Too many people in this country have formed their opinions based entirely on media and Government propaganda, and this is too important to allow the uneducated masses loose on.
Before this happens, we need a wholesale education programme.
(27 posts) (16 voices)
Well, the thing is that if you are going to have a democracy then it's vital that everyone gets a vote. Most of the ignorant won't turn out anyway. Most of the one's who do turn out will have been reading a paper that agrees with what they thought in the first place, be it the DM, Express, Sun, Windypendent, Times, or Grauniad. A few will have bothered to read all the guff, research it, and sperate the wheat from from the chaff, and the rest will either stick a pin in the ballot paper at random or draw a big willy on the paper as a mark of defiance. Whatever, you can bet that the powers that be will wangle it so it goes their way, unless you go back to the poll tax demonstrations.
I'm not sure whether appointing an impartial team to present facts (such as national cost/benefit of membership and immigration) for education is necessarily better than the prosecution / defence legal model of having two oppositely biased advocates presenting and countermanding arguments.
However, I do think with so many convulted attempts in various countries to avoid or subvert referendum decision making on the EU (eg, You voted no? Well, we're going to ask you again, lets see if you can do a bit better) that I think an in/out vote is a good idea, particularly as it will follow a renegotiation of terms...so giving some bargainning power to the negotiation (ie. no improvement in terms means we're more likely to opt out).
I suspect outcome will be strong national vote to remain in EU upon negotiated improved terms.
It’s refreshing to see people believing that voting actually matters. It doesn’t, of course, for the powers that be will always find a way to nullify any vote that doesn’t give them what they want.
Spot on, sigmund.
The vast majority of people don't and cannot understand whether EU membership is a good or bad thing, or which bits are good. That's not meant to be patronising, and I certainly have only a superficial knowledge of the issues. We only read about the stuff that has problems, so is that really the best basis for throwing away the good stuff ?
Being an old cynic, I wonder if this is about winning the next election. Cameron's support must be less now than it was in 2010, and he is unlikely to be able to team up with what's left of the LibDems, so maybe he's hoping some of the 920,000 UKIP voters will swing his way ... polarising the voters may be a canny trick.
However, considering that the EEC (and subsequent EU) was set up to integrate Europe and prevent further wars, if we leave then will we be allowed to attack France again ?
There’s an idea, Sinnick; raising revenue the traditional way - piracy against the French and Spanish.
Since I am a Briton and a Royalist, I am sure that I will do what any Briton and Royalist would do: vote the way I am told to by newspapers. Because that's my right as a loyal subject.
Otherwise there would be chaos.
I'm with Sinnick on this one.
I like to think I'm reasonably intelligent and able to process information.
But I know absolutely nothing about the + and - of EU membership
Can somebody simply provide two columns
One with the good bits - the posistive
And another with the bad bits - the negatives
Then leave us alone for a few days to think it over
At least we would have something to base an opinion on.
Do people in other EU countries buy our stuff (regardless of quality or price) simply because we are fellow EU members or because it is better stuff than they can get elsewhere?
Mines, steelworks, shipyards employing millions all closed down but farmers employing a handful receive massive subsidies
I suspect this is wholly about winning the election; arrest haemorrhage of votes to Ukip particularly.
Ukip supporters will know that by voting conservative they will get their desire- a referendum whereby if they vote Ukip, they merely register a protest vote.
The only down side is a potential loss of support from anyone so euro-phile that they don't even want the country asked its opinion...but Cameron has already declared he will campaign for a Yes, so they are pretty much covered off; whilst also saying he would bargain hard to improve EU terms (in which he may find a German ally), so can garner euro-phobe support too.
Labour could have (and actually still could) totally covered the position by stating they would stage exactly the same referendum. Miliband came out instantly strongly against, which the spin doctors have already tried to dilute.
Its an admirably arch bit of political scheming and plotting, to be fair.
If Scotland vote for Independence, and the rest of the UK exits the EU, the border control at Gretna Green is going to get messy.
Quaz, the Poll Tax demonstrations were a symptom of the gross unfairness of the system, in this instance, as so many have said, there is simply a lack of general understanding on the subject so few would be likely to protest over it.
Id, you make a very valid point about referenda, if the result is not that which is hoped for will we, like Ireland, just keep having them until the Govt. get the result they want? Possible, but unlikely, as 'Call me Dave' will be seen to have done his bit to unite the two poles of his party, and as is mentioned above, stop, or at least arrest, the loss of voters to UKIP. However, the UK already has one of the strongest bargaining positions within the EU due to the number of block votes we're permitted. I can't remember the exact number, but it's high because of our strong geopolitical history instead of being based on population as it is with most others.
Sinnick, That's my point, too few people have anything more than a superficial knowledge of the EU, and most of that is derived from media coverage of the 'bad' bits. Very rarely do you read or hear news reports about how the EU helps us, because that doesn't suit the agenda of the media.
