Post referendum Debrief July 27th

I have generally tried to avoid excessive emphasis on terrorism issues, as only indirectly linked to the Brexit decision.  But the events yesterday in Rouen are too appalling to ignore.  Decent people of all religions and of none (and I include, I trust, most Muslims) will be horrified at the story of an elderly Catholic Priest who was butchered at the altar of his church.

It would be simplistic to blame immigration – and at least one of the assailants was a local man.  But at the same time a number of recent attacks have involved immigrants, and the public are right to see uncontrolled or large-scale immigration from the Middle East as a risk factor.  That said, the genie is out of the bottle.  Even if we could halt all immigration (and no one is calling for that), the existing problem would remain.

Britain next?  Several papers report an ISIS threat to London, as British churches are “put on alert”. While France and Germany have borne the brunt of the ISIS offensive, the UK will certainly be targeted.  We must remain alert, but it is impossible to provide protection for all of Britain’s 50,000 churches.

How do we respond?  There are no easy answers.  In the UK, controlling our borders will help, and perhaps prevent the problem growing, but will not eliminate it.  The BBC Today programme this morning carried a report that there are 2000 “persons of interest to the security services” in the UK, and more being added daily.  Clearly it is impossible to put such numbers under surveillance.  One of the Rouen attackers was actually on probation and wearing a security tag, yet still planned and committed the offence.  In wartime it was possible to intern enemy aliens, but today that would be counter-productive and contrary to a range of laws.

It seems that we have to continue with what we are already seeking to do – a wide range of small measures which taken together should help.  Controlling our borders, certainly.  Restricting extremist material on the web.  Working with Muslim communities to prevent radicalisation, and to eliminate it from mosques and Muslim schools.  The work of the security services in monitoring individuals going to Syria to support ISIS.  I see that the NSPCC is today announcing a help-line for parents and others concerned about radicalisation of children.  This is a small but worthwhile initiative.

Cartoons of the prophet: Every so often we get a little local scandal where someone posts a comment or a cartoon which is seen as “anti-Islamic”.  Occasionally this has involved members of UKIP.  This is deeply unhelpful, and reflects badly on the party.  UKIP is not “anti-Islamic”, but it is certainly anti-terrorism, and we should not allow critics to distort the issue.  Nonetheless we are faced with an issue of cognitive dissonance.  On the one hand, we are asked to believe that Islam is a religion of peace.  On the other, we are daily confronted not merely with isolated incidents, but with large numbers of people and large organisations committing the most appalling outrages while shouting Islamic slogans and claiming to be soldiers of Allah.  So if (for example) Charlie Hebdo publishes an image of the Prophet wearing a suicide belt, that is, in Western terms, an entirely legitimate comment on current political developments (and the cartoonists paid for it with their lives).

Should we not respect the Islamic tradition which bans representations of the prophet (and indeed of the human figure generally in art)?  No, we should not.  We in UKIP (and I believe all decent people) defend the right of others to follow their own faiths, within the law (this would not, for example, extend to the ISIS practice of throwing gays to their deaths from roof-tops).  If Muslims wish to refrain from producing or publishing pictures of the Prophet, that’s fine by me.  But they have absolutely no right to impose that particular prohibition on the rest of society, and especially not on Western societies.

Wearing the veil:  Does this mean that Western countries are wrong to impose a ban on the burqa?  I think not, because the wearing of the veil is a social, cultural and interpersonal issue, not a religious requirement.

Immigration: Beating the rush

The Commons Home Affairs Committee has published a report attacking the ambiguity of the government on EU immigration issues around Brexit, and calling for early clarification.  They warn of an immigration “spike” as EU citizens seek to beat expected future restrictions.  It seems to me that our government should urgently do three things: first, invoke Article 50 without further delay.  Second, declare that any EU citizen legally resident in the UK before June 23rd 2016 (Referendum Day) will have an unchallenged right to remain; and third, declare that post-Referendum arrivals will not necessarily have that right.  Those measures would prevent an immigration “spike”, and would give us the tools to deal with any increase that might occur.

GSK to invest £275 million in post-Brexit UK

We have seen a number of companies that warned against Brexit during the Referendum campaign, but have since come to terms with the idea – not least Siemens.

Now GSK,  one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has announced a further investment of £275 million in the UK, despite having warned against Brexit during the referendum.  This is a powerful endorsement of Britain’s post-Brexit prospects.

Chief Executive Andrew Witty, who backed the Remain campaign, said the UK’s skilled workforce and competitive tax system helped drive the decision.

