2007 - 2020

The Black Elephant in the Room

elephant-6-512The Black Elephant is a concept invented by Dougald Hine and Vinay Gupta: “The Black Elephant is an unholy union of two boardroom clichés: the Elephant in the Room, the thing which everyone knows is important, but no one will talk about; and the Black Swan, the hard-to-predict event which is outside the realm of normal expectations, but has enormous impact. The Black Elephant is an event which was quite foresee-able, which was in fact an Elephant in the Room, but which, after it happens, everyone will try to pass off as a Black Swan.”

Brexit is Britain’s Black Elephant. It’s been lumbering about for years now and is about to break down the door and smash the place up. As Roger Cohen writes this could have devastating consequences including the failure of the euro and subsequent financial turmoil, political destabilisation from increased disunity over the refugee crisis which would greatly benefit the far-right in France and England and opportunity for Putin’s Russia to threaten further in the Baltics. “Conditions seem ripe. Europe is increasingly unloved, its miracle too dull to be appreciated” he writes.

It’s true a remote bureaucracy full of functionaries that shafted Greece is difficult to defend. And the quality of the political discourse is so poor its dispiriting. As Jim Monaghan puts it: “The only thing that stops the Remain campaign being the most despicable bunch of liars in any election in our history is the fact that the Leave campaign are the most despicable bunch of liars in any election in our history.”

It feels like a Summer of Hate, with the Liam Fee murder, hooliganism, celebrity death and now Orlando piling up week after week in the heat. These and the ongoing refugee crisis that we’ve become quietly and quickly inured to,combine to give a background drumbeat of violence.

Trans European Express

Yesterday the Daily Mail blurted: “Fury over plot to let 1.5m Turks into Britain”. It’s incessant, it’s pervasive.

The consequences of a Brexit are often pitched as being ‘scaremongering’ but it’s worth considering that this would represent a significant change in our position in the world and how “we” are perceived (few if any will make the distinction between England and Scotland’s voting patterns).

In all of this – you have to wonder, where is the love of Europe and of being Europeans? Were is the shared cultural experience of travel of the past thirty years? Have the memories of inter-railing, of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and Berlin all been subsumed by the sleazy rhetoric of Nigel Farage? How is that even possible?

How is it possible that we have forgotten the Second World War?

Why is it so difficult to find solidarity, hope or joy just in being European? Can’t we make a case for a love of place and shared culture through raves in Ibiza or retreat at Santiago de Compostela? Can’t we reframe the European debate by remembering camping by the river in the Dordogne or playing chess in the Széchenyi baths of Budapest?

Europe seems missing from the debate about Europe.

Let’s Take Control

The reasons for this may be many, and it may not be as certain as I and many others now fear. But if ‘Britain” votes Leave it may be because the case for remain was so badly made.

Anthony Barnett (“Let’s take control! Brexit and sovereignty”):

“Unlike those who predict that Brexit is now a certainty, I think the English have yet to decide with their heads what their hands will do on the ballot paper on 23 June. They may simply be making the government sweat before relenting in their judgment. But, in its heart, England has already made its choice. It prefers out. The superficial reason for this is that in his heart, the prime minister also wants out. His official Remain campaign has not produced a good reason why we should want to be members of the EU apart from not being able to afford to leave – which is a way of agreeing that if we could afford to do so, we should. Cameron and Osborne say they would not trash the economy to cut down immigration from the EU. They do not say why free movement is a wonderful thing, especially if you are young and broke. Just a small example of the absence of positivity.”

…in its heart, England has already made its choice. It prefers out. The superficial reason for this is that in his heart, the prime minister also wants out. His official Remain campaign has not produced a good reason why we should want to be members of the EU apart from not being able to afford to leave – which is a way of agreeing that if we could afford to do so, we should

If the Remain argument has been negative fearful shallow and uninspiring, Leave has taken us too new depths.

