back to article Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

In the early 2000s the United Kingdom was the powerhouse of European science and innovation. For many young, aspiring scientists from continental Europe, this meant coming here to world-leading institutes and universities to pursue research not possible in the constraints of their home countries. In comparison to, especially, …


          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

            " It's remarkable how often college benefactor's children get admitted with inferior grades."

            And for them the important thing is not graduating but the social networking they're able to achieve, that's unattainable at a lesser university.

            It's like the difference between the contacts made at Eton vs the ones made at Harrow (both are top echelon schools, but the Eton old boys network has far more political clout)

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

      > You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

      Have another upvote from me.

      Sure, there will be an element of "old boys club", but most (probably everyone) I knew enough about to form an opinion got in on their merits - I knew not a single person who had a bought place. I knew quite a few "interesting characters" - but being "interesting" doesn't really mean much.

      This is from an engineer's POV - might be different with other subjects.

      Might also vary with college - mine had a reputation for having one of the highest proportion of state school admissions. Luckily for me I was turned down by my first choice* college - that one wouldn't have suited me.

      * When one is an innocent 6th former, with little idea about what they are like, how is one supposed to decide which colleges to apply to ? Choosing universities is bad enough (and yes, the admissions tutor who did turn me down was correct, there was an element of "the name" to it), but having to choose from dozens of colleges within that uni ?

      As it is, our 6th form arranged a trip down for those of us applying, and during dinner some of the then current students were making recommendations. One of those turned out to be very good for me.

  1. TheProf

    Of course! I see it all now.

    What a wonderful article. It explained in clear and simple language the whole juxtaposition of one thing with the other.

    Clear and precise personal examples the like of which no living man or foreigner has before witnessed.

    Every fault, failing, flaw and foible of British society clinically dissected and laid bare to the shame of us poor, stupid, ignorant sheep.

    Why haven't we noticed this before? Why does it take a foreign chap to show us the things we've hidden from ourselves. What will we do when he ups sticks and buggers off to another country? How will we cope?

    Or was it just some bloke from 'The Internet of Things' having a moan because the grant money is now more difficult to obtain?

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Of course! I see it all now.

      "Why haven't we noticed this before? Why does it take a foreign chap to show us the things we've hidden from ourselves."

      Sadly, that is sometimes what's needed. Of course, you already have a well tuned defence mechanism that tells you that any such criticism is wrong, and/or irrelevant.

      It's the same in most countries, the blinkers are on.

      It's useful to be aware of this fact though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is the lesbian angle?

    Honestly what has happened to the register?

  3. Andy 73


    TLDR: You're leaving the UK because it's not left wing enough?

    Oh, and you're still blaming us for our great great grandparent's colonialism.


    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Politics

      I don't think that is what he was doing but I do blame people who hark back to it as a better time. Retreating into the past is a good tragic angle for TV Tropes but it is rarely a good tactic for progress.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another remainer...

    ...who hates Britain.

    The legacy of Empire seems to be a deep felt resentment and envy and a desire to destroy Britain in its entirety and subsume it into some other culture to which it does not belong.

    Even the logic is suspect: 'Britain was great once, now it isn't', seems to suggest that if not the cause, EU membership was symptomatic of a general decline.

    I've been following the campaign online, and frankly, I am flabbergasted. People have assured me that if we left the EU:

    - We wouldn't be able to buy stuff from Europe, or sell stuff to it

    - the EU would deny overflight to UK aircraft.

    - the NHS would collapse due to lack of immigrant labour

    - all the multinationals would leave the UK

    - not one penny of EU grant money would be substituted by UK grant money even for the most laudable of causes.

    And in final irony,

    - no one knows what might happen (despite all the precisely outlined items above, and many more).

    My response that the arguments are illogical and the propositions childish, to the point at which an EU that behaved like that is not an EU any person with half a brain would seek membership of, fall on deaf ears.

    I have been all over the world. It can be a tough place. Except in the ethnically cleansed part of it that Hitler held sway over. Here a sort of bourgeois kindergarten ruled by plump bureaucrats exists - or existed till its own moral certainties allowed the rest of the world seeming free access.

