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A ‘Ghastliness’ of Luvvies implores us to Remain in the EU

As if Brexit the Movie needed a counter, news reaches us of what appears to be a co-ordinated campaign amongst the ‘Luvvies’ (an affectionate (?) term for those who act or have acted for a living etc.) to implore us to remain in the EU.

By their friends shall ye know them.

“Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.”

Well that is quite a remarkable claim. Would Shakespeare have produced better plays if the Spanish Armada had won? Have the Luvvies unleashed a Hellburner into the Leave campaign’s flotilla of arguments?

Who said anything about ‘walking away‘? Aren’t we quite happy where geography has put us?

But there is reputedly an economic angle:

Alan Johnson, chair of the Labour In for Britain campaign, said leaving the EU would mean higher tariffs on exports and digital and creative industries were “better off with the UK in EU” with access to the single market.

Good luck with tariffs on theatrical productions, and streaming.

A bit of balance in the article from Lord (Michael) Dobbs, a Conservative peer and author.

“Culture owes nothing to committees.
“Ancient Greece was the birthplace of our civilisation yet today, because of the EU’s appalling policies, streets that were once filled with the world’s greatest philosophers and playwrights are choked with desperate beggars and mountains of rotting rubbish.
“These are the realities of the EU. It’s failing. The dream is dead. We need to move on.”

I’m sure that Soviet and East German Culture owed a lot to the Central Committee, but let’s not go there.

30 comments to A ‘Ghastliness’ of Luvvies implores us to Remain in the EU

  • Rob Fisher

    “leaving the EU would mean higher tariffs on exports” How is this not complete bollocks? Why would the British government apply export tariffs? On anything, let alone paintings?

  • Cal

    The whole basis of the Remain campaign seems to me to be creating the false impression that if we left the EU we would have no access to the single market, and this we would be impoverished. This seems to be working. Those sort of worries will bring out people to vote Remain, who might otherwise have stayed at home, or even voted Leave.

    It is essential that the hopeless Leave campaign blows this BS out of the water. If they do that soon they will have a chance. Otherwise the vote is lost.

    “As if Brexit the Movie needed a counter”

    Which, of course, it doesn’t, as it simply being ignored by the medias, so no-one knows about it.

  • Alisa

    Rob, I read that as the possibility that the EU would levy tariffs on UK exports to the EU.

  • Mr Ed


    I took a generous view of the ‘tariff on exports’ issue as being intended to view the tariff as falling on ‘our exports’ as another’s ‘imports’. Export tariffs were used in Argentina until recently I believe, the justification being to keep local food prices down by ‘incentivising’ farmers to dump produce on their home market.

  • NickM

    Rob, I second what Alisa said. I recently bought an IBM M-class keyboard (a museum piece, really) from an eBay vendor in the USA and I had to pay duty.Free trade is a brilliant idea but is just an idea. Yet.

  • NickM

    Mr Ed,
    Argentina is a basket-case. Brazil will soon be joining it in the Venezuela Club. Fuck knows what is really going on there.

  • Greytop

    I can only assume that those people who play in the dressing up box are aching to play in French and German dressing up boxes, hence the outpourings.

    Or to be fair, it is a valiant attempt by the Remain (Remainders, as in discount bookshops?) that we are all so brain dead that we somehow believe actors have nobler political thoughts than we peasants.

  • Paul Marks

    This is just awful. The E.U (i.e. the German government – which is what the E.U. really is) is in no position to impose tariffs against British companies – because German companies sell far more to British customers than British companies sell to German customers.

    The argument from trade is just demented. One does not put trade restrictions against one’s customers.

    As for the second argument…….

    “We want our subsidies – our “funding””.

    I see so you want to steal money by threats of violence.

    What charming people you are.

  • Alisa

    Argentina is a basket-case. Brazil will soon be joining it in the Venezuela Club. Fuck knows what is really going on there.

    I believe it’s called Socialism.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The more this debate has gone on, the more determined I am to vote leave.

  • PeterT

    The E.U (i.e. the German government – which is what the E.U. really is) is in no position to impose tariffs against British companies – because German companies sell far more to British customers than British companies sell to German customers

    This is a big assumption. There are strong incentives in places for the EU to make the UK leaving as painful as possible. Also, the decision needs to be unanimous. Maybe Spain will block it unless we give them Gibraltar; maybe Greece want the Elgin marbles back; Germany may want to give us a quarter of a million refugees? My view is that almost any price is worth paying (I’d be happy to take a 30% salary cut for example), but it could be painful in the short term. The vast majority of people are only willing to Leave at NO cost to themselves.

    The best option is for the UK to join the EEA. This gives all the economic benefits of being in the EU but none of the political baggage. It still leaves us with freedom of movement of labour (which personally I don’t mind – and I think that’s true for most Brits) but gives us the ’emergency break’ on immigration which Cameron sought and failed to get from Brussels.

    I don’t think it is necessary for the Leave campaign to precisely set out what should be done in the event of Leave, but they need to make clear that jobs and the economy are the number 1 priority in negotiations, and emphasise that those can be safeguarded, even if concessions may be required in other areas (movement of labour, contribution to EU budget maybe).

