Goodbye Cruel EU

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European Central bank president Mario Draghi at Dublin Castle, June 2013

The far right are leaving.

And the left should  join them.

Nigel Wilmott, letters editor of The Guardian, writes:

Tomorrow despite a wobble over the horrible killing of Jo Cox and Ukip’s appalling poster, I shall be voting to leave the EU – the same way I voted in the 1975 referendum.

However, there is no straight line from one to the other. I have been for many years a strong supporter of the EU and am slightly surprised to be making this choice.

But an EU that is now based on mass unemployment and mass migration is not one worth supporting.

Of course Ukip plays the race card. But I’m still voting for Brexit

Official unemployment is 9% across the union and over 10% in the euro area. And those figures are flattered by unemployment rates of just over 4% in the EU’s biggest country, Germany, and the UK’s rather dubious 5%, which excludes the millions on zero-hours, part-time and temporary contracts.

In Greece, 24% are unemployed and 20% in Spain.

Youth unemployment (under-25s) is 51% in Greece, 45% in Spain, around 40% in Croatia and Italy, and over 30% in Portugal, with an average of 19% across the EU.

The only response in an austerity-bound EU is migration. It was somewhat odd to hear Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the party of which I am a member, explaining this matter-of-factly and with obvious approval, given the overtones of Norman Tebbit’s “on yer bike”.

And it needs to be remembered that this is not a temporary phenomenon at the bottom of an economic cycle.

This has been the situation more or less since the financial crash in 2008. If anything, we are probably near the top of a cycle with a downturn more likely than a new burst of economic growth.

Apart from the obvious impacts of unemployment on those immediately affected – poverty, lack of status and sense of worth – it keeps down wages generally for those sectors of the labour market affected.

It is this widespread sense of insecurity and fear that drives the growing rightwing populism across the continent, just as it did in the 1930s

Remain and reform is wishful thinking – the left should vote leave (Nigel Wilmot, Guardian)

62 thoughts on “Goodbye Cruel EU

    1. Declan

      So I suppose the lack of was between it members, the economic development it has created and social improvements count for nothing so?????

      People have short memories

        1. Lorcan Nagle

          OK, but aside from the lack of war between its’ members, the economic development it has created and social improvements, what has the EU ever done for us?

    1. Mysterybeat

      Exactly. “The EU’s feic’d. I’m outta here!” seems to be his reasoning, rather than “The EU’s feic’d, I think I ought to do something to help fix it for the betterment of myself and the whole continent”.

      1. Charley

        EU is totally resistant to any change, they tried a few years ago when the EU budget increased despite half its members being crippled with austerity,

    2. ahjayzis

      It’s bonkers. The day after they leave they’ll have a land border with the EU in Ireland and Britain itself will still only be 20 miles off shore and totally dependent on trade with it. All they’re doing is withdrawing from participating in any decision making – decisions that have a direct impact on Britain. That’s the loss of sovereignty.

      1. The Real Jane

        It is insanity. The really big problem (in my opinion) is that so many people appear to be making an entirely emotional decision. I have read so much about unelected overlords and that kind of nonsense that it is a bit concerning that people don’t really understand what they’re voting about.

        The big problem will be if they leave and are still dissatisfied with issues that were never connected with the EU anyway. What are they going to do then?

        This morning I read some people who reckon they’re going to vote out and if it doesn’t work out (which it totally will!!) they’re then going to vote back in and the EU will be delighted. I think they think they’re going back to Enid Blyton land while the rest of us a pickled in aspic.

        1. Kieran NYC

          “The big problem will be if they leave and are still dissatisfied with issues that were never connected with the EU anyway. What are they going to do then?”

          + sooo many.

          The EU has been used as the Big Bad Boogyman by politicians and the media for decades now. Blame something on the EU, get votes. Chickens are coming home to roost now.

        2. pedeyw

          Complaining about lack of democracy is a bit rich considering the UK has a monarchy and a House of Lords.

      2. Sido

        Moral Argument: They will be free of an undemocratic unaccountable organisation of corrupt careerists, to make their own laws without interference. An organisation that has a Court of Auditors yet fails to audit itself. With over 10,000 employees who are paid more than the prime minister of the UK.
        Financial Argument: They will dump team hopeless who have brought austerity to a continent of plenty.
        Who have managed to turn a group of 12 countries with world GDP figure 30% into a group of 28 countries with a GDP of 17%
        Managerial Argument: The one size fits all policy does not work. A country is best managed at a local level, by local people who understand the requirements of the populace. These people can be changed at an election every four or five years – not a perfect solution but a lot better than the populace not being able to change their leaders.

        I could go on – still celebrating 1916?

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          Explain this to me. Do the original 12 still have a GDP of 30%? ie did the other countries’ GDP drag the average down? I don’t see how the GDP of the whole really matters?
          Forgive moi: I have a very tenuous grasp on economics.

