Gov propaganda 2
Democracy

Cameron splashes £9million of taxpayers' cash on EU propaganda

 

When is EU propaganda not EU propaganda? When it’s commissioned by the UK Government and paid for by British taxpayers? When it’s helpful facts rather than belligerent opinions? Or when you just happen to agree with it?

HM Government is not neutral in the matter of the UK’s membership of the European Union, so, on the face of it, there is nothing particularly untoward about spending in excess of £9million to educate the people about the virtues of voting ‘Remain’ in the forthcoming referendum. After all, the Prime Minister has secured crucial reforms and a “special status” for the UK, guaranteeing our sovereignty, security and prosperity. We are assured (don’t mention “cast-iron guarantee”) that:

  • we will not join the euro
  • we will keep our own border controls
  • the UK will not be part of further European political integration
  • there will be tough new restrictions on access to our welfare system for new EU migrants
  • we have a commitment to reduce EU red tape

So what’s the problem with splashing out £9million to send this to 27 million homes to inform, educate, enlighten and invigorate the people into voting ‘Remain’?

The problem (though it isn’t really singular) is that these statements are not facts. For a start, the matter of joining the euro is for a future government to decide, and parliament may not bind its successors. If Jeremy Corbyn wins the 2020 General Election with a commitment to join the euro, he ought to be free to do so; not bound by whatever David Cameron felt was right for him, his party and the country years before. That’s democracy. And how can we keep control of our own borders when we have already lost it? Surely the most cursory assessment of why the Prime Minister’s pledge to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands has not been honoured (and never will be) is because he cannot control the numbers of EU nationals who choose to live and work (or not work) on the UK?

And to state that the UK will not be part of further European political integration when our ‘opt-out’ from “ever closer union” is not enshrined as a treaty amendment is blatantly duplicitous. These are complex matters of international law and domestic legal interpretation, and that very complexity subverts the crass assurance of a blanket ‘opt-out’, not least because “ever closer union” has always permitted relative, creative and various approaches to the process. Consider that the wording of the ‘renegotiation’ includes an explicit reference to the new settlement being “fully compatible with the Treaties”. So, the UK ‘opt-out’ from “ever closer union” is “fully compatible” with the Treaty of Rome’s objective toward “ever closer union”. This is Alice in Wonderland stuff.

A House of Commons briefing report on the legality of the deal states:

It is not a binding EU treaty or EU law in itself. Most legal opinions consider the first part of it, the Decision of Heads of State or Government, to be a binding treaty under international law, largely because the parties to it have declared that they intend it to be legally binding.

But even if the Decision binds the parties under international law, it does not bind the EU institutions, and is not necessarily legally enforceable under either EU or domestic law. It could be very problematic if either the Court of Justice of the EU or a domestic court found an inconsistency between the Decision and the EU Treaties.

The fact remains that the UK’s membership of the EU will still be subject to decisions made by QMV (no veto) in many areas of law; and the incremental ratchet approach to assumed and exclusive competences over so many matters of regulation. When laws and diktats may still be imposed, in what sense are we liberated from deeper political integration?

As for the “tough new restrictions on access to our welfare”, David Cameron has been thwarted by the supreme EU Government from honouring his manifesto pledge (that is, his assurance to the British people by which he was democratically elected) to ensure that EU migrants who want to claim tax credits and child benefit must live in the UK and contribute for a minimum of four years. And the “commitment to reduce EU red tape” is nice and buzzy, isn’t it? The EU is economically sclerotic and globally uncompetitive: 28 nations cannot and will not agree on what constitutes ‘red tape’, so a commitment to reducing it will mean different things to different heads of state. As long as goods need standards and services need regulation, there will be red tape. Bureaucrats eat, breathe and excrete it. Red tape is going nowhere.

“Why the Government believes..” is a creed of deception, dishonesty and disinformation. These ‘facts’ are nothing but articles of blind faith in an otiose supranational structure which has had its day. £9million blown on EU propaganda? Yes, Prime Minister.

  • sarky

    I don’t understand how this was allowed? It was my understanding that each side was allowed a £7million war budget. Seems grossly unfair, however, I think reading the press today, that the government has been well and truly called out on this one.

    • Dreadnaught

      Money, money money, its not funny -its a rich man’s world.

      • sarky

        Never took you as an ABBA fan.

        • Anton

          All Christians are Abba fans, but some of us can’t stand the music.

          • dannybhoy

            I love it actually.,,

          • Pubcrawler

            I abhor ‘Dancing Queen’, but the rest ranges from acceptable to awesome.

          • dannybhoy

            Their music still has that ‘feel good, lift your spirits’ factor
            .
            Now if you’d just broken up with your girlfriend and were feeling down….

            For the more macho, Pubcrawler type of ditched guy, it was this absolute classic by Andy Williams..

        • Dreadnaught

          Come on there fella, dont tell me those were not two fantastically good looking girls – and they could sing!

          • dannybhoy

            Such a stud…..:0)

  • Graham Wood

    I asked my MP if he, or more important any government Minister, could explain this strange contradiction.
    This propaganda on the part of the government is being paid for by us – taxpayers, in spite of the government’s own assurances to the contrary which presents the real perspective behind the government’s “free and fair referendum”.

    The Minister for Europe, David Lidington MP said, as recorded in Hansard:
    ‘Let me repeat that we have no intention of legislating to allow the Government to do things such as mailshots, paid advertising or leafleting’
    Hansard, 7 September 2015, col. 89,).
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516

    As commented on Conservative Home: “So his intention was clearly to go ahead anyway without legislation.”

    The sheer level of mendacity and hypocrisy is breathtaking, but perhaps not on reflection – they simply demonstrate that they are enemies of their own country.

  • Fred

    Bear in mind that the BBC is partly funded by the EU; so a well funded PR machine is capable of papering over the cracks without pausing in it’s stride.

  • Graham Wood

    Cranmer. Thanks for a further comment of high quality and display of logic from you as usual.
    The interesting question will be how many of the voting British public will have already discerned the blatant hypocrisy of Cameron and his ‘remain’ ministers, and will show their contempt by either abstaining in June, or voting to leave without further thought.

  • len

    There seems to be a barely concealed contempt for British voters(and for the process of democracy) behind the actions of David Cameron and his bunch of cronies for putting out this propaganda at the taxpayers expense.

  • bluedog

    Momentum, Your Grace, momentum. The remarkably fortuitous release of the Panama Papers only adds to the electorate’s suspicion of the political elites, itself becoming a global trend.

    Now that David Cameron has emerged in his true colours as the heir apparent to Blairmore, his credibility is beyond redemption. Nobody who knows anything about blind trusts will find Cameron’s disclaimers convincing. In that redemptive context, the unilateral decision by the Cameron government to release a tax-payer funded leaflet on the merits of the EU has drawn universal condemnation. But the initiative has backfired, the medium is its own unintended message. Importantly, there simply is not time for Cameron to recover even a fraction of his reputation before 23rd June.

