GREECE: Applying a needle and thread to the idea that somehow “the Greeks deserved it”

“Rape ‘er? Are you kiddin’ mate? She was f**kin* gaggin’ for it”

I really don’t know how to define or rationalise this post other than calling the piece “getting it off my chest”.

I was directed to Richard North’s site this morning and read a lucid, well documented column from a powerful eurosceptic voice. But something throwaway towards the end got right up my nose and evoked the comment thread that follows.

Maybe at times I get too sensitive about Greece and what’s being done to it. God knows, I’m more aware than most of the infuriating nature of the place at times. But if you sympathise with this summary, I’d deem it a great favour if you’d pump some internet oxygen into it.

‘Oh dear. Just when I thought that, at last, an article about endemic Greek corruption was going to reach the right conclusion, it turns into a vague apologiae for Troika gangsterism.

I have been a regular visitor to Greece and enthusiastic Grecophile for 45 years. I have probably written more on the injustices inside (and done to) Greece than any other Western blogger. So allow me please to expand and correct here and there.

1. As you point out, Franco-German to Greece export & banking corruption is every bit as disgusting as that of the Greek élites. I don’t see anyone punishing Germany. Or France.

2. 80% of Greeks approve of tax evasion because history has taught them that their payments go into the same back pockets of bureaucrats and bent developers as everything else that the ordinary Greeks produce with such thrift and passion.

3. The entire medical sector is about 6-7% of the Greek population. Every doctor and dentist I’ve ever met takes bribes… even when the treatment is free on the State. None of these people have suffered a jot from austerity, and over 90% of them vote Nia Dimokritia. Pharmacies cheat the system because they too are an élite mafia. Ordinary Greeks don’t benefit from this corruption, they pay through the nose for it. It is the corrupt pols who refuse to regulate it.

4. Despite all this obvious evidence of WHERE the corruption problem lies, Troikas 1&2 chose to deal with precisely those people fostering it…who of course heaped the cost of austerity onto the people who are not the problem. But the EU is every bit as corrupt as they are: Herr Doktor Schäuble prefers to deal with those of like mind to himself.

5. When at last the vast majority of Greeks woke up and elected a government determined to root out and destroy the pre-1789 style privilege of the élites on their backs, the EU, EC, ECB, and Eurogroupe gargoyles worked overtime to turn down every proposal they made and destabilise that Syriza régime. This would seem quixotically deranged behaviour for a group of people allegedly in favour of “reform”. Here they were, presented with the most idealistic, honest and popular Greek political party for more than 40 years…but as the IMF correctly reports, EU fiscal blackmail in the final fortnight (all of it illegal under EU Law) took Greek debt unsustainability from the surreal to the impossible.

What exactly makes you think either Tsipras or the toiling classes he represented ‘deserved’ that level of depraved sociopathy?

6. Cornered at last, the IMF’s Christine Lagarde has blown a massive hole in this ridiculous wall of Brussels-am-Berlin sanctimony. The aim of these three bailouts is now clear for all to see: it never was nor indeed could ever be debt repayment. To use the French term, it was a summary and gratuitous execution pour encourager les autres. And at a level even more base than that, it was a full-frontal attack by federalist fanatics on the sovereignty of a nation…a nation I observe, year in year out, working much harder than any Nordeuropeans of my acquaintance.

https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/new-troika-perfidy-revealed-by-reuters-the-smoking-gun-with-creditor-dna-all-over-it/

70 thoughts on “GREECE: Applying a needle and thread to the idea that somehow “the Greeks deserved it”

  1. point no 2. when you are governed by ANY european government it is your patriotic duty to avoid paying them every penny you can. ps dont vote either it only encourages the bastards.

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  2. In the US, a politician refused to speak to Fox News, saying it wasn’t real news. More people have seen this clip than watch Fox News. Talk about Neilsen ratings.

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  3. Sorry, hit go, There is always a tell on a broadcast media story to help us pick a bias or prejudice that suits us and call it our news source.

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  4. It might be a matter of quantity. Elit corruption may coexist with sovereign states elsewhere as long as the masses have good reasons to consider it as none of their business. But Greek elits have overdone it and the masses don’t buy it any more.

