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An odd argument for Remain

In order not to miss Record Review, essential Saturday morning listening for me, I have BBC Radio Three on as soon as I wake up on Saturday morning. BBC Radio Three interrupts itself from time to time with news bulletins, and on the most recent of these, at 8 am, I just heard a very strange argument from the Remainders.

Sir James Dyson, the vacuum cleaner maker, has just announced that he favours Brexit, the BBC news revealed. (The above link from another source confirms this announcement.) Brexit, Dyson says, would mean more jobs for Brits, or something along those lines. The “Remain Campaign”, I think that was the phrase, by which was meant the “Official” Remainder campaign, responded to Dyson’s announcement by saying that Dyson was wrong to back Brexit, and that he was wrong when, some years ago (I think the number was six but I don’t recall it exactly (LATER: sorry, SIXTEEN), he was … in favour of Britain joining the Euro. Which apparently Dyson was.

So, according to the logic of this particular Remainder argument, if you were once upon a time wrong in favouring Britain joining the Euro, you must now be wrong in your opinion about whether Britain should Leave or Remain in the EU as a whole, now.

But I am pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of those Brits who favoured the Euro in the past, are Remainders now. Dyson’s combination of positions is a very rare and anomalous one. He has changed his mind. He must have, because Britain can’t join the Euro and leave the EU. (Can it?) Much more common is the combination of views of having once upon a time favoured Britain joining the Euro (and perhaps still now favouring this), and of now favouring Britain remaining in the EU. The Euro is, after all, the core idea of the EU, around which all other EU policies circulate like mere planets around the sun.

So, if the Official Remainders now concede that Britain joining the Euro would have been a mistake, they must now concede that many of their now most prominent supporters were wrong about the Euro, and therefore wrong now, about Remaining.

LATER: Here is the BBC version of the story.

Britain Stronger in Europe said: “James Dyson wanted the UK to join the euro. He was wrong then and he is wrong now.”

This report goes into all the disappointments Dyson has had with EUro-law. See also some of the comments below.

29 comments to An odd argument for Remain

  • Paul Marks

    Correct Brian.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    LATER: I just heard the repeat version of the above mentioned news bulletin, at 9am, and I have the above Dyson story about right.

    Also, the BBC had another odd news story, about the “rapid spread of artificial light” in the world. Four out of five places on earth now enjoy this. This sounds to me like terrific news, and powerful evidence that all the BBC grumbling you hear about deepening poverty etc. is tosh. But some scientists, it seems, have been grumbling about all these electric lights. If suffering from “light pollution” (the phrase used by the scientists to describe being able to see all the things you want to see during the hours of darkness), you will not be able to see the universe. Like that’s the only thing we all want to see at night.

    These people are really not in favour of us all getting rich, are they? Whether it’s by leaving the EU or by having lights to switch on at night.

  • I saw this same story about 30 minutes ago on the BBC and was _immediately_ struck by the very absurdity that Brain also saw. Either we are both geniuses or (which I very much rather hope) this is a major own goal by remain.

    (In the above sentence, I am of course willing to follow Instapundit’s occasional advice to “embrace the healing power of “and” 🙂 ).

  • Lee Moore

    I assume the BBC was eagerly quizzing the Remain spokesperson on whether other folk who had eagerly backed Britain joining the Euro, and were now on the Remain side, were still keen on Britain joining the Euro ? No ? You amaze me.

  • Jim

    They’re just lying. I’ve have never seen such blatant ‘F*ck you, I’m lying and I don’t give a monkey’s if you know I am’ type behaviour. The entire Remain campaign have shown the true colours of the Establishment and I will never vote for a single one of them again, regardless of their party.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Dyson took full advantage of the recent EU rulings on vacuum cleaner power ratings and restrictions, even campaigning for them. As the holder of several patents and backed by an army of IP lawyers, he saw the commercial advantage in having his competitors struggle to have a decent product without just bumping up the power, as they would have to either pay him for the technology or lose out in the market.

    It was probably the loss in court against Bosch that made him realize he wont be able to manipulate the market using EU diktats like he thought, because, as we all know, the “common” market is really just for the prosperity of the French and Germans, any one else is not allowed to play least of all the British, no EU court will rule against a German company over a British company.

  • Alisa

    Runcie, I’ve been having similar thoughts about Dyson’s earlier incentives for supporting the Remainder. However now, even though he does seem to have been screwed by the Germans, does he have anything material to gain from Brexit?

  • Myno

    Thank you. I was trying to recall how Dyson got hoisted on his own petard when I read your post.

  • Lee Moore

    pedantry trigger warning

    A petard is a kind of bomb, not a kind of hook. You are hoisted (ie blown into the air) by it, not on it.

  • Bruce Hoult

    If you chaps in the UK want to join a nice little free trade/free movement area with NZ & Aus .. that might work quite well. Maybe even Canada&US, although those guys south of the border can be a bit dodge.

  • A petard is a kind of bomb, not a kind of hook. You are hoisted (ie blown into the air) by it, not on it.

    Tell that to Slim Pickens.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I have a lot of time for Dyson, he is a perfect blend of technologist and businessman, the kind of successful person that shows the UK can stand tall and punch above its weight, despite what the nay-sayers in the Remain Camp believe, but his scientific credentials seemed to have taken a back seat with the EU power rules.

    Just because a device uses less power does not mean it is more efficient, a lower power vacuum cleaner just gets used twice as long. Real power efficiency comes from what I term “turn off-and-on-able”* which is what the Bosch design is, and for Dyson of all people not to realise this long before he engaged in a campaign of trying to turn his business into a monopoly.

    The irony was, that Dyson argued the EU rules would encourage vacuum cleaner manufacturers to design better and more efficient machines, and they did, just not using his closely guarded patents.

    Dyson may well have been suckered by an EU that thinks it is in the vanguard of energy efficiency and saving the world from climate change caused by excessive CO2 emissions, yet the same institution commands all new cars to have daytime running lights, which although is a tiny amount of excess fuel use per car, multiplied by the future vehicles being made under EU jurisdiction will result is a significant increase in CO2 – forever.

    Science is not the EU strong point, and Dyson should have realized this before setting out on his endeavor. His change in heart is most certainly sour grapes, but kudos to him if he has woken up and smelled the coffee. In fact that’s the exact opposite of the Groß-Europe army, appreciating someone can change their mind.

    * showing my age

  • Alsadius

    There’s no particular reason Britain can’t use the Euro without the EU’s permission – Panama uses the US dollar, for example. You never would, but you could in principle.

  • Bruce Hoult

    Russia can’t decide whether it uses the dollar or the euro.

    When I opened an account for my salary to go into, the bank asked whether I preferred a dollar or euro account to go with my ruble account, or both. I (or any Russian employee, I believe) can get some or all of my salary deposited as dollars or euros, with conversion at (if I recall) the current interbank rate plus 0.5%. All the Russians I know seem to convert money back and forth between rubles and dollars/euros, in their own accounts. ATMs are happy to give you any of rubles, dollars, or euros — direct from the corresponding account, with no fee, or from another account with a not terribly good exchange rate (better to convert it online first).

  • Stonyground

    “Science is not the EU strong point,…”

    This is particularly apparent when you consider that they want to apply their low energy rules to kettles. It is simply the most basic physics that you use the same amount of energy whether you boil water quickly or slowly.

  • Myno

    I profess ignorance of EU Kettle Rules (as well as the details of certain olde phrases, obviously ;>). But alas, science is not engineering. Typically, kettle insulation is far from perfect, so hurry up with that boiling, lest you expend most of your energy heating the surrounding room.

  • Mr Ed

    Iirc, Montenegro uses the Euro whilst outside the EU. And I heard the same argument on Radio 4 as I drove to London today. My main purchase, a jar of non-EU honey at Fortnum and Mason, from Pitcairn Island.

    And isn’t the Remain camapign headed by a one-time free-trader who used to sell goods from outside the EU bypassing EU customs, if you count dope peddlars, as you should. Perhaps the stuff is affecting his reasoning?

  • JohnW

    I can’t imagine why Dyson might be dissatisfied with EU Law.

  • nemesis

    I think the level of debate from both camps has been poor, based on short-term self-interests and not on long standing proven principles.

  • JohnW

    I think the level of debate from both camps has been poor, based on short-term self-interests and not on long standing proven principles.

    EU is Plato.

    UK is Aristotle.

    Vote Brexit.

  • Sam Duncan

    “I think the level of debate from both camps has been poor, based on short-term self-interests and not on long standing proven principles.”

    As my brother put it the other day, they seem to think they’re fighting a general election rather than a referendum.

  • Pat

    I, in common with the overwhelming majority of Britons then alive, voted to join what the moderate men of the centre- Heath, Wilson etc.-assured us was a free market area with no possibility of loss of sovereignty. Sure those wackos Benn and Powell warned otherwise but we all went with the moderates.
    I feel free to change my mind now that I have thirty plus years of evidence as too who was telling the truth.
    I would say that those who believed the experts as to the wisdom of the Euro are also entitled to change their minds in the light of experience.

  • Mr Ed

    Talking of odd arguments for Remain, it seems that Mr Corbyn is coming to the climax of his national tour for Remain, or should that be ‘Re-Maim’?

    I am reminded of Willie Whitelaw’s dig at Harold Wilson, he is ‘going round and round the country, stirring up apathy.’.

  • Thailover

    Yes, the “stay” arguments are all over the place, just like Johnny Cochran’s arguments were all over the place when defending OJ Simpson in the trial over the murder of his wife. (OJ was said to be both golfing at the time, and had arthritis in his hands so badly that he couldn’t weild a knife. Apparently a 9-iron is easier to use than a butcher knife, or so we’re to believe).

    So, all-over-the-place arguments to stay in the union smack of desparation. Ditto about lying about the rife public support for leaving the room of shackels. After all, a nation can do everything outside the union that they can do inside the union, without the foreign masters and stacks of regulations, which at the end of the day really amount to restrictions and, if you’re lucky, permissions.

  • Lee Moore

    I seem to recall ol’ Snake Oil Johnny won his case though.

    Top notch lawyer, IMHO, the old block from which the rest of ’em were chipped.

  • Mr Ed

    But Mr Cochran was only required to ensure that the prosecution case left reasonable doubt, and acquittal would follow (if the jury played to the rules), here the argument is framed over a binary choice. There is no burden of proof on either side.

    The usual rule in EU referendums is that if you get it wrong, you vote again until you get it right. So they had better ensure the ‘right’ result first time.

  • TomJ

    Boiling water slowly uses slightly more energy, as there is more time for heat to be lost…

  • jsallison

    They knight people for vacuum cleaners? I’ll assume he has other ‘interests’. Tell me he’s not another musically inclined flamboyant faggot. I guess my definition of important accomplishments differs from the apparent norm.