Friday, 16 December 2016

Striking over Christmas

Just to summarise, those striking over Christmas, in case you've lost count...
  • Southern Rail train drivers, because they don't want to close the doors,
  • Royal Mail, because they don't want to deliver the cards,
  • Airline check-in staff, because they don't want to check passengers in,
  • Baggage handlers, because they don't want to handle baggage,
  • Cargo crew, because with no passengers checked-in and no baggage there's nothing for them to do.
 I hope you were not planning to go somewhere this Christmas; no chance of that!

Friday, 9 December 2016

More enemies of the people

When the High Court ruled that Article 50 could not be triggered by the government purely on the strength of the democratically expressed will of the entire population, the Daily Mail called the judges "enemies of the people" - a phrase dating to Roman times but made chilling by the Soviet Union - enemies of the people, or state, tended to disappear.

Now we have more enemies of the people, this time the people of the Netherlands. A court near Amsterdam has found Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party of Freedom, guilty of "insulting a group" and "inciting discrimination". His "crime" was to ask a public meeting if they wanted more or less immigration from Morocco. When the audience came down on the side of less he offered to make that happen for them.

Wilders: Not much concerned

Having convicted Wilders of something that is not actually a crime the court could not bring itself to impose any form of punishment.

This apparent magnanimity is probably just self-preservation. The judges may have sniffed the air, noted Brexit, Trump, etc, and realised being on the wrong side of history could be bad for their health as some point in the future, so they just let hm go.

In the UK there has been some blow-back to people judging the judges by using such terms as enemies of the people. But what are you supposed to do? Just let them ignore the will of the people with no consequence? Government appointees such as High Court judges should not be able to overturn the will of the people. When there is such a wide gulf between the ruled and the rulers, the rulers must give way. That is democracy. Anything else is tyranny - no matter how impressive the perpetrators' wigs.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Achtung! Burka ist Verboten!

Can you believe the cheek of the woman?! Angela Merkel that is. First she lets a million hostile aliens into her country, but now she see an election on the horizon it's all ban the burka patriotism. 

Well this blog doesn't agree with banning the burka; no, we should ban the people wearing them. The Islamic religion itself is the problem; the oppression of women, the rejection of "man-made law" (what we like to call "democracy") the creep towards sharia - it all has no place in our country. We don't want it.

Banning the burka is treating the symptoms; instead treat the disease.

Monday, 5 December 2016

2017, year of elections

Next year we will have a general election in the Netherlands (March), a presidential election in France (April), a federal election in Germany (September) and now that the Italian constitutional referendum has returned a resounding "No" and the Prime Minister has announced his resignation there will most likely be a general election in Italy, probably in March next year.

That's a lot of voting and in each country there is a growing Eurosceptic party snapping at the heels of the establishment. By the end of 2017 the European political landscape could look very different from now.

How the rich get richer

The difference between "rich people" and everyone else is that while ordinary people have income and own assets the rich have "capital". Capital is a productive asset which returns a yield. Now even low yielding capital such as FTSE100 shares have an average yield of 4% (on top of which the owner may get capital growth) while the economy is growing in the 2-3% range.

This means that provided the yield is re-invested into capital the capital owner will own an ever increasing share of the economy with every passing year.

He could even skim off 1% and still increase his share of the pie.

That is why the rich get richer.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Autumn statement, 2016

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has just delivered his first, and last, Autumn Statement to Parliament. Last, because as he announced to a laughing House, future Autumn Statements will actually be Budgets and the Spring Budget will be a Statement.

This is actually a sensible measure. The Budget will be delivered in November and the new rules will then start April next year. So businesses will have a few months to prepare for the changes. The current scheme was invented by Gordon Brown so he could get his face on TV twice a year. It was never a good idea.

Hammond: "Borrow, borrow, borrow."

He spoke for a mere 51 minutes during which he cut taxes (well, froze fuel duty for the seventh year running) and sprayed £23bn of investment money all over the country. The other nations all got raises - Scotland will get £800m more a year (the SNP responded with a stony silence.) Roads, bridges, railways will all get funded. Affordable houses will get built all over the shop; and they will all have ultra-fast internet connections. (Hammond said they will have "5G" connections, but that is a mobile phone standard so he may be slightly confused about the technology.)

The cash unfortunately is going to be borrowed. The government will be borrowing £68bn this year and will continue borrowing at least until the year 2022. The government can no longer forecast when it will stop borrowing. Likely the national debt will be over two trillion by the next election in 2020.

There were some tax rises: insurance premium tax will rise from 10% to 12% and the "salary sacrifice" tax dodge is to be abolished. The triple lock on pensions is good for now but may be lost in the next parliament.

By 2020 the tax free threshold will be £12,500 and the higher rate won't cut in until you're earning £50,000 (currently it's £45,000.)

There will be a new NS&I 3-year bond paying 2.2% with a maximum subscription of £3,000. (Big deal, not!)

Shadow Chancellor replied pointing out that growth was down, investment was down and only borrowing was up. Real wages, he said, have not increased since 2008. He then spent the rest of his time moaning about Brexit.

 McDonnell: "Borrow even more."

To summarise: borrowing continues, austerity continues, but Philip Hammond seems to have a lower-key style about him than previous Chancellors and is less prone to showboating; which must be a good thing.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Frexit one tiny step nearer

The former French President, Nicholas Sarkozy's, ambition to the return to the Elysee Palace in France's general election next year has failed. He has stood down after coming third in the primary voting. This is good news for one Marine Le Pen - leader of the French Front National  - because it means instead of going up against centre-right Sarky she will be up against centrist Francois Fillion. The further to the left her opponent is the more votes she can vacuum up.

That said, Fillion is not very far to the left. He supports tax and spending cuts, a longer working week (up to 39 hours!) a higher retirement age (up to 65!) and opposes adoption by same-sex couples, quelle horreur!

So the alt-right trifecta of Brexit, Trump and Le Pen is on the cards. And Mme Le Pen has promised the French a referendum on membership of the European Union. The French presidential election is about three months away so with a following wind Frexit may have started before Brexit is complete.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Their Lordships' opinion is wrong

The judgment of the High Court in the matter of the UK leaving the EU can be read in its entirety here.

The last paragraph is the most significant:

In their prior argument the judges state that leaving the EU will result in British citizens losing certain rights, and only Parliament can take away people's rights. Clearly none of us would want to have a system where the government could cancel your rights by decree.

But the judgment is none-the-less flawed, because Parliament is not the supreme sovereign law-making body: the People are. Parliament derives its authority by being elected by the People and is therefore subordinate to the People collectively.

Their Lordships are wrong because they give no weight to the Will of the People as expressed by Referendum. In voting for Leave the People have voluntarily given up such rights that they may lose in the process (and of course, depending on negotiations they may not actually lose any rights) so the government is not cancelling rights by decree but rather is exercising a power conferred by the referendum.

Some might argue that since the Referendum Act which brought about the referendum does not confer such a power, the power does not exist, but that is to make the same mistake twice. Parliament cannot confer power on itself; nor can it remove power from the People. Once the referendum has happened and the Will of the People expressed, the matter becomes decided and Parliament is bypassed because of its inferior status.

This blog rules that the Secretary of State does have the power to trigger Article 50.

 There are a couple of other interesting points:

1) The Court is the High Court of England and Wales, its judgments do not apply in Scotland. The Secretary of State (for Brexit, David Davis, MP) could still trigger Brexit from Scotland. However the government intends to appeal to the UK Supreme Court - which does cover Scotland. So if they lose there that option goes away.

2) The judgment only binds the Secretary of State; the Prime Minister still has a free hand. However, it not likely she will defy the Court by doing the deed. No, her plan is likely: appeal to the Supreme Court, and if that fails, pass an Act in Parliament, and if that fails - General Election.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Bonfire night is coming

Three High Court judges have listened to a case brought by two South American immigrants and agreed with them that the will of the British people means sufficiently little that parliament must decide if and when Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty can be triggered by Her Majesty's Government.

This is outrageous for two reasons. First, it was made abundantly clear before the referendum that the result was binding and a Leave vote would be acted on soon afterwards. PM David Cameron said he would trigger Art 50 immediately after the vote, but instead he quit.

Second, who are these people who went to court to trample on the democratically decided will of the British people? Let us look at them first.

Gina Miller: This plaintiff is quite well known in the UK. She is an immigrant from Guyana, South America, a former model who has snagged herself a (white) investment banker husband and is now splashing the cash on expensive court cases. She has said that Brexit made her "feel sick."

Deir Dos Santos: This co-plaintiff is more obscure. He is a hairdresser immigrant from Brazil, but how and when and why he came to the UK is not known. He may not even be a British citizen; there is no requirement to be a British citizen to use the British courts.

So we have two people with no British ancestry attempting to steer the future of our country. They are lauded by a fat-cat human-parasite elite who live the good life on tax-payer cash, either directly, or laundered through the EU.

One could speculate that both the plaintiffs have no real patriotic feelings towards the UK which they regard as a stepping stone into Europe and their dislike of Brexit is not because they think of it as bad for the country, but rather it is bad for them as immigrants.

So far the plaintiffs are winning the case. The High Court judgment is not final though. In December the government will appeal to the Supreme Court. This is one of several possible ways ahead the government could have taken, these being:

  • Ignore the court ruling on the ground that the court had exceeded its powers in dictating to the executive.
  • Put a three line motion to Parliament and so satisfy the court ruling. Rt Hon John Redwood MP has a suggested motion on his blog. He reckons it would pass.
  • Get a whole new Act of Parliament underway. The text of a suggested Act is available here.
  • Appeal to the Supreme Court. This is where we approach fantasy land because if the Supreme Court denies the appeal the government could in theory appeal again to the European Court of Justice.
  • Use another body to trigger Art 50, eg an Order in the Privy Council.
  • Blow up parliament followed by civil war.

PM Theresa May's decision to go the appeal route is correct (at least according to this blog) because had they gone the 'ignore' route there would have been continual legal challenges which would have caused the whole process to grind to a halt.

A 'motion in parliament' may seem quite quick and painless but if it fails to pass then there is a real problem. With parliament is no longer governing according to the will of the people there would have to be a General Election.

A new Act could be blocked in the Lords and would require months for all the readings and to-and-froings between the chambers.

So kicking the can down the road to December 7th, with a judgment in early 2017, seems like the easy way out for now. Of course if SCOTUK (if the Americans can have SCOTUS we can have SCOTUK) rules against the government then the issue blows up again - then we would need the motion in parliament, possibly followed by a General Election.

Incidentally, a General Election would be good for the Conservatives; Labour are in complete disarray so this court ruling could be just the shot in the arm UKIP need to seize a swath of Labour constituencies. We could expect the Tories to increase their majority considerably and many Brexit-friendly MPs to enter parliament.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Still supporting Trump

Some might think that Trump is no longer a contender; with his sex-party youth (with hints but no more than hints of underaged girls) a friendship with convicted billionaire pedo Jeffrey Epstein; and his p*ssy-grabbing ways, Trump might be considered someone who cannot be supported anymore.

And it's true that these are all disturbing allegations. Also against him are the undisputed facts that many of his businesses have undergone bankruptcy leaving him richer but others poorer.

Unfortunately there are no good options, only a bad and a worse. Hillary would be the end of America. She has sold out to the enemies of the Western world. She follows the Democrat model of: if you cannot persuade the voters to support you get different voters. Far from "building a wall," she will seek to replace white, protestant America with third-world hoards. 

Any country is really just its people. The Germans in Syria would build BMWs and eat wurst; the Syrians in Germany will continue their sectarian wars and reduce the place to rubble. The America that conquered the West, put a man on the Moon, and invented the internet, is to be replaced with a population that will give Hillary eight years in the White House and leave crime-ridden scorched-earth behind. Hillary does not care - she works for the enemies of America; not for the Americans who elect her.

Trump is flawed, but instinctively right, and so outspoken there will be no secrets. If he gets lucky with an intern in the Oval Office, there will be no, "I did not have sex with that woman," cover-mouth, rub-nose, twitchy-mouth;  no, Trump would just brag about it. There will be no need for secret email servers because Trump tweets his innermost thoughts when bored at 3am. (Seriously, his day tweets are sensible policy comments by his staff, his night tweets are him, a mug of Horlicks and a cell phone.)

So Trump is both right, and harmless. Hillary is a traitor to her country, hated by everyone who ever worked with her, and willing to sacrifice the future of 330 million US citizens just so she can have a few short years at the top of the heap.

It has to be Trump.

Welcome to the Promised Land

You left your desert abode, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan but what you always claim to be war-torn Syria and walked across Europe, kicking down the fences in your way, you and your fraternal co-religionists, looking for the Promised Land of free money, free housing and easy girls. You scorned Greece, Italy and France as you passed through them and refused to be turned away from the prize at the end of the rainbow. 

