Nothing like a scan of overseas papers to get a different perspective.
Last week started with a cabaret look at the news. (ZDF Heute Show). We were presented as a bunch of whinging takers, who always moan if we can’t get our snouts deep enough in the trough of plenty. It was hugely unfair to the UK and very funny – if you are not British that is. It was unfair, because like all the British news media and Cameron himself, there seemed to be only two alternatives.
- Love Cameron’s renegotiation and vote to stay.
- Hate Cameron’s renegotiation and vote to leave.
What about the 50% of the population, who would vote to stay in the EU, even if Cameron had got nothing? OK. He nearly did get nothing. Worse still, what he did get will make no difference. We will pay less child benefit to UK workers with dependent children in countries like Poland and Latvia, but more to French, German, Swiss, Swedish ….. the list is long. As one commentator put it, ‘The UK could save around 90p.’
There are doubtless workers who turn up in the UK as benefit tourists, but no one has put a figure on it, nor how much we expect to save in benefit payments by making them wait four years. In the absence of figures I’ll rely on common sense. That tells me few people uproot and move country without having a job in sight. FACT!
‘But we don’t have enough schools, health centres, hospitals etc. for all these people.’
It’s the old xenophobic lie.
If a thousand Poles, have a thousand children, and pay their taxes, then they expect their children to have a school – so build a school! That creates more jobs and more wealth and more people pay their taxes. That’s good isn’t it? That’s how capitalism and market forces work.
But back to Mr. Cameron. The overseas press does seem to be dwelling on the fact that every time he announces the deal is tickety boo, two cabinet ministers pop out the woodwork and shout, ‘Oh no it isn’t!’ And the panto goes on. Who can work out if the Goves and Johnsons of this world really want to leave Europe, or are they hyenas who have spotted a dying Cameron and are manoeuvring to get his spot? Amazingly, every time they shout Cameron down, he smiles benignly. Why doesn’t he sack the traitors? At least we would respect him.
There is a more worrying rumour doing the rounds. In Europe, as in the UK, there is a notion out there, that if the UK leaves the EU, the EU will fall apart. Anyone know upon what that is based?
The Exit Parties across Europe are getting alarming percentages in the polls. Why is that alarming? Because most of them have fascist tendencies. What is the EU’s greatest contribution in my lifetime? Peace in Europe since 1945 – apart from the Balkans that is. If Europe falls apart, because of right wing pressure, what we have left is a block run by right-wing xenophobes who will ‘solve the immigrant problem,’ – whatever that is.
Once solved, they lose their focus of hate and what do they have left to do but hate each other. History tells us where that leads.
I wish I could believe my Prime Minister was on top of this one.