That government pamphlet

I am tempted to think that whatever the Remain side do now it will help us Leavers. The government “impartial” pamphlet has angered many more people. Most think it quite wrong that taxpayers are being asked to pay for one sided propaganda close to an important ballot. No-one believes a Labour or Conservative government should send out a document written by the civil service recommending general government policy and its benefits ten weeks before a General Election, and no past government has tried to do that. This is similar to such a decision.

It is true that in 1975 the Labour government sent a pamphlet to all households arguing the case to stay in. Subsequent changes to election law have tightened provisions for elections and referendums to ensure greater fairness between the two sides. That can no longer be regarded as acceptable practice.

It is interesting to look back at the lies we were told then by the government. The biggest was our sovereignty was not at risk. They told us that “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests. … Remember: All the other countries in the market (note not EEC, its true name) enjoy, like us, democratically elected governments answerable to their own Parliaments and their own voters. They do not want to weaken their Parliaments any more than we would”

The pamphlet denied the idea that the Commission has important independent power, and did not mention the binding nature of European court judgements. It was before a directly European Parliament had some say. Ever since we have seen the constant erosion of that veto by Treaty change, and erosion of power away from Ministers to the Commission, Court, European Parliament and other EU institutions.

So why would anyone believe the modern version of this pamphlet? That says “The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU”. Where are the reforms of the EU? Where are the legal guarantees for the UK and restoration of our rights to make our own laws and levy our own taxes? It says “The UK will not be part of further European political integration” That is clearly wrong. Every new Regulation, Directive and court judgement will drive us into more dependence on the EU and its laws.

It implies we could lose our right to travel and spend money on the continent, which is absurd. It is silent on how we can control numbers of EU migrants properly within the EU, just referring to some changes to benefit rules.

Many will send their pamphlet back to Downing Street, and will want their taxpayers money back from this ill thought through venture. We warned the government not to do this in Parliament before the event, and thought Ministers had assured us it would not happen.

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163 Comments

  1. eeyore
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron will now be seeking out some popular coup to restore his position before the vote. What’s the betting that will blow up in his face too? The Heir to Blairmore has been a lucky politician, but it looks like his luck may have run out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      He has been very lucky indeed. He lost the first sitting duck election with his BBC think, green crap, LibDem, high tax, bloated government, lefty agenda and his pre-election Cast Iron Ratting.

      The second election he won only as the alternative of an Ed Milliband dog wagged by Nicola Sturgeon was so appalling to the English especially. That and the voting system that forced UKIP voter to vote Tory.

      He could have walked both elections and sorted out the economy and got out of the EU by now. If only he have been a low tax, small government Conservative.

      It seems Cameron is now to publish six years tax returns it is probably another big mistake, as it will just provoke more questions about the earlier ones and how his education, first house and similar were funded. The problems is fools who go on about “morally repugnant tax avoidance”.

      The UK was very sensibly an excellent tax haven for NonDoms. Part of the US are tax havens too. Tax competition between regimes is a excellent thing. It is all that stops further enslavement by the state through ever higher taxes. Taxes that they usually waste on propaganda or worthless dross.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        I think to have walked the 2010 election he would have had to oppose the Brown bank bailout robustly and adopted JR’s line that banks should have been restructured and recapitalised at the expense of shareholders and creditors. As it was he spent 2 years apologising for capitalism.

        You are right on tax, the current furore is absurd. Cameron Senior did nothing illegal or remotely wrong investing in a US$ trust – in 1982 as we emerged from the soviet style economy of the 1970s it was probably the only way. Likewise David Cameron simply made a small investment and sold it at a profit lower than his CGT allowance. Is this really something idiotic Mr Corbyn thinks is bad?

        According to my info there is now a flood of non-doms leaving the UK, it would be interesting to know the actual numbers. This populist policy will surely be a net loss to revenues and take out high spending and productive foreigners. It is no good Conservatives pandering to the left on taxes. The country and the taxpayer is the loser and no tax is ever high enough for leftists.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          Osborne’s attacks on nondoms are hugely counterproductive. Almost as bad as his insane national living wage and his bonkers sugar tax. Osborne should be making the UK a conducive place for the rich, successful, aspirational and hardworking. Not driving them away in droves and replacing them with minimum wage, (& net liability to the state) lower skilled migrants.

          We saw, when Osborne promised the £1M each IHT threshold, just how popular tax reductions were (even if not many were affected). Brown then foolishly bottled his early election plans. Needless to say Osborne ratted on the promise.

          Cameron’s first election was a sitting duck. If Dave been a proper EUsceptic as he claimed and had believed in selective migration, cheap energy, growth, aspiration and had he been a real small government, low tax Tory he would have walked the election.

          As it was, Cameron turned out to another dire Libdem and serial ratter (just like Clegg/Cable/Huhne/Davey). We saw how unpopular they were at the last election.

          I assume we will be rid of him and Osborne in June after the Brexit vote , but will the Tories then fall to pieces, given that most of them are also wet/Cameron/Libdem types?

        • Bob
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          @Richard1
          If Mr Cameron did nothing wrong, then why did he try to conceal his offshore investments in his initial statements?

          His hypocrisy in criticising Jimmy Carr for tax avoidance has now been exposed for all to see.

          I never trusted Mr Cameron, he will stop at nothing to prevail, he knows no bounds.

      • matthu
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        It seems Cameron is now to publish six years tax returns?

        He will never do that as it would put too much pressure on others in his cabinet to do likewise.

        He previously promised to do something similar – and didn’t live up to the hype then.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          It seems Cameron will publish them, but it is rather foolish of him as they will only want all the other returns and then his father’s returns too, then the company returns, then his wife’s, then ……

          Anyway legally avoiding tax is highly moral, very sensible and benefits the economy. This as governments spend or “invest” money so much worse than people do. Especially sensible people who have made some money. They care not what they spend nor what value if any they get and it shows.

          The way for government to tackle this is for them to lower rates and simplify the tax laws and make the place attractive to the wealthy and hard working. Statements about morally repugnant tax avoidance are absurd. What is really morally repugnant is Osborne’s endless waste in government and the often appalling services they “sometimes” provide if you are lucky.

          Anyway he and Osborne only have until the June 23rd and then they are surely history. Into the bin with the other lefty, pro EU, anti-democratic disasters of Heath, Major, Bliar, Brown, Healey, Wilson, Kinnock, Britten, Patton, Clegg, Hurd, Clarke, Heseltine and the rest of them.

          I read that GPs are still profiting from premium rate numbers. So the NHS is not even “free at the point of rationing”. Hopefully they are not as bad as HMRC who keep you holding for ages they hang up on you and tell you to try again another time.

          When you get through they rarely have a clue anyway.

      • eeyore
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        Mr Cameron has an odd habit of beginning by telling people what he thinks they want to hear. Perhaps it’s his PR man instincts. Only when that doesn’t work does he fall back on the plain truth, which may well not have been unreasonable or particularly damaging in the first place. He’s doing it now with his modest Blairmore investment.

        As so often, Mrs Thatcher gave the example to follow. She lacked neither candour nor courage, and the public showed its appreciation by rewarding her with its trust.

        We all like to think the worst about politicians. We believe they’re shifty even when they’re not. The problem is that a dog given a bad name has nothing to lose if it lives down to it. Then we all end up losers.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        Tell that to millions across the world short changed by these toll dodgers in particular the ones in this country who have to pay the extra tax pound for pound to fund the shortfall in funds for infrastructure housing, education and defence. The cost of housing pushed up by foreigners secretly hiding wealth stolen from their own countries and used to buy up property here.
        Where is your ‘sensible’ reply to my ‘absurd’ assertion?

        • Richard1
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          There is no evidence that either Mr Cameron or his father “dodged” tax. These (quite small) investments were legal and applicable tax was paid. Rich foreigners are leaving the UK in droves due to populist policies, the result of which will be those remaining having to pay more.

          We would all be better off with a much simpler and more competitive tax system.

          • forthurst
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            Having actually worked for a time for a fund manager that offered its clients legitimate offshore investment vehicles, not only did they have an office in a tax haven, but, crucially, they had investment managers resident as well to take investment decisions; without the latter, their clents would have been evading, not avoiding tax. It is clear your assertions in defence of CMD are not attenuated by any understanding of tax law. whatsoever. Buy some popcorn and watch CMD swing in the wind.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Exactly. Osborne’s policies are hugely counterproductive. It is not tax avoidance which is “morally repugnant” it is Osborne’s absurd tax rates, tax complexity and the endless government waste.

            True they are better than Labour, but not that much in it.

          • Richard1
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            Reply to forthurst (who claims prior employment with a fund manager): please explain what it is you think Mr Cameron has done which is in any way in breach of the law.

          • Bob
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            @lifelogic

            “It is not tax avoidance which is “morally repugnant” it is Osborne’s absurd tax rates, tax complexity and the endless government waste.”

            Hear hear to that!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          The government spends about £11K per person per year on admin, defence, benefits & delivering rather poor public services. Why should people have to pay £1M + in taxes PA, they are hardly tax dodgers they are carrying all the rest.

          They are probably not even using many of these rather dire public services anyway.