In the Jungle at Calais they told you: tear up your ID and claim to be only seventeen. Despite being in your thirties with wife and kids back home you  did just that and they put you on a bus to your Shangri-La... Lunar House, Croydon, England...

Lunar House, Croydon

They unload you in the parking lot....

The parking lot

Does it seem so nice now?

Don't worry, it's only a side trip to collect your paperwork; after that you will get lodged with a foster family and since you are only seventeen you will get put in a school and can sit next to underaged girls.

After a couple of years they will let you bring your wife and kids in legally; to meet the the new kids you have made here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Look, a seventeen-year-old

Is this fellow seventeen, or younger even?

Seriously?! Because that is what he is claiming. Facial recognition software says he's 38. And David Davis MP says he needs a tooth x-ray before we let him in.

This blog says, why are we letting in "refugees" of any age? They are as safe in France as they would be in the UK, and France has already tacitly admitted them because they have lived in the "Jungle" at Calais for years. They should stay in France. Pity the poor foster parents, signed up to give a home to a 10-year-old, who will have these refugees lodged with them. And to maintain the fiction he is going to have to go to school and sit next to actual seventeen-year-olds. The teachers are not going to be amused.

And if they were really children it would actually be worse. French cities are awash with immigrant children, generally mid-teens, that the police won't touch, because if they ever did arrest one they would never be able to locate the parents and so have to find a home for him or her. So these kids roam the streets, robbing with impunity.

In taking any at all, Prime Minister Theresa May has scored a 'fail'. Maybe David Davis would have made a better leader.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Pot, kettle, black

When your husband is a serial rapist and you have spent the last 30 years covering up for him it is not a good idea to call someone out on some crude 'locker room' banter.

Just sayin'....

Monday, 3 October 2016

Deutsche Bank in numbers

Deutsche Bank, market cap $18 bn has been hit with a fine for $14 bn from US Justice Dept for its role in the 2007/8 subprime financial crisis. This poses an existential threat to the bank and its share price has dropped from around €30 a year ago to €10 now.

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel was asked if the German government would bail out the bank she mumbled something inaudible.

Her problem is twofold: first, she is already massively unpopular for letting in a million refugees, she cannot afford the extra opprobrium flinging taxpayer cash at a bank would bring, and second, she does not have that kind of money anyway. Deutsche Bank has assets equivalent to 50% of German GDP but liabilities four times the German economy! Germany simply cannot save the bank with money.

All this makes Deutsche a way bigger deal than Lehman Brothers and therefore far too big to fail. This is good news for the bank and its 100,000 employees worldwide. The other piece of good news is that the Germans have the Yanks over a financial barrel - a few years ago the Germans asked for the few hundred tons of gold they were storing in Fort Knox back and the Americans were like, "Oh crap!"

The Germans wisely downplayed the situation which now gives them leverage: expect the $14 bn fine to evaporate like morning dew - already they are saying maybe we only meant $5 bn and easy payment terms can surely be arranged, and the fine can be offset against tax and before you know it - all gone.

Then as confidence returns the market cap shoots up and the whole situation begins to look quite minor really. Disaster averted!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Jerermy Corbyn's constituency to be abolished

There is a most mysterious drift which causes people to relocate from Labour constituencies to Tory ones. And since constituencies are all supposed to have the same number of electors in them (75,000)  this means that from time to time the boundaries have to be redrawn by the completely apolitical Boundary Commission.

But for decades governments have been delaying the inevitable. Tony Blair didn't want to do it; nor did Gordon Brown, The Lib Dems blocked the 2010-2015 coalition government from doing it. Post-2015 David Cameron was on track to do it and Theresa May has continued that policy.

But with a 20 year backlog the redrawing required to equalize the districts is now quite extreme. The smallest area is Wirral West (Lab) with 54,000 voters and largest, at nearly double that, is the Isle of Wight (Con) with 105,000 voters.

That means the people of the Wirral have double the representation of the Islanders, which is hardly democratic.

Most amusingly, the proposed changes abolish Jeremy Corbyn's constituency of Islington North (68,000 voters.) In a typically brain dead socialist fashion JC intends to argue his constituency deserves to survive because the poor people who live there have "more complex needs." Why more complex needs justify over-representation he does not say.

If he fails to save Islington North one expects he'll find it quite easy to get another berth though. He has a lot of support on the ground.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

BBC spinning hard on trade talks with Oz

BBC reporters are all over the allegation that Australian trade minister Steve Ciobo is implying that Australia will put the UK to the back of the line for a trade deal - as Obama was persuaded to say, by PM Cameron five minutes prior to his Downing Street speech. This morning BBC Radio 4 ominously intoned that the Australians were planning to put the UK behind the EU when doing a deal.

Ciobo: "We'll do a deal or I'll slit my own throat."

But listen carefully to what the Oz minister actually said without the spin and it comes out as: the UK government has told me that they won't be in a position to sign a deal for about two and half years.

So the delay is not on the Oz side, it's all on the UK side. (And the timescale is correct: invoke Article 50 Q1 or Q2 next year then there's the infamous 2 year cooling off period - so it's true what he said.)

But the Beeb love to spin it as "Brexit bad!"|

Monday, 5 September 2016

Vaz going on?

In the past this blog has had occasion to revile Nigel Vaz MP (sometimes he likes to be called "Keith", other times "Big Jim - washing machine repair man") as he fails the "Savile test" - the instinctive feeling there is something wrong with a person but other people don't seem to notice it.

And now a sordid tale of washing machines, poppers, love nests and Romanian rent boys has come to light and Nigel is considering whether he is really the right man to be Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee; with all the telling off of top police officers and senior civil servants that entails. Now the curtain has been whisked away and a hypocrite is revealed for all to see.

Jimmy says: "Pop some poppers in my frog-like face!"

Ironically the last time this blog mentioned Vaz is when he visited Luton airport to check out immigrant Romanians (only one there; rather ropy old fella; should have used Grinder) and the time before that was when his mortgage outgoings were found to be seven times higher than his salary

There are also unanswered questions about his stewardship of the funds of a Diabetes charity and exactly where the money to buy the £400K flat and pay the male prostitutes came from.

Let us hope that we have now heard the last of Nige and he retires from public life. He is just an embarrassment to parliament and the country.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Base rate down by and to 0.25%

Unbelievable but true, the BoE has just reduced the base rate. The graph now looks like this...

