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The spectator

Bild: Tecknaren Bernie i The Spectator.

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VAL 2016 | Tre tidskrifter har inför folkomröstningen i Storbritannien bjudit in representanter för Vote Remain och Vote Leave att argumentera för sin sak.

Newsweek 24 juni 2016

I Newsweek är det Iain Duncan Smith och Sadiq Khan som står för argumenten.

Duncan Smith, som säger Ja till Brexit, var partiledare för Conservative Party mellan 2001 och 2003 och minister för ”work and pensions” i David Camerons regering mellan åren 2010-2016.

Sadiq Khan, från Labour, valdes till Londons borgmästare i maj och anser att Storbritannien mår bäst av att stanna kvar i EU.

Först Duncan Smiths argument i korthet:

President Barack Obama is just one of the many international leaders to urge the people of the United Kingdom to remain members of the European Union. But in doing so he is asking British voters to accept policies and institutions that the American people would not accept for themselves. I’m not just guessing that this is the case. An opinion poll by YouGov found that only 29 percent of Americans would agree to Mexicans having an automatic right to live and work in the U.S. in return for Americans enjoying such a right in Mexico. Even fewer—19 percent—supported the idea of a joint Canadian-Mexican-American high court that would be the ultimate decider of human rights questions. Only 33 percent supported a “South and North American Environmental Agency” that would regulate the fishing industry across the Americas.

As members of the 28-state EU, the British people are subject to the decisions of a supranational and highly politicized court; they watch as jobs in their neighborhoods are taken by Romanians, Bulgarians and other Europeans; and they also find that bureaucrats in Brussels rather than elected representatives in the House of Commons decide all key environmental, fishing and agricultural matters. Britain is only a fraction of the democracy that it was in 1973, when we joined the European Economic Community.

Och här är några av Khans motargument:

Whether it’s analysis from the British Treasury, the Bank of England, the Confederation of British Industry, the International Monetary Fund or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, it is clear that remaining part of the EU will be better for our economy, better for trade, better for businesses—both large and small—and better for exports.

Almost half of everything we sell to the rest of the world we sell to Europe. In London alone, we export more than £12 billion every year to Europe, and we are home to the European headquarters of 60 percent of the world’s non-European global businesses.

Access to EU markets is crucial to the success of the City of London, and for every £1 we put into the EU, we get almost £10 back through increased trade, investment, low prices and jobs.

I The Spectator har Matthew Parris och Daniel Hannan plockat fram sina sex bästa argument för och emot EU-medlemskapet. Debattörerna har dessutom fått möjlighet att replikera på varandras inlägg.

The Spectator 11 June 2016

Parris är kolumnist för tidskriften och dagstidningen The Times. Hannan sitter i EU-parlamentet för Conservative PartyParris skriver:

Like almost everyone, I’ve piled angrily into this fight. But as the debate nears resolution I feel ashamed of all my furious certainties. In the end, none of us knows, and we shouldn’t pretend to. So I’ll try now to express more temperately six thoughts that persist as the early rage subsides.

From the first three you’ll see that I’m beginning to understand that for many the EU is now a whipping boy. ‘Europe’ has become for many what in other ages Rome, or communist plots, or America, or international Jewry, or big business represented: a conspiracy against us, an explanation. In the words of Cavafy’s poem ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, ‘a kind of solution’. Europe has become a punchbag for our fears and frustrations. Hating the EU has become exciting, brave, a source of self-affirmation, a proxy.

Daniel Hannan inleder med att skriva:

For me, as for so many people, it’s a heart versus head issue. I’m emotionally drawn to Europe. I speak French and Spanish and have lived and worked all over the Continent. I’ve made many friends among the Brussels functionaries. Lots of them, naturally, are committed Euro-federalists. Yet they are also decent neighbours, loyal companions and generous hosts. I feel twinges of unease about disappointing them, especially the anglophiles. But, in the end, the head must rule the heart.

Remainers often tell us to think of our children, and I’m doing precisely that. I am thinking, not just about the EU as it is now, but about the diminished role that a surly, introverted Europe will have in their lifetime. And that makes my decision very easy.

Standpoint har låtit de två konservativa parlamentsledamöterna Oliver Letwin och Michael Gove stå för argumenten.

Standpoint..

Letwin, förespråkare för Vote Remain, tar i sitt inlägg som utgångspunkt det avtal som premiärminister David Cameron förhandlade fram med EU inför folkomröstningen.

The binding, international law decision that he agreed with the other heads of government in Brussels a few months ago provides explicitly for some member states to form voluntarily a full political, fiscal and monetary union. But it also makes it explicitly clear that this will not apply to other states (including, explicitly, the UK).