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  5. Well said. I think there are quite a few other countries within the eurozone, and lining up to join the eurozone, which would qualify for forensic analysis by Richard North, not just Greece. I also think that it is high time that the EU accounts were forensically scrutinised made public, with the necessary action taken to bring those responsible to account.

    I agree it is a very odd argument that because Greece is a “failed state” according to North, this apparently qualifies the EU (Germany) and the ECB acting in what I consider to be a completely unacceptable way, employing such techniques described as “fiscal waterboarding”.

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  6. It appears to be third time lucky for Germany whose unquenchable thirst for dominion over it’s neighbours has resulted in a battle of ideas being won against a mesmerised European population. The use of civilianised stormtroopers and weapons of mass restriction has accomplished what jackboots and rifle butts had previously failed to do, but the absence of military conflict is misleading: war has always been about the transfer of assets and resources, and this one is no different. Perhaps we are meant to be grateful that the nature of the brutality has changed, that blood is only being spilled through impoverishment, but the moral compass which was fought over so bitterly seventy five years ago now appears to point northward whichever way you turn it, and in that direction lies disaster.

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  7. Article by Seumas Milne just posted in The Guardian on the “crucifixion” of Greece (and implications for our referendum):

    “…What kind of a union of partners treats one of its members like a recalcitrant colony, destroys its economy if it steps out of line, and dismisses its democracy as an impudent affront? In fact it’s one that has always ducked democratic accountability, embedded deregulation and privatisation in treaties, and preferred to fix policy – including the race-to-the-bottom Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership – with corporate interests in secret….”

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  8. To suggest that the Greeks were not complicit in their own downfall is utter nonsense , the idea that the Taxpayers of Germany will continue the sign blank cheques indefinitely in order to ‘dominate’ Greece will soon be tested ,Greece is simply not worth dominating .

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  9. When people wake up and see what there governments squander there hard earned on is it any wonder they try to avoid tax? the sheep have no alternative as PAYE is first in line to relieve you, it appears to me that the wealthy avoid tax as do large co,s,your government writes the rules that allow them to, they shout a lot but have no intention of changing the SYSTEM.

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  10. Er Dick the greeks are in the hole for 350 billion ish,the uk,s hole is 1.5 trillion ish,i,ve had none of it that i,m aware of,and who,s the bad guys? just depends as a country where you are in the pecking order,no doubt we,ll get our day.

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  11. Nice of Draghula to admit that Greece needs debt forgiveness. Saying that on the eve of a big payment falling due is of course coincidental. Indeed he could start a precedent and prove his conversion by waiving it, in ‘European solidarity’ or similar. Haha, that’s a flying pig up there!

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  12. JW, your nose, which u r so proud of, can’t smell f*ck all! Not quite true. You did post an article about the evil Palestinians firing rockets into Israel. Even pointed out the locations on a map. Never was one square-inch of land stolen from Israel. Do you really think the Germans would’ve gassed 12,000,000 slaves instead of putting them to work building an impregnable defense? Those that get truly irate over those that criticize Israel. and you did, are ALWAYS Jews! ALWAYS!

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  13. Dick R to my knowledge no one is saying Greece didn’t contribute to it’s problems,but Forex was being manipulated at the time,(changing the whole gdp of Greece on one day manipulated against Greece’s benefit + interest since is sizeable)Banks were guessing(manipulated) because no accounts have been submitted that could be signed off has true on both sides,Assets like submarines were leveraged a few times & then only one was delivered & mechanism’s to hide even what was known but inconvenient.One final point when the banks needed bailing out were was the assets striping we see know,were is the austerity imposed on bankers & bankers pay,i judge on the facts the laws & the implementation of the laws & one side is passing the buck!

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  14. Geliebte Dick R
    R U a dick?
    Greece is not worth dominating because….zey are Untermenschen? You and the UKip reject Richard North sum up everything I detest about ignoramus Little Englander isolationism.
    The big difference between you and I chum is that I am a European and all for the community of Europeans…I’m just not up for either (a) federalist Fourth Reich fanatics or (b) Hairgel Mirage and his Cavalry Twill Brigade.

    Somewhere between the two – and it is a huge continent – is the place where others live…those whose lips don’t move when they read.

    Reed de Sun an’ be a moron hurhurhur.

