back to article IBM says no, non, nein to Brexit

IBM has left UK staff in no doubt it wants Britain to remain in the European Union even though many of those working in its services division might not be EU-based by the end of 2017. In February, Big Blue was one of 200 large firms across a range of industries that urged Brits to vote to stay in the Union, claiming a "Brexit …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    Being in the EU...

    ... makes far easier to shuffle money around among Luxembourg, Ireland, and The Netherlands... of course, that offshoring issue... is not important as long as nor UK nor EU take a stance against it...

    1. Caff

      Re: Being in the EU...

      Just as easy to shuffle the money to IOM and Channel Islands and Gibralter

      1. P. Lee Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Being in the EU...

        >Just as easy to shuffle the money to IOM and Channel Islands and Gibraltar

        True, but it doesn't have the same veneer of respectability.

        As for IBM's opinions, meh.

      2. Cynical Observer

        Re: Being in the EU...

        Just as easy to shuffle the money to IOM and Channel Islands and Gibralter

        Except that it isn't. Revenues associated with Intellectual Property cannot be transferred to IoM without incurring tax liability - at least that's my recollection of the way it was summed up when the BEEB broadcast its program on taking the Welsh village offshore.

        Still... There are all those lovely Crown Dependencies - and the climate is probably better there.

      3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Being in the EU...

        Just as easy ...

        I was just thinking that myself. More than half of the shell companies revealed by the Panama Papers were incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Maybe not directly relevant to the "Brexit" debate, but then probably neither is the OP's post.

    2. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Being in the EU...

      ". makes far easier to shuffle money around "

      Not only that , it makes it far easier to reduce the payroll bills. Why hire a UK citizen who not unreasonably expects a good salary for working in IT, when they can hire someone from eastern europe or the iberian peninsula who will be happy with any salary thats a bit higher than what they'd get at home? You think I'm joking? Well I'm currently seeing this sort of thing going on first hand. In my current company less than 50% of the workforce is from the UK and don't anyone tell me its because the skills and candidates arn't available out of 60m people because thats BS. Also one of the directors here who is from eastern europe himself has not only contracted out some IT services to a company in his home country but out of all the applicants to do a new role the one who he chose just happened to be from his country too. The whole thing stinks.

      Of course mentioning something like this inevitably results in some Guardian reading useful idiot screaming "Waaacist!" (since they can't tell the difference between race and nationality it would seem).

  2. gv

    Personal Choice

    [quote]how staff choose to vote was “of course a personal choice” [end quote]

    Exactly.

    1. John 156

      Re: Personal Choice

      Surely serfs have to obey their American overloads otherwise the warmongering Nobel Laureate made his visit to England in vain. We have to hope his congratulations to Merkel for inviting into Germany one million men of fighting and raping age and ordering the Gemans to deploy to the further reaches of NATO to see off the Russian threat when the level of threat in Germany was rather more substantial went down better.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Flame

        @ John 156

        That's a hell of a lot of racism in one paragraph! I live in Germany, you don't (obviously). Germans are not as bothered about the number of migrants coming except that we worry where we can locate them, how to house them, how to integrate them, etc. 1 million people is a lot to take care of in a very short period of time. To classify all of the refugees (even the women and children!) as "men of fighting and raping age" is a ridiculously racist generalism.

        Don't comment on something you know nothing about, and don't drag strawmen into an argument which they have absolutely nothing to do with.

        By the way, the raping you talk about, I assume is related to the New Years Eve incidents in Köln and a few other cities. The "people" involved in those have been discovered to be North African migrants (Moroccan, Libyan, Tunisian, etc.) not refugees from the 1 million middle eastern refugees that you're so freely condemning. So get your facts straight before you spout misguided racist rubbish.

        1. JimmyPage
          FAIL

          Re: So get your facts straight

          Do you *really* think that's going to happen ?

          1. AndyS

            Re: So get your facts straight

            Actually I quite enjoyed John's little racist rant. It shows quite nicely, without the veneer of respectability, what a lot of "leave" voters really think.

            It's the old adage - perhaps not all people intending to vote leave are small minded racist bigots, but you can be sure that all the small minded racist bigots are voting leave.

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: So get your facts straight

              "Actually I quite enjoyed John's little racist rant. It shows quite nicely, without the veneer of respectability, what a lot of "leave" voters really think."

              Oh here we go, the old tar with the same brush from the Remain camp.

              "It's the old adage - perhaps not all people intending to vote leave are small minded racist bigots, but you can be sure that all the small minded racist bigots are voting leave."

              Since all europeans are the same race (I assume you know the difference between race and nationality, right?) , please explain how race even comes into it? Take your time.

        2. FlatSpot

          Re: @ John 156

          "By the way, the raping you talk about, I assume is related to the New Years Eve incidents in Köln and a few other cities."

          Maybe or possibly these..(due to the character limitation this is just January).. end of the day if you are happy with it, all the best with taking in millions of migrants and as long as it happens somewhere else and to someone else's daughters etc it makes you feel all nice and warm inside right. Just don't then try and forcibly have them sent to other EU countries and don't pretend it comes with zero consequences.

          xx

          January 1. More than a thousand migrants sexually assaulted hundreds of German women in the cities of Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart.

          January 4. A group of migrant youths sexually assaulted a handicapped girl in Bielefeld.

          January 5. An Afghan migrant attempted to rape a 15-year-old girl in Burghausen.

          January 7. A 36-year-old asylum seeker was arrested for raping a 16-year-old boy inside the city hall of Wolfsburg. A "southerner" (südländisch, arabisch) sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl near a train station in Ellwangen.

          January 8. A 17-year-old Syrian migrant exposed himself to women at a swimming pool in St. Ingbert.

          January 9. A 48-year-old woman was raped by three migrants in Dresden. The perpetrators have not been arrested. Also on January 9, a 45-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by an "Arab-speaking" man in Gleidingen, a town near Hanover. A group of five North Africans (Algerians, Moroccans) sexually assaulted five women in Oldenburg. Two North African migrants (Libya, Tunisia) sexually assaulted a 31-year-old woman at the main train station in Leipzig. A migrant attempted to rape a 46-year-old woman in Saarbrücken-Altenkessel.

          January 10. A group of "southerners" (südländisches Aussehen) sexually assaulted three girls at a public swimming pool in Ansbach. A 21-year-old West African was arrested for raping a 15-year-old girl at a train station in Wuppertal. A 36-year-old Syrian migrant sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman in Bornhöved. The woman was showing the man an apartment that had been advertised for rent.

          January 11. A 35-year-old migrant from Pakistan sexually assaulted a three-year-old girl at a refugee shelter in Kamen. Eight migrants attempted to rape a woman at a grocery store in Ampfing. She defended herself by using pepper spray. A 20-year-old Moroccan assaulted a 24-year-old woman in Frankenberg.

          January 12. A "southerner" (südländisch aussehenden) raped a 16-year-old girl in Wuppertal. Two "Arabic speaking" men assaulted a 37-year-old woman in Fröndenberg.

          January 13. Four migrants (südländisch aussehen) attempted to rape a 13-year-old girl in Gelsenkirchen. Three migrants sexually assaulted a 31-year-old woman in Oldenburg. A migrant attempted to rape a woman at a train station in Altötting. She defended herself by using pepper spray. Three "southerners" (südländischer oder arabischer Herkunft) assaulted a woman in Bad Münstereifel.

          January 14. Three migrants (südländische Hautfarbe) sexually assaulted a 47-year-old woman in the Bavarian town of Dingolfing. Three "southerners" (Südländer) assaulted a 22-year-old women on a train in Bremerhaven.

