Staying in the EU

My job for the last 3 years has been EU researcher at a London think tank. My work was mainly on the problems of the EU and the different options for leaving the EU – in short, what might be called Eurosceptic. They can all be accessed here for free.

Over the course of my time there I have become convinced that it is best for Britain to remain within the EU, although it certainly has its problems. I have now left Civitas.

Here are some of my reasons for supporting Remain.

Here is how I think the government could promote Leave-Remain reconciliation, and try to fix the EU’s problems, after a Remain win:

You could also argue this (by a colleague), which is mildly true but barely relevant:

David Cameron’s renegotiation efforts have changed the EU for the better

Here is how the EU would have to develop for me to consider pushing for another referendum and wanting to vote to leave.

I have a few more articles planned, but await people to pay me to write them.

I am happy to discuss my views further.




Reaping the innocent – government’s terror DRIP law

On Tuesday 15 July, the House of Commons will debate ‘DRIP’, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. They will pass it.

On Wednesday, the House of Lords will debate ‘DRIP’. They will pass it.

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Lordly Smackdown

Jubilation and Exaltation at the Eleventh Hour.

Anyone who’s had the temerity to follow my tiresome posts about ASBOs etc: the House of Lords has struck down the clause ‘nuisance and annoyance’ from the Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance, reverting to the language used in current ASBOs. Continue reading

Call the Banners – Thatcher Death Party

Thatcher was not a perfect prime minister or person. It is valid to criticise her at any time. This is an opportune moment, not because of her death, but because the excellent borrowing rates Britain is enjoying offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restructure the economy, the whole country, to heal the hurts and inequality her ‘reign’ dealt. Thatcher’s dominance caused Labour to disavow its socialist and militant branches, abandon Clause IV and adopt the paradigms of monetarism championed by the Iron Cult. New Labour represented far more continuity with the Tory position than many admit, giving free rein to the Bank of England and preserving the City’s dominance. This ‘received wisdom’ contributed to the 2008 crash and our current predicament. Continue reading

Icelandic Hero: Why I’m so happy Abu Qatada is still here

The Abu Qatada Saga has been in the news again recently for allegedly breaking his bail conditions. We are talking, in case you were wondering, about the Palestinian-Jordanian Islamic cleric resisting extradition to Jordan, not Abu Hamza, with whom he is often confused, who has hooks for hands and has already been extradited to the United States. Here is a helpful story from the Express about his use new sporks.

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Pond Life: Why care about American economics? [or Why Gay Marriage Matters]

[I’m afraid this one is long. Take a deep breath, think about it, then remember to feed the cat and decide not to read it. It’s all lies and conjecture anyhoo.]

Edit- Now published somewhat more soberly on The Moon Project

We come to it at last, they great hiccup of our time.

Economics, economics, economics. That’s what the 2010 UK election was about, and it seems to be the main thrust of the American one. Unemployment and jobs figures are the battlefield. Gross Domestic Product and AA+ credit rating are the weapons. The Federal Reserve might be a potential ally, and the Deficit is the vulnerable baggage-train. The important debates are about fiscal stimuli, quantitative easing, limiting spending, improving taxation, stimulating growth, removing restrictions, facilitating entrepreneurship. Education, healthcare and welfare are all seen through the frame of national debt and uncertain future. To quote Gandalf, “The board is set. The pieces are moving.”

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Inarticulate Patriarchy Rant : Christianity’s Legacy, Part I

This is a complementary post to this one, which criticised the kind of ‘atheist religion’ espoused by Alain de Botton. The linked post excellently covers my dissatisfaction with

the ‘big issues’ and the problems in these men’s approaches. I, then, will widen the net and direct my considerable anger at day-to-day life. Continue reading

Addendum: Medical Benefits to Male Circumcision

You can almost imagine it saying “Please sir, please don’t cut me off!”

In the wake of my groundbreaking, wonderful, infallible post on male genital mutilation, various kind readers have emphasised the medical benefits of circumcision to me as query or counterargument. They are summarised here and I am not denying them. I am denying the right to perform such actions on infants, and comparisons to inoculation. Continue reading

Too Dumb To Vote, Part IX – Religion, Morality & Politics

Welcome back, intrepid traveller! The ‘Too Dumb To Vote’ series has taken a back seat to more pressing events, but now it’s back in style. Today we will take a farcically truncated look at the interactions between religion, morality and politics, and how this interplay underlines the weakness of the current democratic system. We’ll hit this in three sections: (i) a rushed look at definitions, and a quick aside on ‘science as religion’, (ii) highlighting how tricks similar to those outlined in TDTV 2-6 are used to lure and keep people in religions, and (iii) how religion affects voting, and to what extent that’s OK. Continue reading

Genital Mutilation, Infanticide and Other Sunday Afternoon Topics

Disclaimer – this piece is not intended to offend any Jews, Muslims, or other cultures practicing any form of circumcision.

 On 7th May this year, a decision by the Cologne (Koln) Regional Court ruled “the circumcision of boys for religious reasons” illegal. Read about the story here  and here. After this ruling, the German Medical Association counselled its members not to perform religious circumcisions. However, given the political, religious and international outcry, Merkel came out against the ruling, so 19 July the coalition German Parliament voted in favour of legislation to protect religious circumcision (of males) –

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