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. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fail

    I fell asleep at the second paragraph.

    D-, see me after class.

    1. Alfred

      Re: Fail

      You're very much part of the problem. Perhaps if you and others like you could pay attention to something that wasn't flashing lights and beeping at you to hold your conditioned, obedient mind in thrall we wouldn't be in this mess.

    2. Just Enough
      FAIL

      Re: Fail

      Let's make a distinction here between intelligent argument and intelligent writing.

      Boris here has a few intelligent points to make. But his writing submerges them in a poorly structured ramble. By the third paragraph I wasn't asleep, but I has already lost as to where he was coming from and clueless to where we might be going. Reading further and I was even further adrift and getting tossed from one tangential observation to the other. It kind of pulls itself into a safe harbour by the end, but I fear most readers will have been drowned in divergences by then.

      You'd think that someone who is a Research Fellow would be more skilled at getting his points across. I hope his research papers aren't as bad.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fail

      "Speaking of Empire. Something that I’ve never quite understood: How do you justify colonising from Cape to Cairo? I’m just asking, as nowadays you seem to hold quite strong views about foreigners and that they should stay in their home countries. Pesky migrants."

      We were largely just visiting and bringing a little British civilisation to the local heathens as a thank you for ruthlessly exploiting their local resources. Where we were actually "colonising" there were mostly no indigenous natives worth speaking of...

      Migrants as the name implies tend to outstay their welcome. It's usually alright though if they already have lots of money (hello lots of Russians, etc.)

      1. keith_w

        Re: Fail

        I am pretty sure that North America, Africa, India and Austrailia all had indigenous natives worth speaking of, many of which are still suffering the effects of colonization.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fail

          "I am pretty sure that North America, Africa, India and Austrailia all had indigenous natives worth speaking of, many of which are still suffering the effects of colonization."

          I don't recall the Brits bothering to colonise Africa or India?

          The Colonies (North America and Australia) both had a very low density of natives when the Brits arrived. The vast majority of colonial impact to those natives was long after the British Empire ceased to be involved.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Fail

            They had a much lower density after we turned up.

          2. oldcoder

            Re: Fail

            Did you forget South Africa? Kenya

            Gambia

            Sierra Leone

            Nigeria

            South West Africa

            Basutoland

            Swaziland

            Bechuanaland

            North Rhodesia

            South Rhodesia

            Nyasaland

            Tanganyika

            Zanzibar

            Uganda

            British Somaliland

            Egypt

            Just about 1/3 to 1/2 all Africa.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Fail

              "Did you forget South Africa?"

              That was the Dutch.

        2. <shakes head>

          Re: Fail

          to add some context ,the population of Zimbabwe was 500k I a land the size of the UK.

    4. Oh Homer
      Holmes

      Re: Fail

      Allow me to translate.

      "free from convoluted bureaucratic processes and administrative hurdles"

      Or in other words, blissfully free of ethical standards and consumer protection.

      As with any regulations, it is sadly necessary for them to become increasingly convoluted because of the violators' never-ending attempts to circumvent them.

      I've observed that most opposition to the EU is motivated by neoliberal sentiment. Fortunately I've also observed that most Brits despise neoliberalism, so I'd guess that we're not going to leave the EU any time soon, at least not by democratic consensus.

      On the other hand, this is a neoliberal regime elected by a mere 25% minority of voters, most of whom seem to live on six figure salaries in London and the Home Counties, and which arrogantly persists in passing legislation that contradicts the opinions of the remaining 75%, so perhaps expecting democratic outcomes is somewhat naive in the blatantly undemocratic UK. That point alone is reason enough to retain the protection of EU oversight.

      What it boils down to is this: bluntly, I'd rather be ruled by the EC than this or any other Tory government.

    5. YARR

      "The arguments of the Pro campaigners just add to the sentiment that I wasn’t welcome in the first place."

      Brexit is about our relationship with the political institution of the EU, not with European people or nations.

      "when I interject that the former size of your Empire isn’t relevant anymore, your hurt pride"

      I don't think many British people are "proud" of Empire or "hurt" by your suggestion.

      "How do you justify colonising from Cape to Cairo?"

      How can the EU justify seizing political control of member states without a democratic mandate?

      Besides most European countries were also colonisers, and were primarily motivated by economic reasons.

      "nowadays you seem to hold quite strong views about foreigners and that they should stay in their home countries"

      Inside or outside of the EU views would still be divided, but being outside the EU gives Britain control of immigration. This matters more to many voters than having "greater influence in Europe".

      "It’s your government, who use cheap rightwing messages"

      Actually our government has used taxpayer's money to spread pro-EU propaganda to every household.

      There's nothing "cheap" or "uneducated" about wanting independence from a political union that we never voted for (we only voted for a free market), that is anti-democratic and run by a self-serving appointed elite, whose excessive regulations and taxes have made Britain overwhelmingly poorer, and taken away powers to effect change that benefits us.

      "Austerity measures and the demise of the NHS have nothing to do with a few million foreigners taking your jobs and benefits"

      With the money we spend on the EU, the national budget would go a lot further.

      "largely generated by a hasty invasion of Iraq in 2003"

      The 2003 invasion did cause a wave of refugees, but the present wave of refugees are caused by recent conflicts that have many causes. The downfall of Libya was assisted by many EU countries.

      "Do you still wonder about the success of Polish and Romanian builders?"

      Not really - a British wage is worth a lot more to them than a Polish or Romanian wage is to a Brit.

      "The lack of social mobility is strong in Great Britain"

      How is the EU going to fix this? The EU creates inequality by funding a large and excessively well paid, unelected bureaucracy.

      Perhaps if fewer foreign students went to British universities, more British students would have an opportunity?

      "a short-term recession would just be an inconvenience"

      Why would freeing ourselves from a counter-productive political union provoke a recession, provided we remain open to free trade? The threats seem to come from people with a vested interest in centralising political control. If Britain's economy was more successful outside the EU it would prove to other Europeans that they would also be better off independent.

      "At least, there, I won’t be shut up as a foreigner without a right to vote."

      This is a nonsensical argument coming from someone educated to PhD level! Fair is fair - we can't vote in your referendum and you can't vote in ours.

      You've been granted the opportunity to express your view to a wide audience here. There are many who disagree with you who would relish the opportunity to be read so widely.

      "For me, the EU is not about the money ... It is a model how people can work together "

      Like it or not, money matters and a grossly inefficient institution should be subject to some competition. The higher goals you mention are global issues not local European issues.

      The EU is a hierarchical structure that dictates laws that take precedent over national sovereignty, it's not a forum for equal partner nations to agree common policies.

      "Is the Brexit debate yet another move to distract from the real issues in the country?"

      As a member of the EU, we are powerless to affect the real issues facing our country. Brexit would take that power back.

      "These problems cannot be tackled with national pride and strong emotion. We have all got to look forward, not backward."

      Your appeal to abstract emotional concepts is not a valid argument. You appear to suffer from a delusion that the only political path we can choose is to surrender to centralised control. I would prefer to regain more control over my own future in exchange for less influence over others.

      "you need to work on yourself"

      The feeling is mutual.

      1. Mark Exclamation

        @YARR, wish I could upvote you multiple times!

      2. MrSuntan

        @YARR yeah wish I could upvote many times too!

      3. evilhippo

        Thread winner

        Excellent reply.

        And Boris, please don't let the door hit you on the way out.

  2. Tom 15

    Prat

    What a prat. Sitting in Cambridge whining about how Oxford gets all the attention...

    1. Andrew Ansell
      FAIL

      Re: Prat

      The word "Oxford" appears once on the article. As part of the phrase "Oxford and Cambridge".

      What a prat. Sitting there not reading a story properly and then somehow blaming someone else for his apparent inability to tell the difference between Oxford and Oxbridge, the commonly used abbreviation for Oxford and Cambridge.

    2. Richard 81

      Re: Prat

      You do know what Oxbridge means, right?

    3. John Lilburne

      Re: Prat

      You may find that 'Oxbridge' includes Cambridge. I think that even wikipedia gets that right.

  3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Something the author should consider is the fact that most British people (myself included) don't consider themselves european.

    We don't speak a latin language. We make few rules but we stick to them, unlike continentals who make many rules and ignore the ones they don't like.

    There are more differences than similarities. We just happen to share a continental shelf.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's more a north EU vs to south EU argument than a GB vs EU argument.

      1. WibbleMe

        I am sure that at least the French consider UK south an and Spain north

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I always like how people like to pretend they're talking for the majority in this (and most similar) farce.

      2. John H Woods

        Divide

        "That's more a north EU vs to south EU argument than a GB vs EU argument." --AC

        Yes, I've often wondered if the real divide is beer vs wine

        1. m0rt Silver badge

          Re: Divide

          "Yes, I've often wondered if the real divide is beer vs wine"

          Drink 10 pints of Beer, then 10 pints of wine*. I think you will see which wins then.

          *Not in the same day, obviously. Well I say obviously...

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Divide

            Drink 10 pints of Beer, then 10 pints of wine*. I think you will see which wins then.

            Depends. You'd get very different results with English beer and Italian wine, versus Belgian beer and English wine.

            1. m0rt Silver badge

              Re: Divide

              "Depends. You'd get very different results with English beer and Italian wine, versus Belgian beer and English wine."

              I challenge anyone to get through 10 pints of Belgian beer. That would be like trying to eat three Xmas dinners in one sitting.

              (I don't mean Jupiler, I mean something like Leffe, Duvel or Kwak. Lovely, but it is a liquid meal)

            2. Warm Braw Silver badge

              Re: Divide

              English wine

              At least English wine is, er, wine. Unlike British wine, which is factory-produced from imported grape juice concentrate and drunk only by those who find supermarket cider too sophisticated...

        2. Esme
          Coat

          Re: Divide

          Nope. It's tea (lovely!) vs coffee (filthy!)

    2. Chris Harden

      "Something the author should consider is the fact that most British people (myself included) don't consider themselves european."

      And you have some statistics on that do you? Maybe the people in your little world but for those of us who have met more than, say, ten people in our lives I would probably say most people would punch you if you tried to tell them what they are or are not.

      "We don't speak a latin language."

      Neither does Germany (as one example), what's your point?

      "We make few rules but we stick to them, unlike continentals who make many rules and ignore the ones they don't like."

      Yes, like the rules Bankers have to adhere to, or Politicians when claiming expenses. And the few rules we stick to, how many laws does this country have? When you take a black taxi do you make sure the bale of hay is in the boot of the car?

      "There are more differences than similarities."

      Yes, that's a good thing. Go check out evolution. The theory, not the film.

      "We just happen to share a continental shelf."

      We could try and cut ourselves off of that if you wanted, I'm pretty sure we have the technology?

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        most British people ... don't consider themselves european

        Probably also worth pointing out that many "British" people don't even consider themselves British (see previous referendum). It's interesting that you'd get similar observations to those of the author about our hereditary elite from people here in the frozen north - London (by which we typically mean everywhere south of Watford) looks as much like a remote colonial power to Newcastle as it once did to Nyasaland, so the whole issue of "identity" does not play in the same way as it does in the Home Counties.

        I do sometimes wonder if everyone would be happier if we simply built a wall around the M25 so the people on the inside could believe they were even bigger fish in the smaller pond of their own independent country and the rest of us could get on with our lives without the constant imposition of change for the sake of appearing to be powerful.

        1. TheOtherHobbes

          >Probably also worth pointing out that many "British" people don't even consider themselves British

          To be fair, it's not obvious that all British people consider themselves people.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Has to be said

            Ah, Brummie boys and Black Country boys working together

          2. Roger Mew

            I do not know where you come from ethnically, as most proper brits are derived from somewhere on the mainland eg France, Holland or Germany, and going back Italy. Now in my book these are European. OK those with shades of skin different to those countries are not of EU ethnicity, however the likelihood of being European if your skin is white is extremely high.

            So, if they do not consider them selves European where the phxxck do they think they are. Eastern asian are slant eyed, middle africa are black, and so on. So believe me there is not much considering to be done. Both my wife and I have names that trace back to French, many of our friends have names that are either Celtic or Dutch / German! Presumably they should allow themselves to be thought of as European, yet the majority of inhabitants of say Southall, Leeds, Peterborough and so on may not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's your anecdote. I personally do identify as European.

      I always find my thinking amazingly similar to Germans when I visit.

      On the other hand, I simply can not believe, given we speak the same language (give or take), the yawning gap between American thinking. Unless the American is suitably well travelled and "Europeanized", it's nearly impossible to communicate.

      Makes me wonder why we fought Germany over such a small matter as a Hungry Ostrich getting shot.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Germany would be the exception. I get the impression that they are more like us than their neighbours, but they've been buggered by geography.

        1. Chris Harden

          Don't forget Poland too, they are much like you.

          You know, since their racist, bigoted, isolationist government got put in to power.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We don't speak a latin language."

      Wait what? Are you not descendants of the Anglo-Saxons? Angel-Sachsen? The ones who spoke in Germanic languages, which are relatively closely related to latin?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The ones who spoke in Germanic languages, which are relatively closely related to latin?"

        AFAIK Gothic (earliest attested Germanic language) is an Indo-European language, like Greek, Latin and also Sanskit. However, in terms of a time series, the early history before 300AD isn't known. What's more, early Gothic documents include a lot of Greek loan words.