If you saw that in a hospital you'd say that patient is definitely dead. And that's not all, the Bank of England has announced additional measures:

  • £60bn more QE taking the total to £435bn - so about a quarter of our two trillion national debt  is funded by 'printed' money.
  • Another 'funny' £10bn will be used to buy corporate bonds to pump money into the country's biggest companies.
  • There will be a $100bn funding scheme for banks which is conditional on them passing the base rate cut through to customers - ie, banks get bribed. This is like the old Funding for Lending Scheme only with extra conditions. The FLS is the main reason savers get such a bad deal - the banks don't need their money, the BoE is printing money and giving it to the commercial banks. (Alright, lending it, strictly speaking.)

The whole plan seems to be to pump up indebtedness even further. The plan relies on the premise that people will take on as much debt as they can afford so debt needs to be made more affordable to keep the economy moving.

The plan is of course massively inflationary, but the inflation will mainly occur in asset prices (stocks, bonds, houses) which are not counted in the indexes so the BoE will be able to claim low inflation has been maintained.

And this is only the second last cut. Mark Carney, guv'nor of the BoE reckons he can squeeze out another cut down to just above zero before he is done.

Which does raise the question: can they go negative? The answer is: probably not. In theory it is doable, there are countries with negative rates, but you also have to consider what the public will wear. Applying negative interest to bank deposits could trigger a bank run as people decide just to keep their cash at home. After Northern Rock no one in government has any appetite for that.

Read the inane words of Mark Carney here.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

France at war

Well, that didn't take long. Earlier today two or three muslims entered a Catholic church in Normandy and butchered an 84-year-old priest in a Halal-compliant manner (basically, throat cut while chanting Allahu akbar.) 

The French president visited the area and said quite explicitly - France is at war. So that's official then.

How they will pursue the war is not obvious. They do have their aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaule in the Gulf attacking ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq, but how do they conduct the war on French soil?

During WW2 'aliens' were interned, for example the USA rounded up all Japanese people in the States, including those with US nationality, and kept them in camps for the duration of the war. Individually they may have done nothing wrong, but collectively they could not be trusted. And to be fair, America experienced almost no attacks from Japanese in the continental United States. The policy worked.

Does France have the will to intern its muslim population? They already live in distinct areas called banlieux, roughly "suburbs". At the moment inhabitants are given free rein to travel in the rest of France - that would have to change. Most likely President Hollande does not have what it takes to make that happen. But there are elections next year and a certain Madame Le Pen would have - and the more these attacks keep happening the closer she gets to the Elysee Palace.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Now bordering on open warfare

Islamic terrorism is coming thick and fast, and mainly in Germany, which is not surprising since Merkel invited in a million "refugees". 

In recent weeks we have had:

At some point we are going to have to acknowledge that this is now an open war. We have known the war was coming for years (see posts on this blog going back to 2008) but now it seems to have come.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary

How amazing is that? Just to recap, that Gove cove who was running Boris's campaign for the leadership of the Conservatives quits and says he is running himself and Boris, instead of batting Gove off like the no-hope political mosquito he is and soldiering on, comes back with: Oh no, I'm out, I'll support Theresa May instead.

Next thing you know Boris, who has never held any sort of government job before, however menial, is Foreign Secretary. Spooky, almost like there was some sort of a deal.

His appointment is actually inspired though. He gets the plushest office in Whitehall; his life will be constant first class travelling, wining and dining and glad-handing foreign Johnnies. The job calls for no talent whatsoever so he will struggle to mess it up. 

And best of all, he will probably not be allowed to keep his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph so Theresa May has just handed him a £250,000pa pay cut.

Boris: Woe is me, I'm so poor!

There is just one little downside: the buffoon is now in charge of both MI6 and GCHQ!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The right woman got the job

Neither Theresa May nor Andrea Leadsom were entirely right for the job of Prime Minister but of the two it had to be May. 

Leadsom it turns out was a bit of shell, a person of no substance. One could imagine that such career success she has had has been down to her now faded looks; she is the sort of woman one hires to decorate the office, but not the sort entrusted with anything serious. Sometimes a job title doesn't tell you whether a person is doing the work or just filling the suit, and Leadsom it seems can handle a sharp suit.

Her first big mistake was giving an assurance that all EU citizens in the UK would be allowed to remain; two problems with this: first, we must have reciprocal assurances from other countries for our own citizens abroad before we agree that, and second, some of the gains of Brexit cannot be achieved unless we rid ourselves of a significant tranche of immigrants. We have five million un- or under-employed citizens and freeing up jobs for them will be a big win from leaving the EU. It will convert them from benefit recipients to taxpaying workers; everyone wins (except the displaced migrants.)

Her second mistake was to walk into a trap carefully laid by the May team. Theresa May's advisers figured out early on that Leadsom was baby bonkers: they probably got the hint when Leadsom entitled her leadership hustings speech "Brussels, Bankers and Babies" and then focused rather a lot on the babies including advice on how to massage their brains. May dutifully gave an interview in which she regretted her childlessness. Leadsom blundered straight into the minefield and claimed May was unsuitable for leadership because she did not have children. The May side then replied with synthetic outrage which dominated the headlines for a day or so. Leadsom compounded her error by claiming she hadn't said what was reported, but the tape proved she had. 

So Leadsom fell by the wayside and we have May. The manner of her ascension proves that she has the "right stuff" to represent us in the Brexit talks and anecdotal accounts indicate she is a tough negotiator. The only problem is - she is not a man. She is not going to be taking Jean-Claude Druncker to Spearmint Rhino and extracting concessions from him while he stuffs angel dollars down a cleavage. All her negotiating is going to be done the hard way, around the conference table. But apparently she is good at that.

Friday, 8 July 2016

EU Article 50 invocation after 31st March 2017

Various commentators seem to be suggesting that after the 31st of March 2017 (next year) invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to exit the EU will cease to be an automatic right for all EU member states and will require a qualified majority vote (QMV) in the European Council. 

In other words, we had better have triggered Brexit by then or we may not be able to. And other countries wanting to leave in the future may find it much harder than us.

But is this analysis true? Here is the full text of the Lisbon Treaty, you work it out...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Andrea Leadsom falls at first hurdle

For a day or two she was looking good. Unlike front-runner Theresa May, Leadsom has adequate Eurosceptic credentials; adequate but not perfect, she saw the light late in life - the  EU problem has been obvious to many of us for decades. She converted in 2013. However she was a Leaver during the campaign, which is good enough.