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  15. This ‘Greece story’ is becoming very dull.All we know for certain that it is the taxpayers of Germany and France, et al, who are going to suffer a 100 percent default The money is small beer compared to JAPAN, which is well worth a Slog analysis.

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  16. I am a (was a) pro European. I would have voted for the UK to stay in the EU, I will now be voting for the UK to leave the EU. I want the UK out of the this dishonest callous group asap. What has happened over the last few days has sickened me to my core.
    I may add, that at this time of shear hell for Greece I would love the UK to stand up and made a huge gesture, give the Elgin marbles back, show support to the Greeks, help to lift their national spirit…….as Mr Cameron often says, do the right thing.

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  17. Schauble reminds me of a combination of Otto Bismarck and Donald Rumsfeld. What the end game will be is unforeseeable for me. Don’t think I’ll live long enough to see the repercussions that are going to occur but am sure they’re going to be bad bad bad.

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  18. You have the nub of it there, Mr. H., and you make the point with your usual commendable accuracy. I am becoming more certain with every passing day that Germany (just managed to avoid typing ‘Hun’ or ‘Boche’ there) is following a long prepared plan with its usual Teutonic thoroughness. I also suspect that they will have learnt one small thing from the Last Lot and that is to commit as little as possible to written records. Meanwhile innocent people starve and lives are irreparably ruined – and for what FFS? So that some dedicated disciple of Onan can point to more treasure gained for his appalling masters, presumably. But they’re a canny lot, our politicos; they’ve managed to arrange for the quiet removal of any trace of backbone, intelligence and questioning nature from the general populace, together with any serious ordnance too. I keep being reminded of that old film, ‘Metropolis’ …

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  19. I am in love with Richard North. I realise this every time I look in the mirror.

    Yours sincerely

    UKip if you want to and please stop me before I post again.

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  20. Richard North moderated out my comment from his site because he knows I am onto his agenda in covering the Greece crisis. It has to be realised here that he is a deceitful propaganda con-artist who doesn’t write objectively but instead with selective truths to support an agenda.

    In this case this is a very sensitive time where there is politicking between competing forces who want to gain prominent roles in the “No” campaign for the Brexit referendum in 2017. UKIP has been regrouping after the general election but he is anti-UKIP as he dreams of taking their place on the national stage (which will never happen as he is an uncharismatic loser as proven time and again over a very long period now) and hence his dissembling about Greece is to stifle UKIP’s momentum currently with anti-EU, anti-Troika sentiment which is resulting in people getting behind Arron Banks’ campaign effort:
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/590521/Greek-chaos-boosting-campaign-UK-exit

    If one looks at his blog posts over the last week or so they can follow the trail to see that what I am saying is the truth. This dishonest propaganda agent performed similar prior to the general election with the Paris attack by going out of his way to say it wasn’t a radical Islam / multiculturalism issue, again because he was worried about growing mass support behind UKIP. He’s performed the exact same over Rotherham also. Every time it is not about the truth, it is about taking an opposite view to what your average UKIP supporter would feel to try to enact disinformation/dissembling to knock any momentum they have at any given time.

    This is why Richard North wants to diminish backlash against Brussels & Troika at this point and instead focus *solely* on Greece. He is a fundamentally dishonest person who hides the truth coming out by moderating comments sections on his blog in the manner of a communist dictator, thereby making sure my exposing of him is hidden from the public. He is ultimately helping the Tory Party and David Cameron as the Tory Party is worried about a split forming in the upcoming referendum as Cameron wants to stay in the EU. Therefore the aim is to freeze UKIP out and have the Tories controlling both “Yes” and “No” campaigns, the “No” campaign via. Matthew Elliot (an agent working for David Cameron) so that the Tory Party can enact damage limitation and run kabuki theatre where Tories will be gentlemanly with each other (fake Eurosceptics vs. Cameron/Europhiles) and the UK will remain in the EU.

    So to summarise, take what Richard North posts with a pinch of salt, particularly any readers living in Greece currently who do not know what Richard North is about. He is a dishonest propaganda agent and is not interested in the truth. He is fully agenda driven, and transparently so.

    Regards,
    Brexit2K17.

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  21. What is going on with Richard North. I supported your initial comment (an excellent post BTW) and I have now been banned from posting anymore. One of my totally harmless posts was deleted and I tried to post a last one (shown below) in response and could not.

