The Spectator's Notes

If we vote Leave, will Juncker have us shot?

28 May 2016

9:00 AM

28 May 2016

9:00 AM

Obviously there is no such thing as ‘Cameronism’, as there is ‘Thatcherism’; but once upon a time, David Cameron did have a project. It was called Tory modernisation, and his most imaginative adviser on the subject was Steve Hilton. At Policy Exchange, on Wednesday, Mr Hilton spoke, Mark Antony-like, over the dead body of Tory modernisation. On virtually every modernising count — localism, openness to the world, looking to the future, ignoring the interests of the rich — the EU is failing, he said. Yet Mr Cameron is staking his career on it. It is rather as if Mrs Thatcher, in her last years in office, were fighting flat out for nationalisation.

The Leave camp sometimes looks stumped because it cannot give a precise answer to what would happen economically if we were not in the EU. This is always a problem for people who believe in freedom rather than government control. In the 1970s, inflation and bad labour relations were the enemy. It became an article of faith among the elites that the answer was a ‘prices and incomes policy’ in which wise people, managed by governments, decided what should be the fair relation between the two. The widely worshipped J.K. Galbraith explained in 1975 that ‘pay and price curbs will be a permanent feature, both in Britain and in every other industrial nation’. Anyone who suggested otherwise had to put up with ‘How on earth will you control it? What will you do about industrial anarchy?’ People who said that essentially the best thing to do was to break the automatic linkage between pay and prices and then see what happened next were considered mad. By the 21st century, no western country any longer had such curbs, and even the heirs of Galbraith are not trying to bring them back. Almost all of the economic arguments for membership of the EU are based on fear of freedom. It is, unfortunately, a powerful emotion.


One thing I miss in the No campaign is a front-rank real expert, rather like that man on the radio called Bill Frindall who used to know every cricket score in history. As the government publishes every day of the campaign a stupendous amount of facts which are not true, it is no good just complaining. You have to refute them, giving chapter and verse. It is a difficulty for the Leave camp that most of its members, because they do not like rule by Brussels, are not absolutely secure in their knowledge of its details. An exception is Daniel Hannan. Vote Leave should put him forward more.

Hooray for Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, who, I have always argued, is really a Leave campaign plant. It is he who, speaking of the French referendum on the European Constitution, said: ‘If it’s a Yes, we will say “On we go”, and if it’s a No, we will say “We continue”.’ Last week, he described the British, if they vote Leave, as ‘deserters’, who ‘will not be welcomed with open arms … people will have to face the consequences’. The word ‘deserters’ is drawn from military affairs, and the ‘consequences’ were that they were shot. Mr Juncker last year called for the creation of a European army to show that ‘we are serious about defending the values of the European Union’.

It sounds fairly nice being in the European Economic Area, rather than the EU, as are Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. But I was a bit surprised when visiting William Beckford’s amazing gardens of Monserrate, near Sintra in Portugal, last week, to see a notice announcing that the restoration of the 19th-century Indian-style villa that perches among them was assisted by EEA funds. According to Wikipedia, these EEA grants contribute towards ‘the reduction of economic and social disparities’ and ‘strengthening fundamental European values such as democracy, tolerance and the rule of law’. I couldn’t see any way in which this reduction, or this strengthening, was accomplished by restoring the follies of very, very rich men, but perhaps that just shows that someone needs to work on my European values.

It is always potentially tricky when one is asked to read a friend’s book manuscript, and were it not for the fact that I ask the same favour for my own, I would always refuse. Normally, the thing one most wants to do is cut it. But when Algy Cluff, former proprietor and chairman of this paper, showed me the draft of his memoirs — just published as Get On With It — I found myself saying something I don’t think I’d ever said before: ‘Make it longer.’ The characters presented are so interesting that one wants more. Now that I have re-read it, however, I think that the book’s art lies in its economy. It would spoil the author’s laconic view of life if one were to learn what happened next to X or why anyone ever did the many odd things described. Why, for example, did Algy buy The Spectator? All he says is, ‘The share price of Cluff Oil was buoyant; I was 40 years old and anxious to continue touching life at as many points as I could sensibly do.’ In those days — 1980 — buying The Spectator was not a sensible way of touching life at many points. But staff and readers should be very glad he did.