GSK said that most of the products made at the expanded sites would be exported, and that it expected its investment to create new jobs.  “It is testament to our skilled UK workforce and the country’s leading position in life sciences that we are making these investments in advanced manufacturing here,” said Mr Witty.

In other comments, GSK also pointed to the lower value of the Pound, which made investment more attractive and exports more competitive.

R&D opportunities: I commented yesterday on the letter from  Prof Nick Donaldson of University College London arguing that Brexit will attract more medical research to the UK when we’re free of restrictive EU regulation.  It’s worth noting that the EU’s Clinical Trials Directive virtually destroyed the clinical trials business across the EU and in the UK.  The government should give high priority to repealing that measure, and making the UK an attractive place for clinical and pharmaceutical research.

Fox puts pressure on May to leave the EU Customs Union

The FT reports tensions between Trade Secretary Liam Fox and the Prime Minister over the terms of Brexit.  Fox wants us out of the EU Customs Union (the “Single Market”) so as to have maximum flexibility to negotiate new trade deals around the world.  May fears this may create problems for exporters, and tensions with Ireland. But clearly Fox is right.  “Brexit within the EU Customs Union” is not Brexit at all.  It would end up as quasi-EU-membership, with all the costs and restrictions that would imply.

As I argued at length yesterday, what we want is full independence plus a free trade deal with the EU.  That’s Dr. Fox’s view, and he’s absolutely right.  It’s the practical and achievable solution.

US set to resume imports of British beef and lamb

In a small but highly significant indication of post-Brexit opportunities, the Telegraph reports that exports of British beef and lamb to the USA will resume shortly, twenty years after they were banned as a result of mad cow disease. Agriculture Minister George Eustace is set to announce the decision formally tomorrow at the National Sheep Association show at Malvern.  Great news, and much more to come.

Sturgeon under attack for posturing on the EU

The Express reports the attack on Nicola Sturgeon by Tory Murdo Fraser, pointing out that the EU now accounts for significantly less than half of Scotland’s exports – and the figure is declining.  Adding that Scotland sells more than four times as much to the rest of the UK than it does to the rest of the EU, Murdo warns that Sturgeon should not let her EU obsession jeopardise Scotland’s relationship with its biggest market.

Brexit to boost Broadband speeds?

The Telegraph reports that one reason why Ofcom was reluctant to instruct BT to part company with Open Reach was because “Ninety percent of Ofcom’s legal basis is controlled by Brussels”.  It is said that under current rules, BT could go to Brussels to challenge Ofcom’s decision, and that former state telecoms monopolies in Germany, France, Spain and Italy – some of which are still part government owned — would strongly resist moves that might create a precedent for themselves.

I thought that during the Referendum Campaign we had explored all the potential benefits of Brexit, but I have to confess that “faster broadband speeds” is one I’d missed.

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35 Responses to Post referendum Debrief July 27th

  1. tjames@doctors.org.uk says:

    Hi

    on a completely different matter–15 years ago selling pork chops with kidney attached was banned apparently to prevent “cross-contamination”–who/what banned it?

    regards

    • rfhmep says:

      So far as I can remember, it was the British government. I remember when the ban on kidneys and “beef on the bone” was introduced, I rushed out and bought just those items from our friendly neighbourhood butcher.

  2. Shouldn’t have been necessary to defend cartoonists. Anymore than it’s necessary to defend you for saying it….(Or anything else.)

  3. Kevan Chippindall-Higgin says:

    With regard to EU (or indeed any other) nationals having unfettered rights to remain in the UK causes me a little difficulty. Those who are here, law abiding and productive, fair enough. Those who are criminals or on the scrounge must be sent home as soon as we are able.

    I am more than happy to encourage productive immigration to fill those jobs that need doing and which otherwise would remain unfilled on the clear understanding that this is the UK and we do things our way. Some are admirable, such as habeus corpus, innocence until proven guilty and so forth. Some are not, such as city centre closing time early on Sunday morning. Nonetheless, we are what we are and if it offends you, you are free to leave.

    With regard to the Islamic issue, I have seen videos on You Tube showing a Sharia Law area in Whitechapel complete with Muslim patrols that chase away gays, women showing a glimpse of knee and so forth. This must be stopped at once. There is one set of laws, those passed by Parliament. We cannot tolerate kangaroo religious courts or practices in way way, shape or form.

    • Graeme Chegwidden says:

      I say that people legally resident here under EU passport rules up till UK Independence Day should have the RIGHT TO APPLY for permanent residence or ILR as it is known, after which they can apply for citizenship. They would of course have to meet a range of normal criteria, including language and giving up their previous nationality. Codes of conduct and restrictions on claiming state assistance would also apply. It should NOT be automatic!

