Why I’m Leaving …

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The deed is done. After reading literally hundreds of articles, books, e-mails and posts about the subject – I have finally, finally decided. I was inclined to vote out, but was not ideologically committed to it and I realized it is a big decision so I decided to spend a lot of time reading, investigating, thinking and praying. I have read and watched some excellent pro-EU material – possibly the best was Lord Heseltine (Tory) and Simon Hughes (Lib-Dem), although I was greatly impressed with a Liverpool academic whose name I have forgotten!   On the Leave side I have been really impressed with Gisela Stewart (Labour), Daniel Hannan (Tory) (his performance here was stunning –

 

 

Brendan O’Neill (Marxist), Jim Sillars (SNP) and an unknown socialist shop steward who was superb.

I’m not going to repeat what I have written elsewhere but here are the main reasons why I have voted to Leave. Rather than write another chapter I have linked to some of the best articles and videos I have seen on these topics.

European referendum – The TIPPing Point

 

Democracy

This is for me the key issue. Those who make our laws should be accountable to those for whom they are made. The elected should answer to the electorate. The demos needs a democracy. And the European project is fundamentally at its core anti-democratic. See this article from Frank Furedi

http://www.spiked-online.com/spiked-review/article/betraying-europes-democratic-legacy/18386#.V2eTTZMrI0o

What is the alternative to democracy? Autocracy and technocracy. Instead of the dictatorship of the proletariat, we have the dictatorship of the elites, who use democracy as a tool but disregard it as a foundational principle. I knew that this was the case for the Eurocrats like Juncker, but this referendum has shown me how this is disturbingly making headway in the political chattering classes. I have been told that democracy doesn’t really exist anyway, that it is all about human ‘rights’ and that we are better of in an autocratic EU than a democratic UK because the former would prevent the latter from electing a Tory right wing government. Apart from the fact that this is demonstrably not true Tony Benn’s principle is apposite –

“I’d rather have a bad parliament than a good king”

The autocratic elites and their well-heeled middle class allies are not opposed to democracy. You are allowed to vote – but only if you vote for what we tell you to vote for. That’s why democracy has become so weak in the UK because it appears that the political parties are just different shades of the same colour. All the political parties are on board…but you might vote against us anyway? Take this as an example: “We attended a rally this morning at which the four big political parties – Conservative, Labour, LibDems and Green – were united in their call to keep Britain in the EU – for jobs, trade, rights and security. We’re stronger in Europe.”  Who is representing the 40% of Scots who are for Brexit?

But now the Establishment is desperate. The polls are much closer than they would like. They believe that young people are like sheep and if you tell them being in Europe is cool and about having Lattes in Barcelona, they will do the ‘right thing’ and vote the ‘right way’. Why else do you think they extended the voting registration deadline? Because they thought that the Facebook campaign was working and that it was more young people who were more likely to vote yes. If it had been pensioners do you think that they would have bothered? Or if this had happened during the Scottish referendum? Not a chance. The Elites like democracy as long as the plebs don’t really have a choice. That’s why, with a possibility of losing, so many of them are saying it was a mistake to have the referendum. How dare people be given a say? Why can’t they leave it up to us, their betters? The experts?

I’ve lost count of the number of posts of people who have said that the EU is more democratic than the UK parliament. That the Commission are just a civil service, answerable to the European Parliament. Every SNP politician at least in public repeats the same mantra from the same party approved crib sheet. EU commissioners are better than the House of Lord. They forget to mention that the EU Commission is an unelected political executive which is the only body that can put forward EU legislation – and that the House of Lords is a second chamber, primarily for review (which I would argue should be removed as well). I have had right on progressive liberal democrats tell me passionately that Lord Hill, as the EU Commissioner is democratically elected because he was appointed by a democratically elected Prime minister.   I despair. If you cannot vote in or vote out the people who make your laws you are not living in a democracy.   End of.

Let me give you one example of how this works Jeremy Corbyn wants to nationalize the railways. As it happens that is a policy I support. But even if he is elected by the British people he is not allowed to carry out that policy. Even if a majority of MEPs are elected to support that policy, he is not allowed to carry it out. We cannot vote that policy in or out. He says he will ignore the EU but he is either being stupid or telling lies. Because he cannot. European law always trumps British law or elected British governments. And this is what progressives, liberals, socialists and conservatives want to vote for?!

 

Economic Justice

Jeremy Corbyn understood this.

“The EU takes away from national parliaments the power to set economic policy and hands it over to an unelected set of bankers…”

TTIP, as I explained in the earlier article, is a key aspect of what is to come. When multi-national corporations can sue national elected governments we are all in trouble.

I find it more than a little amusing that so many middle class people who benefit from the EU are telling all and sundry that of course it’s not because they benefit. They support the EU because it really does help the poor. Isn’t it wonderful that the interests of the multi-national corporations, the corporate NGO’s, the government bureaucracies all coincide with helping the poor…what a wonderful world we live in!

https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2016/jun/18/eu-vote-brexit-working-people-rents-wages

Remember TINA? The great Thatcherite phrase now adopted by Cameron, Corbyn and Sturgeon – There Is No Alternative.   To use Mr Meldrew “I don’t believe it”. I think there is such a thing as economic justice. I don’t believe that the young and poor in Greece, Italy and Spain have to pay for the failed policies and gambling of the bankers, corporations and politicians.

And to scorch another myth – there are some economists who think, as David Cameron used to think, that Britain will get on just fine outwith the EU.

http://www.economistsforbrexit.co.uk/

Workers of the world unite – you have nothing to lose but your chains.

Immigration

I loathe the anti-immigration rhetoric. As I loathe the pompous self-righteous middle class people whose main contact with immigrants is when they meet them as their wage slaves and who don’t understand why some working class people do feel overwhelmed. If teachers, doctors and Uni lecturers were losing their jobs I suspect they would not be quite so pompous. Nonetheless I think the anti-immigrant rhetoric is wrong and dangerous. I want more immigrants. I think of the hundreds of nurses from outwith the EU who have been denied access to the UK, or the nuclear physicist who had to return home to the US, or the Australian family in Dingwall who are in danger of being deported.   We should have control of our borders and we should welcome more refugees and encourage immigration. We should not vote to belong to Fortress Europe where (mainly white) Europeans get freedom of movement but Africans, Asians, Arabs and Americans are greatly restricted.

Turkey is an interesting one. David Cameron tells us that Turkey will get in around the year 3000, yet he was the leader advocating that they should be fast tracked. A senior politician told me that there is a meeting on June the 24th (note the date) to discuss fast tracking Turkish accession. Its also why we are spending £675 million helping with their application – because we are looking forward to a long term investment for 3000!

Defence

This must seem a strange one but almost nobody seems to be taking seriously the intention of the EU Presidents to have a European army. It’s funny that this astonishing defection did not receive the attention it was due. But then what would Field Marshal Lord Guthrie know?! 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/17/field-marshal-lord-guthrie-why-i-now-back-the-leave-campaign/ 

Freedom

This is of course closely tied in with the democracy aspect.

I had thought that only a relatively small number of British laws were made by the EU. ‘Experts’ and those who are ideologically committed to the EU were happy to parrot figures of 7-14%. But then Jeremy Paxman went and asked the British Parliament and this is what he discovered. 59% of British laws between 2010-2013 were made by the EU. These are not made in the European Parliament but by the EU Commission who are unelected by us and cannot be voted out by us. These are appointees of the political elite – and often are failed politicians. Does anyone else think it strange that Neil Kinnock lost two elections and was then given far more power as an EU Eurocrat than he had as a democratic politician?

But there are idealists, Christian and non-Christian, who live in a kind of fantasy world, divorced from biblical reality. They think we can all live together in perfect harmony and that utopia can come on earth – who needs nation states any more? I think we do. I think they are a check on human sinfulness and prevent any one individual group taking absolute control. But our utopians think that if we just think pleasant thoughts, wave rainbow flags and trust the elites to govern us, everything will be wonderful.

I believe in co-operation. But it must be the co-operation of free countries.

The best thing is for every democracy to live under its own laws whilst co-operating and working with others. A point which Toby Young makes rather well:

 

The EU is going to change

I am astonished at how many people think that the choice is remain in the EU as we are and have a stable economy, peace, workers rights, racial harmony, motherhood and apple pie.     The EU is in deep trouble and it is going to change.

Some have blind faith that it will be reformed in a more democratic direction (although they have no evidence for this). The greater likelihood is that the euro will collapse and that the European states will be required to have a greater political union.

 

David Cameron says he has negotiated that Britain is not part of that….but a) that is not in any treaty and b) it does not apply to any subsequent British government.   The real question on the ballot paper should be:

  1. Do you wish to leave the EU?

  2. Do you wish to JOIN a new United States of Europe?

 

The Working Class

As has been noted there is clear distinction between the wealthy, the middle class and the working class on this one. In effect the poorer you are, the less likely you are to be for the EU.   Now our middle class progressives, conservatives and liberals unite to tell us that this is because the working class are basically uneducated and to put it bluntly, a bit dumb. Of course it’s not PC to say so but whilst some have, even more have hinted at it – because it really is what they believe. After all if we were as smart as them, we would agree with them.

From a middle class perspective the EU is great. You can be part of the Erasmus programme (if you are poor and working class in Scotland you are much less likely to get to a Scottish university than an EU student from elsewhere), retire to Spain, and take skiing weekends in France. Europe is a great idea.  You associate it with lattes in Lazio, concerts in Austria, conferences in Paris, and research projects in Groningen, and church plants in Berlin; it’s a wonderful idea.  If you are a corporate manager you like the cheap labour and the open market. If you are a politician, bureaucrat, stockbroker, large NGO or parts of the media and arts establishment….then of course you will be pro-EU.   After all the EU funds you and you support the EU…its all very cozy. But what about the great unwashed? The untermenschen?

