We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Let’s not be beastly to the French

Sorry but this was too funny to leave languishing in the comments section. For our non-UK readers, the Eurostar train currently terminates at the railway station in London rejopicing in the name of Waterloo:

Now that our relationship with France has reverted to its traditional millennium-long condition, can we be assured that before the Channel Tunnel Rail Link is finally completed in a year or two, the Eurostar London terminus at St Pancras will be renamed to align it more closely politically, historically and emotionally with the name of the present terminus south of the river?

Trafalgar, Salamanca, Vittoria, Blenheim, Crecy or Agincourt are just a few of the most obvious candidates history has so bountifully provided us with. A rather more modern choice, from 1940, might be Mers-el-Kebir…

Would not the choice of name make a particularly fine subject for a referendum?

Heh! I vote for Mers-el-Kebir as we can probably fool the multi-cultis into thinking we are being ‘culturally inclusive’ by choosing a non-European name!

176 comments to Let’s not be beastly to the French

  • Verity

    I remember around seven or eight years ago either a French official or a French journalist began to bleat about the Eurostar terminus being in a station called Waterloo, describing it as unfriendly and requesting that the name be changed. Anyway, after some back and forthing, I recall a letter in, I think, The Times, saying, well, we could translate it into French for them and call it Eau de Toilette.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Verity, that is hilarious!

    There are quite a few boulevards in Paris named after Bonaparte’s victories – Austerlitz, Jena and Wagram for instance – so why are the French so touchy about Waterloo? Oh, wait a minute…..

  • PJ

    I remember the row about the name of Waterloo. Of course it was utter hypocrisy from the Frogs, because Paris is stuffed with names which celebrate French victories (Pont d’Iena and the Gare d’Austerlitz springing immediately to mind). The Arc de Triomphe, too, has the names of lots of French “victories” (some of which were actually defeats) inscribed on it.

    During that row, somebody wrote in to the Telegraph from Hastings saying that she wouldn’t claim for a minute that her local station should be reclaimed. And some Frog official said that France should retaliate by naming stations after French victories against the English, suggesting Fontenoy to start with. But then another letter-writer wrote that, if that tit-for-tat continued, we English would have to build more and more stations, and where would we alight when we crossed the Channel?

  • Julian Taylor

    Well, if little Phoney sees fit to have to have the Eurostar now travel round the north of the Thames, cut through one of the most densely populated urban areas in Europe and end up at the most northern station in London (St Pancras) the French should feel free to do the same and have the train swing round the south of Paris and terminate at Austerlitz. Good way to compete with the airlines – have your train travel the furthest possible distance it can to reach its end destination.

  • JEM

    A visit to the Musée de la Marine at the Trocadero in Paris is always educational. From what you will learn there, you might be convinced there was ever only one sea battle in all history between the British and the French, which was the Battle of Chesapeake Bay. The French won of course, and that led to Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown in 1781.

    Trafalgar? The Nile? Harfleur? Gravelines? Scaneroon? Cape Finisterre (thrice)? St Nazaire? The Glorious First of June? Algeciras? Santo Domingo (twice)? Lissa? Mers-el-Kebir?

    No sorry, never heard of any of them. You say the British won them all? That cannot be; la gloire de la France would never permit this to have happened. Go away, you strange foreign person.

  • GCooper

    May I just add one word to the debate?

    Michelin.

  • Pete_London

    The Eurostar? Isn’t that the one which travels beneath the English Channel?

  • MaDr

    Gotta hand it to you Brits (from a Yank). You’ve suffered immeasurably from the insufferable Frogs for decades (centuries), and the worst you can say/do is suggest a train terminus’ name that might be unrecognizable by them. You’ve been on the precipice of Franco domination (the EU) for so long that I’d have thought a little more overt “retribution” would have been in order. Bully for you, but I would be trying to jerk them by their “short hairs” .

  • MaDr

    Gotta hand it to you Brits (from a Yank). You’ve suffered immeasurably from the insufferable Frogs for decades (centuries), and the worst you can say/do is suggest a train terminus’ name that might be unrecognizable by them. You’ve been on the precipice of Franco domination (the EU) for so long that I’d have thought a little more overt “retribution” would have been in order. Bully for you, but I would be trying to jerk them by their “short hairs” .

  • Effra

    Leave Saint Pancras alone. He was martyred by the Roman Empire: the victim of a previous attempt by a multinational racket to de-Christianise Europe (cf the ‘Constitution’, with its refusal to recognise the continent’s Christian heritage). St Augustine dedicated the first British church to Pancras. The boy-saint is the patron of all who fight against liars, which makes him a suitable symbol of British resistance to Euro-federasty. Unfortunately he is also the patron saint of treaties…

  • Until the French apologise for the Revolution and Napoleon,as did the Germans the Nazis,they are always going to be a scarred nation.

  • David Crawford

    After today’s debacle at the US Grand Prix, yes, let’s be as beastly to the French as is possible.

    Here you have one of the most well-known French companies, Michelin Tires, a multi-billion dollar operation, and they could not fufill one simple contractual obligation. That obligation was to manufacture a race-worthy tire for the USGP at Indianapolis. A simple little feature like a curve with 6-degree banking completely and utterly stymied them.

    Jeez, and the USA is supposed to fear competition from a continent of such incompetents. Hey, bring it on baby. I know who my money is on.

  • JEM

    Until the French apologise for the Revolution and Napoleon,as did the Germans the Nazis,they are always going to be a scarred nation.

    To be a little bit serious for a moment:

    The 20th Century was an anomaly in British relations with Europe. Our traditional enemy is France, our traditional ally is Germany—or in the past, more exactly Prussia. Just as an illustration, the British royal family is almost entirely German in origin–Victoria’s mother tongue was German, as that is what her mother spoke; she learned English later.

    However the over-riding principle of British foreign policy towards Europe for over 500 years has been to prevent the emergence of a single continental superpower that would inevitably dominate over these offshore islands of ours. That is why Elizabeth I was at war with the Hapsburgs in general and the Spanish Armada in particular; why there was a series of wars with France through the 18th Century culminating in the Napoleonic Wars and that proto-EU, the Continental System; and why the Kaiser’s foolhardy ambition to build a fleet to rival the Royal Navy made common cause with France a necessity at the time.

    It is also both why de Gaulle did not want Britain in the Common Market diluting French leadership there, and why for exactly the same reason Britain had to join. Only from inside the Common Market–or EU today–can Britain hope to divide and rule. Leave the EU and we become a minor bit-part player on the European stage; we would be relinquishing control over our future to others.

    Therefore we must stay in the EU and ‘turn’ it from within. The arrogant and ridiculous posturing of Chirac has exposed France for the over-hyped, highly-selfish and pretentious nation it is. This is half the battle. The other half is the detachment of Germany from the French camp, and we now have a reasonable hope that the general election there in September will deliver a new government that will think like us more than like France. If that happens, we face the alluring prospect of building, with our traditional and natural allies the Germans, a Europe that suits both our desires and needs and those of the vast majority of Europeans.

    If the French really feel unhappy about this, why they can always leave the EU. Come to think of it, an EU without France would solve a lot of problems…

  • JEM: An EU without the UK would be even better.

  • GCooper

    Andrew Ian Dodge has it right. JEM’s analysis is only superficially attractive because (as even the most determinedly blind Europhiles are now starting to see) the price of remaining a part of the Franco-German empire is a complete loss of freedom at a vast price.

    Better that we get out and watch as the whole mess collapses about their ears.

  • JEM

    JEM: An EU without the UK would be even better.

    …for the French, not the UK. We would be abandoning the principle objective of British foreign policy for half a millennium.

    Leaving the EU would quickly prove to be not a ‘reward’ but a ‘punishment’. The problem is not that we are in it, but that ’till now it has not behaved in a manner compatible with our needs and wishes. Now, for the first time, we have the prospect of an EU that does suit us.

    The answer is to stay in and (as it were) take control. This would be the worst possible moment to throw in the towel.

    Kick out the French; let them suffer, not us.

    Leaving would be extremely unpleasant, however it came about.

    There was a young lady from Niger,
    Who went for a ride on a tiger.
    They returned from the ride with the lady inside,
    And a smile on the face of the tiger.

  • Jacob

    The best line from the article on Mers-el-Kebir is this:

    Churchill noted to a colleague that the French at Oran finally fought “with all their vigour for the first time since the war broke out”. (against the British navy).

  • Verity

    MaDR – No. We haven’t suffered immeasurably from the French. To what were you referring? They’re French and irritating, that’s for sure, but suffering? The last time we actually suffered was at Hastings in 1066 and even then, it turned out to be a good deal for us as the Normans enriched our language by at least a quarter – maybe more; someone will know – and gave us some good laws. And a lot of single men who were made welcome by the local young ladies. That was in 1066. Since then they haven’t set foot in Britain, unless they paid for their ticket.

    “the name of a station that’s unrecognisable”? The entire point of their snit is that Waterloo is only too recognisable. That was the renowned battle in which the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon. At Waterloo. They are very familiar with the name.

    What do you think was the point of all the comments yesterday, Waterloo Day, the anniversary of that great battle – which we won.

  • HJHJ

    I make a comment here with some trepidation in case Veity makes another of her mendacious attempts at character assassination, but here goes.

    The battle of Hastings did not involve the French, it involved the Normans. The Normans were of scandinavian origin and effectively had an accommodation with the French throne, whereby they nominally respected it, provided the French throne left them well alone. Unusually for foreign invaders the Normans largely adopted the indigenous French language (although etymologists often refer to the language as Angle-Norman as it significantly differed from standard French). Nevertheless they were not French.

    Back to the subject of St. Pancras. perhaps the railway station should be renamed Mont St Jean, for this is where the battle of Waterloo actually took place. Wellington was in the habit of naming his battles after the place where he slept the night before the battle, so it would be appropriate if the splendid refurbished Midland Grand Hotel at St. Pancras were renamed the Waterloo hotel, so you could stay there the night before going to Mont St Jean station en route to Paris. This would be historically fitting.

    The French really should appreciate the name Waterloo, in any case. The battle led to the liberation of France from Napoleon, leading to a long period of European peace. The battle also involved a truly European coalition against Napoleon (most of Wellington’s troops at Waterloo weren’t British) – and we all know how fond the French are of European unity.

  • Verity

    HJHJ – You are right. I should have written Normans. (Or Vikings.) They had their own king. I was trying to make it uncomplicated for MaDr who was under the impression that we have suffered for “decades (centuries)” at the hands of the French and seemed to think the French wouldn’t know the name Waterloo. I pondered getting into the Scandinavian bit but rejected it.

    How does Bollo feel about this?

  • K.Z

    Thanks for all of these french-bashing posts. Coming from these little cunts of yankees and rosbifs, it’s such a delight.
    Thanks for the 1 300 innocents of Mers El kebir, another example of true “British Foreign Policy”. Meanness&Betrayal Rules !

    Thanks also for this brilliant demonstration of rosbif’s ignorance and illiteracy.They doesn’t ever know their own history! Go buy some Mers El Kebir’s stuff on Amazon, Monkeys!

    “Don’t ever trust anglo-saxon bastards.
    Always ready to stab your back.”

  • Old Jack Tar

    K.Z. thanks for confirming all the stereotypes of the French.

    If the French Admirals had not been collaborationists and had taken the very reasonable option to sail to FRENCH ports such as Martinique, 1300 Frenchmen would not have died. Blame Gensoul and Darlan, but of course that would require the sort of honest historical introspection that is rather a rarity in France. Soooo much easier to just blame the Brits.

  • Verity

    K.Z. The rosbifs always win. It must be infuriating.

  • How can we not beat up on French?

    Peugeot France Makes Suicide Cars.

    Link http://satire.myblogsite.com/

  • “Dont ever trust the Anglo Saxon bastards they are always ready to stab your back”

    K2 the French should try advancing then.

  • JEM

    The Germans have a song that has been silent for some time now but soon may come back into its own — “Siegreich wollen wir Frankreich schlagen” (“We will smash France”)

    Germany was the key at Waterloo; Germany is the key to Europe again now. There is something insufferable about the French, you know–not just to us Rosbifs.

  • K.Z

    >Old Jack Tar.
    Non-sense.God Bless Ignorance!!!
    The Third French Republic ended the 10 july 40. Mers El kebir was the 3 July. You can’t speak so easily of collaborationism.
    Les amiraux? but who fucked with them? In Alexandrie, the negociations between French and Brits were peaceful.
    In Mers El Kebir, the vice-admiral Gensoul was disarming the Atlantic Force. In Toulon, the Royale scuttled all the ships in front of “the Boches”, fucking germans. Frenchs officers were ready to negociate.But Sommerville was an authoritarian officer without any diplomatic talent. He was just ordering to surrender or die.He came to kill some French and He did it. Every English officers knew it was infaming to attack the former allied navy. And they attacked first.

    It’s just history.Take your responsability, stupid rosbif, learn history facts, and don’t blame innocents victims for all your treachery.

    Waterloo was a victory for England and a defeat for Corsica. Mers El Kebir nothing more than a slaughter.

    >Verity
    You’re right. The only one time England was invaded, it was by French!! Sucker!

  • Verity

    Peter! V good!

    KZ – Normans. (They’re taller than the French. No offence.)

  • K.Z

    >Verity.
    Are you trying to say, that English is not a mixed language of french, german and anthropophagist-Pictes-words for morons? Oh Fuck me! Why do you think Kings of England were servant of French King? Explain morons!

    – Normands vs French? What a pity, there is no such thing that this french blood. celtic, roman, frank,normands for sure. But not a drop of barbarous pictes or fucking saxon.
    Eat it.

  • On a tangent:

    The phrase “Let’s not be beastly to the X” rang a bell, but I couldn’t remember who the original X were, or what the context was. So I googled “let’s not be beastly”, and found that we must not be beastly to the

    Germans (the original X, from a Noel Coward song—though I had to dig to discover this)
    Daleks
    Moslems (from Samizdata)
    English (something cricket-related)
    terrorists
    “gipsies”
    Gerhard (Schroeder)
    “poor old Bush”
    Imams
    “the Hun”
    Austrians
    and so forth and so on.

    Just in passing, I note that “Let’s not be beastly to the Americans” and “Let’s not be beastly to the Yanks” yielded no google hits whatsoever.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    and don’t blame innocents victims for all your treachery.

    How amusing, being lectured by a Frenchman for treachery in WW2!

