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Discussion > EU must be joking

Alan Kendall on May 1, 2016 at 10:46 AM
"I would argue that the EU and the British culture are ever more closely becoming adapted to each other."

All that we do, we do with the whole world, not just the EU.

We eat Mexican food but Mexico is not in the EU.

We eat Chinese food but China is not in the EU.

We eat Indian food but India is not in the EU.

And do we even have a trade deal with any of them? Just Mexico!

When you say that TV programmes are becoming more similar, do you mean, like every town in Britain is becoming a clone of the rest?

"scientific collaboration "
Like Windmill mania! :)

And proper Scientific collaboration occurred well before the EU came into existence and extends outside the EU. We mustn't shut off the rest of the world.

"mutual understanding must be improving"
Mutual indifference and resignation to powerlessness more like!

"London is now one of the world's most cosmopolitan of places"
is that why so many are escaping? John Cleese, the man who ridiculed everything British, has escaped to Bath.

May 1, 2016 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher

You mentioned 'the wrong sort of Muslims', when I tried to have a blog discussion about Muslims in the UK, the most pleasent description I attracted was 'bigoted' so beware ^.^.
The first article I read when my Spectator arrives on Fridays is Ron Liddle, he is a card carying Labour party member and yet I find that I agree with him on most subjects, I am an ex Conservative supporter who is now a card carrying member of UKIP. For me Liddle tells it like it is and takes particular pleasure in trampling all over political correctness wherever he finds it, often with side splitting results. I strongly recommend Liddle's article on 'Moderate' Muslims in yesterday's issue.
It was also belly laughing funny to read Mathew Paris's hissy fit at the end of his Brexit hating rant.

May 1, 2016 at 11:38 AM | Registered CommenterDung

When reading some of the comments here there seems to be an element of xenophobia in some, and europhobia in others.

Personally I don't regard the EU Referendum as a fight for my very existence, depending on which way it goes there'll be some marginal changes to my lifestyle and probably income, neither option leading to a positive outcome on the latter I think. Will being a small (9th largest in world, 6th in a habitable region) independent island make any difference in a world of ever increasing globalisation?

I'm not sure what type of immigration is exercising various contributors, some seem against specific groups some seem against all. For non-EU immigrants the UK already has controls in place, for the boat people it seems that the EU getting its act together after encountering an unforeseen problem very much of the British, American and EU's making by only doing half a job in North Africa and the Middle East. By half a job I mean starting/encouraging something they were not prepared to see to its logical conclusion. It's ironic that Britain happily bombed Libya (cost £320 million), failed to see the coming chaos, as if Iraq and Afghanistan hadn't happened, and spent £25M to prevent it. Then leaves Italy to pick up the mess, OK I know Italy was involved from the start. Having created a situation where anyone of any background sees an opportunity to emigrate to the EU and take advantage of the benefits then sitting on the sidelines carping about the quality of people arriving seems a little disingenuous.

May 1, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS on May 1, 2016 at 1:11 PM
"I'm not sure what type of immigration is exercising various contributors"

What is 'exercising various contributors' is the lack of control of our borders and, because any migrant given an EU passport is able to enter Britain, the lack of control of the external EU border. We have no control over Germany: they can change their rules as easily as they already have done!

With schools bursting at the seams, the NHS unable to cope with the increasing numbers to be treated and diseases that were once eradicated from Britain, those who have worked hard are not receiving their delayed rewards. There are many leafy neighbourhoods that are still not affected by the recent non-integration but there are many areas that have suffered disproportionately. It sounds like you live in one of the former.

Have you not heard how our Police Service and Social Services in Northern towns have been corrupted with alien customs? How parents have been arrested when they have pointed out that their young daughters are victims of the adult men that abused them? There are so many aspects that need to be addressed:

Three Stages of Jihad

"... it seems that the EU getting its act together ..."
It has been getting its act together for the Euro, the Schengen area, the diesel emissions scandal and Windmill Mania for some time, so I don't hold out much hope, apart from the troughers troughing and the EU-Elite becoming more detached than ever.

We all enjoy foreign food but until the issues of uncontrolled immigration are resolved, the threats that they pose will be forever with us.