          The more people who pay far more in than they get out the better for government finances. Osborne seems to have the opposite agenda. Chase these hardworking and rich people away and encourage huge open door, nonselective, low paid migration “no if no buts” 100s of thousands of them PA. All needing houses, schools, health care, roads, police …… and paying next to nothing in taxes.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            They live in a democracy thats why they have to pay in a progressive tax system. Far from being chased away they are very much physically living here enjoying the benefits of this country and for the rich foreign nationals much more safely than they can in their own countries. The millions who pay next to no tax as you claim pay billions in indirect taxes. You seem to be under the impression that the rich are doing use a favour handing out alms when the reverse is true. The public services they are using sre using services if not foer themselves indirectly by benefiting from this countries healthcare, defence, education and security. Not to see this is deluded and myopic apologist nonsense.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            They rarely use much in the way of “public services” perhaps because the services are of such a poor standard.

        • stred
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          The BBC tv programme about offshore accounts has certainly set off the foamers and defelected the argument about a huge amount being wasted on a one sided pack of lies designed to keep Eural and his secretly pro EU helpers in power. A huge crowd of them are baying outside the conservative meeting today.

          They seem unable to understand that there is nothing that individual governments can do to close overseas tax and business havens. Corbeau fancies himself as Napoleon and would re- colonise the Virgin Islands. Panama would be a little difficult as the Yanks have interests there. Luxembourg would upset the president of the EU, who set up their profitable front office business.

          Then there is the BBC, who in their finest standards of jounalism, exposed some tax evasion and then exposed legal companies as if it were the same. (Name checks BBC journalist but probably who abandoned company format earlier ed) who supplied services to the BBC as a private company in order to avoid tax legally, as do a lot of other BBC performers.

          Perhaps Corbeau and rentamob should go round to Labour HQ and invade, as the accountants who provide tax avoidance to the wealthy were busy in the Labour Treasury helping out (name and source removed as link not working ed)

        • stred
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
        • libertarian
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Bazman

          You haven’t got a clue what you are talking about. You dont know how, what or why of the tax system. You dont contribute anything to society or the economy and your post is nonsense. It contains no evidence, no knowledge of how investment funds work , it takes no account of the fact that its you and the millions of people across the world whose money is actually invested in some offshore investment funds as part of their pensions.

          There isn’t a shortfall in tax as tax isn’t ever and never has been calculated like that. Total drivel.

          • miami.mode
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Sorry lib, but have to agree to an extent with B’man. It’s a bit like the old MasterCard advert, that living in a relatively safe country is priceless.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

            This is drivel in it most simple form, they are using this countries infrastructural, healthcare and security to make profits or hide from their own countries regimes and not paying a toll for this privilege. This massive problem for the worlds countries poor specially the the third world. Hiding behind silly bluster does not help your argument and just because it is a pension does not mean taxes should not be paid.
            Its a different story when it comes to benefit fraud though isn’t it. The fact that this is quite a small percentage compared to the amount not claimed is not within your thinking. However tax avoidance legally and illegally is massive, but this is OK? Get real and stop writing apologist nonsense as fact.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            The top 1% still pay over 15% of all income tax and millions more in other taxes as well as employing tens of thousands of people in this country.
            They are just a jet ride away from leaving the UK and going to a country that doesn’t hate them.
            We need more millionaires not less.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            You assume they are here just for financial reasons and the idea that this financial aristocracy create more wealth than they consume is for the birds..Apologist nonsense no less.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 11, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

            As opposed to your 70s throwback socialist nonsense Baz..
            When a greedy state demands more than half, in my opinion, it is theft.
            Quite plainly individuals who pay hundreds of thousands per year in tax pay in more than they take out.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 11, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Edward if they pay 100’s of thousands in tax they are pay tolls for the services and infrastructure and security they use and benefit from. If you are a heavy use of electricity you pay for it. You do not decide that as you are the heaviest user you should pay nothing or the least or set your own price.
            You seem to be under the impression that they are royalty. They are not and often are here from protection from thier own countries, so what does that tell you?

  2. stred
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Other assurances were given, which No 1o is ignoring. The daily trips around the country rolling his sleeves up and talking to selected factory workers and students must be paid for by us to and costing a fortune. The man should be surcharged.

    The best leaflet the leave side could print would be a copy of the policy of the Spinelli group, with a photo of the co chairmen, Verhofstadt and Cohn-Bendit, with a wiki link to their careers and a video of Verfstadt telling the EU parliament that the Conservative outers were ‘totally bonkers’ and that the USA would not trade with us. It would put most people off, especially waverers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed

      • Bazman
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Do you only agree with this repetitive dross and your own. Where is your sensible and reasoned argument that you bang on about? Well?! Again believing you own the facts and that is why a leaflet is necessary to counteract this mentality.
        Not a squeak from you is there?

        • Bob
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          “repetitive dross” Baz? Well, I suppose you would know all about that.

          • Jagman84
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. He does occasionally come out with something moderately sensible but he tends to embarrass himself most of the time. He thinks that personal attacks on Lifelogic are a substitute for informed opinion. Our host needs to be congratulated for tolerating such behaviour.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            Ignorance does not trump knowledge, especially when it comes from right wing middle aged men who think they own the facts
            Bear that in mind.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Are we to assume you “own the facts” Baz ?
            Because it sounds like you you think you do.

        • getahead
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          Outside the EU the UK will be able to draw up free trade agreements with the rest of the world. Our trade with the EU is not at risk, as the EU sells us more than we sell them and they do not want to impose new tariffs or barriers.
          Outside the EU the UK will have £10 billion more to spend or to offer in tax cuts, the money we currently have to send to Brussels and do not get back. That’s £300 a family every year.
          Outside the EU we could have cheaper and more reliable energy.
          Freed of EU control we save our fish and have farming and environment policies suited to the UK landscape and needs. We will carry on paying all current EU subsidies out of the money we get back from the EU.
          Outside the EU the UK will regain seats on international bodies which the EU threw us off, and will have her own voice with more influence as a result.
          Leaving the EU means we can take back control of our borders and decide who to invite in.
          The UK will be more secure outside the EU as we can have our own foreign policy, cease to rely on EU common policies, and control admission to our country.
          Above all the UK will be a democracy again. Public opinion and elections will be able to change policies and governments instead of having to accept many laws and spending requirements because the EU demands.
          The risky option is to stay in. The rest of the EU is on a wild ride to political union. If we stay we will continue to lose control over more of the things that matter to us.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          It may be repetitive, but clearly many people and most MP need it repeating endlessly. This as they still seem totally unable to grasp the obvious fact that governments are not the solution, they are largely the problem.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            19th century idiotic world view in a complex modern society. Look at the state third world countries are in because of alack of government or a corrupt regimes letting companies and individuals do as they wish. Germany and s Switzerland are so successful due to a lack of government and regulation. Brain then gear please.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            Germany and Switzerland have more regs than us.
            What in earth are you on about Baz!

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Bazmam – If you want to know why we’re having an EU referendum it’s because we’re sick of intemperate and rude, (people ed)like you.

          Every time you’re a naughty boy on this site I shall another old lady to my polling booth run on the 23rd.

          If the result is Leave then I shall LEAP with joy at the thought of you getting your knickers in a twist. If it is Remain then I shall be glad that we’ll get to see how it all turns out.

          Doubtless you’ll blame it all on Thatcher, anway when it goes tits up !

          “Not enough EU” or “Too late the EU” or “She ruined our industry.”

          • Anonymous
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            I won on the Grand National, btw and have been celebrating. Hence the mishtakes in my post.

            I have money on Leicester and a Leave result too.

            Kerching !

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      stred

      “….policy of the Spinelli group…”

      I like the idea of just using one page of this document to outline the risks of remaining in any leave document.

      The leave campaign have to get across its not The EU now that people should consider, but what it will become with compared to leave.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Alan,

        Hollande spelt out his vision for the future of the EU a few days ago, and it’s not something we in the UK should be campaigning to remain within. It’s not just bad, it’s dangerous!

        And as for the UK being able to change it from within, as a lot of pro-EU politicians keep telling us, they must drink in the same saloon as another regular contributor to these pages who continually fails to make sense.

        Tad

        • Peter Davies
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Indeed an argument I had on twitter who didn’t like the hol so thought the eu a better bet which is absurd. The only way to change something like the eu is give notice to leave

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Indeed the more the everyone hears from Remain the more the Leaver side will gain, So silly are the arguments in the leaflet and so annoyed are they by the use of their money to tell them what to think.

    You say – No-one believes a Labour or Conservative government should send out a document written by the civil service recommending general government policy and its benefits ten weeks before a General Election, and no past government has tried to do that. This is similar to such a decision.

    Past governments and local authorities have indeed done this in effect, (but by back door methods) using borough council magazines, publicity for government “giveaways”, masquerading as public information and the likes. I remember Gordon Brown’s absurd baby bonds being used to try to buy votes. Handed out as leaflets as it they were gifts from the Labour Party. Worse still from Labour is the endless promise that if you vote Labour we will steal off the rich and give the money to you, to buy your votes. Now we even have lefties Obsorne and Cameron doing this too. We also saw it with Miliband’s proposed rent controls that would have done huge harm to everyone both tenants and property supply.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Had this been a leave the EU leaflet would you hold the same views? We know the answer.