We are left with the choice of the ‘least worst option’. It is to Remain but also to confront the other Black Elephant, that we are not voting to protect the EU’s undemocratic and remote structures and institutions, but voting to have a hand in remaking them. We should vote Remain but immediately engage in dismantling most of the dysfunctional structures of Europe and rebuild them.

By the 9th of November of this year we could have a President Trump, a Prime Minister Johnson and be out of Europe against our will.

 

 

Comments (40)

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  1. Crubag says:

    The same arguments that applied to our referendum apply to this one – Europe – the bits out or in of the EU won’t disappear any more than rUK would do in the event of independence.

    Both courses of action are uncertain, so it comes down to principle: do you prefer to pool sovereignty or ensure local accountability?

    You might be persuaded one way or the other by politicans’ promises of wealth but you’ll find they come with no guarantees.

  2. Richard MacKinnon says:

    I don’t know about others but I find the hypocrisy coming from Scottish nationalists regarding this referendum UK/EU referendum hilarious.
    When Scotland had its referendum it was seen as lesson in true democracy, how the people take back power from the politicians and express their rights as citizens young and old. A celebration of people power. A light shining into the darkness of the political establishment. Sixteen year old Scots full members of our society. True 21st century enlightenment. Scotland sets an example to the world.
    But when the Tory party put a referendum on their manifesto and then go on the win a majority of sets at the 2015 GE (sound familiar) Mike Small sees only gloom despondency, black elephants, bemoans the loss of his inter rail ticket, with his hands wringing cries out “How is it possible that we have forgotten the Second World War?” and with the sound of Mike’s teeth gnashing in the background “The only thing that stops the Remain campaign being the most despicable bunch of liars in any election in our history is the fact that the Leave campaign are the most despicable bunch of liars in any election in our history.”
    Mike, come over here and take a look at yerself.

    1. Thomas Beavitt says:

      It’s not hypocrisy, but tactics. What “we Scottish Nationalists” want is for “you Unionists” to vote Leave south of the border while we vote Remain north of the border. The wider the disparity between English Leaves and Scottish Remains, the more undeniable the constitutional argument for IndieRef2.0.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        Thomas,
        Yes I know that. Have you ever considered an alternative result? What if the result is to Remain? I dont like to speculate but if it is for Remain, a second Scottish independence referendum is as likely as a monkey walking over a type writer and tapping out a Shakespearean sonnet.
        Funny that. 18/09/2014 has cemmented the union.

    2. Richard – when I see hundreds of self organised groups forming around the country and people engaged who have never been engaged before I’ll have a look at myself.

      That’s not going to happen because this is a debate framed by the right around dog whistle politics.

      People will vote Remain with regret and vote Leave out of fear.

      Not the same at all.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        Bella Caledonia editor,

        “People will vote Remain with regret and vote Leave out of fear.”

        Please explain. Why is referenda in Scotland good but referenda in UK bad?

        1. Connor McEwen says:

          It Wullny Matter. Pensioner and Rich pensioner postal votes will stutter and stammer tae STAY, REMAIN . REMAIN BY 55% TO 45%.

          RMCK , YIR AN UPSTERT GOBBLEDEGOOKER

        2. Me Bungo Pony says:

          RMcK, only you have raised the possibility of that distinction between the Scottish and UK referendums. There is no hint of it in the article.

          The Scottish referendum had a relentlessly negative NO campaign that managed to squander a huge lead and only scraped home in the face of a relentlessly positive YES campaign.

          The UK referendum has a relentlessly negative Remain campaign, predicting the end of the world if we vote to leave, squandering a huge lead in the face of a relentlessly negative Leave campaign predicting the end of the Britain if we vote to stay.

          Both campaigns are lying through their teeth to create the biggest doomsday scenario in the minds of the voter. It is an unedifying contest that diminishes all of us. Worst of all, it’s not about what’s best for the UK; it’s about what’s best for the Tory party in its attempt to deal with Ukip and it’s own ultra-right wing.