One of the most striking figures in the book is the Fon of Banso, a chieftain in the Cameroons, where the young Algy was soldiering with the Grenadiers. He first saw him when the Fon, wearing a top hat, a mackintosh and nothing else, urinated and then walked up the steps of his bungalow. He and Algy became great friends. One day, the Fon wrote to ‘Major General Cluff’ (he was actually a 20-year-old second lieutenant), saying ‘I am in the shameful position of having 120 sons and not one of them is in the Grandeur Guards. What are you going to do about it?’ He signed off: ‘I am, yes, The Fon of Banso!!’ I shall imitate the author’s economy, and leave the story there.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • FrankS2

    “The Leave camp… cannot give a precise
    answer to what would happen economically if we were not in the EU”.
    And much has been made of it. But then, neither can the Remain camp predict what will happen economically if we stay. But this rarely seems to be challenged.

    • Frank

      Neither is the assumption by the Remain camp that the EU will carry on serenely for many years!

    • wibbling

      If we leave the EU and retain access to the EFTA (as we would expect to) nothing. Eventually we will leave the EU behind and trade with other nations freely and get richer through higher GDP.

      If we remain in, over time, as the communist EU will gradually dissolve and crush the economies of it’s members. Unable to support the failing nations that have squandered the wealth of richer nations now no longer rich nor trading globally many millions of people will suffer grinding hardship. Such is how all communist economies end.

      • FrankS2

        Indeed – but both the Leave and Remain campaigns have given little attention to what happens if we remain; yet Brexit is criticIsed for lack of an exit plan, while Remain’s lack of a ‘stay plan’ seems to pass without comment.

        • Marvin

          If we remain, as day follows night, within ten years Britain will be the only little victim that will not be in the Euro and fully integrated. Then will the “Top Table” seat for us be in the same room as theirs? That will be the moment we permanently put up the white flag.

          • wibbling

            Err, you’re confused. The EU won’t exist. Considering the poverty and misery the Euro causes the EU will – as t is now – be taking orders from those nations that sit outside of it.

            The Left wing communist EU will never admit defeat – millions will died from poverty created by Eurocrats but they won’t care.

            Yet again, the UK will have protected itself from the evils of communist fascists by leaving the EU.

          • red2black

            What about our own, and the rest of them in the big wide world outside the EU?

          • Marvin

            You could very well be right, assuming that they still manage to exist, we WILL be in the Euro and we WILL be just used and abused at their pleasure.

    • TrumpGodzillaRising

      The UK would end up decimated swallowed up by the EU super state, strangled by insane regulations, debt, unchecked immigration.

      Trump will take the EU neoliberal elite head on anyway in Nov, so I’m not worried about the vote next month. If the UK votes remain, Boris will take over and through him, Trump will attack, fuelling the rise of the right throughout Europe.

      Game over given Washington underwrites the neoliberal world order.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      That probably explains why the not insignificant risks of staying in the EU have never been mentioned by the Remain side. I scanned Cameron’s £9m taxpayer funded propaganda masterpiece, the one produced in response to his claim that ‘80% of voters want more information to help them make an informed decision’, but couldn’t find a single word of the risks. Apart from the unknown risks of Leaving, obviously. Go on Dave, tell us: are we going to stay out of the EuroZone and see what vestiges of influence we have vanish as the EZ proceeds headlong towards ‘ever closer union’ without the others, or do we jump aboard the EZ express and lose the last vestiges of sovereignty – along with our national identity?

    • Marvin

      There are many, many guarantees of what is awaiting us if we decide to remain. Not handcuffs, but shackles in a total enslavement and definite entry into the Euro, migration quotas of hundreds of thousands, membership fees rising to £100 million a day for starters, you know the rest.

  • jack

    If we leave, then I’d fully expect Juncker to commit suicide by Water Pistol .

    • Frank

      Juncker is the Corporal Jones of the EU.

      • Nomad

        Has Juncker been promoted?

  • whs1954

    I don’t think Mr Moore realises that ‘Tory modernisation’ as Mr Cameron or Mr Osborne saw it, was not the same as Mr Hilton saw it. ‘The Thick Of it’ got it about right with Stewart Pearson, but at the end of the fourth series the PM packs him off to a think-tank because he prefers actions to words.

  • explain that

    No one is voting leave so the headline remains a dreamt-up hypothesis of daydreamers.

