ECI
Democracy

EU democracy is unthinkable when citizens hold all the wrong opinions

 

In the EU Referendum fray, amidst claim and counter-claim, allegations of half-truths, dodgy dossiers, falsehoods and malicious obfuscation, a central plank of the Government’s ‘Project Fear’ is that we simply do not know what a post-Brexit UK would look like, ergo, better the devil you know. Vote to Remain, they say, for Leaving is an unknown unknown, and that’s just a bit scary.

But there is one certain known known: the EU was never designed to accommodate democracy, and its anti-democratic predilection will only fortify should the UK vote to remain. Such is the nature of the ever-federalising beast.

Take, for example, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which (we are told) “gives citizens the right to directly participate in setting the legislative agenda of the EU. Once a policy proposal is supported by the verified signatures of one million EU citizens, the European Commission is obliged to consider that proposal”. Yes, if your proposal can attract a million signatures, the European Commission is obliged to consider it.

This is a marvellous initiative: “Through our work we seek to promote the implementation of citizen participation and binding democratic instruments that give citizens a voice in European decision-making,” they write. This is EU democracy at its best; wresting legislative power from the self-flagellating European Commission and devolving power to the people, where it properly resides. For surely the Roman Catholic Church can muster a million faithful to agitate against euthanasia, abortion and embryo experimentation? Surely the Greens can gather a million agitators to foment against vivisection. Surely socialists can unite to oppose austerity and the corporatist scam known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? Surely EU-sceptics across the Continent can coalesce to bring an end to ‘ever closer union’ and the chimeric federation of European autarchy?

Well, no, not quite.

You see, the European Commission is only obliged to consider the people’s proposals if it agrees with them. It’s not so much EU democracy as EU despotism. A million signatures mean nothing when those million are misguided and dim. The Commission are the Philosopher kings; the Guardians of all that is good, noble and true in the realms of distributive justice, human rights and environmental protection. EU citizens do not make ‘Europe’; it is ‘Europe’ that makes them, for all things were made by it, and without it was not anything made that was made.

And so there are just three open initiatives – on marriage and the family, cannabis and plastics in the sea. There have been only three successful initiatives since the ECI was established in 2012 (and, curiously enough, they are all dated that year). But the list of refused initiatives is legion, principally because a proposed initiative cannot be “contrary to the EU values as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union“. The people can’t possibly be left to their own devices: they can have democracy, but only if the views they hold are EU-orthodox, and the opinions they express are of the right-on EU-friendly sort. EU democracy is conditional on meeting certain standards, and the European Commission may intervene in the interests of inculcating a notion of ‘right citizenship’.

So, if you want to ban EU funding of abortions across the world, forget it: it’s a human right. If you want to limit embryo experimentation, you can’t: it’s a scientific duty. If you want to end EU-wide recognition of same-sex marriage, you’re really quite stupid: it’s inviolable moral equality. And if you want to bring an end to Eurozone -‘economic governance’ and austerity.. well, basically, you don’t know what’s good for you or the community

Of course, a truly democratic ECI based on self-determination would be in danger of facilitating the rise of Euroscepticism, and we can’t be having that, can we?

  • John

    Don’t we all elect MEPs?

    • James60498 .

      David above has made a good response to this, and I am sure that others will comment on the power of the Commission as against the Parliament.

      Do we elect MEPs? Theoretically yes. In practice though we vote for one of a limited number of parties and THEY decide who is going to represent us. That’s far less democracy than even Westminster where at least we have a choice to reject an individual who we disagree with.

  • len

    What seems a bit sinister to me is that Cameron has a word with Hollande (behind the scenes) and then Hollande speaks the words that Cameron has given him regarding the Calais ‘Jungle’ coming to the UK.

    There seems to be an ongoing conspiracy between senior politicians in Europe right from the conception of the EU up to and including the present time.
    What exactly is their ultimate objective and is there’ an inner circle ‘who know the full objective of those behind the EU?.

    • Maalaistollo

      The objective seems pretty clear: whose are the foot-soldiers now arriving in their millions at Mrs Merkel’s invitation?

      • len

        I wonder exactly how many terrorists are using Mrs Merkel’s open invitation as a means to gain free access to Europe?

        • Dreadnaught

          exactly too many

  • John

    Agreed with most of that, David, although there’s nothing in my Bible about the virtue of the nation state. My loyalties are firmly with the kingdom of God. And anyway in what way was ‘same sex marriage’ democratically mandated legislation in the UK? It was forced on the country by an elite who were determined from the start to ignore the views of the voting population. Is the kind of ‘sovereignty’ people are so enthusiastic about? In my view it is overrated and we are little better off having this originating from London than we are from Brussels.

    • David

      Yes I agree with you on all those points, including the prime allegiance of Christians to the Kingdom of Heaven. Indeed with impositions like the redefinition of marriage forced upon us by the elite, many of us are increasingly realising the truth that we are indeed pilgrims in this world, journeying to our true homes. But in the meanwhile, like you, I ‘d very much prefer my government to be based relatively locally, within the nation state.
      Interestingly some theologians argue that God’s purpose at The Tower of Babel was to ensure that, by blessing language differences, separate nations were formed. Even at the End Times of Revelations the different nations come before God as separate peoples. Is that not why the EU’s headquarters has been designed to resemble a latter day Tower of Babel, to bring together that which God declared separate, with different languages and cultures ? EU law is based on Humanism, deliberately eschewing the true Christian roots of all of Europe’s cultures.

  • Findaráto

    The most comical thing about the Leave campaign is the implicit, quasi-religious faith displayed by the motley crew of xenophobes, white supremacists and retired colonels who support it that leaving the EU will solve all our immigration problems.

    If we leave the EU, what incentive is there for France to continue its efforts to prevent immigrants from reaching Britain? Currently the European treaties oblige each country to deal with the immigrants on their soil no matter what their final destination may be. But if Britain leaves, why would the French then choose to retain thousands of people whose primary objective is to leave France?

    Of course the Calais Jungle will move across the Channel if we leave the EU. No border is completely closed and those who want to cross it badly enough will find ways. If the French stop protecting the border from their side and even actively encourage immigrants to cross it, no matter what protections we put in place, more and more will get through. And they won’t obediently go and sit in a muddy field in Kent. They’ll disperse across the country. The Jungle will be all around us.

    I hear from friends in Paris that French politicians are starting to wake up to the interesting possibility that a Brexit will solve a huge part of their immigration problem in one fell swoop. If Britain leaves, we shouldn’t be surprised if someone forgets to lock the Eurostar tunnel gates in Calais one evening. They’ll say sorry of course, and lock them again, just as soon as they’ve found the key…

    • The Explorer

      “Currently the European treaties oblige each country to deal with the immigrants on their soil.” Couldn’t the French block them from getting into France in the first place? Sweden now seems to be doing that to stoop them coming in from Denmark. Austria is imposing restrictions. A fence between Greece and Macedonia. And so on. Schengen cannot endure, on that basis.

      • Ivan M

        You are talking way too much sense for Linus.

      • Samuel

        Regulation No. 604/2013 was in any case suspended by various countries in 2015. You could argue France is failing to uphold that regulation, by not providing suitable accommodation or benefits to these migrants . I think the French government is being a bit xenophobic by letting them live in third world squalor.

    • Anton

      La Manche is still rather harder to get across than the land borders into France. Read Sharia law and enjoy your lifestyle while you may.

      • Findaráto

        Water doesn’t stop them getting from Turkey to Greece. The Channel isn’t quite the impregnable barrier you seem to think it is.

        And as for Sharia law, I can’t see any party that advocates it winning a general election. There aren’t enough Muslims in Britain to win an election and there certainly aren’t enough to win an armed uprising that would force Sharia law on us. So your threats don’t scare me at all, just as they won’t scare anyone who knows that 2+2=4. It’s just empty rhetoric with racist undertones not-so-cleverly disguised as hatred of a religion rather than the people who practice it.

        What you really mean is that brown people want to hurt us poor innocent whites. Why not summon up the courage to say it out loud? Don’t want to be lumped with the Inspector, eh?

        • Anton

          In case you hadn’t noticed, you can’t change your skin colour but you can change your belief. Charges of racism rebound.

          No border is wholly impermeable but Britain’s is a lot better than France’s.

          • Findaráto

            Your denial of charges of racism fails to convince. Deny it as much as you like, but your anti-Islamic rhetoric is clearly anti-Pakistani and anti-Arab sentiment very thinly disguised.

          • Anton

            Isn’t your first sentence missing a word? Fails to convince who? You, but who else? If you can’t prove your accusation from anything I have written, it won’t reflect well on you. I have met both Arab and Pakistani Christians, by the way, and enjoy the company of them all. Belief systems are what I am discussing, not people or the accident of their skins. Muslims are fine by me too; they have better family values than secularists, for a start.

          • Findaráto

            I’m reminded of an Afrikaaner acquaintance whose stock response to accusations of racism is “How dare you call me a racist? Some of my best friends are bleck and she scrubs the floors beautifully…”

            She’s from Bloemfontein, so perhaps she has an excuse. What’s yours?

          • Anton

            Before you ask for any excuse, make your absurd charge of racism stick on the basis of what I’ve written on this blog.

          • Samuel

            Dude

            I for one don’t consider you to be a racist. Findarato is just squirming and flapping for the big “shut down discussion ” word as he is has the debating ability of a leaky teapot.

          • Anton

            He’s just a wind-up merchant and because I have a clean conscience I’m not perturbed. But thanks.

          • The Explorer

            This is all very touchy feely, and shows why the Macpherson Report was such a terrible document. Close down opposition by accusations of racism. Never mind lack of evidence: Findy’s inner conviction is all the evidence needed.

        • Dreadnaught

          To be opposed to people wishing to re-create the backward religious and rural village cultures they have left presumably because its better in Europe is not racist. But reverse racism pervades the Left as clearly as anyone’s skin tone.
          Controlled immigration is essential and integration should be the aim of immigrants. With human rights come human responsibility; the benefits of what living in the UK brings should demand a lot more from the immigrants who never buy into our way of life.
          The UK does not owe the world a living but it does owe future generations a nation and society that is safe for all to enjoy and prosper.
          To maintain our own culture requires the nurturing of democracy, tolerance and a genuine desire to become a useful member of the British. Not Black British, not Pakistani British just plain British.

          • Findaráto

            All cultures evolve in response to manner factors including immigration. Britain’s culture is no exception to that rule. It can’t be set in aspic and every outside influence rejected. We’d still be painting ourselves blue and living in wattle and daub huts if we’d rejected all outside cultural influences.

          • Dreadnaught

            Of from their mother countrycourse our culture is open to immigration and people from different cultures I never suggested that I reject all outside influences. Historically we have evolved to where we are now but over much longer periods. What has happened to UK and EU is rapid change with zero conditions of expectation from immigrants that does not affect the politicians but essentially the indigenous working classes.
            London in particular is home to many migrants as all capital cities are, but further away the changes are less beneficial the job opportunities less and the face of local communities changed to resemble colonies locked into their old cultures.
            This is where second and third generations have no sense of real identity, unlike their parents or grandparents.

    • Samuel

      The French government should’ve been looking after these chaps , don’t you think? Sadly the French authorities haven’t provided benefits , houses or jobs to these people. Why is that ? It feels to me that there’s a whiff of xenophobic racism going on.