    Certainly if Leave were to prevail and Cameron were to claim a mandate to negotiate Brexit, it would become necessary to remind him of his interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais a few years ago. In that, one recalls he pledged to strive for Remain whatever the outcome of a referendum.

    Truly, the man is an agent of a foreign power that seeks the destruction of the United Kingdom. At some point the implications of this conclusion must reveal themselves to the electorate. Perhaps somewhere out there is a tipping point that will force Cameron to resign before 23rd June.

    • Anton

      More likely after!

      • bluedog

        Not even then! Cameron will see any result as legitimising his selfless decision to allow a referendum. No, one lives in hope that the tide of events will apply such pressure that Cameron returns to Lanzarotte for a further spell of introspection. It’s been a tough year, and it’s going to get very much tougher.

        • Anton

          If we vote Brexit I think he will not want to carry on as PM; he’s already said that he doesn’t want to lead the Tories into the next election, and they probably don’t want him to either.

  • Anton

    Be of good cheer, your Grace, it is negligible compared to the taxpayers’ money spent – immorally – on foreign aid.

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    We just all need to send them back to downing street without a stamp to registrar a protest

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      In another forum someone else said:

      No, send it the Conservative Party HQ and it will cost the Tories money. If you send it to No 10 it will cost the government – you and me – money.

      Conservative Campaign Headquarters
      4 Matthew Parker Street
      London
      SW1H 9HQ

  • Pubcrawler
    • Royinsouthwest

      Thanks for drawing our attention to it. I have just signed it. If enough people sign it then the government’s mailshot may turn into an own goal.

    • Albert

      The rate it is going up, it will reach the magic 100,000 figure before this time tomorrow, and probably much sooner.

    • James60498 .

      Thanks.

      Signed.

      • sarky

        Signed

  • emptyend

    I intend fo mail mine back to Jeremy Corbyn. He is lining up behind Cameron in his campaign of lies to the British people! And HE also needs to be held to account for his unwillingness to promote the Leave campaign. Leaving the EU will be good for jobs in the UK, good for workers wages, good for the steel industry (if we still have one by then) and good for the UK as a whole. It would also be good for democracy and fairness – and would allow the UK to invite skilled migrants to come here, irrespective of their nationality!

    Labour should be backing Leave and not the corporate lobbyist campaign to remain!

    • Anton

      Yes, I’m wondering what to do with mine. Send it to a politician or leave it prominent in the front garden with a good dollop of dog excrement on it?

      • James60498 .

        Think I might post it through my MPs door. Perhaps without the addition though.

    • Albert

      Liam Fox is suggesting we send them back to Downing Street.

      • emptyend

        We’ll pay for it then. I’d rather the Labour Party paid, since they are endorsing Cameron.

        • Albert

          I think the purpose in sending it back would be political, not financial.

        • Anton

          Try Conservative Central Office?

  • Albert

    Cameron’s position is becoming increasingly bizarre. The more Cameron spends and argues coming out of the EU is a bad idea, the more his judgement is open to question in calling a referendum on coming out. But if his judgement is open to question, we shouldn’t pay much attention to it.

    It takes a special kind of political daftness to create a situation in which the stronger the case you make for something you believe in, the more you undermine your own credibility to make the case.

    • Anton

      I believe it is called hubris.

      • Albert

        Well that’s one word for it. But this kind of clumsiness is only a surprise to people like Dr C who have, despite everything, supported Cameron.

        • Ah, another sneery swipe. You’re becoming tedious. It isn’t a surprise: it’s politics. It is, however, a disappointment, but by no means unexpected.

          • Albert

            “Surprise” is more of a rhetorical word here. You encourage people to vote for him, despite everything, and then you write such excellent posts as this one. Surely, it’s obvious that this kind of stuff is what Cameron is?

          • Old Nick

            I am surprised that Your Grace does not recognise Albert as one of the most consistently wise of Your Grace’s communicants.

          • Albert

            Well thank you Old Nick! That’s very kind of you to say.

    • carl jacobs

      Not really fair. It’s a political decision to call the referendum. He has to react to public sentiment. If the politics of the issue forces his hand, you can’t blame his judgment for acting.

      • Albert

        Mmmm…if what you mean is, he had to promise a referendum so he didn’t get hammered in the election, that is true. But that’s just a way of saying he put party before country, which is kind of my point.

        • Martin

          Albert

          Don’t all the political parties put party before country?

          • Albert

            Perhaps, but if true, that is not a justification of the practice, it is an indictment of our politicians.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’ll agree with that.

  • Dreadnaught

    The Establishment versus The People – nowt new, nothing to see, move along plebs and make sure you pay your taxes in full with no shinannigans that you know are only meant for us: you know taxation is the preserve of little people – know your place..

    • Albert

      “There can be no democratic choice against the European Treaties”.

      Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.

      • Anton

        We’ve seen off worse Junckers than him…

  • Coniston

    We don’t fully know what effect leaving the EU will have on the UK – but be assured, if we do vote to leave we will be made to vote again, and ‘This Time Get It Right!’ As His Grace wrote some time ago, the EU was not set up to accommodate democracy.

    • Albert

      You’re probably right. Since 1992 when Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty, the EU has only accepted referenda if they have agreed with the EU.

      Michael Portillo turns this into an argument for vote to leave:

    • dannybhoy

      I don’t think that’s true.
      The ruling elite of many of the European nations have never been very fond of us Brits. We don’t really fit in with the way they do things, we will always be outsiders.

      • Little Black Censored

        If only!

  • David

    This article is written so well it leaves me with little to say, except once again, “thank you”, Archbishop. But for form’s sake, I’ll add this.

    Only the truly gullible still believe that our esteemed Prime Minister speaks anything remotely near the truth, or that he is describing reality. His latest stunts, cheap tricks and vacuous mouthings – “speeches” is too grand a word for them – smack of an increasing desperation to keep us trapped within that undemocratic empire, the EU.

    He is also revealing, almost daily now, and most usefully too, the contempt of many within the political leadership for the opinions and thoughts of the ordinary, normal people of this country.

    The best way that we can help ourselves, and our european neighbours, is by demonstrating how successful things can be outside the EU.

    Onward, upward and outward !

  • dannybhoy

    This is an abuse of taxpayers money. To be really fair, the EU’s UK puppet government should have funded a pamphlet representing both sides.
    With the advent of emails, the web and Witter there is now no excuse for withholding more taxpayer/voter input into the democratic process. It really should be happening.
    Ping pong party politicsis played out on the battlefield of our economy and security. Every part of it including investment, housing, health, transport, law and order and security.
    The EU wants us to remain in, not just because we are net contributors and a big market for their goods, but because we are incapable of changing anything in the EU.
    Becoming a full member won’t benefit us because our political class won’t stand up for us anyway. And that’s my main concern. If we come out we will eventually adjust trade wise. If we repair fences with Commonwealth nations we may well find a trading bloc that is beneficial for all. On top of that we will have far greater freedom to protect our nation, re-assert our national values, take the decision to scrap all the Human Rights legislation which has ended up benefitting our enemies more than our law abiding citizens.
    David Cameron always said he admired Tony Blair, and the way he is behaving over this issue casts him in the same mould..