          January 15. A 36-year-old migrant sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl at a public park in Hilden near Solingen. A 31-year-old migrant from Tunisia was arrested for attempting to rape a 30-year-old woman in Chemnitz. A 31-year-old migrant from Morocco appeared in court for raping a 31-year-old woman in Dresden. A migrant sexually assaulted a 42-year-old woman in Mainz. A migrant (dunkleren Teint) sexually assaulted a 32-year-old woman in Münchfeld. An African migrant sexually assaulted a 55-year-old woman in Mannheim.

          Also on January 15, all male migrants over the age of 18 were banned from a public swimming pool in Bornheim, near Bonn, after assaults against female patrons at the facility. The measure was branded as racist by German media outlets.

          January 16. A migrant from Syria sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy in Mudersbach. The migrant was arrested but then released. A 25-year-old Moroccan migrant assaulted two woman at a grocery store in Zeithain.

          January 17. Three "southerners" (Südländer) attempted to rape a young woman in Kiel. Two migrants (19 and 38 years old) sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at a restaurant in the main train station in Nuremberg. A 19-year-old Afghan migrant assaulted four girls (aged 11 to 13) at a public swimming pool in Dresden. Migrants invaded female changing rooms at a swimming pool in Burghausen. Two "southerners" (dunklen/südländischen Typ) attempted to rape a 42-year-old woman at a pharmacy in Altötting.

          January 18. A 43-year-old Syrian migrant assaulted a 63-year-old woman in Wetzlar. Police say the man also assaulted two other women (aged 62 and 74) in Wetzlar.

          January 19. A 17-year-old Eritrean migrant attempted to rape an 18-year-old woman in a parking garage in Bad Oldesloe. After police intervened, the man head-butted an officer, who was hospitalized.

          January 20. Migrants invaded female showers and changing rooms at two public swimming pools in Leipzig.

          January 21. A "black skinned" (schwarz glänzende Hautfarbe) man attempted to rape a 13-year-old girl in Langenfeld. Two migrants assaulted an 18-year-old woman in Dingolfing.

          January 22. A migrant (südländisches Äußeres) attempted to rape a 16-year-old girl in Feuerbach district of Stuttgart, and in downtown Stuttgart, four "Arabic looking" (arabisches Aussehen) men sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman. Migrants harassed women at public swimming pools in Zwickau.

          January 23. Migrants sexually assaulted two 11-year-old girls at a public swimming pool in Wilhelmshaven. Two asylum seekers from Afghanistan assaulted two 17-year-old women at a public swimming pool in Straubing. Three 16-year-old migrants from Afghanistan and Syria assaulted two 13-year-old girls at a public swimming pool in Hachenburg.

          Also on January 23, a 35-year-old migrant sexually assaulted a woman in a restroom on a train in Düsseldorf. A 22-year-old Syrian migrant exposed himself on a train in Hanover. An 18-year-old Syrian asylum seeker raped a 17-year-old woman in Straubing. Two unidentified men sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman in Wiesbaden.

          January 24. Two men speaking "broken German" attempted to rape a 25-year-old woman in Lehrte as she was walking home from the train station. The men pulled a knife on the woman and ordered her to "spread your legs."

          January 25. A 30-year-old migrant from "North Africa" (nordafrikanischem Erscheinungsbild) exposed himself to a 19-year-old woman on a public bus in Marburg, and then to passersby at the main train station.

          January 26. A 35-year-old migrant attempted to rape a young girl in Bochum. Two female passersby intervened and called police.

          January 27. Two "southerners" (dunklem Teint) sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a bus stop in Überlingen. A 21-year-old asylum seeker assaulted an 18-year-old woman in a female changing room at a fitness studio in Lahr.

          January 28. A migrant from Sudan sexually assaulted a female police officer in Hanover as she was attempting to arrest him for theft. Two "underage refugees" (minderjährige Flüchtlinge) sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at a shelter for children in Düsseldorf. It later emerged that one of the perpetrators was a 22-year-old migrant from Iran who claimed he was 16 years old to gain access to the shelter. A 17-year-old Afghan migrant assaulted a 14-year-old girl in Frankenberg. A "southerner" (Südländer) sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman in Backnang.

          January 31. A 30-year-old German, originally from Turkmenistan, raped a seven-year-old girl in Kiel. The man kidnapped the girl from a school playground at 11AM, took her to his apartment and, after abusing her, set her free. It later emerged that the man had been accused of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl at another kindergarten in Kiel on January 18, but due to insufficient evidence, the public prosecutors failed to pursue the case.

          Also on January 31, four unidentified migrants (ausländischem Aussehen) sexually assaulted a 17-year-old woman in Vilshofen. An unidentified "dark skinned" (dunkelhäutig) man assaulted a woman in Villingen. Two North African migrants sexually assaulted two 15-year-old girls in Salzgitter.

          1. lglethal Silver badge

            Re: @ John 156

            Wow another totally racist reply missing the point. From the list you mention I see very few that are from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan the ones that make up the "1 million rapists" mentioned by John156. Most of those are North African migrants or Südlander, (which loosely translated means southern European - i.e. Balkan migrants). Note migrants not refugees.

            Also you've listed 29 cases in the month of January across Deutschland. 29. Out of a population of 80 million. I would suggest this is a very small number across Deutschland for one month. That is not to say it is good. 1 is too many! there will always be bad apples, but to claim those figures mean every migrant or refugee is a raping scum bag is just blatant racist xenophobia. Pathetic really.

          2. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: @ John 156

            And to put your list in context:

            http://www.thelocal.de/20160218/refugees-to-germany-commit-tiny-proportion-of-sex-crimes

            You wouldn't want to leave out context, would you? Someone might think you were a despicable little shit with an axe to grind.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal Choice

      how staff choose to vote was “of course a personal choice”

      Well yes. But its rather good to watch the Coalition of Vested Interests appealing largely to the liberal left to vote for them. So (by and large) all the readers of the Mirror and the Graun want to be absorbed into the bosom of European socialism, and by voting that way they'll be doing the bidding of people like Obama, Cameron, and big business.

      At the core the referendum isn't about whether it would impact law or wealth, the short term impacts will be modest either way. It's about belief, values, and about sovereignty, and on what is therefore an emotional choice it seems to me that the "remain" supporters really ought to be warned off by the political and corporate elite who want them to vote "remain".

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Personal Choice

        " it seems to me that the "remain" supporters really ought to be warned off by the political and corporate elite who want them to vote "remain"." --- AC

        Even if one were to accept the idiocy of basing one's assessment of an argument on the characteristics of its proponents, you've still got to ask "Farage or Corbyn?" "Boris or Dave?" and "May or Gove?"

        1. YARR
          Thumb Down

          Re: "inviting into Germany one million men of fighting and raping age"

          This statement is incidental to the Brexit debate. It may be xenophobic it does not mention race so cannot be classified as a racist statement. Either way, we have a right to our own opinion.

          The truth is that most (90%+) of the migrants who crossed Europe were young (under 35) and male - meaning that many young women have been left to fend for themselves in Syria. These men may be of fighting age but they have decided not to defend their own country and instead have taken the opportunity to occupy someone else's country. My respect is for the Syrians and Iraqis who are defending their country from ISIS right now.