    • dannybhoy

      “If we leave the EU, what incentive is there for France to continue its efforts to prevent immigrants from reaching Britain?”
      It’s a treaty between us and the French. If France as the wife of Angular Circles, the head of the EU was any good at all, she would have insisted that these immigrants either became EUFrench citizens, or EUcitizens of the first EU member nation they encountered. The French have been cynically using this as a pay cheque.
      That’s why wed Brits don’t know how much it is costing us taxpayers to fund the arrangement.

    • Lienus

      The most comical thing about the Leave campaign is the implicit, quasi-religious faith displayed by the motley crew of xenophobes, white supremacists and retired colonels who support it that leaving the EU will solve all our immigration problems.

      If we leave the EU, what incentive is there for France to continue its efforts to prevent immigrants from reaching Britain? Currently the European treaties oblige each country to deal with the immigrants on their soil no matter what their final destination may be. But if Britain leaves, why would the French then choose to retain thousands of people whose primary objective is to leave France?

      Of course the Calais Jungle will move across the Channel if you leave the EU. No border is completely closed and those who want to cross it badly enough will find ways. If the French stop protecting the border from their side and even actively encourage immigrants to cross it, no matter what protections you put in place, more and more will get through. And they won’t obediently go and sit in a muddy field in Kent. They’ll disperse across the country. The Jungle will be all around you.

      I hear from friends in Paris that French politicians are starting to wake up to the interesting possibility that a Brexit will solve a huge part of their immigration problem in one fell swoop. If Britain leaves, you shouldn’t be surprised if someone forgets to lock the Eurostar tunnel gates in Calais one evening. They’ll say sorry of course, and lock them again, just as soon as they’ve found the key…

  • Don Benson

    I am just old enough to have voted ‘no’ in the first referendum on remaining in the EEC. Even at that tender age it was eminently clear that the subtext of the seemingly innocuous ‘merely a trading agreement’ propaganda was ‘ever closer union’. And so it has been.

    Who have really been responsible for this debacle? Quite simply it is the ordinary voters of the (now) EU who have been happy to sign away their freedom on the basis that it is easier to swallow the propaganda than put their brains in gear.

    They will do so again here in Britain in June 2016. They will forget every humiliation of our parliament and our courts over the past years at the hand of Brussels; they will bow their heads in agreement when they hear that we in Britain are too pathetic to stand as a free trading nation; they will quake at the near certainty of economic disaster following Brexit; they will nod solemnly when told that that being subsumed
    within a cosy European huddle makes us strong but that being an independent world player makes us ‘little Englanders’; they will blithely resign themselves to the free movement of millions of EU migrants swamping our small island. Indeed the
    more bullying the rhetoric, and the more irrational the assertions, the greater will be the panic amongst the public.

    And so they will reject Brexit for the simplest of reasons: they have lost their self respect. The first requirement of self-respect is that you think for yourself. Give up on that and you are back with serfdom – but that feels safe.

  • The Explorer

    My doubts about democracy were strengthened by watching ‘Eurovision’ a few years back, and seeing how countries voted for their neighbours. Where population size was not taken into account in assigning voting power, three Baltic states, say, had triple the strength of Germany, despite having a fraction of its population. A similar sort of scepticism overcame me with John Sergeant on ‘Strictly on Ice’. The scandal of his performance spread to mainstream news, and I even started watching the programme to see if he was really that bad. He was: and clearly, voting choices had nothing to do with his qualities as a dancer.

    The EU suggests, however, that we should not pin our hopes on oligarchy either. If you agree with the wise, your opinion is superfluous; if you disagree with the wise, your opinion is ignored. That might not be so bad if the wise were truly wise. WHat we have, instead, is power without wisdom.

    • sarky

      You watched eurovision? ???

      • James60498 .

        Upticked your comment on the basis that it was quite an awful admission.

        To be fair however he did say that it was a few years ago, and he might have been very young then.

      • The Explorer

        Only the results: to confirm my suspicions about democracy.

        • sarky

          Not for the bearded ladies then?

    • Ivan M

      It’s a version of the Iranian Guardians Council where the ayatollahs decide the limits of democracy for the Iranians. Strange that the supposedly free peoples of Europe voluntarily surrendered their freedoms to Guardians Council of Europe.

    • Anton

      I’ve never watched Strictly since they stopped cricketers winning it by allowing no more on, but John Sergeant caused me to resort to YouTube – funniest thing I’ve seen for years, don’t grumble. And there’s even celebrity blood sport on TV now with skijumping!

  • Mike Stallard

    “we simply do not know what a post-Brexit UK would look like”
    This is simply not true.
    If we adopt EFTA membership for a time, and make sure of our EEA membership then things will carry on in the same way as they do now.
    We then apply Article 50 and, when after two years we are politely asked to leave, we adopt the same position as Norway and Iceland do at the moment if negotiations have not been concluded.
    We are, at that time, negotiating to get out of the CAP, the CFP, we need to discuss the freedom of movement and the restrictions on capital and so on.
    At the right moment, we leave both EFTA and the EEA and remain as safe as Switzerland under WTO arrangements and those of UNECE.
    So let’s not be silly, shall we?

  • CliveM

    It’s interesting that we keep being told that unless we vote to stay in, France will feel no duty to stand by its agreement with the U.K. over the Calais migrants. The finance minister says so no less and the President hints at it.

    So we have established that France, by its own admission is not to be trusted to stand by its promises.

    Is this the same France that says it can be trusted to ‘honour’ its promises to David Cameron over his much vaunted reforms?

    If it is, why should we now believe it?

    • Dreadnaught

      Why is France so insistent that we stay in the EU when all Cameron’s efforts at minor reform were so easily dismissed? We obviously are of benefit to them and the EU yet we do not exercise any degree of power or influence that equates with them or Germany.

      • CliveM

        I think it’s less what we offer, more that our leaving threatens the ‘project,. It would be massively distabilising to the EU And they have enough problems as it is.

        • Dreadnaught

          Why then are they not backing their fears with the reform agenda that the public wants I would say. This is a battle of self serving bureaucrats and the public. If they want us to stay in they must listen to what we are saying. Yes there should be strength in numbers and that would be good for us but No to the runaway train of unaccountable Brussels.

          • CliveM

            Cameron ‘achieved ‘ pretty much the maximum you can without treaty change. Ok it amounts to pretty much nothing, but there you go.

            To achieve worthwhile reform would require fundamental changes to the treaty. It would take years of negotiation and require unanimity. There isn’t the political will, capital or energy for this.

            It is unachievable. Scrapping CAP? The French would veto it. It would be political suicide for a French President to do otherwise. For any necessary reform, you would have a long line of national leaders whose political career would require them to veto. The EU is pork barrel politics writ large. There are too many vested interests. The EU is not capable of reform.

          • Dreadnaught

            I think British farmers would be major losers as we seem to think so very little about supporting ‘home grown’ and essential industries. As a nation we do not act in a cohesive spirit where patriotism and self sufficiency are valued. The EU was a good idea at the outset but has lost its way along with its accountability to the populace.
            I don’t want a Europe with its porous outer border being Turkey; it bad enough now but this is the way Cameron is taking us and not talking about this.

          • CliveM

            The EU is a prime example of how good intentions are not enough.

          • dannybhoy

            Danny has said many times that if we stay in the EU we will become one gigantic housing estate; reliant on mainland Europe for our foodstuffs.
            Here in rural Norfolk the government is busy shipping in Muslim malcontents and migrant workers, turfing out native Brits from their medical centres, to make way for NewBrits who will work for less and so displace native British workers..
            In another age it would have called treachery.

          • Anton

            No reason we who recognise it for what it is can’t call it that in public discourse.

      • alternative_perspective

        There is a global initiative to regionalise the world and bring said regions under global governance: an EU for the world in a manner of speaking.
        The powers that be see individual nation states as difficult to work with, messy and a hindrance to saving the earth. Problems tend to be trans-regional and therefore require a global response. You can’t do that with hundreds of individual sovereign nations but you can with a dozen.
        Its why repeated global leaders keep talking about a New World Order. Even Cameron stood shoulder to shoulder with Gordon Brown when the latter called for a new international, political status quo at the time of the last crisis.
        This NWO is a de-facto aim of the political classes. Its a classic case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. They really see this destiny as the only means of solving myriad global issues but the only way to achieve this kind of consolidation is by putting real democracy to the sword. Britain leaving the EU was never part of this plan and would be a retrograde step in this regard.
        The only thing is, this regionalisation was long ago predicted in the Bible and the system that emerges to administer it is described as Beastly. This is the emergence of the political context described in the Bible’s end-times narrative.

        • Findaráto

          Deranged conspiracy theorists talk about a New World Order. Governments simply call for better solutions to problems made intractable by the international sociopolitical status quo.

          Some of the same deranged conspiracy theorists also say that the Queen and President Obama are shape-shifting lizard aliens whose favourite snack is a sugar-roasted aborted human foetus. Apparently that’s why abortion is not only legal, but actively encouraged.

          Of course what the aliens are really after are early term embryos. That’s why Obama’s government is pushing so hard to force insurance providers to include the morning after pill in their health plans. When a woman takes the pill, the embryo she’s carrying is prevented from attaching itself to the uterine wall and passes out of her body into whatever sanitary product she uses. It is then harvested during the recycling process, delivered along with millions of others to the White House and Buckingham Palace kitchens, and then boiled up with a sack of sugar and a little pectin to make something resembling raspberry jam.

          If you ever receive an invitation to a Buckingham Palace garden party, avoid the scones…

          • The Explorer

            “Foul whisperings are abroad: unnatural deeds
            Do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds
            To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.”
            ‘Macbeth’ V.1.
            Translation: you’re sick, mate.

          • Findaráto

            Not nearly as sick as you.

          • The Explorer

            That’s probably true; but not in the way you mean.

      • dannybhoy

        We are net contributors, that’s why. We won’t get medals of recognition of course, but we will get more citizens.
        Coool..

    • James60498 .

      Dear M. Hollande.

      If you surrender to the Nazis there will be consequences.

    • Anton

      If we come out then we can tell the French that we won’t have the would-be migrants anyway, so that’s that bluff called.

      • CliveM

        Agreed.

        Also as democratic politics is also about trust, how can we ‘trust’ those campaigning to stay in, and what they are telling us, when they admit they are not to be trusted over existing agreements?

      • Findaráto

        All Hollande has to do is relax border security on his side of the Channel and, whether we like it or not, the immigrants will come.

        If the UK is no longer part of the EU, France has no obligation to attempt to stop immigrants from reaching our shores.

        The current agreement was concluded between Britain and France as European partners under the auspices of the European treaties. If Britain is no longer a party to those treaties, France’s obligations towards us cease and any agreements already in place are invalidated.

        The problem with the Brexit crew is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to keep
        all the beneficial parts of the European treaties while ditching only the bits they don’t like. But if we leave Europe, our agreements with the EU disintegrate, and everything must be renegotiated from scratch. Only this time with no obligation on the part of Europe to respect Britain’s interests as a European partner.

        When it comes to immigration. France’s primary objective will be to facilitate the departure of unwanted immigrants from its territory. Currently it can’t do this because it can’t act against the interests of Britain as an EU partner. But if we leave the EU, that obligation dies with our membership.

        An independent Britain’s defence against immigration will rely solely on our own border controls. We’re already having trouble coping with immigrants who get past French border security. But if that security is relaxed, thousands will surge through and we just won’t be able to cope.