May 1, 2016 at 2:26 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher


I think that being honest is the best policy and if your problem is with my own views then please say so. I have watched your posts for years and you always look for fairness so I will not dislike you whatever you say mate.
The meaning of words seems to be a recurring problem on BH ^.^.
I see no evidence that anyone has a dislike or hatred of people from other countries or of people from Europe. I clearly demostrate a problem with Muslims but nobody at all has shown any dislike for Europe or its people except for the EU politicians. Not having a problem with the growing Muslim population of this country is indicative of someone who has his/her head buried deeply in the sand.

May 1, 2016 at 2:42 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung / Robert Christopher
I've no real problem with people being against immigration on the grounds that large numbers arriving in short time spans cause issues for the infrastructure and integration. Perfectly reasonable concerns. Complaining on emotional grounds is something slightly different, and after Britain contributed to the problem seems slightly unreasonable; as does assigning a pre-EU and pre-Shengen problem on "Brussels" a la The Daily Mail . I'm still not convinced that Britain would be better off now without EU citizen immigration than it is with it. But it is held up as a good reason to get out of the EU. So for me there are two issues and I'm not clear which is the one that concerns contributors to BH. As you say Dung, words do not convey the thoughts particularly well.

The problem of immigration is summed up by this in the Daily Mail Another 127 MILLION people from countries including Turkey and Ukraine could come into Europe visa-free under plans being pushed by Brussels. That's the entire population of Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo all heading to Britain if you believe the implication of the headline. Although if anything like that number arrive there will be a great opportunity for very cheap holiday homes on the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

The grooming and exploitation of white girls by members of immigrant communities with the police and social services turning a blind eye should appall any right minded person, just as the post Hillsborough cover up should. However as the leader of the first Rochdale gang arrived in the UK in 1967 and the men were all British Pakistanis except for one man from Afghanistan. This seems to indicate a problem which the EU had little involvement, we hopefully agree that the Human Rights act is based on something which predates the EU. The fear of anti-racist action being taken against people who raise concerns is real, whether being in the EU makes a difference is unlikely.

Immigration into the UK is a very complex issue and I wouldn't claim to have anything but a passing knowledge. As far as I'm aware most moslems in the UK are from the former Empire or Commonwealth. Many, or their parents/grandparents arrived under pre-EU membership legislation. Current legislation dates back to the 1980s and is pre-Shengen. I didn't realise until just now that there are six classes of British Citizenship created in the 1981 and subsequent acts.

So the question remains what immigration is the cause of problems for Britain in or out of the EU? Is it that from the Commonwealth under the 1981 and 2002 acts, the immigration of EU citizens of whatever background, the immigration of people from North Africa and the Middle East as a result at least in part due to conflict, economic Immigrants from further afield. Once we have decided the categories then we'll know which ones are to laid at EU membership's door.

Having had direct experience of religious hatred in the form of Catholic/Protestant conflict, mainly in and around Glasgow I'm have a great concern about how it's all going to end up. But blaming the EU for another set of self inflicted problems isn't going to help.

Anyway I hope that makes sense and clarifies my thoughts a bit.

May 1, 2016 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS - 7.35pm

Wot you sed!!

Well done.

May 1, 2016 at 10:17 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson


Many different people will have different reasons for wanting to limit imigration into the UK and I can not speak for all of them obviously.

The argument about the whole population of the EU having the righht to move to the UK to live and work is one that you mentioned. Nobody thinks 500 plus million people are going to move to the UK but nowhere near that number need to come here in order to give us horrendous problems and the point is that we neither know how many nor can we control how many. The government is merrily encouraging house building ( live on the edge of a small town which is about to have its population increased by 50% and the 600 houses that will cause that will surround my house instead of green fields :(
Concerning the 'religious hatred' I have a well founded religious fear of the effect Muslims are having and will have on our society. In England Catholicism exists peacefully alongside the Anglican church, there are no problems. However Muslims can not live alongside either of them or alongside atheists and agnostics.Muslims want Shariah Law not English law and our braindead government allows this, including by the way paying multiple marriage allowances and child allowances to Muslim men who have up to 4 wives. My brain is about to shut down now so nn ^.^

May 1, 2016 at 10:25 PM | Registered CommenterDung

SandyS on May 1, 2016 at 7:35 PM

SandyS, you appear to approach the EU decision by judging the comments of those who wish to leave and not on the issues that are being presented to us. Do you reject any information that has a slight 'emotional' content? When talking about national security, it is difficult not to include any.

Have you followed any of the links I gave and given any thought to what you found? There is no evidence in your posts.

Each problem I linked to needs a resolution for Britain to remain a civilised country, and there are many more besides that are just as important.

