Sunday, 31 January 2016

Eurosceptics just don't have a credible case

They say we will have more money to spend on teachers and nurses and public services. No we won't. The fact of the matter is the EU does so many things and some of those things it does quite well. It will be the case that if we leave the EU we will still want participate in the economic and social life of the EU - as indeed many non-EU states do. And that is not going to come for free.

Moreover, there are spending commitments and leases taken out on our existing obligations. There are contracts to uphold and there are microscopic levels of integration that cannot be causally unpicked. So to say that we can calculate down to the last pound the sum we will save is a fool's errand.

All we know for sure is that we would likely pay marginally less, on the basis that we disengage from certain key EU programmes. Those would have to be replicated on a domestic basis so what we save comes down to how efficient our execution of it is. That will depend on UK government becoming efficient virtually overnight.

They say we will be able to make our own laws. No we won't. Regulations are the result of global conventions. If we want to export we will have to remain part of those conventions and meet the same standards. They say only exporters will have to worry about regulations. But that isn't true.

They say we can control our borders. To a point, I suppose we can. We can make it difficult and expensive to move people and goods. And maybe, just maybe deter a hundred thousand people a year from coming here. About that level it was when Ukip first started moaning about immigration.

They say we can get a better deal of our own - in just two years. But we can't. Single market access on better terms would prompt other countries to leave - so no better deal will be offered. We'll get an equitable arrangement, much like Norway - but that's as good as it gets.

They say we can leave the single market. But that's not going to happen. The regulatory framework of the single market is expanding, the world is converging on standards, and if we break away from that then there's only limited export opportunities. The argument may have stood up in 1985 but not in 2016. They say we will trade with the rest of the world, but they can't say what that means in practice. They think it might be something to do with the Commonwealth. They're in for a shock.

Course, Stronger In have gradually got wind of this. They are quite good at exploiting all these big holes and they will get better at it. If they get round to reading Flexcit, they will see that our own self-critique identifies much the same holes. If they do nearly as thorough job in the public arena as we have, they will take the arguments of Leave.EU and Vote Leave to pieces. They will cut through them like a hot knife through butter. It will almost be funny.

Course, our cause has many prominent figures, who by way of holding prestige are leaders whether they want to be or not. Redwood, Hannan, Hoey, Carswell, Banks and Farage are all leaders - and in that they share a common responsibility to be making winning arguments that hold up to public scrutiny. They have a solemn duty to provide detailed and accurate arguments so as not to expose the cause to vulnerability and ridicule. They also have a duty of care to ensure our side is not painted as backward looking little englanders.

On all counts they have failed. Not only have they failed, they have actively isolated themselves from anybody who would correct them. They take criticism as an attack. Such is their egotism. They are not interested in dialogue or even self discovery. They are content with hackneyed and mediocre arguments that have long since faded in relevance. Thus they are failures as politicians, leaders and people.

And if you doubt the veracity of any of my claims, you are welcome to challenge me on any of them. You will lose, but it's your time to waste. After which you'll be stood there naked, all shrivelled with nothing to go on but hackneyed eurosceptic bluster. You will rage and rage at me, as you have already done. You will spill your invective onto me as though it were burning acid that could melt through the floor. You will hate me because you will realise in one perfect instant that everything you have been told is wrong and you foolishly absorbed every last deep fried nugget without question or scepticism.

But don't think I'm attacking you. No, I have no time for that. I'm just standing here holding up a mirror and you don't like your reflection. I too have had that moment, where I saw that I was once very much like you. I had to ditch most of what I believed in and hit the books.

Now, I think very differently. I have blogged much of my findings and discoveries over the last two years to a cacophony of outrage that I would dare to contradict the orthodoxy - and that I refuse to show lemming like unity with a campaign that will take us over the cliff. In any other circumstance, this would be more your problem than mine, but you, dear reader, are very much my problem. You see, your obstinacy is what undermines our case. It is you who taints us in the public eye. It is you who loses the intellectual argument. It is you who embarrasses us.