      Those here just to work, like many Eastern Europeans are, could apply for work permits and, provided they were in employment as at June 23, would not be unreasonably refused. Similarly, those here to study could obtain a permit to continue until they obtained their qualifications. Travel visas for those here on holiday or being here on business could be applied for as well in the normal way. After these permissions expire these people would return to their foreign homes as normal.

      This would not only normalise movement of people between the UK and other countries, it would also create a proper record of who was here and whether they leave or not.

      It may be a complaint, based on previous processes, that obtaining such documents would be a pain in the proverbial. However, with the way technology has advanced, it should now be a simple matter to register and obtain such travel clearance docs online and in short order.

      Another control that could be put in place through normalisation of the border situation is that the totally free movement of money could also be sorted out. It is not beneficial in anyway to a country that huge numbers of people can earn cash in that country and simply send it to another country, usually without record. The capital drain via this problem is enormous. As an example, the second largest income for India is through Indians working abroad and sending their earnings home. To the extent that this is benefiting India, it is eroding the economies where the money comes from. Much of it from here!

      In the UK we have highly skilled people emigrating in very large numbers (600,000+ annually?) and taking their wealth with them. We have large numbers of unskilled much less educated people immigrating and replacing them, many working here and sending their cash abroad. We have huge foreign companies employing them here who invest X and repatriate their profits overseas, eroding the market for local companies who would more likely reinvest their profits here.

      The total capital in the UK represents the cumulative wealth and well being of all our citizens combined. It is essentially created by the gross productivity of all of us. Allowing this pool of capital to simply drain off into the wider world unchecked (just to make a small number of individuals profoundly and obscenely rich) erodes the economy for each and every one of us to varying degrees. This is the big unseen elephant that is sucking our water hole dry.

      Until we are independent and back in control of our own country we cannot stop it! Let’s invoke article 50 and get on with it!

  4. Mike FitzGerald says:

    “Working with Muslim communities to prevent radicalisation, and to eliminate it from mosques and Muslim schools.” This is not possible. To state this shows a clear lack of understanding of their purpose here which is to make the UK and Europe Islamic in every aspect from religion to Sharia law. Imams in the UK and elsewhere state this openly and clearly.

    You also state no one is asking for a total ban on immigration. That is an incorrect assumption, specifically when we consider groups like economic migrants from Africa and the Middle-East that will not enrich our country. We do not need mass immigration and never have. What we needed was to naturally manage our population down again to sustainable and affordable levels.

    A total ban on criminals and terrorists entering the UK is desirable and needed. Islam is not compatible with our culture and laws, a point repeatedly made by the ECHR . There is no middle ground. As Erdogan states,”There is no moderate Islam”. There is Jihad, the spread of Islam through war and terror. There is Hijrah, the emigration to other non-muslim lands to spread Islam by growing their population. There is Taquiya, the accepted practice of lying to further the cause of Islam. There is no other law for them apart form Sharia and they will never accept anything else.

    Believing this situation can be changed is as misguided as the Tories thinking they could fundamentally renegotiate the EU’s planned collectivist based power grab and the four free movements. No country has ever negotiated Islam off its intended path and May or any other politician will change the spots on this 1,400 year old leopard.

    • Graeme Chegwidden says:

      Two points, Mike. A total ban on immigration would mean no-one comes in to live here. From anywhere at all. It would also mean no-one on a temporary visit of any kind (business, holidays, whatever) would be allowed to “overstay”. It would obviously mean severe and rigid controls over people movements so we can keep track of them. In the late 1990’s I went to visit China. I was subjected to this degree of control. I could not go from one town to another without permission from the police. It must cost a fortune to manage human movements at this level. It would also mean creating the UK as a police state. I don’t think this is what anyone is arguing for. Even the EDL.

      Regarding Islam (and I am an atheist Brit just to be clear) the reality is that there is a spectrum of ways in which people express and experience their religions in general.

      Literalism and orthodoxy, combined with exclusivity across geographic areas results in extremist views and includes isolationism, restricted education and irrational behaviour. This becomes dangerous once combined with megalomania and empire building. History is littered with such adventures.

      At the other end of the spectrum, adherents have only a moderate to weak relationship with their faith. They pay lip service to most of it, They reinterpret things to suit their lifestyle. They pick and choose which bits they like. And their relationships with their friends and neighbourhoods are not dominated by it. Often these people will say they are not a practicing Christian / Jew / Muslim / Hindu or whatever. Such people are usually living in integrated communities such as are common in the UK, and many are not overtly religious. For many, they are only a small step from considering themselves “spiritual” rather than religious. Indeed, secularism and even atheism are sometimes very close to these positions.