    • Pubcrawler
      • dannybhoy

        Hey Cubprawler!
        I shall be offering my services for leafletting our village on behalf of the Brexit/LeaveNow campaign.
        Our borough councillor is a Tory who wants out, so although I have been supporting UKIP now that Nigel has really screwed it up, I shall work with whoever wants to leave the EU…

        • Pubcrawler

          Good man!

        • Anton

          What’s Farage done wrong?

          • dannybhoy

            He is very personable, very engaging and outspoken; but he blew it after the last election. I and others were out campaigning on behalf of UKIP, attending meetings etc. We were getting good feedback, the membership was positive and united.
            For whatever reason(s) he took his eyes off the ball during the campaign and then subsequently says he will step down.
            He didn’t.
            He hasn’t really developed a structural leadership, he alienated Douglas Carswell instead of keeping him as a capable ally, and lastly UKIP has suspended Suzanne Evans, a very capable lady.
            UKIP has failed to build a real united leadership and thus condemned itself to remaining a fringe party. I think this has a lot to do with Nigel’s inability to do team building.
            It’s such a shame because they have some very good people.
            Consequently I have given up my party membership, and now have no party membership.

          • Anton

            I’d wondered if he became disillusioned after the number of votes UKIP won didn’t translate into MPs, on top of which the media turned against him for reasons I find suspicious.

          • dannybhoy

            You could hear him on LBC radio. Imo the most straight speaking politician and popular with the people.
            For what it’s worth, I think during the election campaign he became intoxicated with the publicity and various television appearances. He took his eye off the ball and perhaps lapped up the attention….

          • James60498 .

            I read an interview with Suzanne Evans.

            She was proud that Britain was a leader in legal abortion and “gay marriage”.

            Whatever the reasons she was “suspended”, and it probably wasn’t one of these, it’s the least she deserves.

          • dannybhoy

            “She was proud that Britain was a leader in legal abortion and “gay marriage”.
            Must confess I didn’t know that.

          • James60498 .

            I can’t find that now, but I am absolutely certain that she did refer to being proud that Britain was a leader in legalising abortion.

            As far as the “gay marriage” is concerned I have found this. This article may in fact suggest that my assumption was wrong and that she WAS suspended at least in part due to her support for “gay marriage” or at least due to her refusal to allow anyone else to disagree.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/andy-mcsmiths-diary-political-incorrectness-ukip-s-way-of-choosing-a-candidate-a6903931.html

  • preacher

    Thank you Dr Cranmer.
    I’ve just finished re-reading Animal Farm, Orwell’s satirical masterpiece. Where a bunch of self elected pigs take over the farm by duplicity & deceit after the farmer is driven out. As the stranglehold takes control the animals are told by the spokes – pig that all is well, that rations are to be readjusted – ( Never uses the word reduced ) & that things are really better now than ever before.
    The animals swallow the propaganda & do nothing, because they WANT to believe it’s true ( better the place you are in than a leap into the dark ? ).
    Brilliant writing ! Welcome to ANIM E.U L Farm folks 2016 – or is it The Last Chance Saloon ? Only we the voters can decide !!.
    Blessings. P.

  • Pubcrawler
  • Uncle Brian

    There’s an online petition here:

    Petition

    STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers’ money
    on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets

    Prime Minister David Cameron plans to spend British taxpayers’ money on a pro-EU document to be sent to every household in the United Kingdom in the run up to the EU referendum. We believe voters deserve a fair referendum – without taxpayer-funded biased interceptions by the Government.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762/signatures/new

    • dannybhoy

      Just signed.

      • Martin

        Now 100398

        • Old Nick

          Now 100,626

          • Pubcrawler

            107,075

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector is rather fond of the radio comedy The Men From The Ministry. Lennox-Brown and Lamb (portrayed by the excellent pairing of Derek Guyler and Richard Murdoch, respectively) would have had a field day with this, if they were still around which sadly they are not…

    “Two, how do we persuade the public to vote to continue the bureaucratic nightmare that is the EU, which has kept us so gainfully and lazily employed for the last 40 years?”

    “I say, One. We send out to every household a leaflet pointing out the many benefit EU membership has wrought upon the country”

    “Good idea Two, see to it will you.”

    “Already have, One. 27 million in the post and about to drop onto people’s mats”

    “You really have excelled this time, Two. Well done! Let’s have a look at the thing then”

    {AAAARRRRGGHHH!}

    “What’s wrong, One?”

    “It’s full of lies, half-truths and mere wishful thinking! The electorate aren’t stupid, you know, they’ll see through it immediately”

    “We’d better hide, One, here comes Sir Gregory, and he’s waving a leaflet about. He’s furious.”

    “Come here, you two idiots. Your damn exercise has backfired on us. Everybody is talking about it, and badly at that. Nobody trusts Cameron’s government over the EU, and who can blame them…”

    • Pubcrawler

      Trouble is, it always works out right for them in the end.

      • Inspector General

        Wouldn’t say that. They escape with their hides intact, but having left the loot, if there is any, behind…

    • dannybhoy

      You really ARE old..
      Stinker Murdoch??

      • Inspector General

        You’ll find said Men on Radio 4+ at 7:30pm on a weekday….

        • Pubcrawler

          Indeed, on a Tuesday, immediately following the brilliant Round the Horne.

          • dannybhoy

            Now that really was excellent.

      • Uncle Brian

        Much Binding in the Marsh?

        • dannybhoy

          That’s the one..

          I can still remember the days of sitting near the fire in our little council house listening to the radio..
          Mum and Dad, brothers and sisters and a much simpler life style..
          Ah Nostalgia!

          • Uncle Brian

            Well, you youngsters listened to it on the radio. In my day we listened to it on the wireless

          • dannybhoy

            Snob.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      This is imagined to be from the time of the comedy:

      “I say, Two, the Germans haven’t started a war for years now. We gave them a really good hiding last time, eh, what?”

      “Well no actually, One. They looked at us, saw how there are so many little Hitlers in this country, and thought better of it.”

  • dannybhoy

    Further thoughts:
    I said David Cameron is in the same mould as Tony Blair.
    I still think that, but nearer to home we could describe Dave as “Son of Ted”, as Edward Heath also deceived Great Britain over the Common Market by holding back some key facts..
    Rather than spending £9million of taxpayers money on a biased leaflet, he could have…
    a) directed citiizens to a dedicated website setting out both sides of the argument
    b) in view of our downwards educational spiral targeted literate households only
    c) In celebration of our multicultural society published leaflets in a multiplicity of languages….

    • James60498 .

