Full text of article for OMFIF on Brexit

I wrote this article for OMFIF (Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum) and will share with you the version before it had to be shortened:

Out of the EU the UK will have more influence in the world. We will be better off. We will regain control of our borders, our spending and our taxes.

The Leave campaign is full of energy and belief – belief in the ability of the British people to govern ourselves. We believe that the twenty first century needs networks of countries, companies and individuals, requires us to look out to the five continents of the world and to collaborate and trade with the areas of greatest growth and dynamism as well as nearer to home.

Free of the treaty entanglements, taxes and controls of the EU we will be better and happier Europeans. We will be freer to join the clubs, sit at the top tables and influence for the better the main world decision making networks and associations.

Shouldn’t the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy represent herself at the World Trade talks, and do deals with like minded countries around the world? For 43 years inside the EU we have been denied our voice and vote in the WTO by the EU, who have failed to sign trade agreements with the US – the UK’s strongest ally – and with China., India, Brazil and all the other big traders of the globe.

Shouldn’t the UK, a member of NATO and the Five Eyes intelligence grouping also be a full member of the World climate talks and the various world standards bodies? Won’t the UK as an independent country with her own voice and vote in more world bodies have more friends and allies, not fewer, as others will wish to work with us?

Out of the EU we will be able to raise our own taxes in the way of our own choosing, and be able to spend them as we see fit. Today we have to impose certain taxes including VAT, and have to spend on items like benefits in ways required by the EU that often do not meet with the wishes of UK electors. Our Prime Minister has just shown how impotent we are to make minor changes to welfare entitlements which were popular when promised in the last election.

Out of the EU we will have £10 billion more a year to spend, the money we send them and do not get back. We can guarantee to every university, farmer and region of the UK currently in receipt of EU money that they will get the same out of the EU as in, as we first have to send all that money from UK taxpayers to the EU before we get it back.

Out of the EU we will be free to have fair immigration. Today we have to restrict non EU immigration but allow unrestricted EU migration. Running our own system., we still want to welcome anyone with skills, good qualifications, money to support themselves and to invest in the UK. Our universities will still be able to attract the best talent and our businesses hire the best engineers or managers. More of our lower paid jobs will go to our own citizens, as we will be able to control numbers and ease the enormous current pressures on housing, benefits, the NHS and the rest of our public services. As the head of the Remain campaign said, our wages should go up as a result.

This is the bright vision of a better tomorrow the Leave side wants to talk about. Instead we are expected to answer an ever more desperate and absurd set of fears spread around by the people who wish to remain.

We are told we have to stay in to prevent European war. I have good news for the Remain people. Modern Germany and France are peace loving democracies who will not fight each other when we leave, nor will they seek to invade us.

We are told they wont trade with us any more. How bizarre, when they sell us so much more than we sell them I don’t see them wanting 5 million unemployed on the continent as they ban all exports to us. The German government have made clear that they do not want new tariffs and barriers in the way of their exports to us, so accept there cannot be new barriers in the way of our exports to them.

We are told we will have to be like Norway and pay in contributions to carry on trading. What poppycock! Over 160 countries worldwide trade successfully with the EU, and some have grown their trade with the EU more quickly than we have done – but they do not pay a penny into the EU system by way of fees.

They say we no longer share intelligence and take actions to help each other remain safe. Of course if the UK learns of a terrorist plot against France it will pick up the phone and tell them, and I am sure France will do the same for the UK if need arises.

I find it is absurd that those who wish to remain in have such a low view of our partners. They think they are vengeful, and will seek to thwart us if we leave. More importantly, they think they are stupid, and will wish to do harm by damaging their own exports to us or even getting into war without us there as a stabilising influence!

Were we to stay in there will be endless more rows, as even the people who want to stay in say they do not want us to join the Euro, Schengen or the forthcoming political union which are at the heart of the present EU project. Were we to stay in we would be uncomfortable as they go on their wild ride to political union.

We would also need a second referendum quite soon after the first as the rest of them amend the Treaties in ways which trigger such a vote in the UK under our present Referendum law. We know there will soon be a new Treaty , as we have been promised Treaty change as part of the deal the government has just negotiated.

I am a good European, who thinks my continent needs to be democratic and freedom loving. Europe is not my country and never will be. I want my country to restore her own self government. That will make us happier as Europeans. It will leave the others free to complete their currency union and political union without us.

Now is the time for the UK to do what we have always done best. Now is the time to claim back our freedom. In this referendum we must restore our democracy. We are the heirs of Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, and universal suffrage. We should not want to be the people that thought freedom too difficult or self government too risky. It is time to trust the people, not faraway elites who have made so many mistakes in the name of European union.

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129 Comments

  1. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Inspirational.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Yes …and brilliantly said.

    • Hope
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I think you and your colleagues need to stop Cameron’s manoeuvres post election if we vote to leave. He will have in place every obstruction to delay or prevent it occurring. Watch appointments to every body including the Lords. Get rid of him now. He has shown enough failings to his country and party to made part of history- just below Gordon Brown who was inspirational compared to Cameron! At least he had his own ideas. You should be worried about Cameron’s latest musings for staying as an MP not leaving as first claimed, once more, do not believe a word he says.

      Good to read Obama comments over Lybia, Russia fell out with Cameron of the same issue. I seem to recollect Russia was assured that it was not about regime change.

      Is Merkel’s deal with Turkey Cameron’s price for EU charade negotiations? I testing how she does not even try to hide how she leads all negotiations and the EU leaders fall in p,ace afterwards. This dynamic should be a worry to everyone. Thatcher was alive to it.

  2. stred
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Exactly. Europe would be much better as a co-operating group of nation states. This is why the Spinelli’totally bonkers’ advocates, who have built their absurd state, are so intent on appearing on CH 4 news and discrediting the opposition. In fact they dislike the idea of opposition. Please ref . Verhofstadt and Cohn Bendit, amongst others.

    • Hope
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Cameron likes to hold the hem of Merkel’s skirt. It makes him feel safe and have someone who he can blame because he does not possess any leadership skills himself. He is a follower.

      He does not believe in democratic self government. If he did he would have ruled nothing out, as he claimed, after failing to bring about FUNDAMENTAL change and be voting to leave. Now he is going along with free movement of 75 million Turkish people and giving further vast sums of our taxes to Turkey when it is not a member of the EU and the UK is not part of the rock solid EU asylum seeker policy. So on both counts he does not have lumber our nation with any of these burdens. He does so to please his leader Merkel.

  3. Margaret
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Quite. ‘how’ incompetent we are…….
    Although our EU friends are peace loving ,our immigrants use warring methods as a weapon. A useful document has come to light setting out the names of 22,000 Jihadists including those in the EU and UK.

  4. Mercia
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I had a very depressing conversation with my brother over the weekend. He has a business that employs 20 people and trades (online) with about 10 EU nations. Despite saying he “agreed with everything you say” about the EU becoming a tyranny etc etc, he is still voting to stay in as he “cannot risk it”, as he has “his family and staff to think about”.

    So Cameron’s tactics have won in my family, even though my brother hates the EU and agrees he is a “traitor”, he is still voting to stay IN as the uncertainty is just too worrying for him.

