Osborne’s Treasury Spin – Exposed/Analysed – Alister Heath’s Blog
Greg Lance – Watkins
I guess you can’t really blame the Treasury for producing this spin to corrupt the EU In/Out Referendum.
The Treasury was clearly well funded by abuse of tax payers money to produce a report providing the right figures to support George Osborne’s required spin for his and David Cameron’s efforts to dupe the British people, in much the same way the British were duped in the Referendum of 1975, into Remaining in the EU.
The Government lied when they claimed this Referendum would be a level playing field!
First they lied when they claimed that David Cameron had negotiated a significant new deal with The EU.
The Government lied when it claimed the EU could be reformed.
The Government then lied when they claimed they had achieved significant Reform.
Having lied the Government is now in a position where they are intent on corrupting the Referendum:
First by implementing a period of purda for Government Ministers wishing to campaign in the best interests of the British peoples, our sovereignty, democracy, trade and global independence.
Then they corrupted the Referendum by spending a quoted £9.3 Million (and like all other Government managed expenditure you can bet your life the costs escalated & were hidden!) money wasted on a glossy brochure which the informed public realised was missinformation and clever glossy spin!
Now The Treasuruy has been paid to produce a very one sided set of figures to support the Remain Campaign. Obviously in a cost benefit document you can easily leave out or fail to investigate one side of the research as the Treasury clearly has – to fulfill its brief!
There are two possible ways to conduct economic arguments. The first is to accept that one’s opponents are genuine and intelligent, and to attempt to address their arguments as fairly and honestly as possible, even if one ultimately finds them wanting. Some of the greatest economists of the 20th century, from all sides of the ideological spectrum, including John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, embraced this approach, to great effect.
The second is to heap ridicule on your opponents, assume that they are either nasty, stupid or “economically illiterate”, before deliberately distorting or ignoring what they have to say while carefully cherry-picking the best possible assumptions to feed into your own mathematical models to generate your favourite conclusions.
Forget about trying to be scientific to get to the truth, or having a civil debate: the only thing that matters is winning at any cost.
Tragically, the government has now chosen this second approach on Brexit. It didn’t have to resort to this; even though I disagree, there is a credible pro-EU economic case that can be made. Yet the Treasury report on the supposed long-term impact of leaving the EU is shameful, undoubtedly the worst piece of “research” from a government department in years.
It starts off with a scandalously biased assumption: that there can be no possible economic benefits to Brexit, just costs. In other words, it’s not really a cost-benefit analysis of Brexit, but merely a cost-cost one. And not just any costs, mind: in each case, any downsides are magnified in an extreme way.
In all cases, trade becomes much harder; and thus productivity and GDP per capita improves less quickly. Another way to look at this is that the government asserts that there is no conceivable alternative that would, on net, deliver freer trade and enhanced productivity growth than what our current EU membership delivers.
Following on from such utterly wrong-headed assumptions, the report suggests that the economy will grow less quickly over the next 15 years than it would under the status quo – and even less quickly than under the miraculously reformed, pro-market EU that the government now expects to emerge.
The prediction that UK GDP would end up 3.8pc smaller than it would otherwise be if we opted for membership of the European Economic Area is especially preposterous (and yes, I understand Rules of Origin).
Even on its own terms, the econometrics is not really convincing. On top of that, the modelling draws heavily on historical scenarios. One of the key pieces cited estimates the impact on world trade of the closure of the Suez Canal. How on earth can this possibly be deemed relevant to Brexit and the modern economy?
Even more depressingly, this report represents a seminal, perhaps final, break with the Tories’ Thatcherite, free-market legacy: originally, opposition within the party to the EU was grounded in anger at the red tape that kept emanating from Brussels, and fears about back-door socialism. Yet this document could quite easily have been penned by a Liberal Democrat Chancellor or even by Gordon Brown: it cites approvingly one report which claims that “it is unclear whether there are substantial regulatory benefits from Brexit”. It then adds that “the scope for further significant deregulation [in the UK] without impacting on domestic priorities, including the rights and interests of consumers, employees or the environment must therefore be limited”.
In other words, all is for the best in the best possible of worlds: the UK has a perfect regulatory system, with no excessive red tape, so the free-market critique of the EU (and UK) domestic policy can safely be ignored.
Some of the propaganda is downright hilarious. Take this absurdly optimistic analysis of the eurozone’s prospects: “Following the financial crisis, the euro area made significant and necessary reforms to ensure long-term financial stability, including the adoption of legislation on Banking Union.” The Treasury goes on to embrace the Five Presidents’ Report and its demand for a “number of further measures that would move the euro area towards a closer economic union, financial union and fiscal union”. What about Greece? What about Italy, or France? What if the eurozone disintegrates? In the real world, there is likely to be another massive economic crisis in Europe over the next few years.
It is perfectly acceptable for reasonable people to differ about Brexit. Intelligent, sophisticated folk can believe that, on the balance of probabilities, we will be either somewhat better off or somewhat worse off economically outside the EU. But the sort of nonsensical, hysterical scaremongering contained in this dodgy dossier is beneath contempt.
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain having only 8%, if united, say. The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy; yet The EU & many of its vassal States are willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, when we leave the EU, using a better negotiated & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.One huge benefit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly in our own interest and that of our partners around the world in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and term imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their ionterpretation of the rules handed down as if they were some great achievement by the EU.The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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