  • Verity

    Angie – that is because it is such a famous and funny song that British headline writers are always rewriting the title knowing that it will convey an immediate mood to the reader. Coward’s “The Stately Homes of England” also gets a lot of rewrites. I believe Quentin Crisp wrote a book called “The Stately Homos of England”.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Wow, KZ really does have an inferiority complex, eh?

  • Verity

    The Normands and French don’t have a drop of Anglo-Saxon blood? Ha ha ha! What about those 500,000 Brits who own property in France? Some of them are married to French people and have children with them!

  • Verity

    Probably a Coward title even more beloved of British subs because its use conveys so many layers of meaning, is “Mad Dogs And Englishmen”. Another one that’s right up there is “Don’t Put Your Daughter on The Stage, Mrs Worthington”.

  • Interestingly,it was the Romans who let the Germanic tribes settle in Gaul, the Germans liked it so much they have been going back there regularly ever since.

  • JEM

    K.Z. — “Why do you think Kings of England were servant of French King?” you ask.

    We don’t because they were not.

    Typically of the French, you’ve got your history the wrong way around. More than half of what is modern France belonged to English kings, and the French king ruled as a puppet of the English king for many years after 1066.

    I think Henry V’s speech before the Battle of Agincourt would be apposite here. This is perhaps the greatest speech in the English language. (As per W. Shakespeare, who work is I understand not well-known in France. He’s probably too cultured for Gallic tastes.)

    For the avoidance of French doubt, the English were seriously outnumbered, but won decisively anyway–as one would expect.

    If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
    God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
    We would not die in that man’s company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he’ll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

  • Verity

    Oh, gosh (wiping away the tears) … Thank you for posting that, JEM.

  • Julian Taylor

    Our traditional enemy is France, our traditional ally is Germany—or in the past, more exactly Prussia.

    Oh yuk. Yes I do dislike having the French as an ‘ally’ – I think Lord Raglan had it right in the Crimean War when he mistakenly said ‘we shall never beat the French at this rate’, but should have meant ‘we shall never beat the Russians at this rate’. But one country we have always disliked far more is Germany. Zero sense of humour (unless it involves men wearing ladies’s underwear underneath their lederhosen, which suddenly falls down in the middle of a funeral) and absolutely no sense of the absurd at all. Add to that the vast numbers of British lives expended over a ‘mistake’ (yeah, right) in dealing with that awful country Also add to that various ranges of automobile where the seats feel like you are either sitting on the floor of the car or on a steel park bench, and that dreadful country’s obession with destroying British and American famous car marques (haha now VE own zer Rolls Royce und zer Bentley!).

    Our closest allies are still the USA and the other English speaking countries of the world. I say sod the Europeans, sod the French and by God sod the Germans and their 1001 uses for a dead pig.

    Speaking as a previous BMW owner of course … :)

  • Yes those wonderful German allies who started to World Wars and have been doing all they can to undermine American foreign policy where ever they can. Have been reading the press in Germany recently? Very friendly…

  • Julian Taylor

    … the Germans liked it so much they have been going back there regularly ever since.

    Haha Peter. Mr Pearce once said that, “Belgium has been, is and probably will always be the Little Chef stopover of the Wehrmacht, en route to Paris”. The other famous joke that comes to mind is, “Why do the French have trees on their avenues? So that the Wehrmacht can march in the shade”.

  • Pete_London

    K.Z

    He was just ordering to surrender or die.He came to kill some French and He did it.

    Sorry, old habits are hard to break.

  • Nick Timms

    I thought our traditional allies were the Portugese. I never thought the Germans were our allies and Germany, like Italy, is a fairly recent idea anyway. The Prussians did save our bacon at Waterloo of course.

  • Rob Read

    Pete_London,

    I don’t think you are really sorry.

    During WW2 it makes much more sense to treat the french as AXIS members.

  • GCooper

    Rob Read writes:

    “During WW2 it makes much more sense to treat the french as AXIS members.”

    Or, for that matter since WWII.

  • K.Z., your analysis of Somerville is flawed. Somerville did not want to fire on the French fleet at all; in fact, he spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince London that the action was ill-advised. The deadline of 5:55 pm came as a direct order from the Admiralty, not from Somerville himself. The French admiral Gensoul did not want to fight either, but as an officer and a patriot he had to obey the orders of his government. In the end, what happened was that both sides had maneuvered themselves into a position where there was no honorable way out. If there is a fault here, it is Churchill’s; he insisted on the French Navy either scuttling or sailing to the United States and he wanted an immediate answer. Churchill’s demands for instant action was what doomed the fleet at Oran, not Somerville.

  • Verity

    G Cooper – Quite.

  • JEM

    JT: But one country we have always disliked far more is Germany.

    I see your ignorance of history is profound indeed. Prussia had been our principle and most consistent and reliable European ally for centuries. Hannover was under the British Crown for well over a century. Long before the unification of Germany under Prussia in 1871, numerous other smaller German states were British allies or clients. We had a sort of proto-NATO there in the 18th Century, specifically to contain France.

    Dislike of Germany dates quite precicely from the propaganda campaign to persuade the British people that Germany had behaved so badly towards ‘plucky little Belgium’ in 1914 that Britons had to suppress their traditional inclination and instincts, to join in on the French side. In fact the real reason was preservation of the balance of power in Europe (I discused this earlier) and although some Germans did some bad things in Belgium, it was nothing worse than what everyone else, including the Belgians and the French, were also doing.

    The reason for such an over-the-top campaign was precisely because the traditional British reguard for the people they regularly called their ‘German cousins’ and dislike of the untrustworthy French had to be overcome rapidly. Effectively, the real ‘German-as-enemy-instead-of-France’ period only lasted for about a third of a century, from 1914.

    And until you can figure out how to get the British Isles to slip their moorings and move out to mid Atlantic, we cannot just ‘sod the Europeans’ as keeping Europe on-side is the single most important strategic goal of any British government, whatever they might think they would like to do before getting into power. There is a word–it happens to be German–to describe ths bleak fact: Realpolitik.

    To ‘manage’ Europe we need to be inside the EU and we need allies. France has never been reliable. Despite Schröder’s stupid dalliance with Chirac against US Iraqi policy (and his days are clearly numbered) Germany has in fact been a consistent ally of the UK & US for decades, which is more than you can say of France.

    Now here we are on the brink of wrestling leadersip away from France and in our direction at last, and you would have us snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Get real!

    The famous reputed lack of a German sense of humour is soon exposed as utter rubbish if you speak German and live and work among them of course–although they are a serious people. Oddly, I can say from the experience of living and working in both Germany and the United States in my time, that one of the commonly disregarded realities is that Germans and Americans are in many ways very similar. I do believe Americans tend, if anything, to be closer in thinking to Germans than they are to Brits. The reason for the similarity is not hard to find: there is at least as large a German component in the American immigrant makeup as British. And if the Americans did not happen to speak English (there is a persistant story that German was considered instead of English as the national language during the 19th Century) we might realise that they are not really so similar to the British as all that.

    This should not be interpreted to imply that I do not value or appreciate our American Allies.

  • Ah “Plucky Little Belguim” lovely place,wonderful tank country.

  • GCooper

    JEM writes:

    “The reason for the similarity is not hard to find: there is at least as large a German component in the American immigrant makeup as British.”

    The last time I bothered to consult the CIA world fact book (not always a reliable guide, it has to be said) I seem to recall the percentage was skewed in Germany’s favour.

    Indeed, my own experience with the USA suggests this is quite accurately reflected, though it depends where (geographically speaking) in the US you are. The glorious South for example, tends to feel far more like home to me, as a Brit.

    For all that, your analysis of the EU is still fatally flawed. There isn’t a scrap of evidence that Germany is a proponent of free trade – nor that it has ever been. Even in the 18th Century one of the prime forces driving Germans to the USA was collectivism (the guild system). German states, and later Germany itself, have hardly been engines of free market policies.

    Your dream of wresting control of the EU from the Franco-German elites, is just that – a dream. You won’t drive a wedge between those two, and there isn’t even a glimmer on the horizon suggesting that Germans are less collectivist than the French. In some respects, it could be argued that they are even more so. Germany, after all, is a major force in the tranzi “Green” world.

    Your historical argument, which seems to be that Germany is England’s traditional ally, stumbles and falls on the evidence. Germany (as Ralf Goergens of this parish has recently bemoaned) is an engine for stagnation – far from a potential free trade ally.

    As I have said before, we should be like the cat: out – now. Leave them to stew in their own juices, while we continue to trade with the world.

  • Verity

    As always, I support G Cooper’s cat analogy. Once a cat senses danger, it does not sit around considering. It looks round for an exit and is out in the blink of an eye. Gone. Safe. Still the master of its fate.

  • Tony Balir will end his presidency a sadder if not wiser man,France and Germany with the aid of Brussels will simply stitch him up just like the IRA did.
    He will be announcing triumphs for the six months,at the end the waters will close over his term of office as if he had never been.

  • Verity

    Peter, careful what you believe …

    Did you read Melanie Phillips on what Blair’s plan is? (Link)

    He intends further multi-culti, anti-family, anti-society authoritarian theft of British freedoms. She was talking to a patron’s society and this is breathtaking in its starkness. Blair is no friend of Britain.

  • Luniversal

    ‘Germany’, like ‘Italy’, is an artificial entity dating only from the mid-19th century. Once Britain has dismantled the EU, we should continue our traditional divide-and-maintain-balance policy vis a vis the offshore landmass by facilitating the unpicking of these historically dangerous, neurotically aggressive amalgams. If Yugoslavia and Czecho-Slovakia and the USSR can be dismembered, so can the nasty neo-nations of Bismarck and Garibaldi. Bring back the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Savoy and Naples, the city states of the Hanseatic League and so forth. Small is beautiful, and safer.

  • Verity,
    Oh,he will try to screw up Britain,but he will get no change out of Europe,I’m afraid his legacy is going to be “What?”

  • Verity

    Peter, having outgrown Churchill and Maggie, he is now posing as St George. But he means Britain harm. He should not be dismissed too lightly, because his Gramscian programmes of social maladjustment and everyone dependent on the state have worked very well over the past seven years.

  • Verity,
    Baloney is already cutting a deal with Brussels to reduce or give up the rebate,he thinks he is out manoeuvring Chirac.My bet is that the rebate will be gone and the CAP will still be with us.
    I share your concern but politicians don’t really have as much effect on people as they would like to think.What is happening in response to the Blair terror is people are disengaging from our institutions and treading an alternate path.This is Blair we are talking about he only ever got one thing right.
    BTW,The link doesn’t work.

  • Verity

    Peter – I take your points, but I believe he is more threatening than you think. Look what he has done to Britain already. The curtailments of ancient liberties, laying about him with a wrecking ball to the pillars of the constitution. ABSOs, with magistrates making up laws on the hoof without bothering parliament. Birth control pills for 10-yr olds. (Why not, as long as they are making “a mature decision”?) Blair’s a fanatic, although I must confess he camouflages himself quite well.

    I’m sorry about the Melanie link, but the address is: melaniephillips.com and the piece you want to read is at the top, Talk to Patron’s Society. It is a mind-blower.

  • JEM

    A few general points:

    1 To say Germany is historically anti-free trade is to fly so blatently in the face of the facts as to be laughable. Indeed the entirely-German medaeval Haseatic League was the very entity that started up free trade in the moderm sense. The next major step towards European free trade was also German, the Zollverein (see next)

    2 One of the principle forces causing Germans to emigrate to America was not the guild system (which was for long more powerful in Britain than Germany anyway) but the damage done to German prosperity generally by the lack of a proper united German economic space until the arrival of the Zollverein (Customs Union) in 1834–the highly successful step towards German unification that was the model for the Common Market over a century later. BTW, the Zollverein had acquired a constitution, a Zollbundesrat (a federal council of representatives of the several individual German states) and a directly elected Zollparliament by 1867. Now, does any of that sound familiar?

    3 The traditional way in which French governments raised revenue was to divide the country up into counties (later, departéments) and impose internal customs duties on all goods transported between these regions. There was a particularly high tarrif on goods (including food) brought into Paris. This exceptionally regressive and counterproductive arrangement did more to hold back the French economy than any single other factor. So much so that France, the former leading economic and military power in Europe, had been overtaken by Britain by 1800 and Germany by 1870 and France was rapidly becoming a second or third rate ecomonic power.

    4 Yes, Germany has been ‘an engine for stagnation’ of late. But not so much as France. And unlike France, there are both ways for Germany to change itself and evidence that it is going to change soon. We can work with Germany to help them abandon the bankrupt French model and change back to the traditional free-trade path that has always been so successful for them. Succeed here, and we have isolated France. And won.

    5 And no, Luniversal, small is not beautiful, or safer. It is deadly in this context. leaving aside the fact that it is not in our gift to destroy the EU (only to destroy ourselves in trying) a Europe taken back to its constituent parts would not just be a guaranteed way to continent-wide (including the UK*) economic ruin on a scale not yet imagined, but having thought we had got rid of the danger of general European war for ever, it would be back with a vengence. It’s difficult to imagine a more stupid idea.

    6 *Logically, if Luniversal were right, the UK should be broken up as well. Not just into England, Scotland, Wales & N Ireland, but also Cornwall, Yorkshire, East Anglia, Orkney, Shetland, Fife, etc., etc. And we thought the Civil War ended 350 years ago…

    7 As I keep pointing out, the problem is not that there is an EU and we are in it, but that it does not go our way. If it went our way, why would we ever want to leave it? And now, here we are on the brink of achieving just that, but the knee-jerkers haven’t yet noticed that all the rules have changed. Getting out always was simply a policy of dispair, based on a belief that we could not change things. Well, now there is an excellent prospect that we can change things–and you STILL want to leave?

    8 Perhaps we will not succeed in changing the EU; then perhaps we should consider our position again. But right now, leaving would be a lunatic thing to do.

  • guy herbert

    As I keep pointing out, the problem is not that there is an EU and we are in it,

    Whether or not there’s an EU, being in it is a problem. If you believe in liberty, the more distant and out of control government is the worse. Hence supra-national institutions present abouit the worst possible threat to liberty. Some sort of state is a necessary evil; clubs and cartels of states are undesirable and rarely necessary; ueber-states wholly evil.

    Though many Samizdata visitors reserve their greatest hatred for UN institutions, by my reckoning being in the EU is much worse than being in the UN.

