In or out?

I don’t usually do politics. But the standard of debate in the recent elections and the current referendum campaign has driven me to protest.

I will stick to the referendum; enough has been said about the divisive campaign run by the losing candidate for Mayor of London, and the arguments used in the Scottish parliamentary elections were also rather short on logic.

The “in” campaign have said hardly anything worth noticing. But the “out” campaign have distinguished themselves by their poor taste. The morning after the Brussels bombings, they were using the incident, with scant regard for facts, as a reason for Britain to leave the EU. Then, when Barack Obama remarked that if Britain left, it would be at the back of the queue for negotiating a trade deal with the US, he had to endure what could be regarded as racist abuse from the (now ex-) mayor of London.

But they missed something very important in their childish reaction. The trade deal he was referring to was the notorious TTIP, which would reportedly give multinational corporations power over elected governments, enforceable in offshore courts, and would mandate the selling-off of public services in Europe to American corporations. The negotiations are taking place in strict secrecy, so that nobody knows the full horror of the deal. I do believe we might be better off without it.

Even then, it is not completely clear-cut. If it were simply that Britain were opposed to Europe going blindly into this deal, things would be clear. But, of course, there is substantial opposition to TTIP throughout Europe, and it is possible to argue that the best course for Britain is to stay in Europe and mobilise this opposition. I fear that is not what any of our leaders want …

About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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14 Responses to In or out?

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    There is considerable opposition to the Toilet Paper Pact (what the U.S. Constitution will no longer be worth) in the States but of course you won’t hear it from our corporate presstitutes.

    • Robin Chapman says:

      Jon, you are mixing up TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) with
      TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Both thoroughly bad ideas, of course, but the TPP
      has been signed while talks on TTIP continue.

      • Jon Awbrey says:

        Thanks for the info, so hard to keep up with the acronymphomania. I’m sure it’s all the same ball o’ wacks in the end-game, though.

      • For those who read the entrails, the TPP may give some clue about what will be in the TTIP when (or if) they get round to telling us.

  2. Robin Chapman says:

    Of course, some exit campaigners would be in favour of an even more ruinous trade deal than TTIP.

  3. It may be that this is just academic for me. Although I have lived and worked in Britain for close to 50 years, it seems that some in the Out campaign want to deny me the right to vote.

    • Yemon Choi says:

      To paraphrase from a BBC satire about something different: “Oh we didn’t mean your kind of immigrant, we meant the other kind of immigrant”

      • Thanks Yemon, I know you have said this to me before, and I know it is true (and in any case I really don’t think they can change the rules at this stage), but this kind of thing makes me feel bad, for the other kind of immigrant who are not in my comfortable situation (and for the kind of British people who really think that this makes any kind of sense).
        And it is quite interesting that such noises come only from the Brexit camp; they assume that a non-EU immigrant will still think that Britain is better off in the EU.

  4. Diamond Geezer has summarised the arguments in characteristic style:

  5. You might have thought that, now the referendum is over, the poisonous rhetoric of the campaign might stop, or at least become a bit milder.
    If you do think that, perhaps you should look at this:

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