11pm, Friday January 31st 2020. The hour the music dies.


Just because I’ve shut up about Brexit recently doesn’t mean I feel any less saddened, deeply saddened, by the UK’s xenophobic attitude towards its island nation state.

We now have a fool, a dangerous one at that, at the helm, leading our country into a black hole, one that no right-minded economist recommended.  One where international trade deals are talked of in multiple-year time frames, some even in decades.

The fool continues to gainfully employ the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg – a man who in any other capacity would find himself on the dole queue for his outrageous sociopathic views and utter disregard for humanity, despite his fervour about the Roman Catholic faith – a faith that proclaims love of thy neighbour; ABOVE ALL ELSE.

As the bell tolls I will be contemplating what it means to live in Scotland – a nation that rejected this nonsense, OUT OF HAND – although that doesn’t mean I will be banging the drum for Scottish Independence.

One of its 2014 clarion calls was that Scottish independence was the only way to guarantee remaining in Europe (at best an optimistic call even then).  That prospect, (or at least the prospect of re-entry to the European family), if the last 36 months or so is anything to go by, seems an unlikely one now and a colossally difficult task.

For those bunting-waving leavers that will be popping their English sparkling wine and guzzling their John Smiths on Friday night, you were warned of the consequences of this before you voted for change ( I’m particularly looking at you Sunderland and South Wales).

I won’t be schadefreuding you in years to come.  I’m doing it now.

London didn’t vote for this nonsense, Northern Ireland didn’t vote for it and certainly Scotland didn’t vote for it.

Even Nigel Fargae didn’t vote for this outcome.

God bless Europe.

 

 

Sir Vince Cable’s valedictory virtuosity.


It may have sported on T shirts for months so it’s not exactly original, but to make it your campaign slogan for a major election is, to my mind, quite the thing.

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Sir Vince has had a relatively short career in the spotlight, despite his years, but this has the campaigning chutzpah of a rebel, a challenger brand – which should be exactly what the Liberal Democrats always should have been.

Anyway Sir Vince I doff my cap to you for this.

I think you will be pleased with the outcome, come May 24th.

The Maybot goes all giggly, chummy like.


Quite the funniest thing you will see this week.

Insincerity on a monolithic scale.

The Maybot says she’s got to compromise and agree on things that Labour and she agree on (always have it seems).

Perhaps this video should have really been an apology for not doing what she claims she is doing now and not three years ago. (Although if Labour is to be believed, and why should we, all this compromise is a figment of the Maybot’s imagination.)

The Establishment (And how they get Away With it) by Owen Jones: Book Review


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I began this, now slightly out of date, polemic by Owen Jones slightly half-heartedly.  I was expecting a tirade of Trotskyite abuse that would provide some titilation before quickly descending into irritation.

I was wrong.

This is a monumental anti-Establishment treatise that is outstandingly researched, compellingly argued and carefully structured so that his observations steadily underpin each other and make the whole extremely robust as a result.

It takes us on a journey from 1979 – 2016, but he underpins it with important historical footnotes from the 19th and 20th centuries that shed important light on his views.

(One that stopped me in my tracks was that the political classes were an elite – you had to have property to vote and you had to have money to ‘serve your country’ – in fact politicians, until Victorian times, were unpaid.  Once that had changed and the Labour movement had begun, bringing working class men into the house they were paid minimal salaries so that a political career was not an aspiration, rather it was a vocation and a duty.  However, with rocketing salaries becoming an MP is now an extremely well paid job – £79,468 at the time of writing.  This has begun to attract the Establishment as a career for those who may have opted for journalism (essentially broken) or the City previously – the much despised career politician with absolutely no experience in the ‘real world’.   This is a very bad thing and results in Establishment politicians being helicoptered into seats that they care not a jot for.)

Jones’ book is essentially a deconstruction of the Free Market Capitalism that rose in popularity by a group of economic outriders in the 1970’s when socialism in the UK was at a low ebb; principally as a result of unmanageable and extremely strident trade unions and appallingly badly run nationalised industries, managed by bureaucrats.