    • wibbling

      Many millions will. We must, if we want a productive, efficient and market based economy. We won’t get that chained to the useless EU.

      If you want to stay trapped in a communist fascist state, why do you not leave and move to North Korea?

    • davidofkent

      What ‘no one’. Are you insane?

    • antoncheckout

      I’m afraid it’s you who will have to Dream On.

    • Fraser Bailey

      I know quite a few people who are voting Leave, but only one who is voting Remain.

    • Infadel

      “Most Stupid Post of the Day” award goes to you! Well done……………………and it’s only 9.30am!

    • Cyril Sneer

      Are you a Tower Hamlets postal vote counter by any chance?

    • wibbling

      Many millions will. Why are you frightened of that?

  • davidofkent

    Boris was pretty good on the News this morning. He explained clearly that mass immigration had happened without the consent of the British people. Perhaps we should also add same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, the LEAVE side has not been well represented in general. The LEAVE campaigners have allowed Cameron and the people who rely upon him for political favours to pontificate about how awful life will be outside of the EU. The evidence against the EU is in the newspapers every day. Take for instance the report that Juncker has stated that the EU WILL NOT ALLOW far-right parties to be in government. When you investigate his definition of far right, you find he means any Party that is NOT LEFT. Of course we must leave the EU. It is sheer madness not to.

  • Norton Folgate

    I think Mr Juncker may have Boris shot, regardless of the outcome of the referendum. Just for fun. Lots of bad blood all round: http://bit.ly/1TYfMEr

  • Sargon the bone crusher

    Juncker says he will not talk to any right wing government in Europe. At this rate he is going to be pretty lonely.

    • IainRMuir

      Enough to turn a man to drink.

      Ooops – too late.

    • wibbling

      No right wing mind, let alone government would conceive of an institution like the EU. It is anathema to the basic principles of Right wingers and libertarians.

  • Fraser Bailey

    I’ve been very impressed with Steve Hilton in recent days. Obviously, he has talked more sense than all the Remain lot put together. And he shown up the Leave lot for the incoherent rabble that they are.

    • Mr Creosote

      Did very well on QT last night.

  • James R

    Me : Have you heard of a man called Jean Claude Juncker ?
    Young person about to graduate : No.Who is he ?
    And that m’lud sums up the case for the prosecution.
    Unelected and widely unknown yet wielding such power that the ignorant may well sleepwalk into a United States of Europe.

  • Nuahs87

    We must demand that Juncker come to Britain and make the EU’s case. Like you say, the man is terrible but if nobody knows who he is, or what he thinks it doesn’t really help us.

  • Sir Derek Trotter OBE

    It’s Cameron who’s at risk from the bullet.

  • Sir Derek Trotter OBE

    The Conservative leadership campaign will be invested with many bullets lol

  • Jack Rocks

    I suppose it should be noted that if we do leave, it will definitely not be in the EU’s interests for us to make a success of it. I mean that really would be beyond the pale (and encourage other countries to do the same). So I expect a great deal of spiteful rules, regulations, laws and policies to suddenly materialise aimed at knocking us down.

    A small price to pay for freedom I suppose.

  • Pretty_Polly

    Hello,

    My name is David Cameron of Brussels and Panama and my aim is to destroy Britain as you know and love it.

    That is why I have admitted over 750,000 migrants and asylum seekers in the last 12 months alone, why I support eastern extension of the EU and why I have done virtually nothing to stop illegals entering the country and remaining forever. I will of course repeat these policies this year and every year during my premiership.

    Up and down the country, I am told that my plans are working perfectly as people find they are becoming ‘Strangers Where They Live’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9831912/I-feel-like-a-stranger-where-I-live.html and I am delighted my Defence Minister, Michael Fallon, has told me that our towns and cities are being enrichingly ‘swamped with immigrants’ http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/26/british-towns-swamped-immigrants-michael-fallon-eu

    As the ‘Heir to Blair’ and Blairmore, I am proud to be continuing the pro immigration policies adopted by my close friends in the Labour Party and to be able to develop such ideas to extinguish ‘Britishness’ wherever it may be found. That is why I have abolished many of the planning rules in order to build huge anonymous new towns and cities in what was the monocultural and unenriched English countryside http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/16/plans-for-thousands-of-new-homes-threaten-green-belt-areas/

    I will soon be holding the long awaited confirmation of my views and opinions that Britain should remain an EU member forever and I will personally ensure that the Remain campaign is full of lies, threats and propaganda to obtain the highly desirable Remain outcome, thereby wiping the floor with a blonde haired mop. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Johnson

    As you will understand from the foregoing, I am extremely excited about the forthcoming abolition of Britain and ‘Britishness’ by my friends in the European Union who have assured me that a new name has already been decided for these very small inconsequential islands..

