Scottish ‘Independence’

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As a sympathetic Englishman I understood the emotional and sentimental appeal of Scottish independence in the referendum of 2014. Indeed if I had been a Scot I might have voted in favour of independence given the economic and political circumstances at that time. But times have changed.

Notwithstanding that original sympathy I am perplexed by the action of the SNP in seeking a new referendum on leaving the Union. If they won a majority for ‘independence’ from the historic Union where would that leave Scotland? Ultimately, with Scotland having a population a little larger than Lithuania, perhaps as a minor province of a federal European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany. This would hardly amount to ‘independence’ and seems a far worse option in terms of having control over the economic, political and social fabric of Scottish society compared with remaining part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore the time to negotiate and achieve that subordinate role in a European Empire would be measured in many years not months as is obvious from previous EU trading and membership negotiations  (not to mention the vehement opposition of Spain to any deal). During that time Scotland would be adrift on its own without any trading agreements, without access to the single market, and without the economic support which EU membership might possibly confer.

As oil prices collapse once again and thus with reduced income and necessarily a new interim Scottish currency until the possible adoption of the Euro as a precondition for EU membership, what would that mean for Scottish Society, for schools, social care, health services and all the rest? The resultant massive deterioration in social infrastructure would surely not be compensated for by eventually becoming a minor ‘subject’ nation within the European Empire, riven as it is with its own internal schisms and problems especially within the Eurozone.

It is clear that there is a sense of ‘now or never’ for the nationalists but the consequences of leaving the United Kingdom seem dire and the exact opposite of what the nationalists are calling for, that is “independence”, because the end result would be subjugation and loss of independence and national identity within a European Superstate.

 

UK and EU – Rats and Sinking Ships-An almost Freudian Slip by EU negotiator Guy Verhofstadt ?

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In response to the Ex-Prime Minister of Belgian and now EU Parliament negotiator for Brexit talks, Guy Verhofstadt, likening the UK leaving the EU to “rats leaving a sinking ship”. Anthony Sargeant says that there are two interesting points about the comment; (1) the Belgian Europhile seems to think the EU is sinking (which it probably is) and (2) rats are an extremely successful species which thrives around the world (which may well turn out to be how the UK fares in terms of global trade post-Brexit). But as a Belgian you can imagine the dismay at the very thought of the collapse of the EU infrastructure and consequent redundancy of all of those vanity-project buildings in Brussels – what will Belgium do with them? And what will it do as an economy no longer propped up by the income generated by over 50,000 well paid EU civil servants in Brussels, plus ancillary staff. If you think that closure of the Port Talbot Steelworks would be bad for Wales then the collapse of EU would be a disaster for Belgium which is economically challenged, not least by the internal schisms of its society on language and religious grounds (this leads to duplication not just of language in government documentation but also of whole institutions. So in Brussels for example, you have the Universite Libre of Brussels but also the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels and so on down the educational system in towns and Villages across the country.

The Problem faced by the Eurozone

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Anthony Sargeant thinks that the following analysis is interesting. Also one might reflect that Mervyn King as a past Governor of The Bank of England might have some insight into the problem. It may be that the only solution for the Eurozone is either total financial integration within a Federal Europe which is indeed the aspiration of those who support the EU political project : Or dissolution of the Eurozone and the EU political project and reversion to a simple free trading bloc of sovereign countries. The problem is that total financial integration implies central European control of salaries, pensions, taxation, public services. It would be a federation of ‘unequals’ where the future life chances of those living in the ‘less equal’ regions will be determined by the dominant region (presently called Germany). How long that could be sustained and become a true democracy is highly questionable since the inevitable nature of the new European Empire would require an integration of not just every aspect of daily life with inevitably enormous regional inequalities but also an homogenisation of culture and mindset. In essence the whole project would succeed or fail on whether, for example, Sicilians or Greeks would want to, or could be persuaded, cajoled or forced, into adopting a German approach to life and government necessarily abandoning their own culture and identity in the process. It seems an unlikely proposition.

Mervyn King warned that the project is doomed, is it time for the Eurozone to be broken up?

Ruth Lea, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, says Yes.

The Eurozone was always primarily a political project, a major stepping stone to the “ever closer union of the peoples of Europe,” but one with the profoundest economic consequences. Members have no control over their interest rates, their exchange rate or, indeed, fiscal policy. And, as we have seen in recent years, many Eurozone members have paid a bitter price for their loss macroeconomic sovereignty. Under the austerity cosh and with no ability to devalue their currencies, growth has disappointed and unemployment rates remain alarmingly high in Greece, Spain (albeit partly-recovering), Italy and Portugal. Looking ahead, there is no reason to believe the policy situation will fundamentally change. Fiscal discipline is entrenched and unremitting and, contrary to speculation, there are no signs that Germany will ever agree to a fiscal transfer union in order to support the weaker countries. The Eurozone simply lacks the demos and “solidarity” to enable the currency bloc to work for all. It’s time to break it up.

