The lyrics of Jerusalem – updated for Brexit

We have been sent these excellent alternative lyrics to Blake’s hymn Jerusalem by an anonymous supporter. Especially given recent developments, they are particularly pertinent at the moment:-

And did those men in ancient time
Fight for our rights and liberty
And with belief and blood divine
They set laws that made us free

And yet a countenance malign
Did seek to steal those rights away
And turn us back to slaves again
Ruled by their evil empires sway

Give me my country back again
Bring back the land my fathers made
I strive for justice, not for gain
To see our people proud and staid

I will not cease this endless fight
Nor shall my sword fall from my hand
Til we’ve restored our liberty
In Britain’s green and pleasant land

The day the referendum became inevitable

Now some of us have been fighting the good Eurosceptic fight for decades. I take my hat off to those veterans who have been keeping the flame alive for far longer than I. The Campaign for an Independent Britain’s very own Edward Spalton is one such. I came late to the struggle. It was not until I read the Maastricht Treaty back in ’94 that I realised the truth about the EU.

But although we have all played our part, I think that there was one key moment that was the true turning point in relations between Britain and the EU. I want to take a moment to give credit where it is due and remember that moment.

It came in October 2011 when David Nuttall, Member of Parliament for Bury North, brought a motion to the House of Commons. That motion read:

“That this House calls upon the Government to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the United Kingdom should

(a) remain a member of the European Union on the current terms;

(b) leave the European Union; or

(c) re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.”

This was not the only such motion to have been put forward over the years, but when it came to a vote in the House of Commons on 25th October 2011, it impact was massive. Prime Minister David Cameron had set his face against this motion. He ordered the Whips to do their worst to ensure that it got as little support as possible. There was no chance that it would be passed, the votes of Labour and the Lib-Dems would see to that, but it was crucial to Cameron’s authority that only a handful of Tory MPs vote for it.

The Whips went to work and made it very clear to each and every one of the Conservative MPs that it was career suicide to vote for Nuttall’s motion. When it became clear that Nuttall had rather more support than Cameron had expected, the Whips doubled down and went to work with a vengeance. All the dark arts of political arm twisting were employed. MPs with embarrassing incidents in their past were told that these faux pas would see the light of day. Those who hankered after a nice holiday with the wife were promised “fact finding missions” to exotic locations.

No stone was left unturned. No MP was left unaware of what rebellion would do their career. No ploy was too low or too dirty to be used. Anecdotes abound of what went on behind the scenes during the 36 hours leading up to the vote.

But when the votes were counted a staggering 81 Conservative MPs had backed Nuttall. Given the number of ministerial positions that obliged their holders to back the government, that was a truly astonishing figure for a rebellion on such a high-profile issue where the Prime Minister had nailed his colours to the mast.

It was, I believe, the day that an In-Out referendum on the European Referendum became inevitable.

So here are their names. Honour them. We owe them our freedom and our liberty.

Stuart Andrew (Pudsey), Steven Baker (Wycombe), John Baron (Basildon & Billericay), Andrew Bingham (High Peak), Brian Binley (Northampton South), Bob Blackman (Harrow East), Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West), Andrew Bridgen (Leicestershire North West), Steve Brine (Winchester), Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Dan Byles (Warwickshire North), Douglas Carswell (Clacton), Bill Cash (Stone), Christopher Chope (Christchurch), James Clappison (Hertsmere), Tracey Crouch (Chatham & Aylesford), David Davies (Monmouth), Philip Davies (Shipley), David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden), Nick de Bois (Enfield North), Caroline Dinenage (Gosport), Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid), Richard Drax (Dorset South), Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster), Lorraine Fullbrook (South Ribble), Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park), James Gray (Wiltshire North), Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry), Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey), George Hollingbery (Meon Valley), Adam Holloway (Gravesham), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough), Bernard Jenkin (Harwich & Essex North), Marcus Jones (Nuneaton), Chris Kelly (Dudley South), Andrea Leadsom (Northamptonshire South), Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford), Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Julian Lewis (New Forest East), Karen Lumley (Redditch), Jason McCartney (Colne Valley), Karl McCartney (Lincoln), Stephen McPartland (Stevenage), Anne Main (St Albans), Patrick Mercer (Newark), Nigel Mills (Amber Valley), Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot), James Morris (Halesowen & Rowley Regis), Stephen Mosley (Chester, City of), Sheryll Murray (Cornwall South East), Caroline Nokes (Romsey & Southampton North), David Nuttall (Bury North), Matthew Offord (Hendon), Neil Parish (Tiverton & Honiton), Priti Patel (Witham), Andrew Percy (Brigg & Goole), Mark Pritchard (Wrekin, The), Mark Reckless (Rochester & Strood), John Redwood (Wokingham), Jacob Rees-Mogg (Somerset North East), Simon Reevell (Dewsbury), Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury), Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills), Henry Smith (Crawley), John Stevenson (Carlisle), Bob Stewart (Beckenham), Gary Streeter (Devon South West), Julian Sturdy (York Outer), Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle), Justin Tomlinson (Swindon North), Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight), Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes), Charles Walker (Broxbourne), Robin Walker (Worcester), Heather Wheeler (Derbyshire South), Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley), John Whittingdale (Maldon), Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

Rupert Matthews

Rupert Matthews

Rupert Matthews is a freelance writer and historian. During the recent EU Referendum campaign he served as Campaign Manager for Better Off Out and spoke at meetings from Penzance to Aberdeen, Belfast to Dover. Rupert has written over 100 books on history, cryptozoology and related subjects. He has served as a councillor for 8 years and has stood for both the Westminster and European Parliaments. You can follow Rupert on Twitter at @HistoryRupert or on Facebook as rupert.matthews1.

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Mr Cameron’s Project Fear

 

“They are lions led by donkeys” General Erich Ludendorff (commenting on the British Army in World War 1)
“A nation with the feeling of shame is like a crouching lion ready to leap forward.” Confucius

In the next four months, we will have to suffer various Establishment ‘opinion leaders’, including the Prime Minister, other politicians, ‘voices’ of big business etc., trying to scare us about the supposed dangers of leaving the European Union (EU). The unsubtle message is that we desperately need the EU and the subliminal one is that by ourselves, despite our past achievements, we are useless.

The number of times ‘Project Fear’ has been invoked over the last 48 hours, with the phrase “A leap in the dark” or similar being regurgitated over and over again leads even the most fair-minded person to conclude that this message is being orchestrated in some way, but why? Why is fear being spread in an attempt to influence, manipulate or even deceive the Electorate to take the “right” course of action? Why are our fellow-countrymen being terrified about the allegedly unfortunate consequences of the alternative?

Let us be clear: there is no substance to back up their statments. For example, the Prime Minister claimed recently that we would be far safer inside the EU than outside. However, he did not mention the harmful effects on our security arising from membership. Presumably the behaviour of an alien judiciary handicapping our law and security forces is not viewed as detrimental by Mr Cameron?  In a similar mode, he said nothing about NATO, which has been the  real source of peace and security in Europe. No one, apart form Mr Corbyn and a few of his acolytes, are suggesting we withdraw from NATO. This is not the issue at stake.

Control or manipulation by fear says a great deal about the perpetrators. In particular it shows poor management skills, insensitivity and disrepect towards us, besides a contempt for democracy which needs honest information to facilitate informed decision making. This is hardly reputable, honourable and responsible behaviour. It is also a distraction that avoids focussing attention on the major issues at stake.

Perhaps, then, this is the reason for its use. There is no real case for remaining in the EU as far as the UK population is concerned. What do we gain in exchange for our loss of liberty, democracy, prosperity  and laws? The answer is membership of a slow, inflexible, dogmatic, autocratic, control-freakish, centralised and bureaucratic organisation, with its associated profligacy, waste, corruption ardently pursuing the absurd ideological goal of creating a superstate.

There is a simple explanation for the Establishment closing ranks in enthusiasm for the status quo of EU membership: it gains from the EU and consequently is afraid of ‘rocking the boat’ as this would lead to losing this privileged situation and comfort zone. We are talking about people with too much invested in it to be interested in change, whatever the costs to the rest of us and to our children. There is also hysteresis or inertia:- change requires effort so it is easier to avoid change.

Yet the modern world requires change and re-invention, something with which our Establishment does not feel comfortable. By being shackled to the EU, we are no longer on the cutting edge. Instead of being world-leading, we have become world-following. This is still nonetheless a comfortable scenario for our lacklustre leaders. They prefer to play it safe and therefore want to maintain the EU status quo. Even the resulting low wage economy and abundant cheap labour benefits their cosy world. It removes the need for risk taking or creative thinking.

Creating a nation fearful of the future, of change and progress, a nation which is required to obey (the EU, politicians, the Establishment), but not allowed to think for themselves must inevitably undermine our national self-confidence, energy and desire for a better tomorrow. In addition higher taxes, regulatory burdens and exclusion from markets largely reserved for favoured big business makes it more difficult, if not impossible, actually to break out from the status quo.

But what does Mr Cameron’s ‘Project Fear’ do to us as individuals, to our self-images and our opinions of our manipulatives rulers? Traditionally, certainly from the time when the Roman historian Tacitus wrote about our ancestors, we have admired and willingly followed a courageous leader and despised the cowardly, brutal or manipulative one. To give in to such a ruler, rather than standing up to him or her, whatever the cost, makes us despise ourselves and our weakness. You cannot walk tall with self-confidence when at the same time you are actually submitting to a bully and betraying the sacrifices of earlier generations for your freedom.

Our feelings of humiliation and loss of self-worth by surrendering to Project Fear can, theoretically, also be felt within sections of our shamefully complicit ruling Establishment. Some, who do not harbour self-delusions or opinions of superiority over us, are undoubtedly embarrassed by huddling together to protect self-interests and fabricating an incomplete or fake story in ordert to use Project Fear against their own people. However, with so few moral principles, if we vote to leave the EU, thankfully our ruling Establishment will rapidly accept the new situation and work within it.

We are living in exciting times. Just like the previous information revolution around 1450 with the invention of the printing press, it will be many years before the full impact of the Information Technology Age facilitated by the Internet and cheap computing power is realised. The sclerotic corporatism of the EU will not survive long once its failings are plain to see. Its business model of bloated bureaucracy prevents progress and hinders the empowering of individuals to be the innovative and inventive wealth creators of tomorrow.

Economist Joseph Schumpeter’s concept of Creative Destruction must be applied to the EU. We can take the lead in facilitating this process by voting to leave and thus beginning its implosion. This needs to happen not just to restore our lost liberty, democracy, justice and prosperity, but to create an environment free from fear, manipulation and exploitation that will drive us on to greater heights in a fast moving, increasingly competitive world.

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

Robbing UK Peter to pay, bribe or subsidise EU Paul

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!’Karl Marx

Could this idealist and unworkable Marxist mantra summarise the behaviour of the European Union (EU)? If so, what then are the implications for the UK and its citizens?

Both the EU and the UK place an emphasis upon the redistribution of existing material wealth, and thus render difficult the creation of new wealth per capita.

Rather than concentrate on the harder task of making the future cake bigger for everyone, the existing smaller cake is instead being divided up by both the EU and UK, into arbitrary and questionable portions. Sometimes this is done disingenuously or just deceptively. This redistribution undermines our ability to make the cake bigger; resources or funding are not available where they could help create future wealth. Unfortunately, new per capita wealth creation is already difficult to achieve – either in the EU and the UK. Spending power and productivity have shown little improvement for years, whilst youth unemployment has worsened.

This wealth redistribution exacerbates existing problems. For example:-

  1. The wealth-creating part of the economy is heavily taxed to fund government and EU largesse and bureaucracy of poor and unproductive economic value, such as uncontrolled foreign aid and EU grants. Both subsidise corruption, create waste and encourage countries to live beyond their means.
  2. Poorer countries are losing their brightest and best skilled citizens. They are over-charged for products and services thereby helping to fill the public (government) coffers of richer countries both within the EU and elsewhere;
  3. These payments bribe developing countries to reduce necessary tariffs that protect the local young businesses which then fail – to the gain of the EU and the loss to that country.
  4. Public debts are piled on future generations; higher prices are paid by consumers to monopolies or EU and government-sponsored overpricing (such as with energy);
  5. Corporatism (crony capitalism of large organisations) gains at the loss of smaller or more innovative enterprises;
  6. Interest rates are maintained at an artificially low rate and thus penalising savers whilst enabling borrowers (including governments) to borrow and spend more extravagantly;
  7. Large organisations are providing rich pickings for underperforming senior executives. These activities could be described as larceny or looting on a grand scale – the so-called Gravy Train. Why not jump on board if you are from a tradition of corruption or of using privileged positions of monopoly or authority (in government) to loot others?

Redistribution of existing wealth in this immoral and unprincipled way is inherently incompatible with the sanctity and protection of ownership rights and foreign aid which seeks overtly to assist in the creation of individual wealth and property.

This is all a slippery slope; without the moral or ideological imperative to minimise such redistribution of wealth, it can grow with little restraint, as with the EU Commission’s budget even during times of recession and hardship. Any existing ownership rights of value are eroded with the result that other forms of national or individual wealth (generally anything present that improves the quality of life) and property are then unprotected and potentially ‘up for grabs’ or of being attacked and reduced in value.

In this manner, there can be a destruction of: traditional individual freedoms (including freedom of the person, the freedoms of Magna Carta and freedom from fear of unreasonable and unknown persecution). That is exemplified in the European Arrest Warrant as well as in the extradition treaty between the UK and the USA.

All the foundations of a free society are thereby placed under threat of extinction:- democracy, justice, national sovereignty, culture and heritage, treasured national or social institutions, even amnesia towards historical achievements. This has happend in this country. The CIB pamphlet “Generations Betrayed” sets out in graphic detail how our history syllabus has been re-written.

In the UK, we have a long tradition of the inviolability of ownership rights to individual wealth and property, safeguarded by the rule of law and the sovereignty of Parliament. John Locke, in Two Treatises of Government, 1689, was a notable early advocate of freedom who defined property to include life, liberty and possessions, and considered governments had a responsibility for protecting these. Such rights have indeed benefitted us over the years including providing a powerful incentive to create new per capita wealth, for example, in goods and services, which add value for customers and users.

Wealth created from these freedoms and free global trade under the global protection of the British Merchant Marine and with the creativity of Victorian England laid the foundations of the British Empire and Commonwealth.

Such essential ownership rights provide a powerful incentive to conserve or protect our existing wealth, inherited from early generations and passed on enriched and improved to future generations.

Within our tradition of freedom, there is nonetheless a justification for limited wealth redistribution, for example, for the security and defence of the Realm and its people. However, such a worldview is generally incompatible with socialist wealth redistribution, coupled with its undermining of ownership rights.

This raises a contradiction among the ‘Cameron Conservatives’ who support continued membership of the heavily wealth-redistributing EU without any restraints, even though this organisation promotes the destruction of much of what the  Conservative party purports to hold dear.

The EU’s behaviour to date in producing “haricuts” and bail-ins” in Cyprus and charging the UK a £2 billion surcharge because of the performance of our economy does not provide one with any confidence that it will protect anything sacred, be it be personal property or liberty. Many EU laws are created by the unelected, undismissable and unknown Commission then signed off by the Council of Ministers and the EU Parliament with the aim of foisting closer integration, not as part of a long national tradition (as with the UK in Magna Carta, 1215) to protect the people against the state.

SUMMARY

The EU is poorly suited to facilitating new per capita wealth creation in developed predominately service economies, like the UK. Such wealth creation requires more than trade or access to potential customers. To create suitable products to boost our national wealth, there needs to be an environment of innovation, risk taking and research to improve productivity to make the product both attractive to customers and viable. These are the very talents that the EU destroys.

The EU’s particular handicaps include its top down autocratic, ideological, institutionalised and bureaucratic nature leading to misconceived policies, its slowness to react or correct mistakes [years and not weeks], its poor communications with ‘the coal face’ where at present it is blind and learns nothing so that much waste results and finally, its corporatism (favouritism towards big government, business big and big other organisations).

At best, the EU can take ‘pot shots’ at science or technology ‘winners’ with its largesse (taxpayers’ money). Yet much innovation is developed by users and through collaboration that itself moves back along the supply chain to suppliers (see Democratizing Innovation by Eric von Hippel). At worst the EU can make life completely unviable for businesses or individuals by redistributing their existing wealth to itself and others.

Whilst some limited and strictly controlled wealth redistribution is necessary or even desirable, it can be taken too far, thus making us all poorer. If we cannot break the EU’s voracious appetite for wealth redistribution and instead create new per capita wealth, we cannot be generous or compassionate, improving living standards for people here or improving conditions in other countries.  One cannot but contrast the situation we find ourselves in as an EU member state with the days of our forefathers. They  lived before the messianic state and the EU but were blessed with Parliamentary democracy, the Common Law and property ownership rights. History shows how good their track record was when it came to the creation of new wealth and spreading it outwards, often globally.

Photo by Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara