Dambusters’ theme. That’s what should really be scaring you. Not some ludicrous notion of an evil dictatorship that would make the Star Wars empire seem warm and fuzzy by comparison.

      • johnb1945

        We don’t give up that much sovereignty. We opt out of most things we dislike.

      • johnb1945

        BTW – it’s a club of democracies that meet and decide how to act together in their mutual interests. We can veto stuff, we have a say on how it is run.

        We could leave and just do what we want when we want, but we’ll find other countries (not only supranational bodies such as the EU) might not like it, in which case our choice will be to compromise or decide if we can afford to lose the prize offered for conforming.

        Countries which do whatever they want whenever they want are places such as N. Korea, or Iran. Or, increasingly, Russia.

        And they pay for it.

  • Shadrach Fire

    A friend recently posted this on Facebook.
    Did you know that the EU is not just a free trade area, a ‘Common Market’ ? At its core it’s about FISCAL AND POLITICAL UNION. Very few people are aware of the extent of the plans Brussels has been implementing since 1990 and for which the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 and the Lisbon Treaty were essential. The plan, known as INTERREG, is to create a ‘Europe of The Regions’. A SUPER STATE to permanently overcome old borders and to achieve UNITED EUROPE! Under INTERREG the EU is planning to divide the UK into three regions, all being joined to other areas in other European countries! Also, all referendums on the subject taken in the past have been totally steamrollered as the EU rolls along making itself an ever increasing SUPER STATE! There are five stages to INTERREG – we are currently in the fifth and FINAL stage.

    Taken from Article in Power With God. David Hathaway Ministries

    • Anton

      Wish I could get hold of a copy of Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov’s short book “EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration”. I can’t even find it 2nd hand online.

      • big

        It all goes back to the Marshall Plan,the USA wanted the European states to become a federal union…..so its interesting to see Obama is still on message.

        • An understandable, if misguided, plan. You should undrtstand that the US was a tad tired and somewhat cranky from having to go in and haul your Euro arses out of the fire for the second time. There was probably a more diplomatic way to put this, but I’m only halfway through my first cup of coffee.

          • big

            You have another coffee love, but it got the Americans what they wanted, all those former great powers corralled together in one big euro happy, slappy family,oh and in NATO.

          • CliveM

            Good point. Personally if I’d been US president I probably have done the same.

          • big

            ….Yes thats a good point Clive but from that intervention grew the EU, so not very good for us?

          • CliveM

            It has certainly evolved. However from a US point of view (and in light of recent Balkan experience) it matters little. Europe has to many ethnic fault lines and they won’t want anyone threatening to allow old wounds to be reopened.

          • big

            Exactly ….thats why Brexit is such a can of worms. It could create a domino affect resulting in euro disintegration…..probably not good for anyone, and i don’t say that as some king of europhile.

          • IanCad

            In hindsight, maybe the Morgenthau Plan would have been the better option. Germany is rising again.

    • Dreadnaught

      This is the kind of informnation and questioning that hasbeen kept out of the news for fifty years. Brxit needs to focus on this rather than limit its arguments overtly on immigration.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      So the EU wants to divide up the UK. That’s a nasty little plan I hadn’t considered though I can fully believe it. My fear is that if we vote to remain then the EU is going to ride rough-shod over the UK and exploit our weakness. Our only hope would then be that someone else votes to leave (see the Mori poll in todays DT) and brings the whole abomination down once and for all.

      • big

        …..Hell the scots want to devide up the UK!….

      • Anton

        This isn’t new. We might even get Calais back.

        • Politically__Incorrect

          That’s fine as long as the French clean it up a bit first

        • Pubcrawler

          I’d rather have Bordeaux back.

  • Anton

    Cameron caught on camera telling the truth!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36260193

    • chiefofsinners

      He has the nerve to call Nigeria corrupt, even as he sells his own nation down the Rhine.

  • johnb1945

    Look, the EU does create a huge incentive for both liberal democracy and peaceable trade between members.

    It might betaking things a bit far to say war is inevitable in its absence, but it is undeniable that war – for 300 years a continuous feature of European backdrop – has absented itself from member states in the past 70 years.

    The EU’s problem is overreach, but this does not mean the basic idea is worthless or should destroyed. Brexit puts the entire concept at risk, and once we’re out there on our own we will have little influence over Europe’s future direction.

    • bluedog

      ‘as a trade zone which enriches its members.’ So how’s that going then? Aggregate EU unemployment 10.2%. UK, c5%.

      • johnb1945

        Look at the big picture and where current EU members were before they joined, including ourselves.

        It is incredible that East Germany has been integrated into Germany, that former East Bloc countries are developing rapidly, and even Spain, Greece and especially Ireland are much richer than they were.

        The problem the EU has is a degree of protectionism and an improper monetary union and overvalued currency which is beneficial to countries in the prosperous North West of Europe but a burden on those in the South.

