Should we have a referendum on the EU?

by Ray_North on October 24, 2011

Let’s not beat around the bush – the Tories who have engineered a debate on a referendum on our membership of the EU have one agenda, and that is to leave the European Union: they don’t like Europeans telling us how to protect our employers; they don’t like Europeans implementing laws about free trade; and they don’t like having to pay for a tier of government in Brussels – in short they don’t really like Europeans and are labouring under the dangerous misapprehension that we would be better off if we left Europe altogether.

It’s cobblers, it really is – if we left Europe we would be leaving our most important trade ally, we would be leaving an invaluable source of funds, and we would be leaving behind a massively important legal entity in terms of employment protection and fair trade. Britain outside the EU would not be stronger, we would just be a weird little island sitting in the arse end of the North Atlantic with little in the way of natural resources or indigenous industry and no friends. But, we’d have our big friend USA, the sceptics tell us – well, no we wouldn’t because when push comes to shove America looks after number one, it always has, and it always will.

But should we have a referendum on our membership of the EU?

No, we shouldn’t. Its bonkers. Here we are with the economy of our country and indeed the economy of Europe disappearing swiftly down the pan and this bunch of loonies want us to launch ourselves into a debate about whether we should be in Europe at all. Its a bit like passengers standing on the deck of the sinking Titanic arguing about whether they should have crossed to New York by White Star or Cunard – it makes no sense and in current circumstances is wholly irrelevant and dangerously counterproductive.

But no one ever voted to be a member of the EU, they tell us – well, tough, no one ever voted directly to have a monarchy or be in a United Kingdom or have our Parliament in London either, but these are things that are interwoven into our democracy and can be changed if enough people voted in a certain way at a general election – UKIP, the only party offering a referendum on our membership of the EU only got 3% of the vote in 2010.

There is, of course, an argument for reforming the European Union, there is also an argument about whether Europe and the concept of a Europe wide union is feasible – and the current financial crisis underlines this, but, that is different from an argument about our own involvement, because, if this more important debate about EU reform is going to happen, then we must be at the forefront of it, not cowering on the sidelines like a grumpy old malcontent clinging onto the last vestiges of a long forgotten and not much missed Empire.

The only good thing about the debate as to whether we should have a referendum on Europe is that it demonstrates the natural instinct of many Conservatives to be suspicious of anything that is remotely different to them and that includes other people from across the channel.

I despair.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie East-West October 27, 2011 at 9:28 am

If Europe was a continuous pub fight over the last 100 years….

Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of a pub when Serbia bumps into Austria and spills Austria’s pint. Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit because there are splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its support for Austria’s point of view. Britain recommends that everyone calm down a bit.

Russia and Serbia look at Austria. Austria asks Serbia who it’s looking at. Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone. Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling it to do so.

Germany tells Russia to stop looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of such action. Britain and France ask Germany whether it’s looking at Belgium. Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper.

When they come back, Turkey makes a show of not looking at anyone.Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium. France and Britain punch Germany. Austria punches Russia. Germany punches Britain and France with one hand and Russia with the other.Russia throws a punch at Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from the other side of the room that it’s on Britain’s side, but stays there. Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.

France gets thrown through a plate glass window, but gets back up and carries on fighting. Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change. Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over anyway.

Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room chanting.America waits till Germany is about to fall over from sustained punching from Britain and France, then walks over and smashes it with a barstool, then pretends it won the fight all by itself. By now all the chairs are broken and the big mirror over the bar is shattered. Britain, France and America agree that Germany threw the first punch, so the whole thing is Germany’s fault. While Germany is still unconscious, they go through its pockets, steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all their friends.

When Germany wakes up, he acts as if he has forgotten all about the altercation, but in fact is VERY unhappy. He then goes to the gym, lifts weights, sulks for a while, and then comes back to the bar in a foul mood, startling everyone who had been enjoying drinks on Germany’s dime.

Britain says to Germany “you must promise to be nice from now on”, to which Germany says “No worries, I’m always nice” –

Germany gets ready to move his friends into Czechoslovakia’s house, while glaring at Poland, Holland, Belgium, and France, and shaking hands with his suddenly equally buff and new-found best friend, Japan…

Germany then spends the rest of the evening at the gym pumping iron. Britain and France stay in the bar the whole time getting royally p*ssed up. They barely notice as Germany arrives back, kicks the doors off their hinges, tears Poland’s head off and screams “I’ll take you all on!”.

Germany proceeds to have almighty punch up with anyone who looks at him. America walks into the bar decides that he needs to be the bartender and the bouncer and moves behind the bar.

France, Britain and America begin swinging at Germany. Germany and Italy push Britain through the door and knocks him into the pool. Italy goes for a make over in the toilet and comes back in wearing a new Armani coat and decides to hang out with Britain and America.

Everyone piles on Germany until he passes out.

America hits Japan in the face with a baseball bat. Twice.

As Japan is on his way to the floor, Russia shakes his fist at Japan, pretending that he’s joined the fight and hoping that he’ll be able to go through Japan’s wallet after the fight’s over.

After Japan and Germany wake up, America, France, Britain, and Russia move into Germany’s House. America moves into Japan’s house, too.

America buys drinks for Germany and Japan until everyone is happy again.

Russia meanwhile steals the keys, wallet and credit card details from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Germany.

Everyone finally leaves the bar and tries to forget the events of the evening.

Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal return to the bar much later in the evening and buys everyone drinks on their credit card. Germany drinks alone in the corner of the bar, buying tap water to save money. Germany eventually saves up enough money to buy the bar, and starts selling well produced, over priced German beer to all its old friends..

Meanwhile China, who has been quietly sipping Ginseng tea in the corner, suddenly announces that he owns the bar and has now called last orders.

Everybody wonders what has happened to Switzerland. Apparently Switzerland locked itself in the toilets for the entire evening and refused to come out.

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Ray_North October 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Charlie – what can I say, genius!

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