      Is it a coincidence that the Cameron Panama company is called “Blairmore”.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Regarding Blair:

      I have long been a bit worried about this:

      Thou shalt not revile God, nor curse a ruler of thy people.
      אֱלֹהִים, לֹא תְקַלֵּל; וְנָשִׂיא בְעַמְּךָ, לֹא תָאֹר.

      (The second part being quoted by Paul in Acts 23:5)

      At the time that the invasion of Afghanistan in response to 9/11 was being planned, I read a most amusing description of George W Bush and Blair, comparing them to Gandalf and a Hobbit (Frodo), although I forget the exact words used at the time. But I did feel inhibited from quoting them, because Mr Blair was our Prime Minister at the time.

      • dannybhoy

        Mm well, the Bible also says we get the leaders we deserve – or words to that effect.
        We live in a democracy now, and there is accountability through the ballot box. Yes as Christians we should pray for our leaders, but if the leaders are not Christians or God seekers, what then?

        • Martin

          John the Baptist had no compunctions about condemning the sexual misbehaviour of his ruler.

          • dannybhoy

            Quite so.
            How are you btw?
            You didn’t answer my last response to your last response..
            Not that I’m complaining mind you :0)

          • Martin

            Danny

            When, what? I do try to respond.

          • dannybhoy

            Nah,
            Go back if you like, but I’m satisfied that we’ve gone as far as we can with it. I learnt a few things along the way…

          • Martin

            Danny

            Iron sharpens iron? I probably thought we’d reached agreement.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, indeed and we remain brothers in Christ.
            (Although I shall have to some special pleading to get you through those pearly gates.. ;0)

      • Old Nick

        HM the Queen is the Ruler of the People, which is why we pray for her.

        • Anton

          That’s been a fiction since 1649.

      • chiefofsinners

        In which case you should not criticise the EU, for it is our ruler.

      • Anton

        “Curse” has a specific meaning and it is not synonymous with “criticise”.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Nine hours ago Graham Wood said:

    The Minister for Europe, David Lidington MP said, as recorded in Hansard:

    ‘Let me repeat that we have no intention of legislating to allow the Government to do things such as mailshots, paid advertising or leafleting’

    Hansard, 7 September 2015, col. 89,).

    Graham also added a link to the statement by the Minister but that link no longer works! Has some civil servant changed the URL of the page in order to cover up the dishonesty of the government?

    • Martin
    • Graham Wood

      Roy. The link most certainly did work yesterday. As you surmise the dirty tricks dept. Is probably at work and the link altered.
      No matter, we know the idiot Lidington said it in the House, and thanks to the internet, hundreds of thousands of people are aware.
      Once again government lies and trickery are exposed. How they love the corrupt EU, and hate Britain and their own people!

  • Pubcrawler

    Petition now over 90,600 (+100 in the last two minutes)

    • dannybhoy

      Your ‘click’ finger must be aching by now..

      • Pubcrawler

        *stern look*

    • William Lewis

      Does Cameron take notice of large petitions these days?

      • Pubcrawler

        He may not be swayed, but if it reaches over 100,000 signatures then it ought to be debated in Parliament, and that piles on the embarrassment.

        • William Lewis

          Let’s hope it backfires spectacularly.

      • bluedog

        Probably not. Remember the run-up to the SSM vote when c.650,000 petitioners organised by Coalition for Marriage were dismissed as one vote?

        • Findaráto

          And remember when the “Coalition for Marriage” threw a tantrum about less than 1% of the population not being allowed to defeat a bill that was consistently supported by a net majority in all opinion polls commissioned on the subject by reputable market research organizations?

          Then when our representative Parliament voted to support the bill with one of the largest majorities since the War, the fury of this less-than-1% knew no bounds. How dare a Parliament elected by the entire nation vote for something they didn’t want? Didn’t MPs know that signing a petition gives you the right to decide for everyone who hasn’t signed it? Didn’t they know that it gives you the right to tell Parliament what to do?

          Something tells me “Coalition for Marriage” doesn’t understand how representative democracies work…

          • Martin

            Fin

            Polls have been demonstrated to be flawed, and they can give you the results you want. The fact is, there was no mention of the perversion of marriage in the Conservative Manifesto and the two polls on the subject are the only guide we have as to national opinion. If I recall correctly, they were overwhelmingly against it.

          • dannybhoy

            I think most people thought it was harmless, and in some ways it was/is a generational issue. I was against it and support Coalition for Marriage as is my democratic right..

          • Findaráto

            The list of opinion polls showing a majority in favour of equal marriage is too long to include here.

            In any case, you’re right when you say that opinion polls can be easily manipulated. But that works both ways. If you want to discredit the polls I’m referring to because you claim they’re biased, then you leave the polls that support your position open to the same sort of accusation. In which case you cannot base your position that equal marriage should not have been legalized on the basis that people didn’t support it. If polls aren’t accurate, how do you know?

            That only leaves 2 choices: a referendum or a Parliamentary vote. In the British system referenda are rare events. Most laws are adopted by Parliamentary vote. But personally I would have been happy with either alternative. The result of the Irish referendum shows pretty accurately how the British would have voted had there been a referendum here. And of course we already know that Parliament supported equal marriage. Massively.

            So whichever way you look at it, your position would have lost the debate.

          • Martin

            Fin

            “The list of opinion polls showing a majority in favour of equal marriage is too long to include here.”

            Yeah right, good excuse.

          • Findaráto

            You can consult them for yourself by doing a simple Google search.

            Afraid you might find something you can’t refute with your arbitrary and pre-conceived dogmatic certainties, are you?

            You’re right to be scared. The light of knowledge shining upon the darkness of superstition tends to make the ghosts of vengeful and jealous gods disappear like vampires in a puff of smoke.

          • Martin

            Fin

            For someone who hides from the light and truth you have a lot to say for yourself, but rarely back up your claims.

            What I fear is the judgement of God on our society, and we already see that judgement in this destruction of marriage and the killing of the weak. What you see as knowledge and freedom is actually destruction heading your way.

          • Terry Mushroom

            A third choice would have been for Cameron to have put SSM in his party’s manifesto.

            If SSM was apparently so popular and wanted, one wonders why he didn’t do so.

            (It wasn’t in the Coalition Agreement either.)

          • bluedog

            ‘The result of the Irish referendum shows pretty accurately how the British would have voted had there been a referendum here.’ Wrong. The Irish vote reflected utter disgust and protest at the paedophiles who run the Catholic Church in Ireland, who had opposed SSM. It was a case of ‘Up yours, Cardinal’.The turnout was abysmal too. Expect a revision movement and a reversal of the position as buyers’ remorse sets in after the new blasphemy laws are enforced. Once again the EU is a limiting factor, and the Irish face an unenviable dilemma once Britain leaves.

          • Little Black Censored

            The phrase “equal marriage” immediately betrays the political sympathy of the person who utters it, and his misunderstanding of the institution of marriage itself..

          • Findaráto

            Perhaps your objection to the term “equal marriage” immediately betrays your political sympathies and your misunderstanding of what marriage means.

