If we vote to Remain, we are done for…

If we vote to Remain, we are done for…

So, what is this referendum all about?

Well, what it’s not about is what government policy will be if we leave.  The point of this referendum is that, if we leave, you, the electorate, decide what government policy should be and, if you don’t like the policy they’ve adopted, you get rid of them at the next election.  That’s what it’s about.  That’s all it’s about.

Do you believe that the UK can be a sovereign nation, standing on its own two feet (or one hundred and thirty million feet to be more precise) as the fifth largest economy in the world, the greatest trading nation the planet has ever seen, run by the mother of parliaments, operating under the greatest (though imperfect) legal system in the world, speaking the common language used by more nations than any other (and by all others when they need such a common language to communicate with strangers), with a heritage of literature, science and invention that has led the world for hundreds of years….  Yeah, that’s us.  Not all of our history is something to be proud of but taken in the round, this country has the greatest heritage and success rating of any nation on earth.

Or, do you think we should be tied to a failing economic bloc of twenty-seven other countries which cannot negotiate a trade deal to save their lives (because they’re each too busy fighting for their own narrow political interests); which is comprised of many questionable young democracies whose right and left wing politics often veer to extremes; whose rampant racism has only recently started on the fragile path to coexistence and acceptance; whose bewildering array of languages and cultures is frequently at odds with our own; whose attitude to LGBT and other rights and the freedom NOT to follow a religious faith are some way behind our own and whose leaders, collectively, are more interested in themselves and their own legacies and in creating this imitation nation that they slaver over.  With its own flag, its own anthem, its own constitution (when they can get away with it), its own president and now, its own army we hear, they are engaged in the never-before-achieved project to supplant centuries of nationalism and patriotism to one’s own country [sic] and turn it toward this new artificial entity.  They are doomed to failure and the failure is entirely theirs, not that of the people they purport to represent, most of whom would privately applaud the concept of a single human race across planet earth.

That’s the decision.  Remain or Leave.  In or Out.

It’s not about immigration, it’s not about the economy, it’s not about how much we do or don’t send to Brussels.  It’s not about Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson or David Cameron.  It’s certainly not about Jeremy [I’ve been told to change my mind] Corbyn.

I will vote to leave and I’ll do so for one key reason.  All the “powers what be” want us to stay, even the powers what hope to be say they want us to stay.  They are using every lie and falsehood they can lay their claims to, they are cynically exploiting every base instinct – on both sides – and that sets all the alarm bells ringing in my head like a cacophony of crazed Buddhist monks, high on speed.

I will vote leave (assuming I ever receive a poling card) despite the fact that it makes me bedfellows with some very unsavoury characters who have lied and dissembled almost as badly as the Remainers and exploited the native rascism in all of us to try to win their cause.  Despite all that, possibly by accident, they are on the right side.

Another reason I will vote leave is because I object to being used by these people.  In my book, I pay these public servants to run the country, just to keep it running, keep the lights on and the streets clean whilst the rest of us get busy earning the money to pay the taxes needed to fund their wages.  In 1975 I was used to keep Harold Wilson in charge of his Labour Party and in the job of Prime Minister. He was unpopular in his party, at odds with them over Europe.  I voted to stay. In 2016 I am being used to keep David Cameron in charge of his Conservative Party and in the job of Prime Minister.  Neither of them could care less whether we are in Europe or not, nor do they care about you or me.  They are (or were, as in the case of the man with the pipe) motivated by nothing they should take pride in and everything we should publicly eschew.

That’s all there is to the referendum question but media pundits feed the public’s confusion by insisting on asking politicians in the campaign what policies our newly sovereign government will pursue if we leave.  Politicians campaigning in this referendum are not running the country.  Some of them sit in parliament, some of them are on the government side, some of them are even ministers, none of them can give valid answers to any of these questions.  That’s the point.  Get out of the EU, and let’s make our own decisions, our own mistakes and our own successes.  When the human race has evolved a bit more then perhaps we can find a better to way to work together, until then, we need to control our own destiny.

With the genie out of the bottle on the media questioning front though, let me answer some of those questions:

What about the economy?

People, forget your charts and your projections, no-one has the faintest clue what the economic situation will be next week, let alone next year – or twenty years from now.  They never have done, there is no period in living history when anyone was able to predict economic performance, anywhere by anyone.  The Treasury, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Bank of England, the Chancellor and all those oft referred “international bodies” have failed to string together three coherent projections in a single document that one could hold a candle to.  Aside from global events completely outside our control, in or out, we’ll be fine.

That’s the way it’s always been.  We, the people, make this country successful year in year out, not because of our government but in spite of them.  The best thing governments can do is next to nothing.  Just set the tenor, as a background against which we can reasonably unite.  The one thing they never achieve is what they say they will when they want our votes.  Will we get £350 million/week if we leave?  No but we’ll be fine.  Will the pound fall if we leave?  Who knows, who cares?  What does a falling pound mean to the average man in the street?  They haven’t got a clue but we’ll be fine.  My businesses have been directly subject to the exchange rate of Sterling for the last forty years.  Sometimes I get a windfall, sometimes it can be a bit tough in one direction or another, it’s just business, it’s what we do as an international trading nation.

Will a reduction in GDP come straight out of the pockets of every man woman and child in the country, equally?  Well, did anyone notice the cash injection in their bank accounts when GDP rose?  I think not.  Not unless someone changed the entire global economic model whilst I was asleep, no.

Faced with the fear of losing the argument, what does our illustrious Chancellor pull out of the hat?  He threatens us, literally threatens us that he will put up taxes and impose punitive austerity.  The man isn’t fit to be in parliament.  He abuses his own electorate with terrible fear for no other purpose than to win his flimsy argument in support of keeping his own job.  People need to be told, this man does not run the government, yet.  His own members will never agree to such tactics, if only out of self-interest.

What about trade deals? 

I’ve never had a trade deal in my life and I’ve been trading internationally for forty years.  Trade is global, do you want to buy?  Good, because I want to sell.  Sometimes I want to buy too, would you like to sell to me?  We’ll be fine.  Will there be some disruption?  Obviously but when isn’t there disruption to our national economic performance?  Unless you get your kicks following the markets with a fine-tooth comb on a daily basis, in which case you have a serious problem, you’ll be fine.

The markets are falling, isn’t that a sign that Brexit is bad?

No.  Markets react to uncertainty.  Certainty they love.  They are hedging their bets, that’s what they do.  Give them certainty, either way, and the markets will bounce back.  If we leave they’ll bounce back higher and longer.  If we stay they’ll bounce back only as long as it takes the fault lines in the EU to rise to the fore once again.

What about immigration?

Immigration policy is something normally run by the government of a sovereign country.  In fact, to the best of my knowledge, its run directly by the government of every sovereign country except for the twenty-eight countries of the EU where it’s run by the unelected (government appointed) commissioners of the EU.  In the EU we have, again to my knowledge, the ONLY openly racist immigration policy in the world.  That plaudit used to go to South Africa and Australia but the EU took over the mantle.  Now we allow mainly white people in (if they come from the EU) to settle, take up work, benefits and healthcare unchallenged but if you come from the rest of the world, whose many races almost entirely represent people of colour, then we don’t.

What about the Australian-style points system?  Well, the real point is that, outside the EU, you will elect a government that will fashion an immigration policy that meets the approval of the majority of the electorate – or they won’t and you’ll change that government.  However, the point of the Australian-style points system is that it’s a system.  It allows you to choose the categories of people you want to allow in.  You choose what skills you want to attract and which you don’t want to attract.  It’s a tap you can turn on and turn off at will.  If I hear one more politician, unchallenged by his TV interviewer, tell me that immigration in Australia has gone up, I’m going to scream.  Of course it’s gone up, you muppet, it’s gone up because they wanted it to go up but the people they got are the people they wanted and they wanted them to help populate the vast continent they inhabit which currently boasts a population the size of Brighton, or thereabouts.  They’re lonely, goddamit!  What about all those doctors and nurses in the NHS?  What about them?  Did someone suggest that upon a Vote Leave result they’ll all be shipped off home?  I think not.  Not only will they stay but if we want more doctors and nurses then more will come.  Have we really all been so brainwashed that we’ve lost the ability to think rationally?  We’ll be fine.

What about workers’ rights?