    Deleting post destroys your credibility Richard. Especially as this one was very harmless to the point that I can not even begin to understand why you did. And in general regarding Greece you either amazingly just can’t see it. Or you have another agenda. I now hope that you do not have anything whatsoever to do with the official EU No campaign. It would destroy any hope that EU No has of winning. It’s a great shame. At least 80% is all good or better but the flaws would make you a liability. Your approach would attract a few but turn off the majority. A bit like Farage. Time for a new more 21st century group to pick up this baton.

    But Richard would likely also have deleted this one. And if I have been blocked how many others have been who do not hero worship the word and magnificence of Dr Richard North.

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  22. @RAW

    “give the Elgin marbles back, show support to the Greeks, help to lift their national spirit”

    That has to be the only reasonable argument I have heard for returning the marbles and I would wholeheartedly support it. However, I am sure that the Greek people would not get to enjoy them for very long; how much would the Troika get for them on the open market? Probably better that we hang on to them, for the time being at least.

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  23. MRO

    In euro terms the UK is in the hole for more than 2.1 Trillion Euros let us compare eiros with euros.

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  24. Spot on John
    I worked there for a few years and was impressed by the hard work of normal people and horrified by the endemic corruption. NOBODY pays tax if they can possibly avoid it and by far the most corrupt bunch are the tax inspectors themselves. Anybody outside the feather bedded public services need two jobs to survive.
    The two main parties (ND and PASOK) are basically two dynasties who have bled the country dry since the ’70’s, they have made bribery the normal business practice if you want to get anything done.
    I fear for the place as the “normal” way of conducting your life is so far removed from any morality we would consider acceptable.

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  25. “NOBODY pays tax if they can possible avoid it” And that’s how it should be. Why pay tax if its avoidable. Are we any different in the UK. And its estimated tax on around 10% of GNP is avoided. So 90% still pay their tax. It’s not as if no one pays tax.

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  26. Pingback: Germany’s Policies pose a Danger to Europe for the first time since 1945: a view from Poland | EU: Ramshackle Empire

  27. COME ON JOHN . SHOW US THE BIT OF YOUR REPLY NORTH MODERATED .
    WE D ALL LOVE TO SEE IT !!!


    Avatar
    Dr Richard North john ward
    18 hours ago
    If you feel the need to come over here, from your own blog, do try to avoid being so insufferably patronising.

    The essential issue of Greece is that corruption pervades all strata of society, from the Latsis family to the ordinary people – the tax evaders, the benefit and pension cheats, the bootleg cigarette vendors and the counterfeit smugglers, all on a massive scale. The élites swim in a sea of corruption, sustained by the “moral climate” which allows it to happen.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new

    You cannot, therefore, place this entirely at the door of the EU – the country was a failed state before it ever got to be an EU member, and but for EU/international intervention, would now most likely be in a worst condition than it is. The great fear is that the Greek (and Italian) contagion will spread to and infect the rest of Europe (if it hasn’t already).
    0 Reply

    Avatar
    john ward Dr Richard North
    17 hours ago
    How fascinating that the only source you can come up with to support your bigotry is….that bastion of thinking open-mindedness, the Daily Mail.
    ‘ the country was a failed state before it ever got to be an EU member’.
    What utter rot: regard the EU’s own stats of Greek growth & deficits before and after the euro ruined it.
    And how odd that you make my comment here sound like The Slog is some kind of invading power….isn’t the internet supposed to be about free speech?

    … rest deleted by moderator.
    2 Reply

    Avatar
    Dr Richard North john ward
    12 hours ago
    John, if you want to slag me off, do it on your own blog, on your own dime.

    And when it comes to writing about Greek corruption, you are so far behind the curve that you’re not even worth reading … lazy, superficial and opinionated.

    In 2013, you did a story on Athens airport – see:

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2

    We’d already done it in 2005 …

    http://www.eureferendum.com/bl

    http://www.eureferendum.com/bl

    Judge for yourself what real analysis looks like.

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  28. COME ON JOHN . LETS SEE WHAT THE NORTH MODERATOR WOULD NOT PUBLISH !!!

    Dr Richard North john ward
    18 hours ago
    If you feel the need to come over here, from your own blog, do try to avoid being so insufferably patronising.