  • Julian Taylor

    As I keep pointing out, the problem is not that there is an EU and we are in it, but that it does not go our way. If it went our way, why would we ever want to leave it? And now, here we are on the brink of achieving just that, but the knee-jerkers haven’t yet noticed that all the rules have changed. Getting out always was simply a policy of dispair, based on a belief that we could not change things. Well, now there is an excellent prospect that we can change things–and you STILL want to leave?

    As for a ‘policy of despair’ the answer is quite simply that the UK shouldn’t have been in the EU at all in the first place. Even Edward Heath now recognises the error of his judgement, that something he envisaged as a way to compete with the rest of the world, via a united European trading bloc, has been degraded into a centralised and unaccountable (both financially and bureaucratically) quagmire, with the abhorrent intent of the destruction of the individuality of the nation states that comprise its members. As for ‘going our way’ the EU has only ‘gone our way’ once, and only then when Margaret Thatcher was forced to handbag the EU in order to get a few of our billions back.

    On the other point you are quite correct, we want out because we pretty much know the direction that the EU is headed in and we are pretty much aware that we can not change things. Having rattled his toy mug once on the bars of the EU playpen Tony Blair is not about to attack the French yet again, especially given his recent attack on the one thing close to all French farmers’ hearts – the CAP – so I seriously doubt that he would attempt any further featherruffling in either Paris or Brussels.

  • JEM

    …being in it is a problem

    Not being in would be a far worse problem. We would be handing over our fate lock stock and barrel to those who remain. It would be like abandoning a thousand years of actual independence for the appearence of independence but actually the very opposite — and just at the very moment when we might be able to get the EU working the way we want.

    Inside we have a chance to influence events, outside we become a satellite state of no consequence, and an irrelevance not only to Europe but also in American eyes–who consider us important only because we are a sort of bridge between America and Europe. Leave and the bridge has gone.

    Let the scales fall from your eyes. We cannot leave because there is nowhere else for us to go. And leaving now just as things look likely to go our way would be just plain daft.

    …we want out because we pretty much know the direction that the EU is headed in and we are pretty much aware that we can not change things

    That’s right, give up just as thing begin to turn our way.

    We do NOT know the direction the EU is heading in any more–it’s all up for grabs, in case you haven’t noticed– and we are NOT aware that we cannot change things until we have at least tried. What a pathetic and stupid policy of dispair you advocate.

  • JEM

    If you believe in liberty, the more distant and out of control government is the worse.

    Have you passed on this gem of wisdom to our American friends yet, as clearly if you’re right this so-called “United States” idea of theirs is not going to work out.

  • If you think those Germans are our allies and pro-American take a gander at David’s site.

  • APL

    JEM: ” It would be like abandoning a thousand years of actual independence for the appearence of independence but actually the very opposite.”

    No, It would be like abandoning three decades of pseudo independence and lies for actual independence.

    Why don’t you throw one or other of the Europhilic exhortations? You know the ones, “We might miss the boat,.” or “The train will leave the station without us..” or “We must be at the centre of Europe…”.

    JEM: “That’s right, give up just as thing begin to turn our way. ….. What a pathetic and stupid policy of dispair you advocate.”

    Here is the thing. On the one hand we have thirty or so years of actual experience. Everyone over 40 KNOWS what effect the EU has had on the UK.

    On the other hand, JEM, urges us to wait for more jam tomorrow.

    Bitter experience verses more propaganda and promises?

    Difficult decision.

  • The EU costs us money at the very least !2 billion a year probably with compliance costs and othere hidden costs more.
    Europe sell more to us than we do to them, also the Rotterdam effect has to be taken into account.

    Britain is deliberately made the destination of all those immigrants that Europe does not want.

    We have regulations thrust upon us which we neither nor suit or circumstances.

    There will eventually be majority voting,which will in effect mean that we never have a say in important matters concerning our nation.How do I know,they will bribe the poorer countrties with our money to vote agains us.

    Many regulations have be forced upon us because they are already in existance in another EU country.This is a wonderful way to destroy domestic businesses in favour of those in Europe,Anyone examinig droit du suite for example, will realise that whilst it had no effect on Germany,it will be devastating for the British Fine art market.Britains world leadership in this will go abroad.
    There are many more examples of how wonderful the EU is for Britain.
    We would be better getting out and declaring ourselves a tax haven and free trade zone.with low costs for foreign business.
    It might put house prices up with all those German industrialists and French arms dealers but it would be worth it.

  • JEM

    If you think those Germans are our allies and pro-American take a gander at David’s site.

    If I had the time and inclination I’m quite certain I could concoct a similar farrago of nonsense about anti-American bias in British media… or even in American media!

    This ‘Mediankritik’ site is not to be taken seriously. If you do, more fool you.

  • JEM

    Everyone over 40 KNOWS what effect the EU has had on the UK.

    No they don’t. They only think they do, fed on a daily diet of lies and half-truths from the likes of the Daily Mail and the Sun.

    I am not a europhilic nor yet a euroscetic; I am a eurorealist. You should try it sometime. It involves puting away your prejudices and looking at the objective facts. I don’t suppose you’ve ever tried that yet.

  • JEM

    As for Peter’s most recent rant (incoherence level Grade 1) I suggest he would find a natural home in the British National Party–if he’s not there already.

  • Verity

    JEM – Even the fact that you see a necessity to proclaim yourself a “eurorealist” speaks volumes. Were there no artificial EU construct, there would be no necessity to be a eurorealist, a eurosceptic, fret about being “at the heart of Europe” or “the euro train starting without us” or any other silly thought which springs from this overlay of a vast, anonymous government by powerful, anonymous eurocrats.

    There is absolutely no reason for us to be in this artificial and unworkable machine. They won’t stop selling to us if we go…. if we control our own borders, as we have done for thousands of years, choosing who we want to live among us (we are British, not multiculti), choosing our own trading terms strictly to suit ourselves, making treaties with whoever the hell we feel like making treaties and accords with, etc etc etc.

    We can still own houses on the continent (they need British money), we can still send children over for the summer to learn French or whatever, we can still import cheese and wine; we can to go war with whomever we think needs a lesson in civility without permission of a bunch of effete frogs, we can make our friends wherever we find them, even the crude, overbearing, ignorant and wicked United States – our cousins; and we can get back to nurturing our ties with the Commonwealth, to whom we owe a duty that we do not owe to the Europeans.

    The sooner we get out, the sooner a vast surge of prosperity will overtake Britain. This totally weird experience, of countries willingly giving up control over their own laws and their own exchequers and their own borders will be viewed with wonder by future students.

  • Pete_London

    JEM

    As for Peter’s most recent rant (incoherence level Grade 1) I suggest he would find a natural home in the British National Party–if he’s not there already.

    Well there you go, what a truly idiot response. Thank you and goodnight.

  • APL

    JEM: “No they don’t. They only think they do, fed on a daily diet of lies and half-truths from the likes of the Daily Mail and the Sun.”

    ‘s funny. I know I have been fed on a daily diet of lies and half truths from the likes of Hesltetine, Clarke, Goon, Blair, Heath, Mandleson – in no particular order and by no means an exaustive list. I don’t need my lies cooked up second hand by the Mail or the Sun. I can get them directly from the horses mouth.

    But If I wanted second hand lies, I might go either to the Guardian, the Independent or perhaps the Financial Times. All three raving Europhilliac newspapers.

    The dire political condition of the UK today stems DIRECTLY from the central lie at the heart of our membership of the EU. “No essential loss of national sovereignty”.

    They have got away with telling one big WHOPPER, all the rest follows naturally.

    JEM: “I am not a europhilic nor yet a euroscetic;”

    Methinks you doth protest too much.

    JEM: ” am a eurorealist. You should try it sometime.”

    No, But good try. I am a eurorealist, which is why I hold the opinions on the EU that I do.

    What we seem to have here is the Marxist tactic, take your enemies words and twist them to your own meanings. Thus a Eurofanatic becomes a Eurorealist.

    The more I hear from you on the subject of the EU, the more I recognise Orwellian double speak,

    JEM: “It involves puting away your prejudices..”

    Why would any sensible person who has spent the best part of his/her life grounding his prejudices on fact, dismiss them for self evident untruths?

    JEM: “…and looking at the objective facts. I don’t suppose you’ve ever tried that yet.”

    Funny, I have rather the same opinion about your opinions of the EU.

  • pommygranate

    Criticising and moaning is the preserve of socialists, teenagers and eurosceptics.

    JEM makes some very valid points. We have a unique opportunity to positively influence the future direction of the EU.

    Verity and crew – the EU just isnt going away. Implosion will be even worse. In a perfect world, the EU wouldnt exist. But it does.

    Our only option is to attempt to change course from the present bureaucratic, unaccountable nightmare.

    France’s socialist model is not popular with the new members. That the UK’s recent economic success is directly attributable to Thatcherite, free market policies is not lost on Europeans.

    The onus is on the eurohaters to articulate a better solution. None have been offered so far.

  • This ‘Mediankritik’ site is not to be taken seriously. If you do, more fool you.

    Funny you should say that because other media seem to take him seriously…all over the world. Don’t you think saying anyone that reads that blog is a fool a bit simplistic? Or is it just that it might be spot on but you don’t care to face facts and prefer to attact those pointing out those facts?

  • Verity

    No, Pommygranate – Hitler was also a reality. The excellent German war machine was a reality. So bloody what? You want to compromise.

    There is no compromising with the theft of liberty.

  • pommygranate

    Verity

    What are the chain of events that would happen if we pull out of the EU?

    A British exit would leave behind scars that would take a generation to heal. The core of “old Europe” would do everything in its power to make us regret our decision. New laws would be enacted to impose trade tarriffs on those countries outside the EU.

    Meanwhile, Europe would descend into an over- regulated, statist hell which would further depress economic growth and push countries such as Italy, Holland and Portugal into a deep recession. This would cause further economic migration in to the UK, not only of non-Europeans (why would a migrant seek out a country with an unemployment rate of 15%?) but also of fellow EU citizens unable to find work in their home countries.

    Turkey would be politely told where to go, accentuating an already volatile Christian/Moslem split.

    Britain would be isolated diplomatically and lose influence with the US.

    Shouldnt we at least try and make it work?

  • Julian Taylor

    Britain would be isolated diplomatically and lose influence with the US.

    How? How would the world’s 4th largest economic trading country lose influence with the United States, because we are no longer affiliated with, or indeed afflicted by, France or the Germans? Would BAe Systems no longer be the USA’s top defence contractor? Would BP no longer be one of the USA’s top gas retailers and oil producers? Would Americans stop buying Burger King burgers, simply because its a British company?

    I don’t think so.

    If anything I should think that the USA would be far more receptive to a British economy free of the burden of Napoleurocratic red tape and oneway controls than it is at the moment.

  • Verity

    Pommygranate: A British exit would leave behind scars that would take a generation to heal.

    So? It took four or so generations to set in place.

    “Europe would descend into an over-regulated, statist hell”. So?

    “This would cause further economic migration into the UK.” Again – so? Just because they come doesn’t mean they get in. Send ‘em back. It’s their fate. Let them deal with it.

    “Turkey would be politely told where to go, accentuating an already volatile Christian/Moslem split.” So? We should commit suicide so the Turks won’t be offended? Who gives a shit? Britain’s going to commit economic and social suicide so we don’t offend the Turks? I – think – not.

    “Britain would be isolated diplomatically” (oh, I thought we were already “isolated in Europe”). So? First, it’s not true; millions of N Europeans would follow us. Second, so what? It’s a big world out there. Why would we want to be currying favour with a bunch of socialist losers?

    “Lose influence with the US”. Let me explain the facts of life to you, Pommygranate, because you appear to be very young. Britain has no influence with the US. None. We are friends, but the US goes its own way and does what’s best – quite rightly – for the US. Please name one single tiny policy on which we have influenced the US to change its mind. I’m waiting….. Yeah, I thought so.

    As long as the US knows we are still committed to fighting Islamic terrorism, which will be much easier once we’re free of the Stalinesque constraints of the European courts, we will still be pals. Trust me.

  • JEM,
    Eurorealist is an oxymoron you are simply the last part of the word.
    Not a Europhile?What would you be like if you were being paid to write this rubbish?

    Keep quoting your briefing.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    The core of “old Europe” would do everything in its power to make us regret our decision. New laws would be enacted to impose trade tarriffs on those countries outside the EU.

    Oh, come on. International relations are not analagous to a tit-for-tat slapfest. If Britain left the EU, I’m absolutely sure the commercial elements within the EU countries that make a pretty penny out of trading with the UK would make damn sure their livelihoods weren’t threatened. Continental Europe couldn’t afford to quarantine the UK, in the same way the UK couldn’t afford to quarantine continental Europe. That’s the bottom line. Subtract the European Union from the equation, and it still remains the same.

  • Verity

    JEM – Your ignorance of the United States passeth all understanding, which is worrying, because it means you are formulating and propagating opinions based on serious misapprehensions.

    The federal government is in DC. Every one of the 50 states has a state capital and what we call a “governor” (who is elected). The governor is the chief executive of the state, and in any American state has more executive power, it will clearly stagger you to learn, than does Tony Blair or any other EU prime minister.

    American states have the power to raise taxes. Some – in fact, most, have a state income tax. Did you know that? Some have capital punishment. Some not only allow people to arm themselves for self-protection, but in some, like Texas, people are even allowed to walk around “carrying concealed”. These and other critical decisions about how you life your life are all made right round the corner, in your state capital. Not in DC. In New York, they’re made by state senators and representatives in Albany. Never heard of it? It’s a very powerful city. In Texas, the state capital is Austin. Never heard of it? If you ever travel to Texas, these guys have the power of life and death over you. In Louisiana, you’ve probably heard of New Orleans. But the power resides in Baton Rouge.

    This is why the United States works and the EU cannot. Ever. Except by coercion. Capice?

  • Forget about reforming the EU,let’s just go to the bottom line.Europe is in decline and heading for extinction.The Demographics show clearly that Eurpoean countries are not replacing their populations.There will not be enough workers to support the giant ponzi scheme of welfare and pensions.
    This century will see China and India leave Europe behind,Europe is the past,Btitain needs to align with the nations of the future instead of being a member of what is an insular protectionist cartel.
    Much is made of the size of the European market ignoring the vast world market which is the future.
    Little Europeans indeed.