[Read the full article at Source: http://www.cityam.com/235669/as-mervyn-king-warns-that-the-project-is-doomed-is-it-time-for-the-eurozone-to-be-broken-up ]

Anthony Sargeant reflects on the UK Referendum leaflet on EU membership which was sent out by the Government

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The House of Commons voted by an overwhelming majority of 6 to 1 to hold a referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU. Anthony Sargeant shows the leaflet sent out to every UK household by the British Government prior to the official start of the referendum campaign. It clearly offered a partisan view on how the electorate should vote with no mention of any counter arguments. It used taxpayers money amounting to millions of pounds to avoid restrictions on what would have been illicit funding  of such propaganda once the campaign started some few days later.

But it did clearly state in the second column “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide”. Now despite the decision to ‘Leave’ taken in the face of the most incredible and, it turns out misleading warnings of the dire economic consequences, we have some who would like to overturn the original decision of the democratically elected House of Commons to hold such a referendum and abide by the result. These include various stalking-horse millionaires including, Gina Miller, Branson, Blair, and others but also current politicians like Tim Farron MP the present leader, and Nick Clegg MP the previous leader of what it seems are the ‘Undemocratic Liberal Democrats’ who clearly want to stop Brexit. Please watch their interviews with Andrew Neil if you are in any doubt about their intentions. But then this is a political party that immediately reneged on its cast-iron manifesto promise with respect to University Tuition fees in order to prop up a conservative government two elections ago.

Once the campaign began officially the government’s leafleting would not have been allowed.  Instead when it did start they recruited anybody who might aid the Remain campaign by warning of the dire economic consequences – sustained scaremongering and threats -which came to be known as ‘Project Fear’.

George Osbourne himself warned that the economic impact of a ‘Leave’ vote would require an emergency budget within days of the referendum. Remarkably and 6 months later there has been no emergency budget. Then Christine Lagarde, recently found guilty by a court in France of corrupt practices when a Minister in the French Government (yet still Head of the IMF), warned of the terrible economic consequences. Then the now clearly wrong predictions and badly judged intervention of the supposedly independent Bank of England by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. The EU politburo were enlisted and spoke with one voice that disaster would befall the UK if it left and with the threats that the UK would be severely punished in any negotiation if they voted to leave. Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the EU commission – President but not elected by the people of Europe) weighed in with his warnings and threats. This is a politician who as Prime Minister of tiny Luxembourg offered tax avoidance to multi-national companies in his own country and then blocked attempts in a secretive EU committee to address the issue making himself and Luxembourg very rich in the process. As a result Luxembourg has the 2nd highest GDP per capita in the world (after Qatar that other well known bastion of democratic and transparent politics). And so the roll call goes on, Obama warned that the UK would go to “the back of the queue” in any trade deal negotiation – that the USA wanted to deal with the EU not tiny UK (but note the UK is the 5th largest economy in  the world by some calculations). And what has happened? After decades of talks EU/USA attempts to sign a trade deal collapsed once again in disarray and Obama has become yesterday’s man. Then we had threats from the president of the European Central Bank, Francois Hollande (also yesterday’s man), Angela Merkel (surely yesterday’s politican by the end of 2017), the president of the European Parliament, in fact probably all seven Presidents of EU Institutions – did anybody know there were seven Presidents much less name them all. But then they are not elected in any meaningful way by the people of Europe.

Anybody with a vested interest real or imagined in keeping the UK in the EU was recruited to Project Fear in order to threaten or scare the UK electorate with warnings of immediate economic disaster following a decision by the UK to Leave the EU all of which turned out to be deceitful scaremongering – lies by any other name.

The truth is that first of all the British do not take kindly to being threatened – and so it may have been counter-productive, but secondly many thoughtful people looked at the dysfunctional, anti-democratic and immoral workings of the EU and decided that we were better off out of the mess being created. They may also have reflected on “the only thing we ever learn from history is that we never learn anything from history”. History is littered with attempts to create  a European Empire and all have failed. They might also have reflected that the only surviving Federation is that of the  USA which only held together after a devastating and bloody civil war between the poor agricultural south and the rich industrialized northern states who sent in the army to suppress attempts at secession from the Union. Greeks might be concerned that a EU Army might one day be used in similar fashion – to suppress civil unrest – although only of course at the request of the Goldman-Sachs approved Greek Government of the day.

How long before the EU house of cards collapses?

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The EU is dysfunctional, anti-democratic, and most importantly immoral in its dealings with the developing world.

The EU Common Agricultural Policy, results in tariffs imposed on agricultural products from abroad and the more those countries try to add value so the tariff increases.

Take the example of coffee. In 2014 Africa —the home of coffee— earned nearly $2.4 billion from the crop. Germany, a leading processor, earned about $3.8 billion from coffee re-exports.