        These issues will be addressed one way or another because if they are not they will tear the Union apart.

        And they don’t really affect us.

        It is still far preferable to have countries such as Spain or Portugal as they are now than as they were in the 70s, and we can influence the trajectory from within.

        • bluedog

          Unemployment update: Spain 20%, Portugal 12%. Far worse than the 70s.

          Any claim that the EU promotes democracy can be immediately dismissed. The EU is run by unelected commissioners and has a parliament devoid of power, it’s scarcely a parliamentary democracy, or any other kind of democracy. The EU still hasn’t had its auditors sign off on its accounts, after 19 years. It seems the EU parliament has no monetary powers.

          ‘These issues will be addressed one way or another because if they are not they will tear the Union apart.’ It’s happening already, and not for reasons of finance. The EU is actually dissolving by the minute, and the cause is German sponsored immigration from the Middle East. Note how countries bordering Germany over whose territory the migrants march are erecting barriers, barbed wire fences, and closing their borders in defiance of Schengen. And what does the EU do? Absolutely nothing because it is absolutely incapable of enforcing its diktats. The extraordinary thing about the UK is that we are about the only country that plays by the rules in the EU, and we are hopefully going to leave. No wonder the rest of the EU nations stay, they make life bearable by doing as they please while drawing the benefits Britain pays for.

          Apres nous, la deluge, believe me.

          • johnb1945

            Any claim that the EU promotes democracy can be immediately dismissed.

            Bit arrogant just to dismiss things without giving a reason.

            I suggested you look at the big picture.

            Europe is historically inured to authoritarian rule – this was the norm in Spain, Portugal, Greece, the Entire East Bloc well into the 70s and 80s, and most of the rest of Europe into the 20th century.

            You cannot be in the EU if your government is undemocratic, it’s against the rules, and if you’re not in the EU you don’t get the economic benefits of being in it. This provides an incentive to be democratic. Clearly this incentive means something, as despite the various pocket Putins and Golden Dawns doing the rounds, very few Europeans are seriously considering electing them, or an exit. Apart from us.

            Europe’s problem right now is that it has set up half way house institutions of federalism, which are neither fully formed and accountable but nor do they lack authority.

            A half baked currency is one example, but immigration is another. Germany needs new blood, Sweden wishes to be a moral super power, while other countries want neither, so they need to agree a sensible, (probably) European asylum policy which meets the needs of EU states.

            Which we’d naturally opt out of.

          • bluedog

            ‘You cannot be in the EU if your government is undemocratic, it’s against the rules, ‘

            The EU is so undemocratic it couldn’t join the EU.

            ‘ so they need to agree a sensible, (probably) European asylum policy which meets the needs of EU states.

            Which we’d naturally opt out of.’

            So what’s the point of being a member? It’s the same with Schengen and the Euro. Is all you ever hear from the Remainians is ‘Oh, we’ve opted out of those so don’t worry’. Well, this is just nonsense. If two key EU policies are completely unacceptable, why remain?

            Since 2008 the EU has engineered a level of unemployment in the Club Med countries that matches the depths of the Great Depression in the US, but for longer. Expect a political reaction, foreshadow in the recent MORI poll which showed that 48% of Italians want a referendum on EU membership. If they get their referendum, do the numbers go up, or go down? I’d suggest you will see a sharp upsurge so that Italexit carries the day by a decisive majority.

            Remember too that both Greece and Italy have endured EU appointed governments. When the EU Army is established, can we still opt out of an EU appointed govt? Can we still opt out of anything?

          • johnb1945

            Er, various reasons but getting free trade with our closest neighbours while having direct influence over the terms of trade is one.

          • bluedog

            You seem unaware that it is possible to have a free trade agreement without additional complications. The Common Market in its original format was just such an entity. The problem was that nobody who read the small print believed what it said, ‘This product leads to ever-closer union and may lead to the final surrender of your national independence’. This will shock you, but nation states can negotiate as independent parties.

            Wiki freetrade agreements. I’ve spent the past week or so educating ‘Eustace’, another Remainian seemingly ignorant of how trade is conducted outside the EU. The propensity for Remainians to think solely in terms defined by the EU is frightening. A bunch of willing Serfs, touching their forelocks to the bureaucrats in Brussels. Scarcely the bulldog breed.

          • johnb1945

            You seem unaware that that’s unlikely. You also discount non tariff barriers – regulation etc.

          • bluedog

            If both parties are acting in good faith the prospect of non-tariff barriers to trade with a given party with whom an FTA has been negotiated are exceeding unlikely. Why spend the effort if only to undermine your own agreement? It simply doesn’t happen unless there is a material change in circumstances.

          • johnb1945

            That isn’t true. It doesn’t follow that because you have Free Trade you also have no regulation.