        I'm no expert but I wouldn't therefore like to claim Gothic was "relatively closely related to Latin". They certainly share a common ancestry, but using that argument you could say we are closely related to Aryan Indians (not, I hasten to add, fantasy Nazi Aryans, but the writers of Sanskrit who called themselves Aryans.)

        Perhaps if the Leave campaign wins and the takeover of the country proceeds on its merry way, in a few hundred years we'll be having a vote on seceding from the Indian Empire, so we can join up with the Circumpolar Co-Prosperity Sphere run by China.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We don't speak a latin language"

      Depends on who "we" are. There are two quite distinctive versions of English that could be described as "educated" and "uneducated" - as happens in other countries e.g. Greece and to a degree in France. Educated English still retains very significant verbal forms from Norman French and Latin.

      Let's write that again with Romance-derived words missing:

      on who we are. There are of English that could be as and as happens in other and to a in English still from and.

      Another example, from a train in Yorkshire:

      "Please retain tickets for inspection"

      for which the demotic is

      "Keep tickets to be looked at".

    6. ToddR

      Oh Dear,

      Didn't you know that most of the other EU countries don't speak a latin language either, but mostly germanic, (includes english), and slavic.

      I do feel european, but I also will be voting for Brexit, beacuse I care about democracy

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Why is it that lefties always use the phrase "oh dear"?

        ( I assume you're a leftie due to your unnecessary and condescending use of "oh dear" )

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          I assume you're a smug git due to your use of 'leftie' and your belief that a single non-political phrase can be unequivocally identified with a wide political spectrum occupied in varying degrees by tens of millions of people.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            I'm right though.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        ToddR "I do feel european, but I also will be voting for Brexit, beacuse I care about democracy"

        Perhaps you meant Sovreignty as opposed to Democracy, democracy requires a genuine majority to function, not many British Governments actually have the majority of voters vote for them.

        In addition once you have given whoever wins an election your 'mandate' they will do whatever they like regardless of majority feelings. So no, Brexit will make no difference to democracy in Britain, only where the arbitary decisions that are apparently made on your behalf and for your own good will be onshore instead of Brussels.

      3. TheVogon Silver badge

        "but I also will be voting for Brexit, beacuse I care about democracy!"

        I will because of immigration. Just think about what's going to happen when say much of Bangladesh sinks under the waves in a few decades due to global warming / sea level rise.....The EU will be inundated by even more undesirable economic migrants and refugees.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Yeah, close the borders. We don't want no stinkin people fleeing from some disaster.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            @ anonymous boring coward

            Has the eurozone/EU torn itself apart already? Not shocked they kept that quiet, until after the referendum anyway. Then we can go back to the disasters (economy, migration, politics, racism)- Greece, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany etc.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: @ anonymous boring coward

              "Not shocked they kept that quiet"

              Yes, it's all a big conspiracy, and the state of EU is a secret, of course.

              You can't go anywhere within the EU and see what it's all like either.

              Bloody forriners.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @ anonymous boring coward

                @ anonymous boring coward

                "Yes, it's all a big conspiracy, and the state of EU is a secret, of course."

                What secret? they openly report the high unemployment rates, and were quite happy about the dire youth unemployment in (I think it was) Spain. The Euro currency crisis isnt a secret either even if they dont like to talk about it. The swift move to border controls is also pretty public too. What is remaining pretty quiet is the advancement of Turkey to joining the EU in exchange for migration controls (Bloody forriners indeed).

                You do have the conspiracy part down though. Many voices all contradicting each other as to why we need to remain (the EU will crumble, we will crumble, the UK will physically move out of Europe- maybe we will end up in a warmer part of the world. Who knows, etc). In fact them conspiring together is part of what the club is about, and our membership does seem to have given them something to agree on.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            "Yeah, close the borders. We don't want no stinkin people fleeing from some disaster."

            Quite. Let the EU play migrant table tennis without us. Especially when it's likely going to be many millions of them. We already spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid...

    7. phuzz Silver badge

      I've always thought of myself as a European for what it's worth.

      And what's all this about not making many rules but sticking to them? That's not the British way! We have many rules and laws, but there's a tacit understanding of whether they'll be enforced or not, which varies according to the time and place.

      Or maybe that's just the impression I got from growing up in the countryside, where things like licensing hours for pubs were regarded more as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule.

      1. Roger Mew

        Oh what now THAT is French, they have highway laws yet we are taking our Mairie to the Tribunal d'administration for infractions numbering over 100 according to the Hussier (bailiff who is supporting our concerns) then we are going after amny other towns and organizations including the Gendarmerie and the police for failing in thier duty of care and not prosecuting these infractions.

        All they care about is getting money from motorists, not even if you report something will they do ought. So really your comment is really French! Not the British way!

        Incidentally, I was in a pub in the west country, you had to go down a river to get there in a car or wellies, and the police turned up at silly oclock one summers evening when the harvester vehicles had just finished. They knicked the publican, and a load of vehicles for no tax or MOT etc.It was the first time the police had been there for many years, before the war in fact. Most of the vehicles got off as it was found that the road in the river had not been adopted by the council and the police car actually was in infringement of its insurance limitations!

    8. Paul Hampson 1

      We don't all feel like you.

      I have to agree with the man.

      I left the UK to work abroad because of the wealth/influence imbalance (coming from the north with a matching accent) I took my Master's degree and left. His being foreign may have actually aided him in some circles since a foreign accent is often considered better than a northern one.

      I am very much European and trust Brussels more than London.

      If this was a fair referendum (most expats can't vote) the contest would be over

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We don't all feel like you.

        I am very much European and trust Brussels more than London.

        I suppose planned mediocrity does have some appeal. "mostly harmless"

        If this was a fair referendum (most expats can't vote) the contest would be over

        Don't bet on it. I'm a UK expat living in the EU, and whilst I'd have voted to remain in the common market/EC, I would certainly vote to leave the EU. If I had the vote that Cameron's bunch promised us in their manifesto, that is.

    9. manchesterj

      Wouldn't that make German an un European language?

  4. Efros

    I'm glad my mind doesn't image this.

    "I can almost imagine Vladimir Putin and Boris Johnson sitting on that horse together. With bare chests."

    shudder!

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: I'm glad my mind doesn't image this.

      Duh! Rule 34 tells us that it has already been imagined. Perhaps even by at least one of the protagonists?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: I'm glad my mind doesn't image this.

        Perhaps even by at least one of the protagonists?

        The horse?

        1. captain veg

          Re: I'm glad my mind doesn't image this.

          There can be, be definition, only one protagonist. Could be the horse.

          -A.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm glad my mind doesn't image this.

      pass the mind-bleach please

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    The ad hominems have started early

    Given that we have one commentard anxious to make it clear that he hasn't read beyond the first 74 words and another pretending not to know the difference between "Oxbridge" and "Oxford", there's clearly some anxiety to avoid engaging with the argument.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The ad hominems have started early

      It was sarcasm - of course I read it, all of it, but I was implying it was an awful article. A huge number of words without managing to actually say anything.

      1. Alfred

        Re: The ad hominems have started early

        No, that wasn't sarcasm. Sarcasm involves implying the opposite of what you said, and you made no such implication. You realised afterwards that you were being the class clown, playing up to an audience of idiots, and then decided to pretend that actually you had read it all along.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The ad hominems have started early

          >playing up to an audience of idiots

          Bit of an own goal there Alfred.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: The ad hominems have started early

        A huge number of words without managing to actually say anything.

        Yes, it does rather read like a petulant rant from somone whose grant to research his pet subject wasn't renewed again.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: The ad hominems have started early

          A huge number of words without managing to actually say anything.

          You know how you used to write those essays and then do a word count...

    2. Banksy

      Re: The ad hominems have started early

      But the ad hominems in the article are perfectly acceptable? For example lumping in UKIP with the EDL? Calling people who might vote to leave 'losers' (despite it looking like almost, or more than, half the country will vote that way)? Asking why an empire is acceptable despite there being nobody from the height of empire alive now (I'm excluding Hong Kong)?

      Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out Boris.

      1. Vinyl-Junkie
        Flame

        Re: The ad hominems have started early

        "For example lumping in UKIP with the EDL?"

        As far as I, and many of my friends, are concerned the only difference between EDL and UKIP is the lengths they go to in order to disguise their inherent xenophobia and racism. They totally deserve to be lumped together.

  6. joeldillon

    I'm not sure there are many people outside the BNP who seek to justify colonising Africa these days...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would you like European neo-liberalism, or British neo-liberalism?

    This referendum is bollocks. Where's the referendum on TTIP?

    Sorry I can't do that (call me) Dave.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge
      Pint

      You know what, if the writer thought like this it'd have:

      a) Been a much shorter article

      b) Made more sense

      c) Worth much more

      Have a pint from me. TTIP is a far more dangerous issue and is a massive issue regardless of whether we vote In/Out.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Where's the referendum on TTIP?

        We'll only have a option of that once we leave the EU.

        1. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: Where's the referendum on TTIP?

          >We'll only have a option of that once we leave the EU.

          You realise that unlike the British government, the French government has actively come out against TTIP and is refusing to even think about signing it without major changes?

          Meanwhile Boris said in 2014 there was "absolutely nothing not to like" about TTIP, and that "it would have Churchill beaming."

          And you want to trust Boris and his chums with the UK's future?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Trollface

            Re: Where's the referendum on TTIP?

            the French government has actively come out against TTIP and is refusing to even think about signing it without major changes?

            Sounds like a good reason to vote for it. Anything international that the French don't like must be good.

          2. Gezza

            Re: Where's the referendum on TTIP?

            OK - so flip the respective positions in your post. You may end up with the same final line but which ones can we do something about. It certainly isn't any of that lot in Brussels/Strasbourg* (*delete as appropriate depending on which day of the month it is when the whole kit and caboodle gets crated up and re-housed - classic EU fiscal probity).

            This whole EU thing is about self-determination. Everything else is a subset.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        The problem is that the EU might be on the verge of cancelling TTIP and you may find yourself post-Brexit in a situation where the conservatives enact it in the UK...

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          post-Brexit in a situation where the conservatives enact it in the UK...

          And just like the US-UK extradition treaty, the US omits to sign up to it themselves...

          1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

            I believe the same thing happened after WWII where there was an agreement to share secrets between the US and the UK, that only went one way as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Is the prevalent feeling that the public can consider themselves lucky to choose between candidates, who more often than not went to the same elitist schools, depicted and promoted by media run by their former classmates?"

      That explains the antipathy towards the young (in particular) to politics. However it also explains the even greater antipathy towards Europe.

      The EU appears to be run by a bunch of political has-beens (Neil Kinnock anyone?) who gain their positions and substantial salaries purely by means of their connection to the old politicians club. There was certainly no democratic input into that process.

      I think it is easy to support the general EU objectives of free movement of goods, services and people. But it is very hard to support the opaque and incestuous political structures which underpin it, and which we can do nothing to change.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        "I think it is easy to support the general EU objectives of free movement of goods, services and people."

        Really? That is most of the problem. When the border with Poland opened 2 million Poles crossed going outwards. The number that crossed inwards looking for work? - could probably count on your fingers.

        So sure Poles will support those objectives but the people in the countries they went to not so much because at least some of what the Poles gained was their loss.

        Free movement forces an equalisation of living standards and that hurts people in the wealthier members and very unfairly. The rich get cheap servants and labour for their businesses the skilled workers get their wages depressed and the unskilled end up on the dole.

        1. Chris Harden

          That's a stupid way of looking at it, what are you going to do, load all 2 million of them in to a van and ship them back across the continent?

          PS before you reply I should warn you it's a trick question.

          When you start thinking of people, PEOPLE, as 'them' your doing life wrong. Europe is trying to do something good for the world, get over it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > > "I think it is easy to support the general EU objectives of free movement of goods, services and people."

          > Really? That is most of the problem.

          On the whole I'd say this movement is economically neutral as far as the UK is concerned: more workers, more consumers, more taxpayers. Remember that this inbound movement is typically young, skilled and enthusiastic workers and we have a mountain of pension debt to service.

          The main area where the impact is profoundly negative is on the shortage of housing.

          I find it ironic to see the right-wing press on one day saying how terrible immigration is, and the next day crowing about how wonderful it is that house prices have risen so much.

          > Free movement forces an equalisation of living standards

          I see that as a plus: better living standards for humanity overall, less polarisation of wealth, and a far better way of achieving it than either foreign aid or taxation.

          Which reminds me of the other major problem with the EU: enormous amounts of money being paid to the already-rich (i.e. landowners). By the EU's own admission this amounts to about 1% of total government spending by EU members. Presumably it is done primarily to stop French farmers from blockading the roads and ports.

          But even that policy would be OK if it were decided openly and democratically - not behind closed doors.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The rich get cheap servants and labour for their businesses the skilled workers get their wages depressed and the unskilled end up on the dole.

          Not that this wasn't an issue in Britain before the EU.

        4. Tom Womack

          Why would you bother looking for work in Poland? This is the era of capital; take the money from selling a two-bedroom house in Zone 2, buy an apartment block in Krakow with half of it, stick the other half in UK-based investment funds, and you get to live the rentier dream. Settle down with a nice Polish girl somewhere where you can actually live off the interest.