  • Verity

    Peter – We’ve all been saying – including you – that India and China will become powerful very fast. India, specifically, because not only does it have a large, well-disciplined and powerful military, but it is a democracy (it’s been a democracy longer than any European country save the Scandinavians; think about it), it has a vigorous educational system and it is turning into a commercial and medical firehouse. It’s dynamic and ambitious. Compare with the old slags in the EU. France? Dynamic? Greece? Dynamic? Belgium? Dynamic?

    Blair, in his lying way, has yet to enunciate, even with reams of lies, why on earth Britain would want to put on a pair of concrete overshoes and join Europe in its plunge into chaos.

  • Verity,
    Blair and the Eurodwarves are trying to sell us tickets for the Titanic.
    It is puzzling how one canshare sovereignty, a bit like sharing ones virginity.

  • JEM

    Verity — Your ignorance of the European Union passeth all understanding,

    The European Commission is in Brussels. It is not federal nor even a government. Every one of the EU 25 nations has a national capital and what we call a “government” (which is elected). The government governs the nation, and any European nation has vastly more executive power, incuding the power of peace or war, it will clearly stagger you to learn, than does any US state or any US state governor.

    European nations have the power to raise taxes. The Commission in Brussels has no power whatever to raise taxes. All EU income comes from an agreed 1% tranch of the value added tax raised by each national government. All nations have a national income tax, but of course (see earlier) there is not and cannot be a European income tax. Did you know that? None have capital punishment. In most nations people are not allowed to walk around carrying concealed firearms–and quite right too–but if a member nation wanted to emulate one of the most ridiculous US customs and permit this, it would be entirely free to do so. These and other critical decisions about how you live your life are all made right round the corner, in your national capital. Not in Brussels. In Britain, they’re made by members of parliament in London. Never heard of it? It’s a very powerful city. In France, the national capital is Paris. Never heard of it? If you ever travel to France, these guys have the power of life and death over you. In the Netherlands, you’ve probably heard of Amsterdam. But the power resides in The Hague.

    As Guy Herbert put it, “If you believe in liberty, the more distant and out of control government is the worse.”

    This is why if the EU cannot work, the United States is a total impossibility.

    I would never pretend the EU is perfect; of course it’s far from that. But the same it true in spades of the United States.

    [BTW, I'm perfectly familiar with how the government of the United States works, thank you very much; clearly more than could be said for your knowledge of how the the EU functions.]

  • JEM

    Eurorealist is an oxymoron…

    I see you don’t know the meaning of the word, Peter.

    And it’s good to see you’re still at Grade 1 incoherence level.

  • Verity

    JEM – Why are all europhiles Americaphobes? One wonders what makes them so defensive and chippy. All Americans aren’t europhobes, after all.

    BTW, European countries’ ability to raise their own taxes is being phased out under the grand-sounding name “harmonisation”. So even now, save the UK, euoslaves do not have the power to raise their own taxes, as American states do. Nor do they have the power to bring back the death penalty, as American states (who abandoned it and wished they hadn’t) do. Nor do they have the power to halt immigration.

    The comparison between a free country like the United States and a slavery like the EU is fatuous. Americans can vote for anything they damn’ please. EUslaves can only vote for what their government allows them to vote on. All other decisions go to the Faceless Ones in the anonymous carpeted corridors of power in an anonymous building Somewhere in Brussels.

    Patrick Henry never cried, “Give me liberty or give me a directive!”

  • guy herbert

    JEM: This is why if the EU cannot work, the United States is a total impossibility.

    But I never suggested the EU cannot work. It clearly does. (And do I know something about it, though life is too short to memorise all the directorates and other subsidiary bodies and what they are supposed to do.)

    What I do suggest is that it is a bad system of Government, under which I do not wish to live. Elsewhere you may see me suggest that I believe it is a better prospect than unrestrained Blairocracy, and this is true too. Better need not imply good.

    Nor does my disapproval of the EUber-state mean I am an unreserved fan of the US polity. Though I can see distinct advantages in a federal republic, and it does in practice have a lot more constraint on its government domestically, those are somewhat academic topics to an Englishman.

    It seems to me I don’t have much standing to try to alter US domestic policy, even though I may morally object to it, comment on it and try and persuade the yanks to do better. I may object and seek directly to alter, or try to escape US foreign policy and extraterritoriality because I am subject to it. I may object to and seek directly to alter, or try to escape, EU domestic policy because I am subject to it.

  • Anyone who proclaims the wonders of the EU should at least examine the original intention of its founders.
    Reading Jen Monnets blueprint for Europe makes it quite clear that it was never meant to be,an is not a democracy,it was intended to be a benign oligarchy

    If one wants to live in a Bureaucracy in the literal sense,fine,but don’t try and pretend that giving up freedom and the accountability of ones rulers is progress.
    This project was conceived by 19th century men for an early 20th century problem and ia being applied in the 21st century.
    It is all so Soviet Union.

  • Verity

    It is totally totalitarian and Soviet Unionesque. And the EUSSR apparachiks are trying to sell this as a system which works and is benign. This is how stupid they think the voters are . And they are absolutely correct. A vote for Blair is a vote for servitude.

    And, to use a hackneyed old phrase, to all those turkeys voting for Xmas, I included myself out some time ago. And all the sophistries in the world, and all the intelligent thought in the world, ared not going to stop this jaganath – because that is how they planned it to be. You’re not going to win a war of words.

  • JEM,
    I see your English isn’t very good,but then that is obvious from the infantile neologism “Eurorealist”
    Are you realistic about a currency?
    An abreviation of a name?
    What? We should be told.
    I get the impression that the European Union isn’t costing you anything,in fact you might even be a beneficiary.
    Your insults are somewhat below par as well,do buck up

  • JEM

    JEM – Why are all europhiles Americaphobes?

    I wouldn’t know. I’m neither.

    BTW, European countries’ ability to raise their own taxes is being phased out under the grand-sounding name “harmonisation”.

    Total and utter crap. Stick to what you know, which is not this.

    One: the UK is no exception on this.

    Two: EU member nations can and do raise their own taxes exactly as they wish. There are NO “EU” taxes of any sort whatsover. On that basis and in your own chosen terms, the word ‘slave’ apples more to Americans than Europeans. Not that ‘slave ‘ is appropriate in either case actually.

    Three: EU nations DO have the power to bring back the death penalty if they so wish. It just so happens they don’t so wish.

    Four: They can take any power they wish to halt immigration from outside the EU. And they do.

    Your comparison between the US and the EU is not just fatuous but laughable. I would not have believed anyone could be so uttery and completely ignorant about the true situation

    Americans can vote for anything they damn’ please–just like Europeans.

    You really do spout the most ridiculous and ignorant rubbish about something you clearly know less than nothing about.

    Did you make this nonsense up, or did someone else feed you a pack of lies?

    I rather resent being forced by your drivel to appear to be a fan of the EU, when all I’m trying to do is get back to reality from your peurile dreamworld.

  • JEM

    You’re not going to win a war of words.

    I just did. What you have to say on the EU is so comprehensively wrong on the facts alone it beggars belief.

    If I were you, I’d consider sticking to a topic you actually know something about; this is clearly not it.

  • JEM

    Your insults are somewhat below par as well,do buck up

    I’m not insulting you, Peter, when I tell you your posts are incoherent drivel; that’s just a fact.

  • JEM

    Memo to Verity

    When one’s objections to the EU are based on a serious of ‘facts’ that are a clearly demostratable farrago of nonsense, it is probably time to do one of two things:

    — Give up and go away before you become more of a laughing stock than you already are.

    — Or go away and find out the real facts and come back, aplogise for your gross errors, and continue the debate.

    Mind you, once you establish the facts, your position might just possibly change but that’s up to you.

  • JEM,
    Those who regard themselves as infallible as do you have a serious psychiatric condition.
    You see Jim you can’t just assert that you are right an then expect those you babble at to to accept the veracity of your words merely because you state that what you say is so.

    So far you have not indicated that you know anything about anything,I understand that you mangle your words in your pious zeal to worship at the feet of the EU,but stop getting so excited,you sound manic.

    As to incoherence,I can see it is a big word that spellchecker has passed for you but , because I think you are challenged in this department I can forgive your confusion and turgid repetition

    You see here nobody cares what YOU think,we are merely doing missionary work..

    Just a little homework for you,If a nation cannot control its interest rates how can it control its economy?

  • JEM

    Just a little homework for you, If a nation cannot control its interest rates how can it control its economy?

    Taxes.

    Next question?

    On second thoughts, don’t bother.

  • JEM,
    So you know nothing about economics either? I suggest you pop over to Italy and tell them that,I sure they would be grateful for your expertise.
    What is your advice to Italy raise taxes lower taxes or go sailing?

  • Verity

    Peter keeps up the valiant fight, but, Peter, once someone with wild eyes and their hair on fire runs into the room shrieking, it’s a losing battle to try to answer them. They will just keep barking and growling at you.

  • Verity,
    It amuses me.

  • JEM

    … once someone with wild eyes and their hair on fire runs into the room shrieking, it’s a losing battle to try to answer them. They will just keep barking and growling at you.

    What an accurate description of yourself, Verity. And Peter too of course.

    But I weary of your infantile nonsense. Indeed it’s a waste of time to fight invincible ignorance of your sort. Go and find out the truth. That, not the fairy tales you have been posting, will set you free.

    And don’t take my word for any of it; it’s all there for you to find out on the Web–if you are brave and honest enough with yourself to be prepared to discover how utterly wrong you have got virtually every last fact on the EU.

    Meanwhile, goodbye.

  • You Know verity,
    JEM reminds me so much of poor dear HJHJ,I get nostalgic.I do so want these people to be happy.

  • HJHJ

    Peter,

    The problem with the likes of you and Verity is that all you have are positions, not coherent arguments. When someone disagrees you seek (rather laughably) to patronise them as though, implausibly, you have some superior intelligence. If this fails you get really personal, even accusing them of a serious psychiatric condition. I sometimes wonder whether you are the same person as Verity as your email address is not real (which would be a delicious irony given that you and Verity specialise in claiming, untruthfully, other posters are one and the same person).

    I do not agree with much of what JEM says, but your absolutist position demonstrates that you have no insight into a different view or any wish to explore it. Never conceding that a different point of view has any validity, even in part, is not a sign of maturity.

    BTW, I rather enjoyed Verity’s self description “once someone with wild eyes and their hair on fire runs into the room shrieking, it’s a losing battle to try to answer them. They will just keep barking and growling at you.”
    Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • JEM

    Thank you HJHJ.

    It had occured to me that Peter & Verity’s statements were so absurd that this was some sort of windup, but then I though, would that be likely if it makes the winders-up out to be blithering idiots?

    However it had not occurred to me that Peter & Verity might be the same person, but that would make sense–even when he/they don’t.

    As I said before. I rather resent being forced by Peter/Verity’s drivel to appear to be a fan of the EU, when all I’m trying to do is get back to reality from their peurile and idiotic fantasies.

    When it comes to reality distortion fields, they have a great deal to learn from the master of the art, Steve Jobs.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    HJHJ : I’m surprised you’re showing your head around these parts after your somewhat embarrassing faux pas.

    When someone disagrees you seek (rather laughably) to patronise them as though, implausibly, you have some superior intelligence.

    Funnily enough, that was precisely the impression I got from you throughout that whole London 2012 debate. You should know that those who opposed you in that discussion did have a coherent argument, you just chose to ignore it.

    Perhaps “A_Neutral” will pop by and give us his “objective” take on this thread.

    JEM – I thought you were leaving…?

  • JEM

    JEM – I thought you were leaving…?

    No, sorry to dissapoint.

    I’m just leaving the fantasist(s) Peter/Verity to inhabit his/their home-made parallel universe(s) on their own while I stick to the real one.

    You can fool all of the people some of the time….
    …but sometimes, Peter/Verity, the only person you fool is yourself.

  • HJHJ

    ISFMA,

    What faux pas was that then? You really should check your facts and not just believe erroneous allegations. I expected better from you.

    You entirely missed the point about 2012. There is a coherent argument against the bid – one I readily acknowledged. But there is a very good case for it which is hardly countered by the ridiculous assertion that it’s a “sports subsidy” (it’s not, because the revenues will far outweigh the costs of building and running sports faciities). The real question is whether the infrastructure and other benefits are worth the money being spent and Peter and Verity were simply unable to address this issue or the fact that several independent post-Sydney reports put the costs at around $2.5m and the economic benefit to Australia at around $6.5bn. Instead, they resorted (as is their wont) to personal abuse, erroneous allegations and Verity’s usual extremism about it being ‘fascist’ and the rest of her usual nonsense.

    JEM, Peter and Verity really are like that – amazing as it may seem. I doubt I agree with you over the EU, but at least you tried to discuss the complexities of the situation. Verity and Peter simply aren’t able to discuss the real world, which is why they spend nearly all their time hurling abuse.

  • pommygranate

    Verity – i am honoured that you think of me as youthful.
    From your jaded, cynical rantings i imagine that you, Peter, Suffering and Jules are all typing away on your communal nursing home laptops..

  • JEM

    I doubt I agree with you over the EU, but at least you tried to discuss the complexities of the situation.

    That’s just fine by me, HJHJ.

    I enjoy debate, provided it is conducted on a rational plane and in a reasonably calm way. Without that sort of disagreement, this would be a very boring place to visit.

  • JEM

    BTW, I’ve just noticed that in the very first comment in this thread, Verity translated ‘Waterloo” as “Eau de Toilette”.

    Actually, it would translate as “Toilette de Eau”, which rather spoils the humour. “Eau de toilette” might be translated as “loowater” at a stretch I suppose, but in fact it’s just “toilet water”.

    It would seem his knowledge of French is sadly lacking, too.

  • APL

    Excerpts from the last episode from Alice through the looking glass.

    JEM: “Not being in would be a far worse problem. We would be handing over our fate lock stock and barrel to those who remain.”

    Where words mean just exactly what Jim wants them to mean.

    So here we have a situation where regaining independence – recovering our freedom of action – leaving the EU, means we would be “handing over our fate lock stock and barrel to those who remain [in the EU - the organisation we have just left ].”

    SPOCK: “It’s logic Captain, but not as I know it.”

    JEM: “Inside we have a chance to influence events..”

    Except experience tells us that we have no such ability. The SEA, being a case in point. Thatcher thought it would undermine the collective and bring the benefits of competition to the EU. What infact has happened is they have perverted it and use it to suppress competition within the European Union. The very reverse of what the british at the time hoped for. You only have to reflect on the phrase “unhealthy tax competition” for a minute or so to see the truth of this.

