Saturday, 28 January 2017

What are the priests afraid of?

Nick Drew has previously described the EU as a priesthood. Well the high priests have been out in force trying to convince the Great British Public that they have made a terrible mistake.

Of course, priests have a long history of not wanting people to call their bluff. But here in contemporary secular Europe we like to think we are more scientific, more pragmatic, more democratic. You might like to think that the the elite of Europe simply want what's best for British voters despite British voters' record. Then their warnings of a Britain worse off outside than inside could be seen as helpful, neutral advice. However, that is not how it comes across. These messages are threats: do trade deals with non-EU countries and you'll get a worse deal from us. 

But why would they mind if we did? After all, if membership the EU is so beneficial to its members, then its leaders should be confident that the UK will indeed be worse off outside - without any further intervention from them. Why should the Maltese government, for example, be concerned if Britain tries to sign a trade agreement with Australia if Malta already has the best possible relationship with Australia and its nearer neighbours? How might such an agreement negatively affect Malta?

If Nick Clegg is right that it is “economically illiterate” to think there is some kind of trade panacea waiting for the UK outside the EU then all he has to do is sit back and watch Brexit turn to disaster, then campaign (and presumably win) to re-join the EU.

One wonders what they are afraid of.


dearieme said...

Afraid of? Eventually being strung up for stealing all the relics, and for selling indulgences that don't work.

Nick Drew said...

May's visits to Trump and Turkey are an excellent move (notwithstanding mass-hysteria "she's their poodle!, this is so-oo degrading" stuff)

au contraire, it's a clear signal that if you lash out at us, there's no saying what we'll do. No friends left in the world? Really? - hey, this is Perfidious Albion you're talking to!

there'll be worse to come as this plays out

she's done Xi and I think it's time for Putin

(and I still reckon there's a deal to be done with Ireland that'll make the Commission gulp)

Blue Eyes said...

Nick I was hoping someone would mention Turkey! The BBC article had a section entitled "Analysis" which put forward the BBC view in full song. May is desperate, has no friends, etc..

K said...

Why do we even listen to these Eurocrats from tiny EU states? Would we also listen to the governor of Wyoming?

Even Juncker only has two years of experience on the global stage.

Bill Quango MP said...

My concern is that if they catch us breaking the trade rules they might kick us out of the union.

Steven_L said...

You mean like Chile has to sign a massive document agreeing not to 'misuse' French regional food and drink names to get tariff free wine exports?

Whereas we could say to California "F*** wine import duties and we don't really care if you call your fizz Champagne?"

dearieme said...

Golly, there's a thought. We could be back to the days of importing Aussie Champagne, Port, and Sherry, and all at the modern higher standard of wine-making.

Raedwald said...

Remember British Sherry? Cyprus Sherry was considered classy in comparison, but yes, with modern equipment and techniques we may yet see a Huddersfield Solara, or a Manzanilla from Brighton, tangy with sea salt and fruits ...

Somerset Brie and Devon Camembert can hold their head high, Norfolk Parma Ham and Gran Parmegiano from Hull can compete with the best Italy has to offer ..

Blue Eyes said...

The GI thing is interesting. The Canadians have had to agree to ban the import into Canada of anything which contravenes the EU GI regime. So no cheap imports of unlicensed feta cheese for them!

In my mind it is one of those trivial/ridiculous issues like the vacuum cleaner thing. On one level who really cares? After all, anyone can still buy Cadbury's Family Chocolate and traditional style pork pies, but at the same time why shouldn't a maker of pork pies in Melton Mowbray be allowed to describe his pies as Melton Mowbray?

We have been able to choose between Canadian and Somerset cheddar without the help of the Brussels priests long before they looked out for us.

Incidentally I had some Kiwi fizz somewhere and it was stunningly good. Does Nick Clegg suppose it would be illiterate to import that? Maybe he has forgotten that we used to ship in butter from the other side of the world, and when we joined the EEC the price of butter went UP.

Anonymous said...

Raedwald - I drank some very nice "champagne" a while back which came from Wolverhampton Airport. Now if they can get the price down a tad I'll drink some more!

Steven_L said...

In my mind it is one of those trivial/ridiculous issues like the vacuum cleaner thing.

But it's not to 'them' BE, and especially not to Jean-Pierre Frog.

Blue Eyes said...

Indeed. Which shows how crazy it is to try and run a continent with such different worldviews with a single set of rules.

Electro-Kevin said...

Good points, Blue.

And I would add that priests are known for buggering little kids too - so it's not just Brexiters shafting the youth.

Electro-Kevin said...

@K - Someone calling themselves Jean Claude Juncker says this on another blog :

If we want to promote a more peaceful world, we will need more Europe and more Union in our foreign policy. This is most urgent towards Ukraine.
The challenge of helping Ukraine to survive, to reform and to prosper is a European one. Ultimately, the Ukrainian dream, the dream of the Maidan is European: to live in a modern country, in a stable economy, in a sound and fair political system.
We have already done a lot, lending €3.41 billion in three Macro-Financial Assistance programmes, helping to broker a deal that will secure Ukraine’s winter gas supplies and advising on the reform of the judiciary. The EU and all its Member States must contribute if we are to succeed.
We will also need to maintain our unity.
We need unity when it comes to the security of our Eastern Member States, notably the Baltics. The security and the borders of EU Member States are untouchable. I want this to be understood very clearly in Moscow.
We need more unity when it comes to sanctions. The sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia have a cost for each of our economies, and repercussions on important sectors, like farming. But sanctions are a powerful tool in confronting aggression and violation of international law. They are a policy that needs to be kept in place until the Minsk Agreements are complied with in full. We will have to keep our nerve and our unity.
But we must also continue to look for solutions.
I spoke to President Putin in Brisbane at the G20, in a bilateral meeting that went on into the early hours of the morning. We recalled how long we have known each other, how different times had become. A spirit of cooperation between the EU and Russia has given way to suspicion and distrust.
The EU must show Russia the cost of confrontation but it must also make clear it is prepared to engage.
I do not want a Europe that stands on the sidelines of history. I want a Europe that leads. When the European Union stands united, we can change the world

Suff said...

What are they afraid of? The Light and we've dared look behind the curtain.
Make no mistake there will be no symbiotic relationship with the EU. Either the UK is crushed or the EU will fall and if the EU falls, like FIFA and the Olympic committee before them, there will be inquiries and at the very least, jail time for these priests and their dodgy dealings.
While they may smile at the cameras and act all dignified, these are ruthless back stabbing scum with no morals. We have just backed them into a corner and they are going to come out scratching and biting.
The same goes for our own wormtongues. How did that Kinck enquirer go before he was awarded the order of Chief Theif. The public have awoken from their apathy and have an interest in politics. They want to know just what our own politicians have been doing for the last 20 years and there will be ramifications.
I think May is playing a blinder. He who does not throw throw the first punch, is the first person punched. While the EU is tied in knots with endless meetings ( like everything else they get involved with). We are free to zip around the world opening doors.
Germany and especially France are going to scream like a bitter divorcee, who've just realized they are going to have full custody of the pigs. Our job is to say screw you, you won't get a penny in Alimony until the paternity test.

Suff said...

Damn you Kinock and autocrrect

Suff said...

Oh and ND was May thrown under the bus by the BBC?
I watched the joint press conference with Trump (available at Guidos) . It was all very special relationship until the BBC asked a double barreled already agreed question, the first part in keeping with the occasion (the bit I think May had agreed to) and the second part to attack Trump on his record of saying Torturing is acceptable.
Trump on live TV, turned to May and said " is that that the question you agreed to?"

Y Ddraig Goch said...


"These messages are threats: do trade deals with non-EU countries and you'll get a worse deal from us. "

Isn't this just the obvious bullying negotiation tactic - keep your bargaining position as weak as possible or we'll be really mean to you.

Sounds like the EU believes our non-EU trading options are pretty good.

