Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

The View from 22 — Britain’s accidental EU exit?

10 January 2013

10:56 AM

10 January 2013

10:56 AM

We’re delighted to be back with a bang for the first Spectator podcast of 2013. This week, our political editor James Forsyth discusses David Cameron’s long-delayed speech on Europe with Mats Peerson, director of the Open Europe think tank. Will the Prime Minister manage to keep his party together over a renegotiation? Will Angela Merkel come to Cameron’s rescue and what will the City make of his stance?

The Spectator’s editor Fraser Nelson looks at why the coalition mid-term review is a waste of time, while our panel agree that David Milliband’s influence in the Labour Party is completely overrated. And what will happen to Rupert Murdoch’s reforming plans for The Times? Under the new era of Leveson, will the media mogul be able to protect the newspaper’s influence over governments?


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The View from 22 — 10th January 2012. Length: 26:08

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Show comments
  • jason haris

    Your place is valuable for me.

    rescue my pension

  • MacTurk

    The assertion was made that Ireland, and other countries, would accept Britain getting new membership terms, as opposed to a British exit from the EU.

    That may best be described as a pious hope, and from the Irish point of view, highly unlikely. There is also a large group of countries, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, who would be greatly opposed to Britain getting any kind of special deal.

  • barbie

    Why is it MPs and parties refuse to admit the public don’t want repatriation of powers the want out, nothing less will do, and the choice to decide. He can’t get anything as the ‘wet rag’ has pointed out this week, not that we need his imput. The whole lot are corrupt or mad.

  • Magnolia

    I disagree with you all completely about your complacency over David Miliband.
    I think that you’re not being dispassionate enough to think through a wider view than the current easy reality.
    I do hope the Conservatives are war gaming in the background for his return.
    I suspect that Ed M, Ed B and Ms H are deeply repellent to the electorate.
    We here know that they are the past.
    At the moment we know that our government is basing its policies on a sort of soft New Labour style with a wet liberal in charge. DC and GO think that is what the electorate want, more of the same and easy promises of sunlit uplands and all the rest. Gently does it etc. We here know that valuable time is being lost and that financial rescue is disappearing off the horizon.
    Meanwhile, back in the real world, some of the Labour politicians are shaping up to be very impressive (ie. eloquent, charming and persuasive) with a sort of soft New Conservative style approach. It wouldn’t take much for them to organise around the pantomime core and to rip the firm ground (never mind the centre ground!) from under DC’s plodding feet. They might unite with or under brother David (perhaps as shadow Chancellor) and present a startling new way forward that would be a complete change from Labour’s past. With a desperate electorate, they might clean up at election time.


      Is the electorate desperate? Since more than 50% of the population benefit from benefits more than they pay in contribitions I’d say that the majority of the electorate is relatively relaxed as long as that situation continues.

      Likewise the continuing to increase tidal wave of immigrants will continue to vote for those parties which allow mass immigration – including the Conservatives of course.

      So who should be desperate? Just the minority white British tax payers who seem to have no-one left to support them. And the minority white British tax payer will find themselves unable to vote for the one party rule of Lib-Lab-Con, but we are perhaps already too much a minority to make our voice heard.

      Maybe a tax-payer led revolution is what is required?

      • Magnolia

        The electorate will be desperate if our creditors call time, or if we get soaring inflation from a plummeting pound whatever their colour or background and if at the same time we have no sustainable improving economy then that might be a time when LB’s message of only taking out from welfare that which you have previously put in might sound very appealing. What I’m saying is that we (Conservatives) should be prepared for some of the more thinking Labour politicians to try and do a Mrs T in the same way that Dave tries to do a Mr Tony.

        • Noa

          One may as well prepare for the Grand Mufti to apply for the Catholic priesthood. Labour’s elite are not minded to tolerate the old and evil forces of nationalism.

      • barbie

        What a great thought. A tax revolution. I like it. We now have many people relying on benefits to survive, while the few who pay taxes struggle to make ends meet. Even pensioners pay tax, I’m one of them. I don’t mind if it goes to my fellow Brits, but when it goes to children in Poland and elsewhere, immigrants who haven’t paid one penny into the pot, to educate them, health care for them, and housing costs for them, something is seriously wrong. Yet no MPs appear to mention these facts. No wonder UKIP is rising by the day.

  • Russell

    Cameron doesn’t seem to understand that many people like myself do not want to re-negotiate our terms of membership with the EU, we want to be out of the EU. Once out of the EU, and having the ending of our £20billion per year contribution to use as we see fit, we can then negotiate trading terms.
    Many like myself don’t want a ‘seat at the table’ or to have any say in EU matters of law, Health & Safety, Business regulations, Fishing Industry matters, Farming subsidies etc.
    The UK can manage to look after those matters, for our own country ourselves.
    I don’t care if the USA and/or Commonwealth countries and/or Germany and France think it is critical that we remain in the EU, it is nothing to do with them, it is a matter for the taxpayers in the UK who pay a large part of the EU budget (second largest net contributor) and keep the bureaucracy in the EU living the life of Riley and our MP’s spending endless debates over EU matters instead of sorting out UK problems..

  • Rhoda Klapp

    As this is a post related to what the Spectator says and prints, it is appropriate here to ask why the Europe story is covered so badly, not just on this occasion but time and time again. Is the mgazine a news/politics/current affairs weekly or is it in fact a propaganda tool on behalf of either the Conservative party leadership (certainly not the membership) or its proprietors? Put the whole truth into your EU/UK coverage. Because it’s the right thing to do. I am fed up with the lies, and the lies by omission. I demand proper coverage.

    Oh, and when there are riots on the streets in the UK, don’t you think it is worth mentioning here?

    • barbie

      I agree, I’m fed up too. The waffle comes in stages, we’ve had one stage the other day with the Tom and Jerry act. I wonder too where the honesty as gone in this country, and now MPs say they are under paid, the gall gets worse.

  • UlyssesReturns


    1. Cameron promises a referendum and negotiates a new deal: Britain votes out.

    2. Cameron promises a referendum and fails to negotaite a new deal: Britain votes out.

    3. Cameron doesn’t promise a referendum and doesn’t get a new deal. Cameron out: Britain out

    4. EU continues on its present path; Grexit, Cyprexit, Iberexit, Italexit. It all falls apart: Britain out.

    5. UKIP hold balance of power at next election: Britain out

    6. Labour get in in 2015 and continue to screw up the country: Britain down and out.

    • LB

      We’re out anyway.

      In summary, the estimates in the new supplementary table indicate a total Government pension obligation, at the end of December 2010, of £5.01 trillion, or 342 per cent of GDP, of which around£4.7 trillion relates to unfunded obligations.

      Obligation = debt.

      • Rhoda Klapp

        We are fixing that with the Liverpool Care Pathway.

        • LB

          242 killed by starvation in the NHS.

          They saved on the food bill. What heros.

          • barbie

            What about all the citizens starving because they can’t afford enough food to survive, yet sending 11 billion for foreign aid and 55 million for health tourists is fine. Food banks are becoming normal within society, what does that say about the society we have become. Its not normal, and any government who ignores the poor say a lot about themselves. We now see the ‘nasty party back in action.


    How can you be discussing a renegotiation when you know it is not possible.

  • LB

    How can it be accidental when we get a referenda and vote.

    It’s democracy.

    • Wessex Man

      no it’s not.

      • LB


        So we won’t get a vote.

        We were promised a vote.

        We were lied too.

        Just as we’re lied to on a daily basis about the state and its debts. That’s out and out fraud.

        How can they pay 7,000 bn of debts when taxes only raise 550 bn?

        • Tom Tom

          Same way they always do….selective default and expropriation

          • LB


            Now, what can one do about it?

            1. Expose them.

            The intent is there. I’ve caught the treasury out lying. FOI request, how much is owed and any discussions on the matter. Treasury – we hold no information.

            National Audit office – we’ve had extensive discussions with the treasury on these dates.

            2. Save lots.

            3. The difficult bit, where to save.

            Property? Hmm a capital tax for the public good. Yep, I can see that. It’s only 2%. But that doubles my mortgage. But your rich scum, hand over the cash.

            Pensions? Hungary, Argentina, all expropriate private pensions. EU Approves in Hungarys case.

            Ireland? You have to invest in AIB

            With a pension you are a sitting duck.

            So my thinking, and its one where the Keynsians have a point. I am saving lots, but I’m not saving in the UK. Can’t get the return here.

            Any ideas?

            • Tom Tom

              None really because it is a global mess. A Pension is really tax-advantaged revenue for Pension Fund Managers not future pensioners. It is all designed as Collective Investment via Fund Managers rather than Deferred Income. The basic truth is that you cannot save if there is no intention to preserve the value of money and Currency Wars require continual devaluation

              • LB

                That’s for funded pensions.

                However, the pensions mess here is bugger all to do with Fund managers, because there isn’t a fund. It’s politicians

                There is no investment fund with the state pension. Or civil service pension.

                ONS put the debts of these schemes at 5,010 billion 2 years ago. Assets, zero[1]

                [1] Unless an IOU to yourself makes you rich

            • Noa

              Buy tola bars.