I know I want to leave the EU. I know how to do it, what the costs will be and what the distinct advantages are. I know what the point of it is and I know what the mission before us is. You don't. Look closely in the mirror. You've been hating and moaning for so long that you've forgotten why you're even fighting. You settled on your opinions so long ago that you forgot to re-examine them and grow. You are the same person you have always been - and that's not a good thing. You have squandered years in which to prepare.

Moreover, you have allowed yourselves to be led up a blind alley by fraudsters, charlatans and idle incompetents. Those are the people you took for leaders. And now judgement day is coming - you stand divided, directionless, clueless and without a single standing argument. You chose to spit at us. Now suck up the consequences. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

The left fear Brexit because they hate democracy

You shouldn't vote for Brexit. No, because then howwid tories might get in. Then those evil nasty men will come and abolish human rights and reroute sewers on to beaches and put nuclear reactors in schools. They will abolish paid holidays and maternity leave and children will be forced to work for free from the age of ten.

That's the essential message of the Remain camp. If we have democracy people might vote for people who aren't pious leftists. The people might collective decide that they don;t mind the government dismantling decades of entitlements that nobody asked for and few utilise. Then leftists would have to do the unthinkable and get off their pampered backsides and start dealing in the substance of politics and prove that their ideas are worthwhile.

Because they are so fundamentally bankrupt of ideas (see Corbyn, Jeremiah) it would take some considerable convincing that they are fit for powerr - or that a conservative government really was as beastly as they perceive it to be in their infantile estimations.

In that time, we might find that adults negotiating their own rights and entitlements collectively and individually with their employers doesn't actually result in a draconian reduction in standards. We might actually find that added dynamism in the economy would mean tangible progress in increasing wealth rather than having well-to-do leftists legislating us into further inflation.

We would probably find that the prevailing orthodoxy has been wrong about quite a few things. We will also find they were right about other things and we shall have to fight to restore and preserve that which was worth having. And through political engagement we might just find a settlement that everybody can live with. This would be that much vaunted democracy thing.

But that isn't what the left want - which is why they there are so few left-wing eurosceptic voices. The left will not vote to preserve democracy. They despise it. The left are authoritarian power fetishists, and the UK political system has too many checks and balances for their tastes.

So the lesson here is that Brexiteers should bypass the left. The left is united against Brexit - the Greens, Labour and the SNP are all pro-EU. The toadying conformity to the orthodoxy is a fearful act, knowing that if the people were genuinely allowed freedom to decide their own affairs, their bankrupt ideas would be thrown into the dustbin of history. Debate is what they fear which is why they try so hard to shut it down through online witch-hunts.

While this blog wholly welcomes any effort to root out and marginalise naked bigotry and hate, there comes a point when the concerned voices of ordinary people get labelled as extreme. That then becomes the zetigeist where politicians are actively afraid to show solidarity with the opinions of voters.

The truth is, the far left are the minority. They do not speak for Britain, and so while being politically astute is advisable, be not ashamed to say that democracy matters more than their worthless entitlements and politically correct rights. The left are losers. Their ideas are beaten. The only thing preventing us challenging the orthodoxy is the fact democracy is on pause. Brexit is our chance to change that - and start putting things the way we want them.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Democracy is not for sale at any price

There are few forces more destructive than a bunch of people who have convinced themselves they are doing good things for the right reasons. Ask any Iraqi. And that's why I am intrinsically opposed to the EU. A well pampered broadly liberal class of politicians spoonfed with seductive "progressive" propaganda can easily engender a herd mentality that cannot be brought to reason.

If you tell well meaning people that the entity they subscribe to is about peace, unity, cooperation and pluralism, then at some point the ends justify the means - even if that means eradicating democracy. Then if you manage to establish the notion that the sky is falling in then there is no restraint at all.

