Tuesday, 24 May 2016

We will learn the hard way what democracy is

I've always said that Britain will stay in the EU for as long as it has a puerile understanding of what constitutes democracy, and will not fully comprehend that they have lost it and they need it. They will then discover that returning power to the people is not nearly as easy as it is to give away.

As present, we are only superficially aware that we don't have democracy because we are missing an essential component of a healthy democracy - a free and inquisitive press. It is not that the state censors our media, rather it censors itself largely to appease advertisers and corporate cronies. In that regard the government does not need to censor the British press.

But as much as anything it has lost its essential inquisitiveness. It is concerned only with the entertainment aspect of politics rather than the dreary business of policy. It is for that reason I look forward to the day when our newspapers go the way of the dinosaur. A fate well deserved.

But in having such a dismally inept media, decisions that affect our lives go unnoticed. We are often taken by the idea that government takes sweeping decisions behind closed doors but the ultimate joke is that they are held in the open, transcribed and published on the web. These days the best way to ensure nobody will read something is to put it on the EU website.

The diminishing few of us who actually watch regulatory affairs see sweeping changes to industries all the time, with the public being only barely aware of the more egregious examples such as the recent rules regarding vaping. As much as anything the public have similarly lost their inquisitiveness for what is done in their name. Probably through habit, having established there is little that can be done to stop them.

With surprising regularity we see rules made at the very top of global governance approved and rubber stamped with little or no scrutiny and then waved through by a toy parliament with no authority to make amendments. The authority exists in theory only. That which is agreed at the global level cannot be undone.

In this we see laws made which at the stroke of a pen can wipe out entire sectors or prevent innovations and not a peep is heard. And so while we have voting rituals to appoint ineffectual apologists, we have no real control over what is done in our name.

Moreover, what makes the EU different from any other body is that the unelected commission has right of proposal and right to refuse proposals from member states. It is therefore a body with extraordinary powers yet it has no mandate of any kind.

Between the commission and the European Court of Justice, officials and judges can rule on what is and is not a an exclusive competence of the EU - and routinely abuses legal definitions in order to afford itself more powers over member states and more power to revoke our rights at the global top tables where regulations are now made.

Such has been the case for so long that we now passively accept impositions and intrusions and few ever ask where they came from or why. We just assume that the presence of MEPs means that at some point there is some loosely defined democratic activity going on. There isn't. The rules are made at the global level, very often made by corporates and NGOs and global trade coalitions with no mandate from anybody. The only unions present are those there on licence from the EU.

And this is why the EU is all the more worrying. The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade says "Where technical regulations are required and relevant international standards exist or their completion is imminent, members shall use them, or the relevant parts of them, as a basis for their technical regulations"

Not the use of the word "shall". As much as we have handed power to our MPs, they have handed it to Brussels and they in turn have handed over the power to global regulators, completely removing any public scrutiny from the law making process. Member states have their right of reservation removed, they have no independent vote and must vote the way they are told.

The excuse we are given is that the Council of Ministers is made up of people who are elected and they have a vote therefor this is a democracy. Britain can be entirely overruled by politicians they did not elect who are not acting in the interests of Britain (or even the EU) and though you can point to the empty voting rituals and say there was a vote, in a system where the sixty five million inhabitants of this island can be ignored, without right of refusal then by definition we do not live in a democracy.

And this is why I call the EU a silent assassin of democracy. A Potemkin Village designed to deceive. And by depriving us of the choice to refuse our government we are deprived of the ability and opportunity to innovate and so by the same measure it is also an assassin of prosperity.

In so doing it is eroding the unity and stability of Europe - and as people become increasingly aware that they are passengers in their own lives, without power, they become increasingly resigned but quietly resentful. This is why each wave of populist protest parties gets stronger each time.

For sure the elites can use the might of the institutions and the media to win their referendum and keep hold of the power, but in so doing are adding further fuel to the fire. They may well have discredited the utterly useless Ukips of this world but they have done nothing to quell the sentiment behind them. And that is why the future of British and European politics is set only to become more toxic.

You have heard me in the past define democracy as people power, from its literal Greek translation. The key part is the "demos" aspect - the people. You cannot, as we discovered in Iraq, define a demos by the lines you draw on a map or by the institutions you impose on them. A demos is self defining.

In that regard, it comes to one estimation. What would you, if push came to shove, be willing to die in muddy ditch for. And that is why the EU can never be a democracy. Nobody when exposed to the truth about the EU would lay down their lives to protect this artificial construct which represents nobody but itself. It is that which is the true test of whether the EU has a soul to speak of. It doesn't. There is no demos - and the peoples of Europe have no control over the EU entity. They have only protest - and protest without power is impotent.

And that is why Europe will tear itself apart under EU rule. Sooner or later we will discover that we are wholly impotent, and will discover that we do not have the means to institute new Government. We are already there in fact. It is only a matter of time for this temporary peace and stability comes under threat, not from external forces, but from those forces internally for whom the ends justify the means.

And it can only end in fire. Because it always does. We have been given one chance and one chance only to pull the lever to send the process of power transfer into reverse. We will not pull it because we live in fear, denial and self-deception. We would rather tell ourselves the lie that things can go on as they are without rocking the boat. And that is why we will have to learn the hard way what democracy really is and endure the misery of being without it.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

There are consequences for squandering democracy

As the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union approaches I find myself feeling ever more resigned. The polls suggest Britain will stay in the EU. It’s depressing on two counts. Firstly I see enormous economic opportunities in being free of the EU and secondly because democracy is not on the cards unless we leave.

There is, however, something a little more depressing than that. Virtually nobody believes the EU is a democracy yet bizarrely they will vote to remain in it. Consequently I have arrived at the conclusion that people have only a thin grasp of what democracy is and those who do don’t actually want it.

As far as most are concerned, democracy is the empty voting ritual every five years whereby we appoint people to make decisions on our behalf. The power that flows from the people is loaned to individuals who only ever have to account for the decisions they make come election time. The rest of the time they do as they please and seem to enjoy the fact there is nothing we can do about it.

In that regard the model of representative democracy we have is more an extrapolation. A sample of the public, who in theory will make decisions roughly representing those the broader public would make. This is a wholly flawed idea.

For starters British political life consists of constant shouting and complaining about our politicians, often for their vanity, corruption and incompetence. Most Brits do not want to participate in politics. They want to be entertained and outraged by it but take none of the responsibilities for it. They are interested in the people and their personal affairs but not the real business of policy.

Because of this, it takes a particularly sterile sort of person with a knack for avoiding controversy to become a Member of Parliament. We have our freaks like George Galloway but these are wholly licenced dissidents who don’t achieve much and never last long. This instantly distorts the representative sample.

Further to these anyone who even seeks this kind of power is of a certain ilk. By the time you put them all in one room, subject to its own groupthink and you have nothing even close to a representative sample. That is why something like EU membership must be put to a broader public vote. There is no way that MPs could produce a result representative of public sentiment.

But the rest of the time the public are happy with the arrangement; to have no actual power themselves and take none of the responsibility. That way, whatever goes wrong in government is someone else’s fault. Just like children. The children are free to play while the parents make the hard calls. Unpopular decisions will result in tantrums but the child is powerless to reverse the decision.

But governing is unlike parenting. A child does not get to select new parents every five years. If they did, we would find parents caving into tantrums. Politics however results in exactly that. Politicians afraid of losing their pampered positions will not take hard or unpopular choices. Consequently we are a nation of infants ruled by infants and the results are there for all to see.

And therein lies the inherent hypocrisy of representative democracy. We complain that we want better choices made on our behalf but are prepared to do none of the necessary things to ensure that happens. We say we want honest politicians but their dishonesty is a reflection of our own. We duck our responsibilities as voters and our obligation to participate. When every decision results in a childish tantrum it's little wonder politicians stop caring what we think.

The natural consequence of this is a system incapable of making adult decisions - where politicians are only too happy to surrender their powers to bureaucrats. It means our politicians can outsource the business of governing and regulating, absolving themselves of blame, while being free to pretend they are the ones in control.

They can enjoy the trappings of office for as long as they can keep making excuses. Consequently at elections we do not vote for a government. We are simply electing a management team whose purpose is to oversee the implementation of foreign rule. In that regard we are an occupied country with a collaborative administration.

The problem for those of us who do want real democracy is that the bureaucrats are not actually doing a bad job as far as the average voter is concerned. They might complain but the roads are maintained, the bins get emptied, and all the layers of invisible government go on without interfering in our lives in any way that we might notice. Why rock the boat?

As a political settlement, everybody gets what they want. The politicians get to pretend they are in control, the public have somebody to scapegoat and the corporates like the fact that nobody is paying attention to what the bureaucrats do. The public are content to be managed like cattle so long as nothing disturbs their self-indulgent lives where their only responsibilities are to themselves. They do not want to take on the responsibility for managing their own political affairs nor do they want the blame for the consequences.

This is why I will be less interested in politics after the referendum. The result will call the bluff of the hypocrite voters. They say they want change, they say they want democracy but when it comes to the crunch, they prefer not to behave like adults. They cannot then complain that their politicians are suboptimal.

If democracy means anything at all it means the power resides with the people at all times. If people relinquish that power to politicians they cannot be surprised if they in turn surrender it to a foreign power. 

This is why a vote to remain in the EU is such a landmark. It marks not only the death of adult politics. It kills any hope of democracy stone dead.

This is because the public do not understand democracy, why it’s worth having or the consequences for giving up on it. But there are consequences. The system will eventually run everything for the convenience of the system rather than those who live within it. Government will become the master and not the servant. Little by little we become economic units to be coerced into behaviours that fit a grand design - where the ideas of accountants take precedence over the needs of people. The EU is a manifestation of that exact dynamic.

Meanwhile we have the theatricals of Westminster politics to keep us distracted and outraged. The illusion of democracy. From this we get our daily dose of gratification – to pretend that what happens to us is the fault of the politicians and not a consequence of our own slovenliness. We can pretend that we are the good, decent and honest lead by the corrupt and the self-interested.

But the fault is our own. We could choose to take control and take responsibility. We could demand that the power be returned to the people and we could take an interest in the policy rather than the politics. But we don’t want to. We don’t want to be disturbed. We are happy to walk away from our obligations so that we can disown the choices made in our name. It is the ultimate in hypocrisy and the hypocrisy is all ours.

We are told that soon after the EU referendum we will see the Chilcott report on the Iraq war. Watch it closely. Watch the reaction. Outrage at what our politicians conspired to do. We will wail and complain and make scapegoats of our politicians and then we will go back to our insulated little lives secure in the knowledge that we take no blame.

But let’s be honest just for a moment. We are only interested in politics as far as seeking out somebody to take the rap. We are only interested in participation so far as seeking someone else to blame. We don’t like to be troubled with detail. We don’t want to seek out the facts for ourselves. We want the decisions made for us and we want to be spoon-fed with sanitised information. That is why we maintain a state broadcaster.

That is why I have no hope that we will choose democracy. We have become infantilised and we like it that way. Only when we encounter the very real consequences for surrendering democracy in exchange for certainty will we realise what we have lost. And by then we will have to fight to reclaim what we have so carelessly squandered. Those who hold the power will not surrender it willingly. They never do. And then we will ask why. Who is to blame? The answer is whoever still stands among the ashes and the rubble.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Matrix is here

Just about everyone I talk to recently remarks on how intellectually, socially and spiritually bereft the UK is becoming. It seems I am not the only one gripped by a certain cultural ennui. You have to be a singularly two dimensional creature to derive any kind of satisfaction from a life that gives you everything without having to really try.

My wonderful Polish friend remarks that she knows a number of high flying Poles in the UK and the reason for that is not because there is anything special about Poles coming here. It's just that they are the only ones inclined to do anything at all. It doesn't take all that much to get somewhere but Brits are just disinclined to lift a finger if someone else is willing to do it for them.

But even as immigrants settle in they become uniquely British they start to notice how hollow the British definition of success is. It doesn't matter if you earn £20k or £200k. You are still just a passenger. Perhaps if you have a few extra quid you can afford a few more baubles and trinkets to distract yourself with but you will still be acutely aware that Britain is turning into a giant retail park punctuated by filing cabinets that we now classify as homes.

And while the dream of owning a yuppie shoebox with a view over the river is now available to all, it is spoiled by way of looking across the river to see an identical building with an equally depressed version of yourself staring back at you.

We've dismantled all those dirty and dangerous jobs and outsourced them to China. We've even outsourced the boring IT stuff to India. Each of us who has a job are now in some way just an administrator of varying sophistication and responsibility. Even starting a business is just looking for a demographic who will set up a direct debit with you in perpetuity for a service they don't really need and could do without.

And even good jobs have become deskilled. We're seeing a digital Taylorism whereby no one person is ever permitted to work beyond the boundaries of their job and the recruitment process rules out the possibility that an individual could be good at two or more things.

On every level, the sum total of what we do now can be reduced to putting things in the appropriate boxes. That is what software system analysis is all about, creating the spaces, identifying the inputs, classifying them and boxing them up. Now we do the exact same thing with people.

It's why I wouldn't actually mind a boring warehouse job moving boxes. It amounts to the same thing and employs roughly same skills only you might actually break a sweat and get to drive a forklift. At least then any energy I have for cerebral activity can be devoted to something worthwhile rather than advancing the margins of an insurance or asset management company.

But it's not just our jobs that suck either. We spend eye watering sums on technology. Web enabled smart devices. Not for the creation of media but for the receiving of it. We end up watching twenty year old movies on high resolution televisions because none of the media designed for the modern technology is nearly edifying enough.

And while smartphones were supposed to create an apps revolution, who actually buys apps? Children and people who think like children.

Meanwhile our technology addled brains give us all the attention span of hamsters. It seems like nobody is capable of forging and maintaining relationships anymore. Everybody is searching for that missing piece of the puzzle that will make them feel whole, grasping for either a quick fix or a momentary distraction. Course the game is rigged because the human condition is that we are never sated. The void is forever there which makes us all such whining, greedy mindless consumers of shit. Our houses are full of it. DVD box sets of shit we never watch. Flat pack furniture that we hate. Clothes that we never wear. Food that we never eat. Things from Ikea.

We've abolished most of the "social constructs" that brought any kind structure to our lives and social media now means that nearly all the people we value might as well live in Narnia - or we haven't even met them at all. And because we are now so utterly without a moral compass we are now attacking even basic concepts like gender. It's the self-absorbed "cult of me". You are that which you define yourself and nobody is entitled to challenge that, however divorced from reality it may be. I have a fin, therefore I am a shark.

And for us conservative types it's hilarious. Some people are actually worried about it all. I'm not. I'm a misanthrope. I am bored and depressed but at least I know why. You people lack the first clue and I enjoy your lack of comprehension and your misery makes me smile.

For years the left rammed it down our throats that all these social constructs were oppressive and elitist and exclusive. And maybe they were. But they were there for a reason and now we're learning that if you are going to chuck it all out the window then it might be a good idea if you have something to replace it with - lest everybody be cast adrift to eke out a living in a spiritual and cultural wasteland. Depressed? Good. This is what you wanted.

But then who am I to complain? It's only intelligent people who suffer. And they are in the minority. Intelligence is an evolutionary dead end. We have designed the perfect machine for the perpetually asleep. And it works. The Matrix is here and now only we didn't need virtual reality. It IS reality - and it's only we few who see anything inherently wrong with it. The people who want a participatory democracy are in the minority.

Between technology and globalisation we have made ourselves wholly redundant. We've all read those editorials about how automation will ultimately improve our jobs and that we are not threatened by robots. But we all know that's bullshit. We're not all going to be robot engineers or software designers. We are in very serious danger of creating a post scarcity world where capitalism just doesn't work because there is no real purpose in accumulating wealth. We are free to roam the earth like cattle and be managed as such. Hence why the anti democratic, managerialist EU is the perfect form of government for it. It doesn't require particpation. All it requires is the power to remain in the hands of the few and for people to vote for the status quo. Life will be good so long as we do not question our existence.

And why should we? Why would we want dirty back breaking work and the possibility of having something more than what is allocated? Why would we want the uncertainty and unpredictability of democracy? Why would we want the diversity of an unplanned economy? Why would we want the hassle of things being different if you go somewhere else? Why would we want dirty ships polluting our "urban marinas"? Why would we want to drive our own cars or grow our own food? Why would we want anything other than our smartphones and our remote working desk jobs? Why wouldn't we want auto-enrollment and direct debits? Why would we want to be masters of our own lives? Why wouldn't we want the state to raise our offspring? Why would we want to be anything other than bovine? Why would we want to build lasting and beautiful things?

Why would we want family and community when we can all be individuals, accountable to nobody and responsible for nothing? Life can be great. Just conform, obey, consume and keep your credit rating clean. All this can be yours. All you have to do is vote to stay in the European Union. Take the blue pill.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Sorry Nige. Just not that bothered about immigration.

Nigel Farage says to win the referendum we should say more about immigration. I'm finding this difficult because I don't hate foreigners that much. It's true I'm not overly fond of the French but leaving the EU doesn't fix that and I'm only suspicious of Jews and Muslims out of a more generic aversion to people with beards - which is why I am not overly fond of hipsters.

In fact, my general dislike of the species precludes any special treatment because of their geographic origins. As it happens I do have eastern European neighbours I can hear through the walls, but it's more the fact I can hear them at all that bothers me. To be honest, it's an improvement on the English bunch because I could hear every last word of their arguments and they were quite tedious things about the guy not having done any of the housework. At least with the new lot I can pretend they're having a fierce row over the origin of the universe.

More than that though, it's a dumb idea because this is not a referendum on immigration. No realistic scenario sees us ending freedom of movement. In many respects it existed before the EU and it isn't the cause of our immigration woes. The real problems are from people overstaying their visas and human rights rules that are in effect an open invite to extended family. This is nowt to do with the EU.

As it happens, those things will never be fixed while we are in the EU but the act of leaving does not address these matters of international law. The EU is in far too much of a stalemate to even correctly identify the constituent parts of the problem. But then I care far less about immigration than I once did. I live in the whitest suburb in all of England and it will still be that way in another hundred years.

I genuinely don't see how more people coming to the UK to work hard and set up businesses is a bad thing on balance. I'm told we should be reducing the number of people who intermarry and don't care about British society and refuse to respect our laws but I'm not sure if they mean foreigners or Tories.

In my view, if we want to reduce the number of people coming to Europe, we should probably pay greater attention to the reason they come. In that regard we should look at the EU's own disastrous trade policy, and its record of vandalising West Africa by allowing EU fishing boats to destroy marine habitats.

We might also want an independent trade and aid policy so that we can open up new markets in Africa. A targeted trade and aid policy is going to do more to reduce immigration and more to the point will turn out cheaper than heavily bureaucratising our economy just to control our borders. There is a lot to be said for foreign aid if we spend it directly instead of delegating it to the EU and global NGOs.

Come to think of it, since we will have to work hard to restore our global standing, I don't see us being anything other than outward looking if we leave the EU. We won't have a choice. We won't have the luxury of abdicating our trade missions to EU officials. I see us building alliances and working with any number of global partners in order to bring lesser developed countries up to the standards required by the global marketplace. Where they get the idea we will be isolated beats the hell out of me.

In this I don't identify with any of what Ukip has to say. I don't think foreign aid is bad, I'm not that bothered about immigration, and call me crazy but I'm not going to rail against having safety devices in cars for children. I don't hate the idea of international helicopter safety regulations either. In fact the only thing I have in common with Ukip is our common appreciation of the fact that the EU is not and never will be a democracy.

There is a big debate to be had about what shape our trade and aid policy will look like after Brexit. But the point is, by leaving the EU, we will actually have a trade and aid policy - and it will be us deciding what it looks like. Imagine that. British taxpayers being the ones deciding how their own money is spent. That would be something of a novelty wouldn't it?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The death of "polite" society is no bad thing.

Note that Skinner was thrown out of parliament not for what he said, but how he said it. That is Westminister culture through and through. One must at all times be polite. There is an unwritten code of conduct that the hacks and the politicians must never be directly unpleasant to each other in public. That is how politics remains sanitised and we see this politically correct minefield that all political communicators must be wary of. The product of this is the anodyne, visually inoffensive (until you get to know them) identikit politicos, from Umunna, Miliband, Hague, Kendall, Burnham, Cameron, Clegg and Blair.

The product of this is an ideas free politics, the consequences we are all familiar with. But this veneer of politeness engenders a culture of backstabbing behaviour and bullying behind the scenes - and it is visceral. It creates its own tribalism and from such tribalism comes political orthodoxies - where there are some ideas that are uncouth and impolite - one of them being the suggestion that we should leave the EU.

Amongst our political classes if you want to get ahead you must conform and ascribe to all of the fixed ideas and never challenge the orthodoxy - and if you do, you may only do it if you are polite about it and never criticise the vile and the repellent for being what they are. And since the only way to climb the greasy pole is to strip yourself of any political courage or principle we end up with a ruling class that will do or say anything to maintain their grip on power. And look at the double standard. It's fine to lie to the House of Commons about EU reform, just so long as you're polite.

Many of you will have seen in. Young little Toryboys attending all the right meetings, wearing the right tie, brushing their hair in a side parting, shaking hands with grubby old men, doing the right internships and then unsurprisingly they pop up as junior MPs a few years later. It's not about principle or even achieving anything. It is about achieving office for its own sake. To occupy the powerful offices for the sake of power. That's how we end up with lying sociopaths like Boris Johnson, and its why the party activist base is a nest of bullying that sees the young ones bullied and pushed out to the point of suicide. Plenty enter broke, but few do not leave the Commons without having accumulated a million or so.

What you absolutely mustn't do is say what you think. Their motto is "To be something, say nothing". And that's ultimately what this referendum is about. All of the snot nosed Toryboy brats (al both parties) all insist we are stronger, safer and better off inside the EU. The established order must be protected at all costs. After all, there must be places to go after one is thrown out of office.

And so a victory for the Remain side is a victory for the authoritarians, the corrupt, the patronising, the bullying, the snobbish and the cowardly. They who we call polite society. For them, including the people running the establishment Vote Leave campaign, it's not what you say, but how you say it. But even then, if you are saying something they don't want to know, assuming themselves to be God's gift to politics, they are deaf to all outsiders.

Miliband today has said he is concerned that Brexit could upset the international order. What he means by that is that it will break the cosy consensus of the EU, the IMF and the G20. He's right. It will, it should, and it's about time. But it will also break the cosy little Westminster consensus. It will break up the the little club for those who feel entitled to office and prestige. This very much is an us vs them vote. It's why this of all votes in our lifetime is the only vote likely to change anything.

But there's also a warning here. These parasites are living on borrowed time. They know their cosy little bubble is under threat. They know they are living on borrowed time. Sooner or later there is bound to be a democratic correction. And it will see the lot of them thrown out and it won't be pretty and it will be very damaging and it probably will see us pull out of the EU acrimoniously and at short notice.

So you have one chance to have a painless revolution. This is it. If you vote to remain, you are voting in support of an intellectually and morally bankrupt system that is eviscerating democracy and destroying growth. More to the point, they are cancer eating away at the spirit of the nation. If you think things are toxic now, just wait until after June when nothing has been resolved and the pathetic, toadying opposition fail to offer any ideas or meaningful change.

In fact, it's a win win for me. If Leave wins the referendum, we get that revolution in governance and we get meaningful change. If remain wins, I'll get to see British voters getting the shit government they will rightly deserve, and all the misery that goes with it. I won't be shy in saying I told you so.

I think it's about time we stopped being polite and started calling these bastards out for what they are. To vote leave is to do what Skinner has done. To call them crooks to their faces and rightly walk out in disgust. For us though, there is something better on the other side of the door.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Brexit dream team

It is my view that this referendum is winnable. The EU is not a loved institution. About 40 per cent will always vote to leave. The battleground is over the middle ground who only marginally dislike the EU but don't hate it with a passion.