          1. Sido

            If you don’t understand it don’t bother. Just think about it from the point of view of a young unemployed person in Greece or other parts of Southern Europe

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Dear Britain-y,

    At first I was afraid, I was petrified
    Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
    But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
    And I grew strong
    And I learned how to get along
    And so you’re back
    From outer space
    I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
    I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
    If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
    Go on now, go, walk out the door
    Just turn around now
    ‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
    Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
    Do you think I’d crumble
    Did you think I’d lay down and die?2

    Oh no, not I, I will survive
    Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
    I’ve got all my life to live
    And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
    I will survive, hey, hey

    All de behsht,
    Ireland

  2. DubLoony

    The concept of social union – that people are at the heart of Europe needs to be re-instated. The numbers he cites on unemplyment are horrific.

    1. Andy

      Need Ze Germans to start spending their savings on peripheral goods & services.
      They can’t keep generating balance of payment surpluses.

      1. Robert

        Or, on the flip-side – if Britain is so “great” why don’t they just flaut the rules the same way Germany and France do? Smaller nations such as ourselves have to do what we’re told but there’s no excuse for the UK … but perhaps it suited them all along …

        1. Andy

          Flout what rules?

          The UK isn’t in the eurozone so isn’t required to submit their budgets for Commission approval.

    2. Charger Salmons

      Never ceases to amaze me that in the year of the one hundreth anniversary of the Revolution so many Irish people fail to understand the Brexiteers desire for self-determination over how its country is run.
      Cretinous chaps like Fintan O’Toole in today’s Irish Times bleating about the self-harm of English nationalism when just a few short years ago he was organising demos urging the Irish people to tell Merkel and the rest of the EU where to go and burn the bondholders.
      Of course now Ireland might suffer from a Brexit vote and the bar-stool braggards are bricking themselves.
      Lads,ye are always boasting about kicking out the Brits and now you’re whining when there’s a chance you might not be able to rely on them.
      Grow some cojones or get back to sucking on Merkel’s teat.

      1. The Real Jane

        There’s a big, big difference between electing to pool sovereignty for stated, visible benefits and being actually taken over and run for the sole benefit of a different country. We negotiate the role of the EU, we elect and appoint to the EU, we are partly responsible for what the EU is.

        I think failing to understand this really is the sign that we need proper civics classes in schools. There are so many low information voters, it really is shocking. Genuinely, I’m really dismayed by it.

        There are arguments against the EU, but FRAU MERKEL IS ONE OF THOSE GERMANS WOT LIKE ‘ITLER WOZ doesn’t really qualify.

        1. Charger Salmons

          Without looking them up name me the five unelected Commissioners who run the lives of half a billion Europeans.
          Then come back to me and talk to me about low information voters.

          1. Rob_G

            There are 28 commissioners; one appointed by the (elected) govt. of each of the member states.

          2. Bob

            Does knowing their name change their responsibilities or our knowledge of what they actually do?

          3. pedeyw

            The idea for only 5 commissioners was removed after Ireland voted down the original Lisbon treaty. It got renegotiated to include a commissioner for every state. It’s one of my pet peeves when people complain about having to vote twice on Lisbon.

        2. Sido

          “There are arguments against the EU, but FRAU MERKEL IS ONE OF THOSE GERMANS WOT LIKE ‘ITLER WOZ” – Nice to know you’ve made a detailed analysis of the argument put forward by these UK oiks and bigots and their dim-witted proletariat Jane.

      2. Nigel

        The problem with being an ex-Imperial power is it leaves you a quivering mass of xenophobic insecurities. As an ex-colony anything’s bloody better than either impoverished subjugation or impoverished isolation. We’ve tried both! They sucked.

        1. Sido

          On the couch with Doctor Nigel whose diagnosis of the British disease, tells me a lot about his own bigotry.

          1. ahjayzis

            There’s a lot to it, actually.

            Contrast it with Scottish nationalism – outward looking, optimistic, inclusive. English nationalism is about sneering at and repudiating the rest of the world, pushing it aside when England doesn’t get it’s way, foreigners out, needing to ‘take back control’.

            The nationalism of a former colony or country used to being part of a larger unit and the nationalism of a former imperial power are worlds apart.

          2. Sido

            You work in London – which is its own little bubble of middle class tossers who don’t care less for people in other parts of the country.

          3. ahjayzis

            Sure thing, pet. It’s London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that are out of step, English nationalism is just being rational, it’s the rest of us gone barmy.

          4. Sido

            Out of step with your views – pet?
            What have you got against democracy?
            You’ve not seen the map of whose voting for what and where have you.?

  3. Condescending nana

    goodbye you pompous misled morons. don’t let the swastika hit you on the ass as you leave/

    1. Charger Salmons

      Poor pissed Paddy. Runs from the comforting embrace of Britannia’s bosom to find himself in the lap of Frau Merkel yapping away at her bidding.
      You’re run by Germany you saps.