    Consequently, to further the re-writing of British history and the destruction of British traditions, they have chosen ‘EU Sector North West’ which must now be written below your postcode or your mail will no longer be delivered.

    God Save The President of the EU Commission ! Rule Jean Claude Juncker !

    Yours sincerely

    David Cameron

    Governor General EU NW – Designate.

  • Pretty_Polly

    Unfortunately, thanks to mass immigration which the British never wanted, there are millions of people voting who are not ‘one of us’.

    • Richard

      Whatever this vote brings, the next Labour government will bring in millions more voters for itself from the Third World. The Labour Party is drug-addicted Britain’s crack cocaine: it is a habit from which it is unable to wean itself, even though it knows it will destroy it.

      • Pretty_Polly

        What makes you think there’ll be another Labour government?

        • Richard

          It is Britain’s drug habit: dole. That, and the millions of Third Worlders Labour has brought in to vote for it, who themselves breed at the rate of the Third World. Each time Labour wins it seems unbelievable to me, but it has been doing so for decades, and it will happen again. Remember, brain-washing went on in schools until 2010, so we can expect a bulge from now (one generation after 1997) until 2030. Add to that the mass-immigration of welfare-dependent voters from the Third World, and the political landscape becomes pretty obvious.

        • Prof Raus

          London’s new mayor has issued a rallying cry to his supporters telling them that theyt can swing the vote and ensure REMAIN wins. Tower Hamlets etc say he has a point.

    • Prof Raus

      Or on the register? Seriously, I no longer trust the system we may still play by the rules that say you don’t need to prove your identity at the polling station, but those from other places may well have (and have had) no qualms.

  • davidofkent

    I think poor old Claude Juncker has told us enough times and has now had enough of us; he is going to give us a damn good thrashing!

    • Richard

      Only there’s no Sybil to keep him in check!

  • Malcolm Stevas

    Loved the story about the Fon of Banso, reminded me of an old friend (much older!) who was commissioned around the end of WW2 and served, like Cluff, in West Africa. His job was to escort groups of soldiers who’d served in the British Army back to their native villages. He decsribed the subsequent festivities as great fun, with endless flowery speeches from tribal chiefs, welcoming his young men back and praising their feats of arms.
    As for, “..once upon a time, David Cameron did have a project,” he seems to have had an awful lot. In fact he flits from one project to another, forgetting most of them, and changing his mind about others, much as a butterfly treats a profusion of flowers.

    • Hybird

      Cameron’s stated project to put MusIims into positions of authority throughout our society and shoe in a MusIim Prime Minister is the one I most worry about.

  • Pretty_Polly

    In the end, the EU will make European unorthodoxy and anti EU thought crime literally impossible, because they will withdraw the words required to express it.

    Every concept and human interaction which could possibly be required will be rigidly controlled with meaning precisely defined by EU rules and all non approved alternatives extinguished and soon forgotten. The process will still be continuing long after the British pro EU faux referendum is nothing more than ancient history.

    Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.

    Even now, of course, according to some senior EU officials, there is no reason or excuse for having anti EU thoughts. It is merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control.

    But in the end there won’t be any need even for that, because through double speak and newthink, the EU will effectively enter our minds to prevent it and control us all..

  • Richard

    EU Citizen Juncker and EU Citizen Cameron have plans for this country that are probably not that different from Comrade EU Citizen Corbyn. Soon enough we shall have to refer to each other as “EU Citizen” followed by a number. Maybe we really will have to go to live in Australia.

  • Peter Stroud

    Junker is a tin pot politician puffed up by his EU cronies. Cameron fought tooth and nail against his promotion: now he has to greet him as a political friend.

    • Lawrence James.

      Yes: why is it that the EU has become a haven for mediocrities from minor states ?

