Daily Debrief May 12th

Cameron rejects live TV debate

The Telegraph headlines “Cameron rejects TV debates on Europe”.  After initially appearing only to rule out a head-to-head TV debate against a Conservative colleague (read “Boris”), it now appears that he will do no live TV debate at all.  Probably a wise move, as the weakness of his position would be all too apparent.  But reportedly he has agreed to a half-way house – an ITV programme on June 7th on which he and Nigel Farage will appear and be interviewed separately – a half-hour each.

Meantime the Express reports Nigel Farage’s “anger” at the BBC’s suggestion that he be excluded from Brexit TV debates.

Boris attacks “demented” Cameron…while Osborne admits that the Treasury is doing contingency planning

Boris Johnson has launched his Brexit Battle Bus (photographed at the door, proudly holding aloft a Cornish pasty, for some reason) and has attacked the Prime Minister in robust terms, calling him “demented” for his extraordinary and improbable warnings about the risks of independence. This is the lead front-page story in today’s Metro.  Gordon Brown claims that it “would not be British” to leave the EU (glad I don’t have to spin that one).  He says he wants a Britain that is outward-looking, internationalist and engaged with the world.  We in the Leave campaign agree – and that is exactly why we want to leave the EU.  Not to be “isolated and marginalised”, but to re-join the rest of the world, where the growth is, and to be free to set up trade deals with those countries which the EU has ignored.

And at last George Osborne concedes that the Treasury has started to do significant work on contingency planning for Brexit.  It was wholly irresponsible to leave it so late in the day.

Will Cameron’s Referendum Gambit back-fire?

The Telegraph’s Europe Editor Peter Foster offers a thoughtful piece suggesting that Cameron’s referendum gambit, originally intended as a tactic to disarm UKIP and his own back-bench eurosceptics, risks back-firing.  The Remain Camp are right to say that there is considerable uncertainty with Brexit, but they seem to have forgotten that staying in a dysfunctional EU is equally fraught with uncertainty.   The risk for the Remain camp, says Foster, is that the voters feel angered rather than cowed by the Prime Minister’s carefully conceived electoral conceit, and express their ire at being offered a non-choice by rejecting it.

Britain to be “forced” to accept EU refugee quota

The Telegraph reports a new plan by Juncker to force member-states to accept migrants on a quota basis, in a move which will spark fury across the Chancelleries of Europe.  One Commission official likened it to “A declaration of War”.  Britain has declared it will not accept such a quota.  But if we vote to Remain, that will be seen by Brussels as a green light for this kind of activity.

Russian Oligarch funds Remain Campaign

Sky News reports that amongst the list of donors to the Remain camp is Len Blavatnik, a Russian-born businessman and owner of Warner Music Group, who is reportedly “Britain’s Richest Man”. That’s strange.  The Remain Camp keep harping on about Brexit weakening Europe and playing into the hands of the Kremlin (although in reality the EU is playing into the hands of the Kremlin by talking about a European Army, and side-lining NATO).  So why would a Russian Oligarch want to support Remain?

But hang on a minute.  Did I say Russian?  The Sky report says “USSR born”.  Turns out he’s Ukrainian.  So Russian-Ukrainian or Ukrainian-Ukrainian?  Could it be that he sees supporting Remain as an anti-Putin gesture?  Complicated.

Nigeria, Afghanistan corrupt, Dave?  So what about the EU?

Yesterday I mentioned Cameron’s diplomatic gaffe when he told Her Majesty the Queen (and the Archbishop of Canterbury) that Nigeria and Afghanistan were “fantastically corrupt”.  And now Nigeria is demanding the return of assets held in the UK.  But to compound the PM’s embarrassment, the redoubtable Philip Davies MP at PMQs asked the PM where he would rank the EU on his corruption register.  Given that it’s 21 years since the EU accounts got a clean bill of health, Mr. Davies, as usual, has a good point.

EU/Turkey Migrant deal “hangs by a thread”

There seems to be no solution to the stand-off between the EU and Turkey over the migrant swap deal, which so far has scarcely got under way.  While the EU insists on liberalising measures, Turkey flatly refuses to comply.  Erdogan is a tough negotiator, and he knows that the EU really needs the deal (although it’s wholly inadequate to solve the problem).  Meantime in Germany….

Erdogan Burgers are a hit in Germany

Recently I reported on the German comedian who produced an indecent and insulting song about Turkish President Erdogan, and is now threatened with prosecution under an obscure German law which criminalises insulting foreign heads of state. But the story continues.  The BBC reports that an enterprising Burger Bar owner in Cologne is selling “Erdogan Burgers” like … well, like hot cakes. And the distinguishing feature of an Erdogan-Burger?  Why the addition of a thick slice of goat’s cheese.  The reference to goat will not be lost on those who have been following the Erdogan scandal.

Express on kettles

The Daily Express front page headline is “Now EU want to ban our kettles!”, picking up the story I reported yesterday.

Migrant babies drive Scottish population

The Scottish Daily Mail reports that births to foreign mothers have quadrupled in a decade, pushing Scotland’s population to a new high.

