EU Deal headlines 2
European Union

Cameron's EU deal: we were lied to in 1975; we won't be deceived again

 

David Cameron’s EU deal is no deal at all. It amounts to minor tinkering, presentational puff, and achieves little in terms of the subsidiarity-sovereignty objectives which the Conservative Party set out in their 2015 General Election Manifesto. “Our commitment to you,” they pledged: “Reclaim power from Brussels.”

But there is no “emergency brake” on immigration, unless the European Commission consents to apply it. There is no “red card” on EU legislative proposals, unless 14 other EU heads of state agree to play it. There is no “fundamental reform” on migrant welfare; it will be graduated over four years and supplemented by tax credits. And there is no legally enforceable “opt-out” from “ever closer union”: the Treaty of Rome remains foundational and preeminent.

There is, apparently, a cast-iron guarantee from the President of the European Council that these provisions will be incorporated into a future treaty, but John Major learned the hard way that EU assurances of change and pledges of progress may easily be forgotten. It is exactly 20 years ago that the British Government decided to ’empty chair’ all EU meetings, veto all decisions and block all proceedings in protest at a catalogue of broken promises over easing the EU-wide ban on British beef in the wake of the BSE crisis (that is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or ‘mad cow disease’).

Announcing the draconian measures to Parliament, Mr Major said that “despite prior assurances of support” there had been “a wilful disregard of Britain’s interests, and, in some cases, a breach of faith”. Driven to distraction, there was absolutely no alternative. He explained:

This is not how I like to do business within Europe but I see no alternative. We cannot continue business as usual within Europe when we are faced with this clear disregard by some of our partners of reason, common sense and Britain’s national interests. We continue to want to make progress through negotiation. But if this is not possible, we are bound to use the legal avenues open to us.

And so we come to another BSE (this one Britain Stronger in Europe), which is undoubtedly the Prime Minister’s conviction, just as it was Ted Heath’s (and, indeed, that of every prime minister since – at least while in office). But the fundamental deception by which Heath secured victory in the 1975 referendum will not be tolerated in 2017. He placed before the British people a benign vision of an economic community – a wealth-creating trade bloc – which would involve “no erosion of essential national sovereignty”. Many warned of the ultimate political trajectory of “ever closer union”, but the British Establishment was united on the teleology of the matter: the EEC was Britain’s ‘destiny’, and no-one listened to the original band of loonies, cranks and political gadflies.

And now David Cameron places before the British people a vision of a reformed EU – a wealth-creating trade bloc – which will henceforth involve the UK in nothing that our politicians do not deem to be in the national interest. We will retain the pound and be exempt from “ever closer union”. We have apparently clawed back our “essential national sovereignty”, or so we are being led to believe. This new EU deal has yet to be pored over and agreed by the other 27 EU member states, but this is basically it: the European Commission determines when the “emergency brake” may be applied; we need the support of 14 other heads of state before we can play the “red card”; there is no subsidiarity in terms of powers or competences reclaimed, and EU law remains supreme.

Sorry, Prime Minister, but this is Esau’s bargain. Our historic rights, customs, traditions and freedoms will not be sold again for a vile mess of pottage. In 1996, our EU overlords were not so easily persuaded that we had eradicated Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy from our land, or that all our grass-fed herds were BSE-free. And now, in 2016, it falls to discerning truth-tellers, incisive communicators and latter-day loonies, cranks and political gadflies to explain why ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ is nothing but rhetorical sophistry and political duplicity. We will not cease from mental fight, nor shall our swords sleep in our hands, ’til we have stamped out BSE from England’s green and pleasant land.

  • Dreadnaught

    European Union …Out Out Out.

  • sarky

    Could be interesting. Personaly I think every dirty trick in the book will be thrown at us over the coming months. Cameron would never promise something he could lose and I would be very dubious of an ‘in’ result, especially as I’m yet to meet anyone who would vote that way.
    The new deal is an insult to the people of this countryand I just hope that we are all strong enough to give a giant middle finger to Brussels.

    • Anton

      The traditional British antisalute is two fingers, Sarky.

      Some years ago Jacques Chirac admitted that there was nothing he could do about the EU rebate that Blessed St Margaret of Finchley had negotiated us and, in exasperation, he called upon Britain to “make a gesture”…

  • len

    Cameron is attempting to present anything that vaguely resembles ‘a deal’ with the EU (over the rights they have stripped from us) much as Chamberlain did with’ the deal’ he did with Hitler.

    As soon as Hitler had done the deal with Chamberlain one of Hitler`s aid`s said to the Fuhrer “you have committed to peace now?” Hitler replied” that piece of paper means nothing.”
    As does Cameron`s ‘deal’ with the EU.
    The referendum will be pushed through before’ this deal’ collapses.

    • Old Nick

      Will the ‘deal’ include getting our fisheries back – taken away and given to our EEC ‘partners’ almost as an afterthought at the very end of the negotiation last time.

      • len

        Might get a ‘cast iron’ promise? We know how they work out..

        • Old Nick

          My experience of cast iron is that it is inclined to crack. A tempered steel promise might be worth having (good luck with that !).

  • Anton

    Won’t Get Fooled Again:

  • Malcolm Smith

    What’s the problem? Take unilateral action! Opt out of everything you don’t like. Refuse to adopt any EU regulations you don’t like. Make your own immigration laws. Refuse to enforce any EU directive if they try to punish you.
    Do what all free people should do: just refuse to knuckle down.

  • Hi

    Out, out, out! Either be slaves in the EU or be a free sovereign state outside it!

  • Findaráto

    In, in, in!

    This is going to play out exactly like the Scottish referendum. As the date approaches, opinion polls (especially those published in the Daily Wail) will show a majority in favour of leaving, and then on the day the in vote will carry it decisively.

    Won’t the comments section of this site be a picture to behold on that fine day? The most extravagant scenes from The Exorcist will be as nothing. It’ll be green pea soup and spinning heads all the way…

    • Anton

      Brussels sprouts totalitarianism.

      • Findaráto

        Brussels sprouts are delicious with a little butter and pepper. And very good for you too. You may not like the taste, but children often don’t like what’s good for them. They want to live on a diet of sweets and dreams of power and independence, when really they need help to accomplish even the most basic of tasks.

        I predict that Britain will stay in the EU because that is where British interests lie. A minority of insular xenophobes won’t change that.

        • Anton

          On the contrary; the only way to make Brussels’ fare palatable is to smother them in good English batter and then deep-fry them:

          http://potluck.ohmyveggies.com/beer-battered-brussels-sprouts/

          • Pubcrawler

            But does it conceal the smell of rat?

          • Findaráto

            Go right ahead. Dip your whole dinner in batter and deep-fry it. And then once you’ve dropped dead from the myocardial infarction that will inevitably follow (and do be quick about it – don’t want you and your poor lifestyle choices blocking a National Health bed, do we?), then perhaps some sensible voices will be able to make themselves heard. At the moment they’re being drowned out by all the jingoistic nonsense coming from the Daily Wail brigade.

          • Notforinfants

            Findarato.
            If you cannot see that the whole exercise has resulted in a Pig in a poke then you need to wake up, and hear the considered opinions of the majority on this and many other blogs.
            You are in a tiny minority, and what is worse you are wrong!
            Cameron failed to obtain anything substantial at all. His meagre concessions wrested from the EU are covered in such Byzantine and convoluted language as to be meaningless anyway.
            We must vote to get out of this parasitic 1950s organisation.

          • Anton

            Aren’t you behind the times? It’s sugar, not fat, that’s the bad guy.

        • The Explorer

          I predict that Britain will stay in the EU because that is where British interests don’t lie.

        • William Lewis

          It’s not xenophobic to want to leave the EU, but it is rather vacuous to make such a claim..

          • Findaráto

            I agree, it’s extremely vacuous to claim that it isn’t xenophobic to want to leave the EU. It’s like those people who say “I’m no racist, but those bloody blacks…”

          • William Lewis

            Piffle

          • Findaráto

            I concur that your contribution so far deserves that name.

          • William Lewis

            Unfortunately, your only concurrence here is with your own childish twaddle.

            Plus ça change, eh, Linus?

