Daily Debrief May 16th

38 days to Independence Day

Was Boris right?

Boris has copped a lot of flak for “comparing the EU to Hitler”.  The Times reports that Field Marshall Lord Bramall, a former Head of the Armed Forces, has attacked Johnson and dismissed his claims as “simply laughable”.  The ihas a front page headline “Boris under fire for Hitler Jibe” adding for good measure “The Leave Campaign is losing its moral compass”.   But it’s not all bad news for Boris.  IDS has robustly defended him, while the Mail reports that “top Tory Bexiteers back Boris”, arguing that he was merely telling the truth.

So who’s right?  Boris would have been wrong if he’d said “The EU is as bad as the Nazis”.  But he didn’t say that.  The headline writers have taken a thoughtful historical perspective and turned it into an alarmist story. It was hardly a “Hitler jibe”.  Boris argues that Europe was unified under the Romans two thousand years ago (true, more or less), and that subsequently others, perhaps based on the idea of a Roman “Golden Age”, have attempted to reunify it.  We could have a long debate as to whether that theory is right, but it’s not absurd or improper.  After all, the very word “Fascist” harks back to ancient Rome.

Certainly Napoleon, Hitler and the EU have attempted to reunify Europe – in very different ways.  So I think Boris was right – although we could debate whether his comments were helpful, given the deliberately hostile reporting in some quarters.

It would clearly be wrong to say that “The EU is like the Third Reich”, or that “the EU is like the USSR”.  Yet there are clearly parallels between the EU and the USSR.  Whether you look at the Commissars with their black limousines and five-year plans, or consider the attempt to impose one currency, one government, one identity, one economic and fiscal policy and one political philosophy on disparate nation states, the parallels are evident.  But they should not be pushed too far.  So far as I know, no one is pulling out fingernails in a Brussels Lubyanka.

Hundreds of business leaders back Brexit

The Telegraph carries a letter from 300+ businessman arguing for Brexit, and pointing to the stifling costs of over-regulation in the EU which they say affects every one of the UK’s 5.4 million businesses.  Brexit, they say,  would create jobs (and also, I would add, save the jobs under threat in energy-intensive businesses).  The same piece reports a government minister saying that “3 million EU citizens could have to be deported” after Brexit.  This is not only wrong – it looks like a deliberate lie.

Interestingly, one of the signatories of the letter is David Sismey, an MD of Goldman Sachs – despite the fact that the Bank is bank-rolling the Remain Campaign.

Cameron writes for the Mirror

David Cameron has written a piece for the Mirror (could this be a first?) saying “Don’t take a punt on our future” – as though staying on board the EU’s runaway train were not the riskiest punt possible. But of course the Mirror is up to its neck in the Remain Campaign, so in this case Cameron is preaching to the choir.

Cameron “Brexit will hit the poorest hardest”

The BBC reports Cameron as saying “Brexit will hit the poorest hardest”.  Perhaps he doesn’t understand the impact of mass immigration on lower-skilled British workers, and the wage compression it causes.  He certainly fails to grasp the economic benefits of Brexit, which will increase prosperity across the board.

Soaring cost of migrant children

The Express carries a headline “Soaring cost of migrant children”, putting a £3.2 billion price tag on the education of 700,000 children from the EU, and adding that this is another reason we have to vote to leave the EU.  It adds, rightly, that similar problems will be reflected in housing and health.

UK “losing sight of economy amid poll focus

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has written to Business Secretary Sajid Javid complaining that the government “is losing sight of the economy” as it focuses on the Brexit Referendum. Interestingly, it attributes the reluctance of businesses to make investment decisions not on Brexit uncertainty (as the Remain side claims) but on the lack of government attention and support.  Others have said that routine government business is paralysed by the referendum.

CBI “uncertainty affecting economy”

If the ICAEW attributes lack of investment to lack of government focus, the CBI reliably blames Brexit uncertainty. But they would say that, wouldn’t they?

28 million households to get leaflet on registration for referendum

I mentioned the government’s voter registration campaign yesterday.  Today The Mail reports that 28 million-plus homes in the UK are to receive a voter registration leaflet ahead of the referendum.

UK exports to the Single Market down 20% in ten years

The Mail reports that British exports to the EU have declined nearly 20% in the last ten years, arguing that this demonstrates the failure of the Single Market  and claiming the “Brexit will create jobs”.   The Sun also carries the story, quoting John Longworth as saying that no EU policy has over-promised and under-performed so much as the Single Market.

Andrea Leadsom MP: “Carney will regret warnings”

Andrea Leadsom is an Energy Minister who makes a good deal more sense than many Conservative MPs.  She has dismissed the dire economic warnings from Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England as dangerous, saying he will come to regret them. Sound lady.

