Monday, May 23, 2016

The case for Leave the EU, part III

Recall how, previously in this series arguing in favor of leaving the European Union, I reported how the Remain camp was reluctant to release immigration figures until pressured into so doing by Eurosceptics? Ben Riley-Smith's article in The Daily Telegraph on April 3, "True scale of EU migrants to be revealed", lays the statistics bare.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who advises those who find Turkey's upcoming inclusion in the EU distressing to "not think about it," has blamed the media for setting ministers against each other rather than establishing facts. Facts, like there will be a World War III if Britain leaves the EU.
The salient data to establish the claims that workers from EU countries arrive in the U.K. for temporary employment and end up staying for good is the number of National Insurance numbers issued. 
According to Riley-Smith's piece: "For years, discrepancies between the numbers of foreigners counted into British airports—the method for official statistics—and those given national insurance numbers have led to fears the scale of migration is far higher than stated. In the last five years 904,000 EU nationals moved to Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics, yet 2.25 million NI numbers were issued—a difference of 1.3 million. In December, civil servants at HM Revenue and Customs controversially refused to reveal how many of the NI numbers—which are needed to pay tax or claim benefits—were active by arguing it could undermine the Prime Minister's EU membership renegotiation."
A difference of 1.3 million, the Prime Minister and his cronies would no doubt argue, is just an anecdote. Mistakes happen. Let's build that bridge from Ankara to Brussels and don't ask any questions. It's all the fault of reporters for spending "too much time looking at each other's newspapers".
Predictably, the Remain campaign is not content enough to rely on distortion of facts nor the attempt to hide data that runs counter to any of their assertions. If you tend toward a Leave vote, you're a bore, a wet blanket, a philistine and, of course, a racist. In her Daily Telegraph column, "Why am I considered a bigot or an idiot for wanting Britain to leave the EU?" from March 5, Janet Daley writes:
What kind of community threatens people who want to leave it? What exactly is this thing that we joined all those years ago—a cult? The argument that we were persuaded into membership of the European Union under false pretenses becomes almost irresistibly credible. The Common Market as it was then [in 1973] seems to have transmogrified into the Moonies. 
I don't know about you, but I find myself wondering what sort of people we are in league with here. Are they prepared to say absolutely anything—however hysterical or unfounded—to get the result they want? The spirit of "communitaire"—of social solidarity—was supposed to be about mutual support between states and the institutionalizing of decency and fairness across the populations of Europe who had fought each other to a bloody standstill twice in the last century. How is that to be reconciled with the unforgiving vengeance handed out to any member's resistance to central diktats—let alone conscientious doubts about whether a country's membership is in its own best interests?
Daley's just getting warmed up. After detailing the veiled threats against Leave delivered by French economy minister Emmanuel Macron and Cameron's business secretary Sajid Javid, Daley concludes:
The best way to avoid losing an argument is not to engage in it at all: just threaten and alarm those who might be inclined to listen to the other side. Could this be why the Remain campaign has become so vicious and personal, with so little apparent provocation from its opponents? Might it be relentlessly negative because it has so little to offer that is actually positive? Its more moderate spokesmen do not tell ugly horror stories about hordes of migrants arriving in Kent but even they murmur fearfully of "uncertainty" and the amorphous danger of economic instability. 
Certainly nobody wants to face an immediate future of insecurity, but how does remaining in the EU address that worry: by permitting the importation of infinite cheap labour with all the pressures on housing, schools and NHS resources that that involves? By supporting the interests of big corporations to the detriment of small entrepreneurial businesses that actually create more local jobs? If there is a reasonable, substantial case to be made for Remain, then I would, seriously, like to hear it. In the meantime, I will continue to be enraged by people who think that I must be a bigot or an idiot to want to vote for Leave.
Why do the Remainiacs have to lie, cheat and intimidate if their message is one of peace, prosperity and harmony? Why allow a referendum on the issue if the side who assented to it seeks to destroy the opposition instead of engaging intelligently with it? What have they got to hide—or to lose? We already know that crony capitalists and globalist corporatists are behind it. The Government will have to re-jig its alliances in the event of Brexit. Furthermore, we know they attempted to protect themselves against ONS figures that have presented the true story of migration into Britain and how the country's infrastructure and society are fraying as a result.
In the Daily Mail from April 4, energy minister Andrea Leadsom establishes what leaving the EU would actually entail:
Leaving the EU is a process laid out in treaty. Once the UK decides to begin that formal process, probably following a number of months of informal negotiations, there will be two years during which new legally binding agreements over trade and other issues are negotiated. 
The trade deals we secure will reflect not just the fact that we are one of the world's most powerful economies. We are also the EU's biggest trading partner, the key financial services centre in Europe and we also, of course, have a shared history through which our terms of trade in goods and services have become closely aligned over 43 years of EU membership. There will be enormous interest on both sides in ensuring the negotiations are successful and trade continues - after all, the EU exports more to us than we do to them. Nor would foreign investment into the UK be harmed.