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Good point on TTIP referendum

      UK govt would sign TTIP even faster than they would pocket a dubious regime backhander for some weapons: - if "brexit" happens, "solo" UK (no longer bound in EU TTIP negotiations) will definitely be TTIPing as nary a squeak against TTIP has come from UK govt thus far.

      Ironically TTIP agreement hit a bit of a stumbling block currently due to various (non UK) EU nations not being keen on some of the excessive "let corporations walk all over us" strictures.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Stop

    The facepalm is strong in this one

    France has less science bureaucracy or favouritism than the UK? Most European governments would fall if their approval for something like GCHQ’s Tempora became public, yet Germany and the BND are still going strong. The EU is a fluffy cuddly thing... that has driven Southern Europe into the ground.

    There are imperfections everywhere, including everywhere else in Europe.

    The UK is between a rock and a hard place with this referendum on the future of the Tory party, Brexit and a bunch of swivel-eyed loons take charge, Bremain and the EU marches ever onward with... who knows what it does, sometimes it does good things like privacy and human rights laws, other times it brings countries to its knees, others it's unable to do sweet FA (migration crisis), and it's not too democratic while it does it.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

      The EU's democracy is odd. It's undemocratic in some areas, and overly democratic in others. So pretty much the only things that ever get done are the stupid things like telling us we can't use fast boil kettles anymore.

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

      " Brexit and a bunch of swivel-eyed loons take charge"

      Yes but at least we get a chance to elect some different ones in a couple of years and will have much more reason to care.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

      Southern Europe has driven itself into the ground, by overspending then cooking its books.

      Oh, sure, one can criticize the plans aiming to help them - but right or wrong, they're still plans aiming to help them They are not the cause of where they are.

      And the EU does, the EU does not. Last time I looked, people at the head of the EU are all either directly elected by us or chosen by our governments. They're not aliens from another planet coming upon us, they are us.

      Not happy about it? Why, blame your government, which is only too happy to keep them as the bogeyman everything can be blamed on.

      I'll use one example: Brits forced upon us the right to mix crap (aka «hydrogenated vegetable fat») with cocoa and still call the brown result «chocolate» (2000/36/CE). Things come from somewhere, not from a vague «the EU»

      1. Chris Miller

        Southern Europe has driven itself into the ground

        But it's their membership of the euro that ensures they can do nothing to correct their errors. And given that it takes two to make a loan, who lent them all the money? Why, that would be the German and French banks (not the British ones for a change) who saw an opportunity to make much higher interest on euro loans than they could at home, overlooking the fact that interest is (in large part) a payment to cover the risk that the loan you're making may not be repaid.

      2. AndrewDu

        Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

        So remind me again, how do we get rid of the European Commission if we don't like them or their policies?

        Oh yeah, that's it, we can't.

        1. John G Imrie Silver badge

          Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

          You get the elected European parliament to vote the out of office.

    4. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

      Brexit and a bunch of swivel-eyed loons take charge

      Indeed, who knew Gideon (of all people) could have an ugly friend? I was shocked

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: The facepalm is strong in this one

      "The EU is a fluffy cuddly thing... that has driven Southern Europe into the ground."

      Southern Europe has done a very good job of that all by itself.

      As for what happened in the recession in Greece, it's a replay of what the West did to the Asian Tiger economies when they faltered: IMF lends the country in trouble money which is used to pay off the bankers immediately and then the IMF loan must be repaid - in other words the IMF is more-or-less directly propping up bad bank loans instead of forcing the original lenders to take a haircut.

  9. Stu J

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

    Just saying...

    1. Alfred

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

      But if you have money, you can buy your way in. That's the point. That's why Oxbridge is full of the children of rich people, perpetuating the system.

      1. Alexander J. Martin

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

        Conspiracy theory rubbish. The children of those with money do go to better schools, get a better education, and have a better chance of entering the best universities. You cannot purchase entry to either Oxford or Cambridge.

        1. ZSn

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

          You'll find that you are speaking rubbish there:

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1388770/Two-quit-in-Oxford-cash-for-places-scandal.html

          Obviously you've never been to Oxbridge. It's remarkable how often college benefactor's children get admitted with inferior grades. True, the children of people with money do go to 'better' schools, go to Oxbridge, then, as a cohort, do significantly worse than those of us who have been to state schools. Being pushed hard by a school then finding you have to do it all by yourself (even with all the tutoring) is no replacement for actually ability and application.

          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)

    2. 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.

  10. TheProf
    FAIL

    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is the lesbian angle?

    Honestly what has happened to the register?

  12. Andy 73

    Politics

    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.

    Sorry.

    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.

  13. 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.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/26/eu-debate-enlightenment-historians

    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

          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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28299335)

          "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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28299335)"

            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

              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? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27430515

              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

            @JHW

            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.

  14. 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
      Meh

      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.

  15. Whitter
    Unhappy

    Britain = London + Oxbridge

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

  16. 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.

  17. codejunky Silver badge

    Eh?

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "You got to ask yourself, cui bono? "

    Always a good idea.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

        -A.

        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...

        ...you 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.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Contrast

    This is how the French do pranks:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n2oZCAxAIw

    This is how the UK does pranks:

    http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/16/trollstation-youtube-prank-jail-london/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Contrast

      Having seen some of their previous stunts, those idiots at Trollstation finally got what they deserved.

  23. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Speaking of Empire. Something that I’ve never quite understood: How do you justify colonising from Cape to Cairo?

    Well, in pretty much the same way that the French, Germans, Belgians, Portuguese, Spanish, Italians and Russians do I suppose - no point crying that our distant ancestors were better at it than yours. How do you justify German {East,West,South West} Africa, or the Herero genocide?

    1. smartypants

      These Empire comments...

      ...in this article were a very bad decision. Many people like me who want us to remain in the EU are still concerned with the huge net inward migration imbalance and the impact it has on just about everything, and it's hard to be smug when people in their 20s are having to borrow £150 grand for a poxy one bedroom flat.

      Free movement is great in principle when all the countries have a reasonably level playing field. The free movement of people, goods and services was captured for the first time as an agreement in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. You could argue that Italy was a bit borderline, but you could see how in principle free movement of people wasn't a big challenge to any of them, and it turned out not to be the case in practice. And you could argue that if you added just the UK to that list of nations today, the migration issue wouldn't exist.

      But now the EU has profound differences in conditions, earnings and so on between certain member states, and Britain and a handful of other nations find themselves struggling with net inward migration whilst others suffer from a continual drain of talented people.

      In principle, I can see how it might stabilise as prices rise in the countries who have joined more recently as they develop, but this process might take decades, and in the meantime the EU seems to be following the lead of the Eurovision song contest in not being able to say no to an ever wider definition of what Europe is.

      So to make out that people with these concerns simply have some sort of love of an Empire seems very silly and pointless.

  24. Alexander J. Martin

    I’ve seen this trajectory a few times: Applicants from non-Oxbridge universities are not even looked at for influential posts in the City; to get into Oxford and Cambridge, you need to have money and the ability to speak and handwave in a very articulate way (these essay and interview questions mostly seem to test the level of sophistication, rarely an aptitude for the subject); and to learn these essential skills, you better had training from an expensive school and come from the right family background.

    Anecdotal rubbish, frankly.

    Disclosure: Cambridge graduate. Lived in a council flat.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      I'll be honest, I'm a lazy b*****d, and the amount of work involved in applying to Oxford or Cambridge put me off.

      However, you cannot deny the following.

      * The application process is intense.

      * It is also quite different to applying to any other UK university.

      * You are more likely to have teachers who graduated Oxbridge in a private school than a state school.

      * Those who have graduated Oxbridge are more likely to understand the application process, and will be more helpful to those applying.

      This does, intrinsically, give those who had a private education a greater chance of gaining entry to Oxbridge.

    2. ZSn

      Since Cambridge types obviously repeat themselves so will I:

      You'll find that you are speaking rubbish there:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1388770/Two-quit-in-Oxford-cash-for-places-scandal.html

      I've been to three universities, one of them Oxford, my wife went to a foreign university and then Cambridge and so I've also lived in Cambridge university accommodation. I was also brought up in a council flat so I feel I'm uniquely suited to answer your post. And the reply is that you are speaking specious bollocks. Some colleges are for the hoi polloi such as ourselves, however some colleges seem to be heavily populated by children of previous graduates of dubious ability (e.g., Christchurch, Oxford, and Magdalene, Cambridge). Remind me, how did Prince Edward get into Cambridge with his grades? And if you were in Cambridge perhaps you heard just how he managed to pass his exams with so little work, and quite what he got up to there?

  25. ntevanza

    Vote to Keep Europe British

    To get back to the article, classism is indeed alive and well in Britain. Each country tends to choose a unique subset of the available methods of shooting oneself in the foot.

    A word to the wise: your current leadership is reloading to have another go.

    Accusations of mindless conformity are, however, wide of the mark. Britons, for whatever reason, don't like to be told what to do. You will be shocked to learn that in otherwise civilized European nations, eccentricity is frowned upon. In Germany, conformity is openly considered a social grace.

    This has got Europe into trouble before. Paradoxically, Oxbridge is a reservoir of individualism that habitually infects the rest of the population. Yet it is also a giant hydraulic disk brake on the wheel of social mobility. Whether this is a contingent or an ipso facto relationship, I leave to your philosophically adept readership.

    Monty Python came from Cambridge, and Monty Python is one reason why there will never be a British Hitler. Choose rum, you get raisin.

    So for pity's sake, vote to keep Europe British.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Vote to Keep Europe British

      Accusations of mindless conformity are, however, wide of the mark. Britons, for whatever reason, don't like to be told what to do.

      However, our reactions tend to be more understated than other countries, and often passive-aggressive. Look at a recent protest of bikers against something (I really can't remember what, maybe fuel prices or something...) - They took to the motorway, formed up accross it, and drove slowly. In a country like, say, France, there would have been outright demonstrations, blockades etc. We just react differently, often in a more subtle way, which to an outsider looks like acceptance.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Behold we should all taken note "An Oxbridge scholar speaks".

    Behold we should all taken note "An Oxbridge scholar speaks".

    See you later Boris, goodbye, hope you enjoyed your stint as a research fellow, and I very much hope you enjoyed punting in Cambridge. I know you'll be back, I know so many moaning Europeans who have gone back to France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium or whereever. Soon enough, they are all straight back here. Can't wait for you to end up coming back which you will. I hope you show some humility on your return while you eat your words.

  27. Dbailey

    Outrageous

    I logged into The Register today to get the latest tech news but instead I get this Xenophobic/racist rant. You would never get away with saying these things about other countries. Standards obviously slipping at The Register!

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. heyrick Silver badge

    Inbred obedience?

    Not really. Just a different attitude to life (relax and put the kettle on - can you imagine a southern European doing that?) mixed in with a huge huge helping of utter apathy.

    I fear that the In or Out vote won't be decided by those who go and vote, but rather by those who just don't bother. After all, isn't it about time to put the kettle on....?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Inbred obedience?

      I have a shiny EU kettle. If I put it on to boil now, I might just get a cup of tea before I need to get out to go to the polling station in 23 days.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yawn

    Oh gosh how stunningly clever and original.

    The usual European faux-superiority, the usual standard left-wing opinions on everything, and the usual implication that if you didn't like us, we didn't like you, and you couldn't work out how the place works then it's somehow all our fault?

    Come back when you've learned some manners - or better, don't.

  31. John Lilburne

    Much of the BREXIT arguments ...

    ... are bogus. Various governments over the years have had opportunities to opt-out of EU regulations. The ones they have opted out of are all concerned with removing rights from the people of this country granted by the EU. They don't want to opt out to give us more right they want to opt out to take more rights away.

    I'm told that we have a load of people from Poland (whenever I hear it it seems to be similar to the old Windies/Indian Sub-Continent racism of old) that are taking jobs and depressing wages, in low paid jobs such as care. Seems to me that the wages in these jobs are mainly depressed because successive Tory governments have reduced the grants to Local Government, made it easier to sack people, and allowed zero hour contracts. Same thing has happened with the NHS.

    I gather that many of the Brexiters also want to renege on the European Convention on Human Rights. We are supposed to believe that these self same people are going to be looking to improve rights in this country.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much of the BREXIT arguments ...

      "I gather that many of the Brexiters also want to renege on the European Convention on Human Rights. We are supposed to believe that these self same people are going to be looking to improve rights in this country."

      When you consider that even Russia is a signatory, and the rights it actually covers, leaving the ECHR would put us in the same company as various rogue states we probably wouldn't want to be compared with.

      We don't have a proper (recent) Bill of Rights in the UK which is why the UK Government has been rushing to create one for when they leave the ECHR, unfortunately it's been uphill work, which makes you wonder which of these rights they are so against keeping:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights

  32. Jeff 8

    Missing the point

    I think a lot of people who want out of Europe are not thinking about the economy and more about the social/cultural problems that are present in British society. Likewise those that want to stay in Europe are only thinking about the Economical benefits of Europe and are not taking into account the social impact that being in Europe brings.

    Those that want out are seeing the impact it has on their lives from a social perspective. Those that want to stay in are happy with the current state and welcome the security/stability being in Europe offers.

