It was the first time I had been back at the Institute since my contract came to an end. I was surprised how everything seemed changed and yet nothing seemed changed. I was officially there as a "volunteer" but Alec Nussbaum assured me that I would have a senior role in his plans.
It was a typical Nussbaum event. Seminar room in complete darkness except for the projector light. Rows of seats gradually filling up with people one seldom saw, about fifty people in all. Rock music bellowing out to supposedly get us "uplifted" - Starship's Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now which went on and on and then repeated so that I thought my eardrums might be perforated.
Alec Nussbaum talked for nearly two hours and such was the force of his enthusiasm that one hardly noticed the time.
He was particularly scathing about the Labour party (of course) and listed the ways in which their abdication from the EU debate would not only back fire on them but positively blow up in their face.
Anyway, the analogy is that the Labour party is all in bed together but only Jeremy Corbyn and one or two others have their heads out. The rest are under the covers and suffering the effects of the Dutch Oven. Eventually they are going to burst out gasping for breath and insisting on having their say.
Effectively this conspiracy of silence about the EU referendum is about the Labour party's lust for power. We saw this before with the unholy alliances that ushered in Blair. And we know how bad that was for the Labour party.
And has Owen Jones forgotten the 2008 Crewe & Nantwich by-election where official Labour individuals pranced around in top hats and tails to imply that dressing formally should be a bar to holding a parliamentary seat?
Horrible, nasty and pathetic indeed Owen Jones, but your side started it.
Watching Newsnight about the so-called breakthrough in the EU renegotiations, one is left with the feeling that a tremendous fraud is being practised against the British people: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk25
Immigration - Immigration from the European Union is
currently boosting the workforce by around 0.5% a year. This has helped support
the economy’s ability to grow without pushing up wage growth and inflation ( my note - in
other words, immigration is depressing wages in the United Kingdom).
Trade and manufacturing - It is highly probable that a
favourable trade agreement would be reached after Brexit as there are
advantages for both sides in continuing a close commercial arrangement.
Financial services and the City - The City would probably be
hurt in the short term, but it would not spell disaster. The City’s competitive
advantage is founded on more than just unfettered access to the single market.
Regulation, innovation and productivity - Brexit is only
likely to have a limited impact on Britain’s productivity.
Foreign investment - Concerns about a drying up of foreign
direct investment if Britain
votes to leave the European Union are somewhat overblown.
Public sector - The British government could save about
£10bn per year on its contributions to the European Union’s budget if the
country left the bloc.
Consumption and property market - any negative impacts will
be small, certainly at a macroeconomic level.
Overall - Although the impact of Brexit on the British
economy is uncertain, we doubt that Britain’s long-term economic
outlook hinges on it.
Andrew Marr also warned us "we know there is a rabbit in David Cameron's hat".
We must be wary of this. The whole of the renegotiations has so far been a manipulative pantomime with stage villains, choreographed storylines, and two-dimensional principle boy heroics. Whatever "rabbit" emerges needs to be scrutinised very carefully by the media, and it is certain to be an attempt to deceive.
It will be interesting to see how Barack Obama does this.
Surely he is not going to claim to be a friend of the United Kingdom?
This is Barack Obama who in his autobiographical Dreams From My Father accused the British of atrocities during counter-terrorist operations in Kenya here
This is Barack Obama who maliciously accused "British Petroleum" of polluting the Gulf of Mexico when the company he was referring to had been known as BP for years, was as much American-owned as it was British-owned, and when almost everyone involved in the pollution fiasco was American not British.
This is Barack Obama whose first action on becoming American President was to send back to London the bust of Winston Churchill that had been displayed in the White House Oval Office. It is not clear whether he spat on it before it was sent back. But certainly it was sent back in a symbolic act that was unmistakable.
No, Barack Obama cannot claim to be a friend of the United Kingdom.
And any attempt to interfere in our internal affairs needs to be robustly rebuffed.
Indeed, let me start the rebuffing now by saying: fuck off Obama, you are no friend of ours.
"THIRTEEN government ministers will defy David Cameron to campaign to leave the EU."
And presumably one of those thirteen will be the next Conservative Party leader since whatever the result of the EU referendum (and I am hoping for a LEAVE win) it is inconceivable that Cameron could stay on after his farcical Jungle-camps-in-Kent blunder.
A politician can survive many things, but not ridicule.
On Daily Politics this lunchtime there was a discussion about fear-mongering in the EU referendum campaign. Agreement from Kelvin MacKenzie and Anne McElvoy that for David Cameron to use the fear of Jungle Migrant Camps so early in the campaign is an indication that things are not going well. "His private polling is probably telling him he is going to lose" Kelvin MacKenzie said.