      Reply I myself would be as strongly against the state funding a Leave leaflet.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        It’s called a level playing field Baz, and that is all we are asking for. Conjecture is superfluous.

        Whatever one side gets, so should the other. To manipulate the election by showing favour to anyone is called gerrymandering. That’s why election campaigns have their funds limited. But there will always be people who try to find ways around the usual protocol for their own dubious ends.

        I wonder? How’s that Channel 4 investigation into the South Thanet Tory election expenses going?

        Tad

        • Bazman
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Lets hope its going well. You presumably think it should fail on principal?

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 11, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            The left never fails to baffle me. They put up an Aunt Sally and say something that is completely fallacious, then use it as some kind of idol to rally behind.

            Where the hell did I say I think the Channel 4 investigation should fail on principle?

            You don’t do yourself any favours, because you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried!

            Where illicit dealings have been found to have taken place, the perpetrators should be punished, regardless of who is involved. We want the very best people to represent us and deserve nothing less.

            To some of us, cheating is an almost physically real anathema that we would never engage in. We don’t look the other way out of convenience or loyalty to a particular flag or colour. I hope Channel 4 gets to the truth.

            Tad

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        The state and the EU should stay will out of funding propaganda it is not a valid use of tax payers money to tell the public how to think. It is an affront to any real democracy.

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    It’s almost as if the top leaders of the remain in campaign have all been promised lucrative sinecures within the EU but only if the UK remains a member. Not that far fetched a presidency is surely in the offering for David Cameron as one becomes available and there will be commissioner vacancies arising that others can fill. Other opportunities to trough at the EU table must abound. Peerages have always been a reward for the faithful and loyal. The EU adds another avenue to enlarge that cronyism. Ask the likes of Neal Kinnock about the considerable perks available for has been politicians by being a member of the EU.

    Politics has always had the whiff of corruption about it. It now appears to have become common place. This leaflet episode is corruption writ large as David Cameron is using his position to use the machinery of state to for his own personal ends. Whether or not that personal end is to feed from the gravy train that is the EU at a later date or not it is irrelevant. In all events it is abuse of power.

    Reply I don’t think Mr Cameron will be offered a President role in the EU. 2 of the 5 are Euro related and the UK does not belong. President of the Council is the serving PM of the Presidency state on a rota, and the President of the Parliament is an MEP . I don’t think Mr C is doing this for an EU job.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      To reply.

      Maybe not a presidency, but he surely has a vested interest somewhere – with the CBI perhaps. And I think he just can’t stand the idea of not being invited to all the lunches etc.

      This isn’t just me being typically cynical – a man as lucid as the PM would otherwise be able to produce more convincing and less vague reasons for staying in if he genuinely believed it was best.

      OT – the hand wringers are banging on about kids in Calais again. I hope someone will point out (the possibility that they do have relatives? ed)

      I am halfway to Australia at the minute I dread to think what it’ll be like when I get there. Not being a member of the EU I’m expecting to find no industry, mass unemployment, terrorists everywhere, and just a few corrupt politicians and corporate billionaires making up their own rules. ?

      Reply I support letting children in from Calais who have family members in the UK wanting to look after them, which is what I think the UK authorities are trying to do.

      • stred
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 5:18 am | Permalink

        Re reply. So long as the family here are genuine refugees or legally entered migrants. Or perhaps bring the children over, then on the next plane home to the safe country of origin.

        Don’t suppose Mrs Maybe would agree.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Labour’s mudslingers are out in force over David Cameron’s tax affairs which as far as I can see is a non event. His handling of the disclosure was poor and that did him little credit. However it pales into insignificance when compared with the leaflets. I see no condemnation from Labour about that. No doubt they see it as legitimate use of power that they have and will emulate themselves when it suits them so cannot condemn it or even see anything wrong in it.

      You have shown me that jumping to conclusions without proof is a poor thing to do. I am an hypocrite because I often castigate others for doing the same thing. My only defence is that I was trying to paint a picture of what can motivate people to act corruptly. I believe I got the substance right but not the detail. Even so contrite I am.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      It’s almost as if the top leaders of the remain in campaign have all been promised lucrative sinecures within the EU but only if the UK remains a member.

      Almost? The BBC has a blatant pro EU agenda and receives EU funds.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Is he doing it for an EU job? Who knows, but it is more likely that he painted himself into a corner with his referendum and poor negotiation, by which he thought the populace was so thick it would be taken in by his masterly PR skills and so has to keep going however ludicrous his arguments are.

      Why he could not come back and be honest by saying, ‘I did my best, but this is the all that is on offer, but even so I think we are better off in’, I don’t know. He would then have retained some respect from all sides. Therein lies the doubt about his motives. To try to pretend that he has reformed the EU is either arrogant disdain for the intelligence of the British people, (quite likely from an old Etonian) or or simple delusion.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        I have seen him on the news as he tramps around the country selling the remain in case. Selling is not perhaps the right word spinning is better because what he lacks in evidence which is plenty he makes up in passion. Desperation or principle it is hard to know which. Notably he expounds that he has reformed the EU so we should stay in. Even he must know that is not true so I guess it is desperation.

  5. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I am not a taxpayer,because I am retired and my income is not high enough to be taxed, but I thoroughly disapprove of this leaflet being funded by those that pay taxes.
    The Prime Minister says that he does not want people to go into the Referendum ‘not knowing the facts’ , but I would suggest that one would have to live on Mars not to know, with the daily bombardment from him, (always fully covered by the BBC, ) in front of a captive audience.
    This leaflet will not change my voting intention one iota, and I think that if the ‘Remain’ camp wish to put out a leaflet, they should find alternative funding for it. Of course, this is all too late now, as the leaflets are in the mail, but I think this could rebound badly on the Prime Minister, and I cant summon much sympathy if this happens.

    • matthu
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      ‘not knowing the facts’

      The only way to present “the facts” would be to have each side select half a dozen topics each and then let both sides present their case on each topic.

      Combine this into a pamphlet and distribute it by all means.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl

      Mine when received, will be re directed unopened back to Downing Street.

      Have already made comment under “Local Issues” yesterday.

      • Chris
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        I see there are suggestions in the blogosphere from reputable individuals that if you are returning the leaflet make sure it is not reusable.

        • alan jutson
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Chris

          “…make sure its not reusable…”

          Rest assured it will have some holes punched in it ( Paper hole puncher) whilst still in the unopened envelope, some Glue will then be fed through the holes to stick all the pages together

          My address will be crossed out and it will simply say Please Redirect to New Address, 10 Downing Street, and popped in a post box.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Indeed. I will also post the leaflet with a letter informing CMD of my thoughts on his actions and leadership including his blatant lies.
        The main thing wrong with CMD’s shares was his attempt to hide the facts and calling others names who did what he and his wife had done! He is a disingenuous hypocrite. I have written to the cabinet office complaint of wasting tax payers money on EU propaganda!

    • Antisthenes
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I like you am retired and do not have enough income so do not pay income tax. However we are taxed all the same. Many purchases we make are taxed. Like civil servants and public sector workers whose organisation they work for is funded by the government do not pay income tax. They of course say they do because it says so on their pay slips. In reality though they are taking taxpayers money with one hand and just giving it back with the other.

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I suspect you are a taxpayer….What about VAT, insurance premium tax, fuel duty etc. In my opinion, a tax is a tax whether it is income tax or another tax….We are all tax payers one way or another.

      • Bob
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        @Cliff.Wokingham

        “We are all tax payers one way or another.”

        How about people who live entirely off of the state”?

        There’s a difference between being a “taxpayer” and a “net taxpayer”.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, most people on low wages are a net liability to the state. So why is Cameron so keen on, no if no buts, more that 200,000 coming here PA?

          • graham1946
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            LL – You put your finger, inadvertently I am sure, right on the conundrum that has to be solved. There is the counter to your hatred of the minimum wage – to reduce the drain on the state and put it where it belongs – where the wealth is created. There is nowhere else it can come from. Welfare is the government’s biggest expense. Even the new ‘living wage’ is not all that much and I doubt you would like to live on it – about £260 gross if you are lucky enough to work full time and not on zero hours.

            Too many big companies choose to pay poverty wages, racking up vast profits and landing the taxpayer with the bill. Too many poor old landlords charging people through the nose for substandard lodgings, ensuring tenants can never become property owners. The country gets richer when people value their jobs and can buy the stuff other people produce. Henry Ford knew that back in the early 20th century.

        • Cliff. Wokingham.
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          Bob,

          You ask an interesting question. I suppose as LL states, the majority of ordinary people doing ordinary jobs, are not net contributors however, I suspect that when one takes ALL tax paid by these people, including VAT, fuel duty, beer and fags duty, council tax, TV license etc, then they more than likely are net contributors.

          I understand your point about those who only have an income from the state but, many would have been paying tax and insurance over a lifetime for those benefits. I think it is wrong to tar we pensioners and the sick and disabled with the same brush as you do with a teen, who just produces children for the state to support and those who make a lifetime career of collecting benefits with no intention of ever working. Even in the case of the latter, the money they receive will be, in part, given back to the state in indirect taxation. It seems to me it goes around and around and eventually disappears into nothing.