But then, just as she was looking like a contender, she went and said all Europeans already living in the UK will be allowed to stay here. She gave away too much too fast and showed she cannot be trusted as a negotiator. It sounds all nice and cozy to give reassurance to immigrants already here...but, big but, what about British citizens living abroad? There are half a million Brits in Spain; a quarter of a million in Ireland, two hundred thousand in France, a hundred thousand in Germany, and another two hundred thousand dotted around the other EU countries. Did Leadsom secure their position before conceding the point? No, she did not.

Naturally, like every other aspect of our relationship with the EU there is a massive imbalance. We have about 1.2 million citizens in the EU and they have about 4 million citizens here, so the power is all with us, just like it is in the trade arena.

This blog is happy to keep many of the EU citizens already here; even to operate completely open border with many Western European countries (France, Germany, Spain, the low countries, etc) but not for free. This concession should come at a price. There are things we will want from the those counties, starting of course with security of tenure for our own citizens abroad.

Does Andrea Leadsom not see this as a vital point? If not, she is not qualified for the top job.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Dail Mail journalistic standards very low

Check out the headline on this Daily Mail article....

and then further down the article you have this...

Bizarrely the body of the article does not reflect the fact that Boris has thrown in the towel, even though the headline does.

The offending hack seems to be James Tapsfield, Political Editor. He should be ashamed; the average blogger does better.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Iain Duncan Smith for Tory leader

Who is he? It's the bald one. Does that help? Not the obvious candidate, but IDS could be a good choice for Tory leader. He's done the job before, in opposition, and by general consensus did it badly, but that is because he is boring and opposition needs a dynamo who is continually in the government's face.

Boring but dependable

IDS has done well in the Brexit campaign. He has been eurosceptic since the year dot unlike certain blond buffoons who jumped on the issue recently when it looked like it could make him Prime Minister. IDS has caring credibility, he resigned from the cabinet over proposed cuts to disability benefits. It also helps that he is not Eton and Oxford and has had a real job before politics. He studied in Italy (opinions vary as to exactly where in Italy but it was definitely in Italy  so "Foreign Experience" on the CV) and he was in the army and did tours in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia. 

He is still boring of course but now might be the time for a boring person. He is also a bit thick, but provided he is well advised he should be able to handle the Brexit negotiations and heal the rifts in the party.

Nominations close in 24 hours. He'll need to move fast if he wants the job. At the moment he is not even being talked about.

Friday, 24 June 2016


Free at last?! Brexit has been chosen 52% to 48% and the Prime Minister has said he will quit by October - ironically, just last week he was telling us, "Don't be a quitter." He also predicted World War Three (or was it Zee?) so maybe he is quitting so he has more time to stock up on tins of beans and loo rolls. It remains to be seen if he will take George "Emergency Budget" Osborne with him.

The result was close and not predicted, even Nigel Farage threw in the towel after the polls closed yesterday evening before grabbing it back later in the night. The reason "Leave" won is quite subtle and not being reported at the moment. As can be seen from the early Sunderland result, it's differential turnout. In a normal election nice middle-class people pop along to the polling station and make their cross. This means a 60% turnout is considered good. Yesterday though, voters were flocking in from the council estates in greater numbers than ever before. Turnout shot up past 80% in some areas and needless to say it is this kind of person who is most affected when immigration causes rents to rise and wages to fall. So the unwashed voted Leave, and now the Guardian-readers are squealing foul. It is no foul though; it is the genuine will of the people.

Indeed 52% is an under-representation of the true native British desire to leave the EU. There was a big Scottish Remain vote which was more of an anti-English vote than an anti-EU vote. They don't like the EU anymore than the rest of us but the opportunity to prod the English was too good to miss. Call it the "Mel Gibson effect".

And in London, 60% of the massive five million strong electorate voted Remain. But 60% of Londoners are immigrants, born abroad but with UK citizenship now, and their instinct is to weaken British sovereignty as native Brits are seen as the enemy who might at any point suddenly object to their country being invaded. They see a weaker Britain as better for them.

It was noticeable during the campaign that Leave proponents were the smarter, cleaner-cut set, exemplars being MEPs Nigel Farage and Dan Hanan, journalist Julia Hartley Brewer, writer Louise Mensch and Colonel Tim Collins, while Remain were a collection of scruffy freaks such as Eddie Izzard, Bob Geldorf and Jeremy Corbyn, as well as innumerable short, fat and largely indistinguishable and incomprehensible Scottish ladies. Leave was led by higher IQ, better educated people than Remain, and yet the great bulk of Leave's support came from ordinary working men and women. The British class system does contain an unwritten, and largely invisible to outsiders, compact in which the upper echelons look out for the less lofty. Toffs who honour the contract get rewarded with great loyalty; scruffs who somehow achieve a high position don't even realise the contract exists and get grudging support  because they claim to be from the working class. Yesterday's result was the product of old fashioned patricians who have nothing personally to fear from the EU doing their duty and looking out for those who do have a lot to lose.

The result provoked predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth at the BBC, in Brussels and wherever the Bilderberg HQ is. It was gleefully reported that the Pound had fallen to its lowest level against the USD since 1985. By this morning though it was at its lowest level since last week. Likewise the FTSE 100 was back up in its normal trading range by mid-morning after a low start.

So what of the future? What is likely to happen and what would we like to happen?

Well, here are a few new words for your vocabulary: Frexit, Nexit, Swexit and possibly Dexit and Itexit. These refer to France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Italy leaving the EU. As predicted by many, not least this blog, Brexit seems likely to cause a rush for the door. We have shown the way, others want to follow. In Italy "leave" is running at 50%, in Sweden some polls have it at 60%. Throughout the referendum campaign Remainers would challenge Leavers to name the model they wanted, the options mainly being the Swiss Model or the Norwegian Model - neither model being ideal. They both involve being swamped by immigrants for starters. 

It seems likely that the way ahead is the 'British Model'. What that is remains to be worked out, but when figured out it is likely other leaving countries will follow the British model. Yanis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister for a few months last year slash bike-riding rock-god voiced the fear that Brexit would cause the EU to fracture along the Rhine. Although it's a fear for him, to this blog that sounds like quite a good thing. The Western European countries are not really the problem. What we need is an a la carte (see, using French, not a complete Little Englander) association which allows each member to pick from a grid of options. Down the side of the grid are the nations of Europe and across the top the options such as free trade, free movement, common currency, shared fishing, etc. Tick what you want. Free movement would not be a problem with France, Germany, Sweden and other such countries, free trade would be fine with countries further East, and this blog would only endorse a shared currency with the Republic of Ireland (and Scotland were they to quit the UK.) Other European nations may wish to tick other boxes, so let them. There is no harm to us.

It is possible though, that no other "exit" movement will be successful and we will end up dealing with the EU as a monolithic bloc. So be it. In that case we will have to be more restricted in the deals we do. It is not the end of the world. In fact there is a big old world out there and plenty of opportunity.

It is now only the morning after the night before; very early in the Brexit process. At this point all we can say with complete confidence is that the future will be interesting.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Orlando, America's biggest ever mass killing

So says all the media everywhere. But that is complete BS. In April 1993, at Waco Texas, eighty-two people died, some shot by the ATF, others burned in the fire they started. Going further back, in December 1890, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, three hundred unarmed Indians, the majority women and children, were killed by the 7th Cavalry.

So Orlando is only the biggest ever mass killing if you don't count the government.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Concealed carry

On Sunday last, 29-year-old homosexual muslim Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, armed with a semi-automatic rifle of a type generally known as an AR-15 and a Glock 17 pistol; killed 49 people and injured another fifty-three. Some patrons of the nightclub saved themselves by pretending to be dead. Mateen walked around making sure people were dead and one survivor related how he lay on the floor and did not flinch when Mateen shot him in the arm and the side so he would look dead.

In this respect the situation was similar to the attack on the Bataclan theatre (Paris, France) in November last year. Three gunmen entered the theatre and killed 89 people using AK-47s. Some people survived by lying on the floor and pretending to be dead.

What all the victims of both incidents had in common is that they were not armed. They did not have the option to shoot back.

In both cases, and especially the Orlando case, even a small number of people exercising their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms (or French equivalent) would have saved a large number of lives. Law-abiding citizens who carry guns are almost always better trained and more competent gun handlers than terrorists. The good citizen who buys his first gun will typically also buy some lessons in how to use it; will go to a range to hone accuracy, and acquire some snap-caps (blank ammunition) so he or she can safely practise loading and unloading, drawing and re-holstering until it goes into muscle memory and becomes second nature. Terrorists, on the other hand, just spray and pray.

In the Orlando case, Mateen's rifle jammed and there was an opportunity for an armed person to intervene, but no-one did, because they could not.

We are gradually entering a world in which not being armed will be considered irresponsible.

Friday, 10 June 2016

EU cost of membership

People seem to be hung up on the EU membership fees. "Leave" say it's £350m per week, enough to build a new hospital every week, "Remain" come back with, we get half of it back in the form of rebates and grants, to which "Leave" retort, half isn't nearly enough and the EU uses the grants to fund vanity projects and effectively bribe prominent people, especially lefty arty people, to promote the EU cause.

However £350m per week (or £18bn a year) is not the big number in this debate. A few years ago the Institute for Fiscal studies (IFS) calculated that the total compliance cost imposed on us by EU legislation is £120bn per year, or more than £2bn per week! This is the amount the UK public sector and private sector combined must find to comply with EU law.

When you consider that 95% of British businesses have no trade with Europe at all, for most this is a completely unnecessary burden. This is the big financial win from Brexit, not saving the measly £350m.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Clearly racist

The above poster, issued by Operation Black Vote, is clearly racist and someone should be prosecuted. If the races in the picture were reversed and it was a thuggish black man threatening a white woman it would not take long for the police to start kicking down doors, but when it's anti-white racism the official response ranges from slow to glacial.

And just to make matters worse, your taxes paid for that poster to be issued.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Time to do some panic buying

The French are blockading their oil refineries again. They are also blockading the ports to stop oil tankers docking. Filling up the car is getting difficult, with long queues where petrol is available and at least a quarter of filling stations completely dry. The government has three months' emergency oil and is releasing that, but of course there is panic-buying increasing demand just as the supply dwindles.

But the UK is fine, isn't it?

No. Think back to the UK blockades of 2000 when the country ran dry and pretty much shut down. How did that start? In France! UK protestors saw what was happening over the Channel and picketed UK refineries. There is a chance, not massive, but possible, that the same will happen again. So right now you should be panic-buying petrol. (When it does happen and everyone else is panic-buying petrol, you should have moved on to panic-buying food.)

That said, the UK government does have a secret plan on how to deal with refinery protests - it blocks all national reporting of the protest; nothing on TV news, nothing in the national papers. It doesn't, or cannot, block local reporting, so with some digging you will still be able to find out what's happening by looking at regional websites, but the great mass of people will not become aware of the protests so will not panic-buy and will not go to join the protests. Problem solved! Perhaps UK oil refinery blockades are happening right now - we wouldn't know. After all, there were further refinery blockades in 2005 and 2007 and they had no effect, because no one knew.

Incidentally, the BBC's usual tactic for burying news they don't want known is to report it as 'local'; nothing on the flagship news programmes, nothing on the website front page. So they're covered, they've reported it, but not in a way many people will see. Everything that happens is local to somewhere so everything can be buried if they want.

Anyway, a quick trip to top up the car can't hurt, can it?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Things that don't happen

Back in 2010, 3D TV was so close to taking over the world it seemed like a done deal. Sales rose in 2011 and 2012 but then started to taper off. There were health issues; the technology was inconvenient - most types required you to wear special glasses - and 3D TV became the great new thing that never happened.

It will happen one day, but it is not a hot topic any more.

No, today's hot topic is driverless cars. The world seems convinced they are just around the corner. Share-tippers are working out who to invest in, and even who to short (car parks are down, Uber is up) and politicians are jumping on the bandwagon and passing the laws needed to make them legal.

But it is all too soon. Driverless cars are not coming. Yes, there will always be more and better driver-assist technology available, but then, we get new driver-assist technology all the time - it's nothing new. The big new thing of cars driving around UK roads with no people in them is not coming anytime soon. The technical and legal obstacles are just too big. Our roads are too jammed, too confusing and other drivers too unforgiving for a driverless car to work.

Driverless trains we already have; driverless planes are feasible, but cars - nope, not for a long while yet. For the time being, contrarians will be rewarded.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Trump backs Brexit

Looks like all our ducks are lining up nicely. Donald J Trump, Republican candidate for US President presumptive (ie all his serious opponents have discontinued their campaigns so now all that remains is the coronation) has come out on the side of Brexit, saying the UK would be better off without the EU. This is the complete opposite of what President Obama said last month when he threatened to put the UK to the back of the line for a trade deal with the US if we voted ourselves out of the EU.

