EU in/out - a rational analysis?

I feel almost totally uninformed about the forthcoming in/out vote. All I hear is people shouting opinion like it is fact.

It seems to me that there is lots of data, uncertainty about alternative futures and opinion, with a layer of spin obscuring everything.

You are rational people. Where can I find real facts and informed analysis without any results-based marketing?

I think I was leaning towards IN, simply to not be in Farage’s gang but I’ve had the newsletter today and their top 6 points are meaningless. An Irish comedian on Radio 4 just made a good point: it will probably come down to how Brits feel about Germans. He went on to say that he lived there and he loves them but “God they like a rule”. My experience is that most Brits don’t. It’s an awkward family gathering.

Look at most cars on the roads today, we at least love their cars!

I’m a bit naive when it comes to the pros and cons but I don’t feel like EU membership is hurting us compared to more local issues we have. I’m worried the propaganda we’ll see may mirror that of the Scottish referendum with use of economic scare tactics.

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I’m for staying in, pretty much because the Tories want us to leave. Don’t really have a wider understanding of the issues than that, but I’m in favour of the existing human rights and freedom of migration, so it works for me.

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Agreed; the Establishment was nearly entirely Unionist on the Scottish question, and the “free press” mostly followed suit. What is interesting about the EU issue is there not a single (small ‘c’) conservative line on it. Business is mostly in favour of staying, but there are a number of objections to membership on the Right, ranging from democracy and sovereignty and waste right through to plain xenophobia.

I think they are completely split on this issue, and thus Cameron is truly in a difficult position. He gets his orders from capitalism, which largely is pro-European, but there is a loud and angry set of objections from the hard Right in the party. I think they want “an integrated free market without the bloody foreigners”, which is going to be rather difficult…

As to working out how to vote, I am torn as well. The EU hasn’t been able to sign off its accounts for a decade or so, presumably because of corruption, and yet as @mattpointblank says, they have been a counterweight to the Tories’ desire to destroy good legislation.

Interesting. For years I would have said IN but I’m not so sure now and I don’t really know why, I suspect I’ve been influenced by recent events and whatever spin the media are putting on things. I don’t know where to go for actual facts, do such things exist?

Am hoping will do something but no sign yet

Also a Green peer, due to TTIP and other recent pro-capitalist rulings. My worry has been the effect that our Europe club has in cutting off poor countries from trading with us.

In. 100%. We should divorce it from British part politics, though. i.e. exercise subsidiarity. Many places manage that for local elections. We need to detach state governments from determining absolute policy, and choosing the officials. i.e. we, the electorate, should choose them. Of primary importance is having an elected European Commission.

Going back to @Woo’s question: you won’t find much fact in much of the media or from politicians in the UK, although I believe Caroline Lucas talks by far the most truth and honesty about the EU whatever you think of her politics.

You’ll get most facts from reading foreign media. I only read French and Spanish, so I have to get my German input from other sources. Thankfully, there are folk like Julia Reda (German Pirate) who can fill a few gaps.

I also really appreciate the work of Paul Mason and David Graeber for providing insight into many of the terrible things the EC and its collusion with the IMF have done to our european friends.

I may well live a life entirely untroubled by war at home. The EU is worth being party to for that alone.

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I think you are saying about what I feel, that I don’t want In what we have or Out, but something else. I think this is how most people in Scotland felt before their vote. They voted out of anger due to feeling they were being manipulated. It frightens me that the government were stupid enough to try this twice. Like Scotland, if the vote is close, it seems unlikely to be “once in a lifetime”.

The vast majority of the UK, both politically and people, don’t fully engage with the EU, so we’re always on the periphery. My experience is that people are fundamentally the same wherever you go in the world. If the UK fully engaged with the EU, then it would soon become a familiar and friendly part of our daily lives, instead of some goldfish bowl we peer into – usually through the lens of the media rather than independent thought.

It’s one thing trying to change ithe EU – and I don’t mean pretend to change it with a political pantomime à la Cameron – it’s quite another to leave.

To use a corporate metaphor: if we stay, we have, as now – if we chose to use it – a seat on the board, and we get to determine and direct strategy and financial policy. We also get to be CEO on a rotating basis. If we leave, we become a freelancer with limited skills and abilities who is perpetually seeking work and has a resume that demonstrates poor social skills, and an inability to work in a team and compromise. In today’s interconnected global economy we’d be decimated. The speculators would squeeze every last drop of blood from the UK economy.

Scotland’s completely different. Scotland has a very strong identity. People there weren’t voting out of anger. Many, passionately believe they are already a independent nation. Personally, I don’t have an emotional attachment to the Union. An independent Scotland within the EU is viable. If that’s what the people want, then it’s their choice, and it’s great that in today’s world they have the option. I hope Scotland become an independent state within the EU within the next decade or two. I find that prospect quite exciting :slightly_smiling:


What they did to Greece - deliberately in my opinion - I regarded as theft. I saw a photo of a man who had lost his life savings in the crash, and he was sat on the pavement outside a bank, weeping. I saw that, then at least, as a powerful reason to leave.