          • Hi William

            It’s also interesting that the opposition to the EU also comes from the left e.g. Tony Benn was many things, but an xenophobe was not one of them.

          • William Lewis

            Quite. The EU is, above all, an unaccountable political and bureaucratic administration. Nothing to do with anyone’s race or nationality.

          • Anton

            Love Europe, hate the EU…

          • Findaráto

            Love the sinner, hate the sin, eh?

            Now why does that ring so hollow, I wonder?

          • Anton

            Just as sin is bad for the sinner, it’s the EU that’s bad for Europe. One barmy head of State lets millions of Muslims in – mainly single unskilled men – and they are then free to move anywhere; the single currency means the southern nations can’t devalue to compensate for their weaker economies since 2008 and unemployment rises to 30% which is a recipe for misery and social unrest. Look at polls in core EU countries – people are seeing what the Brits always saw.

          • Hi Anton

            what’s kept the lid on this is that a lot of southern Europeans and indeed French Jews (fleeing antisemitism) are coming to find work in London. Mostly urbane professionals.

          • Anton

            They are welcome here so far as I am concerned.

          • Hi

            I quite agree….

        • The Explorer

          Was the Battle of Britain an example of xenophobia, in your view?

          • Findaráto

            The fight was against Nazism, not Germans per se. So why would it be classed as xenophobic?

          • The Explorer

            At the declaration of war, Chamberlain said, “We are at war with Germany”.

          • Findaráto

            You judge the nature of Britains’s response to Nazism based on Chamberlain’s words?

            Interesting…

          • The Explorer

            I take it you feel RAF pilots should have established the political affiliations of their opponents before responding? If the pilot were a Nazi, it would have been permissible to engage, but an RAF pilot should have allowed himself to be shot down by an ordinary German. What should the response have been towards a Heinkel bomber containing a crew of mixed political affiliations?

          • Findaráto

            All Germans serving in the Luftwaffe had to take an oath of allegiance to the Führer, so they were all self-proclaimed Nazis even if they didn’t belong to the Nazi party, which many if not most of them did. Also, the Luftwaffe was being used to further the political aims of the Nazi party, therefore any crew member who may not have, in his heart, have been a Nazi was culpable by association.

            Acting in legitimate self-defence during a war is not xenophobia. So no, the French were not being xenophobic in defending themselves against the Prussians. As far as I’m aware though, a state of war does not currently exist between Britain and the EU, although in the minds of some fundamentalist Christians, it might…

          • The Explorer

            I quite agree with you about legitimate self-defence.
            When the British left India, radical Indian students hurled copies of ‘The Oxford Book of English Verse’ at the carriages of departing educators. Go, and take your culture with you.
            Would that be an example of xenophobia, in your view?

          • Findaráto

            Your example of how Somalis should behave in Britain is probably xenophobic in the sense that your goal is to portray Somalis as barbaric.

            I’m not familiar enough with Somali customs to know whether it’s commonplace behaviour to behead trespassers, so I can’t really say if your accusation is justified.

            I will say though that in general, I find extreme accusations are often motivated by xenophobic intent. So for example, if you were to say that Germans shouldn’t be welcomed in Britain because they might attempt to gas their neighbours if they don’t like them, then yes, I would say that’s xenophobic. Choosing the worst and most extreme crime ever committed by a people and claiming it will happen in your country if you let those people in is the very defintion of xenophobia. Nobody seriously believes that Germans will go around gassing their neighbours. To claim they will is a malicious act based either in unreasoning fear or unreasoning hatred.

            So will Somalis go around beheading trespassers? What does experience teach us? Is beheading an everyday occurence in Somalia? It might be for all I know, but then again it might be quite rare. And even if it is commonplace over there, how frequently does it happen in Britain? In areas where Somalis congregate, is there evidence of increased rates of death by beheading?

            If so then I don’t think it’s xenophobic to limit immigration from Somalia. Xenophobia is unreasonable fear of foreigners, and if Somalis routinely behead those they have a difference of opinion with, it isn’t unreasonable to be afraid of them.

            Remember however that under British law, an accused is considered innocent until proven guilty. So where’s your evidence that Somalis are habitual beheaders? If you can produce none then I would have no hesitation in calling your accusation xenophobic.

          • The Explorer

            Note the ‘if’.

          • Hi

            More than I get…

          • The Explorer

            Yes, but you’re not a fundamentalist Christian. (Neither am I; although Cacheton and You Know Who would have it so.)

          • Hi explorer

            I do get insults from “the one” though . It’s like the old tango ad. (:

          • Findaráto

            “If” is a very small word to hide blatant xenophobia behind.

          • The Explorer

            Small word with big implications.

            There was that case a couple of years ago of the girl visiting Leicester who had half her hair torn out by a gang of Somali girls. She had strayed onto their turf; but being a visitor, and in a public place, she had not realised that they had laid claim to the space.
            Agreed, although territorial that’s far short of beheading: which is encouraging. However, the Judge still thought the girls were in the wrong. If they hadn’t been unused, as Muslims, to being drunk, he would have punished them.

          • Findaráto

            I don’t know the particulars of the case you’re referring to, so exactly how you’re spinning it I can’t say. But everything you’ve written so far leads me to suspect that whatever did happen, you’ll do your best to misrepresent it in support of your single-minded goal of getting the UK out of the EU.

            Experience has taught me that nothing stands in the way of the zealot’s pursuit of his goal, least of truth and honour.

          • The Explorer

            Google Rhea Page. There’s a Telegraph CCTV video, and an account of the incident.

          • Findaráto

            Again you indulge in the willful misrepresentation of the arguments of others.

            Look back at my comments and you will find no claim that Somalis are not violent.
            You will also find no claim that they are.

            Of course that doesn’t matter to you. What interests you is not acknowledging the truth of a situation, but rather demonising your opponents even if you have to lie about what they’ve said.

            I see I’m dealing with a genuine and highly manipulative demagogue here. And that is something I refuse to do. This conversation is therefore at an end.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, I made a loose translation of your views, following their spirit rather than the letter of your wording. But you are right, I attributed atheism to you in relation to the actions of Somalis, when I should have attributed agnosticism. For that, I apologise.
            This is not an attempt to prolong the discussion (resolvable, anyway, by an examination of the evidence) which is, as we have both said, at an end.

          • Hi

            How do you maintain almost Zen like calm in these exchanges?

          • The Explorer

            Awareness that the opponent in question likes to divert the argument.

          • The Explorer

            There is a book by James Fergusson called ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Place’. If you don’t know the work in question, I’ll give you one guess as to which country he’s talking about.

          • Hi

            Just to correct you on a fact : Nazism wasn’t a state or country, but Germany or the Third Reich was . Therefore Britain couldn’t have declared war on Nazism as such. Ergo that’s why Chamberlain said “we are at war with Germany”.

          • Findaráto

            The US has declared war on terrorism. That’s not a country or a state.

            Nations can declare war on whoever or whatever they like.

          • Hi

            We’re taking about the 1930s here and not the 2000s. And it a fact the British empire declared war on the Third Reich as a country. Or are you deny historical facts now?

          • CliveM

            To use politicians talking about a ‘war on terror’ is a silly example. It is political posturing with no legal status.

            Declaring war on a country does and is a very different thing.

            Fouundarat is using some very desperate arguments.

          • Hi Clive

            Ratetui is always right…..

          • Pubcrawler

            Henceforth I shall refer to him as Basil

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

          • Hi

            Yeah. I’m ignoring the attempts at being goaded into a spat. …

          • Findaráto

            If you read Chamberlain’s speech to the Commons, it’s clear that Britain’s declaration of war is targeted at the German government and more specifically at Hitler himself. No enmity is expressed towards the German people.

            It’s a statement of intent to overthrow a political system, not a people. As such it is not xenophobic. The war it declares is a war of political principle, not racially motivated fear and hatred.

          • Anton

            As a pedant, may I point out that he actually said “This country is at war with Germany”?

          • The Explorer

            I was paraphrasing. I should have used indirect speech.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      It is precisely because I am NOT xenophobic that I do not like the way Europe is going.