    JEM: “…a satellite state of no consequence, and an irrelevance not only to Europe but also in American..”

    Why this matters is beyond me, except for someone hankering after trappings of former Empire. We will have no influence outside the EU, big deal! It is not true but it serves the purpose for the Europhillic of frightening the wee sheepies.

    Just for the record, when we leave the European Union, Britian will still be a member of the WTO, we will still have a permanent seat on the UN security council. So leaving the EU will actually enhance British prestige because we will no longer be hamstrung by ‘qualified majority voting’, or any of the other claptrap associated with the EU.

    In looking glass land reinforcements arrive:

    pommygranate: “Criticising and moaning is the preserve of socialists, teenagers and eurosceptics.”

    Sounds profound, but is actually meaningless.

    pommygranate: “…In a perfect world, the EU wouldnt exist. But it does.”

    There at last is a concession. The World would be better, if the EU did not exist. The logic of your statement then, is that we should work to demolish the EU, and everybody would be better off.

    Hmmm! The trouble is the Euroluvvies are too in love with their project to actually think about what might benefit acutal real people. Despite being aware that the EU is a force for ill in the world.

    pommygranate: “Our only option is to attempt to change course…”

    Pommygranate sees the light…..

    pommygranate: “..from the present bureaucratic, unaccountable nightmare.”

    Another accurate assesment of what the EU is.

    pommygranate: “The onus is on the eurohaters to articulate a better solution.”

    We have. It is consistent with us being ‘haters’ of the European Union, which you conceed is a ‘bureaucratic unaccountable nightmare’.

    The better solution, particually for Britian, is simply to leave. The better solution for the remaining constituents of the European Union, is to destroy it. But having left the EU, the remaining countries can do whatever they like with it, including sticking as many plasters over the cracks as they wish.

    pommygranate: “None have been offered so far.”

    None so blind as will not see, none so deaf as will not listen.

  • Pete_London

    JEM

    Let’s back this bus up a bit. I can’t square your statement that the EU is about to go our way with your subsequent statements extolling the virtues of the EU. Sounds to me like the mask has slipped as this thread has ddeveloped.

    In any case some here, Verity, Peter and me included, who couldn’t care which way the EU goes. We want the UK to remain a sovereign, independent nation. It doesn’t matter if Chiraq and Schroeder soon go along with alot of red tape.

    For as long as we remain part of the EU, EU law will be supreme in the UK. In our view this is intolerable. If the EU is to be a high tax, highly regulated construct we want no part of it. If the EU becomes a low tax, free market trading block then we will be able to trade with it freely.

    The EU is an idea whose time has long gone. Being outside of a large politico/economic block never harmed Hong Kong and Singapore, whose only resources were hard work and a willingness to trade.

    So you want to remain a part of the EU, we don’t. We want out in order to remain masters of our own destiny and trade freely with the world. It’s something we managed quite successfully for a very long time.

  • Ladies and gents… a little more civility please and a great deal less ad hominem ‘debate’ or I will lock this thread, which would be a shame.

    On the issue raised by JEM: I cannot see how leaving the EU makes Britain more of a hostage to others. Switzerland, with lower unemployment and far higher per capital income, does just fine via bilateral treaties and do not underestimate the value of unilateral free trade.

    Simply removing the UK from the whole sclerotic regulatory regime would just increase the UK’s comparative advantage. It is not like the EU can isolate Britain economically as the UK economy is simply too big a player and too deeply entrenched in Europe to just banish. Frankly they need access to the UK economy as much as we need access to theirs.

    Once free of the entire absurd EU regulatory burden and wasteful political distractions, people here who actually care about liberty and prosperity can concentrate on the political struggle needed closer to home regarding dealing with the very real enemy within (be they the tranzi left or statist right).

  • APL

    JEM: “…I’ve just noticed that in the very first comment in this thread, Verity translated ‘Waterloo” as “Eau de Toilette”.”

    With his usual attention to detail, and eye for accuracy, Jim completely misreads Verity’s post.

    You will note it was the Times that made the [humorous] translation, not Verity.

    JEM: “It would seem his knowledge of French is sadly lacking, too.”

    This being an international blog, it is not impossible that a man might be called Verity, to my british ears is seems a mite unlikely.

  • Angie Schultz: yes, the title was referencing the Noel Coward song :-)

  • BTW, European countries’ ability to raise their own taxes is being phased out under the grand-sounding name “harmonisation”.

    Total and utter crap. Stick to what you know, which is not this.

    Well JEM you obviously have not read either the Maastrict Treaty or the Constitution. Both documents go on quite a bit about “tax harminisation”. BTW what exactly is that large chuck of cash that the UK gives to the EU other than a tax? Where does the UK goverment that money? From taxation. There is a tax on British subjects for the EU the goverment just hides it so no one will notice.

  • JEM
    Has still not given an answer as to how raising or lowering taxes will extricate Italy from the stagflation it is suffering through membership of the Euro.
    That wonderful currency which is the lynchpin of the EU.

    Another question,What ia JEM’s view or organisations where the auditors have refused to sign the accounts for seven years running.

  • The European Convention on Human Rights specifically excludes the use of the death penalty.
    The above has been incorporated into the the
    European Constitution.
    Didn’t someone say that nations were free to adopt the death penalty?

  • pommygranate

    APL
    I had also assumed that Verity was either
    i) female
    ii) a girlie man
    or
    iii) Pete’s alter ego

    Perry
    I do not want to see the UK become another Switzerland/HK. Nor do the majority of this country. We are just not an isolationist people. This would be a change of a thousand year old strategy.

    We cannot afford to have a dying Europe on our doorstep. They are our main trading partner. UK companies have an enormous amount invested in Europe. The movement of people is greatest between the UK and Europe.

    Schroeder and Chirac are soon to be replaced by Merkel and Sarkozy, both of whom are far more amenable to the “Anglo” model. We must give reform a chance. If it fails completely, then i agree we must cut and run.

  • Verity

    Thank you, APL. I was indeed quoting a letter I remembered reading in The Times six or seven years ago. There is nothing like the heavy boot of the pedant to spoil a light little quip.

    JEM is aware that Peter and I aren’t the same person, but he is trying to deflect attention from the similarity of his email address and that of Mr Lungs. And now, I’ve just switched on my computer and see the HJHJ has joined him as an ally. HJHJ has already mentioned his King Charles’s head, the 2012 Olympics. All we need now is for Bollo to join us and we will have the Marx Brothers. We’ve already got the chaos and the surrealistic reasoning.

    As others have wasted their time pointing out, to no avail, there is no “working within” the EU. There is no democracy within the EU. That was never the plan. It was always to be an autocratic – but benign! – construct ruled by those who know best. The French didn’t vote “No” as a blow for democracy. They voted “no” because they thought it didn’t allow for enough money and favours for the French.

    The libertarians who post on this blog want no part of the EU and see it dragging us down socially and economically. I’m not contributing further to this topic because it is not a real discussion.

  • Perry,
    The EU by its high tarriff regime actually discourages trade outside the EU.Anyone who has imported items from the US knows how Customs reduce the business to a snails pace.
    Britan pays the exhorbitant “contributions”because of the relatively high volume of imports.The EU is insular in rapidly globalising economy,tarriffs are protectionist and designed to keep trade within the EU.
    The best comparison is the closed world of Mandarin China until it was struck by the bow waves of the western economies

  • JEM

    I can’t square your statement that the EU is about to go our way with your subsequent statements extolling the virtues of the EU

    If I had said that, I couldn’t square it either. What I DID say was that for the first time we have a reasonable prospect of turning the EU into what we would like… but this is the very moment you’d give up. What you seem to want, at the very silliest possible moment, is to “Stop the world, I want to get off!”

    We want the UK to remain a sovereign, independent nation.

    That is exactly what leaving the EU would make impossible. The evidence is plain and obvious by the way in which other European nations that are not members of the EU but must trade with it have to behave. Switzerland, Iceland, Turkey, Norway and various other minor players must have free trade with the EU, just as an independent UK would. To achieve this, they have to joint the European Economic Area* (EEA) as it’s called. To do this, they have to sign up to every single EU regulation, but have no say whatever in deciding what these are or may be in the future, or have any power to question or change them. The EEA is a collection of satellite states. That is the future facing your supposedly ‘independent’ UK; however in the vindictive atmosphere engendered by UK departure, the UK would be pretty certain to get a far worse deal than they did.

    * You or someone is bound to point out that Switzerland and Norway seem to be prospering. And indeed they are. Switzerland is doing so exactly because it joined the EEA in order to preserve its role as a banking and trading nation rather like Singapore—which requires free trade with the EU (compare with Singapore below.) In the case of Norway, it’s got so much oil it would be rolling in money whatever it did—but still it ended up feeling it had no choice but to become an EU satellite.

    So why should we join the EEA, you will ask? Well, since over half our trade and millions of jobs depend on free trade with the EU, don’t imagine for a moment that there is any faintly sellable economic or political alternative to this for us outside the EU. But won’t the remaining EU need us more than we need them? Oh? Why should they? A large portion of our exports to Europe are services of various sorts. Given the right incentives, such as our departure and the rapid erection of tariff barriers to service imports to the EU, our leaving would be taken as a golden opportunity to generate millions of new service jobs inside the EU—at the cost of millions of UK jobs. By leaving, we would be exporting Britain’s low unemployment and economic success to France, etc. It would be a UK own goal of epic proportions.

    So in the real world we would find ourselves with no alternative to paying almost any price to preserve these millions of jobs in the UK, and that means a much harsher EEA treaty for us to sign.

    Thus it is not staying in but getting out that would make EU law supreme in the UK, with us having no say in the matter. If you do, as I do, want to retain mastery of our own destiny, it is therefore imperative that we stay in.

    When we “traded freely with the world” we owned most of the world. Get real. The world has moved on. And Britain (population 60 million) is far too big ever to be a successful trading city-state such as Singapore (3 million) or Hong Kong (7 million). Successful trading city-states prosper by having a very high turnover of imports and exports such that Singapore, for example, has about as much of trade as the UK but 5% of the population. Also, an essential component of the successful city-state is that it is part of a much larger trading block: ASEAN (500 people) in the case of Singapore, and China (1,250 million) in the case of Hong Kong. The entire world is becoming divided up into trading blocks, and there will be no way to survive outside one before long.

    Anyway there’s just not enough trade in the world for Britain to play the city-state role, and what’s more it would need a (non-forthcoming) deal with the EU (see earlier) to make it possible even then. No, Britain as a Hong Kong or such is just cloud-cuckoo-land stuff.

  • JEM

    Tax harminisation is a proposal (no more) that similar rules be applied across the EU for the collection of VAT in each country by each country.

    What I said is entirely correct.

  • Pommygranate,
    Our 1000 year old trading policy was to sail the seven seas from India and cathay to the Indies , the Americas and Africa.
    Those places are still there many with their economies booming trading on the world markets,there are billions of customers out there why just do business with the people next door.
    Lastly I would point you to our fishing industry as an example of how the EU will foster our industry when the really get their teeth into us.

  • Verity

    While I was typing the above, Pommygranate’s post was being posted, so I hadn’t seen it. I am therefore going to respond to it.

    Yesterday, I was accused, most unjustly, of hating gay men whereas I’ve never written a single negative word about gay men and have never felt inclined to do so. Today, I am accused by Pommygranate of being “a girly man”. Which is it to be?

    Pommygranate, HJHJ/Bollo, JEM and others become strangely incensed when more than one person on this blog shares a view that opposes their own. They simply cannot believe that other bloggers have have not been convinced by their unique marshalling of “facts” and their wild logic. Therefore, it must be a single rogue poster posting under lots of names.

    JEM shrieked that EU countries could reinstate the death penalty if they vote for it. Pete points out that the European Convention on Human Rights, which he has clearly read, specifiy precludes the death penalty, as does the EU “constitution”. JEM denies that there is such a thing as tax harmonisation. Andrew Ian Dodge points out that this, too, is wrong.

    I don’t mind at all being attacked for faulty logic, or for making factual errors, but the language of the schoolyard has no place on a blog like this and I am off the Let’s Not Be Beastly to The French! topic, which started off as such light-hearted fun.

  • JEM,
    It is not neccesary to own the world to trade with it.
    You ignore the fact that the EU sells more to us that we do to them,tarriff barriers would be suicidal for Europe.
    You still ignore the Rotterdam effect where goods traded to third countries pass throug the port and are nominally classed as exports to Europe.
    You repeat the canard millions of British jobs will be lost,the main argument of those committed to membership.
    So what you want us to be a part of is a protectionist tarriff area,highly taxed,higly regulated,in utter chaos,who cannot agree a budget,whose accountants have refused to sign the accounts for seven years,where a large proportion of those in the Euro currency fiddled the entry conditions,where two of the largest cannot meet the conditions of the stability pact.Where corruption is rife,where bureaucrats are granted the equivalent of diplomatic immunity and are at the same time unaccountable.Where the central bank can set interest rates which suit no one.
    This is a good deal?

  • HJHJ

    Verity claiming to be a libertarian – now I’ve heard everything.

    Good job she “doesn’t mind being attacked for faulty logic or factual errors” as this is what she specialises in.

    What do you do all day other than ramble on this blog, Verity? Not much, I’ll wager, which is probably good for anyone around her. Can you imagine trying to work with her?

  • I do not want to see the UK become another Switzerland. Nor do the majority of this country.

    Hugely prosperous and independent? Why not?

    We are just not an isolationist people. This would be a change of a thousand year old strategy.

    Who said anything about isolationism? I was talking about economics and please tell me when in the last 1000 years it was the strategy to have Britain/England subject to a host of regulations and political retraints generated in continental Europe? We are a global trading nation and that includes trading with Europe… but that does not mean we need all the politically generated downside that comes with being tied to the dismal EU politically. Switzerland is not completely isolated from the EU and trades with it geartly and yet only implements measures that suit their own interests, not those of other political interests elsewhere.

    I am all in favour of open borders for people and goods from th entire world but that is not actually what the EU is about and it certainly does not require the EU to have such benefits. In fact the flood of skilled Eastern Europeans heading into the UK (I can hardly walk down the street in central London without hearing Czech or Slovak or Polish) is in marked contrast to the rest of the EU and the fact France and Germany are letting the UK (and Ireland) benefit from this alone shows what mugs they are and just how little we need political union with them.