We have them, what about them?  If you’re looking for some new wondrous EU working policies then god help us to keep that at bay.  In France they have a 35 hour working week, in return they pay (employer/employee combined) in the order of eighty percent of their salary in taxes, their economy is hardly one to envy, they average around ten percent unemployment (twice that of our own country) and lately 61% of the population would like to leave the EU.  In Portugal, Spain and Italy anyone with any ambition – aka wanting to earn a living – has emigrated, many of them here, youth unemployment is around 50% but they have lots of workers’ rights.  Strangely, we’re the ones with the really good workers’ rights and, by the way, the highest employment and the healthiest economy.  In Germany they’ve been asked to keep wages in check for the last twenty years, first to pay for “reunification” and latterly so they can bail out the southern European countries that have been buying all those Porsche Cayenne and BMW cars with money that the German banks lent them – and which the German workers are now having to pay out of their painful taxation system.  It’s a crock of the proverbial wherever you look.  Switzerland and Norway are doing fine, neither members of the EU and have excellent workers’ rights.  The point is, if you want workers’ rights, make sure your government gives them to you, the one you can vote in or out every five years.  You’ll be fine.

What about defence?

Oh give me a break.  In the nineties I cried myself to sleep listening to all these useless British and European politicians tell me how they couldn’t intervene in the Balkans because it was “a civil war” when all I could see on my TV screen were men with guns killing women, children and other men, with or without guns.  Our illustrious leader, John Major, was gung ho to join George Bush Snr in his first Gulf War to protect the oil rich Arab satellites but a cowering cringe-worthy wimp when it came to friends and relations on our own doorstep.  So much for European Unity.  I was in tears as I watched the desperate pleas of the Bosnian Prime Minister, night after night on my TV screen pleading to be allowed to buy weapons to defend themselves from these murdering racists.  The UN, led by Major and the Europeans and against the wishes of Clinton’s US administration, had imposed an embargo on arms, leaving these peace-loving moderate people totally unable to defend their wives and children in the face of this onslaught.  They were Muslims, who cared?  All this in a country, Yugoslavia, that most British people would have recognised as a favoured holiday destination.  So much for EU defence.  Even now, of all the Balkan countries, only Croatia has belatedly been accepted into the EU club.  Then there’s the Ukraine and Crimea.  Well, at least the EU stood up for that fledgling David in the face of the Russian Goliath – oh no, they didn’t did they.  Even though they incited the problem in the first place by openly courting them as members of the EU in the full knowledge that this would be an enormous red rag to the Russian bull that was their immediate and very sensitive neighbour.  So, they’re good at diplomacy too, then?  If our history teaches us anything, it teaches us that when push comes to shove, we’ll go over there to help them out when they need us and when all else fails, we’ll be on our own.  On defence, we’ll be fine.

What about policing and intelligence sharing?

I’m sure the EU countries want to keep their people safe as much as we want to keep ours safe.  Being in or out of the EU has nothing to do with it.  We’re the best in Europe at this kind of stuff, they want our cooperation, they’ll give us theirs.  We’ll be fine.

Should we not reform the EU from the inside?

Well how is that supposed to work?  I’m always up for a challenge but these are not the kind of odds you’d ever choose, 27:1.  To change anything we have to get twenty-seven other countries to agree with us, twenty-seven countries many of whom are ideologically bound to the concept of ever greater union, aka ever greater power over the member countries, twenty-seven countries with a diverse cultural, economic and political landscape in comparison to our own.  Well good luck with that one, then.  Any changes we extract will be tinkering at the edges, mere morsels to toss to our baying public.  Fundamental change is simply not on the agenda.  We’re told we should vote Remain and then fight our corner.  Let me tell you something, something very, very important and not so far said in this debate.

If we were to vote to leave, then yes, we could send in a good negotiating team and extract a proper deal in return for us then returning home and agreeing to remain in a fully revised organisation.  That’s the only bargaining chip we will ever possess.

If we vote to Remain we are done for.  The remaining 27 countries will take this as a sign of weakness, an enemy completely out of ammunition and vulnerable to the smallest foray by the most feeble opponent.  They will slaughter us in any negotiation on anything.  If I were them, I would and I’m probably a lot more forgiving than most.  What are we going to say this time, “If you go ahead with that terrible plan we’ll hold a referendum” ?  I didn’t ask for a referendum, no decent political leader would have called one.  Having been placed in this daft situation there is only one answer I can give for the sake of our own defence, I have to vote Leave.  If we Remain, we’ll be the little boy on the naughty step told to mind our place whilst the rest of them roll on with their grand project and any whimper from us will just bring further chastisement.  If we stay in this, we will most definitely not be fine.

