I’ll be voting to leave now rather than abstaining as was my original intent. I don’t hold any massively negative views in regards to Europe as I’ve regularly travelled and worked in many European countries. Then again, as I have been similarly welcomed and able to trade wherever I have travelled or worked around the world, what one is left asking is what benefits are there for the people of the UK one way or the other? The same fear based arguments are used against PR or parliamentary reform – “Anything new could be worse than we’ve got now”. We’re fast approaching the point that the majority of people are now able to see “Anything new would be welcomed as what we’ve got is appalling!”.
Well, the straw that broke my camel’s back was receiving a glossy brochure from HM Government telling me to vote to stay in the EU, effectively using taxes to lie to a nation. In a nation whose public services mostly now exist only by merit of having a department name rather than any resources to staff and run them, the lies portraying benefits of being within the EU are as tangible as Scotch Mist. I’ve now received two more leaflets printed at the expense of the UK taxpayer, only further reinforcing the truth of how vapid our government remains.
“Oh, but the EU has forced the UK to sign up to dozens of laws that protect the human rights of citizens.” cry the well-meaning yet sadly ill-informed socially minded folk. Once again, signing a document to uphold a law and creating a department name that meets the requirement of the law without actually acting upon the principles and real need of the law by assigning appropriate resources, is less beneficial and more costly to the nation than not having the law at all.
In many ways this referendum is yet another game of smoke and mirrors masking the true plight many nations face today. The underlying precept of mine and many people’s goal is to create a well-designed constitution and governmental system to replace what exists today for the UK. It will be harder to achieve this if tied into treaties with countries and cultures that we share little with, beyond geography, but certainly not impossible by the time of adoption.
Fundamentally, the only form of future government that will be sustainable is one which can take on and restrict the control of profiteering organisations hiding under the banner of providing goods and services, which are spun into being necessary or profit driven. We have reached a stage where this will not be possible under the control of the existing governments that were designed to protect such organisations and whose funding precludes the capability to hold back the hordes of lawyers and accountants employed to avoid taxes and human rights/freedoms.
So, our HM Government has taken the time to spend millions in taxes on this glossy four colour brochure that tells us what they want us to do. What does the content actually state?
The UK has apparently secured special status in the EU to avoid;
- Joining the Euro
- Removing border controls
- Politically integrating further with the EU
- Accessing our welfare system
- Reducing EU red tape
As the political integration and EU red tape statements mean absolutely nothing(one can imagine the civil service brainstorming session “What else can we put in this list to bulk it up??”), what about the others?
- Not joining the Euro. So we’re not part of the EU for that?
- Keep border controls. So we’re not part of the EU for that?
- Please define ‘Tough new restrictions’ as the welfare rights exist or they do not. If the EU does not provide a shared pot from which welfare payments are made, then there is no justification for providing any benefits to foreign nationals from the EU that have input nothing to the UK economy. It is not xenophobia to think such, it is based upon what is fair and right to the people of the UK (and the EU as a whole). In any case it seems HM Government is saying “We’re not part of the EU for that now, sort of”.
Two pages that say nothing beyond emphasising why many EU nations resent our partial membership.
Next, the brochure discusses the economy. The one which is booming or penniless depending on which government department is engaging with Saatchi and Saatchi today.
All the current contracts and links for businesses and individuals will suddenly disappear if we leave the EU? Doubtful as we already trade in an, albeit manipulated, foreign currency and with business ties that have no connection to EU membership or politics. Or did HM Government forget about Globalisation and businesses already spanning global borders?
As our government has recently spent further millions (just under £22,000,000 based on my FOI request) in advertising under the ‘BUSINESS IS GREAT (Britain)’ and ‘EXPORTING IS GREAT’ campaigns that tell us we should be ‘doing business’ and we should be trading with businesses from all over the world (regardless of whether you run a small bakery in Colchester and probably don’t wish to export to Sudan). No explanation of how this would be impeded by not being a part of the EU?
As those naughty economists recently suggested, not being tied to restrictive EU treaties is likely to improve the economic flexibility of the UK and as I also outlined in an old post (Common Wealth), there are many other potential future partners or financial models whose laws and historical connections are far better suited for trading than the majority of EU member states.
Two more expensive, glossy pages stating nothing but large numbers with little valid provenance (ask the ONS why they can’t provide accurate figures. I have and guess what – underfunding).
Improving our lives. Oh this one’s going to be good!
Cost of living. Leaving the EU will cause ‘economic shock’ – again, please define exactly what that means as one could just as easily say “financial haematoma” and remain as vague?
Does it mean anything similar to;
- Allowing large organisations to avoid tax and create monopolies controlled by multiple business fronts?
- Allowing banks to create fake markets to pretend economies were stronger than they were?
- Generating boom and bust financial models that increase the wealth of the wealthy and destabilise the lives of millions?
- Playing global politics with poor nations to steal their resources resulting in the current security situation that puts citizens in danger (as politicians and hard targets are adequately protected)?
- The beauty of ‘austerity’ which entails large organisations shrinking the size of their products whilst charging the same price?
- Cutting funding from government services that were already failing to meet the needs of our society through underfunding?
- Forcing local and central government services to be privatised in all but name by merit of outsourcing of most services to 3rd party organisations often with massive, hidden contractual expenses that further sap government service funds?
Will this undefined ‘economic shock’ be worse than all of the above? A recent comment by a local authority summed it up well; “Our government has created a generation that will borrow until retirement rather than save as there is no benefit to saving when by retirement you are then taxed a second or third time on money you have saved or property you own.”
Travel abroad. Are you kidding? No, really. What a steaming pile of… Not even worth discussing beyond one personal comment as HM Government are scaremongering about travel insurance not working if we leave the EU. I suffered loss of a great deal of skin from one leg and arm during a motorbike accident in the Philippines. Without using insurance, I was seen in a busy hospital in Manila (where gunshot wounds and similar are continually pouring in), had x-rays taken, injections and was seen by a consultant within minutes. All for the princely sum of about £25. I recall commenting, I wish our services in the UK were so efficient.
On to Immigration and securing our borders. Again really not necessary to comment. The statements are all irrelevant to EU membership unless regarding the imbalanced system that exists today. Immigration from the EU is different to global immigration and refugees. Paying for two more pages to blend different situations and play on the reader’s topical fears.
Oh wow, a real LOL! The EU promotes economic security, peace and stability. Well aren’t you glad we’re enjoying all of those, we’d best stay! Oh you said promote. Sorry, I now realise, each individual living within the EU should be glad to pay half of their salary to promote those things, I certainly am setting up a standing order to donate ¾ of my salary to such a meaningless endeavour. Again, recent news surrounding the debacle of EU nations trying to manipulate economic status to appear to meet EU requirements paints a far better picture than I could. When faking a fake that has already been faked, what is left that is real?
We already could send our children or ourselves to study or work in other countries. There is no reason this would change. Blah, blah.
I love self-defeating statements. As with McDonalds’, “We use chicken in our chicken nuggets now!” “The UK is a leading force in the world.” That was not because of EU membership and won’t change if not a part of it “Oh no, we’re not in the EU, the stock market must close”. Simple, facts.
To finish, it is important to ensure more fear is passed to the reader. Brighton Council are leaders in this art as their imposition of unwanted parking restrictions letters followed exactly the same format. “Vote for paying to park outside your home otherwise all the cars from restricted areas will start blocking your access. We won’t hold a consultation on this again for years so you’ll be stuck with this situation.”
Once the vote made by residents for their council not to impose unwanted restrictions was announced, another consultation was begun straight away. Not years later as was threatened with a no vote, but immediately to allow the council to use their powers to waste more taxes in lying and then cajoling residents to do what the council wants, not what is good for them.
So, once in a lifetime choice huh? Lie. I’m afraid it is not possible for a short-term government to make such promises as they cannot commit to being in control of the country for our lifetime, unless, as is finally cascading down to the greater population, Labour, Liberal, Conservative, mean very little today, it is the unelected civil service that runs our country, for good or for bad.
Note the glossy brochure came from HM Government, making us pay to tell us what we should do. If a TV advertising campaign alone to tell us to do business cost around £22,000,000, how much do you think a high quality glossy brochure delivered to every residence in the country cost?
Consider the altruistic goal of creating a system of government that can contend with businesses and provide real security and stability for its citizens. It is in reach now and if building on the good if underfunded services rather than suggesting a revolutionary change, can be enacted with little change to anyone’s daily life. This model would need to be enacted in a single country before it could be copied and developed in other states. Whilst the concept of the EU is appealing, so are the concepts of capitalism, communism and socialism. None of them fit the far wider scope of human nature and vastly differing cultures and so will always fail to deliver in reality.
So for this reason more than any, it would fit to remove the complication of the EU until such a time as we could begin to consider the capability of global cooperation and stability based on truly integrated governments which are responsible to their citizens.