  • APL

    JEM: “Anyway there’s just not enough trade in the world for Britain to play the city-state role, ..”

    Now I know this man does not know what he is talking about. When Malthus warned us that there would not be enough food to feed the growing population of the United Kingdom – Obviously he turned out to be absolutely incorrect.

    Likewise we also know that the volume of trade in say 1050 was insignificant compared to the trade in 1800. If JEM is correct one must wonder where this extra trade was conjoured from?

    Then between 1800 and 2000 the value of trade has again multiplied. Despite two world wars in the 20th century we have more goods traded today than ever ever before in the history of mankind.

    Now, at the point where we have huge new skills and resources being introduced into the world economy from the likes of China and India, poor old Jim says there is not enough trade outside of the EU to keep the UK happy.

    One can only laugh at such bovine short sightedness.

    At last I can see the real motivation behind the position JEM adopts. He is FRIGHTENED. Yes it is a big world out there, but he wants to hide behind nannies apron. Big Mr Chirac or Mr Schroeder will protect us.

    What a pathetic supine attitude.

    JEM: “… and what’s more it would need a (non-forthcoming) deal with the EU (see earlier)….”

    No, no, no. We have left the EU, they are now an irrevelance to us. We will trade with India a potential marked two to three times larger than the EU. If that isnt enough we can trade with China, another market potentially three to four times larger than the EU.

    Those two markets alone could make everyone in an independent United Kingdom very very rich indeed.

    Verity: “Today, I am accused by Pommygranate of being “a girly man”

    Give thanks for small mercies, he might have thought you were a manly girl!

  • The EU as it stands is a shambles and effectively bankrupt,it has no budget and very dubious accounts.There is a demographic time bomb that within fifty years will make the EU insgnificant.It has no military power and will be too poor to project power financially.
    Already the US has written Europe off and is turning to the Eastern economies
    Europe is the past

  • I'm suffering for my art

    HJHJ –

    What faux pas was that then? You really should check your facts and not just believe erroneous allegations.

    Well, it was the one where you pretended to be a bunch of other people to bolster your case. Please don’t pretend that you didn’t create the characters Bullo and A_Neutral, it’s rather obvious that you did.

    There is a coherent argument against the bid – one I readily acknowledged.

    Well, no you didn’t. And neither did your offsider, A_Neutral, who claimed that the “no” side didn’t make much of a case at all. Look, it’s very easy for anyone here to check the Samizdata archives and trace the debate, so stop trying to insult my intelligence by claiming black is white.

    Instead, they resorted (as is their wont) to personal abuse,

    But HJHJ, you and Bullo did this as well. Like I said, just take a look at the archives.

  • HJHJ

    ISFMA,

    Wrong on every count. I don’t need to insult your intelligence, you’re doing a good enough job yourself.

    Why not try laying off lying?

  • JEM

    JEM: “Anyway there’s just not enough trade in the world for Britain to play the city-state role, ..” Now I know this man does not know what he is talking about.

    No, that’s yourself. This has got diddly-squat to do with Malthus.

    Right now and for the next few hundred years probably, there will not be enough world trade to sustain 60 million people in a ‘city-state’ living by trade, especially if it’s not in a trading block.

    For the beneift of the ignorant, city-states live by buying in and selling on, making a small cut on the way past. Singapore, for example, imports $155 billion and exports $174 billion annually. It has a GNP/Capita @ PPP of $27,800. Population is in fact not 3 million as I had said earlier, but a little over 4 million. The UK, by contrast, imports $440 billion and exports $347 billion annually. It has a GNP/Capita @ PPP of $29,600 and a population of 60 million. (These are the 2004 numbers in the CIA World Fact Book)

    The difference between import and export value is what Singpore principally lives on. To achieve similar success as a trading city-state, the UK would need to import about $2,225 billion and export $2,610 billion annually. Just compare that with where we are now.

    If I were you, I would not hold my breath while waiting for this miracle to happen–especially if Britain was out in the cold friendless world without membership of a trading block and with the block it had just recently left doing its damnedness to have as little as possible to do with us.

    Actually, the EU already has a trading state that’s at the upper size of being able to do this sort of economy, but is not solely dependent on it: Holland. Holland would do everything it could to prevent Britain moving in on this business.

    Come to think of it, the country that would probably benefit most from British departure would be Ireland, being beautifully position to take over a lot of the service business that would pour away from the UK.

    Probably the worst-hit part of an ex-EU UK would be London & the South East, as the City, starved of business, dies on its feet. And right now it is services in general and the City in particular that bridges the import/export shortfall seen in the 2004 numbers earlier. Leave the EU and we would find ourselves in the midst of the mother of all financial crisis, complete, I would imaging, with a huge collapse in the value of the Pound. Now that would be ironic!

    —–

    The bottom line is that, if you imagine life would suddely become better outside the EU, you would be in for a very sad dissapointment indeed. And in the meantime you would have (a) thrown away the best ever chance to turn the EU to the way you want and (b) burned your boats– there would almost certainly be no way back.
    as the rest of the members would be glad to see the back of us troublemakes.

    Look before you leap: that’s what I ask.

  • I do not buy any of your argument, JEM, because being outside the EU does not mean not trading with it, just as the Swiss do. The EU needs trade with UK as much, if not more, than the the other way around, so they are hardly in the position to impose burdens on us we do not wish to accept outside the EU.

    Similarly, with no more Euro regulations, we become MORE attractive to European investment in London and the SE, rather than less.

    Why make ourselves less competitive vs. the rest of the world by adopting idiotic Euro regulations? In what way does that make us better off? If all the EU was was a trade bloc, I would have far less problem with it but that is simply not the case and has not been for quite a while.

    If you want the UK in a trading bloc (which it does not need), fine… NAFTA then. A trading bloc without the political aspects of the EU. The UK has been a trading nation long before the EU and will still be one long after the EU has gone the way of all pan-European vanities.

  • Trade is not a finite good,not enough world trade for the next few hundred years???
    Does that include all the commodities that haven’t been invented yet???
    Folks we better start stocking up on trade, it is going to be a scarce commodity there is a profit to be made.

  • “Britain was out in the cold friendless world without membership of a trading block and with the block it had just recently left doing its damnedness to have as little as possible to do with us”.

    We could join NAFTA.

    The point is the EU NEEDS OUR MONEY!

  • Snide

    Not enough trade???? Wow. I thinks I smells the fixed wealth fallacy…

    If Britain get less regulated as the EU gets more dumb ass regulations, the Brits will grow faster than they will. It is really that simple, all the rest is just chaff.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    HJHJ –

    Wrong on every count.

    Whatever. The evidence in the archive speaks considerably louder than your denials.

  • APL

    JEM: “No, that’s yourself. ”

    Ah! Looking glass world again. You claim something that is demonstrably wrong, and when it is pointed out to you that it is wrong, you come back and say, I didn’t say it you said it, na, na, na.

    JEM: “This has got diddly-squat to do with Malthus.”

    Except that he warned us that there would not be enough food for a growing population and there would ensue famine and starvation.

    And you have just warned us that there will not be enough trade outside the European Union and there will be ensuing famine and poverty.

    So you are right there is no reason to draw parallels to similar (but incorrect) reasoning.

    I can see it now, Jim wandering through the environs of Westminster with his sandwich board. REPENT EUROSCEPTIC SINNERS, THE END OF TRADE IS NIGH. YOUR SALVATION IS IN THE HOLY EUROPEAN EMPIRE. REPENT!!

  • APL

    JEM: “Probably the worst-hit part of an ex-EU UK would be London & the South East, as the City, starved of business, dies on its feet.”

    Utter balderdash! Todays FT [23 June], ‘Gas group joins Russian stampede to list in London [stock exchange]‘.

    Note please, it does not say, Gas group joins Russian stampede [torrent, trickle, dribble] to list in Frankfurt, [or Paris, or Amsterdam, or Stockholm, or Madrid, or Athens, or Vilnus]. So logically one cannot attribute London’s favoured status to being in the European Union, because then any of the above Cities would be OK. It can’t be because London is in the Euro Zone either, because well, it isnt.

    So what could it be. Hmmm!! this is a difficult question.

    But we can draw the conclusion that London, being attractive to foriegn capital despite having nothing to do with the EU, and not being in the Euro zone, would continue to be attractive to foriegn capital even after we leave the European Union.

    So if as Jim says above being “worst-hit” or “dies on its feet” actually means continuing to attract foreign investment and thriving economically, then I for one wouldn’t be surprised.

    As for Jim using of looking glass language to describe the very inverse of reality, that does not surprise me either.

    JEM: “And right now it is services in general and the City in particular that bridges the import/export shortfall seen in the 2004 numbers earlier.”

    Yes, and outside the EU there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue to be the case.

    JEM: “Leave the EU and we would find ourselves in the midst of the mother of all financial crisis, complete, I would imaging, with a huge collapse in the value of the Pound. Now that would be ironic!”

    All things are possible, it is just that some things are less likely than others. Unshackelling the British economy from the regulations and restrictions of the EU, removing our obligation to pay a obscene membership fee to the EU, would in my estimation have exactly the reverse effect you forsee.

    Jim’s doom and gloom predictions remind me of good old Frankie Howard, “imfamy, imfamy, they’ve all got it in for me!!”

  • JEM

    …being outside the EU does not mean not trading with it, just as the Swiss do.

    My point entirely (If you’d bothered to read and digest it.)

    To repeat: Switzerland is not in the EU, but to trade with it, it had to sign up to the EEA and become the EU’s satellite–or slave, if you will.

    THAT is the fate you propose for us: instead of have a say in how we do things, we just have to stand there and say “Yes, sir, no sir, three bags full, sir.” Gee, what a smart move that would be… I can see you’ve really thought this out…NOT.

    If you want the UK in a trading bloc (which it does not need), fine… NAFTA then. A trading bloc without the political aspects of the EU.

    If (as seems likely soon to be the case) the entire world is divided up into trading blocks, then the UK, outside one, would get very hungry very quickly. Yes, the EU is more than just a trading block, but it remains for all that a trading block first and foremost. And it remains the only one available to us.

    Do try to recall that the reason the EU has so far evolved in a direction that does not suit us is excatly and preciesely because back in the early 1950’s we in the UK thought we did not need the EU (or Common Market then) and we could walk away from it. That left the French to turn it into their back yard.

    Before the end of the decade we learned our terrible mistake and realised we HAD to join at practically any price, including accept French-inspired lunacies like the CAP. Even then it took several attempts, including being told to get lost by de Gaulle, before we managed what had become an essential goal for our economic survival.

    Why had it become essential? Because we very rapidly learned that the Commonwealth, which we had though was our own trading block, was utterly useless for the purpose. No other members were interested, except for the New Zealand desire to sell us butter and lamb; and that was just about all there was.

    There was then and remains now absolutely zero prospect of a trading block arrangement with the United States (NAFTA or any other) For one thing, the Americans were than and are now not in the least interested. For another, if we did manage to join NAFTA our position as the seriously junior partner of the US would make our present situation as one of the leading members of the EU seem positively idyllic. And apart from anything else, we happen to be geographically part of Europe not North America, in case you haven’t noticed.

    The UK has been a trading nation long before the EU and will still be one long after the EU has gone the way of all pan-European vanities.

    All nations or other political units are mortal. That includes not just the EU, but the Roman Empire, the Mogul Empire, the British Empire (although I suspect many of you have not noticed that one’s demise yet) and without doubt in due course one fine day the United States too.

    But that statement of the blindingly obvious is of absolutely no use whatsover right now. We could of course, hold our breath until the nasty EU has expired… (which is pretty much what quitting amounts to) … the trouble is we would have expired ourselved much earlier.

    In the meantime, leaving would put at very considerable risk 55.4% of all British exports (that’s the number for 2004 in the CIA World Fact Book, although it takes some extracting(g) and not a fantasy figure plucked from the air by anti-EU propagandists who are not too fussy with getting the facts right) that go to the EU. BTW, 52.4% of UK imports (a smalled percentage you may note) come from the EU.

    Taken with all the other dangers I have described before, the very realist probablility is that quitting the EU would throw the UK into a depression on a scale not seen since the Wall Street Crash.

    The thing is that usually in real life there are no easy choices. There are downsides to every option and to pretend there are no very major downsides indeed to leaving the EU is just foolish and shortsighted in the extreme.

    The rational thing to do is stay in and change it from there if we possibley can. And now we maybe can for the first time. So you’d chuck it in!

    Really, you should consider a career in slapstick comedy; that is so ridiculous you’d have them rolling in the isles.

    ————————

    The European Convention on Human Rights [HCHR] specifically excludes the use of the death penalty.

    It goes against the grain to answer Verity/Peter or whoever he/she/it/they is/are, but this particular piece of arrant nonsense deserves to be nailed, principally because on the face of it, it sounds (so unlike him/she/it/they) like it makes sense. However it does not. Of course.

    That statement is correct so far as it goes. However, the HCHR has got no connection in any way shape or form with the EU. Leaving the EU would not change things in that area one iota.

    The last European government to specifically cancel its obligations under human rights treaties (not the HCHR obviously, because it had not been invented then, but other earlier equivalents) was the Third Reich. Now there’s a fine path to follow. Mind you I suppose it would match his/her/its/they’re regular BNP-like comments. Maybe that’s indeed where he/she/it/they would feel at home.

    BTW Verity/Peter, who are you so keen to kill? That’s a retorical question.

    (Re-tor-i-cal: Look up the mean-ing of the word before you waste time ans-wer-ing. You’ll find word mean-ings in a dic-tion-ar-y. Can you man-age a big word like dic-tion-ar-y yet?)

  • JEM

    Todays FT [23 June], ‘Gas group joins Russian stampede to list in London [stock exchange]‘. Note please, it does not say, Gas group joins Russian stampede [torrent, trickle, dribble] to list in Frankfurt, [or Paris, or Amsterdam, or Stockholm, or Madrid, or Athens, or Vilnus].

    Of course the City leads the EU stock markets. That would stop overnight if the UK left the EU. You could guarantee the remaining EU countries would make sure of that.

    And BTW, the Russian ‘stampede’ might be big by Russian stock market standards. But it’s peanut by western standards. These days, the entire Russian economy is about half of Holland.

  • Taken with all the other dangers I have described before, the very realist probablility is that quitting the EU would throw the UK into a depression on a scale not seen since the Wall Street Crash.