    The question you have to ask yourself, punks and punkettes, is whether the EU is an organisation whose structure and philosophy has any chance of governing a diverse selection of the earth's population towards a peaceful prosperous future, whilst its gaze is firmly in the past lusting after the sort of Empire that Rome, Napoleon and that Nice Mr Hitler dreamed of, and that well mannered Mr Stalin achieved. For a few decades.

    I am reminded of the Days Of The MainFrame. One size fits all, if you want it to change, ask Central IT and in 5 years time they MIGHT write an application to suit your problem, by which time its too late,.

    Its not even a question of going back to minis. Its BYOD today. We have globalised networking.

    As IT engineers we strive to make systems as autonomous as possible at the unit level, so that they are fast responsive and effective, and exercise only the lightest of controls over them in order to integrate them into larger functioning units.

    The Internet works, because agreement between many parties on a common set of standards was achieved because people saw it was in their best interests to do so. X-25, X-400 et al failed because it was top heavy, bureaucratic, and full of specifications that had to be obeyed, whether anyone actually needed them or not.

    the European Union does not seek consensus, it imposes: it does not seek the minimal functional effectiveness, it seeks the maximum bureaucratic authority: the EU does not trust its citizens or countries to do the right thing, indeed it has replaced the principle as 'do what you like unless its definitely illegal ' with 'alle is verboten' Only that which is specifically permitted is legal.

    It seems to me that the very loss of vigour which the poster complains of is entirely down to being subsumed in a mindset where we are no longer responsible for anything. Government has taken all our power, all our responsibility, and moved it to Brussels, and we are simply ants in the ant hill free only to perform our appointed tasks and receive our appointed stipends, thanks to the largesse of the Party, that grey faceless bunch of unelected people backed by money and interests we are simply unaware of.

    I won't argue the morality or otherwise of that system. I will ask you the basic question I have been asking myself as I watched it unfold:

    'Is this model of social and political control, the most functionally effective way to build a society, and does society need building on the first place'?

    That is, there is an implied assumption at the heart of Eurosocialism, and in fact Liberal American thought, and that is as described, that not only has government a moral right to be constructing an ideologically based society, but that government itself is the only agency that can in fact achieve it.

    Whereas in the past governments were considered to be there to defend the status quo and merely arbitrate in disputes between parts of society that at any given time, found themselves in conflict. The idea of 'society' and the laughable concept of 'social justice' simply was not in the vocabulary.

    How many times have I heard policies defended and justified on the basis of 'social justice' to roars of approval, but never once has anyone ever given me a satisfactory definition of what it means.

    A friend tried: 'it's about how society treats its weakest members' ...

    'Oh!' said I, 'isn't that a bit discriminatory. I mean what about its strongest members, or the ones with red hair, or one legged deaf dumb and blind idiots, shouldn't they have equal chances to become airline pilots?'

    'Now you are being silly'

    'Quite, but you started it.'

    I sometimes hark back to the days when the village idiot - or 'natural' would stumble around, get looked after and fed an treated as one would a pet dog, but be generally happy because after all it was a Christian country, and there but for the grace of god...and instead see the mumbling incoherent schizophrenic accosting people in the town centre before being dragged off to who knows where.

    Is it really a better society where its the governments job to look after our own, and not ours? Where 'equality' is achieved by the metaphorical equivalent of cutting everyone's legs off to match the shortest member of society? Where excellence and achievement is not celebrated but condemned as elitist? That if some superhero were to arise and save us all from whatever harm it was that befell us, we would not thank him for so doing, but chastise him for making the rest of us feel inadequate and lowering self esteem?

    Yes, I have sketched a cartoon picture of society, but its up to you to see if it fits or informs your reality. The European Union is found on and steeped in left wing ideology, it is a neo communist structure. Now there is nothing intrinsically wrong or right in that, but is that what you want?

    Are you an ant that is content to simply go along with antness whilst the anthill burns down, or do you actually occasionally think 'left to my own devices, I could do better'.

    If so, give yourself a chance.

    Wake up, smell the coffee, leave the EU and join the real world beyond Merkels kindergarten.

    Its time you grew up and took responsibility, because if you let someone else, sure as eggs is eggs, they will abuse it.

    1. Wizardofaus

      Re: Another remainer...

      Maybe you should read some fact first.

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Another remainer...

      Oh how I wanted to type TL:DR; at this, but I actually read it.

      You make a good point in the way that the EU is governed and governing. You look at how the EU (including the UK) treated Greece when they held a referendum about whether the country should submit to more of the austerity the EU said they needed in order to give Greece a loan so that the whole EU wouldn't sink. The EU basically said "we don't care what your people think, you're doing this". Likewise with the Lisbon treaty years ago when the Irish held a referendum, and a leading figure of the EU (the name escapes me, but it was a man) effectively said "You need to re-run that vote until it comes out with the vote we desire".

      That's what the EU is. A group of people we elect who are either thirsty for power (Juncker) or are so devoid of respect for the EU they just turn up to collect their pay cheque (UKIP). Those who want power achieve it through the inaction of those who can't be bothered. For example, Junker was elected as President of the EU, but was the only person in the running for election. So he got it by default. HOW can that be allowed?

      But the thing is, our problems with the EU start at home. UKIP are ever present in Brussells and hold the largest majority of votes from the UK to be our representatives in Europe. How does it make sense that to achieve change in the EU, to stand up for the country against EU regulations etc, we send a party that has absolutely no intention of reformation of the EU in to the EU as our representatives? They want the UK out of the EU, why would they try and work with the EU or change the EU when it benefits their party for the UK to be out of it? And how to do go about bringing that change in to your own country? Well you can draw your own conclusions on that.

      But while this is a big negative of the EU, there are massive positives. Workers rights, for example, are protected by the EU - not the UK. There is an EU law that prevents employees from working more than a specific number of hours per week - I think it's 42 or something - and the UK adheres to this. However, there are ways around it, and employees "can opt out" of it. But from my experience working for Wetherspoons, if you didn't opt out you didn't get a job. Now imagine what the UK would be like, with the explosion in God awful zero hour contract culture, would be like to work in?

      Furthermore, the rights of pregnant women in the work place are protected by the EU. Knowing that on the building sites up and down the country the workers there are also protected through various health and safety laws. Laws like that come about because people die, not because someone in a suit thinks a high viability jacket is a bold fashion statement.

      But all of the EU laws that, apparently, are imposed on us is utter tosh. In the UK, as laid down by the EU, it's law that shop fronts and public transport systems must be easy for disabled people to use. The UK have done that, with very few places (AFAIK) still difficult for use by a person in a wheelchair. However, if you go to Paris there are around 6/7 metro stations in the capital with disabled access. But the same EU law applies to them, so what gives?

      The UK treats the EU legislation as the gold standard. Not all other EU countries do. So who do we blame for that? Bullshit career politicians who are all too quick to point the finger at some one else for their own laziness and apathy.

      And in regards to the NHS - it's under threat from Centralist/Right-wing politicians, not the EU. We live in a country where the people we "elect" are there because they have friends with deep pockets. But as we all know, if you do a favour for someone you know that some point down the line you'll need that favour returned.

      "Hello, David Cameron? It's Richard Branson, I need to talk to you about cancer treatment in the UK"

      From speaking to my girlfriends mother who has worked in the NHS for decades as a nurse, any private patient deemed too expensive to treat by the private medical company is sent back to the NHS for treatment. So they pay twice.

      Let that last one sink in. Like the Anonymous Coward before me said: rise up. Not against the EU, its time will come, but against our own piss pot career politicians who are only in it to make a few quid for themselves and only care about you once every 5 years.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: Another remainer...

        Juncker wasn't elected as President of the EU Commission (the EU has 5 (I think, I kinda lost count) presidents), he was appointed, in large part because Merkel thought he would make a useful puppet. His greatest democratic achievement was to become PM of Luxembourg, a mandate roughly equivalent to that of the Mayor of Croydon.

        EU supporters often like to claim that the Commission is just the EU civil service, and the UK doesn't vote for the head of its civil service. But that's nonsense. From the EU’s own website, an admirably clear phrase, albeit hidden amongst a hell of a lot of obfuscation clearly intended to fool people into thinking that the EU Parliament is a legislature: "the European Commission, the only institution empowered to initiate legislation." Really not analogous to a civil service, then. If anything, more like the UK Cabinet.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Another remainer...

          "Juncker wasn't elected as President of the EU Commission" --- Chris Miller.

          He was elected in 2014 by MEPs with a majority of 442 out of 729 votes cast. (e.g.

          "the EU has 5 (I think, I kinda lost count) presidents" --- Chris Miller

          This is self defeating argument: after implying that The President of the European Commission is a Very Special Position so that you can say (incorrectly) that the person appointed to it wields a large amount of executive power (many people seem to think it's the European equivalent of POTUS), many Brexiters go on to say that there's loads of presidents. Well, you're right, there are. And there's probably a president of your local lawn tennis club as well. Juncker's job would be more accurately described as Prime Commissioner, as he is head of the European Commission. Which doesn't actually make any laws, they just create proposals. Much like many of our laws start out as the creations of *unelected* civil servants.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: Another remainer...

            "He was elected in 2014 by MEPs with a majority of 442 out of 729 votes cast. (e.g."

            It was a vote to say "What do we think of this guy?", not "You have Juncker, another person and a clown. Who do you want to be leader". That's not an election.

            So Chris Miller is right.

            1. John H Woods Silver badge

              Re: Another remainer...

              Sorry, but that is silly. It *was* an election. It would have been perfectly possible for other candidates will to have been nominated. ,Cameron half* acknowledged this when he said there were other, perhaps more suitable, people.

              * Only half because his "other suggestions" were names he alluded to but (as the records show) failed to put forward.

            2. Len Silver badge

              Re: Another remainer...

              That is incorrect, Jean-Claude Juncker was one of five candidates. Did you miss the debate between the five candidates?

              They we're not all as likely to win (just like the Greens or UKIP are not very likely to supply a PM in the UK) but if the European electorate had chosen a centre-left EP instead of a centre-right EP we would have had Martin Schulz instead.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Another remainer...

            "Much like many of our laws start out as the creations of *unelected* civil servants"

            And those creations are foisted on us no matter which party happens to be notionally in power - frequently retried after a party change if rejected the first time.

            The power of the Civil Service is one of the greatest dangers that exists to democratic society.

          3. Chris Miller


            Why not try responding to what I wrote, rather than what the voices in your head are telling you I 'implied'? British civil servants are there to follow the instructions of ministers, and civil servants that fail to do so don't remain civil servants very long. They certainly are not "the only institution empowered to initiate legislation", indeed they don't initiate any legislation at all.

            And does your local tennis club have 5 different presidents? What an odd institution it must be.

      2. smartypants

        Re: Another remainer...

        "There is an EU law that prevents employees from working more than a specific number of hours per week - I think it's 42 or something - and the UK adheres to this."

        I have heard there are some people in the country that actually do the hours they're paid, rather than large numbers of extra unpaid hours, but alas, I'm not one of them.

      3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Another remainer...

        Let that last one sink in. Like the Anonymous Coward before me said: rise up. Not against the EU, its time will come, but against our own piss pot career politicians who are only in it to make a few quid for themselves and only care about you once every 5 years.

        HERE HERE!!

        My personal view about the EU referendum is that it's being used as a distraction by our government, to let it push through unpopular legislation while everyone is slinging mud.

        Let's be quite frank about this, BOTH sides are just mud slinging, name calling, and spreading FUD. In order to find any facts, I have had to ignore what the politicians and media are saying and do my own research. For anyone to come to an informed decision, this is what must be done, yet I find VERY few people who have done this. They trot out quotes from politicians who are on their side, and "facts" which support their view (which are normally nothing of the sort). They raise confirmation bias to an art form, and end up in blazing rows where NEITHER side are right, both both are utterly convinced they are. It's practically religious in nature!

        In the interests of full disclosure, I am a Remainer, but only marginally. I believe that there are pros and cons of staying and leaving, but on balance staying just edges out leaving. That said, I doubt much would change in either event, looking at both my own life and the bigger picture, when the dust settles.

    3. Douglas Lowe

      Re: Another remainer...

      "I sometimes hark back to the days when the village idiot - or 'natural' would stumble around, get looked after and fed an treated as one would a pet dog, but be generally happy because after all it was a Christian country, and there but for the grace of god...and instead see the mumbling incoherent schizophrenic accosting people in the town centre before being dragged off to who knows where."

      I almost took you as a sensible, if on the other side of the fence to me, commentator. Then you spouted this claptrap, and all vestiges of respect for your position that I may have had faded away.

      Medieval Britain was not a halcyon period of social responsibility, where we looked after our own with love and respect. Go away and read up on your history (especially on the witch trials that we used to persecute social misfits), don't come back until you actually understand what progress we've made in the last 500 years.