But we’ve got an opt-out from ever closer union, haven’t we?

Really?  What is that, an agreement to agree not to do something according to a mobile definition as to what constitutes “ever closer”?  Who decides what is “ever-closer-union”?  It’s meaningless, a worthless sop to Cameron and this was the best they could do.  Faced with the prospect of what they fear most, Brexit, this was the best the EU was willing to offer to help stave it off?  Remember when rafts of legislation, like the working time directive, if I recall correctly, like all the various components of the proposed Constitution drawn up by the egoist Jacques Delors, which was roundly rejected by a couple of referenda in other countries, ended up in a thing called the Lisbon Treaty that we readily signed up to?  No-one really knew much about it but the Eurocrats managed to sneak in all the stuff they would otherwise have had to publicly negotiate, all the stuff they didn’t get in the Maastricht Treaty.  No, this is not fine.  This is a very serious problem and we can solve it with a cross on a ballot paper.

But we’re outside the Eurozone so no problem there, then?

Well, it’s pretty rich of anyone in the remain campaign to claim this.  Back in October 1990, John Major (who had actively proposed and prepared the project as Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher) took us into the ERM in preparation for us joining the Euro in 1999 when it was to be launched.  Remember, when the Euro was proposed, only six countries were considered by the experts to be suitable, the UK was one of them – go figure.  Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and most of the rest were not considered suitable.  The illustrious leaders of France and Germany, who had determined that this was to be their legacy, ignored all the experts and went for it anyway.  I bet the Greeks are grateful for that one, with hindsight.

For two years the Major government’s main pre-occupation appeared to be juggling the factors which control the exchange rate in order to stay within the bounds set by the EU for membership of the ERM – regardless of the real world, the markets, the economy.  Almost exactly two years later, after preparing themselves, the markets decided we were a sufficiently wounded animal, they smelled blood and they pounced.  They were right, George Sorros was right – and very rich as a result.

Remember, all this took place at the height of the recession of 1990/92. In fact, the recession started in the UK in that third quarter of 1990 when we entered the ERM, oh and we started to recover two years later when we left the ERM and had the longest and most sustained period of growth in our history.  Remember Gordon Brown’s “end of boom and bust”?  This is the wave he was riding, nothing whatsoever to do with him, of course and nothing to do with John Major either.  Do I need to remind people of those two years, 1990-92?  These were the really toxic Tory years, and it didn’t get any better for them.  Cash for Questions, Back to Basics, Mass unemployment of three million, tumbling house prices, negative equity (invented by this recession) record company closures, corporate and personal insolvencies, rioting on the streets across the country, this was a very black time indeed – but we needed to maintain the value of Sterling to keep it in the ERM.  Thus, at the height of the worst recession many people had ever experienced, out of work families, struggling to pay their mortgages and in negative equity, watched fearfully as interest rates steadily rose to help Mr. Major toward his ideal of joining the Euro.  Did you see, they dared to wheel him out on my TV screen the other Sunday to rubbish the Leave Campaign and tell us how everything in the EU was wonderful.  Bastard!

In the space of 24 hours on the 16th September 1992, Black Wednesday, this despicable bastard raised interest rates yet again from an incredible 10% to 12%….young people used to 0.5% base rates take note.  In one leap he raised them BY four times the present base rate but he wasn’t done there.  He and his hapless crew of ministerial cronies, they have subsequently admitted their haplessness, sat in a room receiving bad news and throwing out knee-jerk reactions they didn’t understand to the panicked civil servants who kept running in with more bad news.  That day, they raised rates again…to 15%.  That’s BASE RATE people, fifteen percent base rate.  They also spent, in that one day, the entire foreign currency reserves of the nation, all of it, every single cent.