        That’s what awaits us if we leave the EU. A significant worsening of the immigration problem. And just like Russian oligarchs who live in isolated and protected security in gated communities, won’t we be outraged when the staff manning those gates open them wide and the riff raff surges inside and starts banging on our front door?

        • Anton

          France will realise soon enough that the best way to get unwanted migrants off its soil is not to let them in in the first place. The knock-on problem will reduce.

          Anyway, how are they going to get across the Channel – swim? Shakespeare said that it was there “against infection and the hand of war”. He might have added uncontrolled migration.

          As for all that renegotiation, most things are to mutual benefit so will happen.

          • Findaráto

            Sports goods merchants in Calais are doing a roaring trade in inflatable boats. Apparently that fact hasn’t been picked up by the Daily Wail yet or you’d be aware of it.

            There doesn’t seem to be a huge number of attempted crossings yet, but wait until calmer weather sets in and then we’ll see.

            Shut the tunnel and close the ports to them and they’ll just take another route. When their embarkations start tipping over in the Channel and dead infants wash up on the beach in Kent and Sussex, expect the outcry to drown out your “immigrants are evil” rhetoric for quite some time.

          • Anton

            Another misrepresentation. Immigrants are not more evil than anybody else except Jesus Christ; they are just in the wrong place.

            There is only a finite number of ways in and it is entertaining to watch you claiming that the seas around this sceptred isle are as easy to cross as France’s land borders.

  • CliveM

    We appear to have a Prime Minister who prior to visiting a Head of State of a foreign country, has asked it to threaten our security and national interest, in an attempt to help him politically?

    Does anyone else not find this behaviour shameful and distasteful?

    • David

      Traitorous I’d say !

    • IanCad

      We need a Conservative Reform Party now!!
      There may never be a better opportunity.

      • CliveM

        Certainly need a different leader!

        But yes reform as well.

    • dannybhoy

      He’s a politician,
      admires Tony Blair,
      wants us to stay in the GEUlag,
      what do you expect?

      • CliveM

        I think honourable people support the EU, Cameron isn’t one of them.

        • dannybhoy

          “I think honourable people support the EU”
          Disagree: honourable British people supported the European Common Market.
          Prime Minister Edward Heath deliberately deceived the British electorate as to the real endgame of political union, rather than a mutually beneficial trading group that might eventually. organically become something more with accountability.
          That’s what I thought I was signing up to. Our country does not need to be part of a sleazy, corrupt, ineffectual and sclerotic old (politicians) club..

          • CliveM

            No DB, I know some. They also believe it is reformable, which I think is their fundamental mistake.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah, I see what you’re saying. So they’re actually honourable, if naive?
            But even naive honourable people must realise that joining or remaining in a political federation means that you accept the rules that are applicable to all member states, and that to try and renegotiate those rules whether from without or within is to make a nonsense of the rules in the first place?

          • CliveM

            I think it is all to easy in politics to dismiss your opponent as malicious or stupid or greedy. Sometimes it’s true but usually it isn’t. They just see thing differently. When politics is polarised in that sort of way, you end up with the sort of stupid stereotyping that Linus indulges in below.

            I think those who believe proper reform is possible are wrong, but not malicious. Some I know are genuinely afraid of the impact on jobs and opportunities of Brexit. None of us know for certain, so different opinions are going to happen.

            I’m excluding a lot of politicians btw, most are self serving vote grubbers!

        • bluedog

          Yay! Onward to Schengen and membership of the Eurozone.

  • Anton

    No book on the EU begins to match The Great Deception by Christopher Booker and Richard North. It is genuinely scholarly work of modern history that lays bare the entire shabby edifice. The first edition is better, as some of the historical detail was later dropped to make way for stuff on the EU Constitution that later proved ephemeral. It’s those details that you need if you want a firm understanding of the project.

    • dannybhoy

      I was going to buy it until I looked uptake price on Amazon…..

      • Anton

        Cheap compared to academic science textbooks!

        • dannybhoy

          Sell me yours then, a chapter at a time..

      • The Explorer

        Expensive: like EU membership.

      • preacher

        Try ordering it at your local library. Preferably before the E.U bans it !, ( or closes the library as a nest of malcontents. )

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The EU is becoming more authoritarian and dictatorial. It has to if it wants to coerce unwilling European citizens into sharing its views. True democracy is the enemy of the EU. It fears democracy in the same way the old Soviet leaders feared it. Where will the EU be in thirty years time? Answer; probably larger (it will include Turkey and maybe Ukraine), more intolerant of dissent, more controlling (we’ll be lucky if we can set the level of parking fines ourselves), and more financially demanding. Foreign policy will be dictated to us by Big Brussels It will probably have its own armed forces and so be able to drag us into any insane conflict without us being able to do anything about it.

    Now that’s what I call a leap into the darkness

  • The Explorer

    A teetotaller belongs to a dining group. The others have wine: several bottles each time. The bill is split equally; he funds their drinking habits. When he decides to resign from the group, the others are alarmed: they’ll have to pay more proportionately if they let him go. Not an exact analogy, but it’ll suffice.

    In the first thirty years of membership, and allowing for inflation, we paid in £85 billion more than we got back.

    The EU gives us grants. That’s to say, it gives us back some of our own money, while distributing the remainder of our money elsewhere to what it deems to be deserving causes. If we kept our money in the first place, we wouldn’t need to get it back, and we could decide how to spend it ourselves. We might even have the key to our own front door, so that we could decide who to admit.

    • CliveM

      In short the EU spends to much investing in failure!

      • dannybhoy

        And it is failure Clive. The EU accounts have never been signed off since year one of its inception. Politicians understand bureaucracy, rules and regulations and the art of taxing*
        *also known as stealing money by subterfuge to provide things that most people would happily do without.

  • Samuel

    Dudes

    Project fear is well underway.

    A summary as follows, written by the cabinet permanent under Secretary for state propaganda .

    If Britain leaves the EU :

    1. It will unleash the ten plagues of Egypt, including boils , rivers of blood and lots of frogs
    2. Martians will invade us with the tripods without the EU to defend us
    3. The pound will collapse and the economy ruined .All companies will go bankrupt and billions will loose their jobs
    4. It will provoke a civil war as Scotland tearfully breaks away to remain loyally within the EU
    5. The end of the world
    6. Pink fluffy dice will be mandatory in all vehicles
    7. Scotland will threaten to leave the UK and they might stay
    8. The NHS will collapse without third world slave labour
    9. The British government will collapse and anarchy will reign: within a week we will have resorted to cannibalism
    10. Britain will be isolated and unable to take part in Euro vision.
    11. All the pensioners in Spain will be kicked out and have their pensions stolen
    12. It will help Trump get elected in the US
    13. It will cause world war three
    14. Vladimir Putin will become Tsar of England
    15. David Cameron will go and Jeremy Corbyn will somehow take power

    The terror ! The terror! The fear and catastrophic consequences are just too much to contemplate!! For the sake of the children , the future , nay civilisation itself we MUST vote to stay in !

    • CliveM

      What surprises me about this is how they don’t get the long term damage to their cause.

      • Samuel

        I think us little people , we should just know our place and do as we’re told by the elites and that nice Mr Cameron. At least he didn’t go to a red brick , eh?

        • CliveM

          Eeeeeee lad, eh wer’ oot doon tha pits, by 11………

        • Anton

          An early speech of Tony Blair’s always amused me. He spoke with passion of how so many of Britain’s children were educated in school buildings that were a century old and, presumably, unfit for purpose.

          Yeah, like Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Rugby… and Fettes.

    • preacher

      You’ve got it right bro’ but be careful, anyone with that much info is obviously in a high political position & could be charged with being a whistle blower under the official secretion act.

      • Samuel

        Interestingly even if the votes go in favour of brit exit, parliament will still have to legislate to make it official. But parliament has a pro EU majority . Would they ever pass the legislation?

      • Samuel

        Dude

        Well here’s another one. I can picture the scene after the Brit exit vote . President Hollande, looking increasingly Napoleonic with his bicorne , grey trench coat and habit of tucking his left hand into it, declares Britain temporarily insane and offers to send in 10,000 EU, French led “peacekeepers” to help a beleaguered Mr Cameron and starts to speak warmly about the auld alliance with Scotland… addressing the nation President Hollande says it is ‘time to extinguish the stain of Waterloo’. And he adds ‘Britain has always been part of Europe — even if they have refused to recognise it- it is time to welcome them back into our family —by force, if necessary.’ As Cameron and his cronies have more or less reduced the British defence forces to zero, everyone realises they are powerless to stop an invasion….

        • CliveM

          An EU army led by the French? Send in the WI!!!

          • sarky

            Cheese eating surrender monkeys.

          • Samuel

            What about The foreign legion?

          • CliveM

            Still send in the Women’s Institute!

        • sarky

          Count me in for dad’s army!

          • Samuel

            Stout fellow.

        • carl jacobs

          You are postulating a successful invasion … led by France? Sam, put the funny-smelling herb on the table and go lie down for awhile.

    • David

      You’ve forgotten the crucial threat – the Thames will turn into boiling blood !

    • chiefofsinners

      Nicely understated.

      • Samuel

        Well dude, I didn’t want to scare anyone or frighten the horses with a no holds barred reality of what Britain will be like post brit exit ….

    • Martin

      I thought leaving Europe would keep the frogs out, they’ll need passports in future.

      • Samuel

        🙂

  • dannybhoy

    “But there is one certain known known: the EU was never designed to accommodate democracy, and its anti-democratic predilection will only fortify should the UK vote to remain. Such is the nature of the ever-federalising beast.”
    Exactly!
    And as someone said on LBC this morning during the Nigel Farage phone in, this is all about,
    “The people versus the politicians…!”
    The politicians are not interested in democracy, only unaccountable control.
    Add into the mix that the proposed TTPI agreement with the EU which will allow multinationals to break into our NHS by offering health services, and you begin to realise just how dangerous this is..
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html

  • carl jacobs

    Never been much of a fan of direct democracy myself. Representatives after all exist to check the passions of the mob. So the idea of screening a voter initiative does make sense to me. Imagine a voter initiative that called for “Recognition of Europe as a homeland for white people.” Do you think you could get 1,000,000 signatures in Europe for that?

    The problem is not the process but the world view by which it is actualized.

    • CliveM

      Yes Carl I agree with that. It’s also no different to the UK, we have a similar system and get pretty similar results.

      We had a petition trying to ban Trump from the UK. Had to be debated, got voted down and quite rightly.

      • dannybhoy

        Yeah, I signed that one and another one requesting the POTUS stay out of the BREXIT issue,
        I had a negative response from the government on both petitions.

    • dannybhoy

      “Imagine a voter initiative that called for “Recognition of Europe as a homeland for white people.” Do you think you could get 1,000,000 signatures in Europe for that?”
      Easily and many times over. I just do not understand why we native Europeans should be expected to take on the late Mother Theresa’s role and find our vocation in giving up our homelands for others to enjoy.

      • carl jacobs

        How many immigrants you accept is a separate question from defining a nation by race.

        • Anton

          God appears to define it by language (Babel story).

        • dannybhoy

          How about ‘the indigenous peoples’ then? That surely covers all the Scots/Irish/Welsh and English peoples in the British Isles.
          Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics.[1][2][3][4][5][6] First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, by the 17th century race began to refer to physical (i.e. phenotypical) traits. The term was often used in a general biological taxonomic sense,[7] starting from the 19th century, to denote genetically differentiated human populations defined by phenotype.”

