Questions for Mr Corbyn

Mr Corbyn’s decision to speak for Remain when his past has been to argue to leave the EU is a curious example of the power of the establishment to make even the most unlikely people conform to their wishes. Mr Corbyn’s remarkable victory in the Labour leadership election by a large margin on the first ballot owed a lot to people thinking he would different. He offered a socialist alternative to the Blair/Brown years which many Labour members wanted. Many of them supported his view that the EU takes powers away from a democratic Parliament and makes the conduct of policy more difficult for any elected party in the UK. His partial U turn and his unconvincing exposition of support for Remain will undermine some of the belief his followers have in him.

His main reason for wanting to keep us in the EU was based on a simple lie. The Conservative party will  not repeal the parental leave and equal pay measures which many cherish. Mr Corbyn should have checked the Conservative Manifesto and the Brexit programme before making his allegations. They would remain as good UK law after we left the EU. Conservative Eurosceptics want to get our money back and to take control of our borders. We do not wish to change employment law.

There seems to be no end to how low the establishment will stoop in seeking to buttress the weak support for Remain in the country. Lord Darling threatens us with a banking crash in a most irresponsible and silly way. An IMF Report downgrading world growth on fears about China, the commodity cycle and flows of money to and from emerging market countries is spun as saying Brexit is the problem. This is of course the self same IMF that has lent too much to Greece and Ukraine, supported the ailing Euro and thought membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism would be good for the UK economy just before that policy  created boom and bust and plunged us into a damaging recession.

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123 Comments

  1. Facts4eu.org
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Interesting piece JR. We’re drafting something on Mr Corbyn as an example of why so many leading figures and organisations feel compelled to support the EU, even when the evidence suggests otherwise. Many average voters will wonder why many ‘establishment organs’ back Remain and we’re going to offer a theory or two on this, to reassure everyone.

    Readers may like to know that JR’s great article two days ago about ‘What does Brexit look like’ was re-posted on the “UK’s Brexit Future” page here: http://www.facts4eu.org/facts/global_uk.htm, as the lead item on that page. (By kind permission of JR.) We sometimes break our rules of having only short ‘fact boxes’ when we have an uplifting piece like that.

    As ever we’re still hoping for more help from anyone who could come up with a short fact-box or two. The volunteer’s link is here: http://www.facts4eu.org/editors_wanted.htm .

    Wishing everyone a nice weekend.

    • Hope
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Corbyn is discredited on many fronts. Nevertheless he is ahead of your leadership because you cannot believe a word they say.

      Priti Patel writes a brilliant piece in the DT of her memories of ‘Black Wednesday’ in 1992 where hour by hour we watched the news to see the UK lose billions to stay in the ERM. If Major, Clarke, Heseltine and Cameron had their way the UK would be dead in the water at this very moment in time. It was devastating to watch as the interest rates rose rapidly causing worry and fear for millions because they would lose their homes and business. I read and recalled the exact same feeling not knowing how on earth I would pay my 12 percent and rising mortgage. People lost their homes and people lost their business and people lost their jobs, this is a fact. Look at unemployment in Spain, Portugal and Italy because of the EU project to become a superstate. This is why hundreds of thousands have sought work in the UK and why Cameron will not come clean over the true immigration figures. Nor will he be truthful how this has caused unprecedented burden on our public services (EU given an automatic sixth £2billion and rising to spend our taxes on anything they like). Yet in his delusion he will spend more on overseas aid then council services next year! His fanaticism has no bounds despite knowing the devastation the EU has brought in our country.

      Where as Cameron and Osborne at this time? Cameron was with Lampnt he should know first hand the devastation it caused people while daddy was setting offshore funding for him. Why have they not learned their lessons from the past. Is Osborne completely deluded to make remarks about people’s mortgages at this time. I suggest you ask more questions of Osborne and Cameron.

      • Bernard
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        We need to be a bit careful. Unemployment is high in Spain, Portugal and Italy because of stupid domestic employment legislation, not because of the EU. And France is the same, by the way.

        Please, before you reply about the straight-jacket that is the Euro, reflect that any of these countries could liberalise their labour markets far more than they have while staying in the EU. They all choose not to. It mystifies me, and I thank God I’m not young and Spanish, young and French, etc.

        A much better point might be that the EU could be an influence towards liberalisation, but they’re not. And I’m happy to criticise them for that. But France has caused French unemployment, ditto Spain etc.

        As a further example, our Employers National Insurance, a straight-forward tax on the creation of jobs, is all our own idea. The National Living Wage (which the Office for Budget Responsibility says is likely to cost 60,000 jobs) is a UK own-goal, nothing to do with the EU. We can both find a hundred similar examples. You can be in the EU and not have massive unemployment. Blame stupid domestic governments for that.

        • libertarian
          Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          Dear Bernard

          You are quite wrong on the EU unemployment. The high rate of unemployment in Southern EU states is entirely due to the Euro. Most of these countries relied heavily on tourism and hospitality as major sources of employment. The high price of the Euro has priced out a lot of the benefits of tourism. Hence the lack of jobs

          The continent seems to be stuck in a deflationary spiral and is facing a prolonged double dip recession. Hardest hit debtor countries, such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy are facing stringent budget cuts – which are depressing demand.

          In the Eurozone, there is little relief available to boost demand. Countries are unable to devalue. Monetary policy set by the ECB has been unflinching in targeting low inflation and offering little monetary easing – despite the prolonged recession. Also, depressed demand throughout the region is making it difficult to grow through increasing exports. Even northern Europe, which has had large current account surpluses are engaging in modest austerity. The result is that demand has remained depressed across Europe.

          Unemployment across the entire Eurozone is running at 11.5%

          This is ENTIRELY to do with the Euro

          In the UK unemployment is 5.4%

        • stred
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 4:23 am | Permalink

          The single currency benefits industry in richer northern countries and northern parts of countries, but has made employment in the south expensive and bargain tourism is a thing of the past. Minimum wages and EU regulation apply to poor areas equally and taxes on business to pay for this has forced closures of small shops and restaurants in some cases. Countries such as Greece were encouraged to fiddle their books and helped by certain banks and the Commission in order to construct the Eurozone. Now the northern countries have realised that a single state is necessary in order to control and subsidise the south. The new motorways and energy projects have continued to be subsidised by the countries outside and inside the zone. The UK and Scandinavians will no doubt have to increase their payments to the Superstate.

          As to mortgages, when our minimum wage increases, in many service industries there will have to be inflation. Osborne wants inflation. When this happens then interest rate rises will have to follow. Have a look at the Nationwide chart showing house price to earnings. In 2008 the ratio dipped and afterwards the upward trend continued. If mortgages rise again the line will be back to the higher trend and, in this circumstance, how will our self -employed with no minimum wage or those on £10 an hour, restricted tax credits and HB manage to save for a deposit or pay their mortgage?

          So far the UK has managed to create low paid jobs which have attracted many EU workers into service industry and to build the towerblock export boom in London. The tax credits and other benefits have allowed this low wage, low productivity economy to thrive and growth to be a little higher than elsewhere. Owing to the effect of growing population the real growth is 40% per head is lower.

          This is why the boys in Downing Street are so keen to maintain their game and are so busy giving out every false statistic that the civil servant partners can create. They are desperate to stay in the EU in order to keep the cheap labour coming and the illusion of success compared to other countries.

    • Bob Eldridge
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      A lot of them want to do a “Kinnok”

      • Hoppe
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Another question to ask Cameron why his Dutch PM colleague admitted he has been ordered by the EU not to discuss last weeks Dutch referendum to refuse Ukraine into Schengen until after the UK referendum? Why should the Dutch people not expect their govt to act on their overwhelming wishes rather than an unelected bureaucracy seeking to form an EU superstate? What authority does the EU have to instruct Rutte? Moreover,why is Rutte obeying the EU not the people who elected him to act in the country’s best interest?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Yep, I noticed that bit of nonsense. Apparently it’s yet another problem being caused by the British having an EU referendum that the Dutch can’t discuss what to do after the result of their referendum …

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Facts4eu – This referendum isn’t really about our continuation in Europe but is about the abolition of the UK government by public mandate.