          Regarding Brexit, I'm glad we're still officially a democracy and corporations don't get to vote, despite their attempts to sway public opinion for their short term profit. The EU / Brexit debate is about sovereignty which may be lost forever to future generations. Our ancestors here and in the US fought wars for independence but recently our independence has been given away by politicians without any democratic mandate (we only voted for a common market) and in contravention of our constitution.

          Staying in the EU increasingly takes power away from local people and hands it to unelected commissars - remember MEPs only vote to pass laws, they don't propose them. Large corporations like centralised political control because there's fewer people to have to lobby / bribe to get their own way.

          1. Can't think of anything witty...
            Stop

            Re: "inviting into Germany one million men of fighting and raping age"

            "Staying in the EU increasingly takes power away from local people and hands it to unelected commissars - remember MEPs only vote to pass laws, they don't propose them."

            Sorry - but i just don't see your logic.

            The EU is made up of 7 institutions, but lets focus on the 4 main ones of the European council, the council of the EU, the EU parliament and the EU commission.

            The european council is made up of the heads of state of each member country. our representitive here is David Cameron. He was elected by the UK public.

            The council of the european union is made up of the relevant ministers of each member state and you voted for them too - although their position on the council is dependent upon them holding a cabinet position - so it is a little different, but basically they too were elected by the UK public and then put forward for the position by their party leader (so David Cameron picks George Osbourne as chancellor and as long as he is chancellor, then he is on the council of europe). He is an elected MP, the UK public voted for him.

            The european parliament has directly elected members and the electoral system is different to the first past the post system that you see in westminster elections, but the MEPs are elected by the UK public. We typically have a very poor turn out in European elections, but just because you didn't vote for one doesn't mean that they were not fairly elected by the UK public.

            Finally, you have the european commision. people are appointed to the commission by the leader fo their country (so in this case, David Cameron). As with many other things, when you elect someone to parliament, you effectively say that they represent you and you trust them to make decisions that you would (broadly) support. This is another one of those situations. The comissioners are not directly elected, but the person appointing them is.

            couple of important points:

            1) the councils provide general direction on what the EU wants to get done and represent the government view

            2) the comission is full of technical people who come up with ways of doing what will support the general direction as set by the council

            3) the parliament represent the people of Europe and vote on that legislation

            People seem to have a problem with the comission, but i don't understand why. They are doing a very similar role the the Civil service in the UK, who are completely unelected.

            That make anything clearer?

            more information here: (Wikipedia)

      2. Hans 1

        Re: Personal Choice

        @AC

        >So (by and large) all the readers of the Mirror and the Graun want to be absorbed into the bosom of European socialism, and by voting that way they'll be doing the bidding of people like Obama, Cameron, and big business.

        Define "socialism", please - look it up, you can write, so I expect you to be able to read. You see, there is no such thing as 'European socialism' in this day and age ....

        It would be greatly appreciated if people would look-up the meaning of words before they use them. I know BNP, UKIP, and St James Hospital's Patient Club in Portsmouth frequently use these words, however, that does NOT mean they make sense.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Personal Choice

      Right, but you might consider that your chance of continued employment with IBM UK will be greater if business conditions are better, or at least less worse. Which they clearly will be if Remain wins than in the other case.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £1 in every 10 to the local economy

    Proposed translation: Tech companies like IBM suck 90% of the value out of the local economy, before funneling that 90% through complex tax avoidance schemes to the benefit of their US shareholders and avoid paying corporation tax on the grounds that compliance with the spirit of the law is only optional for big wealthy multinationals

    Although if your dad was a wealthy, tax dodging City barrow boy, then tax is also optional for your inheritance, to judge by the fine example Cameron has set.

    1. smartypants

      Re: £1 in every 10 to the local economy

      I don't like tax dodging either, but your point would have more strength had the tax loopholes that allow people to avoid tax been closed by any of the many governments of all colours we've had in the last few decades.

      If, as a country, we don't care about closing the loopholes, then it's about time we stopped whining about them. If we do, then we should stop whining and close them, then we can arrest people for evading tax because it won't be legal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £1 in every 10 to the local economy

        If, as a country, we don't care about closing the loopholes, then it's about time we stopped whining about them.

        I think you'll find that "we" the population at large do care. Its successive idiots in government (of all colours) and in HMRC who have cut sweetheart deals, failed to enforce existing rules on transfer pricing, and failed to simplify the tax code to prevent abuse.

        I'm doing my bit - I haven't voted for a party that has won a national election for about thirty years.

    2. Millsey

      Re: £1 in every 10 to the local economy

      I've got shares in IBM - I'm British and I live in the UK. Lucky me, eh?

  4. M7S

    "IBM in favour of being in a reformed EU"

    I might be as well, however as that option is not currently on the table, it seems a spurious argument to advance at this time and unworthy of most of those relying on it.

    1. Wibble

      "reformed EU"

      Which choice -- in or out -- will hasten that reform?

      Business, especially large multi-nationals, hate uncertainty.

      1. ToddR

        Re: "reformed EU"

        “IBM is in favour of the UK remaining a member of a reformed EU,” said Stokes

        That's what most wanted, but the EU, won't, can't or does not wish to reform.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "reformed EU"

          "That's what most wanted, but the EU, won't, can't or does not wish to reform."

          Sure it can, and wish to. It changes all the time.

          But if UK isn't in it, it sure as hell can't be part of the process.

          To me the whole debate has become absurd.

          What sort of a dream situation do the Brexiters believe will occur if leaving the EU?

          It's just the old xenofobia, inflamed by ignorance, that's running riot IMO.

          Fools like Boris are purely driven by a desire to gather more power for themselves, which is made possible (they instinctively believe) by lessening outside influences. He is so easy to read in all he does, the "bumbling" old-boys network fool. (Just as bad as "Red Ken")

        2. Hans 1
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: "reformed EU"

          >That's what most wanted, but the EU, won't, can't or does not wish to reform.

          Time to talk to your MEP, then, right ?

          Sorry, yes, you are full of shit and HILARIOUS!

          Dumb, Dumber and ToddR

      2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: "reformed EU"

        Business, especially large multi-nationals, hate uncertainty.

        But they love the kudos and tax breaks given to them under the justification of "taking risks". "Risk-taking is almost synonymous with entrepreneurship" and similar twaddle etc etc.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “of course a personal choice”

    but we know how you vote cause we happen to process this data :)

  6. Buzzword

    Company which benefits from big government contracts...

    ... is in favour of big government. That's hardly a surprise.

    1. PNGuinn
      Unhappy

      Re: Company which benefits from big government contracts...

      Hate to bring up History, but IBM have form on being in league with a big european ....

      Just follow the smell of the money, keep the Holleriths running smoothly ...

      Yes, I know that's bad taste. History often is. Sorry.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Company which benefits from big government contracts...

        IBM told employees in the UK that if UK leaves EU, it is likely to affect those same employees in the UK.

        It's a statement of fact. Act accordingly, or ignore it. It's everyone's choice.

        IBM, the multinational concern, may not even be all that concerned.

        I can see them shrugging their shoulders if UK leaves EU, and move on.

        Not so easy for all the employees in the UK.

        It's the same story for many multinationals.

        Make your country less attractive for investment, and you will get less investment.

        That's not rocket science.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't help thinking that Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

    They wouldn't be offering people the choice unless they were very certain about what the final outcome will be.

    1. JimmyPage
      Stop

      RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

      Funnily enough, it's hard to avoid a whiff of deja vu here, in particular:

      1) The lack of a coherent (or indeed comprehensible) view of what "out" looks like

      2) The repeated assertion by Brexiters of what "they" (i.e. the rest of the world) will do when Brexit happens. Meaning I either believe (for example) Obama, and the American establishment when they state their view (first hand), or I believe Boris' "explanation" of what they say.

      I knew the independence campaign was rocky when Alex Salmond told his acolytes what I - and the rest of the UK would do when they got independence.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

        "1) The lack of a coherent (or indeed comprehensible) view of what "out" looks like"

        Both sides of the campaign are pretty woolly on it, because basically neither has a clue. The 'out' lot think it'll all be green pastures and proudly flying union flags waving (but probably with most of it's colour gone as Scotland leaves, N.I collapses and Wales goes some time later).

        The 'in' lot just see financial uncertainty mostly (apart from May, who seems to see a police state to the soundtrack of 'the sound of music').

        The 'out' crowd may bristle at Mr Obamas perceived unwelcome involvement, but it'll not be his administration they have to deal with if they win, and the US will do their damnedest to get the upper hand shaft the UK on any deal.

        Clearly neither option is a solution, the EU comission, not the body as a whole is the main problem point, most issues and perceived issues stem from its current formation.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

          Clearly neither option is a solution, the EU commission, not the body as a whole is the main problem point, most issues and perceived issues stem from its current formation.

          Exactly. It's the commission which has too much power and more of it (like being able to propose new laws) needs to move to the parliament. The problem is that every national government has a vested interested in continuing to appoint commissioners, in much the same way that our PM gets to appoint his cabinet. The difference is that it's easier (for us and for the PM) to get rid of an incompetent or corrupt minister.

          For what it's worth, I'd also want to see reform in the UK, not just in the House of Lords but also not allowing the PM to create a peer just so a favourite can be rewarded with a seat in the cabinet.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

            Absolutely.

            "The problem is that every national government has a vested interested in continuing to appoint commissioners, in much the same way that our PM gets to appoint his cabinet."

            - Yet this is one of the arguments for 'leaving', that the commissioners are somehow appointed with no involvement of the elected government? It's clearly fairly easy to sort that out to make the role of commissioner more traceable back to the will of the electorate, yet the remain people have not tackled it.

            "it's easier (for us and for the PM) to get rid of an incompetent or corrupt minister."

            - This is the 'lie' that a lot of the brexit people claim an 'out' vote will solve. I've rarely seen a corrupt minister 'gotten rid of' by the PM, and for the electorate, by the time elections come 'round again, it's been forgotten or wiggled out of.

            An 'out' vote does nothing to ensure who the PM or whatever party manages to get in via the UKs vaguely democratic process appoints to positions of responsibility without requirement of being an elected official outside the EU, yet we don't see those so concerned with electoral accountability racing to denounce the Lords. So clearly that position is just red top inflamed flag waving.

            1. ToddR

              Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

              I've rarely seen a corrupt minister 'gotten rid of' by the PM,

              I'm not sure that's true at all, more an uneducated assumption.

              1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                @ ToddR

                "I've rarely seen a corrupt minister 'gotten rid of' by the PM,

                I'm not sure that's true at all, more an uneducated assumption."

                I'm sure I vaguely remember a couple 'asked to step down', or voluntarily stepping down on some pretext, over the last twenty to twenty five years but 'rarely' sums it up 'well enough' without spending some hours researching...

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

        @ JimmyPage

        "1) The lack of a coherent (or indeed comprehensible) view of what "out" looks like"

        More concerning is the lack of a coherent view of what 'in' looks like. Right now the EU has an unreliable currency, large increase in anti EU parties and permanently in crisis. It is well known that the EU cannot survive without reform which they call 'ever closer union' but dont really define it. There was concern of China slowing down and damaging our economy, but the EU is a far greater threat to that stability unless they somehow recover (miracle) or we rely less on them.

        "2) The repeated assertion by Brexiters of what "they" (i.e. the rest of the world) will do when Brexit happens. Meaning I either believe (for example) Obama, and the American establishment when they state their view (first hand), or I believe Boris' "explanation" of what they say."

        The world will do what the world does regardless. Obama is irrelevant, he is leaving soon and isnt sure if TIPP will go through before he leaves (and the next one may scupper it). Also jump on the bandwagon Boris can say whatever he wants too, who cares? It is possible the EU are children who will punish us for leaving, but then who the hell wants them as friends if they hate democracy so much? The US may put us to the back of the queue for TIPP, some people will be happy, some wont care, few will be truly bothered.

        The EU vote is pretty simple. Do we elect who runs the country? Yes = out, no = in.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Facepalm

          @codejunky - Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

          > Do we elect who runs the country? Yes = out, no = in.

          Remind me again: What percentage of the votes did the Tories get which gave them a "majority" in Parliament?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

            @ Graham Marsden

            "Remind me again: What percentage of the votes did the Tories get which gave them a "majority" in Parliament?"

            The majority, to the shock of a lot of people, including the tories who expected anther coalition. Looking it up the figure is almost 37% while labour got 30% with the rest being divided out. You might not like it but

            Now lets see how many people we can name in the EU apart from Farage representing the UK. How many of us voted in the president of the EU?

            Your choice of image is right. Doh!

            1. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

              "The majority, to the shock of a lot of people, including the tories who expected anther coalition. Looking it up the figure is almost 37% while labour got 30% with the rest being divided out. You might not like it but."

              And you are proud of that?

              'almost' 37% is a pitiable basis to run the country on. Hardly democratic at all. And we are being told we'll have more control 'out' of the EU?

              I might not be able to name any EU clowns, but the only MP names I remember are usually only because they've made some asinine statement or generally otherwise being an 'arse'.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                @ Teiwaz

                "And you are proud of that?"

                Actually yes. Over a third voted for those who won, approximately a third for the runner up. The one voted with majority won. The one people voted for were elected. The ones with a clear lead in support moved into power. Are you suggesting the same results should have somehow put a runner up in charge? Are you not proud that we have the freedom of election which is a right unlike many parts of the world? This is why some people deem it important to be able to vote (around the world) and are less happy when the right is removed.

                "I might not be able to name any EU clowns, but the only MP names I remember are usually only because they've made some asinine statement or generally otherwise being an 'arse'."

                Well said. Absolutely. And you can vote them out if they turn out to be that bad and you can vote for who you think will be good for running the country. We can remember some EU clowns such as Hollande who tanked the French economy and ruined the 'twin engine of europe'. We know Merkel for inviting the middle east into Germany and then trying to offload the problem onto the rest of the EU (even trying to do so through diktat). We remember Varoufakis and to a lesser extent Tsipras due to the destruction of Greece and the attempt to fight the EU. We will likely hear more of Spain, Italy, Portugal and more as their problems (currently hush hushed or amusingly claimed to be good) come to light. And we cant vote them out.

                1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                  Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                  @codejunky

                  Hmm, I might even have been swayed by your opinion, until you reverted to usual 'brexit' form when you mentioned Merkel, then it just degenerated into the usual small minded bigot language.

                  1/3rd of the vote still seems a hardly democratic when you approach it outside the board game of the british first past the post / majority party system, and if it wasn't clear before that I was obviously inclined toward a more proportionally representative measure then it should be now (runner up? - current system would hardly see change if the person with the least votes was elected).

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                    @ Teiwaz

                    "Hmm, I might even have been swayed by your opinion, until you reverted to usual 'brexit' form when you mentioned Merkel, then it just degenerated into the usual small minded bigot language."

                    Of course you would (not). And of course it degenerated into what you choose to see and interpret. For all of the truth and reason of various facts about the EU and its many troubles which 'might have swayed you', you then selectively choose one of them you choose to view as small minded and bigoted and somehow disregard all the others? And so you were not going to be swayed because you look for an excuse to disregard what you disagree with.

