The deceit of brexit shouters (part 2)

The latest economic bad news has given #brexit shouters plenty of false ammunition to direct at EU  when they really should be looking much closer to home for the culprits. I am talking of course of the announced sale and possible closure of British Steelworks owned by Tata.

The narrative of the #brexit tweets is that it is EU rules preventing state aid when in fact it is Cameron and Osborne cosying up to their new friends in China that blocked any increase of the current EU tariffs on Chinese steel which stand at 9%. Note that the Americans have no problem in levying up to 266% punitive duty to protect their strategic steel industry.

This is just today’s topical issue but a little trawling through ant EU tweets reveal many many more examples:

The accession of Turkey and the Islamisation of Europe: Guess who is angry at the pace of Turkey’s accession to the EU? Right David Cameron is doing most of the pushing!

The influx of East European economic migrants: Tony Blair’s great Idea to prevent any Franco German axis gaining the upper hand in Europe.

EU destroying our fisheries. Well that was actually self inflicted over-fishing from pre-EU days followed by Icelandic Cod wars. Anyway who sold our fishing boats and quotas to the Spanish? Rich British fleet owners, not Eurocrats. Nigel Farage famously attended only 1 out of 42 EU Fisheries Committee meetings he was appointed to.

CAP is making our shop food prices much dearer? Well it seems only by 1% or 70 p on a typical weekly shopping bill. Do we really mind paying that to support our hard working British farmers and get locally produced fresh and healthy food instead of cheap meat full of antibiotics? One fervent anti EU fanatic Charles Efford was at it again at Easter mentioning cheap New Zealand frozen lamb he bought as an ASDA promotion for £4 a kilo. He said without CAP we could have this price every day. One quick Google search revealed that Last Year New Zealand didn’t even fulfil it’s tariff free quota of lamb exports to the EU. The truth is they make more money selling it to the Chinese.

And so it goes on and on, EU lie after lie. It really wants to make you spit at them. But that only makes them cry “They don’t like us on the continent”


Posted in #brexit, #CAP, EU | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Great British Brexit Buzz-off Show

I keep nurturing this idea in my mind that it would make for such a great informative as well as entertaining TV show if the BBC could be persuaded to trawl through the best tweets on the #brexit amd #bremain hash tags on Twitter and maybe the various pro- and anti EU FaceBook pages and make a special edition of Question Time, Pointless or Room 101 all rolled into one, where we the people had our say on the June EU referendum and not the same old clique that the BBC parades time after time on these same shows.

After all the 23 June EU referendum is supposed to be our chance to have our say on Europe and the EU, not elected politicians, not tired hacks from tired national Newspapers who are all too bloody predictable anyway and not TV’s funny men or women.

Let’s say we put four fervent #Bremain and four fervent #brexit campaigners in a hot seat answering questions from the audience moderated by someone like David Dimbelby.

As an added interest feature each team could have a big red challenge button and play one of their three Jokers. Whenever the opposite side makes a false or disingenuous claim we’d hear a loud buzz and the cameras would switch over to  Fullfact  or Infacts team of Euro researchers who’d make a ruling if the challenge was justified or not.If the Challenge was correct, the team would get to keep their Joker and the opposite team would loose a life. An incorrect challenge would be punished in the same way.

The team that first looses all their lives (or rather EU lies) loses  not only the show, but might also lose some support for their cherished position.

I hope you get the idea, it would be both fun and educational supporting democracy.

It would be a chance to put some EU myths as well as brexit  scare stories to bed. We would not have to rely on our gut feelings to trust a politician from a certain party or a journalist from a certain newspaper we favour or abhor..

What do people think?  How can we get this ball rolling?  I am ready for it ! I want to be on the panel!


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The inherent dishonesty of Brexit shouters

When you have a habit of trawling the #brexit hashtag on Twitter you invariably come across a number of very dubious claims about the supposedly ‘dwindling’ size of the EU economy juxtaposed with the amazing economic prowess of the UK economy.We’re the fastest growing G7 economy is one dodgy claim. Why shackle yourself to a corpse is a favourite Dan Hannan Line, exposed as an ordinary liar in another blog post.

Today I have it in for a Kipper female called Beverly Dunlop. I am not sure if she is devious like Hannan or just plain dumb. Her profile picture would suggest the latter, but that is no excuse for tweeting and retweeting lies about the EU just because you have this unquestionable belief the UK would be better off outside.  To understand the dishonesty I am blogging about, please consider two of her recent tweets side by side.



Now when grown-ups discuss relative size of economies we generally talk about Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but note there is not just one GDP people mention, there are in effect four different relevant measures:

  1. gross domestic product  at nominal values
  2. gross domestic product per capita using nominal values
  3. gross domestic product at PPP values
  4. gross domestic product per capita using PPP values

Eurosceptics are known to trawl through all four measures until they find the UK or EU ranking that best would seem to underpin their dubious #brexit claims. I am sure that one or two so called Europhiles in the remain camp have done the same. In psychology this is referred to as selective perception.

It’s when kippers within one discussion thread use a figure from table 3 to show how bad the EU is supposedly doing, while almost in the same breath to prove the UK’s brilliant economic performance they selectively switch to table 1, things turn to outright deceit.

When I asked Beverly what source she was using, PPP or nominal, she dismissed my query with: “Do your own research” so I did.

Bev’s first claim, the EU represents only 17% of Global GDP could be explained away by selective perception. If you use table 3 you get the EU’s $18.6 trillion divided by the world’s $108.7 trillion you indeed get a 17% global share. In the same vein, dividing UK’s $2.6 trillion GDP in the same way you arrive at a paltry 2%. So much for being fifth in the economic league tables. You are in fact dwarfed by the top 3 global players.

Keep in mind for a moment this fifth place Bev attributes to her beloved ‘Great Britain’.
If I use the same PPP figures Bev just used to slag the EU Economy, I find the UK ranked 10th, not fifth! The EU ranks 1st in Both Nominal and PPP tables; no need for us to cheat by comparing apples and pears. So this is where the propaganda deceit of the #brexit camp really kicks in. It turns selective perception into an art form.

To be perfectly honest, if you are comparing how well citizens are profiting from all this economic nationalistic drum banging, table four above is the only correct table to use. Funnily enough the UK finds itself at a modest 27th position on that list with nine countries using the Euro in fact outperforming ‘Great Britan’. Of course you will not hear a tweet about that uncomfortable fact. You’re meant to just pity those poor Greeks, not envy richer Benelux dwellers an hour’s drive away from Calais.

Only when discussing UK’s exports before or after brexit it makes sense to use nominal GDP values as an indicator of how big a market a foreign trade bloc or country might represent. After all, the UK’s exports will be paid in real dollars, not hamburger dollars. Unfortunately for kippers, the EU tops both lists here. Not their beloved Commonwealth, not their special friends the USA.

I’d like to hear in your comments, am I too harsh on poor Bev? Is she simply dumbly retweeting Hannan, who is a known deceitful prick or is Bev devious as well? Actually looking at her profile pic she looks kinda dumb.


But looking at her tweets she is probably both dumb and devious, a dangerous combination.


You see she goes on and on about the EU commission being unelected but ignores the fact that MEPs are and also the council of ministers are all elected politicians. As if SIR Humphrey in Westminster, the one who prepares laws for UK Prime Ministers, is elected rather than appointed.

Posted in #brexit, EU, EURO, UKIP | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

European trade a Brexit cautionary tale: Could do better UK SME’s!

Today after months of delay a man with a white van arrived at my French property with our long awaited luxury bathroom suite from Victorian Plumbing Supplies in the UK.


I feel I must share this story with you as a cautionary tale if you are not sure about the upcoming British EU referendum and think ukip and eurosceptic Tories have a point about the vast majority of UK Small and Medium Enterprises (UK SME)  having nothing to gain from Europe and are only needlessly tied down by EU red tape.

Note: French DIY products are ridiculously expensive. Customer service is non existent in France. There is a great market opportunity for UK services sector here!

Our quest for a new British style luxury bathroom suite started in the January sales after visiting our kids and grand kids in East Anglia. Walking around various B&Q and Homebase type of shops we knew what we wanted and we could not get at Leroy Merlin or Brico Marché in France. All of this shiny showroom stuff is for ordering and home delivery only, but when you ask if it would be possible to divert that home delivery to the continent at our cost the silly sales girls’ jaws just drop in amazement like you’re from Mars.

Venting my frustration at a local plumbing merchant a guy who knew his stuff advised me to check out Victorian Plumbing on the Internet who allegedly delivered in France.

Here is my first caution, do not mistake Victorian Plumbing for a rip-off internet site called Victoria plumb. The latter are con artists of the worst kind probably trading on the reputation of the first mentioned. They took my money and promptly changed the delivery date from February to end May, as if I could just stop my project while they sourced non existing stock in their spring sale. It took me threats of legal action to get my money back.

While praising UK SME Victorian Plumbing for having the courage and conviction to dip their toes into that huge untapped consumer market conveniently right on the UK’s door steps they still have a lot to learn about eCommerce outside of the UK!

What gave me hope was when I saw at their check-out procedure Victorian Plumbing actually had a drop down list of all the EU countries they can export to without filling in a single customs form.  What was disappointing is that after entering ‘country = France’ and my French ‘code postale’, the estimated delivery costs field remained stubbornly empty. (see screenscrape above)  There was just a pop up message customer services would contact me soon with a delivery quote.  So I waited. I waited a few more days. Then I called customer service who said they’ were waiting to get senior management approval. Must be the deal of the century my order? Come on guys, if for every EU sale, one paid for with a UK Barclay Card to boot, you have to bother senior management you still haven’t cottoned on to the EU opportunity you claim to want to grab.

So then I started tweeting to @Victorianplumb to vent my frustration. What is good about companies with a social media presence is that the bright internet savy kids they employ for that purpose know that in social media response has to be immediate. But of course they still are faced with some ukip voting middle management twat that thinks he has to authorise sales to British ex-pats in France because we must present a credit risk with our UK bank cards???? So while it’s nice to tweet to someone who cares and is just as frustrated as me with the rest of the company letting the export side of business down frustration still was mounting by the day.

God know how long later I finally get a ridiculous quote for a pallet delivery to France for £175,- I was shocked. Note that a month earlier I had a heavy woodburning stove bought on eBay UK, delivered straight from a Bulgarian Factory to the same address in France by DHL for just  £50,- This was the ballpark transport quote I was expecting and now waiting for, for a good three weeks.

Naturally I declined their offer of  EU transport and made use of Victorians ‘Free delivery anywhere in the UK for orders over  £500,-  Googling just one minute brought me into contact with a second anti #brexit UKSME who knows which side of their toast is buttered in the form of  ParcelHop UK specialising in delivering where other UK companies fear to tread. Their quote was a much more realistic  £75,- home delivery and they even were kind enough to let me add a UK sourced tractor tyre from Vulcano Ltd. to my delivery which saved me another small fortune compared to tyre prices in France. So yet another UK SME operating from a UK homestead who is not afraid to give great service just because a customer sounds a bit like a forringer 😉


With great service belongs some great feedback on forward looking SME’s social media site. Note the anti #brexit comment of this SME!

Posted in #brexit, EU, EURO, SME | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Is one size fits all the only way to imagining UK in a Eurozone?



Having one’ s own currency is a convenience for failing UK politicians


When Europhobes  like Mark Conway post comments like ‘one size can’t fit all’ what they really fall for is a myth propagated by inept politicians that a nation has to have control of its own currency as some sort of ’emergency eject button’ for when they completely cock things up in government with wrong and misguided economic policies or in the case of Greece by corruption, national tax avoidance and sheer laziness.

Kippers like Mark ( I call them all kippers regardless of who they vote for) never picture the UK as a strong manufacturing economy; they always portray Britain as the next victim of some evil German conspiracy. Because that’s how they see the European Union’s single currency. I wonder if the old confederate states in the USA  have similar feelings about Yankee-Dollar$.

Never in their wildest dream they could imagine the scenario where the British Industrial heartlands far from London would have prospered using the Euro alongside with the Germans, The Dutch and the Irish to name a few Euro zone counties doing rather well.

But is it really so unimaginable, an alternative future where being part of the Eurozone would have invigorated UK manufacturing by making it more competitive than using an over valued pound? A future where instead of limping along on one economic leg and a crutch called City of London, our economy would have two legs to stand on: World class manufacturing *and* world class financial services? Yet they have the audacity to call commentators like me pointing out the obvious euro benefits ‘unpatriotic traitors’ that don’t believe in Britain because my mind is free to imagine an even more prosperous UK in the Eurozone. In their idiotic way of thinking the Euro would have only one effect and that is somehow our northern temperate island would cast itself adrift and somehow float southwards through the Gibraltar straights until we’d find ourselves moored between Albania and Greece.

By the way, if you think I am deluded and alone in the view using the Euro would have been good for Britain just click this Google search link…..

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“What did the EU ever do for us?”

This is a reblog from FaceBook by Donnachadh McCarthy

In the week when the UK’s five extremist right-wing media billionaires won their battle to waste our time, money and political capital on a EU referendum, I thought it a good time to post the great letter by Simon Sweeney in the Guardian, which he kindly allowed me to reproduce in my book, “The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy has Been Bought”:

“What did the EU ever do for us?
Not much, apart from: providing 57% of our trade;
structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline;
clean beaches and rivers;
cleaner air;
lead free petrol;
restrictions on landfill dumping;
a recycling culture;
cheaper mobile charges;
cheaper air travel;
improved consumer protection and food labelling;
a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives;
better product safety;
single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance;
break up of monopolies;
Europe-wide patent and copyright protection;
no paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market;
price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the Eurozone;
freedom to travel, live and work across Europe;
funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad;
access to European health services;
labour protection and enhanced social welfare;
smoke-free workplaces;
equal pay legislation;
holiday entitlement;
the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime;
strongest wildlife protection in the world;
improved animal welfare in food production;
EU-funded research and industrial collaboration;
EU representation in international forums;
bloc EEA negotiation at the WTO;
EU diplomatic efforts to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation treaty;
European arrest warrant;
cross border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter terrorism intelligence;
European civil and military co-operation in post-conflict zones in Europe and Africa;
support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond;
investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.
All of this is nothing compared with its greatest achievements: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation of peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed.
It furthermore assisted the extraordinary political, social and economic transformation of 13 former dictatorships, now EU members, since 1980.
Now the union faces major challenges brought on by neo-liberal economic globalisation, and worsened by its own systemic weaknesses. It is taking measures to overcome these. We in the UK should reflect on whether our net contribution of £7bn out of total government expenditure of £695bn is good value. We must play a full part in enabling the union to be a force for good in a multi-polar global future.

Simon Sweeney,

Lecturer in international political economy, University of York”

Please share – the anti-EU campaign will have the full force of Murdoch’s and the other 4 extremist right-wing media billionaires papers whose agenda is to destroy all our human rights.

As I wrote in The Prostitute State, over 80% of UK papers are owned by five extremist right wing media billionaires: Rupert Murdoch, (Sun/Times), Barclay Brothers (Telegraph), Richard Desmond (Express) and Lord Rothermere (Daily Mail).

Murdoch is Australian living in New York, Rothermere lives in France, the Barclay Brothers in the tax havens of Monaco and Guernsey. All of them use tax haven entities to avoid UK taxes.

So key question is in light of the above list, why have these billionaires for decades tried to destroy the EU’s democratic institutions?

Together we can take him/them on and beat him/them.

Peace love respect
Donnachadh x…/…


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Tu quoque, Boris, fili mi! (“You too for Brexit?, oh my Bullingdon brother!”)

I have to admit, Boris Johnson’s betrayal took me by surprise. All day I had been tweeting something quite sensible he said in 2013 in the Telegraph:

“This is perhaps the most important point of all. If we left the EU, we would end this sterile debate, and we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by “Bwussels”, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.

Why are we still, person for person, so much less productive than the Germans? That is now a question more than a century old, and the answer has nothing to do with the EU. In or out of the EU.”

He also is on record saying that the EU is arguably better placed to strike trade deals with the US, or China, than the UK on its own.  What could have made him change his mind to now, after much soul searching, declare himself a ‘Brexiteer’ along with the likes of Nigel Farage and of all people George Galloway? The answer of the political pundits seems to be naked political ambition! With all the uncharismatic losers heading the ‘out-campaign’ he is quite easily the more charismatic figure with a certain mass-appeal.  So he saw his chance to stab his best Bullingdon mate in the back and he took it. What we are to make of such a turncoat is anyone’s guess. My hope it will massively backfire.


Today my older brother in the Netherlands, who has a lot of time for Boris, alerted me to the Boris Johnson FaceBook page, where we can read about the kind of soul searching that supposedly went on in Boris’ mind before coming to his monumental decision.

I reproduce my FaceBook comments below, as you won’t find it easily between the 633 comments already there

Marcus Lasance Nigel Farage could never, not in a million years make such a positive case for Brexit. These are lovely sound bytes but they fail to pull on my European heart strings. The turn that the EU project has taken is not because of some malign sinister complot by Eurocrats to amass more and more centralised power at the detriment of democracy and the power of National Parliaments. What has happened is that the politicians and representatives we have delegated to ‘Bwussels’ have been marginalised and sidelined as ‘unimportant’ because national politicians like yourself are ever so shy of sharing the lime light. So the issues which are done better together at an EU level are under exposed or trivialised as bent banana myths. Even worse, when national politicians (not just UK) know that unpopular measures have to be taken, like cowards they hide behind the skirts of Lady Europa. Worse, in the UK Whitehall has a tendency to goldplate every directive with unnecessary harshness and immediacy, again blaiming faceless eurocrats in Brussels. They keep quiet about their complicity. No wonder the popularity of the EU is at an all time low.

There is another explanation for your sudden change of heart on our European Union and it’s much more mundane than sinister. It is your naked political ambition to lead this country. Instead of supporting your Bulingdon mate Cameron to the bitter end, you saw your ‘et tu brute’ moment and stabbed David in the back.”


The story of Europa’s desecration by Zeus in the form of a white Bullindon boy


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