Oh – everyone ‘cares’. Everyone ‘virtue signals’ and talks about it. But it makes not a blind bit of difference.

One of the things that has struck me about this debate is the great divide – not racial..not about nationalities, but social and class. It is a massive two fingers to the poor.  This photo sums up the real divide in this referendum.

BRITAIN-EU-POLITICS
A boat carrying supporters for the Remain in the EU campaign including Bob Geldof (C) shout and wave at Brexit fishing boats as they sail up the river Thames in central London on June 15, 2016. A Brexit flotilla of fishing boats sailed up the River Thames into London today with foghorns sounding, in a protest against EU fishing quotas by the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. / AFP / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

 

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/brexit-debate-exposed-establishment/

 

I’m Pro-European

I just thought I would throw this one in. Because apparently there are people who think that if you want to leave the political entity known as the EU it means that you don’t like the French, the Germans or the Greeks. I think I need to repeat this very slowly….I – love – Europe – and – I – am – opposed – to – the –EU. If you need to go and lie down in a dark room to figure out how that is possible, feel free…and whilst you are at it have a look at this wonderful video…

 

I hate being patronised, lied to and patronised by the Establishment

We were lied to before.   We were not joining a common market which would not be able to make our laws. We were joining something that was intended to be an ever-increasing political union.

Our Prime Minister lied to us. He told us that he would campaign for a Leave vote and Britain would survive fine if he did not get substantial reformation. He got nothing and now he tells us if we leave it will be an economic disaster and could lead to WW3.

“It would mean a four-person eight-night holiday to Europe would increase by £230 while a 14-night stay for four people to America would increase by £620.”

I hate being patronised. I hate it when Nicola Sturgeon tells us that all of her MPs and MSPs support the EU because it’s better to be an independent country in an interdependent EU but impossible to be an independent country in an interdependent UK.

I hate it when Jeremy Corbyn, who has been anti-EU all his life, caves into internal party pressure and announces his Damascus road conversion to the EU.

I hate it when Edinburgh University sends round people to tell its students that they should vote Remain because its better for them (which being translated meaneth that Edinburgh Uni, one of the richest Unis, and corporate businesses gets substantial funding from the EU and they want to keep their snouts in the trough! It was for that same reason that on a matter of ‘principle’ they refused to get involved in the Scottish referendum believing that students should be free to make up their own minds – nothing of course to do with the fact that even more of their funding comes from the Scottish government!).

I hate it when John Major gets all emotional, self-righteous and angry about the British people being deceived – when he himself was a master of deception when he had an affair with Edwina Currie for four years.   I’m sorry but if you can deceive your wife you are going to have no qualms about deceiving the country.

I hate it when Richard Dawkins writes in Prospect magazine with his false humility, “How dare you entrust such an important decision to ignoramuses like me?” He doesn’t mean it, of course. He knows how he is going to vote. He, of course, is going to vote the ‘right’ way; the way that all right thinking people should vote, without a shadow of a doubt. What he means is that the plebs should not be given votes and such decisions should be left to people like him, and his representatives.

I hate it when scientists with a political agenda misuse their authority as wannabe secular priests, by suggesting that if we leave the EU there will no longer be scientific co-operation. Don’t we already co-operate with non-EU nations? Is CERN not in Switzerland? If Israel is part of the EU science programmes, why could a non-EU Britain not share in that too?

I hate it when the government and the EU pay people to support them. It is rare to come across an ‘independent’ group which is not funded in some way by the EU. Some of it is quite blatant. The latest ‘honours’ awarded included 22 prominent Remain supporters including the chairman of Britain Stronger in Europe deputy chair Richard Reed, who gets a CBE. Other awards went to prominent financial donors.

I hate it when the elites tell us dumb plebs to listen to the ‘experts’. As I write a leaflet has just come through the door telling me that I should listen to the experts – ‘from Richard Branson to JK Rowling, to Alan Sugar and heads of the Bank of England and the TUC’. I leave Brendan O’Neil to comment: (forgive the language at the end, but if Luther could get away with it, I think we can let Brendan!).

– This is the trump card of the Remain camp: “Experts say we should stay in the EU. EXPERTS. Listen to them, you fools.”

Experts said it was a good idea to invade Iraq. Experts said Labour would do well at the last General Election. Experts argued against suffrage for women because – SCIENCE – women are “more visceral than rational”. Experts said blacks have smaller brains than whites. Experts said homosexuality is a mental illness. Experts said it was impossible that the Earth is moving through space because, unlike an animal, it doesn’t have “muscles and limbs” and therefore cannot move. Experts gave the 2009 Best Actor Academy Award to Sean Penn instead of Mickey Rourke.

Experts sometimes talk shit.”

 

I am opposed to Babylon

Bought and sold for Brussels gold.

