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Brexitmania and The Great Deception – Part 10 -The First Referendum.

Over Christmas and Boxing Day it was good to have an internet and social media fast (and before I get the comments – yes blog posts continued – they were scheduled from last week!)…Did I miss much?  Apparently not – the Brexitmania continued – with Lord Adonis, Lord Foulkes and Alistair Campbell tweeting with all the fervour of religious zealots throughout Christmas.   The SNP of course could not miss the opportunity to make Christmas about Brexit as well – posting this cringeworthy twee video from Brian Cox.

Apparently in the UK the people must now be the judge – except in Scotland where there is another way – independence.   The SNP are arguing against leaving a union (the EU) because of the economic costs.  They are arguing against leaving a union even after there has been democratic vote to do just that.   They don’t seem to realise that the arguments they use against leaving the EU, are precisely the same arguments that could be used for Scotland leaving another union – the UK – except in the case of the latter the argument is stronger (leaving a 400 year old union is going to be a lot harder than leaving a 40 year one!).

Meanwhile Leslie Riddoch wrote this extraordinary article in the Scotsman where she trashed Westminster and praised the ‘tenacious’ Macron, Juncker and Merkel.  Yours truly had this reply published today:

Dear Editor,

Lesley Riddoch asks the question: “Can Scotland be a modern independent state within the EU?” (24th December). It’s a nonsensical question – like asking whether we can choose a square circle. A small country cannot belong to the EU and be independent – unless you define ‘independence’ as not being able to make your own fishing policy, trade deals, laws and control your own economy and democracy. Lesley may be right to mock UK political leaders, but when she lauds
Merkel, Juncker and Macron she is surely having a laugh?! And when she cites Norway as an example she seems to forget that Norway is indeed an independent state, because it is out of the EU.

Whilst there is much to mock and despair of in the UK parliament, there is just as much to despair of in ‘progressive’ politicians and journalists who are blinded by the fantasy faith they have in the EU. Please can we have some realistic politics in Scotland that make sense?


Meanwhile if you are short of some reading here is an excellent article in the Australian – Eurocrats conspire to thwart democracy.

These in The Spectator were also enlightening – (both from Remainers – I try to be fair and balanced!)

And this in Politico from Quentin Letts also gave a more optimistic perspective…

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The ABC Murders – BBC

But doubtless the brexitmania will continue as we are continually told that without the EU we are all going to die.   Because apparently the only thing that stops Britain falling into fascism is the EU (and the Lords, political and business leaders and the celebrities who just all have ‘the people’s’ best interests at heart – bless ’em).  This creeps in everywhere.  Even in the otherwise excellent new BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, we are shown a Britain in the 1930’s which was full of racists and fascists…(the hardly subtle message seems to be ‘watch out or we will return to the 1930’s – conveniently forgetting that the people who are being mocked and despised are those who did actually fight fascism – many of them giving up their lives in the process.

But lets return to our review of The Great Deception. 

Ch. 10 is even more fascinating because it deals with the lies, finance and manipulation used in the first referendum.  It appears that things have not changed much!

Ch. 10   Britain Stays In – 1973-1975

“Do you think that the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the common market)?” Referendum question put to the British people, 5 June 1975.

“In 1975 I campaigned as a Conservative Parliamentary candidate for a yes vote in the referendum that kept us in the EC. In retrospect it is abundantly clear that I campaigned on a prospectus that was sufficiently false to ensure that, if the issue had been a public offer in securities, I would face prosecution under the provisions of the Companies act and I would lose.” Tom Benyon, The Times, 29 May 2003

The first experience of many British people of belonging to the Common Market was the introduction of VAT, one of the most bureaucratic taxes ever invented by government. It’s big advantage was that for the first time millions of businesses would have to act as unpaid tax collectors, charging their customers 10% and the cost of all goods and services supplied, then subtracting all the VAT paid to their own suppliers and items not “zero rated” or exempt, and sending the difference to the government. It was of course also a great disadvantage the poor.