Thinking that any problem that the EU makes worse cannot be used as a reason for leaving the EU, if the problem existed before 1974, no matter how minor, would restrict the options available. Surely, the British Government needs to do what is best for the British people. Most problems occur because an earlier problem wasn't resolved. Just look at the accepted reasons for WWII: a poor resolution of WWI. But, by your reasoning, because Britain played a part of the WWI settlement, we shouldn't have done anything about WWII. I just don't follow your logic.

I don't think Brexit thinking is blaming the other EU countries. Blaming is a non-productive activity. Instead, they see that there are possible solutions to British problems but, in most cases, there are difficulties in taking the first steps because of the threat of invoking EU law, EU regulation or Hannan's observation that 'the EU keep changing the rules'. The Rotherham authorities just couldn't be bothered; it just wasn't worth the effort or risk of being counter-sued!

If I saw that Daily Mail headline of 127 million, I would think, if 1% came to England, that would be 1.27 million so, averaged out, a village of 3,000 would have 60 non-productive people to support and probably supervise and some may have great difficulty in accepting our culture. That would be true for every village in England, in every town, so a town of 30,000 would have 600 non-productive people to support and probably supervise etc etc! Yet we have our own unemployed, and most speak English.

If the Daily Mail printed this assumption, you could argue whether it was 1%, 0.5% or 5% coming, or whether any would go to Wales or Scotland, and avoid discussing just what should be done to protect those of us already here.

I don't think collecting your experiences of civil aggravation caused by an assortment of religious dysfunctionality gives any insight into those religions or how to resolve the problem. It would be better understand each, separately, by studying their History, especially as you 'wouldn't claim to have anything but a passing knowledge'. Just the fact that subsequent generations of the current wave of immigrants appear to provide more extremists, encouraged by foreign radicals, shows that current influences have a strong influence on current events.

In the meantime, the World rolls on, with worrying reports from across the EU while the oil rich Middle Eastern states continue to do nothing.

Poll: ‘Total Rejection’ Of Islam In France From All Across The Political Spectrum

Mafia Taking Over As Italy Flooded with Migrants

India Activates Miles of ‘Laser Walls’ Along Border with Pakistan

Germany Begs European Commission To Allow Extension Of Border Controls

Merkel’s Party Wants To Spy On Mosques

May 1, 2016 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

I have been told on numerous occasions the UK's democratic system is not the only system.

Accepting that observation and given that the UK's democratic system has, over many generations, served to improve the well being of its citizens.

Does anybody know of another democratic system we should aspire to adopt?

May 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Robert Christopher
I regard those links, mainly to Newspapers is my impression, as opinion pieces not totally factual. On your last list

France is a secular country and so recently had a ban on islamic dress for women. So not surprising after a series of islamic estremists attacks, which is great news for extremists everywhere and of all shades.

Organised crime aka "Mafia" getting involved in Italy, organised crime is involved in moving immigrants from the start of the process. The fact that governments can't organise themselves to prevent it has always been the case.

India and Pakistan have a history of hostility going back to partition, in the current situation of islamic extremism it shouldn't come as a surprise that terrorists cross a long border. British security forces had/have a similar problem in Ireland.

Germany and most of the EU now realise that there is a problem. The Shengen zone did make life easy for us law abiding travelers however even politicians can see there's a problem and accept controls are needed. Whether any admit they were instrumental in contributing to the situation which created the original problem remains to be seen. Politicians making grave errors is nothing new as I've already pointed out.

Spying on Mosques, what the first paragraph says is A senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party says the German government should record and spy on the content of speeches in German mosques. Notice the use of the singular. So the headline is misleading and inaccurate. I'd be surprised if most secret service agencies in Europe weren't monitoring extremist mosques and religious establishments. When I see sensationalist headlines not matched by the content, as in this case, I'm afraid I regard the article as not worth the electrons it's using.

Here's a request from me, could you use the link HTML when posting multiple links? It makes it so much easier for the reader (hopefully more than one) to get to the article in question. Like this

(a href="")Misleading headline here(/a)
except you replace ) with > and ( with <

May 2, 2016 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Green Sand
Some would say that an elected second chamber and getting rid of any Royal involvement would be an improvement. The first doesn't seem unreasonable, not sure that the second buys a great deal, although the next monarch may force a change.