  5. John Crisp

    From the outside looking in

    As a Brit living in Europe that's one of the most honest appraisals of Britain that I have seen. As they say... the truth often hurts.... He has got a lot of my (ex) British pysche spot on.

    Until you escape you do not necessarily realise what a complete pile of claptrap and falsehoods the nation is fed by parties of all colours, and worst of all the media, and generally in the name of profit or self interest, not that of the greater good. Lies, damn lies, and statistics......

    Britain is still so 19th Century in so many respects (not denegrating some of the nations fantastic achievements). Living on our previous status, focusing on what we were, not what we want to be.

    I'm still proud to be British, (and completely European) but it doesn't stop me understanding how many faults there are in the nation. Yes, Europe needs a good sort out and to be democratised further, but that won't happen by sitting on our hands and wishing the problem away. Running away from it won't help either.

    Let downvoting commence I guess...

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: From the outside looking in

      "Running away from it won't help either"

      Brexit is running away? Lol. The EU was an exercise in running away from the competition of developing nations by trying to hide in a closed market.

      A closed market offering some economy the price of which is huge amounts of bureaucracy and legislation to ensure all members are equally burdened and uncompetitive. Equally burdened and uncompetitive so members will never fear and feel the need to hide from each other.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: From the outside looking in

        "The EU was an exercise in running away from the competition of developing nations by trying to hide in a closed market."

        The EU started out as a way of attempting to avoid the widescale famine that happened post WW2 - something that only major US intervention stopped turning into a death toll on par with the war itself.

        People tend to forget that until the last 70 years parts of Europe were pretty much always at war with other parts of Europe. You can see the same mentality at work in brexiteers as you do with antivaccine freaks. It all seems like a good idea until a 20-30 year trade war erupts into a shooting one, or Polio rears its head again.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: From the outside looking in

          The EU started out as a way of attempting to avoid the widescale famine that happened post WW2

          It would be more correct to say that the Common Market started out that way, as a level playing field to give European nations a chance to build a sound economic future based on mutual prosperity. Although it had flaws it worked pretty well, and has indeed contributed to the lack of European conflict.

          The European Union, on the other hand, did not come about from any genuine need, it's purely a product of politicians' vanity. The single curerncy has seriously damaged the competitivity of many EU countries apart from Germany, and the centralized fiscal and political control inherent in the concept of an EU is raising unpleasant thoughts of past conflicts to "unite Europe". That, in turn, is feeding the left- and right-wing populist and nationalist parties in France, Greece, Austria, the UK and others.

          I am genuinely worried that the refusal of EU politicians to accept the flaws in the EU is now pushing Europe closer to, not away from, internal conflict. Sooner or later there will be another "Greek crisis" and the single currency will fall apart. When (not if) that happens the EU will start to fall apart, and those countries which are still members will bear the brunt of it.

          Recent surveys have shown that even europhile countries like France have >50% of the population who want a Brexit-style referendum, and upward of 40% would vote to leave. No political entity can survive that level of internal division on such a fundamental question as its existence. If the EU politicians won't recognise that, and take steps to address it, it may well be better to accept the pain of an early departure in order to avoid the disaster of being sucked into the inevitable crash & burn.

    2. itzman

      Re: From the outside looking in

      Of course we are fed wall to wall propaganda, as British. But will the European Union make that worse, or better?

      I've worked on a different CONTINENT. Europe itself is a hot bed of smug propaganda, as indeed is any country.

      The world of politics runs on propaganda. It is essentially all lies. One eventually accepts that. It ceases to be an issue. What remains is a decision between an over centralised parochial set of lies or leaving and facing up to an independent set of lies.

      Or looking beyond at the technical efficacy of a bureaucrat centralised structure, and its dynamic response to change vis - à - vis a more devolves set of quasi-autonomous structures that have greater speed of response and flexibility.

      As a system engineer, the EU has all the hallmarks of being designed by a committee on ideological principle, and almost no chance of working as it is alleged was intended. And its members like those of any other political system who find themselves in power, but unable to actually effect any worthwhile change in anything, they have settled down to a life of expense accounts, generous salaries and pensions and only getting excited when their jobs are on the line.

      Middle managers at best, now occupying the boardroom of a company they didn't build and dont actually understand, so all they do is fight to keep their positions.

      Even a PFY probably knows better.

      Like Kiplings monkeys, they spend all their time and huge sums of our money, assuring us that 'they are the greatest the wisest in all the jungle' and 'they all say it, so it must be true'.

      Yeah, right. THEY want to make the argument about moral questions of race, immigration, or economic questions of loss of earnings. etc etc. But the real argument is simple. They are by any stretch of the imagination manifestly incompetent, and that is a view you only have to step outside of Europe to appreciate. That Europe is different only in degree to Zimbabwe, which is overtly run by an elite for an elite, and justified on left wing ideological grounds.

      Few places are any different - the ideology may change, but the venality, the corruption, the nepotism, the implied racism or elitism (usually described as anti-elitism or antio-fascism) still exists, and always will, and that ultimately is why Britain almost alone of all nations developed a system that allowed of the removal en bloc of any clique that the rest of the country deemed had pushed it too far, by the process of election. WE didn't have the French revolution, and Napoleon, we didn't have a Russian revolution, we didn't have a fascist dictator, as dis just about every other nation in this wonderful EU.

      WE ended up with a system of parliamentary democracy that just about worked. Till we threw it away and seemed to accept that a bunch of countries who have never achieved as much knew better, and should govern us.

      And having thrown it all away, we have become like Europeans, prone to totalitarianism, antidemocratic fascist or communist (is there really a difference) rulers that we cannot change by the electoral process, unless we vote leave on June 25th.

      Leaving the EU is not leaving Europe, its merely disengaging from a corrupt political structure that we cannot change from within, and which no longer believe serves our best interests, even if it ever did, and as far as I am concerned, no longer serves the best interest of the European peoples, if it ever did.

      If we fail to leave, we will have voted to relinquish democracy, forever.

      WE probably will. And it will get worse. As an Iranian friend one said 'we voted to get rid of the Shah, because he was elitist, and was spending all our money, and then - and we dont know how it happened - this exiled mullah from Paris turns up and turns the clock back 100 years and we wished we hadn't. The Shah wasn’t perfect, but he was better than what happened afterwards'

      The great thing about voting leave, is that having regained our democracy, if we dont like it, we can always apply to join the EU.

      The bad thing about voting remain, is that we will never ever again get a chance to leave. WE will, as a nation, cease to exist.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: From the outside looking in

        "we didn't have a fascist dictator, as dis just about every other nation in this wonderful EU."

        Those who lived under Oliver Cromwell might beg to differ.

      2. Dr. Rude

        Re: From the outside looking in

        'The great thing about voting leave, is that having regained our democracy, if we dont like it, we can always apply to join the EU.'

        Brexit, 'freedom', 'independence' all come with a price, my friend. Wake up: BOTH Britain and the EU will lose money.

        Therefore, nobody will take you back and risk losing more money in the future with an unreliable and less-than-serious country who is changing its mind every 5 years. Make no mistakes: after BREXIT, all British people (and British companies) will be persona-non-grata in Europe.

        Would you marry for the second time a woman who cheated on you, left you calling you 'Hitler', forced you to sell your house, to find a new job, a new school for kids etc. etc?

        You want out, you stay out.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: From the outside looking in

      Until you escape you do not necessarily realise what a complete pile of claptrap and falsehoods the nation is fed by parties of all colours, and worst of all the media, and generally in the name of profit or self interest, not that of the greater good.

      Which nation, the one you left or the one you're in now?

      If there's a European nation without press propaganda, let me know which one it is.

  6. Whitter

    Britain = London + Oxbridge

    I'd argue it doesn't, but to many, the author seemingly included, it seems that way.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't see myself as European more a citizen of the planet.

    All these languages, customs and differences will soon be wiped out with television. It's already started, I regularly hear people using terms like "Elevator" and "Diaper". Eventually we'll have one world and all live like TV sitcoms.

  8. codejunky Silver badge


    Wow this article was confusing, I didnt know if I should laugh or despair. I dont know if this was a parody of the stupid arguments put forward in this debate (from both official campaigns) or if it was a childs essay for school. Either way there are a lot of words with very little content and the little content does seem to contradict itself or show a lack of understanding.

    So after a huge complaint about us apparently not being accommodating because we want out of the EU the writer will be happier going back to a country with (writers words)- "its own debates around EU membership and nationalistic tendencies". I hope the writer realises they wont be treated as a foreigner because thats the country they are not a foreigner to.