                    So how did it degenerate into small minded and bigoted? You may need to check recent news of Merkel disregarding law (apply for asylum in the first safe country) and offering asylum to any Syrian who makes it to Germany. The deals she is having to do with Afghanistan and Turkey to restrict non Syrians trying to exploit the offer. And of course the negotiations with Turkey and the demands that other partners of the EU need to take some of these asylum seekers because there are too many for Germany to cope. Please do amuse me by refuting these points or reassess your excuse.

                    "1/3rd of the vote still seems a hardly democratic when you approach it outside the board game of the british first past the post / majority party system"

                    You make an interesting and somewhat valid point. The first part I disagree with as a greater vote should count as a winner, but FPTP is unpopular. So lets vote for parties willing to change it. We have an EU referendum because UKIP were so ridiculously successful as the main parties ignored the people. Why cant we do that with FPTP? It is our voting system, our election system and we get to vote.

                    I never understand the argument that we have the democratic right to vote here but dont like the outcome so we should give up more democracy. If the house is on fire you apply water not petrol.

                    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                      Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                      ""Hmm, I might even have been swayed by your opinion, until you reverted to usual 'brexit' form when you mentioned Merkel, then it just degenerated into the usual small minded bigot language."

                      Of course you would (not)."

                      Nope, it was not the facts, but the tone that put me off (your first paragraph I agreed with, and still do)... About your reference to Merkel disregarding law I had a hard time finding reference on Reuters. If you are referring to the migrant relocation to Turkey situation then I knew about it, but your summary was hardly recognisable I wasn't sure it wasn't a new development. Perhaps if your couched things in less incendiary terms first then give your opinion rather than feeding fact couched in how your perceive it.

                      I still hold that we're being asked to vote on the wrong question. The EU is not even where the system is broken, it's only a symptom. it is broken closer to home. UKIP were pointing in the wrong direction from the start, and most of the major parties are still in denial that there is a problem.

                      If the roof of every house in the street is on fire, pulling down the houses adjacent to you will not save your house.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                        @ Teiwaz

                        "Nope, it was not the facts, but the tone that put me off"

                        Tone is a very difficult thing to get through text. As I said I pointed out facts and you read 'small minded bigot'. There is nothing I could do for you there. The disregarding law is the bit about asylum is to be claimed in the first safe country. Disregarding that by claiming anyone getting to Germany can have asylum has caused the actual factual (with no bigoted meaning) problem which has closed the open borders of the EU and caused infighting. The thing you seem to have found sounds to be much later after the crisis was made. And after threats of forcing EU countries to take migrants because Germany realised it couldnt handle the influx. Again I see no shortage of fact and not a word of bigotry there. Maybe it was your perception possibly coloured by others you have talked to who were.

                        "I still hold that we're being asked to vote on the wrong question. The EU is not even where the system is broken, it's only a symptom."

                        I agree the question is wrong, it is a politics question of who should run the country. But I disagree about the EU, it is a broken system by any measurement I have seen. It has caused war, ruined countries, given rise to extremists and created a currency which could not work. It is forever in crisis purely because it is broken. Again only speaking factually with no tone or hidden meaning. The fact stands that the EU as it is will fall and requires change, and that could be a good thing. They might get it right and find a way to fix the currency so it could survive (without destroying countries on the way). I hope they do, and their chronic unemployment problems and most importantly their infighting. But that is a lot to ask for of a lot of countries with strained relations and digging up old hatred (e.g. Greeks and Germans). We dont know what the EU will be in a few short years, but if nothing changes it will be in a worse position. That is about all we know.

                        "UKIP were pointing in the wrong direction from the start, and most of the major parties are still in denial that there is a problem."

                        I am interested to hear what problem you point to. Not to disagree, I wont be surprised if we do agree. But the EU has been a disaster so far. With luck it is teething problems but the severe economic damage is a high price to pay.

                        "If the roof of every house in the street is on fire, pulling down the houses adjacent to you will not save your house."

                        That is why I fear the EU pulling our house down (as they threatened us with various taxation because it was popular for them) to save their political and financial situation. The one that sticks is Cameron's victory that no UK contribution will be used to prop up the Euro (Greece), in writing and total agreement. The EU went back on its word without a second thought. We mean that little and so does their word.

              2. John Crisp

                Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                Democracy ?

                Depends how you measure it

                https://youtu.be/EWSqkQjdlYo

              3. MarkW99

                Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                "'almost' 37% is a pitiable basis to run the country on. Hardly democratic at all"

                This assertion would be true if there was ab initio a simple binary choice, but this is not the case. We live in a country where about 40 million people are entitled to stand as an MP, but not many do. Those that do tend, but are not obliged, to do so under the banner of one of the political groupings that we call parties, and whose policies are relatively fluid, following public opinion in many cases. In order to ensure that any government was elected by more than say 50% of those who actually voted could take several rounds of voting and doesn't give any guarantee of any party satisfying the 50% threshold.

                Having a single round first past the post system ensures that some party or collection of parties will have a claim to form a government. It isn't perfect, but given the facts above, a single party getting 37% of the vote is pretty impressive. FPTP is the system that the parties sign up to, and is the basis on which the election is fought.

                If the basis of the election was changed then it is likely that the parties would simply their strategies, so that instead of targeting a number of marginal constituencies they would seek to maximise the vote in the constituencies that they are strongest (on the basis of a higher return on campaigning effort) where at present the turnout is lower than it might otherwise be because the incumbent looks certain to win.

                So is 37% of the vote and 51% of the seats democratic? I would say it's not bad.

            2. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

              "@ Graham Marsden

              "Remind me again: What percentage of the votes did the Tories get which gave them a "majority" in Parliament?"

              The majority, to the shock of a lot of people, including the tories who expected anther coalition. Looking it up the figure is almost 37% while labour got 30% with the rest being divided out. You might not like it but"

              I'm sorry - but 37% is not a majority.

              It might be the largest slice, but it is clearly far short of a majority.

              Even worse is the percentage of the electorate who voted for them...

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                @ John Robson

                "I'm sorry - but 37% is not a majority."

                Yes it is. When everyone else got considerably less than 37% across all parties yes it is. Simple math the most voted for the tories by a clear margin.

                "Even worse is the percentage of the electorate who voted for them..."

                There are 2 ways to look at the people who didnt vote. They dont care or they implicitly accept the outcome. This is a democracy and they have the democratic right not to have to vote if they choose not to. When you order a pizza for a group do you insist everyone must pick toppings or do you accept the choice of someone who says 'whatever is fine by me'?

                1. Graham Marsden

                  Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                  >> "I'm sorry - but 37% is not a majority."

                  > Yes it is.

                  This is obviously some strange definition of the word "majority" that I wasn't previously aware of, so perhaps you could do some more "simple math" and explain to us how 37% of the votes gets over 50% (a "majority") of the seats?

                  At least Euro MPs are voted in by a proportional system such that they get a number of seats which is representative of the the number of people who actually support them.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                    @ Graham Marsden

                    "This is obviously some strange definition of the word "majority" that I wasn't previously aware of, so perhaps you could do some more "simple math" and explain to us how 37% of the votes gets over 50% (a "majority") of the seats?"