The agreement goes on to state explicitly that the phrase “ever closer union” does not provide the European Court with a legal basis for expansive interpretations of the treaties, that it is not the ambition of the UK to form part of an ever closer union, and that the phrase “ever closer union” therefore does not apply to the UK.

Second, the agreement acknowledges, for the first time, that the EU is and will remain permanently a multi-currency zone. And, to make a reality of this, it establishes a new set of protocols governing the relationship between those countries within the eurozone and those countries that maintain their own currencies.

These changes are fundamental. Together, they create the opportunity for a new Europe of concentric circles to emerge — a Europe in which Britain can do exactly what very many of us have wanted for decades: namely, for Britain to be a permanent, full member of the outer circle, the free trade single market, while some other countries travel towards a different destination as members of the inner circle of political, fiscal and monetary union.

Även Michael Gove, Vote Leave, argumenterar utifrån avtalet med Bryssel. Gove är minister i Camerons regering.

We have to be honest about the lack of reform. The deal with other EU nations doesn’t return a single power from Brussels to nation states, doesn’t reduce wasteful EU spending by a penny, doesn’t get rid of a single job-destroying regulation or display even a glimmer of a scintilla of a recognition that the EU might be anything other than a Garden of Eden from which no one should wish to be excluded.

But what makes the deal particularly problematic for us in Britain is not just failure to reform the EU this time round, but the surrender of our veto over future changes.

The deal specifies that countries such as Britain which may not want to see further integration will give up their ability to stop others; they “will not create obstacles to but [will] facilitate such further deepening”.

It has always been critical to the defence of our interests in Europe that we can block other countries at critical moments and make sure our needs are met before others can make new arrangements. The PM made good use of that power in 2011 when he vetoed plans for further integration that didn’t take account of Britain’s needs. Under the new Brussels deal, that power would be lost.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 24 juni 2016; The Spectator den 11 juni 2016; Standpoint juni 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Trots att Hillary Clinton befunnit sig i den politiska hetluften sedan Bil Clinton var president är det fortfarande svårt att sätta fingret på vad hon tror på.

The Spectator 21 May 2016

Och inte blir det bättre av att allt tenderar handla om Donald Trump i medias bevakning av valkampanjen. ”The Donald” suger upp allt syret i den politiska bevakningen av presidentvalet.

En indikation att det skulle behövas mer kritisk bevakning av Clinton och hennes politiska ställningstaganden är att opinionsundersökningar visar att hela 60 procent av amerikanerna anser att hon är opålitlig (”untrustworthy”) och ohederlig (”dishonest”).

Av de demokratiska och republikanska presidentkandidaterna är det bara Trump som lyckats uppvisa än värre förtroendesiffror.

Hillary kan tacka högre makter att hon skall möta just Trump i presidentvalet. I väljarleden verkar däremot mest sucka över att behöva välja mellan de två.

En som tittat på det politiska fenomenet Clinton är  Christopher Buckley som med stor humor skrivit om henne i The Spectator:

The difficulty with limning a template of a Hillary Clinton administration is that her existing template is unlimnable. That is, fuzzy. It’s not so much a template as a palimpsest. Mrs. Clinton’s policy positions are rarely fixed points. They have a tendency to get up and wander about, whether it’s the Iraq war vote, or the trade deal she was so in favor of until she was not, or the minimum wage of $12 or $15 an hour, or the Benghazi attack being the fault of that asshole in California streaming that totally inappropriate Islamophobic video, or the private emails with the nuclear launch codes and George Clooney’s recipe for penne arrabiata. If Mrs. Clinton had an escutcheon, its motto would be ‘Whatever’ (Quisquis?) You Brits all the know Latin, right?) The catalogue of Clinton’s policy books has more positions than the Kamasutra. As Groucho Marx said, ‘I’ve got principles. And if you do not like them, I’ve got others.’

This morphing and shapeshifting has allowed her to survive over the years. The catch is that, while getting away with stuff may sustain you in power, it won’t endear you to the general public. Mrs C has been front and center on the national stage now for nearly a quarter-century. Result: 60 per cent of Americans find her ‘untrustworthy’ and ‘dishonest’. A triumph. But she is hardly unique. Richard Nixon, aka ‘Tricky Dick’, was on the national stage for 20 years before he made it all the way. And that turned out fine.

[…]

Mrs. Clinton has her admirers, no arguments. But if that 60 per cent figure is accurate, she’s going to need more than her faithful hard core to put her over the top in November. Fortunately, many – indeed most – Republicans are resistant to the charms of the Mussolini of Fifth Avenue. Confronted with a Hobson’s Choice from Hell in November, they will hold their noses and vote for her. Or write in Ronald Reagan. And then get stinking drunk and go home and kick the dog.