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29 Responses to Daily Debrief May 16th

  1. Alan Wheatley says:

    If you are interested in a comparison between the EU and the USSR, then have a look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EokwQi15pO0.

    If you do not have half an hour to watch it all, jump to the last contributor from 27:30 who from the safety of living in Cambridge makes the comparison with the experience of having previously lived under the unappealing features of the USSR.

  2. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re: Cameron writes for the Mirror
    When I read the comments in the Mirror on-line that Cameron’s article generated they were 100% hostile, so this looks like another win for Brexit!

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Think Vaclav Klaus mentioned way back they’d (Czech) already seen the USSR in the context of the EU model. Just won’t observe history will they?

    Don’t know why they do this because pretty much the same gang ain’t gonna vote…again!
    “The Mail reports that 28 million-plus homes in the UK are to receive a voter registration leaflet ahead of the referendum”.

    Trump wasn’t too pleased with Cameron on questions from Piers Morgan..think I ‘d be bothered about that.

  4. My very limited study of history and events at KONAN, KOREA during a total news blackout (10 AUG 1945 – 23 OCT 1945) that may have changed the course of world history: The EU & UN are both by-products of the real winner of World War II – the USSR.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      I agree totally Oliver, not only did the USSR win land and expand, but Stalin bore much responsibility for supporting Adolf with his non aggression pact, and agreeing on how to split Poland between them. Russia invaded Poland at the same time as Germany, why did we not also declare War on the USSR?

      Back to the comparison I see little to complain over in comparing the EU to either regime, but Hitler looked like a better bet to me than Stalin with only a fraction of the deaths attributed to him.

    • Oliver K. Manuel says:

      My research mentor, Paul Kazuo Kuroda, risked his life by keeping a copy of Japan’s successful design of atomic bombs in his personal possession for 57 years (1945-2002) until BBC reported their return to Japan by his widow.


      Robert Wilcox and Bill Streifer report Stalin’s troops captured Japan’s atomic bomb plant at Konan, Korea in August 1945, before Japan’s total surrender.

  5. Ian Terry says:

    Carney is a joke when you really consider his position.

    He along with CMD, Corbyn, Johnson and Osbourne are all asking the UK to buy into a “company” whoes books have been audited but never signed off for 10 years or so.

    I cannot understand why more is not made of this on the Leave side.

    Would you buy a car, company whatever off of people like this?

    With Trump sounding UK friendly lets hope he makes it to the White House. It would be a laugh to see all those senior politicians who slagged him off crawling away and wishing they had kept their big mouths shut.

    • Francesca Macfarlane says:

      Carney was interviewed at length by Merryn Somerset Webb – the Editor-in-chief of MoneyWeek (which is strongly pro Brexit) and gave reasonable and balanced arguments about the possible risks and benefits of Brexit. He obviously realised he could not get away with lies, scaremongering and waffle in her well-informed presence. However his subsequent blatherings show him for what he really is – a fully paid-up unprincipled self-serving member of the liberal ruling elite.

  6. Ken Dickenson says:

    I have just seen (briefly) another example of Sky News pro-EU bias whereby they are broadcasting Osborne’s (we must stay in the eu) “speech” today to a forced audience at one of RyanAir’s facilities.
    Does nobody else see the irony of this. He is addressing an Irish (non-British, pro-EU) company whose owner has publicly stated he will NEVER buy European aircraft (Airbus) and whose fleet consists entirely of American Boeing 737 aircraft.
    Wouldn’t it be good after Brexit, to impose tariffs on his imports of American goods (aircraft and parts)?
    I do hope someone in the Leave teams picks up on this and gives it a mention.

  7. terry sullivan says:

    if the comment from bramall is correctly reported–then it worries me that he was head of the armed forces

    carney must go–he has revealed he is a bought man

  8. Shieldsman says:

    Boris would have been wrong if he’d said “The EU is as bad as the Nazis”. But he didn’t say that.

    John Redwood has a more current and pertinent view of Germany and the EU. The problems with a German led EU.
    One of the reasons so many voters are unimpressed by Mr Cameron’s renegotiation is he did not stand up to Mrs Merkel.
    It looks as if he asked her advice and was told to ask for very little. His demands fell far short of the requirements set out in the Bloomberg speech, and did not include gaining control of border policy with the rest of the EU. She then gave him even less than the modest demands he made.

    Much of it was presented as the UK negotiating with Germany, just as the Greek crisis is usually presented as Greece negotiating with Germany, and just as the Turkish Agreement and migration arguments are usually led by Germany. Whilst some of this is media simplification, much of it is true. Germany is the lead country by a long way. It is German policy which dominates the economic policies of the Euro area, and German policy which has dominated the border issues. It will be thus, because Germany runs a massive surplus not just with us but with most other countries in the EU and has become the paymaster of the Eurozone.