Everything then becomes about popular sentiment and what appeals to the most number of politically engaged people. It assumed this is democracy. But on this scale, it's just a case of capturing a popular sentiment in order to assume a mandate for what they were going to do anyway - and if they can't secure agreement, just finance more "research" to manufacture a protest movement. That's why yoghurt weaving Greens and academia make such perfect "fifth columnists" - and it's precisely why the EU funds both.

At that level of politics you could have a resolution to save the planet with a subclause that explicitly demands the slaughter of the first born and because the substance is ignored in favour of the virtue signalling gesture, we end up with hugely damaging laws we are pledged to obey.

On the more mundane level this means stifled growth and lost opportunities, and on the more serious level, vanity legislation where each politician is in a bidding war to prove their right-on credentials. You don't have to be a rabid climate change denier to know this is true. This race to produce ever more stringent carbon restrictions may well look like progress but in real terms, it means higher taxes, slower growth, bigger energy bills and a marked decline in living standards - while at the same time producing negligible reductions in emissions.

When so much decision making is made at the global and regional level, too much power is taken out of the hands of ordinary people. It causes even greater political disengagement and reduces accountability by way of having fewer eyes watching our rulers. Why bother watching politics when a vote changes nothing? That then gives our political elites free reign to do as they please.

Just today we have seen MEPs crowing about a vote to hand over powers to the EU to close tax loopholes, but Christ alone knows what is tucked in in the details, in which will no doubt be a more pernicious power grab. There always is. The lefties won't give a monkey's about the detail because they only see the surface intent, when what we actually get is another salami slice of powers going in the opposite direction to the people.

When challenged, ultimately the lefties always come clean. See above illustration. They don't mind sacrificing "a little democracy" for extra tax revenue.

In broader terms, the basis for staying in the EU is that the Tories might change something they like. This is why there are few left wing eurosceptic voices. The left will not vote to preserve democracy. They despise it. The left are authoritarian power fetishists, and the UK political system has too many checks and balances for their tastes.

The problem here is that this principle is not a sliding scale. If you concede to it once you will concede forever. And that is why eurosceptic feeling is so utterly irreconcilable regardless of how apparently strong economic arguments are for remaining in. To us, democracy is not for sale at any price and we know from our knowledge of the EU that once the EU has a foot in the door, there is always more of a power grab to come. Slice by slice it affords itself more powers with virtually no protest.

As we have seen, so much decision making is done at the global level where there is no real democracy - before the European Parliament is even remotely involved, which should mean MEPs automatically refuse to wave through any decisions, but they don't. Talk to most of them and they believe they are the embodiment of democracy. We have but 751 MEPs (less than a YouGov sample size) deciding matters for half a billion souls. Even Ukip aren't that dim. 

Moreover, given how the odds are stacked against Britain, and how meaningless half the votes are, I actually don't blame Ukip for not turning up half the time. I doubt I would bother. This is why, as much as I despise Ukip for its ignorant bigotry and its stupid histrionics over everything and everything, I mind them less than leftists. At least I can count on Ukip not to blithely hand over more powers on the basis of a politically correct fad. They may be muddled on the details, but at least they know who the power should belong to.

As thick and crass as Ukip may be I prefer them representing Britain in the EU than any one of these smug virtue signalling leftists who think that being anti-Ukip is the fullest extent of progressivism. Time after time they show us how little regard they have for democracy and how little scrutiny they apply to their own thinking. 

Their toadying subservience to every right on fad regardless of the substance makes these people sheep - and in the end it is the conformists who enable the fascism they claim to stand against. They are the ones who eventually think the world would be perfect if only they could get rid of the people who don't think like them.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

What happens if we stay in the EU?

You've heard plenty from both sides about what happens if we leave the EU. Nobody is saying much about what happens if we stay. I'm going to venture a scenario based on my understanding of how things are going.

We can only speculate what happens in Westminster after the election. Events are so fluid that I wouldn't like to venture a guess. The EU is a more predictable beast. We know that it will need extra powers to keep the eurozone in tact. It will get them. We will have our two speed Europe. The EU will have almost total control over economic affairs in the eurozone and those nations not in the Euro will be way down the list of concerns.