By the time of all this, I didn’t have a mortgage.  I was cash rich and care free.  I cried that evening.  I cried partly out of anger at these morons, these bastards, but largely out of sympathy for millions of my fellow human beings, fellow British citizens, who went to bed that night wondering how the hell they were going to get out of this one.  They’d spent two years, grimly hanging on, emptying every last reserve they had to keep paying the mortgage and thus avert bankruptcy and destitution and in one single, fateful day, base rates went up a full five percent, ending the day fifty percent higher than at the start of the day when they got up that morning.  If you weren’t there, I’d suggest all this is impossible to comprehend, that’s why it bears repeating.  John Major did this to us.  John Major wants a fully integrated EU and he’d love to have run it.  Don’t take any notice of anything he has to say on the question of Europe.

Listen, please, the people who run the European Project don’t like that we’re not in the Euro.  They see us as elitist little Englanders.  They will make darned sure that all the power and all the benefits accrue to countries that ARE in the Euro.  No, we won’t be forced to join but we’ll be made to pay in every other possible way whilst our Euro friends divide up the spoils.

People, stop asking politicians what to think.  They aren’t experts on anything, except getting elected, they are politicians, they are staff, they are your employees, just tell them what to do.  Interview them, give them the job spec, elect them to the position and then hold them to task.  Can you do that in Europe?  No.

So, will we be fine? 

Yes, just so long as we get out of this political vanity project they call the EU.

 

 

From Avowed Internationalist to Brexiter in a few easy steps

It was 1975, I was not quite 22 years old and my then wife and I were running our own retail business. Courtesy of what became the runaway inflation of the then Labour government, we were about to do rather nicely, thank you, as prices the following year would start to go up every week without fail. In truth, the inflation was of course a legacy of both the past Conservative government and our joining of the EEC two years earlier.

I had never taken part in the democratic process. I’d had a chance or two, both general elections in the previous year, but I felt no particular motivation to participate. This one was different. Despite the Brexit campaigners being wheeled out onto my TV screen today – who insist that when they voted in ’75 they thought they were just voting for a free trade agreement – I have a totally different recollection. A very vivid recollection, actually. I was born just a few years after the war, the second world war. My entire life to that day, and this, is significantly coloured by the events of that time. Back then, I was told all day, every day as a boy growing up in that depressed and shattered world that I should be grateful to every adult, grateful, respectful and obedient, because each and everyone had “fought and died” for my freedom. Well, apparently not. Given that they were, to a man and to a woman, standing there fully flesh and blood giving me this well-worn lecture. Of course they had a point but when you hear this, day in day out from the day you were born, well, it wears a little. I learned a lot of history, a lot about religion, about kings and queens and governments and the disagreements between each. I noted that in none of the recent wars of our continent had any of the protagonists actually sacrificed themselves for these fanatical beliefs they held but it seemed to me that they had been more than willing to sacrifice a great many others. Windsor

Much of it seemed to revolve around the incestuous sexual and familial relationships of Europe’s aristocracy and other hanger-on wannabes with rather too much wealth, power and privilege. You’d think that could turn me into a rampant socialist but I was lucky, I was born with a little too much savvy for that. I wasn’t, however, born with any more power to resist all this nonsense than any other mortal being. Those in power had power over me and I resented it, I opposed it and I shall continue to do so till my dying day which, thankfully, is a little further off than it might have seemed on some previous occasions.

It became clear to me at a very early age that it must take an incredible power to be able to convince lovely, warm, innately nice human beings to commit such acts of savagery and brutality as it takes to kill just one other lovely human being, let alone to kill them in their tens of thousands. Though there is of course much more to it than just this, the culprits, the real weapons were blatantly evident to this very young boy and thus to anyone with half a brain and the questioning need which we are each born to sate. Every army had a rallying call.

Every army needed a uniform to wear, a flag to march behind, and a god to fight for.

UnionFlag

For a light-hearted interlude on the topic you must check out Eddie Izzard  on the subject of flags and conquest but for now you’re stuck with this more serious rendition.  Is it any wonder that I grew up with an abhorrence of national borders, patriotic identities and don’t get me started on the religious nutters.  Here’s how passionate about this, I was.  I have in my hand my passport issued by the World Service Authority on 13th April 1973 in Basle, Switzerland.  Now here’s one for autograph hunters everywhere, it’s signed by the one and only James Haynes.WSA Passport 3

That’s Jim Haynes, co-founder of IT (International Times) and also co-founder with Garry Davis of the World Passport Authority whose document number 03543 I possess and cherish. Amazingly I discover Jim is still very much alive and well and some eighty-two years old but still the coolest of guys  who, it appears, is about to invite me to Sunday dinner at his home in Paris. In March of 1974 I travelled out of the UK (that was the most difficult part and a whole chapter in its own right) for the very first time in my life and through France where I was greeted as travelling royalty and then into Spain, where the immigration officer was too busy picking his nose to care about what passport I was carrying or even whether I had one at all. My wife (to be) and I had made it to Ibiza, where we would later have to run for our lives due to the lack of a work permit and the then legal foundation of denunciation. Later that same year the French government put an end to my most favoured passport office and found both Jim and Garry guilty of “confusing the public” – only in France, and after they’d been so magnanimous to me at Calais!

