Kevin Holdridge – Managing Director of Kent House Digital Marketing, Northwich It was written in response to several anti Brexit posts on the Quora website,
In response to Nicholas Stone …
Whilst you “thoroughly studied the EU at university”, I think it’s fair to point out that at the time of your graduation (1988) the EU had not yet been created.
The focus of many anti-Brexit commentators here seems to be on the fear of change.
I have no problem with people arguing from such a pessimistic and conservative viewpoint. even if they are consequently propagandising for an antidemocratic superstate.
Anyway, Nicholas is correct in his first argument that Brexit is a crisis rather than a disaster. It’s a crisis because the UK political establishment has over the years become so enfeebled and absorbed into the EU superstate politically and culturally that it never in a million years expected the proles to challenge that successfully or to be charged with managing a withdrawal.
Personally, I think it is a very healthy sign of democracy when the electorate mandates the establishment to do something they prefer not to do. That kind of crisis is at least a positive sign of democracy in action.
The sad thing is that the establishment – as is normal practice in the EU when a vote goes the ‘wrong’ way – is kicking back, trying to undermine the decision, and seeking to force a new vote. This is essentially a counter-revolution by the establishment against the little people who have acted outside their place and got a little uppity.
Those supporting this reactionary establishment counter-revolution often see themselves as the ‘progressives’. I think that is open to challenge.
Nicholas’ second assertion – “Brexit is a rich man’s project for rich people” – misses the truth quite fundamentally. See above regarding counter-revolution. I am constantly amazed that people who would see themselves as intellectuals and progressives do not see any irony in claiming to be supporting the poor by getting into bed with the benevolent forces driving the Remain campaign – the IMF, CBI, the big banks and brokers, the global corporates, etc. And let’s not even start on Soros and the Tony Blair Institute. It seems naive.
There have been several responses from people in support of the EU counterrevolution.
Interestingly, none of them raised a single point in defence of the EU. Again the main focus was on either fear of change (understandable but misguided) or a firm but unsubstantiated conviction that leaving the EU would somehow bring about the end of the NHS and all things noble about modern British society.
Just summarising as life is too short to respond to the same tropes from multiple people …
> We have four million children growing up below the official poverty
> line, a million and a quarter people using food-banks and over two
> million families unable to raise £50 in cash within a day.
So 40+ years of EEC/EC/EU membership apparently hasn’t done much for them?
> A No-deal Brexit will result in an average 7.7% drop in the economy
That’s a very precise forecast even though you don’t define a timeframe for it or define what a ‘drop in the economy’ actually is . The government statistic on which this comment is based was for the amount that the economy would supposedly have *grown* less by over 15 years than otherwise. 15 years! And yet government forecasts for the next quarter are routinely wrong. The 7.7% projection of doom, by the way, equates to losing 0.064% of potential growth for each of those 15 years. That doesn’t seem quite so cataclysmic in context.
But yes, even though we are talking about GDP growth rather than GDP, we all want as much growth as possible. Apart from the Greens, of course who confusingly are pro remain. Maybe they agree with me that continued EU membership will depress GDP growth?
As you say, I have no figures of my own. That’s because I am an ordinary citizen and watching a pro-Remain establishment desperately trying to find a way to remain they can dress up as leaving. If the government and global financial bodies with all their resources and power cannot produce accurate projections, you really can’t expect me to. I can at least appreciate the potential growth from breaking out of the protectionist Customs Union and the dead hand of Brussels with its unwieldy Single Market for goods (not even services which make up the largest part of our economy) based on the best interests of French agriculture, Spanish fishing, and Italian tomato growers.
> If you love the poor people, why would you want them to suffer a 7.7% cut in
> their living standard?
