Saturday, 4 June 2016

A Fascinating Insight into the In Campaign

I thought I'd share a personal insight, and one that I suspect isn't that uncommon.

While many readers may know that I love wine, I am about quality rather than quantity. I'm trying to be healthier and succeeding. With that in mind, I popped around to my neighbour with the bottle, offering a glass. My neighbours are Guardian left, to the point of it being cliché. I should also add another way I'm trying to improve myself which is to avoid politics with anyone that isn't similarly minded or likely to be persuaded. So, I just don't talk politics with them. Except this time.

On entering, I noticed my neighbour had a Stronger In badge. No real surprise, but hey, I'm not going to talk politics. Here's some wine, would you like some etc... how was the holiday etc.

Anyway, they asked my opinion, how would I vote. And we had a discussion about it. One fascinating point was that they supported the EU because of all the social and environmental law that Brussels passed that Cameron won't, because Murdoch controls him. At this point, and I don't know if it was the wine, or the general bullshit about Murdoch, but I felt the rage rising, quietened it a little and then asked why they were against the unelected Murdoch changing things, but not against the unelected Brussels.

I think this is a lot of the In support. It's that rather than fighting for elected power and winning over the electorate by argument, they see the EU as a way of bypassing them. Establishment people like the EU because they can get them to do the job instead, to bypass those grubby proles that aren't the bien pensant.

I reflected further on this matter, and how I think this is the root of Euroscepticism across Europe. Over time, what the establishment and Brussels think the EU should be about has been shifting away from the public. Euroscepticism was, in the 1980s almost non-existent. It's growth (and not just in the UK) has been about ignoring the public. Based on the nothing that David Cameron received in his renegotiation, the EU has no intention of addressing this. It is full march ahead to full integration.

So, I'm voting with absolute certainty now for one simple reason: I believe exit is inevitable. The EU will push things too far and the public will want to leave. We are going to have to bear whatever pains we are going to have to bear sometime, so it may as well be now, before we integrate still further, than later.

20 comments:

Tom Paine said...

They are not alone. People on the Continent are also using the EU to subvert their local democracy. Their motives might be better, but it's still wrong.

http://www.thelastditch.org/2016/06/parisian-anecdote.html

CornCrake said...

It's almost breaking down into a "class war" the way the referendum campaign is going. With the middle class being split down the middle in which way they will vote.

Those at the top of the middle class seeing the possibilty of an exit from the EU as being a threat to their comfortable lifestyle. Whilst those struggling at the lower end of the middle class see continued membership of the EU as only adding to their woes.

I see this with my mother and her partner. Who between themselves have a nice little property portfolio, a daily cleaner and frequent holidays. Both of whom are horrified about the affect upon them of an exit from the EU.

Yet when I try to frame the debate in terms of giving hope and freedom to their grand and great grandchildren don't seem to be able to comprehend it.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Yes, we might as well get it over with and find out what horrible sanctions await us.

A K Haart said...

"to bypass those grubby proles that aren't the bien pensant."

I think you are right. Maybe there is also something cruder and more visceral - a feeling that bigger and more intrusive government is also safer government.

The Stigler said...

Tom Paine,
This was originally why Labour was Eurosceptic in the 70s and until the early 80s. They saw it as a way to get right-wing policies overriding government. They switched sides when they realised it was more like them.

ComCrake,
Yes. It's a little more complicated than that though. If you own a house in the EU you really have nothing to fear. There's plenty of Americans and Swiss with houses in France. The price of flights won't suddenly rise. We aren't going to go back to the old airline duopoly of old.

The real problem is about parasites vs productive, not rich vs poor. Many of the organisations that have come out for the EU are parasites "our arts will suffer without EU money". The long analysis of that is "without the EU taking money from you people by force, we won't have jobs". Most people should be like "well, OK, leaving sounds like a good idea". The people who won't are those that like theatre and those that feel a sense of solidarity with other parasites.

Mark,
Cheers

Lola said...

Indeed, all. It's the 'establishment' (aka rent seekers) and its hangers on ('fellow travellers'?) vs the rest of us. The extractive vs the productive. It has always been thus. We had a wonderful window between, say, 1776 (or possibly 1648) and 1914 (ish) of liberty and it's been downhill since then. Back to the bad old ways of extractive elites (self appointed elites may I add, and I have met a few and they are not 'elite'). Can't have the little people running the show, old boy.

Mark Wadsworth said...

If you are talking to a waverer or undecided, which is half the population, the only question is "If we hadn't joined the EEC in 1974, and you knew which way things were going with the EU, would you vote to join now?"

Lola said...

MW. Precisely. That is my 'killer question'. I ask, "Given what we know about the EU today, would you vote to join today on the deal we have now?" Everyone of whom I have asked that - both Inners and Outers - have said "No!"

The second killer statement I use is - " When the establishment are telling you to do something because it'll be good for you, you can bet your bottom Dollar that is going to be extremely bad for you, but very good for the them.",

Lola said...

Apropos of this Janet Daley in the DT...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/06/04/johnson-and-gove-have-an-exciting-chance-to-shift-the-axis-of-po/

The Stigler said...