If the UK leaves the EU then we’re playing right into the hands of those who ruined both Cyprus and Greece. It’s possible we live in a “protection” racket that the Mafia could only wet dream about.

Go and look at the size of the UK’s debt. The Tories have simultaneously convinced the British electorate that they’re fiscally frugal while spending every cent and borrowing at a rate never before seen. Consider who the beneficiaries of this might be. It’s not you or me, or anyone here – yet I’d wager a fair few voted for this and would defend it. Look at the people supporting the campaign to leave the EU. Ask yourself whether these are your people.

If we leave the EU then there will be debts that must be paid. (I’m being ironic here, if you haven’t read Graeber’s, Debt, then you should.) The NHS will be sold to the highest bidder, though don’t expect funds to end up in the public purse. Same with the BBC. Same for every public service that can be exploited for profit. We’ve already lost tertiary education. People still tell me, “We can’t afford it.” I used to implore them to go and read about money and what it is, but I’ve realised that folk don’t want their bubble burst. Better to trust authority; for which read an establishment cabal of white, male, entitled Etonians.

Has it occurred to you that the entire nation is just a plaything for these dudes? Something to keep them occupied. Their ancestry is the British monarchy and its hierarchy. They have history, so to speak.

Try to imagine what that world would be like to live in. Even if you think my analysis is lunacy, think about the consequences of actually leaving the EU. Not the euphoria of being on the winning side of the vote for one night and following blurry morning, but the day to day reality. I’d love to know why you believe it would be better for all of us.

Since we’re a tech community, I’ll attempt to add some: Nice counter, I thought :slightly_smiling:

(Thanks for the thoughts, Marc. This is an attempt at a brief reply, as am finding some rare energy to resuscitate a side project, but will continue this in the week!)

I should say I am not approaching this from a decided “out” perspective - my first comments leaned towards “in”. The point of my comment about Greece was to show that it is genuinely hard to forge a path through conflicting moral choices on this issue.

If so, that would make the referendum a Hobson’s Choice, in my view. If we stay then we endorse the mechanisms of late-stage capitalism that ruined those countries; one which systematically transfers money to the elite from everyone below them in the tree. If we leave we are stuffed anyway, and the debts would be recalled in a spiteful fashion specifically intended to make us go bust.

Didn’t the Lisbon Treaty effectively require member states to open all public services to private competition anyway? If so, another area where in/out would make little difference in practice.

That is a key theory of my (broadly socialist) world view.

See above - I haven’t a settled view on the matter.

Let me play a cheeky Devil’s Advocate for a few seconds, and mention that this was the Establishment line on Scotland!

We are on the same page here, completely. We can afford this, and a universal public healthcare system for an expanding older population too, just by closing down the tax havens, and taxing the wealthy in the same way as everyone else.

(If anyone wants to know more about what changes we need to our tax system, I always recommend Richard Murphy).

Until quite recently, I assumed that the UK was in debt to other countries, until I discovered that all Western democracies are in debt. I think most UK debt is to UK citizens, either to rich individuals or pension funds and saving schemes. There’s some inward investment but we’re mainly borrowing from our own futures (for several generations to come) in a future when the world seems likely to have run out of the resources that fuel our profligate life style. We’re paying off credit card bills with another card, knowing that someone will eventually close our credit when things have got much worse. We have to learn to live off sunlight only or we’re screwed.

This is one of the best threads on the entire forum. Am v glad y’all are around.


A couple of hours after writing this, I heard an analysis on Radio 4 by the new finance correspondent, who sounds suspiciously like a clone of Robert Peston, about the government’s restructuring of pensions. He summarised it as reduced costs now, to be paid back later ‘when things are better’. So now they’re borrowing from future parliaments too, or funding our pensions out of our grand-children’s. It’s good to know they learn from their mistakes.

I’d say we’re living in the era of global late-stage capitalism. The only way out is to change the system. Our leaving the EU won’t affect that.[quote=“halfer, post:14, topic:2358”]
Didn’t the Lisbon Treaty effectively require member states to open all public services to private competition anyway?
I don’t believe so, but happy to be corrected. Can you cite a source?[quote=“halfer, post:14, topic:2358”]
Let me play a cheeky Devil’s Advocate for a few seconds, and mention that this was the Establishment line on Scotland!
:slight_smile: They’re not really comparable events. Scotland was making a choice between leaving one union and joining another, whereas UK is choosing whether or not to go it alone. Also, Scotland was being courted by its current partner to stay; word on the street is that the UK’s current partner is happy for it leave.

You’re misunderstand debt and the nature of money.

I recommend reading David Graeber’s, Debt. It’s a much better read than its title suggests. Being an anthropologist, the nature of Graeber’s argument is not based on financial foundations, but human interaction and history. So there are so great stories. It’s also quite dense in places (Graeber being an academic), so skipping here and there is recommended :wink:

Regarding money, I’d recommend Anne Pettifor’s, Just Money. (She’s one of the economists who warned about the 2008 Ponzi scheme (recorded by media and politicians as the “financial crisis”)). She basically argues that money is a social construct (which Graeber proves) based on trust. So, ripe ground for exploitation.

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