    I’m with Cal on this. There is still time for the Leave campaign to correct course, but not much, maybe two weeks on the outside.

  • Lee Moore

    JP : The more this debate has gone on, the more determined I am to vote leave.

    Yeah, but how many times ? Unless you’ve got at least a hundred fake postal votes set up you’re not really trying. Vote early, vote often !

    Incidentally, I need to correct Mr Ed on his English. The collective noun for luvvies is not a “ghastliness” – though I concede that’s fairly descriptive. It’s a “mwah”

  • NickM

    How short-term is short-term? This is not going to be over by Christmas. Merkel will do her level best to make entry into the EEA a nightmare and the Jocks will call another referendum.

  • Actually, NickM, the Jocks (that is, the natz) are seriously hoping not to get caught between the rock of Brexit and the hard place of being stampeded by wild followers into a second failed referendum they will lose, run when people remember the predictions of the last one and oil’s price is on the floor. Both some sotto voce remarks by her and some reporting that I credit suggests Sturgeon dreads that situation – she wants to play the long game because she (rationally IMNSHO) thinks she’s sure to lose the short.

  • Stonyground

    The Daily Mash has got this one covered:

    A WOMAN cannot decide which way to vote in the EU referendum because she fancies Jude Law but loathes Keira Knightley. Joanna Kramer, from Stoke-on-Trent, says the letter from 250 British stars backing the Remain campaign has confused the issue because of her conflicting feelings about them. She added: “If Paloma Faith backs staying in the EU then I’m out, because she’s an irritating tart with a well common voice. So you’d think the issue would be settled. But then Benedict Cumberbatch is in, and he’s lush, but then Jessie Ware’s signed and she really annoys me, though come to think of it I’ve mixed her up with Jessie J. Really it does come down to Law and Knightley, because he’s gorgeous even though he has gone bald and she can’t act and is nothing but a posh slag. What to do, what to do? I think I’ll wait and see what Adele says. She’s never led me wrong.”

  • John B

    Tariffs are applied on imports by the importing nation.

    Post-Brexit any tariffs applied on British goods imported into a non-EU Country would be identical to tariffs now, because such tariffs are determined by the WTO, not the EU.

    Tariffs imposed by the EU on goods from the UK, would risk retaliatory tariffs on EU goods into the UK. Why would the EU do that?

    When in the past the UK fought for its sovereignty and freedom, tariffs and jobs and exports were not the primary concern.

    And in fact in WWI & II, the main problem was effect on imports, not exports. We need imports and imports make us wealthier not exports. Exports cost us money and make people in other Countrues wealthier.

  • Derek Buxton

    The idiot Paxman could have saved himself a trip to Brussels by looking on his computer. Going to EUReferedum he could have got all the information he wanted without the lies. He would have found that there is a plan to exit called “Flexcit” which covers everrything you need to know, accurately!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Having discussed this with some friends of mine who have an idea of German politics, one argument I have heard is that if the UK votes to leave, then folks in Berlin will be rapidly contacting London to work out some sort of new trade deal. Northern European and some other countries see themselves as being on the same wavelength in some degree to the UK. A lot of Germans are grumpy about the euro, Greece, etc, and might be open to a deal with the UK. As would the Dutch, Denmark, possibly some others. And even the French, given their exports of wine, luxury goods etc to the UK, and earnings from holiday business, would not want to spite the Brits over this. Sure, there will be hurt and some dismay, but unless continental Europeans are terminally thick, some sort of deal with be hammered out.

    I think there is a good chance that the leave side could win; a lot will depend on turnout.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Mr Ed: thank you for the Hellburner link: it’s great to learn about a European collaboration like that, between 3 of the leading Western countries of the last millennium (Italy, the Netherlands, and England), all 3 of which moreover i have been privileged to be associated with. (I note, however, that the villain in this story, the Duke of Parma, was also Italian, at least on his father’s side.)

    Argentina is a basket-case.

    The new government gives hope. Latin American countries have a way of disappointing every few decades, but let’s not pull the Argies’ feet.

    The E.U (i.e. the German government – which is what the E.U. really is)

    If only! the Brexit movie gets it right: the problem with the EU is that it is based on the French model.

    Also, the decision needs to be unanimous. Maybe Spain will block it unless we give them Gibraltar; maybe Greece want the Elgin marbles back; Germany may want to give us a quarter of a million refugees?

    I don’t see why the UK can’t leave unilaterally: you’ve got the nukes, don’t you?
    Gibraltar is not yours to give; and leaving aside the Elgin marbles, you can “accept” a quarter of a million refugees without actually taking them in, as the Eastern Europeans have shown.

  • PeterT

    NickM. Well, I obviously don’t know how long the short term would be, although I don’t expect we would notify the EU of our intention to leave immediately (could easily be a year whilst initial feelers are put out, various white papers drafted and so on). And once we do provide notification it is two years until we get to leave (not sure whether it could be sooner if negotiations are successful.) In any event, I don’t expect there could be any serious economic consequences until such time as we do leave, although the effects of uncertainty are often mentioned.

