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.

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

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referendum-leaflet

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.

Brexit: Lessons the UK could learn from nimble New Zealand

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From The Daily Telegraph – as forwarded by Anthony J Sargeant from their website

There is a country that fits over two islands lying off a major landmass. Its residents are known for their farming, love of beer and rugby, and their reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

This nation has struggled with its place in the world. But now, with the chance to decide between greater integration with a larger free trade area, or going its own way, the nation’s economic success has made the option of operating more freely all the more appealing.

These are not the struggles of the United Kingdom, however, but a country more than 11,000 miles away: New Zealand. The Commonwealth nation’s experience may now provide a useful roadmap for the UK, if it does decide to leave the European Union at the referendum on June 23.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/08/brexit-lessons-the-uk-could-learn-from-nimble-new-zealand/

Obama interferes in the domestic affairs of the UK

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Obama’s ill-judged intervention in the UK referendum will surely backfire. His comments were made reflecting the interests of the USA and a wilful misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the undemocratic EU political project. At one point he made a comment saying that the USA wanted a EU led by a strong UK – this demonstrates no understanding of the reality. We will have no control of the future of the EU which will be dominated by the Eurozone countries unless we leave and the EU is forced to abandon the current undemocratic unelected, backroom dealings of nation states many of which are corrupt, feckless, misogynistic, homophobic, and fascist leaning (in no particular order we are in an undemocratic club which includes Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal, Slovenia, Latvia, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia etc – each one of which has an equal vote to the UK when it comes to treaty agreements). It is clearly arrant nonsense to think that the UK will play any serious ‘strong’ role in the future development of the EU. This comment alone demonstrates the self interest of the USA and the lack of caring or understanding about anything other than their own perceived self interest. Everybody should remember that the USA is the country which, thinking it was in their national interest, led the disastrous invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan killing many hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the process and which led to the chaos that now prevails in those areas. Going further back to those with any memory we could point to Vietnam as another US ‘well-judged’ intervention in other countries affairs – supposedly because it was in the national interest of the USA so to do.

The European Union and the UK

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The European project is collapsing around us – it is out of date and out of time.

It is undemocratic, unworkable and unnecessary.

How many people know who their Member of the (incredibly expensive) European Parliament is? or what their real power is?

Of course it is not in Germany’s interest to see the UK leave the EU, and certainly not in the interest of the economies of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, etc etc – but despite this obvious self interest, the vanishingly small ‘concessions’ that Cameron has “negotiated” are worthless and pointless (they actually miss ‘the point’ totally).

[Moreover the various nature of the ‘negotiations’ themselves are an illustration of the undemocratic nature of the EU since none of the heads of government have consulted their own electorates over new legislation giving the UK ‘special status’ within (but not within!) the EU]

Look at the composition of the EU – with so many member countries which have endemic corruption and others with homophobic, misogynistic and fascist leaning governments.

As for the suggestion that being a member of the EU makes the UK an important ‘World Power’ – surely that is a delusion – how can being submerged in a union of 28 other nation states make the UK itself ‘more important’ ?

Do we really want to be a member of that club? One is reminded of Groucho Marx’s jest  “Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”