    As someone that grew up in Essex throughout my childhood, I had such amazing community experiences. I remember carnivals where the whole estate would get together to watch, and there wasn't as big as a worry of crime. Havering growing up was the safest London Borough. It's still a great place to live, but I now live in America and each year I go back to see my family I see the town of old gradually disappearing. Maybe you could attribute this to me now living in a different culture. But I see now the number of different languages being spoken in my home town and I can't help but think that those from different cultures have struggled to integrate into regular society and divides are now created. Those of wealth that wish to stay in are probably affluent enough that they don't see this social divide, so life in that respect is no different. Adapting to your host nations culture is the biggest problem for Europe, and in most cases I feel it is ignored.

    The writer of this article sounds bitter to me. If his not happy then I think everyone in the country that is happy is glad you are leaving.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      "I remember carnivals where the whole estate would get together to watch, and there wasn't as big as a worry of crime"

      Perception is not reality.

      Statistically we are safer than we've ever been at any point in history, even with recent minor rises in crime figures.

      That makes any form of crime newsworthy which in turn means that people think crime levels are higher. They're not, they're just better reported.

      I lived in the countryside as a kid in some very isolated areas. The reason we didn't bother locking doors was that anyone wanting to break in would do so anyway and as well as a turned-over house you'd also have a smashed doorframe or windows. If the place wasn't locked they usually didn't bother making a mess and just went for cash or easily sellable items.

    2. Mutton Jeff

      Re: Missing the point

      Just goes to show, nostalgia a'int what it used to be.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boris ? Bare Chested?

    You now owe me for a few months' counselling for PTSD.

    I can't get that image of a bare-chested Boris out of my head.

    Boris Johnson, that is.

  34. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Boris: remember, 28 not 31

    No need for me to add to all the other arguments, but I note Boris forgot the EU has 28 members, not 31. We should thank him for his error, since he's unknowingly pointed out membership of the EU is not required for the Horizon programme on which he sets so much cachet :-)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TL;DR version; Yet another butthurt expat rant

    This rant is stunningly similar to the type of rants that expats write when they are butthurt that where ever they emigrated to didn't treat them like a the best thing since sliced bread. "They're all racists, 300 or so years ago they did this and that, their way of thinking isn't right[1]"

    If it was so bad why did you hang around for so long? Bugger off and don't come back.

    [1] because it's different to my way of thinking, which is automatically the best way of thinking.

  36. Dr. Cogniscient

    Bye, bye...

    ...and don't let the door hit you on the arse as you leave.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully Brexit...

    * The UK isn't interested in the European project (practical reason)...

    * Its best for Britain, especially if the UK overtakes Germany to become #1 economy (economic reason)...

    * I want Ireland out of CTA and into Schengen, which will never happen unless the UK breaks away (personal reason).

    * But it wont happen. There's too many negative campaigns warning of a looming holocaust. Just like the Scottish vote there is interest, but its not enough versus people's 'fear of change'...

    1. T_o_u_f_ma_n

      Re: Hopefully Brexit...

      >* I want Ireland out of CTA and into Schengen, which will never happen unless the UK breaks away

      > (personal reason).

      Sure why not. Could we have that bit of the north of the island back then since you're done with it ?

      Thanks a mill'

      Lee Prechaun

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hopefully Brexit...

      "* Its best for Britain, especially if the UK overtakes Germany to become #1 economy (economic reason)..."

      Lmfao, in your dreams, that's like a weekend football team attempting to win the FA Cup

      Selling inflated property as a vehicle for laundering the proceeds of overseas organised crime does not an economy make, and in case you hadn't noticed Thatcher and her successors have either destroyed or sold most of the viable industry we had.

      We almost didn't have a steel industry recently.

      Before you start making wild claims about our potential performance compared to other modern industrialised countries maybe you should work in somewhere like Germany, and then you'll realise that they support their industries and actually have management who tend to have come up through the ranks, and actually have a clue about what they are managing as opposed to the useless prats UK management seems to generate.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Hopefully Brexit...

        "* Its best for Britain, especially if the UK overtakes Germany to become #1 economy (economic reason)..."

        Lmfao, in your dreams, that's like a weekend football team attempting to win the FA Cup

        No more like England beating Germany in the World Cup... it happened once in the (now) distant past...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At first I liked this article, but then I saw IoT...

    IoT consultant, IoT funding??? Damn you to hell sir!

    Take your connected fridge & car and fuck off back to Europe!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Britain I think you underestimate the value of muddling through. The importance of 'reasonable' when judging actions. The collective sense that the law comes from the people and is established and evolves over time with the implicit sense that it can be justifiable to break a law imposed on you without your say (eg poll tax) or for the law itself to be judged wrong because of common sense or changing mores. This all looks quite haphazard from outside, but it's a pretty robust way of building a society of consent among competing ideas, deciding what is right or wrong (fair) based on principles rather than the letter of the law and managing all the difficult edge cases.

    The European view is much more theoretical (Descartian) and code based (Napoleon). The law is logic and every action needs a law to define it. Society needs to be planned an ordered by the best logicians. Since these people are the best, and they are logical there can be no question that they are right. If there is no law then it must be created and overseen. If in doubt, the law is right. To prevent illegal (and illogical) action all actions must be documented so that if there is ever a mistake, the mistake must be tracked to its source and the illogicality removed. There is nothing that cannot be solved with just another piece of paper and top logical minds.

  40. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "Britiain" didn't colonise a quarter of the world, British /people/ did. Those British possessions ranged between pinprick coaling stations to support passing trade ships, merchant adventurers kinging it up over locals, farmers wanting land, miners wanting minerals and loads of others. Aftter the initial North American adventure, most of the imperial expansion was oddballs wandering across somebody's land and sticking up a Union flag, to the consternation of the mandarins back in Whitehall.

    The Spanish Empire was a comparable size, and that /was/ directed by state dictat, as was the even bigger Russian empire.

  41. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Go

    <Yawn>

    Go. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh look, a German that's much more at home with an anti-democratic, sovereignty-stealing superstate

    Whoever would have guessed it!

    PS To any Brits that still think democracy matters, this is a must-sign petition:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/122770

    Background:

    http://www.englishconstitutiongroup.org/damning-letter-from-lord-kilmuir-the-lord-chancellor-to-edward-heath-2/

  43. Dr. Rude
    Thumb Down

    You want OUT? You stay OUT!

    For everyone thinking (Like Boris Johnson) they can 're-join' the EU if they realise 'independence' is not such a good idea after all:

    Any member will be able to VETO and block your re-admission. Therefore:

    1. Britain will have to BEG and make a lot of concessions to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia etc. Have you ever heard the expression 'it's payback time'? well, you'll feel what it means. Oh, yes, you will...

    2. France and Germany will not humiliate Britain but they will absolutely ask for the adoption of Euro. Nothing personal, just business. Good bye, British Pound! Britain was treated like a spoiled child with special rights for too long. No more special treatments for deserters. You don't like it? Nobody invited you in again. The door is open!

    3. 'Opt-out' rights from the ever-closer Union'? Hahahaha :) I have a better idea: stay out! EU does not need unreliable nations who can't decide what they want, and change their minds every 5 years. Brexit already caused financial losses to EU once - they will want to make sure it will not happen again.

    Even so, I would probably vote against Britain re-joining the club. People should learn that actions have consequences. British people should have the guts to face the consequences of their decisions.

    Once out, forever out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You want OUT? You stay OUT!

      Everything you say could come to pass, but the truth is that Britain's special deal with the EU (rebate, outside the Eurozone, opt-out for ever closer union etc.) is not going to remain in place forever should we vote to stay in.

      In fact, the political pressure from the other member states to abolish such perks will simply increase post-remain since they'll know that the threat to leave was an empty one. The EU is only moving in one direction and, should we stay, we will be swept along whether we like it or not.

      If I join a club I want to be a fully participating member. I don't want to be seen as special and awkward which is how Britain is perceived on the continent. Unfortunately, this particular club has terms under which full participation are completely unacceptable. Did you know, for example, that France, one of the richest member states, would be a net beneficiary of EU funding, due to its sizeable agriculture subsidies, if it were not for the British rebate?

      1. Dr. Rude

        Re: You want OUT? You stay OUT!

        If 51% of the British people feel like you and believe that the 'European club' rules are unacceptable, then by all means it would be a mistake to stay. I completely agree.

        I merely stated that leaving and hoping you'll be able to come back it's childish and never gonna happen. Not after

        - producing massive financial losses to your partners,

        - labeling hard working taxpayers as 'undesirable immigrants' and forcing them to leave the homes they built here (by the way, that's exactly what happened in Germany in 1936-1939 and in my opinion, is completely disgusting).

        I was always about business and profit - that's why I agree with Brussels being incredibly bureaucratic and wasting loads of money. Of course they need reforming.

        BUT I could never understand racism and nationalism. They are so anti-business. And let's face it - most Brexiters are driven by nationalism and anti-immigration feelings. That's why they don't care about Osborne and Cameron's economic arguments. It's strange, it's like there are two completely different Britains. It's the same in Germany and France.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: You want OUT? You stay OUT!

      This is a strong argument for not hastily exiting.

      Why leave on what is basically, in political terms, a whim?

      The whole process has been bizarrely whimsical.

      A panic whipped up by tabloid media based on imagined worst case scenarios.

      I always imagined the Brits to be far more level-headed.

  44. Snowy Silver badge

    One point

    [Quote]By the way, people fleeing from war are commonly referred to as ‘refugees’. Migrant is an economic term. That’s something your media should learn as well. But I’m digressing.[/quote]

    I thought that you had to apply for asylum in the first country you got to not "flee" half way around the world looking for a place you like, at what point do they stop being refugees and become migrants when they travel so far across safe counties?

    Quite a lot of the immigration problem can be put at Angela Merkel's door with her come to German speech she did a couple of years ago. The question is why did she do such a dumb thing as think only a few would come, a bit like having an open house party (parents away) and inviting everyone on Facebook then expecting the house to not to get wrecked!

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: One point

      This guys in Calais are almost exclusively from the Horn of Africa. The lessons in migration the EU is going to have to learn the very hard way is exactly the problem here. The are absolutely, without doubt, mostly migrants in the economic sense not refugees in the my country has a war sense. Merkel made sure of that even to the extent it was true at one point; I hear it's working out well.

  45. streaky Silver badge

    Bye?

    I assume this is another article that's supposed to be ironic and just comes across as dumb and missing the mark on every single issue?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of rubbish

    Self pitiful attention seeking. You have it all soooo so wrong. A failed point of view.

  47. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I've been living longer than the author in the UK.

    Sure, the UK has its idiosyncrasies, such as when it comes to plumbing.

    However, I fully recognise the UK citizens' right to control their own destiny -even when they are about to perhaps make a mistake.

    The one thing that makes me uncomforable it that xenofobia seems to be the actual trigger for the descision (a bunch of depsperate people fleeing war), rather than actual economical considerations.

    The us-and-them rethoric from the Brexiters is appalling. A reminder why the tighter integration of Europe was set up in the first place after WWII.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      I'm a brexiteer, I'm not xenophobic - quite the opposite; I'm even a European federalist. The problem is the EU needs to burn to the ground so we can replace it with something fit for purpose. Yes there are racists and xenophobes for brexit; but they're a minority at best. Our problem is we don't like the EU not we don't like other Europeans. Best way I can sum it up is it feels like we're the only ones who can see the iceberg the Titanic is bearing down on. Feels like.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The problem is the EU needs to burn to the ground so we can replace it with something fit for purpose."

        If you have time to wait 100 years, sure why not.

        If you want changes in your lifetime, better be on the inside making those changes.

        You don't expect EU to collapse because the UK leaves do you?

        1. streaky Silver badge

          You don't expect EU to collapse because the UK leaves do you?

          Nope.

          If you want changes in your lifetime, better be on the inside making those changes.

          There's no effective change that can be waged against the EU from the inside which is the entire point, which is circular with see above. Can't even get the Germans to stop inviting people to show up on their doorstep rather than make the refugee camps in Turkey better places to live in and sort the Syria situation out. Hell the EU is making no effort to sort Iraq's IS population where we're invited explicitly so..

          Hence we're better of out. It's not changing either way but the UK can be a freer and richer place where citizens can effect change. Sure can't as EU members.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            "Can't even get the Germans to stop inviting people to show up on their doorstep"

            You saw something on TV, and now you are an expert?

            You are the ideal Rupert Tool.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " The problem is the EU needs to burn to the ground so we can replace it with something fit for purpose. "

        Brexit software "So it's nearly there but there are a few bugs....right scrap the lot and start from scratch again, start gathering requirements.........."

  48. Roger Mew

    For information, it seems that apart from politicians, the electorate with an IQ of above say 95 are voting to stay whilst an electorate of less than 90 are wishing to leave, bouyed on by politicians who really want to leave for their own reasons. Better top of a small heap than bottom of a large heap! The immigration is a sop, a ruse as the immigration will get worse, well for a while until the UK sorry britain, sinks in stature, as the borders will be even worse as the French will almost immediately throw out the UK border controls in France, therefore lorry passengers will become endemic, from all ports. Also until the wall is built and manned between Eire and Northern Ireland the populace, can if they wish, just walk across.

    Financially the UK, sorry, britain, will be phucked as it is probable that Scotland and for that matter NI will want to depart from the UK leaving britain to sink on its own.

    For those of lower interlect, Oxbridge is a name given to the two cities of both Cambridge and Oxford. The name Oxbridge is often referred to when subjects common to both cities are being discussed.

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