    The amusement over our empire seems out of place when promoting the EU empire building and why would anyone compare Boris Johnson with Putin? but then confusing the EDL, BNP and UKIP does demonstrate difficulty identifying differences.

    The largest conflict I found was observing how passive we are where we just accept our lot and resistance is futile. All in an article telling us we need to give up and submit to the wonderful empire or we will have a recession the businesses barely care about as they crush us underfoot. Last I checked it was the Eurozone in deflation.

    Just in case the author does read the comment section I will help-

    For me, the EU is not about the money, and it shouldn’t be for anyone. It is a model how people can work together on the real issues that our society is facing in the future: climate change, global security, demographic changes. These problems cannot be tackled with national pride and strong emotion. We have all got to look forward, not backward.

    The EU has a failing currency so yeah its not about the money to them either, they just demand more 'contributions'. Global security is too big for the EU, right now they quarrel over their own borders thanks to a security threat caused by one of the members (looking at Germany). We have blown past how many MMCC deadlines to save the earth now? And demographics have become an interesting problem for countries sucked of their working population to wealthier countries in the EU with now infrastructure issues to support them. If this is not an issue for pride and emotion then maybe this should be a democratic debate instead of appealing to our pride and emotion to stay in? And if we are looking forward not backward then why should we continue in an outdated and obviously not working political structure?

    Hope you feel happier wherever you call home.

  9. Big_Boomer

    Dance Monkey Dance!

    Your Masters have commanded you to free them from the shackles of the EU and you are going to do it. Afterwards you are all going to cry about how you were deceived and you didn't know and it's not your fault. But then it will be too late. Of course the rest of us will have to suffer alongside you, but at least we will be able to smugly say "Told you so!". Murdoch et al must be laughing their arses off at you all. God forbid that you try and look at what is going on and actually think for yourself. Much easier to do what the shiny box tells you to do. Dance Monkey Dance!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dance Monkey Dance!

      It is well worth asking Brexit supporters what their Plan B is if it doesn't work out quite as promised.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Dance Monkey Dance!

        What's the remain camp's plan B for when it doesn't work out then? Hold a referendum on EU membership?

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Dance Monkey Dance!

      @ Big_Boomer

      You do know that the politicians dragged us into the EU without our consent. And that they are the ones who refused a referendum every step of the way. And after claiming we would be fine if we left Cameron failed to get his negotiation and is now trying to convince us that WW3 will start if we leave.

      Think you dont understand who the 'Masters' are supporting.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "You got to ask yourself, cui bono? "

    Always a good idea.

  11. Triggerd

    Bye then

    'Brexit or not, I’m going back to a country with its own debates around EU membership and nationalistic tendencies. At least, there, I won’t be shut up as a foreigner without a right to vote.' going back to a place with the same issues, isn't really making a stance. It just show's that the British arnt the only ones who are fedup with the EU.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Bye then

      The autor is German, the chances of a Gexit or even a referendum on Gexit are slim-to-none.

  12. TRT Silver badge

    I don't much care...

    for being painted as a racist or at least some sort of jingoist because I'm concerned about the levels of migration to the UK. I have always considered myself to be a European and a citizen of the world. I couldn't give a toss what colour someone is or what language they speak or how they like their cabbage pickled... I'm worried about numbers.

    Net migration to the UK in 2015: ~300,000

    Government house building target in 2015: 200,000

    Actual house building achieved in 2015: ~170,000

    And that's not accounting for birth rate or increased longevity.

    Local councils are already finding it hard to meet the house building target. Developers can make huge profits, but ONLY if they keep housing supply lagging behind demand.

    And then there's the balance of nationalities. EU including the UK makes up only 13.4% of the population of the world. EU citizens make up 50% of the net migration. I know people from outside the UK, but still from a Commonwealth country, who want to come to the UK to study, who are prepared to pay ridiculous tuition fees, but have to support themselves with a maximum of 20 hours a week work AND have to have a lot of cash in the bank, in one case, £20,000. EU citizens get to pay the home student rate, qualify for loans from the SLC, can work however much they want to support themselves, can stay in the UK once studies are finished and don't need to have a bean in the bank.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I don't much care...

      "And that's not accounting for birth rate or increased longevity."