    The essential issue of Greece is that corruption pervades all strata of society, from the Latsis family to the ordinary people – the tax evaders, the benefit and pension cheats, the bootleg cigarette vendors and the counterfeit smugglers, all on a massive scale. The élites swim in a sea of corruption, sustained by the “moral climate” which allows it to happen.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new

    You cannot, therefore, place this entirely at the door of the EU – the country was a failed state before it ever got to be an EU member, and but for EU/international intervention, would now most likely be in a worst condition than it is. The great fear is that the Greek (and Italian) contagion will spread to and infect the rest of Europe (if it hasn’t already).
    0 Reply

    Avatar
    john ward Dr Richard North
    17 hours ago
    How fascinating that the only source you can come up with to support your bigotry is….that bastion of thinking open-mindedness, the Daily Mail.
    ‘ the country was a failed state before it ever got to be an EU member’.
    What utter rot: regard the EU’s own stats of Greek growth & deficits before and after the euro ruined it.
    And how odd that you make my comment here sound like The Slog is some kind of invading power….isn’t the internet supposed to be about free speech?

    … rest deleted by moderator.
    2 Reply

    Avatar
    Dr Richard North john ward
    12 hours ago
    John, if you want to slag me off, do it on your own blog, on your own dime.

    And when it comes to writing about Greek corruption, you are so far behind the curve that you’re not even worth reading … lazy, superficial and opinionated.

    In 2013, you did a story on Athens airport – see:

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2

    We’d already done it in 2005 …

    http://www.eureferendum.com/bl

    http://www.eureferendum.com/bl

    Judge for yourself what real analysis looks like.

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  29. @Canexpat. A popular theory, and one that could contain an element of truth. However, looked at from a European perspective and the certainty of economic decline, there is more than enough motive for the current German offensive which seeks to preserve it’s position of primus inter pares. In this context the EU is nothing more or less than an elaborate confidence trick.

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  30. Richard North, the great A-hole of fringe eurosceptic loosers. I dont know why people bother reading his blog, he is nothing more than a nasty, bombastic , sad energy sucker, f**k him and his weird son! The pair of ’em are propagandist for more destructive neo liberal economic Fascism. John i read your comment on North’s blog ,and there is nothing wrong apart from one thing…..the Great “Dr” A-hole, master of bombast, and general rude c**t, got there first with his rather biased research. Anyway, good luck John and keep up youre writing, at least i appreciate it.

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  31. As usual with North, it was a lie. Nothing was moderated: what you saw was what I wrote. He knows three-fifths of eff-all about Greek society.

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  32. Now I know you need help. I’ve never been that proud of my shnozz, but if you’re implying that I’m a Jew, then I take it as a compliment.
    However, on just the 17 bases, you’re banned.

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  33. John! Have I got it wrong again? Had this post ready a week ago and forgot!
    The Germans as a nation are being demonised by the msm and their own elite.. just like the working class have been in the UK.
    ‘Fritz’ ( the German working class tag I use) quite correctly in my opinion, feels he is ‘propping up a high level of scam and ponzi ‘ through his taxes to the EU. and his flotenstopper furer pays no heed to his concern at being over-run at the same time .
    dofornow

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  34. @pm, he appears to be a delusional person who pretends to himself that he left the Tory Party but really hasn’t. That’s why he may claim to be in opposition to Cameron but really isn’t. Everyone knows Cameron wants to stay in the EU (and is a Common Purpose puppet). His son just comes across as a total weirdo but looking at his site more often than not he defends Tory Party policy, which just provides more evidence of what these two are upto. In many ways one can see why they like the Guardian so much. They share propaganda and moderation methods, and both appear to have (unrealistic) political ambitions to enable them to get their hands on taxpayer money. Best thing is to ignore but at the same time I’m informing to help some who still haven’t figured this all out yet to ignore.