          • Phil R

            Equal marriage for three or four?

            Why not…….?

          • Findaráto

            Because the law forbids it.

            If however at some point in the future society decides that polygamy is OK, then the law may change.

            Time will tell.

          • Phil R

            Oh the law….

            I forgot….. clearly our law shows no favour

          • William Lewis

            But if it’s equal marriage, as you assert, then polygamists should be treated equally.

            Or are you just another polygaphobe?

          • Findaráto

            I have nothing against polygamists. But the law does not currently permit polygamous marriage.

            If this worries you, you can always start campaigning for the legalisation of polygamy. All you’ll need to do is convince society that polygamous marriage is a good idea and then influence a majority of MPs to support the idea. So what’s stopping you? Gays managed to pull it off in virtually no time at all, but I think polygamists won’t find it quite so easy. Issues of gender inequality in polygamous marriages mean that public opinion is pretty firmly set against it. But you can always try to change the public’s mind.

            Good luck to you. You’ll need it.

          • William Lewis

            Hiding behind the law and public opinion just shows that you do not believe in “equal marriage” at all. It’s just a sham. Equality is equality or it is nothing.

          • Anton

            As usual, you forget Islam. Four wives…

          • Findaráto

            I have not forgotten Islam. Or certain Mormon sects. Polygamy may be permitted by these religions but it is not permitted by the law. That doesn’t stop these men from shacking up with as many women as they like, but only one if them can be their wife. The others are legally unmarried.

            It’s the same law for everyone, so everyone is equal because nobody is prevented from marrying one partner of their choice. There are a few exceptions based mainly on family relationships judged to be incompatible with marriage, however by and large we can marry whoever we like, as long as we only have one spouse at a time.

            The old marriage law discriminated against gay people because they could not marry the partner of their choice if that person was of the same gender, which of course is the case for the vast majority of gays.

            Those who want more than one spouse are not prevented from marrying one partner of their choice and are therefore not discriminated against by the law.

            So marriage is now completely equal because no group is excluded from it by definition. Those who want multiple spouses may have to content themselves with one, but it’s the same number as everyone else and not zero as used to be the case for gays.

            Equal marriage is equal because everyone is treated equally. Equality doesn’t mean getting what you want. It means fair treatment for all with no unfair discrimination.

          • Anton

            No, there is still discrimination, You can’t marry your horse.

          • Findaráto

            My horse can’t give informed consent because it has no idea what marriage is.

            Without informed consent, no marriage can take place.

          • Anton

            So you do have criteria for what defines a marriage! Me too. But if people, and indeed entire cultures across geography and time, disagree about this, how can one know who is right?

          • Findaráto

            Marriage is a social contract so it’s up to society to define it.

            You’re free to believe that society’s definition of marriage is wrong, but unless you can get a majority to agree with you, you’re not free to change that definition.

          • Anton

            So you don’t regard it as anomalous that marriage can be defined differently in two societies?

          • Findaráto

            Societies evolve at different rates in different parts of the world.

          • Anton

            So you think you know what marriage is. Please give your definition.

          • Findaráto

            Let’s hear yours first.

          • Anton

            The point I am making is that marriage is not socially defined, as you have always claimed in the past. You have now been shown to have your own view of what it is. Where do you get your criteria from?

          • Findaráto

            Marriage most certainly is socially defined.

            The definition takes different forms in different cultures, but there are some common elements as you would expect for what’s essentially the social recognition of a pair bond.

            As such it’s the social definition of an instinctive behaviour, common among social animals.

            Given the human tendency to ritualise behaviours, it isn’t surprising that religious taboos grew up around marriage. And it isn’t surprising that it became associated with reproduction when survival in an uncertain world depended on making huge numbers of babies. But we no longer live in primitive times with short lifespans and massive infant mortality, so our concept of marriage now focuses on its primary role as social recognition of the pair bond.

          • Anton

            …just as Genesis 2 says.

          • Findaráto

            Yes, even primitive Iron Age cultures recognized the primary role of marriage as an expression of the pair bond that is our basic social unit.

            Iron Age Man wove all sorts of religious myths, taboos and obligations around marriage. They may have been appropriate for a subsistence pastoralist existence where resources were scarce and survival depended on pumping out as many children as possible to ensure enough survived to keep the tribe going, but in the modern world they have little or no relevance. Attitudes towards our basic drives have evolved along with our social structures and technology. They’ll continue to evolve into the future. The idea that a set of myths and legends dreamed up by primitive pastoralists should be our moral framework for all time is ludicrous. We are of our time, not theirs. Our morality must reflect who we are and not what they were.

          • Anton

            Industrial society is not the same as early farming society but human beings are the same: you could interchange them at birth and there would be no discernible moral difference.

            You said that in such ‘primitive’ times the aim of marriage was to procreate many children, whereas now the pair bond can come to the fore. I pointed out that Genesis stated the latter even in what you call primitive times. Now you agree. That is good (albeit an unacknowledged change).

            You are, however, wavering between the assertion that marriage is socially defined and the clear implication behind some of your words that you, one man, have an idea of marriage *should* be, with the consequence that some societies get it right and others don’t. Where does your view come from, and why should it be correct? Discussions of the O-yes-it-is, O-no-it-isn’t sort on gay marriage are pointless; my question is about where and how people get their criteria for what constitutes a marriage, and consequently what they wish their culture to recognise. Christians get theirs from the Bible. Whence yours?

          • Findaráto

            You can draw whatever conclusion you like from what I have said, but nowhere have I stated that my idea of marriage should be imposed on society.

            Rather my idea of what constitutes marriage is drawn from society’s idea of what marriage should be. This should come as no surprise because I’m a product of that society and therefore understand and accept what that society defines a marriage to be.

            A few years ago the laws that governed society did not reflect our idea of what a marriage should be because although social attitudes had moved on, the law had not. That situation has now been remedied.

            If you want to know why social attitudes towards marriage have changed, you only need look at falling birth rates to understand that reproduction is not the imperative it used to be. Higher standards of living, improved medical care and contraception mean fewer children, who are not the focus of an increasing number of marriages, both opposite and same sex.

            This being the case there is no reason not to allow gay couples to marry. The injustice of excluding them from equal social recognition of their relationships cannot be justified by the fiction that marriage is all about having children. It so very clearly is not for so many married couples.

            The current marriage law reflects society’s true concept of marriage, which may evolve in the future. I personally don’t see it developing towards polygamy because of the incompatibility of the idea with Western notions of gender equality. But time will tell…

          • Anton

            You say your “idea of what constitutes marriage is drawn from society’s idea of what marriage should be. This should come as no surprise because I’m a product of that society”. Forgive me, but I doubt it; I suspect you have an idea of what marriage should be, to which the society you live in currently conforms but many other societies – today and in the past – do not. Otherwise you would have been wholly apathetic (either way) about the recent recognition of gay marriage. Otherwise you would not have objected when I spoke of a man marrying his horse. On that occasion it emerged that consent was one of your criteria. It is one of mine too, but the example served to elicit one of your criteria. I don’t know if you are being deliberately coy and know very well what you believe makes a marriage, or whether you simply haven’t thought the issue through and realised during the course of that exchange that consent was a necessary criterion. But I suspect you have other criteria, whether tacit or explicit.

