My Open Letter to Pat Condell (re. Brexit)

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My Open Letter to Pat Condell (re. Brexit)

I saw this angry video about Brexit being applauded on social media by friends I respect, and felt motivated to respond. The speaker (comedian Pat Condell) lashes out at those he calls “angry intellectuals.”

I doubt that I’ll receive a reply to my letter. Mr Condell may not even read it. But doing this has helped me to realise the importance of using any knowledge we have to educate and assist, rather than to insult or patronise.

To view Pat Condell’s video, Click Here.

And here is my open letter in response…

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Dear Mr Condell,

I watched your video (titled “Hello Angry Losers”) and found it to be most stimulating. As a lawyer with three degrees who voted to remain, you might categorise me an “angry intellectual” along with the “public progressives, failed politicians, etc” to whom your video refers [0:18].

Whilst I admit feeling bitterly disappointed at the referendum result, I plan to exert whatever influence I can during the two years of debate that now lie ahead (Article 50 having been triggered). Therefore, in a spirit of democracy and fair play, I have prepared 14 responses to the 14 main points you make. My aim is simply to challenge the views you so passionately hold.

If you would care to engage in a meaningful debate about Brexit with me (in public or in private) then I am open and amenable to that. Indeed, other people may find our discussion interesting. In any event, after sitting through your video today, these thoughts occurred to me…

(1) “Now that Britain is officially leaving the anti-democratic European Union…” [0:00]

RESPONSE –

The EU has a Parliament in Brussels. That Parliament is made up of MPs (called MEPs, which stands for Members of the European Parliament). Elections for the EU Parliament are held every five years. The UK sends 73 MEPs to Brussels. They debate proposals for new law, and vote on whether to pass it. They vote on EU spending. And the EU Parliament holds the EU Commission to account, with power to sack all Commissioners when this “nuclear option” is deemed necessary. Indeed, this power was last exercised in 1999 to great controversy – proving that EU accountability is real, not pretend.

So, I cannot agree that the EU is anti-democratic. We send politicians to Brussels to represent our interests there. Unfortunately, it’s evident that many voters use the EU elections as a chance to merely “send a message” to Westminster. That may explain why parties such as BNP and UKIP send politicians to Brussels, yet seldom (if ever) win a seat in Westminster.

Also, in the UK, nothing is recognised as law by our courts unless our Parliament expressly says so. In 1972, Parliament passed the European Communities Act which established EU law as superior to UK law… but only where there’s a clash between the two. The EU simply does not legislate over everything. So, I cannot agree that the EU (as law-maker) is anti-democratic. Our courts currently recognise EU law as superior because that’s what our Parliament has told our courts to do.

(2) “Many of us who voted for that happy day are hoping that the [bitterly disappointed 48%] will finally show a little dignity and accept the referendum result.” [0:05]

RESPONSE –

An in/out referendum was held in 1975. The majority at that time voted to remain. Clearly Mr Condell, you strongly disagreed with that result, and you never stopped disagreeing until a new referendum was held in 2016. My point… democracy is a continuous process. Things can (and do) change. You refused to accept the result then, so it’s not fair to expect everyone else to accept the result now. Especially when the outcome was so close, at 52% to 48%

As for showing a little dignity, I respectfully point to the fact that your video is titled “Hello Angry Losers.” If the gulf between us is to be reduced, those asking for respect must also be willing to show it.

(3) “[Leave Voters] have endured the same condescending backlash that we’ve seen against Trump voters in the United States.” [1:18]

RESPONSE –

I don’t wish to turn this into a debate about President Trump. However, it’s only fair to acknowledge that within his first hundred days of office, he’s tacitly condoned the use of torture against “suspected” terrorists, and tried his utmost to debar anyone from a predominantly Muslim country… even where they’ve entered America on a visa (as American law requires). He’s breaching international law by refusing to accept starving refugees who are fleeing war zones – including vulnerable children, on the basis that they or their parents “might be terrorists.” Even his manifesto contains a pledge to build a giant wall for 2,000 miles along the Mexico-American border… “to keep them out.”

And that’s just for starters.

So, it’s clear why so many Americans are despairing at having this brash man as their new Face-to-the-World. As you say Mr Condell, there may be some backlash against ‘Leave’ voters in the UK. But I fail to see how mentioning them in the same breath as Donald Trump helps your case. Unless you’re saying that ‘Leave’ voters and Trump voters are of a common mind on certain issues?

(4) “The new progressive politics [says] that we who voted for Brexit are too ignorant to know what we voted for, and too irresponsible to be allowed to vote on such an important matter as who governs us.” [1:48]

RESPONSE –

For the record, I do not hold that view. Nor am I aware of the political movement you mention. What I do know is this… The UK has been an EU Member State for almost four decades. In that time, EU law has re-shaped much of our legal landscape. I have three law degrees, yet I struggle to stay abreast of every development. That’s why I think Brexit was unsuitable for a simple Yes/No vote. It wasn’t fair or responsible to expect everyone to learn (and fully consider) the ramifications of rapid withdrawal after four decades.

For instance, I don’t mean to type a boring law lecture, but can you honestly say you understand what (e.g.) EU Competition Law is? And the many ways this helps to protect healthy competition between cross-border companies operating in UK markets? Well, the UK has the EU to thank for competition law.

Google “EU blocks Three’s takeover of O2” and you’ll see that only last year, the EU stopped major phone companies in the UK from moving towards a merger/monopoly. Without the EU, our own government would hardly be involving itself in markets that way. But it’s necessary, and it stops major players (like Three and O2) from colluding to drive up prices.

Once we withdraw from the EU, we’ll be back to the days of Big Business lobbying politicians who are “sympathetic” to their needs. Can you honestly rule this out, Mr Condell? And did you consider this before casting your vote? Most people probably didn’t. But that’s not necessarily a failing on their part. Brexit should not have been framed as a simple in/out question, in my opinion.

(5) “Economics and Trade are secondary issues that should’ve had no bearing on anyone’s decision [as to who makes our laws].” [2:29]

RESPONSE –

I disagree. At the heart of the EU ideal has always been the notion of a Single, Common Market. But stop and consider what that demands. Having a common market suggests that a Spanish shoemaker can sell his shoes in British shops (and vice versa). It means a British shoemaker can set-up shop in Spain (and vice versa). From this, it’s clear that “economics and trade” are the main objectives, but none of it can work without also having laws to harmonise working conditions and business practices between both countries. Where’s the justice in paying a British shoemaker less for his products or labour in Spain than in Britain?

Google the “Factortame Case” and you’ll see that Britain once tried to prevent Spanish boats fishing in our waters. At first, that was deemed to be a breach of EU discrimination law, but not a breach of English discrimination law. So, which law should prevail? Our courts held EU law to be supreme (as the European Communities Act, passed by our Parliament in 1972, requires).

My point… Economics and Trade are at the heart of the Common Market ideal, and EU law is vital to the smooth running of that market. You can’t separate “Economics and Trade” in the EU from “decisions as to who makes our law.” They’re two sides of the same coin. The EU Market cannot function unless EU law overrides self-serving national laws that clash with it – as the Factortame Case clearly demonstrates.

(6) “Some people say we should’ve had a two-thirds majority for such an important constitutional change, and they might have a point if that had been the requirement for the referendum that took us into the European Union. But it wasn’t.” [2:50]

RESPONSE –

As stated, the UK has been an EU Member State for almost four decades now. In that time, EU law has re-shaped much of our legal landscape. So Brexit should not have been framed as a simple in/out question, in my opinion. It should’ve been a “package” on offer at the next General Election – possibly involving a series of referendums on various rights and freedoms.

(7) “Back then [in 1975] we were swindled into accepting a full-scale political union that we didn’t want, and never would’ve voted for. We thought we were just voting for better trading conditions.” [3:02]

RESPONSE –

Firstly, apologies for having to edit your point a little. As for your suggestion that we entered the EU under false pretences and were swindled, I have to disagree. I can’t state the post-war, European ideal any better than Winston Churchill (speaking in Zurich, 19th September 1946):

“[…] We must re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent?”

And Churchill went on:

“The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause.”

So, the “common cause” Churchill spoke of was peace, safety and freedom. And that’s been achieved in Europe through the medium of Common Trade.

It was always envisaged that a Single, Common Market would lead to a closer political union, and a sense of citizenship between all the peoples of Europe. There’s evidence for this in the Founding Treaties, too (which I won’t bore you with now). But just because the EU has changed in form and developed over the years, that’s not to say we were swindled.

(8) “This time, unlike in 1975, we knew what we were voting for.” [3:33]

RESPONSE –

Do you truly think that, Mr Condell? As stated earlier, I have three law degrees, yet I struggle to stay abreast of every EU development.

Moreover, can you honestly say that no one voted to leave the EU on the basis that £350 Million PER WEEK would start going to our NHS?

Please google images of the infamous “Brexit NHS Bus.” Then YouTube the political broadcast, titled “Which NHS Would You Choose?” – After seeing these examples, and bearing in mind the sheer publicity that accompanied them, isn’t it likely that many people latched onto our precious NHS as their motivation for voting to leave? And if so, can those people truly be said to have known what they were voting for?

The day after the referendum, all major voices for ‘Vote Leave’ distanced themselves from the suggestion of sending more money to our NHS. If anything, Theresa May is already discussing with President Trump the possibility of private investment in our NHS from Big Business in America. Therefore, adopting the NHS as part of the ‘Vote Leave’ Campaign was quite misleading. Wouldn’t you agree, Mr Condell?

(9) “17 Million people don’t vote against the status quo [without] good reason.” [3:42]

RESPONSE –

Fair point. An equally fair one is that almost as many people voted to keep the status quo as it is. Surely, therefore, the democratic thing to do would be to try and reflect some of the wishes of the remain voters in the Exit Package that’s yet to be negotiated. Does that sound reasonable, Mr Condell?

(10) “Already the Americans won’t take [the EU] seriously, and have said that from now on, they will only make trade deals with European nations individually.” [4:19]

RESPONSE –

The Americans simply cannot do that at present (nor any time soon). They’re legally bound to deal with the European Union as a whole, since that is the United States’ largest trading partner.

In the words of President Obama (24th April 2016):

“[…] The UK would not be able to negotiate [deals] with the United States faster than the EU can. We wouldn’t just abandon our efforts to negotiate with our largest trading partner, the European Market.”

Granted, these words were construed as some kind of threat by certain politicians (Nigel Farage among them). But the fact remains… the US and the EU are major business partners. The UK is dreaming if it thinks it can usurp that arrangement any time soon. After we withdraw, the EU will still be a market of 27 trading nations. That’s a huge deal compared to our little island.

(11) “The disastrous [EU] vanity project has impoverished an entire generation.” [4:45]

RESPONSE –

Strongly disagree. The examples are too numerous to list. But in a nutshell, focusing on workers’ rights…

Before EU law came to bear on UK employment, the minimum amount of holiday pay that Brits were entitled to was 7 days at full pay. The EU increased that entitlement to a minimum of 28 days at full pay.

Before EU law came to bear on UK employment, men and women typically received different rates of pay for doing work of equal skill. The EU Equal Pay Directive remedied that.

In 1988, Britain was officially the worst European country when it came to Maternity Pay. Indeed, the issue was basically left to the conscience of each individual employer (with some employers more conscientious than others). Westminster wouldn’t touch it. Eventually, EU law stepped in and pregnant workers became entitled to paid leave.

I could cite many more examples of how EU law has given workers a higher standard of life. It certainly has not made our workers any worse off.

(12) “The [EU’s] irresponsible migrant policy seems calculated to flood a borderless Europe with criminals, terrorists and rapists — none of whom we can deport.” [5:01]

RESPONSE –

The UK has always refused to sign the Schengen Agreement, preferring to retain full control over its borders. Respectfully, therefore, it’s a bit misleading to imply that being an EU Member somehow weakens our borders. EU nationals have the right to enter Britain without a visa, either to visit or to look for work. However, they must possess a Passport or valid EU Identity Card. An EU national cannot enter without this, nor can they remain here indefinitely without securing employment. And an EU national cannot claim long-term social security in the UK without contributing towards our National Insurance.

As for deporting “criminals, terrorists and rapists” – there is no difficulty at all in sending an EU national back to his or her own EU State if they break our laws after coming here. Respectfully, you seem to be confusing this with cases in which the deportation of a NON-EU national is sought.

Take the infamous case of Abu Qatada. He was not an EU national, but a criminal on the run from his home country of Jordan in Asia. He claimed asylum in the UK on the basis that, if returned to Jordan, he would face torture. There was compelling evidence to support this claim (in other words, it’s well-documented that Jordan employs torture against suspected criminals). This led to his human rights being engaged. Eventually he was deported to Jordan, but not before proper, credible assurances were received that he would not be tortured there. This had nothing to do with the EU, nor EU rights, nor being an EU citizen, etc. It was all about the UK’s obligations (under international law) to protect people everywhere from torture and inhuman treatment.

Being signed-up to the Human Rights Convention is a condition of EU Membership – simply because nobody wishes to trade with nations that abuse human rights. Regrettably though, certain (clever) politicians have twisted this fact to say that it’s the EU forcing us to respect criminals’ rights. That is simply not true.

(13) “Everything [the EU] has touched has been a disaster. It’s as if Europe is being run by our enemies.” [5:36]

RESPONSE –

I disagree. The UK is safer being part of the EU than cut-off from it. For instance, google ‘EuroPol’ and ‘EuroJust.’ These are the EU’s crime-fighting agencies (comprised of officers from every EU state) which share information and intelligence cross-border. If we fully withdraw from the EU, then overnight, we’ll lose access to 27 countries’ worth of precious police data and intel. Our own police will be on their own.

The enemies you refer to (whoever they are) would stand a much better chance of passing among us undetected if “Hard Brexit” prevails. In light of that, would you say “Hard Brexit” is the best option for the UK, Mr Condell? Or should the UK be seeking to preserve some aspects of its EU relationship – such as EuroPol?

(14) “Sovereignty matters to [Leave Voters] in a way that, clearly, it doesn’t matter to [Remain Voters].” [6:50]

RESPONSE –

I disagree for two reasons.

Firstly, as stated, in the UK, nothing is recognised as law by our courts unless our Parliament expressly says so. For now, EU law continues to be recognised as the supreme law of our land… because our Parliament expressly said so.

Our nation’s sovereignty is indeed preserved. But the tension between me and you can be summarised thus:

As a ‘remain’ voter, I’m comfortable with the idea that our Parliament once ceded some of its power to a higher institution to bring (what I consider to be) great benefits to our nation. As a ‘leave’ voter, you are not comfortable with the idea of Parliament having to compromise when it passes a law which conflicts with something higher. Indeed, you want a return to the days when Parliament itself was the highest authority in the land.

This leads me to my second reason for disagreeing.

History shows that when nations are an absolute authority unto themselves (with no higher authority to keep them in check), it’s never long before they start mistreating their own citizens. Hitler and the Nazis had a strong appreciation for sovereignty; as did Stalin and the Soviet Unionists.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Nazism will re-surface in Britain, or that Britain will become the next Soviet Union once we withdraw from the EU. But take a moment to consider the sheer number of legal challenges that have succeeded against our government (and made headlines) over the past two decades…

… and tell me, Mr Condell, that absolute sovereignty isn’t a dangerous thing at the wrong time, in the wrong hands. Yet, this is a danger we’re now exposing ourselves and future generations of our children to. Who will they turn to when the last word on every issue always lies with a politician of the day?

Thanks for reading.

Kindest regards,

Mr Richard Murtagh (LLB, LLM, Barrister)

43 responses »

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I know of Part Condell but haven’t seen the video this refers to but even so it states so many comments and arguments com the Leave side and your reasoned and clearly understandable replies have clarified so much for me.

  2. I don’t know how long it took you to compose this, but every minute you spent was worth it. Thank you so much. Many areas in there that I will use for inspiration in my continued (hopefully respectful) interaction with Leavers.

  3. I concur with the above comments. Well expressed replies; well reasoned and explained. Wish that Leavers had been given the opportunity to understand more fully and then UK would not be ‘leaving’ I suspect.

  4. Well reasoned reply to an antagonistic video. Never heard of this bloke but I’ve heard many of Pointe makes. I disagree with them all and you’ve addressed them more accurately than I could.

  5. From a fellow lawyer, well said. I think you were kinder in some of your responses than his rant warranted; however, perhaps that will be more effective.

  6. I salute you for taking the time, trouble and having the patience to answer what is in effect another Brexit rant. I wish I could believe Mr Condell will actually bother to read your response and unfortunately I’m cynical enough that even if he did, your balanced rebuttal of each of his points wouldn’t penetrate to his consciousness. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

    • Not really a fair assessment ,these two persons are motivated from two extremes and one of them is extremely naive and the other is well grounded in reality —– guess which?

    • What about Prime Minster Edward Heaths statement :- Becoming a member of the EEC will have absolutely no consequences to the national sovereignty ?

      • Well, it didn’t have any “consequences to the national sovereignty”, so what is your point?

  7. Over the whole 7+ minute video all he really has to say is that the issue is British sovereignty. Well if you call sovereignty a democratic vote for a five year party dictatorship based on a manifesto that is broken more than it’s kept, count me out.
    So, Dublin born stand up comic Mr Condell f**k off back to Ireland and see how your jokes go down there.
    Surprisingly they are very pro-EU in your country of birth!

  8. Oh dear, another academic pointing out that he has three degrees (no less) in his first sentence. Pomposly attempting and failing to deconstruct Pat Condell’s assertions. Sorry pal, you lose!

    • And how exactly is he failing to deconstruct the assertions? They all look like pretty well reasoned replies to me, but maybe you can elaborate?

    • And we should instead listen to you, about whom we know nothing? Establishing knowledge and showing prior learning seems like a reasonable way to help the reader to understand why you are speaking with authority.

  9. Brilliant hardly, more like expected. True, the response was well crafted but I would’t expect anything less from a barrister (with 3 law degrees no less). I’m going to have to go with Pat on this one (he certainly gets it) I’ll make it simple. Big government bad, small government good. Like Reagan said “Government is not the solution to our problem, Government is the problem”. Expecting a lawyer to argue in support of for small government is like asking an accountant to support a flat tax. It will never happen. I’ll leave you with this fine quote “Most bad government has grown out of too much government” – Thomas Jefferson

  10. Hi Dickie,
    From the outset, i will declare i am proLeave.

    However, this does not mean that i do not have sympathy with the Remain argument as you have so professionally put forward.

    Sadly, these impassioned defences of the EU were so badly put during the referendum campaign that a bitter battle between both sides became a clouded issue of rhetoric. In one respect, Verhofstadt was quite right, it became a Tory in-fight.

    The outcome is now such a deeply divided Britain over the EU issue that i do fear for the future.

    I will just list some points that were my own personal factors of being proLeave which i have no doubt you will be able to pick apart, however as a barrister, i am sure you understand also that any argument however compelling camn be dismantled and that goes for the proEU arguments equally.

    I am very wary of the EU agenda, the political and financial direction does not inspire me with any joy as it seems to be shrouded in undercover meetings with very little transparency. I have first hand experience of hugely wasteful EU projects of which i am sure is just the tip of the iceberg that show corruption beyond comprehension. The power wielded by the elite in Brussels seems to know no bounds and as we are all aware, power corrupts. The fact that there is a bribery/bullying culture from the larger members against the lesser countries who rely on handouts is something that can surely have no benefit to a country such as the UK who invariably try to play by the rules.

    Mrs Merkels power within the Bloc also seems to know no bounds and whether she had good intentions or not, opening the floodgates of immigration and then passing it off as an EU problem showed me that if the will is there then the means is certainly made clear. The EU did not agree to the proposals, Merkel’s Germany did. If this is one example of of what the most powerful country can muscle through, destabilising many other countries to boot, what would be the case if a more corrupt leader or even the EC became such an oligarch of fascist style behaviour (sorry i don’t want to label, however you see my direction of thought) that more extreme measures could be taken.

    It is clear that proposals for Tax collection and Armed Forces are being mooted for EU control, this loss of sovereignty frankly scares me more than almost anything about the EU. Given that money grabs and civil unrest could all be either perpetrated by EU decisions it becomes vital to be clear on who owns the power. While we have MEPs and a veto, we are a minority amongst the bloc of 28 and been often voted down.

    I understand that the argument is to argue from within rather than outside, however, in my humble opinion the rollercoaster is on such a journey now that this would be our last chance to escape an organisation that could at any time take a different track, at least as part of an Independent UK, it’s citizens have a far greater control of whichever direction we would wish to take in International affairs as opposed to being led by the nose into unpopular Liberal Socialist ventures as a minority Country.

    Not all cultures are the same and the one size fits all model has a great deal of failings that could create far greater problems from within than a cleaner break looking in.

    The single market and four freedoms are EU inspired RULES, whilst these rules are kept to by most it is not set in stone, i believe that there are good and bad parts of both, however, we have been a partner of 40 years now and developed with the bloc, we do not suddenly become a country of the fifties as though the 5/6th biggest economy in the world would not have evolved during this time.

    It is my great hope that sense will prevail and it is understood from both sides that a decision has been made, the people of Britain can and should come together to make the best of what they have and should also work closely with our european friends and partners again, for the future of everyones prosperity.

    I do not for one moment suggest that peoRemain people should give up their desires or stop voicing their feelings, however, the likes of AC Grayling and Tim Farron who just repeat mantra’s that do not help a trade deal and give hope to the EU that the referendum WILL be reversed in two years undermines negotiations, we should hardly wish our government goes into a gunfight with a knife and this is the crux of my current argument.

    Wishing you well in your constructive discussions from a proLeave voter that does see fit to listen to the arguments from all sides. I have not ignored some of your well made points.

  11. Three law degrees? That’s three times an absolute wanker.
    The U.K. does not, nor ever has, needed a higher power as a check, as it has a Royal Family, with a Head of State. The U.K. also has its own economic union. It’s called the British Commonwealth of Nations.
    As for immigration. Are you truly comfortable as a native, Caucasian, presumably Christian man, to stand by and watch Sharia Law take over your country? Are you sure Sharia is not one of your degrees?
    The fact that London has an Islamic mayor, also a lawyer, is an absolute endictment on Britain’s leftest, Globalist policies of the last 40 years.
    As for Trump. Thank god for a true democratic champion of western civilisation. Your opinions unfortunately will not change what is happening to Agenda21/2030, but heroes like Nigel Farage, Gert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, Orban of Hungary and Donald Trump will defeat this disgusting elitist, paedophile scum.

    • Now, don’t get me wrong, I just have four questions.
      Firstly, why is it in your first sentence you see fit to insult?
      Secondly, do you not realise that this Country fought World War 2 against the forces of Fascism exemplified by the beliefs of Wilders, Le Pen, Orban?
      Thirdly, do you not realise that it was our Greatest Briton, Winson Churchill himself who championed the formation of the EU after World War 2?
      Fourthly, how is it that when over the last forty years we have had mostly Conservative Government that you say we had leftist policies in that time?

  12. As well written and thought out as Richard Murtagh’s responce to Pat Condell’s video was, it left me unconvinced that the EU, which we never joined, is a power for good in the world or even Europe. In particular the “statesmen” running the EU are certainly not the best that Europe has to offer. In fact I think the opposite is true. In my opinion the EU has more in commen with the defunct USSR than with, the USA for example. They should never have taken in all those dirt poor and corrupt Eastern European countries. All of which are a drain on the economies of the other states. Further; What business was it of the EU, and the USA’s come-to-that, to get involved with the politics of Ukraine and Russia ? That has done so much to destabilise Europe, along with the ill thought out manovers ( at Obama’s and NATO’s behest with strong EU involvement ) that are, even now, rattling their sabers at the Russian bear.

    I don’t have any degrees but I do have an interest in European politics and over 40 years experience of living in the centre of this money wasting monstrosity we now call the EU. So, all in all I tend to agree with Geoff Brown’s characterization of the EU and feel that the UK, and any other country that has the balls to, will be better off outside of this unexclusive club.

  13. I don’t think Pat Condell will have much trouble answering these 14 points. I’m no lawyer, nor am I a professional blogger, but I think I could hold my own in a debate with the author.

    I could address each one but honestly I haven’t the time nor indeed the inclination, and after all, what difference would it make?

    • Once again we see the sheer laziness inherent in the Leave vote. It’s much easier blindly to follow criticism and a retreat to nationalism than attempt to sort things out for a greater common cause. Pull up a sofa and pass the nachos.

  14. Intesting how the opnions of those who disagree with this thrice degreed barrister keep disappearing. He doesnt seem to like dissent.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog, glenn. I don’t like rudeness, but I’m fine with dissent — as long as it’s geared towards the points I’m addressing, and not me personally. Best wishes.

      • Okay. My former post did not attack you personally. Your ideas are largely correct in the detail. However, at macro level you have totally missed Pat’s main point (like so many of those that agree with you) – that Western values are on a collision course which Islam. When you drop down below the summary term of “Islam” the prior statement can easily converted to: Western values are on a collision course with barbarism. Murder for those who disagree, murder for non-believers, FMG (which has been against the law for years and no convictions, but 1,000s of cases), rape, honor killings, multiple wives, pedophilia, bestiality, “blasphemy” are all endorsed by this ideology yet very much at odds with our culture. Brexit is a self inflicted economic punch in the gut to preserve our way of life.

    • How does Brexit stop Muslim people coming to this country? Surely what you describe are internal UK issues? FGM is illegal, and has very few cases coming to court as you describe, but where is that anything to do with the EU?
      Does not the fact that Muslim refugees in Calais cannot get into the UK freely show that we do not have an immigration problem caused by the EU?
      If you are right that Brexit is a reaction to Islam then by voting against the EU you have shot the wrong suspect.

      • John; cant say that I have read the fine print of the agreement, however, Brussels does mandate quotas for immigration. The following headline should suffice to answer your first question: “EU THREATENS POLAND AND HUNGARY OVER REFUSAL TO ACCEPT MUSLIM MIGRANTS.” Yes, the issues I raise are internal UK issues, however they must be addressed and addressed very soon. Part of addresses them is stopping the inflow of those who cause such issues in the first place. Ditto on the FMG issue. Last year there were over 5000 reported cases here – no small number if you personally had to endure such a barbaric procedure at the end of a scissor/blade. Calais a data point? Seriously?!?!? Our security forces are completely overwhelmed. Have you read the Jay Report? Given that approx 20% of rapes are reported, the actual number of teenage rapes could be as high as 3/4 million. The most horrifying part is that all of this behaviour is fully sanctioned and encouraged by the LEADERS/IMAMs of this horrific system of thought. EU question – see above headline. No. Booting the EU is the foundational decision to retake control of our destiny, and we must do it fast.

      • And the Bible Numbers 31? It suggests rape and murder of non-believers.
        The enemy is extremism.
        Extreme Buddhists murder in Myanmar, Extreme Christians murder in the USA. Extreme animal rights activists too.
        And yes the extreme politicians who have growing power and take us towards the extremism of the 1930s that killed millions.
        The true enemy is the evil people who prey on fears and distort belief/religion in the minds of susceptible people to persuade them to do evil things.
        If you succeeded in removing the Muslim menace you perceive then the menace would remain: it would just wear a different face.

      • John, Rather than address my concerns, you bring up another topic – Numbers 31. But I will address it any way. For Christians, the Old Testament is fulfilled and the Jews are no longer carrying out such behaviour on their fellow believers, so your point is meaningless. Moving to the New Testament: there is no such thing as a Christian terrorist (there are Christians who commit terror) as there is no text such as the below to support it (please find ONE in the New Testament that compares with the below.

        Of course extremism is the issue and it’s all about the number of extremists an ideology generates. Islam is off the charts relative to any other system of thought. Pew Research estimates those how will use violence as a tool to an end is between 15 and 20% of the Islamic population. The taliban and ISIS having about .03% of the population overran IRAQ/Syria and Afghanistan. Our very own mayor of London threatened the Americans with, “If you elect Trump, we will send you terrorists.” Doesn’t that make him a terrorists given he will use terror if he doesn’t like something. Even more preposterous, who the #*#&$()*$ is he to weigh in on foreign policy as bloody mayor?!!?.

        The conclusion is this hateful violent ideology needs to be stopped from coming into this country and stared down or we are going to end up in a horrific civil war. If you don’t believe this, please read the Koran (the below is a good place to start) The Little Green Book, Mohammed vs the People,

        Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

        Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”
        Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

        Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.

        Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”

        Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

        Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

        Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward ”

        Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

        Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

        Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

        Quran (8:15) – “O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”

        Quran (8:39) – “And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion is all for Allah” “Allah must have no rivals.”

        Quran (8:57) – “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”

        Quran (8:67) – “It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…”

        Quran (8:59-60) – “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

        Quran (8:65) – “O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight…”

  15. Wonderful; very clearly the thought out and argued article. We need this kind of factual rebuttal. Thank you.

  16. How refreshing to have such a well argued case for staying in th EU, based on fact and example. Absolutely brilliant.

  17. Ok for one mep might be elected . but don’t have any powers at all or any influence only the commission you seem to me you still can’t get hold that we are leaving the EU Both Sides lied on the referendum and I fully understand leaving the EU means leaving the EEC single market I just think you remainers I just can’t accept it but you have to

  18. That’s a great and well thought through article with clearly presented pro-EU arguments. Fair play to you Richard. Also, some necessarily aggressive comments against you or your arguments in some of the comments to the article. The skewer blog thinks we all need to keep the discussion going to help clarify the thinking process behind these big issues.

  19. Its very sad to see Pat Condell go into his shell unable to answer these important questions.
    I always liked Condell re Atheism but am very disappointed that he is for some reason unable to answer Richards questions.Perhaps he has no logical answers?

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