    It is important to understand Germany’s view of the evolution of the EU. She sees the Euro and the common borders as central features and thinks all countries should join them in due course.She sees these main policies as part of the so called single market, which is much more than a trade arrangement as far as Germany is concerned. Germany believes that if more power over weaker countries is exercised from Brussels they will become stronger and will not need more transfers from German taxpayers.

    You can read it all at: johnredwoodsdiary.com/

  9. Anyoldiron says:

    Was Boris Right? Perhaps you should ask ME why I am fighting against foreign Rule-WHICH MAY WELL BE FOREVER IF THE COMING referendum IS NOT WATCHED VERY CAREFULLLY AND IF THE COUNT IS NOT DONE exactly like a General Election-the count must be started as soon as the booths are closed etc, exactly like a General Election. However, the question was, “Was Boris right?” As I remember that last WAR very well indeed-I will put my answer this way. Two World Wars were WON so that foreigners should never be able to Govern us. However, a very different way was found to dominate all in every Country that contributed to the proposed then new idea of an EEC/EC now EU.
    We as a family were indeed bombed out in that WAR-living then not very far from the then much used Manchester Ship Canal. The School I went to was fire bombed although from the front it looked fine. However, our time was taken up by hunting for Shrapnel until eventually Woodsheds outside another School was found for us to go to. (Spoilsports.) I however, left school at the age of thirteen and a half-by a fluke-for I had no Mom then to guide me, and the day I was fourteen I started Work-although there was a problem for the management regarding “cards” -but they stayed keeping “MUM”, for as I understand it now, I should not have left School at that time but continued until the Easter of the next year. However, back to the future. The people of this country may only have this one CHOICE-to get out of the EU in the coming REFERENDUM or to remain in-which may well be FOREVER, for I cannot see the people ever having another chance through a REFERENDUM to set ourselves FREE once more. I just thank goodness there are still people like Boris and your Goodself-for at least we have a chance now to set ourselves FREE FROM FOREIGN RULE-WITHOUT A WAR.

    • MIKE m says:

      Well put, Anyoldiron. A get out without war, should be enough to have people in their hundreds of thousands giving their OUT VOTE. I remember the 70s referendum and the lies told then. I voted with my late Father, and I voted to join the Common Market but Father voted the other way, and told me he had seen enough of Europe. That’s all he said at the time. – It was not until 50 years after D day, watching the T.V. with him and enjoying the celebrations, that I noticed the Old Boy in floods of tears. He had bottled it up, outside his many war stories, for half a century. As a Senior N.C.O. in the R.A.F. his name was pulled to go to Belson Camp within the first 24 hours of liberation. with the Germans still there. – The idea was to have witnesses for the war crime trials. He was a tough guy, in the R.A.F. from the start, serving in North Africa, Ceylon, India and then over to Normandy. When he calmed down with a drink, he told me about how every sense of the body had been assaulted during his visit, and how one poor guy had died in his arms after a sip of water from him. An Australian Ranger N.C.O. was very silent, and just picked a German Officer up off the floor, by his jaw and smashed his head into a wall. – The M.Ps took charge of him. ……….. How I wish my Father had told me all this before I had voted in that first referendum !

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        They didn’t say much. My dad was in the RAF mainly in Libya (33 Sqdn). After an ME 109 strafing that seriously injured him and killed a 19 yr old Hurricane pilot being strapped in, his war was over. I took him to RAF Bruggen in 1975 and had to take him back to UK 3 days later. I sensed the anger….again nothing was said. He must of seen the stark differences between UK and Germany in a near flash.

        I enjoyed both Germany and Holland over 7 years. Good friends remain. I don’t think its anywhere near the same now…just like UK isn’t!

      • Anyoldiron says:

        EUROPANTO GOBBL-DE-GOOP. Written when there was only 11 Nation States in the then EU.

        Esté nueva idioma, no es crazy,
        Pero it can make unas personas trés lazy,
        No necesitar to learn eleven idiomas,
        For al final cette course, no hay diplomas.

        C’est trés facile than “Old English Pigion”,
        Per favore-grazie, you learn just a smidgen,
        Straight up mate, vous ne regrettez pas,
        Just cheek, sommi Old Greek, you understand JA?

        Was darf es sein more than anything now?
        For c’est un morçeau de gateau, mein Frau,
        C’est wild, to learn impotante Europese,
        Just mix up todo este idiomas avec mucho ease.

        Beware though, personas in Brussels just might,
        Qué commencer as a joke, may be taken as right,
        Si Europanto catches on, c’est vraiment to relate,
        Mucho interpreters will meet a very sad fate.