Unfortunately it is by no means certain that Trump will take the White House. He mainly languishes behind Hillary Clinton (the most likely Democrat candidate) in the polls. And Hillary is anti-Brexit, saying she thinks a strong UK in a strong EU is ideal. Ironically, and often remarked upon, Hillary would never support America joining any organisation like the EU - the loss of self-determination would be unacceptable to Americans.

We will be doing the Brexit vote long before we know who the next President of the USA will be, and even if we do vote ourselves out there is a two year transition period during which opinions can change a lot. 

It is also worth remembering that in the past when countries vote the "wrong way" the EU makes them vote again to get it right. So one vote to leave might not make it stick. However the auguries are hopeful at the moment: we could get a Trump president and a Brexit before the end of the year.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Trevor quite surprised

Trevor Philips did 60 mins of hand wringing last night on Channel 4. Apparently it was completely new to him that some British muslims think Sharia should be imposed by force in the UK. He couldn't understand it. While boss of the CEHR he had bent over backwards to be nice to them and they still weren't happy.

He reassured himself that only a minority had any nefarious intent but then time and time again he did the maths and discovered that even a minority amounts to some quite big numbers - eg about 40,000 UK muslims actually approve of ISIS, while 100,000 think imposing Sharia by force is a good idea.

Trevor completely dismissed the old idea that immigrants should assimilate; he barely gave that ten seconds of airtime before moving on to what amounted to busing children around to stop too many muslims going to the same school.

It seems like far too late he has woken up to issues that have concerned Nationalists for the last twenty years. He has no solutions though; he continues to pander to minorities, and the thought that Islam should perhaps be made illegal never even crossed his mind. All he could do was try to dig up some moderate muslims, well one moderate muslim woman, who opined that Islam was about how you live your life and polygamy isn't so bad.

The repulsive Yasmin Alibi-Brown got some airtime, but she had no solutions for the problem she helped create either. Whether or not she has recanted on making white people extinct we weren't told.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Celebrity superinjunction

The English media is full of this celebrity couple one of whom had a threesome with another couple and now the first celebrity doesn't want anyone to know so has taken out an injunction which prevents the media from reporting who shagged who. At least it prevents English people from knowing but the Scots and the Americans are allowed to know.

For those of you who still don't know who the sleb is; click here.

Trevor Philips back on war path

Our Trevor, quondam head of the Commission for Equality and 'Uman Rights, will be revisiting his favourite subject on Channel 4, at 10pm, Wednesday this week - minorities. That said, in recent times he seems to have morphed from arch-scourge of Nationalists to almost agreeing with us. His current preoccupation is the chasm between British muslims and British society generally.

Trev has surveyed the muslim community and discovered the well-known facts that more than half of muslims think lesbian or gay relationships should be illegal. Almost a third of British muslims think polygamy – currently illegal – should be permitted. Young muslims are nearly as enthusiastic for it as older muslims. We are not told whether this enthusiasm is also present among female muslims. Perhaps you have to watch the program to find out.

Also what we don't yet know is how he will spin this deplorable state of affairs; although we can be reasonably confident that spin it he will. Somehow it will turn out to the fault of the rest of us that British muslims cannot live peacefully among us; just like they cannot live peacefully in any Western society. And thinking about it - they cannot live peacefully in 100% muslim societies either. Trev will probably forget to mention that. Tune in to have your prejudices confirmed.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Adam Johnson ridiculous sentence

Sunderland and England footballer, Adam Johnson, has been sentenced to six years in jail for "grooming" and "sexually touching" a 15-year-old girl. The grooming seems to have consisted of meetings in his car and exchanging text messages, some flirty but most innocuous. The sexual touching did not involve the removal of her trousers (something he was hoping to do on a future occasion.)

So far, so wrong.

But contrast with the case of Caroline Berriman, a teaching assistant who groomed and bedded a 15-year-old boy in her charge. She had sex with him 50 times (that's probably an approximation.) On conviction her sentence was two years' jail time - suspended! So she did not serve any jail time at all. This despite the fact she did have sex with the underaged boy, lots of times, and as a teaching assistant she was in a position of authority over him. The age of consent between teacher and pupil is 18, not the usual 16, so the boy was three years underaged, whereas the girl was less than a year underage in the Johnson case.

Caroline Berriman: Likes 'em young
Although both Johnson and Berriman clearly committed crimes, Johnson's was the lesser crime and yet he has been much more harshly sentenced.
This is not an aberration. The judge did not shake his pen and have too much ink come out. It is very common institutional sexism in which woman are treated more leniently than men for the exact same crime. It is a national disgrace and one that the public are beginning to notice in big way. A lot of the comments under the Daily Mail article about Johnson refer to the disparity in punishment.

It is about time equality cut both ways.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

2x silver lining

Yesterday's atrocity in Belgium seems to be having two beneficial side effects, viz: even quite mainstream, previously downright lefty, columnists are starting to take the candidacy of one Donald J Trump seriously, and it will also be a shot in the arm for the Brexit campaign as it is an object lesson in what happens when you have a substantial muslim population - the main Paris suspect was living openly in the Molenbeek area of Brussels.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Budget 2016

Yesterday George Osborne delivered his third budget in the last two years and it looked like this:


                   2015     2016
Welfare            £222bn   £240bn
Social services    £ 30bn   £ 30bn
NHS                £141bn   £145bn
Transport          £ 28bn   £ 29bn
Education          £ 99bn   £102bn
Defence            £ 45bn   £ 46bn
DTI                £ 24bn   £ 24bn
Housing, environ   £ 28bn   £ 34bn
Police, intel      £ 34bn   £ 34bn
Debt interest      £ 36bn   £ 39bn
Other              £ 48bn   £ 49bn

Total spend        £742bn   £772bn


Income tax         £170bn   £182bn
National insur     £115bn   £126bn
Excise duties      £ 47bn   £ 48bn
VAT                £133bn   £138bn
Business rates     £ 28bn   £ 28bn
Council tax        £ 28bn   £ 30bn
Corporation tax    £ 42bn   £ 43bn
Other              £109bn   £120bn

Total receipts     £673bn   £716bn

Total borrow       £ 69bn   £ 56bn 

The usual suspects, Welfare, NHS, continue to get big rises and no spending actually gets cut. This is achieved by means of some rather heavy tax rises; income tax up £12bn, NI up £11bn, VAT up £5bn, and yet there were no headline rate rises. In fact quite the reverse, tax rates were either held or lowered. George is doing it all by assuming the country is going to get richer, and also by borrowing £56bn more over the life of the parliament than he said he would last year.

