Sunday 21 February 2016


"The EU is an institution rooted in the past and incapable of reform" said the man in fancy dress who walks backwards down steps dressed in golden robes and a daft collar, bowing all the while to his monarch, who is dressed in a long white dress at 10 am, with a priceless crown on her head. And all the while, less than a mile away, there are people starving.
You mean like Queens, Princes, Lords, Privy Councils and stuff like that?

There are many reasons for wanting out of the EU. Indeed Wee Govey and his dubious friends have highlighted that some of what they do is outdated, undemocratic and outrageously expensive. 

But it's a bit of an insult to tell this to Brits, as if, by comparison the UK is a modern and fairly governed democracy. it just isn't

We at Munguin Towers go into this referendum with an open mind, but the OUT campaign must attempt to produce a reasonable argument for leaving based on facts that stand up to some scrutiny and dont have us falling about laughing. 

Let's by all means look at the waste, the corruption, the jobs for the boys, nepotism, accounts that never get signed off, expense, the sense of entitlement. Sure, they are all despicable. 

But let's never forget that in Westminster, all is not as shiny as a new pin. Au contraire.

The only European government to balance its books was, we believe, the Scottish government.

They also need to find someone with some attractiveness to front up the team. A movement that includes Patel, Smith and Grayling needs some human beings to balance it up.
This is interesting, although I'm not sure how correct it is.

It may be true that there is no law; there's never really been the need to have a law, stripping people of their citizenship. The only country to leave the EU was Greenland, which forms a home rule nation as part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It took years to organise its leaving, but as the Kingdom of Denmark remained inside the EU, Greenlanders remained EU citizens, despite their country being outside the EU.

It isn't immediately obvious what would happen if Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales voted to stay, but by force of numbers were removed from the union by an English vote. But this tweet was interesting or at least amusing:

Leave. Please leave. If you don’t, we at will gladly help you along. Just leave us your useful bit: Scotland.


  1. tris

    see BoJo has declared for the next vacancy as Leader of the Conservative party the man does not give a toss for his ? country
    only his personal ambition....

    IDS Wants to save us from Muslim terrorists although he has caused and is causing more deaths than any terrorist attack..

    Cameron hoist by his own petard..wot a jolly wiz keep the anti-eu
    loons happy have a referendum and the once its over just carry on
    as before......Big Ooops ! as we all know referendums have a dynamic all of their own

    And he will now he to bend his knee both to the Labour party and
    the snp begging for them for support to save him from his friends ???

    1. Yep Niko. You pretty well summed that up.

      If I'd been him, I'd have left it alone.

      He was never going to get a deal that would satisfy the right wing.

      He should have served his 2 terms and then left.

      Now he will split the Tories.

      What a shame that will be.

  2. I thought initially that Cameron was in favour of leaving the EU, until he started his "Battle of Britain" bollocks.

    The man does not have a clue. And with IDS at the forefront of the Exit brigade,makes you wonder if this is a deliberate set up to ensure a "Stay" result, thus bolstering Cameron's position, and ensuring that Gideon, not Boris, will be anointed as the next Tory leader.

    I'm not normally one for conspiracy theories, but Cameron for some reason is desperate to keep his chums in favour.

    On balance we are probably better within the EU, but the spectre of TTIP casts a long shadow.


    1. TIPP is a big worry for me. I can't understand why a totally separate organisation such as the Scottish NHS should be involved, just becasue they have privatised whole sections of the English NHS.

      The treatment of Greece is another bone of contention.

      I don't know for sure if this is the truth, but Gove says that there are hundreds of regulations that cross his desk every day. I'm not happy about that.

      I think that at one point Cameron was anti EU. He probably changed his mind to get power. That's why they do everything.

      I said up above that they needed to find someone half human for the campaign. Boris hasn't made any difference to that statement. of course he's a big name and he'll get a better reaction that the slimeball Grayling or the two low life from the DWP... but the other side is no less unappealing. Osborne, Hunt, May... Jeez.

      Apparently at least 150 Tory MPs are on the leave side. He's split his party down the middle.

  3. This whole unnecessary eu farrago leaves the impression....Politics is an open sewer filled with shite.

    1. Ahhhh... another not badly observed comment.

      You're getting good at that Niko.

  4. You could have warned me, Gove and IDS I just managed, but that last picture nearly made me boak!

    Maybe one other European government balances its books : mega rich Norway with its wee oil fund that the crafty buggers set up. What a relief we dodged that bullet!

    1. Ah. Well I've been known to put up nasty sight warnings on posts, but I figured that if you started off with a picture of Gove, things couldn't get much worse.

      Sorry if I spoiled your dinner though...

      Oh geeeez yeah, just imagine if Maggie had been stupid enough to set up an oil fund and funded all the pensions and built roads and state of the art hospitals... and stuff like that, instead of funding mass unemployment, nuclear weapons and stuff

      How AWFUL life would be...

    2. Oh no worries, I'm old enough to remember Michael Forsyth (Thatcher era) and Nicholas Fairbairn so I can cope with the odd fright now and again!

    3. Nothing will ever shock you if you could cope with the sight of Fairbairn the Wierd and Mental Mick!

    4. Norway isn't in the EU, it's in the free trade area through the EFTA, not the EU "proper".

      Better position given TTIP and Greece's treatment if you ask me.

    5. I think I can understand the reasoning behind the Scottish government wanting to remain in the E.U. However, as others have make mention of there are a couple, at least, huge elephants in the room, in my view.

      1) TTIP

      2) The disgraceful treatment that has been metted out to Greece over it's in/out of the Euro AND the refugee crisis that it finds itself in.

      In the past I have tended to think along the lines of Scotland being out of the EU but in EFTA with the power to make its own decisions regarding whether or not to implement EU regulations.

      I think, until at least TTIP is destroyed, then this is still my leaning.

      At the end of the day I think it all comes down to who you trust.

      1) the Scottish government

      2) Westminster

      3) E.U.

      4) European Commission currently involved in TTIP negotiations

      5) Big business currently negotiating TTIP behind closed doors.

    6. The thought of Tory governments, unfettered by European regulations, is a deeply depressing one.

    7. The Scottish Government is going to have to be careful with it's campaigning. The EU policy was unclear during the Referendum, and the current approach seems to be purely based on an anti-Tory sentiment.

      TTIP could be where the SG gets uncomfortable. TTIP is being negotiated in secret. Yet I don't see the SNP being openly vocal about it or the concerns that many people have.

      Many business want to stay in the EU, therefore their employees would also wish this for job security.

      So given the concerns about TTIP, balanced against jobs, makes it a bloody difficult choice.


    8. My personal opinion on what the SNP should do re the EU referendum:

      Not campaign at all. If asked, say they are confident that the people of Scotland will vote sensibly, and that therefore they are concentrating their campaigning efforts on the Holyrood elections instead.

      Not falling into the same trap Labour fell into during the referendum, or that the LibDems fell into in the coalition seems like a good idea to me.

    9. Illy: For an independent Scotland I'd be really happy with EFTA. If you look at the Norwegian model, it works there. But they do have to follow EU regulations in those areas where they are at one, and Norway makes very large contributions to EU funding. They also have no voice at the top table about how the regulations are made...and no Veto.

      It wouldn't work for the UK. EFTA is now an organisation of four small, rich countries. The total population is a fraction of the UK. They won't want the UK coming in and telling them they need to change everything and do it Gideon's way. I can't see it anyway. I am sure i read something about EFTA saying NO!

      I think your idea about not campaigning is interesting. It would of course lead to the accusation that the SNP are so BAAAAAD they don't hae an opinion on something which is extremely important, so lacking in principles. Or that they are scared of taking sides in case they loose are are tarred with the "campaigning with the Tories" brush.

      I think they are right to campaign. I think Nicola is right to say she will not campaign with other parties, which obviously are far less interested in Scotland's issues. I think that suggesting that Cameron should stay away from Scotland (as she is reported to have done) is relatively sensible. He is so hated here (he admitted it, and had to get Brown to do his dirty work) that a word from him and everyone else would do the opposite...

      Not just from a perception point (Cameron's reasoning is NOT even vaguely similar to Scotland's reasoning) the SNP must put SCOTLAND's case for staying in the union.

    10. Arbroath: Yes, I agree.

      I wish that Cameron wouldn't go on and on stoking up racial hatred about all these foreigners who come over and take our jobs, and take our schools and take our hospital beds and the food out of our children's mouths.

      They don;t. They contribute billions to the economy; they by and large work from day one. yes, when they have kids they go to school, and sometimes need to use medical facilities (although the bulk of them are young fit and healthy) but they or their parents pay tax and council tax... Their students come to our universities bringing millions into the economy.

      It's not about them.

      It's about TIPP; it's about needless regulations; it's about how much it all costs.

      And he makes it all about in work benefits!

      Typical Tory.

    11. That is the problem Zog.

      Not sure I understand the TIPP thing. Something to do with any organisation that is privatised, or semi privatised, will now have to be open to American bids. So, because the English NHS is farmed out to Cameron's mates to make money from, all the UK's HS will be up for grabs?

      As I say, it would be interesting if the SNP manages to take it away from the Tory concern that Eastern Europeans are swarming like bees over everything we own and making it theirs, and soon we shall all have to learn Polish.

      Typical Tory to make it all about race.

      As you point out a lot of jobs could be involved. (So we could have a situation where we have no more Poles, but many fewer jobs, as companies move to Ireland or Hungary...)

    12. Jim: I seem to recall that Mrs Thatcher described the EU as "Socialism by the back door". If you shut the back door, we might find ourselves living in an ever more dog eat dog Tory world, where decency and human rights disappear out the window.

      Already health and safety, and human rights have been down graded by the hard right Tory press and people who don't stop and think decry them.

      Imagine decrying human rights... or health and safety... I'd rather they "went mad" than they "went away".

      Wait till your employer makes you do dangerous jobs with poor equipment and no supervision, and then bemoan the Health and Safety at work regulations.

    13. I'm not sure that this TTIP disaster waiting in the wings is not only about the ability of big U.S. companies storming into the E.U. and taking over just about anything and everything Tris. As I understand it the bigger threat, if that is even possible, is the idea that any of these U.S. companies can sue the relevant government, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or even U.K., if they (the government) impose any sort of ruling or law that impinges upon the big U.S. comapny and its ability to make profits!

      This is the sort of thing I mean Tris.

      TTIP ... yet further proof, if any were still needed, that it is big business that controls government and NOT government controlling big business!

  5. I am going to say this quietly cause that man over on Wings has a long reach, but you make all this difficult stuff clear as crystal with a few pictures and words.
    An interesting side show this other Referendum is making, mind the news on any channel is all about England and what England wants and if anything I blame politicians of all the parties down there stoking the fires, hate to say it but Hitler would be proud of them. Not one of them had a decent word to say about Europe, none of them worked to make the institution better. If there was a law which could be used to cause dissent they used it to it's fullest where other countries in the EU payed them lip service. No this is all about England and putting England back where these nut jobs, and apart from Boris they mostly are, think it belongs. Sad to say they are a spent force, sitting at the right hand being used by which ever President is in the White House who throws them crumbs, oh and the Labour Party with all the members they have in the Henry Jackson club are no better.
    I am not over fond of Europe, the set up needs further democracy, lets get rid of these unelected commissioners like Kinnock and formerly Mandelson, it has many faults but boy it is head and shoulders above Westminster, at least we would have an equal say in matters which concern us, we certainly do not here.

    1. You're very kind Helena. That man at Wings almost undoubtedly doesn't wast his time on this blog... but we all know in any case that he does an amazing job. I wish I had his talent for research and writing.

      Of course, there is a similarity in the approach that seems to have made the headlines. It's all been about this benefits thing. And the money is very little compared with the benefits that the young healthy enthusiastic immigrants bring.

      The outers are going to have to prove that there is an alternative to the EU.

      I don;t think any of us LOVE the EU. It's another form of government and none of us likes that. But apart from making it about race, they say that it interferes with everything and makes 80% of our laws.

      If that is true it's time we were paying MPs £20,000 a year.

      But our taxes, social security, pensions, whether or not we go to war, our military capabilities, our universities and schools and colleges, our road surfaces, sports facilities, parks, and hospitals and surgeries.. and so many other things seem to be in the hands of the UK or Scottish governments.

      They say that they have so little power over Brussels, only being 1 out of 28. So how does that equate to 56/59 MPs voting for dozens of amendments to the Scotland Bill and yet not one of them being passed?

  6. Tris

    I must admit I am not as starry eyed as many Liberals about staying in the EU and at this point remain undecided as to how I may vote. I agree with some of sentiments above, TTIP, the treatment of Greece, the corruption, the jobs for the boys, the unsigned accounts. Farming subsidies, the refugee crisis etc all make me think I could go for a NO. I can't also forget the EU's role in scaring Scots during the referendum, they went out of their way to support the rUK with scare stories.

    The few things that keep me open minded is the trade, the human rights act and the small amount of protection we get from the ravishes of our right wing unionist parties.

    I don't hold that Scotland being forced out by an English vote would bring about a successful second referendum, I don't think Scots are that enamoured by the EU but I do think that Scots understand that the EU does offer a tiny bit of protection. The SNP need to be very careful with this one as I don't think that a NO vote in Europe means a YES vote for independence.

    Cameron has made a huge mistake and he know's it. This is all about the right wing little Englanders in his party and the general shift to the right in England. I know the polls are saying it will be a remain but I don't think it is as cut and dried as that, even if the NO side looks a membership of Nazis r us. IDS,Patel,Farage,Johnstone,Gove,Grayling,Redwood and lets not forget the leading Tory himself Galloway. Could you find a more disgusting bunch of politicians anywhere, even North Korea.

    Interesting times.


    1. Agreed.

      There is so much that is wrong with the EU, but there are advantages to being in the organisation in the form of the employment and business it brings (and resultant tax revenues), and of course the brake on the relentless move to the right that the Tories and New labour have brought.

      Like you I don;t think that a contrary vote in the UK and Scotland would bring another referendum.

      Initially nothing would change. it took tiny Greenland (well population wise) 2 years to get out of the EU. It will take a deal longer for the UK. And even then it will take time for any changes to show.

      One scary thing though is that, if the OUT side wins, and these people are an example of the winning side... Grayling and IDS and their likes, the Tory Party is going to become a very much nastier group of people than it is even now. As you say, a pretty disgusting lot.

      If they start imposing their revolting policies on us, maybe that would make people want to leave the UK.

      Interesting times, as you say.

    2. I agree with you Bruce on the points you raised above.

      "I agree with some of sentiments above, TTIP, the treatment of Greece, the corruption, the jobs for the boys, the unsigned accounts. Farming subsidies, the refugee crisis etc all make me think I could go for a NO. I can't also forget the EU's role in scaring Scots during the referendum, they went out of their way to support the rUK with scare stories."

      I may be wrong but I think you have misunderstood the points you raise here.

      "The few things that keep me open minded is the trade, the human rights act and the small amount of protection we get from the ravishes of our right wing unionist parties."

      I am no expert so apologise in advance if I am wrong here.

      I do not think the human rights act has anything to do with the E.U. it is monitored/controlled from the European Courts of Human Rights which is a completely seperate entity from the E.U.

      As far as trade is concerned I do not think we would actually see much if any change in our trade swith the E.U. remember the U.S., India, China, Russia etc all trade with the E.U. and you never hear them complain much if at all. The only aspect that would change would be in the re-negotiation of trade agreements. In fact there would, I believe, be a bonus to being outside the E.U. on the trade front. I understand that all E.U./world trade agreements are negotiated by an unelected bureaucrat from Brussels and their team of negotiatiors NOT individual governments. Being outside the E.U. we could have trade deals with any country in the world without requiring any input from the bureaucrats in Brussels and thereby get the best possible deal for Scotland ... unlike just now.

      I do agree with your point about the right wing crackpots though!

    3. Arbroath: You're right about the Human Rights Act, but I think it's now a condition of the EU that member states sign up to it...again, I could be wrong.

  7. Anyone in favour of independence for Scotland really should vote to remain in the EU in the hope of a constitutional crisis and second referendum. Once we're independent we can have a referendum about continued EU membership.

    1. You have a point, Iain. Although I'm not sure that it would give rise to a second referendum.

      I'm not sure that Mr Average cares that much, and in any case, untangling Britain from the EU will take years, and effects may not be felt immediately.

      It's technically totally unsatisfactory that Scotland, Wales or NI should be dragged out by English votes, but I wonder how long the indignation would last...

      Could of course be horribly wrong... It's been known to happen!!!

  8. The way things are going, the EU referendum is going to cause a constitutional crisis whatever the result, given the open splits within different parties - SNP included.

    I don't think anyone really has a clue about the implications of either result.
    You can see this from regular commentators on a variety of blogs.

    I don't think an exit vote will trigger a second referendum. I can't see how the SNP would risk it. Although it would sort out the currency issue - we'd be forced to adopt the Euro!

    Think I'll go and study quantum physics...... easier to understand.....


    1. Some of us thought the Euro was the game plan all along anyway.

      Saor Alba

    2. I think you are wrong there Zog re the idea that an independent Scotland would be forced to join the Euro.

      There are currently 28 countries in the E.U. of which only 19 countries use the Euro.

      Before any country can join the Euro it must first of all meet a pre-set collection of criteria:

      1) Price stability, to show inflation is controlled;

      2) Soundness and sustainability of public finances, through limits on government borrowing and national debt to avoid excessive deficit;

      3) Exchange-rate stability, through participation in the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) for at least two years without strong deviations from the ERM II central rate;

      4) Long-term interest rates, to assess the durability of the convergence achieved by fulfilling the other criteria.

      Most countries wanting to join the Euro will, obviously, attempt to meet these criteria. This will take up to Two years to complete after which a convergience report will be published determining if convergence has been met or not. If convergience has not been met then the country can not join the Euro.

      The very fact that Sweden has been in the E.U. since 1995 and is not in the Euro should speak volumes about the fact that there are ways and means for countries not to join the Euro if they do not wish to.

      The unionists tried this argument during the referendum but in reality it holds no water in my view. Yes there are rules that state the country must join the Euro. However, if the country has no wish to join the Euro then it will find ways and means to make sure that it "fails" to meet the convergence criteria as required.

    3. Yeah, I think you are right there, Arbroath.

      Signing up to joining the Euro, if and when the conditions are right, means nothing.

    4. That was the point I was sort of trying to make in my last post Tris. Let's face it if Sweden can join the E.U. in 1995 and here we are 21 years later and they are STILL not signed up to the Euro tells you all you need to know about the rigors of joining the Euro, in my view.

    5. All you ever have to do is to ensure that you do not meet the convergence criteria...

  9. With a Tory government in the UK for the foreseeable future without having to adhere to EU Human Rights Directives I fear that the present 'austerity' will seem like a golden age. Employers, including local authorities, are already ignoring the European Working Time Directive and get away with it because the employees, and their representatives, for some reason, seem to be unaware of their rights

    1. To me, that is the scariest part of the deal.

      Tory or New Labour governments and some English Bill of Rights...

      Which as we all know will protect the queen and her family, lords, MPs and fat cats.

      The rest of us can fiddle for it.

  10. You've probably all read it anyway, but this is good, as you would expect.

  11. I apologize in advance if someone has already made the following points, since I have as yet not had time to read them all.
    Firstly, you need to imagine what the UK would be like if we were not in the eu. Employment law binned, health and safety, Human rights and the European courts of appeal, just for starters.
    Even so,out of all of our European partners, just how many treat their pensioners, their unemployed, their disabled, their sick, their low paid worse than we do.
    Joining efta, would mean still paying the eu about the same as we do at present, without any return, Scotland in the eu, would pay around 1billion, but would receive roughly that amount back(without wm siphoning of its cut), so net cost zero.
    When we dissolve the union, we will need our European friends. Not least to recognize our right to exist.

    1. Most of that is what I'm concerned about Golfie.

      Our news papers have picked the most ridiculous health and safety issues and made the idea that we should look after people to be a bad thing. Yes, H&S goes mad sometimes, but getting rid of it would make all our lives more dangerous.

      Same for Human Rights. For heaven's sake what kind people want fewer human rights?

      Agreed about EFTA. The UK would never be accepted into EFTA, but Scotland might well.

      As you say, our pensioners and sick/unemployed get some of the worse pro rata deals on their state pensions/beneifts.

      I was also interested to read that Germany, France and Italy are all larger contributors to the Union. And Poland/Spain aren't far behind us.