The EU and Social Inequality @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum

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Iain Duncan Smith, former Tory leader, has passionately argued that we need to leave the EU as it is the cause of massive social inequality, favouring the “haves” over the “have-nots”. Notably, wages become depressed while the cost of living rises.

The BBC and others in the media have been shocked that this argument could come out of Brexiteers’ mouths. Yet anyone who has come to a UKIP meeting (famously formed to make Brexit happen back in 1993) in the past fifteen years will have found that the first thing out of most Ukippers’ mouths is not “Pakis out!” or “Nig-nigga-noggymoor, negro kill woggymore”. Rather, you will have found normal people from the surrounding community, of all races and nationalities, upset with Labour and Tories for repeatedly letting them down, worried about crime and local services closing, a lack of housing, and a lack of properly paid jobs.

Middle class types scoff at these things. They say that immigration is not “zero sum”; incomers don’t take up all the jobs, but rather help boost the economy which creates wealth and jobs. And of course, they are right that wealth and jobs are created by immigration. But that doesn’t alter the facts that wages become depressed by an additional supply of labour which offers its service at a lower rate, and this causes a decreased supply of housing relative to demand which inevitably leads to higher house prices. Saying that the problem has been caused by governments who have failed to build enough houses or hospitals misses the point: demand cannot reasonably keep up with suppy given the numbers of people coming in (net).

Brexiters like me love Europe, but hate the EU. My wife is from the EU, for heaven’s sakes! But the EU is not Europe. Social injustice has always been at the heart of Brexiteers’ worries about the EU. And when people voice these concerns, they are lambasted as Tory toffs or council estate Sun reading scum!

As Boris Johnson has powerfully and correctly argued, it is the Brexiteers who represent liberal democratic values, not the EU.

© Bryan A. J. Parry

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14483554.Iain_Duncan_Smith__European_Union_is_a__force_for_social_injustice_/

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Random Images 18: used to be funny

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Boris Johnson, The EU, Hitler @vote_leave @LeaveEUOfficial

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The EU debate just gets sillier and sillier. Last week, Boris Johnson said that the EU shared Nazi Germany’s goal for a final solution, seeking the total and ultimate destruction of Jewry.

Or not.

Johnson, by even mentioning Hitler, erred; as a journalist and a very intelligent man, he should realise that any mention of Hitler and the Third Reich would backfire. As a journalist, he should know that facts don’t matter; the headline does! Therefore, he made a mistake mentioning Hitler. Of course it was going to be used against him and the whole Brexit campaign! Indeed, someone on LBC radio even suggesed that BoJo might be the Bremainers secret, fifth columnist weapon! However, what Johnson actually said was quite reasonable.

Two decades on, Johnson has broken the glass and pressed the big red button marked “Hitler comparison – only to be used in an emergency”. In his interview, he declared that Hitler, among others, had aspired to entrench European unity, “and it ends tragically … The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.”

The Guardian‘s savaging of Boris Johnson doesn’t feature a quote worse than that — because it doesn’t exist. It really is a fact that since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the idea of a bygone heyday in the form of Rome has haunted the minds of many Europeans. Be it Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire, the Hapsburgs, Napolean, and yes, Hitler’s Third Reich, there have been many attempts to unite the continent, in some ways always hearkening back to the glory days of Rome. Just look at Nazi plans for a rebuilt Berlin complete with Triumphal Arc, a direct echo of Roman imperial glory.

So, Boris Johnson spoke accurately, albeit stupidly; of course such comments would get him into trouble. And yes, he was right to say that these enforced unions of peoples have always led to tragic consequences; war and discord. But this controversy is really a minor point in the debate. The key point has to be an argument over the vision of Britain in the time to come: do we have an independent nation making its own decisions, or do we become a state within a United States of Europe with no more independence than Massachusetts or Maine? Both are respectable views; I, however, am firmly of the opinion that the right to self-determination of all peoples is key to the healthy functioning of liberal democracy and, therefore, to the continuing relevance and influence of our values in the wider world. Therefore, I will be voting to leave.

Boris Johnson’s accurate but ill-advised comments, or rather the headlines around them, are the mud that may stick. If even 1% are influenced to vote remain because of this furore, then Team Brexit will have been done a great disservice. Hopefully this is just a storm in a teacup.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Semantic Satiation @thesfep

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Editing a student’s MSc dissertation earlier. For some reason, this Briton wrote using entirely American spelling. I read and corrected the word “behavior” so many times that I genuinely became skeptical that it was an English word at all; with or without the “u”, it seemed like a French word I had only just now come across. Yet I was sure I could remember using it five minutes previously and knowing what it meant.

Semantic Satiation, a not uncommon affliction when I edit people’s work. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

P.S. I can edit your work for you. HIRE ME NOW. I NEED TO EAT.

© 2016 Bryan. A. J. Parry

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Pax Europa? @vote_leave @LeaveEUOfficial @BetterOffOut @voteleave #Brexit #EUReferendum @hilarybennmp

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Hilary Benn MP, son of the late great Tony Benn, today said the following on BBC News:

The EU’s biggest achievement has been keeping the peace for seventy years.

This is getting things backwards. Europeans have not slaughtered each other (Yugoslavia and Ukraine aside) for seventy years because they do not want to, and not for the reason that Benn gives: that the EU has prevented it. The EU is a symptom of the desire for peace in Europe, not a cause.

Of course, from the very beginning — despite what British politicians have traditionally claimed and often still do claim — the “European Project” had as an explicit aim the dismantling of the independent infrastructure of the sovereign states and their consequent incorporation and integration into a new Federal United States of Europe. One reason for this was to prevent war in Europe again.

DETERMINED to establish the foundations of an ever closer union among the European peoples
From the first sentence of the Preamble of the Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) “Treaty of Rome” 1957 [1]

Any war between France and Germany [would become] not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.
Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, 1950, in the declaration which launched the project [2]

I find it very hard for a man of Benn’s cleverness and standing to truly believe what he says. Either he lacks basic knowledge of history and thus condemns himself as unfit to be an MP or public figure, like so many others who repeat the same statement. Or he is misleading the public. Either way, he is wrong.

Please, dear reader, do not believe the hype. Frechmen and Germans would not be slaughtering each other today had the model been intergovernmental dialogue as opposed to centralised European Unionism. The idea that the EU has been a cause of the peace in Europe is as inaccurate and almost as ridiculous as David Cameron’s recent claim that we would be risking World War Three or a new European War if the UK were to leave the EU.

Repeating something ad nauseum doesn’t make it true. But unfortunately, modern psychology shows us that it does end up convincing a few people. And “a few” might be enough to swing the referendum. Therefore, I will keep repeating the opposite, the truth:

The EU has not caused or kept the peace in Europe; the EU is merely one symptom of the desire for peace in Europe. The EU did not cause peace; peace helped cause the EU.

Indeed, the EU’s dogged following of an outmoded model of a United States of Europe is itself counter to the will of the people, counter to democracy, and therefore is ironically more likely to cause conflict than the alternative inter-governmental model of a brotherhood of sovereign states working together in close alliance.

Love Europe, Hate the EU. Let’s take back our democracy! Let’s fight for the truth! The EU doesn’t keep and hasn’t kept the peace in Europe; a free association and close alliance of likeminded sovereign nation states does (see NATO). Vote Leave on Thursday 23rd of June.

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/archives/emu_history/documents/treaties/rometreaty2.pdf

[2] The European Union: A very short introduction (2013, 3rd Ed.) John Pinder and Simon Usherwood. OUP, p.1

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Frogs Doing HAWT SEKS In My Garden!

:-O

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry