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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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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EU Referendum and Bullying @BarackObama @LeaveEUOfficial #Brexit #LoveEuropeHateEU #ProjectFear

U.S President Barack Obama, right, and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walk from 10 Downing Street, London after a meeting Friday, April, 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Nobody likes to be told what to do. Indeed, when you’re told you have to do something, very often it galvanises a kind of resistance. This starts in childhood. If you leave a child alone in a room with a biscuit for five minutes, they may eat it, they may not. But if you tell the child, “Do not eat this biscuit; if you do, all your hair will fall out!” then they will almost certainly have eaten it by the time you come back.

Childish? Maybe. But it’s also basic human psychology.

Therefore, the “Bremain” side of the EU Referendum are playing a dangerous game. Even if I wasn’t a Brexiter, the very fact that all the main political parties, many of the corporate interests, and individuals like Barack Obama are in favour of Bremain, would make me very suspicious indeed. Just why are the rich and powerful so against Brexit…? What are they trying to hide from us, hmm…? And to be honest, I’ve found the wheeling out of Obama to be a little offensive. I don’t need foreign leaders to tell me what to think, even if they’re so sexy and smooth they make me question my own heterosexuality.

Some facts now, not fear.

The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy. Plenty of countries trade with the EU and with other blocs and nations without having to accept the laws and a constant erosion of sovereignty. There is no “safe” status quo option in this referendum: the choices are ever closer integration (remain), or independence (leave). The EU was founded on the principal of creating a “kind of United States of Europe” — those are Winston Churchill’s words! (The European Union: A Very Short Introduction is a good short pro-EU primer on the EU including its founding principles)

So, thank you for your intervention, Mr Obama, but I have to tell you: YES WE CAN. Yes we can be free, yes we can be independent. We are a major player, and freedom will do nothing to hurt us. And YES YOU CAN: please stand with the chorus of elites who are trying to bully the British people. Hopefully we are so irked we vote for freedom, vote to leave.

In other news, so good to see Obama agree to give up the Dollar, pool sovereignty with South America, and have United States policy in all areas be dictated by non-US citizens.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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The EU Has NOT Kept the Peace in Europe #LoveEuropeHateEU @vote_leave @LeaveEUOfficial

aftermath-of-the-yugoslav-war

Contrary to the propaganda, the EU has not kept the peace in Europe. Look at the break-up of Yugoslavia and the tragic wars that followed. Rather, the EU is partly a product of the desire for the great European nations to not go to war with each other again. The desire to not go to war has prevented wars.

Yes, Europeans not wanting to slaughter each other yet again has kept the peace in Europe — when indeed it has been kept!. Not the EU. The EU is a symptom of that desire for peace, not a cause.

No more propaganda, please. Only facts.

#LoveEuropeHateEU

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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EU Referendum: Jeremy Corbyn @jeremycorbyn @LeaveEUOfficial #Brexit #LoveEuropeHateEU

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I’m not a socialist, but I was over-the-moon when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party. An outsider, an independent mind, a long-time principled campaigner, a kind of British Bernie Sanders. He was the sort of guy we needed to shake our politics up. I’m tired of these career politician clones; I have a lot of time for principled folk of all political stripes.

How disappointed I now am.

The past week has seen Corbyn throw away much of his respectability.

First there was the biggest non-issue in history: David Cameron’s finances. The guy is a wealthy plonkstain, for sure, but he didn’t do anything illegal. The headlines should be: MIDDLE CLASS MAN MAKES SOUND INVESTMENTS AND MODERATE GAINS. Corbyn demanding that Cameron should publish all of his records and be subject to a parliamentary official probe was the worst kind of political opportunism and wholly unbefitting a so-called man of principle. And no, I’m not even a Tory!

And now he’s chucked his credibility in the bin. The man is a lifetime opponent of the EU (here’s a great article outlining his consistent opposition to the EU). Yet since becoming Labour leader he has had a magical change of mind. This is the lowest and most see-through political opportunism ever. To save his own skin, he has sold out a core principle which he has always fought for. At a time when our nation’s future hangs in the balance, he has chosen career politics over the nation’s welfare and over his own principles.

The man has lost my respect. Not because he is now in favour of us staying in the EU, whereas I am a Brexiter. But because he has jettisoned his principles for political expediency.

His statement about the EU was full of non-sequiturs. Take the following.

EU membership has guaranteed working people vital employment rights including four weeks paid holiday, paternity and maternity leave, protection for agency workers, health and safety in the workplace. Being in the EU has raised our environmental standards… and protected consumers from rip-off charges.[1]

I won’t take the time to rip his argument to shreds in this post as it would turn into a lengthy screed. But it suffices to say that a lot has changed since we joined the European Community in 1973, 43 years ago! Y’know, two years after decimalisation, and six years before Margaret Thatcher even became PM! The implicit point in Corbyn’s statement is that we wouldn’t have developed equivalent or better standards in the last almost half century without being a member of the EU — otherwise, his statement makes no sense. However, he is quite wrong. That we have been a member of the EU means that, like other members, we have developed these standards within the framework of the EU. Correlation is not causation. The UK would very likely not be stuck in a 1973 timewarp had we not joined the European Economic Community — or had we left it in 1975 as Jeremy Corbyn himself campaigned for! We would have developed our own, likely very similar, standards.

It is said that a week is a long time in politics. Indeed it is. The days when Corbyn seemed like (read: was) a man of unwavering principle, above the muck and grime of day-to-day politics, are long gone.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36039925

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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“Eurosceptic” @LeaveEUOfficial #Brexit #LoveEuropeHateEU

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I really dislike the terms “Eurosceptic” and “leave Europe” and I don’t use them. I am against the UK being a member of the EU, I want the UK to leave the EU. But I have no issue with Europe.

Let’s be clear. The UK will not leave Europe; we are European. I am not against Europe.

I love Europe. I dislike the EU.

I am tired of this deliberate and sometimes accidental conflation of “Europe” and the “EU”, as if they were somehow the same thing. Europe is the magnificent continent whose peoples, languages, cultures, and achievements in both arts and sciences are unrivalled. The EU is the mostly well-intentioned but misguided political project which does not, has not, and will never serve Europe’s best interests.

I will be voting for the UK to leave the EU. I am not “Eurosceptic”; I’m “EUsceptic. Let’s stand up tall and proud as grown-ups, making our own decisions. Love Europe, hate the EU.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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