      The single driving force beyond all others that accounts for housing demand is the size of households - down from 5-7 per housing unit in the 1950s to less than half that now.

      Even if no immigration had occurred there would be a critical housing shortage now, simply due to this seemingly simple change in population demographics.

      The UK government funded councils to build a lot of social housing in the 1960s-70s for 1-2 person households, intending it to be retirement housing for pensioners. It was _all_ taken by young couples, and then the thatcherite selloffs happened (taking an old labour idea but selling at 90% discount AND prohibiting councils from using sales income to build more housing - it was a calculated way of nobbling labour dominated councils by converting housebuyers to conservative voters (blatent vote buying) and simultaneously fomenting discontent by ensuring the councils couldn't house new tenants). Those selloffs ensured that older folk in 3-4 bedroom council flats had nowhere smaller to move into and simultaneously ensured that couples in 1-bedroom flats had no place larger to move into.

      The whole EU referendum is a dog-and-pony sideshow, intended to distract from the simultaneous trainwrecks of NHS, welfare and education system disembowellment, the pensions system falling apart (there simply isn't enough money to pay for retiring Boomers) and the housing crisis pigeons released by Thatcher coming home to roost. It's working exactly as planned too.

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: I don't much care...

      "And that's not accounting for birth rate or increased longevity."

      170k a year isn't enough to maintain the existing housing stock without any increased demand. We already have the oldest housing stock in Europe.

      1. captain veg

        Re: And that's not accounting for birth rate or increased longevity.

        So clearly the answer must be a programme of sterilisation and euthanasia.

        I've got nothing against wrinklies or fecund youths, it's just about the numbers. Nothing personal.


        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: And that's not accounting for birth rate or increased longevity.

          Mine's the one with the flashing red gem in the palm...

      2. <shakes head>

        Re: I don't much care...

        what is wrong with old houses? I like them

    3. T_o_u_f_ma_n

      Re: I don't much care...

      If numbers are your concerns, you may want to stop electing politicians who only worry about short term gains for their landlord pals and couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery when it comes to housing and planning. By the way, this isn't a UK only issue: other European governments display the same absence of foresight on these matters and all these issues are local. EU membership or none, the problems will remain, no matter what power and influence on immigration governments pretend they wield.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I don't much care... may want to stop electing politicians...

        OK, so what are the alternatives?

    4. Tom Womack

      Re: I don't much care...

      We're not building enough houses. The reason for this is the ridiculous post-war imposition of the Green Belt. Abolish planning permission for a couple of decades and we will replace the housing problem with some easier problems to do with public-transport provision and building primary schools.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I don't much care...

        "The reason for this is the ridiculous post-war imposition of the Green Belt."

        The really ironic part is that the loudest voices screaming "save our greenbelts! no new housing in our village!" come from those living in houses built in the last building spurt of 1920-1926 or so - those same houses whose rapid-fire erection led to kneejerk passing of the greenbelt rules after 40-odd years of dithering.

        When you dig into the reasons given for objecting, once you get past the usual "changing the character of the area" claims, you get to the REAL reason for objection which is "adversely affects property values"

        What do you expect when you live in a bubble market that has prices dictated by an artificial scarcity of supply?

        Greenbelt areas have become a refuge for the middle classes to hide from the hoi-polloi, with families that have lived in these areas for generations being priced out of the market. You don't need gated communities (and there are several around surrey) when you can isolate yourself from "trouble" with distance and no bus services.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I don't much care...

          Is that what people think green belt is? Gated communities in the Home Counties? In my neck of the woods, they'll bulldoze roads across playing fields, concrete over allotments, cut wildlife corridors in half, backfill natural pools and generally nibble away at the only farmland left in London. Slice after slice of pasture being built over until Harrow merges into Wembley, Watford merges into Harrow, Rickmansworth merges into Watford... Whereas our local gated community, Moor Park, has remained pretty much exactly as it is. They've enough money to buy the fields and leave them as they are, thank you very much, whilst 400 home megaplex's spring up next to the 1 in 100 flood plain, that floods every 5 years now because of land recovery and flood defences built 15 miles upstream so that another 1000 home megaplex could be built there... and so on and so on until you can walk to work balcony to balcony on floor 15.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is how the French do pranks:

    This is how the UK does pranks:


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