Friday, 29 April 2016

Churchill's Europe & Project Boris

Bloody last leg of my journey from Hamburg to Bristol yesterday (Brussels to Bristol) was cancelled due there not being enough of us to make the flight profitable. 13 of us were shuttled to Heathrow and a coach to Bristol (I had to go to the airport to collect my car, the coach having passed my M4 turnoff 40 minutes prior to arriving at Bristol airport). Problem was a 7 seater minibus turned up initially, which was half the size required - more delay. What was meant to be a 14 hour day turned into a 22 hour one - didn't get home till 2am. At least I managed to stock up on Bols in Brussels airport - the main reason I went via Brussels (as well as it being £200 cheaper than a direct flight).

It was heaven breezing through passport control between Belgium and Germany (Schengen), but we were faced with the usual mile long immigration queue at LHR. The usual farce on the ePassport gates - 3 out of 10 working, and those 3 having issues too. It was like being at a Lidl checkout.

Continuing the Europe theme; it seems to me that those clamouring loudest on social media for the UK to exit the EU know least about it. Their main preoccupation is, understandably, immigration and its effect on jobs. They don't seem to realise that if we exit then tariffs will be imposed on our exports to Europe, resulting in uncompetitiveness against similar European products made and sold within Europe, with cutting costs (i.e. job losses) being virtually the only option to counter this. Immigration is a problem that can be resolved by staying within the EU, whereas tariffs are not addressable when outside and will be permanent.

The following Churchillian quote is currently being bandied about on Facebook; “We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.”.

Now this quote is actually a mishmash of two separate quotes. The last sentence was spoken four years after the previous four sentences.

Here is a snippet from an actual speech Churchill made about Europe; "The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause." Here is the full speech. Churchill can be whatever you want him to be - if you cherrypick the quotesn - he was a politician after all and crossed the floor a number of times.

A survey has been performed indicating that the higher one's educational attainment, the more likely one is to vote remain; the less qualified are more likely to vote exit (and unfortunately that's borne out by observation on social media of the spelling, grammar and the bad language used by most of the exit lobby). Here's the link to the survey. It makes perfect sense when the exits are worried about nothing but immigration and its effect on unskilled jobs and they know nothing of the economic consequences - or simply aren't interested. Labour's policy of getting 50% into university would appear to work in favour of a remain vote.

Boris may well call the In vote Project Fear, but the Out vote is definitely Project Boris for PM and I'm certain a large number of his supporters in the Tory ranks are hoping for a position in his potential cabinet, should it go his way. I can  think of no other reason when only 5 cabinet members support out and the rest are total unknowns.


  1. Don't let the facts get in the way of a good argument for Stay or Leave.
    Let's do it all on fears and now even saying that Exiters are the thickos.
    This has the ring of Climate Change doom and gloom. Ad Hominum.

    1. Ad hominem.

      The survey is a statement of fact, noit an opinion. In almost every pro-exit diatribe I've seen on Facebook, the sole issue has been immigration, and some pretty awful language.

    2. And when I say awful language, I don;t necessarily mean the spelling or grammar, but swearing and the use of words I shudder to hear.

    3. I think that BOTH sides are guilty of scare tactics. I regret that I got my old Latin wrong it's been 50 years and I did try to find it in one of our dictionaries.

    4. Ditto 50 years on the Latin. Was garbage at it and swapped to woodwork.

  2. I think that if the the referendum turns up an Out vote, then the UK will be shooting its self in the foot big time.