Nick Drew said...

was May thrown under the bus by the BBC?

wouldn't doubt it for a minute

I don't like to come over all "let's threaten the press"; and I have a very strong allegiance to press freedoms (I have edited a few things in my time) - but I'd say the Beeb had better watch out for itself: it got clean away with the review conducted on Cameron's watch, but it might not be so fortunate next time

(Trump thinks they're all a bunch of bandits anyway so he'll hardly blame May)

Bill Quango MP said...

When Laura Kuenssberg of BBc asked her ten-in-one idiocy questions of Trump the beeb reported Trump joked "That's the end of that relationship."
Implying 'The Special relationship' vis UK-USA was in jeopardy.

Not sure that is what he was getting at.

He looked like he was telling the PM to follow his 'robust' approach to the press and end the BBc-HMG special relationship.

I thought it was disgraceful from the BBC. This was a world stage, first 'FIRST' head of state meeting.
It was like a junior exec invited to attend a board meeting who suddenly speaks up
"we shouldn't deal with France. The French all cheat and lie. And stink. They really stink.." .. and on being told the Chair's spouse is French says " that's not my fault."
May should definitely put them on notice.

Its a Post-Brexit-Post-Obama world. And the state broadcaster needs to be a bit more supportive.

Or they might be finding exactly just how big the market for middle class, weeping and wailing and thought crime outrage news actually is.
When they are forced to go on the rest of the world's subscription model.

Thud said...

Biased I'll admit but the wine my family make in the Napa valley is far superior to most over priced sour French stuff, perhaps now we will see more American,ozzie and south American wine on our shelves.

Electro-Kevin said...

Thud - Shut up ! ;-)

BQ - Kuenssberg went to the USA to make news, not report it. The BBC has long been outside its remit and is a campaign/agenda setting organisation. Virtually everything it broadcasts is infused with political messaging - some of it subliminal (drama), much of it overt (so called 'comedy'.) I would hate it almost as much if it were right wing.

Kuenssberg six former protest (and she sounded quite shrill) risked jeapordising our relations with the US.

There needs to be a mass refusal to pay the BBC licence fee. And as it happens, this 'liberal' organisation isn't so liberal when it comes to protecting its own interests. It numbers a high proportion of magistrate court cases.

Let's take Trump's position on refugees as an example. His solution to Islamic terrorism is to tighten the borders. The neo Liberal BBC solution is to open the borders and kill millions of muslims (causing the refugees) in their own countries.

BlokeInBrum said...

I'm in the Midlands, and from what I believe, a very large proportion of the TV license is raised in these parts, yet very little is spent here, or on programs about here.
If you really want to put the fear of God into the minions at the Beeb, threaten to either split the organisation into a more regional basis, or oust them from their shiny palaces in London and Salford into the boonies. The BBC has too much clout and support to consider abolishing or privatising it, or forcing it to offer a subscription based platform. But it does need breaking up and its power diluted. Now is about a good a time as any for the Conservatives to get to work undermining it with the aid of Trump's example.
The Beeb is screwed anyway though; my kids watch effectively zero BBC output. It's YouTube and Netflix and Kodi all the way.

Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

Bloke - The BBC advertises rather slyly.

"I just can't WAIT to see Trainspotting 2 tonight !" dropped into conversation with irritating regularity by R1 DJs. Lots of advertising is done this way.

BlokeInBrum said...

Yes, it's very incestuous. A sort of luvvy mafia, everyone part of the same clique giving their own a leg up. Now that I'm older and wiser, I see this sort of thing everywhere I look on the Beeb and it sickens me. Like the dearth of right wing comedians or proper satire making fun of all political orientations.
If you've ever seen the film 'They Live', it's a bit like that...

K said...

@E-K Of course Juncker is a true believer. He spent most of his adult life as the PM of Luxembourg which in the grand scale of things isn't much more important than a city mayor. If it wasn't for the EU he'd be an irrelevant local politician who has no affect on the world.

If you're a Brit you can affect the world through the FCO, GCHQ, the UN Security Council, or even as a widely read BBC journalist. As a Brit you have a lot of options but a Luxembourger only has the EU.

Electro-Kevin said...

I'm pinching that, K !

K said...