This paved the way for Thatcher’s Free Market Capitalism policies, denationalisation of almost anything that moved, the crushing of the unions, indeed their complete vilification (and in some cases murder of their members – Orgreave anybody?) and the fuelling of an unhealthy reliance on the UK’s financial sector as its engine of economic growth, despite appalling regulation.

The book takes the key pillars of the Establishment and systematically challenges their morality, efficacy and value.  It clearly makes the point that this country serves a small and wealthy elite at the expense of fair societal sharing of opportunity.  In turn he deconstructs:

  • The political outriders of the 70’s, and later, who espoused free market economics
  • The Westminster Cartel (now bubble), and not purely the Conservatives.  The entire thing is roundly criticised with New Labour coming in for particular vilification and Nick Clegg’s selling out of the Lib Dems – indeed the whole rise of neo-Liberalism is roundly attacked
  • The police with their endemic racism, (stop and search gets a right good kicking and rightly so), bullying, the harassment and occasional death of protestors – including trade unions, the forming of undercover sexual relationships and so on
  • The oligarch-driven media ownership of the UK and their cosying in with Blair, Brown and Osborne in particular
  • The appalling abuse of corporate tax laws, including the, again, cosying up of the ‘Big Four’ to create tax laws for government that only they understand and can quickly exploit through the loopholes they know for their corporate clients
  • The finger pointing at state-‘scroungers’ whose collective abuse is but a grain of sand compared to the tax avoidance of the wealthy Establishment elite
  • The destruction of the NHS and the outrageous funding of corporations through lucrative private sector deals and the ongoing scandal that is PFI
  • The lining of politicians’ pockets by private industry in non-exec or other paid roles that seem wholly a conflict of interest – particularly in healthcare and defence
  • The Banks – he calls the City ‘Masters of the Universe’.  Here’s a fact for you.  The bonuses of London City bankers (even after the crash) far exceed the combined bonuses of all of Europe’s banks put together.  The post-crash regulation is limp-wristed and ineffective and it was The State that took the toll, not the banks through completely unjustified ‘Austerity’.

Throughout he argues how Free Market Capitalism despises the state yet uses it as its mop to clean up the failures of the banks through the public purse.

But it’s not just a rant, indeed it’s not EVEN a rant.  At all times Jones is calm in presenting what is essentially a one-sided argument; but of course it is.

In his brilliant conclusion he posits clear and compelling arguments for media control, police control, re-nationalisation with employee and customer boards, a re-empowerment of the Unions – or at least reasonable rights for them and an impassioned plea to support left wing Outriders.  Right wing policy was not popular (even on the right before the 70’s) and he argues that everything is cyclical.

We need not give up.

This is a powerful polemic and is a superbly enjoyable read.  I only wish it was up to date and included the whole Brexit catastrophe that the Establishment and The Westminster Cartel has created.

Jeremy Corbyn. How the mighty have fallen.


When Jeremy Corbyn scrambled into the Labour throne it was initially slightly comedic but quickly settled into something that most certainly became a breath of fresh air.

Love was in the air.  Something fresh, invigorating, and exciting was blowing through British politics.  It may have been populism, but it was GOOD populism,

For some time I wore this T Shirt to in a small way articulate my disappointment (hatred frankly) with Tony Blair’s New Labour (new Tory more like) neoliberal rhetoric.

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But all of a sudden, under Corbyn that T shirt became redundant.

Instead I opted for this one.  It garnered smiles, back slaps and an incredibly warm response.  Especially from young people who loved Corbyn’s attitude.

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Corbyn was the new face of democratic politics in the UK that almost moved me away from the solid social democracy of the excellent and consistent SNP.

But as Brexit has unfolded he has steadily unravelled and shown himself to be as conceited, party political, AT ALL COSTS, as his disgusting opposite number, Theresa May.  His handling of the anti-semitism accusations was laughable.

Now, imagine him running a whole goddam country.  It doesn’t bear thinking about.