But since our two traditional foes now seem to be rather worried about us departing the EU, I think it'd be a bit rude to start attacking them. At least for now.
AReader, is that a Daily Mail subscription I see in your pocket?
Gerry, again, that's my point. I am in no way suggesting that people are too stupid to understand the whole EU, but how often do we really find a reason to research it?
I only have the (slightly deeper) knowledge I do because it's a compulsory subject at uni, and I cannot claim to understand much more than the man on the street.
And yes, people from other EU Member States do buy our products based on us being EU members, because unlike the Brits, most Europeans see being a fellow member of the EU as being a good thing and will support fellow states. Plus, there's a long-held perception that British built or produced items are of good quality. Little do they know...
I'm not an EU expert, I have only the knowledge garnered through three and a bit terms of uni, but such a potential important vote needs the electorate to have a deeper understanding of the possible effect.
Wayland, it's interesting that he's chosen a date for the referendum which is after the Independence one. Once I've given thought to the potential ramifications of that, I'll get back to you.
From my experience, the EU makes engineering a whole lot more bureaucratic. And often less competitive. The whole thing needs a radical overhaul, in one direction or the other.
We either need a full federal EU, much like the USA, with standard taxation and benefits. Cross-border differences within the same currency is unsustainable, which is why such a move would probably require the NHS to be scrapped and replaced with something simpler. We'd also have to adopt the Euro.
The alternative is to devolve to more independent nations, with trading agreements and other mutually beneficial controls in place. It would also need the Euro to be scrapped.
I am in favour of either of these ideas. But if nothing changes, I'd vote to leave.
Jeni the poll tax was a good idea but had one fatal floor, there weren't many polls back then to tax, now we’ve got bloody millions of them we should bring it back. I would vote to stay in Europe it just needs some of the stupid laws removing eg let us deport terrorists etc. without having to go to the European court begging for permission.
I think the EU has become flacid and bloated, with regulations obstructive to dynamic enterprise. The euro cannot survive in the half-arsed fasion it is now; countries united by currency need to be united much more closely in taxation, interest-rates, productivity etc- otherwise they will drift apart like tectonic plates with a hell of an earthquake when tolerance limits are exhausted.
The clusterfuck shitstorm pebbledashing Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain etc etc illustrates that.
So, like Wayland- loose trading agreement with economies of scale but no petty regulations (I'm in) or tightly shackled uber-state with united currency, taxation etc (I'm out) are the only concepts that could survive long-term.
Godly, don't think the European court has anything to do with EU membership. Eh, Jeni?
Since when has people not having a fucking clue what they’re really voting for stood in the way of letting them vote? I present to you as examples every general election there has ever been.
Expecting people to understand the ramifications of their decisions would set a dangerous precedent.
Surely if we left Europe the European court would have no jurisdiction over us?
Yeah but we'd need to be towed at least 200 miles off-shore first
It can be arranged http://direct.asda.com/Playmobil-Large-Pirate-Attack-Ship---5135/000786529,default,pd.html?cm_mmc=ad-css-_-ggle-shop-_-Toys-and-Games-_-000786529&utm_source=ggle-shop&utm_medium=css&utm_term=000786529&utm_content=Toys-and-Games&utm_campaign=ad&istCompanyId=71f4ae42-94c5-4821-aa58-05eff6da2486&istItemId=qiwiwpql&istBid=t
I believe wayland's cock would be subject to cross border controls if we leave the EU.
The BBC is spinning the shit out of this. They reported on R4 that some nations were in favour of Cameron's speech, but others were against. Cue interview with someone against (naturally, who would ever interview someone that agreed with a Tory?).
Unfortunately, the well-informed chap from Finland came across as being rather in favour of Cameron's approach, even offering to send him champagne, should he pull it off. You could hear the disappointment in that Humphries bloke's voice. Hilarious.
I suggest, seeing as we have so many Poles here, that we should leave the EU, reform the Warsaw Pact with our Polish friends, and prepare for the inevitable Franco-German invasion of our two nations.
Sophie from Brighton says the EU is an immportant part of the UKs future, Tony from London belives that England should be as independent as possible. Why not call us etc........
Later in the show some contradicting opinions. Here's Europe, with Final Countdown.
Yes J Vine but what does Rebbeca from 3 miles away think
I think Rebecca is a night worker godly, so I expect she's asleep at the moment.
All I heard on the wireless was "blah blah, 2016, blah blah IF I get re-elected. blah blah, consessions, blah blah, OR a referendum blah blah..." I swiched off at 2016.
I was somewhat underwhelmed. Not so much a statement on Europe but a very early election bribe.
I must confess that I was only just 18 when Ted Heath had the original referendum and it was my first chance to vote on anything. What the fuck did I know about the pros and cons? We hadn't even discussed it at school. I voted "Yes" as it appeared to be what the grown ups were on about. Sorry about that.
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