    You ,mean just like Britain leaving the ERM,since when we went sailing past the Euro economies.

    I am loath to address your last imbecilic paragraph,but it might have escaped your limited powers of understanding that the ECHR also prevents us from deporting terrorists to the country where they committed their crimes.
    It is not just the death penaly but anything that can be construed as creul or inhumane treatment.Justice is not served,we are put at risk and have support these people.
    The section regarding cruel an inhumane treatment and the ECHR has produce so many bizarre anomolies s to have whole sections of the common law unworkable

    Sorry right is right,if we ratify the/a Constitution we will be compelled to follow the rules of the ECHR.Outside the EU we have a choice.

    I will not engage your infantile Nazi slur,but thank you for the insight into the mind of a “Euro-Realist” The usual psychological projection from a tight little regulatory mind.
    I am getting bored with reading you idiocies so I’ll just remind you that only a short time ago five of the main nations of Europe were Facist Dictatorships nad one nominally so.

    I’ve got to tell you kid that you can’t do irony,don’t look it up the concept is beyond you.

  • JEM,

    No! That’s a RHETORICAL question,

    RHE_TOR_I_CAL

    Oooops!!

  • In the meantime, leaving would put at very considerable risk 55.4% of all British exports (that’s the number for 2004 in the CIA World Fact Book, although it takes some extracting(g) and not a fantasy figure plucked from the air by anti-EU propagandists who are not too fussy with getting the facts right) that go to the EU. BTW, 52.4% of UK imports (a smalled percentage you may note) come from the EU.

    Which actually makes the opposite point to the one you are inexplicably pushing. what it means is that THE EU CANNOT JUST STOP TRADING WITH US if we decide to seperate from them politically.

    Moreover if you think Switzerland is the EU’s ‘slave’, you are not just wrong, you are delusional.

    Taken with all the other dangers I have described before, the very realist probablility is that quitting the EU would throw the UK into a depression on a scale not seen since the Wall Street Crash.

    Based on what, exactly? We have mentioned the benefits of rejecting most of the EU’s regulatory system as a strong economic positive but you have held out what exactly as the cause of this ‘crash’? Not only are you a rude jackass when I have been quite polite to you up to now, you are just making contentions without explaining why? Do you actually know the first thing about economics?

  • Naxos

    The idea that the world is turning to trading blocs is a wierd out dated throwback to the 1970’s. In reality the world’s global trading system is becoming more liberal (you may have heard the term “globalization”) and less dependent on cumbersome blocs. What on earth do you think the WTO is all about if not reducing the impact of trading blocs?

  • APL

    JEM: “Of course the City leads the EU stock markets.”

    Having just explained to you why being in the EU is not an advantage to London as a financial centre, that at the moment London is thriving despite the EU NOT because of the EU. You go on to say……

    JEM: ” That would stop overnight if the UK left the EU.”

    We move from looking glass land to cloud cuckoo land.

    JEM: ” You could guarantee the remaining EU countries would make sure of that..”

    Considering the remaining EU countries use London to finance a good deal of their economic activity. That would be a stupid and counter productive thing to do.

    BUT, it does nicely demonstrate the mind set of the collectivist. He can’t stand somebody else being successful. Ignoring the fact that an Independent London would be quite happy to make money in the Eurpoean Union [mutually beneficial] as well as Russia or China or India. The Eurofacist will not only throw the toys out of the cot he will crap in it too.

    JEM: “And BTW, the Russian ‘stampede’ might be big by Russian stock market standards. But it’s peanut by western standards.

    Well, the term ‘stampede’ is the FTs not mine. They characterise the total value of the Russian transactions as in the region of $2.4bn. Which is not peanust by my standards. Then go on to say, “Russia is to become the most important source of international primary listings for the LSE this year.”

    Yea! peanuts, not worth bothering with.

  • APL

    JEM: “To repeat: Switzerland is not in the EU, but to trade with it, it had to sign up to the EEA and become the EU’s satellite–or slave, if you will.”

    This is such utter drivel it is hard to know where to begin.

    Firstly, Switzerland may be in an awkward position with regard to the EU, being land locked and so on. So perhaps it does have to be a little more circumspect in its dealings with the EU, than might otherwise be the case. But to suggest that an independent country reaching a compromise with the EU is slavery is not even a rhetorical device, it is just plain STUPID.

    Now take the case of the UK, we are not landlocked thus there is no chance that we would need to take these [potential] EU threats of slavery seriously.

    Incidently, I will say that Jim is making a fine case for the EU, and in doing so has revealed what I suspected to be its true character all along, nothing less than a rather greedy bully.

    JEM: “THAT is the fate you propose for us: instead of have a say in how we do things, we just have to stand there and say “Yes, sir, no sir, three bags full, sir.” Gee, what a smart move that would be… I can see you’ve really thought this out…NOT.”

    Once again Jim inverts reality, Independence, freedom is characterised as being servile.

    I would suggest that the UK has some natural advantages that have served us well in the past and could continue to do so in the future. An independent UK would quite probably continue to be a regional and global financial centre, that by itself would mean that the EU could not afford to carry out any of the threats that Jim warns us about.

    The UK could be very wealthy and we would obtain a fraction of that wealth by trade and finance with the EU. It would be a mutually beneficial arrangement. A much more healthy arrangement than the stinking danegeld we are obliged to give the EU for membership of the diseased and festering organisation.

  • This will interest those who have a real understanding of
    economics
    joining the Euro would create MORE exchange rate instabilty.

  • JEM

    JEM: “To repeat: Switzerland is not in the EU, but to trade with it, it had to sign up to the EEA and become the EU’s satellite–or slave, if you will.” This is such utter drivel it is hard to know where to begin.

    Well, you could start by recognising that is not drivel at all, but the actual cold fact. It’s all there on the record for you to look up. Switzerland was left with signing up to the EEA lock stock and barrel, or nothing. It signed up becaus the alternative was worse. There was no negotiation to speak of; it was more like unconditional surrender. And Switzerland is not so insignificant a country as all that, you know.

    Norway has had almost exactly the same experience, but it geographically positioned relative to the EU more like us, so the geography argyment is utterly false.

    THAT is the sort of ‘independence’ life outside the EU would be.

    The reason why both Switzerland and Norway ended up in this subservient client state situation was that in both countries referrendums voted against EU membership. In both cases they are now regretting that and seriously recognising that they are going to have to join the EU sooner or later after all, as their present status deprives them of a great deal of freedom they could only recover by being full members.

    (Can you imagine the sort of deal we would get if we left the EU and than a few years later came back, tail between our legs, asking, “Please can we get back in?” …because that’s what would happen eventually.)

    Now here we are with that freedom and you would throw it away… for what? A mirage of freedom that is in reality the opposite? Wow, that’s smart!

    Or should we ask, how much are the French Government paying you to spread this crazy, stupid and almost suicidal notion in the UK?

    The thing is, leaving the EU is not a “with one bound he was free” sort of move at all. It’s a lot more of a “from the frying pan into the fire” one.

    The comical thing is that I started this thread quite sure we would on balance be better out than in. But in the process of countering lunacies from the likes of Verity/Peter, it has become more and more apparent to me that leaving, except under far more extreme provocation than we have to face at present, would be an act of the utmost folly.

    It’s also clear than in the course of a referrendum campaign on staying in or getting out, as the facts come out that would utterly demolish the get out case and we would end up with a very comfortable majority for staying in.

    It’s clear as well that no-one here is in the least interested in a rational discussion of the actual facts, especially when they don’t fit with preconceived notions.

    Which makes this all a waste of time–there are none so blind as those that will not see.

  • Piggy Bank Fan

    Which makes this all a waste of time–there are none so blind as those that will not see.

    And none are so long winded as those who do not know what they are talking about.

    I have kept my money in Switzerland for the last 22 years (I live in Spain these days) but now that the Swiss have signed up to the ‘EU resident withholding tax’ agreement with the EU, that proves your point, right? Wrong. The same Swiss bank which advised the Swiss government on the details of that agreement with the EU also kindly moved my account into a different category of account so that I will not actually fall under the new “regulations” in any way. Is this legal? In Switzerland it certainly is. Do you think I am the only person they did this for? Do you think ANYONE will actually fall under the new regs in Switzerland?

    Slavery? EU client state? Sorry to put it this way but you are talking out of your arse.

  • APL

    JEM: “Or should we ask, how much are the French Government paying you to spread this crazy, stupid and almost suicidal notion in the UK?”

    Well, Jim my lad, fair dinkum. You have led me a merry old dance, we have been to looking glass land, where everything is the reverse of reality, topsy turvy land, where everything is upside down. But I never, ever, thought my disguise as a French agent would be blown so easily. Zut Alors, you are one cool cookie.

    You will excuse me if I don’t speak in French because although you have blown my cover, the other folks reading this won’t have noticed yet.

    JEM: “The thing is, leaving the EU is not a “with one bound he was free” sort of move at all.”

    And you are triumphantly wrong again. Repeal the 1972 European comunities act, and with one bound we are free.

    Recently there was an article in the UK press suggesting that inmates of HM prisons should have access to the internet. From Jim’s postings here, I can see that the project is far more advanced than I thought. I guess we could trace the ip address to find out in which secure establishment he permanently resides.

  • “it has become more and more apparent to me that leaving, except under far more extreme provocation than we have to face at present,”

    So you are admitting we are under extreme provocation to leave?

    Is he really Ted Heath?

  • JIM Sadly, is a liar when he said this

    “The comical thing is that I started this thread quite sure we would on balance be better out than in. But in the process of countering lunacies from the likes of Verity/Peter, it has become more and more apparent to me that leaving, except under far more extreme provocation than we have to face at present, would be an act of the utmost folly”.
    June 23,2005, 04:27pm

    Because he made his position clear in his second post
    June 20 2005 09:08am

    “It is also both why de Gaulle did not want Britain in the Common Market diluting French leadership there, and why for exactly the same reason Britain had to join. Only from inside the Common Market–or EU today–can Britain hope to divide and rule. Leave the EU and we become a minor bit-part player on the European stage; we would be relinquishing control over our future to others.

    Therefore we must stay in the EU and ‘turn’ it from within.”

    His first post was a piece of anodyne froth,from then on he ferociously and gratuitiously attacked anyone with a contrary position.
    Amazing how his tone changed from the light hearted French bashing.
    One would think Mr”Jim Mangles” had an agenda to make personal attacks from the outset,since it is clear he knows nothing about the subject on which he has been commenting at great length , inaccuracy and ignorance.

  • JEM

    The same Swiss bank which advised the Swiss government on the details of that agreement with the EU also kindly moved my account into a different category of account so that I will not actually fall under the new “regulations” in any way. Is this legal? In Switzerland it certainly is. Do you think I am the only person they did this for? Do you think ANYONE will actually fall under the new regs in Switzerland?

    I don’t doubt what you say, but it is utterly beside my point.

    Who would doubt that there would be ways around the rules? That’s hardly earthshattering.

    Slavery? EU client state? Sorry to put it this way but you are talking out of your arse.

    But you’ve just admitted that Switzerland is now an EU client state.

    So YOU’RE the one talking out of your arse.

  • JEM

    And you are triumphantly wrong again. Repeal the 1972 European comunities act, and with one bound we are free.

    Not exactly. We’d be back to the pre-1973 position of being so desperate, so needful to join, we would agree to almost anything to get in–except that on this second ocassion it would soon become clear that the need would be vastly greater than back then, and the deal we would be forced to accept would far harsher.

    If that’s your idea of freedom, you can keep it.

    (You people should read up on the actual history of this whole business rather than believing propaganda and myths and fairy tales. It’ll destroy your delusions, but it will really set you free: that’s what the truth does. )

  • JEM

    Some people around here seem to think that in trade terms, the EU need the UK more than the UK need the EU.

    Well, consider these numbers.
    [All from the CIA 2004 Fact Book, as before]

    %age of UK exports that go to EU: 55.4%
    %age of EU exports that go to UK: 14.0%

    %age of UK imports that come from EU: 52.4%
    %age of EU imports that come from UK: 11.7%

    In other words, we need their business four times more than they need ours. So who do you imagine might just have the whip hand in post-departure trade negotiations?

  • JEM

    The EEA: a correction. Following a referendum, Switzerland did not join. However instead it has its own bilateral treaty with the EU which in real life boils down to exactly the same thing, in effect.

    As part of the EEA deal, EEA countries are obliged to make contributions to the Internal Market Social and Economic Cohesion Fund. This amounts to several hundred million euro/year, mostly from Norway. Assuredly if the UK found itself needing to sign up, I think it would be a fair bet that we would find ourselves paying at least as much as now to the EU–with no rebate of course. (frying pans and fires spring to mind again)

    BTW, Switzerland makes a similar contribution to the EU, and also has just joined the Schengen Agreement.

  • APL

    JEM: “Some people around here seem to think that in trade terms, the EU need the UK more than the UK need the EU.”

    Well, you certanly ring the changes Jimmy young lad. We have had lies, damn lies and now statistics.

    So do us a favour laddie. Post the original data too, please?

    You see young fellow, 14% of a large figure, for example, the GNP of the EU excluding the UK might seem might seem to be small in % terms.

    But in actual cold hard figures it could be much bigger than 55% of a much smaller figure, in this case the GNP of the UK alone. So although you are comparing trade between the two conponents of the EU, you are using statistics to obfuscate the truth.

    And although Peter will know the figures, I think we should make you do the running around. So, would you also tell us, of the 55% of UK exports that appear to go to the EU, how much of that is then shipped onwards to other destinations outside the EU, through for example the container ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam?

    You have been bit of a naughty boy. So write out two hundred and fifty times.

    “Jimmy must not use misleading figures to hide the truth. it is a naughty and dishonest thing to do.”

    Before first playtime this morning please.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    JEM’s problem is that he sees a nation, and the EU, as a homogenous bloc rather than a massive bunch of independent but intertwining and interdependent actors.

    This is why he can posit the rather childish view that “UK leaves EU, EU gets the shits, EU doesn’t talk or deal with UK anymore”. Reminds me of the schoolyard.

    JEM, I’m sure you’re right in saying that 55.4% of UK exports go to the EU. If Britain left, there is no reason why this trade figure would drop. There already is an existing free trade agreement between continental Europe and Britain that would continue to exist, even if Britain left the EU. Besides, in case you haven’t noticed, the major continental EU economies are in considerably poorer shape than Britain’s. If, in the infinitesimally unlikely situation that the EU backed away from the EFTA and put up trade barriers in retaliation for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, this amounts to economic and hence political suicide for the EU, its leadership and its backers in Berlin and Paris. Why? Because the major EU economies are in a considerably more precarious position than the UK’s at present, and the loss of trade with a nation as substantial as the UK would tip them over the edge.