          “Race, the idea that the human species is divided into distinct groups on the basis of inherited physical and behavioral differences. Genetic studies in the late 20th century refuted the existence of biogenetically distinct races, and scholars now argue that “races” are cultural interventions reflecting specific attitudes and beliefs that were imposed on different populations in the wake of western European conquests beginning in the 15th century.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(human_categorization)

          http://www.britannica.com/topic/race-human

          Plus ze Froggies, Krauts, the Durch peoples, Spaniards and assorted others on ze mainland..

    • Coniston

      Concerning democracy, I think the final word to be said about it was (allegedly) by Churchill: ‘democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others.’
      About the EU -if we were not in it already would any political party today dream of suggesting that we join it (apart perhaps the LibDems)?

    • Anton

      But what when representative democracy becomes unrepresentative democracy?

    • David

      A Switzerland style direct democracy rather appeals. That little country thrives on it.

  • carl jacobs

    Europe desperately needs some form of competent Union. Just two days ago I was watching a Dutch documentary about the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940. It seems an adequate metaphor for the fate of Europe if it continues on its current path. Weak. Divided. Vulnerable.

    • Anton

      “Europe desperately needs some form of competent Union.”

      Be careful what you wish for…

    • The Explorer

      Europe wasn’t united when it was the World’s strongest continent.

      • carl jacobs

        Europe’s domination was founded on vastly superior technology. That gap no longer exists. Do you think you could repeat the Opium Wars today?

        • The Explorer

          If the technology gap no longer exists, then does it make any difference if Europe is united or divided?

          • carl jacobs

            A unified continent of 350 million can compete. A continent of 350 million divided into threescore nations cannot.

          • dannybhoy

            You miss the point Carl that the Europeans and us Brits have very deep cultural roots and behaviours that go back many centuries. Your country had the advantage of founders who in the main weren’t that dissimilar. European nations are very different.

          • carl jacobs

            I get your point, but you have to understand that the world is pitiless. If you don’t stand together, you will get eaten in pieces. Europe is complacent, rich, and weak. What do you think happens to complacent, rich, weak things when confronted by a lean, hungry and strong predator?

          • chiefofsinners

            The issue is not whether the UK stands together with other nations. It is
            1. Which nations we choose to stand with and
            2. Whether we choose to be governed by those nations.

          • dannybhoy

            Exactly.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, again let’s review our history. France, Germany, Holland and Spain were all colonial powers but by far the greatest and most enduring was the little group of islands off the European mainland known as Great Britain. We’ve been at war with practically all those nations at some time or another, and in more recent times and with help we rescued Europe twice..
            Yes, it would be good to work together, but the EU is not the best way to do it. Imo the EU most closely resembles a re-run of the USSR, and it just isn’t going to work.

    • David

      “Weak.Divided. Vulnerable.”
      It is NATO that protects us, and most EU nations don’t spend enough on defence, including the UK, although we do better than some.
      As for political strength, well the last two decades of the bossy, power crazed EU tells me very clearly that we are individually and collectively weaker with the EU attempting to apply its “one size fits all”, top down and undemocratic bullying regime than without it.
      But I’d be happy to support a “Council” of free, independent nations to discuss and hopefully coordinate those things that the individual nations are happy to agree.
      Oh and yes, I’ve just remembered, many thanks for supporting my position, in my absence, a few articles ago, from the crude attack of that rude character, who hopefully has sloped off to his dark lair somewhere.

      • carl jacobs

        You are right about NATO. But NATO without the US is non-functional. If the US ever leaves, Europe is effectively defenseless. That’s why Europe needs some sort of Union. It needs a combined defense and foreign policy establishment. It needs a unified command.

        from the crude attack of that rude character

        I wouldn’t judge him too harshly. You know how physicists are. Too much time spent with subatomc particles. 😉

        • David

          Good point. I’d be happy with a “combined defence and foreign policy”, but not all the rest of it.
          Ah a physicist ! I hadn’t realised that. Perhaps you’re right. I can overreact !

          • dannybhoy

            Anglicans have that in common with the rest of the human race..

      • Anton

        Did you mean a crude attack by me? I don’t recall such an attack but Carl said it was by a physicist, and I am one (albeit NOT an elementary particle physicist!)

        • carl jacobs

          No, it was that guy who showed up last weekend – William Windflete or something like that. He claimed he was a physicist. IIRC you asked him about his research. I may or may not have been using the opportunity to take a cheap shot at you. 😉

          • William Lewis

            I think that was me quizzing the fellow, not Anton. So your shot was so cheap it wasn’t even aimed at the right target. Let’s all hope that Strategic Command has a better sense of direction 🙂

            What was more troubling about the chap was his Buddhism. I suspect that there is too much time asking who is this I that is asking who is this I that is asking who is this I ….

          • The Explorer

            I think he was naming himself after William Waynflete.. Bishop of Winchester, and founder of Magdalen College, Oxford. Not an obvious prototype for a physicist or a Buddhist, but perhaps this new chap is a Magdalen graduate.

        • David

          No, someone who just turned up, not a “regular”.

    • Phil R

      The EU cannot even stop a few determined refugees. It will not agree on a workable mutual defence policy any time soon or probably ever.

      My view is that Britain needs to leave NATO. I don’t want to consider war with Russia to protect the Turkey and is it at all feasible or desirable protect say Latvia?

      • carl jacobs

        I worry that NATO is a house of cards that will collapse at the first shock. I cannot see the US going to war with Russia over the Baltic states – ever. And what happens to the credibility of the Article 5 guarantees when Lithuania is left to its fate? NATO should never have pushed east of Poland. All it did by doing so was to create the the potential for its own dissolution.

        • Phil R

          Agreed. NATO will be tested at some point and it will not deploy.

          For Britain. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and possibly (Due to increasing trade etc) India makes a better and more reliable pact. (Offers of help from all of them in 1982)

          The US? To be honest, I am not sure the US is consistent enough to be a reliable and viable ally. There is still a question mark over the way Vietnam was treated and even in WW2 the US was an ally it seems more of convenience than a dedicated friend of Britain like the first three in my list have been.

          I don’t think the US will go to war under Article 5 for any NATO member unless (a) the right president is in power AND (b) it is unavoidably in the US’s interests. NATO agreements will be a poor second to both a and b above.

          • CliveM

            “For Britain. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and possibly (Due to increasing trade etc) India makes a better and more reliable pact. (Offers of help from all of them in 1982)”

            No not likely. To separate, to distant and to late.

          • Phil R

            Well we really are on our own.

            Having had a house in two countries in Europe for the last 20 years and traveled widely. There are very few EU countries that might stand with us. Most Western and Northern…perhaps and maybe some from the East. Southern Europe and I include France and Belgium…. not a chance. You have more chance of the Irish fighting for freedom than most Eu countries. (No Offense)

          • Aran’Gar

            Canada and Australia took over some Royal Navy duties during the war, and New Zealand was very emphatic.
            Sadly none of them have particularly serious militaries either then or now. But their hearts were in the right place.

            I can’t see why Britain can’t carry out the sort of military integration she has been doing with France lately with Canada.

          • CliveM

            Because Canada wouldn’t want to. 50 years ago perhaps, but Canada is busily removing its final imperial ties with the U.K., which will only be accelerated under their current PM. I can see no evidence that he would sign a defence treaty with the U.K.

          • Aran’Gar

            What imperial ties has Canada cut lately?

  • preacher

    As I’ve said before, the E.U is holed below the water line & sinking. The pitiful plea of David Cameron is ” Would you really want to risk a leap into a tiny lifeboat when you can stay on a huge Liner ? “. The plaintiff cry from the bridge is ” Would you leave us to our fate ? “.
    Yes David, we would rather leave before the water reaches our necks, To the rest of the unelected E.U crew – Abandon Ship there are plenty more lifeboats available ! .

    • sarky

      Or, it’s like staying with an abusive partner for the sake of the kids.

      • dannybhoy

        You should leave then Sarky. It pains me to think of you suffering…
        ;0)

  • chiefofsinners

    If England votes to leave the EU but Scottish votes keep the UK in, will England demand an independence referendum?

    • Judas was paid.

      I certainly think we should.

    • David

      The noisy Scottish Nats are almost undoubtedly exaggerating the numbers of Scottish voters that will vote IN, for their own political purposes. But if the UK was trapped within the EU, mainly due to Scottish votes as you describe, then sad though it would be, I think that England should divorce Scotland in order to escape from the controlling, suffocating heavy hand of Brussels. Otherwise we will be destroyed as a nation and a culture. Once we are prospering, out of the EU, other nations may well follow us. My friends in Norway are so, so happy, that all those years ago, they decided to remain outside the EU. Getting out is worth sacrifices, even a parting of the ways from Scotland.

      • Anton

        Give the Scots another Referendum. With the oil price low and acceptance of the Euro as the condition for new entrants to the EU, they’d say no again. And if they don’t, let them go.

        • Aran’Gar

          If Cornwall votes In but Wilstshire votes Out I think Cornwall should be able to secede.

          Doesn’t make much sense does it?

      • chiefofsinners

        To be controlled by Brussels is bad enough, but to be controlled by Edinburgh and Brussels…

  • CliveM

    Sometimes I think the nations of Europe are like the city states of Ancient Greece. Proud of their history, jealous of their sovereignty, suspicious of each other…………..

    and about to be swollowed up by imperial Rome.

    • Pubcrawler

      Well, Philip II and Alexander had pretty much done for the old Greek ‘city state’ model (which had repelled the Persians twice, let’s not forget) some time before the Romans came along. If Pyrrhus had had better luck it might all have turned out differently and Rome would, like Arretium, be little more than a footnote in history.

      Not for nothing was much of southern Italy referred to as Magna Graecia.

      • Mike Stallard

        And let us not forget that Greek culture survived long after even the Muslim invasions too. Indeed in many ways it has affected Islam quite deeply too.

        • Pubcrawler

          Indeed. Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, as the poet said.

          • Anton

            Horace?

          • Pubcrawler

            Yup.

          • Anton

            What did you say the pub opposite the Merton Arms site is now called? I could handily arrange to be in there in the evening of Friday March 18th although I’m not sure exactly what time yet.

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s currently called the Punter. I could be there then.

          • Anton

            Grand. I’ll be in touch nearer the date and would have my circa 1980 pub map of Cambridge on the table before me for recognition.

          • Pubcrawler

            Jolly good. I think I know the map you mean (though I will be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong). I will also have maps 🙂

      • CliveM

        But I’m still left with the feeling that the reason why ultimately the model failed was that in the cruel and unsentimental way it does, the world had moved on, developed new models and the city state had ceased to be effective in the new environment.

        Now a discussion as to why the Persians failed would be a fascinating topic!

        • Pubcrawler

          I broadly agree with your first paragraph, although it took Rome about a century and a half to enfold all of Greece into the empire; so in the absence of any major external threat (which Rome wasn’t, really, until the beginning of the first century BC) the Greek ideal of autonomy, even in its weakened form after the Macedonian and Successor regimes, remained adequate.

          Why did the Persians fail to conquer Greece? Several reasons are usually given:

          * The Greek armies were better armed, better trained, better disciplined and had generals who understood what were the most appropriate tactics in the terrain.

          * The major Greek states (though by no means all of them) put aside their differences and rivalries in the face of a common enemy and were able to combine their efforts in a temporary association.