@E-K And even the most pro-EU civil servants must know it on some level. The UK is 12% of the EU population buy only 3%* of its staff which is less than Greece or Romania. Meanwhile we're 0.1% of the world population but 5%** of UN staff. Our civil servants may love the EU but they don't seem to want to work there.

*EU staff numbers are distorted by high numbers from Belgium and France

**UN staff numbers are distorted by high numbers of volunteers in Africa. Interestingly while the highest number of staff are from the US there is not the same level of over representation as there are Belgians in the EU or NATO.

Blue Eyes said...

But what about the Japanese restaurants? Asks JK Rowling.

Nick Drew said...

The UK is 12% of the EU population buy only 3%* of its staff which is less than Greece or Romania

Maybe, K - but our influence within the Commission on a big range of 'technical' matters has been vastly greater than 12%

as often mentioned here, the UK wrote the EU rule-book on energy - to the dismay and indeed active oppositon of FR, DE

(FTAOD, we'll still be better off out)

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Ah, the EU rule book. Been over to lately? The North Liberation Front is going into bonkers mode. Apparently we must leave the EU but keep all the rules. OR ELSE! His latest ravings are about REACH, that highly chemophobic job destroying regime. He doesn't begin to understand it, but is 100% certain we must be in it.

I begin to wonder why he ever campaigned to get out.

Nick Drew said...

North is a text-book case

his entire ouevre boils down to: "everything's much more complicated than anyone realises: I'm the only one who knows all this: so you must hand over the plans for your future to me"

all rather sad: just suppose his infinite industriousness had been properly harnessed?

Flagwaver said...

Things being very complicated would have been a very good argument to stay in. Does he not realise the self-contradictory nature of what he is saying?

andrew said...

That things are complicated is a given.

Things have been complicated ever since we were able to tell the time reliably across a wide area (about 18 something).
IMO that was the 'einsteinian relativity' moment in terms of a govts ability to govern, and all that has followed is the same but across a bigger geographical area and faster.

(IMO The next revolution will be when all your govt data is in one database - but that is o/t and given the progress of universal benefit, not happening soon)

returning from the digression:

We need to be aware that things will be more complicated after leaving - not simpler(*).

Having said that, not much more, or even if you disagree, you cannot argue it will be much less (**).

(* assuming we do not do a N. Korea and stop interacting with the ROTW)

(** assuming we do not do something truly revolutionary like completely remove an entire class of tax - like VAT, or an entire class of regulation - like environmental regulations. If you just reduce VAT to 5%, there will still be the same thousands of people in companies and HMRC administering and processing these things

Flagwaver said...

Where did anyone say that Leaving would be less complicated?

Leaving will give us the chance to seriously reform our tax system, though. Let's hope that opportunity is grasped with both hands.

Anonymous said...


The only reason we have VAT (and other countries like Spain) is because it is a condition of joining the EEC, so yes, VAT should be removed.

Chance of Tories abolishing VAT = ...?

wrt your first *, Remoaners have no answer to my question: why should be we in the EU if Canada does not join the US, New Zealand does not join Australia, and the former Soviet states join Russia. Except the really insane ones who want Earth to be a single country.

Blue Eyes said...

Ah good old North. His post on the egg industry was borderline hilarious. He said that EU-wide regulation made sense and was indeed better formed than domestic legislation. One wonders quite what he imagines the advantages of leaving the EU that he has been campaigning so doggedly for for years might be.

I asked that very question in the comments and was pounced upon by his cohorts of unchallenging followers.

david morris said...

"The North Liberation Front" Hah !

RN surely can't be far removed from actually interspersing his daily pearls of wisdom with lines from " The Life of Brian" :

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system, public health & Air Traffic Control, what has the EU ever done for us?"

Anonymous said...

Thud - I like the wines, but how the hell do those Napa Valley people make Zinfandels with such a pronounced strawberry taste? You could swear they'd put some kind of flavouring in.

ND - nonetheless Richard North's blog's been a mine of info over the years, and I presume most of it was kosher stuff. He was going on about our poorly armoured vehicles way back when i.e. before IEDs were proving the point.

AndrewZ said...

The "priests" are afraid that we will realise that they don't know any better than us and we don't really need them at all.