          You may find it amusing to make light of the SNPs attempts to raise the game of the Remain campaign by, putting forward a positive argument, and to point out the possible democratic anomaly of Scotland being ripped out of the EU despite voting overwhelmingly to stay. I, and many others, are not laughing.

          1. Richard MacKinnon says:

            Me Bungo Pony,
            I dont want to insult you but I cant understand anything you say.
            Best regards,
            Richard

          2. Me Bungo Pony says:

            RMcK; not to worry. Your inability to understand my post, the article itself and the posts of others who disagree with you is clear to see in your own posts. Your own bias and smug self belief appear to have blinded you to that which is obvious to anyone with even the glimmerings of an open mind. Still, bash on 🙂

        3. They have a different political composition.

          One was a social movement aimed at self-determination.

          The others a right wing coup backed by tabloid media barons predicated on xenophobia.

          1. Richard MacKinnon says:

            They have a different political composition.
            One was a social movement aimed at self-determination.
            The others a right wing coup backed by tabloid media barons predicated on xenophobia.

            Editor,
            It needs to be pointed out; you are blinded by your bias. It appears that you cannot look at politics impartially because you are so commited to one cause, which is a pity because it distorts your view.
            The fact that this EU referendum has come about because members of the Conservatve Party pushed for it does not make it predicated on xenophobia. This is how democracy works as you well know. You believe strongly enough in something, you persuade others to the cause, you threaten to use your vote accordingly…. You know this Editor. I dont need to spell it out. It is not a right wing coup. That is a ridiculous accusation.
            If I follow your logic it appears that supporters of a political party you happen to disagree with automatically makes them a racist. That is a dangerously subjective position to take and is arguably in itself (to accuse others of xenophobia where none exists) a racist attitude.
            If there are owners of newspapers that have given their support to the holding of this EU referendum then that is their right to do so. It is exactly the same as it is your right through this website to support Scottish nationalism. That I have to point out this very basic fact is for me difficult to comprehend but it seems as if you dont see the similarity between a newspaper with political leanings and Bella Caledonia.

          2. Me Bungo Pony says:

            You really need to look beneath the surface RMcK. Your willful refusal to do so calls your credibility into question.

  3. S Tilbury says:

    I think it’s you who should take a look at yerself Richard, if you truly believe the Scottish independence campaign and this EU referendum campaign are remotely comparable.

    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      S.Tilbury,
      Ok, lets look and the similarities.
      Both referenda were promised by political parties (SNP and Torys) in their election manifestos. Both political parties won an overall majority in the relevent elections which enabled both parties to honour their manifesto commitment and both parties have delivered on their pledge.
      These are facts. All the rest is opinion.

      1. Gaelstorm says:

        Picking two facts out of many and suggesting they have the same value is dishonest. Mind you, that’s only my opinion.

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          Gaelstorm,
          Here is another similarity, both referenda are about independence.
          My opinion but both referenda have the establishment on the side of the staus quo.

          1. Me Bungo Pony says:

            The EU referendum has nothing to do with “independence” as the UK is already a sovereign, independent state. It is currently in a voluntary alliance with other sovereign, independent states in which it chooses to follow certain rules and regulations in some areas. In other areas it is completely free to do as it pleases. At any point, as a sovereign, independent state, it can choose to leave this voluntary alliance. As is evidenced by the unilateral decision to hold this referendum without the need to ask permission of the other sovereign, independent states.

            The Scottish referendum was about a state, that is completely subsumed within a union, seeking the same sovereign and independent status the EU member states (including the UK) currently enjoy. As unionists constantly point out, Scotland needs permission from the central govt to do this and cannot even ask it’s people the question without the consent of Westminster. As it cannot unilaterally leave the UK, Scotland is not currently a sovereign, independent state and the referendum was all about achieving that status. A true independence referendum.

            The claim that the EU referendum is about “independence” for an already independent state is frankly dishonest, puerile and pathetic.

      2. Mr T says:

        Corrected it for you….

        Both political parties were surprised to win an overall majority in the relevant elections, which bounced them into honouring the manifesto commitments that they had not believed they would have to follow through on.”

        🙂

  4. w.b.robertson says:

    The piece ends up warning that we will be out of Europe “against our will”. That is a joke. The ordinary workers have the chance to be consulted and they have sussed out the EU for what it is… a feather bedded bureaucracy set up for the benefit of global banks, giant conglomerates, German power seekers and French peasants. Free movement and open arms immigration feeds the system with cheap labour and drives down wages. Look around most of Europe and see the unemployed, at home study our own austerity ridden system 8 years after the banking collapse. The politicians are about to learn the old truism…you can fool some of the people some of the time but….etc etc…roll on the 23rd!

    1. Douglas says:

      What does the EU have to do with the banking collapse, which was a US and London based problem? And what does the EU have to do with Osborne’s austerity dogma? Nothing at all.

      The last time thing I remember. the EU were suggesting a tobin tax on all financial transactions and London, Osborne and the City pooh-poohed it.

      The idea that somehow voting to leave the EU will increase the rights of British workers is a delusional fantasy. The British worker has fewer industrial relations rights than his French or German counterpart….huh? How do you explain that one?

      And if you want to protect low paid workers, then increase the minimum wage….that is what it is to meant to protect workers against, wages being driven down….

    2. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Hard to see how “French peasants” are helped by “cheap Labour driving down wages”. I think you are just lashing out at things you don’t like. You are deluding yourself if you think the financial multi-nationals, big business and the power elite won’t rule the roost in a UK outside the EU. Be careful what you wish for.

  5. Tobes says:

    I am an NHS worker and I tell you a !of of senior nurses and doctors are from European countries… Cardiologists, eye surgeons, kids doctors. Specialist nurses, MacMillan etc each one of them here decades, families a here, kids in school, taxpayers, theatre goers, scout leaders, parts of society. Each one of them saved your, your moms, your kids lives, held them when born, when injured, when dying. Thousands, tens of thousands D’s, hundreds of thousands of your lives. I wonder … How do they feel about your rhetoric.

    1. Crubag says:

      In the short term there’s nothing to stop a points based system letting in highly skilled workers that we need – in the case of healthcare, as long as we have no moral qualms about asset stripping poorer countries.

      In the medium term we should train our own workers – there are plenty of people without work.

      That could even help improve patient safety, if we have more oversight of qualifications. The majority of doctors struck off the register qualified overseas…

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        Seriously Crubag! You think we can just take an unemployed oil worker or young job-seeker and stick them in an operating theatre? Even if we were to ignore their lack of qualifications, it would take years to train to a satisfactory level, which is not much good when you,ve just deported a significant number of NHS staff. Especially at a time when millions of UK pensioners find themselves unwillingly repatriated to the UK with all their health problems that are currently dealt with in their EU country of residence.

        1. Crubag says:

          Well, the SNP response to the decline in North Sea oil is to put the workers in the classroom!

          But medium term is five to ten years, plenty of time to train new doctors and nurses. And to lock graduates into working for the NHS for ten years or repay theor fees.

          Under a points based system we can still retain all the ex-pats we want, while we’re training up our own people.

          1. Me Bungo Pony says:

            You make a lot of assumptions in your proposed solution Crubag. Such as the EU nationals who will lose their automatic right to reside and work in Scotland actually wanting to stay after Brexit. Brexit will put the Scottish NHS under more strain than Scottish independence within the EU ever could. It is not completely insurmountable but there will be serious problems that will take many years to solve …. if they ever are.

          2. Crubag says:

            I think it is the money, rather than the weather, that attracts ex-pats to work in the NHS.

            Re post-independence Scotland in the EU, we would had to have applied after indicating we wanted to exit the UK.

            Given how long it takes to do these things, it’s possible we might have renegotiated while still inside the EU, but the SNP proposals wasn’t for full member state status – that would have required our own central bank and currency. Possibly we’d have ended up in a kind of Greenland/Denmark protégé/patron relationship.

  6. Mark Crawford says:

    Well, if Remain do win, then perhaps some independence supporters will take joy in seeing English and Welsh Labour begin to undergo the same process of Pasokification that all-but wiped out Scottish Labour after the No vote in 2014. I will take no joy in seeing that happen, but I’m sure some others will. In the event of a Remain vote, I predict we’ll see tens of thousands, driven by a reactionary resentment, signing up to join UKIP or a Boris-led Tory Party. There will never be another Labour government in Westminster, that’s for sure. So is that the plan, then?

    Seriously, check out what Jim Sillars has been saying on this topic. The man talks complete sense.

  7. Kenny says:

    I get very frustrated by the “let’s stay in and reform things from the inside!” argument that gets trotted out by a lot of Remain people, especially those who had a hand in our referendum. How many times did we all hear that argument from Labour – in fact, Gordon Brown has been using exactly the same rhetoric this week as he did two year ago! – and then dismiss it because we believe that the UK cannot be reformed from the inside. The monarchy, the House of Lords, the democratic deficit, England’s essentially right-leaning populus – they’re not going to change, no matter how much we hector or plead. If the EU were capable of change, it would have done it when the Irish people voted against the Lisbon Treaty. If it really valued democracy, it wouldn’t have imposed its own puppet government on Italy. If it were really about consensus, it wouldn’t have removed the veto power of every sovereign government.

    It’s mentioned elsewhere on this site, but it’s all right there in the first few lines of the Treaty of Rome: “ever closer union.” Once you sign up, you’re committed to an eventual United States of Europe. After that…can there be any closer union? Perhaps a unitary government in Brussels? There is no way to avoid it. The tracks were laid down almost 60 years ago and now the train just keeps rumbling on.

    The Euro was an obvious crisis waiting to happen. I remember my mum (who’s not at all economically-minded) saying at the time “how can a country like Greece possibly be tied like that to a country like Germany?” She got her answer, didn’t she? It turns out that Greece’s insolvency will be used to keep the Euro’s value down to protect German exports while it will be punished for the EU’s enthusiasm for unity which let it in in the first place when it clearly wasn’t ready. At the same time, French and German banks made a killing on grossly irresponsible lending to Greece but the idea of giving Greece a chance to recover seems anathema. Instead, there’s a massive brain drain ongoing while unemployment is sky high and public services are collapsing.

    The irony of all this is that instinctively, I WANT to be a European. My girlfriend is German and she’s moving here next month. I understand the motivation she and her compatriots have for supporting the EU and I like the idea of our little continent co-operating and working together on the big transnational issues, not to mention having the economic power to face down Russian aggression in eastern Europe. At the end of the day though, I’m finding it increasingly hard to justify the sacrifice of Greek young people and Italian democracy just to try and make it work.

    Ultimately I’ll probably vote to Remain because believe it or not, I think Osborne and Cameron are a slightly safer pair of hands than BawJaws, Gove and IDS. It will be with absolutely no enthusiasm though, and I think pinning our hopes of a second independence referendum on it seriously over-estimates the support that exists for the EU in Scotland. My suspicion is that for a lot of Scots, it seems basically inoffensive and we know that liking it will irritate the worst elements of English politics and media. I don’t think it will do us any good when it comes to a vote though. The enthusiasm of many for Britishness is FAR greater than any enthusiasm for being good Europeans. If anything, it might make things worse because the anti-Europeans are predominantly on the British side of our debate.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Despite my obvious Remain leanings, as evidenced by my previous posts on this thread, I pretty much agree with your post. I have always been pro-EU but the treatment of Greece made me think hard on it. I still intend to vote Remain despite the misgivings I have. If only because life in a neo-con UK outside the EU fills me with dread.

    2. John S Warren says:

      Writing as someone who can be accused of promoting “let’s stay in and reform things from the inside!” (see ‘Europe: finding a role or losing the plot?’ elsewhere on this site), I find I have much sympathy with many of the honestly expressed sentiments and conflicting tensions represented by this post.

      We are potentially at a ‘watershed’ moment in politics throughout the West. In our corner of the West, Britain can indeed ‘Leave’, and leave Europe in the lurch; but if this produces a chain-reaction that undermines the EU, I believe that Europe (and Britain) would be far worse, and worse-off: think of it in stark terms, if the EU did not exist, what would fill the vacuum in Europe left by its absence?

      Europe and the world would be a far more unstable and dangerous place if there was no EU at all. Given its many weaknesses which badly need reform, the EU is more than just a market-place, and still effectively represents all we have that draws a politically divided, often volatile (especially at its borders), and potentially unstable “Europe” together. The most important statement in the comment above, I think was “instinctively, I WANT to be a European” . You are a European, and quite simply the EU is all you (and all of us) have that represents that well-founded instinct.

      1. Crubag says:

        The eastward expansion has probably finished off the idea of a federal Europan Union for a couple of generations, these countries are just too different, too independent (Hungary!), and too Atlanticist.

        Folding them into Europan trade and defence alliances, at whatever depth, was still the right thing to do.

        I wouldn’t give up hope that one day even a reformed Russia might be incorporated.

  8. George Gunn says:

    Whatever happens the Tories win. Read John Warren’s article. This is close to a political coup. If the Labour Party die in England as a result of a Remain vote then the Labour Party, as in Scotland, have to ask themselves why? The pupose of this referendum is to ensure a Tory government in Westminster fo the foreseeable future. The establishmnet in London, of whatever hue, have been hostile to the European project from day one. They are cynical, self-serving and short term opportunists who will do anything and everything they can to destabilise European co-operation. An independent Scotland is the only way we can defend our future generations from the greedy horror of a Tory future. The uglier it gets the more obvious this becomes, and the ever more necessary.

  9. c rober says:

    Being in the EU , well it limits the number of Tories and their followers to make money , what really matter there is whether those in numbers that make money from it , by or with European exports is in the higher number… and of course that they know this , rather than believe the hype of grass is greener on the British Side of the fence or not.

    Of course political information is always bent by those with the biggest vested interests , rarely is the media owned by the masses , or free to take on that which is owned by billionaires or state… like the BBC.

    May I take a moment to explain something , even though I am pro Europe , I do think that the UK does not get a fair shake in certain scenarios. Banking , the near collapse of RBS that led to a partially state , taxpayer owned bank si one of them.

    RBS was forced to sell off assets , not just the bad ones (which someone somewhere made money from) , and it wasnt the taxpayer. Often this is trollied out that its purely EU legislation , however , not one single minsiter or MP has actually asked why Germany and France is somehow allowed to have state banks? And by state I dont mean the EU , but National level within it.

    IT has long been argued that industries , utils and banking had to open up , or privatise if state owned , for that market competition including adopting EU rules…. However has anyone actually looked at the state owned or part state owned industries , banks and utils in Europe?

    I hope this is an eye opener. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State-owned_enterprise#Europe , and in the case of Germany it doesnt list federal ownership , ie at super council level , including the pension funds of councils in VW and the like.

    Sell offs of Uk state , taxpayer owned companies , back to the taxpayer and hedge fund made people rich , and not the individual investor whom made pennies from a few hundred pounds.

    Now that there is nothing left to profit from through privitisation , the wealthy are looking for something new , or a change in the rules in their favour , and that will only happen with a Brexit. Especially so with low oil prices , and HS2 long waits driving up land and property values.

    The EU gave London a free go at being the banking capital of Europe , without any real competition inteference from the euro zone , other than with RBS when it was on the ropes. Now that Germany has an eye on FTSE , and if UK ends up outside of EU , then demise will be soon after….both for the EU and the UK , its a symbiotic , or parasitic relationship.