Having asserted itself as a new power, it will push for more powers and more of a presence on the global bodies that make trade rules and regulations. It will use the courts to award itself more exclusive competences. On working parties at the ILO and other bodies, the observer status the EU has will be upgraded so it controls all of the votes all of the time, including ours. Any kind of veto will be extinguished.

From then, if we want a change in the rules that affect trade we will have to add it to the list of EU concerns. Only after many meetings to decide if we are allowed to put it on the list of concerns. We will have meetings about when to have a meeting. If there is a crisis between then everything goes on hold. And there usually is a crisis. When is there not?

Eventually a problem will become a crisis and the crisis will become and emergency. Only then will the EU act. It will then claim the only way to solve the problem is for the EU to have more control. As more financial shocks occur in the turbulent years to come, we will find the survival of the Euro is the primary concern and so our problems will not be their problems. We will be way down the list.

Sooner or later a problem will be so bad we find ourselves taking unilateral action to fix a problem only to be slapped with heavy fines by the EU for breach of treaty obligations. We then find ourselves on the fringes of the EU, with diminished influence within, no presence on the global stage - we're told how to vote in the UN general assembly and then we cease to be a nation in any real sense, except for when the EU is keen on bombing something. After all, the EU will want to keep up the illusion we are still a proper country.

Meanwhile, as more and more of the minutia of government comes under EU control we will find Westminster politics becoming increasingly more divorced from foreign affairs and trade, turning ever more inward and parochial, acting only inside the parameters set by the EU. No political innovations or new ideas not allowed by the EU will even be suggested.

As displacement activity, we will find Westminster assuming control of more and more local affairs that should be the province of local authorities - right down to the micromanagement of classrooms. (yes, more so than they do now). We will then see the trivial elevated to high importance in the media as it fails to realise there has been a complete transfer of governance to the EU.

Councils will be even less democratic than they are now as they become regional development agencies answering directly to Brussels when not carrying out the fringe instructions from meddling MPs. The consequence being British political life, and the media, becoming even more hollow and asinine than it already is, prompting a massive disengagement from politics.

We will see a resurgent Ukip - or a similar entity - and it will make more gains than Ukip ever did. Euro elections will be used as a mass protest and all we will ever get representing us are the kind of knuckle-scraping dunces that Ukip presents us with now. It will be out "two's up" to a government we didn't want and didn't ask for.

Meanwhile, the 51 Convention goes unreformed so more and more migrants flock to Europe. Nothing will be done about immigration. Politics will be more toxic and bitter than it has ever been. Possibly to the point of lone wolf terror attacks from the far right.

The stresses will be magnified across the whole EU so that all MEPs will be from fringe parties. There will be a rout of moderate voices from the European Parliament. The consequence of this is that the EU will seek to slowly and invisibly strip powers from the EU parliament - in a way that the media will not notice. It will become an administrative dictatorship.

After that, the consequences are anybody's guess. It could either see Britain slide into mass industrial action and rioting - or just a gradual slide into obscurity where nothing works every well, everything costs a lot and nobody has any money to spend on the good things in life. It will happen so slowly that nobody will ever remember it being different. Except for the ones who voted to Leave.

The future is an unhappy and poor one inside the EU where democracy becomes a thing of the past and prosperity only a distant memory. Our influence will fade and few will even care. It will be a winner takes all society and the winners will be few and far between. Britain will be a violent, disorderly and miserable place - and eventually we will see a political backlash that sees us leaving the EU by way of ripping up treaties. Then all the grimmest prognostications of Brexit will come true in ways that even the Remain camp never envisaged.

Knowing the EU as I do, knowing what is coded into the EU's DNA, I can't see it going any other way. It is not geared for democracy. It is not geared for competitiveness or agility. It is geared for centralisation, bureaucratisation and ever more control. It won't end well. It never does.