    Notwithstanding my previous points – which probably overstated the case, I just don’t find the notion that we have lots of leverage very convincing – I find it hard to believe that there isn’t some compromise that both the UK and EU would be willing to reach. As mentioned, the EEA isn’t such a bad option, and it would be weird if we couldn’t join it. My view is that we should just join, then after a decent interlude call the EU’s bluff on immigration and apply the ’emergency brake’ that the EEA would provide us with.

    Snorri, we could leave unilaterally, but that would leave us relying on WTO rules to trade. Unfortunately that isn’t quite good enough by itself. What happens at the moment is that national regulators, i.e. British in this case, regulate goods and services according to EU law. Safe in the knowledge that we are doing our job properly (and frankly, probably much more properly than other EU member countries that I could mention) our goods and services can trade in the EEA (including EU) without additional checks. Non EEA countries have similar ‘mutual recognition agreements’ in place, but this would take time to negotiate, and frankly why should the EU have patience with this when the off the shelf EEA option exists? I don’t understand why we couldn’t join the EEA sans the free movement of peoples, but I am told that this would be problematic.

    Gibraltar – yes it is. See Hong Kong
    Refugees – yes, I am sure there would be scope to be disingenuous; there usually is (although Merkel is German of course)

    As Derek mentioned eureferendum is a good website, and also its sister site:


    I have to say though, that the proprietor of the website Richard North seems quite convinced about the necessity and benefit of economic laws and regulations. This doesn’t obviously sit well with most of us anarchistic types. But it has to be conceded that, to paraphrase; even if we don’t like regulations, regulations like us, and we need to deal with it if we are to interact with the world.

    Anyway, fuck it. I am voting Leave and damn the consequences. You don’t stay in a bad marriage just because you like your other half’s cooking.

  • Snorri Godhi

    WRT Gibraltar: my understanding is that the UK is committed to making no changes to the present arrangement without the consent of the Gibraltarians; and also committed to not offering independence to Gibraltar without Spanish consent.
    Maybe i am wrong, but if i am right about the 1st commitment, then handing over Gibraltar to Spain would not be an honorable thing to do.

  • Apparently the celebs who told us to remain in the EU had an incentive to do so.

  • Apparently I need an incentive to write my html links with more care. 🙂 Let’s try again.

    Apparently the celebs who told us to remain in the EU had an incentive to do so.

  • Thailover

    You don’t place tariffs on exports.
    …Oh, they mean OTHER NATIONS will CHOOSE to place a tariff on their imports. Meaning that if they want what you produce, it will cost the people of Europe more to purchase. When one nation goes to war with another, one of the usual strategies and tactics is to place an embargo on their nation, to reduce trade. Because reduced trade HARMS that nation economically. If Europe wishes to place a sort of self-imposed embargo on themselves….who’s to complain, you know, except for the people of Europe who already have an average standard of living far below the typical American and Brit.

    On average, the typical poor family in America (earning within the lowest quintile of income) has a higher standard of living than the average middle class family in Italy.

    Anyone that would suggest that a nation strapping itself to others that are less economically successful or financially sound a smart thing to do…is either lying to you or fairly stupid themselves.

  • Thailover

    If the EU is prepared to make it painful for the UK to leave, then this is, presumably, because the EU is siphoning off resources from the UK…like a leach on it’s host. This is exactly why, (among other reasons) the UK should detach itself from the EU.

    The EU is an advanced cancer patient grafted onto the UK’s hip, with the usual collectivists saying that this grafting is good for the UK. And, oh no, don’t separate or you’ll no longer receive discount pricing on cancer meds. ‘Meds which you don’t need…yet.

    Separate yourself from these collectivist socialist boat anchors before they pull you down with them.

  • Thailover

    Niall wrote,
    “Apparently the celebs who told us to remain in the EU had an incentive to do so.”

    This SHOULD be an enormous scandal, but of course it won’t be because the average Joe bag-a-donuts is apathetic and a bit jaded.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    “Culture owes nothing to committees.”

    The supreme exception to this dictum is The King James Bible.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    A ghastliness of luvvies. Love it! It deserves wider circulation, so I’m going to use it whenever I get the chance.

  • Jason

    I have a lot more faith in the electorate than the luvvies do. White van man may be widely derided in the rarified atmosphere of the Westminster Village and the dressing rooms of the nation’s theatres, however I’m pretty sure he can spot this sort of bullshit when he sees it; indeed, it may be the case that Cumberbatch et al have inspired some erstwhile fence-sitters to vote Brexit.

    I think the pundits may yet be surprised by the strength of the ‘leave’ vote in June, as they were with the result of the general election last year. There’s a special type of solipsism that shrouds the perceptions of media types and pollsters; the fact that there may be others who care less about the daily predictions of fiscal doom in favour of their gut instincts about ‘sovereignty’ etc may just not appear on their radar.