      And then of course there are all the people along the scale in between. And all of them occur in our country.

      What we are seeing across North Africa and the Middle East in huge measure, and increasingly across Europe and even other countries as a result of the huge recent migrations, is the concentration and isolation of members of the orthodox end of the Islamic spectrum, with all its hazards.

      The phenomena which gave rise to the problems in Northern Africa and the Middle East although definitely the original source of the ideology behind the threat which we face in the UK today, are not omnipresent throughout UK Muslim culture.

      In the UK, we allowed, through excessive immigration and the resulting ghettoes in places such as Luton, Tower Hamlets, Birmingham, Bradford etc etc, such concentrations to evolve. These pockets associate strongly with their “homeland”, indigenous culture and beliefs, largely unaffected by interaction with larger British (or European) society. High percentages of these people were not born here. But large numbers of British Muslims do not live in or associate with (or even agree with) these pockets.

      My boss is a “sort of” Muslim. He is married to a polish woman. Dresses in British style. Doesn’t hang around with other more orthodox Pakistanis. Sees himself as British, and has UK citizenship. Goes to Mosque about as often as most Christians go to church. His children go to a “Christian” school which has a cosmopolitan pupil base. He enjoys a tipple and even eats bacon occasionally. To hold him accountable in any way for 9/11 or the Bataclan would be equivalent to me being held accountable for the Ku Klux Klan or black slavery just because I am white.

      There are many more of him than of the Abu Hamza’s and burqa adherents in the UK. Its the isolated “communities” that need to be changed. They should never have been allowed to develop. I am not sure how that is to be achieved.

    • rfhmep says:

      “A total ban on criminals and terrorists” does not imply a total ban on all immigration. Industry and academia need to be able to welcome experts with skills. Universities need to be able to accept foreign students. So a “total ban on immigration” (which as I say no one wants) would do huge damage to our economy.

      • Jane Davies says:

        I’m sure foreign students don’t fall into the immigrant group they are only in the UK on temporary visa’s are they not? Sorry to be picky…….

  5. alexr64 says:

    Roger, I know you and UKIP are in a difficult place and you probably don’t fancy being the next Geert Wilders but I’m pretty sure you know this won’t work, not even close: “It seems that we have to continue with what we are already seeking to do – a wide range of small measures which taken together should help. Controlling our borders, certainly. Restricting extremist material on the web. Working with Muslim communities to prevent radicalisation, and to eliminate it from mosques and Muslim schools.”

    We are at war with Islam, make absolutely no mistake about that. And that requires an uncompromising cold steel approach or there is going to be a lot of hot steel flying about and worse. Given the chance, the Islamic world would very happily detonate a nuclear weapon in the west, regardless of how many of their own ‘soldiers’ had to become martyrs.

    It’s wake up time…no, it’s past wake up time, their Trojan horses have delivered millions of their cult followers in Europe.

    • Graeme Chegwidden says:

      Alex…you are beginning to sound more like an EDL or BNP supporter than a UKIP one…

      • Martin Reed says:

        Alex sounds like someone talking sound common sense. Sound common sense runs contrary to political correctness though nowadays. Perhaps that’s what you find upsetting.

    • rfhmep says:

      I am aware that a worrying percentage of Muslims in the UK seem to have some sympathy with parts of the Islamist agenda, but the fact remains that not all Muslims are terrorists, just as in Ireland not all Catholics were paid-up members of the IRA. No one in UKIP should be in favour of treating all Muslims as terrorists. We may however feel that large-scale immigration of people from very different cultures is a threat to social cohesion.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Social cohesion means banning sharia law, nothing so divisive as allowing certain sections of society to treat woman with less equality than the law of the land treats the rest. This must be stamped out now.

      • catweazle666 says:

        I know more than Muslim who complains bitterly that they have come to this country to avoid the extremist Sharia-loving nutters, and that previous governments of both varieties have encouraged these nutters to come here, and worse, have encouraged them to retain their totalitarian, barbaric practices that they have come here to avoid.

        The Sharia-supporting Muslims are not and never will be compatible with twenty-first century socially liberal civilisation, it is as simple as that. Sharia law explicitly precludes obedience to any higher authority, and that is not up for debate.

  6. falcons1988 says:

    I have spent a great deal of time researching Islam, as an ideology, it is as sick and as evil as they come.

    The Quran constantly talks about non-Muslims being the worst of creatures or commanding Muslims to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them. I would say that it is not radicalisation, but conditioning over long periods.