      The EU models itself on the Roman Empire, which turned people into Roman citizens (or slaves).

      In Medieval Europe, people kept their national identities, although educated folks enjoyed freer cultural communication than they do today.

      It is the emergence of ideologies and philosophies which superhelicalized (srewed up) the situation.

      • Findaráto

        The EU is nothing like the Roman Empire. It is a free association of member states, each of which participates fully in the exercise of power. There is no emperor, no hereditary privilege, no slavery, and power is not restricted to members of a patrician class.

        You can argue that certain European institutions need reforming to make them more accountable. But to compare what is clearly a democratic and participative form of government to an autocratic and despotic empire shows an astonishing level of malice and willful misrepresentation. I think that’s what will finally lose you the argument. The comparison with Ancient Rome is just silly, which makes your entire position look amateurish and poorly thought through.

        • The Explorer

          £20 000 a minute for the privilege of belonging to the continuation of Germany by other means.

        • Notforinfants

          Findarato.
          There is nothing remotely democratic about the EU.
          The EU Commission is unelected and unaccountable to any national parliament or electorate.
          Take for example the much lauded ‘vetoes’ that the UK was promised on any new EU laws we don’t like, as part of the PM’s negotiations.

          ‘Veto’ means a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a lawmaking body. That’s not what’s (potentially) on offer.

          This veto or ‘red card’ amounts to us asking the EU to stop a proposed draft law. (Not one already in existence.) We then have to persuade a majority of other EU countries to agree with us – 55% is the figure quoted. 55% is not a veto, it’s an exercise of democracy where a majority wins. Or it would be, if the EU were a democratic institution.

          This groteque distortion of language and the truth gets even worse. According to the BBC the vote will allegedly be given to each parliamentary chamber in the EU. I looked it up and thirteen states including the UK are ‘bicameral’, ie they have two chambers. In our case it’s almost inevitable that the HoL would vote the opposite way to the HoC, thereby cancelling out our vote.

          The UK would need the votes of 23 out of 41 parliamentary chambers in the 28 countries in order to win any so-called ‘veto’ vote with a 55% majority. Not a chance, given the way we’ve been outvoted to date.

          Finally, something like this would certainly require treaty change, which the PM has not, and will not be, offered.

          How is any of this any kind of ‘breakthrough’? If No.10 describes it as such, or if it tries to use the word ‘veto’, I regret that it would be perfectly fair to call their words ‘outright lies’.

          • Findaráto

            The EU has a democratically elected parliament, and the European Commission is appointed by the European Council, itself made up of the democratically elected heads of government of each member state. All appointments are subject to ratification by the European Parliament. So far, so democratic.

            While it’s true that there are good arguments in favour of directly electing the European Commission, there are also good arguments against it. The current system ensures that power remains in the hands of member state governments. A directly elected Commission would have a democratic mandate that could set it on a collision course with national governments. Keeping things as they are ensures that national sovereignty is not transferred to Brussels.

            Euro-skeptics really are playing a double game. On the one hand they complain about the EU not being democratic enough in an attempt to appeal to populist sentiment, while on the other, they support the current system because it means power stays with the member states, which is what they really want. The thing they claim to want – a democratically elected and therefore unarguably legitimate Commission – is the very thing they’re working to ensure never happens.

            And then there are the Nationalists who see in the EU the whore of Babylon or whatever other feverish hate figure they want to project their loathing of the other onto.

            If Britain does vote to leave the EU, you’ll soon understand that your visions of a new Elizabethan age full of conquest and expansion are nothing more than a nostalgic fantasy. Britain isolated from Europe and without unfettered access to the Single Market can only decline.

          • Hi Linus

            “The EU has a democratically elected parliament”

            So did Wilhelmine Germany. The Reichstag was called “the fig leaf of democracy”

          • Findaráto

            Germany is no longer ruled by an autocratic emperor. It’s every bit as democratic as the UK. So is the EU.

            So your point would be…?

          • Hi

            The point being a counter to your argument about the EU parliament , i.e. it is the EU’s ‘fig leaf of democracy’. Just like the Reichstag.

          • Findaráto

            Total nonsense. Someone’s been indoctrinated by the lies and half-truths of the Daily Wail brigade. Sad to see, but not unexpected on a site like this.

          • Hi

            Poor old you.

          • Findaráto

            Right back at you, with an equal level of contempt.

          • Hiya fin!

            That wasn’t me being contemptuous, you silly thing. I was feeling sorry for you , as you’ve reverted to silly insults as a debating tactic so early on. If it makes you feel any better I’m doing French cooking tonight. . Heartless xenophobic whatever other silly phobia you throw around . Laters!

          • Findaráto

            And once more, right back at you with the same level of contempt and derision. I could take it up a notch, but I don’t waste time looking for original things to say to those whose political beliefs are regurgitated word for word from the Daily Wail.

          • Hi

            Insulting isn’t debating…. and I’m not giving you my contempt. You haven’t really put up a convincing case to remain in the EU , except to call people xenophobic etc. That’s pretty terrible as an argument. You know that which is why you revert to such silliness and why you don’t respond to posts in a way one can engage in a discussion.

          • Findaráto

            Discussion is impossible with a dogmatically entrenched position.

            I’ve stated why I think Britain should stay in the EU. But all I’ve seen from you is “out, out, out!” I still don’t understand why. Because the EU isn’t democratic? But it is. Or because there are too many migrants? So where did your family come from then? A bastion of Middle England like Lviv, or perhaps Wilna, or Warsaw, or Smolensk?

            The descendants of migrants should think very carefully about their own position before jumping on an anti-migrant bandwagon.

          • Hi

            You forgot to add at the bottom of your post ” despite my constant usage of them , no straw men (or women) were harmed in the writing of this post”.

          • Findaráto

            And you forgot to add to yours “now that I’m inside the keep, raise the drawbridge and keep that migrant rabble out! I’ve got what I want and to hell with everyone else!”

            About sums up your position, doesn’t it? Reminds me of a remark my grandfather made when his club was debating a liberalisation of its membership criteria. “Funny how the last lot to come on board always want us to lock up the lifejackets. They’re alright Jack. Let the others drown.”

          • Hi

            Another straw man, this time with a hat and coat on….

          • Findaráto

            Nothing straw-like about my argument at all.

            If you’re Jewish, you’re either an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants. And here you are pushing an anti-immigration policy.

            Are you saying “out, out, out! But let immigrants in, in, in!”? Or are you just sticking to the unqualified argument knowing full well that if Britain leaves the EU, the first thing that will happen is a radical reduction in immigration?

            You’ll be alright though, won’t you? The comfort and freedom that your parents or grandparents were seeking when came to Britain won’t be taken away from you. Your castle walls stand unbreached and there you are, boiling oil at the ready, prepared to pour it over anyone else who’s looking for shelter. I mean, taking someone else in might mean there’s less for you! And isn’t that a horrifying prospect?

          • Hi

            The straw man you are giving is summarised by you writing this:

            “And here you are pushing an anti-immigration policy.”

            A straw man is :

            ” a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent”

            You see I have not ONCE mentioned immigration in relation to leaving the EU and I have NOT pushed any anti immigration policy on this thread. In fact the only time I mentioned immigration was to Anton and I wasn’t at all being negative about that.You don’t know my views on immigration et al *, expect how you have created what you think are my views and then sought to attack me via that prism.You are slinging mud around and it is disgraceful. But not unexpected.

            *which are far too complex and nuanced for you to grasp.

          • Oh and if you really gave a toss about immigrants , us Jews etc , you’d have joined me in tackling Johnny Rottenborough on the first thread you appeared on. Instead you took the cowardly easy approach and hijacked that thread as an opportunity for gratuitous swipes against religion , God, Christianity, whilst gloating Jews shouldn’t believe in God . And yet above your comments in that thread there was a guy writing stuff that YOU apparently don’t like. Get your act together if you are so self righteous and tackle the real out and out the genuine far right on comments section of this blog .

          • Findaráto

            I don’t read the comments made by the “gentleman” you refer to. They’re parodies of themselves, and critiquing a parody is a battle lost in advance.