          I sat down with a piece of paper and attempted to work out just what I had paid into the state over my lifetime when all taxes were taken into account and just how much of my own earned money I was allowed by the state to keep myself….The figures were truly shocking and I felt like a kid getting pocket money from Nanny.

          The real problem we have is that too many people expect the state to do too much for them, because everything the state does, requires loads of money to be thrown at it. The state has never been especially efficient at providing services when compared to the private sector. (Sorry Baz) I have practiced in both private and NHS hospitals during my working life and have always found that the NHS is far less efficient at providing the services and spends an awful lot of money on management and internal training courses many of which are little more than PC inspired indoctrination programmes to get staff into approved leftie think mode, compared to the private sector.

          We need a grown up debate about just what we want the state to do for us and how much responsibility we should take for ourselves and families. One of my biggest disappointments about our so called Conservative led governments over the last six years, is the way the state has been expanded and how our host, who is also my MP, had his “Great repeal bill” and the reduction of the number of quangos, killed off.

          Perhaps our host could ask us what we would like the state to do for us and what we should do for ourselves.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Mine will be handed personally back to Mr C s Witney constituency office

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Good. Cameron had an open goal with hapless Gordon Brown but he turned out to be just another wet lefty like Ted Heath after all.

        • Bob
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          @lifelogic

          “he turned out to be just another wet lefty like Ted Heath after all.”

          We already knew that last May, but he still got elected.

          What does that say about the people who voted him in?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Well, no doubt you contribute to government revenues through VAT, fuel duty, etc, etc, so even if you pay no income tax you are still a taxpayer.

    • David Murfin
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Not yet to everyone. Those under the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies won’t get them until May, well inside the period when expenditure is limited. Shouldn’t they all be sent out together, in May, and the Remain account be charged with the costs? They are entitled to a free distribution, so that probably wouldn’t exceed their £7M.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Hopefully it will help the Brexit side, I think it will as it is such blatant & one sided government propaganda. All paid for by tax payers.

    • getahead
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      You may not pay income tax Cheshire girl but you pay plenty of tax elsewhere.

      • getahead
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Please delete the above. It’s a repetition of what others have already said.

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          I’m grateful for all those who point out that I do indeed pay tax. My big bugbear is VAT. It is far too high, and on pretty much everything. I especially resent VAT on what I consider ‘essentials’ such as urgent household repairs, plumbing issues etc. I find it really distasteful that it is even levied on coffins!
          I have signed the petition against the leaflet. I may not be able to return it, as I believe it is one leaflet per household, and my Husband thinks it is not unreasonable for the Government to issue it.

          • APL
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            Cheshire Girl: “My big bugbear is VAT. It is far too high, and on pretty much everything.”

            Which of course is a EUropean tax, the implementation of which is open to the most egregious frauds. VAT fraud AKA Carousel fraud.

            It was also introduced by our one time Tory leader

            Replacing as it did a very simple sales tax. To those who contend that VAT is not a EU tax, if the EU can dictate the rate and goods and services it is applied to, if our government has to ask for permission to de-rate a good or service, then I say, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

  6. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I am on a pension that is taxed and this trick is the final straw for me. Along with the EU free lunches! I hope common sense returns to this country soon…I really do!

    O/T:
    Encouraging to hear Trump on the NATO case…about time to.

    Australia appears to have four troublesome banks and a steel company now in administration….Arrium S A. The rot is extraordinarily widespread.

  7. Mick
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    This pamphlet just proves it that the inners have chucked away the rule book and are going to play dirty from now, so the outers need to up there game and play even dirtier as I’ve said before we have only one shot at it so take the gloves off and go for it, also I think that there should be a show down with Cameron and Nigel Farage that I’m sure would be a big help to the out campaign, but that’s just a pipe dream because chicken Cameron would be to scared to have a debate with Mr Farage

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      They’ve already been playing dirty, for example by saying that this referendum will be an opportunity for the British people to have their say on the EU but then insisting that various foreign citizens must also be allowed to vote.

  8. Gary C
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    At the time of writing the petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762 has over 174,000 signatures with the amount increasing fast, what I find interesting is when clicking on the map it is clear where most of those are coming from, there appears to be a definite lack of support in Scotland and Wales. I’m sure anyone backing the leave campaign would be happy to sign so I’m thinking the leave message has yet to get through outside of England. Hopefully it will.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Gary C

      I just think that the Scots will go wherever Queen Nick tells them to because they know there will be a bail out when they need it through the EU. Also it saves them to bother of having to think of a new currency. Mind you, we know a lot of Scots who want out so maybe it is just that they don’t read the right things to find these petitions. I would say more people we speak to want out rather than in.

    • M Davis
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      192.918 at 22.12pm and counting!

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Gary C: “has over 174,000 signatures”

      > 198K now.

      But read the response of the Office for the interests of Foreigners, AKA the Foreign and Commonwealth office. Which can be rendered accurately thusly;

      We don’t care what you think, we’re going to waste your money anyway, up yours you Pleb!

      This department of treason ought to be abolished immediately.

  9. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    My copy will be returned to No.10. I’m retired aland.
    nd pay tax so I am appalled by Cameron’s behaviour. He is behaving like a public school prig.
    The referendum is not about him and his banker cronies, it’s about regaining our green and pleasant land.
    The mans a shyster make no mistake.

    • John Bracewell
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I agree, but unfortunately, instead of acting like a proper PM should do, Cameron has made this Referendum about him, his view and the co-erced view of most of the government. He should have put both sides of this very important argument and allowed the people to make the decision, without misleading, one-sided propaganda.
      Instead he has taken the same route as Wilson did in 1975, I hope the voters see through the lies this time. If the argument for staying in is so strong, why do the Remain side need to try to fix the game? Indeed, if the Remain case is so strong, why has a Referendum been called at all, the polls show fairly equal support for both sides, so the Remain case is not as strong as Cameron is making out. Cameron thinks he has put the Scottish Independence question to bed for 20 years and is trying to do the same with the EU issue, he has not and will not silence the Scots or the true eurosceptics, as opposed to Cameron who purports to be eurosceptic but is anything but.

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg: “He is behaving like a public school prig.”

      Chuckle, guess what, Ian?

  10. oldtimer
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    It is a good idea to send this pamphlet, once it has been delivered, back to Mr Cameron at No 10 with a covering letter asking for my money back. The more people that can be encouraged to do this the better.

    As you point out, the government pamphlet is misleading and silent on key issues. No doubt the Leave campaign will, once the designated group gets the go ahead, produce its case. This, I trust, will be short, punchy, factual and convincing, not the misleading waffle.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      PS: The fact that this leaflet appears after assurances were given in the Hoc (by the Foreign Secretary and the Europe Minister) that no such action would be taken reveals that the Remain campaign should not and cannot be trusted. Trust is essential in decisions of this magnitude. Mr Cameron has forfeited that trust.

      On the subject of trust, it appears that the German political establishment is fast losing trust in Mr Draghi of the ECB. They dislike his monetary policies and the effect they are having on German savings. The Spiegel Online article is here:
      http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/conflict-grows-between-germany-and-the-ecb-a-1086245.html

  11. agricola
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your comments on the propaganda pamphlet, I only have to mention some of it’s further misleading statements.
    1.
    The EU may be our largest but diminishing trading partner, however the 8% of their exports sold to us exceed in value the 44% of exports we sell to them by £60 Billion per annum. No responsible person in Germany has talked of us loosing their custom, in fact at times just the opposite.
    2.
    The claim that the EU has facilitated cheap travel and holidays in Europe is farcical. Freddy Laker, Easy Jet, and Ryanair can take credit for that. It seems to have escaped the attention of the pamphleteers that Ryanair is an Irish, therefore EU airline
    3.
    Cheap roaming charges and reciprocal health care are points that can be sorted in five minutes as they are of benefit to the EU and UK citizenry. Likewise many other areas where cooperation is of mutual benefit.
    4.
    Voting to leave would create years of uncertainty. This is very important as I would say , only if Cameron and his cohorts are allowed anywhere near the negotiation. We cannot be dependant on proven failures in this respect.
    5.
    None transfer of power assurances are worthless, it is happening every day, and will increasingly do so.
    6.
    Talk of security assurance through membership has I think been squashed by the EU’s open borders to all fiasco and the consequent events in Paris, Brussels, Munich, and Cologne and Sweden. I will stick with GCHQ,MI6,MI5, and our specialist forces.
    7.
    The EU specifically prevents us from controlling our borders. We even operate a no checks entry via Ireland, utterly bizarre. With EU plans to further expand into Turkey, Georgia , Ukraine and one other , combined with the UK living wage, there is only likely to be an increase of pressure on our NHS, Schools, Social Services, Housing, and Transport.
    8.
    Finally my instinct says that the City of London will be better served outside the sclerotic protectionist influence of a socialist EU.

    I hope that Parliament has the will to go for Cameron’s jugular over this shabby attempt to scare the UK public into remaining. Unless of course if Blairmore are paying for it.