                    Ah you think there were only 2 parties to choose from? 100% / 2 = 50% which would be right except for there being more parties. That is why you dont understand majority but I hope that helps.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                      And if you really want to see what a mess proportional representation look likes, look no further than the Greek elections. 151 seats are required for an absolute majority in the Hellenic Parliament. 50 additional seats are awarded as a majority bonus to the single party winning the largest share of the votes. That little caveat is to (hopefully) produce a government that can actually make tough decisions and force them through instead of having to barter with the part(y/ies) they share power with, very much like the Cons + Lib Dems of the last government.

                    2. Graham Marsden

                      Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                      > Ah you think there were only 2 parties to choose from?

                      No, I think that if one party gets 37% of the votes, it means that 63% of the voters DID NOT want that party in power.

                      In other words, a MAJORITY of people didn't vote for them, so how did they get over 50% of the seats?

                      I hope this helps you understand how fundamentally broken our system is.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                        @ Graham Marsden

                        "No, I think that if one party gets 37% of the votes, it means that 63% of the voters DID NOT want that party in power."

                        Again you are not understanding the maths problem. You are still thinking of only 2 available options- 'them' and 'not them'. That is not how it works, we all vote for the party we prefer and the winner had a clear majority above the other parties. With a choice of just 2 viable parties you will likely get your dream scenario of over 50% voting in the winner. But with every viable party added the winner will score a much lower vote even if it is considerably more than the runner up.

                        If your trying to argue against FPTP I wont argue, but if your argument is with basic math then I cannot possibly agree with you.

                2. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                  "@ John Robson

                  "I'm sorry - but 37% is not a majority."

                  Yes it is. When everyone else got considerably less than 37% across all parties yes it is. Simple math the most voted for the tories by a clear margin."

                  No - it's the largest slice, it's not a majority.

                  There is a nice table here: http://www.bbc.com/news/election/2015/results

                  Tory: 37% 331 seats

                  Labour: 30% 232 seats

                  Lib Dem: 8% 8 seats

                  SNP 5% 56 seats

                  So why is a 1% of the votes cast worth 1 seat for the Lib Dems, 7.7 for Labour, 8.9 for Tories and 11.2 for the SNP.

                  There are 650 seats, so each % of the vote should yield 6.5 seats worth of representation...

                3. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                  "There are 2 ways to look at the people who didnt vote. They dont care or they implicitly accept the outcome."

                  Or that they don't think it makes a blind bit of difference.

                  Would you like to be shot or hung: Please vote now.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                    "Or that they don't think it makes a blind bit of difference.

                    Would you like to be shot or hung: Please vote now."

                    Shot but thats beside the point. If nobody is willing to vote for change then it really does make no difference. Such a large portion of the country cannot be bothered to vote and still expect change. My irritation is people wanted an EU referendum and only UKIP was willing to give us the choice. But people chickened out and voted tory for their half arsed promise which has resulted in this embarrassing FUD campaign.

            3. Hans 1
              Windows

              Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

              @codejunky

              What are you smoking? Stop it!

              >You might not like it but

              Why ? Welcome into the beautiful world of politics ...you would probably prefer a fascist or socialist state where parties win with results in the high 90's ?

              Besides, did you take abstention into account when you wrote 37%? Look it up, it won't make you very happy ...

              >Now lets see how many people we can name in the EU apart from Farage representing the UK

              There are 72 other British MEP's ... alongside Farage.

              source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament#Members

              How many of us voted in the president of the EU?

              David Cameron voted (being head of state, he's a member of the European Council), the council does take the European parliamentary election results into consideration when they select potential candidates ...

              I think only ~24% of Britons (taking abstention into account) elected Dave, so there you have it.

              Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_European_Commission

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Council#President

              http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm

              http://www.ukpolitical.info/Partystate.htm

              Do not re-iterate what Nigel says, he does not have a clue .... he did not even know the Prime Minister of Belgium, all while sitting in a parliament in ... Brussels* and was bragging about it. I would consider it to be his job to know the members of the European Council.... Seriously, Nigel is full of shit, and you are making of fool of yourself on here regurgitating his bullshit.

              How you can listen to Nigel and keep a straight face is beyond me ... Seriously, what skills does he have? Great speaker, grant you that, but that is about it. Seriously, Nigel Farage knows JackShit about anything, especially economical matters ... He is THE moron, oooooooook, along with the Le Pen's, in the European Parliament.

              *Brussels is the capital city of Belgium

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                @ Hans 1

                Ok I have reread your comment a few times and I am not sure you have read mine or maybe you are having issues comprehending the thread? You may need to reread my comments (there are a few) and maybe what I am responding to for you to understand what you seem to be responding to (no offence, I am guessing you are speed reading or something but everything above the bottom 2 paragraphs seems to have missed the discussion and the points I made).

                As for the bottom 2 paragraphs I can understand you disliking Nigel, a lot of people do. I dont mind him myself and think he has done well considering the FUD and mud thrown at him and his party. I can understand his pride in not knowing who is PM in Belgium, as the point I made about people in the UK likely not knowing anyone other than Farage representing us in the EU. If we dont know and dont care then why are we part of it?

                I did like the 'what skills has he got' part of your comment. It reminded me of 'what have the romans done for us'. Worryingly, especially for the EU, he knows a lot about the EU and calls them to task with their poor decisions and severe mishandling of politics/economics and so on. As I say you may not like him and there are justifiable reasons for that, but I can also see why people do like him.

                I dont quite see how Le Pen comes into this discussion unless it is another example of the problems caused by the EU bringing popularity to the more extreme parties.

                1. Hans 1

                  Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                  >I did like the 'what skills has he got' part of your comment. It reminded me of 'what have the romans done for us'. Worryingly, especially for the EU, he knows a lot about the EU and calls them to task with their poor decisions and severe mishandling of politics/economics and so on. As I say you may not like him and there are justifiable reasons for that, but I can also see why people do like him.

                  It is not a case of "not liking him" (I don't know the guy), it is more the stuff he is mumbling makes absolutely no sense, just like what the Le Pen's drivel, personal attacks here and there, comparing people to rags because their dress is not to his/her liking ... what the FSCK has personal attire got to do in a parliament where important matters are to be discussed???

                  Again, he knows jack shit, he claims the president of the commission is un-elected, I proved to you that the president WAS ELECTED BY THE COUNCIL, which is made of of ELECTED HEADS OF STATES, because they want each state to have equal number of votes for the president.... Let's for one moment look at the alternatives, we could have the parliament elect the president of the commission, but then German, France, UK, Italy etc would have an unfair advantage over others ... or another election, do you really want an additional election ? The president then chooses the people he wants to work with, makes sense, right ? There is a process in place to ensure the president does not choose his family members or best mates ... do you want professional politicians or experts in the field, is the question!

                  Again, it is Mr Farage's job to know this, not necessarily ours, so you are forgiven for not knowing ... look up what else he says, I have yet to find one of his proposals that makes sense ... He even manages to question the economics skills of a highly esteemed (internationally) economics professor of the university of Brussels, who happened to be a former Belgian PM (in office while Farage was in Brussels), and later member of the commission ... but, ok, lets assume he knows economics, what education has he got ? Natural talent, obviously ?

                  I know my MEP, though I am not too much interested on what goes on in parliament, to be honest, I just every now and then get to see this bugger's outrages, because he makes everybody laugh in the office ... we have a parliament fan, here ... ;-)

                  I FEEL ASHAMED WHEN THAT FSKING IDIOT MAKES HIS BASELESS CLAIMS, COMPLETE UTTER NON-SENSE, POPULIST REMARKS or RACIST OUTRAGES because I am A Brit, too, and I am frequently questioned by my European colleagues, how on earth did that fellow make it to Brussels ???... it is not my fault, of course, but shit ... for any grown-up to take his drivel seriously is simply beyond me ... read-up on what he claims, you will notice it is just non-sense.