Lola,

The thing is that Gove is about the most anti-establishment figure in government. Cameron will turn up to a conference and say how wonderful our NHS is. Gove will turn up and tell teachers some blunt truths about what he expects of them, and where they're failing that they need to sort themselves out. it's why I've always liked and trusted him.

I think we're at a point on Europe that is about the midpoint of where we were at with immigration. If you quoted Migration Watch, you were just a racist. Never mind that you were quoting facts. And it's the same if you point out the problems with the EU: you're a bigot, a little Englander. I think to some extent, that was about the level of much of the euroscepticism back in the 1980s, but it isn't today. A lot of people I know are heavily involved in international trade. Almost everywhere I work now, I'm dealing with Indians, Poles, Vietnamese, Filipinos, whatever. The content management system I'm using to build a website is made in Odense. The "community" making 3rd party stuff for it are in Bristol, Spain, the USA. My neighbours worked for the NHS and the Council.

What I think will really kill of the EU is how much more trade we're doing with the rest of the world. In 1999, 54% of our trade depended on the EU. By 2014, it was down to 44%. And that's going to grow because the value is in the electronic and specialised stuff where shipping doesn't matter, not selling beef. A $600 iPhone costs less than 2c to ship by sea, 60c by air. the advantages of being 500 miles away instead of 5000 is irrelevant with that sort of product. And that's why the EU is not a modern organisation. It's a 1960s organisation based around what was traded in the 1960s - food, heavy machinery, perfume, clothing etc. It was created at a time when value-added trade outside Europe barely existed, before we were even importing motorbikes and cassette recorders from Japan, let alone Korea or China. In 20 years time, we'll probably have software being built in Egypt and Bangladesh. Africa will be picking up the textile industry and growing. South America is close to realising that unfortunately, hard socialism works as badly there as everywhere else.

Lola said...

TS. Yes. Exit is inevitable - because the EU will collapse. All previous incarnations of the bureaucratic state have collapsed, and they have all endured bad money before doing so. The EU will go the same way. If we leave this will hasten its collapse and likely make it more orderly. If we stay it will prolong the failure and likely make its collapse more chaotic.

You are quite right about the irrelevance of the EU to international trade. I have a friend who has been having kidswear manufactured in China since the 1970's. He continues to re-export it all over the world, including back into China.

The whole idea of a 'free trade agreement' is an oxymoron.

Lola said...

TS. What's more, in my world, I work with American, Australian, Polish, German, French, Portuguese, Swiss, Gibaltarians, Irish, Canadian, Scandinavians and others on portfolio investment matters.
One of our key software CRM relationships is a UK outfit which does all its programming in Australia.

Curtis said...

Maybe this is a silly opinion but I don't think we are getting the right question in the referendum.

As it stands, IN just means nothing changes, and nobody really knows what OUT is going to mean, except that THE WORLD WILL COLLAPSE

But if the result of the vote is IN, then continuing with the status quo is stupid. IN should mean full integration, euro, Schengen, single European citizenship, etc. (eventually).

I'm voting OUT merely because I think more countries in the world is a good thing. I would also support the US becoming 54 different countries, China becoming 32 countries and Russia becoming 20-40 different countries.

Those at the top of the middle class seeing the possibilty of an exit from the EU as being a threat to their comfortable lifestyle. Whilst those struggling at the lower end of the middle class see continued membership of the EU as only adding to their woes.

Yet when I try to frame the debate in terms of giving hope and freedom to their grand and great grandchildren don't seem to be able to comprehend it.


Nobody cares about their grandchildren or great grandchildren.

Lola said...

C. "Nobody cares about their grandchildren or great grandchildren". Well, au contraire. I have grandchildren and I care very much that they will benefit from liberty and responsibility, small government and miniscule state bureaucracy.

paulc156 said...

C. "I'm voting OUT merely because I think more countries in the world is a good thing. I would also support the US becoming 54 different countries, China becoming 32 countries and Russia becoming 20-40 different countries."

Sounds like just after the fall of the Roman empire. Dark ages.

Lola said...

P156. Yes. And no. The key difference now is communications.

Lola said...

P156. Yes. And no. The key difference now is communications.

paulc156 said...

Bucolic fantasy/dystopia. Bearing in mind the interconnectivity of commerce and industry across the planet AND within single large companies across continents, facilitated in large part by advancements in technology which include those in communications it seems to me a contradictory and retrograde step to seek the break up of nation states into little states/counties/cities each with their own notions of trade, citizenship, ethnic identity, migration, historical disputes, borders/boundaries etc etc. What could possibly go wrong...

Striebs said...

The Stigler

"our arts will suffer without EU money"


Recently I've been reflecting on my inability to fund music lessons for my nephews and niece .

Money is so tight now for most people that pretty well an entire generation of children are going to suffer by not having the opportunity to develop themselves by learning a musical instrument .

Yet another casualty of high land prices and a morally bankrupt political system .

The Stigler said...

Striebs,

"Money is so tight now for most people that pretty well an entire generation of children are going to suffer by not having the opportunity to develop themselves by learning a musical instrument ."

Actually, learning a musical instrument has never been done so much. We are generally richer. But even richer is better ;)