Friday, 15 April 2016

Review of the week: Project Fear marches on

Well, what a week it’s been!

Still no EurIn equivalent of the Flexcit plan.  Time is running out!

  • On 12 April 2016, the IMF told us, presumably from a script prepared by Chancellor OsBo, that Brexit would cause "severe regional and global damage".  Bullshit. I think they mean “change” - which it certainly would - but why assume all change is bad?  On the other hand, perhaps they see the change as a reduction in its spell over at least one government, in which case it could damage the IMF… but Brexit won’t “damage” Britain per se. Bad governance damages Britain, and we’ve plenty of that already (in or out of Europe).
  • On 13 April 2016, Reuters polled economists - why?! Wouldn’t a pile of astrologers have been more accurate? - one of whom was Philip Rush, UK economist at Nomura Bank.  Reuters quoted him as saying, "Recessionary in the short-term; longer term effects (are) less clear-cut."  The article said, “Thirty-one of the 35 economists polled said the economic impact from Britain leaving the EU would be negative and four said it would have no effect. None said a Brexit would be positive for the economy.”  So the article spun the story as one of “damage” to the UK.  All bullshit.  That the longer-term effects are “less clear-cut” implies that even the short-term prognosis is flawed.  More deception from Project Fear.
  • David Miliband - who? Oh yes, a highly-paid public sector bod who loves Europe so much that he lives and works in America - spoke (and wrote) of Brexit.  It’s very hard to understand what on earth he’s going on about, but he seems to contradict himself: apparently, Britain is only strong when it is subservient to somebody/something else (e.g. a European Union).  Moreover, his understanding of how the European Union looks flawed (remember, he was a British foreign secretary, so should know better).  His base assumption appears to be that Brexit is the same as Fortress Britain, an isolationist cause apparently espoused by Donald Trump; Brexit is more expansionist that EurIn, because Brexit isn’t limited by tin-pot Europe’s tin-pot borders.  So it looks like Project Fear wheeled out a celebrity name for the Labour movement to try and manipulate/scare the Labour voter to vote for EurIn.
  • Following the Dutch plebiscite vote against a proposed treaty of associate membership of the EU for Ukraine, Reuters found an intriguing comment:  "It [the no vote] will probably lead to a cosmetic solution, a little legal fix, which in future will give more reasons to vote 'No'," said Luuk Van Middelaar, a Dutch historian and an aide to former European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. "This is the vicious circle of euroscepticism, which keeps fuelling itself."
  • On 11 April 2016, Euractive.com interviewed a Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, headlined “EU ‘clearly went too far’ in Brexit concessions” on the grounds that the ‘emergency brake’ would lead to the end of European freedom of movement.  Lambsdorff is a liberal, and perceives inhibited movement to be cocercive.  I’m sympathetic to that as a principle, but what is the point of freedom of movement within a regional union when exercising such movement results in zero future economic gain (because of the implementation of a harmonised social model of (un)employment)?  Other MEPs are allegedly campaigning for a Brexit on a “let them leave!” basis.  Great: who are they?  Have they appeared in the British media yet?
  • On the same day, Euractive.com published a really chilling opinion by a former European Commission official.  Entitled, “Why we should ban referenda on EU policies”, Fraser Cameron wrote, “It is hardly democratic that 30% of voters in one member state can block a policy approved by 27 member states.”  The sinister vested interest of technocracy - a cancer of democracy, the Sovietisation of Europe - is unmistakeable in Fraser Cameron’s emotional, reactionary, ill-considered piece.  But the snobbery with which he looks down at us taxpaying plebs is unmistakeable, even if he wants to say that it was unintentional.  Unsurprisingly, Project Fear seemed not to play this article as a strength of the European Union.
  • On 11 April 2016, John Longworth - the former chairman of the British Chambers of Commerce who dared to express his own personal opinion, an opinion of Brexit and therefore against the establishment - wrote his opinion in the Guardian.  Distinguishing between the short-termist “Anti-Brexit multinational corporations, which represent only around 5% of the businesses in Britain” against the “ the voices of the real economy, and representative of those who generate the vast majority of our output”, Longworth portrays big business as inherently in favour of a European Union that protects the barriers to entry - regulations - that protect their industries.  I have already commented on this commercial function of regulation.
  • On 14 April 2016, Jeremy Corbyn spoke of why his Labour Party shall fight to stay in the European Union.  This contrasts with his previous antagonism of the European Union for being too capitalist.  For many socialists, the EU is still too capitalist.  So it looks like Corbyn is representing his party rather than the interests of his people, and certainly appears to have abandoned his principles.  Yet, since 1976 and 2016, the EU has increased its market-socialist policy choices.  This renders him without credibility on this issue.  He seemed to have little understanding of the political strategy of the left previously espoused by Labour MP Kate Hoey, whereby Brexit was inherently left-wing.  What little Corbyn did say was negative consequences of Brexit, i.e. Project Fear scaremongering (apparently, workers rights will be abolished if Brexit happens; hence why a reconciliation to Hoey’s views was fundamental for Corbyn to describe).  For me, therefore, that Corbyn apparently wants EurIn is a pretty strong reason for me to want Brexit.  Sadly, there is no comprehensive transcript of his speech readily available via Google Search.  Actually, that’s just as well: from the write-ups, it probably would be worth it.
  • Not directly relevant to the European Union, on 15 April 2016, the German chancellor agreed to prosecute a comedian who broke German law.  His crime was to insult a foreign leader.  The leader in question is near-Europe’s newest autocrat, Turkish leader Erdoğan.  Whatever German law says, it demonstrates that Europe’s elite is more concerned with its own interests necessarily at the expense of us taxpaying plebs.  It’s one thing to libel another; its quite another to point to the absurdity of another’s choices.  The comedian demonstrated the autocracy of Erdoğan, and gave a European leader the option to defend the people’s free speech, or side with a fellow elitist.  The leader chose the latter.  Birds of a feather stick together.

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