The job of the Leave campaign is to present a credible front. It must show that is has an idea of what it wants, how to get it and must have credible ambassadors. It must show the public that Brexit has tangible benefits, believable rhetoric that doesn't take them for fools and it must reassure them that their jobs and financial interests are not in danger. It will have to put forth a set of messages that can win the confidence of opinion formers and columnists.

With that in mind, you wouldn't put a doddering old has-been on the TV to say that the single market wasn't important and that Brexit would mean border checks in Northern Ireland. Nor would you have a blonde haired buffoon fronting your campaign saying we could replace road haulage regulation with "good old fashioned British common sense". Nor would you have said individual promoting a Brexit plan entirely at odds with the official campaign.

Nor would you suggest unilateral withdrawal. Most of all, you wouldn't respond to legions of impressive sounding diplomats and economists by saying "I'm sure we would have some sort of free trade deal". It's not compelling.

Nor would you make savings of chump change your central campaign message. You certainly wouldn't send out MPs who largely don't like the NHS with leaflets claiming we will save billions - and that we will spend that money on the NHS.

You wouldn't patronise voters like that.

Being it a people's campaign you would seek to present other voices and front real experts rather than largely disliked fringe politicians. You would want to make use of the thriving Brexit blogosphere and find ways to include them.

Obviously you would find some intelligent campaign managers and strategists to ensure those mistakes were not made. We are very lucky indeed. Not only do we have the genius of Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliott, we also have another campaign. One that cosies up to people who quite obviously despise muslims and would like nothing more than to end freedom of movement - and care more about that than anything else. How can that possibly hurt?

And to have the support of Breitbart is just the icing on the cake. After all, Pegida are exactly the sort of people we would want associated with us. With this kind of dream team we can't possibly lose. But we might actually lose because of those howwid people over at eureferendum.com who say mean things about them. They are undermining the cause.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

No, we cannot uniilaterally wthdraw from the EU

There are those who believe we can leave the EU unilaterally, saying that we can repeal the European Communities Act. I could cry when people say this. Firstly, what do they think would happen to our credit rating by pulling out unilaterally? Secondly, Eurosceptics are right. The EU is not just a trade bloc. It is so much more. It is integrated at nearly every level of government.

We have cooperation agreements ranging from food safety, counterfeit goods, Europol, air traffic control, fisheries protection, coastguard cooperation, you name it. Some of these agreements are pegged to EU membership. By unilaterally ending our membership without negotiating a settlement, all of these agreements cease to apply the moment the repeal bill passes into law.

That means trucks have to go through different customs procedures, must submit to spot checks and in some cases be directed to entirely different ports. All of this upsets long established procedures and causes absolute chaos. If you wanted to make sure all of the Brexit scares came true, this is what you would do.

This notion that the EU would come to the table at our command is a little optimistic. If we elect to leave the single market as well as the EU, the EU erects tariff barriers, not out of spite, but because it has a common external tariff. That's just the legal default.

The EU has a common external tariff that it must apply to all non-EEA members. If we match it in reciprocation, under non-discrimination rules, we have to impose tariffs on all our other trading partners. That creates havoc, so we end up not imposing tariffs on the EU while they impose tariffs on us.

We could negotiate a "free trade deal" but a simple agreement on tariffs doesn't even begin to settle issues surrounding non-tariff barriers and if we wanted a comprehensive deal then the EU would have conditions tilted in its own favour. Moreover, the likelihood of such being concluded inside two years are nil. We may leave the EU but if we want the same favourable access to the single market then we will have to stay in the EEA.

This is why we will leave the EU via Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty and this is why we will keep the single market and this is why for the time being we will continue with freedom of movement. It is suboptimal but it's better than being in the EU. That's going to piss a lot of hard-liners off who want to leave the EU in a single bound and pay nothing into the budget. That's just fucking tough.

They may not like the fact that it does not get us all the way out of the EU and the single market but at the very least it ensures trade is not affected in any way. That kills nearly all of the scares stone dead - not least because our academic cooperation and security agreements remain in place. Unless we can guarantee continuity of trade there is no way we can persuade people to vote to leave anyway since their jobs might be on the line so I have absolutely no idea why anybody proposes unilateral withdrawal.

The fact is, if we want to join the global trading community we will have to do it in stages. It took forty years to go in and it will take almost as long to get out. You go out the way you came in rather than heading for the emergency exit when the house is not on fire.

But as much as that means we won't be losing any jobs or seeing the sacrifice of the firstborn, it also means we won't be saving billions to spend on the NHS. These are the childish fantasies of Tory free marketeers in the Leave campaign who ironically would abolish the NHS given half the chance.

There is only one way to do this. Slowly and carefully. If you are not prepared to preach that message get used to staying in the EU because this "slam the door shut" nonsense is absolutely repellent to swing voters and there is not a cat in hell's chance business will support it. Without reassuring business and the public, there is simply no way to get out from under the dead hand of supranationalism - and bugger all chance of ever seeing democracy in our lifetimes.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Shurely shome mishtake?

This hereabove is a typical comment on Breitbart. Breitbart doesn't allow comments that attack Ukip. Moderate comments are pruned. The kind of comment we see above is encouraged. It is the business model of Breitbart to pander to these very people. Now substitute "muslim" for "jew" and "mosque" for "synagogue".

The comment was spotted underneath this article, by James Delingpole, entitled "Only ‘Brexit’ Can Save Britain From This Scourge Of Political Islam Waging War In Europe".

Demonstrably, and self-evidently untrue. A new low for Delingpole. Here vanishes the last shred of respect I had for him. 

You would think that would be sufficiently unpleasant for the head of communications of a Leave organisation seeking the lead designation to leave well alone. Not so Andy Wigmore of Leave.EU, penning an embarrassing screed on the subject of the Commonwealth (despite having had plenty briefing as to why it is not close to a plausible proposition for Britain).

It's not like he hasn't been told that Breitbart is a nasty rag that our efforts should not be associated with either. 

And as repellent as it is, such a line failed to produce a single MP for Ukip in the general election - and will not bring us anywhere close to securing the 51% we need to leave the EU - nor will it do anything to expand the appeal of our cause. In every sense it is ill-advised. More curious is that he is writing in his capacity a diplomat attached to the Belizean High Commission in London. Is this the message Belize is trying to project?

I can't say. But you can imagine my irritation and confusion when readers persistently complain to me about the things I say, when my message is that we must have a progressive, orderly and risk free Brexit plan and should argue the democracy and global engagement case over and above immigration and traditional little Englander euroscepticism. 

One must never point out that it's not a good idea to ally ourselves with nazi shitrags like Breitbart who deliver nothing but repeated failures for Ukip. And I mustn't ever say that Boris Johnson is a malevolent self-serving shit. And god forbid I call anyone a moron. No, I must show unity. I mustn't criticise. I could lose the referendum for us if I happen to notice that half the leave brigade are bunch of mouthbreathers, racists and fantasists. So long as I keep quiet, nobody else will notice, right?

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Campaign conduct

From the outset I have had a torrent of mithering from supposed allies in all corners. Mithering about tone and language - in the assumption that if only we we nicer to people they would be more inclined to listen to us. This overlooks that the pig ignorant, self-absorbed, self-referential London clan have sought to exclude outsiders from the start - not least with the IEA who turned their backs on the very idea of a graduated exit from the EU - an idea now considered by our own civil service.

There has been plotting and scheming by illiterate, broadly racist Ukip scum to prevent Flexcit being adopted by the campaign, and a determination by the Remain campaign to deny such a plan exists. It stinks.

Time and again Richard North and I are told to moderate our tone and behaviour while it is perfectly acceptable for wankers like Boris Johnson to hijack the campaign and take a giant shit on everything we have worked for - while the eurosceptic aristocracy carve out their own fanbases on the back of risible Brexit propositions based on anti-immigration or libertarian fantasies.