            We have free trade with the EU as a member state, yet we encounter difficulties in member service markets because they are protected by regulation.

            This could easily get worse if we left, it probably would. Why shouldn’t Germany or France or Italy club together to give their insurers, bankers, software or travel and communication companies etc. a leg up?

            Look at Uber – there are no tariffs for using their App in France or Germany, but lots of their services are illegal.

            You’re saying, on the basis of no evidence, that we could negotiate Free Trade with an advantageous regulatory burden too.

            It doesn’t make sense.

          • bluedog

            German export activity represent 47% of GDP. German exports to China, 6% of total. German exports to UK, 7.5% of total. There will be a free trade agreement.

          • johnb1945

            There you go. You make another classic brexiteer assumption. That the eu is run by and for Germany.

            Apart from the fact that you’re staking a great hole in European unity – something other Europeans might not like – each eu member has a proportionate vote and each one may prospectively veto any or all of our negotiating points.

            And there are many eu countries with whom we run a trade surplus and whose nationals we would propose to repatriate or restrict in some way as part of brexit.

            so no, there absolutely will not be an easy, quick, pick off the menu free trade deal that is better than we currently have as a member. In fact it won’t happen. Even leave kind of admit that. Their case is that we’ll make the shortfall and more through trade elsewhere, but that is also a very long term and uncertain position.

          • bluedog

            There you go. You make another classic remainian assumption.

            You can have a free trade agreement without contingent political complications. There are many such instances. No, TTIP has not yet been executed, and it will prove to be very similar to TTP which has already been executed. As yet the masses in Europe are still being whipped up to oppose TTIP.

            ‘whose nationals we would propose to repatriate or restrict in some way as part of brexit.’

            Obviously an independent Britain that controls its borders will determine its own immigration as we did before the EU debacle. But there are internationally agreed conventions preventing the expulsion of foreign nationals that would naturally be observed, despite remainian misrepresentation to the contrary.

          • johnb1945

            Back to the point.

            You seem to think EU = Germany.

            It doesn’t. It = Germany + 27 others.

            That’s how it works. They all get a say. On every single point of our Brexit demands. In some cases regional assemblies within the 27 will get a say too. This simple logistical fact will make finalising brexit terms tortuous, during which our economy will be damaged.

            And EU members have trade deficits with us. And foreign nationals working here in large numbers. They will not easily agree to make their lives difficult or prevent movement of people in future.

            And the fact popular opinion prevents ttip being finalised should suggest European polities do listen to their electorates. Even if trade is at stake. There’s no reason to believe they’ll be different with us.

          • johnb1945

            Btw Germany’s biggest export market is the USA. Is ttip agreed yet?

          • johnb1945

            BTW, I don’t know where you found employment figures for 70s and 80s spain, but at the time both countries had protectionist, corporatist and even fascist governments, so doubtless people were employed, probably on less than they get in benefits.

          • bluedog

            ‘That’s how protectionism works.’ For an exercise in the implementation of protectionism, read about the debate in the EU Parliament on China and the impact of Chinese steel exports on the EU steel industry. Circle the wagons, keep the Yellow Peril at bay.

          • johnb1945

            China produces artifically cheap steel in amounts exceeding market demand then dumps it.

          • bluedog

            True, but European businesses located in China such as German car-makers are beneficiaries of low Chinese steel prices. But my comment was in reply to your comment, ‘…both countries had protectionist, corporatist and even fascist governments,’ in the context of the development of Portugal and Spain. It seems that protectionism didn’t work for them but its going to work for the EU steel industry ‘cos it’s different this time.

          • johnb1945

            Yes, but the only reason any “protectionist” action is taken against Chinese steel manufacturers is because China breaches international trade agreements to over-produce cheap steel. Then it dumps it.

          • bluedog

            Does that make sense? In what way is China breaching international trade agreements, and which ones, by over-investing in steel production?

            You seem to ignore the possibility that the Chinese have simply screwed up, having over-invested in capacity way beyond the requirements of their domestic demand for steel. It is entirely possible that Chinese steel production is in fact double global demand and as high as 1.6 billion tons per annum. If this is the case the Chinese are in serious trouble and are naturally going to try and export their way out of the problem. The alternative is the cost of writing off useless production, throwing hundreds of thousands out of work and the potential collapse of the regime. The CCP will not go quietly.

            Having said that, the US response is what would you might expect a rational and independent power to do. The EU response is pathetic, predictably slow and completely incoherent. Presumably they will do something effective one day but only after months of bickering. Too little, too late. Another casualty will be the special relationship with the rude Chinese that is one of Cameron’s foreign policy initiatives. Needless to say, Cameron hasn’t thought through the consequences of embracing a communist regime.

            Watching the EU stumble about should persuade any but the terminally naive that a well managed and experienced power based off the coast of Europe can run rings round the EU.