“Bomb plotters target Britain”


Again I featured this story yesterday, but the Daily Mail’s main headline today is “Bomb plotter’s tour of Britain”.  An Afghan terrorist suspect used fake IDs to visit sensitive sites in the UK.

Polls still neck and neck

Guido offers a poll of six polls, and the result is 50/50.  He adds that “Nothing seems to be working” (for the Remain campaign).  They’ve thrown everything at it, from Barack Obama to the Third World War, but (in Guido’s engaging phraseology) “The Great British Public seem to be saying ‘Sod ’em all'”.  Indeed.  If we go into June 23rd on 50/50, we’ll win on differential turn-out.

The commentators

Forgive this rather self-indulgent addition, but I really enjoyed two comments yesterday.  The splendid Allison Pearson asks if David Cameron is “going through the change”, speaks of his “irrational and paranoid behaviour”, and suggests he might do something more normal for his time of life.  Buy a Harley-Davidson, consider a gender reassignment, or ask that nice Tim Farron if he can join the Lib-Dems.  Meantime in a more serious tone, Jeremy Warner says that if other EU member-states follow Brexit with their own referenda, that could lead to the death of the €uro in its current form. “It may be, as the Brexiteers claim, that ultimately it could also prove a positive and galvanising reform of a discredited institution”.  As I love to say, we shall save ourselves by our exertions, and Europe by our example.






This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Daily Debrief May 12th

  1. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re Commentator Allison Pearson, could it be she has detected a double agent at work?

    We all know David Cameron is a euro-sceptic, he has told us so often enough. But in his primary role he has to argue the case for Remain.

    So could it be that in deliberately so over-egging the Remain arguments he is making them look ridiculous, there by actually working for Leave?

    Answers on a post card to GCHQ!

  2. davidbuckingham says:

    I search in vain for any reference to BREXIT THE MOVIE – anywhere – even here ! – which premiered last night in topical Leicester Square. The turn-out was impressive – sold out and plenty of the great and the good in evidence – but will anybody report it? May have been more media-productive to throw things at a bus somewhere – still, roll on the dvd. Meanwhile my spirits rose when I saw the leader comment in the Times about going for The Kleptocrats [rule by a den of thieves] – at last I thought they’re seen the Independence light – but no they were on about Cameron’s anti-corruption PR.

  3. davidbuckingham says:

    This could be of major importance: City AM who have a range of interesting articles mostly pro-Brexit contain this – a request from Andrew Tyrie, he of the Treasury Select Committee who has been making life difficult for Brexiteers is pressuring Cameron to let him interview Iain Mansfield, a civil servant, who wrote IEA’s winning essay in 2014 in a personal capacity. Tyrie has said “The views of Mansfield matter. He has offered one of the few detailed assessments of the impact of “Brexit”on the UK economy,”

    The essay included : “Exiting from the EU should be used as an opportunity to embrace openness. The UK should pursue free trade agreements with major trading nations such as China, the USA and Russia and deepen its engagement with organisations such as the G8, G20 and OECD.”

    “In Europe, a priority must be to secure open trade relations, ideally by membership of the European Free Trade Area, though remaining outside the European Economic Area. Bilateral strategic relationships with allies such as Australia, Canada and France, as well as emerging powers in Asia and Latin America, should be cultivated.

    “Measures such as tax breaks and supply-side incentives would help preserve the UK’s position as the number one inward investment destination in Europe.”

    Click to access Brexit%20Entry%20170_final_bio_web.pdf

  4. davidbuckingham says:

    PS Mansfield’s title is Openness Not Isolation

    • Nigel Greaves says:

      Cameron appeared to be in awe at the level of corruption in Nigeria, describing it as fantastically corrupt to HRM, he was almost drooling over the extent of it all.
      Maybe he’ll pick up a few tips from the Nigerian delegation to the conference today!

      • Jane Davies says:

        Doesn’t the UK government send millions of taxpayers hard earned to this corrupt country?
        But what the heck….billions of taxpayers hard earned also goes to the EU, another corrupt organisation.

  5. Shieldsman says:

    That great news organisation the BBC reports: Gordon Brown has thrown his weight behind the campaign to stay in the EU, claiming it is “not British to retreat to Europe’s sidelines”.

    What is it with these Labour people and trade unionists, Brown the campaign should stress the benefits to ordinary people of EU membership over pay, working conditions and employment rights. Alan Johnson of the IN campaign is an ex Post Office workers shop steward and is living in the past.

    The Employment Rights Act 1996 (c 18) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament passed by the Conservative government to codify the existing law on individual rights in UK labour law.

    The Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833) is the United Kingdom statutory instrument which implements the EU Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC.[1]

    Telegraph View Gordon Brown is still in denial over immigration
    It may mortify Gordon Brown to admit it; but one thing for which he will long be remembered is his confrontation during the 2010 election campaign with the Rochdale voter Gillian Duffy, a former Labour supporter. She asked the then prime minister why “you can’t say anything about the immigrants… all these eastern Europeans coming in, where are they flocking from?” Mr Brown was subsequently overheard describing Mrs Duffy as “a bigoted woman”, for which he apologised and sought to give the impression that he understood her concerns. But he clearly didn’t.