            I restrict my comments to those who should know better. Like the descendants of immigrants who want to take advantage of the immigrant crisis to push us out of the EU so that they can keep everything they have, and never mind the consequences for anyone else.

            Your grandparents had somewhere to flee to. What happens to you if the people behind attitudes like those expressed by Johnny Rottenborough take advantage of the swelling tide of anti-immigrant feeling to set the country on a fascist and racist course that will target you as much as it will target any recent arrival from Syria?

            I suppose for you there’s always Israel. If you get your way over Europe, you might find yourself living there a lot sooner than you think.

          • Stop lying about my views, thanks.

          • So you are a coward who is selective in his principles? Disgusting.

          • As for the rest of your crap , I was born in this country and am a citizen of it.I have every right therefore to hold an opinion about how this country should be governed and by what rules. That is the crux of the EU debate. It is neither xenophobic or whatever to believe in the idea that a sovereign liberal democratic country should be able to pass their law and subject the government who passes such laws to scrutiny and election.

          • Findaráto

            In the UK law is not made by popular vote. That right belongs to Parliament.

            The fact of being a British citizen does not give you the right to change any laws. All you can do is exercise your vote in favour of a candidate you hope will cast his vote in Parliament in a way you approve of. Once elected, he is not obliged to obey your diktats and vote for what you tell him to. That’s how representative parliamentary democracies work.

            So you don’t have quite as much power as you think you do.

            What you do have is a desire to deny the opportunities given to your forebears to others. The descendant of migrants who bolts the door against migrants is a miserable creature indeed. Even in the Jewish faith there are commandments about helping the needy and desperate, aren’t there? Does none of that matter as long as you get to keep what you consider to be your birthright?

            Interesting how religion is so very quickly cast aside when someone’s interests are at stake. The Christian (and Jewish) NIMBY should be a contradiction in terms, and yet here you all are, screaming at your politicians to bolt the door and keep Britain for the British. Dress it up however you like, the Britain Out campaign is all about naked self-interest. It’s especially apparent in the case of latecomers such as yourself, but even the oldest of English families with roots going back to Saxon times are still fighting for the same goal as you: how to keep what’s mine and make sure Johnny Foreigner doesn’t swipe it.

            What an unedifying spectacle. Christians may be the worst of all as they talk about peace, love and brotherhood out of one side of their mouths and then shriek “bolt the doors!” out of the other. But followers of other faiths or cultural identities who arrive on these shores and then turn around and slam the door in the face of those who want to follow them are just about as bad.

          • Stop lying. Stop misrepresenting my position. Stop the straw men.

          • “If you’re Jewish, you’re either an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants. And here you are pushing an anti-immigration policy.”

            In fact I have no such agenda. And any nation has the right to get who does and doesn’t get to live her. Indeed practically every country in Europe is now reintroducing border controls . So are the totality of European nations xenophobic, by your logic? Or is it because the issues on immigration are nuanced, complex and are worthy of better than sixth form debating tactics?

            In fact it is precisely because my grandparents ,fleeing a vicious pogrom in Iraq , did seek refuge in this country and made good , I wish to see Britain maintain its old school whig and classical liberal custom and approach : the common law, the Westminster system, jury trials. This cannot be reconciled with an EU system which doesn’t grasp common law, but unsurprisingly prefers the civil law of the Napoleonic code.

          • CliveM

            Hannah

            Well said.

          • Hi Clive

            Thanks for that .

          • Anton

            Jews integrate publicly and celebrate their culture in private. The latest wave of immigrants are from a system which, once here, does the opposite.

          • Findaráto

            So those who refuse to integrate into the surrounding culture and insist on making a public spectacle of their religion should be booted out, eh?

            Well if that’s how you want it … Christians out!

          • Anton

            I’m talking about who to admit, not who to boot out, as I think you know.

        • Hi

          The EU exists so France can continue to pretend to be great power, no, mon ami?

          • Findaráto

            Ah, Francophobia rears its ugly head.

            So as you seem to be happy to diss the French, I expect you don’t mind a bit when others diss the Israelis. Or even British Jews.

            I’ll bear that in mind next time I come across an anti-Semite and bat him your way, shall I?

          • Hi Linus

            LOL- desperation!

            As you know there are people who post here who are critical of Israel and Jews, whether or not they are British. You should also know that I don’t mind a bit about these people sharing with us their delightful insights, as freedom of speech is dear to me and I respond accordingly.

            You should also know that your silly attempt to equate francophobia with antisemitism is scrapping the barrel esp as I have French relatives via my siblings. And you cannot deny that the foreign policy of France since at least de Gaulle’s time has been to harness Europe’s collective muscle to buttress French ambitions and diplomacy. That’s fact NOT “francophobia” .

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Thank you for your most helpful and informative comment. I will admit that I have indulged in a heavy dose of anachronism.

          Nevertheless, the reason Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and in so doing obliterated continental Celtic culture was as a bargaining chip in his own internal Roman power struggle.

          Similarly, to EU power brokers, nationalities are simply to be regarded as bargaining chips in their own internal power struggles and self-aggrandisement.

          I do however, suspect that you are one of those “progressive” fellows who look down their noses at all who do not share their views or look up to them. Call that “mailce” if you will.

          • Findaráto

            I won’t call it “mailce” because I don’t know what that is. But I do know malice when I see it.

            Your accusations about European “power brokers” are clearly motivated by malice. You accuse them – whoever they may be – of all sorts of crimes, but where’s your proof? Who are they and what crimes have they committed?

            The Internet throws up all sorts of crazy conspiracy theorists with an axe to grind and a hatred of anyone who makes a decision they don’t like. It sounds very much to me as though you fall into exactly that category. People with a genuine grievance don’t make unsupported accusations against anonymous and shadowy figures who may or may not even exist. That’s how crack-pot conspiracy theorists act.

            But maybe I’m wrong and I really should be adding “European power brokers” to the list of bogeymen I need to be afraid of. They don’t sound quite as scary as the “Global Elite”, the “Illuminati” and the “Reptilian Shape Shifters”. But maybe my imagination just isn’t as fertile as yours…

          • IrishNeanderthal

            You forgot the Gnomes of Zürich.

    • The Explorer

      If Linus/Findarato advocates staying in, that is the best conceivable argument for leaving.

      • He’s just being contrary as is his attention seeking wont.

        • The Explorer

          True, but it’s also consistent with what he’s said previously. He might actually believe it.

  • john in cheshire

    I think we should all pray to God that he opens the eyes and ears of the people of our country and guides them into voting to leave the monstrous construct that is the EU. It’s almost a certainty that if the vote is to remain then the EU will complete the destruction of our country because there will then be nothing to stop them. For me there is only one choice in the referendum and that is for us to leave. The alternative will be the ruination of our country.

  • Anton

    We were not lied to by Brussels in the 1970s. We were lied to by Edward Heath.

    Suppose there is an Out vote by a few percent. It would be nice to think that we then tell Brussels to stick it, at first cordially but if necessary unilaterally. But it is not clear that that would actually happen, because our “representative democracy” has become an unrepresentative democracy.

    • HedgehogFive

      Sir Edward Heath, Raglafart – An Obituary of the Worst British Prime Minister of the Twentieth Century

      http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/000520.php

      Trafalgar spelt backwards

      • Anton

        Given the competition it is quite some achievement to be the worst British PM of the 20th century.

  • preacher

    David Cameron should be ashamed. He goes to Europe like Oliver Twist with his bowl held out, plaintively begging for more of the unpalatable slop that we have been fed & told was doing us good for years, then returns in fake triumph to announce that we will get bigger portions of the same swill.
    The E.U is sinking like the Titanic, the prudent & wise head for the lifeboats. It doesn’t take much intelligence to decide the right course of action. Out !!!.
    As it’s said, ” You snooze – You lose !. It’s Time to choose ! Sink with the ship or Abandon the cruise !.

    • Anton

      Or go into booze.

      • preacher

        Yes, Anton, but even that costs us more than the rest of Europe.

        • Anton

          Debt accrues.

          • preacher

            Staying in will not amuse ?

          • Anton

            Let’s hope the vote is the day Cameron rues.

          • preacher

            You mean D.C will get the Blues !

          • Anton

            Hopefully good news!

          • Jack suspects the ‘Out’ vote will lose.

          • Anton

            I trust that the people will refuse.

          • Not when DC lays on the schmooze.

          • Anton

            Not if I get hold of his muse.

          • You hope to change her views?

          • Anton

            On such matters I’ve a short fuse.

          • You’ll have to ply her with a bottle of booze.

          • Anton

            Try again; we’ve done booze above…

          • Best wear a pair of steel capped shoes.

          • Anton

            Or drag her into the pews.

          • With God’s grace to infuse.

          • Anton

            Thanks to the king of the Jews.

          • Who’s chosen people offered boos.

          • Anton

            [Shurely “whose”?]

            But whom He will ultimately disabuse.

          • Well, Revelation offers some clues.

          • Anton

            I thought you found it to confuse?

            [Shurely – I see you don’t read Private Eye.]

          • Yes, it’s a book that tends to bemuse.

          • Anton

            Actually I find that it renews.

          • Let’s get back to EU p’s and q’s.

          • Anton

            Yes, and let’s really turn the screws.

          • If we leave, Jack will play with his didgeridoos.

          • Anton

            Don’t expect favourable reviews!

          • There’ll be a few cock-a-doodle-doos.

          • Anton

            I hope the noise will diffuse.

          • It’ll be the noisiest of hullabaloos.

          • Anton

            In which case I accuse.

          • Surely it would be a time to enthuse?

          • Anton

            That would be something Cameron eschews.

          • Pubcrawler

            Look, chaps: it’s all an elaborate ruse.

          • Have AM and DC been exchanging billet-doux?

          • Anton

            We need time to peruse.

          • They exchanged their love over the vindaloos.

          • Anton

            A proper pair of cuckoos.

          • More like a pair of cockatoos.

          • Anton

            This is getting like the exhibits at zoos.

          • Next there’ll be tu-whit tu-whoos.

          • Anton

            I’m ‘owling with laughter in all my sinews.

          • Jack’s looking for a couple of canoes.

          • Anton

            Bonne nuit; je m’excuse.

          • Jack has no problem with aperçus.

          • Then he would have to offer early final adieus.

        • CliveM

          Well that’s our fault.

          • preacher

            Yes Clive, but we trusted the wrong person & then we didn’t get a say in the matter.

          • CliveM

            I was talking about the duty we wish to levy on booze!

            Which I agree with.

          • Anton

            We lost America by doing that to tea.

          • preacher

            Let’s hope we take the same course of action as the U.S.A took & pull out of the deal.

          • carl jacobs

            Don’t think of it as “loosing America.”. Think of it as spinning off a new and improved version of British culture.

          • CliveM

            Nope, can’t do that, it would be an untruth!

          • James60498 .

            My son was setting up an iPhone just an hour ago. He asked me why it was giving him separate options of “English” and “British English”

            Is your “new and improved version of English culture” the answer?

          • carl jacobs

            We have taken over stewardship of the English language, yes.

          • James60498 .

            While the Muslims, the EU and the secularists destroy English society, the Americans destroy our language.

          • carl jacobs

            Not “destroy.” Improve. You need to keep an open mind about these things.

          • Anton

            Henceforth we shall be content to play Athens to Washington’s Rome.

  • CliveM

    One of the problems with the vote, is that the wrong question will be asked. We should decide if we want to sign up to the project ‘hook, line and sinker’ or leave. This pretence of a half way house isn’t making a decision, it’s prolonging the pain.

    • preacher

      Ah ! but you’ve hit the nail on the head with the word Pretence, it’s been a Three ring Circus from the start.

      • CliveM

        And to be honest, it has undermined our membership from the start. I wonder if the lies hadn’t been told, if people would feel so negative to it.

  • IanCad

    Hate to say I told you so but this idiotic and populist referendum is going to fail and the chains will be tightened.
    To repeat from yesterday; Donald tusk is our unelected master. David Cameron is our elected lapdog to the courts of Europe.
    Having put at hazard the integrity of our union, now the stamp is being put on our loss of sovereignty. There is blame for all, not excluding Nigel Farage whose short-sightedness, his lack of respect for, and the understanding of, our system of representative government was the main force in calling for this unprincipled plebiscite.
    We need leadership and even though a CP member I see no hope in the present crop of wretched conservative MP’s. There are a few standouts – very few. There must be reform within the CP. Most of the new MP’s need weeding out.
    What to do?? A Conservative Reform Party? A Sovereignty Party? A String Up The Bastards Who Got Us Into This Mess Party?
    There are a lot of angry voters out there who yearn for change.
    I do hope it is not just the rage of dreaming sheep.

    • Hi

      As the Irishman Lord Palmerston, once said and Cameron has forgotten [after sending a battleship to bombard Athens in defence of a Sephardi Jewish subject of her Maj] :

      “I therefore fearlessly challenge the verdict which this House, as representing a political, a commercial, a constitutional country, is to give on the question now brought before it; whether the principles on which the foreign policy of Her Majesty’s Government has been conducted, and the sense of duty which has led us to think ourselves bound to afford protection to our fellow subjects abroad, are proper and fitting guides for those who are charged with the Government of England; and whether, as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say ‘Civis Romanus sum’; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England, will protect him against injustice and wrong.”

      • IanCad

        Bless you Hannah for digging that up.
        We have been, I’m afraid, emasculated. What once was considered duty, accepted as principle, regarded as settled, has vanished utterly. I am ashamed of how far we have sunk. Liberty is discounted as conditional, thoughts as no longer private and our history a matter of shame; if it is remembered at all.
        There is hope, this blog attests to that. You and I, our host and most of the contributors and observers wait in the wings.
        Our day will come.

        • Uncle Brian

          Trust in God and keep your powder dry.

          • IanCad

            Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

        • David

          Many of us hope so Ian.

      • Old Nick

        Irish, but M.P. for Tiverton

    • Old Nick

      Andrew Tyrie for PM

      • IanCad

        I had to Google him to get a few details. So far so good. I’m not so unrealistic as to expect a clone of myself. If he is all for releasing us from the maw of the EU Beast; Is an unconditional supporter of free speech; Understands that liberty – to be maintained – has to be constantly fought for; Then he is, for sure, one of the few shining lights in the party.
        Thanks for making me aware of him Nick.
        One of the few. I feel encouraged.

        • Old Nick

          He was one of the few Tories to vote (and speak) against bombing Syria. Though his main interests are economic.

  • HedgehogFive

    The EU has been ruined by people like Daniel Cohn-Bendit (red then green) and Jean-Claude Juncker, who seems to forgotten Luxembourg’s national motto Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin (“We want to remain what we are”).

    How can one realize both the desirability of a strong Europe and the fact that Britain cannot reasonably remain in the EU as it now is (and getting worse)?

    Britain leaves, then one by one other countries leave and join Britain to form a better block.

    • Anton

      With Schengen and the Euro heading for the rocks on timescales of months we might simply be administering the coup de grace…

      • Findaráto

        Schengen’s days look numbered, but the euro is strong enough. It’s weathered significant storms in the past few years but still retains the confidence of the markets.

        Still, that won’t stop the prognosticators of doom announcing its imminent demise, will it? They’ll be here next year doing in the same, and the year after that too. They’ll go to the tomb trumpeting grave tidings of woe. Let them, I say. It only serves to make them look even more out of touch than they already do.

        • Anton

          I never predicted doom over Greece. The entire Greek economy was too small compared to the Eurozone to do much damage even if it defaulted 100%. That is not true of Spain and Portugal combined, and they are heading the same way.

          • Findaráto

            Spain is heading the same way as Greece? I don’t think so.

            Greece’s GDP contracted by just over 1% in 2015. Spain’s grew by more than 3%. That’s a better performance than the UK, which experienced a 2% growth in GDP for the same period.

            The Spanish economy has suffered in past few years, largely because of the bursting of an enormously overinflated property bubble. But it’s now well on the road to recovery.

            As for Portugal, while it continues to suffer, there are signs that things are changing for the better. Q3 2015 GDP figures were flat, improving on the annual -1% growth rate. Signs are that Q4 will also be flat and that 2016 will herald a return to positive territory.