His party is every bit as divided as the Tories and well he knows it.

But it has reached a zenith this week. In particular, his decision not to join May’s cross party ‘outreach’ discussions, that begin today, makes him both unelectable and dangerous.  He has lost the fucking plot.

Sure, May’s  ‘reaching out’ might be in name only – but you’ve got to be in it to win it – and Corbyn is sat sulking, like a stupid little schoolboy, in some corridor while the biggest decision in my political life is made without him.

The look on his face when his vote of no confidence lost was pathetic; a scowling, sulking brat.

Jeremy.  You blew it.

 

Now Jaguar Landrover say they will lose £1bn a year in the face of a hard Brexit. How long can this stupidity go on?


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Airbus has sent out loud warnings.  BMW is saying it will shift production from the UK. Nissan has already had the book thrown at it in terms of financial sops. Now the jewel in the UK’s automotive crown is making noises about the serious financial impacts of a hard Brexit.  Even the bastion of Brexit, The Daily Express, is leading on the Jaguar story with a warning.

Why?  straightforward really.  in the face of no European tariffs deal the cost of cars will go up and the cost of imported parts will increase.

This is not complicated economics to get one’s head around.  And yet, the government;  well, a few morons in the cabinet specifically, continues to be completely undecided about its Brexit strategy, never mind actually negotiating it.

This is all on the back of a wafer thin decision made by an electorate that has now largely woken up to the fact that the leavers voted on a belief that was founded on a bunch of lies.

£300+million extra a week for the NHS.  Does ANYONE now believe that?

We run an Air B’nB so have continental visitors day in day out.   Every single one of them, bar none, simply shake their heads in disbelief when conversation turns to Brexit.

We’re not in the Euro, so we face none off the risk that brings.  Our banks service trillions of £’s of European money with no strings.  We have no trade tariffs and anyone who thinks Europe will play it easy on that front should look at the Trump scenario.

We are in a brilliant position for trading with our biggest customer (and supplier).

A few sociopaths threaten the UK’s economic health through their mental health problems.

I still believe a second referendum is justified, fair and sensible.

No, not sensible.  Sane.

 

Brexit. The omnishambles of all omnishambles.


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Almost on a daily basis I sit slack-jawed as I read the latest developments in the ‘Brexit negotiations’ and in the words of David Byrne “I say to myself; How did I get here?  How did I get here?”

This situation is not just a mess, an omnishambles, it’s a national disgrace.

One contributor to the debate in the staunchly anti-Brexit Guardian said this morning;

“…the throwing away of Margaret Thatcher’s negotiated rebate…we being the only country to have one…the continuing use of our own currency…not being in Schengen …things that were we ever to apply to rejoin the EU we will never have again.

We are throwing away not only membership of the EU and the freedoms for ordinary people that brings , but PREFERENTIAL membership negotiated by a conservative Prime Minister who, love her or hate her, wouldn’t think this current crop worth employing as cleaners.”

Even the word – an abominable mash up – turns my stomach.  It just sounds made up, as it is, but also foolish, trivial and yet it represents the biggest single economic catastrophe that no nation on earth would contemplate, other than Britain.  Any why?  Because a tiny minority voted in a horrendously misleading referendum on manifestos that were warped (and misleading) on both sides, to teach the then government a lesson.  And, agree with me or not, in a significant enough minority (certainly more than 2% I would argue) to get rid of Johnny Foreigner.

Will that work?  Yes it will.  But only the best and most useful, most employable ‘Johnnies’ who are returning to their Easter European homes in their droves after the pound collapsed and they find it a better economic option than remaining.

Ridiculous as it sounds, David Cameron now looks like a visionary, except for one tiny thing; despite his total opposition to it he offered the country an opportunity to vote for this fucking monstrosity at a time when the rabid right were enjoying farcical, almost comical, support during the ‘Farago years’.

This absolute Frankenstein creation is now being ‘negotiated’ to frankly, derision by the likes of Michel Barnier.  Can you imagine his private conversations?  I mean can you? Through howls of laughter in Mansion House-esque European meetings.