As a new member Edward Heath attended the Paris summit on 18 October 1972, the day after Heath’s European communities Bill received Royal assent. Despite the fact that Heath had told the British people that the European Community was just a common market, he promised that European leaders that this summit would make substantial progress towards economic and monetary union. In this they were successful. They agreed on a European Parliament, a regional development fund and a common foreign policy. The regional development fund was designed particularly to help Britain which was struggling with decline in its traditional heavy industries. Heath claimed this was a great success although it only received 4.8% of the community’s budget, of which Britain got just 28% whilst Italy got 40%. Meanwhile 90% of the EU budget was spent on the CAP.

Monnet came to visit Heath on 18 September 197 suggesting that proposals for a European government and an elected European Assembly should go ahead. He agreed but had a reservation about making the proposal public. “Let’s just do it” he told Monnet. The whole idea was to move from national to collective sovereignty. Heath said nothing about this at the Conservative party conference that year.

In 1974 Monnet’s proposal for a provisional European government was established. But instead of being called a provisional government it was called “European Council”. It immediately decided to set up a common European foreign policy. These meetings are often called summits when in reality they were nothing of the sort. Meanwhile Harold Wilson had become the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

British politics were in turmoil. In the winter of 1973 to 1974, (I remember it well), Britain’s ailing economy had been plunged into chaos by industrial unrest and a second miners strike, leading to major power cuts and the (three-day week). His call for an election on 28 February which he narrowly lost to the Labour Party. A Labour Party which had promised a “fundamental renegotiation” of our entrance and terms to the Common Market. Wilson had no intention of doing this, it was a sop to the left of his party, in an attempt to try to unite it (sound familiar?)..

Callaghan, the new Foreign Secretary was sent to renegotiate terms. The German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt spent the weekend with Wilson at Chequers, where a deal was hatched. Wilson would agree to keep Britain in the community, and Schmidt would ensure that enough concessions were made at the forthcoming Paris European Council to sustain a claim that renegotiation succeeded. It had been calculated that Britain would be paying 21% of the common market’s budget – as always we were to be the cash cow.

On the basis that there had been a substantial change in the community , Wilson went to the country with the first EU referendum.   Wilson had promised in 1970 that there would never be a referendum. But like so much to do with the EU, that promise proved to be false.   Both Heath, and the new Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher were opposed to the idea of a referendum as, “the implications for parliamentary sovereignty are profound”. They were unwilling to share sovereignty with the British people, but they were happy to lease it to Brussels.

A new ew all-party organisation was set up called ‘Britain in Europe’ – BIE – had all the resources of the long-established European movement. It’s Labour president was Roy Jenkins. There was a deep split in the Labour Party. On 22 March the Scottish Labour Party voted against staying in by 346,000 to 280,000. The Anglican Church was heavily involved with almost every Anglican bishop supporting the in campaign. Again things have not changed!

Mammon was also well represented, notably by the enthusiastic support of the CBI. 415/419 chairman of major companies wanted Britain to stay in the EEC, and the CBI set up its own European Operations Room, distributing over a million documents.

It is also interesting at a time when people are claiming illegality on the second European referendum, that there was so much funding and so much secrecy about the first one. The sources of that funding would remain a well guarded secret for years to come. Only in 2005 was it admitted that the European commission had funded a considerable part of the campaign. According to the yes campaign’s treasurer Alistair McAlpine “when the campaign started, money rolled in. The banks and the big industrial companies put in very large sums of money.” The yes campaign spent £1,850,000. The no campaign £133,000.

The referendum campaign also coincided with the worst economic crisis Britain faced since the war. Inflation hit 27%, the highest level ever recorded. Public spending was out of control and government borrowing was heading towards a record £11 billion. Britain’s trade deficit had also reached record levels, not helped by the deficits which since 1973 and opened up in Britain’s trade with the rest of the common market.