            Things in Portugal are certainly more difficult than in Spain, but the trend towards consolidation and improvement is clear. And even if it weren’t, a failing Portuguese economy won’t drag the rest of Europe down with it. Spain might, but Spain is getting back on track. Much to the disgruntlement of British Eurohaters whose purposes would be better served by an Iberian default. It would serve them right for the Armada, eh? That seems to be about the level of “thinking” going on in the Britain Out camp.

            Looking for the next financial crisis? Look no further than our own front garden. In the unlikely event that Britain leaves the EU, uncertainty could well burst the London property bubble. An asset collapse on that scale would hit UK financial markets like a tsunami. So rather than jumping for joy at the prospect of hard times in Southern Europe, it might be a better idea to think about the consequences of putting our own economy in jeopardy by irresponsible voting.

            If I were planning a property investment at the moment, I certainly wouldn’t be buying in the UK. Uncertainty kills markets, and if the UK market fails, it won’t be the Spaniards who’ll be crying all the way to the poorhouse. If Britain leaves the EU, who’ll bail us out then?

          • Anton

            Everybody is in too much debt, every government is overspending, everybody is going to get hurt. But the issue is threats to the Euro and it is the Spanish government that is not going to be able to repay its interest or borrow more whenever interest rates rise from their historically anomalous lows.

          • Findaráto

            More prognostications of doom, gloom and disaster, eh? And it’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it?

            How about this as a catastrophe scenario? The UK is one of the most indebted countries in the world. Indeed apart from Ireland, the UK has the highest level of personal indebtedness in the EU. Certainly higher than Spain.

            The IMF considers high levels of personal debt to be much riskier than public debt. So once interest rates start to rise from their historic lows, we’ll be just as badly off, if not worse off than poor old basket-case, sick man of Europe Spain. And if we’re no longer part of the EU, then we’ll be forced to go cap in hand to the IMF and beg for money from … gasp! … a Frenchwoman!

            Zut alors … something tells me Mme Lagarde’s terms will be much harder on us than anything Berlin can dream up.

            You want economic precarity? A lone economy isolated from its natural markets and swimming in a sea of personal debt sounds pretty precarious to me. And the shame of having to be rescued by a snooty French Mam’zelle! We’ll never live it down!

          • Anton

            As you are deliberately ignoring, all Western economies are in trouble. France is particularly sclerotic (not that I wish it ill). But the Euro will crumble for the reasons you are doing your best to circumvent in this discussion. Ultimately it’s because economic ups and downs create intolerable tension in a region where there is financial but not political unity. Spain, France, Greece etc will do OK once released from this straitjacket. To see that as a disaster, rather than a good thing with some short-term pain ahead, is to support the totalitarians in Brussels.

          • Findaráto

            There are no totalitarians in Brussels. They’re as imaginary as the God you worship. They live in your imagination rather than the Belgian capital, which apparently you seem to think is some kind of cross between Nazi Berlin and Sodom.

            I’ve been to Brussels. It’s really quite a nice town. A little backwaterish, but not unpleasant, and not a jackboot nor a swastika to be found…

            There will be further political integration in Europe. But it will take time. In the meantime economic integration will move forwards as nations cooperate of their own free will and align their economic and financial policies to avoid a repeat of what we’ve just lived through.

            If the euro was going to fail it would have done so by now. The fact that it hasn’t and is weathering the storm shows just how strong it really is.

            British doomsayers have been predicting doom ever since Britain joined the EU. And it hasn’t come to pass. That speaks for itself. It certainly speaks louder than anything you say.

          • Anton

            I too doubt that the European Commission is peopled by individuals who intend harm, but they certainly do not believe that the people of Europe should have any real say in their political destiny; for the sake of smoothly running order that must be left to the eurocrat civil servants, who will generously take on the burden of running their lives for them. But that is the one thing that it is lethal to subcontract out. I’m content to let time decide between us. As I said at the start, love Europe, hate the EU.

          • Findaráto

            Again, this is all in your imagination.

            The EU is a very democratic organisation. The European Commission is appointed by democratically elected heads of government and exercises its charge on behalf of those governments, each of which has a democratic mandate.

            The European parliament has a right of veto over all Commission appointments.

            How much more democratic do you want it to be?

            A directly elected Commission is the only thing that would quiet your objections. But this would set up rival governments at the national and European levels, each with an electoral mandate, each struggling with the other for power. Government would become impossible and the union would splinter and break apart.

            This is what you want, but I find your way of working towards such a goal extremely underhanded and dishonest. Conservative Christians speak with forked tongues. They say they want democracy when what they really want is to kill the EU because they realise that their best chance of influence lies not in Brussels, but rather in their own capital cities among the vested interests of their own societies.

            One more reason to vote for Britain to stay in Europe.

          • Anton

            “A directly elected Commission is the only thing that would quiet your objections. But this would set up rival governments at the national and European levels, each with an electoral mandate, each struggling with the other for power. Government would become impossible and the union would splinter and break apart.

            Thank you for conceding the point.

          • Findaráto

            I have conceded nothing. The EU does not have a elected Commission and there are no realistic plans for one any time soon. Power rests with the member states, which is as it should be, and as it will remain into the foreseeable future.

            That you would love to see a power struggle between an elected Commission and national goverments is clear. But it isn’t going to happen any time soon, so don’t hold your breath.

  • John

    I really don’t know how I will vote in this referendum. Trying to weigh up any kind of sense amongst the loud and emotional voices on both sides is like hoping I’ll hear an informed debate in a school playground at break time. It isn’t helping me make up my mind and I hope the forthcoming campaign will generate more light than heat.

    • fight2bfree

      The thing to do, John, is ask yourself “Knowing what I know now, If we weren’t already in, would I vote to join?”

      • John

        No, definitely not. But that is not the choice presented to me is it? If we’d never joined in the first place, voting to stay out would just preserve the status quo and would not impact jobs, trade, inward investment etc. But being in already and then voting to leave possibly destabilises the country with respect to EU trading partners. Voices in Japan and the US have indicated already that from their point of view we’d be better staying in.

  • IanCad

    So many of her posts betray her tendency to prevaricate.
    Typical woman – never says what she means.

  • James60498 .

    I do think some of you have more faith in the British electorate than I do.

    They (we!, though on no occasion did I vote for either) elected Blair THREE times to be PM. Then only when the Tories elected Worse Than Blair as leader did they go for a Tory Government (the first time with Almost Worse Than Cameron as his deputy).

    Whatever side you are on, and I certainly am on side with the article and the majority comment, you are not going to win it by talking sense.

    A few good soundbites is what you need.

    • Anton

      The British electorate voted entirely rationally. Blair and Brown bribed an ever-increasing proportion of the population via the benefits system.

      • James60498 .

        Blair won the first election without having had the opportunity to do so, and Brown despite all his bribery and with more people than ever on the system lost as soon as he was PM.

        Blair and Cameron respectively were the darlings of the BBC which delights in the soundbite. (As long as they are liberal too).

        • Anton

          I’d say that Major and Brown *lost* elections, and Blair won his 2nd and 3rd by electoral bribery as mentioned. It’s been the main Labour trick ever since World War 2 and it is why they have thrice departed office leaving a financial shambles.

          • James60498 .

            I don’t disagree with any of that.

            However. I would still argue that they were beaten by the soundbite and BBC sponsored opponent.

            Indeed one of the reasons for Brown’s defeat was a disastrous almost anti-soundbite when referring to that “bigoted woman”

            A massive fuss was made of that, on the BBC as much as in any Tory supporting paper. Does anyone believe that the BBC would have made as much fuss of that “soundbite” had the Opposition been led by a real conservative?

            Neither Brown, nor Major would ever have won any speaking (or acting) prizes.
            (Same applies to Howard and Miliband).
            Hague might have won a serious speaking prize but can anyone remember anything he said since he was 16?

            We would all have been a lot better off had Blair and Cameron become actors. And they would have been good ones too.

  • Hi Clive,

    I already have. Time for Britain to leave the EU. God save the Queen!

    • CliveM

      Gawd bless ‘er Majesty!