Somehow we are supposed to moderate our tone and give these dickheads a free pass - meanwhile Tory wastrels have given the PM a free pass on the biggest lie of the century so far - that he has secured EU reforms. What the actual fuck?

In this we have all and sundry queuing up telling us what our tone should be, what we should do, how we should say it, and who we should speak to - regardless of them all being entirely unwilling to spend less time whingeing and actually doing as we asked - and set up a blog to attack the lying prime minister.

Richard North and I are utterly fed up, utterly demoralised and tried. We are sick of this pretentious twattery that says we must abide by certain standards but everybody else is entitled to fuck us over in any way they see fit. All the while the public are peeling away from the debate out of boredom and apathy.

At the launch of The Leave Alliance, the first question from the floor was not about the three years of intensive collaborative research we have compiled but a query as to whether it was the done thing to call Tory MP's bovine and Boris Johnson a moron. Despite both factors being entirely self-evident to anyone with an IQ exceeding that of a gerbil.

Frankly, I am sick of it. With four months to go, we've got the main Leave campaigns playing school yard politics - saying that the Remain camp can't say what staying in looks like - as their main defence. Anything rather than meet the challenge and present voters with comprehensive answers. It's pathetic.

Even supposed allies cannot make up their own minds, and the support we have is fickle - dependent not on the strength of our arguments, but on our willingness to watch our p's and q's in the presence of our betters - despite them pissing away our last best hope for democracy.

All we've had is a torrent of mithering rather than people joining our protest against the bastards who have hijacked this campaign from the outset and destroyed it - along with our chances of winning. Then have the gall to say that it is our protest that could cost us the referendum.

Sorry people, but given how little you have contributed to what we have tried to do, and how much grief you have given us, when all we have asked you to do is recognise and promote the fact that we need an orderly, planned withdrawal that protects trade, you have no right to be telling anybody how they should conduct themselves.

In fact, Richard North and I have come to the conclusion that being polite and constructive got us nowhere. It is not our conduct that prevented Flexcit being evaluated for use. It was the idiocy of Dominic Cummings and the cowardice of Arron Banks in the face of Ukipper idiocy.

In light of this, we feel no obligation to to pamper you or you sensibilities - and we will viscerally attack anybody on any side who has it coming because we have nothing to lose by doing so, except for the flimsy support we have - to whom we owe absolutely nothing. Doing so might be the one thing that actually sparks some energy into this otherwise lame duck of a campaign.

Some caution us that we risk being perceived as similar to cybernats from the Scottish referendum - but this is typical of the sloppy two dimensional thinking we see all round. The critical difference is that we are not blood and soil nationalists. We are pragmatists with a solid case for leaving and an even more solid plan to achieve it.

Anyone who wants to criticise our methods from here on in must demonstrate that others have put in even a tenth of the effort we have - with the marginal resources we have. Who among you has a better idea? We can play the wreckers if we choose because we have built up over a decades worth of political capital and now is our time to spend it. Who else can say that?

Frankly I am a gnats hair away from telling all of you to fuck off and I wouldn't be surprised if RN gets there first. Nothing is worth the bullshit even our own readers have put us through. We've had plenty of former kippers come to us an apologise for how they treated us for attacking us during the election, having realised just how toxic and inept Ukip were. The same will happen after we lose this vote. But what use is that?

The reply then will not be gracious when some of you have the decency to admit that we have been right from the outset - that Ukip are a bunch of amateurs - and that the largely Tory eurosceptic aristocracy are bunch of self-serving, self-satisfied morons without even half a clue.

I can say with pride that our team of bloggers have not in any way let us down - and it is ultimately they who have kept us going, but even then, because of the ineptitude and selfishness of the main campaign in ignoring us entirely we have not been able to expand that team. That's not our fault. This is a referendum killed by selfishness, egotism, pride and incompetence. Also jealousy, self-interest and political cowardice.

And if this sounds like those "sour grapes", you're fucking right it is. We have every right to be angry at our own side, not least those allies whose support has been only fleeting and conditional - even when virtually every day we have our noses rubbed in the meme that Leave does not know what out looks like.

Our side has not been able to specify how we would reach a destination, what that destination is and why the ordinary voter should even bother. That is why we are going to lose and that is why we deserve to.

In this, knowing what I know, it has been difficult to invest any energy at all in The Leave Alliance website in that eurosceptics are only interested in promoting the things that conform to their own narrow and dismal worldview, ignoring any of the arguments that might actually win.

In this I am absolutely at the end of my tether. I have no more patience and I am not in the least bit inclined to listen to a solitary word of advice from any of the wastrels on our side who have barely lifted a finger to help us - especially those fair weather friends whose own work is an actual embarrassment to be associated with. I actually couldn't be any more disgusted.

As to where this leaves me, well I don't know. I do not feel inclined to put a nanosecond more effort into this knowing that our own side has already fucked the dog - and believes that marginal spikes in the polls are evidence that the campaign isn't a shower of brain-dead dullards with no clue.

We should be able to defend our own side from the attacks by the Remain camp but we can't because there is no possible way we could without contradicting everything we have said up to press. There is no way we can lie our way through the rest of the campaign to help these losers save face.

We always knew it would be an uphill battle but if I had known it was going to be such a catastrophic wipe-out I would have saved myself the bother. So here is what we are going to do. We are going to say whatever the fuck we feel like saying on any platform we so choose, in the manner in which we so chose - and if you don't like it, you can shove it up your arse for nothing and fuck off while you're doing it. How d'ya like them apples?

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Vote Leave to get rid of these idiots

If I had to give out an award for issue illiteracy it would be to Chris Giles of the Financial Times. As bad as the FT is, he has taken Brexit bullshit to an artform. The constant thing about these dirges are that they are so predictable and so tedious ... all of them recycling the same limited set our sources, telling the same story in much the same way. Long before this is over, these people will have bored even themselves into a standstill.

What's clear to me is that if people are relying on the media with no prior knowledge of the issues they are not getting anything like a realistic or accurate picture. And it will be difficult for people to vote on the basis of which side is the least repellent because the Remain side is still a contender on that score even with Ukip on our side. Ukip may be thick as shit, but they genuinely believe the crap they spout whereas the Remain campaign are lying, know they are lying and everybody else knows it too.

Personally I find some of them so repellent I would not hesitate in using many of them for bayonet practice if I thought it would do any good. The big problem with political violence is if you take out an idiot, you martyr said idiot - and there is an inexhaustible supply of idiots to replace them. And if I was going to go that far I think I would start with the morons on my own side first. While there is no shortage of motivation, I would be apprehended long before the know was even close to complete.

But as much as Brexit bullshit is boring us all into oblivion, the media has succeeded in making it all about Tory infighting, where we have Mark Wallace of Conservative Home taking up comedy in the Guardian (see above). We know the Tufton Street losers are delusional but this has to be a laugh.

That it's actually too risible even for this blog to bother fisking it all tells you everything. It's a damp squib of a referendum if your only source of information is London. You get a better standard of debate down the pub than from our media.

But I think this ultimately why we need to leave the EU. Turnout is going to collapse after the referendum. We have all seen what a bunch of incompetent wastrels Ukip are who offer no real answers and present no real threat. Labour will only discover a surface level of unity to exploit Tory splits. There will be no coherent force in Westminster with any ideas and certainly nobody is offering any solutions. We may see a right wing equivalent of Corbynisation in the Tory party but after the referendum, what possible use is that?

The only vote that can possibly break this deadlock is to shake the whole system to the core. Only Brexit can do that. That will see the wasters and idiots cast aside as expertise once again comes back in demand and subsequently back in fashion. If we stay in the EU it can only get more toxic and more incoherent with the London hack-o-sphere disappearing further up its own arse (assuming that's even possible).

As much as the EU's economic stagnation is dangerous, the political decay is even more dangerous. If the entire electorate becomes convinced the Wesminster system is futile and incapable of changing, they will seek means of removing it. I will be among them.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tory MPs are not serious about leaving the EU

Boris Johnson is more than likely Cameron's placeman. Johnson has no real track record of being a eurosceptic - and he comes from a europhile family and has written articles on why we should stay in. He's about as eurosceptic as Jean Claude Juncker. 