          * Athens’ silver mines provided them with enough wealth to build a navy powerful enough to resist the Persian naval force.

          * The Persian force was huge and its supply line overlong and vulnerable. The Greek countryside through which it had to pass was not productive enough to be able to support it.

          * The Persian force was largely mercenary or ‘conscripted’, they had no great passion for the conquest, whereas the Greeks were free men fighting for their liberty, their homelands, families and fellow citizens, and their ideals. (One fo the ancient writers says something along these liness, I’m sure, but I can’t lay my finger on it now — it’s been a few decades since I studied this period.)

          • Anton

            For a 100% accurate historical explanation, see the films 300 and 300: Birth of an Empire

            I’ve walked the path from the road to the site of the silver mines of Laurion and a spine-tingling thing it is too.

            The city-states of mediaeval and Renaissance Italy needed Big Brothers among the superpowers (France, Habsburgs) to survive.

  • The Explorer

    I believe there was a global flood. The question is, what is meant by ‘global’. God knew about America and Australia, but the author of ‘Genesis’ didn’t. So did the flood cover the whole world, or the whole world known to the author?

    The author of ‘Revelation’ didn’t know about America and Australia either. So when he talks about a global economic system, is he thinking Canada etc, or is he thinking Middle East? If we mean truly global, we have the one-world state dream of the UN and the EU. If we mean the Middle East, we can see the pattern in the Caliphate, a few stages on.

    So when the End Times do come, we have two plausible models already to show us how a ‘global’ system could pan out.

    • Anton

      Where “all the peoples of the world” are mentioned, scripture can safely be taken to mean just that, especially when Christ spoke about the gospel reaching all of them as the event immediately preceding His return. But the words used should be checked in the original Hebrew and Greek: ERETZ (Hebrew) means earth and is ambiguous in that it can mean land (which is (made of earth’) or the whole world.

      As for the Flood, I believe it was a global event for if not then why was Noah told to build an Ark? In the length of time that took he could have travelled thousands of miles and escaped a local flood. And all bird life perished, yet birds are able to return in weeks.

      I have always regarded it as a global catastrophic event, but not necessarily a flood of liquid water elsewhere than the Middle East where the only humans were. If it were a short-term cooling event then snow might well have fallen farther from the equator. You can cover the whole earth with snow – a form of water – using MUCH less water than the amount needed globally to overtop Mt Everest, because snow provides a blanket. I discount as scientifically illiterate the claims of “flood geologists” that today’s mountains attained their present height only a few thousand years ago and that mountains were lower at the time of the Flood.

      • sarky

        The water can’t have been higher than mountains or the lack of oxygen wold have killed them.
        The flood only makes sense of you think of it as a tsunami and the ark as a coracle, without every animal in the world, but livestock.

        • Anton

          The mountains in the Middle East are not remotely as high as Everest, so my scenario survives your comment. Even if enough water appeared worldwide by a miracle for Everest to be overtopped (which I don’t believe) then it would simply displace the atmosphere upward, so your assertion of suffocation would not hold. But I love discussing this stuff and thank you for your comment.

          According to the Genesis account, from the day the ark was sealed shut, rain fell continuously for 40 days and nights and the sources of the oceans were BAQA – cleaved, rent, broken asunder (Genesis 7:11-16). The amount of water in the oceans increased, causing sea level to rise; the ancients would have noticed that rain does not normally have this effect. (Job 36:27-28 refers to the water cycle.) To explain the Flood, a large amount of ice would have to break up and melt rapidly – the exact meaning of BAQA. Volcanism in the right place, or a comet impact in polar regions, could do this. Volcanic heat or the impact energy would also feed massive amounts of water vapour into the atmosphere, causing the 40-day rainstorm. Paradoxically, dust from the event could also set up a ‘nuclear winter’ scenario that temporarily cools the rest of the earth to temperatures at which snow persists.

          • sarky

            All very well, but zero evidence for any of it.

          • Anton

            Or against it.

          • sarky

            Think you’ll find the onus is on you.

          • Anton

            That depends entirely on who the audience is: scientists or creationists, for instance.

          • sarky

            As a physicist, you should know that if you put forward a theory, you have to provide evidence.

          • Anton

            My evidence for the Flood narrative is the Book of Genesis, the truth of which I am convinced, as of all the Bible. But as a physicist I must either make sure that my understanding of it is consistent with physics, or assert a miracle.

          • sarky

            Arhh right, so if a square peg doesn’t fit a round hole, make it fit with a miracle.
            Sorry but that’s a totally illogical and unscientific way to do things.

          • Anton

            If you don’t believe in miracles then you should be discussing Christ’s virgin birth and resurrection from the dead as a higher priority than Genesis. But not with me on this thread, sorry – too much else going on.

          • sarky

            Swerrrrrrve.

          • Anton

            You did that first (recall my comment in the last 24 hours about change of subject?), but it’s not; the point is that the Bible does involve miracles and some people take the Flood to be one. I think it was miraculous in the timing but not necessarily in the details, which is why I’m interested in the physics of it.

          • Phil R

            Loads of evidence Sarky. See my post above

          • Martin

            Sarky

            So demonstrate the descent of all life from a LCA by breeding organisms.

          • Phil R

            Plenty of evidence from Otto Muck onwards (Muck was not a Christian BTW but provides plenty of science for a flood)

          • sarky

            Arhh yes, the engineer with no scientific background who was also an Atlantis hunter.

          • Phil R

            The preface to the book I have cites him Rocket Engineer.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            The evidence is the rocks under your feet & the fossils contained in them.

          • sarky

            No its not.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Then you deny that the rocks and fossils can tell you about the past?

          • sarky

            No, I just deny the conclusion you derive from them.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            So why should I not deny the conclusions that you draw from them?

          • dannybhoy

            Isn’t there also a hypothesis for a water vapour canopy around the earth that allowed for a uniform temperature -like a greenhouse- and which also helped shield the earth from rays harmful to life, (but essential to genetic mutations..)?
            This supposedly allowed for greater growth and human longevity, and explains in part why men no longer lived two great ages..

          • Anton

            That’s to do with reconciling Genesis 1 with some of the things we have learnt from science, rather than the later Flood narrative.

          • dannybhoy

            I rather thought it was in connection with the great flood, as in…
            “11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.”
            Genesis 7 NKJV.
            I think the late Henry Morris postulated the theory in his book The Early Earth.

          • Anton

            “The windows of the heavens were opened” is just a poetic way of saying that it rained very hard. The water vapour canopy has been postulated to explain how the sun and moon became visible so late in the sequence of days in Genesis 1. I’m still thinking about that.

          • dannybhoy

            “The windows of the heavens were opened” is just a poetic way of saying that it rained very hard.”
            Compare..
            “6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. ” Genesis 1
            and,
            “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”

        • dannybhoy

          Maybe that’s where we lost the Tyrannosaurs and Sarkyosaurs
          Seriously.
          Maybe the giant lizards perished in the flood, which then would have to have been a global event.

          • sarky

            Again, zero evidence. Just because you want something to be true, it doesnt mean it is.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t want it to be true Sarkers, It might or might not be true. I just offered it because I had read about it. It’s not like my faith depends upon it being true.

          • sarky

            But if it’s not true, how do you know
            Which other bits of the Bible are true or not?

          • dannybhoy

            What I mean is that I accept the Scriptures as inspired by God. The early Church accepted them too. and my premise is that because God is truth, there can be no ultimate conflict between faith and science. Where there are difficult things in the Scriptures I accept them by faith and I don’t worry about them.

          • sarky

            I couldn’t do that. Surely there is too much at stake?

          • dannybhoy

            Being a fan of Francis Schaeffer, I believe in a logical approach to faith, which means
            a) Is God as revealed in the Scriptures rational and credible in character and attributes?
            b) Does He love mankind and does His diagnosis of our condition and His judgement of us make sense?
            c) Has He provided a solution to our alienation from Him and our own flawed nature, so that we can become a part of the solution rather than remaining a part of the problem?
            d) Does this God allow for man to explore and improve his world?
            I believe the answer to all the above is ‘Yes’. so I don’t have to have all the answers to all the anomalies in Scripture. my faith is in the revealed nature of God and His coming to earth so that I might know forgiveness and new life.

          • sarky

            I believe the answers to be no, which in turn, leads me to believe there is no god.

          • dannybhoy

            Fine, but then you have to come up with something that offers some rationale for all we see around us, how it all got here, why man is the way he is and so on.
            To my mind it’s a total cop out to say say it just IS…and that’s all there is to it.

          • sarky

            Greater minds than mine have already done that.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes but the jury is still out Sarkers.
            Evolution offers a model for the development of life, but not the origins of life, specifically the creation of something out of nothing, how the various components of a cell came into by sheer chance.
            Where are all the transitional species in the fossil record?
            Everyone acknowledges that species just suddenly appear, and that whilst some of those species have disappeared those that remain are essentially the same

            “When terrestrial strata and the fossil record are examined, it is to be seen that all living organisms appeared simultaneously. The oldest stratum of the earth in which fossils of living creatures have been found is that of the Cambrian, which has an estimated age of 500-550 million years.”

            “As Dawkins is forced to acknowledge, the Cambrian Explosion is strong evidence for creation, because creation is the only way to explain the fully-formed emergence of life on earth. Douglas Futuyma, a prominent evolutionist biologist admits this fact and states: “Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from preexisting species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence.”

            Then there’s the theory of Intelligent Design…..

            So not to say that you’re wrong and I’m right, but that there are intelligent and educated men and women who accept that Creation happened.

        • Phil R

          Lack of oxygen. …..

          Another Dawkins gem?

          • sarky

            Err no, a scientific fact.

          • Phil R

            Not in this case if the sea level rises.

          • sarky
          • Phil R

            I know that there are unresolved questions (On both sides — not often mentioned– as a matter of fact)

            I was not convinced for 20 years or more and I do not want to go into it on a Sunday afternoon……!

      • The Explorer

        I agree that when Christ said “Make people of all nations my disciples,” He meant exactly that. I believe that John’s vision in Rev. 7:9 of “all nations” is exactly that.

      • dannybhoy

        ” You can cover the whole earth with snow – a form of water – using MUCH less water than the amount needed globally to overtop Mt Everest, because snow provides a blanket. I discount as scientifically illiterate the claims of “flood geologists” that today’s mountains attained their present height only a few thousand years ago and that mountains were lower at the time of the Flood.”
        Tell you’re a plumber…
        ;0)

    • Over 70 different cultures across the world have stories of an ancient flood. The flood story from Hawaii is particularly similar to the biblical account:

      “The people had turned to evil, so Kane punished their sin with a flood. Nu’u and his company were saved by entering into the Great-Canoe… Nuu was of the thirteenth generation from the first man. The gods commanded Nuu to build an ark and carry on it his wife, three sons, and males and females of all breathing things. Waters came and covered the earth. They subsided to leave the ark on a mountain overlooking a beautiful valley… In gratitude for his deliverance, Nuu offered a sacrifice to Kane… left the rainbow as a perpetual sign of his forgiveness.”

      Some links:

      http://www.0095.info/en/index_thesesen_95onesentencethesesagainste_reportsoftheflood.html

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

      • Anton

        The reason for the universality of flood accounts is not a universal flood (I’m not saying it didn’t happen) but the oral tradition of it being handed down, as our ancestors fanned out from the Middle East as described in Genesis in the next tale after the Flood. Those accounts can’t derive from survivors in far-flung lands because the Bible is clear that there were none: only the 8 in the Ark survived.