In an echo of the second referendum- we were told about the real advantages of staying in. It made good sense for our jobs and prosperity, for world peace and for our children’s future. Britain would be lonely and isolated if she was foolish enough to withdraw. Everyone else in the world wanted Britain to stay in, from the USA and the Commonwealth to our friends in the European Community. Claims that the community was undemocratic and wanted to eliminate national identities were ridiculous.

“All decisions of any important must be agreed by every member.” As Heath said “are we going to stay on the centre of the stage where we belong, or are we going to shuffle off into the dusty wings of history?”

The glossy government leaflet (again sound familiar?), a new deal in Europe, emphasised how the renegotiations had brought significant improvements in Britain’s terms of membership. The press almost unanimously supported the yes vote. Almost all the arguments used for staying in were economic ones. Civil servants were used to promote what was essentially a propaganda exercise – a marked break with the strict traditional civil service impartiality, because Europe was considered to be an issue that transcended partisan politics!

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Mrs T supporting Remain!

Those on the No  side included Enoch Powell, Tony Benn, Michael foot, and the Rev Ian Paisley! Wilson, Heath, Jenkins, Whitelaw, and Jeremy Thorpe were all on the yes side. The British people voted to remain by a 2 to one majority, 67.2% yes, 32.8% no. The only parts of the British Isles which voted no Shetland and the Western Isles.

I found this chapter fascinating because it clearly demonstrates that the British people were duped into staying in what they were told was just a ‘common market’ when Edward Heath and Harold Wilson, both knew that it was to be come the European Union.  In all the hysteria from our current politicians, including the modern SNP (the old SNP was totally against the EU – imagine how they would feel about their successors standing with Mrs Thatcher and being fanatical about what Mrs T called ‘Thatcherism in Europe – the Single Market!).) about lying and financial misuse, I wonder if any of them will stop to reflect that we were all lied to in the First Referendum and that the scale of financial misconduct then was at a level which far outweighs anything alleged in the second referendum.

“The trouble was that very few others are doing any serious thinking. Britain was sleepwalking into an entirely new situation, the nature of which her people could not yet begin to comprehend.”

This article from The New Statesmen agrees with the main facts of The Great Deception although from a different perspective.

The Great Deception 9 – The Politicians Deceit and the Fishermen Betrayed












  1. I would normally steer well clear of the BBC News Channel (or whatever it’s called these days) but unfortunately my wife had a hospital appointment and the hospital had it on the television in the waiting room. Items:
    Cressida Dick, apparently foretelling catastrophe for the nation’s security in the event of No Deal. And when was PC Plod allowed to intervene in politics?
    A discussion or something between two people who were not allowed to vote in the EU referendum. One of them, a Remainer, had a distinctly American accent. The other person was pro-Brexit but the Remainer got the lion’s share of the time. In his opinion one of the great merits of democracy was that you are able to rethink things (Like electing Obama?) and so a second referendum would be a wonderful idea.
    Nothing to do with Brexit but another item was about some ‘research’ which purported to show that children of single parents do as well if not better than children who have two parents. No questions were asked about the methodology. If a report is reported on the BBC it is because the BBC approves the content and so there will be no questions asked about the reliability of the research. A while ago they reported on some ‘research’ which “claimed that every year, for the past 25 years, we have put about 150 times the amount of energy used to generate electricity globally into the seas – 60% more than previous estimates.”
    In the BBC report no one, of course, was allowed to question the reliability of this study. But, hey ho, its reliability was, indeed, called into question. And the BBC reported:
    “Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Ralph Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”
    More here:
    And here:
    The BBC reported on the error on its website but did it report it in its news bulletins?

  2. More BBC news (if that is the correct word) this evening warning of yet more bad effects of Brexit. Apparently, there is *nothing* to be said in favour of it – not if the BBC is to be credited.

    So why was the 2016 referendum allowed, if leaving the EU is going to cause the heavens to fall, the elements to dissolve with fervent heat, the seas to give up their dead, the pillars of heaven to totter, the Midgard Serpent to awake, the Bifrost Bridge to shatter, the Dark Lord Sauron to cover all the lands in a second darkness, the dead to outnumber the living, and Cthulhu to awake from his slumbers in R’lyeh ?