May 2, 2016 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

You'd be surprised how much friction there is between various Christian sects in the UK, some still haven't come to terms with the reformation and religious wars thereafter. House building is a complex issue you're not happy about houses being built in the fields "at the back of your house", and if all the immigrants went "home2 there'd be no need for them and the country would be a better place. It's something we can't easily test but it's logical.

I'm not sure any immigrant group in any country totally gives up their customs and doesn't hanker after the laws and rules from home. But I take your point about large well organised groups of immigrants welding more power to alter things.

You and I know that an entire countries population moving to the UK is unlikely, there are even Syrians who want to live under the Assad regime for example. This doesn't deter Newspaper headline writers writing the headlines and people repeating them without double checking the facts. There are now a chunk of Daily Mail readers expecting 127 million people turning up in Dover in the next couple of weeks, as opposed to 3 million expats in the months after Brexit;-)

May 2, 2016 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS


I must say that I am at a loss as to what position you occupy in this discussion?
You seem to be pro immigration in whatever quantities and of whatever culture/religion. You seem to be pro EU and perhaps disapproving of those who like me have managed to buy a property which, however humble, has a pleasant outlook. You seem to have a poor opinion of people in general such that Daily Mail readers believe that 127 million people might arrive tomorrow.
My objection to the imigration is layered and yes, on a personal level I do not want the two sides of my property that border green fields to become a building site for years while they totally surround me. On a local level, the access to this new estate is via country lanes and access to the town is via a narrow railway bridge which is used by HGVs. All the roads in the town are narrow, appointments with doctors are as rare as rocking horse shit, there are not enough schools or supermarkets and the town centre is not able to accomodate them. This is happening in all the neighbouring towns and everybody is affected. This is not planned expansion, it is knee jerk and desperate. Movingh up to a national view, Cameron is acheiving his growth by creating millions of low paid jobs and stuffing all the new people into starter homes (often using taxpayer's money to help pay for them). Cameron does not care what happens when these people aspire to better jobs and better and bigger homes, he will be long gone.

May 2, 2016 at 11:43 AM | Registered CommenterDung


I do often use HTML, but even I get tired of doing it and not getting comment on the problems they highlight, just a superficial amelioration of the headlines.

By the way, thank you for explaining away all those problems I listed earlier that need the attention of those dealing with our security. It is not as if we have the same concerns here in Britain or that they have anything in common.

May 2, 2016 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher


It's not just the Daily Mail quoting large numbers; but it is only one minister, and only in the French Government:

"According to France's Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean.

The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far, do not exist in this whitewashed European Union report, where the "research" indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization occurring in Europe, and the need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned.

Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe's borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do."
GatestoneInstitute: Europe's Migration Crisis: No End in Sight

France's Defense Minister? He really ought to get a job with the Daily Mail. :)

May 2, 2016 at 11:58 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Devil's advocate.

Actually I'd like some arguments put forward that stand up to a through investigation. Which is why I asked the question about exactly what the stance was in relation to numbers, country of origin and religious background. Large number in a short period cause problems no question and source doesn't really matter. But claiming a 127 million people are packing their bags in preparation for "Brussels" making a decision is bizarre.

It is not entirely irrelevant but my family name arrived in England from France, not actually Normandy, with William The Conqueror, moved to Scotland with St Margaret, got involved with the Vikings in Scotland, fought for both Balliol (son of the one the Oxford College is named after) and Bruce, both of whom were of Norman French descent, in Scotland's War of Independence. After that the usual sort of stuff for a Scottish Clan. I jokingly tell people that I've taken the first step in sending immigrants back to their last known place of origin by moving back to France as I'm no longer welcome in the UK!

May 2, 2016 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

O/T, sort of!

Dung on May 2, 2016 at 11:43 AM
"Cameron does not care what happens when these people aspire to better jobs and better and bigger homes, he will be long gone."

Cameron isn't a Tory: he really is the Heir to Blair!

But then, you know that already. He is nearly beaten to the top position of living traitors, by Heseltine:
Daily Express: Furious Tory grandees blast Eurosceptics for 'mind-blowing disloyalty' to David Cameron

As it's a Bank Holiday, here's a clip to get the rest of the day off to a better start, (again, with added HTML):
Watch: The Spectator’s Brexit debate

Farage delivered in his usual effective style, while Hannan excelled. I haven't managed to hear Hoey yet.

May 2, 2016 at 12:28 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

SandyS much as I have enjoyed reading your many contributions here I feel you are unnecessarily wearing out some epidermal cells on your fingertips. You are never going to influence how those opposed to your views think about this subject. What you get back are unsupported opinions and highly selective articles from the media. Some of the responses have been tantamount to blatant bigotry and/or jingoism. An unintended consequence of your participation here is that you give them the opportunity to further publicize those sort of opinions.