        • I would agree with that – and it adds evidence to the account in Genesis. The people in Hawaii, also believe that their ancestor was ‘Nuh’ (which is how many Middle Eastern people pronounce Noah), who survived the flood.

          • Findaráto

            Polynesian legend was an oral tradition subject to change and evolution from generation to generation. The first to write these stories down were European and American missionaries, some of the most zealous and god-obsessed Victorian muttonchop moralisers ever to walk the earth.

            So the Hawaiian flood story closely resembles the Biblical tale of Noah, does it?

            It’s a miracle! A miracle of cultural contempt and a paternalistic re-interpretation of indigenous myth in an attempt to convert a reluctant population to Christianity.

            The missionary’s pen gave him the possibility to recast Hawaiian traditions in a Christian mould. No earlier written accounts existed to contradict the edited and Christianised versions created by the missionaries. Over the course of a decade or so the oral tradition of an entire people was hijacked, tampered with and used as a tool to convert the indigenous population. It happened all over the Pacific and elsewhere too.

            The success of the venture is undoubted, to the point where we now have gullible and naive British Christians marveling at the similarity between what they’ve been told is native Polynesian myth and the Bible narrative.

            What further proof is necessary that whoever wrote the original Gospel story (the one that all of them were adapted from) was absolutely right to choose the sheep as the perfect metaphor for the Christian believer?

          • The Explorer

            Are we to assume the story of Tutanekai was distorted by missionaries?
            Interestingly, Maragret Mead seems to have distorted the details of life in Samoa in the opposite direction from the missionaries: imposing her expectations, rather than going by what she actually found.

          • Lienus

            ‘Ow dare you insult my Tuti? Eet is not ‘is fault. ‘ee was distorted by Christian missionaries. ‘ee simply did not understand what the missionary position was.

            Anyway, scientists know that evolution is the truth because a scientist called Darwin told them so. ‘ee travelled to zee Galapagos islands and wrote it all down. This zealous and god-obsessed Voctorian muttonchop moraliser… er.., no, wrong Voctorian. Anyway the rest of the Voctorian exploerers were all zealous and god-obsessed muttonchop moralisers but the one that went to the Galapagos, ‘ee was trustworthy. What further proof is necessary?

          • Findaráto

            The Olden-Jørgensen / Thurén method for determining historicity via source criticism is well known and widely accepted.

            The method relies on the following:

            1. Human sources may be relics such as a fingerprint; or narratives such as a statement or a letter. Relics are more credible sources than narratives.

            2. Any given source may be forged or corrupted. Strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability.

            3. The closer a source is to the event which it purports to describe, the more one can trust it to give an accurate historical description of what actually happened.

            4. An eyewitness is more reliable than testimony at second hand, which is more reliable than hearsay at further remove, and so on.

            6. If a number of independent sources contain the same message, the credibility of the message is strongly increased.

            7. The tendency of a source is its motivation for providing some kind of bias. Tendencies should be minimized or supplemented with opposite motivations.

            8. If it can be demonstrated that the witness or source has no direct interest in creating bias then the credibility of the message is increased.

            The problem with the historicity of the Bible can be resumed as follows:

            1. There are no authenticated relics of Christ.

            2. The objects claiming to be relics are frequently exposed as fraudulent, e.g. the Turin shroud carbon dated to the Middle Ages.

            3. The sources describing the events in the Gospels are all separated from the events by at least a generation or more. Those who wrote the Gospels down were at best second hand reporters of events they did not witness.

            4. The Gospels are not independent sources, having been compiled and heavily edited by the members of a single and heavily biased religious sect. There are no independent contemporaneous sources from the annals of surrounding cultures, competing religions, or from the colonial power in Rome. All we know about Jesus comes from Church sources with no independent corroboration.

            5. The tendency of the existing sources is consistently hagiographic. There are no critical sources describing events from a different or skeptical viewpoint. The bias of the existing sources is clear. Their motivation is to make others believe in their God, therefore grave doubt must be cast on the impartiality of their witness.

            Judged by these criteria, the Bible is not reliable historical witness. The most that can be said about it is that it’s heavily biased hearsay tending towards propaganda designed to cement the power base of an increasingly powerful Church with the objective of helping it to become even more powerful.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. Your summary of source criticism makes it much clearer where you are coming from.

            As to your comments about the Bible, here we go round the mulberry bush yet again. We’ve been through all this before. One example in relation to Point 3, in ‘1 Corinthians’ (53-57AD) Paul says “paralambano” – “I received”. He is citing oral history from an earlier period: within a few years of Christ’s life, and certainly while the disciples and others who had personally encountered Christ were still alive. Discounting oral history as Chinese whispers is simply silly. That was the method then used.

          • Findaráto

            The fact that “skeptical presuppositions” are possible at all is one of the most damning things about Christianity. If we had an impeccable provenance for any of the Gospel narratives and could state with confidence that they had been written by the apostles themselves as eyewitnesses to the events they claim happened, their reliability as source material would be immeasurably strengthened.

            As it is, literary analysis shows pretty conclusively that the Gospels were not written during or soon after Christ’s life, and that they have been heavily edited down the years. The earliest of them, Mark, was written by a second generation Christian and based on several underlying sources that vary in form and theology.

            Matthew and Luke were based on Mark with additions from another unknown source and in each case some unique material. They’re essentially both derivative documents and certainly cannot be counted as independent witness.

            John is a different kettle of fish, however the nature of the work makes it very unlikely to be an eyewitness account because it just doesn’t read like someone recounting lived experiences. Like all of the Gospels, it was written by a second or third generation Christian and its distance from the events it claims to describe makes it unreliable as an historical source.

            Add to this the frequent instances of interpolation and the lack of consistency between the various Gospels and you end up with a witness statement that quite simply does not “stand up in court”.

          • The Explorer

            “The fact that “skeptical presuppositions” are possible at all is one of the most damning things about Christianity.” As I said before, the Faith is always tenable, but never compulsive. God allowed the original ending of ‘Mark’ to be lost, just as He allowed the disappearance of much of the work of Tacitus.

            Christ predicts the fall of the Temple. If you know in advance that prediction doesn’t happen, there are two possibilities. 1. Christ didn’t say it (Jesus Seminar solution); 2. The Gospel in question was written after AD70 (Higher-Criticism solution). Alternatively, of course, Christ – being incarnate God – knew some aspects of the future. Tenable, but not compulsive.

            Your points 4 & 5 that the Gospels are heavily biased. Well, yes, but isn’t everything that seeks to present a viewpoint? Yes Campaign leaflets are biased in favour of arguments for staying. They don’t dwell on the merits of leaving. TV adverts are biased in favour of the product. They don’t emphasize reasons not to buy it, or extol the merits of direct competitors. “But these are written that ye might believe.” What did you expect John to do: stress the reasons NOT to believe?

            My intention was not to discuss the New Testament as such, but to establish principles for authenticating historical events. Your source criticism summary is most helpful in that regard: provided that one remembers about presuppositions. Margaret Mead ad decided what she was going to find before she got to Samoa, and duly found it: discarding what didn’t fit.

            PS: The editorial problem takes us into Bart Ehrman territory, and is a rather different issue. Will take it up another time, when relevant.

          • Findaráto

            Of course you would expect a religion’s holy book to be biased. What’s lacking is ANY OTHER viewpoint that can corroborate (or not) the holy book’s account.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, it’s a very good point. The argument that history is written by the victors who suppress the version of the defeated has a lot of truth in it. Also, history doesn’t know in advance who’s going to be famous, or at what point after death (Blake, for instance is much more revered as a poet now than he was when alive): so details of early life are sometimes obscure. God doesn’t have that excuse, of course: unless God chooses to largely restrict Himself to human methods of recording.
            Two things to bear in mind. Given the recording methods of the Ancient World, anything written within two hundred years after the events took place must be considered very reliable evidence. (With some Roman history about famous Romans, it’s longer than that.) And the Romans would not have concerned themselves about minor events in a backwater of the Empire, and did not do so until Christianity started of make a nuisance of itself. Thus although the primary – biblical – records are within the lifetime of the disciples, the secondary records, by and large, are not. That makes sense.
            Thus passing references are what we would expect and what we’ve got: by Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Serapion, Julius Africanus quoting Thalius, or the Greek Lucian of Samosata.
            The Jews, understandably, did not want to give prominence to an heretical sect. Ignore it, and hope it’ll go away. Nevertheless, there are the passing references in Josephus, and in the Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a): again after Christianity had become enough of a nuisance to merit refuting. And, of course, in the events of AD70, a lot of Jewish records would have been destroyed.

          • The Explorer

            “As it is, literary analysis shows pretty conclusively that the Gospels were not written during or soon after Christ’s life,”
            As C S Lewis said, “If a Biblical critic tells me that a Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, how well his palate is trained in detecting them by the flavour; not how many years he has spent on that Gospel”.

          • Findaráto

            Legends can be easily detected. They talk of legendary events, like virgin births, and people coming back to life, and dragons, and demons, and all sorts of miracles that don’t happen in real life. Events that defy the laws of physics. Events recounted by hysterical religionists who can’t prove them, but absolutely insist that we take their word for everything, because of course what they say has to be true.

          • The Explorer

            “Events recounted by hysterical religionists who can’t prove them, but absolutely insist that we take their word for everything.” Actually, the Bible is more realistic than that. It says, “Some doubted.”

            There is only one virgin birth recorded. Dragons are part of apocalyptic: a specific symbolic genre. |Demons, as fallen angels, are a different category altogether. People come back to life, not randomly, but as part of the power of Christ. (Those who rise from the graves in ‘Matthew’ are, I grant you, a symbolic awkwardness.) Miracles don’t happen in normal life, certainly: otherwise, they be part of normality rather than miracles. As illustrations of divine power breaking into the fallen world, they have their place, The laws of physics can be superseded by the one who created them in the first place:

            Compare a Gospel with something like the ‘Orlando Furioso’ , and the difference is obvious. That’s what Lewis was getting at.

          • William Lewis

            The number of corroborating texts and the closeness in time to the events they describe makes the New Testament far more reliable a record of the original source than other ancient historical documents.

          • Findaráto

            You’ll get no argument from me on that one. Better than many ancient documents, but still not good enough.

          • The McCullagh criteria are better and Harris, Maiguashka and others have made good arguments for the primacy of cumulative material data, versus the pitfalls of inevitably biased textual analysis. Impress us with throwing around names when you actually learn a bit more about historiography and its challenges.

          • Findaráto

            Careful, all your hatred of anyone who contradicts you is leading you down a path marked “Wikipedia”, otherwise known as the Internet armchair expert’s road to perdition.

            Surely you could take more time to bone up on the subject while you’re knocking off those paint-by-numbers masterpieces of yours. Do they require that much concentration?

          • You are unhinged, probably advanced effects of Syphilis, although I’d have to check with Wiki. Everything to you is a bar room scrap, because it’s all about your fragile ego…there are medicines for Syphilis, but I’m afraid your ego’s condition terminal.

            Curious to know where in Wiki you might find my references. Wiki is an excellent source for some areas of course, but you have to have a good knowledge base and analytic skills to use it properly. Get yourself a tutor.