  • David Prentice

    “Anti-terror helicopters” buzzing about London today. Which should surprise no-one, since we said to the terror, “come in, bring all your mates and their families too”. And they did and they have. And still they come.

    • lurv & compassion

      Have ya? Shouldn’t of done that, it’s a foolish thing to do.

  • Mr Creosote

    You only have to look across the Channel to see why we need to get out – the place is at a standstill because the government had the temerity to introduce legislation to amend “worker’s rights” to make the country run more efficiently!

  • John Carins

    He will not shoot us. Herr Junker is bound to prefer dive bombing.

  • Polly Radical

    Get used to it, Lefties:

    President Trump

    UK out of the EU

    Cameron sacked

    And all in time for Christmas!

    • Eques

      Only one of those things (Trump) is likely to happen.
      The only one I don’t want to happen, sadly 🙁

      • Leftism is a societal cancer

        Why?

        • Eques

          Partly because of all the stirring up of racial hatred, but mainly because he will turn the US into even more of a corrupt crony plutocracy than it already is.

          Hillary may be in the pocket of Corporate America, but Trump actually IS Corporate America.

    • Leftism is a societal cancer

      We will stay unfortunately. Here’s hoping Le Pen can finish the EU in 2017.

    • Lawrence James.

      And on Boxing Day ?
      Pound falls below Zimbabwean dollar and is now on a par with the cowrie shell.
      Soups kitchens open for the unemployed.
      KKK hold Trump victory parades.
      Work starts on nuclear shelters in UK and US.
      PM Johnson promises to reduce bread queues by increasing cake production,
      Applications for emigrant visas to Canada pass five million mark.

      • Doug

        L J YOU TALK A LOAD RUBBISH Go and live 21 miles across the water on the 24 June 2016 when we are back in a democracy and freedom of speech VOTE OUT

  • Cyril Sneer

    If Owen Jones in a recent Guardian article promoted pushing back violently against the gains the ‘far’ right were making then I’m sure Juncker would be more than happy to start liquidating the unruly peasants.

  • Prof Raus

    Yesterday in comments on the petition to prevent Cameron being part of the exit team when we vote out the government said (in an e-mail to those who’d signed) that in the event of BREXIT the UK would be forced to accept all parts of the EU including free movement.

    I think it’s beyond time that everyone woke up to the fact that we are ruled by a clique, Juncker, Merkel, Hollande, Cameron etc who have nothing but contempt for democracy and the people. After the peasants revolt Richard 11 famously said “Serfs you are and serfs you shall remain” That’s what REMAIN means for us too.

    Many believe that the EU is based on the USSR, I think that a better analogy is the Zollverein, which started as a customs union and with Bismarck in charge morphed into the German Empire. This happened as a result of the Franco Prussian war, engineered by Bismarck which dragged in all the States of the union – at the end they woke up to find their armies had been merged and they were ruled from Berlin.

    The E U’s plan for its own Army are well advanced with the Germans and Dutch already merging. The full plan will be announced on June 24th. Will they then seek an “Enemy” against whom their new toy can be directed and in a repetition of Bismarck’s triumph impose the Empire? Be afraid.

    • Of course, no different to the Germans telling millions of illegal migrants to come to Germany thus breaking the border systems of every country on the way, the solution to the problem Germany created is of course the creation of a single EU border force and Coastguard meaning Germany has expanded its control completely across Europe.

      • Mike

        Merkel is just as much of a disaster as Hitler, long-term. Maybe worse.
        Not at an individual level, of course. But in terms of affecting the long-term survivability of her country.

        Indeed, I think that deep insider her, is a desire to commit national suicide.

        That’s even crazier than Hitler’s world-domination fantasies.

  • Marvin

    Europe’s ( EU ) biggest fear is the collapse of their despotic kingdom if we leave. They know that without our topping up of the gravy train and our piggy bank where they can demand a couple of billion everytime our finances get better, they just will not be able to cater for the never ending Tsunami of migrants for long. As well, their own citizens re-claiming their benefits because we stop ALL EU migrants benefits in this country. How will they employ the thousands that return when we shut off the money tap?

    • Phonetoholic

      I don’t think they give tuppence mate.

      • Marvin

        Really? then why are they flapping around like demented chickens as though a fox has got into the coop.