  • Albert

    But the fundamental deception by which Heath secured victory in the 1975 referendum will not be tolerated in 2017.

    Well I’m not so sure. Before the 2010 election, Cameron said he would not introduce same-sex marriage. Then he went right ahead and did so. Yet people still voted for him last year. If people were that gullible, they will vote to stay in now on his say so, also.

    • Martin

      Albert

      Actually we don’t get to vote for the PM, unless we’re in his constituency, we vote for our local candidate.

      • Albert

        If that’s an attempt to justify your vote last election, I think it’s casuistry.

        • Martin

          Albert

          Your answer reveals what is wrong the democracy in the UK. And frankly you play into the hands of the political parties that want it that way.

          • Albert

            That may be true, but it is difficult to tell on the basis of that comment. All I can say is that I cannot conceive of how any Christian could have voted Conservative after what Cameron did in the last parliament, unless the Conservative candidate had actively opposed the change in law.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You forget, the other parties participated in that action. It comes down to who you vote for, the person on the ballot paper or the party.

          • Albert

            I didn’t forget that, indeed, that point was made in my previous post.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Then who do you vote for except a candidate that opposed gay marriage.

          • Anton

            Chaps,

            I am used to having no candidate I wish to vote for, but last May there were two – the UKIPper and a decent anti-EU Tory who had voted against recognition of gay marriage. Doesn’t your dialogue simply reflect the dilemma I felt?

          • Martin

            Anton

            Of course, and it falls to your own judgement as to what you think is right.

          • Albert

            Quite

          • James60498 .

            My Tory MP voted against “gay marriage” but is both in favour of abortion up to 22 weeks and adoption by gays.

            We received literally in the teens of election leaflets most of which showed photos and quotes of Cameron.

          • Albert

            My Tory MP voted against “gay marriage” but is both in favour of abortion up to 22 weeks and adoption by gays.

            I think I would not vote for him if for no other reason than his inability to think clearly!

          • James60498 .

            I didn’t

          • alternative_perspective

            Exactly, we have a stupid system.
            Who does anyone vote for, the leader, the party or the MP?
            Party politics has ruined this country. Power should flow up from the people, through their MPs and into parliament where it meets authority flowing down from God, his servant the monarch and her representative to the very same house.
            In that mix: between tension and unity should God’s authority moderate, advise and direct the people’s power and where there is contradiction there can be no law.
            Instead, those in parliament trample the authority of God and hoard the power of the people. It has become a den of thieves and a seat of iniquity that exists to further its own interests.
            Rather than a temple of secular administration where God meets his people it has become an idol to itself. Where sycophants worship the glory of the establishment and the priestly class exalts itself above the throne of God.
            And it is in the party system, where acolytes whip the representatives of the people according to the passions of the high priests that this fraud is perpetrated and the temple desecrated.
            Erase the parties! Re-establish the primacy of the people’s representatives and subdue the haughty aspirations to power of the secular ecclesia. Remind those who minister in the palace of Westminster that they are servants of the people and of God to whom they will be held accountable, by the former in this life and the latter in the next!

          • Martin

            AP

            Perhaps the political parties should be limited in their funds to what they can raise by means of subscription fees.

    • jsampson45

      No gullibility, just that the alternatives were either worse or no-hopers. And a referendum is not an election.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    A few minutes ago here was a UKIP party political broadcast, telling us that Mr Cameron wants Turkey to join the EU, while highlighting some very un-European aspects of their regime.

  • James60498 .

    Is anyone here a member of any “leave” group?.

    Would like to offer some help at the time but looking for suggestions as to who I should approach to offer assistance to.

    Still missing my annual exercise session of regular leaflet delivery since I left the Tory Party so it might be a good opportunity to get fit again.

    • David

      This Christian patriot is a longstanding Ukip party member and activist, plus recently a member of LeavEU.
      Through our doughty local group, we man/woman stalls in town centres on Saturdays, smile and offer leaflets. We stuff leaflets through residential letterboxes. Why ? Because I owe my ancestors, all soldiers who fought for this country, the respect of thus honouring their memories. I owe future generations, yet unborn, the chance to live as free English men and women.
      I was born as a free Englishman, and I want to die and go to God as a free man, subject only to the immutable laws of my maker. I will only dip my knee to God.
      If we don’t break out of this undemocratic, dystopian, elitist and top down German scam of an European Empire, we risk condemning future generations to the extreme expedient of having to riot to restore a semblance of justice to these islands.
      This is the time to do all that one can to seize the prize of national sovereignty and freedom ! I urge all patriots to work towards that goal.
      You are needed !
      We will win. We will never surrender ….

      • Graham Wood

        Well said James, and this Christian patriot would also echo every word of your post.
        I would only add the exhortation, directed to myself and also to you and other Christian patriots, to give priority to prayer to the Omnipotent God we serve.
        That He would graciously deliver this land from the evil which has overtaken it – yet again. That He would open the eyes of our political class which has so treacherously sold our land to the EU monolith. More so than all of this, that He would open the eyes of the mass of people to understand how they are being deceived.
        “For we wrestle not against flesh an blood……….spiritual powers. ….. Rulers of the darkness of this world ……. Also, keep reading the 2nd Psalm ! “YET have I set…..etc

        • David

          Yes ! I totally agree. Daily I pray as you urge. Last Sunday I heard an excellent sermon that was based around those words.

      • James60498 .

        Thanks David.

        I am not going to join UKIP, though that is not to say that I wouldn’t campaign with them on this one issue.

        Going to keep an eye on the organisations that you and Marie have advised and look to join up with one in the next month.

        • David

          I am not particularly wedded to Ukip. But I joined them since it became obvious that the leadership of The Conservatives were not serious about our sovereignty, whereas Ukip were. However the present struggle is not a party political one – it is a national issue. So the important thing is that as many people as possible, participate in the broad campaign to get us out of the EU. It sounds as if you will. Good luck !

    • The Leave.EU group and Grassroots Out groups are better than the Vote.Leave group which is run by that arrogant,haughty twisted so and so Dominic Cummings.
      Here’s an interesting letter from a concerned Mr Banks to Matthew Elliot CEO of Vote Leave it seems that there is talk of having two referendums one for a vote for a reformed EU??? It would be crazy and confusing.

      https://leave.eu/en/news/0/a-letter-from-arron-banks-to-matthew-elliot-ceo-vote-leave

      • James60498 .

        Thanks Marie

        Initially I will keep an eye on the websites of both the organisations that you recommend. I tried to sign up for a leave eu newsletter but can’t do it without giving my phone number which I am not ready to do just yet.

        If in a few weeks time I decide I like what I see then I will become involved with them.

  • Uncle Brian

    Boris ’n’ Dave are back together again, it says here.

    The London mayor has also been promised a “major cabinet job” by Mr Cameron once his term at City Hall expires on May 5.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f2b1ccb4-ca96-11e5-a8ef-ea66e967dd44.html??ftcamp=crm/email//nbe/FirstFTEurope/product#axzz3z9ZwZJrl

    • len

      A ‘carrot’ to keep Boris quiet…..Who will speak for ‘out of the EU’ once the pressure to keep silent is applied?

      • Uncle Brian

        Nobody, is my guess. None of the heavyweights, anyway.
        By the way, Len, do you think Boris was ever seriously in the Out camp, or was he just signalling to Dave that he was hunrgy for his carrot?

        • len

          Who can tell what politicians really think?.

        • Lienus

          Are you out and camp? We should talk about closer union.

          • Uncle Brian

            Hello again, Linus. Long time no voir. Just out of curiosity, were you Sponge (Sideshow) Bob, or was the resemblance purely coincidental?

    • Boris has to weigh up what Call me Dave offers which will be a kind of end station with stagnation for him until Cameron vacates the leadership position. Or he can politely reject Dave’s offers, remain in his current cabinet position and lend his communication skills to the Leave.Eu and the GO campaigns for which reward will be freedom, a better Britain and more chance of realising ‘Boris Island’ and other visionary projects. I think Boris being a man of outward looking vision he won’t like being stifled in a dead end job with ever closer union to look forward to.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Has anyone seen today’s Telegraph letters? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/12139095/Letters-A-vote-for-Brexit-is-the-only-real-vote-for-European-Union-reform.html

    A comment by augeanstables beginning

    After David Cameron’s thrashing of the EU

    is so well worth reading. It’s about 200 from the beginning – even more from the end by now – so one will need a bit of disqotic scrolling to get to it.