“…and you wouldn’t believe what he proposed next…”

“Oh Michel, I don’t know how you can keep a straight face.”

Now it emerges that the European Court of Justice will remain the highest court of jurisdiction in our land in the farcically titled ‘Period of transition’.  Another red line crossed.  Another ridiculous outcome.

Just like the ‘we won’t give them a penny’ bombast that marked early ‘negotiations’, yup that red line was crossed too.

‘All the Johnny Foreigners will be turfed out on their ears’.  That red line was crossed.

Can anyone give me a good honest definition of the benefits of this decision?  The government is sharply divided on the whole matter.  Most of the Labour party (despite what they say) and all of the SNP is pro-Europe.

I understand, but DO NOT respect, in this instance, the democratic rules of the nation  that a decision is a decision.  I suspect ‘No’ would win by a considerable margin if this was put to the country as a snap referendum under the question…

“Given what you now know of the Brexit process do you wish to continue Britain’s exit from Europe’

Surely there must be a democratic mechanism to, at the very least, debate this and put an end to this extreme stupidity because I don’t want my children living with the dire consequences of this absurd xenophobic pig-headed fuckwittery.

It’s all terribly, terribly sad.

 

 

 

 

 

The UK election. Is it a watershed moment?


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When Theresa May called a snap election in the spring one could only assume a single outcome.

A massive Tory landslide victory.

Assuredly that the ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ hypocrite, that didn’t want anything to do with Brexit, would march imperiously into power as, meanwhile, the bumbling idiot, that Jeremy Corbyn was portrayed as, made a total fool of himself. (Allied by his hapless henchman in Scotland.)

Nicola Sturgeon’s second independence vote campaigning (stuck record out of tune with the electorate for now at least) wasn’t helping in Scotland.  It gave ammo to the force of nature that is Ruth Davidson and although it wouldn’t fuel a Labour revival it might also help a pathetic Lib Dem campaign in a few key seats (mine included) up here.

However…

Things have changed.

Jeremy Corbyn has proven to be a passionate and believable campaigner for real issues that people believe in.  His Manifesto touched a lot of nerves.

(I accept he wasn’t good on Woman’s Hour)

Sturgeon has (bravely in my opinion) dropped the second independence call in the SNP manifesto.

May has revealed herself to be more bumbling and inept than Corbyn and actually just a bit shit at being a Prime Minister.

And so we see this.

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Not a landslide.

Not even a victory of sorts.

Now, of course, we all now know that the pollsters are more inept at their job than Jeremy Paxman last night but maybe we are seeing a realisation that with UKIP’s job done, and the Brexit vote being extremely narrow, and the Tories being inept, and Corbyn being a man of principle, and Sturgeon calling the independence dogs off, and neoliberalism taking one up the arse that there’s a possibility;

  • SNP will recover their strength in Scotland
  • Labour UKIP voters will return to Labour because they see May has no grip on Brexit negotiation
  • (and that they regret being described as racists)
  • The Tories will end up losing, not gaining, seats
  • Brexit will be fucked

I sincerely hope Brexit will be fucked and that this country will resume a degree of Social democracy that befits it.

Brilliant piece in the Independent (written by an English journalist) about the frankly disgusting arrogance of Theresa May.


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Regardless of your position on Scottish Independence, and I am not making a call here – that will come later, the disdain with which Theresa May is conducting Brexit for the entire population is beautifully captured in this piece…

The last time two powerful women were embroiled in an Anglo-Caledonian power struggle, it ended in 1587 with the Scot losing her head.

This time, according to the snap response to Nicola Sturgeon from south of the border, that’s how it started. The First Minister must have taken leave of her senses to demand another referendum now, squeals the shrilly authentic voice of English self-entitlement. She has to be either wildly irresponsible or driven by self-interest, or both, to plunge the UK’s Brexit negotiating position (whatever that might prove to be) into even more comical confusion. Surely.