You might think I digress but I assure you not. The point is this, albeit a very long point and I’m sure to some a tedious one. It’s about the EU referendum. You see, what I recall of that matter in 1975, the very first referendum ever held in this country and, as now, for all the wrong reasons, was that a great deal was made about peace and security. Something which played to the heart of what I’ve been talking about. I probably didn’t mention it but I was also, at the time, a great advocate of coalition government. I’ve just had one recently, the only one in my lifetime and I must say, whilst far from my idea of perfect, it was probably the best government of that lifetime – and for exactly the reasons that this, then, seven year-old figured it would be, way back then. Not holding political parties in any esteem whatsoever, that’s another chapter, and not being a lover of monarchy or, in particular, the Pan-European monarchy headed by that illustrious family from Hapsburg and belatedly of Windsor, that most of us call simply “The Germans”, the idea of a coalition of nation states across Europe – especially involving the two key protagonists, France and Germany – seemed to me like a bloody good thing. A lot less chance of bombs across the border and a lot more chance of a good debate across the dining table. The clincher for me, however, was the promise, and I remember it as if it were yesterday, of “the dissolution of national borders, freedom of travel across Europe and the lack of any need to carry a passport”.

Coming just over a year since a Special Branch officer did everything he legally could to stop me leaving my own country and then, three month’s later, everything he illegally could to stop me re-entering – all because I’d had the audacity to carry a “Mickey-Mouse passport” as he put it – what other way could I possibly vote? I took up the democratic challenge with gusto and made my mark on the ballot paper. The very next day it was announced, I had been on the winning side! Any day now I would get my wish….my right….the fruits of my democratic labours…. One year …and then it went, a decade or four passed and to this day I still cannot leave my own country, despite any law to the contrary, without presenting a valid passport to, well, not even to the authorities, no, just to a fledgling flight attendant who will then allow me to board a plane, a bus with wings. Those with wheels are perfectly safe, apparently.

I could feel harshly treated. I do. I could feel that they didn’t exactly play the game, that this wasn’t exactly cricket. It wasn’t and I do. I actually feel cheated, rather badly betrayed. But then I remember, it’s democracy, init.

..and now I feel foolish. I played their game by their rules and I should know better. In 1979 it was too early to realise that. I was still giving them the benefit of the doubt, still waiting for it all to come to pass so when someone suggested that having a woman run the country might be a good idea, I agreed. I voted. I won. I’ve never regretted anything more in my entire life. Frank Skinner got it right on the eve of the ’97 election when he said, “The thing about Margaret Thatcher was, you always knew where you were with her. Shame I didn’t have a paddle”.

It was clear to me that this democracy thing was a tricky old bugger and perhaps I wasn’t clever enough to play this game. Or perhaps that’s all I really realised, that it was a game and that I was winning was just an illusion, shurely shome mishtake. I could cope with all of that but what really pisses me off? really? well it’s the fact that I’m now being told that we’re to have the same vote all over again, oh and why? Because people younger than me were never given a say, last time. This is true but only because they weren’t fucking born, you muppets! There must be a great many things they missed out on for the same reason. Luckily for them, penicillin was invented before they (and I) were born, should we do away with that too so they can experience life before antibiotics? Perhaps we could restart world war two, I’m sure Putin would play ball, then they could pick up a gun and play a full and equal part in that little tea party? Why stop there? We could bring back the Spanish Inquisition, restart the Crusades (oops we tried that didn’t we) the Witchfinder General, the Plague, the Great Fire of London, re-stage events at Runnymede and have the kiddywinks redraft Magna Carta in text-speak. Fuck it, Tony Blair got to do that, rewrite our ancient constitution and he’s the same age as me, much as it galls me to acknowledge it. The real “why”, of course, is anything but. That first referendum, the first the country had ever had, was all because the Labour Party of the day was split down the middle over Europe and Harold Wilson hoped to cling on to leadership of his party….and the real reason we’re having another one, the third in our history, (not to forget the little one on changing the electoral system) is because the Tory Party is split down the middle over Europe and David Cameron is desperate to hang onto leadership of his party…. But even that’s not it, no, what really pisses me off – apart from democracy, political parties, the European monarchy and religion, well it’s workers who won’t do the job they’re paid to do, continue to take the shilling but are constantly asking others to pick up their slack.