    • stred
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      I had a conversation with an extremely intelligent and practical academic friend of 30 years He is inclined to vote Stay, as advised by his Uni. Having looked at the Leave website, there is nothing to say about university grants or research, farming payments or anything practical. You really do have to provide a brief manifesto, showing how continued payments will be made, and how the present liars will not be making the policy.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        You’re right – see also the letter from Prof Hawking and 150 scientists. People who arnt particularly enthused by the EU, arnt particularly political but are wondering what happens if we leave have been left with the impression (thanks UKIP) that Leave means pull up the drawbridge and keep the foreigners out.

        • Know-dice
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
          • Margaret
            Posted March 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

            Are you referring to the 2 year time limit following a decision to Brexit cited by Lord Faulks ?

          • Know Dice
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

            @Margaret…”my bad” 🙁

            I was intending to point to the quote about scientific co-operation…

            Viscount Ridley

            “In the case of scientific co-operation, not only is our closest scientific co-operator—measured by the number of co-authors on scientific papers—the United States, not the EU, but many of the formal scientific collaborations across the continent of Europe, such as the European Molecular Biology Organization, the fusion project ITER, the European Space Agency, and the particle physics laboratory CERN are not EU projects, they are European projects. Indeed, CERN has an accelerator which runs under an EU external border. Furthermore, even the EU’s science funding projects, FP7 and Horizon 2020, have 13 non-EU members in them including Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, ​Israel and other countries. I ask my noble friend the Minister: can we please not make the mistake of using “Europe” when we mean the EU, and not imply that they are the same thing when they are not? One is a political and bureaucratic supranational body with a democratic deficit and the other is a principle of international collaboration.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Indeed one cannot help but think that these esteemed academics are perhaps not quite so bright as they think they are. Or perhaps they just felt it would help with their research grant applications.

          Clearly the UK will not prevent top scientists (from anywhere in the World) from working in the UK they will just be sensibly selective in whom they accepts. Also clearly the UK government will have more money to give to science & not let (if not paying it via the hungry money grabbing & inefficient EU).

          The funding process will surely also be far more efficient and better directed. Hopefully with far less spent on misguided greencrap or pointless manned space exploration PR gimmicks.

          • hefner
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            Have you ever contemplated that “top scientists” might prefer to go to the US, Canada or even Australia rather than to fund-depleted UK? or even a non-English speaking country?

            Anyway, I would think really top scientists can go wherever they want bringing their own money with them. It is much more a problem for younger scientists who need money from the place they work in.

            Looking at past UK science budgets (RCUK, NERC, …), the fraction coming from the EU (ERC) is far from negligible and it is a rather short view to pretend that anyway it is originally UK money, and that as much money will be available post-Brexit.
            Final point: I hope that, whatever the amount of money made available post-Brexit, it will not be distributed by myopic-looking people.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Academia is alas a hot bet of “remain thinkers”, rather like the BBC, some big businesses and many government bureaucrats. I suspect they are rather too insulated from the real world in their ivory towers and just like receiving the EU grants (UK money after large EU deductions), The bureaucrats like the travel and the pointless jobs they see generated from all the endless absurd regulations. Some big business like the regulations as they kill the smaller & usually more efficient competition to them.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        I have a friend who is a small farmer who tells me that he has been told (presumably authoritatively) that all subsidies to farmers will stop the moment we leave the EU. He is also proposing to vote Remain. I need to have some authoritative statement that this is not going to be the case in order to convince him otherwise.

        Reply Vote leave has done so, backed up by regular statements from Farming Minister Mr Eustice.

        • The Active Citizen
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Mockbeggar, why not tell your farmer friend this :-

          “Out of the EU we will have £10 billion more a year to spend, the money we send them and do not get back. We can guarantee to every university, farmer and region of the UK currently in receipt of EU money that they will get the same out of the EU as in, as we first have to send all that money from UK taxpayers to the EU before we get it back.”

          As written by our host above, and (as he says), by the Farming Minister and the Leave campaigns.

        • stred
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          There is no clear policy page on the Leave website regarding research, EU Erasmus students, university EU bungs back, fees or for the farmers- subsidies and tariffs. It is natural to worry whether someone like Cameron and Osborne would cut the money and say ‘I told you so’. You have to make it clear that, as they have been shown to be complete EU lackeys, they will be out of a job.

          Someone needs to assume they are in government after June and do the sums. It should be possible to spend what we pay into the EU more wisely and continue the farm prices paid by consumers. Even reduce university fees for English students and this would get young people looking. At the moment they don’t even bother to read anything. And it has to be brief.

          • hefner
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            It starts to be a cruel and deceptive idea to pretend that the 10bn (0.6% of the annual budget) taken out of the EU will go to improve education, university research, farmers, trade, … whatever …
            Isn’t it possible to have a properly researched and quantified pot of money, and to start to make some plan on how it could be distributed between competing requirements?
            There are, I would hope, hundreds/thousands or more Brexiteers who should be able to work out such a provisional “budget”. Why at this point of the campaign are we still hearing of such fuzzy ideas as sovereignty, freedom, place in the world and other similar blah-blah?
            Or is it that the King has no clothes? and nobody has any clear idea apart from getting THE vote, and basta …

      • Graham
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Unfortunately your friend, qualified as he is, seems unable to see the big picture of self determination. If each group has to have a separate statement of ‘what’s in it for me’ then the list will be endless.

        The thought of doing his own research should be second nature to an academic.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          It doesn’t happen in Climate Change ‘science’, or Marxist departments, where creative thinking is for furthering the agenda, not discovering truths.

          If only JR could present this article, unedited, one evening on the BBC … … 🙂 It might have the same effect as marching around Jericho.

      • Edward Saunders
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Science and farming were supported by government grants before we entered the EU. Surely this will be the case post Brexit. If we could afford it pre EU, then we can afford it now.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The loss of jobs fear is one that I pick up a lot and I do believe is the clincher for the stayers and it is what will win the referendum for them. JR picks up the fact that if the UK loses 3 million jobs the EU loses 5 million. So in fact a clincher that no job losses with be allowed by either side. So the job loss scare is totally untrue myth.

      This is such an obvious fact that all should have recognised it immediately and dismissed the job loss claims and seen them for what they are. Pure bunkum said just to scare us all. The obvious is not always apparent and we do not see it as often as we should and this appears one of those many times we have not.

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      We regularly import and export goods to countries outside of the EU, it’s all very easy and nothing that your brothers should worry about. 🙂

      The EU will not make anything any harder once we leave.

      • Know-dice
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        May be your brother should also widen his horizons…and export to growing markets…

        • Know-dice
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          Doing an “LL” here 🙂

          What does your brother think is going to happen if we stay in?

          Everything will stay the same?

          In essence if we stay in, the EU “will have us over a barrel” and will skin us for everything we have…there is no point of staying in and not joining the Euro and Schengen, is he ready for that?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            The can buily us far more easily in than out, using EU laws and courts.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          I’m sure that answer will convince a wavering voter.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      @Mercia; For everyone ‘lost’ there is at least another won, I had a surprising conversation the other week with someone whose company does a lot of business within the EU, so much so I assumed the owner would be in the BSE camp, but I was told -without any prompting on my part- that their opinion (ATM) was for a Brexit

      That said, I do wish you would stop using silly language like “traitor”, if UK voters decide to remain in the EU that will have been the democratic will, those who can not understand that are the actual “traitors”.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Jerry, one of the two main reasons for introducing the secret ballot was to protect the electors from intimidation by powerful people. How could a vote to stay in the EU be seen as the “democratic will” of the British people if they have voted under duress, intimidated by their own Prime Minister? If you don’t like the word “traitor”, what other description would you prefer for somebody who by his own words is making it perfectly clear that he is not on our side?