      The referendum question should be “Do you want to be ruled by the British Parliament or by the EU Parliament ?”

      If we vote Remain then it is over for good.

      To say that we can have both national governments operating autonomously is clearly fallacious.

      Also – with the original post on Corbyn and the EU and workers’ rights etc – how does Labour square the fact that our PM and most of his party support the EU too ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        One government must have power over the other. Clearly the British government won’t be ruling the EU and Cameron’s recent negotiations show us what little influence we actually have.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        “The referendum question should be “Do you want to be ruled by the British Parliament or by the EU Parliament ?””

        The EU parliament does not even draft laws; the centre of power of the Brussels regime is the Commission.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Exactly. Not much principal involved in Corbyn’s recent volt face on the EU. Perhaps the only thing Corbyn actually got right, consistently over his years in the politics, ditched for pathetic party reasons and pressure from large trade unions.

    Lord Darling was indeed very silly in his intervention yesterday. So few politicians with any principal in politics they all seem to be second rate advocates for hire and career seekers. I suppose Darling is at least a bit less irritating than the absurd Anna Soubry.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Interesting to read Frazer Nelson in the Telegraph yesterday pointing out that no fewer than 23 universities have average male graduates earning less than those who had not been to university at all. On top of that one assumes they have lost three+ years earnings and come out with perhaps £60K of debt plus interest. Also perhaps with a damaging delusion that their degrees are actually worth something.

      He also debunks Cameron’s pernicious sound bite & complete drivel of “if you’re a young black man, you’re more likely to be in a prison cell than studying at a top university”.

      Where perhaps Frazer does get it wrong is in assuming that an Oxbridge degree is worth every borrowed penny. Some can be but outside perhaps medicine, law, engineering, economics, maths and natural science I suspect that many are not particularly valuable in money terms anyway. People who go to Oxbridge tend to be bright, hard working, have good connections and wealthier, brighter & more encouraging parents. That is why they earn more in the main, rather than the training they receive there. Though the contacts they make there can indeed be very useful.

      We see this perhaps best with the many university drop out who made it big such as Bill Gates. It is a confusion of cause and effect to assume that university was the reason bright and hardworking people do well

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/04/14/too-many-universities-teach-pointless-degrees-that-offer-nothing/

      Surely it is time to stop the state paying for the 70%+ of UK university degrees that are largely worthless or worse? Let people pay for their own hobbies if they want to why should other workers support them.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        This is actually one of your better posts, though it has nothing to do with Mr Corbyn.

        It is indeed a confusion of cause and effect to assume that a university education leads to doing well/higher earnings for everybody, but equally don’t knock it for everybody.

        Contemporaries who read science in 70s Oxbridge were I think already in “Gates-mode” at freshers’ week i.e. focussed, intensely interested and ready to succeed at something-not necessarily the subject. Computers were hard to come by then, and computer courses non-existent, so we made our own, or rewired Sinclair’s efforts. University was a vehicle to focus on a subject, think clearly, question not blindly follow.

        Many contemporaries never re-entered a science lab after graduation, but being around like-minded folk, taught by the best in their subject, squeezing 10 week terms elsewhere into 8 weeks, 18 hour days including sport, were all formative in the ability to “make things happen”.

        Perhaps the best answer is to offer folk what most suits them-clearly university which includes research, questioning presumed facts and breaking barriers for perhaps 10% at most, because most courses university today seem to have more to do with learning a skill, and that’s not what university should be about.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it can indeed suite some, horses for courses I suppose or (perhaps courses for horses). I still suspect that about 70% of UK university courses in the UK are fairly worthless and have a net negative impact on the overall economy. Not of course that it should all be about money.

        • Antisthenes
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          Progressives in the name of social justice have forced government to intervene in the education market. Either being providers of it or making the system skewed so that more go to university. Both fail many students receive a poor education or unsuitable qualifications. The private sector churns out better educated people than the public sector and intervention in the university degree market does not match supply with demand.

          Make all schools for profit with part government and private funding will mostly solve the former. To solve the latter get governments fingers out of the degree market and let demand decide what degree courses are offered and to whom. As proven just having a degree because a lefty say you should because it is the socially just thing to have does not make a person better off. In fact can make a person worse off and so shows yet again how lefty good intentions always lead to outcomes opposite to that intended. Where is the social justice in that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I see Ken Clarke is doing very his best for the Leave campaign:-

      “Cameron won’t last 30 second if we vote for Brexit says Ken Clarke”. True it might have been even better had he said “Cameron and Osborne won’t last 30 s……”.

    • PaulDirac
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      How about our own George O; Asserting that mortgages will go up following a Brexit?
      Surely his torturing of the facts to achieve his desired result flaunts the Geneva conventions.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

        The one thing we can be sure of is that Osborne’s wage controls will be hugely damaging to jobs and growth. As with most of his other foolish measures and fiscal complexity, work place pensions, sugar tax, landlord and pension muggings – they are all self defeating.

      • acorn
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        What facts is Osborne torturing? Where are your facts to prove him wrong?

        If the Pound dives post Brexit, the BoE will be tempted to jack up interest rates smartly. It will be as volatile as the ERM exit. Prime lenders will jack-up interest rates to maintain a 1.5 – 2% margin. Mortgage rates will go up, if the condition persists for long enough to impact short term wholesale money rates. The Treasury will have to give a big shake of the money tree to calm it down. Just the same a Alistair Darling had to.

        Reply The Governor of the Bank thinks a fall in confidence would mean lower rates. Rates have fallen on govt debt do far this year. Why no mention of the improvement to our balance if payments from exit which helps the pound.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          “If”

  3. alte fritz
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn hides behind the easy orthodoxy of a “social Europe”. Greece is forgotten (and why not when they too delude themselves about the EU). The EU helped to cause problems in Ukraine, yet is said to be a pillar of peace and security. I think that if we vote to leave the establishment will effect a form of coup to keep us in, perhaps by putting the question again to the people.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Ha, it’s only last July that he was condemning the EU for its “totally brutal” treatment of Greece, see my comment below.

      I don’t think we should allow ourselves to be deterred from voting to leave the EU because the establishment might then try to keep us in regardless, rather we should cross that bridge if/when we come to it; obviously not voting to leave would just be helping them to get their way and keep us in.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        I am certain the establishment will try to keep us in despite the Brexit vote. But that is an excellent reason for the “Remain” voters to vote leave. A better deal will follow as sure as day follows night.

        We should reject that deal too and insist of free trade, voluntary cooperation and nothing more.

    • Martyn G
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      You are probably correct, the establishment and especially the EU will take no notice of a referendum result if it does not agree with their view and so we may well be told to do it again if the ‘outers’ win.
      Then again, if the ‘outers’ win the second time around, I wonder how fierce the EU backlash would then be and what sort of retaliatory and/or punitive actions might be applied to teach the UK a lesson for daring to try and leave the prison camp otherwise known as the EU?

  4. Paul H
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    In the meantime it is reported that Merkel has decided to assuage the Turkish President by prosecuting a comedian who was rude about him – said President having, of course, a truly appalling human rights record.

    (Authoritarianism ed)is making a comeback in Europe.

    • hefner
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Either you did not understand what you read or you read lies in a very biased newspaper: Merkel did not prosecute the comedian, she just did not interfere with the German justice system and will let it decide what followiing if any is required.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        “[Merkel] just did not interfere with the German justice system”

        On the contrary she did. She opened her big mouth in defence of Erdogan who has proceedings in Turkey in progress against two thousand other journalists, academics, artists and members of the public whose utterences he did not like, and gave permission for a prosecution to proceed under a law dating from the nineteenth century and for which there are now within Germany loud calls for its abolition as a constraint on freedom of speech.

        Erdogan is not the only foreign leader who has been on the receiving end of Jan Boehmermann’s satire nor is the latter the only one who have ridiculed foreign leaders who not all appear to suffer, apparently, from paranoia.

        What Erdogan and Merkel have in common is that they are both (politicians ed)who put the interests of the countries they purport to serve well below their own warped agenda and in doing so have created great instability in the EU and the ME.

      • libertarian
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        hefner

        Either you did not read or you did not understand what is reported in all German papers. Under an arcane law that Merkel has scheduled to repeal in 2018 Merkels government gave the necessary approval for the complainant to lodge a prosecution of the comedian . Without that approval the prosecution could not proceed .

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        As I understand it Merkel’s government needed to authorise the prosecution before it could proceed. They could have refused consent if they had wished.

      • formula57
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        That is as disingenuos as Dr Merkel’s stance. The 1871 law provides for prosecution for being rude etc. about a foreign head of state, but only if first the German government allows the prosecution. Merkel has said she wishes the matter to be decided not by her but by the courts – despite the law provided expressly that she (as the German government) should make the decision about whether to permit the case to go forward with a possible consequence for the comedian of three years gaol time. It is a disgraceful washing of hands by Merkel, although not necessarily any more disgraceful than permitting a humanitarian crisis in Greece in order to see German banks bailed out.

        Note Mr Erdogan is also pursuing a private prosecution of the comedian in question. Had Merkel had any decency and backbone, she would have allowed the private case to suffice.

        Note well that Merkel is one of our EU partners, and Erdogan is a prospective partner (allegedly). Best try to forget that one is judged by the company one keeps perhaps?

        • formula57
          Posted April 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          I forgot to add, the righteousness of Merkel’s stance is also revealed by the German government’s decision now to repeal the 1871 law. So it seems Mr Erdogan stands a good chance of being the last beneficiary of it.

    • Martyn G
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Erdogan initiated proceedings against the German comedian, using German Law to do so. Merkel’s potentially fatal error was in agreeing with him, in effect making Erdogan able to determine what is or is not satire in Germany.
      Merkel ought to have remained non-committal and be more concerned about German Law and Constitution, instead of which she is seen to be appeasing Erdogan – a person with rather dodgy ideas as to Turkish democracy, which is what brought on the satirical comments in the first place!

      • bluedog
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Excellent comment. The comedian has been sacrificed to protect the refugee deal with Turkey. That this should be the case illustrates the dominant partner in the relationship – Turkey.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 17, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

        Was satire not dead already? It surely died when:

        ‘When Kissinger won the Nobel peace prize, or Tony Blair became the Middle East “Peace Envoy”, George Osborne was considered competent to be Chancellor or perhaps the most absurd of all:

        A Nobel Price for:

        The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.

        • Qubus
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Didn’t Obama get the Nobel piece prize almost as soon as he took office?

          • Qubus
            Posted April 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            sorry “peace” not “piece”…!

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Why I wonder, when the polls are about 50/50 for leave/remain, can you still get betting odds of 2:1 on a Brexit vote? I assume this is because gamblers think the government machine, the blatantly biased BBC, Obama, the EU and the rest of the usual suspects will be able to frighten the voters sufficiently, using their own taxes to do so.

    I still think 2:1 are very good odds indeed. Why would UK voters want to vote to be mere surfs in an anti-democractic EU, with mass open door immigration regardless of merit depressing wages and shackled to the declining economic basket case that is the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      This especially as Brexit voters seem to feel far more strongly on the issue and tend to be older and are far more likely to vote. Some figures suggest the elderly are nearly twice as likely to vote than the more EUphile, more anti-democratic youth vote.

      • A different Simon
        Posted April 17, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Exactly .

        The EU can afford to play a waiting game .

        Combine this with a change at some time to allow 16 year olds to vote and it’s game over for those of us who can remember anything different from now .

        It’s scary how the younger generation equate being anti-EU to being anti-Europe .

    • hefner
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      “surfs”, smurfs indeed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Serfs

    • Bob
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      @lifelogic
      Never underestimate the gullibility of the British public, they voted for Tony Blair and his heir, didn’t they?

      The economic arguments pass them by, in fact most of them struggle to manage their own household budgets with any degree of success.

      I blame state education, it has resulted in large scale dumbing down of the population who understand their entitlements and right to self identify in gender terms but would struggle with anything above the 2x multiplication table. Witness the QT audience on Thursday.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Some truth in all that. Look at all the 1000% + loan adverts on TV or all the other duff products they fall for, or the fact than so many people buy lottery tickets.

        I am sure the UK population do not want such large EU scale immigration and its effects in depressing wages and on schools, the NHS and other public services, they can see all this quite clearly I suspect.

        Hopefully the Brexit people will be far more likely to vote, I think they will.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Bob, less than a quarter of the electorate voted for Blair’s government in 2005, a bunch who could call on a mandate even worse than the current lot, who also got less than a quarter of the electorate to vote for them.

        UK “democracy” means one lot who less than a quarter of the public wanted and a second lot bo one gets to vote for at all. Reform, just like charity, needs to begin at home.

  6. eeyore
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    “His main reason for wanting to keep us in the EU was based on a simple lie.” Now the campaign’s on, every lie must be nailed. It’s wearisome but necessary, like washing up.

    As it is unlikely that Mr Corbyn’s supporters follow this blog closely or read the Tory or Brexit manifestos, a short letter to The Guardian from Mr Redwood or another Brexiteer big name is definitely called for. Lesser signatories will not get published.

    As for the alarmist statements from the Remainers, let’s not forget that Mr Cameron himself assured us last January that “of course Britain could cope” outside the EU, and “we would have to do everything to make that work”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      How many people, other than BBC staff of course, actually read the Guardian?

      I just heard someone on BBC 1 saying that the BBC are trying to hard to get to the balanced “facts” on the Brexit debate out. Complete and utter drivel, the BBC is absurdly pro remain in nearly every move they make. The are just pretending superficially to be independent. Just as the EU pretends with MEP to have a veneer of democracy. Their academic “experts” seem to be all of the remain side while being presented by the BBC as “independent arbiters”.

      Andrew Neil is reasonably fair and bank in the middle. Everyone else at the BBC is surely way to the remain side of the debate. Way to the left of centre to boot.
      ( individual names removed as I can’t check all these ed ) all the rest. Where do they get all these people form? Nearly are pro EU, greencrap, second rate art graduates & magic money tree lefties to a man or woman.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2016/jan/10/cameron-britain-would-make-brexit-work-if-necessary-video

      Well, obviously he’s changed his mind on that and instead will do everything he can to make it as catastrophic as possible, not just for us and not just for the other EU countries but for the whole world, making sure that Brexit will precipitate the major disruption of established trade patterns, and consequent global economic meltdown, which has just been confidently and reliably predicted by the “respected and “independent”* IMF.

      * According to some chap on Sky News.

      • eeyore
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        A politician cannot just change his mind without being reminded of his previous words and being called to account for the change. Depend on it, posters with Mr Cameron’s quote on them in letters a foot high would not add to his joie de vivre.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          Corbyn, in this case.

    • hefner
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      You should read the Guardian more often. JR had an item in the Guardian two days ago.

    • acorn
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      As you said back in 380 BC Antisthenes, “The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” Oh how we laughed, when that other nut job Diogenes the Cynic said “… the money that pays for social justice can only come from the surpluses that wealth creators create; WTF is he on about. This guy knows even less about fiat currency economics than Plato knew about interpreting the words of Socrates!