                  1. Hans 1
                    Happy

                    Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                    >their poor decisions and severe mishandling of politics/economics and so on.

                    Time to talk to your MEP, then, if you think the decisions are ill-advised or poor.

                    The European Parliament has been watering-down bills left, right and center because the British would not back them otherwise, making exceptions here and there for "us". Yes, it could be more aggressive, but we always have to advance at the pace of our slowest member (generally, but not always, the UK). The UK has too many MEP's to be ignored.

                    Then again, we all know deep down that at some point, we will be governed by Brussels - it is going to happen at some point, yet, every time they try to advance, member states cry in outrage ... the thing YOU and many others do not understand is that the only people who will lose sovereignty are the blokes and gals in Westminster.

                    Next, you're gonna hear: Fsck those cretins in Westminster, with their un-elected house of lards, we the inhabitants of "Plympton Earle" don't want any of their imposed laws, we'll make our own, we want to Plexit Britain now!

                    The UK is like a county in the EU, just like France and Germany, we belong together, and we have to improve the system (it is far from perfect), but you do not improve a system by threatening everybody to get fired, making personal attacks, and when asked for an alternative, digress onto some other topic.

                    A Brexit would be the worst for Britain, yet I think you need it, because you still do not value the EU like you should, long gone, the memories of the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's .... Long gone memories of the last time Britain was on all its fours begging to be let back in ? ROFL

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                      @ Hans 1

                      "Time to talk to your MEP, then, if you think the decisions are ill-advised or poor."

                      Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc. Not think, know. But there is nothing we could do about it. Cameron even had an agreement from the EU not to use our money to bail out the Euro. The EU then did it anyway showing their word to be worthless even when we can get an agreement.

                      "Yes, it could be more aggressive, but we always have to advance at the pace of our slowest member (generally, but not always, the UK). The UK has too many MEP's to be ignored."

                      Then let us leave without scare stories. Dont fund the propaganda campaign to remain and leave will certainly win. The only reason it became a close race in/out is because we have so many fresh faces who know so little and know no better. We only joined because our gov ignored the people.

                      "Then again, we all know deep down that at some point, we will be governed by Brussels - it is going to happen at some point, yet, every time they try to advance, member states cry in outrage ... the thing YOU and many others do not understand is that the only people who will lose sovereignty are the blokes and gals in Westminster."

                      And the people who get to elect who runs the country. If you guys want to be ruled by Brussels go for it, we want out. And that is the point, we dont want it and when honest statements like that are made (kudo's to you) we reject it. But if you hear even half the lies from the remain campaign making crazy promises and insane statements you probably would want rid of us. The EU we are being sold is not the EU that exists. That isnt the EU's fault it is our politicians who want in.

                      "The UK is like a county in the EU, just like France and Germany, we belong together"

                      That is the dream. But it is not our dream. Sold as a utopia with cherry on top it is confusing why we would vote out. But try to sell the idea of the EU to the UK and we want out, and thats because we dont want it. We dont mind if you all want to get together and make the EU but we dont want to. And that is the problem, mostly caused by our politicians. In the UK the nearest to an honest politician on the EU is Farage. Considering you dont like the guys opinions that should tell you everything you need to know about how bad the politicians are on this subject.

                      "and we have to improve the system (it is far from perfect), but you do not improve a system by threatening everybody to get fired, making personal attacks, and when asked for an alternative, digress onto some other topic."

                      The system is a wreck that needs reform. The good news is the EU acknowledge it (that is a good thing) but there isnt much will to do anything about it. So the crisis goes on. Farage isnt threatening to get everyone fired, the discussion is about sitting in a wreck and trying to repair it as it continues to cause extreme damage, or to get out before it all crashes and burns (a distinct possibility but I hope not for the people). Unfortunately the attacks you see (assuming you mean from the 'leave' camp) is a result of constant attack and abuse against them. In the UK we used to be called eurosceptics if we didnt want to be part of the EU and euro. When the euro fell apart and countries tanked the word vanished. The EU is treated as a religion requiring unquestioning faith and ignoring/burying the problems. That is how the people are treated in the UK and have been since joining.

                      "A Brexit would be the worst for Britain, yet I think you need it, because you still do not value the EU like you should"

                      I dont think it would be worst or even bad, but if you listen to the remain camp you would think it would open a black hole or we would be wiped off the map. Because of such ludicrous lies it is hard to believe most reasons given to stay in. It is too desperate. I do hope we exit for the UK and the EU. I have no problem with you guys valuing the EU just as I can understand why we dont see much value from it.

                      "Long gone memories of the last time Britain was on all its fours begging to be let back in"

                      That was a common market was it not? And the hostility we faced from the members is remembered. Especially when we face hostility from the current members while they beg on their knees for our money to prop up their currency. I guess its a matter of perspective.

                  2. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: @codejunky - RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

                    @ Hans 1

                    "It is not a case of "not liking him" (I don't know the guy), it is more the stuff he is mumbling makes absolutely no sense, just like what the Le Pen's drivel, personal attacks here and there, comparing people to rags because their dress is not to his/her liking ... what the FSCK has personal attire got to do in a parliament where important matters are to be discussed???"

                    What has the pronunciation of Farage got to do with anything? Yet Cameron in his usual personal attacks tried to make issue of it (and upset people for using a certain word to describe Nigel). The entire campaign against UKIP was personal attacks and didnt a tory complain about Corbyns appearance? Personally I am impressed with the immense restraint shown by UKIP and Farage and I guess that had a lot to do with their very successful election campaign.

                    "Again, he knows jack shit, he claims the president of the commission is un-elected, I proved to you that the president WAS ELECTED BY THE COUNCIL, which is made of of ELECTED HEADS OF STATES"

                    Ok. So we were dragged kicking and screaming into the EU without democratic choice to surrender the country. We have elected leaders for at least 3 elections on the promise of a referendum on the EU (Blair promised and lied, Cameron claimed the coalition wouldnt let him, he hoped for another coalition to stop it but offered because of UKIP wiping them out until that point). And the president is elected by people who have been clearly elected on the concept of giving us choice (but they didnt). The president is not elected by the people nor the will of the people (of the UK at least). So Farage is right.

                    "do you want professional politicians or experts in the field, is the question!"

                    We dont have experts running the EU. Or if we do we should disband the project before it inflicts any more severe damage to the involved countries and world.

                    "look up what else he says, I have yet to find one of his proposals that makes sense"

                    I seem to be the opposite, that is fine it is politics and we are allowed different opinions. You might dislike him questioning economic experts of the EU but anyone with sense would. The FED couldnt believe the EU would inflict so much harm and damage on its own people. The UK is leaving the EU behind and yet we dont consider ourselves to be in a good economic position. Some of the countries in the EU are pretty dire thanks to the economic management of the EU particularly Euro.

                    "lets assume he knows economics, what education has he got ? Natural talent, obviously ?"

                    Why assume he knows it? Even if he doesnt he can plainly see those who dont just like the rest of us. Greece was not a good result and the current Euro situation is at best described as terrible. The crisis hasnt even passed- deflation, unemployment and political unrest is the current situation.

                    "I just every now and then get to see this bugger's outrages, because he makes everybody laugh in the office ... we have a parliament fan, here ... ;-)"

                    I can imagine. Sometimes politicians can be fun to watch regardless of their political positions. I have no idea who my MEP is nor do I care. I do like watching Farage schooling other members but then he is the only MEP I do feel represents me in the EU.

                    "I FEEL ASHAMED WHEN THAT FSKING IDIOT MAKES HIS BASELESS CLAIMS, COMPLETE UTTER NON-SENSE, POPULIST REMARKS or RACIST OUTRAGES"

                    I can very well understand the caps as thats how I feel about this EU referendum. The mainstream politicians doing all of that drive me up the wall. The out campaign was better when UKIP was running it (much less FUD) and the constant stream of lies about damnation by the remain campaign must shame people who believe in remaining too.

                    "because I am A Brit, too, and I am frequently questioned by my European colleagues, how on earth did that fellow make it to Brussels"

                    You should point them to the many current problems and the democratic deficit in sucking us all in. And if you show them even half of the referendum campaigns they will probably wonder why half our guys are in politics (remain and leave).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

          I agree with you mostly. I do not believe that Obama is irrelevant though. He is part of the American hegemony and that will continue no matter who is elected. President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the Military Industrial Complex https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

            @AC

            "I agree with you mostly. I do not believe that Obama is irrelevant though. He is part of the American hegemony and that will continue no matter who is elected."

            Fair assessment. I was meaning in relation to the EU. The US primary interaction with the EU is TIPP which may not get through congress while Obama is in charge (he cannot speed it up) and as he is almost out of the door it will be up to the next president to continue it. The current leaders (and runners up) are not smiling kindly on trade and there is a strong chance they could scrap it.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: Brexit is all a sham like the Scotland referendum.

          "The EU vote is pretty simple. Do we elect who runs the country? Yes = out, no = in."

          It's not quite as simple as that.

          However, it is a GOOD THING that the elected leaders have additional brakes on what they can do in the form of EU. It's not a bad thing, contrary to what people think.

    2. Jess

      Someone always makes money out of a depressed economy.

      The uncertainty of the result especially now it seems there is a significant risk England will vote to leave, has caused a drop in the pound. Someone will have made some money from that. I wonder who.

      That is the reason for the referendum.

      If we happen to leave they will make even more money.

  8. Sooty

    contributes £1 in every £10 to the local economy

    Is that £1 of every £10 in the local economy comes from the tech industry, or £1 of every £10 the tech industry makes goes to the local economy?

  9. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    If Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson, Jean-Claude Junker, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and now IBM are all for it then it must be a good thing.... erm.. right?

    1. PaulAb

      Don't forget Neil's wife, she's also on the Euro gravy train. Maybe I'm being too harsh, thinking of all those important decisions they have made for us.........or maybe not!

      I find it hard to believe any of them have time to do anything other than creatively account for the free travel and expenses.

    2. Hans 1

      >If Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson, Jean-Claude Junker, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and now IBM are all for it then it must be a good thing.... erm.. right?

      What is your point ? What does DSK have to do in that list ?

      1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

        My point is that the European Union has become the tool by which an unsavory and unelected cabal assimilate complicit nations into an anti-democratic dystopian protection racket. In his days off from fighting court cases involving sex with hotel cleaners, DSK is a leading light in the "enlightened" one-world currency/government movement.

        1. Hans 1
          Happy

          >My point is that the European Union has become the tool by which an unsavory and unelected cabal assimilate complicit nations into an anti-democratic dystopian protection racket.

          Care to elaborate?

          "unelected cabal" You're not coming with the commission again, are you ? Read my other posts, look up wikipedia ... get a brain transplant, maybe ? I dunno .... desperate ....

          "anti-democratic dystopian protection racket." I guess you do not elect your MEP's in Britain, or so you think, because you never turn up when comes election day ???

          >one-world currency/government movement.

          How much does the UK spend on the military ? And the US, France, or Germany ? Would those funds not be better suited for education, health, and/or pension ? What sense does it make ? Should we split the UK up in counties, or better Burroughs ? Why are we together in a United Kingdom, why are we together in the EU ? Think about it, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl5dlbCh8lY by Carl Sagan, a bofin ... and think again. SERIOUSLY, WATCH THAT, understand it, don't come back until you have!

          DSK has retired from politics ... just saying ...

  10. PaulAb

    Well....

    Being as they are getting rid of oodles of british workers, I'm not sure that they qualify to make any comment. I'm sure the outsourcing wing in India will manage to exist ouside the EU

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well....

      "Today IBM UK has around 20,000 employees"

      http://www.ibm.com/ibm/uk/en/

  11. theblackhand

    You have to smile....

    "Putting jobs...at risk"

    Isn't that the motto of IBM's offshoring business?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offshoring

    I have always considered it very unpatriotic for anyone to move services offshore, especially in a time of austerity, and it is not only the big foreign-owned corporates doing it. I would even suggest that all Publicly funded projects should have a condition that only UK / EU staff can be used so that some / most of the investment stays in our economy, or at least the EU's while we are still part of it.

    If we do leave the EU then we do not have to comply with EU rules about putting Public sector spend out to tender. For HS2 we should only use British steel and British rolling stock - that'll keep £100 billion in the economy for a start...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Offshoring

      I couldn't agree more! Especially, companies that have every bit of their infrastructure in a particular country and all their income comes from that same country. Bringing in workers on work visas needs to be looked at too. Any worker brought in on a visa should need to possess skills that are not available in that country and their pay and benefits should reflect that and by reflect that I mean that their pay and benefits should well above what the company pays local employees as those brought in from another country must obviously be experts in their fields. Otherwise, these companies are obviously using visas to depress the amount paid to local employees.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is way past time that Governments allowing Corps from pushing them around. Of course, it would help if Politicians weren't so interested in being owned by Corps. If they want to do business in your country make them employ people there. Simple! All Government organizations should only use Open Source software and they should ensure that all equipment in use has fully functional open source drivers.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give up your EU Masters !?

    What self-respecting people would want to give up their foreign overlords? Who would think such a thing?

    Kate!? 1000 CCTV cameras outside her residence, pronto! And who is it again we call to arrange a drive through Paris?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business, including Banking, are risks. What, ever increasingly, large Corporations have been able to do is buy Politicians and thereby being allowed to write tax law and business treaties like the TTIP. This ameliorates these risks and further institutionalizes their control. All this joining together of Nations is wonderful as an ideal it is the practice and fairness of it that is difficult and since the general political shift to the right, by which I mean far right, that started in the late 1970s we cannot trust that Governments are working in the favour of the citizenry but rather that of the Oligopolies that now appear to rule "First World" nations.

    Democracy is a very delicate state of governance that has been allowed to deteriorate through apathy. People tend to trust their Governments when times are easy like they have been in the First World for last couple of generations. It appears that is changing.

  16. BMG4ME

    This was not against BCG.

  17. samster

    Who do you trust?

    The Scum, Daily Heil and Express or...the FT, Indy and Economist?

    Putin, Farage and Marine Le Pen's support of Brexit should tell you all you need to know.

  18. beermunster

    Effing hypocrite. Just suites his paymasters. Offload UK jobs, he probably for paid to schmooze the UK tech press. Complete bovine excrement!

  19. Zippy_UK

    Keeping IBM er, I mean the UK in the EU is all part of IBMs "Business transformation plan" involving share buybacks, CEO salary hikes and job cuts / offshoring to turn it into the next global Crapita...

  20. krivine

    Because IBM staff value senior management's opinions...

    ... this recent escapee from IBM reckons that if Mr Stokes's intervention has any effect, it will give a slight boost to brexit.

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