        • dalai guevara

          ‘how do you pay 7,000bn of debts’

          Whose debts are they? 508% debt to GDP ratio, half of it is ‘financial institution debt’ (238%), a fifth is ‘non-financial debt’ (109%).

          Only 13% of the overall pie (or 69% of overall GDP) is GOVERNMENTAL debt, which would relate in some way to the taxes raised figure you state.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Actually, the public debt to GDP ratio is 92% and rising, which is beyond the 90% recommended rate required to accommodate robust economic growth.

            The 508% figure you quote from one of my previous posts has changed. I’ll leave it to you as an exercise to figure out what it is today.

            And if you think the inflation used to deal with the other +400% external debt isn’t an issue, and is unrelated to that 92%, then I have a few bridges I want to sell you.

            • dalai guevara

              What makes you think I was quoting one of your figures? You are confusing household and governmental debt levels, but never mind…no i will leave it to you to sell those bridges to someone else, shall I?


              • the viceroy’s gin

                You quoted my figures because the precise 508% figure was the one I first corrected you on some time ago, back when you were first exposing your ignorance of what external debt is. As I say, the figure has changed, and I’ll leave it to you to determine what today’s figure is.

                And again, if you think the +400% of remaining external debt isn’t affected by the inflation rate caused by those managing the 92% public debt, an inflation rate specifically induced to ameliorate both debt piles, then I have multiple bridges to sell you.

                You see, inflation is a tax, and the 2 forms of taxation cannot be segregated in the way your facile brain is surmising they can. You’re too stupid to understand all that, I realize, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

                • dalai guevara

                  I would not dream of quoting your figures. It is simply what is shown on the debt clock, and in the link attached earlier – sorry mate, but unless you can substantiate that apart from your redundant knowledge in power engineering, you are now also the editor of money week or indeed the host of the world debt clock, please brace yourself for the truth: you do not inform anyone about anything. Your intention is to deceive.

                  The 92% debt figure you quote is the household debt level. What has YOUR mortgage or YOUR credit card bill got to do with me? If you have debt, pay it off, or go broke (thus the household debt figure of 92% will reduce) but do not bother me with your inadequate abilities in financial planning. YOUR financial planning.

                  The ONLY debt of PUBLIC nature here is the 69% governmental liabilities, which -in order to reduce it- will require public spending cuts, benefits caps, the reduction of police and army forces, the abolition of lolly pop ladies etc. It makes up a mere 13% of total external liabilities, but some evil folk want to deceive us into believing that we are all doomed because of it. Rubbish I say! It is the ‘internal banking gambling debt’ that is the killer here, and I hereby declare that I REFUSE TO BE HELD LIABLE for that.

                  PS: of course I understand the effect of inflation, are you kidding me? It makes things worse, and when the interest rates rise on all of this (not if), then you may hypothesise about the size of your bridge selling business, but I will say ‘good night, I am outta here’.

                  PPS: if you wish to include future pension liabilities into your calculation (as money week has done in a separate chart), then it will be difficult to evaluate those future liabilities in relation to TODAYS GDP levels. Our GDP today is around £1.5trillion. What will it be in ten years time, when these ominous pension liabilities are paid out? Did you get that, power engineer?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, I’m not reading through all that nonsense. You are stupid, afterall.

                  And that links says the external debt is at 509%, not 508%, the figure you lifted from my previous posts, when I first educated you on these various debt figures, which apparently you still haven’t figured out. I’ll leave you with the exercise of finding out what it is today, and just to give hint, it is neither 508% or 509%.

                  Now those bridges are still available, if you’re still blathering your “the +400% doesn’t concern me” nonsense in the rest of your (unread) post.

                • dalai guevara

                  I’ll make it reeeaaaly simple for you as you have an attention span deficit disorder:
                  1- 508% is not our debt, it is 69%.
                  2- 92% is your debt as you have the credit card debt, not me.
                  Now go and blow off somewhere.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re too stupid to even present anything simple, let alone understand it, least of all debt, tax and inflation issues.

                  And no, an unsourced data point is worthless. The public debt is 92%, and rising.

                  I still have those bridges for sale, by the way. Cheap.

                • dalai guevara

                  I’ll leave it to someone else to explain the difference between household debt and governmental debt.

                • LB

                  No its not.

                  That’s public borrowing.

                  Public debt is far far bigger.

                  How much do they owe to the civil servants for their contractual pensions?

                  Why have you omitted it?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I acknowledge what you’re saying, that pension debt is debt. The “publicly held debt” calculation eschews pension debt, simply because governments can dump that pension debt by statute. The publicly held debt has to be repaid, theoretically.

                  So yes, if we include pension debt, the public debt is far more than the 92% figure.

    • Tom Tom

      Referendum is “purely advisory”

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