David Thompson
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May 13, 2016

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David

Previously by Martin Durkin, and strongly recommended: Margaret: Portrait of a Revolutionary.

David

For those so inclined, the entire film can be downloaded here.

svh

This one's going to make me angry, isn't it?

David

This one’s going to make me angry, isn’t it?

It does have some lighter, wryly comic moments. For instance, the number of EU regulations – 31 - regarding toothbrushes; or the 454 laws regarding towels. All of which have a cost attached. But let’s just say you may want a tall drink to hand to steady your nerves. The bare facts are in themselves quite staggering - and of course largely unknown by the electorate.

[ Edited. ]

Joe

The first 5 minutes offers a sufficiently cogent argument. Bravo!

Henry

Excellent.

The economic arguments on both sides of this EU debate seem to have at least one foot in the realm of the imaginary.

But on questions of sovereignty and democracy, I think the argument is much clearer. The clear stated aim of the EU is political union, the current (slightly mad) plans for a euro army (repeatedly stated by Jean-Claude Juncker, by German ministers, and by the head of the largest party in the european parliament) can only necessitate political union - and the same is true of the already failed Eurozone project, behind which there is still enormous political will in Brussels.

By continuing with the EU, we are therefore giving up a stable form of government (that has evolved slowly for some time) in favour of a political experiment being conducted with the lives of 100 million + people. Hardly a sensible idea

The idea that we would have influence within the EU seems, on recent form, fanciful. EU leaders take credit for post-war European peace, as though NATO & cold-war fear of Soviet Russia had no influence whatsoever in international affairs.

The Remain camp's arguments are the usual stuff about "xenophobia" and "right-wing bile" - which no doubt includes Gisela Stuart, George Galloway, Frank Field and the late Tony Benn (all very eurosceptic)

We must leave.

Hedgehog

"Margaret: Portrait of a Revolutionary."

Thank you for that.

Trevor

The Remain capaign also has some compelling arguments, as expounded in this report from a not-actually-real West Midlands news programme.

sH2

Great film. Lots to chew on. I'm sure the BBC will be broadcasting it any day now... won't they?

Joan

or the 454 laws regarding towels.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

I thought the regulation that bottled water cannot be labeled as being useful for dehydration was a joke, but apparently not.

I guess if you are dehydrated you can only drink Brawndo®, The Thirst Mutilator - it has electrolytes.

Liz

Roll on June 23rd.

David

“Margaret: Portrait of a Revolutionary.” Thank you for that.

Yes, it’s a good one. Worth watching just for the interviews with Mary Warnock and Neil Kinnock, whose mental squirming is a thing to behold. The comment thread underneath it is pretty good too.

Sam

"Do we want to be governed by an organization which we don't understand, run by people we don't know and haven't elected, who have the power to impose on us laws that we haven't debated and have little or no chance of blocking or repealing?"

That.

David

I also liked the acknowledgement that the EU project isn’t just, as it were, accidentally undemocratic, but is actively anti-democratic.

Darleen

Holy crap, I'm only part way in and see why Obama is so enamored of the EU he threatened Brits about exiting it.

He has been working 7 years on fundamentally transforming American government to be just as bloated, dictatorial, non-transparent and unaccountable as the EU.

sk60

or the 454 laws regarding towels.

Cue Iowahawk: https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/731477873849044992

Theophrastus

"I also liked the acknowledgement that the EU project isn’t just, as it were, accidentally undemocratic, but is actively anti-democratic."

Indeed; but then Voltaire and Diderot thought that "Reason" (capitalised, of course) in government could only ever be achieved in and by a benevolent despotism - such as the EU is. Democracy, even in the 18th century British form (as in Locke, Smith and Hume), gave too much power to the rabble in the opinion of those elevated Frenchmen, the Philosophes.

The EU/EEC was a Franco-German ramp: it is now a German empire in the making.

Vote OUT!

Alice

or the 454 laws regarding towels.

And 210 laws regarding spoons. ⊙_ʘ

Spiny Norman

For instance, the number of EU regulations – 31 - regarding toothbrushes; or the 454 laws regarding towels.

Every time I think the regulatory state here could not be any worse, I peer across the pond and realize it's not that bad. Then I realize that this is what the unelected army of 3-Letter Acronym state and federal regulatory agencies have planned for us. Our petty fascist bureaucrats gaze wistfully at the EU, with both admiration and envy.

Darleen

Our petty fascist bureaucrats gaze wistfully at the EU, with both admiration and envy.

This.

And question one tittle of their regulatory meddling and be shouted down as being in favor of poisoned water and people DYING IN THE STREETS!!

svh

And question one tittle of their regulatory meddling and be shouted down as being in favor of poisoned water and people DYING IN THE STREETS!!

But who will make sure OUR TOWELS ARE SAFE?!

David

I think we should all take a moment to consider the horror of insufficiently regulated towels.

Darleen

I think we should all take a moment to consider the horror of insufficiently regulated towels.

[clasps hands] Will no one think of the children?

David

I see a worrying trend towards towel anarchy.

mojo

"Liberty is the ability to say 'no' and make it stick." -- RAH

WTP

Thanks for the Maggie Thatcher link above. Raised my spirits a bit what with all the nonsense going on over here.

jones

Well I think there is still insufficient towel regulation.

Only the other day I found, to my horror, a towel I bought recently was only about 8 inches square.

Totally inadequate for drying myself down following my bath.

Spiny Norman

And certainly insufficient defense against the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast.

David

About to head out for a big family lunch, but before I do I thought I’d share this:

Marx and Engels, eh? How very jolly.

Thomas Fuller

Well worth a look: The Brussels Business – Who Runs the EU?

https://youtu.be/xMuUEd6w54E

Explains quite a bit. Warning: will not improve your blood pressure.

PiperPaul

I like how David made sure to include Jonny Taylor's comment in his screen capture.

Hal

AP has posted an article noting the rather unsurprising results of massive immigration into Germany . . .

"It was all over the media, every day on the talk shows you had people talking about the refugee crisis. I had never seen a refugee," said Landt. "I just wanted to find out if it was real."

His experience is typical for most Germans, and many have volunteered with charitable groups in part to meet the migrants they're hearing so much about. But Landt went further — and the result is a kind of dating website for Germans and migrants, albeit without the romantic aspect.

jones

Spiny,

"And certainly insufficient defense against the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast."

One doesn't like to boast about such things.

Jonathan

I see a worrying trend towards towel anarchy.

You heartless beasts may mock but literally millions died every year from towel-related incidents before EU regulations saved us......

jones

"You heartless beasts may mock but literally millions died every year from towel-related incidents before EU regulations saved us......"

Towels?.....heck, just look at all the coffee-machine massacres before the swaddling comfort of our overlords...

Besides, I think you exaggerate.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

You scoffing scoffers scoff at the EU towel regulations, but look at how much safer you are over there than we savages in the New World where enlightened regulation permits no end of towel abuse:

Had this towel been properly labeled, this shooting would not have taken place.

Had this towel been labeled "Not For Headwear Use", this man would still be alive.

Perhaps warnings about not being suitable for food removal, or size limits on paper towels used for same would have prevented this senseless tragedy.

The pages are full of these heart wrenching tales of what happens with unregulated towels.

jabrwok

The EU/EEC was a Franco-German ramp: it is now a German empire in the making.

I think "caliphate" rather than "empire" might be the more accurate term.

jones

Farsnworth,

Well you ingoramuses (amii?) had best get your act together and get with the programme (gram?).

jones

PS. Snorty scoff....

Jonathan

Brexit: The Movie:

His next work?

Farage! The Musical.

ac1

Hey how did we remove governments pre-democracy?
Wonder if that's how it will be for the post-democratic EU(SSR) politburo.

Hedgehog

Wonder if that's how it will be for the post-democratic EU(SSR) politburo.

Probably. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Nikw211

Yet more on the bastard love-child of Kafka and Hegel that is the EU - I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no idea this was happening, but I’ve just discovered from a BBC Newsnight report from John Sweeney that:

    ”Each month, the entire European Parliament moves from Brussels to Strasbourg - is here [in Strasbourg] for a week - and then moves all the way back to Brussels in boxes like this [Sweeney is pointing to a huge black coffin-like crate of the kind normally used by Rolling Stones roadies when they’re on tour].

    “And people will say ‘It’s a fantastic waste - of time and money.

    “The Strasbourg shuffle costs the European tax payer £130,000,000 a year. The Euro MPs have voted against the move, but they’re blocked by a French veto, hardwired into the rulebook of the EU."

Sweeney then tracks down a French MEP to defend this absolutely disgusting waste of time and money. The MEP, Edouard Martin of Parti Socialiste, France, responds:

    ”If there is a price to pay for democracy 30 cents, per person, per year - it’s not a lot to pay. It’s not even the price of a cup of coffee.”

I feel positively sick after seeing that report and especially after that response - what kind of an utterly contemptuous buffoon dismisses something that is an utter waste of time and money on the grounds that it’s only a small amount of money that is being wasted on such a completely senseless move as the Strasbourg shuffle?

I love Europe and I have a lot of close friends here in the UK who are from other EU countries - from Spain, from Poland, from Germany and from Greece - and I’m genuinely concerned about what might happen to their status and how that might affect their livelihoods (and their lives) if there’s a Brexit, and primarily for that reason I’ve been hedging toward the In campaign.

But this shit?

Shifting a pointless parliament every month for a week for no reason whatsoever?

This shit is just insupportable.

WTP

”If there is a price to pay for democracy 30 cents, per person, per year - it’s not a lot to pay. It’s not even the price of a cup of coffee.”

We get the same sort of argument regarding why we bother to fight terrorism. Our leader tells his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do. Really. Perspective. Gotta be cool, daddy-o.

David

This shit is just insupportable.

As so much of it is. And the contemptuous buffoons you mention are unlikely to be shamed out of their habits and vanity. They will only alter their behaviour, their conceits, when forcibly obliged to do so.

Nikw211

We get the same sort of argument regarding why we bother to fight terrorism.

Bizarre.


They will only alter their behaviour, their conceits, when forcibly obliged to do so.

That’s another thing to worry about then.

I think even In supporters, at least the sane ones, recognise the general awfulness of much of the EU.

I think a lot of the decision to me boils down to whether you believe in the future potential for the EU to change and reform or to continue going down the path it’s taking now.

Do you base your vote on what it has been and still is or what it could be in the future?

David

Do you base your vote on what it has been and still is or what it could be in the future?

Given the EU’s institutional, structural opportunities for the contemptuous buffoonery you mention, which it rewards handsomely, and given that those opportunities are growing in number and are hardly incidental or matters of mere accident, and given the implications for unmanageable immigration and welfare use, it’s hard to be optimistic, or to hold out much hope that a system so corrupt and inclined to further corruption, and so profoundly anti-democratic, will somehow spontaneously change for the better. I expect it to continue as it is, only more so, until it collapses.

Silk purse, sow’s ear.

Nikw211

I expect it to continue as it is, only more so, until it collapses. Silk purse, sow’s ear.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to see how it could be otherwise.

Incidentally, I went to a debate on the referendum at a local university recently. As the chair announced the speakers, I was momentarily blindsided to discover that the argument for the Out campaign was going to be delivered by a Sociology lecturer from that university.

‘Incredible,’ I thought, ‘This must be that almost mythical 1 in 44 we hear about.’

It turns out I should have known better - he turned out to be an old School Stalinist sympathiser who sees the “Lexit”, as he called it, as the only way for Britain to be able to become a truly Socialist state.

His most audacious argument was when he suggested that the EU was instrumental in souring relations with its former World War II comrade and ally - the Soviet Union - and cravenly submitted to the will of Washington and the Cold War.

Quelle surprise

David

‘Incredible,’ I thought, ‘This must be that almost mythical 1 in 44 we hear about.’

Bigfoot!

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