Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Don't Miss New Book by Stephen Bush
It can be bought from Amazon UK for £6.99. Reviews available on site.  It’s an invaluable guide to voting in the Referendum and understanding Britain’s position afterwards. [more »]

The Fear Campaign Worked
Polls over the last two years have shown a huge majority (65-75%) in favour of curbing immigration. On the doorstep, person to person, canvassers found that immigration was the number one reason for voting to leave.  So why was the vote for Leave at 52% so small? Reason: the fear of dire economic consequences pumped out at the British people by: the government, economists, charities, bankers, think-tanks, quangos, talking shops at home and abroad, nearly all sucking on the public sector money teat, or in the case of bankers, on their own shareholders’ cash. [more »]

Cameron's Motive
Why did David Cameron not carry out his undertaking to join the Leave campaign when he didn’t get the EU to restrain the flow of immigrants in any meaningful way? Seemingly he had everything to gain. Most, if not all, the Cabinet would have joined him, as would virtually all the Conservative Party in the Commons and the country.  Some of the 6 million Labour voters who will vote Leave tomorrow might have been permanently deflected from voting Labour again.  With Corbyn still in charge of Labour, a united Tory party would have been on course for winning big in 2020. [more »]

Attempts by Cameron to swing the Referendum vote his way
On June 8th in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Cameron announced that he was trying to get the Electoral Commission, which is set up to be entirely independent of the government, to extend the deadline for registration to vote in the EU Referendum from midnight on June 7th because he wanted to “allow as many people as possible to take part in the Referendum” as if it were some sort of game.  This announcement followed complaints by many of those attempting to register on-line from 10 pm until the deadline at midnight, that the registration website was not coping with the large numbers of people attempting to register at the last minute.  To satisfy these complaints, an extension of 24 hours at the most would appear more than enough. In fact the Electoral Commission has permitted a 48 hour extension to the registration period to midnight on the 9th June. [more »]

More Academic Special Pleading
The relentless barrage of letters from the university community about their grants from the EU continues. In their letter of 26th May to the Daily Telegraph, the Chairman and President of King’s College London maintain that the UK’s leaving the EU political project would somehow “weaken our research base by undermining relationships with European partners”.  They also complain that EU researchers coming to Britain would be subject to onerous visa requirements. They should take a look at the European Research Council (ERC) website which welcomes international collaboration and specifically grants support on a competitive basis “to individual researchers of any nationality and age”. The ERC maintains missions and contact points in 29 non-EU countries, including Switzerland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. [more »]

Top

Hatred

In the usual sonorous, regretful tones adopted by the moralists in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, reproved the “out-welling of poison and hatred” from “both sides” in the EU debate.

Personally this writer has never seen any hatred of the “Remainers” by the Leave campaign. But some of the Remainers have seen fit to express themselves in respectable publications in terms which verge on the demented.

Thus in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph (July 5th), one Jeremy Harmer of Cambridge said without qualification, “As an older, educated voter, I share with many of my peer group a visceral, all consuming, white hot fury at the toxic drip of misrepresentation, outright lies and barely disguised xenophobia which fuelled the Leave campaign. The anger many of us feel is rapidly morphing into a hatred of the people who got us here.  They have made the UK an uglier place and we will never forgive them”.

Is there something in the water in Cambridge (see Stephen Bush’s post of July 3rd “Doers and Talkers”) which has led some of the 76% of the people there, who voted to remain as part of the EU, to dislike or hate their fellow countrymen so much?

Another thing – given the Telegraph’s wide choice of letters to publish each day, is it not odd that they should choose Harmer’s paean of hatred to be published? Would they have even considered a letter in such terms from the Leave side about the “Remainers”?

Why are some Remainers so worked up?

The referendum in effect asked one question only: do you wish Britain to be governed in future by its own democratically elected parliament or do you wish it to be governed for most matters by a 28-member Council, of which 27 are foreigners, plus just one (unelected) who is British? …[more»]