Urging British voters to opt out of the EU for their children's sake, Leadsom states:
[W]hat of young people in the UK today? It is they above all who have the right to look beyond the dreary issues of process and bureaucratic negotiation and ask themselves what sort of country they want in ten, 20 or 30 years' time. They will not have another chance. It is 40 years since we last held this vote. 
For young people the choice is clear. They can remain in the EU, tied to the Eurozone, unable to control migration, at the mercy of one of the greatest centralizing forces we have seen in European history—and continue to suffer from a democratic deficit that has already created civil unrest in mainland Europe. Or they can seize this momentous opportunity, and embrace the four-fifths of the world that is outside the EU.
Many City of London-based financial institutions, those high-flyers in the FTSE 100, have backed Remain. What necktied corporate robot is going to express individuality and sovereignty by embracing Leave? As a recent letter-to-the-editor in The Independent said of these financiers: "It was these 'experts' who failed to foresee the economic disaster of 2008. So, how much value should we put on their opinion? It is understandable that financiers should focus on the economy; but for many, other things are more important—such as the freedom to determine one's own destiny."
Some of these big business types that have stepped up to bat on behalf of Remain are hypocrites. Take Stuart Rose, the former chief executive of department store Marks and Spencer. As Andrew Pierce of The Daily Express reports, Lord Rose champions Europe because he lived there, worked there, and hired and fired people there. Despite admitting the truth of a rise in wages and a fall in migration in the event of Brexit, Rose claims to "know Europe pretty well." Yet, as Pierce writes, Rose "loved the Continent so much that when he was boss of Marks and Spencer, he closed all 38 of its stores in Europe."
Jonathan Arnott, the UKIP MEP, has asserted that the aim of the Leave campaign is the reconfiguration of Britain on the socio-political world map as "a prosperous self-governing nation." Arnott writes:
There's an incredible degree of togetherness and camaraderie across party political divides. It's about so much more than 'UKIP wants to leave the European Union'. The RMT and Aslef trade unions, over 140 Conservative MPs, a Green Party peer, a number of Labour MPs, the old Liberal Party, the DUP and TUV in Northern Ireland, a former Lib Dem MP, the Director-General of the British Chamber of Commerce suspended for daring to back Brexit, the founder of the SDP, entrepreneurs like James Dyson, businesses like Tate and Lyle, JCB, Legal and General and the manager of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. There's top economists, Nobel prize-winning scientists, founders/co-founders of Superdrug, Littlewoods, Moonpig, Wetherspoons, the boss of Lloyds, the CEO of Next and many more.
The former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, came out for the Leave campaign in February, and argues in a recent interview published by The Daily Telegraph that the EU is attempting to re√ęstablish a long lost glory as determined by the Roman Empire and that such a distorted view of the modern world is doomed to fail. Boris says:
The truth is that the history of the last couple of thousand years has been broadly repeated attempts by various people or institutions—in a Freudian way—to rediscover the lost childhood of Europe, this golden age of peace and prosperity under the Romans, by trying to unify it. Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. 
The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods. But fundamentally what it is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe. There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void. 
This is a chance for the British people to be the heroes of Europe and to act as a voice of moderation and common sense, and to stop something getting in my view out of control.
Gosh, isn't it funny how the Britain Stronger in Europe team didn't mention BoJo along with Le Pen, Farage, Trump and Galloway in their propogandist e-mail. Could it be that Johnson is popular and would have easily won a third term as London Mayor if he'd wanted to? Instead, Johnson is pinning his hopes on a successful Leave vote and, in such an event, setting himself up as the successor to the featherweight currently in charge of the Conservative party, re: Dodgy Dave. No, you can't pass that off as legit, can you, Stronger In? Best to ignore that point along with so many others, as is your wont.
Johnson's comparison to the Roman Empire is a valid one, though I would say the European Union has become an attempt to restore the Soviet Union, only without the strong military, the nuclear weapons and the sense of purpose. Or it could be that the EU is a United States of Europe, using Obama's presidency as the blueprint: undemocratic, bureaucratic and thoroughly corrupt.
There is a silver lining that the Leave camp can depend on, as The Financial Times reports. The Remainiacs are in part relying on the easily pliable minds of young people to prop up their campaign. Give them a lollipop, pat them on the heads, tell them they're good, tolerant people and send the little warriors on their way with their posters and leaflets.
Well, as it turns out, not only are most of these millennial messiahs unaware of when the vote takes place—and that being the case, I certainly will not confirm in the event that any of the genuises are reading this—but 56 percent of the student population that has been mobilized in favor of Remain won't be at the addresses that they originally registered come voting time. Oops!
Chief executive of Universities UK Nicola Dandridge opined that "it is of real concern that so many are unaware of the referendum date and of the fact that they may have to re-register to vote at another address."
Yeah, Nicola, what a bummer. Guess we'll have to leave this vote up to those with mature brains.

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