  • MikeF

    Today is the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Bismarck. Seems appropriate somehow.

    • John Carins

      That took several attempts. Getting the UK out of the EU will be a similar problem.

      • MikeF

        In the end it scuttled itself. Maybe a portent.

        • John Carins

          After a period of being rudderless.

        • Mike

          Quite. The EU is imploding. That’s the main reason reason to leave now: desert a sinking ship, lest you go down with it!

  • John Carins

    Hilton like a lot of advisers has been taken for a mug. Cameron has adopted many of his ideas in the modernisation venture. However, the central plank of eurosceptism and the UKs withdrawal from the EU has been ignored. Cameron has always been “in”. He has hidden this from Hilton who is now understandably angry.

    • antoncheckout

      I wonder how far Cameron has been suborned into EU-support by his in-laws. They (both sets) have considerable land, farming and commercial property interests that are propped up by CAP and EU energy subsidies and by the free movement of…bankers.

      • John Carins

        SamCam the puppet master?

  • Freddythreepwood

    Juncker is a nincompoop. An unelected political pygmy. He should visit the graves in northern France and Belgium of the hundreds of thousands of British ‘deserters’ who gave their lives for the likes of him and his miserable little country.

    • Dean

      ‘No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.’ Abraham Lincoln
      We have never given our consent to Juncker. Don’t get me started on ‘Commissioner’ Lord Hill or ‘Baroness’ Ashton.

      • mailbiter

        The UK didn’t – but the majority voted in favour of him. It is wrong to say Juncker was unelected.

        • Dean

          When we joined the EEC it was made plain to us that no loss of sovereignty was involved. It was all just a jolly free trade area with no trade tariffs. That’s all we consented to. Now we find we have a ‘President’

          • mailbiter

            That’s not the point you were making in your post, though. We in the UK may not like the outcome, but Juncker was democratically elected.

          • Dean

            Not democratically elected in the sense of having a presidential election where we all get a vote. We don’t vote for anyone except MEPs, and they don’t have much power. All the real power is with commissioners and bureaucrats and you have no control over them at all.

          • mailbiter

            450 million people did not get to vote for him. But our elected representatives did. We have a voice – so do the other 27 member states. They all voted.

            We do vote for more than just MEPs. We all vote in governments based on their manifestos. They form the European Council.

          • Dave C

            The problem is mailbiter that these elected representatives only represent a proportion of the populations, i.e. Cameron represents about 25% of the total UK electorate, same as Blair did towards the end, so 28 people with between 25 and 50% of their electorate supporting them means the vast majority of peoples do NOT support the election of Junker as they don’t support the representatives who voted for him

          • Old Nick

            Several

        • evad666

          Majority of whom? The Lobbyists? The Financial Institutions?

          Just who exactly?

          “Mr Juncker has never hidden his view that the compromises and deals
          being worked out in EU meetings or leaders or ministers need be
          protected from public scrutiny, by lies if necessary.

          “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said.”

          “We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what
          happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t
          understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there
          is no turning back,” he said of the euro’s introduction.

          At the height of the eurozone crisis, Mr Juncker was described as the “master
          of lies” for organising a meeting of finance ministers to talk about
          whether Greece could remain in the single currency and then trying to
          deny it was taking place.”

          Source:- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10874230/Jean-Claude-Juncker-profile-When-it-becomes-serious-you-have-to-lie.html

          The guy is a deeply unpleasant person and we should depart forthwith.

          • mailbiter

            The majority of the 28 elected governments.

            It is democratic. Whether or not you and others feel that the UK does not have a big enough say in that, is another matter.

          • antoncheckout

            No, such a vote of 28 machine politicians is not in the least democratic, except to lazy thinkers or anti-democrats. As German-born MP Gisela Stuart told the Frankfurter Allgemeine interviewer a fortnight ago: ‘The European Council may satisfy your criteria of democracy, but it certainly does not satisfy mine, or those of my constituents!’
            Well said, that woman.

          • Old Nick

            How many candidates were they able to choose between ?

        • geyien

          As Kim Jong Un was also “elected” with an overwhelming majority in North Korea?

    • mailbiter

      Juncker was elected by the European Council. The UK voted against his appointment. But hey, that’s democracy for you.

      • Old Nick

        How many candidates were presented to the “European Council” ?