    The doomsaying about the cosmic & more than cosmic ruin to be caused by Brexit makes Jeremiah sounds like a bigoted optimist.

  3. Riddoch sadly has form after a disgraceful article earlier this year in the National in which she referred to me and fellow English countrymen as ‘the enemy’ and said that having a go at us was as irresistible as a bowl of crunchy nut corn flakes. I am frankly amazed that any newspaper still carries any of her material.

  4. Even today, in two daily newspapers, The Times (London),and the i paper, there are reports that changes to the VAT threshold to reduce the level of annual profit on which firms must charge VAT to are to be imposed by the EU and this would occur, hidden, in the backstop proposal. This would affect small businesses, and start-ups.
    As Ian Paul said in a different context, (about Rome in New Testament times) ” taxation is a way of confirming the subjugation of a nation to its imperial rulers.” What a nugget for today and the EU.

    1. I think you may have the wrong blog post! There is nothing ‘religious’ here – unless you want to regard the new devotion to the EU as a religion!

  5. You observe that the SNP want to leave one Union while remaining in another: well, so do you.
    I’ve been having this discussion and asking the question, which originally started with Ireland and its various combinations of North/South/UK/EU, for decades. Now the whole of Europe is at it, while the USA once had a Civil War about the right to secede.
    So do tell me, if anyone can: What IS the ideal, legitimate, justly enforceable size and boundary of a country? What sort of Union makes it greater or smaller?
    In historical times, countries (including our own) joined and separated by marrying each other’s daughters, or claiming feudal “sovereign rights” – or failing all else, by straightforward conquest. Even the Lord’s own people couldn’t keep their tribal rivalries from breaking them up and leaving them vulnerable to predatory neighbours. And it seems to be routine for people to feel happy attacking those who choose a different combination of independence/membership/alliance from their own, while having no rational explanation why one inconsistency is ok and the other is wrong.
    If you think it’s too big a question for a mere comment section, a separate post would be good to see.

    1. Karen – I think you misunderstand me. I don’t wish to remain in any Union! I am a Scottish nationalist who believes that Scotland should be an independent country – out of both UK and EU…..!

      The question is not about the ideal size of a nation state – but whether such an entity should exist at all (I think it should) or should we one world government or several large power blocs competing with one another. I prefer the nation state…

      1. Apologies for thinking you are a UK Unionist – your frequent criticisms of the SNP have put me wrong.
        “I prefer the nation state…”
        To do that, you have to define it: which brings me back to my “Everlasting Question”. If you think it should exist, you need to be able to say what it is – why is Scotland a qualifying entity, while (say) Essex or Strathclyde, both former Kingdoms in their own right, are now merely a postcode and a few Councils? And how does its geographical area – a distinctly “moveable feast” over the centuries, despite us sharing an actual island – correlate with its “Scots people”?
        Strictly speaking it should surely be the English (whatever that now means) demanding “independence” – the Danes, Viking-French, Welsh, Scots, Dutch and Germans have all had a go at running the place and let’s not even mention the Romans!

      2. You may think that Scotland is not a nation. I don’t. Same with England and Wales. These are all separate nations joined together in a United Kingdom. The nation state is according to the OED – “A nation-state is an independent state which consists of people from one particular national group.” There is a case for arguing for city states, or supranational bodies like empires…I think the nation state is a better unit for democratic and fair government. You may choose to say that the Scots, English, Germans, Danes etc do not exist….again I don’t.

  6. I have certainly not said that “the Scots, English, Germans, Danes etc do not exist”: merely that the nations I listed all historically provided overlords for England, and most of them concurrently for Scotland also.
    You have no idea what I think is the answer to my Question, or even if I think it can be answered at all, so please don’t answer arguments I haven’t made.
    I remain to be convinced by any of the definitions I have so far seen, including your OED, which already begs the question by defining it as “one particular national group”. Many Nationalists are on record saying they will welcome English, or any other immigrants, who want to become Scottish. Conversely, the Scots and Irish, more than almost anyone else, have gone all round the world producing people who are proud of their descent and presumably have no wish to either disown one parent/grandparent, or be expelled from the other’s country should their religion, relations or opinions be found unacceptable – a fate that beckons all dual-nationals now that deportation laws are being put in place around the Anglosphere that are only limited by the UN prohibition on rendering a victim actually stateless. Nor is it significant whether you claim, or even know about, your second “nation state” – you can be ditched out of hand, and usually in a secret decision, by whichever one finds out first. People who happily accept it now for brown “terrorists” may realise their peril only when their own background or beliefs are declared unwelcome.
    If you are planning to set up/reclaim (delete as preferred) an independent modern State, these are not questions to just brush aside – real people’s lives depend on them and not just human pride. The fact they are still outstanding with regard to Ireland, nearly a hundred years after they left the Union, is a warning of how hard it is – or if you prefer Scripture, try Ezra’s family purge that saw women and children simply “sent away” (we never hear, and aren’t expected to care, what became of them) in an attempt to “purify” the Jewish *husbands* of their sin. I’m sure that worked well – for the husbands!
    Legislation and international law are boring stuff, but anyone who’s spent any time dealing with the consequences of people throwing it together in response to loud noises knows it’s worth thinking about first, making sure you know what you mean, and taking time to get it right so that it works the way you intended.
    So ditch the dictionary: have a ponder and a prayer, and work out what *you* think. I’m not “being funny”: as I said, I’ve been asking this online since at least the 90s if not longer – and perhaps thought about it since I first wrote my address, as children do, “name, house, street, town, county, England, Great Britain, Europe, The World, The Solar System, The Universe” and even then never thought of adding “The Body of Christ” at the end (heart goes here).

    1. Its certainly an interesting view of history – when were the Scots, Danes or Germans ever ‘overlords’ of England?

      Yes of course the Scottish government have said they welcome people from other nations who want to be Scottish (ie. they join our national group). How does that disqualify the definition?

      Yes real peoples lives do depend on things – which is why we should not just let the EU take over our nation state, negate our democracy and determine our laws and immigration policy.

      When you ask for the meaning of something do not expect me to ‘ditch the dictionary’. I find dictionaries quite useful for finding the meanings of words!

      We are talking here about a political system and how countries are run – not about ultimate identity. For me as a Christian my identity is first that I am a human made in the image of God and secondly that I am in Christ….my national identity comes way down the list!

      1. What does, ”I am in Christ” even mean , when you cannot demonstrate the character even existed outside the pages of the bible?

      2. It means I find my identity in Christ, that I am filled with His Spirit, that all his promises apply to me and much, much more. And of course I cannot demonstrate Christ to you – any more than I could show the Mona Lisa to a blind man!

      3. If someone does not exist outside of a historical text, then does that mean they didn’t exist?

        Or do we just have to say that anything that isn’t happening now, that I haven’t seen with my own eyes didn’t happen?

        That is the logical outworking of your position.