        • Hope
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          Better still stand sterling while a French president makes veiled threats to this nation that there will be consequences if we chose to leave the EU. I cannot think of any other word to describe his disgraceful conduct other than traitor. Having different views is one thing allowing a foreign power to make threats to our nation is completely different.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; As you say the ballot is secrete so just were you get this silly notion that anyone will vote under duress… Unless of course what you are actually doing is rehearsing the hyperbole excuses for should people do not vote for a Brexit. You comment is the sort of silly unthinking remark that will annoy the majority of voters, because you are basically telling them they are to stupid to make up their own minds, and then telling them which side they should believe in effect, perhaps they might actually feel intimidated by people like yourself and @Mercia?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Just because it’s not their landlord or employer watching while they cast their votes in an open ballot that doesn’t mean that people won’t be voting under duress, that is a silly idea if you want one. If the Prime Minister of their country tells them that unless they vote the way he wants there will be all manner of terrible “consequences”, and he will stand back and do nothing to protect them – even though he could – then how is that not an deliberate attempt at intimidation? What do you understand by the word “Fear” in “Project Fear”?

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; What utter nonsense on stilts, the same rant could be made by those wanting a BSE result but fearing a Brexit – just replace the PM with any number of prominent Brexit supporters, after all if the Mayor of London thinks that London will do better out of the EU what does the average pleb in the street know?!

            You really do have a very poor opinion of the average British voter, so much so it seems that had Mr Brown told them as PM how wonderful Labour had been in the previous 13 years and how he had ‘saved the world’ etc. whilst unleashing his own “Project Fear” about the risks of voting Tory they would have flocked to the ballot box to vote Mr Brown and Labour back with a 100 seat stomping landslide…

            The reason Mr Brown was not re elected, was because enough voters thought for themselves not only to vote Tory in 2010 but increasing number voted UKIP, which perversely had the effect that the most europhile UK wide party became part of the coalition government.

            Oh and are some on the Brexit side not also using their own “Project Fear”, fear of unlimited and open door migration, fear of the EU because it is being compared to the old USSR, fear of a weakened NATO should the EU create its own military force, fear of summary arrest simply because there is the EAW, etc, etc…

    • Richard1
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I can understand it. What happens to EU VAT numbers on invoicing? What happens re recruitment of staff? many high performing companies and sectors in the UK are currently replete with EU employees. Dont know which sector he is in but if its one where regulatory approval in one EU country (the UK eg) is good for all will that continue?

      Its the fact that the answers to these questions are unclear & mixed depending on whom you talk to that has done for Leave. There has been far too much focus on what a terrible thing immigration is and thats the reason for leaving and not nearly enough on the small govt / free trade arguments for Leave. UKIP are to blame.

      • Know-dice
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        ” What happens to EU VAT numbers on invoicing?”

        Same as if you invoice any country outside of the EU at the moment – No VAT…

      • stred
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        UKIP made it clear that anyone doing a useful job and their families here can stay and that only new immigration would be selective. Leave needs to keep repeating this. The other side will continue to do as Ch4 and put out completely ridiculous programmes showing raids and havoc, with engineering exports banned from day one. Their programme before the GE about an Asian kipper MP received thousands of objections, but OFCOM, being made up of the same media class, have done nothing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      If you brother believes that Cameron a) is a traitor, who b) would actually carry out the implied threats he is making against us, then he has a difficult choice to make.

      I honestly don’t know what Cameron would do to us if we defied him by voting to leave the EU; for example is it a “cast iron guarantee” that the French would try to flood our country with illegal immigrants and he would do nothing about that?

    • Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      You have my sympathy. Many people that I know are being swayed by the propaganda.

      For what good it will do, you may wish to tell your brother that Brussels will no doubt export more of its job destroying ‘social’ policies to us if we remain so he may be lucky to have any staff or any business if we remain.

    • Bob
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      David Cameron plays on our insecurities, he successfully used fear in the Scottish independence referendum and in last years General Election.
      He’s going for a hat trick.

      Interestingly, I see the Tories now claim that the Road Trip expenses are not covered by the EC spending limits:
      http://www.channel4.com/news/conservatives-appear-to-have-overspent-on-three-by-elections I suspect that Dave will claim he knew nothing about it if and when the Electoral Commission decide investigate it.

  5. Mercia
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but I have been really concerned about the news there has been a 54% increase in anti-depressants given children since 2005. These drugs make a significant number of people who take them far worse and can be so addictive they can result in seizures when you try to quit. Neither do they address the root causes of what is causing their depression.

    I was also shocked to learn recently that 1600 people approx. are still having forced Electric Shock Therapy against their consent each year in the UK. This is where they strap you down against your will and put two electric pads on each side of your head and electrocute you until you go into a fit and spasm, (as made famous in the film “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest”). This is now being banned in Ireland (a Catholic country) yet is still legal over here!

    Who will campaign for this unspoken evil be banned?
    If it works (and many claim it ruined their lives), it only works as it wipes out a persons past memories by passing high voltage through their brain and it is our past memories that are the root cause of their depression.

    The above two examples are no way to deal with mental (spiritual) health problems. When will this State sanctioned tyranny of materialism end?

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Agreed, agreed…

      No point of having a 10 minute GP appointment, getting a bunch of pills and being sent on your way.

    • stred
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I am in no way qualified to give an opinion, but know a few who are. ECT does not ‘wipe memories’. It used to be the only treatment which had any effect until medication was developed. It works more like re- booting a computer. Today, It is only given when everything else has failed and the patient is beyond help in other ways. Mental illness can be so severe as to be life threatening, to the patient and others.

      Most psychaitrists are taught to be so averse to excessive treatment by drugs or compulsary detention and ECT is even less likely. Some, like the lateR.D.Laing, who went to the Tavistock Clinic did not even think mental illness was real and more an ‘attitude’. Some, as a French friend once said, ‘sont plus fous que leurs clients’. But a few are quite sensible and perhaps this is why ECT is still rarely used.

      • stred
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Sorry, omit ‘so’ and it was the Tavistock Institute I think.

      • Mercia
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        this is why ECT is still rarely used.

        >
        1600 people each year against their will?

      • Mercia
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Most psychaitrists are taught to be so averse to excessive treatment by drugs

        >
        Depression is caused by past life trauma or a bad conscience. What works are hypnotic methods of suggestion that wipe the slate clean by erasing their bad conscience caused by sin and thus allowing them to be born again. With the slate wiped clean, but not their memories.

        This is what Jesus and the apostles were doing in the Gospels when they were casting out demons (sin) by using the power of suggestion and by dissociating the mental illness from the victim by calling it a demon, whereby it can then be cast out.

      • Mercia
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        It works more like re- booting a computer. Today, It is only given when everything else has failed

        >
        Not everything else. You mean when everything else materialistic and Godless has failed. And if high voltage electricity works then it makes a lie out of the materialistic assumption that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance in the brain”.

        It works because it erases memory and this study proves it…
        http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304866904579270390834135678

        It is our memories are the root cause of depression, not chemical imbalances in the brain, or very rarely. So when will this tyranny of psychiatry and its materialistic (money making) assumptions, end?