His announcement to join the Leave campaign was timed as a means of distracting the media from Cameron's bogus reforms. A clever, calculated piece of politicking that really understands just how debased our media is.

Also, Johnson knows full well Cameron will be replaced by a eurosceptic leader and so this is his ideal leadership bid. Boris Johnson's only concern is Boris Johnson. And of course, the Tories will only ever appoint a eurosceptic as leader when there is no real danger of leaving the EU. That is how they keep up the pretense that they are a eurosceptic party. This is the Tory elites way of retaining ownership of the party when their man is thrown out.

In reality, there are no Tory MPs actually serious about leaving the EU. If they were they would be tearing chunks out of Cameron for his utterly fraudulent reforms and his lies to parliament. Because they are yellow-bellies who put their tribe first over the future of the country, all we can expect is mealy mouth attacks and tribal sycophancy. Demolishing Cameron is key to winning - but Tories won't do that. Especially not Boris Johnson.

Tories have never been trustworthy on this and not in a billion years will I now vote for that party. As much as they are basically a snobby version of Ukip, with no greater policy insight, they are political cowards. That is inexcusable.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

What we really want...

We leavers want democracy. We want a complete overhaul of our domestic institutions, from Whitehall down to the parish councils. We want real power back in the hands of the people. We want a complete reworking of our law making process, our agriculture, fishing, energy and trade policies. We want a more accountable and useful aid policy, we want a fairer immigration system, we want a reformed asylum system.

We want our courts to be places of real justice rather than the place where authority is rubber stamped and revenue is collected. On the whole we would rather not see our landscapes ruined by acres of solar panels, and our wildernesses spoiled by wind turbines.

On the whole we don't need all these every more oppressive rights that stifle the economy and reduce our employment prospects. In the main we are capable of securing decent enough terms and where we can't we should be organising and forming real unions and fighting for our rights rather than waiting for EU entitlements.

In the main, most of us are climate sceptics. It might be happening, it might not, but we do not trust the institutions who tell us it is real, we do not consent to all of their agenda and we want the means to say no to them. We don't trust their scaremongering any more than we trust the scaremongering of the remain camp.

None of us really dislikes foreigners as some suggest. A lot of us are just a bit uneasy with the pace of change because the brakes have been taken off and we never got a say in it. We all recognise that we benefit from globalisation but when do we get a say in it, and how do we say no to our government?

We are told that freedom of movement isn't that much of a big deal, and that's non EU immigration we need to fix - but when is that ever going to be fixed when it's human rights law that stands in the way of us closing the loopholes?

We don't really care all that much about roaming charges and so-called cheap flights. As it happens, a round trip to somewhere interesting in the EU is still going to cost £200 upwards. To your average worker with a family, that's a lot of money.

And if we are talking about more freedoms then we want more openness with other English speaking countries. And that's no great sin. Since we speak English and are not in the habit of learning other languages, we can't take advantage of free movement in the same way Europeans can.

If you're Bulgarian and you speak only Bulgarian only there's not much you can do, but if you learn English, you can go anywhere. If you're English and you learn Bulgarian, you can go to... Bulgaria. So why are Europeans free but Brits be caged by the confines of Europe? Sure there's nothing stopping us learning other languages but culturally, we just don't. That's a fact and that not going to change. If you were going to go to the trouble you'd learn a useful language, not French.

And that's not a little-englander thing, it's just a recognition that we're never going to be wholly European when culturally we have more in common with Canada, New Zealand and Australia. We have friend and family there yet we must go through the EU to get better access. Why is that a good deal for Brits? I want to go and work in Canada. I have no interest in even going to Bulgaria or Poland. If I go anywhere in Europe it will be to Norway to see fjords.

I don't hate Europe, I just don't care about it. I wasn't all that taken with Germany (and their food is weird), the bits of France I've seen are boring, Amsterdam is just York with more canals and drugs, Spain is full of all the sort of English people I try to avoid and though Italy looks amazing every single driver there has a deathwish.

The best place in Europe to my mind is Switzerland and that isn't in the EU. Geneva is an amazing place. The freshest air anywhere. But I don't want to live there, I don't want to work there. I'm not saying we should end freedom of movement, all I'm saying is that I don't really care about it either way.

And if by now you're thinking this is a kipperish whinge about the EU and foreigners in general, there's a bit of that, yes. Again, it's no great sin to prefer a bit of stability, normality, security and democracy. When kipperism steps over into naked racism and idiocy, it's then a problem but in the main, ordinary Brits don't see themselves as EU citizens and don't want to be. Nobody asked for the EU and if it didn't exist we wouldn't ask for it to be invented.

In this some of you may be thinking that leaving the EU doesn't fix all that, and maybe it doesn't, but it's start. We will always take regulation from global bodies but why shouldn't we have a right of refusal? Why shouldn't we have a little control? Why should we have to cave in to every single demand made of us? Why should our only line of defence be if enough foreign MEPs agree with our moronic MEPs?

Why shouldn't we have the democratic controls to refuse local planning applications for fracking, wind and solar? And if that means the boffins have to go away and think of something else then that is want they will have to do. And what if we don't want an EU wide register of cars and black boxes recording our journeys and transmitting the details to insurance companies? That's how it's going to go down isn't it? The money men and their lobbyists will see to that and parliament won't get a say.

And why shouldn't Britain's fishing industry have the best shot at fishing in British waters? Why should we have to wait years for the EU to make trade deals with countries we favour? Why shouldn't we protect some of our agriculture from competition? Everybody else does. Especially France even though they are supposedly in the single market. We Brits stick to the rules, so why is it one rule for us and another for France?

And though this set of complaints puts me in the minority and very much at the kipper end of the spectrum, just listen to the Remain camp. They say we will have wind turbines, we will adopt climate change measures, we will keep our borders open, we will close down our coal stations, we will lose industries we value and we will surrender every last scintilla of sovereignty. And why is that?

It's because they've decided that's what we should have and they want the EU because they know what we know. If we had democracy, if we had a choice, we might decide that Britain should go a different way to the liberal "progressive" orthodoxy that seems hell bent on committing national and cultural suicide.

They not like us, they do not respect us and they do not trust us. They have so little faith that they could win the arguments they use the EU to avoid having a debate at all. It never occurs to them that Brits might not be the shrivelled right wing ogres they believe us to be and when the choice is put before us we might actually decide that more open and more liberal really is better.

We will never know and we will never find out while we are in the EU. We will never have a choice. A vote to remain is a vote to carry on not having a voice, to leave the same people in power, to leave our institutions the same and to keep doing as we are told without any real recourse.

And so in the final analysis, they can bleat all they like about uncertainty and the complexities of Brexit, but I don't want their certainty. The certainty they offer means that nothing gets fixed, corporates always get their own way, parliament is shunted into the sidelines, nothing politically gets resolved and people become gradually more resentful as the world changes around them without having either a stake in it or even a voice. I would pay every tariff in the world to have just a little bit of democracy and I do not want Britain to be the prisoner in the gilded EU cage.

The bottom line is I want things to change. I want the possibilities of uncertainty and I want things to evolve. I want us to play a part in those changes and I want the people to decide what those changes are, not the EU Commission. I don't want to be represented by politicians. I want full referism and direct democracy.

I want people to be able to say no to government at every level. That can only mean more participation, fairer decision making and a more vital democracy. It's little wonder that young British people go off to join ISIS when our lives are so sanitised of any influence over events. We are all passengers without a destination, and nothing to bind us but for the fact we exist in the same space. That is all a corporate democracy-free EU utopia can offer us.

In this, it's not surprising record numbers of British men are committing suicide. Spiritual boredom I imagine. As my friend puts it we are "derided and emasculated - and the rights that went with our responsibilities have been stripped away, and our achievements derided as the products of undue privilege". - Underpinning that is the "equality" and human rights culture that have ultimately produced the entitlement society - one that sees mass welfare dependency and teenage girls abused on mass.

We're now quite used to the notion that if you call the police they won't come - and if they do they won't act. They won't investigate anything. They will give you a crime number and refer you to the machine. We know if we need to go to court for any administrative reason our side of the story will not be heard or factored into the decision making.

We know in the end that they will chip away at everything we have built since the war than makes life just that little less harsh. It's all becoming mechanised and impersonal and when you need a real answer from a real person the system says "talk to the hand".

And is it because the evil Tories are in charge? Can't be, can it?, because we had Blair doing this to us for over a decade. And do you think Corbyn would be any less a puppet of the system? He's already come out for the EU when his track record shows he thinks differently. And can we blame all of it on the EU? No. But it is the one constant through as we have seen most of what we value eroded. Slice by slice another one of our hard won rights is eroded in practice yet in theory there has never been a time when we have had more legal rights.

Ultimately systems of governance are becoming more harmonised with the global standards because of hyper globalisation - and that is what is forcing the EU's hand in regulations, and the EU is the reason we can't say no. For sure we want progress and more freedoms, but not at the expense of every safety net and every protection.

While leaving the EU is only part of the solution it really is time for us to draw a line in the sand. Not everything comes down to the price of goods and convenience of trade. This is as much about who and what we are - and having a voice in how we are governed. The Remain campaign doesn't like what we are, despises our traditions, dislikes our culture and it definitely doesn't want us to have a say. That is why I am voting to leave - whatever it costs. If there are consequences, then so be it. We'll live with them.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Westminster has a cancer.

The Jess Phillips creature, arbitrarily reading out names of murdered women in parliament is primarily why I want to leave the EU. A functioning parliament ought not to have the time or the patience to indulge silly, juvenile gesture politicking of this nature - and as an institution it should have the self confidence, gravitas and seriousness to slap it down for what it is: self indulgent, narcissistic virtue signalling.

That we give any of these UN fad days a nanosecond of our time is symptomatic of how debased politics has become and how Westminster as an institution has been utterly, and quite deliberately, hollowed out.

These gestures have the emotional maturity of a hormonal teenager. What sickens me even more is that there are people who would actually go as far as saying this was admirable behaviour. It ought to be contemptible by reflex. We have lost this instinct for democracy and lost touch with what MPs are even for - and as dismal and crass as parliament is now, I fear that it does actually adequately represent what we are as a society.

And if you don't see the EU connection, you really should - because this is what displacement activity looks like. A parliament that was concerned with its own aid, trade, energy and agriculture policy would not have the time to be discussing the contents of children's lunchboxes in a Hartlepool primary school or resorting to behaviour as crass as Jess Phillips. If we still had the instinct for politics, vacuous creatures like these would never even reach selection.

It was always the EU's intent to neuter and hollow out national institutions and this is what it looks like. Jess Phillips and Boris fucking Johnson. And no, there is no argument or excuse. These people are idiotic, parasitic and they are scum. A public that cannot recognise this is equally lost in the morass.

And that is why I maintain that Brexit is not the silver bullet. There is so much damage to undo and damage on this scale will take decades to repair if we want anything approaching an adult government. Leaving the EU is only the statement of intent. But since we are now collectively too bovine to understand what democracy is and why we need it, these losers will likely be the shape of politics to come until nothing functions at all. Idiocracy is now. I just hope I live long enough to see them used for bayonet practice.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Europhiles are the ones dripping with hate

Heh! Look at all those silly flag-waving old people wanting Brexit. Those hateful old racists huh? That's the attitude of leftist Europhiles on Twitter.

Nevermind that these are ordinary people who will have been about my age the last time we saw a political con to take us deeper into the European project.

Nevermind that it's these people who have been our teachers, doctors, bus drivers, nurses, policemen, diplomats, traders, businessmen, servicemen, labourers and civil servants. The people who made Britain what it is. They just hate immigrants right?

Or could it be that these people know something these smartarse, smug leftists don't? I'm guessing these are the people who have seen Britain at its best and worst - and know that something is missing and that something isn't right - and have been around long enough to know that we had something worth keeping?

But let's not let that get in the way of snobbery and ageism right? They're old people. What could they possibly know?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

An open letter to Remain voters

Dear Remain voter,

By now you've had a good look at the Leave camps and their arguments. You will have concluded that for the most part they are godawful people with dreadful ideas and a slim grasp on reality. Lucky for all of us, this isn't an election and after the vote, if Leave wins, these people won't be in charge - so a lot of what they say is completely irrelevant.

That said, I trust that you are not going to vote to remain on the basis of the politicians involved. This is a referendum where yours and my vote matters as much as theirs. And if you're honest you've got some idiotic specimens speaking for your side too. You can't honestly expect me to believe you think Chuka Umunna is a serious person? No. Of course not.

So we have to rise above this, ignore the media and the politicians and the crap they spout and look at the facts. What we can say with absolute certainty is that we are not going to get facts from either campaign and it's going to be a torrent of interminable bullshit right through to June.

I don't believe Brexit will cause the apocalypse any more than you believe we're going to have £933.17 back in our wallets and a spending bonanza on teachers and nurses. Unlike them, we both live on planet Earth. And it may surprise you to think that it's not just your side who thinks Nigel Farage is a "goggle-eyed cock goblin", or that Boris Johnson is a pompous, lazy, self-serving buffoon.

What matters is what we can deduce for ourselves on the basis of what is in front of us. What we know for a fact is that the EU is a dysfunctional bureaucratic mess that struggles to call itself a democracy. Many on your side point this out, and the main reason they want to stay is that our side can't offer a better idea that bears any relation to reality - and can't guarantee we can achieve it. In this, I don't blame you. You've taken one look at the complexities involved and thought "bollocks to that".

The rest of you believe that because the Leave side are swivel eyed dinosauric little-Englander losers, that wanting to remain in the EU means the opposite - which by virtue makes you an internationalist progressive - exactly as you see yourself.

But that's not true. The world is seldom ever binary like that. What if I told you that the EU was Kipperism writ large? After all it is erecting massive fences in Hungary, it's obsessed with controlling immigration, it puts up all kinds of protectionist barriers and it spends half its diplomatic runtime look for ways to close off avenues in.

Now I'm not going to spend the rest of this letter badmouthing the EU, because you've heard it all before, and if you're honest, you know most of it is absolutely true, but you're still going to vote to remain on the basis that there is, to your mind, no other option. Personally I think that's a cop out.

The point I wish to convey to you is one of a different nature though. I challenge you to go and look at Hansard and dig out some of the parliamentary debates from 1975, and also 1992. Have a look at some of the media archives and Youtube.

The first thing you notice is that the people change but the same tired, dogmatic arguments do not. We have had vote after vote, and row after row and still we don't seem to be able to resolve this. And when the Leave side inevitably screws up this referendum, we will have more of the same, for decades, until we have yet another referendum.

In short, your children will have to suffer the same interminably beige politics we have for all of our adult lives. Do you really wish that upon them? If so you are even more of a complete bastard than me.

The fact is, the EU is thorn in the paw of Britain and it doesn't sit right with our national ego to be ruled by a supreme government for Europe. It was assumed as the old boys shuffled loose of the mortal coil that this resistance to le grande project would die off. It hasn't. It has passed like a torch to the next generation. It will never die. So really we have to find some way to accommodate these people so they will shut up and go away and let us get on with something else in politics.

That's where Brexit comes in. Like I said earlier, the scare stories about Brexit are nonsense, and so leaving the EU is actually safe. And here's why. Our government, and in fact any government handling the negotiations, will not want to leave the EU. Consequently, what they agree on will likely be as close to being EU membership as possible without actually being in the EU.

That is going to resemble something a lot like the so-called Norway EEA/Efta model. It won't touch on freedom of movement to the annoyance of kippers, but the government will likely say "tough, this wasn't a referendum on freedom of movement". It's worth voting out just to watch the kipper outrage.

Now I know what you're going to say. Norway has no say and we still pay. I may surprise you here by saying so what? Go and look at a Youtube of MEPs in action. For the last few years we've been lampooning Ukip MEPs for being thick as a whale omelette, but go and have a closer look at the others.