On the other hand, perhaps you are enjoying the contest. In which case please continue and I (and I'm sure many others) will sit back and appreciate your efforts from the sidelines. You can be assured that nothing I have read here from your opponents has made me veer towards the Brexit side. Surely there has to be a more reasoned argument for leaving the EU than has appeared here.

May 2, 2016 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall

What a strange message from a person with your acaademic background? You and SandyS both seem to get hot under the collar when feelings and emotions are mentioned, you do not believe they count for anything? Neither do you seem to feel that freedom and democracy are of much importance; this leaves me almost speechless.
What kind of thing can Robert Christopher say to prove that Brexit will instantly be wonderful and thus settle your nerves? Nobody can predict the future, the best anyone can do is give you their honest opinion based on experience.
There are no guarantees Alan, not from either side and so you will no doubt make yourself comfortable and continue sniping from the fence ^.^

May 2, 2016 at 3:21 PM | Registered CommenterDung

There are other opinions. Be careful, though, as his language can be somewhat… well, shall we say “colourful”. Note that the main thrust of his argument is not that our exit will give us freedom from the EUrocrats, but freer control over the more local Whitehall… erm …crats.

May 2, 2016 at 3:54 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Hit a nerve Dung?

To quote you (almost) 'I speak my mind and am not ashamed of that. If others are offended, that's their fault'.

My post was directed to SandyS, were you listening in?

"Caps" and "fitting" spring to mind.

Sniping from a fence? Moi? What do you offer? Not much more than nationalism, hatred of all things EU, and an almost childish belief that so long as we escape the wicked and incompetent EU all will be well (and if it isn't then at least we will be in charge). No consideration for impacts elsewhere in the EU or in the rest of the world. When someone like Obama says that you cannot take the USA for granted, you dismiss his message and go onto the attack. Absolutely unbelievable.

I'll repeat myself, there have to be better arguments for Brexit than are being offered here.

May 2, 2016 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Mike Jackson/Alan Kendall
Thanks for your comments. I must admit I have enjoyed the exchanges and I too have not found any convincing arguments to convince that Brexit will make a lot of difference either to me or the UK. Basing a decision on emotion rarely if ever gets the desired result, so it's been disappointing that there is nothing more the feeling that things will be better after Brexit.

May 2, 2016 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

There are lots of reasons why a million potential immigrants would turn up in Libya. Firstly the West left the country in a chaotic state after getting rid of Gaddafi, there are conflicts all over Northern Africa and a growing population without much prospect for work. Political and religious conflict in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Somalia, Mali, Nigeria, Western Sahara and several more. Then Ethiopia, Somalia and the Horn of Africa suffering from a drought or was last year, Liberia, Serra Leone had Ebola in 2015.

If you want to escape from any of these in which direction would you head? I'd go to Europe, what would be the best route the one everyone else is using through Libya, being held in transit in Italy is preferable to any of the alternatives. Can this be blamed on the EU? Possibly, it has created very visible wealth and stability with no wars for 70 years, discounting the Balkan Conflict which wasn't part of the EU at the time, and is a desirable place to get to.

Perhaps the surprising thing is how few have arrived, possibly the fear of having to pass through a conflict on the way is putting off some people. The total population of the countries in the list above is around 400 million.

Perhaps we could ask David Cameron what he thinks of the contribution to UK political life made by the grandchildren of Turkish immigrants;-)

May 2, 2016 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Robert Christopher and Radical Rodent (Damn I meant Penfold hehe) thanks for the links and they gave me a new insight into the debate (plus a lot of laughs!).

Alan Kendall you have shown your true character, you are exposed.
Robert gave me a link to a video of the Spectator Brexit Debate with a stellar panel and the magnificent Andrew Neil in command.
Penfold gave me a link to a website (Obnoxio), brilliant hehe.

Alan you are never going to find an answer to your Brexit questions because you are looking in the wrong place. You are looking for factual answers and of course there are none.
The place to look for answers is in the character of those who offer their opinions, I advise you to look for integrity, honesty, courage and patriotism. It may well be that we disagree about exactly who has those qualities and I think a good guide would be given by asking who claims to have factual answers and who does not.

May 2, 2016 at 6:04 PM | Registered CommenterDung