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Mercia,

      I too am concerned about the increased use of anti depressants to treat teens. I think the real question is why. I would not like to be a teen today in the UK.
      I look at my own grandchildren and see how their lives have been restricted by over worried and cautious parents and children’s services. I see they spend too much time indoors because society has managed to scare parents into believing there are paedophiles in every bush and behind every tree. I hear about how they’re monitored by CCTV at school and how parents can “check up on them” using their mobile phones etc, right down to whether they arrived at school on time, what grade they got that morning in maths and even what they had for lunch….Is it any wonder kids are depressed?

      Regarding ECT. I am now retired following a career in forensic psychiatry. You really should not compare modern ECT with the version shown in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. These day, people are not strapped down and “zapped.”

      Modern ECT involves a sedated or anaesthetised patient having a small electrical charge passed through their brain. There is no violent flapping about to see. The patient may show slight movement in their fingers and toes but, nothing else.
      Modern ECT is a very effective treatment for post natal depression. There is often a short term memory loss as the brain “reboots” but that loss is usually very short term.
      Too many people attempt to give the power of rational thought and decision making to those sectioned under our mental health legislation: if they did have rational thought, they would not be sectioned!

      Many of the “symptoms” that the general public associate with mental illness are actually side effects from medication and nothing to do with the actual illness.

      Modern ECT is a useful tool for practitioners to use to fight some mental disorders in some patients, but it is not suitable for all. I have witnessed many ECT sessions and can state they have looked nothing like how it was portrayed in the aforementioned film.

      • Mercia
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Many of the “symptoms” that the general public associate with mental illness are actually side effects from medication and nothing to do with the actual illness

        >
        Thanks Cliff for your reply, I found the above part particularly interesting as I have been concerned there has been an intentional blurring of cause and effect, (in support of the materialistic model) and those assumptions. So as you say symptoms are often seen as a cause when they are an effect. This also appears to be the case with brain structure (it is our thoughts and behaviour that changes our brain structure not brain structure that causes us to behave in a certain way), studies have found.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16086233

        I am also concerned at the misuse of language which seems media driven in support of the materialistic model. For example, the calling of conditions, “diseases” or “illnesses”, when there are no defining physical tests to diagnose any of them. I think we should stick with “mental health condition” not “disease”.

        Anyway, I am sure you were an example of a good psychiatrist, what worries me is the 1600 given it without consent. Having only just discovered this it would certainly put me off ever telling a doctor or psychiatrist that I was depressed. I would just not risk it, my memories are very precious to me and I did not realize the State imbued psychiatrists with such archaic power. It is very worrying.

        • Cliff. Wokingham.
          Posted March 13, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Mercia,
          There are many types and causes of depression and some may be extremely debilitating for the sufferer.

          The most common type of depression is known as reactive depression where the depressive symptoms are caused by events such as divorce, loss of a close relative or partner, money worries, dead end job etc. These tend, in general, to be short lived and may be “cured” by a short term course of a modern antidepressant or counselling. Sometimes physical activity can be an effective treatment however, a depressed person may well not have the drive nor the will to take part in physical exercise. Often, a combination of short term medication plus talking therapy combined with exercise may “cure” the depressive episode.

          Some depressions do actually manifest with “physical” causes and they can be detected and a diagnosis can be confirmed through blood tests or MRI scans. Look up organic causes of depression and/or mental illness.

          I think you are talking about the debate around nature and nurture in relation to the causes of many psychosis.
          Often, there is a combination of a genetic propensity to a particular disorder, combined with environmental factors which means in simple terms, if you have the right genetic make-up and are exposed to the right environment, then you have a higher chance of developing a serious psychosis. Again, there is disagreement about cause and effect.

          May I suggest that you look up the double bind theory, which is an often quoted example of an environmental factor in relation to the nature/nurture debate.
          Google the nature/nurture debate and look at the studies using twins.

          In psychiatry, one size most definitely does not fit all and what works for one may not work for another indeed, sometimes some treatments can make things worse. Look at Prozac and teenagers as an example.

          Often, treatments can be a bit of trial and error, which sounds really bad but, when dealing with the mind, that is the reality.
          I think we have come a long way in psychiatry since the advent of antipsychotics in the 1950s. There is still much to learn but, progress is being made and it is far better to be a psychiatric patient today than it was Fifty or more years ago.
          Psychiatry has always been the poor relation of modern medicine because it is not glamorous nor gains votes for politicians, but I feel the tide is just starting to turn and we may well start to see better levels of funding for research and new treatment…..We can only live in hope and lobby our politicians.

          I wish you well.

          • Mercia
            Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            May I suggest that you look up the double bind theory, which is an often quoted example of an environmental factor in relation to the nature/nurture debate.
            Google the nature/nurture debate and look at the studies using twins.

            >
            Thanks Cliff for the information, I appreciate it.
            I am looking that up now.

          • Mercia
            Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            The most common type of depression is known as reactive depression where the depressive symptoms are caused by events such as divorce, loss of a close relative or partner, money worries, dead end job etc. These tend, in general, to be short lived and may be “cured” by a short term course of a modern antidepressant

            >
            I would imagine the cure for being depressed about a dead end job would be to find a better job, or of a divorce, to find someone even more attractive.

            I have very strong views about anti depressants after my grandmother was given them for complaining she felt mildly down and ended up within 72 hours being completely suicidal (which she had never been before).

            I told her to stop taking them and she was soon back to herself again. Time heals reactive depression and the more intense our sorrow the greater we appreciate love and joy. There can be no true experience without a contrast to measure it against. As a poet, I used to relish my times of reactive depression and wrote my best stuff.

      • Mercia
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Modern ECT is a useful tool for practitioners to use to fight some mental disorders in some patients

        >
        Without their consent?
        No, that must immediately be banned. We are an enlightened Protestant country, we do not allow the State to electrocute people against their will. End of.

    • Mercia
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Imagine going to the doctors and saying the anti-depressants didn’t work and the next thing you know is you are being carted off to be electrocuted against your will, as 1600 people a year are. Some people just moan. To then have their memories wiped against their will when memories are the only thing that makes us human. God help us we live in evil times.

      • stred
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        1600 out of millions is rare. No-one goes in for Prozac and gets carted of for ECT. Schizoprenia and some depressions are indistinguishable and shrinks usually use anti-psychotics, which work very well. The disease is chemically , genetically and environmentally caused. Sometimes, unfortunate patients have ECT as a last resort, otherwise they have no future. Suggest further reading. You may lead people to think we are all a bit S.E.L…. on this site.

        • Mercia
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          Here is the BBC package that alerted me to this.
          Please watch it…

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35606073

          “Use of electric shock therapy without patients’ consent rises in NI”
          18 February 2016

        • Mercia
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          “I’m convinced that in 10 or 15 years we will have put ECT in same rubbish bin of historical treatments as lobotomies and surprise baths that have been discarded over time”

          Dr John Read
          University of Liverpool

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23414888

        • Mercia
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          . The disease is chemically , genetically and environmentally caused

          >

          I am not sure language permits us to call it a”disease”, is it not a condition? By calling it a disease we legitimize the use of drugs as a treatment. There are roughly 300 officially certified and distinct mental disorders, named and published in the American Psychiatric Association’s bible and as far as I am aware, no defining physical tests to diagnose ANY of them. That means: no blood tests, no urine tests, no hair tests, no brain scans, no genetic assays. Nothing.