          • johnb1945

            Dumping government subsidised steel at prices below its production cost (which is what China does) is illegal under WTO rules.

            It has taken the US quite a long time to do anything about this practice, despite the fact that they have been affected by it for far longer than the EU.

            I don’t think the Chinese would be too overwhelmed by a prospective trade war with Britain. On the one hand, it would be damaging, on the other they hold the trump cards and it would be an opportunity to settle past grievances and show who’s the boss now.

            A prospective trade war with the the largest single market in the world is a different kettle of fish.

          • bluedog

            A trade war with the EU is extremely unlikely because such a development implies a coherent response from the EU. And we know the EU doesn’t do coherent responses. If the Syrian immigration debacle is a precedent, the EU would subcontract management of a trade war to Turkey, as it has done with its immigration policy.

          • johnb1945

            You don’t seem to perceive a contradiction between your claim that the EU is too incoherent to mount a trade war while simultaneously claiming our brexit demands would be easily approved. By all 27 remaining member states.

            Look, Brexit is only worth doing if what results is better than status quo. Not the band (which would ve easy). Realistically that means all the benefits of free trade plus we contribute nothing, have no movement of people and can pick and choose our regulatory burden off a menu.

            something which is never, ever going to happen.

          • bluedog

            There is no contradiction between my comment that the EU is incoherent and the possibility of agreement to a free trade deal. In any cases the Germans will make the decision and the others will fall into line. But when the Germans are racked with indecision, the EU becomes incoherent. China is a dilemma for the Germans. With a high level of investment in China the Germans don’t want to compound the existing difficulties of their banks by causing a write-off of German industry’s Chinese investments. On the other hand, domestic German industry is under pressure and returns on capital have slumped.

            The EU political status quo is one thing, it’s only a bus-stop on the way to the super-state with 75m Turks happily embedded in the EU. What price QMV then? Smaller European states like the Danes and Irish will be steam-rollered.

          • johnb1945

            It is completely contradictory to suggest that the EU is too incoherent to respond quickly to trade threats yet will be coherent enough to quickly grant us market access on our terms.

            This is delusional.

            And the EU is not run by Germany.

          • bluedog

            Well J-C Juncker has come out with some helpful threats, telling us that the British deserters will pay a price. Proves the EU is not a free association of sovereign states but a deeply coercive and authoritarian entity.

            Presumably you will now reply ‘This is delusional.’

            As for, ‘And the EU is not run by Germany.’ in saying this you conveniently ignore observable truths. Who did the Greeks have to negotiate with at the height of their debt crisis? Juncker or Merkel? Answer: Merkel. Who insisted that the Italian government be replaced by an appointed technocrat after the fall of Berlusconi? Draghi or Schauble? Answer: Schauble. Who decided to open the borders of Germany and import a million Syrians across Greece, FY, Hungary and Austria, the leaders of those countries or Merkel? Answer: Merkel. Who is demanding that Germany be a co-tenderer in all Chinese government tenders within China, Merkel or Juncker? Answer: Merkel.

            I could go on. The observable fact is that Germany is the EU hegemon and dictates EU policy in all regards. Only the wilfully blind can ignore this truth.

          • johnb1945

            It would be harder for the UK alone to counter uncompetitive Chinese practice outside the EU.

          • bluedog

            Oh I don’t know. An emergency tariff of 256% should do the trick. That’s what the USA has just done, and they didn’t even ask the EU what to think.

          • johnb1945

            You seem to be saying that it’s unaccapetable for the EU to do this, but it’s something we should do to preserve Port Talbot etc.?

            I don’t get it.

            These kind of actions carry much more weight against a behemoth like China if done at the EU level, rather than if we do it alone.

            We can start a trade war with China, but their economy is up to 9 x our size.

          • bluedog

            ‘I don’t get it.’

            Correct.

            ‘We can start a trade war with China, but their economy is up to 9 x our size.’

            Don’t do it!

          • johnb1945

            I don’t get it because your arguments don’t make sense.

          • bluedog

            That’s because you cannot envisage life without the EU dictating your every move. You can always emigrate to Europe if Brexit succeeds.

          • johnb1945

            The EU does not dictate my every move nor yours.

        • Sean Nolan

          Greece aren’t richer and are really struggling to survive. They are calling for a Grexit and want out of the EU.

    • Sean Nolan

      We can be a better influence outside the EU than inside. Many other nations are also unhappy with the way the EU is at present and are watching to see if Britain leaves the EU. This could cause a domino effect with other nations demanding a referendum which could cause a collapse of the EU and the end of the superstate limiting Germany’s influence.

  • Russell Brown

    The EU is the “fourth beast” which “devours the whole earth” (meaning mass economic migration). Germany needs 500.000 economic migrants to fuel their economy until 2050.