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  35. Brexit2k17 i absolutely agree with you,North also has a very cosy relationship with the “great white hope” Owen Paterson.He has his little group of Mini -Me sycophants! He loves the delete button ,and thinks he is some kind of crusader fighting for democracy. I notice its gone very quiet on his Harrogate Agenda thing , another failure just like his IEA BREXIT entry! Of course the groupie/Mini-Me sycophants love his exit strategy,FLEXSHIT,or was that FLEXCIT,anyway whatever he calls it, just sounds like an elabote way of bashing UKIP……..”Look , look, UKIP have no exit plan”…… how fecking childish!But on another level his plan ,you know the “Dont rock the boat plan” would keep the UK locked in EU forever! To use one of his own expressions North is a Judas Goat……….. definitely not to be trusted!

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  36. @pm: His delusional persistence continues to add weight to there being an underlying agenda. He’s running on fumes when it comes to allies due to offending almost everyone else with his bigotry (he attacks them instead of Cameron/Europhiles), yet he seems to want to pretend he’s a great role model and leader that everyone else should follow.

    All he serves as is a narrator of managed decline and ever closer integration into the ‘European Project’ but he has never achieved any meaningful results in stopping that decline despite (allegedly) trying for tens of years. If he had any sanity he would by now have realised that he just doesn’t have what it takes and that it would be best to get out of the way and let others fully have their turn without him undermining them. That would be the logical course of action. Instead he continues to attack fellow Eurosceptics more than Cameron/Europhiles. The fact that he doesn’t just withdraw and enjoy his retirement (instead continuing to run interference) suggests there is something driving him, definitely not in the best interests of the country.

    For the sake of others here this is why he has been a ‘contrarian’ when it has come to Greece over the last few weeks. It is about undermining fellow Eurosceptics (and UKIP) for a personal agenda. Comically earlier this week he moaned about Euroscepticism rising from the left but a few months back he was criticising the Eurosceptic movement for being unable to gain support from the left. None of this makes logical sense with his constant contradictions and inconsistencies, and this is why everything points to an agenda. He’s not interested in the truth and that’s why his lack of authenticity comes through as holes in the logic of what he writes are getting bigger and bigger, where he just keeps desperately trying to plug the holes with his fingers by moderating out anyone that exposes him.

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  37. Brexit Spot on! maybe we should start a blog we could call it; Eu Referendum Watch , deconstructing bollocks of Richard North

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  38. @pm. He seems to be weaselling his way to align himself more with Matthew Elliott (who is hiding behind Dominic Cummings), against Arron Banks (for who gets control of the official ‘No2EU’ campaign) when he himself has admitted in the past that Elliott is an ‘agent’ working with and advising Cameron (again, another of those inconvenient contradictions that are catching up with him).

    If he officially aligns himself with this whole Judas operation where the Tories end up with control over both ‘yes’ (Cameron) and ‘no’ (Elliott/Cummings) campaigns then it will be time to expose him as the traitor he is. Until then when one looks at his latest post with only about 15 comments with the usual of only 5-10 regular followers (zombie sycophants, in part due to his moderation methods) the question is whether he deserves getting attention or whether he should just be left to fully wither away naturally. I know this is what has stopped others fully engaging him head on previously, and have instead put their time and resources more into pressing the case constructively for Brexit (despite his ongoing attempts to interfere with and slow them down).

    I’m glad you see all the logic I’ve put forward though. I’ve deliberately run checks and balances over getting carried away into any extreme conspiracy theory, but there’s just way too much to go on over months, if not years now, with him. If one plays devil’s advocate and pieces it all together to determine that he is actually being honourable, getting past the mountain of inconsistencies and contradictions that have piled up with him (due to his sophistry), they just can’t. Anyway, good night pm :)

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  39. Brexit. It’s interesting following this. Richard has published yet another article blaming Greece and not the Euro/EU. And slagging off potential allies. But as you said the comments on his articles are low as he is not great with anyone disagreeing with him. But take care with conspiracy theory claims. I test people and if they don’t measure up just walk away. But even if he is not on our side he may produce some useful information (as Farage does some great things but will turn many off). I still think his Flexcit stage one is a useful approach. A way to be in the single market but not in the political union. The rest is nonsense except as useful information. But his whole outlook on life belongs somewhat in the past. No2Eu (I like this) needs a younger image or at least more in tune with today’s world. No girlies or be a man type statements which he can use. And someone who is a team player and understands how to build a functional team. But also the image. Not just older men but a younger more dynamic modern image with a mix of people leading the campaign. I hope someone can do it. The referendum is certainly winnable.

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  40. @RJ. Yes, he’s basically creating a strawman which appears to be click bait (verging on trolling) as he knows participation in comment sections is dwindling. As you say no conservative Eurosceptics were blaming the EU entirely for Greece’s problems but instead they were talking about problems with *both* Greece (inc. Greek culture) and the ‘European Project’ (inc. Troika). Indeed we were basically just pushing the case for why Grexit was the only sensible course of action. Maybe the ‘left’ has been going overboard with their singular anger directed at Germany, but that’s not our responsibility and we’re just watching what they do at this point as opposed to agreeing with them. It’s all just classic misdirection on his part.

    You are absolutely right also in him being an out of date relic (not being ageist, I know plenty of older people who connect with youth well but he with his poor people skills definitely does not). That is part of the reason why he is ineffective and uninspiring. That’s why I’ve kept on saying that he’s had his time (tens of years of trying now and has achieved nothing in stopping loss of sovereignty) and he now needs to get out of the way for fresher blood and people who have better people relating skills and are more in touch with the modern electorate as a whole. He’s more a hindrance than a help. He’s put an exit plan out in the public domain and others can use it if they want to. Basically I’m in agreement with all you have said there.

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  41. I do not believe Dr. North wants the UK to leave the EU :

    1) He criticises any and every person or organisation who speaks against the UK remaining in the EU. To be fair Dr. North is brilliant at this. Mr. Farage and UKIP have frequently received a lot of vindictive criticism.

    2) Flexit has been made very complicated to give the impression that it is far too difficult to leave the EU.

    3) Dr. North keeps telling us that there is no point in leaving the EU as most of our laws our now generated by global institutions.

    It seems as though Dr. North is working to a corporate agenda.

    Hence he would not want Greece to exit the Euro.

    He is following the corporate agenda where the Euro has been created to slowly bankrupt each nation and to ensure the only way a nation can pay off its debts will be by selling its assets to the corporates.

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  42. I couldn’t believe Dr North’s article on the Greek disaster. A blogger who has, with such flair and precision and so often detailed our own political and administrative shortcomings, suddenly turning round and going all pious on the Greeks because they too can’t run a country properly.

    It needs a rebuttal. May I have a go?

    1. Doesn’t Dr North know about the corruption and cheating rife in all southern countries? And anyone who’s even glanced at the papers over the last few years can’t have missed the corruption in Germany. Just they tend not to let the little people in on it too much, that’s all. Not that the little people let that cramp their style unduly.

    Elsewhere – the Slog, has just done a piece on Guy Verhofstadt. Awful if only a tenth of it were true. Switzerland is government by the banks for the banks, not that that’s unheard of elsewhere.

    Corruption in England? Not for most, I think, and the police and the officials are OK, certainly as far as taking bribes from the general public go. So that’s got to be different from Greece – though law and regulation here is so officious compared with how it was that you sometimes wish you could bribe the blighters just to push off and leave you in peace.

    But English local government is no longer clean. At levels higher than that we tend to legalise our corruption. We lay down rules for the revolving door and we ‘declare interests’. Makes it respectable but doesn’t make it right. Golem XIV has just done a piece on English ‘investment’ in the Ukraine. Looting in plain sight. Plenty of that around.

    Not sure what Biden’s son is up to in the Ukraine either. But it’s not even worth starting on the US. Though I reckon they’d save themselves a lot of fuss if they could just auction their congressmen off at Sotheby’s and have done with it.

    So why pick on Greece? Theirs is a different pattern of corruption and cheating, certainly, and it seems to be almost wantonly blatant. Maybe because, like the Irish, they lived under an alien power for so long. Got into the habit of making common cause against the tax collector and have kept up the old traditions since. That aside, I know many wrongs don’t make a right but with all these greenhouses around lobbing stones at the Greeks won’t do.

    Greece has been in the EU since 1981. In the Euro almost as soon as it started – just a brief delay to fake the accounts. If the Greeks truly are worse than the rest of us then the Europeans had plenty of time to notice. But they were too busy from day one working their side of the fraud that was Greek membership of the EU to look very hard at the other side. And who really made the money? The politicians and their associates who got the loot out abroad in good time. I haven’t seen anywhere any suggestion from the EU side – or from Dr North – that that ought to be recovered. Of course not. Just working out who bribed whom and who stole what would blow the EU apart. Don’t let’s go there is about the one thing the Europeans are united on.