Note the line: Is the national identity of the United Kingdom best preserved by
escaping from the supranational goals of the European Union, or would
withdrawal from it risk, as I have argued, the disintegration of the
United Kingdom itself?
I think people will be surprised at the strength of LEAVE feeling in Scotland, and on the day it may well be the majority opinion in Scotland for a variety of reasons.
Brady, who had just returned from a breakfast meeting in the City of
London, told me that a number of business people have revealed to him
that although their “institutional position is firmly that we should
remain in the EU . . . privately their view is completely the opposite”.
More evidence that the Shy Leavers are not being reflected in the polls.
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP points out the implications of the EU referendum for any future leader of the Conservative Party: "...it won’t be somebody who backs the stay campaign because the bulk of the voters are outers",
won’t be somebody who backs the stay campaign because the bulk of the
voters are outers - See more at:
won’t be somebody who backs the stay campaign because the bulk of the
voters are outers - See more at:
David Cameron's proposed new law to "assert the sovereignty" of Parliament was exposed as a bogus con by Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, interviewed by Martha Kearney on the World At One this lunchtime.
The primacy of EU legislation has already been conceded.
Only by leaving the EU can Parliamentary democracy be re-established in the United Kingdom.
Lying, fear-mongering, inept bungling at every level - David Cameron is not doing very well in this campaign.
There was a wonderful moment on the Today programme this morning when presenter Nick Robinson, discussing the EU referendum with Whitehall "mandarin" Sir Peter Ricketts GCMG ("God Calls Me God") gently pointed out to him that the establishment always conspires to frighten ordinary people into conformity, and therefore his scaremongering about leaving the EU is likely to be disregarded.
Despicable behaviour by the Prime Minister David Cameron who earlier today was fear-mongering to tell us that the "Jungle" camp of migrants in north France would move into the United Kingdom were we to leave the EU.
The implicit threat in his statement is that if the United Kingdom dares to leave the EU there will be recriminations and retaliations by the French.
This is bullying behaviour from an Old Etonian toff the Guardian openly mocks as "Flashman".
The only possible response to bullying is to face up to the bullies and make them back off.
So let us look at the threat made by David Cameron.
Personally I believe in the sovereignty of nations, and I do not want a British border "somehow" administered in a foreign country. I have every confidence in our ability to police our own borders. And I am also unimpressed by the efforts to date of the French to control the Jungle or stop illegal attempts to enter the United Kingdom.
The threat of having to administer the border ourselves is no threat at all - we would do it much better than the French, and without all the European Court garbage the illegal migrants would be much easier to process.
And in any case, were we to leave the EU the numbers of cheapo predatory haulage companies pouring into England each day would be dramatically reduced, so far less lorries for the illegal migrants to jump onto.
And to address the underlying nastiness in Cameron's argument that the French would retaliate against the English, he overlooks the fact that there are approximately half a million French living in England.
Of course, there are also hundreds of thousands of English living in France, but these are mostly retired people - if the French were to retaliate against them they would simply move back to England taking their retirement wealth with them and France would be the poorer.
The French who live in England on the other hand are mostly working professionals. I hope there would be no "retaliation" against them, but in the unpleasant world threatened by David Cameron it is possible they would be asked to leave. In which case France would have a big surge in unemployment.
So you see the nasty negativity of David Cameron is nothing more than empty threats that mean nothing.
People aren’t concerned by the obscure possibility we might be able to reduce in-work benefits for migrant workers if we can pull an emergency brake.
We want to know we are contributing taxes to make Britain a better place, to provide for our families and to keep the UK true to the culture we grew up to love. I’ve a feeling if I stood on a stump in the Jungle at Calais, and read out the changes to our relationship with Europe Dave announced this week, they’d laugh in my face as they picked my pockets.
Obviously inadequate, and presented in a rather vacuous way, the article nevertheless had the following:
I talked to Abroon, a Somali who works in a gym. He has many Polish
friends but wants out: “Too many of them coming. No houses for them.
Look how many shops they have. Not good. Send them back. They not
Suresh Patel, a newsagent, is with Priti Patel and Khalid Mahmood:
“Let us get out. These Europeans must go home. Send them away. So then
our people can come. Our culture fits better. My brother’s family wants
to move from India. No chance today. England and we have long
relationship. The country got rich from the Raj. These people, who are
they? Show them a picture of the Queen and they will not know her.”
Hussain, the Turkish grocer, doesn’t like the EU because they hate
Turkey and those people in Brussels control everything. I argued with
him but it was hopeless.