Pay close attention and you will see that Kippers are not all that far removed from the norm, Do you honestly believe these people sat in the Hemicycle, pushing buttons when various lights go off, have the first idea what they are voting for - or what its effects will be - when just a few hundred of these morons are making decisions for half a billion people? Do you really think they add a critical layer of scrutiny and protection? If so, stay right there, I have a bridge to sell you.

This idea that being in the EU somehow means we have influence is a long standing joke, not least among MEPs not suffering from delusions of adequacy. People criticise Ukip MEPs for not turning up, when when you look at how utterly futile it is, I can't say I would honestly bother either. No amount of reform or tinkering with the process is ever going to make the parliament relevant or democratic.

More to the point, I am keen to remind voters that the EU employs fewer people directly than the BBC. There is no possible way it could come up with sophisticated industry regulations as diverse as marketing standards for cabbages through to pollutant levels in container ship ballast water. And that's because they don't.

The EU doesn't make the substance of these laws and adopts them from global conventions and international super-regulators - so in or out of the EU we end up accepting them as they are and we will increasingly find, to avoid deviation from the global standard, MEPs won't be allowed to amend them in any meaningful way. Regulation is increasingly globalised and the EU is increasingly irrelevant to that process.

So my point is really this... who gives a tinker's damn if we send a bunch of mouth-breathers from the shires over to Strasbourg to push buttons that wave through masses of regulation they couldn't even begin to understand? As to having to pay into the budget, that's inevitable. What we can say is that we'll pay a bit less. Who cares? We need regulation, devising it is based on research and that won't come for free.

As to joint cooperation programmes, we will still participate and by way of being the world's fifth largest economy, we will still be consulted. We have clout in our own right so long as we keep paying. Money talks.

What we get for our trouble is Britain enjoying more or less the same good relations with the EU on slightly different terms. There are pitfalls to this approach but freedom to trade according to our own needs is a good way of offsetting them. On balance, it's going to be ok. From there, we'll have a few more freedoms and more control over fishing and agriculture and I can't for the life of me see why you might think that's a bad thing given what the CFP did to our fishing grounds with no real prospect of reform.

I don't see that we have that much to lose. Not that much is going to change so there is no real commercial advantage in businesses quitting Britain - and they know it. What we do gain is a clean slate in our relationship with Europe, and a change to put this horribly tedious debate to bed once and for all.

Best of all, it means no more Ukip. Sure, they will find something else to whinge about and they will never stop banging on about foreigners, but having thrown them a bone of leaving the EU, we can rightly tell them to shut the hell up. They got what they were set up for and if they didn't like the result then they should have drafted a vision and a plan before pushing for a referendum.

I won't pretend it's not without risk, but the default option is safe enough and it presents us a with a lot of new opportunities. That's really what will make us outward looking and enterprising. We won't have the option not to be. It will be a rebirth of multilateralism and possibly even democracy. If we are back in control of critical policy areas then we will need better politicians than Gove and Umunna, and maybe the public will start taking their votes seriously enough to elect competent people.

It's a long shot I know, but if you vote to remain, what you are saying is you can cope with decades more of the status quo - with these vacuous wastrels filling the airwaves and column inches with there their monotonous drivel. Don't you long for some real political change? Brexit would at the very least give us that elusive "new politics" we have been chasing for the last decade or so.

Voting to leave may throw up challenges and uncertainties, but it's challenges and uncertainties that make life worth living. It's what brings our lives meaning. The fact that we have eradicated both from politics means we can only expect Westminster politics to remain as empty as it is.

I say let's chuck out these tired old arguments and make way for something new. The EU issue is a bed blocker to advancing politics onto subjects which could manifestly improve our wealth, health and human experience. Thus far, the only thing this Brexit debate has enhanced is my ability to spell Chuka Umunna's name. How depressing is that?

If you vote to Remain in the EU, you are voting for certainty. You are voting for the certainty of identical politics for the next forty years and another tedious referendum. You are voting to bore us all into extinction. If that really is your intent, please let me know now so I can stop wasting my time and put a bullet in my brain - or see if I can get a Canadian visa. If this is the politics you really want to condemn us to for the remainder of our natural lives then you are welcome to it. I'm checking out. I can take no more.

Yours sincerely,

Complete Bastard.

Friday, 26 February 2016

No, I won't stop attacking losers

If the above was a political party, would you vote for it? I wouldn't. At the moment, I couldn't be more anti-politics and anti-politician. I am totally fed up with empty-headed posturing know-nothings pontificating over matters in which they hold zero expertise.

While that is true in spades of the Remain camp, whose intellectual big guns thus far are Chuka Ummuna and Karen Brady (I know), I can still find plenty of room to loathe and despise the stupidity on my own side - of which there is an inexhaustible supply.

I'm told I shouldn't do this, but I profoundly disagree. We should never tolerate stupidity in our midst just because we like the flavour of it. That's how we got in this mess to begin with. For me the whole point of leaving the EU is to dismantle the idiocracy that rules over us - and it does not stop at leaving the EU.

Any undecided voter you talk to isn't convinced that we should leave the EU because it is not a democracy because there's not much you could call democratic about our own system. They are right. Every five years you get to vote for one of these mongs who is largely impervious to new information and sees the position of MP as one of authority, whereby they preach to us and make decisions for us - rather than doing as instructed.

Some say democracy is the freedom to vote for your dictators, but that isn't democracy - that's representative democracy - which isn't democracy at all. It represents democracy in the same way a stick man represents a person.

For the five years in between election, you have no say and very little power over how your MP votes. And though you can vote for someone else, that doesn't really make much of a difference, if any at all. For reasons that escape me, we're supposed to be satisfied with this arrangement.

I simply can't support the line that we should "return powers to Westminster" because I don't want those clowns making choices for me either. Just because these mouth-breathers pictured above want to leave the EU doesn't mean I should blithely accept or support whatever crapola leaks from their mouths even if it's conducive to winning (which is categorically isn't).

No, my blogs are for people who look at Boris Johnson and think he's a vacuous, unpleasant, lazy, venal man-child with all the innate charm of necrotising fasciitis. My blogs are for people who think none of these people should be trusted with so much as a TV remote.

Boris Johnson's opinion
This is to say that you don't have to identify with these window-lickers to see that there is obvious merit in retaining our vote and veto at the global level and that keeping control over energy and agriculture is a necessary part of self-rule and national security.

And if these things are too important to be delegated to MEPs then MPs can't be trusted with such choices either. We really need to find a wholly different approach to politics that involves a good deal more direct democracy, preferably with as little involvement form politicians as possible.

There have been two Brexit debates going on since the election. There's the debate among London hacks and politicians - and then there's the debate between citizens, which has been more thorough, more honest, more accurate and more up to date. Let's trust the people to sort it all out instead of these oxygen thieves. 

Click for large
Many bizarrely assume that MPs must posses a particular talent in order to climb the greasy pole as far as the house of commons, but the system is somehow broken so that people of extremely low calibre and intellect can now become MPs. (see right)

And then let's not go into Ukip MEP David Coburn saying the UK should leave EU so we can have better toasters. Or rather it's the EU's fault that his toaster doesn't work. And then there's the intellectually subnormal bunch who actually believe David Cameron has secured EU reforms. Morons.

The short of it is, the whole sorry lot of them need to get in the sea. We need out of the EU to first revitalise our politics and secondly to begin the process retiring politics as a profession.

We only need part time politicians to deal with national emergencies. There rest of it can be dealt with locally and through direct democracy. It may not produce more intelligent decisions, but if you're going to have stupid people making decisions, why not cut out the middleman? At least the decisions will be legitimate.

In this, referendum I honestly couldn't give a tinkers damn what any of the politicians think. I don't care what Tom Enders of Airbus thinks, I don't care about what the army Top Brass thinks, I don't care what the PM thinks and I especially don't care what MEPs or MPs think - and if they would kindly, quietly, go somewhere die that would be super. This is a referendum and this is about what you and I think, not them, and especially not Boris fucking Johnson.