Of the many difficulties facing Mrs. Clinton once she achieves her life’s ambition is a fact that even her most ardent devotees might admit to, if you promised them anonymity, voice-altering software and witness protection: she is, well, dull.  She is, to paraphrase Falstaff, not only dull herself, but the cause of dullness in others, especially the minions who warble on TV about how wonderful she is. Maybe she is wonderful, but hearing about her wonderfulness has’ve become, 24 years later, excruciating.

Mrs. Clinton is many things – intelligent, accomplished, hard-working, quisquis – but she is not herself interesting, except as a historical phenomenon – an American Evita, minus the charisma and the balcony. This is likely to make four years of her feel interminable. One year into her presidency, Stephen Hawking may have to revise his theory of time and posit that it is now slowing down. Or has stopped altogether.

[…]

Barack Obama came into office wafting on zephyrs of adoring oohs and aahs, trailing angel-dust and proclaiming the dawn of a new golden era of nonpartisan enlightenment – a new shining Washington upon a hill. In less fancy terms: he promised to change the way Washington does business. That turned out well too.

[…]

Safe bet-wise: The First Mrs. President is going to be very, very good for the Clinton Foundation. As for America, not so much. A lot has been written about how fed up people are with the arrogance and corruption of Washington. That’s why so many are voting for Donald Trump. But if you think Americans are angry now, just wait until they suffer a full term of Clinton 2.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator den 21 maj 2016.

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the Spectator

Bild: Nick Newman i The Spectator.

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VAL 2016 | Rädsla är en viktig motivationsfaktor inför ett val. Den sida som kan måla upp ett trovärdigt skräckscenario har en rejäl fördel.

vote-leave-pa

Detta gynnar ofta anhängarna till status quo eftersom ingen kan bevisa hur framtiden kommer att gestalta sig.

För- och nackdelarna med ett medlemskap i EU är svårt att kvantifiera. Frågan är så komplex att inte ens experterna kan ge någon tydlig bild av de ekonomiska konsekvenserna av medlemskap för vare sig enskilda medborgare eller för medlemsländerna.

Anhängarna till ett EU-medlemskap har en fördel eftersom man alltid kan hävda att en förändring riskerar det man redan uppnått. Så länge som nuläget inte har inneburet påtagliga nackdelar för väljarna kan man alltid hävda att vi vet vad vi har men inte vad vi riskerar att få om man röstar för ett utträde.

Charles Moore på The Spectator har noterat att kampanjen Vote Leave har haft svårt att möta de argument som Vote Remain har pumpat ut inför folkomröstningen. Inte minst för att Vote Remain har hela regeringskansliets resurser till sitt förfogande.

Vote Leave ser ut att sakna ett effektivt ”war room” som kan neutralisera alla påstående om påstådda negativa konsekvenser av Brexit.

The Leave camp sometimes looks stumped because it cannot give a precise answer to what would happen economically if we were not in the EU. This is always a problem for people who believe in freedom rather than government control. In the 1970s, inflation and bad labour relations were the enemy. It became an article of faith among the elites that the answer was a ‘prices and incomes policy’ in which wise people, managed by governments, decided what should be the fair relation between the two. The widely worshipped J.K. Galbraith explained in 1975 that ‘pay and price curbs will be a permanent feature, both in Britain and in every other industrial nation’. Anyone who suggested otherwise had to put up with ‘How on earth will you control it? What will you do about industrial anarchy?’ People who said that essentially the best thing to do was to break the automatic linkage between pay and prices and then see what happened next were considered mad. By the 21st century, no western country any longer had such curbs, and even the heirs of Galbraith are not trying to bring them back. Almost all of the economic arguments for membership of the EU are based on fear of freedom. It is, unfortunately, a powerful emotion.

One thing I miss in the No campaign is a front-rank real expert, rather like that man on the radio called Bill Frindall who used to know every cricket score in history.  As the government publishes every day of the campaign a stupendous amount of facts whitch are not true, it is no good just complaining.  You have to refute them, giving chapter and verse.  It is a difficulty for the Leave camp that most of its members, because they do not like rule by Brussels, are not absolutely secure in their knowledge of its details.  An exception is Daniel Hannan.  Vote Leave should put him forward more.

Bild: Independent.

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The Spectator

Bild: RGJ, The Spectator. Fler teckningar av Richard Jolleys hemsida

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Adam Singelton The Spectator

Tecknare: Adam Singelton, The Spectator.

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