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UK decision on EU

As a consequence from the political debates on current affairs including this Blog Site and others, including Information in public media and TV, one should try and draw its own conclusions, when it comes to a very long-lasting decision one is being asked for to give a vote on.

Most people do not run a proper evaluation process and try to digest what is being presented to them but in the end rely and decide on their emotions. This is very positive in many ways, because at least this excludes manipulations, which are perhaps unwanted and detrimental. The catch 22 is, that we all only know all consequences of political decisions after it has been made and as most of the collateral damage and all kind of injustices are inflicted more onto civilians (loss of life, loss of hope, loss of homes, …) than onto the political elite.

Therefore I appeal to anybody to try and create a more balanced view between what is ‘on offer’ in the ‘negative (NO) camps’ , who are fighting the current status quo and in the ‘positive (YES) camps’, who need to make the case to stay in the Union. Neutrality, autonomy, independence and will to seek the best possible truth are the most important ingredients to do so.

My personal background, when thinking about the EU with or without the UK consists of three main truths:

  1. Most of my family/friends network would feel that I lost all my values and convictions, if I would express genuine support of the ideas of UKIP, as they would all think, that I have given up on all beliefs and idealisms I have grown up under and as well changed my mindset from positive to negative.
  2. Looking at the current political climate and seeing the big collaborations and elite playing games with the people and lying, nevertheless I could tend to forget all about this credit and friendship from people around me and become completely calloused about what they think, if I could completely convince myself, that this is right. I think most of you on this blogsite would very much welcome this change of tone.
  3. As 1.and 2. are mostly exclusive and contradictory positions, I have finally decided to go into more detail, as this debate is too important to all of us.

My way to tackle this evaluation:
Group and summarise most important points on 5 different ‘universal’ issues: Public Safety, Education and Prosperity, Social Equality, Current and future Environment, Independence and Sovereignty
B. Diagnose the narrative and current rhetoric from different factions per Issue and understand repercussions / possible ways forward.
C. Understand the immediate feeling towards yourself regarding the Issue.
D. Draw a logical conclusion which comes near to your personal and private perception of the current reality per Issue.
E. Understand consequences and what can/must be done after the Vote (for the whole evaluation).

Public Safety: Europe as a common living space (and environment) for European citizens.
Europe as a whole is unstable and has become less safe. The many factors we can blame this on are generally well known (war on IRAK, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.).
The current refugee/immigration crisis is an immediate consequence and in parallel the horrific terror attacks committed by ISIL. What are the means one could apply to lessen this risk:
-Stronger Police force and change of gun laws more like in America. è This fills me with DOUBT, and one can argue that this is needed. But nevertheless this is a national issue and not governed inside the EU.
-Less protection on private information more like in Germany è This fills me with FRUSTRATION, but UK would never give up their security rules, as it is excluded from the ever deeper integration. People who do not trust the Pro-EU factions in the UK might be alarmed.
-Improved intelligence services throughout Europe è The EU should be understood as framework and umbrella, which helps to reduce safety risks. We must insist that this debate does not go away. This is key to have better means for identity checks.
-Immigration Control more like in Australia è UKIP tries to find the most vulnerable people and communities to instil FEAR. The UK government is addressing this point and simple answers are easy to give, but do not solve the problem of the EU regarding people, that are already in refugee camps inside or outside the UK territory but UK protected. The crisis can only be solved with money and expertise foreign aid workers, military and diplomacy.
A point system might work for people who come for works purposes and are educated, but they are not a safety problem. Certainly the national governments need to find methods to distribute immigrants in a better way.
-Stop of Schengen agreement more like in other European countries è This is outside this topic, as with or without Schengen, safety in UK is still the same. One cannot feel safer in Britain as border control stays the same.
Better cooperation with Russia and support of the Assad regime to solve the crisis in Syria è This would mean a complete change of principle, because we would work with dictators. This does not cause FEAR for me, but it does for many people, because they consider Russia rather as a threat and enemy and could therefore not grasp a plan for working together and building of diplomatic relations.
-Governance and rules to limit freedom of speech more like in Germany è This fills me with DOUBT, and one can argue that this is needed, but not as critical as in Germany, as UK is governed first pass the post and therefore extremist parties stand little chance to assume real power. Therefore this might not have been recognised as quite as critical as in Germany.

The same Level of detail must/should/could be elaborated for the other four topics. Only a very quick thought on these for now….
Education and Prosperity: This is where the most benefit comes for EU member countries, because better exchanges of experience helps the society as a whole and puts forward the UKIP requirements on more experience instead of mentoring power and establishment circles.

Social Equality: It fills me with anger, when politicians speak about food banks and poverty of the working classes in the 5th richest economy. Can one really believe that this is a problem of the EU? UK has a different currency, its own taxation, minimum wage, etc. An EU wide recruitment process without changing the in work policies of the different countries might help to provide the right skills in the right place, but this might as well mean more preparedness to leave the country. The crash in America and the banking crisis required action regarding control of banks and stricter rules for the Stockmarket. I am DOUBTFUL what a different government outside the EU could achieve in the short term to improve the situation. A vote of OUT could at best achieve, that UK is split and gets rid of the Scottish debt. Despite UKIP proposals regarding UK critical industries, such eg. Fishing, Oil and steal, the EU could rather help, as it is designed to become a single market instead of encouraging competition inside the EU. The main competitors are outside the EU (China, America, India). People from the eastern block provide cheap labour, which needs to be solved via local taxation and wage regulations. The current benefit system is tackled in the negotiations. It is to be trusted or not to be trusted, if Cameron really secured the right deal. The difference in the health systems (NHS versus Insurance based) will stay and the UK cannot become part of the deal, with the disadvantage that specialist doctors might rather look for better opportunities outside the UK, but this is left to the decision of an individual. Certainly there are currently no striking doctors in Germany, France or Spain.
Regarding Infrastructure and housing, these require mid-term solutions, but rather to be solved on a national level. Might the European Union representatives like e.g. Nigel Farage represent the UK in order to get agreement on fundings.