On the 16th of June I read this from Isaiah 48:20-22

18 If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been like the sand,
your children like its numberless grains;
their name would never be cut off
nor destroyed from before me.”

20 Leave Babylon,
flee from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy
and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;
say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock
and water gushed out.

22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.

I also read Revelation 18.  Please note I am not saying that the EU is Babylon.  I am saying that Babylon is the whole new system of idolatry – which relies on sex, money and power, the unholy Trinity.  Something which our politicians seem far too wedded to.

Negative Reasons  

Allow me the licence to explain why the following are NOT the reasons I am voting to leave…Its not because I am

A) A Heartless Racist

It’s all about immigration and not liking Johnny Foreigner. The pro-EU people are caring, loving, internationalists, whereas I am clearly a nationalist of the worst kind. Apparently not only a ‘Little Englander’ but a ‘Little Scotlander’ who wants out of England as well. It’s clear that I am one step away from being a Nazi.

B) An Ignorant Bigot

We have Scientists for the EU, and Academics for the EU, LGBTI for the EU, the NHS for the EU…. We have Abba, and Eddie Izzard and Barack Obama and Emma Thompson and some Noble Prize Winners.and I mean all these caring, intelligent people. It’s obvious that anyone who does not agree with them must be either stupid or a bigot. Someone who clearly is not ‘educated’ only reads the ‘Red Tops’ or is some kind of not so closeted racist.

C) Don’t care about the Gospel

For a bible believing Christian this was quite a painful accusation to take.   Apparently being in the EU means that British people are free to move and live anywhere and therefore if I care about the spreading of the Good News this is what I should want. I have read an increasing number of evangelical Christians who genuinely want to evangelise and plant churches throughout Europe and therefore they say they are not interested in the politics, but just what will advance the gospel. I’m not sure that I even know where to begin with that one- it’s well meaning, spiritual, wrong and foolish at so many levels, so I won’t. I’ll leave it for another time. Watch this space…

Why Remain will win…

Status Quo

Not the band…although I do think that their classic ‘Down, Down,’ would be a good anthem for this country.   No the polls are about even at the moment – but with around one in nine voters ‘undecided’, it is a fact that the vast majority of don’t knows, stick with what they think they do know, the status quo. I have even seen people advising that if you are not sure, vote for the status quo (although as we have already pointed out, the status quo is not an option. But it’s like the church – whenever we try to change things there are always those who will argue – ‘we’ve never done things that way’ and that type of ‘conservatism’ usually prevails.

Project Fear

And then think of what could happen. Pensions will fail, WW3 will start, ISIS will take over, the Russians are coming, beer will be put up, income tax increase, maternity pay abandoned, work house conditions reimposed, a Tory Right wing coup, Donald Trump on the throne.   I think the best answer to this is quite simply – none of us know. I love the humour and honesty of Gyles Brandreth here

 

Joe Cox

Andrew Marr, one of the best commentators and interviewers on this issue, argued last week that the Remain side was in trouble because they were losing the argument. He opined,

“The best bet for the Remain side is a dramatic last minute moment of alarm. That might happen,. But there’s precious little sign of it yet.”

And then a mentally disturbed loner with fascist connections killed a well-loved, hard working MP – who was also pro-European, pro-refugee. The moment had arrived. Without a moment’s hesitation pro –Remain papers were spinning wildly about it being a political assassination, a hate crime inspired by Brexit and a foretaste of what was to come.   I have little doubt that some of the narrative put forward by some of the Brexit campaign would have been fuel for the fire to a mentally ill loner who had links to extreme right groups. It is important that whenever people speak they realize who might be listening. But that works at all levels. There are left-wing ‘progressive’ bullets as well. I have already been told that I am a racist, fascist scumbag (by those who are tweeting without recognizing the irony, ‘love wins’). The above-mentioned leaflet tells me I should vote because ‘Nigel Farage and UKIP will be voting’. It’s a disgusting ad hom, but then shame seems as rare as rationality in this debate. Again this is such a major subject that I will try and write some more thoughts about it later. But, unless the Remain side overplay their hand, I think this sad event will be seen to have had a key role.   I hope not because it will do a great deal of harm to this country if that occurs, whatever the result.

So I think the result will be like the Scottish election – a surge of hope that things might change only to be dashed by a surge of the conservatism that prevents things changing. I predicted a 55/45 split then and got it spot on. I’ll go for the same again this time.   Of course being neither omniscient nor sovereign, I could be wrong.

Anyway I’m done. I’m out of here.

 

Why I’m Leaving the Country

My family

I’m actually going away to visit my first grandchild. So excited…..!   And I love Australia…and we get to visit friends in Singapore and Hong Kong…looking forward to the break.

This country is sick

I’m fed up of the anti-immigrant racism and the small but vocal right wing fascism. I’m fed up of the middle class self-righteous moralism that is so full of virtue signaling whilst demonizing those who don’t share their values. I’m fed up of an amoral culture which calls evil good and good evil.   And I’m fed up of a church which prostitutes itself to the culture, waters down the word, focus’s on the trivial, forgets the Holy Spirit, denies the Lordship of Christ, and deglorifies the Father.   So the temptation is to stay in Oz…. except.

 

Why I’m coming back…dv…

  • Those Australians won’t let me stay – I haven’t got enough points! Anyway who says they are any better? The grass is always greener.
  • I read Rev. 22 and Ps 150 in my McCheyne readings and Psalm singing this morning….it felt like an ending.  Which means there is a new beginning. I will take a month to breath, think, pray, relax, enjoy, worship and then return. Because….
  • God is sovereign – every detail is in his hand. My illness taught me that I cannot even control my own breathing, never mind the great events of nations. I know that the Lord has called me to Scotland, the UK, Europe (whether in or out of the EU union) and he has called me to proclaim his word (along with many others) and I am not going to give up, back down or compromise on anything that He says. Whether ‘in’ or ‘out’ of Europe is irrelevant. Whether ‘in’ or ‘out’ of Christ is the only thing that ultimately matters.

That Spectator Article –

The Spectator has a long record of being isolated, but right. We supported the north against the slave-owning south in the American civil war at a time when news-papers (and politicians) could not see past corporate interests. We argued for the decriminalisation of homosexuality a decade before it happened, and were denounced as the ‘bugger’s bugle’ for our troubles. We alone supported Margaret Thatcher when she first stood for the Tory leadership. And when Britain last held a referendum on Europe, every newspaper in the land advocated a ‘yes’ vote. Only two national titles backed what is now called Brexit: the Morning Star and The Spectator.

Our concern then was simple: we did not believe that the Common Market was just about trade. We felt it would be followed by an attempted common government, which would have disastrous effects on a continent distinguished by its glorious diversity. The whole project seemed to be a protectionist scam, an attempt to try to build a wall around the continent rather than embrace world trade. Such European parochialism, we argued, did not suit a globally minded country such as Britain. On the week of the 1975 referendum, The Spectator’s cover line was: ‘Out – and into the world.’ We repeat that line today.

Since 1975 the EU has mutated in exactly the way we then feared and now resembles nothing so much as the Habsburg Empire in its dying days. A bloated bureaucracy that has outgrown all usefulness. A parliament that represents many nations, but with no democratic legitimacy. Countries on its periphery pitched into poverty, or agitating for secession. The EU’s hunger for power has been matched only by its incompetence. The European Union is making the people of our continent poorer, and less free.

This goes far beyond frustration at diktats on banana curvature. The EU has started to deform our government. Michael Gove revealed how, as a cabinet member, he regularly finds himself having to process edicts, rules and regulations that have been framed at European level. Laws that no one in Britain had asked for, and which no one elected to the House of Commons has the power to change. What we refer to as British government is increasingly no such thing. It involves the passing of laws written by people whom no one in Britain elected, no one can name and no one can remove.

Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s chief strategist for many years, gave an example of this institutional decay. A few months into his job in No. 10, he was dismayed to find his colleagues making slow progress because they were all bogged down by paperwork that he didn’t recognise. He asked for an audit, and was shocked by the results: only a third of what the government was doing was related to its agenda. Just over half was processing orders from Brussels. To him, this was more than just a headache: it was an insidious and accelerating bureaucratic takeover.

With the EU’s fundamental lack of democracy comes complacency on the part of its leaders and the corruption of those around them — which has led us to the present situation. Voters are naturally concerned about the extraordinary rise of immigration, and their governments’ inability to control it. Free movement of people might have been a laudable goal before the turn of the century, when the current global wave of migration started. But today, with the world on the move, the system strikes a great many Europeans as madness. The EU’s failure to handle immigration has encouraged the people trafficking industry, a global evil that has led to almost 3,000 deaths in the Mediterranean so far this year.

In theory, the EU is supposed to protect its member states by insisting that refugees claim asylum in the first country they enter. In practice, this law — the so-called Dublin Convention — was torn up by Angela Merkel when she recklessly said that all Syrians could settle in Germany if they somehow managed to get there. Blame lies not with the tens of thousands who subsequently arrived but with a system hopelessly unequal to such a complex and intensifying challenge.

The Spectator was, again, alone in the British press in opposing Britain’s entry to the Exchange Rate Mechanism from the beginning. Why, we asked, should the Bundesbank control another country’s interest rates? When the single currency came along, the risks became greater: what if a country’s economy crashed, but it was denied the stimulus of a devaluing currency?

The answer can now be seen across Europe. Sado–austerity in Italy. Youth unemployment of about 50 per cent in Greece and Spain. The evisceration of these economies, in the name of a project supposed to bring people together, has been a tragedy.

Last week, a Pew poll showed how far dismay about the EU extends across the continent. In Greece, 71 per cent now view the EU unfavourably; in France, it’s 61 per cent. In Britain, it was 48 per cent — about the same as Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. This was why David Cameron had a strong case for renegotiation: the demand for change was widespread, and growing. A recent poll has suggested that Swedes will vote to leave the EU if Britain does. The absence of a deal worth the name was final proof that the EU is structurally incapable of reform.

 

Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected president of the European Commission, sees intransigence as a great strength. His priority is the survival of the EU and the single currency: the welfare of Europeans and even the notion of democratic consent seem distant concerns. When he dismisses the ever-louder voices of protest as the shriek of ‘populism’, he echoes the Bertolt Brecht poem: ‘Would it not be easier… to dissolve the people/ and elect another?’ When Britain asked for reform, he took a gamble: that we were bluffing and would not dare vote to leave.

All this has placed the Prime Minister in an impossible position. Unable to make a positive case for staying in the EU, he instead tells us that Britain is trapped within it and that the penalties for leaving are too severe. His scare stories, peppered with made-up statistics, have served only to underline the emptiness of the case for remaining. It also represents a style of politics that many find repugnant. The warnings from the IMF and OECD and other acronyms have served only to reinforce the caricature of a globalised elite telling the governed what to think.

Talk of anyone being made ‘worse off’ by Brexit is deeply misleading. Of the many economists who have made projections for 2030, none have suggested that we’d be poorer. The question is whether we’d be, say, 36 per cent better off or 41 per cent better off by then. Not that anyone knows, given the monstrously large margin of error in 15-year predictions. So these studies offer no real reasons to be fearful. This is perhaps why George Osborne had to resort to concocting figures, such as his now notorious claim that households would be £4,300 worse off. If the economic case against Brexit were so strong, why would the Chancellor have to resort to fabrications?

As the world’s fifth-largest economy, Britain has a reasonable chance (to put it mildly) of being able to cut trade deals with countries keen to access our consumers. The worst-case scenario is to use World Trade Organisation rules, tariffs of about 4 per cent. That’s a relatively small mark-up, and the effect would be more than offset by a welcome drop in the pound. And if house prices fall, as the Chancellor predicts, then so much the better. A great many would-be homeowners have been praying for just that.

There would certainly be turbulence, which would be the price of our leaving the EU. This would affect City financiers more than the skilled working class (two thirds of whom support Brexit). This week, we’re being invited to panic at the prospect of a falling pound. But why? A weaker currency would give our exporters the stimulus they need.

The question at this referendum is not whether Britain should co-operate with our European allies; the question is how. Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, has explained how our intelligence alliances are bilateral. Our closest is with the ‘five eyes’ of the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The Lancaster House agreements with France over military co-operation is another example. Alliances work when they are between nations with a shared agenda, with the ability and (crucially) the will to act.

The EU is an alliance of the unwilling, which is why it is useless on security — as we saw with Bosnia and Libya. Even the migrant crisis has to be handled by Nato, which has been the true guarantor of western security. It’s sometimes claimed that Vladimir Putin would want Britain to vote for Brexit. This is unlikely: what could suit the Kremlin more than European security being entrusted to the most dysfunctional organisation in the West?

 

As David Cameron rightly says, the British way is to fight rather than quit. Given that the EU has proved that it is structurally incapable of reform, we now have a choice. Do we cave in, because we’re too scared to leave? Or do we vote to retrieve our sovereignty, walk away from the whole racket and engage with the world on our own terms? A vote to leave would represent an extraordinary vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom and the principle of national self-determination. It would also show reform-minded Europeans that theirs is not a lost cause. And that we stand willing to help forge a Europe based on freedom, co–operation and respect for sovereignty.

The value of sovereignty cannot be measured by any economist’s formula. Adam Smith, the father of economics, first observed that the prosperity of a country is decided by whether it keeps its ‘laws and institutions’ healthy. This basic insight explains why nations thrive or fail, and has been the great secret of British success: intellectual, artistic, scientific and industrial. The principles of the Magna Carta and achievements of the Glorious Revolution led to our emergence as a world power. To pass up the chance to stop our laws being overridden by Luxembourg and our democracy eroded by Brussels would be a derogation of duty to this generation and the next.

No one — economist, politician or mystic — knows what tumult we can expect in the next 15 years. But we do know that whatever happens, Britain will be better able to respond and adapt as a sovereign country living under its own laws. The history of the last two centuries can be summed up in two words: democracy matters. Let’s vote to defend it on 23 June.

 


19 thoughts on “Why I’m Leaving …

  1. Thanks David – your insight is always so helpful to me, especially at a time like this! Really thankful for your wisdom and words! Blessings 🙂

  2. Commodious, didactic, polemic. Ever the outsider, outside the camp, ever the alien and stranger in this world, but brought near.

    Thank you.

    May the Lord bless and keep you
    Make His face shine upon you
    Look upon you with favour
    And give you His peace

  3. David,

    as ever I am in awe of your capacity to marshal information and supporting references: a helpful analysis and sadly, in all probability, a correct conclusion as to the outcome, although I think it will be closer.