          Despite endless attempts to demonstrate otherwise, Schizophrenia and bi polar is not something you diagnose from a scan of the brain, or by monitoring chemical imbalances as you can real diseases and illnesses. They are diagnosed from repeatedly observed behaviour traits.

          “For mental/psychiatric disorders in general, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and ADHD, there are no confirmatory gross, microscopic or chemical abnormalities that have been validated for objective physical diagnosis.”
          Dr. Sharma, MD, a director general of Health Canada.

          “Psychiatric disorders (as Health Canada refers) are diagnosed based on a patient’s presentation of symptoms that the larger psychiatric community has come to accept as real and responsive to treatment.” Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

          Could there be a better description of unscientific consensus?

          Furthermore, even if it could be demonstrated those with such conditions had a different brain structure, what people are never told on the media (like the BBC), is that our thoughts and behaviour re-structure our brains, not the other way around. For example, when taxi drivers brains where scanned it was found that due to map reading their brains had re-wired themselves in a radically different way. i.e They were not taxi drivers because they were born with such a brain structure (their thoughts and behaviour had re-wired their brains) that way. Likewise, people with stress conditions have different brain structure (but it is the stress that causes the brain to re-wire itself), not the other way around.

          “The structure of a London taxi driver’s brain changes during the gruelling process of learning the quickest way around the capital, scans reveal.”

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16086233

          It has been thought that consciousness (mind) is an emergent property of the brain, but the double split experiment and Quantum Physics seems to disprove that, as do reports like these….

          “Man born with “virtually no brain” has advanced math degree”

          etc ed

        • Mercia
          Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          1600 out of millions is rare.

          >
          Millions do not visit a psychiatrist.
          1600 against their will after visiting a psychiatrist is a frightening number. State sanctioned tyranny whether it works or not.

  6. Mercia
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Now is the time for the UK to do what we have always done best. Now is the time to claim back our freedom. In this referendum we must restore our democracy. We are the heirs of Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights

    >
    Another great article.
    John, your fight for our freedom and democracy is inspirational!

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Bravisimo!
    “We are told we will have to be like Norway and pay in contributions to carry on trading. What poppycock!”
    Yup – in the long term.
    If we are to get out legally, however, we need to apply Article 50/138 and that has a two year time limit. How much easier on everyone’s minds, if we adopt Associate Membership (mentioned in the coming treaty) as members of EFTA and, of course, remaining in the EEA? That way, Mercia’s brother could both leave and keep his wife on side!
    If anyone would like to read the coming treaty, here it is in full.
    http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/fundamentallaw.pdf

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      With due respect, Mike, I think there’s already enough public ignorance and confusion about Article 50 of the existing Treaty on European Union without compounding it by bringing in Article 138 of a possible future treaty.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Indeed, why would anyone disagree with your sensible position?

    You can, however, still get 12/2 odds on a leave vote. Good odds, when the polls are very close to 50/50 and it is very clear that the “remain” side simply have no sensible arguments. Just a campaign based on fear or sheep following the leaders of Lib/Lab/Con.

    Just how much of an anti-democratic disaster does the EU need to be before a few more wake up. Still plenty of time yet, I am still confident of a leave vote.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Sorry I meant 12/5 betting odds on Brexit.

  9. Cheshire Girl
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to be unduly pessimistic, but I can’t see how the ‘Leave’ campaign stand much chance. It seems that the Prime Minister has got so many people and Companies on his side. Daily we hear that Big Business is warning about the dangers of leaving. Yesterday the Scientists weighed in with dire predictions about the harm that leaving would do to Research. Also, the Prime Minister is shown nearly every day, (yesterday it was a car factory at Ellesmere Port) jacket off, sleeves rolled up, frightening the employees to death with dire predictions of huge job losses.
    How we can counter all this, I just dont know. Frankly, I would just like the facts put before the British people, and then let them decide, but its obvious that this is not going to happen.

    Reply We are countering it with the blogs, articles, interviews we write and give. This morning we even got the prime 8.10 slot on the Today programme where IDS was able to explain the need to control migration and to spend our own money.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      It’s very much the Prime Minister v the people, if he wins the people lose.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        With Cameron you can usually safely assume he has backed the wrong horse.
        I think he has this time too.

        Brexit will win, unless the voters are rather dafter than I think they are.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Once again LL you claimed Cameron had thrown the last election so your gut on plebiscite carries little weight.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The UK public will surely vote out. They can see the remain camp have no sensible arguments, this becomes more and more clear by the day. They certainly do not want completely open door immigration to the EU, they do not want a single undemocratic country called the EU. They want UK based real democracy with politicians they can elect and remove. Furthermore the out camp voters feel more strongly and are more likely to actually vote.

      If they do vote to remain the deserve all the disasters they will certainly get.

      Anyway, even the remain voters might as well vote leave in the first referendum and wait for a better free trade and not much more deal. The EU will not give in easily a better deal will follow for sure. We should reject that too unless it is free trade only.

    • bigneil
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      You would “like the facts”? – DC doesn’t do facts – only fake words, fake promises and fake pledges – all in – a fake PM.

    • stred
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      I wish he’d done his speech in a car showroom, wearing his suit. He would look just the part. Probably put sales of Fords made in Belgium up too.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    So interest rates in Europe are reduced into negative territory and more funny money is being printed. Greece is looking for massive debt forgiveness but Shaube says that it’s not for discussion until after the election .
    When will the clowns realise that the Euro is an unmitigated disaster.
    Cameron is now talking about staying on. He assumes there will be a party to lead after his treacherous behaviour.
    Roll on the referendum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      He will have to go – he is clearly a totally useless negotiator, a no if no buts/cast iron proven serial ratter, he is wrong on the EU, wrong on his endless tax and regulation increases, wrong on Grammar schools, wrong on the national living wage, wrong on Heathrow’s non expansion, wrong on greencrap, wrong on OTT employment laws, wrong on over taxing tenants, wrong on robbing pension pots, wrong on rip off & unreliable energy, wrong on almost everything in fact.

      He is a Libdem where does he differ from Nick Clegg?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        And we saw how popular the Libdims were.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          There is not one person I know that thinks Cameron is doing a good job. Nobody has any confidence in him. He has to go especially if we get Brexit. Nobody will trust him to do the right thing and get the best deal for the UK.

  11. Jerry
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “More of our lower paid jobs will go to our own citizens, as we will be able to control [immigration] numbers [..//..]”

    I’ll ask again, how would a post Brexit government implement this, how will they be able to make someone do a job they do not want to do, even if the DWP can make then take such employment, would employers want to have such people anywhere near their businesses?

    I suspect that the above ideal will take 10 years at least to happen naturally as first children have to have their expectations brought back down to earth (a good start will be to stop all the nonsense about 50% of school leavers going to Uni, or perhaps even College unless as a part of their apprenticeships.

    PS. I might sound to critical of the Brexit campaign to some, people might think that I do not want a Brexit, you would be wrong, I’m being ultra critical now because I want a Brexit and do not want it lost due to loose language, impossible ‘promises’ or silly rants.

    Reply You give a good impression of a permanent critic of Brexit. You cannot force a person to take a job, but you do not have to pay benefits to someone who keeps turning down jobs they could do.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; “[you seem] a permanent critic of Brexit”

      Then change the style of argument! 🙂

      As for benefits, sure the DWP can with-hold the right to such benefits but then as I said people would simply take jobs and mess about until they get the sack, or more likely they would apply for what ever they are told to apply for by the DWP but then make it clear in any interview that their attitude stinks and thus they will not be taken on – DWP rules obeyed, JSA payments continue.