That’s one way of analysing it (there is another to which we’ll come below). But if Sturgeon detonated her bombshell for maximum impact, hours before Theresa May was expected to activate Article 50, why would she have done it any other way?

This is politics – and while the Prime Minister lapsed into her most aggravatingly schoolmarmish mode to tell Sturgeon that “Politics. Is. Not. A. Game”, she knows that’s cobblers. Politics is absolutely everything, and a chunk of that is a hybrid sport mingling the complexities of grandmaster chess with the raw brutality of heavyweight boxing. This is largely why it fascinates, regardless of the dullness of most players.

Timing is crucial in all games, and in this one Sturgeon’s was gorgeous. Just as May was preparing to advance her Brexit strategy, she walked onto a scything sucker punch that left her bamboozled as she took the standing eight count.

Even making allowances for the wooziness, she then made a hideous tonal mistake. The last thing a British prime minister should do, when a first minister calls for a referendum, is treat them like a mischievous kid. Whatever politics is, that’s terrible politics.

Traditionally, the Scots have never much cared for being patronised by haughty Home Counties types belaboured by a powerful sense of English superiority. They didn’t like it from Thatcher in her post-Falklands reinvention as Brittania, or from David Cameron, Slayer of Unions, when he waited 2.07 seconds after the 2014 referendum result to raise the spectre of “English votes for English laws”. They won’t like it from May if she comes over all Gloriana, blackening her teeth and putting on the neck ruff to treat Sturgeon as a naughty younger cousin with foolish pretensions to being a grownup.

So the advice to the Prime Minister is to dismiss the notion that Sturgeon pulled a stunt to shore up sliding approval ratings, or distract from SNP problems with education, or strengthen her bargaining position over fishing rights in trade talks to come. Obviously these considerations may have played some part. A myriad of factors must have fed into an incendiary decision which Sturgeon must recognise as the gamble that will define her career.

But May should forget all that, and focus on the central reason for Monday’s coup de theatre. Sturgeon has always believed independence offers her country its best future. With Scotland a backseat passenger in a vehicle careering towards the cliff’s edge, she probably believes it more passionately than ever.

Now, you can agree or disagree with her there. For what incalculably little it’s worth, I agree. Were I Scottish, I would be mad for independence. I’d say sod the crude oil price, sod the Barnett formula and sod the pernicious English meme that poor wee Scotland hasn’t a prayer of making it across the road without Nanny May holding her hand.

I’d also say sod the uncertainties. With Brexit, how much more uncertain can it possibly get? And I’d certainly say sod the buffoons of Brexit – Gove, Boris, Fox, and the rest – who argued last summer that liberation from a union which restricted self-determination justified any risks, but will now counsel the Scots to keep a hold of nurse for fear of something even worse. How transparently hypocritical do these people need to get before a residue of self-respect automatically shuts their mouths?

That, sadly, is a purely rhetorical question. Within hours of Sturgeon’s announcement, the tabloids were unleashing the very scaremongering about economic calamity it found so distasteful from Remainers last summer.

Anyway, as I said, we’re free to agree or not about whether Scotland’s best interests are served by independence. What no one has any right to do is condescend Nicola Sturgeon by questioning her sincerity. She is not just an outstandingly bold and smart politician, but one of conviction as well.

Perhaps eventually the Home Counties will learn to respect her for that, though I guess she’ll need to win two Wimbledons, two Olympic golds, a US Open and a Davis Cup to even come close.

For now, the auld arrogance prevails to hint that each imperious rebuke from May will nudge Scotland closer to independence. Whether or not that would be a boon for the Scots, it would be a tragedy for those in England and Wales whose appetite for a Tory one-party state has been sated by the hors d’oeuvres they are being force-fed.

Elizabeth I was hyper-cautious in dealing with her cousin, delaying her execution time and again because she saw the risk in inflaming Scottish public opinion against her. It’s a lesson Theresa May might study. If she wants to nullify this threat, a little basic respect for Sturgeon and her cause seems a useful way to start.

Ali Smith: Autumn. Book Review.