Oops, it's bit soon in the life of the parliament to have been blown off course by £56bn!

Osborne rose at 12:34 PM and started with a strong pro-EU message, claiming the independent Office of Budget Responsibility had predicted dire things if the UK voted for a Brexit. Unfortunately for GO the OBR later denied having any opinion on what would happen if the UK left the EU other than there might be a period of "uncertainty" - which is stating the obvious to put it mildly.

The OBR does have opinions on GDP and inflation though. GDP is going down and inflation is going up.
Year    GDP    Inflation
2015    +2.2%  0.7%
2016    +2.0%  1.6%
2017    +2.2%
2018    +2.1%

GO then went on to hit big business quite hard with taxes while giving breaks to small businesses, including a rather neat break for "micro" businesses: you can earn £1,000 a year totally tax free and off the books. This is probably necessary to keep HMRC viable. So many people are making a few quid here and there on Ebay or Airbnb and the like that HMRC would be swamped if they all registered as businesses and filled in the full set of forms.

The other big giveaway was raising the 40% tax band from £42,000 to £45,000 (ish) but not until April next year. What the point of a giveaway so far in the future is? Better would be not to announce until next year and get the plaudits straight away. Chancellors of old used to know to do this.

There was some SNP nose tweaking. Had Scotland voted "out" they would be coming up on independence just about now. Osborne cut the North Sea oil taxes in half while sneering that Scotland would be bankrupt without the UK (which is true of course, cue stony silence from the SNP benches.) He also froze the duty on "Scotch" whisky. He forgot to mention Irish whiskey which can't be good for his knees.

He then introduced a truly baffling "lifetime" ISA, only available to the under-40s, so not very lifetime. The deal is generous though, the  government will pay a whacking 25% interest (max £1,000 per year.) Much wailing and gnashing of gums among those too old to benefit. This "LISA" is supposed to be a hybrid mortgage deposit fund and pension scheme for those who cannot decide if they want a pension or a house. These days having both is off the cards. Thanks, Tony!

There were two big surprises. The first was the "Sugar levy" which will tax sugary drinks to stop kids getting fat, but not for two years so the manufacturers have time to replace the sugar with aspartame and give the kids brain tumours instead of diabetes. The second was the dog which did not bark: he didn't mess with pensions. It was thought he would axe the higher rate tax relief, but he didn't.

It was also suggested he would nail a tax dodge called "salary sacrifice" but he didn't do that either.

All in all, it was a weird little budget of no great consequence.

After an hour George sat down and Corbyn rose to respond. He gave such a lackluster speech that even his own MPs directly behind him chatted among themselves rather than listen to it. He really needed to have brought along Mao's little red book to liven things up. He rightly pointed out that Osborne's debt promises are complete fiction these days, but nobody was listening.

Friday, 4 March 2016

The EU referendum gets started

The EU stars have aligned (which is unfortunate because they are supposed to be in a circle) but in fact I mean that the senior Tory politicians have declared which side of the in/out EU debate they are on. Long term sceptics like John Redwood reliably pronounced for “out” on day one. But sadly for the “out” campaign mainy of their main supporters in government are second-raters such as  Chris “Failing” Grayling who wrecked the Justice Department and is now having his mad schemes reversed by Michael Gove (perhaps himself the best of the Outers in government) or Iain Duncan Smith who has spent the last six years failing to deliver “universal credit”.

Boris “the Buffoon” has belatedly come down on the side of “out” after spending a day wracking his brain looking for the main chance. His computations seem to have boiled down to: I support “in” and “in” wins I’m just another face in the Prime Minister’s adoring crowd but if “in” loses I’m on the wrong side of history, whereas I support “out” and “out” wins then it was me that won  it for the country because I’m the biggest fish in the “out” kettle, but if “out” loses I can continue to point out how right I was every time the EU does something stupid (like let in a million migrants) which is bound to happen quite often and anyway the PM is quitting before the next general election so will be yesterday’s man the day after tomorrow.

So Boris prefers a glorious failure to an “I was there, you just didn’t see me,” success. Actual national interest has no part to plan in such cogitations.

The fracture in government has gone quite deep, mainly because the government has taken a side – ie “in”. “Out” supporting ministers are not allowed to ask civil servants to do research for them and are not allowed to see papers used by the “in” side. But “in” ministers have the use of the civil service because “in” is government policy. It gets a bit tricky when a minister says he hasn’t decided whether he is “in” or “out” yet! And even trickier when a minister changes sides – he could have papers ripped out of his hands.

The campaign will be dominated by “Fear” and “Apathy”. The Inners will appeal most to people’s fear of change and make out that jobs will be lost and Europe will never talk to us again. On the Outers’ side you have the fact that people content with the status quo may not bother to vote. Idealistic Outers are far more likely to turn up at the voting booth than browbeaten Inners.

An interesting case is Chancellor George Osborne. He has a big moment coming up on the 16th of March when he presents his next budget. GO is a firm Inner and seems to live in fear of the economic effects of leaving the EU. And no doubt there will be some negative economic consequences; all serious Outers will admit that but they still want out because the freedom and independence (re)gained outweighs the wealth lost, especially as the freedom is permanent but the wealth loss temporary.

GO has his big speech day coming. He may use it to project fear at the nation. And it may be he actually feels fear himself. He has the economy stacked up like a house of cards. The “lowest ever” interest rates are still in place. The highest ever QE is still there. Asset prices are pumped up like a helium balloon at an illegal rave. Osborne knows more than most that it wouldn’t take much of a push to bring it all down. Imagine the pound comes under pressure by a lot of fickle foreigners selling. GO would have to raise interest rates to defend it, then down comes all the leveraged assets and with them jobs and trade and all.

But dare he, in his speech, actually say, “Don’t vote Out, my house of cards would collapse”? Probably not. The public mainly considers the 2007/8 depression done and dusted and no one wants to remind them it was just put on ice with heaps of printed money.

We still have more than three months before we vote. Of special interest will be “migration season” when the Eastern hordes march across Europe kicking down any fences in their way. Small boys drowned on beaches may help the In side. Another mass rape in Cologne would be good for the Outers.

The campaign has a long way to run.