      • stickytape

        Apologies, I realise it’s 5 days since you made the comment, but Juncker wasn’t elected by anyone, he may have been appointed by the European Council, but that’s a very long way from being elected.
        I’ve read your comments before now, although I’m not aware of responding before, and you seem a clever enough guy.
        Do you still consider this democracy?

        • mailbiter

          Hi Sticky.

          Juncker was, in fact, elected. Twice.

          Firstly, he was elected by the European Council (made up of elected heads of state representing the 28 countries). That was in June 2014 and he won by a vote of 26 to 2 (the UK was one of the ‘2’).

          The following month, he was elected into office by the European Parliament. MEPs do actually have the right to reject the candidate and force the European Council to propose an alternative.

          But they didn’t. The result was:

          422 in favour of Juncker.
          250 against.
          47 abstained.

          The Lisbon Treaty did actually make the EU more democratic (honest). But the bad thing about it is that it had to erode each nation’s sovereignty in order to do it.

          For the record, I am for staying in – but I am no fan of the EU. The politics needs to be taken out of it, and it should concentrate more only on trade and standards. When politics gets involved in commerce, it usually goes wrong. The Euro, for example.

  • Mandrake

    The frantic predictions of dire consequences of leaving are reminiscent of the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer/IT scam. I could be wrong, but I call BS.

    • mikewaller

      You most certainly could be wrong and my bet is that you are. Our economy, which has been sliding down the rich list for over a century, is in no shape to take on global competition at a time when, daily, vast numbers of folk are leaving the fields to seek industrial work in the cities. Western living standards are unquestionably an economic anomaly; but if you what the process of relentlessly driving them down to go into overdrive, Brexit and face the full onslaught of cheap goods without the necessary heft to slow the process down.

      • antoncheckout

        What a terrifying prospect – being offered cheap goods, without the comfort of having the kindly EU helping to make them more reassuringly expensive.

        • mikewaller

          Can you really be so amazingly one-eyed? What are our millions of Joe Average workers meant to bring to the party? Or is that of supreme indifference to you?

  • mikewaller

    All the Hilton episode reveals is that Cameron’s friend-choosing capabilities are deeply suspect. As with blabbermouth Delingpole and the drug taking expose, with friends like those, Cameron definitely has no need of enemies!

    • antoncheckout

      Well, if Dave ever does need some enemies, he only has to say the word: millions of us would be glad to step up and offer our ‘services’.

  • The EU is utterly undemocratic. THAT is the only issue; does it respond to the people of this country and make laws they want which are for their benefit?

    I’m put in mind of part of the Gettysburg Address given by Lincoln on 19th November 1863.


    that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and
    that government of the people, by the people, for the people,
    shall not perish from the earth.

    OUT politicians like Gove, Farrage, and Johnson need to be hammering this point home at every turn and Lincoln’s words fit the bill pretty well, even though in context he was talking about those who had died in a terrible battle and what they had died for.

    • Mike

      That’s the fundamental difference between the:
      United States of America: a democratic, albeit flawed, entity
      United States of Europe (i.e., EU): a techno-bureaucratic, heavily flawed, entity

      But (continental, for the most part) Europeans will ceaselessly make fun of the USA.

      Here’s a prediction: the EU will have fallen apart, Europe will have had more conflicts, including civil wars… and the USA will still be together, still running elections on the schedule set in 1776.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        See, your plans are not a “prediction”.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Blame the EU for your issues… as you note Lincoln talking about fighting your sort of views…misusing his words and using hammers…

  • Richard Gibb

    We have heard the noise of Junker over the City of London back in 1940 and history will be repeated.

    NORWAY rejected the EU TWICE. They were told the Same LIES that are being told to the UK.

    You will lose JOBS.

    The FISHERIES will be RUINED

    The EU won’t LISTEN to you.

    YOU will be ISOLATED

    INNOVATION and BUSINESS will LOSE OUT

    NOBODY will Invest in NORWAY

    YOUR Interest will be SKY HIGH

    YOUR Currency will DECLINE

    What happened, NORWAY has Low Interest and HIGH EMPLOYMENT indeed the lowest Unemployment in Europe. They have a Standard of Living HIGHER then the UK and better average Incomes.