    However theres a scope for something different here , a protectorate , where Scotland can be in the EU , and England will not be , at least for exports.

    But I suspect that they would prevent that from happening , no not the EU but Westminster themselves, preferring instead to reuse Jersey , GIb and IOM as one person offices within the EU instead. Just like Apple etc do with ROI , Andorra and Lux for tax limiting already.

    But they may be on a sticky wicket with GIB , an EU exit means Spain will move in overnight or blockade the port , and well the UK will do nothing about its last rock of empire , that is unless there is a greater financial reason… bit like the Falklands really , and Spain backs Argentine claim there.

    The bigger question that also never gets brought in with any discussion in the media is TTIP , and despite being a pro europe kind of person , this is the one true reason to leave.

    The whole partnership is weighted towards America being the more equal partner , with reduced respsonsibility , and if the EU accepts that control/contract then they will suffer for it. Just ask Japan how their trade deal worked out over the last 30 years , or even China having to buy up American debt.

    Now that will make an EU worth leaving.

  10. Ronnie Morrison says:

    There has been more thought provoking comment in these responses than from either side in the mainstream media. Now that the outcome seems so finely balanced our individual votes suddenly seem more important.
    Like Kenny, I am deeply concerned that the EU is ultimately controlled by Big Business and the banks and there could be no better straw in the wind than the shameful treatment of Greece and the thinly veiled threat of similar consequences to other ‘independent’ states who find themselves indebted to the private mega-banks. It used to be that an out ok kilter Balance of Payments arose then it was fixed by a devaluation and reality prevailed.
    I believe the euro will either destroy the EU or convert what little democracy remains into an oligarchy. If this seems too strong then scratch the surface of the TTIP agreement currently being sold to member states by Brussels. That will enshrine Global Finance into the Constitution of Europe ahead of any democratic accountability.
    Whether or not such a scenario makes for a peaceful Europe I’m not so sure, but we can be sure that it will be a very right wing administration and a poor outlook for that elusive fairer society.
    It was a stroke of luck that the UK avoided the euro – you may recall that the Tories applied to join but the ERM rules defeated Sterling and Black Wednesday followed. As a result the UK now has its own financial oligarchy.
    Forgive me thinking out loud but I have to come down on the leave side and live in hope that some macro financial common sense will surface within the SNP and we can vote for Independence and financial sovereignty.

  11. Richard MacKinnon says:

    Mr/Ms. Me Bungo Pony,
    I am tired. I have had enough about constitutional legalities. You dont think this UK/EU referendum is about independence. I disagree. Voters that are about to vote, ‘Leave’ think its about independence. Independence from the EU. If you cant see this , I cant help you.
    With regards our referendum of 2014. The majority of Scots voted to stay in the the UK. This is a simple fact. I suggest you accept the laws of democracy: which are, if you participate in a vote you accept the result whether you voted for it or not.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      I can’t help what those who are intending to vote Leave have been duped into thinking by the likes of yourself. None-the-less, the UK has never ceased to be an independent state …. simple fact. This is NOT an independence referendum.

      It is, on the surface of it, to decide whether the UK remains an independent member state of the EU or not. But, whether you care to acknowledge it or not, the REAL reason we are having this referendum is the Byzantine internal politics of the Tory party, influenced by their desire to lance the UKIP boil on their back-side, their media allies and tax avoiding backers.

      As to the Scottish referendum, I have accepted the result. However, it being a democratic process, the result is not binding forever. Only until another democratic process overturns it (like general elections can overturn the result of the previous general election) …. if it ever does. I don’t know why unionists have such a problem with this simple democratic reality …. other than the fear of a Yes win …. in which case they will no doubt be clambering over themselves to find some undemocratic means of overturning the democratic result.

  12. Richard MacKinnon says:

    Unionists dont even need to bother voting in a second referendum. Why should they. They won the first.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      LOL!!! You really don’t get democracy do you 🙂

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