  7. Antisthenes
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn is typical of those on the far left he is a scruffy scatterbrained incompetent dreamer. He does not give a fig about economic realities all he is concerned about is social justice his brand of it at least. The reasons he gives for remaining in is to retain rights and privileges. Inspirational of course to a great number of people who put self, entitlement and dependency above the good of all.

    He forgets that social justice has to be paid for and we are finding it harder all the time to do just that. The money that pays for social justice can only come from the surpluses that wealth creators create. Government cannot create those surplus it has been tried and of course it failed. So if he had a modicum of common sense he would realise that the EU is holding back social justice not enhancing it. They are not creating wealth only spending it just like all governments do. We do have to have governments but the fewer and the smaller the better. He would have it the other way which in the end is self defeating and you end up with very little social justice.

    • hefner
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      “Surpluses that wealth creators create” and are parked in treasure islands like Guernsey.

      • Hope
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Only because of stupid politicos complicating tax laws in this country. Tax should be levied at the bare minimum to allow a state to function. After all it is our money! The way these idiotic MPs speak about taxation (Cameron, Osborne etc).People will always go to where there is a better deal. etc ed

      • libertarian
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        hefner

        Oh please, stop talking drivel

        • hefner
          Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Fair enough, and what about you reading Harry G.Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”.

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

        They are not “parked” there at all! They may beheld by companies & trusts established offshore but they are invested, or lend all over the world – wherever the managers think the risk/reward/return equation is best.

      • stred
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        A pile of my surplus is in the Treasure Island of Man unintentionally and losing value fast. The IOM, Jersey and Guernsey all report details to HMRC and any pitiful earnings are taxed in the UK. The only way to avoid tax in the UK is to emigrate and not come back too often.

        Note that (Luxembourg ed) has not joined the UK, France, Spain and Germany in the Osborne’s anti-avoidance agreement and that the UK is still one of the most confidential banking and accounting centres, seconds them to the Treasury and is doing nothing more to the Virgin Islands, as the rich would just go to US offshore centres.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Well, apparently his bright idea to stop wage depression in the UK due to excessive immigration from poorer EU countries is to have an EU-wide system of national minimum wages, linked to the cost of living in each country:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-suggests-eu-wide-minimum-wage-to-give-british-workers-a-level-playing-field-a6983991.html

      “But Mr Corbyn accepted that there were concerns about the impact of migration on the UK – and said changes to wage laws could help reduce perceived pressures.

      The Labour leader said an EU-wide minimum wage could be tied to the cost of living in each EU member state, which would provide a “level playing field” for British workers.

      “I don’t think too many [migrants] have come, I think the issue has to be of wages and regulations,” he said when asked.

      “There has to be a case for a minimum wage tied to the cost of living across the continent.

      “There is nothing wrong with people wanting to migrate to work around the continent, but there has to be a level playing field on pay and conditions.”

      Such a proposal would likely not see the same cash minimum wage across all countries – but instead see the wages match as a proportion of the cost of living.

      Labour appears to be slowly putting together a policy platform with regards to reforming the European Union. Last year shadow home secretary Andy Burnham suggested that areas that experienced high levels of migration should get extra cash from the EU to help expand services to meet any extra demand.

      David Cameron, by contrast, has focused on restricting welfare benefits for people who come to work in Britain from other EU member states.

      Mr Corbyn’s call comes a day after a report from the Migration Observatory suggested that higher wages was the main reason people from other EU states came to Britain – with very little evidence that the welfare system was a pull factor.”

      I’m not a trained economist but it seems to me that there is a fundamental flaw in this scheme: thanks to half a century of being governed by people like Corbyn the eastern European countries emerged from the Cold War with economies only a fraction of the size they’d have been if they’d been in the west, and even now after 12 years of EU membership preceded by years of being helped through an association agreement we have Poland – as an example, but also as the country which is the main source of excessive migration to the UK – with a per capita GDP which is still a long way below that in the UK, which disparity can only be removed through Poland achieving faster economic growth over many years – real improvements, enabling workers in Poland to become more productive – and not by simply passing a law to instantly bump up their wages.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted April 17, 2016 at 6:16 am | Permalink

        Contrary to popular belief free movement of labour, no minimum wage and tariff free trade are economically sound practices. The most important group of people in the world are consumers. Not producers or governments. The opposite of the above only benefits producers, vested interests and minority groups and disadvantages consumers and particularly harms the poorest in society.

        Of course their are some short term social disadvantages and it cannot be done without some measure of control. Otherwise done in one fell swoop it could be too overwhelming for some societies to cope with.

        I do not wish to leave the EU because of the free movement obligation there are a myriad of other reasons for doing so.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          Well, Corbyn wants completely free movement of labour but with a system of national minimum wages to discourage free movement of labour which some people (but not he) would see as excessive.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    John you say the establishment, many others also make the same comment, and have done so for years.

    Scan you please explain who exactly you think are the establishment, how do they get their power, who do they actually work for and report to, and who should be responsible for change if these are non elected people.

    I am aware that Government politicians have to have help with perhaps some advice from time-time, and clearly they need staff who do the day-day work, but are we really governed by the likes of the Sir Humphries of this World, or are our politicians so useless at management that they simply cannot control these people.

    If our own politicians cannot govern in the way they want, then surely our own government is not much better than the EU system.

    The fact that we are also members of the EU means they are now twice removed from controlling what goes on, rather than just the once at the moment.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      In feudal societies like the Holy Roman Empire(of the German People),which some view the EU as a modern revival of,there existed the concept of “mediatisation” – the loss of immediacy,with persons not subject to local lords but only to a higher authority directly.

      Or as the dictionary defines it:”In a feudal context it is the introduction of an intervening level of authority between a lord and has vassal so that the former is no longer the immediate lord of the latter but rather his lordship is mediated by another.”

      It also resulted in the development of a number of elite “mediatised”families who did the Emperor’s bidding across the Empire(and sometimes beyond) without any sense of loyalty to their own countries of birth.

      Does any of that sound familiar?Such progress we have made over the past few centuries!

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Slowly but surely there appears to be a case to build a wall around Germany…cue Trump. In fact a fair few walls are required…good for employment?

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    There’s a recent article headlined “Ten Quotes Which Prove Corbyn Is Undoubtedly A Eurosceptic” – sufficient for search purposes, given JR’s reluctance to allow links to that particular website – with useful quotes from Corbyn’s “eurosceptic” past.

    Running from March 1993 (concerns about moves to an EU army, and opposition to the Maastricht Treaty because it took power away from Parliament) right through to July 2015 (disgust at the EU’s “totally brutal” treatment of Greece).

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink
  12. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I see the Pope is off to Greece to welcome the migrants. I hope that the Vatican is going to offer food, shelter and more mobile phones.
    etc ed

  13. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn bases one “good” aspect of EU membership on the shifting sands of EU pronouncements of “worker conditions”. He’s certainly bright enough to thoroughly understand that the other 27 member states each have national and local elections which can within months change the political complexion of the EU into something quite nasty. They will turn septic too, as their economic deterioration and unemployment go on unabated.

    But even if the wisdom of the electorates of the 27 foreign states were forever “Up the Workers”, Mr Corbyn is actually saying that if a British democratically elected government , even of his own Party, were to gain power and feel it economically necessary to change anything to do with his personal version of “Up Workerism” then it is legitimate for their democratic mandate to be stumped on the Demon’s Altar of the EU.