          • Findaráto

            I see the religious brain has real trouble with the concept of logic.

            I said that society’s view of marriage had changed but that the law had not.

            Would it not be logical to deduce that I was therefore in favour of the law being changed to conform to societal attitudes?

            Would it not also be logical to deduce that my objection to a man marrying his horse was based on society’s rejection of bestiality?

            And would it not be logical to deduce that my criterion of consent is drawn from society’s definition of marriage as a contract freely entered into by both contracting parties?

            The society I refer to is of course our own. Societies in other parts of the world have their own attitudes and their own laws. I would of course like to see our attitudes adopted by others, and think they probably will be over time. In the meantime our society will continue to evolve and tomorrow will bring new developments. I don’t think polygamy will be one of them, but only time will tell.

          • Anton

            You say your “idea of what constitutes marriage is drawn from society’s idea of what marriage should be. This should come as no surprise because I’m a product of that society”. Forgive me, but I doubt it; I suspect you have an idea of what marriage should be, to which the society you live in currently conforms but many other societies – today and in the past – do not. Otherwise you would have been wholly apathetic (either way) about the recent recognition of gay marriage. Otherwise you would not have objected when I spoke of a man marrying his horse. On that occasion it emerged that consent was one of your criteria. It is one of mine, too; but the example served to elicit one of your criteria. I don’t know if you are being deliberately coy and know very well what you believe makes a marriage, or whether you simply haven’t thought the issue through and realised, during the course of that exchange, that consent was a necessary criterion. But I suspect that you do have other criteria, whether tacit or explicit; and readers may wonder what they are.

          • William Lewis

            “It’s the same law for everyone, so everyone is equal because nobody is prevented from marrying one partner of their choice.”

            Of course they are if that person is already married. This is clearly anti polygamist bigotry. Your appeal to “equal marriage” is nothing but hollow, special pleading.

          • Findaráto

            You are mistaken. If they are already married, they have already exercised their right to marry and cannot exercise it again unless the current marriage comes to an end. It’s one marriage at a time for everyone, and nobody deprived of the right to contract that one marriage to the partner of their choice.

            This is true marriage equality.

            What you want is to make concurrent marriages possible, which does not have anything to do with marriage equality but rather with changing the nature of marriage to make it a non-exclusive contract.

            That’s a matter for public debate. If those who want polygamy can convince the public that polygamy is a good idea then eventually it will be legalised. But they face an uphill battle. Polygamy is associated with patriarchal and misogynistic social and religious practices and its supporters will struggle to find support in Western societies. And they won’t benefit from any kind of sympathy vote because they’re not excluded from marriage under the current law as the gay community used to be.

            The conservative “slippery slope” argument really is utter nonsense you see. You’d have thought they would have figured it out after their comprehensive defeat during the equal marriage debate and then found another drum to bang. But perhaps they just can’t help repeating their futile and discredited arguments. Is it a type of Tourette’s syndrome? Biscuit…

          • bluedog
          • bluedog

            With the benefit of hindsight C4M should have instructed its followers to write individually rather than be dismissed collectively by the Archspiv. But that was then and this is now, with so much to look forward to.

            As Martin points out, the SSM vote was not included in the 2010 Conservative manifesto, it was a nasty surprise sprung by Cameron during the summer of love with Nick Clegg. The Conservative Party membership has never forgiven Cameron, he knows it, and they will have his head on a platter shortly given his recent performance. Attitudes seem to have evolved since 2011 too, and those who were dismissed as scaremongering alarmists and homophobic extremists when expressing concerns about their freedom of speech and freedom of religion have seen the new blasphemy laws enforced in a number of cases.

            Of course, once we leave the EU, if not this year then in the near future, we are spared further submission to acquis communitaire and the purge can begin. Sarkozy, who seeks to overturn French SSM laws in his 2017 presidential campaign, will be green with envy.

          • Phil R

            I know how democracy works

            51% gets to ignore the wishes 49%

            No matter how draconian or unfair the 51%

          • Findaráto

            Whereas you would prefer that the 49% should be able to impose their will on the majority.

            Unsurprising coming from someone who supports a minority cause. I bet you complain when the team you support loses a match too. It just isn’t fair that winners should win, is it? No, the losers should win. But only because you support them…

            And once again it all comes back to the Christian’s estimation of himself as master of the universe. What he wants should be the law and the devil take everyone else.

          • Phil R

            Those that vote decide nothing.

            Those that count the vote decide everything

            Stalin

          • Anton

            It’s amusing that people are grumbling her about small turnouts. In many places people aren’t even trying unless the vote substantially exceeds 100%…

          • Phil R

            So you would be happy and would accept it if 51% voted to restrict or remove any hard won rights that you regarded as essential?

        • dannybhoy

          I contacted my MP on how David Cameron could have supported this move, and the MP said it was because most people wanted it.
          I asked, “where’s the evidence?. There are around 650,000 people who have signed to say they’re against the move. Where’s the votes in favour?”
          Of course there was no answer.

  • John

    I have been a floating voter in every election I have been old enough to take part in and this referendum is no exception. At the moment I am very slightly more minded to vote to stay in the EU. But I am really cross that £9m of tax revenue is being shelled out on this booklet. I want to consider both arguments, (with facts, not opinions). That our taxes are only funding free leaflets putting only one case seems like an abuse of power to me.

    • bluedog

      The EU is an undemocratic abuse of power personified.

    • dannybhoy

      ” I want to consider both arguments, (with facts, not opinions).”
      That’s where you made your first mistake, and why you’ll continue to be a floater.
      Politics is more to do with the underlying philosophy espoused by the party.
      Expediency is what keeps them in power.
      I have always accepted the principles of Toryism (slightly left of centre), because the principles are more in line with the Scriptures and everyday reality..

      • Anton

        Perhaps her best quote.

        • dannybhoy

          Margaret Thatcher of fond memory was one of our finest political leaders.
          Flawed of course; but then we’re all flawed.
          But we don’t all get to lead our country.
          Margaret was a true patriot, and (I think) that’s why only she could have pulled off the Falklands War. She instinctively knew the hearts of the British people, and they responded to her lead, because they knew where her heart was..

          • Anton

            The Prime Minister, shortly after she came into office, received a sobriquet as the “Iron Lady”… In the next week or two this House, the nation and the right hon. Lady herself will learn of what mettle[metal] she is made – Enoch Powell, at the time of the Falklands.

  • Inspector General

    I say chaps, anyone know of any recent opinion poll results on the subject?

    • Martin

      IG

      Haven’t opinion polls been found to be flawed?

      • Inspector General

        They certainly are, Martin. One suspects that some polls about SSM that gave the queers 75%+ support were conducted in out of town shopping malls frequented mainly by upwardly mobile women prepared to say anything which pleased the researcher….

    • Uncle Brian

      At ComRes the latest poll on the EU referendum is dated 23 March, two weeks ago.

      http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/itv-news-march-2016-eu-referendum-poll/

      • Inspector General

        Blessings, Brian

      • DanJ0

        “The poll also finds that David Cameron is the most important politician in deciding how people will vote at the referendum. One in three (34%) Britons say the Prime Minister will be important in deciding how they vote.”

        We should count our blessings, and the Panama Papers.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Normally you get opinion polls practically every day in the run up to a general election and pundits on TV and in the press spend ages analysing them. Like you I was wondering why we have not had much news about polls on the Referendum.

      Could it be that the Establishment has lent on their friends in the polling organisations to persuade them not to carry out too many polls because they are afraid that the more people start thinking about the arguments the more likely they are to vote out?

      • Pubcrawler

        When the ‘official’ campaigning season starts (last four weeks before the poll) I guess we’ll have a surfeit of the things.

      • Little Black Censored

        Perhaps they have been conducting polls and don’t like the results? Well, we can always hope.

    • David

      Don’t trust the opinion polls, Inspector. Their record for accuracy is appalling. They are not fit for purpose. I suspect that they secure the answers that their paymasters set.

  • Martin

    They lied to us last time, their lying to us again. The EU relies on lies and is built on them.

    • David

      Exactly Martin. My thoughts exactly. Nothing based on lies ever produces any good – “by their fruits ye shall know them”.

  • Sybaseguru

    Just got back from night in pub with 40 yr olds and realised that they don’t remember days before EU, unlike us oldies. Key arguments seem to be:- a) The same people who wanted us in the Euro now want us to stay in EU. b) 3 million UK jobs – but EU has 5 million jobs dependent on UK. c) Its nice to be able to throw out a government you don’t like every 5 years. That option doesn’t exist with the EU. d) Nato and cross border policing (Interpol) existed long before the EU, and our biggest security information transfer is with the US who aren’t in the EU. e) Student Interrail and general European travel existed before the EU was formed, the EU has little to do with them, nor their cost.

    • preacher

      The fact is, that Cameron is targeting the young. They have no reference point to refer to as they weren’t born at the time of Heath.
      The majority of young people believe they can change the World for the better, it’s part of being young. Crafty politicians know this & build on it with a trendy approach & silky words, they beguile the young into believing their lies ( Straight out of the book ‘Father of lies’ Chapter 1, – In the beginning ) & when the trap is sprung, it’s too late to repent. The only alternative is to drag someone else down with you.
      My plea is to the young voters. Don’t believe everything you’re told. Check it out. Research the facts, especially the historical ones, did the E.U really start with a lie to the British public By Edward Heath ? Where have most of the “Retired” or failed political leaders ended up ? Where does the Billions of pounds we pay in go ? Have the accounts been audited & agreed lately ? Who runs the U.K, Westminster or Brussels ? Did David Cameron Really gain any major Concessions on his last whirlwind tour of Europe or just half promises ? The list is endless, but it is there to research. Why should you bother ? Because it’s your future & your children’s future. You will not be allowed to get rid of the European Union in a few years, – maybe never !.

      • sarky

        My plea to young voters – be as disinterested as you usually are and don’t bother voting.

        • big

          my experience of young people is they simply don’t care.

          • Anton

            Whatever.

          • big

            …its true!

          • Anton

            I was (elliptically!) agreeing with you.

          • big

            Whatever.

        • Anton

          Surely Uninterested?

  • Send Cameron’s booklet on to the Leave.EU office address at bottom of their website http://www.leave.eu. and they will drop them all off outside Downing St.
    Well worth the price of a stamp I say.

    • Anton

      Far easier for No.10 to ignore one parcel of 10,000 leaflets than 10,000 letters…

      • Uncle Brian

        We’re free to do both!

        • Better still send it to:

          Attn Joanna George
          Freepost RSBB-XRZT-ZTXE
          The Conservative Party Foundation
          30 Millbank
          LONDON
          SW1P 4DP

  • chiefofsinners

    The leave campaign will not benefit from this propaganda, because the campaign will only begin 4 weeks before the referendum. Timing, you see.
    David Cameron does not benefit from any offshore investments. He benefited in January 2010. Timing. Makes all the difference.
    Don’t you agree?

    • Anton

      Without approving of Offshore, I assert that taxes are too damn high, and fewer people would cheat if they were lower.

      • Yeah, and no one would cheat if there were no taxes.

        “All property is theft.”

        • The Explorer

          Did Proudhon steal the pen he wrote that with?

          • No. He made temporary use of a communal pen.

          • The Explorer

            How did the Commune acquire it?

          • Anton

            From the penitentiary.

          • They seized it from those who had misappropriated it and returned it to the people.

          • The Explorer

            But should the people have owned it in the first place? How far does one take this sort of thing? A Buddhist monk might own a saffron robe and a begging bowl, but insofar as those are property, then presumably he is guilty of theft?

          • Who said the people owned it?

        • Anton

          What you say doesn’t follow from what I said! Don’t you think taxes/government spending are too high?

      • dannybhoy

        I think some people will always try to get around the system Anton.
        It’s human nature.

  • len

    STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers’ money
    on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets
    (Just signed, better late than never) 127,717 signatures.

    • Little Black Censored

      And why isn’t there a HUGE ROW about the appointment of Samantha Cameron’s shopping lady, on OUR money?

      • James60498 .

        Because despite our ability to object on the Internet, things only get serious if major media organisations get involved, or opposition parties complain.

        That’s how things like “gay marriage” get through.

        • dannybhoy

          I think you’re right, but if enough people contact MPs/ Government deps/ other relevant agencies AND copy them all in, it has a greater impact.

          Mind you, my latest email to the PM’s office regarding overseas aid came back yesterday saying the website details had been changed and I would have to re-submit……!

          If we stay in the EU (Danny spits and makes secret sign), I expect there will be even less accountability from authority to the citizen, and more accountability from the citizen to the State..

        • Anton

          The Independent, even now online only, isn’t a small media outlet.

          • James60498 .

            Maybe or not.

            Either way. It is only when the media, or a substantial proportion of it, hunt as a pack. One article in one newspaper before they move on to something else will have no effect.

  • Lienus

    Justin Welby. What a bastard.

    • Anton

      We can choose our partners but not our parents.

      • Martin

        But we don’t have to make public pronouncements about our parent’s behaviour.

        • Anton

          Who did?

          Let us pray for Justin Welby this morning, because despite his good words about his real identity being in Christ he must be shaken up, and so must his family relationships. I will add one point (not in jest, and not meant with negative or positive implication): it does mean that his statements about having Jewish blood turn out to be inaccurate.