    I suppose I am middle class. My father was a schoolmaster, I am in a profession, one which is in demand in continental Europe so I have benefited from the freedom of movement. I will be voting to leave – not for me but for my grandchildren.

    Enjoy Oz, have a good time with the family – isn’t there something in Proverbs about grandchildren? But the occasional blog from down under will be welcome.

  4. Since you are on holiday and already facing problems I doubt this will get moderated but I here is a response to some of what you say:

    Democracy

    The EU could certainly be more democratic. Its just I have never seen you been that pro-democracy before. I have read your pre & post election writings for a wee while now and I have not seen anything about the monarchy, the House of Lords, the democratic deficit in so many of the organisations that perform public functions in the UK. I have seen you defend undemocratic Local Education Authorities but look forward to you work on fixing these in future.

    I find your question of who is representing the 40% of Scots who support Brexit interesting. The answer is, of course, UKIP. The problem is that membership of the EU is a single issue and the other parties remain coalitions of differing issues. UKIP is a single issue party which is why it does well on issues to do with Europe. I dont know who you want to represent the 40% on *this issue*. As I have written here before, there is a fracturing of political parties, political movements and even churches into single (or more pure) issues. EU membership is does not attract a range of political views into a broad party. You cannot look beyond UKIP for your representation on this issue.

    And UKIP are part of the elite that you decry. As is every other key Brexit politician. The reason for the referendum is because the elites in UKIP and the Tory party feel that they can be more elite outside of the EU. Remember, Rupert Murdoch wants Brexit. He has stated that he likes the UK law making process as he gets politicians to do what he wants whereas in the EU he is ignored. If you think the EU is more democratic than the UK you are forgetting that leading politicians value the opinion of Murdoch and his papers far more than every voter in Dundee.

    You are not correct about the rail nationalisation. True, it is harder to do than just saying lets do it tomorrow. But Article 345 in the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU (TEFU) states that the Treaties [of the EU] shall in no way prejudice the rules in Member States governing the system of property ownership. Now, Article 176 does support the liberalisation of markets but there is a clear allowance for a proportionate and legitimate action re the railways. If Corbyn but nationalisation high up in his manifesto and won an election on it, the European Court of Justice (which governs treaties) would have a real problem saying that this was not a proportionate or legitimate (given the electoral mandate). So, yes the EU makes things a little harder when it comes to nationalisation but in no way does it bar nationalisation.

    Economic Justice

    Workers of the world unite. Unite and vote away your guaranteed four week holidays (EU working time directive), unite and vote away your parental leave (Council Directive 2010/18/EU), equal opportunities for men and women (Directive 2006/54/EC), unite and vote away your rights as an Agency Worker, Union Member etc.

    Really?

    Immigration

    We are an aging population. We need immigration to have enough workers. The article you linked to in the Guardian had a guy complaining that he could not put up his prices but wanted to sell his services to people in prices freezes. Housing and salary rules are entirely UK based. We have freedom of movement with the EU and that has strengths and weaknesses including favouritism. That said, we need the same number of people coming in and will need more. If we only let in people with high enough qualifications from other parts of the world will we get the level of migration we need? Are we not then just excluding the poor instead of letting them in as we do just now? Will we get the staff we need? We will need a much more dynamic immigration system to manage our borders more effectively than we do just now.

    Turkey was on the path to membership and I would have welcomed it. Now it seems on the path to religious dictatorship I am not sure the level of support for membership is the same.

    Defence

    I think an EU army has merit for peacekeeping missions. Not sure it would function as an offensive unit and NATO exists for that (although why we really need a joint offensive unit is not clear). Instead of defence I ask you to consider shared security and intelligence. Do we really want to be isolated from a system that could benefit our citizens?

    Freedom

    Your 59% figure is misleading if you make a separation between laws being implemented or directives of treaties being implemented. Every piece of law that the Scottish Parliament passes, that Westminster passes and the EU passes has then a whole series of guidance and directives and statutory instruments associated with it. Your 50% includes statutory instruments on olive and tobacco growing. Neither of which we do but the UK Parliament sets down an SI to deal with it. These were from treaties and other agreements that our elected representatives voted on. There is not a single directive, SI or treated that is implemented in Britain that has not been voted on by our elected representatives.

    I believe we are a free country.

    EU Change

    It does change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse but I agree with you that voting Remain because the EU will get better is blind faith. Of course, voting to Leave because it will get worse is also blind faith.

    The Working Class

    I think the EU offers protections to the working class as I noted above. You are correct about some of the debate where establishment figures have questioned the need to go against our elected leaders. Which is not the point of a referendum.

    However, I think you got your retirement to Spain demographic all wrong. The Scots out there arent middle class.

    I wonder about that photo. You think the two fingers are against fishermen and fisheries policy or against the odious human being known as Farage? But lets look at fishing. the CFP is blamed for the decline of the British fleet. Which would be true if it werent for a couple of facts. 1. The fleet was already in decline due to overfishing reducing the overall catch. 2. The decline would have continued as the overall catch declined. Also, the policy changes when needed – like the stupid thing of throwing dead fish overboard.

    Pro-European

    I get and understand your point on this. If every Brexit voter shared it, the debate would be better.

    Patronised, lied to and patronised by the Establishment

    Lots of angry things in this part. You could do well to realise that you are also part of an Establishment and you patronise people based on what you believe.

    Wannabe secular priests? Really?

    So you think its bad for people and organisations to be worried about the money that helps them deliver services, do research and otherwise help people? You and the Free Church of Scotland get techy about legislation that doesnt affect you and you have a go at people worried about things that will? How does that work?

    I agree that people should not be talked down to. But neither should they be lied to. The UK population thinks that EU immigration is over three times greater than it is, that EU migrant child benefit payments are 8 times greater than they are, that the EU Admin budget is four times greater than it is, that EU investment in the UK is one third *less* than it actually is and that investment in the UK from outside the EU is 9 times greater that it is. There is a tremendous amount of negative and wrong information about the EU out there. Its hard not to sound condescending when telling people they are not just wrong but often woefully wrong.

    Babylon

    I prefer the anti-Murdoch EU to be honest.

    Heartless Racist

    No you are not. But lets dance around the bush. There are a lot of Brexiters who are.

    Bigot

    I’ll be honest. Various ECJ judgements are definately against what you believe. I thought you would have made more of them. Certainly they make more sense than the recent conversion to democracy.

    Gospel

    Not my area of interest but I seem to remember you promoting the SOLACE magazine somewhere in Eastern Europe not that long ago. Would be harder to do that outside the EU.

    Why Remain will win (- Hope so.)

    Status Quo – probably correct re the undecideds. But the reasons for the referendum in the first place (an effort to placate various Tories by Tories) means that the status quo was not a key issue for enough people to move on from (or even care about). If a parliamentary election resulted in a majority in parliament of those willing to challenge the status quo then I think it would be a different result.

    Project Fear – Your list was one sided. The fear about staying was also very much oversold.

    Jo Cox – You are correct in that this was a moment of shock and then introspection and I hope that it is then left alone. It will have had an impact though….
    I got the same leaflet about Farage. I dont know if this makes me hypocritical or desensitised to certain political strategies but I think there is merit in pointing out who votes what way when it comes to this type of thing. Especially when not everyone is a clued up about the referendum as we would like them to be.

    This country is sick

    Disagree. I think its slowly become more healthy. Of course, you and I have different indicators for measuring this. Things like health and education inequalities need much more effort though and these are broad spectrum things and include employment and mental health. I am glad that people are becoming more free to be who they want to be.

    Enjoy your holiday.

  5. Well put. I am still thinking it through. Now do you think if Britain votes “leave”, then Brussels will try and do something punitive to Britain to make it an example to deter other EU member states from getting ideas above their station?

  6. Perfectly expresses my thoughts: I could have written it myself! I am also concerned historically that when power is concentrated into the centre away from remote parts it leads to friction and even civil war – as we saw in Yugoslavia and have seen in the USA and even the English civil war.

  7. You are right. A Sunday Express comment said that the EU is heading for destruction and we need to save Europe from itself by voting out so that other member states will follow……

  8. David, it has been helpful to read your blog posts on the EU referendum. I think I asked a while ago if you would comment on this issue and you certainly have. I take the opposite view to you having also read much from both sides. There’s much I could say but it has been said already. However, I would like to comment on what you said on Babylon. Given that the economic argument was used by both sides (with lies and half-truths on both sides), it is clear to me that the spiritual power of material greed in ‘Babylon’ is active on both sides and will certainly not disappear or be diminished if the UK leaves the EU (especially as Christian values of justice and equity are no more prevalent in the UK now than elsewhere in Europe).

    You quoted from Isaiah 48 but another, perhaps more directly applicable Scripture is Jeremiah 29:7, ‘seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’ (I didn’t quote the next verse because that might appear to be too pointed and manipulative in this debate!).

    The truth is, whatever ‘city’ we find ourselves in whether the UK out of the EU or the UK in the EU, as Christians, we are to flee (metaphorically but still in a real sense) from the idolatry of Babylon while at the same time seeking the peace and prosperity (in a godly, equitable sense of the word prosperity) of that wider community of which we are part. Having read the arguments for in or out, I believe that aim is better served by being in (I won’t rehash the arguments here) but ultimately God is sovereign and we must honour him whatever place we find ourselves in.

  9. What a rant, some reasonabe comment and a wide knowledge but the value totally undemined with the very cheap personal shot at John Major, very tabloid.
    Raymond

    1. Actually it was not a rant…remember that just because someone does not share your viewpoint does not make it a rant. And it was not a cheap personal shot. MAjor was lecturing us all on deceit and dishonesty. Physician heal thyself…

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