      The DWP can sanction all they like, they can even bring in workfare, but someone will still have to do those unfilled jobs (were the employer doesn’t want to be involved in the workfare scheme) and guess who is more than willing to do them even if our own indigenous workforce are not…

      I actually agree with you John but just admit that it is going to take time, and perhaps years, for the UK to have less need for migrant labour – both in low and high skilled trades etc.

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      @Jerry – I see your comments more as “devil’s advocate” which is fine with me.

      We need to see the good with the bad (not so good)…

    • hefner
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Sorry, JR, but I would think criticisms of Brexit as presented on this blog might be much more useful to the “cause” than some of the usual adoring remarks appearing here almost every morning.

      Talking endlessly about freedom, democracy is far too high-spirited. I would think people want to know with some degree of certainty what Brexit will practically mean for their jobs, the health service, the education system, their housing prospects, the transport infrastructure, … unfortunately all topics whose connections to Brexit is not direct.

      Why should people bother about freedom or democracy or “influence in the world” when their day-to-day experience has very little to do with these high-minded concepts?

      There are, I would guess, too many retired people with too much time on their hands who contribute to this blog, and not obviously, to me at least, with any real positive impact.

      It is navel-gazing of the first kind!

      • stred
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        The Capitol One report which was broadly neutral, put on by Hefner last week, would be a good start. A few billion wasted here or there is not going to make much difference. People are more interested in whether they can ever buy a house, be crowded out on the roads or continue to be ruled by British politicians. Keep showing Verhofstadt, Cohn Bendit, Schultz and other attractive figures threatening us that we can’t trade with the United States- on Youtube. This would be project fear in reverse.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        There is only one honest question but we are not going to be asked it because this is not an honestly held referendum.

        Do we remain a sovereign nation or not ?

        If not then the vote on the EU should be about whether or not to scrap the UK Parliament.

        This question would get the turnout that this referendum deserves and I believe the result would be Brexit.

        On 72 out of 72 issues Britain has failed to have a voice because of Qualified Majority Voting. We are no longer a sovereign nation.

        On this question then (the only accurate and honest one that can be asked – but will not be) anyone who votes to Remain, and yet claims to be British, is indeed a traitor.

        People claim that the Outs are putting things too strongly and hysterically.

        The fact is that this CAN’T be put too strongly and hysterically.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous; The issue of sovereignty has been raised, by Labour MP Kate Hoey, perhaps not so much using a word like “sovereignty” (probably because in its self it has many different interpretations, the SNP and PC, never mind the NI nationalist parties probably do not thing they have any more “sovereignty” to give up), but Kate Heoy did make it clear that a vote to remain in the EU means eventual absorption into a United States of Europe.

          All this talk about the referendum not being honestly held, what nonsense, (as I said to Dennis elsewhere) you sound like you are rehearsing the excuses should the vote not go the way we want.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            So, Jerry, do you really believe everything you are being told by the de facto leader of the campaign to keep us in the EU and his various allies? If not, if you believe that much of it is arrant nonsense, then either you must believe that they are stupid or you must recognise that they are being dishonest.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            @Dennis Cooper; No I do not, but nor do I believe everything we are being told by those wanting a Brexit – yes there are people being dishonest, on both sides.

            Your problem Dennis is that you seem to think that everyone not posting “Me Too” comments to Brexit forums etc. are “stupid” and unable to understand the issues or know when people are being less than economical with the whole facts (also see my other reply to you on the fairness of the referenda).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      These were interesting programmes:

      http://www.channel4.com/programmes/benefits-britain-1949

      As I recall some of the participants decided that the welfare system worked better at the start than it does now.

  12. Antisthenes
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    You have put into proper perspective what leaving the EU means and it is a view that if shared with all the voters would open their eyes and persuade many more of them to want to leave. We do not have enough leave campaigners who share your perspicacity to get your message out there. The leavers currently are bogged down with in fighting, no credible exit plan and poor information dissemination skills often arguing about the wrong things in the wrong way.

    It could be said that is the typical British way; being ill prepared and prone to bungling but in the end gets the job done. I hope the leaver groups find that British bulldog spirit and in the end win through so the current threat from that great enemy of our state the EU is vanquished like would be conquerors before them. Hopefully it is not 1066 all over again.

  13. Mercia
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Bill Cash asked an important question at Wednesday’s (PMQs).
    Cameron was sitting next to Matt Hancock, exposed on the Daily Politics for spouting pro EU untruths and not the first time either.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    If the EU were not such an economic and political disaster zone then so many of our population wouldn’t want to leave it.

    This cannot be blamed on xenophobia. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has at last realised – it is unacceptable to accuse people of xenophobia.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      @Anonymous; But he seems to be saying that whilst their fears might be real their conclusions are wrong, what is more much of what the Archbishop of Canterbury has said seems to be as much about refugees as economic migrants – two totally different issues.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Good comments, Jerry. (This and your others)

  15. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    “Today we have to restrict non EU immigration but allow unrestricted EU migration.”

    We don’t have to restrict non EU immigration actually. But in barring doctors, research scientists and spouses the Leftists who run this country are getting stompy and saying “Well you asked for it !” when it is not what we asked for at all.

    It’s exactly the same as when they refuse to close diversity departments but close swimming pools and reduce street cleaning because budget cuts have been forced on them.

    The government clearly doesn’t have the national interests at heart.

    It is a bloody danger to us all.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      My post at 9.14: I’m mixing two types of government (local and national) but the attitude is the same.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      “The government clearly doesn’t have the national interests at heart.”

      That seems to be reality of the situation. In some strange way we have come to have a Prime Minister who wants us to stay in the EU but is not satisfied with having just his own one vote on the question like you or me or any other citizen, instead he has no compunction about threatening us that if we don’t vote the way he wants then he will abuse his power as Prime Minister to make us suffer.

    • Mercia
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      It is a bloody danger to us all.

      >
      The BBC are certainly helping Cameron by not playing the footage of him standing in triumph in Libya saying “we will stand by you as you build your democracy”.

      Yet that is a powerful reminder of the dangerous division between Cameron’s rhetoric and the eventual future reality. In the case of a Libyan civilian, a life and death reality.

  16. alan jutson
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    This would make a great statesman like speech John.

    It deserves (with respect) a far, far, wider audience than the readers of your website.

    Let us hope that it is picked up on by the Media in full, and broadcast loud and clear.

    Simply excellent.

  17. Colin Hart
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    When CMD does his shirtsleeve act on the shop floor how many of the audience are there voluntarily? They seldom look as though they’re enjoying the experience.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    This is all very fine, JR, but your analysis is based on what seems to be a false assumption: that if we vote to leave the EU then the UK government will accept the will of the people and then make every effort to ensure the best outcome for our country.

    As the debate has progressed it has become increasingly clear that this would not be the case under the present Prime Minister: he is not on our side, and if we went against his wishes on this matter then he would make damn sure that we regretted it.

    There have been calls for him to resign if the referendum vote goes against him, but I suggest that he should resign now, before the vote, so that we can have a new Prime Minister who has our interests at heart and who will not keep saying to us:

    “Unless you vote the way I want then this bad thing X could happen, and as Prime Minister I would do nothing at all to prevent it or mitigate it, on the contrary I would do my best to make sure that it was as bad as possible.”