  12. John Bracewell
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Well, I for one, welcome the £9m spent by the government to help the ‘Vote Leave’ side’s cause. It will annoy all taxpayers that their money is being spent on this venture at all, only die-hard Remain voters may mistakenly think it is money well spent. I wonder for which team Mr Cameron has scored this particular own goal, Aston Villa or West Ham?
    I will return my suitably annotated copy of this pamphlet to the arrogant sender at No 10 Downing St.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      If only that were true. I know quite a few, friends and family, who were in the definitely going to vote leave camp who now disappointingly say they are not so sure. Unfortunately Cameron’s and all the other Euro loving traitors’ propaganda is working. It’s a pity the vote leave side can’t get their act together and unite as one strong front with the likes of Gove, Farage & Johnson speaking as one.
      Why can’t they produce a counter pamphlet John pointing out all the Remain camp’s lies one by one? Do the Brexiteers also get Government funding for such things? If not, why not?

      Reply Go and Vote Leave are working well alongside each other. Literature is available for distribution, though we do not have the money to send it out by paid for delivery so need more volunteers to deliver. The official campaign when designated will get one free mailshot as will Remain.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Probably that’s because their Prime Minister has officially informed them that about three million people could lose their jobs if we leave the EU.

      • Nick W
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Who can supply me with a “leave” poster for a tree in the garden?

        I don’t mind paying for it.

        Reply Vote.leave have plenty free. Apply through the website

      • John Bracewell
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        So, you say you have friends and family whose views have been swayed by a pamphlet that has not yet been distributed. They must have all read it online, making them very untypical, most people will have only heard of the furore about taxpayers money being spent on a biased pamphlet, if they have heard of it at all yet. The ‘spending taxpayers money’ aspect will resonate when the pamphlets finally arrive.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          We’ve had one from BSE with similar contents.

          I just wish the Remain side could get their act together and form a united campaign, rather than having two separate campaigns running side by side, BSE and the government … that’s a joke, by the way.

  13. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s government decided not to allow the preparation of leaflets for the mayoral elections to contain each candidate’s election address because it would have cost £9m. Elected mayors claim to be all part of Cameron’s devolution of power and improved democracy within England.

    He then finds the £9m for a propaganda leaflet for staying in the undemocratic and corrupt EU.

    Cameron is putting the preservation of his own skin before domestic democracy as we all know that if the Leave camp wins he loses.

    He betrays everyone in the end. A fish rots from the head.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      £9 million is a lot of money in some contexts, such as mayoral elections, but only a trifling sum in other contexts, such as an EU referendum.

      Just like £10 billion, that can be a massive boost to the UK economy when it’s the projected annual benefits of TTIP, a veritable cornucopia which we can only enjoy if we vote to stay in the EU, or it can be relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things when it’s the annual saving on our net contributions if we leave the EU.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    “The UK will not be part of further European political integration”

    Can this be used to block any further EU diktats ? It would certainly embarrass the Government if they were forced to support EU diktats , thus rubbishing their claim to protect our sovereignty.

    As to the pamphlet, included in the costs is an expensive website , I doubt whether they will take down this website they day when the formal campaign begins, which means the cost of the website should fall on the formal campaign costs, and as it will be promoting the literature of the pamphlet,a good case could be made to include part of the pamphlet costs as well, which should dent the money available to the Government to spend in the referendum. (Mr Redwood, if you think this is a reasonable argument, and don’t want to fore warn the Remain campaign to this potential liability, then don’t publish the paragraph)

    Rrply I expect the Remain campaign will know they have to declare the costs of any website and they will have a large budget to do so.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Iain

      “The UK will not be part of further European political integration”

      If only that had been written in stone in 1972!

      They can easily promise ‘thus far and no further’ after the event, to sound like they are standing up to those naughty power-grabbing Europeans, whilst secretly bending over backwards to please their EU masters behind the scenes. It’s another con played upon the hapless unsuspecting British public to whom politics is merely an occasional interest!

      I recall my friend, Sir Teddy Taylor telling me about the time he saw a delegation of fishermen who wanted changes to the Common Fisheries Policy as they were being driven out of business, and Teddy had the unpleasant task of telling them there was nothing he could do because all the power had already gone to Brussels.

      The words ‘Horse’ ‘Vanished’ and ‘Stable-door’ come to mind.

      Tad

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Iain. From what I’ve read, political parties will be allowed to spend up to a specific amount. How they allocate it to either side of the referendum will be highly interesting. Blood on the carpets, perhaps?

  15. formula57
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I think the government would do itself a lot more good – certainly perhaps win respect at present lacking from the British people – if it instead sent us all a leaflet explaining step by step how we could each set up an offshore trust to, er, help us own shares denominated in dollars. Then we could all be out of this together.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      LOL! I wish somebody would write a book on that one! RT is the nearest anyone presently gets to exposing it all. Certainly not the good old BBC.

      Tad

      • APL
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Tad Davison: “Certainly not the good old BBC.”

        To paraphrase Monty Python. Don’t mention the BBC! You’ll wake Jerry from his slumber.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Trusts are not very attractive now, after the endless attacks on them from Brown and Osborne (the same with pensions, bank deposits and buy to lets). Perhaps best just to leave, as so many rich and hardworking are doing.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’m not going to send my copy to Downing Street unstamped, as that would just impose more cost on the hapless taxpayer.

    Conservative Party HQ will be the destination for mine.

    I’m sorry about that, JR, but without making a party political meal of it the Tory leaders said that the party would be neutral in the referendum, and it is not:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2016/04/conservative-party-events-should-give-a-platform-to-leave-not-just-remain.html

    and the Tory leaders also promised that they would not turn the government into a second Remain campaign, but they have.

    I’ve mentioned before that since the McKenna case the Irish government has officially been required to remain neutral in referendums:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendum_Commission

    “In 1995 Patricia McKenna won a case in the Supreme Court of Ireland, in which she argued successfully that it was unconstitutional for the Government of Ireland to spend taxpayers money promoting only one side of the argument in a referendum campaign.”

    However having watched what has actually happened during a number of referendums in Ireland I have to say that while this is officially true it is not entirely true in practice.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      That was my thought on sending the leaflet back too, Denis.

      The Conservative government (as it is pro EU) really ought to be putting its loyalty to the EU nation to the fore now – very publicly. That means the Union Jack taking second place to the EU flag.

      They won a surprise majority on the offer of a referendum – and people who want a referendum don’t want to stay in the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        It wouldn’t be the first time if those organising the Tory party put the Union Jack in second place to the EU flag.

        At least according to normal flag protocol it is the latter which was given the position of honour on the platform backdrop at the 1984 conference, the one in Brighton when Thatcher made her defiant speech after the bomb.

        As can be seen from just under 8 minutes in here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOizSzKZtRY

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Another contributor to John’s blog once arrogantly accused me of ‘faux’ praise for your posts as if that person knew my mind. Yours are consistently good Denis, take it from me. Between you, many others, and of course John himself, these are posts nuggets of gold for me, and please be assured, I use them to fight our common cause in all sorts of places. Keep them coming!

      Tad

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Tad, I do my best for the cause!

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Ditto, Tad.

        Denis is an utter gem. One who Bazman definitely does NOT tackle.

        Bazman is every bit the ranter and raver that he accuses others of being. This despite the undeserved friendliness I have seen him get on this site.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Maybe Denis should tackle some of my points on the utter failure of socialism for the rich neoliberal economics propped in many cases by the EU and supported by the Tories?
          To difficult and against your church though isn’t it?

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

            Bazman – Except few of us support the Tories here. Otherwise I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying at 6.53.

            I find your manner far too combative to read through to some of the good ideas you may well have.

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Dennis Cooper: “Conservative Party HQ will be the destination for mine. ”

      Oh! Thank you for that. It’s exactly what I’m now going to do too. And by the way, loads of Labour supports would love that idea too.

      If it helps to destroy the party that has worked tirelessly to destroy my country, the sooner the better. We can start all over with a proper Conservative party.

  17. David Williams
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The pamphlet symbolises the EU. A waste of money.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    For reference the text of the pamphlet that the Labour government sent to every household in 1975 may be read here:

    http://www.harvard-digital.co.uk/euro/pamphlet.htm

    It also said:

    “There was a threat to employment in Britain from the movement in the Common Market towards an Economic & Monetary Union. This could have forced us to accept fixed exchange rates for the pound, restricting industrial growth and putting jobs at risk. This threat has been removed.”

    It would have been legitimate for a subsequent government to say that there were now renewed moves towards Economic & Monetary Union and it was minded to go along that path, but only if the British people agreed in a fresh referendum to modify the consent they had directly given in the 1975 referendum; however of course that didn’t happen, instead the government was adamant that the people should have no direct say.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      The same Wilson who issued the total lie that:

      “From now on, the pound abroad is worth 14 per cent or so less in terms of other currencies. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the Pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued.”

      It of course meant exactly that.

      Still he kept us out of pointless & counter productive wars like Vietnam I suppose. Unlike Blair & Cameron.

  19. Javelin
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Post the pamphlet back in the letter box. With return to sender.

    I will not be wasting my time or money putting a stamp and address on it. The PO knows where it came from.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Without a stamp it may not get there. Put a stamp on it – it’s got to be worth the money just to get your point over. I am sending mine back with a few thoughts too.

      • Chris
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Advice from one blogger was use the leaflet for a comment (so not reusable) and if you send back to Downing Street to the PM mark Personal and Confidential.

    • Nig L
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Careful, the PO will not pass them back to Number 10 they will bin them thus losing the effect of vast numbers (I hope) being seen to show voters’ disapproval, equally Conservative HQ.

      What about the Venice agreement on referenda information neutrality mentioned yesterday?

      • graham1946
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        The Post Office cannot legally bin any post, which is why you get so much dross through the letterbox – not even criminal scams can be dumped, it has to be delivered. It is a criminal offence to interfere with the mail and any postman doing so can be jailed. A few in the past have been. A representative of the Post Office said recently on the radio consumer programme You and Yours that even though they knew who the postal scam artists are, they are not allowed to simply dump the stuff or take orders from the recipient to do it. Also, imagine the cost to the Royal Mail of doing this – the cost of landfill would be enormous, probably more than the cost of delivering it back.

        • miami.mode
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          It’s always surprised me, graham, why some branch of officialdom, perhaps Social Services or Police, are not informed when it’s obvious to a postman that an individual is either being scammed, or taken advantage of, by the enormous amount of post delivered.

  20. majorfrustration
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    We could of course “crowd fund” a leaflet that incorporated the promises/assurances of the Harold Wilson document with the title “Once bitten….”

  21. bluedog
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    One can set out a list of speakers who one would like to see promoting the benefits of EU membership to a grateful nation, Dr JR. We’ve seen enough of Cameron and Osborne and it’s time for Remain to freshen up their presentation. It goes without saying that any member of the European Commission is eligible and being a participant in meetings of the Bilderburg Group is no disadvantage either. Some suggestions:

    Peter Mandelson
    Kenneth Clarke
    Michael Heseltine
    Jean-Claude Junker
    Jose Manuel Barroso
    Jonathan Hill
    Frederica Mogherini (we need some age and gender balance here).

    And not forgetting the golden girl Anna Soubry whose ability to connect with her audience is so widely respected.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      And Mogherini’s predecessor Ashton … the one who congratulated Ukraine on holding free and fair presidential elections, but took a different view when the new President refused to sign the agreement proposed by the EU.

    • Qubus
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Why do they keep putting that woman on Question Time? Her ignorance and total lack of self-awareness is an embarrassment is.

  22. Suzanne L
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Does this leaflet explain the implications of a TTIP on the UK economy and on EU wide regulations – most especially those relating to the environment?

    1. Could the UK participate in the TTIP if it leaves the EU?
    2. Some wildlife charities have asserted that “the EU has the strongest body of environmental legislation anywhere in the world” ” The EU has inspired the UK’s own wildlife legislation and held us to account where we’ve faltered”. Would a TTIP result in any dilution in this legislation by the EU?
    3. Are there any other circumstances where the EU might dilute environmental legislation?
    4. In the event of an exit, could the UK copy and implement future EU wide environmental legislation?

  23. brian
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The EU referendum is not the same as a General Election so cannot be fairly equated. Just because, apparently, we were given misleading information in the previous pamphlet does not mean the same will apply to this one, although probably it was later events/treaties which changed the situation.
    It is quite appropriate that a government should publish its policy and that the civil service should implement it – that’s what they are there for.
    Reasons for leaving the EU are numerous but it would be dangerous to do so at this time. With the current fragile economic and political situation in this country an exit would cause great uncertainty for a long period, causing a weakening of the economy for which the Conservatives would be blamed, leaving open the possibility of Labour gaining power.
    In any event I hope that Conservative MPs will act responsibly and come together after the referendum.

    Reply We will be able to boost our economy on exit with the £10,000 bn extra spending and the improvement to the balance of payments from cancelling the contributions. As Remainers say we will lose inward investment flows they are also forecasting an even stronger improvement in the trade account, so that’s extra good news. Germans have recently repeated they want to carry on trading without new barriers on our exit.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      According to those who want to stay in there will never be a good time to leave, they said the same in 1975: then it was “a dangerous time in a dangerous world”.

      Just as for them it was always a good time to join the euro, whether the pound was strengthening or it was weakening or it was stable, any of those circumstances could be moulded into an argument to join the euro.

  24. ian
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    He has no choice but try to repair the damage he has already done to global elite and do all he can to win a yes vote for them with other con party friends, after saying before the last election he would allow a referendum on Europe to unify his party and keep ukip at bay for a election he thought his party had no chance of winning.

    If he and his other con party friends do not win, their job prospects do not look good for when they leave parliament, he will not get a job like the last labour leader did on the board at the biggest bank in the usa.

    Infact he will be doing well to keep his head above water.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I joined the signatures yesterday protesting against the decision to send out the pamphlet . I am disgusted with the whole of this affair and I now trust it will be debated in the HoC ; at the time I was informed there were 147,000 objectors .

    The playing fields of Eton , I am reminded , were always flat , this being the case makes out Cameron to be a renegade and an “old boy” not worthy of its reputation . The exposure of his off-shore interests are yet another indication of his untrustworthiness and why he is unfit to lead his Party and to be Prime Minister ; the 1922 Committee have a job to do .

    Like other responders I , and my wife , will be returning unopened the pamphlet . I sincerely hope 10 Downing St., will be inundated and Cameron will be able to see evidence of his unpopularity and foolishness . Amen .

  26. Man of Kent
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    What has happened to the Conservative Party ?
    It used to be the party of small government and low taxes .
    The nations pragmatic default government ; in contrast to tax and spend labour.
    It is now more left wing than Blair .
    The only way to make them see sense is to vote for someone else.
    What price UKIP in May ?

    There is a parallel in Ireland where the Fianna Fail vote collapsed after they imposed German austerity demands on an electorate that voted against them in their first referendum.

    They have not been able to regain their position of trust since.

  27. Tad Davison
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    It annoys me no end, that politicians, especially Tories, have in the past claimed to be Eurosceptic so they can cash in on the popularity that stance brings with it, then at the first acid test, they reveal themselves to be EU supporters all along. And some of them are so arrogant, it takes one’s breath away.

    No matter how bad, corrupt, wasteful, mismanaged, or unwieldy the EU gets, they still want to belong to it. I regret to say that I have completely lost faith in their judgement if that is the best they can do. The case for Brexit is overwhelming, so I am left to wonder what it is these ‘flat-Earth’ believers cannot see, that so many others can?

    They would readily chain us to something we all know to be undemocratic and not in our nation’s best interest. However, getting them even to discuss it prior to the referendum, is in my experience, an almost impossible task. There just has to be some other hidden reason for their illogical enthusiasm because the arguments for staying in just don’t add up.

    Possibly the most pro-EU party of them all, the Lib Dems, didn’t do too well at the last General Election, and I have a feeling that was mainly down to the highly publicised drubbing some time earlier that Nigel Farage gave to the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, where the latter person’s enthusiasm and very thin arguments were exposed for all to see. Evidently, not many people agreed with Nick after that!

    At all future elections, it ought to be a condition of a person’s candidacy that they have the way they voted in the EU referendum emblazoned upon their literature, so we can separate out the traitors to the United Kingdom, from the true patriots.

    We need a far better system of governance in the UK where politicians cannot go beyond their remit and give away powers that belong to the British people. I make no excuses for wanting the best for my fellow countrymen, so I am campaigning for ‘Out’ with a clear conscience. Not for me the taking of thirty pieces of silver, and if every politician took that same principled position, we wouldn’t be in this invidious position in the first place.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Well said Tad

    • graham1946
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Re your last paragraph, I cannot square the supposed idea that one parliament cannot bind the hands of subsequent ones, with the handing over of the country to foreigners permanently. No doubt Denis can advise on this, but I assume its just a nominal thing in that a parliament, should it so wish can repeal the laws covering it should it so wish? Problem is, that so many MP’s seem intent on passing their powers to Brussels and just becoming a rubber stamp. If we remain in, and long term become a country called Europe, surely, parliament will be wound up? Or will it be like the Lords, a nice little retirement home for the insiders?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        My advice is to look at what happened in America, where 13 colonies declared themselves to be independent states and for their mutual support and defence formed a confederacy in which they were expressly recognised as still being sovereign independent states, Article II:

        “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

        but after decades of arguments about their rights ended up as subordinate states in a federation which had been held together by force.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, Denis. Good example.It’s as I thought, nominally o.k. but to be crushed eventually just like we would be in years to come both in our ‘independence’ and joining the Euro. In other words, Cameron’s negotiation, lodged at the UN is worthless. No surprise there.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      ‘so we can separate out the traitors to the United Kingdom, from the true patriots.’

      Perhaps we are already seeing the start of the Great Schism, in which the political parties do in fact re-order themselves around this issue, given that is absolutely central to the future of the United Kingdom. Old habits die hard, but a social conservative Eurosceptic in the Labour Party probably has far more in common with a Conservative holding the same views than that Conservative has with David Cameron. The inhibiting factor to the required re-ordering is the deep tribal loyalty so often held to a particular party.