"The focus of Downing Street’s anxieties has now shifted from Theresa May and Boris Johnson to Michael Gove, the justice secretary and a key figure in the Cameron circle – social and official – since its inception. Gove is closer still to George Osborne. He behaved with great loyalty when Cameron removed him from the Department for Education for shabbily “electoral” reasons. But he is also a politician of great intellectual integrity, admired by MPs across the spectrum, and is not impressed by the Tusk deal or the arguments for signing up to it. Gove knows Cameron will be furious if he deserts him at this of all moments, and has promised an answer by the end of the EU summit, which opens on 18 February."
Alan Johnson may be a very worthy man. He may even know a great deal about Europe. But is it really possible that such a large issue with so many ramifications can be dealt with by one person?
The arguments offered by the Labour website are all of the “look at all the good things that we have obtained within the EU framework” variety. At no point is there any effort to consider the obvious counter arguments i.e. would those things have been also available had we not been in the EU? In other words the arguments are based on picking out whatever suits the desired conclusion and ignoring anything which might go in the opposite sense. This sort of argument is based on the idea that the general public are stupid and that therefore only stupid arguments will convince them.
The problem with Labour’s demand for reform of the EU is that it is not based on specific proposals... many, including Labour Party members in general and the left in particular, cannot see why they need to be engaged in EU issues.
On The World This Weekend (BBC Radio 4) Richard Tice, Chairman of the Business Group of Global Britain, discussed David Cameron's so-called re-negotiation and said: "It's no different from what already exists... The Prime Minister is trying to deceive the British people... the European Union is stagnating..." http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qnz4
"Cabinet ministers who want to campaign for Britain to leave the EU are
not at all happy. They had been pleased that they would get a free vote
on the matter and had planned to keep up their side of the bargain by
repeatedly calling for civility between the two camps in the Tory party.
Now they mutter darkly that the campaign will be much more personal and
aggressive. Those involved in the voluntary party are threatening to
abstain from campaigning in the mayoral and local elections as revenge
for Cameron’s advice that Tory MPs should “not take a view because of
what their constituency association might say”.
This morning at Holy Communion as I knelt at the altar rail in that sacred moment between receving the bread and receiving the wine (the Body and Blood of Christ that keeps us in eternal life) I prayed for victory for the LEAVE campaign in the EU referendum.
And in one of the hymns I was moved by the words: Great is thy Truth, and shall prevail To Unbelievers shame; Thy Truth and Years do never fail; Thou ever art the same. Unbelief is a Raging Wave, Dashing against a Rock: If God doth not his Israel Save, Then let Egyptians mock.
England is a holy nation set apart to carry out God's purpose in the world.
It is worth buying the Sunday Telegraph tomorrow for an insight on what the ordinary members of the Tory party think about the conduct of the EU referendum (which is already underway but disgracefully one-sided so that one cannot really call it legitimate): https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/696088059687890945
"...the “emergency brake” will not reduce immigration, that is because EU
nationals come to Britain to work, not scrounge. The brake is unlikely
to be renewed in the future because Britain will struggle to show that
its migrants constitute an 'emergency'..."
Therefore immigration will not stop.
Therefore gross immigration will continue at its present excessive and outrageous rate until enough constituencies are tipped over into alien control and our country is taken from us.
No doubt the pro-immigration pro-EU lobby believes this will usher in a nirvana of pluralism, diversity and perpetual multiculturalism.
In reality we will get the same sullen communal violence (think Fiji, Syria, Rwanda) that characterises other states where the population is divided into rival interest groups.
The Referendum is the best chance the ordinary people have to say NO to the current model of globalisation, and to insist that international politics is reformed so that everyone benefits, not just the elite.
And if that means the elite are going to be hurt - well so be it, they had it coming, it's about time the elite felt some of the pain everyone else is having to feel.
On Today (BBC Radio 4) this morning Mishal Husain interviewed Labour MP Alan Johnson about the EU "renegotiation". She was pathetically inadequate. She asked him if he was relaxed about the rate of EU immigration into the United Kingdom and he just ignored her (ignored her in an arrogant patronising let's-answer-a-different-question sort of way). http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06z4w76
Wonderful performance from Isabel Oakeshott on BBC1's Question Time this evening. She demonstrated real passion and authority and sincerity on the subject of the EU "renegotiation". Not for the first time, we have to rely on a free press to defend our country. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t1q9
Andrew Amesbury. In this blog some names have been changed, some places have been disguised and some characters have been obscured. But the essential truth remains. You can e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org