Monday, 23 May 2016

Overheard in the Lions' Den

The Chairman wanders into the cabin where Hay is emptying the composting toilet:

Hay: "What are you doing?"

Chairman: "Helping you - by keeping out of the way."

The cattle have been let out on the common and they'll be there now till September. People walking past just don't bother them.

Even our hedgehog decided to come out for a snuffle during the day.

Hay has gone off to Whitby with her dad and his girlfriend for the week. No.1 Son and I are left to look after ourselves, which I think we'll accomplish quite satisfactorily.

Steve Hilton, Cameron's strategy advisor has said; "A decision to leave the EU is not without risk. But I believe it is the ideal and idealistic choice for our times: taking back power from arrogant, unaccountable, hubristic elites and putting it where it belongs - in people's hands." Doesn't he really mean in the hands of another hubristic elite called the government?

Duncan Smith has dismissed the latest Treasury forecast saying no-one ever believes Treasury forecasts. Doesn't that then destroy any Treasury forecast - including any he may later want to rely on to justify an action? I suspect those words will come back to haunt him.

I poked my head into the lion's mouth over the weekend, posting a long and, I believe, well-reasoned argument for remaining in the EU on the Leave.EU Facebook page. My reasoning was based on jobs and the economy, I attracted the usual intelligent rants, like; "Load of crap," and; "With a name like that, go back to where you came from," in obvious reference to my part-Dutch heritage and regardless of the fact I'd been here longer than the ranter.

I was accused of speculation about the impact of Brexit. Well, yesterday it was speculative to say I'd be in work this morning, but, on the basis of probabilities, it was an almost dead cert. While trying to pinpoint-forecast the currency exchange rate or interest rate three months hence may be impossible, estimating general market reaction to a stimulus is a vastly more certain proposition. While individual forecasts vary, they are remarkably consistent on the direction in the event of Brexit. Duncan Smith may trash the Treasury forecast - and indeed any forecast which disagrees with his view - but he singularly fails to produce his own forecast or at least explain why the consensus is wrong.

Some of them did attempt to debate with me, but there was a distinct lack of reasoned argument on their part. Pensions were brought into the conversation, as if the EU is responsible for that particular Ponzi scheme, the basis of which (i.e. a steady ratio of the number of working people required to maintain a pensioner in state pension) has been eroding since its inception. I did point out that the solution to pensions is simple - higher tax, lower pensions, later pensions or immigration. Well, that went down like a lead zeppelin. They were, however, totally disarmed when I refused to trade insults and challenged them to back up their bland statement with some logic.

One had the temerity to say I had no empathy for poorly paid people - as if concern for jobs isn't empathetic toward poorly paid people. The bugger also called me a Tory to boot, which is grossly inaccurate and an insult - perhaps he meant it that way.

Next to immigration, the subject of sovereignty seems to be foremost; however, ask them in which area they feel emasculated or which EU laws they find objectionable and they fall silent. They are merely regurgitating the Exit mantra without any analysis or thought and areas of legislation totally within the remit of our government are attributed to the EU.

Most of them are living in a rosy past of tea on the lawn, full employment, a thriving shipbuilding industry, marvelous British cars that never rust or break down and trusting this will all return merely by wishing it so. However, not a single person had a valid argument to counter mine, demonstrating that the Out camp is basing its decisions on emotion, not reason. One even admitted that the heart said Out while the head said In.

If you haven't seen their Facebook pages yet, I advise a look. It's a tour de force of wrongheadedness, blissful ignorance of the EU itself, wild conspiracy theories, blatant misinformation and invective. If you respond with competing invective they just froth at the mouth, so don't; just politely ask them to justify their assertions and they just melt away. Many of them - not all - seem to prefer the Daily Mail or Sun to a critical use of Google or Wikipedia.


  1. Isn't it just! I saw your response. It was good. Hope you don't mind but I copied it and shared it another discussion group I'm on. I did give you the credit for it and I challenged any of the outs to argue against any of the points you raised. So far the only comment I've had is that it was too long and there were too many points for them to argue with. I challenged them to pick one of them as a start but am still waiting. I can no longer comment on any of the posts on Britain First, after I challenged a few of their white supremacist ideas!

    1. Well it was long, but there are many issues to cover. If they can't be bothered to read it, then that says it all.

    2. I think a lot of them are just very angry people who want something to vent their anger at, and the EU is just a useful scapegoat.

  2. I tend to think that the majority of anti EU mob are people with damaged personality disorders or traits.

    Looking in at the UK from the outside it appears to me that the majority of the UK Tax Income is from the foreign financial institutions that are based there and I suggest that if Brexit wins then they will disappear like smoke in a breeze to a better climate.

    1. Judging by some of the comments I received, they are just shouty people.

      As for the financial institutions migrating to better climes - have you been to Farnklfurt in winter? However, comparing summers you're probably right.