      One option is for a gifted political entrepreneur of Eurosceptic conviction to emerge and seize control of either the Conservatives or Labour and re-orientate the party along nationalist and Eurosceptic lines. The UKIP option has failed and that needs to be recognised so that further energy is not wasted on trying to build the UKIP franchise. The Europhile hold on both Labour and the Conservatives is possibly far weaker than it may seem. For example, if the entire UKIP membership were to join the Conservatives, it could possibly change the balance of power within that party, resulting in the expulsion of Cameron and his cohort of Euro-gauleiters who take orders from Brussels.

      If the Brexit vote succeeds, this line of thinking is redundant. But if the result is Remain, there needs to be a clear strategy for continued resistance and an organisational structure sufficient to prosecute successfully the goal of independence.

      Something must be done.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Some interesting points bluedog.

        Not withstanding what Corbyn might say later today, I don’t see a great deal of comment on the UK’s membership of the EU coming from the Parliamentary Labour Party, apart from the usual easily-disproven claptrap, and I think that is because they are basically dishonest. Cynically, they totally disregard and disavow the great many Labour supporters who want no part of the EU, and the Labour party suppress the matter because to acknowledge the disparity, would give them a political problem to match any schism within the Conservative party.

        I have often said that to deny debate, is to deny democracy, so perhaps the voters might take account of Labour’s reticence next time and thereafter. That perhaps reinforces your own view that, ‘The Europhile hold on both Labour and the Conservatives is possibly far weaker than it may seem. ‘ especially if political parties have to resort to devious means to make the electorate believe they think one way, when in fact, they think another.

        You also say the UKIP option has failed. I don’t quite agree on that one. On the face of it, they didn’t do too well at the last General Election, only getting one MP. Firstly, we can put that down to our FPTP electoral system, and secondly, because the people knew (overtly prompted by the Tories for their own ends) they had to stop Miliband and Sturgeon, so turned to the only party who could thwart the advance of the left, and in sufficient numbers to give them a surprise majority. Had Labour and the SNP held sway, we wouldn’t even have got our referendum, because like all other pro-EU people, their first loyalty is to a foreign flag, and they seek to stop the well-founded, principled Brexit campaign anyway they can. But UKIP haven’t gone away, nor will they until someone shoots their fox, and even then, they have much to offer disenfranchised people across the political spectrum who can’t find adequate representation elsewhere.

        Tribal loyalties are an interesting conundrum, and many a time, I have seen a politician put party before principle and play the game of ‘follow the leader’. With me, it’s very much the other way around. If many more politicians were to put principle first, we might just arrive at a situation where the British people were better and more equitably represented.

        Tad

  28. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party should be asked which concepts, sentences, phrases or individual words of the 15 pages published by the Conservative Government irks.
    If none, then the Labour Party should break into not the present two antithetical pieces of its political fabric but strip out, pull out the yarns of its political fairytale and knit itself into a proper opposition Party. At the moment it operates like a two-headed jack-in-the-box.Both of them Yes-men. Not pretty.

  29. matthu
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The government pamphlet is simply another own-goal. Even the Guardian can list the other factors which are combining to form the almost perfect storm for Brexit.

    The Brexit nightmare is becoming reality. The remain camp is in denial

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/09/brexit-nightmare-remain-camp-denial-cameron-panama-papers

    To seriously contemplate Brexit is almost a taboo – there’s a great deal of comment, but few see it as a reality. Officials in other European states refrain from making open statements: partly for fear of negatively influencing the referendum, but mostly because they are in denial. A friend at the EU commission recently told me that its staff are banned from organising any meetings to discuss the possible effects of Brexit, in case it leaks and EU institutions appear defeatist. This amounts to sticking heads in the sand.

    With less than 11 weeks to the vote, the reasons things are going wrong are easy to list. David Cameron, the British prime minister, is now politically weakened by the Panama Papers fallout. Like it or not, his personal credibility affects the credibility of his message on Europe. The Dutch referendum result this week has brought added ammunition to the Brexit campaign. Nigel Farage was swift to tweet: “big No to EU. Hooray!”

    External factors driving Brexit are no less daunting. The slowdown in refugee movements across the Mediterranean – brought about by the EU-Turkey deal – is likely to be only temporary. Not just because warmer weather will make crossings easier, but because the “cessation of hostilities” in Syria has now all but collapsed. More Syrians will want to seek safety abroad. And more TV images of refugees will feed British anxieties about immigration, which is at the heart of the referendum debate.

    Add to all that the impact of the Brussels attacks, so soon after the Paris terror. To many British people these events made Europe look frightening because of its very vulnerability. And that increases the pull-up-the-drawbridge syndrome.

  30. matthu
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    This is how it is summed it up in The Spectator:

    That Cameron refused to take questions from the press at his referendum event in Exeter yesterday also tells you a great deal about how he feels the past few days have gone. It’s not just his personal problems with the Panama Papers that have been causing grief. The Prime Minister went away to try to recover from the vitriolic Tory row on disability benefit cuts, only to return to a crisis in the steel industry. Now he is engulfed in his own row, and has another Tory party row to deal with when recess is over too, with MPs in a rage about the government’s leaflets.

    The government is back in an omnishambles period.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/the-government-has-returned-to-a-period-of-omnishambles/

    Omnishambles.

    Hardly the platform from which to launch a referendum.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Now the EU is edging towards ending visa-free entry for US and Canadian citizens:

    https://euobserver.com/justice/132983

    Why? Because the US and Canada insist on doing one of the things that the EU says you must never do, namely treat the citizens of some EU member states differently to the citizens of some other EU member states. After all, as far as the EU is concerned they are all citizens of the Union as well as citizens of their own countries, or “the countries they know best” as the jargon of the eurocrats would have it, countries which are in any case destined to merge into one country as soon as that is politically possible.

    “The EU’s legal gazette,the Official Journal, back on 12 April 2014 published a notification that while US and Canadian nationals can go to any EU country without a permit, some EU citizens don’t have the same perks.

    The journal noted that people from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania need visas to go to the US. It also noted that people from Bulgaria and Romania need visas to enter Canada.”

    A rather curious collection of countries, but as it happens I fully sympathise with the US authorities for their insistence that they must be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of nationality, whatever the EU member states may have agreed in their treaties.

    In fact that is what we in the UK would also like to do, and indeed are allowed to do for a short period, seven years at most, for new EU member states; which Cameron himself has said is not the right criterion for determining whether or not transitional controls should be maintained, back in December 2013:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/10532152/Ill-veto-new-EU-states-unless-we-deal-with-mass-migration-pledges-David-Cameron.html

    “David Cameron will veto any countries from joining the European Union unless long term and tighter restrictions are imposed on them to prevent another “vast migration” of people from Eastern Europe into Britain.

    The Prime Minister made his pledge following talks in Brussels on the future of European enlargement as Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Albania line up to begin negotiations to join the EU.”

    It’s unlikely that the move to demand that US and Canadian citizens have visas will come to anything, but if we were still in the EU we could in theory be outvoted and then find that transatlantic tourists would be forced to get visas simply because their governments don’t want large numbers of illegal immigrants from poor countries in eastern Europe, in the same way that we in the UK don’t want such large numbers of legal immigrants from poor countries in eastern Europe.

  32. Tad Davison
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Here’s another bit of chicanery to get your teeth into.

    I’m not exactly sure how this came about, and my attempts to find a reason have so far been fruitless, but I sign quite a lot of online petitions for worthy causes, such as the right for girls and women the whole world over to have a proper education, and etc ed

    I signed one such petition with a click, and it immediately took me to a second unrelated page for the Stronger in Europe Campaign. At that juncture, I was given the option to ‘skip’ that page, which I did, but I then found an e-mail in my junk file welcoming me as an ‘IN’ supporter which I am most certainly and emphatically not.

    I wonder how many more people that has happened to, and is that the way they make up their numbers?

    Feedback is most welcome.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  33. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Will the pamphlet be in all the languages of the UK EU? Someone should take out an injunction or whatever legal term is appropriate to make sure that it is. Mr Corbyn may think it lingua-phobic otherwise. It’ll increase the cost of course but that is a mere bagatelle to the EU , the British government, and certainly to Mr Corbyn and his Spendilist Brave New World.

  34. Antisthenes
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    A new idea to bolster the leave campaign. On Brexit the UK will set up it’s own truly free common market. Norway, Switzerland and the UK founding members those who wish to defect from the EU would be welcome but so would places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Then as a block we can negotiate trade deals with the EU. On our own we have a lot of clout but as a block they would be begging on their knees to trade with us on very favourable terms and treat us with the respect that we deserve for a change. Bizarre idea?

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of sending the pamphlet back to Downing Street. Damaging the morale of the opposition is important – especially that of the Prime Minister.

    Would you please confirm several things about Mr Cameron’s agreement with the EU
    – It is not a general reform because the measures apply only to Britain, some of them only for a limited time
    – The document signed by Donald Tusk, contersigned by Member States and deposited with the United Nations is not a treaty
    – The European Court of Justice rules only in accordance with treaties
    – The European Parliament may modify it
    – The United Nations has no status within the EU
    – And so the PM may as well say “I have here a piece of paper.”

  36. Dennis
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    ” I support letting children in from Calais who have family members in the UK wanting to look after them, which is what I think the UK authorities are trying to do.”

    Yes that’s OK but there seems to be a lack of info about them. Are these UK family members legally in the UK and if the children are legitimate family and can be legitimate UK residents what are they doing in Calais and not being reunited from their countries under normal procedure?

