Botham Bats for Brexit
I’ll drink to that!
Sir Ian Botham has come out fighting for the Brexit cause. He says that in cricket, he’s learned to succeed by standing proud and facing the opposition with confidence, and he believes that’s what Britain should do in the world. In his long cricketing career he’s had close contacts with many Commonwealth countries, and says it’s “insane” that we’re not free to make our own trade deals with them.
Spot on, Sir Ian. Maybe that headline should not read “Bats for Brexit”, but “Bats for Britain”.
Crabb: “Brexit could cause economic rupture”
Ever heard of Stephen Crabb? They say he’s the Work and Pensions Secretary. Finding new words for tired scare stories, he says that Brexit “could cause economic rupture comparable to the banking crisis”.And of course he also threatens “job losses”. Somehow I feel that the public are more likely to recognise Sir Ian Botham – and to trust him – than they are Mr. Crabb.
Two comments. First, Crabb should be worrying about the job losses happening now, as we speak, while we’re in the EU, across energy-intensive businesses in Europe and the UK. Think Port Talbot. He should be worrying about Antonio Tajani’s “Industrial Massacre in Europe”. He should be worrying about plant closures, and investment moving to more rational jurisdictions. He should be recognising that these disasters are directly caused by the EU’s perverse and destructive policies.
Secondly, people like Crabb carry a huge weight of responsibility. We all acknowledge that Brexit will cause some temporary volatility in the markets. By constantly predicting Armageddon, the Remain Campaign will inevitably make matters worse. Some prophecies tend to be self-fulfilling
Writing in the Telegraph on this very subject, Janet Daley remarks that the Remain Camp has squandered its early advantage. She argues that the opposite of a future that is uncertain is one that permits no freedom at all. One could go further – remaining in the EU is arguably a great deal more uncertain than leaving, given the host of existential crises massing against the European Project. The truth is that in or out, the future is uncertain. Would you rather face that uncertainty having some control of your destiny – or having none?
Boris accuses Obama of hypocrisy
Boris Johnson has used some rather undiplomatic language with regard to President Obama’s forthcoming visit to the UK, and the expectation that he will seek to promote the Remain Campaign, saying “it is plainly hypocritical for America to urge us to sacrifice control — of our laws, our sovereignty, our money and our democracy — when they would not dream of ever doing the same”. Indeed.
Meantime Nigel Farage called on Obama to “butt out”. He said “President Obama should butt out. This is an unwelcome intervention from the most anti-British American President there has ever been. Mercifully, he won’t be in office for much longer.”
Tremors from Greece: next eruption due
The Greek crisis has been out of the headlines for some time (I mean the Greek €uro crisis, of course, not the Greek migrant crisis: for as Shakespeare put it, “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions”). But now there are further rumblings, as the IMF under Christine Lagarde, having been criticised for giving too much support to relatively wealthy Europe, and not enough to poor countries, seeks to tip-toe away from the latest bail-out. No one could wish the Greeks to suffer more than they have done already. Nonetheless, a full-blown Greek €uro crisis around mid-June would focus minds in the UK ahead of the referendum. The Greek volcano will certainly erupt. The only question is when.
MEPs want Turkish as an official EU language
David Cameron is gung-ho for Turkey’s accession to the EU. I’ve always felt that this was unlikely to happen in the short term, and not very likely at all. Yet here are MEPs in Strasbourg voting to make Turkish an official language of the European parliament — with the enormous additional administrative expense of hiring Turkish translators and producing all the institutions’ documents in Turkish – as well as all the other languages. I’ve lost count but I think it’s twenty-two.
Do we want to “share sovereignty” with 75 million Turkish people who are very poor, largely non-European and from a very different cultural background? I think not.
Billingsgate for Brexit
The FT reports that traders in Billingsgate fish market are solidly for Brexit. Given the damage that EU membership has dome to the UK’s fishing industry, perhaps not surprising. We lost our fish so long ago that perhaps we don’t keep it in mind. But recovering our fisheries will be a huge benefit of Brexit.
John Whittingdale’s agony continues
The Daily Mail carries new revelations in the John Whittingdale scandal. He is said to have had a two-year relationship with a former Page Three girl, Stephanie Hudson, and to have shown her Cabinet Papers. This could prove more damaging than the previous stories.
Wills and Kate in India
Nothing to do with Brexit, but I mention it simply because it is so heart-warming. Most of the papers carry a dramatic photograph of Wills and Kate sitting very close together in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, on the very bench where Princess Diana was photographed alone all those years ago. If only Diana could see that photograph.
Earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador
There have been serious earthquakes with considerable loss of life in Japan, where the search for survivors is intensifying in Kyushu, and in Ecuador, where CNN reports 77 dead and hundreds injured. Tsunami warnings have been issued for Ecuador and neighbouring countries.
This is the kind of circumstance where UKIP argues that the UK should be prepared to deliver timely and effective humanitarian assistance. It contrasts with the current government’s approach of setting an enormous but arbitrary budget for Foreign Aid and then looking for ways to spend it, often on countries that should be perfectly able to fend for themselves.
Given the coincidence of large-scale seismic events occurring at almost the same time on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, I wonder how long it will be before some climate zealot claims they are caused by Global Warming.