Thursday 3 June 2004

Who's nutty?

In today's Scotsman Jenny Hjul asks: Why are so many otherwise sensible folk going Green? She gives us some good arguments against voting for the Green Party in next week's EU election. What though are we to make of this?
It may seem unkind to pick on Greens when there are far more sinister (BNP) and nuttier (UKIP) forces out there, but it is worrying that so many otherwise sensible folk think Green is the way to go.
I agree that the BNP are sinister, but why is it "nuttier" to favour the retention of Britain's independence than to advocate policies that would cause the deaths of millions of human beings?


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil (
I can think of quite a few free market reactioneries who are opposed to a free market (O.J. style?) solution to criminal sentencing. 
As I say the free market is a means rather than an end.

9 June 2004, 22:49:40 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
It is very interesting how easily many people drop their commitment to the market allocation of resources. 
Free-market economics is not for fearties. That is what made Adam Smith such a great man. He had the courage of his convictions, unlike many of his supposed admirers today. 
You are an old fashioned reactionary. You'll be telling us to "birch, hang and flog 'em" next.

9 June 2004, 10:12:35 GMT+01:00
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Neil (
"If you are anti-migration then you are, by definition, anti free-market" 
Ok then I am. The free market is desireable if, & only if, it benefits citizens more than any alternative, which I believe is currently the case. It was not handed down on stone tablets as an end in iteself. 
Free movement of people tends to benefit poor immigrants & rich employers here & harm poor locals & employers of relatively skilled people overseas. Since I put the interests of my countrymen ahead of those of foreigners & poor locals always outnumber rich employers I put their interests first. I do not relish a world where all national differences have been ironed out because of mass movements of much of the world's population.

8 June 2004, 21:13:59 GMT+01:00
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Harry Powell (
I for one am rather fed up being told that the prosperity of the nation depends on mass immigration. We don't have a population crisis in Scotland, or anywhere else in the UK, we have a skills shortage and a productivity deficit - neither of which will necessarily be solved by throwing open the doors to semi-skilled labour. 
Whereas it's true that more people will ease the pensions shortfall, almost no comment is given in the media to the desirability of the ponzi scheme of national insurance. I suspect that the other calculation that lies behind our current policy is that a fall in the cost of labour would offset the failure to create the productivity gains which would come from capital investment or a larger pool of skills within the workforce. Ask yourself how many of those recent public sector jobs are generating income? 
It's true that ideally an open border is the corollary of free movement of capital, but practically until there is equality of opportunity across the EU the national interest ought to come first. And what is more until someone can prove to me the impossibility of a falling population and a raising GDP I'll continue to believe that limited immigration of the highly skilled is best for Britain.

4 June 2004, 13:57:48 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
If the UKIP do not wish to be ridiculed then they should edit out the xenophobic cartoons and text from their leaflets and website. 
I'm afraid that all too often anti-EU sentiment is promoted by swivelled-eyed lunatics of the far-left and the far-right: fascism and communism are indeed kissing cousins. In Sweden it is the Left Party (communists); in Austria it is the Freedom Party; and in England it is the xenophobic UKIP and BNP and the communistic Respect. 
It is no wonder that withdrawal from the EU is a minority hobby. If you want people to vote for you, stop picking on immigrants! 
The Lib Dems (and the other mainstream parties) are allowed to make their pro-Europe case without being called nutters because they do not pick on foreigners.

4 June 2004, 13:07:43 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Andrew Ian Dodge (
I really am sick of people comparing UKIP to the BNP. Its a complete rubbish comparison. BNP does have its equivalent and that is RESPECT. UKIP are not a bunch of nutters, racists, NAZIs or xenophobes.  
Never mind the fact that most BNP types are ex-Labour and not ex-Tory. (The fact their non-racial policies are rather socialist might be a clue.) BNP is a Labour off-shoot not a Tory one. Never mind the fact many of them admire the National Socialist Workers Party.  
They just believe, as do many in the UK, that they best place for their country is outside of the superstate called Europe. (NB: Anyone who doesn't believe the whole aim of Europe is to become a unitary either hasn't read anything by its leading proponents or any of the treaties in the last 20 years.) What is wrong with this attitude being brought into the debate? After all those who wish to push for much further intergration are allowed to make their case (ie the Lib Dems) but not those who wish to withdraw?

4 June 2004, 12:44:07 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
OK. I admit that occasionally I too have written in haste and repented at leisure. 
Unfortunately I'm afraid that many people are about to vote in haste and repent at leisure. It won't make a jot of difference of course: we'll still end up with 2 Lab, 2 SNP, 2 Con and 1 LD MEPs, almost exactly the same as last time, because nothing ever changes very much in Scottish politics. (Or is that a prediction made in haste...?)

4 June 2004, 12:11:48 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer (
You have caught me out! 
I confess that I wrote the last comment in too much of a hurry. The "Once that has been achieved" part should not have been written.

4 June 2004, 11:56:30 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Stuart Dickson (
Your argument to retain young Scots and then, "once this has been achieved", allowing immigration, is sadly very reminiscent of many protectionist arguments: 
"Oh yes, we will remove barriers to trade (substitute: "barriers to migration") only once we have..." poured x amount more tax-payers' money into export subsidies/picking-winners/re-structuring x industry ... take your pick of silly things protectionists like to do with our money. 
If you are anti-migration then you are, by definition, anti free-market. 
And ALL states are over-regulated, highly-taxed, bureaucratic and centralising. So why pick on the European state? Why not pick on the UK not-so-super state? Westminster and Whitehall are the biggest drains on our pockets, not Brussels and Holyrood. 
(David, please note: "Frankenreich" is a xenophobic term ("Political Language" item).)

4 June 2004, 11:35:09 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer (
I agree with the desirability of having free movement in goods, services, capital and people within Europe. The problem with the EU is the unnecessary regulation and high taxation together with the headlong rush to a bureaucratic and centralised state. 
What we need most in Scotland are economic policies that would result in more young, skilled and ambitious Scots remaining here. Once that has been achieved, by all means welcome immigration from other parts of Europe.

4 June 2004, 10:33:17 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
You only need to look at the cartoon they publish in their A5 election leaflet ( to know that the UKIP are "nutters": 
"Great Britain - Standing Room Only", "The Channel Funnel" and the implication that all central European citizens want to flock to GB (they have far more sense than that). All xenophobes are, by definition, "nutters" (Jenny Hjul's word, not mine). 
Also, Scotland is far from "full", we desperately need more economic migration (inbound, that is!) One of the beauties of EU membership is the progress towards free movement in goods, services, capital and people. 
The Labour Party has its nutty fringe in the SSP; the SNP had the McDonald, Grace-Elder and Martin nutters; the LibDems have the Scottish Green Party as its militant tendency (in sandals); and now you Tory-boys can stop guffawing, because you have a plethora of Tory militants: UKIP, BNP, New Party, Pro-Life, Christian alliance. Michael Howard's breeks must be a fair mess.

4 June 2004, 10:05:04 GMT+01:00