    Any reformation cannot be done, because it would mean challenging Muhammad. A capital offence in Islam. Also the Quran states that is perfect, the book that makes things clear and Allah words cannot be changed.

    What we should do, is stop the politically correct nonsense, tell the truth about Islam. Encourage the westernised Muslim to apostasy. While ever we pussyfoot around Islam, innocent people will continue to be killed while nothing is done.

  7. RODNEY OLLEY says:

    Let us not forget that we owe our civilisation as we now know it to the Muslim faith that kept the light of classical knowledge burning during our dark ages. This is a fact of history that any Ukiper can google.

    • Jane Davies says:

      So what are you saying?

    • Graeme Chegwidden says:

      Are you a Christian, Rod? How did a faith preserve any specific knowledge? Faith is anti-science…

    • Martin Reed says:

      On the contrary they were responsible for burning libraries all over the civilised world in order to destroy knowledge and literature. Much of ancient Greek mathematics, science, and literature is lost to us as a result. On a related topic, have you ever asked yourself why so many statues from ancient Egypt have been vandalised by having the noses struck off? And who did it?

    • catweazle666 says:

      No, we owe the Muslim faith nothing of the kind.

  8. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Social insanity now engulfs the globe, driven by the insanity of world leaders. Loss of contact with reality is the social cost for seventy years (1946 – 2016) of purposeful government deception about the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima, powers the Sun sustains our lives and the whole Cosmos.

    Einstein (1905), Aston (1922) and Kuroda (1945) realized that the tremendous power of nuclear energy could be a blessing or a curse for humanity. World leaders unwittingly turned nuclear energy into a curse by trying to hide it from the public to save the world from possible nuclear annihilation.

    • Oliver K. Manuel says:

      The decision to unite nations and national academies of sciences under the UN on 24 Oct 1945 may have inadvertently aligned the western scientific community in opposition to a force that humans considered to be a Divine Higher Power throughout recorded history.

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Good-Bad_NEUTRON_REPULSION.pdf

      Could that explain today’s worldwide social insanity?

      • Oliver K. Manuel says:

        If the black stone of Mecca Is fragments of an iron meteorite produced near the pulsar core of the supernova that

        1. Made our chemical elements;
        2. Birthed the solar system 5 Ga ago;
        3. Sustained the origin and evolution of life on Earth after 3.8 Ga ago; and
        4. Sustains every atom, life and planet in the solar system today, then

        Did not precise rest mass measurements of 3,000 types of atoms that comprise all matter confirm Allah’s energy source?

        PS – I am not personally a Muslim but I see no conflict between science and the spiritual insight of religious leaders.

      • ps3person says:

        Allah is a fiction…subscribed to by millions, but a fiction nonetheless. Show proof of Allah’s, or any other alleged God’s existence, then we can talk about science and religion in the same breath.

      • Oliver K. Manuel says:

        ps3person

        The difference is that precise measurements and observations have exposed the fiction of “Big Bang Cosmology,” “The Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-Filled Stars,” & “Attractive Nuclear Forces Between Neutrons.”

      • ps3person says:

        I don’t doubt you’re right Oliver…but none of that provides any evidence that any invisible God exists, other than in the minds of those wanting it to be so, for any number of reasons

      • Oliver K. Manuel says:

        I.e., lock-step consensus “science” of the UN and the UNAS (United National Academies of Sciences) radicalized the world’s religious movements by denying the validity of religious leaders’ various spiritual insights into the beginning of the world and the purpose of life.

  9. Graeme Chegwidden says:

    Roger, I fear that the commentaries on your blog are gradually sinking towards a weird cesspit of alter-extremism…

  10. ps3person says:

    I note and agree that not all these attacks are by immigrants (at least recent immigrants) Roger, but they are all muslims.

    On the issue of muslims, I was informed today that UKIP would not support the banning of unlawful sharia courts in Britain. If this is true, and I do hope it is not, why?

  11. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Just a thought…in pictures:

  12. ps3person says:

    Oliver K. Manuel Nobody “radicalized” these religious groups Oliver…what they might have done is stamp their feet and sulk because the scientific world refused to accept that those who do such much in the name of something about which there is no proof, should have any “insights” worth hearing about, since without any proof of what they base those “insights” upon, they have nothing more than opinions…and we all know how much they vary! Is this not a similar argument to what radical muslims do today, by blaming foreign policy or whatever, for the barbarity, intolerance, and hate they indulge in, all in the name of their version of religion?

    • Oliver K. Manuel says:

      Unfortunately lock-step consensus “science” of the UN and the UNAS are as illogical and unscientific as any religion. They destroyed the integrity of science.

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