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June 20, 2016



audiatur et altera pars, old bean


I agree completely about the campaign, despite having leant to 'Leave' since the Greece episode. But thinking about what any likely UK government would do - as opposed to the fantasy one I might like - has made me strongly support Remain.

I think we've heard plenty from both sides recently.


I find Farage and his tactics contemptible but I will still be voting to leave. I have made my judgement for my own reasons and I will not reject my own conclusions simply because some halfwit wannabe fascist has arrived at the right conclusion for the wrong reasons. As an aside I would also say that though the level of debate between the national campaigns has been woeful, the way that people (in my neck of the woods at least) have approached it has been respectful, polite and very good natured. I have no idea which side will win, but if my acquaintances are any indication, I think that supporters of both camps will choose their vote for the best of reasons.


Worth noting that most of Lilico's objections are flawed. His "risks of being in the EU" are actually "risks of being geographically located in Europe" along with "risks of being a member of the IMF in good standing."



let us assume that your reasons for wishing for the UK to leave the EU are such that a Leave vote is the appropriate position for a rational observer.

What do you think the actual real world effect of such a vote will be? Will it achive you desired goals? What will be the costs and benefits over the short and medium term?

Including, specifically, do you not think that a win will promote Nigel Farage and his nationalistic, racist, populism to be a leading feature of UK politics for the next 20 years?

a random eman

I lived through the Scottish independence campaign, where I voted No and would do so again. So many of the arguments used by Leave are the same as those of Yes (albeit minus the racism), indeed they have recycled the absurd 'Project Fear' slogan.

Only a fool can look at either the UK or EU and not see flawed organisations. But the practical problems of leaving either are huge. Today I read about the constitutional problems with leaving the EU. Both the Scottish and Ulster parliaments presume the UK is in the EU and it would be a Herculean task to change the law without falling afoul of either parliament.

And so, for this and plenty of other reasons, I see no purpose in leaving the EU. It probably gives us economic weakness, constitutional hell, rubbish governance and possible breakup of UK. In exchange, we get nebulous talk of 'sovereignty'.

John K

I don't think the Leave side are any more anti-intellectual than Tories in general, it's more that they are bullshitters in the technical sense:



«the imposition of austerity onto Greece»
«leant to 'Leave' since the Greece episode»

The usual delusional leftie hobbyhorse!

There has been *no austerity* in Greece until 2014, and then it was SYRIZA that caused it.

The greek governments (right-wing kleptocracies feeding their rentier base) simple defrauded using massive false accounting a few hundred billions from eurozone banks (which partially connived with the fraud), resulting in government and trade deficits of 20% (twenty percent) of GGP as the level of the fraud reached 20% of GDP, and then that money stopped, and only the 3-5% EIU fiscal transfer remained, and they had to return to the "austerity" they had in 2004, which was considered a boom year.

If Greece is entitled for humanitarian reasons to fiscal transfers of 20-25% of GDP per year instead of 3-5%, then why not Romania and Bulgaria that are far poorer?

And if Greece is entitled for humanitarian reasons to fiscal transfers of 20-25% of GDP per year instead of 3-5%, why should only France, Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Italy, ... pay for that instead of the USA and the UK that are strategic military allies of the greek government?

Poland, Germany France, Italy, ... have already given a few hundred billions of fiscal transfer to the greek government, while the USA and the UK stood by laughing (or rather, giving them to their property speculators and financial executives).


«promote Nigel Farage and his nationalistic, racist, populism to be a leading feature of UK politics for the next 20 years?»

Haven't the past 20-40 years already been years where the leading features were jingoism, property-speculator populism, and ferocious classism?

Sure, it was trade union rabid excesses and Right-To-Buy that gave the UK 20-40 year of ever deeper Thatcherism, and it would be nice to consolidate that for the next 20 years, but there is little prospect of avoiding that regardless. Until the last thatcherite property speculator rentier can vote..


«I find Farage and his tactics contemptible [ ... ] some halfwit wannabe fascist»

I think that is a great mistake, he is not a fascist nor a halfwit by any means, he is just a high tory cad, like Alan Clark (could he be one his byblows? :->). A nostalgic for the pre-WWI UK Empire, or at least for its "our elites know best whats in their own 'national' interest" politics.

I think that he left the Conservatives for UKIP because the Conservative elites have become more whiggish (and cosmopolitan) than tory (and little [imperial] englander). The "independence" theme seems just a symptom to me.


The age old left wing intellectual conceit. Yawn.


Are you not convinced by Richard Tuck who concludes remaining in the EU will:

"End of any hope of a genuinely left politics in the UK."

End of section I. Socialistic link in original post.


There is the sovereignty issue.


Laws passed by the House of commons can be overidden by the European Court of Justice.


"It is clear that EU law remains supreme in the UK, that this includes the Charter, and that the judges of the ECJ continue to 'interpret' it to expand its scope."


"Laws passed by the House of commons can be overidden by the European Court of Justice"

Yes, and they have been on precisely one occasion. British fishermen (note *British*) kept their registration as *British* while using foreign and poorer crew to do the actual fishing. EU courts said that *British*'fishermen could continue to exploit poor people to fish for them. British fishermen cheerfully continued to exploit poor people to fish for them.


Isn't democracy in the EU great?


"As Ars reported recently, CETA was negotiated in secret for many years, with no input from the public. Supporters of CETA claimed that this was not a problem, and that the negotiations were fully democratic, because the national parliaments of all 28 member states would be able to vote on it later, giving the 500 million EU citizens a chance to make their views known. If Italy vetoes those national debates, the only opportunity people will have to influence CETA's ratification will be the vote in the European Parliament."

CETA is the Canadian equivalent of TTIP including ISDS. It is like the EU treaties
in that:"

http://www.lawyersforbritain.org/eulaw-ecj-primacy.shtml (on the EU treaties)

"unlike normal international treaties, it penetrates into the domestic courts and internal legal systems of Member States"


Is this Factortame ltd?


Where the British are Spanish:
"Spanish fishing interests who registered a UK off-the-shelf company called 'Factortame Ltd'"

If Sovereign the UK parliament can address abuses of the Labour laws, otherwise we are constrained by the EU Laws which have primacy.

From the above link.

National Veto's like those of the Lisbon treaty.

"Where the onward progress of European integration has been blocked by national vetoes, the Court has been willing to re-interpret the Treaty to make up for the lack of progress on the legislative front. In a whole series of tax cases, the Court invoked the general clauses of the Treaty on non-discrimination to strike down national tax legislation."


"Firstly, as mentioned, the EU is telling the Dutch government not to adhere to its own law. Secondly, the Dutch government itself is not following its own law by entering into negotiations for which the referendum law offers no basis, likely because the result of the referendum is displeasing to the pro-EU establishment."

Ralph Musgrave

Given the pseudo intellectual drivel we get from many self-styled intellectuals, Farage’s anti-intellectual common sense is positively refreshing.

As for Chris Dillow’s claim to be concerned about intellectual rigour, I’m not impressed. He claims Leavers want to stir up racism in relation to immigration (para starting “And then, of course, there’s immigration”). Just one teensy problem there: most Europeans are the same race Brits! In contrast (and highlighted by the above UKIP poster) there’s Muslim immigration. But Muslims are the least productive group in our country, not to mention the other wonders they bring like hate preachers, cartoonist murderers, suicide bombers, etc. Thus Chris’s arguments about the productiveness of immigrants don’t apply to that group.


I have already voted to remain, but it is with deep misgivings as the EU is deeply flawed and our "partners" have already rejected clear opportunities to reform. They gambled on the UK electorate continuing to swallow a beggar thy neighbour approach and if Brexit is avoided they will feel absolutely no need to change that position.

The problem with immigration specifically is that our "EU partners" are able export unemployment created by the ill conceived currency union strategy as low skilled abd low productivity migration into the UK. They do this in the full knowledge of the pressures it puts on the UK, and it is a serious misplacement of responsibility to suggest that UK citizens should bear the incremental costs of rapidly scaling housing, education, healthcare etc... to absorb the demand.

Straw man claims that if we exclude certain costs from uncontrolled migration the UK might just scrape a positive overall benefit to the UK are deliberately and fancifully missing the point, the intellectually rigorous position is to look at economic migration as an economic calculation on both sides. The UK should be looking to get the best economic deal for its citizens from economic immigration, that means we don't want the economic migrants who will require long term subsidy.


you shouldn't be voting based on the quality or shortcomings of the campaign - you should be voting for the option that is best for the UK.
(this is the Baronness Farzi fallacy, she seemed to be saying she thought UK better out, but is voting remain becasue she doesn't like Nigel Farage. What??)


A random eman, yes the Yes Scotland and Vote Leave campaigns are similar. And I agree with your argument about the economy, and I will vote Remain.

However, the EU has nothing to do with devolution, though there is provision to prevent the legislatures interfering with the European Economic Area. This can be removed overnight by the UK Parliament, which controls what things are devolved. Westminster cannot "run afoul" of the devolved legislatures. You may be thinking of the European Convention on Human Rights, which devolved legislation cannot conflict with. That is unrelated to EU membership. That restriction too can be removed immediately by the UK Parliament if we ever leave the Convention. The NI Assembly is not called a parliament btw.

Jeff Pickthall

"the Leavers just don’t care about the truth" - lack of interest or respect for facts is a big warning sign for authoritarianism. This is a pretty big reason, amongst others, to vote In. "The Authoritarians" by Prof Bob Altemeyer is essential reading on this.

Churm Rincewind

@ Ralph Musgrave: I'm intrigued by your claim that "Muslims are the least productive group in our country", and I'd be grateful if you could refer me to your evidence.


I agree with this all Chris. I think people who are dissatisfied are scapegoating when its the UK government that has the power to change things re: austerity, welfare, immigration. Britain as a lone island in the world - we'd be sunk. We have few friends, we are small and unexceptional, we are not popular. We have not built a society that is an exemplar to others abroad, we offer no shining light.


"lack of interest or respect for facts is a big warning sign for authoritarianism. Jeff Pickthall.

An excessive reverence for "experts" is a much better indicator, in my opinion. When I lived in the USSR in the 1970's any discussion about democracy boiled down to something like "political decisions should be left to those who are competent in these matters - that is, the party. To involve ordinary citizens would be foolhardy and dangerous". This sentiment is being voiced a million-fold today by those on the left.

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