    2. Dr North misses the real point. This is it for the European Union as we know it.

    We in the UK have a real union. Ramshackle maybe to the extent of bits falling off, but it’s the genuine article. Take Northern Ireland. You can believe the civil unrest there, and the economic consequences, was the fault of the Northern Irish. Or of some of them. Or of us. Whatever you believe on that score makes no difference to the fact that we were obliged to bail them out. We didn’t say “What a mess you’ve got yourselves into here. Your fault so go and starve” As a matter of course we did what we could to put matters right – again you can argue about whether we did that well or badly but the point is we did it – and we’ve spent money, oceans of it, keeping them going since.

    There’s no other way to run a union. Not in Western Europe these days. The poor areas have to be subsidised. The Germans know that and of course they are doing so. They’ve run up against two problems.

    It’s not possible for the North to subsidise the entire South because there isn’t enough money. In the initial happy binge that was the early expanded EU the Southern countries got used to a much higher standard of living and social services, in some cases approaching or perhaps even exceeding the German. The North can’t keep that up. Maybe the Southern countries could have been subsidised if they were still used to the very low standard of living they had, I don’t know. But they certainly can’t all be subsidised now.

    The second problem is even worse. When we subsidise Northern Ireland we are able to control how the money is spent. That’s taken for granted. Germany can’t control how the recipients spend the money. If they try the Greeks paint moustaches on Angie’s face and say the Nazis are back. If they don’t try they are throwing money into a bottomless pit.

    Those two problems mean that the EU in its present form can’t continue.

    Amazing that Dr North didn’t home in on that fact. It’s obvious enough, and you’d think it would make him happy.

    I don’t think the rest of us, pro or anti EU, need feel particularly happy. Long term, it’s not that important whether the EU can stay as it is or not. It could fall apart entirely and this country would still face the same problems. As would the rest of Europe.

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  43. Yup, ultimately he is working for Cameron and CCHQ. He’s trying his utmost to work against UKIP for this agenda to have Tories controlling both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ sides of the referendum campaign (as explained above) so everything can be ‘civilised’ and any splits in the Tory Party can be minimised, particularly important for the Tories when they are thinking most about what happens after the referendum in coalescing for the 2020 general election. He’s a sell-out (to the establishment). As stated above though when Europe is a hot topic and we are proceeding to a referendum participation on his site is very small all considered. Anyone who wants an honest referendum must discard him as the traitor that he is and ensure Matthew Elliott/Dominic Cummings are not handed lead campaigner rights to run the ‘no’ campaign (as opposed to Arron Banks’ effort). Richard North is a Judas Goat, ultimately serving the interests of Cameron/CCHQ.

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  44. Richard North and Christopher Booker used to be close where North regularly contributed to Booker’s Sunday Telegraph articles. Booker has gone in a different direction from North over Greece and even acknowledges Farage. I’ve seen evidence and heard rumours recently that Booker has become a bit tired of North.

    Chris Booker (18th July): What a ruin the EU has made of the Greece I loved – The Greeks have suffered thanks to some insane fiddling of the figures
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11748912/What-a-ruin-the-EU-has-made-of-the-Greece-I-loved.html

    Maybe Booker has worked out the same as what I have in that North has sold out for the benefit of Cameron/CCHQ (helping to minimise disruption to the establishment for Cameron’s/CCHQ’s sake by having a kabuki theatre ‘civilised’ battle between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns which helps stack the odds firmly towards staying in the EU). Booker’s article helps to expose the (deliberate) lack of balance in what North has been writing over the last couple of weeks. What North writes may include detailed research, but it is *selective* research to emphasise *selective* points to support an underlying agenda, i.e. propaganda.

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  45. The Slog, I must thank you for hosting my comments, I’ve kind of vented here and used this place as a sounding board, mainly because as many here also appear to have experienced, North has totalitarian tendencies when it comes to moderation of his site. I’m not ideologically aligned with you (or at least I don’t think so) but I respect your principles of free speech and tolerance here.

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  46. Thats the who point of flexshit , bullshit baffles brains …… ergo you stay in the EU forever , and ever……. and ever…….

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