  • Anton

    Won’t Get Fooled Again…

    • James60498 .

      I have clicked on that both times that the link has been posted.

      Both times I have got the message ” This video is not available”.

      Clearly not getting fooled again is not going to happen and we (or at least sufficient numbers) will be fooled again.

      • Anton

        I checked it immediately after posting, and it still works for me now. Maybe some other incompatibility? Anyone else having difficulty? It is a live version of the track by that name by The Who. Here is another:

        • Uncle Brian

          Seems to be working okay, though it’s not my kind of music …

          • Anton

            There were arguably better rock bands, but nobody emblemised rebellion better that The Who, and that was my intended point. Enjoyment of rock and classical are not mutually exclusive!

          • IanCad

            Can’t agree Anton.

        • James60498 .

          Yes it’s actually only on my phone it’s not working. After making that post, I tried it on a desktop computer and it did work.

          I thought though that it would ruin the comment to admit that, as I am afraid that I do think that sufficient will be fooled again!

  • Dreadnaught

    I am for voting to leave the EU. That said I think we as a country will vote to stay in. In the light of that this country needs to take a more robust view of European politics, what goes on and exactly what the Euro MPs actually do.
    The is no return to the nation we were in the post war years in terms of the nation that went to war and was on the winning team but lost the peace.
    In all honesty I don’t think that those of us of pension age should even have a vote in this; the future is not ours to gamble with. The Nation needs to reassess what shape it should take culturally and how it perceives its role in world politics by the end of the century.
    No amount of gnashing of dentures is going to make the performance of the baby-boomers during the last fifty years any the more palatable, having allowed cultural, educational and industrial standards to race to the bottom. Self reliance and aspiration of the individual should have been a given but evidently its is not.
    Worrying about migrants sending back benefit money to children who have never lived here should be seen not as a bellyache but a yardstick to measure our own welfare system that has produced generations of benefit careerists.
    There is so much more that the UK could do to rebuild national pride and identity by attending to domestic affairs first and making our political life and the EU more open and accountable.
    I wish them well.

  • chiefofsinners

    It has been amusing to watch David Cameron, like Adam, frantically sewing together figleaves to cover the naked shame of this agreement. We don’t need figleaves, we need to vote leave.

  • len

    I cannot understand why anyone would want to remain in the EU?.

    What does the EU have to offer except mountains of restrictive legislation,
    and the liberalisation of anything that can do harm to our society.
    The Influx of migrants can only add further to the disintegration of our society which is already broken either by design or just bad management.
    Those fleeing from the murderous ISIS should have been protected in safe havens set up in Syria and Iraq this would have taken little effort to have set up and would have prevented all those deaths by people being ripped off by traffickers who callously herded them into leaky unsafe boats at outrageous prices.
    The EU seeks to set up a secular state and we are beginning to see this latter day ‘Tower of Babel’ start to topple as its leaders grasp for solutions to prop it up.

  • Lienus

    Bonsoire Ros Bifs
    Non, je ne renegotiate rien…
    Oui, oui, you are in the pissoire now.
    Soon your pathetic country will be the rent boy of Europe. And your church of eeengland will be the atheist homosexualist church of Brussels and I shall be the ‘igh priest of kiss my fragrant French Arsenal football club is just the start which proves your God is a liar and he doesn’t exist either.

    • Vous avez le cervau d’un sandwich au fromage.

      • Anton

        By the way, I hope you appreciate my links to a track by The Who in view of your nom de plume.

        • Jack noted it with a wry smile, Anton.

    • The Explorer

      Impeccable Gallic logic. Eloquently sums up the British dilemma, and the problem of belief.

      • Pubcrawler

        I’m warming to this cove.

    • Anton

      If there is no god, why do you say “he” doesn’t exist, rather than “she” or “it”?

    • Pubcrawler

      Vous êtes M Kilometres Kington, et je demande mon fiver.

      • The Explorer

        SInce Kington died in 2008, Lienus must be speaking to us from beyond the grave. A phantom fiver, I’m afraid.

        But certainly Lienus is in the best traditions of ‘Let’s parler Franglais’.

    • sarky

      Either that or we will be standing on the white cliffs waving our bow fingers.

  • Feeling rather glum after reading Peter Hitchen’s latest column. He thinks we will be too scared and dependent to vote to leave and even if we did, the establishment will ignore the vote and we won’t leave anyway. I’m voting for independence but not with any hope.

    As for the wretch Scameron, his so called deal is an insult. Its like negotiations with an armed robber who has tied you up and is loading your possessions into your car which he is stealing, whimpering about being allowed to at least not take your wedding photos. What

    • The Explorer

      Pessimistic though Hitchens’ parable is, I suspect it is accurate.

      I suspect, also, that the future of the EU will be determined not by whichever way Britain votes (ignored, anyway, if it goes the wrong way), but by the impact on Germany of its immigration policy.

    • Anton

      Cheer up and read the polls behind today’s front pages, the first taken since Cameron returned from negotiations clutching a piece of paper and saying it was Peace In Our Time…

  • len

    The question as to why so many politicians remain silent as to ‘why we should leave the EU’ is rather puzzling. The EU seems to be a club with no real benefits and many drawbacks (to ‘the man in the street’ at least and many of the British public seem to want to leave the EU). I believe there is a theory which could be valid.
    Years ago those in the echelons of upper management decided that there was a level of middle management who fulfilled no really useful function and decided to shed themselves of this unnecessary level of management.
    Where was this unwanted middle management group to go and what function could they fulfil and where more importantly could they get the means to carry on with the lifestyles they had become accustomed to?

    The EU became’ a cash cow’ for those in middle management.Create a huge bureaucratic machine churning out endless new laws and then an army of bureaucrats to endorse then to enforce these laws.A massive job creation scheme.What`s not to like about this?. Well lots for those who live under the weight of this bureaucratic machine and pay their hard earned salaries into it for little or no return.

    So don`t expect much from politicians because the EU holds them firmly in its grip and if we ever came out of the EU what function would these bureaucrats have then?.

  • The Explorer

    I wonder if Linus has registered the existence of Lienus yet? Difficult to avoid, given the number of upvotes his alter ego has given him

    • Hi explorer

      Correction , before you get corrected. They were down votes , not up votes. Even though they are in plain sight as up votes and the down vote button doesn’t work . They’re down votes. I will continue to repeat this over and over as if it factually true. Got it?!

      • The Explorer

        That was an up vote. What we now need is for all the votes to be deleted; so that the evidence cannot be assessed.

        • Hi explorer

          It’s like Eurovision ! Hey I did my first vote age 12 for Dana International , what a diva, but not as good as the legend that was Ofra Haza!

          Shabbat Shalom! (:

        • How could Hannah possibly know (as factually true too) the voting intentions of Lienus? And why would Sam up vote her?

          • The Explorer

            She knows them the same way Linus knows the motives of his internet opponents. Sheer guesswork: passed off as fact. Sam was applauding her insight into Linus’ tactics.

          • That’s one explanation. There is another.

          • The Explorer

            Too profound for the likes of me. Care to explain, or at least give a hint?

          • Who would have access to Lienus’ votes?

          • Pubcrawler

            Everyone. You just have to ‘mouse-over’ the up-tick tally.

          • No … silly chap … Jack meant who could up-vote as Lienus.

  • Manfarang

    “We were lied to in 1975”
    No we weren’t. Enoch Powell and Tony Benn spoke freely.
    The Treaty of Rome was there for all to read.
    I think what is meant is, “The Conservatives are always liars”.

  • Anton

    “PM says Brexit could bring Calais ‘Jungle’ to UK”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35519210

    The point of Brexit is that it means we don’t even have to consider letting them in. What an unprincipled scoundrel he is!

    • Are you only just realising this?

      • Anton

        It’s an example that’s worth pointing out.