24 Oct 2014

The politics of ignorance

Today's headline-grabbing burst of Newspeak centered around the annual EU budget adjustment that sees the UK having to stump up a staggering £1.7bn by the end of the month, or Barroso's sending the boys round. This announcement sees the majority of the nation howling in rage in typical knee-jerk fashion at the unjust nature of the out of control EU monster.

But...hang on a minute. This is an annual adjustment, which means it happens every year...yes, really. In some years past we have received refunds, just as in some years we have made payments. Barroso, being a seasoned Brussels apparatchik has made the public announcement of this frankly staggering amount that our Treasury must have known about for months for one reason and one reason only - David Dipshit Cameron. A man who continues to dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole, and a man who conversely is the only serious threat from the UK to the Brussels status quo.

There is a by-election coming up that the Tories are desperate not to lose to the beer'n'fags myopic little Englanders (and they're the liberal wing) who constitute UKIP. By announcing that the UK must pay £1.7bn yesterday, or Liz will find her favourite horse's head where Phil The Greek should be in her bed, Barroso is feeding on the knee-jerk reactions that the majority of the UK are prone to in these situations, thereby making the Tories chances of winning that seat much less than they otherwise would have been. Not that it's difficult, but the Eton chancer has more than met his match in Barroso, for sure.

Now, I do not consider myself particularly intelligent, but the second I heard this headline on BBC Breakfast I thought there must be more to this than meets the eye. Ten minutes of research will confirm that in the past we've had refunds from the annual adjustment. You didn't see Camerong wringing his hands in liberal guilt and suggesting we give our refund to Spain or Greece, who obviously needed it more, did you? Obviously, spending ten minutes on the internet finding out what lies behind the headline before mouthing off in the manner of an ignoramus is too much for most people.

Yes, the amount is way too much when you consider it amounts to a fifth of our entire net annual contribution. Its esoteric calculation, that includes estimates of the amount made in our black economy, is yet another example of the excessive and blundering bureaucracy at the heart of EU being its main failing point, but the principal behind it is right, the richer nations should support those not doing so well. Trying to square that with giving France and Germany rebates takes more than a bit of swallowing it has to be said. Why not scrap all this adjustment nonsense and have fixed budgets?

The way the BBC reported this on tonight's Six'O'Clock News was a tad disappointing. They got it right up to the point where they explained the UK's annual EU contribution, which, if I remember correctly was £8.3bn. The logical thing to have followed that with was "...and Germany contributes £xbn, and France £xbn". Instead, the £8.3bn is left hanging there in the minds of the wilfully ignorant like a maniacally grinning bile magnet. Fail.

I'm not finished yet, oh no. The reason we have to make this extra payment is because, relative to all the other economies in the EU, we are growing at a much faster rate. All well and good, but I don't feel any better off now than I did six years ago, how about you?

Of course the only reason our economy is doing so well on paper is down to growing employment rates that are almost exclusively the result of Multinat Corp Inc (based in Luxembourg, thereby getting away with paying no tax on their profits here, natch) being able to employ vast numbers at minimum wage rates. This is what makes the UK so attractive to immigrants, not just from outside the EU, but from within it as well. To a lot of these people, these shit jobs at shit wages represent a nirvana that their home countries cannot supply.

Immigration per sé is not the problem, although you would have to be a Guardian-reading Tarquin or Jemina living in splendid Brit-only white-only isolation in the Cotswolds not to have noticed that the sheer numbers coming in have got out of hand. No, the problem is that since THAT BLOODY WOMAN successive governments of both colours have continued at a pace with the deregulation she started in 1979 to the point where it is for all intents and purposes irreversible. Wages are suppressed to the bare minimum and unions have become an irrelevance with absolutely no power to stop the continual draining of money and resources from the general population to the elite. This laissez-faire attitude towards the control of capitalism's excesses and the resultant boom in poorly paid jobs is what attracts the immigrants from their poverty stricken countries of origin, and who can blame them?

As for "they come over here and live off benefits they've not contributed to", well, that too is an almighty red herring of convenience for the right wing. Again, ten minutes of research will tell you that the amount of immigrants fraudulently claiming benefits is a tiny proportion of the whole.

As I said, I do not consider myself brain-dazzlingly intelligent, so if I can do the research if only to confirm what my political instincts tell me anyway, why can't anyone else?

Now, time to put another cat picture up. Have a nice weekend.
Roger McNasty