Current and future Environment: the Energy policies in Germany and in the UK are very different to each other, but both seem to fail for different reasons. Most policies on climate change are world-wide and are outside of EU Control. This fills me with a lot of ANGER in principle, in my mind a more technocratic decision making and leadership is required. Currently positive Inputs are only possible via interest groups. These need to be strengthened (they already exist locally, but have not enough clout). The powers/decision making process inside the European Union need reform, but this need to be requested and agreed in principle on a national level. I suppose the British renegotiation might be a very small, but at least first step in the right direction. Change of structure and organisation can only be achieved if everybody does not feel like a lonely voice but uses existing powers to steer in the right direction. Yes a more plebiscite type direct democracy is required, but this must replace the existing way and not be installed in parallel.

Independence and Sovereignty: The EU functions (with a lot of problems) despite not having one single constitution like the US, but EU legislation respects the specifics of each country. The German system is more similar to America than the rest, but the principle of human rights and dignity of human life is true in all countries. The goal to have ever closer union will affect all countries and yes, it is unclear how far the UK can be excluded. This causes DOUBT, but what are the consequences? There will always be national parliaments and in the UK a different currency e.g. a change of the voting and/or party system is certainly not achievable over a time of a decade or two. Why worry now?

E Conclusion: Brexit will personally not affect me too much, apart from potential financial gains or losses. For the moment I could not decide if I would vote NO or YES as Cameron has not finished the negotiations, but I definitely believe that Britain needs the European Union as much as the European Union needs Britain, such that the European space can continue to prosper in a similar way all over and no nation drops back into archaic/second world/underdeveloped populations. Any nation can easily become the victim, caused by whatever. Having a common framework safeguards our role as helping nations instead of needing development aid from second world countries or neighbouring nations, which have overtaken us in the near future and we can then furthermore lead our lives as human beings (law abiding citizens) with a good conscience and be mostly proud of our achievements and (with certain amendments, e.g. second world war) our heritage. I am not certain, what deep down Nigel Farage is driven by, he would be much better do for Britain if he would support/educate MP’s throughout the party spectrum instead of spending his time to tell people how much he despises the European Union.

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Categories: General
  1. February 16, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Me? I’m a simpler soul. I don’t fancy an ever closer union – with the EU or any other lot. I disapprove of unelected power. I hate simpering bureaucrats. Q.E.D.

  2. February 16, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    1. The Continent has various forms of Civil Law, the UK has Common Law. Both systems are perfectly functional on their own but it creates a mess for the UK as they’re too different to truly be compatible.

    2. The EU cannot act in good faith. It is not designed to act in good faith. Nor is there a “status quo”. In a mad-dash to be the new Yugoslavia at worst, Italy at best the EU runs roughshod over its electorates. It’s a liberal dictatorship in all but name. In China there are local elections, but results are only respected so long as the “right” candidates win. If not,they’re nullified and either run until the “correct” decision is made or the “desired” candidates are simply appointed. Congratulations, Europe, your elections are as legitimate as China’s.

    3. The EU is pathetically navel-gazing. “We can’t see the world because EUROPE. EUROPE. EUROPE. Our economies are dying under the weight of incessant regulations splattering from Brussels but EUROPE. Schengen cannot survive a major crisis and Greece cannot deal with the current invasion alone, but EUROPE. Merkel’s economic policies are destroying economies and skills but EUROPE. We could trade more with countries with better growth-rates and more cultural similarities, with those with whom we have a greater affinity but EUROPE”.

    4. Europe has more depth than most other continents. It has great industries, great legacies and the potential to innovate. Yet, the EU is a cancer that sucks the life out of the continent. The stronger the EU grows, the more Europe’s stature sinks globally. It’s turning into a collection of inward-looking states unwilling to face a rapidly changing world. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Chile, Taiwan and South Korea are all roughly the same size as many EU states but have better rates of growth without the baggage of Euro fantasies. It’s why I have less and less desire to even cross the English channel. It’s becoming too tragic to see the continent destroyed for “Europe”.

  3. Four-eyed English Genius
    February 16, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    FoE: Not for nothing is the EU commonly referred to as the EUSSR in the UK. The EU’s contempt for democracy is outstanding

  4. christinaosborne
    February 16, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    ‘negative (NO) camps’ , who are fighting the current status quo and in the ‘positive (YES) camps’, who need to…….’

    FoE it does not seem to occur to you that many of the British do not see the negative and positive the same as you. Many regard it as a huge positive to get our country BACK out of the hands of the bloody Brussels brigade!
    With respect you are not British in origin and your opinions reflect a European mind set which most of us do not share. We are an insular difficult people that have always paddled our own canoe and deeply resent attempts to bulldoze us into accepting European ways. We have never had the chance to vote on this issue as yet and it is very obvious that the politicians are very afraid that we are going to vote to regain our country.
    And a bloody good job too. I for one have no intention of ever being a good European! I don’t do naive blandishments..

  5. February 16, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    CO: When I was in Denmark in December 2014 Viking-type chum refused to look at the new series of euro notes I had in my wallet. He did not want to hear anything about the wretched euro, see the bloody things or even consider making his beloved Nordic home even more “European”. He had another whinge about Eastern European gangs stealing copper wires from rail lines which cause highly inconvenient delays in the Copenhagen region. I read an interesting article yesterday about Finland. In the mid-1990s the Finns, like the Swedes, were dragged by their political elite into the EU. Norway and Iceland had the sense to stay out. Can’t you see how they suffer? Oh, no, they’re doing far better outside the bloody EU — much like Switzerland. Anyway… The Finnish elite wanted to put Finland at the “core of Europe”, more “European” than the old Benelux-French-German-Italian axis. Now Finns are realising what that really means and they’re thoroughly disgusted. The EU picks a battle with Russia and Finland, which relies on Russia economically, is dragged into it. Finland’s security depends on good relations with Russia but they no longer have that. It seems as if the only countries outside of the Old Axis that still have much love for “Europe” are those who have their snouts in the Brussels Eurotrough!

  6. christinaosborne
    February 16, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    How right you are C.
    actually it is surprising that more countries are not trying to get out. I wonder if they will try in due course?

  7. February 16, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Donald Tusk seems to think so. The UK decision is the sluice-gate.

  8. February 16, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    CO: If the UK has the sense to withdraw I see it as being only a matter of time before Denmark, Sweden and Finland follow. Ireland is so dependent on the UK that it will eventually have to follow. Interestingly, in recent years EUphilia which was previously nearly universal in Ireland has soured and EU support is now decidedly more tepid and split. Even the Dutch are starting to resemble the English more than they are the Belgians! I watch Italy with a keen interest. Pro-EU parties are committing electoral suicide leaving only la Liga Nord, Movimento Cinque Strelle and Berlusconi-influenced parties, all hostile to the EU, left.

  9. February 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    FEEG, you call this democracy, because we have a choice between parties, that in our views all have their faults and Russia is a one-party system? Is that all what counts? Or do I miss your point? I can only see at the moment that Russia is achieving more on the humanitarian front than every other country in the world. They might have really learned their lessons from Afghanistan, I am not sure about America to be honest.

    All, you make your life very easy, I find it a bit shallow what you are writing, it seems you have no insider-views. But let’s see , my opinion stands against yours and wait for the results on the referendum and the near future, I rather hope for improvements on some form of cooperative than tearing it all down without knowing that we are better on our own. Christopher, what you are writing is more guess work and emotion than better judgement. The ever growing competition was not there when the states were independent in Europe and they might have already been overtaken by China, Brazil, etc. without the union. Frau Merkel certainly has a lot of reasonable world-wide supporters for her politics and yes let’s see how things pan out.
    Most Anti-EU campaigners are unfortnately scar-mongerers and very unreasonable people. I am happy, that you are all right in the end and I am wrong, but I don’t believe so, I am afraid, I did more homework and only time will tell. I wish everybody in Europe a very good night now. It is time to go to bed.

  10. christinaosborne
    February 16, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    ” I can only see at the moment that Russia is achieving more on the humanitarian front than every other country in the world. ”

    Is this the joke of the day?
    Mind you killing people in situ is to be preferred to having them drag themselves all over Europe as ‘refugees’!

  11. Boadicea
    February 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Frau – as far as I’m concerned it’s the pro-EU mob who are negative and scaremongering. They talk about:

    1. Refugee camps in Kent. Nonsense – all the UK has to do is pass laws similar to those in Oz – make it illegal for any carrier to bring anyone into the country without valid papers, fine the carriers (heavily) and make the said carriers take the illegal visitors back to where they picked them up. Believe me – it works.

    2. Higher tariffs imposed on UK goods going into EU. Two can play at that game – and Europe sells more to the UK than the UK does to the EU.

    3. Higher prices for travel to and holidays in the EU – sure! There is sufficient competition for that to be a no goer!

    When are the Pro-EU mob going to talk about the positive advantages of coughing up millions of pounds to support the policies of the likes of Merkel – who has, single-handedly, caused havoc in Europe and expects everyone else to pick up the price-tag. Personally I can see no benefit whatsoever. Britain starts to recover – and the EU demand even more money…

    What you and, all the other EU members do not understand is that small businesses, like that owned by my daughter and son-in-law are fed up with the petty regulations imposed by a bunch of unelected foreigners. And most British are fed up with their laws and way of life being changed by a bunch of unelected foreigners. In fact they are fed up with being told what to do by a bunch of unelected foreigners. We had a very good system that worked for centuries, and does not need to be brought in line with the rest of Europe.

    There are very sound and good reasons for voting to exit the EU. First, we were conned into joining a Common Market – and no one likes to feel that they have been conned. And Second, and most importantly the desire to be free to make our own destiny and not have to pay a fortune to be told what to do by a bunch of unelected foreigners.

  12. February 16, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I see that Prince William has just made a speech which some have interpreted as being pro EU. Probably written for him by some Foreign Office bureaucrat.

  13. February 17, 2016 at 12:36 am

    FoE: no, I don’t base my arguments on emotion. The EU is growing ever less competitive and the euro costs more than it’s worth. Actually, a former EU official, from Germany of all places,admitted about a decade ago that the EU costs far more than it is worth. Soon after, he was caught in am embarrassing moment and lost much credibility. Once again you are projecting your emotional responses onto me. The world favours highly competitive states with flexible economies. The EU has none of that. The only thing that the EU has left is bribery and emotion.

  14. February 17, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Gnädige Frau –

    I accept that your English has not yet reached the heart-warming fluency of Christopher’s, and that you are, compared with most other Charioteers, relatively young.

    I acknowledge your right as a Charioteer to express your opinions and to disagree with those of your colleagues,

    but really dear, you do have some daft ideas.

    In fact some of your attitudes strongly remind us (OK, me) why we fought you lot in WWII, and put you firmly back in your box for the second time. We’ll do it again if we have to.

    I took note when you observed that . . . no-one who is not german can understand . . ., but I let it pass. Belatedly however, let me tell you that there are many non-Germans who understand only too well. You may not have heard of a headline that appeared in The Times in 1957, above a meteorological report. I quote –

    Thick fog in Channel. Continent cut off.

    In contemporary English this might now be expressed as Adverse visibility in Channel, Europe isolated, but in either dialect it’s still a salutary encapsulation of British national self-image. (If this means nothing to you, get Christopher to translate for you).

    Arbeit macht frei – no it doesn’t.
    Deutschland über alles – no you’re not.

    Finally, let me endorse Christina’s comment on your crazy assertion about Putin’s humanitarianism.

    Have a nice day, now. 🙂

  15. February 17, 2016 at 3:43 am

    FoE, when I said earlier that I am a simple soul, I meant my views on Brexit are concise and prompted by both logic and national pride. Shallow they are not. Yours are, to say the least, under-cooked and in need of some intellectual rigour.

  16. February 17, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Some are shallow. Some are naive. Some are clever.
    Me, I’m just a coward and keeping well out of this one.

  17. February 17, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Therein lies true wisdom, gaz! 😎

  18. February 17, 2016 at 8:42 am

    The EU is a dangerous concept. The taking down of borders releases all kinds of tensions which will lead to chaos until some kind equilibrium is reached. We’re now entering the chaos period and it’s time to leave.

  19. O Zangado
    February 17, 2016 at 8:43 am

    As I have written elsewhere I do not see why a putative trading bloc needs all the trappings of statehood. As a dyed-in-the-wool Insel Affe and proud subject of Her Majesty rather than a citizen of the EU I am probably one of the more recalcitrant of those whom Dave and the Establishment are presently trying to brainwash. Nothing he nor anybody else says will ever persuade me that ever closer union with the continent is ‘a good thing’.

    OZ

  20. February 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

    The Russians have far more chance of achieving stability in Syria than we have, because they will do whatever is necessary. They at least have a leader. What gave we got ? Obama, Merkel and Cameron a bunch of complete numpties.

  21. sheona
    February 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

    At the moment it seems that the EU is doing its very best to persuade Brits to vote OUT. Yesterday we read about Schulz confirming what we always knew, that anything “agreed” by the EU and Cameron today can easily be overturned by the EU next week. Today’s news that a scumbag from Rochdale is fighting not to be deported back to his country of origin because all the rape and sexual abuse in that town is a conspiracy to discredit muslims and that the said scumbag will go to the ECHR. This instituttion alone, without even opening its mouth, is enough to prompt most normal people, that is those not afflicted with political correctness, to want to leave the EU and get far away from the ECHR, many of whose “judges” would not know a human right if it bit them.

  22. O Zangado
    February 17, 2016 at 9:17 am

    For example, from today’s DT Linkey thing ‘Nuff said.

    OZ

  23. February 17, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Wow, there is a lot of reaction, that is interesting to go through. I start with the first and go through them all one by one.
    Christina: killing people is always awful, needless to say, killing them front to front on the ground in my mind is a more honest way, whereas shooting from the air is cowardice.

  24. Four-eyed English Genius
    February 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

    FoE: Just supposing, as is looking increasingly likely, the UK votes for Brexit, the EU will not accept the referendum result but will insist it is run again, as many times as it takes the UK to produce the “right” result. Most thinking people in the UK have now seen the EU for what it truly is, a wholly undemocratic self-serving cartel. No-one believes the guff that the EU has prevented war in Europe. That is all down to NATO!

    Like many people in the UK, I love Europe and have many European friends, but I hate the EU for what it has done to our country, and the weak kneed UK politicians who have allowed it to happen.

  25. February 17, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Feeg, If they try and have a second referendum there really will be trouble.

  26. February 17, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Boadicea: this is an interesting point, it is certainly the most primitive mob, that you have ever seen in this world, who protests against Europe in Germany. In Spain there is not such a populist party as UKIP per se, but it is one of the few countries in Europe. I am certainly happy about that as I live there. The freedom seeking poor french people that have been killed in january certainly were pro Europe and not members of the LePen populist ideology, they only use the terrorist attacks to incite hatred inside France, which gives a difficult job for Hollande. The situation would be more or less the same if Sarkozy would have stayed in power. I agree with your first point regarding the camps in Kent, but the ProEU mob as you call it are not the problem and not a mob at all, they are in charge to mitigate and rather need support from everybody to make things better. So I cannot understand how you mix mob and immigration with an overall strategy between countries. Regarding your point two, this is not that simple either: the european union mainly imports goods into the UK and the UK gives back a lot of services. But nevertheless services can be replaced easier than goods, because making them takes a lot of time and specialist skills. So who is dependent from each other?
    Regarding your third point:I am not quite sure what you want to say.
    Merkel acted single handedly, because Germany was swamped by immigrants, not in as little numbers as in Britain. Britain started to recover partly because of the European Union and the politics of the conservatives. It is not that Britain only gives money away. Which country otherwise would agree to that??? This argument is a bit weak in my mind.
    I feel sorry for and sympathise with for your daughter and son-in law regarding petty regulations for small businesses, I only believe that this is more a topic of how you establish order in a complex world.
    Would your daugther be more happy, if some UK national, who obviously does not know anything about your daugthers business impose his authority on them? These tax collectors and other policy institutions are just simply a horrible part of human race, which make all of our lives more difficult than necessary. This was the main reason that I quit my quite highly payed job 15 months ago.Sorry I do not want to sound patronising, but I had to do 5 years of new trainings for and on the job to govern businesses inside the business (which I have been told to do), I suppose to know about oll that matters might rather help to challenge the regulation and understand its need instead of tearing your hair out every day. I am still in the process of digesting that and the activity of blogging is certainly one way to express and share these doubts with others. But in saying so, this is not really a matter of the european union, but of overworked people, who feel that they are more important than others and are therefore overworked, and they exist and always will exist with or without the European union. I always think about Mr.Kafkas story about the man in front of the doors. It is just ‘system intrinsic’, nevertheless one must never stop fighting it, but with good weapons, not just in anger and frustration. You really need to think bigger in order to make changes and I really sympathise with Cameron (he makes mistakes admittedly like anyone else), but he is not only in there for his own pride and power, but this is my belief.I think british people should give him a bit more credit, I believe that Britain on its own is more a club of oligarchs than the rest of the EU put together and Cameron has a big job on his hand to fight the injustice and social inequality he has inherited. Most people make the mistake that they think they are better off in Britain because of the NHS and other little ‘sugary welfare’ than the rest of Europe. To be honest I doubt that, the standard of living is higher in France and Germany and we are happy to know and own up to the responsibility to be treated by a doctor.
    I hope that shows a bit better where I am coming from.But certainly a different mindset due to certain experiences gathered whilst breezing and working inside and outside Britain, the european union etc.
    This bunch of unelected foreigners, as Mr.Farage calls them has as well helped to fund his party, please don’t forget that before you replicate his words.

  27. February 17, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Jazz – have you ever thought that Prince William had to agree the speech?

  28. February 17, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Christopher – I agree and this is the reason why Britain cannot fully embrace the EU, which makes it difficult for them. But leaving is even more difficult, as it means going backwards, there is no doubt about that. But in saying so, I am not absolutely certain if you are right about Spain, they are as well a constitutional monarchy the same as the UK and somehow managed to make the two systems working together. But I am not an expert on law. My only other consideration is, that Germany has taken on board the American system of distirbution of powers in three ways and this seems to make sense to me.

  29. February 17, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Bearsy – Bearsy, Bearsy, Bearsy, you are a proud Brit aren’t you? I am a proud German, but I still try to digest german history and accept all atrocities that happened. So, we are both trying to be recognised as educated human beings and I am married to a proud, but mindful Brit. Some people in Britain still want to bask themselves in the thoguhts of being an empire without thinking about the collateral caused on other nations. Better to look at other countries like Germany and America and Russia and be confirmed in your belief that they are the real evil and perpetrstors of bad things. This is not processing facts, but processing beliefs irrationally and therefore very risky to become deluded.
    I suppose it does not make you all very happy that America is partly so opposed to Britain leaving the European Union ( not having forgotten the civil war)???

    Arbeit macht frei – no it doesn’t. ==> you are right, therefore I do not work anymore. So what? It is everybodys right to lead their life as they wish or not?
    Deutschland über alles – no you’re not. ==> No I am not, I divorced a German and married a Brit, please do not try to label me in that horrible way, this rather fires back on you, if you are not careful.
    I wish you a thoughtful and more mindful day as the one before, as anybody can improve on a daily basis.

  30. February 17, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Janus – do you really think you know me well enough to make such a judgement. I would rather say you need more balance in what you say.

  31. February 17, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Janus, you know why Gazoopi stays out of that aren’t you?

  32. February 17, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Jazz- The EU is a dangerous concept. The taking down of borders releases all kinds of tensions which will lead to chaos until some kind equilibrium is reached. We’re now entering the chaos period and it’s time to leave.
    This does not sound like the voice of a Brit, but rather a french man hissing the white flag again.

  33. February 17, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Er, FoE, what was the point of all this? You’ve treated us to the Grand Tour but wasn’t there a specific target? I don’t expect a reply because that would be too simple for you.

  34. February 17, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Nope, I’m an Aussie. Try again. 😦

  35. February 17, 2016 at 11:53 am

    OZ – nothing to more to add onto your comment, it is your view of Cameron seeing him through the eyes of a proud sovereign of the british empire. This excludes the daily problems that he has to hold this empire Britain together and therefore you put a filter on his real issues.

  36. February 17, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Bearsy, yes, then see please my latest reply to OZ.

  37. February 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    FEEG – it sounds like blaming someone else for the misery. Do you really think, that the decline that you feel is only because of the EU membership? There are always winners and loosers when you make an agreement. It is like a marriage, the more powerful might prevail and in the end everybody looses out. Only that in marriage most couples, especially when older make reasonable compromises instead of getting divorced.
    All – call me all daft, half cooked, not writing english as well as Christopher and other words of insult, I stick with my argument and see the world rather divided between winners (positive thinkers) and loosers(which out of desparation and false hopes seek help from other loosers instead of joining the winners). You all decide where you want to be, I have made my mind up now.

  38. Four-eyed English Genius
    February 17, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    FoE: The EU is inward looking and shrinking. The UK public, or a proportion of them, have only had one chance to vote in a referendum on the EU. That was in 1975, when the the only UK Prime Minister who was as weasley as Tony Blair lied consistently that it was just about remaining a member of a Common Market and won the vote. SInce then, no one in the UK has had a chance to vote on anything to do with the EU. , Up until 1973 The UK was a global trader, and would be again, very soon after leaving the EU. It is as simple as that, apart from all the sovereignty issues etc..

    Now do you understand why so many Brits are so angry? How any citizen of the EU is not equally unhappy with the situation is beyond me.

  39. Boadicea
    February 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    FoE – It would seem to you that are a committed supporter of a United Europe. I have no idea how old you are, but I do have a very good idea of the education you would have received post 1945. And I can, just, understand why you think the way you do.

    However, what you fail, utterly, to understand is the British psyche – even those like my daughters who, despite PC propaganda, still have pride in being English / Welsh / Scottish / Irish well before their pride in being British. If we refuse to suborn those feelings – how much harder do you think it is for us to think of ourselves as ‘Europeans’ – especially since we have had centuries of conflict with Europe?

    I am going to be brutally honest here – not to be insulting – but simply to try to get you to understand.

    Many of us on this site were born either pre 1945 or not long thereafter. We do not have any guilt to assuage – as many Germans, and many of the people of the countries that they occupied do.

    Let me make it clear – I do not feel one shred of guilt about Dresden – or Hiroshima or Nagasaki. War is terrible – but if one has to fight, and we did have to, there is only one way to do it – as Jazz says – one has to do whatever is necessary.

    I grew up surrounded by bomb sites in London – which took a very, very long time to rebuild. We were brought up to be proud that we refused to give in or surrender. It is part of our ‘mythology’ – just as the 100 years war against France, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. I once owned a 30 foot boat that went to Dunkerque. This is not ancient history – it is part of many people’s life. Give it another 30 years or so and it may be different.

    Unlike Germany or Japan, we did not have US money to rebuild – my German friends were quite stunned when I told them that Britain only ended rationing in 1954. It was not until the 31st of December 2006 that Britain paid off its WW2 debts to the US. And those facts are also a matter of some pride. We stood on our own feet, paid the price and survived.

    Despite what Bearsy says ( 🙂 )in 1975 the British people were asked whether they wanted to continue Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975). There was no mention of a political union. Had there been, the answer would have been a resounding NO. Why would we have given our autonomy away? Britain was doing pretty well.

    You may see Brexit as a ‘backward step. Most of us here think it is simply the rejection of a system that is not working, costing a fortune, the refusal to be dictated to by a bunch of very left wing foreigners, and the resumption of control of our own destiny,

    It was an experiment which has failed. Do you keep putting money in a vending machine that fails to deliver? No, of course you don’t – you give up and find a machine that works. The EU(SSR) is a vending machine that has swallowed billions of British pounds, swathes of British culture, and seems determined to reduce Britain to the milch-cow of Europe with no right to determine who can or cannot live in Britain – time to walk away and not waste any more money on something that is bleeding Britain of money and autonomy.

  40. February 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    FFEG and Boadicea – I fully understand your sentiment and know quite a bit of the english psyche through the different personalities within my husband’s family and certainly I am clear about what you say about not having had the choice since 1975, I follow a lot of english politics at the moment. I am born after 1945 to be precise in 1956. Thank you for trying nevertheless to understand my position as well, and yes I somehow seem to want to take the role of ambassador for a better future, let’s call it like that and I wish this better future for everyone in Europe including Britain. Why would I not be trustworthy, do you think I hate your psyche and married part of it? This would not make any sense, would it?
    But nevertheless, I do not believe, when looking into the future of economic super-powers like China, America, Russia, Brazil, just to name some of them, that our ‘small psychological battles’ look rather ridiculous from outside and I think we will do better to stay together, in a time when the political climate is heating up. We are all responsible to prevent another racial ideology rising from this dangerous coctail we all have on our hands, better together and not bear any more grudges and move forward together. This in my mind does not mean, that your daughter should not have a british identity, neither will I give up my german identify, everybody needs some form of patriotism to feel good and well. This is mainly my standing from a psychological point of view. But nevertheless not forgiving someone and nurturing prejudices about a nation does not create a good climate and is not a sign of a mature society either.
    A Union is not about one nation being better than the other, it is about knowing the strength and weaknesses of the single member states and take these into account, when making any decision, no matter if it is financial, legal or political. It is the same of a private basis, you should consult all your family members when making a change of direction, yes and your vote on that is needed and totally justified therefore, but I find it extremely important to consider not only the Past but as well the Future and the now of a Union. But I guess this is of course where our opinions differ as you seem to try to cement your views and stick with the past and therefore we can only agree to disagree. I certainly do not hope that Britain has a worse deal than other countries, as I am for balance, solidarity and equality. If you think this is the case within the EU, then you either are mistaken or not, no-one can really fully judge right now. Certainly some of British politicians rather agree with me than with you, accept that and please stop calling me daft. Your thinking might rather be insular and disruptive for the majority of young people, who have the right to a better future. This is my genuine belief and I have a right to have feelings and an opinion the same way as you all do. At the moment, you like it or not, we are still together in that and yes there are some right wing extremists in Germany who only say NO to everything without having workable solutions themselves. I do not trust good old Nigel Farage that he has got one either, even though a quite like him as a character.

  41. February 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Boadicea – one more very personal note on that, my father in law in his hosiptal bed a month before he died, said to us: “you are a german aren’t you? I fought the Germans all my life, but they were the only one’s worth fighting for”. I considered that as a compliment, especially as I have taken his son away from his family and into foreign germand lands and it took me a long time to convince him, that I am not so bad after all.

  42. sheona
    February 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    FoE, you say “The freedom seeking poor french people that have been killed in january certainly were pro Europe and not members of the LePen populist ideology,” Can you explain how you know that and what point you are trying to make? My French friends are as fed-up with the EU as many Brits.

    “In Spain there is not such a populist party as UKIP per se, but it is one of the few countries in Europe” Is Podemos not a populist party? And the Portuguese are not very happy with the EU either.

    It now appears that the eurocrats are terrified that the Brexit contagion might spread, liberating millions of people in the EU but causing a lot of unemployment among the unelected in Brussels. However these europrats are going the right way about ensuring a solid OUT vote. Most of us knew that Cameron would be better saving his breath to cool his porridge than wasting it on renegotiation. I wish a better future for everyone in Europe, but I don’t think it’s going to happen while the EU continues.

  43. February 17, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    FoE, I can easily see qhy gaz reserves his opinion. I would too. I know from your extensive writings that your judgements are more emotional than you admit and you suffer from Hunnish Angst. Whether you are ‘bad’ or not is another matter! 😎

  44. February 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Sheona – thanks for challenging what I said about populist parties, you are right, one must consider Podemos a populist party, but they are extreme left wing, and their ideology is not xenophobic, but the right wing narrative of UKIP (comparable with the LePen party, Alternative fuer Deutschland, etc.etc) is dangerous as it is trying to create hatred amongst the population and consciously clouds all current issues in order to mislead the population and adopt their strong narrative. UKIP is certainly quite succesful with some people, as they always sound so positive, good trick hey. I just don’t like things that sound simple, they make me very suspicious. The fact that Douglas Carswell has now some very different positions to Farage speaks for itself.
    For me there is a fundamental difference between extremist right wing, which mostly has its supporters from people who still bear grudges against something (whatever it is, e.g.history, current politicians being not strict enough, teachers letting kids say horrible words to their kids, etc.) instead of as well looking inside. There is nothing wrong to change your mind, when it is better for you. I do not at all defend extremist left wing policies either, but they stem from socialist ideas, who in principle tried to create solidarity amongst people who come from working class families. All what went wrong with the Stasi and the DDR, please don’t remind me, that is another tangent, which would need a new blog to be honest, as it is about different philosophies and how teir implementation can go wrong when not respecting political and historical circumstances. Nevertheless I certainly feel more comfortable with Podemos or Syriza, but their supporters do not want to leave the european union. Look into Greece and Spain please. Their aim is more about finishing austerity than anything else, therefore perhaps more comparable with the SNP and Jeremy Corbin’s position, but again, I do not want to go down this alleyway either.
    Regarding France, what I wanted to say is, that there are frustrated people who believe that they are more affected and therefore fed up with the EU than others, the same everywhere. Certainly the liberal freedom seeking concert goers in Paris wanted to enjoy life and gladly shared life with friends from different nations, not at all insulated and therefore the prime victims for terrorists, as they stand for multi-culturalism, freedom, cultural exchange, liberalism and freedom of life. The terrorists use Islam as catalysts, the frustrated people all over Europe use the European Union as catalyst in order to deflect from their personal circumstances, that do not seem to be so rosy, but they don’t want to own up to it. It is easy to call yourself victim of society.I know I open another door here, but feel free to comment, I am happy to reply.

  45. February 17, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Janus, you can accuse FOE of many thinks but writing based on emotion is definitely not one of them. I have never know such an angst-free person. Whether she is bad or not…..I will let you know after I have eaten by evening meal 🙂

  46. February 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    That’s all good news, gaz, dinner permitting! 😎

  47. February 17, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    FoE Prince William will read whatever is put in front of him the Royal family are just puppets.

  48. February 17, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Let’s be happy this isn’t one of the PoW’s favourite topics.

  49. February 18, 2016 at 4:03 am

    FoE: Spain has a civil law legal system. It has nothing to do with being a constitutional monarchy or a republic. Ireland, for example, also has a common law legal system and is very much a republic.

  50. February 18, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Christopher- thanks for the enlightenment, I am a lazy and sometimes lousy researcher, as too many things go around in my head at the same time – you could as well call me distracted professor – . Nevertheless in saying so, my blog was more about my personal and I think very mindful decision making process and what I was keen on is to make it transparent that everyone should always consider grouping and arranging things peoperly before analysing and finally making a decision.
    No-one can research in detail and give enough attention to anything, because this requires more than one brain and more than one life. My pet subject is about reasoning before making decisions, trying to be as objective as possible, making compromises and trying to filter out negative thoughts.
    With regards to EU governance, I suppose all national members have their specific form of constitution and governance and legislation functions between them through the treaty which regulates the principle way the states interact and how. I suppose as we are all democracies, which respect human rights the shooting of refugees or not taking in of people in need of shelter (only because they might be unwanted or a potential risk) is not so easy and I appreciate that. Let’s celebrate the fact that we are all not in this situation, instead of being on the side of people who try to incite hatred and permanently rekindle people’s anger and frustration. The path for humanity and survival is in front of us, there is no going back.

  51. Boadicea
    February 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    FoE

    I am not clinging to the past – simply mindful of the fact that Britain has a long history of some form of democracy and a unique system of law. I have no recollection of any country basing their form of Government on the “Berlin / Paris / other European Capital” Parliamentary system – but the “Westminster system” has been adopted even if modified in a number of countries.

    I am, actually, looking to the future – which I do not see through the same rose-coloured spectacles that you seem to use.

    As things stand, I see a future where Britain, under the EU bureaucrats, is bled dry to pay for those countries that decide to take actions in their own interest and to hell with the implications of those actions on the rest of Europe. Actions like Germany’s decision on how to deal with the financial implications of the re-unification of Germany in 1990, and the decision of Madam Merkel to throw the doors of Europe open to all and sundry regardless of how the rest of Europe might feel, or cope with the inundation of millions of people who have no empathy with Western culture.

    As things stand, I see a future where British law is disregarded and where the British have no right to determine just who may or may not stay in Britain, or who has the right to claim the rights that the people of Britain have paid for. And where the so-called European Court of Human- Rights can disregard the legitimate right to full payment of the pensions of Commonwealth ex-pats, which they have paid into, but will uphold the right of a criminal to stay in the UK because they have a cat…

    The only way I see FORWARD is for Britain is to get out of a marriage which has clearly gone wrong. Based on the present – the future will only get worse. You seem to live on hope. Those of us who have taken the step to get out of failed marriages know that taking control of one’s own destiny may be a little frightening – but it’s far better to be able to direct one’s own future than to rely on a vain “hope” that things might get better.

    Whatever the EU might promise at the moment – I, and I’m sure a lot of other people, no longer trust the EU to deliver on their promises – indeed it has already been said that whatever is promised today can be rescinded tomorrow.

    Better to walk alone.

  52. February 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Boadicea – I think there is not a lot to add to your judgement, only one question for you in that regard: are you absolutely certain that all of that can be proven or has been proven true what you state? If yes, then that would mean each YES voter in the UK would be an absolute fool as being misled by the system. Therefore I only ask myself the following questions:
    1. Why do not 100% of the population think like you?
    2. Why do not the other richer countries populations mainly in Germany and France think like you?
    3. Why would southern Ireland, Scotland and the welsh parliament reps want to stay in the EU if the situation is as you describe it?
    4. Why do different political parties tell totally different story lines about the whole thing?
    5. Who brought the british economy down and created the debt crisis? Was it a knock-on effect of the american crisis, Labour policies or the EU?
    6. What about the permanent increase of cost in the british welfare system? Why is it not the same in the other European countries?
    As I said on my blog, I try to be neutral and think autonomously avoiding personal anger and historical events and make my own mind up. To be honest, your argumentation is very valid of course, but are you absolutely certain, that it is not mainly a composure of what media, politicians and your alter-ego say to you, rather than proven truthful? I guess in the end everybody needs to live with their own conscience and if necessary ‘defend it’ when it comes to the ultimate reckoning. Anyway better a wrong decision than none, the biggest ‘enemies’ amongst us are in my mind the non-voters.

  53. February 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Ah sorry to bother you once more BO, I forgot one thing: I assume your vote is for the best of Britain not your personal interests.

  54. February 18, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Southern Ireland, rather, the Republic of Ireland has been independent since 1922 and became a full republic in 1949. It is no more a part of the United Kingdom than New Zealand or the United States.
    The Welsh are, on average, more sceptical of the EU than most in the UK and the Scots are only slightly less so. Politicians talk too much and say too little.

    You really cannot compare the United Kingdom with France or Germany. If anything, the UK is culturally, politically and legally more similar to Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada outside Quebec than it is to either. France is a great country, as is Spain — but they’re different worlds.

    Boadicea: the reason why the German parliamentary system isn’t copied is because the Germans adopted the Westminster system. Japan copied Imperial Germany’s parliamentary system before it, too, was scrapped in favour of a modified Westminster system. Amusingly enough, the Yanks put it in place making it one of the few times that they actually set up a workable government overseas. Pity that they couldn’t respect Korea’s royal tradition.

  55. February 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    If I may ask you directly Christopher, if the politicians say so little, can you explain then how this influences the decision for Britain to stay in or leave the EU? According to you they somehow found a workable solution together.

  56. February 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I’m losing the will to blog again. 😫

  57. February 18, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    perhaps we can separate the Blogging community into three, one for the fun lovers and jovial people, one for the ‘mind bogglers and thinkers’ and one for the ‘experts on everything’. lol

  58. February 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Janus, how about one of you dittys (or should that be ditties)? They are always good for a bit of fun.

  59. February 18, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    FOE: Can I join thr jovials please?

  60. February 18, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    of course you can, we need something jovial here, not too much noise and more simplicity promised

  61. February 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Segregation? Hm. Who’s going to label us? A committee of simpering bureauprats? Or an extremist dictator? Plato chose philosophers to do it. Anwers please on untraceable bearer bonds.

  62. February 18, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Christopher “…Southern Ireland, rather, the Republic of Ireland has been independent since 1922 and became a full republic in 1949. It is no more a part of the United Kingdom than New Zealand or the United States…..”

    Technically correct, but Eire is very dependent on the UK economy, something that cannot be said about NZ and the USA.

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