        1. Sido

          He does have something important to say. Though its reasonable to object to the “tone”. You don’t see it, he does.

  4. Charley

    The remain side trotting out Beckham was probably a bad idea, Someone known for advertising one product or another for the last 20 years will come across as paid advertising and treated with suspicion, likewise the linking of Jo Cox’s death at the hands of a madman with the leave campaign stank of opportunism , there is a likely hood that a small majority will vote to leave, either way a narrow result will be curtains for Cameron and we are looking at Boris Johnson as next UK PM, scary

    1. Kieran NYC

      I don’t think so. As we’ve seen, the Leave side distrusts ‘experts’.

      And Beckham definitely isn’t an expert.

      Also – the linking of the murder of Cox with the Leave campaign’s rhetoric just an hour or so after the ‘Breaking Point’ poster wasn’t opportunism. It was bloody obvious. If anything, the Remain side were restrained about it.

  5. ollie

    The UK can leave the EU and maintain trade links with the EU.

    This is a growing trend in Europe and Ireland, everything’s black and white and every decision should be fought on negatives and not positives.

    Is Ireland any better within the EU?

    1. ahjayzis

      “The UK can leave the EU and maintain trade links with the EU.”

      It cannot access the Single Market without accepting freedom of movement. That’s a prerequisite the EU will not break from, especially for the UK. And as that’s the single most important reason for leaving, they’ll either have been sold a pup and freedom of movement will continue, or they’ll have to settle for a far less open trade relationship, if it doesn’t take twenty years to negotiate. If they do join the EEA they’ll be subject to membership fees without any voice at the table, subject to regulations they’ve had no input to drafting.

      What IS black and white is that it is in the EUs interests to make zero concessions to a country that just told it to fupp off.

      1. some old queen

        What IS black and white is that it is in the EUs interests to make zero concessions to a country that just told it to fupp off.

        Not so sure.

        The United Kingdom has the fifth-largest national economy (and second-largest in EU) measured by nominal GDP and ninth-largest in the world (and second-largest in the EU)[23] measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

        It can afford to take this risk but the other question is if the EU will survive if they do actually leave. Either way, the EU will trade because it is in their interests to do so.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Kingdom

        1. ahjayzis

          Ignoring the realpolitik there.

          Marine LePen, Geert Wilders, Alternativ Fur Deutschland, the Five Star Movement – all prepping to campaign for exit referendums across Europe. Trade is trade, survival is survival – a country leaving has to be made an example of or it’ll simply fan the flames of isolationist movements across Europe. If the UK swans into a relationship where it gets all the benefits it enjoys now, but pays nothing, contributes nothing, the EU would be signing it’s own death warrant.

          1. Sido

            And furthermore – you seem to be suggesting that it makes good sense to disenfranchise everyone in Europe who does not share your point of view or that of the organisation you seem so keen on.
            There’s a name for that.
            Power to the people – so long as they’re your sort of people?

      2. Sido

        The EU has to trade with the UK as it exports more to the UK than the UK exports to the EU. WTO rules which the EU abides by says that the EU can impose a 3% tariff on “foreign” goods. The UK can do the same to the EU – net winner the UK exchequer. The EU can threaten – but their threats don’t amount to much. They just want out of the club. Which is called xenophobia nowadays – I understand.

        But then it isn’t all about trade is it? There’s a lot about being a sovereign nation that can make its own legislation that sounds good.

        1. Bob

          The details of the trade agreements will have to change due to the new circumstances, and many will have to be renegotiated. The UK will not have the advantage in these negotiations. And if they vote themselves out, they won’t have anyone in the EU that can speak for them. So it’s cutting their nose off to spite their face.

          1. Sido

            1)Why will it not have an advantage?
            An unequal trade balance is a pretty good place to be when it comes to negotiation
            The EU could be unpleasant but this would screw the German car industry and the Irish Agricultural industry – to name a few – my guess is the EU won’t cut off its nose to spite its face.
            2) Why would they want someone to speak for them in the EU – when they would be negotiating with them? Who speaks for the UK now. And why are they doing such a bad job?

    2. Inopera

      Oh yeah we’re much better within, so much so we’ve paid them 42% in foreign debt repayments
      get lost, EU

  6. Tish Mahorey

    I’m surprised the Remain camp haven’t unleased the Hot House Flowers on all channels today.

  7. RiderOnTheStorm

    Jean Claude Juncker has now come out and stated that there will be NO further renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU after the referendum.

    That puts paid to the nonsense that Cameron has been repeating this week that he will use a Remain vote to push for further reform of the EU, particularly around freedom of movement rules.

    You can always rely on the good ol’ EU to be so helpful at the last minute to come with a mouthful of 6″ nails and 4lb. lump hammer to seal Davey boy’s coffin and their doomed unification project.

  8. Inopera

    Regardless the EU is going to collapse. It might not live to see Turkey enter. They have an agenda that undermines member states at every cost

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