          • Findaráto

            How sad and angry you bounced Czechs are. Your poor excuse for a country couldn’t hold it together, so off you trotted to the first Western nation that would have you … and your imaginary God knows, Canada will take anyone … any old trash is good enough for filling up those wide open spaces. There your anger simmers away finding no kind of resolution.

            The wounded pride of Czechs knows no bounds. Having grown up with stories of how your ancestors were treated like second class citizens by the Habsburgs, then walked over by the Nazis, and then experiencing Soviet oppression for yourself, and then the final indignity, forced to beg for shelter in America’s waste paper basket!

            Go ahead, vent! You clearly need to. Feel the relief wash over you as you hurl abuse my way. I don’t mind. It’s all so utterly ridiculous that I find myself quite saddened by it. Central Europe’s sad history haunts us all and won’t die until the last refugee gives up the ghost.

          • Samuel

            dude

            Avi is a Jewish Canadian, I think his family were from the Czech republic and that’s about it.

            You are entitled to your opinion , the above makes you look like a hypocrite.

            For example :

            “Your poor excuse for a country [Czechoslovakia] couldn’t hold it together”

            I think it’s hilarious that you are happy to smear brit exit people as racist bigots and attack anyone who worries about mass refugee immigration at Calais as the same.

            But look , in the same breath on the same thread , without any blushing or self awareness , you are dishing out some petty & well bigoted comments about Czechs and trying to taunt someone in racial terms. Oh and you are yourself attacking refugees by this line “Central Europe’s sad history haunts us all and won’t die until the last refugee gives up the ghost. ”

            Furthermore I cannot believe you are alleging personal abuse hurling here given what you wrote yesterday about those four vicars . You are either extremely hypocritical or just one of those who uses personal insults ,but can’t take them IN return. In other words bullying and cowardice.

          • Hi Sam! After the rhetorical battles over the US primaries I’ve been through, Linus’ insults have the comforting, homey effect of a scolding by a Victorian aunt over tea and toast with gooseberry preserves.

            You got him good on the hypocrite thing, though, but go easy on him; last time he got busted over something silly, he disappeared, cleared his comments and tried several reincarnations until he settled on this one. That would be drag, living through another melodrama like that.

          • Samuel

            Well dude,

            Off to ‘gay’ Paris and then later on to Guadeloupe and Martinique . At least we only have to buy euros. I shall give a brief , passing and inconsequential thought for Linus on his pissorre as I’m trinken cocktails/ beer somewhere on a Sandy beach watching the sunset go down with my babe in a hammock for two…. a very early happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom!

          • Traitor! Deserting the kehilla and us unfortunates plodding through snow and mud of the ghetto to shiver in our soggy Purim costumes. Ok, that won’t guilt you into changing your plans, so all the best to you and yours, be safe and enjoy the sun and the waves! And don’t take any wooden Euros.

          • Samuel

            Dude

            Thanks! the French colonial departments apparently use the Euro as they’re like the same as Hawaii is to the US in Frence terms. But this is my’ Yanis Varoufakis tribute tour’ . Thanks to his “handling” of Greece , the Euro devalued against the Swiss franc. And thanks to sister Rachel who was already buying Francs and the best investment advice was from Hannah who said “they [the Swiss franc notes] look well cool and colourful ” so on those examples we decided to buy some francs and when the Swiss abandoned their peg to the Euro… it made a bloody good FX investment.

          • Good moves. Of course, the fly in the ointment is that one has to have money to buy currency. Dang! Me, I have a sterling track record of investing in industries and ventures that crash. Such a consistency can generate cash for some. Perhaps I’ll start a pricey investment advice newsletter and tycoons will be born simply from folks doing the opposite I recommend. Then again, this may be the first time anyone listens to me and that venture will flop too. Dang!

          • Samuel

            Dude

            That’s cheering me up as to be honest I’m shitting myself for first going (as we’ve got relatives there) to a place where it’s like 1940 in Jewish terms i.e. Paris-istan, which is just below londonistan for well. Anyway. But I think sod it , I’m not taking off my kippah or tallit katan , I’m a Jew and that’s that and the days of fascist Dhmintude are over . Plus the better half had arranged for me to be part of the Minyan at her ancestral synagogue.

          • Well, since you’re the adventurous type, how about standing up in the plane for the traveler’s brukha? Standing and swaying like a Hassid. In the isle. While the plane is clawing for altitude and the seat belt signs are on. And don’t forget to first rummage around your carry-on, pull out your tefillin and lay them on. I’ll just watch the news breaks on CNN.

          • Samuel

            ROFL ! I went to see “London’s fallen” the other day. Good ole America saves Brit ass etc.But I’m still working out what that film was when one of the nut jobs a couple of weeks ago got so upset over the film they put on. ….

          • No. Not t’fillin. You can’t really pray in a movie theatre with a movie on. On the other hand, chances are there’d be miniyan if you polled the crowd: Yid’n! Yiiid’n! Iz dzere a Kohen or a Levi here?

          • Took no time for you to rile up this time. Much better; a Linus classic. The Czech angle is new! And ouch, poor Canada got it too! I like new things. You forgot the battle between Czech ad German, but that’s because you got all personal, which is to be expected, as lack of self-control is key to your condition.

            You got me thinking about starting an online liberal studies course based on the premise of insults. The student will do what you essentially do; spend hours of googling factoids after I get him or her all lathered up and fuming. People hate studying, doing research and proscrastinate, but you look at you!

            Free advice: Not bad …better than your over-the-top Continental verbal dalads of yester-year, but watch the multiplication of cliched idioms as you get more excited, e.g., “final indignity,” “go ahead, vent! You clearly need to,” “relief wash over you,” “hurl abuse” and the pathos of the “I don’t mind” (Snort! Yeah, clearly).

            But seriously, Linus, after the depressing battles with unbelievable cretins I’ve been through, ypur ripostes are refreshingly literate and classy! Glad to see you haven’t run off again.

          • Didn’t see your post until I posted. Yes, there was re-writing done by the missionaries, but not to the extent that your thundering neo-Marxist anti-colonialist moralizing suggests. In most cases the natives were inspired and syncretised creatively on their own, sometimes to spite their tutors, sometimes in admiration of them.

            But for that you need to separate your ideology from honest, fact-based (and to many, tedious) study of human culture and history, and to achieve what for you is impossible; a respect and genuine sympathy for the struggles of humankind…all humankind, not just you and your navel.

          • Anna, the problem with the “ancient” stories which appear to jive with biblical accounts among contacts in the former colonies is that they are undatable, mainly because they are oral histories. Also, because in most pristine cultures, the line between fact and myth is blurried.

            The waters have been further muddied by excited missionaries, ethnologists and anthropologists who took the claim of antiquity at face value. More recent analyses suggest that these myths are of more recent coinage, introduced by European missionaries and seamen and woven into or superimposed onto older native creation myths from the time of the first voyages of discovery, right up to the 20th century.

          • I wouldn’t deny that there is a problem with oral histories, but I don’t think that people ‘who took them at face value’ were either particularly gullible or being deliberately deceptive. Some exaggeration or distortion is inevitable when stories are translated from other languages.

            But if you visit the website, you will find that most of the stories are not all that similar to the biblical, just three or four of the seventy – many more stories might have corresponded more closely with biblical account if there was an intention to deceive.

            The only common thread in all these stories is the great flood destroying much of life, which I find very interesting.

          • No, not any more gullible than we are (although in digferent ways) and not an intention to deceive. We are talking about cultures with vastly different epistemologies from ours, where time does not flow in a linear fashion and new narratives are not subject chronologies. A newly inyroduced narrative, either from the Bible or others’ histories and experiences would easily be adopted as a component that is not seen as a new addition from outside, but a reintroduction from the depth of their own culture. While some missionaries did tinker with or misrepresent the creation myths of others, it’s Linus (or whatever he calls himself today) with his nasty predisposition and ideological faith, who spins the feverish Marxist exploitation and conspiracy theories.

            Yes, it’s very interesting, but it’s open to number of hypothesis, as with the abaence of empirical data all we have to go on is probability and the rule of Occam’s Razor. The bottom line is that all of the narratives were witnessed by Europeans and they consisted of stories by peoples who already had previous contact, directly or indirectly, with Christian or Muslim explorers and merchants.

          • Ha! Just saw Linus’ post which says the same thing…but with diffetent intentions.

      • IanCad

        Darn it Anna! It’s not meant to rain today and I was planning on some catch-up projects.
        Now you have to post a couple of very interesting links which promise to be far more engrossing than work.
        Oh well; Never do anything today if it can be put off until tomorrow.

        • Getting a little side-tracked on a Sunday is forgivable, I’m sure. Enjoy the links!

    • len

      The Author of Revelation was God Himself.
      The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his
      servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his
      angel to his servant John,(Revelation 1;1)

      • The Explorer

        That settles it , then. EU model it is.

      • Old Nick

        What did he use for ink ?

  • Martin

    The strange thing is, I’ve not seen one pro-EU advocate speak of the wonderful things the EU has done, how it has united the countries and been a boon to democracy and the power of the people.

    • len

      There are no ‘positives’ for joining the EU unless you are a member of the ruling elite. Wealth and power is the driving force behind those who devised the EU and the motive behind all the previous dictators who desired to control Europe.

  • Samuel

    Dude

    Just as well as I’m one of the Sephardim (Jews of the Spanish rite). Albeit via Mesopotamia and England.

  • bluedog

    The scene, a sea-loch in Western Scotland sometime in July 2016. On the beach, a Zodiac manned by burly sun-tanned men wearing stripped jumpeurs and white matelot hats with red pom-poms. They are helping a couple board, the man tall and dark, the woman, short and bottle-blonde. Offshore, a warship lies at anchor, with the Tricolour on its stern fluttering lazily in the summer breeze.

    Who are they? Where are they going? Why is their voyage necessary?

    • Anton

      Reminds me of a late scene in the TV adaptation of Scotch On The Rocks. Too bad it’s never going to be reshown, although word is that not all episodes were destroyed. Douglas Hurd did a better job writing that than he did as a pro-EU politician!

  • IanCad

    A very depressing post YG. Unfortunately this is the league to which we will be bound, until, by force of arms, we will regain our freedom of action.
    I’ve said it before – the promoters of this idiotic, unparliamentary and ill-thought out referendum should be HDQ’d.
    Farage has much to answer for.

    • Why do you think having a referendum on whether we should stay or leave the EU is ill thought out? It wasn’t just Mr Farage and UKIP wanting this. It was a strategy discussed by The Bruges Group. In one of his speeches there Charles Moore explained why we needed to press for a referendum.

      • IanCad

        Because Marie, our system of government is one of representation. We elect our MP’s, councilors etc. to act for us. We have the privilege of voting them in or out periodically.
        The average voter is simply not informed enough to govern himself. If we have a plebiscite on every major issue it would be chaos.
        The EU Referendum is, in my view a means of denying us our self-determination for a generation. Same with the Scottish Referendum. How dare we put at hazard the integrity of the Union! But by a fag paper that devilish scheme failed.
        I believe Charles Moore is wrong and is being somewhat simplistic in pushing for this referendum.

        • Exactly! but if we carry on in the club we won’t be able to elect our MPs any more as they will become redundant due to EU rules and laws usurping ours. So what do you suggest as the way forward out of the stranglehold of the EU grip or are you an innie?