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“It was the worst of times.  It was the worst of times.”

So begins the first of Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet, Autumn.

It’s a riff off Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities and she returns to it repeatedly in this extended part prose part, almost, poem.

It’s a study on time and it’s an abstract novel in its form and this can be (at times – no pun) quite tedious as she wordsmiths and wordplays her way through pages and even short chapters at a time, but if you can grimace your way through what I imagine most critics will see as the book’s highlights you find yourself immersed in a rather captivating platonic love story about a dying 100 year old single (gay?) man -a poet and songwriter – and a young, precocious English lecturer who has secretly loved him (her childhood neighbour) since she was 8 years old (and he was 75).

Daniel is dying. Elisabeth (sic) is visiting him in his care home and reflecting on their deeply respectful on-off life together, against a backdrop of a dysfunctional mother and an estranged (or dead) father.

Much has been made of this being the first post-Brexit novel but really it’s really a contextual backdrop give that the timeshiftimg story concludes in Autumn 2016 in the wake of Britain’s extremely divisive and frankly ridiculous decision at the polls.

It’s clear Smith shares my political stance and uses her Scottishness to highlight the differences between our green and pleasant land and the carbuncle that is Englandshire.

A feminist strand that runs through it is Smith’s clear admiration for the World’s only (deceased) female Pop Artist, beauty and actor, Pauline Boty, and, in particular, her painting of Christine Keeler: Scandal 63.  An artist of the time but out of her time.  Ignored but found, forgotten, found, forgotten, found, forgotten in the years after her unheralded heyday.

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Scandal 63 with the artist, Pauline Boty

At times I found this a challenging read but remarkably it’s also a page turner (it really does race along in very short chapters) and, in that respect that makes it quite an achievement.  I will certainly continue to read the quartet as it emerges.

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Does my bum look big in this?  Bum by Pauline Boty.

 

 

Brexitworld


This one’s gonna run and run but I liked my mate Doug Cook’s classy Meme on the subject.

Recalls the breakdown of the Westworld robots who are trained to say the same thing every time until they get a mind of their own.

Remember, May was anti-Brexit.

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How Brexit may affect Calais. The beginning of Europe’s schadenfreude.


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The mayor of Calais wants to change a deal (the 2003 Touquet deal), in which it was agreed Britain can carry out checks in Calais to stop migrants trying to get to Britain.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell.

The Touquet deal protects our borders in Calais from illegal immigrants (I prefer the term refugees mind you) allowing the UK to vet them in France not in Britain.

That’s why there’s thousands of Africans going totally radge and risking their own and the lives of our long distance lorry drivers as they desperately try to get through the Chunnel.

But we’ve decided to leave Europe mainly so that we can reduce the number of ‘immigrants’.  Or at least that’s what I’ve been hearing from England over the last couple of days.

Here’s the rub.

As the Calais mayor says “The British must take the consequences of their choice.”

What she means by that is… “Fuck you.  It’s your problem now.  We’ll let them through.”

And guess where they’ll end up?

See that big blue bit on the coast? About 400 miles south of the huge yellow bit?  I’ve pointed it out with a red arrow for you.

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That worked out well then, eh?

Incidentally, I think a lot of old people live there and they voted to muck their own pensions up too.

Sad.

 

My personal fears for The UK if we leave the European Union.


The European Union was inspired by the vision of bringing peace, unity and prosperity to Europe in the wake of The first and second world wars.  We have these 11 men to thank for that. Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 17.01.40.pngThe first tangible manifestation of that vision was the European Coal and Steel Community with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands leading the way.  Note that two are former fascist regimes.  This was followed by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 that established the EEC this abolished customs duties between member states and resulted in economic growth: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom saw the benefits of this and joined the Common market in 1973 shortly after decimalisation in the UK.  A curious imperial notion that had 240 pence as the makeup of a pound.  Perhaps the Brexiteers fancy a return to that quaint notion (maybe they’ll lobby to bring back farthings, shillings, threepence and florins while they’re renegotiating every single trade deal in Europe post exit.)