    JEM, your argument is ridiculous. I suspect Perry is correct; JEM has absolutely no knowledge of even basic economics, and he is exhibiting an extremely curmudgeonly understanding of international relations, to boot.

  • JEM

    APL:
    So do us a favour laddie. Post the original data too, please?

    I have already stated where this data comes from– the CIA 2004 World Fact Book: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ If you were too thick to notice, that is not my fault.

    The facts contained there may not be perfect, but they are close enough for the sort of economic and statistical illiterates I appear to be dealing with around here.

    (The CIA numbers are close enough for a first order approximation. I could go into this in some very considerable detail with numerous full chapter & verse references if I were so inclined, but it would be quite wasted on the likes of you… pearls before swine is the expression, I think. I’ve got better ways to pass my time.)

    For instance,

    “You see young fellow, 14% of a large figure, for example, the GNP of the EU excluding the UK might seem might seem to be small in % terms. But in actual cold hard figures it could be much bigger than 55% of a much smaller figure, in this case the GNP of the UK alone. So although you are comparing trade between the two conponents of the EU, you are using statistics to obfuscate the truth. And although Peter will know the figures, I think we should make you do the running around.”

    … is such a collection of moronic gibberish it does not deserve a formal refutation: it self-refutes, as it were. And the ideas that Peter, of all people, “will know the figures” must be a joke, surely?

    I’m suffering for my art:
    JEM, I’m sure you’re right in saying that 55.4% of UK exports go to the EU. If Britain left, there is no reason why this trade figure would drop. There already is an existing free trade agreement between continental Europe and Britain that would continue to exist, even if Britain left the EU

    Uh, no. That agreement was EFTA. EFTA died (in I think it was 1992) when it was replaced with EEA (which I have already discussed) and which clearly does not apply to the UK. We would be back to square one, negoitiating a new deal from scratch. Meanwhile trade with the EU would collapse and millions here would be out of work. Do try to get at least your basic facts right.

    JEM, your argument is ridiculous. I suspect Perry is correct; JEM has absolutely no knowledge of even basic economics

    You appear to be confusing me with what you see when you look in the mirror.

    OK, I’ve had enough of these idiocies from economic and numerical morons. I would not normally want to rub anyone’s nose in the following, but in fact I have an honours degree (2:1) in economics and statistics.

    And your qualifications to talk on the subject are…?

  • I'm suffering for my art

    You appear to be confusing me with what you see when you look in the mirror.

    Nice comeback! Like I said, reminds me of the schoolyard.

    JEM, you are fundamentally wrong on basic economic principles. Also, you clearly don’t understand how states relate to each other, or how they deal with conflicts.

    but in fact I have an honours degree (2:1) in economics and statistics.

    From where? The Open University of Ashgabat?

  • JEM.
    Don;t repay your grant.
    Oddly the Treasury doesn’t use the CIA fact book any more than a researcher uses the Guinness Book of records.

    Since you mention your degree,perhaps you will address my question to you earlier.
    Italy’s stagflation,she is restricted by the Euro and cannot raise interest rates,she could create more unemployment but that is not politically acceptable.
    Your solution was taxes.
    So is it raise taxes or reduce taxes?
    Quickly now theeconomy is going down the tubes and Italy is contemplating leaving the Euro.

  • JEM

    JEM, you are fundamentally wrong on basic economic principles.

    No, no! I already told you, that’s YOU in the mirror, not me! Your ignorance of economics is so profound, you’re making a laughing-stock of yourself every time you bring up the subject. There may be some topic or other you know something about, but clearly this is not it.

    From where? The Open University of Ashgabat?

    Glasgow University, since you ask. Where Adam Smith was once professor BTW. Woops, pearls before swine again. I bet you’ve never heard of him or “The Wealth of Nations” either. Few members of the economic illiterati have.

    And your economic qualifications are from…?
    (I note you didn’t answer that question the last time. If you fail to do so again we can all draw the obvious conclusion.)

    ——-

    To be somewhat more serious for a moment:

    It’s fairly clear by now that you are so entrenched in you views on Britain and the EU, that as each argument you make is refuted and all else has failed, you are reduced to ad homin arguments as a desperate last-ditch defense of the indefensible.

    For once in your life, consider the possibility that you are wrong.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    No, no! I already told you, that’s YOU in the mirror, not me!

    No, no! As I already told you, I was dealing with that kind of discourse in primary school. A somewhat higher standard of debate is expected around here.

    JEM, I too have tertiary economic qualifications – like most of the commentariat and contributors of this blog. Although, I’m not as gauche as to cite them here lest they masquerade as my argument. At the end of the day, you clearly do not understand how states interact with each other. You have amply shown that in your posts, and all the academic qualifications you hold to your breast (imagined or otherwise) mean nothing if you do not comprehend the reality of economic mechanisms in the real world. The money you paid to Glasgow University was useful for enlightening the likes of Adam Smith. Shame it didn’t have any influence on you.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    For once in your life, consider the possibility that you are wrong.

    Out of the mouths of babes…

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Peter – do you really expect him to answer that? He’s just another EU arse-kisser with a degree and no fucking idea.

  • Suffering,
    No,the fact that I asked twice and he didn’t proves to me he hasn’t got a degree in economics.Give a question like this anyone with a degree and they would still be typing.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve seen the quality of some economics graduates – even from prestigious universities. I’d happily back a self-taught armchair economics enthusiast over a hack like JEM.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    I mean, he’s seriously deluded. I really believe him when he says he thinks he’s made a foolproof case for why the EU’s so wonderful and why the UK simply can’t live without it. Let’s leave JEMmy boy to it. All the logic and learning in the world can’t storm this Great Wall of Ignorance.

  • JEM

    A somewhat higher standard of debate is expected around here.

    No, no! As I already told you, I was dealing with that kind of discourse in primary school. A somewhat higher standard of debate is expected around here.

    So when are you going to start?

    Interestingly I do believe you have yet to properly refute a single point I’ve made. For your information, simply saying “wrong” does not actually amount to a serious refutation. That would seem to be news for you.

    I really believe him when he says he thinks he’s made a foolproof case for why the EU’s so wonderful and why the UK simply can’t live without it.

    Interesting. I never said that. What I did say in various ways was that leaving was not all a one-way street to Nirvana–clearly a distinction too fine for you to comprehend, although a yawning chasm to most normal people.

    Ever tried getting your facts right? Maybe not. It makes making a reasoned case so much more tedious.

    Although, I’m not as gauche as to cite them here lest they masquerade as my argument.

    You do hide your knowledge so well. We’re still waiting for something that might pass as a serious economic argument of any sort from you.

    The money you paid to Glasgow University was useful for enlightening the likes of Adam Smith.

    That’s a remakably stupid, meaningless and nonsensical statement at just about every level one could think of.

    —–

    Oddly the Treasury doesn’t use the CIA fact book any more than a researcher uses the Guinness Book of records.

    You are, Verity/Peter, remarkably and perhaps for the first time, right for once in you tiny life/lives. A lucky guess, was it?

    But for the sort of economic illiterates such as yourself/yourselves I seem to face around here, it was good enough for a first order approximation, and accessable for others to check easily on the net. Well, easy for those with an IQ over about 80 or so, so I’m sorry if that rules you out.

    BTW, on taxes as a substitute control mechanism in place of exchange rates, I answered the question entirely and completely the first time with the single word ‘taxes’. Whether taxes should be raised or lowered, and indeed which particular taxes, depends on the particular situation. If you knew anything about the subject you would have realised that, but of course you don’t so you didn’t.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    JEM,

    Interestingly I do believe you have yet to properly refute a single point I’ve made.

    Because others have done that ad nauseum, to no effect. I see no reason to rehash your argument; in my opinion, it’s fallacious and lacks comphrension of economic and international political relations. I also noticed you didn’t refute my points made at June 24, 2005 08:39 AM.

    What I did say in various ways was that leaving was not all a one-way street to Nirvana

    Rubbish. If only you were so moderate. You more or less said the UK is going to suffer a prolonged depression not seen since the 1929 stockmarket crash if it leaves the EU (balderdash). Hell – do I really have to sift through your ill-informed drivel to find the most ridiculous of your claims? Which, incidentally, would suggest that you’re saying the UK has no real choice but to stay in the EU or suffer economic meltdown. So you have no reason to fisk that particular sentence in my previous quote. Now Jemmy, what was that about understanding fine distinctions? You can’t even comprehend blatantly obvious ones.

    We’re still waiting for something that might pass as a serious economic argument of any sort from you.

    Oh *we* are, are *we*? You and your imaginary friend, perhaps? Well, as I said above, there’s an argument I posited that you have singularly failed to acknowledge or counter. I haven’t countered you on yours because your reasoning is based on incorrect assumptions and ignorance of political and economic relationships. As I’ve said quite a lot. And I simply can’t be bothered educating you.

    That’s a remakably stupid, meaningless and nonsensical statement at just about every level one could think of.

    Um. Well. Why not get thinking and name a few.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    And I still noticed, Mr Genius Economist, that you haven’t managed to answer Peter’s quite simple, but pertinent, question.

    You’re the lightest of lightweights, and your assertions to contrary aren’t fooling anyone.

  • JEM

    JEM: Interestingly I do believe you have yet to properly refute a single point I’ve made.
    I’msfma: Because others have done that ad nauseum, to no effect.

    Not around here they havn’t . There has been no refutation, just blanket assertions–which does not constitute refutation, just the lack of a serious answer.

    I also noticed you didn’t refute my points made at June 24, 2005 08:39 AM.

    Hilarious. I had already ‘pre-refuted’ (as it were) this very silly and clearly preposterous contention on June 23, 2005 09:31 PM. There seemed little point in doing so all over again.

    Why not get thinking and name a few.

    Why not get thinking first yourself, before you display your foolishness in writing yet again?

    ——-

    Here is the question posed by Verity/Peter on June 21, 2005 10:57 PM

    Just a little homework for you, If a nation cannot control its interest rates how can it control its economy?

    Here is my answer, posted on June 21, 2005 11:03 PM:

    Taxes.

    Quite self-evidently, that is an entire and complete answer to the actual, entirely general, question asked.

    On June 24, 2005 07:11 PM, Verity/Peter contended that that answer of mine did not provide a detailed answer to what to do in the current Italian sitation, as if that had been the original question.

    Well it wouldn’t answer a specific case, where questions or raising or lowering specific taxes has to be addressed, would it? The original question had become an entirely different one. It had moved from the general to the specific. This is a juvenile debating trick* which doesn’t surprise me from Verity/Peter, but sorry, I’m not goimg to fall for it.

    * “If you don’t like the answer, change the question.”

    (BTW, I would not pretend to know enough about the detailed Italian situation today to answer Verity/Peter’s entirely new question in any case, so of course I will not do so. I know my limitations, even although you don’t seem to know yours.)

    Now I already know that Verity/Peter is a/are moron-class economic idiot(s), but you might suppose that if he/she/it/they did not notice or deiberately chose to disregard the huge nature of this question-change, you might. But no. Oh well, we see again how ‘smart’ you really are–or stupid you think I am.

    ——-

    BTW, I already asked you twice what your economic qualifications are, and twice you have failed to answer.

    One can only conclude that you don’t have any. Certainly that would tie in with what you have been saying here.

  • APL

    JEM: “… is such a collection of moronic gibberish…”

    Jimmy, you will be pleased to see that you are having an effect around here after all.

    Jem: “…it self-refutes, as it were.”

    As do, as it happens, most of your own arguments.

    JEM: “…an honours degree (2:1) in economics and statistics.”

    That’s it then! Why didn’t you just say that in your very first post? Instead of masquerading as an ‘Eurorealist’, it would have saved everyone an aweful lot of time and trouble. We could have just said to ourselves; Cor blimey! That Jim Mangles has a 2:1 in economics and statistics from Glasgow University. Then all gone home for a nice cup of tea.

    JEM: “In other words, we need their business four times more than they need ours. ”

    Jimmy’s argument then, is that there is no principle worth making a sacrifice for. From his perspective we should not have fought the first world war on the side of the French, and again on the side of the French in the second world war. Because both wars indisputibly damaged the Britsh economy (as wars usually do).

    British interest would have been better served simply standing on the sidelines, watching the Germans take over the French economy and then carry on trading with the resulting Grench entity. It would certanly saved us a lot of trouble and we could have arrived where we are today a lot sooner.

    We have already destroyed our fishing industry on the holy alter of the European Union, we could have made a nice little packet selling Fish to the EU, and conserved our own fish stocks into the bargin. Just like Iceland, in fact.

    Jim recognises the EU needs to be reformed, he has said that much himself. However what he never says is that reform is not an option nor acceptable to our other ‘partners’ in the EU. Everything we dislike about the EU today, is entrenched in the Treaties, be it the Treaty of Rome, the Treaty of Nice, Maastricht, Amsterdam or whichever.

    To change the EU for the better – something JImmy conceeds needs to be done, whether for PR purposes or in actual fact, I don’t know – each and every Treaty would need to be undone, and re-negotiated. It is inconcievable that the French or the Germans, but particually the French would allow anything like this to happen. And even if we could persuade them that is was a good idea, the whole process would take ten to twenty years.

    I doubt that the EU, would be foolish enough to implement trade barriers against the UK, (still considered to be the third or fourth largest economy in the World), but if they did then there are mechanisms avaliable to counter that type of behaviour, not least the WTO.

    The EU represents at best a mature economic zone, very likely an economic zone in long term decline. I think, we would be better off increasing our share of the Indian, the Chinese and other far eastern markets which are still a long, long way away from maturity or saturation.

    Trade with these countries would in itself be a good thing, it will enrich both parties.

    Jimmy knows all this, he knows the EU is very likely a shrinking economic zone, He knows too, we do not really have the option or ability to reform the EU in the manner that would better suit Britian. Yet he persists in presenting it as a viable option for us.

    Jimmy claims I am an agent of French government, I do rather hope that in fact it is Jimmy who is our agent provocetur, with disinformation the like of which Jimmy spreads around, our only problem seems to be how to stop laughing.

  • I think we have well and truly reached saturation point on this.

    So long and thanks for the fish…