George Osborne – Are You Scared Yet?

I just sat through the Andrew Neil interview of Mr Osborne and am thinking that the end of the world is nigh…

I must admit I am more than a little bored of the rhetoric from both sides now and I hear I am not alone. Tonight Mr Osborne pushed me that little bit further away giving them the time of day.

I understand, and appreciate, that he may have a genuine passion for his beliefs but for me that is not at all how it came across. From where I sat it was nothing more than a blatant attempt to scare anyone listening into voting remain on the basis that if they did not their lifestyle would be lost forever in the biggest recession that had ever happened in the UK.

I thought Andrew Neil did a good job with the interview and he did an excellent job of pulling some old footage of Mr Cameron making various statements that he would now wish nobody had ever recorded. I chuckled as David told of how the UK would be OK outside of the EU and we did not need to be concerned. My chuckle picked up a notch to hear him say that he was going to Europe to negotiate free movement and that he would not be taking no for an answer. By the time he was declaring that he would stop child benefit leaving the UK and being sent home I was finding it hard to contain myself. But Mr Osborne just sat there and did his very best to defend his boss. He really didn’t seem to see the irony of it in the slightest. He was in complete denial and if I hadn’t of seen it I would have assumed he was deaf, blind and totally unaware of anything around him.

Anyone that watched that could not have seriously believed that he has any integrity at all. As far as George is concerned it does not matter in the least what promises his party have made, it does not matter how blatant the lies and how misleading the numbers. We just must do as he says because he has listened to a whole bunch of people that have never managed to get it right about the economy before. If we don’t, we face a 6% hit to growth (that is not as bad as the 7.2% we lost in GDP in 2008). Just to make sure he appealed to a wide enough audience he then claimed an 18% drop in house prices.

One thing that troubles me. Why do we need a chancellor that obviously could not run the UK budget post Brexit. He has made it perfectly clear that he feels a Brexit economy is beyond his capability.

Andrew Neil then drew his attention to a poster with his face on that had a backdrop claiming each household would be £4200 a year worse off after Brexit. He stood by this and made every effort to support the numbers even once it was pointed out that his own treasury has stated that the number should not be used as it was not at all representative of the facts.

Definitely a man you can trust then, a true man of integrity.

Just to balance the argument, Brexit have quoted a somewhat ambiguous number on the side of their bus. I am not defending it but at least I can see where it comes from.

If this is how the game will play out over the coming weeks then I think remain is digging an ever deeper burial pit for themselves. I hope that the public can see this for what it is and not be railroaded into a vote of fear. The tempo has been rising over the last week and it seems to be the remain campaign that is clutching at straws.

It seems unlikely to me that Brexit will come out of this on top for the same reasons that the Scottish referendum was lost. Many people will vote to stay because they worry that Brexit might change their way of life for the worst. I have heard a number of people quote some of the distorted remain campaign reasoning to qualify their intended action. Before you do the same just consider that a vote to stay does not mean a vote to stay the same. There are many things occurring in the EU that will affect life in the UK and the longer we stay the less recognisable the UK will become.

Whilst I support exit, I have friends that do not agree. All I hope is that everyone will look at the facts (if they can cut through the spin) and make their decision based upon their belief and not their fear. Whatever happens on June 23 2016 the country will still be here on June 24 and our elected leaders will do what they have been elected to do.

 

The £350 Million per Week Debate

I watched Mr Gove tonight on Sky News and was a little surprised at the reaction to the question asking him to explain the claim that £350 million a week is sent to the EU.

It would appear that this has touched a raw nerve with the electorate. After all, this number has been disputed and ridiculed by a large number of people on both sides of the argument.

So, I thought I might offer some words to hopefully clear up some of the ambiguity. First and foremost it is true that this is a gross figure. In a word that means it is the amount that we commit to up front. We receive a rebate on this and a portion of this money is also spent back in the UK on various subsidies such as farming. The nett figure is around half of the headline number and this is the amount that is left to pay after the numbers are adjusted.

It is true that if Brexit would have quoted the figure at £175 million per day then it would not be questioned now and would not be an issue. As Brexit have quoted the higher figure then it has created some distrust and this is unfortunate because the lower figure is not a true reflection of the cost. The rebate that we receive is not a given right and there are 27 countries in the EU that have to agree that we should carry on receiving it, only a fool would believe that it will always be there. And the money that is spent in the UK is also negotiable and we have no choice on where it is spent.

The best way I can think to describe it is that I am your energy supplier and I am going to charge you £350 a month for your energy. I will give you a monthly rebate of, say, £75 but I get to decide how long I will keep giving you the discount and how much I will give you. Your actual energy bill is £175 a month so I still have £100 of your money and I choose to give it to someone to come and clean you house for you. You have no say in what I spend it on but I have decided what is best for you. Oh, and next month I might decide that I am not going to pay for your cleaner anymore.

On this basis you are paying a gross amount of £350 but as the net amount is only £175 a month you should be grateful…

This is the difference between the numbers that Brexit have been touting and the numbers that people think they should of used. You make you own mind up, are you giving me £350 a month or is it only £175?

 

Does Anybody Know the Facts?

The Facts

If you are looking for facts on the EU referendum I fear that you are never going to find them. There is only one fact and that is, quite simply, that nobody knows the facts. It is in the interest of those that hold the aces to make it that way. It worked in the Scottish referendum and old dogs do not learn new tricks.

I genuinely would prefer to be a part of a collaborative group of countries that worked together as fair and beneficial trading partners. The fact is that the EU is striving to remove the partner element of this to become a single federalist entity. This really is a fact, the EU is not hiding anything and is heading ever closer to its unstated goal of becoming, essentially, the United States of Europe.

At the next general election who will you vote for? It is getting the stage where it really does not matter as the elected government is essentially only executing the directives that are issued from Brussels. A quick look through the upcoming intended legislation will show you that we are only going to see more of this in the next few years.


 

Remian

The Remain Campaign would have you believe that you can vote for the status quo. If we vote to stay then we are led to believe that we are voting for the safety of things remaining the same. This is a fatally flawed assumption as it does not need a great deal of insight to see that the EU is changing. Many European countries are struggling and the European Union has a ticking time bomb in the Euro. The economies of Greece, Italy, Spain and others are in turmoil and there is no end in sight. The UK has managed to distance itself from some of this by our abstinence from the Euro, imagine if that had been different. It is highly likely that the whole Eurozone will end up under a highly controlled Eurozone regulator that will remove the ability of the members to have any local control of their economies. If we stay will this end up as a millstone around our necks? Absolutely! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that an under-performing Europe will hold back the UK.

The Remains argue constantly that if we want reform we can only do it from within. This is just not true. Many years have been spent trying to change the direction of Europe. David went to the other European leaders to bring about just a few small changes and mostly failed when you look at what he actually achieved.


 

Brexit

The Brexit Campaign cannot answer the question on most people’s lips either. What will life be like after the EU? There is no definitive answer to this because the government never had any intention of this being a fair and reasonable contest. A responsible government would have explored options before a referendum was even called in the same way that a responsible government would be planning right now in case they do not get the answer that they want. But no, Mr Cameron does not even seem to have considered that he may not get his own way. Only a few months ago he was leading us to believe that he would lead the UK out of the EU if he could not negotiate a better deal. Today he tells us that leaving would be big mistake and that we would be taking a leap into the dark.


The £350M per Week

There has been much talk of the money that we pay to the EU from Brexit and much defence from Remain. It is true that the figure often quoted is a gross number and does not include the rebate that we receive or the money that is returned to the UK for various reasons such as the common agriculture policy payments made to our farmers and various other funds that are distributed. So it would seem that the number that should be discussed is our nett contribution? Well, not quite. We do receive a rebate, negotiated by our very own Iron Lady, but this is not a given right and is due for review in four years time. Of the cash that is returned to the country we have no say in where this goes and how it is used. How would you feel if your employer took a chunk of your wages and distributed it to things they thought were good for you?


The Economy

The stories of the economy crashing on exit is a complete scam. It is likely to have some impact until the dust settles but the smart money already knows that this is not going to happen. If it was really a likely scenario then the smart money would have already left. It has not…

The most likely outcome is that very little will change. It is not in anybody’s interest for the UK to totally detach from Europe. We are the world’s fifth largest economy and we consume a lot of product from Europe. Our financial markets are among the biggest in the world and we are not playing on a European stage but on a truly international one.

As part of the EU the UK can only ever hope to muddle along with it and stay at the front. By tying our future to the stagnant economies that for the EU it is unlikely that we can raise far above it. The EU may have 550 million consumers but they are not exactly affluent right now and  there are many growing economies that are not part of our club that we can not trade with without the rules imposed upon us by those looking after their own interests.


Immigration

The immigration figures last week were not what anybody wanted to hear. The truth is that the figures are probably a lot better than they could have been as they are not telling the whole story. The number of national insurance numbers that were issued in the same period is a much bigger number and gives a better idea about the number of new people that came to the UK to work. Of course, the details of this statistic is not available.