Tag Archive: Tim Congdon

Changing opinions

In the comments section to a post by Autonomous Mind entitled “Snatching defeat from the jaws of a straightforward victory” – and in which he links to this post by Richard North, EUReferendum – one commenter writes:

“Personally, I don’t understand the levels of antipathy directed at UKIP on this blog, EU Referendum, boling [sic] frog, witterings from witney etc. EU Referendum seems to only want to leave the EU if some sort of perfect re-casting of our political and governmental system is enacted.”

When considering the current discussion about changing our relationship with the European Union – and I refer to Cameron’s wish to ‘renegotiate’ our terms of membership, coupled with the vacuous wordage that has poured forth from various people, such as Open Europe, it becomes obvious that very few brain cells, if any, have been used either collectively or individually. There are two sides to the discussion that is being held and they are, in effect, two sides of the same coin – namely the head: “exit” and the tail: “thereafter”.

The condemnation of antipathy directed at the four bloggers mentioned is, I would suggest, misplaced as their writing is but illustrating a deficit in all the discussion that is taking place in the media by journalists, business leaders and the political class. As the europhiles can be accused of relying on the “fear, uncertainty, doubt” meme – or Euro-FUD, a term bestowed by Richard North – should the UK exit the EU, thus misrepresenting and misleading the British public; so can the same accusation of misrepresenting and misleading be laid at the door of some in the Eurosceptic movement for not discussing that which they should – they need not be named as they know who they are.

On the subject of renegotiation, as has been shown here, what is it that Cameron thinks has changed, whereby he can break up the Acquis and cherry pick those pieces that he wants back? Those that seem to believe, as apparently does Tim Congdon, we can leave the EU and then negotiate a free trade agreement need, with the utmost respect, their heads examined.

Reverting to the fear factor, there are those that prophesy doom, that the sky will fall in, should we leave the EU. Once again as shown here unless there is the recasting so decried by that commentor, the sky may well fall in – at least the bits of metal flying around in the sky, that is. There really is no point in leaving one home for another unless you can be satisfied that the new home has been well constructed and has all the facilities that are needed – plus having a route-map of how to get there.

On that last point, namely a route-map, if Cameron is serious about wanting to redefine the UK’s relationship with the EU and bearing in mind any break-up of the Acquis is impossible, then there is only one course of action he can take – and that is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and negotiate entry into EFTA/EEA.

Membership of EFTA then leads Europhiles to bleat about “fax democracy”, an argument which should be dead and buried after the Open Europe debacle. Unfortunately it is still being repeated and the latest example comes from one who is described asScotland’s most distinguished political commentator:

“The PM says he wants to remain in the single market but leave the EU increasingly behind, and this is a perfectly possible objective if he wants the UK to join Norway in the European Economic Area. Norway is in the single market but out of the EU,  But this means it is subject to the rules and regulations of the single market without having any say in shaping them.”

Perhaps when our MPs have procured their Idiots Guide to the EU, they could send one to Scotland’s distinguished political commentator.

Left to their own devices, if and when a referendum on EU membership does appear it is becoming obvious that which ever side wins will have done so by default, while utilising the black arts of censorship and propaganda. It beggars belief that both Europhiles and Eurosceptics treat this subject, one which will have the most profound effect on the future of this country, with such gay abandon. That the debate also appears to be being held among themselves, one could possibly add the words “and incestuous” twixt “gay” and “abandon”.

To turn to the “tail” side of the problem, the “thereafter”, this period of the operation must not only deal with resolving which laws we wish to retain and which we wish to reject; negotiating further trade agreements, etc, etc; it also needs to include a realignment of our own democracy, involving this idea, with a view to ensuring that never again can our political class – or anyone else – lead us down the road to hell.


Hyperventilating on by-election results

Having had two days occupied by ‘outside interests’, returning home I see that Richard North, EUReferendum, has ‘stolen my thunder’, to a certain extent, with this post.

It is to my continual amazement that so much ‘hype’ is applied by pundits in the media – and also those of the ‘Twitterati’ – about by-elections; and in this respect those writing about – and supporters of – Ukip need to rein in their over-blown and mis-placed enthusiasm for the results of recent by-elections, especially where percentages are concerned – points made by Richard North.

By-elections are renowned for containing two elements: namely, the protest vote and those abstaining – ie, not bothering to vote. Consequently, for the Labour Party to crow that the results of recent by-elections are condemnation of the Coalition; and for Ukip to now attempt to place themselves, in the minds of the public, as the third party in politics, not only stretches incredulity but lays them open to charges of misrepresentation.

If UKIP emulated the LibDem machine of local activism, focusing on community priorities to take seats in local government, they would by now surely have had MPs in the House of Commons. The problem for Ukip is that they don’t think strategically, they only know a ‘grapeshot’ method of fighting – no belay that, Ukip don’t think, period. Ukip have no strategy because they do not have a strategist or anyone who has the slightest idea of strategy.

Tim Congdon, an economist who was once part of the ‘Wise Men’ at the Bank of England and who is now a Ukip member, produces a ‘newsletter’ (receipt of which is free and available by subscribing) and from the latest, one paragraph:

“I have little respect for the politically correct ‘governing class’/’political establishment’ types, such as David Cameron and Nicholas Clegg, who have done so much damage to our country. (Nigel Farage has a nice phrase for them, ‘the rich kid political elite’, as quoted in yesterday’s The Sun.) But – if the ‘rich kids’ want the UK to stay in the EU – I would give them some words of advice. Hold an In/Out referendum on EU membership as soon as possible and – somehow, somehow – win it, despite the opinion polls showing that you will lose. The longer the referendum is postponed, the more likely that the vote will be for withdrawal. Indeed, the longer that the three ‘main parties’ ignore the popular resentment of their country’s betrayal, the more likely that UKIP will over time become the UK’s largest single party and will form a government in its own name.” (Emphasis his)

Tim Congdon may be a respected economist, but strategist he most definitely ain’t – so the message must be: ‘don’t give up the day-job, Tim’……..

Ukip – and those in it  – may well have the best of intentions and are, no doubt, committed people. Unfortunately, until they and the party ‘get a brain’ they are destined to remain where they are – on the fringes of the political scene in this country.

Afterthought: With apologies to those of my readers who are of the opinion that Ukip are the saviour of our country and saviour of democracy in our country.

How much does the European Union cost Britain?

Word reaches me that the economist Tim Congdon is to publish a pamphlet with the above title, one which will be the 2012 edition of the pamphlet started by Gerard Batten in 2006 and will be an updating and refurbishment of Batten’s work in the fourth edition of How much does the European Union cost Britain?, published in March/April 2011.

It is, I understand, Congdon’s hope that this pamphlet will be available for Ukip’s party conference in Birmingham on 21st and 22nd September. Needless to say, comparison of Congdon’s findings with the ‘Hague Audit’ will be interesting…………


NB: I have about 10,000 words of 15,000 in draft form, but do not feel publication would be right, not without permission. 


Hosted By PDPS Internet Hosting

© Witterings from Witney 2012