    In this way, Mr Corbyn isn’t at odds at all with the practice of Socialism throughout Europe and the World. The young of Europe have had their beautiful idealism thrown in their faces and learned generation upon generation that Socialism in practice is (based on control ed)

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      JR.It is extremely ,very, very rare, I know, for a British man born and bred, to have actually lived, not on some Western company or national contract , but actually lived and worked under Socialism. Personally felt it, without, seemingly, any escape but death.
      Socialism is more than a “control” panel on a Range Rover. Its nature is way beyond Western experience. The English language is simply not good enough, falls short, to impart its horror, though it can describe it but darkly.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 17, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Heath wanted the same thing but the other way round.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    However I think the most damaging statement is one that he has just made, during the Q&A session after his speech on Thursday, referred to here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2016/apr/14/corbyn-speech-eu-referendum-poll-shows-corbyn-more-trusted-on-europe-than-cameron-politics-live?page=with:block-570f79bce4b037ae4c0fc6de#block-570f79bce4b037ae4c0fc6de

    “He said he did not accept that immigration was too high. What was important was to tackle the problems associated with high immigration, such as low wages, he said.”

    He’s thereby put himself on the other side of the argument from the great majority of the electorate, including supporters of his own party, who believe that immigration is far too high and who want to see the problems associated with it addressed by the straightforward means of drastically cutting it.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Denis. Managed to catch most of his speech with him waffling on that Brexit would allow the Conservative government to reign supreme with a bonfire of workers’ rights and social legislation etc. Does he not realise that if Labour regained power they could reverse any legislation and put in their own socialist agenda, because he was talking as though he never expects Labour to win another election.

      Following your link to the Guardian blog, there is a fabulous photograph of David Cameron sat back laughing his head off with erstwhile political foes busy on their telephones, and probably thinking “ha ha ha, these fools are working hard at keeping me in a job”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed the opposite side to the great majority of Labour supporters I suspect. If you have over supply of labour how are you going to tackle low wages? Only by rendering lots of people unemployed I assume by law – as Osborne seems intent on doing with his bonkers wage controls.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      And Corbyn has since been supported in that by Blunkett:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36053219

      “Labour’s EU migrant policy was not a failure, says Lord Blunkett”

      “Lord Blunkett says he does not regret his 2004 decision to open UK borders to east European migrants, which led to a surge in immigration.”

      “At the time, Labour ministers highlighted a report suggesting 13,000 migrants a year would come, but that proved to be a huge underestimate.”

      Of course this is the same Blunkett who said back in 2003 that there was no obvious limit to the number of immigrants that the UK could absorb:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3265219.stm

      However I’m not sure how much difference it would have made if the UK had applied permitted transitional controls as most other countries did.

      Yes, fewer eastern Europeans may have come before the seven year period had elapsed, and so there would have been fewer here to encourage their compatriots to join them, but the basic fact is that the economic driving force for them to migrate to the UK has not greatly diminished and they are still coming now.

      It will take a long time for a country like Poland to catch up with the UK, given that the average growth rate of the UK economy is about 2.5% a year:

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/gdp-growth-annual

      while that for Poland has averaged 4.15% a year between 1995 and 2015:

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp-growth-annual

      and there is still a big disparity to be gradually eroded.

      As a rough estimate, with that difference it will take another 14 years for per capita GDP in Poland to catch up from its present 64% of the UK’s per capita GDP:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita#List_of_countries_and_dependencies

      to 80%, when the driving force for mass migration may start to fade away.

  15. APL
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Is it true, (the PM ed)has put our sons on the ground in Yemen spotting for Saudi bomber pilots?

  16. Original Richard
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    “His main reason for wanting to keep us in the EU was based on a simple lie. The Conservative party will not repeal the parental leave and equal pay measures which many cherish”

    More importantly it shows that that Mr. Corbyn is not in favour of democracy when his main argument for remaining in the EU is that he wants the EU to be able to stop legislation that he dies not like being implemented by a UK government voted into power by the the UK electors.

    He is also very naïve in thinking that the laws and directives emanating from a corporate run EU will benefit his UK voters.

  17. ChrisS
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Question for President Obama :

    Dear Mr Obama,

    You are very keen for the UK to remain within the EU as you say it’s good for our economy and EU membership bolsters NATO and improves the security of every member Country.

    So, Mr Obama,

    Why in the last 7 years haven’t you applied for the USA to join the EU ?

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Or,for that matter,the International Criminal Court!

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    JR: “There seems to be no end to how low the establishment will stoop in seeking to buttress the weak support for Remain in the country.”
    Indeed; just yesterday Osborne threatened higher mortgage rates amongst other calamities should we wish to vote for independence and self-governance. The only positive outlook for our future is from leave supporters.
    Clearly, Cameron and Osborne have no confidence in their own abilities to lead such an independent country. They cannot cope without the EU directing them. They must not be allowed to continue in office if we vote to leave.

    • Qubus
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Does this also mean higher interest rates …… ?

    • majorfrustration
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I think that’s a very good point – we have Parliament subcontracting responsibility to a vast army of Quangos and then we have the majority of our laws being made by the EU – do we need Parliament/MPs with that structure of supposed democracy?

    • John C.
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      We do seem to be arriving at a position in which the Establishment who wish us to remain in the E.U. are now not so much forecasting what will happen in the event of Brexit as threatening what they will do if we disobey.
      The whole tenor of the Remain case seems to be threatening. If Leave can hold out hope and radiate optimism, they must have an advantage in morale.

  19. oldtimer
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    YouGov have asked what difference it would make to their voting intention if voting to Leave meant they would be worse off by £100 a year. It seems voting intentions would change against Leave, ranging from 5% for Labour voters to 11% for Conservative voters. Hence Project Fear by the Remain campaign and Mr Corbyn’s play on the threats to workers rights.

    There are of course big risks if we remain. I hope that the Leave campaign draws out the costs of these starting with the UK fee paid to the EU, the cost to the NHS, schools and housing of high net inward migration plus the negative impact it has on the wages of the lower paid. I believe these points should be made in addition to the benefits if Brexit. Has anyone attempted to calculate the cost of these per family per year? If not it should be done.

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    One of the arguments I didn’t expect the Leave campaign to be facing from the Remain side was their lack of faith in democracy , it shouldn’t have surprised me, in light of the nature of the EU project, but I really didn’t think they would be so brazen about it.

    Corbyn’s argument that voting to leave would result in the wholesale removal of peoples working rights, apart from many of them hasving been put in place by the British Government before we got ensnared in the EU, suggests he doesn’t believe in democracy, and that people would vote for such a Government, but also that he has no faith what so ever of him ever leading a Labour Government that might protect those workers rights, or perhaps even worse that he doesn’t even trust a Labour Government, if we got one, to value those workers rights. in which case he is making the argument to say there isn’t any point to the Labour party.

  21. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood regarding your comment about the IMF, brexit fears leading to downgrading, another website has made a significant point as follows:

    http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/fox-on-friday-imf-propaganda-fails-to-rescue-rattled-remain/
    “….The most headline-grabbing figure of Tuesday’s announcement was the IMF’s decision to downgrade the UK’s 2016 growth forecasts from 2.2 per cent to 1.9 per cent. This was billed as a real-world reflection of the uncertainty of the referendum, and a direct consequence of the Leave campaign’s robust showing in recent polls.

    However, the IMF has also downgraded its growth forecasts for other major economies including the US, Canada and, inside the Eurozone, France, Germany and Italy….”

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Chris

      “…IMF also downgraded…….”

      Trust the BBC and the remain Politicians to get in the way of the full story.

      Such a surprise

      Just goes to show the depth of the fear policy with those who wish to remain.

      Methinks the majority of politicians are frightened of power, because then they will have no-one else to blame for failure.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Actually what grabbed my attention even more powerfully was the warning that if we vote to leave the EU then the potential economic damage will not be restricted to the UK or to the EU but will be GLOBAL, thanks to the disruption of trade.

      Given that we are constantly being told that the UK is now insignificant in the world – so how could it possibly have such a devastating global impact if we voted the “wrong” way in the referendum? – and given that the mass media are unreliable purveyors of information, I have gone back to the original source:

      http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2016/01/pdf/text.pdf

      and indeed I find this passage on page xiii:

      “In the United Kingdom, the planned June referendum on European Union membership has already created uncertainty for investors; a “Brexit” could do
      severe regional and global damage by disrupting established trading relationships.”

      Well, who among those of us who want the UK to leave the EU and no longer be part of its “wild ride to political union”, © J Redwood, is also keen on “disrupting established trading relationships”?

      If there is anybody in the world who would knowingly risk precipitating the global economic meltdown predicted by the IMF it could only be those fanatical politicians in our EU trading partners who see the EU primarily as a geopolitical project, and who stubbornly refuse to contemplate continuing the present “established trading relationships” with us unless we are still prepared to allow the entire population of the EU to come and live and work in our country.

  22. Old Albion
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Corbyn is just the latest politician to put party/his own future, before the people. It’s nothing new, the vast majority, with a few honourable exceptions, behave this way.
    Kinnock turned from EU hater to EU lover when a well paid job was offered.

  23. JoeSoap
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Basically John the Socialists now look at the evidence of the past 37 years and think to themselves that the only way they will overhaul the reforms of that time by (mainly) Thatcher and Blair governments is via the undemocratic EU. This trumps allowing a proper democratic process to take place in the UK.
    There were times, in the 70s and 80s, when this didn’t apply because there was a realistic chance of a Bennite government in the UK. So we find that son of Benn supports remain, as does son of Straw, son of Kinnock etc. All as misguided as their fathers were in their time.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    “We do not wish to change employment law.”

    Not even the Working Time Directive?

    • acorn
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      “We do not wish to change employment law.” Except for:-
      1 Working Time Directive (Limitations) Bill.
      2 Trade Union Bill.
      3 Employment Status (Review) Bill.
      Conservative euro-sceptic or not; always Neo-liberal hey?

      Anyway, the UK is now top of the global, largest BoP Current Account deficit table. Another UK first for Osborne. It won’t matter much as long as the foreigners flogging us stuff, are prepared to keep holding Pound Sterling assets. Hopefully, we may still have stuff left to sell, that isn’t already owned by foreigners.

      Suggest the new Mayor of London, starts knocking down inner London schools and hospitals, and starts building lots of five star luxury flats on those plots. If there is nothing left to buy, for a decent capital gain with minimal tax; foreigners won’t want any more Pounds. The Pound will then head for the toilet.

  25. bluedog
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Dr JR observes, ‘There seems to be no end to how low the establishment will stoop…’.

    And the big daddy of all the stoopers, US President Obama, will shortly utter some words of wisdom. This is a remarkable development of immense benefit to the Brexit cause, in so far as it legitimises a latent anti-American stream in British political thought that has lain dormant since Suez in 1956. Of course, this is not the intention, merely the likely outcome.

    Either Obama is responding to an SOS from PM Cameron, or something much more fundamental is going on within the US foreign policy establishment that justifies a high-risk unilateral intervention in British politics.

    So what might that fundamental US thought be about Brexit?

    In the first instance, having defeated both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, the US has no wish to repeat the process. The post war partition of Germany was never a war aim as it entrenched Soviet power in Europe, the objective was a passive and de-industrialised German state administered by the war victors, which improbably included the French. The 1989 collapse of the Communist regime in East Germany and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union created an opportunity for the US to partition and fatally weaken the latter, which was duly done despite fulsome promises to the contrary. The reunion of partitioned Germany has led to the restoration of German power in Europe, a development of questionable benefit to the US.

    One of the great US fears during the early stages of WW2 was that the collapse of Great Britain in the face of the Nazi onslaught would see the Royal Navy become an arm of the Kriegsmarine, which would also have included the French Navy. The resulting naval force would have been able to dominate the North Atlantic and potentially threaten the US East Coast. As task force led by HMS Hood, supported by Bismarck and Tirpitz, as well as the four KGVs and RN fleet carriers, would have been invincible in 1941.

    Is there now a subliminal US fear that something similar could emerge in the EU ex-UK? The emergence of the Euro-army points the way to a Franco-German military establishment that has the potential to usurp NATO and thus undermine the US power structure in the eastern Atlantic. It is possible that the US is prepared to sacrifice the British state, forcing us to become an enduring component of this Euro-military in order to protect the US interest in Europe and the eastern Atlantic. The judgement maybe that Britain would never turn against the US, and if locked into the EU in perpetuity, would act as a balancing influence to stop a Franco-German drift in directions hostile to the US. The ultimate nightmare of course has always been a German-Russian pact, which would once again lead to the extinction of Polish independence and set up a hegemonial power in western Eurasia that the US would be powerless to counter.

    An alternative US concern may even be that a newly independent UK will establish a powerful bloc with Canada, Australia and NZ that would not necessarily do US bidding. Both Canada and Australia are critical to US control of the Pacific and thus the ability of the US to contain China.

    Obama’s speech will give important evidence about which of these geo-political possibilities is causing sleepless nights in Washington. But there is no doubt in the mind of this writer that the US intervention is a development of the highest significance.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      You describe plausible scenarios of potential US thinking. It seems from comments already made, by supporters of Remain both here and in the USA, that the US wants the UK to remain within the EU is as a counterweight in the geopolitical game, and as a source of extra insight into what is going on withjin the EU. It is to serve the US geopolitcal interest and screw the democratic deficit. Perhaps even Cameron believes this.

      The bigger risk for the USA is probably the fact that the EU is a cumbersome, non-responsive bureaucracy – described as an ancien regime in a memorable post by Lord Salisbury yesterday on the CapX website. Link here:http://capx.co/the-eu-is-an-ancien-regime-that-is-no-longer-fit-for-purpose/

      The US would be better advised to be preparing contingency plans for its failure as an institution and giving thought to what might replace when it does so. Such talk, in public, would clearly be taboo. But privately that is what the policy wonks should be thinking about.

      • bluedog
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks for the link, oldtimer. A first class article by Lord Salisbury and most encouraging to learn that he is part of a group working on a new Act of Union. Hopefully his proposals will promote a federal structure that will permit an English parliament.

        We should also consider the plight of Ireland.

        It has taken us 100 years to get our official relations with Ireland back to some degree of normality. Brexit is essential to Britain’s future but will cause very considerable problems for Ireland on a number of fronts.

        Damaging the interests of Ireland is not to the benefit of Britain, we are far too close in all regards. If a new Act of Union were to be constructed on a basis that allowed a re-unted Ireland to join the Union on terms acceptable to all the Irish, it would be a very great achievement and of enormous benefit to all parties.

  26. English Pensioner
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Suggestions that interest rates would rise in the event of Brexit are attractive to many pensioners who have savings! As the older generation are the most likely to vote, I would suggest that this is rather foolish claim by those who want to remain.

    The other stupidity is that they claim we would be unable to manage by ourselves as the UK economy is small in world terms and then also claim that there could be a major world crash if we leave the EU. They can’t have it both ways surely!

  27. forthurst
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    “Mr Corbyn’s decision to speak for Remain when his past has been to argue to leave the EU is a curious example of the power of the establishment to make even the most unlikely people conform to their wishes.”

    However, there is another Mr Corbyn, Piers, albeit an unreconstructed leftie, who apart from being the acknowledged and objectively assessed brains of the family would appear from his twitter feed to be the principled Corbyn as well, since he is still advocating Brexit in between escoriating the Global Warming fraud, TTIP, neocons, US election manipulation etc

    Who is the establishment and how does it derive its power to convince the people, including weak-bellied and unprincipled politicians into following its diktats? Edward Baernays stated, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” Brexit is a battle between the self-appointed unelected opinion formers and their paymasters, some of whom have been fined billions recently for selling fraudulent derivatives, and the people who have but a few short weeks to awake their slumbering compatriots from the hynotic trance induced by exposure to a continuous barrage of lies emanating from the media and from the mouths of bought and paid for politicians.

  28. agricola
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Corbyn is from a labour era bogged down in the past, as are elements of the Trade Union movement. They fight the battles of the past while espousing the slogans of the past. I equate them with the British Army who went to France in 1939 for a continuation of the 1914/18 war, only to find that Germany had changed the rules.

    He has a following of activists, motivated by all the old doctrine. hence his rise to where he finds himself, embarrassed by his past attitude to the EU from a time when he could speak with conviction.

    The labour party in the Commons seem largely at a loss as to what to do about it, knowing that in the country at large he will be a loser come election time. They suffer the same ills of patronage as do most political parties. Until we select our potential representatives for a general election via primaries we are going to be stuck with many party selected career dinosaurs of butterfly conviction from whichever party they come.

    PS. What was wrong with yesterdays submission, such that it did not get published. Are we barred from speaking the truth as we see it.

  29. Bert Young
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Corbyn – like most politicians , is a turncoat when it comes to seeking a headline ; if his past was any indication of where he stands at this moment , he would never have been selected . Personal identity and opportunity are synonymous features of an ego driven individual and , at some stage or other , they will always be caught out .

    The sight of so many failed leaders at the telephone launch of the campaign was laughable ; I trust -as so many of the commentaries suggested , they were made to feel fools . I did not receive such a call but , had I done so , I don’t think I would have been polite .

  30. David Ashton
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Members of the Labour Party continually use the argument that leaving the EU would put at risk the social benefits which they so love. However, what they are really saying is that the British people should not have the democratic right to change those benefits. Corbyn says in one breath the EU’s main fault is its democratic deficit, and then in the next breath hides behind that democratic deficit to protect the socialist policies of the EU.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly!

      They are too scared to put their thoughts and policies before the British electorate in case they are rejected. That, by anyone’s measure, makes the Parliamentary Labour party dishonest and undemocratic in their intent. The ‘new broom’ in the shape of one Jeremy Corbyn, is rapidly becoming a bit of a let-down.

      And as for the other lot who still persists in using the word ‘Democrat’ in their party’s name, the British people finally saw through them some time ago. Hopefully they will have the good sense to see through the pro-EU smokescreen too and cast their votes for ‘OUT’.

      Tad

  31. Mick
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Corbyn like most eu loving MP’s are putting there careers before country thank god they are few compared to the uk population, as for Mr Obama he should keep his nose out of our affairs, when we leave the dreaded eu in June i hope Mr Cameron isn’t going to be allowed anywhere near the negotiations for our withdrawal, and watching all the bias interviewing journalists if they love the eu that much pack your bags and go live in Europe

  32. ChrisS
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Just for once Ken Clarke is right !

    There never was the remotest possibility of Cameron and Osbourne continuing in office if we vote for Brexit.

    After the complete and utter failure of their “renegotiation” strategy, to think that after the referendum the victorious wing of the Conservative Party would allow them to lead the negotiations over Brexit is farcical in the extreme.

    Our exit negotiations will need to be led by committed Brexiteers who will need to play hardball with Brussels, and certainly not fall for the inevitable bluster from Hollande, who will only be interested in watching what Marine LePenn will be doing behind his back.

    Our negotiating team simply cannot afford to be intimidated into accepting a poor deal.

    In fact, we might as well cut out the middle men and go straight to the German car Industry and hold the talks with them !

    After all, it will be Germany that will call the shots and it’s the car industry in Germany that has the most influence.

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Having posted the above, it just occurred to me : exactly what does need to be negotiated after we vote for Brexit ?

      The end to FOM will be firmly non-negotiable.
      ( Putting us in the same position as every other country that trades with the EU and isn’t on the mainland of Europe ).

      We will most certainly no longer be prepared to contribute to the EU budget.
      ( Again, putting us in the same position as every other country that trades with the EU and isn’t on the mainland of Europe ).

      There will be no argument about our exports to the EU continuing to comply with EU regulation and no question of us or our largest trading partner wanting to introduce tariffs on our mutual trade.

      We will be outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

      We will be taking back full control of our fishing grounds and quotas within the 200 mile limit and regulating what is caught ourselves.

      There will surely be a common desire to continue with cooperation on all security matters.

      We will be withdrawing from all of the institutions of the EU instead we may want to appoint a number of observers.

      We already have an embassy in all 27 member states.

      (Admittedly it is IF) but if there is good will on all sides, and as we are already starting from a position on most things that are already broadly OK with both sides and that work, does it really need to be that complicated ?????

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        In the event of Brexit the UK should offer a free trade deal to the EU. I imagine that the German car industry will want this too because I doubt that it would want to see the default position of a 10% import tariff on cars. That would be bound to hurt their sales to the UK especially if, as some predict, the UK £ devalues as well. The problems will come from the need for the EU side to agree among themselves to a free trade deal without cherry picking by special interests.

        • Colin Hart
          Posted April 17, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

          Nor would German car makers want to see EU tariffs imposed on components they buy from UK.

          Surely, anyway, under WTO rules the EU could not impose tariffs against the UK unilaterally; they would have to be erga omnes and they wouldn’t want to risk a global trade war.

  33. graham1946
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t see why Mr. Corbyn should be an EU sceptic or why anyone is surprised that he is in support of it. He is a hard left socialist and the EU is a socialist construct, so obviously he should support it. Like all MP’s he has the problem of his past and rather than admit being ‘wrong’, they will try all sorts of twists and turns to try to prove they are being consistent. I don’t see consistency as a virtue if you were ‘wrong’ in the first place.

    Why was Mr Corbyn anti EU in the past? Like most others at the time, he probably didn’t understand it and just accepted the government line (lie) that it was just a commercial venture and that our sovereignty was not at stake. Had he taken the trouble to read the Treaty of Rome, he would have seen that it was always going to be a United States of Europe and if that’s what they want, then good luck to them. It’s not our place to say it shouldn’t exist or try to reform it. We should just be out of it as it doesn’t suit us or our history. Most of Europe, most of times past has been under jackboots and despots, we have not.

    What I find more inexplicable is why Cameron or any Tories should be in favour of such a thing as the EU. The real Tory Party is dead and buried and if we stay in the EU we will lose all sense of out UK identity within a very few years and probably what wealth we have as well, in trying to monetarily support a collapsing empire. Make no mistake, this is the true reason the UK is wanted in the EU. Were we potless, we’d be let go with their best wishes.

  34. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Very interesting that Jasper van Dijk, of the Socialist Party in Holland, gives clear reasons why they will be voting against the EU in a TTIP referendum which they hope to set in motion. It is not being reported much in the media here, but there really seems to be a great groundswell of opinion, buoyed up by the success of the Ukraine referendum, to tackle the political elite of the EU. I just wonder how Corbyn can counter his arguments.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/661506/Dutch-referendum-EU-referendum-TTIP-trade-deal-Brexit
    Brussels thrown into chaos as Dutch people plan SECOND referendum on hated TTIP trade deal
    EUROPE’S elite were facing the wrath of the Dutch people once more tonight as support surged for a SECOND referendum on a controversial EU deal in a matter of weeks

    “…..The referendum campaign is being spearheaded by the Dutch Socialist Party, which says TTIP will decimate public services, cost jobs and deliver a knock-out punch to European democracy. Socialist Party spokesman Jasper Van Dijk said: “We want this to happen. We are in favour of a referendum on TTIP.”

    And the petitioners say: ”Large companies can sue governments in a special tribunal. Europe will have to accept the often poorer American standards for consumer protection, social rights and environmental protection.

    “Then we will see the introduction of US legislation in Europe without citizens or parliaments having any say over it.

    “The negotiations are secret. We are the people in all this. That is why we want a referendum!”

    • bluedog
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      And the petitioners say: ”Large companies can sue governments in a special tribunal. ‘

      That may be the current draft form of the proposed treaty but it’s a condition the US has conceded recently and will concede again. Australia and New Zealand took a stand on this matter against the US in the recently executed TPP and the US backed down. It is clearly a massive try-on that severely disadvantages smaller countries and opens the way for US lawfare to prevent governments ruling in the interests of their people. For example, the recent sugar tax could see the Coca-Cola Company sue the British government if the EU is silly enough to yield to US demands.

      But great to see the Dutch people taking a stand against EU tyranny.

  35. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    There are questions not only for Mr Corbyn, Mr Redwood, but also for those “Eurosceptic” Conservative MPs who are inclined to vote in. See Matthew Parris in The Times
    Parris sees it, apparently, as a battle for the Party and will vote Remain, it seems. He seems to regard the takeover of the Party by the Right as beyond the pale. Country before Party, Mr Parris and Remain voting “Eurosceptic” MPs?

    Tories admit using Referendum as battle for the Party.
    “…And horror at what this would mean for the party I’ve supported all my adult life. June 23 will define the Conservative party for a generation. We moderate Tories are staring down the barrel of a gun: the strong chance of a crushing triumph for the Tory right. To that last horror I shall return below…”

    Reply This vote is not a Tory struggle but a crucial national decision for people of all political views

  36. Margaret
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    How can this complete change of mind come about. What or who has this power of persuasion? It is worrying.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn is far from being the sharpest tool in the shed. It would not surprise to learn that Cameron has arranged flattering ‘confidential briefings’ for Corbyn in the interests of ‘national security’ or some such motherhood issue. Corbyn’s position on the Privy Council may have been the channel.

      Having spent his entire life in a bubble of Marxist ideology, irrespective of circumstances that were changing all around him, we can dismiss Corbyn as an inflexible and blinkered third rater. A carefully crafted approach could therefore leave Corbyn devoid of answers to refute complete rubbish. After all, he fell for Marxism, so what’s to stop Corbyn falling for another pack of lies and half-truths? Dealing with Corbyn on this basis would be like shooting fish in a barrel for an operator like Cameron. Easy.

  37. a-tracy
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy Corbyn is just showing himself to be yet another whipping boy.

    I despair at the public sector sandle wearing, beard huggers that have never had to wonder where their next penny is coming from with their safe, secure, taxpayer supported pension that means they don’t have to save or encourage business to make money for shareholders supporting their individual private sector (Labour party robbing) pension pots.

    They are so far above the rest us and so far apart that their tax returns aren’t seen as necessary so they just fill it out late with their pencil. What stood out to me is he didn’t declare pension income, he made errors, filed late and yet no-ones checking! This just gets a brief mention that a potential future leader of our Country finds tax reports so unimportant. He sees no importance in wealth creation choosing instead to insult small businesses at every turn.

    Why would people like Mr Corbyn need savings (everyone was surprised when he declared none?) when he knows his future until he dies is protected, cosseted and passed on to his spouse, he has no physical need. This caretaker of the Labour Party will just take the money and run, his pension now thanks to his elevated position will probably still be based final salary and give him and his family more than they’ll ever need for a comfortable retirement, so much for equality and morality.

  38. Atlas
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    In Astronomy there is a concept/entity known as a black hole. Simply put, once you are too close to it you cannot escape.

    In politics we have the EU. It is trying to have similar properties – we have to fire the referendum rocket motors now to escape its clutches.

  39. stred
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    This campaign seems to have become one one of competing truths and lies. The glossy leaflet and BBC coverage of ministers misinforming undecided voters will probably be effective, bearing in mind the dire lack of knowledge of some. Osbornes warning of IMF scare forecasts was one such last night.

    BBC News is currently promoting their ‘All You Need to Know’ website giving voters the impression of a balanced view. BBC journalists are given questions to ask the other side which give the impression that Leave is misleading voters. Laura Kuenssberg said on last night’s news that the figure given for our EU contribution did not allow for the money back for farmers. Presumably, she is numerate and so it is difficult to explain why she did not understand that this figure had been deducted from the gross amount already.

    On the All You Need to Know website they are still giving a Treasury figure of £8.8bn and another from the NAO of £5.7bn, saying that this includes money back to universities and industry. Some explain the difference between the £10bn by deducting the money given to the EU for foreign aid, but this is much below one billion and we do not need to spend it ourselves. Besides which only the Scandinavian countries and the UK stick to the UN instructions to spend 0.7% and Germany, France and other EU countries give far less than this.

    Another way in which lies may be repeated and accepted as true is to use the way in which the internet works. Firstly most googling on referendum matters will lead to the BBC website, as it is visited more. Secondly, old lies may be left on the net and not corrected. Even if a later page corrects the lie, the old ones may still be listed.

    What do Remain or Conservatives for Britain have to say about these figures and is there any hope that the true figure will finally be acknowledged?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      As it happens the House of Commons Library has just produced a report:

      http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN06455

      The most recent accurate numbers are for 2014, those for 2015 being estimates, and for 2014 the UK’s net contribution was £9.8 billion.

      That’s gross contribution, £18.8 billion, minus rebate, £4.4 billion, minus public sector receipts* we got back from the EU, £4.6 billion, = £9.8 billion.

      The thing which has struck me is just how little we get back; £4.6 billion out of £14.4 billion paid in, after allowing for the rebate; that’s close to just £1 back for every £3 paid in.

      * Agricultural subsidies, plus structural funds, plus some oddments.

  40. stred
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Off subject. Terrible news that Prof Sir David MacKay , who wrote the very valuable Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air has died aged 48 and had a sad last few days in NHS hospital. He also worked out that burning wood pellets and hybrid cars were what he termed ‘greenwash’. re Telegraph 15.3.

  41. Androcles
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    You cannot blame Kinnock junior for wanting to protect his parents (EU ed)pensions but to say we give up sovereignty to NATO and the WTO in a similar way to what we do to the EU is absurd. Do NATO make laws in the UK?

  42. oldtimer
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I have just come across this article published by MIT via CapX:http://capx.co/external/how-political-pitches-target-electorate-based-on-­personality/

    This approach is based on research by Cambridge Analytica into the US voter. The jury is out as to whether it is effective or not. I wonder of anyone has tapped into this research for the UK referendum (assuming Cambridge Analytica have been funded or able to research UK voters to the same extent).

  43. formula57
    Posted April 16, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Is that a different Boris to the London Mayor one who rejoiced at the idea of Turkey joining the EU?

    • bluedog
      Posted April 16, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Currently it seems that Boris’ ambition to succeed Cameron as PM has relegated Turkey to a lesser status. Indeed, Boris may have noted that his objectives are mutually exclusive. After all if Boris succeeds in appointing himself as PM of an independent Britain, he loses his capacity to act as godfather of Turkish accession to the EU. Or does he? Recall Boris’ slip of the tongue that a Brexit vote on 23rd June could lead to negotiations followed by a second referendum. Is there a slip of paper in the back pocket of the mayoral trousers under the flapping shirt-tails listing ‘Things to Do’?

  44. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 17, 2016 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Few realise the enormity of what Jeremy Corbyn has done. He is so fond of his International Socialism that he is willing for foreigners to overrule our democratically elected government in order to impose it. It is the arguement that Neil Kinnock bought from Jacques Delors in the early nineties – with knobs on.

    There was a time when the boot was on the other foot. Harold Wilson won a handsome election victory in 1966 and set about building socialism, a process which by 1969 was pretty well advanced. Several leading Conservatives saw the EEC as it then was as a means of slowing this process. Enoch Powell gave them a good telling off. His message was: if you want the way in which we are governed to change, convince your own electorate. In 1970, Heath got his chance, won the election and blew it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 17, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      As Lord Tebbit said from the platform at a public meeting, some years ago:

      “If the British people vote for socialism they should get socialism”.

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    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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