Call-me-Dave is currently paid £142,500 a year – by me personally, I think. Honestly, you should see my tax bills. On top of him we have twenty-one cabinet ministers and an unknown but ever increasing number of government ministers who are each paid £134,565/year. To that we should add that there are some six hundred more MPs each paid £74,000/year and then there’s the civil service….I can’t readily obtain a number but it runs into billions of pounds…

So, let me get this right. We all pay all of you. We pay you to keep the streets clean, keep us safe in our beds and to keep the hell away from our bank and Internet accounts. We let you play in “The House”, wield your “power”, enjoy your games, declare war on smaller defenceless countries when you feel like it and to keep the lights on, if you would, please. In short, we pay you to run the place whilst the rest of us are busy trying to earn enough money to keep you in this comfortable lifestyle. We pay billions of pounds so that you can be surrounded by the brightest and best university-educated civil servants, statisticians, researchers and economists so that you can do your job and have, at your fingertips, the very best information on hand to help you make decisions in the course of your work. Well, frankly, if all of that doesn’t buy enough knowledge and brainpower to figure out whether we’re better in the EU or without, then I hardly think the rest of us can help you out much. Nonetheless, you want us to make this decision for you so as to deflect blame or responsibility from you and your legacy? Is there anything you can do on your own? What is it exactly that we are paying all that money for? Didn’t we just spend a big fat sweaty wad of cash having an election to put you into those jobs in the first place? There. That’s what really pisses me off.

A plague on all your houses oh and while I’m at it, well done. I’m now an avowed Brexiter but it’s nothing that any of you said. No, it was Angela Merkel’s unashamed electioneering, handing a despotic nation like present-day Turkey the keys to our front and back doors (and another big fat sweaty wad of cash) using shell-shocked migrants as pawns on the European chess board and under the heel of her legacy. Closely followed, two day’s later, by Mario Draghi, head of the ECB, printing yet more imaginary, digital billions to hand out to zombie corporations and hapless banks. He and his lunatic colleagues in about 20 or more other EU nations, of similar philosophical belief, genuinely think that the route to prosperity is at the expense of the EU m, our children, and our great-grandchildren so he and his ilk can carry on riding this massive gravy-train. The truth, that neither he and none of these Central Bankers or politicians will admit to, is that they don’t have the faintest idea how to resolve the global mountain of debt they have collectively accumulated and under which we are all being suffocated. Their favoured weapon of choice is to create as much inflation as they can – that’s inflation that every man woman and child will have to pay rather than the real culprits. They do this in order to devalue that debt to a manageable number…and that’s going to require a great deal of inflation for a great many years. You know what happens to the rest of us when we can’t pay our debts, dont you? Unfortunately, as they very well know, if every over-indebted country in the world were to declare the truth – bankruptcy – it would be the end of civilisation as we have come to know it. Some claim he came late to this s conversion having had eight years to study the failure of similar policies elsewhere in the world….personally I think that after procrastinating for so many years, and in the absence of any good idea, just following the lead of others seemed like the one option he could take and claim that he was just doing the same as every other country. What he doesn’t seem to realise is that it hasn’t worked, anywhere so far. Japan is still in the same position as they were three decades ago but hey, at least he won’t be blamed for coming up with such a bad idea all on his own. So I’m for out and I can hardly believe I’m uttering those words but I am, I really am.

The one thing I promise I won’t be doing in this election/referendum, and haven’t since learning my lesson all those years ago, is to vote.  I would probably end up on the “winning side” but we’ve learned that lesson now, haven’t we.  As someone far better known than I once said, “You really shouldn’t vote, you know.  It only encourages the bastards”.