        Goodbye, Arrivederci, Gia sas, Hasta Luego, Adjö, Näkemiin,
        Farvel, Dag, Au revior, Até logo, and Auf Wiedersehen,
        N’est pas vraiment, C’est un horreur,
        Arrividerci———————until tomorreur!!!!

      • Anyoldiron says:

        My brother desperately wanted to join the RAF in that last WAR but was not allowed to go. As soon as the War ended and he was at last released, he joined the RAF. It was only when he told me what he did, I understood why, for he was one of A.V. Roes Design Engineers.

  10. Shieldsman says:

    Vince Cable, the former Liberal Democrat Business secretary, has warned about the impact on sales of porridge from Britons voting to leave the European Union on June 23.

    Speaking on a platform alongside Chancellor George Osborne and the former shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Mr Cable said: “Just a few weeks ago I went to a small ambitious company making porridge. They started to export to Australia – they thought it would be easy.
    “They ran into a wall of packaging, labelling, food standards certificate of origin – so they tried Holland, and found that none of these barriers exist because we were part of the same single market, and they are now expanding rapidly, creating employment because they have discovered there is one market of 500million people.”

    Are there 500million people in Europe who like porridge for breakfast?

    Meanwhile the the Telegraph has over 300 business men who are for Brexit, and I have three immediate neighbours who run their own businesses and will vote to LEAVE.

    George Osborne today made a pro-EU speech at Stansted Airport alongside Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary where they claimed that air fares would rise if we left the EU. O’Leary is like Branson, keep in the limelight, facts don’t mtter it is free advertising.

    • Ken Dickenson says:

      Yes indeed, and Osborne claimed that UK GDP would lose £200 Billion if we leave the EU.
      Why did he not ask O’Leary what effect it would have on UK GDP and Airbus jobs at Chester & Bristol if Ryanair bought some Airbus aircraft instead of insisting on buying only Boeing 737 5American aircraft)?

  11. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin says:

    I flew Ryanair once and was blackmailed into paying overweight on the return trip despite having bought nothing while away. So I will never fly with him again. I met a couple of his pilots a while back and he is every bit as vile to his employees as he is to his customers. Someone else has pointed out that he refuses point blank to consider Airbus, which makes him a strange person to be pro EU.

    However, he does have a point. If we cannot negotiate an air deal, prices might well go up. So we now, at long last, have an actual, tangible reason to remain in the EU. Just one.

    Meanwhile, on the Leave side, we have return of sovereignty, the potential saving of £185 billion pa (Prof Tim Congdon), the ability to trade with the rest of the world on mutually beneficial terms, our seat at the WTO, the removal of the threat of the EU taking our permanent seat on the UN, the continuing risk of being forced to pay for euro bailouts and the ability to make our own fiscal and monetary policy.

    On the rare occasions I use an aircraft (never Ryanair), I can live with the higher fares.

    • Jane Davies says:

      WestJet are now flying direct to the UK from here (Canada) at really competitive prices so if prices do rise they will soon level out. As you say a small price to pay for independence.

  12. RODNEY OLLEY says:

    The only comparison Boris made to Hitler and Napoleon was that they like the present EU hierarchy wanted to reduce Europe to a conglomeration dominated by unelected supremos. This is patently true, where is the problem?

  13. MIKE m says:

    We all understand the Hitler parallel made by Boris, and he was quite correct. However it was not the smartest comment for a wide audience !

  14. borderside says:

    Much is being made by the pro- EU bunch , of the potential threats from the EU and companies therein , of them putting tariffs in place on imported goods . Why is no-one in the Brexit campaign pointing out that they would do so at their peril , ie, we would retaliate by putting high tariffs ( as the US have done with Chinese steel ) on their car imports , for example . I can hear the screams from EU manufacturers from here ! Methinks business would be resumed tariff free
    before you could say ” EU .”
    Jim Hutchinson .

  15. Wendy Warren says:

    My late husband, a farmer, had both Italian and German PoWs working for him on the farm during WW2. This led him to say that the Germans might have lost the war, but they would win the peace. When we joined the EU he said that we had fought for 6 years to prevent ourselves from being dominated by Germany but now we were surrendering to them. If we remain, that is what will happen. Boris is right in his analysis but wrong to have voiced his views, which have inevitably been distorted by the media.

  16. foxbarn says:

    just a small point, postal vote forms go out in just SEVEN days time…won’t many people make their decision then, not on June 23rd?


  17. Frances Fox says:

    I agree with Boris and have always said that the EU is the Third World War by stealth. If only UKIP will talk more about the treaties that were signed by Conservatives and Labour all detrimental to our Country. I mentioned them on Facebook and talk to people about them which shocks them because they have never known about them. It was good to hear Nigel mention two of the treaties just recently hope he mentions more.

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