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Tony Grist

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Pro And Con And Ho Hum [May. 20th, 2016|11:23 am]
Tony Grist
Jeremy Paxman was explaining the EU last night.

The sun was shining in Europe- as it does. Nice buildings they've got there in Brussels and Strassbourg. Then we came back to London and the sun wasn't shining- as it doesn't.  Obviously Europe is where we need to be.

Young people like the EU because they get to travel all over Europe without passports. Happy, thoughtless young people!

But old people dislike the EU because, you know, Maggie Thatcher and straight bananas. Stupid, thoughtless old people!

We met some busyworking MEPs and a UKIP goon and David Cameron's top man in Europe who is a PR guru and has that laugh they teach you at Eton and Michael Gove who looks just like that children's TV character POB who used to spit on the camera lens. Gove talked about sovereignty and made me think of wigs and dusty law books. Nick Clegg came on and bounced around like Tom Cruise on Oprah's sofa, proclaiming his love for the EU.  Oh God, has he no shame!

No-one had anything much to say about Greece and austerity or the refugee crisis or the Ukraine or any of that bad stuff that's going on a long way away from sunny Brussels and its handsome architecture. And no-one had much to say about the Euro and what a pickle it's in.

I watched in the hope someone might say something that would clinch it for me- but nobody did.  The EU is anti-democratic and plutocratic- but the little Englanders are much the same. Did we ask for this referendum? No, we didn't. It's a Tory thing- a regrettable tiff in the House of Mammon. The millionaires are squabbling about the best way for them to get richer- and about whether the plump Etonian or the very plump Etonian should be Prime Minister- and it's clearly of great importance to them- but I don't know why any of the rest of us should care.
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2016-05-20 02:31 pm (UTC)
And say what they will (and they will) I'll still be voting to stay on the basis that it's better to be on the inside......... Well, you know the rest!

And as a a member of an oppressed minority the little Englanders' hatred of human rights genuinely terrifies me!
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2016-05-20 06:35 pm (UTC)
Concurred - best to know the devil you know etc ..
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-20 07:03 pm (UTC)
Michael Gove and Boris Johnson haters of human rights? They're frightful in many ways but I wouldn't charge them with that.
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From: cmcmck
2016-05-21 11:04 am (UTC)
Doing away with the human rights act anyone?

They both support doing so.........
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2016-05-20 05:07 pm (UTC)
The rest of us should care because the EU underpins our economy. Multi-national companies come here (e.g. Nissan, Hitachi, Sony, Toyota, whatever) and build factories which employ British people because they can export their goods into the rest of the single market without tariffs or other export restrictions. If we were not part of the single market, then they would think again, and build their European factories in the Netherlands or Germany or France. Away would go the British jobs, and away would go the money those workers put into the economy when they go shopping, which keeps lots of smaller businesses in the black. It could not be clearer. We will be poor if we leave.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2016-05-20 06:36 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. It would be madness to leave.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-05-20 07:03 pm (UTC)
That's a better statement of the case than I've heard from any politician.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-05-21 12:05 pm (UTC)
I find myself, somewhat uncharacteristically, without a defensible opinion on the matter. I suspect your friend Veronica is quite right about the economic impact of Brexit. There is also the strong suspicion that, insofar as Europe can be united in any meaningful sense, it's probably stronger united than divided. A stronger Europe might have been able to make a more meaningful stand against the naked aggressions of the Cheney-Bush junta, for example. It's also quite possible that the EU might be a more staunch defender of human rights than, say, a Tory government that answers to no one but its own.

However, the fact remains that what was once merely a joke has revealed itself to be the simple truth. The European Union is Germany achieving, economically and politically, what it twice failed to do on the field of battle. That might not necessarily be a bad thing, except that Greece strongly suggests otherwise. German leadership has proven itself heartless, bigoted, and frankly short-sighted and stupid.

My gut tells me that staying is better than leaving, but I'm unable to convince myself that's true.
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