In 1986 the economic vision is further strengthened with the creation of the Single European Act. and Spain and Portugal sign up.   This provides the basis for a vast six-year programme aimed at sorting out the problems with the free flow of trade across EU borders and thus creates the ‘Single Market’.

So far, so positive.

Austria, Finland and Sweden join us in 1995. The Shengen agreement allows us to travel freely across Europe to exploit opportunity and share cultures.

Ten new countries join the EU in 2004, followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and Croatia in 2013..

In 56 years Europe has seen war between nations shrivel and die.  Sure terrorism is rife and internal conflicts remain but the Union has become a peace zone.

To my knowledge not one single country has even thought about leaving.

28 countries are joined in free trade, a bid to reduce pollution, economic development, fairness of law.

These are the rules for membership which cannot be met by Turkey. (One of the crazy fear mongering cards being played by Brexiteers)

  • stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;
  • a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces in the EU;
  • the ability to take on and implement effectively the obligations of membership, including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.

And here’s where Turkey stands in terms of negotiations to meet the 35 ‘chapters” that will allow member states to consider entry to the Union.  (Not looking promising, is it? )

Note that the Chapter entitled “Freedom of movement of workers” hasn’t even been opened yet and financial control has been on the table since 2007.
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Please then, can we move on from the Turkey question?

So, we have peace, we have prosperity, albeit in a climate where the richer nations help the poorer ones – and we’re rich, and we have free trade with no real barriers.

Sounds kind of positive doesn’t it?

What’s more, everything the EU does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by its member countries.  Not, and I repeat not, crazy rules imposed on us from Brussels that Brexiteers so love to imply

We help agree/ratify these rules for the common good.

Some help us greatly, some are more challenging, but if the whole represents more than the sum of its parts, which is a fundamental rationale for the EU’s existence, then this is a price we simply have to accept and pay.  We don’t all agree with every Scottish or UK law do we?

So.  Brexit?

Nine out ten economists think Brexit is preposterous.

The Americans think it is preposterous.

Member states think it is preposterous.

The stock market, down over 5% in the last few days, as the realisation that Brexit is no longer a silly extremist Tory fantasy, begin to realise that it’s a distinct possibility starts, frankly, to shit itself.

Here’s a headline from this week.

The Bank of England has allocated almost £2.5bn of cash to City firms to help them handle any Brexit-related panic.

Here’s another…

London’s stock market is plumbing new lows as traders continue to quake in the shadow of the EU vote.

And the copy that went with it?

The Footsie has now shed 378 points since the start of trading on Thursday, when Brexit fears began to mount. 

That means a staggering £98bn has been wiped off the value of Britain’s biggest companies in four trading days.

Now, the Brexit vote is most commonly supported by pensioners.

What does a falling stock market do to pensions?

It’s like turkeys (but not Turkey) voting for Christmas.

It’s actually insane.

And Obama tells us openly and categorically that Brexit would put the UK “at the back of the queue ” for a trade deal with the US.

Mark Carney says “leaving the EU ids the biggest domestic risk to financial stability”.

Forget the numbers.  Leave quotes “facts” that are every bit as misleading as Remain’s are.

The debate has been a shambles.

Just look at the fundamentals here and the direction of traffic since 1951.

Peace, prosperity and proliferation of membership.  No need to be ‘forced’ into the Euro.

Leaving this would be a national disgrace.

The Scottish question

Now the eagle-eyed amongst you will note that I was a solid advocate of a “Scexit” in 2014. None of the arguments above applied.

We would have remained in Europe or would have negotiated our readmittance.

Our economy, based on the evidence at the time, and I accept the fall in the oil price hasn’t helped that p[articular argument, would, I believe, have benefitted.

And peace would have been guaranteed.

Should a Brexit vote manifest itself you bet Independence would rear its head again and the appeal of renegotiating re-entry to the EU would be the biggest single factor influencing the Scots.

But let’s not go there.

Come on Britain.  It’s time to smell the coffee.