    There are various names for somebody like that, which I will not rehearse; I will simply repeat that he should go now and be replaced by somebody who would not only tell us what bad things might happen but also what he would do to protect us from them.

    Reply That is not going to happen. For him to go, either he has to resign, or 166 Conservative MPs have to vote him down in a motion of No Confidence. Clearly neither condition will be met prior to the vote.

    • stred
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      If he loses 32 of you will have no function in Parliament and should resign or swap sides. If he loses you can get 166 to vote him down after his disgraceful behaviour, backed up by his ignored and soon to be discarded grass roots.

      Either way, he’s had it. And the smoothie next door too.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        But he won’t have had it soon enough.

        It is intolerable that we have a British Prime Minister who is threatening the British people with dire consequences to try to impose his own view on how they should vote, he should have gone once he started down that track.

    • ChrisS
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      The more ludicrous the fear campaign becomes the more help it gives the Brexit side. I would rather Cameron remained in office until he loses the referendum. However he simply has to resign soon after the vote.

      Only problem if we win is that the markets will react badly and if in addition CMD resigns it could get quite tricky. Either way he has to hand the negotiations over to those who supported Brexit. We simply cannot have a situation where Cameron and his cronies negotiate the terms of our exit.

      How long will he attempt to cling on for ?

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Markets may be more concerned about the rEU than Britain 🙂

        And what would be done with the Foreign Office?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      What will follow a Brexit vote is a period of contrived disasters (and real ones) and then the opportunity to vote again so that we give the right answer.

      We are staying in the EU.

      As Peter Hitchens says – the referendum is a sham and he wants no part of it, so will stay at home on the 23rd. I just see it as our last chance to withdraw the mandate to be in the EU and not from the EU itself, which we will not be allowed to do.

      A less sinister and more open organisation as the EU would be proud to say “We are a democratic government and now is the time for all EU governments to be disbanded – we have no need of them anymore and we have the full democratic mandate to do this. The people are happy to do so.”

      But no. It hides what it is. And so does our own government by even existing.

      The very existence of the British government (like the Royal family) is a cover. Those who purport to represent us when they have ceded all power are complicit.

      Resign resign resign, John. You and all those of like mind.

      The greatest thing you can do for our country is to make it clear to the people that our government is now an EU facade. The only point of which is to deceive them on behalf of the EU government.

      Reply The referendum us no sham so help us win it. Why remove from Parliament those of us who have fought to get it.

  19. Anthony
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    There will not be Treaty change.

    Merkel and Hollande have made clear their distaste for it. Treaty change would trigger unwanted referendums in several EU states, giving their citizens an opportunity to give the hated EU (and their own supine government) a bloody nose. the citizens would then have to be bought off with concessions, as has happened before.

    There will not be Treaty change.

  20. Richard1
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but we should note the moment yesterday when Labour’s far left shadow chancellor Mr McDonnell asserted that under a Labour govt “debt would fall”. I assume he doesn’t realise that means he needs to run a net surplus over the Parliament? Since he has opposed every single trivial economy and attempt to secure value for taxpayers this govt has attempted, and favours confiscatory taxes and govt intervention of the kind which has led to bankruptcy in countries like Venezuela, it is of course inconceivable this would be the result of a Labour govt.

    We will be back to these issues post referendum so need to note such remarks.

  21. Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The best commentary I have seen on this subject, bar none.

    Well done !

  22. bluedog
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    A good manifesto, Dr JR. Hopefully a copy will reach DT journalist Rupert Myers very soon.

    It is remarkable that seemingly intelligent people have a complete mental block in imagining life outside the EU, such is their Pavlovian conditioning. What does Mr Myers thinks happens every morning in the USA or China, both of which are clearly diminished by not being members of the EU? Does the sun not rise, is there no power with which to cook breakfast and are the railways on strike? The rest of the world outside the EU simply gets on with life.

    The EU will always buy things it needs from Britain and Britain will buy goods and services from the EU.

    One of the signal benefits is that we may be able to buy food more cheaply on global markets than in propping up the market for the produce of the CAP. As a net importer of food, this freedom should confer clear benefits to the UK.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Well done !! . The article spells out all of the positives for “Brexit”. I trust the shortened version will not lose the impact that is in this document . Younger people ( whom it is said constitute 58% of the electorate ) don’t seem to be interested at all ; if this is true I suggest a very shortened and punchy version for them . As for the outcome ? – yes it is in the balance ; Cameron has built a “fear” motive into his campaign and it is having an effect . The more “positives” that can now be expressed the better .

  24. oldtimer
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Well said. We need to escape the box that is labelled EU.

    Cameron`s thinking is entirely inside this box. It is a box where EI impositions rule, from directives to QMV to granting visa waivers to 70 million Turks on the say so of the German Chancellor. Those EU impositions will grow and grow, UK freedom of action will shrink and shrink. It is set out in the Five Presidents` report. That fundamental fact of EU life is entirely unreformed.

    Cameron`s Remain hare has set of at high speed, whereas the Leave tortoise has hardly got its boots on. Cameron`s case rests on fear of the unknown outside the box, The Leave campaign`s case rests on the freedom achieved by escaping the box and the dangers that lie by remaining within the box. That will require much more patient and compelling explanation, like yours here, in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Oops! Finger trouble…for EI read EU.

  25. Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The BBC ran a piece the other day where it stated that the cap on roaming mobile phone charges was a good thing. It wasn’t quoting anybody else and it was not playing devil’s advocate. It simply stated this as a fact.

    I don’t know how the BBC knows that this policy will work if and when it is implemented and if, like so many other left wing policies, it will not have perverse results, such as resulting in phone charges going up for non jet-setter domestic users.

    On the other hand the BBC maintains an illogical scepticism about the obvious fact that we will trade freely with most of Europe once our democracy is restored after a LEAVE vote.

    To be so sure of policy that has not been implemented and yet be so unsure of something that is pretty obvious just shows the level of bias that we must overcome.

  26. Graham
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    John

    It’s the type of presentation one would expect of a PM who was really concerned about the future of his home country.

    Are you sure you’re not the PM in disguise?

    Reply If only! They didn’t want me when I applied

    • The Active Citizen
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      JR, it wasn’t your time then. Things could soon be different if Leave wins. We’ll need certain key skills at the heart of Government.

      In particular we’ll need a Chancellor of the Exchequer who takes overall responsibility for the transformation of our trade arrangements. And a Chief Secretary to the Treasury appropriate to this new environment.

      At the risk of incurring Hefner’s distain at what he might consider to be another of the “usual adoring remarks appearing here”, I can’t think of anyone the Party would support more for the new Cabinet which will be formed post-Brexit (when the PM will have to resign), who has better experience than you.

      And we’d get the added benefit of having a true Tory back at the heart of Government, proposing and implementing Tory policies again.

  27. Mockbeggar
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    If we are the fifth largest economy in the world, it’s time we started behaving like it. We are no longer the sick man of Europe. We have recovered from having spent every penny we had (and more) on defending Europe from fascism.

    It’s time we threw our weight about a bit instead of hiding in the bureaucratic thickets of a crackpot and cracking up EU.

    It’s time we insisted on Germany spending more of its undoubted wealth on defence instead of hiding behind its war record as an excuse for avoiding frontline fighting when it’s needed. (How else did they manage to rebuild their manufacturing base while we were spending what little we had on tanks and military aeroplanes to defend them from the USSR?)

