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Subject:

Re: Vote Leave

From:

chris johnson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

chris johnson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 28 May 2016 16:09:51 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Mike, hardly anybody in EU wants the kind of super state you seem to have
in your imagination.

Democracy today is about taking decisions at the appropriate level, by
preference close to the people most closely affected.  This is called
"subsidiarity" in the current jargon, a term derived from the Catholic
Church.

Some decisions are best taken at the EU level - often quoted examples being
market harmonisation and standards, air pollution, etc. Decisions that do
not require EU level agreement should be taken locally - by preference at a
level below national parliament, local council say.

Was it Don Quixote who spend his days tilting at windmills?

Cheers, Chris

On Sat, May 28, 2016 at 3:52 PM, Michael <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The fundamental problem for elected democracy (which isn't true
> democracy), is that it can easily end up as "two wolves and a sheep voting
> for what to eat". So, it only works when the area is reasonably homogeneous
> so that internal groupings within society are less strong than the sense of
> national identity, so that groups do not collude to exclude others from any
> say in government.
>
> But even within the UK, we are large enough that regional differences
> create regional identities which then the majority (England) pick on. So,
> even the scale of difference between England-Scotland is large enough that
> there are severe issues putting them together into one country. But for
> democracy to work, we require a society which sees itself as one society -
> at least most of the time.
>
> And even a casual glance at the Eurovision song contest, shows that most
> countries in the EU are extremely parochial in their view, so that the
> difference across Europe is far greater than that between England and
> Scotland.
>
> So, we should be able to assess to some degree how well countries "fit
> together" and I would suggest that for this to happen we require a large
> number of things to be very similar:
>
>  * Legal system - so views on what constitutes lawful and illegal action
>  * Economic system - so avoid regional divisions by e.g. area and
>    "haves" and "have nots".
>  * History
>  * culture
>  * Language
>  * Education system - so that the same "identity" is being taught to all
>  * Religion (we can see the problems in Northern Ireland where a
>    minority can be excluded from power)
>  * Political system
>  * Climate
>
> The less uniform a society is on these types of things, the more likely it
> is to fragment into subdivisions - whereby a large minority to control the
> state and disadvantage others. So, the less we can tick all the boxes and
> say "uniform", the less chance there is of these groups being able to live
> together amicably within one nation.
>
> We can also look at history to tell us what works. In the past, European
> states have naturally developed to cover regions where enough people in
> that region feel enough homogeneity and enough of a single identity to
> enable a state to function effectively.
>
> If Europe were homogeneous enough to make a Europe-wide state work, there
> would have been historical precedents. But in sharp contrast, not once in
> the whole history of "Europe" (not itself a meaningful term) has there ever
> been a state covering the whole area and those that tried failed dismally.
>
> So, to me, it is absolutely certain that should anyone be daft enough to
> put all these disparate countries (each with their own history, language,
> culture, economics, etc.,) into one large state, that this state will
> inevitably disintegrate. And of course, those regions with the most
> distinct culture, law, history, etc. will be most isolated. So, I can be
> absolutely sure (given the onward rush to create a single huge monolithic
> state) that Britain will leave the EU in the near future because we are
> large enough an d too distinct from the continent to fit in with this
> monolithic state they are trying to build.
>
> That doesn't mean that some countries may not be able to build a single
> state. Nor does it mean that a loose alliance of states could work. But it
> does mean that a single state across the whole of the EU will inevitably
> fail just as the Greek economy cannot exist in the same monetary system as
> the German economy.
>
> That doesn't mean we won't co-operate. But it does mean we are
> sufficiently different from the other nations in Europe that we want an
> "amicable divorce" so that we can still be friends, but can live
> independently running our own affairs our way.
>
> Mike Haseler
>
> On 28/05/2016 13:22, Mike Weatherley wrote:
>
>> ________________________________________
>> From: British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]> on
>> behalf of Dave Tooke <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: 27 May 2016 13:16
>>
>> Mike Weatherley
>>> Well, yes only some MEPs are from Britain (and of those many can't be
>>> bothered to actually turn up and vote - looking at you UKIP MEPs).
>>> However, just as any democracy, it represents all of the people. If you
>>> want a Europe which only does what Britain wants them you are struggling
>>> with the concept of democracy. If you feel that our narrow >national
>>> interest is all that matters then you are not speaking for me or millions
>>> like me.
>>>
>>> Well now, some interesting comments there, though I'd suggest slightly
>> misrepresenting what I'd said. But to address each in turn:
>>
>> If the EU are (and the evidence suggest they are, whether the UK remains
>> or not) almost unanimously heading in the direction of a 'United States of
>> Europe', then any dissenting voices by the MEPs of only one of those 28
>> nations will hardly be heard. So whether they turn up to vote or not they
>> are never going to be able to alter the course of such political
>> trajectories.
>>
>> Democracy does indeed represent all the people of whichever constituency
>> is involved. However, the rest of Europe - or at least, their political
>> leaders in Brussels (you'd have to ask the actual voters in each country,
>> in which case you might get a surprisingly different answer) seem to want a
>> different kind of future for 'Europe' than the UK. That is, a 'United
>> States of Europe'; which wasn't actually what the British people were asked
>> to vote on at the last Referendum in 1975 (when the choice was whether or
>> not to stay in a 'free-trading-block' called the EEC). Hence - since the
>> goal-posts have been moved over the intervening 41 years - we are getting a
>> second referendum. No doubt some other European countries' populations
>> might actually like a referendum of their own on the same question. As for
>> myself, I think you are being disingenuous to suggest: 'If you want a
>> Europe which only does what Britain wants then you are struggling with the
>> concept of democracy', since I have never asked for any such thing, of
>> course. The entire point of what I said previously being that the UK has a
>> God-given right to argue for what is in its own best interest - just as
>> every other country in the world does also, whether a part of the EU or
>> not. And I would no more expect 'Europe to do only what Britain wants' (as
>> you suggest) than I would expect 'the rest of Europe only to do what
>> Britain wants'. Either scenario amounts to dictatorship, despotism, tyranny
>> & (dare I suggest a widely evidenced parallel from human history)
>> 'Empire-building'. Indeed, central government of the UK from Westminster
>> was recently the (alleged) reason for the SNP call for a vote on Scottish
>> independence. So what's good enough for Scotland isn't good enough for the
>> UK? We aren't allowed our own referendum on independence as well?
>>
>> Many on this list may sneer at Boris Johnson for drawing parallels
>> between the ambitions of the EU in Brussels and the imperial pretentions of
>> historical regimes, but the comparison is there to be made. Indeed, one
>> would think that the benefit of the study of history (& archaeology,
>> linguistics etc.) is that it gives us the chance to avoid repeating such
>> mistakes... Indeed, one can recall the last time the entire European
>> continent was amalgamated within a regime of 'single-currency', 'free
>> movement of people', 'government from an unelected central nexus' etc. We
>> call it the Roman Empire (which is a parallel that I personally drew here
>> on Britarch several years ago, btw). And much as I (and previous
>> generations of illustrious British archaeologists, such as Mortimer
>> Wheeler, Sheppard Frere, Peter Salway, etc.) may have actually considered
>> being part of the Roman Empire a 'good thing' (for reasons of economic
>> prosperity, peaceful co-existence with our neighbours, the introduction of
>> 'Roman law', general improvement in health, hygiene & standard of living
>> etc.) it is - frankly - of great surprise to me that such a parallel is
>> scarcely considered by the contemporary archaeological community. Indeed,
>> mention 'Roman Britain' to many modern English archaeologists and they
>> immediately 'cross themselves', throw their arms in the air and generally
>> issue oaths of denunciation. Yet they apparently love the EU... despite the
>> parallels.
>>
>> Lastly, I have never said (as you also suggest) that I feel 'our narrow
>> national interest is all that matters'. But if *you*, yourself, believe in
>> democracy, then you must accept that the British people's national interest
>> must come before any other national interest *in our own* democracy, and
>> not be subservient to the national (or 'unionised') interests of others. We
>> have to work *with* the rest of Europe - as well as the rest of the free
>> world - to promote free-trade rather than the endemic warfare, colonialism
>> or imperialism of the past. But that does not mean signing-up for a new
>> 'Roman Empire' run from Brussels. Even an ardent Romanist like me would
>> never promote such a concept in today's world :-)
>>
>> As to the United States not following the advice Obama offered us - maybe
>>> a quick read up of what the United States actually is may be beneficial.
>>>
>>> Yes, we all *know* that the United States is a 'nation of immigrants'.
>> And before you rush to congratulate them on that, you might like to pause
>> to consider all the 'native American' tribes who were dispossessed in order
>> to bring that about, btw. But in any case, the concept of 'Manifest
>> destiny' - by which the US actually solicited the immigration of millions
>> of poor, Eastern European refugees etc. to come to America and 'fill their
>> open spaces' - was a 19th c. means of populating what was considered (from
>> a purely capitalist, economic point-of-view) an 'empty continent'. However,
>> today, the US is - for want of a better word - 'full-up'. Not just
>> economically and geographically but environmentally (you have to consider
>> all the wildlife in the inexorable process of human expansion across the
>> planet, not just 'the narrow self-interest of Homo sapiens', to paraphrase
>> your own figure of speech :-)
>>
>> Which leads us onto what the darling of the wildlife/environmental
>> movement - Sir David Attenborough - has been warning us all about for the
>> last 40 years: Human overpopulation, and the threat it poses to *all * life
>> on our planet, not just human civilization. There comes a point when every
>> nation has the right to say: 'Enough. We have a larger population than our
>> country has the right to be expected to support, and we cannot just
>> continue expanding to the detriment of our own natural environment, never
>> mind our human population.' And with archaeologists being inherently
>> against all future house-building which might inadvertently disturb the
>> archaeology, please explain to me exactly how those who vote to remain
>> within the EU (with its irrevocable policy of 'free-movement of people')
>> intend supplying the housing for the projected rise in UK population when
>> we cannot build fast enough to match the current housing-crisis? Just how
>> many millions does anyone think this island can house? Because there is
>> clearly a lack of 'joined-up-thinking' in how we manage a continually
>> growing population. And before any of the 'usual suspects' try accusing me
>> of 'racism' that point has absolutely *nothing* to do with anyone's 'ethnic
>> origin'; it's a simple demographic question of *numbers*.
>>
>> TTIP is way out in the long grass, and will not happen as proposed -
>>> objections from the UK France and Germany among others will kill it in its
>>> present form.
>>>
>>> And are you as certain of that as the 'Brexit' camp are that Britain
>> will survive economically outside of the EU?
>>
>> MEPs can ask the Commission to draw up legislation. One of the reforms I
>>> would like to see is that "Commissioners" are abolished - and that each
>>> department be headed by an MEP elected to the role by their >peers.
>>>
>> Ah, but David, that is merely your personal 'aspiration', and was not
>> even one of the (rather inconsequential) 'reforms' that Mr. Cameron wrang
>> out of the EU recently. Do you really think that the EU is ever going to
>> reform in the way you would like *if only* we vote to stay in? Or is that
>> hope any more grounded than the apparently 'fantastical' claims that Europe
>> will still want to trade with the UK once outside the EU 'because it's in
>> their own 'best-interest' to do so' :-)
>>
>> There are, as Lord Bramall very recently pointed out, areas of strife
>>> that require a European response but are not of interest to NATO.
>>>
>>> Well perhaps the United Nations - and its dedicated peacekeeping forces
>> - can start pulling its weight on the international stage for once & do
>> something about that...
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Mike (BSc)
>>
>
>
> --
> http://mons-graupius.co.uk
>

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