Debate or bust 2

Thanks, Gisela Stuart. Yes, it is hard to plan your resources for necessary services like the NHS when you don’t have full control of your budget. That was our argument for Scottish independence and against the Barnett formula.
And to reiterate and nobbishly quote myself:

Everyone knows how much money we chuck across the water to Brussels and quite frankly, for what we get, it’s hideous.
Actually, I didn’t know so I googled. Apparently, the UK public expenditure is more than five times bigger than the EU budget. So the budget can’t be that ridiculous. Only 6% of the EU budget is spent on admin, 94% (yes I did that sum by myself) goes back to the member states. (Same source) The graphic on the BBC shows that the UK contributes between 0.6-0.7% of our GNI to the EU budget.
En plus, ‘the UK government estimates that the single market brings in between GBP 31 billion and GBP 92 billion a year into the UK economy – or between 5 and 15 times the UK net contribution to the EU budget.’ Now, I’m not only struck by how similar the abbreviation GNI is to ginbut also how not like a waste this seems.

According to the European Commission website, ‘In practice, 80 % of the EU budget is managed by national or regional governments.’ So if the national governments mismanage that…then they’re just shite. The bulk funding for the EU budget comes from  a standard percentage of each member state’s GNI which is transferred to the EU. This presumably means if you have a lean year and your  juniper crop fails Gross National Income is lower, you pay less. That’s how percentages work, right?
The European Commission website also states, ‘There is no direct EU tax. EU countries remain in control of their taxes.’ Good-oh. Glad we cleared that up.

Workers’ Rights

What has the EU ever done for us?

Remain: The EU guarantees equal pay for men and women, paid maternity leave, paid holidays…
Leave: Andrea Leadsom lists all the rights we’ve achieved within the UK, like the UK sex discrimination act, legislature against FGM, etc.
So…we do have control. No need to take it back, then. Jolly good.

Boris’ Hair: It’s because of the EU that literally zillions of murderers and terrorists are on London’s streets, just ambling around Camden and buying falafel, and we can’t deport them back to where they came from.
Unfortunately, arrests connected to terrorism are up, but ‘the proportion of terror suspects who are British has risen sharply to 79% of those arrested this year [2015], compared with 56% in 2001 when the statistics were first collected.’ Shit, where are we going to send them back to? You mean we can’t blame this one on foreigners? #catastrophe
We can either try to make our borders totally impassable (then we’ll be stuck on an island with Tories AND terrorists, fuck), or we could look at social inequality, education and alienation and maybe try to solve some of the issues we have in society. Because we’re obviously going wrong somewhere if more British people than before want us all to die.

It’s cringeworthy to hear Andrea Leadsom say ‘this great United Kingdom of ours’, as if almost 50% of Scottish residents don’t want to leave it, and then claim that it’s the definition of democracy that the people have the power to sack a government they don’t like. Sorry, which is exactly what can’t happen in Scotland, which, despite being ruled by a centre-left party in Holyrood, is still stuck with the Tories overall. Also, ‘democratically elected’, she should come with subtitles to remind everyone that for the Tories, a majority is 36%. Yeah, well done them.

Sovereignty 

Right, Leadsom again. ‘60% of our rules and regulations are made by people who we don’t even know their names.’
I have two suggestions here: one being don’t be so shit at your job as an MP campaigning against overreaching EU influence that you have no idea who is supposed to be wielding all this influence. And two, google. Like I just did.

Turns out there’s a lot of red tape in the EU. Their wikipedia page is huge. But there’s this super useful bit that explains which parts of the admittedly huge EU straggly wool ball of chaos actually make laws: the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is directly elected (democratic, tick) and the council of Europe is made up of 28 national ministers, one per state and the Presidency ROTATES. I’d still call that pretty democratic, and yeah, maybe we get outvoted sometimes? When everyone else doesn’t agree with you, that’s how it goes. Perhaps they think we are so United Kingdom Fantastic that we should have more than one vote?

IMG_3005.jpg

I don’t know what to do. The UK, the EU, my skin, all these things are not perfect and probably never will be. I don’t hold out any hope of the UK outside of the EU reforming, not with our outdated and unrepresentative voting system and a government that thought it unnecessary to adhere to the Human Rights Act.
George Monbiot points out that we should be more worried about the clash between corporate power and the government:

“If you are concerned about arbitrary power, and the ability of special interests to capture and co-opt the apparatus of the state, the UK is in an even worse position outside the EU than it is within. Though the EU’s directives are compromised and under threat, they are a lot better than nothing. Without them we can kiss goodbye to the protection of our wildlife, our health, our conditions of employment and, one day perhaps, our fundamental rights. Without a formal constitution, with our antiquated voting arrangements and a corrupt and corrupting party funding system, nothing here is safe.”

I’m not happy, but I’m in. And with Orlando and the brutal murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and senseless acts happening all over the world all the more frequently, I want a community to help each other analyse, sort out and prevent such things ever happening again. I don’t think we can do that alone.

 

 

Advertisements
Standard