The concern is not that Germany benefits from processing coffee. It is that Africa is punished by EU tariff barriers for doing so. Non-decaffeinated green coffee is exempt from the charges. However, a 7.5 per cent charge is imposed on roasted coffee. As a result, the bulk of Africa’s export to the EU is unroasted green coffee.

The charge on cocoa is even more debilitating. It is reported that the “EU charges (a tariff) of 30 per cent for processed cocoa products like chocolate bars or cocoa powder, and 60 per cent for some other refined products containing cocoa.”

The impact of such charges goes well beyond lost export opportunities. They suppress technological innovation and industrial development among African countries. The practice denies the continent the ability to acquire, adopt and diffuse technologies used in food processing. It explains to some extent the low level of investment in Africa’s food processing enterprises.

see https://capx.co/how-the-eu-starves-africa-into-submission/

Why Economists cannot be trusted in relation to the EU referendum by Anthony J Sargeant

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Below is the view of yet another economist – like the ones that told us that the UK should join the Eurozone, that failed to predict the world banking crisis, that thought we should remain in the Exchange Rate Mechanism etc etc. And what of George Osbourne’s economists in the Treasury who have singularly failed to reduce the year on year deficit as Osbourne promised or the national debt over the past many years in government?. But we all know economists, especially ones like this chap who is so deeply embedded in the EU project, have a terrible track record nevertheless :

An economist’s litany of support for the EU project which reduces Greece, Portugal and other countries to economic destitution and servitude while putting up barriers to the rest of the world. But the arguments should not be economic at all but philosophical, cultural, historical and social and the failure to make that important distinction has clouded whatever sensible commentary there has been. Vested interests are always at work in any exercise of crystal ball gazing, remain or leave, and this is surely no exception. One has to ask a simple question, which is : If the consequences of leaving the EU are so much more dire than staying in then why did the Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, decide to have a referendum on the UK status at all? Also consider for one moment that the next President of the Council of the EU will be the leader of a country, Slovakia, who has rejected the idea of any quota system to share the Syrian refugee burden (to quote his recent pronouncement “not a single Muslim”) – which has resulted from a devastating humanitarian disaster that the EU has sought to address by incarcerating refugees in concentration camps on Lesbos, while doing a deal with Turkey to return migrants to camps in that country in return for millions of Pounds and the promise of Visa free travel for Turkish citizens throughout the EU. But to return to ‘The EU Project’ : The imposition of a European superstate has been repeatedly attempted throughout History since the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and every time it has ended in tears: that does not mean that the next attempt will not succeed – but the balance of probabilities and history suggest otherwise (but then “the only thing that we ever learn from History is that we never learn anything from history” – a sentiment attributed to many but perhaps ironically a German, Hegel, should get the credit). The language, culture and way of thinking about the world are vastly different between the nations which are currently members of the EU and simultaneous translation often means that many EU discussions in Brussels and elsewhere involve double translation that is a Greek speaker’s words are translated for example into German and the German is then translated into Hungarian, or Latvian, or Portuguese or…..  – but it is not the words, not the language, but the underlying feeling, attitudes and mind-set that are hopelessly lost in this process rendering the imposition of a ‘one size fits all’ superstate so dysfunctional. Whether the UK remains or leaves it seems almost inevitable that the EU political project will collapse sooner or later – unless of course Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future does finally come true and we become Air Strip One of Oceania, presided over by a privileged elite – but perhaps it is too late. Are we already there with the Bullingdon Club and their chums?

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexitvote/2016/05/27/dear-friends-this-is-why-i-will-vote-remain-in-the-referendum/

Jean-Claude Junker – A EU PolitBuro member threatens the British

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Anthony J Sargeant This shows only too well the disdain and arrogance of the dysfunctional and undemocratic EU Politburo towards the British public:

AND ….. if we stay as a member of the EU does anybody really think that we will have any real influence on the future of the out-of-date and doomed political project which is the EU?

From Junker’s comments you can already discern how the British are, and would be, regarded, even if we stay as members. Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the EU undemocratic political project.

It is also worth remembering that Jean-Claude Junker has been on the EU gravy-train for a very long time as an ex-Prime Minister of The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – population just over half a million. He was personally involved in setting up a corporate tax haven in Luxembourg (a tiny but thanks to the EU an incredibly rich Grand-Duchy dependent on bankers and tax avoidance experts – second in GDP in the whole world only to that other well known “democracy” Qatar).

The consequence of the tax haven that was set up under Junker was that multi-national corporations like Amazon could nominally locate there and thus avoid paying proper tax in the UK and other countries in which they make immense profits.

One can understand why Junker does not want the EU house of cards to collapse – but the truth is that “The Emperor has no Clothes” – for ‘Emperor’ read the EU.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/672327/EU-referendum-Brexit-Jean-Claude-Juncker-Europe-David-Cameron