  7. <>
    The Stuart kings, including the Dutchman William III, aren’t I think a figment of my imagination? And they weren’t shy of using Scots armies to fight their battles in England – albeit unsuccessfully every time. Cnut the Great and his successors (1016 to 1042) are too often, and unjustly, overlooked – his wife, the spouse of two kings and the mother of two more, is another interesting character overshadowed by her more famous French-Viking great-nephew William the Conqueror. And Germans? 1714 to, well some say today but you can argue the precise moment when the Hanover-Saxe-Coburg-Windsor-Mountbatten line sufficiently diluted its Germanness to satisfy the carping England-First mind. And they exercised meaningful power far later than most people think.
    To use the word “national” when defining “nation” is a circular argument. It’s like that Excel error message where you’re trying to reference the same box you’re in. My own birth country has “First Nations”, but they don’t consider themselves synonymous with a given patch of land, and such lands as they do now have were usually allocated to them by a Government in which they had no say, and – unlike us – never asked to join.
    Having that said, defining “wants to join” as “welcome to join” is a pretty unusual stance for nationalists at the moment. You may note that our currently mutual Home Secretary sees it as a “major incident” requiring a “Gold Commander” and deployment of Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and the National Crime Agency to prevent. Respect to you for once more not falling neatly into one of the usual boxes!
    *We* urged the addition of the new Eastern European states to the EU, and we insisted on a complete open door to the new populations, rather than staggering the introduction as the other Member States did. Nobody forced us: if they could do that, so could have we. But now building up a bloc against the Russians isn’t our priority – or America’s.
    *We* exchanged “our democracy” for the proverbial mess of pottage when we made it the equivalent of a game show, with the win/lose razzmatazz and emotional set-pieces of big sporting fixtures and “managed reality” series. TV now prioritises shamelessly the entertaining, scandalous and amusing “characters” who will generate conflict and attract eyeballs and clicks – do you think a bald, boot-faced fat man openly promising “blood, toil, tears and sweat” (and not just for “those other people over there”) would get anywhere in an election today? And meanwhile the real deals are being quietly made where none of us will see – don’t think we’ll lose that when we leave the EU!
    The days are gone when we ruled the civilised world, and dictated our decisions without regard to anybody else. We only get to choose which of the major powers (including finance) gets to buy what little we have left to sell – and on their terms, not ours. And that applies to Scotland-minus-England and the EU, squared. Size *does* matter!
    It can only be a starting point: otherwise we wouldn’t need encyclopaedias, or books of law and theology. Remember Clinton’s remark about “the meaning of “is”? That was a lawyer speaking, that was. And whole religious wars once started about a single alphabet character.
    Also good to hear: and something you share with our English Archbishop, who gave a similar response when his family identity, rather than his national one, was challenged.
    “I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.”
    One advantage of these times when nobody can be quite sure of their safe sojourn in the place where they live is that it does, rather, concentrate the mind on that.
    Blessings in your own next sojourn.

    1. The Stuarts did not rule England as Scots….William III was not a Stuart. And none of the others ruled England as representatives or rulers of their native countries.

      Thanks for the reminder about Clinton….thats what happens when you don’t use dictionaries or logic and just make up words to suit yourself…

      Would you like to tell us which religious wars started because of a single alphabet character?

  8. I would like to rehabilitate William III as a real Stuart. At least you give him his place as a king of the three kingdoms (England, Scotland, Ireland). Most commentators simply call him William of Orange and imply that he was simply a deus ex machina. He was indeed a real Stuart, nephew of Charles I, and of course married to a real Stuart. It’s a pity they didn’t have any real Stuart children, or children of any kind.

    1. Thank you Stephen for picking that up, I’ve been too busy the last few days. Yes: William’s mother was the sister of his two predecessor kings, and his own independent right of succession was only outranked by his wife and *her* sister Anne – and their brother, if you were/are a Jacobite. That is why he was able to extract the concession (as a condition of coming over to “save the Protestant succession”) that he could continue to occupy the throne after Queen Mary’s death, instead of being obliged to vacate it to her sister as Philip of Spain had had to do a few generations earlier when Elizabeth I succeeded *his* wife Mary Tudor.
      To the other question: I’ll concede that the boundary between “persecution” and “war” is a hard one to draw, when for most of history the religion of a ruler has been routinely enforced on his people and used to justify pursuing political grudges and land-grabs against rivals. But many heresies we no longer know or care about were fought, not only in the Council chamber of e.g. Nicaea (which is the one I was reminded of – the difference between “same” and “similar” in Greek, a crucial difference in describing the Nature of Christ, being literally a single Iota) but on the battlefield; and many a bishop, appointed by a king on one side, could find himself suddenly persecuted by a conqueror from the other.
      But I see there’s been a number of further posts from David while I’ve been elsewhere, so I’ll leave this one here and see what’s the current state of play. Thanks again.

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