    Six years on, Mr Brown has entered the referendum campaign on the Remain side and is still denying that there was an issue with immigration. The figures, he suggested, had been exaggerated, and in any case, it wasn’t his fault. He focused on arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria and said these were “not huge figures – in the first year it was 32,000 and the second year it was 28,000”.

    In fact, official statistics indicate that there are more than 200,000 people working in the UK born in one of these two countries. The overall number of eastern European workers has risen above two million. Almost all of this immigration has happened since 1997 when Labour took office. Partly that was because the former Soviet bloc countries became members of the EU just as Labour won power. But Mr Brown was one of those who agreed that they could be given immediate access to the UK labour market, the only big economy to do so. Others, such as Germany, imposed a seven–year moratorium.

    Oh, go back to Scotland and join the SNP Gordon, you will be more in tune with them and their love of the EU. You weren’t much use as a Chancellor or PM, selling off the UK’s gold at rock bottom prices.

    • You are right in your advice to Brown, a maverick with anti-Midas touch, so much so that his recommendations are useful opposites to our best courses of action!
      (He does not “do” mortification, though, I am sure: no insight.)

  6. Dung says:

    There is a huge similarity between Brown and Cameron ^.^, they both have total confidence in their own PR.

  7. Anyoldiron says:

    Honouring and Remembering.

    For those that died in two World Wars
    We honour and remember today,
    They gave their lives, though wanted to live
    To enjoy the freedom they died for that day.

    We stand and sing hymns and give thanks to those
    For the sacrifice they made for us,
    They fought for the freedom we fight for today,
    Though they died for the Country they loved.

    Over the years we were betrayed and deceived
    By politicians both new and old,
    For truth from their lips was elusive and rare,
    Of what “Europe” was to become, was not told.

    Yet for those that deceived no true honour will go,
    The families that were left, will never forget,
    For the people of these once Great British Isles,
    Have not even spoken YET!

  8. mike5262015 says:

    As Jones in Dad’s Army used to say………..” They don’t like it up ’em. THEY DO NOT LIKE IT UP ‘EM !……….. So following the many lies told by Cameron, he has bottled out of the debate with any Tory Brexit member, and will appear on the same programme as Nigel Farage, BUT NOT FACE TO FACE !
    RESPECT is something that politicians used to cherish, even grudging respect, but Cameron is content to forego any of it, and is in a BLUE FUNK ! ……… Lies have to be paid for, and now we see how his Oxford constituents were fooled into thinking that he was a MAN ! but then if you put a blue rosette on a monkey, it would be voted in……… I should imagine that Eaton school wishes to disown him for being gutless.

  9. Jane Davies says:

    Apologies for going off topic but this is hot news, pun intended, the fires in Alberta have, allegedly, been blamed on fossil fuel companies and global warming! Now there’s a surprise that we didn’t see coming…….not!
    This will no doubt be dominating the CBC news over here who are as unbiased about ‘man made global warming’ as the beeb is about Brexit!

    • Francesca Macfarlane says:

      Eric Worrall reports how the McMurray wildfire was predictable and preventable, at …..

      “Alberta’s aging forests increase risk of ‘catastrophic fires’: 2012 report

      “Wildfire suppression has significantly reduced the area burned in Alberta’s boreal forest. However, due to reduced wildfire activity, forests of Alberta are aging, which ultimately changes ecosystems and is beginning to increase the risk of large and potentially costly catastrophic wildfires.”

      To deal with this threat, the committee proposed expanding fire weather advisories to include potential wildfire behaviour, developing quick-response, firefighting specialists, and doing more work on fire prevention through the province’s FireSmart committee.

      The goal was to contain all wildfires by 10 a.m. on the day after it had first been assessed, and before the fire had consumed more than four hectares of forest. This standard is met for the vast majority of Alberta wildfires, but it was not met this week in Fort McMurray……”

  10. Francesca Macfarlane says:

    Roger. Going back to the proposed EU kettle ban, this reveals the EU in all its insane pig-ignorant glory. The amount of energy needed to boil a given amount of water is exactly the same regardless of the power rating of the kettle – whether it be 1kW, 3kW or 5kW. However because a low power kettle will take longer to heat the kettle to boiling than a high power one then there will be a greater heat loss to the atmosphere (under Newton’s law of cooling), so the low power kettle will actually use more electricity than the high powered one that the EU seeks to ban!
    The practical way to save energy when making a cup of tea is to boil the water as quickly as possible and not to boil more water than you need.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I said the same about the EU banning the high powered vacuum cleaners, and I think also toasters. I’m no engineer or scientist and didn’t have the advantage of a privileged and mummy and daddy funded expensive education but even little ol’ me could work out if something is reduced in power and takes longer to do the job then more power is need to do said task. Common sense clearly doesn’t stalk the halls of the Brussels parliament!

    • catweazle666 says:

      “(under Newton’s law of cooling)”

      A minor detail, Francesca!

      Brussels will repeal such trivial inconveniences such as the laws of physics!

  11. foxbarn says:

    an exceptionally good briefing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s