          • IanCad

            I’ve been called many names and accused of all sorts of things. But! To suggest that there is even the tiniest, infinitesimal bit of an “Innie” in me, would be deeply hurtful were I not to have such a thick skin.
            I do think our best route to killing the beast lies within a manly and principled group of elected representatives.
            What will rejuvenate their manliness and revive their principles? I have no idea.
            Maybe cut their pay by 60%.
            We need to get tough – real tough – with the Scots. No way should they be allowed another treasonous referendum.

          • A 60% pay cut would certainly sort the wheat from the chaff and be popular with the plebs.

          • James60498 .

            But then that would reduce Parliament to those who don’t need the money and are not reliant on keeping their constitutents happy and those who are incapable of otherwise earning a reasonable salary. Perhaps single people who don’t need to feed families but have, if possible, even less life experience than those in place now. And of course those who use their position in Parliament to attract bribes.

            Cutting salaries is not a reasonable proposition though as you say it would be popular with those who can’t imagine such a salary.

          • There are plenty of people feeding families on £30k. Mps don’t do an awful lot for their £75k and until we are free from the EU I don’t see why MPs should get full pay.

          • James60498 .

            Of course there are. But it’s not easy and most people with any kind of ambition would expect to earn more.

            Of course a lot of the MPs on £75k are useless but that’s because they are party placemen who will do what they are told. Regardless of salary we must improve the system of electing MPs, but chopping salaries is not a good start.

            This board is full of people who would do well in Parliament, even some with whom I disagree strongly on most issues. How many though want to be an MP at £75k? Would any give up their job to be an MP for £30k?

          • It’s a matter of honour and prestige to represent ones fellow subjects. Being an MP is as special as working for the Royal Family. I think it’s a calling but has become a desirable money spinner for those with little or no morals.

          • James60498 .

            It wouldn’t stop Cameron, Osborne, Johnson etc as they all have sufficient outside money.

            Your proposal to reduce salaries says nothing about expenses. Although a salary of £75k makes it more attractive to those who could otherwise earn decent salaries, on its own living in London away from that family (that you are going to feed) most weeks doesn’t make it a great salary. It only becomes a “money spinner” when you can abuse the expenses system properly. So what would you do about expenses?

          • I’d cap expenses. I’d pay reasonable subsistence rates for house share in lower priced areas that are further out from Westminster, but commutable by public transport, and I’d negotiate deals for regular bookings in reasonably priced hotels, guest houses and B&B’s.for MPs to stay. I’d be more strict in enforcing expense rules of what can and can’t be claimed for and have the accounts dept check claims before payment. If they were that broke I’d issue a re-payable float of £1500. Being an MP isn’t a guaranteed long term job and most wives go out to work.
            I’d also link pay to performance,£30k being the starting salary and a top salary of £65k. It should attract candidates who are altruistic rather than money orientated and selfish.

          • James60498 .

            There are parts of that I agree with such as, in theory at least, performance pay. However. How do you define performance? Votes attended? Days spent listening to debates? Speeches made to Parliament? Constituency surgeries attended? And the success of those to individual constituents? Involvement in local issues? Parliamentary committees attended? Newspaper inches made? Party positions held, chairman of the 1922 Committee etc?

            Normally the fact that something isn’t a long term career would lead to higher wages, not lower. If you want people to leave their career and do what can be a short term temporary job then you don’t pay them less. Of course they may think that being an MP is a step to something that will pay well, but then you are hardly avoiding those who are doing it for the money, they are seeing it as part of a career path.

            Most wives go out to work. Probably true. But do we want to pay a salary on the basis that mothers are expected to go out to work too whilst fathers are away most of the week?

            £30k. Fine for those with money behind them who don’t know what it’s like to have to earn a salary, or those with another job who don’t concentrate on their MPs duties.

            Fine for young people with little or no experience of life. Whether they do it altruistically or as a part of a career path, their enthusiasms and (at that age, usually liberal and socialist) certainties are not always what’s needed.

            Fine for older people who are coming towards retirement. Again a few of such people will be very important.

            Ok, possibly, for middle aged childless people with no understanding of parental responsibility or the otherwise unemployed or low paid.

            But you are not going to attract intelligent professional middle aged fathers with an offer of a career breaking, temporary post, away from their families living in B&Bs in London, unless they have an ulterior motive. And I rather suspect that your desire it should be done altruistically rules out the ulterior motive.

            Incidentally how do you pay ministers?

            Sure. There are lots of completely useless MPs who don’t deserve anything like £75k. But many of them, mainly but not all, Tory, don’t need the money anyway. Others, mainly Labour, would be doing well paid Union or media jobs for life, and others would be able to earn £75k outside parliament in the private sector.

            Sure, too, there are a lot of self serving money grabbing people in Parliament. But they don’t do it for the £75k. They do it for the access, the consultancies, maybe the interest payments on the second house, I guess it helps.

            By all means tighten up on the expenses and some of your ideas are good. But with that done, no one, OK, very few, will go through the time and effort it takes to get selected then elected purely for the £75k, before tax and NI, with the risk that even if they do get elected they could be out in 5 years no matter how brilliant they personally have been.

            And those who don’t need to go through much effort are generally those that are parachuted in due to party connections. How about Stephen Kinnock? Do we think he would have been on the dole if he hadn’t been an MP? (No disrespect to Mr Kinnock meant at all, he may be a highly intelligent excellent MP for all I know. But he has NOT become an MP for £75k).

            Reducing MPs salaries to £30k will have the effect of taking out professionally qualified family men (and women) and replacing them with even more of the ultra rich, or union sponsored, or young and inexperienced, or second job taking people that I certainly don’t want to see in Parliament. There are too many of those as it is.

          • Re: performance pay, everything in your paragraph should apply as all contribute to overall success of the MP although more emphasis should be put on constituency surgeries attended, success of those to individual constituents and involvement in local issues and successful outcomes.

            I see the point if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, but if people are truly moved enough to want to change things then they would happily leave their well paid job for a stint at being an MP on a lower starting salary with the approval and support of their family. The best choice would be intelligent, honest men and women 60 and over who have had a career and family or some life experience. You don’t want to tempt vital people like engineers, architects, doctors & nurses, policemen, servicemen etc.. away from their careers, but if they have retired at 60…

            Politician should not be a career choice either because then they don’t make informed and free decisions, and being too young they have little wisdom and worldly knowledge. Being dependent on a good salary to feed the family ensures they are not going to rock the boat as they’ll want to stay as long as possible, and will be tempted into sin.

            Stephen Kinnock is in it because of the strings his father pulled and is en-route to Brussels and on to the EU gravy train which is much bigger and better. We can’t find him most of the time although he did turn up and say something inconsequential at the regular local business breakfast meeting recently. (Town centre locally run coffee shop Barista’s lease has not been renewed as London based owners of the mall who prefer to lease to multi nationals Costa Coffee. Local people very upset and cross.)

          • James60498 .

            my post below has now appeared, so this one is now unnecessary.

          • CliveM

            It’s there.

          • CliveM

            So basically you expect the MP to spend the week in a grubby b&b, away from their family for £35k?

            I wouldn’t do it. It’s all very well expecting someone of a certain age, with an independent income to do it simply for altruism, but frankly I would be unable to support my family at it’s current level and I would be being selfish to make them suffer.

            I am not particularly well off either.

            You would simply get deadbeats and control freaks.

          • There are some nice B&Bs and what’s wrong with staying in a Premier Inn? What do you think sales reps, and other corporate people have to do? So OK it’s not for you.

          • CliveM

            So you want deadbeats, control freaks and sales reps. As someone who does significant business travel, the big difference is I don’t do it five days a week every week, and it’s rarely in a Premier Inn.

          • No we’ve got too many of those types already! I want visionary people who are motivated by helping to create a better country. They’ll start off on £30k plus expenses and rise according to performance up to £65k. At least they will then have an idea on what most of the population has to live on and feed a family. They’ll be motivated to create more chances for people to better themselves.

            Ministers’ pay should start at £75k + expenses and rise yearly according to successful achievements to a max of £105k and if they’ve been really good a yearly team bonus depending on how the country has done over the past year.

    • Anton

      What should Farage have done?

  • bluedog

    On rare occasions, Your Grace, a seemingly inconsequential event can be of immense significance.

    Your communicant refers of course to the wedding of an elderly Australian media mogul to his paramour, an American blonde 25 years his junior. But look at the guest list! This was a council of war and a networking opportunity as much as a wedding. Sure, the obligatory celebs were there, but Priti Patel and Michael Gove? Since when were they part of the Murdoch circus? One can imagine the phone conference between Oliver Lewin, Rupert Harrison, David Cameron and George Osborne! How dare he! We should have jailed him when we had the chance! And look at Brooks, she was radiating confidence!

    Michael Heseltine and Ken Clarke, both more Murdoch’s generation were conspicuous by their absence. If the Remainians don’t have a sense of foreboding, they should have. Will Britain’s sovereignty be restored in part by the efforts of Rupert Murdoch? It certainly seems as though that matter has his undivided attention.

  • len

    How do we make a balanced judgement on the facts regarding IN or OUT of the EU.?
    Therein lies the problem Cameron and the ‘in crowd ‘ don`t want any of the ‘out crowd ‘to use the civil service to gain any relevant information regarding the EU and the problems it seems incapable of dealing with?.

    The EU was conceived by a small group of men who knew their full plan could not be revealed so was carried out in deception and has progressed through deception enforced by laws much like a ratchet tightening its grip on those within its grasp.

  • len

    It seems to be a never ending argument on these pages between those who have decided to trust God and those who deny God and I suppose it will be right up until their last breath or the ‘end of days’ whichever comes sooner ?(when everyone will know the truth regarding God.)
    The first temptation was doubt ,( to doubt what one heard which was to doubt oneself and then to doubt the integrity of God) Did God really say? Then “you surely will not die”.(Genesis 3:4) Doubt and distrust separated man from God.Man fell back on ‘reason’ because He could no longer tune into God because his spiritual antennae was unable to respond to God in Faith.

    Now fallen man searches for God with’ his reason’ and can find nothing and concludes there is no God.

    Mankind has become so corrupted spiritually that the only way anyone can known the Truth about God is for God to place His Spirit within the spirit of man and to fill the spirit of man with the Life and the Spirit of God Himself.

    It saddens me to see people reject the God of the bible because the means of salvation has not been made known to them for at least then they will have the ability to know what they are accepting or rejecting

  • Inspector General

    Good fellow, Cranmer! About as much democracy as when Britannia was a province of Rome, then…

    The day after we leave the EU, it will still be day, what! The birds will still sing, and everything will be as usual. But we will be 55 Million a calendar day better off. That’s half a new General Hosptial, don’t you know…

    Pip! Pip!

    • Lienus

      Zee day after an exit will come ‘annex it’, zee German masterplan.
      I ‘ave been working it all out at my chateau in Bad Munchausen with Angela. Britain will be declared lebensraum for all migrants. Zee doors of zee channel tunnel will be thrown open and a million Frenchmen will be selling dinghies on the shores of Brittany.

      • Inspector General

        Ghastly continental, YOU are among the reasons the British wish to be free to attend to their own affairs…

  • Phil R

    Or a Patent Clerk Physics?

  • IanCad

    And there, Anton, lies hope. Tempered though by the misery caused by the idiot Merkel and her like.
    Dangle a carrot – they’ll come. What for? Disappointment and possible expulsion down the road?
    It is an unholy mess.

  • No despising, the fellow has great delivery, although the content sucks.

    • CliveM

      All fur coat and nae knickers, style over content.