    What is meant by ‘family members’? Are these children 2nd/3rd cousins or nephews/ nieces or other distant relations which has stymied their legal entrance by regular channels? No one seems to have discussed/explained this in the media.

    • APL
      Posted April 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      JR: ” I support letting children in from Calais who have family members in the UK wanting to look after them, which is what I think the UK authorities are trying to do.”

      I don’t. Their parents should be invited to return to France, a signatory to the declaration of Human rights, and safe haven.

      Anyway, you’ve got a big plush house, John. Put your money where your mouth is, you must have a couple of spare bedrooms? You could get three or four children in each of those.

      Or are you another one, like the hypocritical Bishop David Walker? The hoi poli must take refugees, but due to cultural and language differences, he shouldn’t be expected to.

      Reply No, you are missing the point I am making. If the child has a relative living in the UK who wishes to put them up and look after them then they should be able to do so. I do not have any refugees in my family, though when a family member was down on his luck I did provide him with accommodation at my home while he got himself sorted out. That’s what families do.

      • APL
        Posted April 11, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        JR: “though when a family member was down on his luck I did provide him with accommodation at my home ”

        As you would for family. These people are not our family, they are not our culture, they are in a foreign country that is perfectly safe. They do not need to come to the UK.

        words left out

        Reply Why are you finding it so difficult to understand what I wrote. I support allowing people legally settled here to take in a refugee child who is part of their family! Are you really against that?

        • APL
          Posted April 11, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          JR: “words left out”

          JR: “Are you really against that? ”

          In the section you chose to delete, I made my position quite clear.

          In any case, do we need to artificially increase the population of the UK?

  37. Elsey
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Only a fool believes anything said by government, the trouble is we have a lot of fools that carry on voting.

  38. matthu
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    On Sunday on Andrew Marr Iain Dale will be reviewing the newspapers. This is what he had to say on his blog about the government pamphlet:

    It’s hard to describe how angry this has made me. If you believe in any sense of fairness I just cannot see how you defend it. The increasingly hapless Liz Truss was sent out to do just that and the best she could come up with was that people want the facts, so the government is damn well going to give them to them. Except if you actually read the text of the leaflet it is full of opinions, threats and suppositions, with the odd fact thrown in for good measure.

    Worth watching, I reckon!

  39. Know-dice
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    There is one thing CMD (amongst many that are missing) could have put in the Government Information Pamphlet and that is to assure Farmers etc. who are in receipt of “EU” [It’s our money in the first place] funds/grants that those would continue after Brexit.

  40. a-tracy
    Posted April 11, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Leaflets are old fashioned, wasteful on paper, postage and time, the facebook generation won’t read them. You need a low cost facebook and twitter promotion targeting every UK resident with an account.

    Do you want to know why people want to leave the EU read on:

    Keep to the point with links for in-depth reading

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    The Government’s pamphlet today landed through my letterbox. I have never read such a load of peurile tosh. If Vote Leave is up to the mark, it can get out a detailed rebuttal within a week at most.

    Let me start at the first inside page. The bits in brackets [] are my rebuttal:

    “The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU:

    – we will not join the euro

    [This was already acknowledged before the renegotiation began, although that won’t stop the EU trying to impose it upon us. Just saying ‘No’ will continue.]

    – we will keep our own border controls

    [We don’t have our own border controls. Anyone with an EU passport has a right to live and work in the UK. Once the 1.1 million immigrants that Germany admitted in 2015, plus the 0.5 million that Germany intends to admit in each of the next 5 years, acquire German citizenship, they too will have these rights. Germany has not distinguished between refugees and economic migrants, nor has it filtered out terrorists. The distinction between EU an non-EU migrants is disappearing because the EU is one great big back door.]

    – the UK will not be part of further European political integration

    [Oh yes it will. The original treaty and the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties already give the unelected EC power to continue to issue more and more Directives in the name of ‘completing the Single Market’. And Member States may back up the EC under QMV rules, in the teeth of UK wishes.]

    – there will be tough new restrictions on access to our welfare system for new EU migrants

    [They are not tough and will taper off over 4 years, so EU migrants will receive full benefits after 4 years. Furthermore, these measures are authorised only as an ’emergency brake’ and will disaapear after 7 years, just when all those lovely German immigrants referred to above are allowed to move freely around the EU.]

    – we have a commitment to reduce EU red tape

    [This is valueless. What red tape; what EC Directives, EU laws and regulations is he referring to? He could make a start by scrapping the ‘gold plating’ of EC Directives that our own Civil Service, in their infinite wisdom, have foisted on us. And he didn’t need a renegotiation to make a start on that. Do we trust a UK Government that has added 30% more pages to our tax notes to lead this process?]


    That’s my bit. Any volunteers to trash the rest?

  42. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 12, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    A few words I sent to my Conservative MP on this subject:

    No doubt the government, and particularly David Cameron, is bracing itself for a strong outflow of anger from various quarters about the content of the pamphlet it issued on the subject of the EU referendum. I’m afraid that I’m not going to make life any easier concerning this.

    In no known universe can this document be described as balanced, or informative. It is biased propaganda.

    It is full of misinformation and half truths.

    I’m ashamed that my government could produce such drivel. If this is an example of the information provided to the people of this country on other important matters, just where else, and under which circumstances has the government misinformed us, or misrepresented its position?

    You probably know all the arguments already so I won’t bore you with why this astonishing pamphlet is such an insult to the people of the UK, or why it will mean the Conservative party will never be fully trusted ever again!

    When we need great leadership, David Cameron has shown his weakness. It’s clear he leans further to the left than a real Conservative should, or he like many who have, would have recognised the dangers of staying in a socialist dominated EU.

    The EU is already a failed would-be-state. It doesn’t get anything that matters right. It oozes corruption and waste. Yet it knows how to bribe institutions to keep itself propped up, for if ever there was a real honest discussion on what the EU has become, even the self serving EU elite would be inclined to walk away. It’s not hard to extrapolate where the EU is going, and it’s not an attractive future. Yet David Cameron who should be able to understand what is going on is so devoted that he would lead us all into the jaws of a socialist bleakness.

    The pamphlet talks of a better future in the EU, but that denies so many facts and observations. The truth is that inside the EU we will continue to capitulate, while the EU elite rob us blind and make fools of us.

    Should the country listen to the scare stories, then you know as well as I do, that the country would cease to exist in say 10 or 20 years time. The EU already has all the power it needs. It can tie our elected up in knots and tell them what to do. The UK is already regionalised and once the EU has tax raising ability, then it will no longer need national governments, allowing it to govern directly through the regions. Our parliament will become a museum piece, a talking shop without the power to do anything.

    We also know the EU is deliberately holding back a huge amount of “social legislation”, which no amount of red lines will stop the EU imposing on us. If it is not imposed directly, then the courts will ensure we follow the rules. This shows just a hint of how deceitful this great organisation is.

    If sense prevails, and enough people see through the deception, then we have a future to look forward to as a free nation. We have lost our pride, and so much more to the EU. It’s time to take that back and build a country we can be proud of once more. With a future built on hope and real survival potential. Those that say we cannot make it as a lone country are selling Britain short and have no vision, other than to compromise our potential, time and time again.

    Yes, it’s accepted that there my be difficult times as we plot our future, but the EU needs us to buy their goods, more than we need them to buy ours. If the EU elite are going to be puerile about our relationship after we leave, then that would demonstrate yet another reason why we are better off out.

    I could probably forgive David Cameron for taking a stand on this were it not for the deceit. It strikes me though, that he still fights the battle John Major lost against eurosceptics, and appears determined to make the Conservative party inherently more liberal/socialist, and that is a real mistake. When we see socialist dogma winning on all fronts, destroying anything that is effective or good, then the last thing we need is more socialism.

    Given the way this referendum has been handled by number 10, it is only right that David Cameron should resign. Nobody would trust him to negotiate our exit. I hope next time the Conservatives will elect a leader that doesn’t see socialism and compromise as a way of life – We need a leader with vision, a vision of what Britain could become released from the life sucking shackles of the disaster known as the EU.

    You will excuse me if I use the royal “we” – but there are a lot of us, and WE want our country back!

    Regards,

    Bryan Harris

  43. Not an Economist
    Posted April 12, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I don’t share the optimism of your opening remark. When voting day comes I think the British people will vote overwhelming for Remain. Unfortunately.

    I have to ask – what has happened to the Brexit campaign? I had expected hard debate with powerful, cogent argument coming from the Brexit campaign but that hardly seems to have happened so far.

    Boris has done little other than make a fool of himself with his speech back on 11th March and nothing since. A future leader of the Conservative party? Please not.

    Gove seemed to start off well with his argument about the legal status of David Cameron’s recently negotiated deal on Europe. He seemed to point to its essential legal fragility and I thought he won the day on that one. But then he got embroiled in a stupid leak about the Queen and since then he seems to have been struck dumb.

    The Brexit campaign seems to have fizzled out. So I guess I cheers to EC forever then. Unfortunately.

  44. adam
    Posted April 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    “Most think it quite wrong that taxpayers are being asked to pay for one sided propaganda ”

    But the BBC though…

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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