I’m not a metropolitan faux-progressive so I don’t need to pretend to patronisingly ‘love the poor’, nor to virtue-signal in other ways. I believe in economic progress and making sure that everyone in the UK gets the best possible quality of life and life chances. I don’t believe that will be achieved by continuing our absorption into an outmoded, protectionist, antidemocratic, wannabe superstate wedded to a disastrous single currency project and working to protect inefficient farmers and to minimise labour costs.
And, by the way, the made-up 7.7 % less growth over 15 years (0.064% p.a. remember) does NOT equate to a ‘7% cut in living standard’ by any rational measure. These are important issues and need to be treated seriously and with careful use of statistics.
> And it is not just the short term. Jacob Rees Mogg said that it would
> take 50 years for the economy to recover.
No he didn’t. I believe you have been misled by propaganda in The Guardian or New European.
Here are the actual facts. Rees Mogg was being hectored disgracefully and unprofessionally by Remainer Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel (“f*ck the Tories”) 4. He most certainly did NOT say that it would ‘take 50 years for the economy to recover’. He DID clearly say – when flustered under high-pressure badgering – that it would take many years to be able to judge the full economic impact of Brexit – hardly a controversial assertion. He also DID say that the next 50 years free of the EU offered the UK an “overwhelming opportunity”. Even the spin, Goebbelsesque headline, and selected quotes and video at the Huffington Post here can’t hide that truth and you can check for yourself: Jacob Rees-Mogg Says It Could Take 50 Years To Reap The Benefits Of Brexit Its important always to examine sources critically before jumping to conclusions.
> Of course some people will benefit. Like Christopher Chandler who funds
> the Legatum Institute pro-Brexit think tank. He made his money from
> disaster capitalism
I fail to see what point you are making? Of course the capitalist system includes capitalists, many of whom benefit from others’ misfortune as well as from exploitation of capital in general. I don’t like it. I would want to regulate it more than is the case at present. But it goes with the territory unless you are advocating some kind of Communist system? You cannot possibly be suggesting that the EU will protect us from capitalism? If so, someone should tell the forces of global capitalism (IMF, CBI, merchant banks, retail banks, big business) as they all seem pretty keen on supporting the Remain counterrevolution.
I’ll see your robber-capitalist Christopher Chandler and raise you George Soros. This is the guy who made billions from breaking the Bank of England (you don’t get a better example of profiting from ‘disaster capitalism’ than that), who describes himself as ‘amoral’, and who is openly funding the Remain putsch. Do you feel more comfortable in his embrace than in the company of Chandler?
> You’re floundering. Just chucking mud at writers who make sensible and
> well written answers.
I challenged Nicholas’ claim of expertise and authority based on a university first degree 30 years ago and critiqued his two assertions (I thought quite convincingly).
> … absurd claims about British democracy (we’re about as democratic as
> the EU with our unelected head of state and Upper House).
I made no claims, absurd or not, about British democracy. In fact, I agreed with Nicholas that there is a crisis of democracy.
But as you mention it …
(1) I am a republican, but don’t feel that our current form of constitutional monarchy is a burning issue, and certainly not a priority right now in our broken democracy. In any case, I have no desire to replace our unelected monarch with unelected Jean Claude Juncker or with Selmayr after he dies.
(2) I would happily abolish or replace the House of Lords. It is an anachronism and has been grotesquely corrupted by recent administrations (most notably but not exclusively by Blair) . Who’d imagine that the venal and elitist timeservers of the House of Lords would be the biggest defenders of the EU? But what exactly does your complaint about the HOL have to do with the question of leaving the EU?
(3) One of the biggest problems our democracy faces is that our representatives have developed into a technocratic class (professional career politicians) and have become ever more divorced from ordinary people. Their contemptuous handling of issues such as immigration and Brexit serves only to highlight that divide. I don’t have an answer to this crisis. But I know the solution is not to surrender and outsource ever more of our civil society framework to Brussels.
The Brexit crisis has demonstrated shockingly that our civil service and politicians are very keen in devolving democracy and authority to the institutions of the EU. That means they do not have to be bothered by the irritations of local democratic accountability, and have the comfort of EU sinecures and pensions to sooth the transition.
The EU is perfectly suited to take on this role, of course. Firstly it was designed from the off specifically to keep the peoples of Europe away from any power – a reaction by an unholy alliance of the patricians, self-professed liberals, and forces of capital to the horrors of fascism and war in the 30s and 40s. Secondly, it is so remote from most citizens’ lives and experiences that there can be no possible sense of demos to get in the way of the technocracy. Nobody knows who their MEPs are, what they stand for, or what they do. Nobody ordinary citizen knows how to hold the EU Parliament or the Commission to account. Instead, the EU generates a spurious sense of false demos through its propaganda: salary-holders and pension-holders contractually forbidden to criticise the EU; Stalinesque posters and acknowledgements forcibly displayed wherever there is a building project or cultural event generously funded by the EU with our own money; industrial scale bribery of influential organisations such as broadcasters, universities, and think tanks with funding (again our money not the EU’s); schemes of indoctrination aimed at students which would shame any fascist regime. If you have never read Orwell or studied authoritarianism, I would recommend doing so.
So, you raised the issue of democracy and there’s your answer. It is not appropriate to equate our flawed democracy with the authoritarian antidemocratic EU regime.
> I’m sure even through your union jacked tinged spectacles the economic and
> cultural prospects for Britain are much the poorer following brexit. Few think
> they will improve.
See previous answers here to you and others. Many of us believe with good reason, that the UK’s economic and cultural prospects post-Brexit are immeasurably better. The only barrier currently is the counterrevolution currently being waged. At best, that is making the uncertainty worse in the short term and doing nobody any favours. At worst, it will result in an ersatz Brexit (BRINO – Brexit in name only) that will leave us with all the costs and restrictions of EU membership and with none of the benefits. It is hard to see why any remainer would want such a self-harming outcome other than to be able to say “I told you so” at the expense of the economy and people.
> I note not a single positive point about the EU in your answer.
That’s correct, I believe the EU is an antidemocratic, regressive and Orwellian monstrosity. I have seen no convincing evidence that it has delivered any net benefit that we could not have achieved without being inside it and its predecessors for the last 40+ years. In fact, it has very arguably been a drag on our economy. One can never prove what might have been (although the data trends are quite compelling), so I accept that this is opinion rather than incontovertible fact. But why would you expect me to be positive about the EU?
Oh, go on, then. They’ve introduced a cap on mobile roaming charges.
Strangely, I note ‘not a single positive point about the EU’ in your answer either. There must be a reason for that as you clearly believe it to be such a significant thing to omit.
> You suggest Nicholas Stone gives no positives of the EU, just fear mongering.
Correct on both points – I do suggest that and he doesn’t give any positives.
> The debate and the referendum are done, and yet all you can do is continue
> to moan about project fear as if it is June 2016.
You’d almost imagine the following are not happening:
(1) the remainer-led government trying to sell out Brexit with a BRINO abomination
(2) an orchestrated campaign- using a new improved Project Fear – for a re-run referendum in order to reverse the decision.
> Furthermore, it is not arrogance to call the Daily Mail a crass,
> disgusting, foul excuse of a newspaper.
It could be argued as a little bit arrogant. After all, 1.26 million people choose to pay for it every day, 3 million read it, and 7 million see it across all platforms. To denigrate the opinions and choices of so many of your fellow citizens is certainly a self-confident thing to do.
More importantly … as you well know, I did not accuse you of arrogance for criticising the daily Mail (which you didn’t). I did suggest it was arrogant to imply that Brexiteers were ignorant Daily Mail readers. Here are my words again to refresh your memory:
BTW, the old trope of ‘you just read the Daily Mail’ is quite tired and offensive. It’s a dogwhistle for denigrating anyone who disagrees with the primacy of your personal opinion by tarring them as ignorant reactionaries incapable of making an informed opinion.