    NORWAY does not pay a fee to trade with the EU. Last year it paid them £650 Million not as a fee but for a Project they were interested in Pursuing. That’s less than the UK pays in 2 WEEKS.

    You would have to be a fool not to recognise that many of these SCARE stories that come out Daily do have more than a whiff of desperation in them in fact I would go so far as to say STENCH of trying to Scare people into voting to stay. The sort of Propaganda made by Joseph Goebbels for Hitler or is that Dodgy Dave, with all the sanity of Kim Jong-un.

    They constantly suggest that they are winning when the truth is that the Remain Camp are as REAL as Patton’s Army in Kent in 1944, the one Hitler and his generals expected to cross from Dover to Calais. That was done by a Government as well.

    It was said that on Saturday the 14th May that the Remain Camp would have 4,000 teams across the UK. Nobody knows where as NONE were seen.

    These Daily Scare stories are the result of the fact that there is not much interest in staying in the EU and they know it these stories will get Madder and Madder as the Referendum approaches, suggesting this and that, what next WAR no can’t be Dodgy Dave has already suggested that.

    It is quite amusing that despite what is said by the Remain Camp that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Italian prime Minister think we are right to complain and leave as do many other National Leaders in the EU. Poland and Hungary are fed up to the teeth with the EU

  • the knight

    Don’t listen to those in the EU ,they want our money and they want control over us all.Who in their right mind would give their country over to a bunch of unaccountable bureaucrats who live in luxury at our expense?

  • antoncheckout

    Apparently Juncker’s all-consuming passion is for playing long games on ‘flippers’ – pinball machines. Seems very symbolic, really. Aggressively, repetitively, blindly flicking a lever that shoots a ball randomly up and around a labyrinthine course, where it will take on a course of its own that will preponderantly end in failure. And spending unlimited time and money on this fruitless pursuit, in the hope it may come out eventually.
    He’s definitely in the right organization for his talents and proclivities.

  • Trailblazer10

    Look at the picture of the creature above. Maybe David Icke wasn’t far off with his Lizard people theory.

  • shaft120

    I totally agree with this “An exception is Daniel Hannan. Vote Leave should put him forward more.”
    Not only is he the most knowledgeable, he is the best British political orator we have. He smashed the Spectator debate out of the park, and his take-down of Gordon Brown as the devalued prime minister is still a YouTube favourite. He should be who the leave campaign put front and centre. Unfortunately, I worry they will not include him purely for being conservative and thinking that it better to have a Labour representative as well as their perceived primary pairing of Gove and Johnson. Cummings should put Hannan on every debate going. Then he might have a chance.

  • Marvin

    If we win the vote to leave, Juncker will have plenty of shots from his bottle in his drawer to fall back on.

  • Marathon-Youth

    The article says “The Leave camp sometimes looks stumped because it cannot give a precise answer to what would happen economically if we were not in the EU.”

    I may not be precise but I have an answer. Switzerland is NOT part of the EU and her economy including the standard of living is one of the best in the world.
    Trade agreements with non EU members and China, India, Brazil are common.
    The EU does not have any significant trade agreements with China, India or Brazil
    The cost of asylum seekers is becoming a burden and not an asset.
    I think that is a very good answer.

    One more issue. The EU plans to create an EU military. that added cost on a military that is redundant and really has no “enemy” outside of the EU member population and any possibility of an uprising is a cost that is unwarranted
    EU members have their own militaries and already are part of NATO.

  • Your Portuguese villa story reminds me of when the the communist trade unionists employed on the liner France went on strike to demand state subsidies for rich people to go on holiday.

  • Yorkman99

    Hitler was also deluded when he thought he could conquer Europe.

  • 100

    He will definitely be having a shot or two or ten of some strong liquor to drown his sorrows at the wagons starting to loosen on his gravy train.

  • dipsplepskik

    “If we vote Leave, will Juncker have us shot?”

    If he, and the rest of the EU/EUSSR cabal can get the EU/EUSSR army (which they long for) in place before the 23Rd of June I believe his cabal would indeed certainly have us Brexiteers shot, as dissidents…..

  • ARJ_Turgot

    I think a pan-EU army is an interesting concept. It could prove quite fit, after all, not that long ago the Dutch army managed to run all the way to Holland from Sarajevo.

  • Sid Falco

    Stay or leave, Juncker will have his shot of Vodka after breakfast.

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