          • Martin

            Anton

            Judging by the pages of interview in the Telegraph, Welby did.

          • Anton

            I misunderstood. I think it is unfair to suggest that he made a public pronouncement about his parents’ behaviour; he made a public pronouncement about his paternity, which is not the same thing and which he has every right to do. I do not mean to condemn his mother but if she feels some embarrassment at the result, it is the consequence of her own actions.

          • Martin

            Anton

            In speaking about his paternity he was speaking of his parents behaviour.

          • Anton

            There is a world of difference between “I have learnt that my father is ‘A’ not ‘B’, but my mother will always be my mother and I love her” and “My mother is a disgrace to the family”. Welby’s response was not the latter:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/08/justin-welby-on-his-secret-father-what-has-changed-nothing/

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/08/justin-welby-dna-test-reveals-my-secret-father-was-sir-winston-c/

            Paternity is meant to be a public matter in most cultures, including ancient Israel where God set the laws, so Justin Welby is perfectly justified in letting his paternity be known. Moreover the suspicions were known to the key players, and the media were on to it; how long would it be before somebody unauthorised got hold of material to do a paternity test and published the results? Welby pre-empted all that.

          • Martin

            Anton

            If you proclaim that my father is no my mothers husband you are saying something about your parents behaviour. That is unavoidable.

            Paternity isn’t that much of an issue in the west where children are adopted and created from donor sperm. I don’t see that Welby was under any real pressure and I’m not sure that many people care.

          • Anton

            He did not condemn his mother’s behaviour.

            Are you suggesting that Welby should have said nothing, to spare her embarrassment, even though the media came to him with the implicit threat that they would publish what they already knew?

          • Martin

            Anton

            So a Christian, who believes the Bible, reveals that his mother indulged in sex outside marriage. Can he say that she was right to do so? He doesn’t need to explicitly condemn anything.

            I’d have said, argue it out with my parents, it’s nothing to do with me.

          • Anton

            I am not seeking to condemn Welby’s mother; “Condemn not, and you will not be condemned…” (Luke 6). But your comment makes me realise that I don’t understand your view; I only thought I did. I don’t mean to push you into a corner but please would you say what you think Welby should have done (and why) when the Telegraph came round saying “We suspect you are Montague-Browne’s son, we can push a microphone under your mother’s nose sometime soon, we can print a story with remarkably similar mugshots side-by-side, we have Montague-Browne’s DNA, we reckon we can get hold of yours quite easily, and frankly perhaps you’d like to know too.”

          • Martin

            Anton

            You do realise that is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible? 😉

            My reaction is that I would have commented as above, and told them that if they published I’d have publicly accuse them of cheap sensationalism.

          • Anton

            They wouldn’t give a damn, and might even welcome it. I’d add only that in God’s model constitution, ancient Israel (however badly it was maintained), paternity of individuals was a public issue.

          • Martin

            Anton

            So, they wouldn’t care? So what. I’d retain my dignity and the moral high ground and they would be damned for publishing. But we are in a hypothetical position here.

            I think that in ancient Israel maternal descent was the more important – it was the descent accompanied by evidence.

          • Anton

            Maternity *and* paternity.

            Do you think Welby has wronged his mother?

          • Martin

            Anton

            Maternity was the only one that could be proven.

            I think those who raised the issue are the ones who have been wrong.

          • Anton

            Understood!

            Ancient Israel used to log family trees and paternity (supposing wifely fidelity) was regarded as vital. Judaism actually changed to a religion/race passed through the mother after the Jews were forced out of their land 18 centuries ago. This was because paternity could no longer be assumed, unhappily, in view of the amount of rape of Jewish women that went on.

    • Dreadnaught

      Yawn…

    • dannybhoy

      A disgusting comment even in jest.
      Shame on you, Sarkers.
      Whatever else Justin Welby like all of us had no control over the circumstances of his birth.
      It’s what he has done with his life that matters.

      • sarky

        ???? I didn’t write it!!! Very quick though.

        • Anton

          I think Danny thinks you are Lienus.

          • sarky

            Zut alors!

          • dannybhoy

            Nah, I just expected more of Sarkers… :0)

          • sarky

            ????

      • Inspector General

        For some reason, the Inspector is minded of the following….

        “What are you doing, son?”

        “I’m flipping my double headed penny, dad”

        “Playing with a coin, and at your age! You should be out finding yourself a woman”

        “A woman, dad. Why would I need a woman? What use would a woman be to me?”

        {FATHER WHISPERS IN SON’S EAR…}

        “Really? Blimey! That’s better than having a double headed penny!”

    • It’s only a 99.9779% probability – still some room for doubt.

    • carl jacobs

      That story … should not exist. Why say anything?

  • steroflex

    The maddening thing is that:
    a. We do not have to leave the common market while we negotiate. (EEA)
    b. If we join EFTA, we can still negotiate as an equal – or a free nation actually – without any impediment.
    c. In UAE and Singapore, the economy is expanding fast and not (as in UK) on tick either. We ought to do the same – eventually.
    d. Mr Cameron ought to admit that he is using taxpayer’ money to mislead the British public just so that he can get to kiss Angela Merkel’s cheek at VERY IMPORTANT Meetings.

  • dannybhoy

    Good news.
    The petition many of us signed is to be debated on May 6th..
    “STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers’ money on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets”

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762
    Signing petitions does work, and as Christians we have an obligation (I think) to take the time to engage. If we don’t the same motto applies to us as it does to the uncaring….
    “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

    • chiefofsinners

      Great news. I suspect that any vote might well be lost. Which is why we weren’t told about these leaflets until they had been printed and it was too late to stop Cameron wasting our money on them.

  • Maalaistollo

    Prompted by comments on another site, I did an internet search to see who appeared to have printed the propaganda brochure. It seems to be a subsidiary of Deutsche Post. Well now, who’d have thought it? Wasn’t it Dr Goebbels who was the advocate of the big lie?

  • ‘We will keep our own border controls’ isn’t too bad, since we are not in Schengen and do have border controls. Much more problematic, however, is (second to last page of text):

    ‘The UK has kept the pound, will not join the euro and has kept control of UK borders.’

    We do not have control of our borders. With very few exceptions, any EU national is free to move to England to live and work here. To quote from the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford (http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/briefings/migration-flows-a8-and-other-eu-migrants-and-uk):

    ‘EU citizens are a key group as they enjoy free movement within the European Union and the government cannot limit their rights to live and work in the UK in the same way that it does for non-EU nationals.’

    If we cannot limit the number of people moving here from the other 27 EU nations, then it seems to me that we do not control our borders, in the most obvious and important sense of the expression. We can check their passports and their baggage, but we cannot in general refuse entry nor even limit how long they stay. So it is not true, if the words are used in their more natural sense, to say that the UK has ‘kept control of UK borders’.

    See http://doortofreedom.uk/response-to-government-leaflet-part-2-we-control-our-own-borders

    Andrew