    It’s time we stood up to gibes from the USA about our failures in Libya. (I didn’t hear what he said but I bet he didn’t mention Iraq.)

    It’s time we brushed aside the ‘warnings’ and threats from self-serving European bureaucrats for the expressions of fear (of what will happen to them if we leave) that they are.

    It’s time we started being proud that we are British.

    PS I, too, heard IDS on the Today programme and very good he was. The first time I think, that a ‘leaver’ has been graciously granted an interview with the little Welshman at that time.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ve spent some time trying to find a satirical video produced by the “No” campaign in the second Irish referendum for the Lisbon Treaty, but I think it must have been taken off the internet. It started out with a personable young woman calmly explaining that it was an information broadcast by the Irish government to help people decide how to vote, but then rapidly descended into an increasingly fantastical, and foul-mouthed, tirade telling the Irish what they could expect if they stupid enough to reject the treaty again.

    Like the UK government now the Irish government had decided to take the side of the EU against its own people, combining deceitful assurances about important “guarantees” being “copper-fastened” and “legally binding” when they were neither important nor any more legally binding than an election manifesto, with dire threats about the consequences which would visited upon the people if they dared to vote the wrong way.

    Only yesterday Cameron was copying Clegg, for God’s sake, by repeating the old and repeatedly discredited line about 3 million jobs in this country being “at risk” if we went against his personal wishes and voted to leave the EU, without mentioning the 5 million jobs which would equally be “at risk” in the other EU countries should their governments decide to be stupid and/or spiteful about new trading arrangements, and a time when as shown by ECB actions yesterday many of their economies are barely recovering and could easily be tipped back into recession, potentially ripping the rest of the EU apart.

    Astonishingly we now have the First Lord of the Treasury, namely the Prime Minister, conducting himself like an anti-British radio propagandist etc ed

    Reply The No campaign lost the 2nd Irish referendum

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      The Irish people succumbed to threats, threats which were made against them by their own government on behalf of the EU as much as by the EU itself. That is why it is essential that we thoroughly expose the various threats being made against us by our own government as being empty threats.

  29. agricola
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    A vert well reasoned entry, there is not much more to be said.

  30. agricola
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    A very well reasoned entry, there is not much more to be said.

  31. Mercia
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Look at Cameron in Wales now, he thinks the cat has got the cream but he only beat Ed Miliband.

  32. stred
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    A lot of people are currently reading your blog on the Costas, where 9 out of 10 are worried that they will lose residency and work permits. Leave needs to get down there and point out that the huge number of young Spanish and French working here also need residency and work permits. Would they want a population exchange, lose all that retirement money and get back even more unemployment?

    Reply Leave is making clear they will not be evicted. Their position is protected under international law anyway. Spain has no wish to lose their spending power and force another property crash.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      In fairness to well-behaved citizens from other EU countries who have settled in the UK at the invitation of our government and Parliament it should not be left to the Leave side to say that in the event of Brexit nothing would be done to harm their present position, the government itself should be clearly saying that rather than allowing unfounded fears to be spread as part of its referendum campaign.

    • Posted March 11, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      This is just another example of Project Fear in action.

      Almost every British resident in Spain and the majority in France are retired, self sufficient, supporting the local economy and paying taxes to the local Authority. If they are over state pension age, the UK is picking up their health care bills as well ! If they are under pension age they will be meeting their own bill or have health insurance.

      What possible reason would those countries have for sending them home ? It would be an enormous own goal.

      There is so much absolute rubbish being presented as fact by the Remain side, To those who follow these things, they have no credibility and, frankly, they look ridiculous. That particularly applies to our increasingly desperate ( not-so ) Great Leader.

      I suspect that even the most out of touch voter is now beginning to question what they are being told.

      They must surely by now have taken on board that we are the World’s fifth largest economy. It does not then take a genius to realise that we can survive and prosper in the world without the EU. After all they might ask how the other 130+ countries who are not in the EU and whose economies are smaller than ours survive ?

      Then there is trade : Everyone must by now know that the EU 27 sell more to us than we do to them. Again, it strains CMD’s credibility for him to tell us that they might not want that trade, so advantageous to them, to continue.

      Voters saw straight through Miliband. They will surely see through CMD on this important issue.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        @ChrisS; “If [UK ex-pats] are over state pension age, the UK is picking up their health care bills as well”

        Not if the EU S1 health agreement stops, they will have to pay like any other non EU passport holder, or return to the UK to receive their care, were they will have every right to all the UK health, social and LA services. Also do not assume that all will be financially able to take out health insurance cover, for one thing many now have pre-existing health issues, in fact for some it might well have been those issues that brought about a move to warmer climates in the first place, even if they could afford the standard rate health insurance premiums there is no certainty that insurance companies will wish to take on such pre existing conditions (or without a substantial premium hike).

        “If they are under pension age they will be meeting their own bill or have health insurance.”

        I think you need to check just who and what is covered by EU social security rights, there could well be many people of working age who are eligible for rights (such as health care) under such bilateral EU agreements.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      JR reply; No one is saying that UK ex-pats will be “evicted”, what they are saying is that for some, should certain bilateral (inter EU membership) agreements break down post a Brexit then for some of those ex-pats affected the realistic choices open to them might well involve voluntarily returning to the UK.

  33. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant piece of work John. Have sent to all my contacts and they have all said the same. We need more good work from others like this.

  34. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I see farmers are worried about losing millions in CAP payments. This sector has to be reassured that nothing will change. Many Scottish farmers have not been paid because of some computer error and are getting angry with the SNP.

    reply. the leave campaign is reassuring them. We gave said all current payments will continue.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Once again, it is the government which should be issuing that reassurance.

      This is a referendum, it is not like a general election whereby the victorious leave campaign would take power and set about implementing its policies.

  35. agricola
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Ref para 8 from this submission.

    This evening ITV News depicted a North Yorkshire landscape and stated that it was all down to the EU. What arrant nonsense, what about a thousand years of agricultural history. I last stayed in Helmsley in the early 70s and it looked pretty damned good then.

    They also made a big issue of CAP subsidies enjoyed by Yorkshire farmers without acknowledging that what the farmers get from CAP first comes from UK taxes paid to the EU. No mention on Brexit that they would get it direct, as it is wholly UK money.

    Via your rural MPs you should make a strong push to inform farmers via the NFU and meetings at markets where you could get their attention. A blast of biased or sloppy reporting should be directed at ITV News.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 12, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      @agricola; re farmers CAP payments and what went before, perhaps the Brexit side need to dust off post WW2, pre EEC Agriculture Acts, to see what would/could be relevant today post a Brexit and the CAP payments, the UK was very successful in increasing farmers (and related industries) economic security after the war and before we joined the EEC.

      I doubt anyone will do it though as that was era of Keynesian economics!

      Oh and thanks for pointing out some non BBC ‘bias’ reporting…

  36. ian
    Posted March 11, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Europe bottom line, migration crisis and the euro debt crisis means Europe is BROKEN and going to have a magnitude event, this will be a wake up call for the British people in or out of the EU, timing cannot tell yet but it is nearing because negative interest rates which is a tax on the economy.

    EU and ECB will disintegrate as they try to push to complete the complex superstate thinking that by doing that they will save themselves, the EU will erupt in violence as the people move for freedom from thee elite.

    If you read this do not say you were not warned

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by Fraser McFarland on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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