Paddy Ashdown gets stuck into EU Referendum debate

There are few people who understand how the world works better than our Paddy. He really gets how global power structures are changing and how vital it is that countries with liberal values work together, so it’s no surprise that he really wants us to vote to stay in the EU for our own and for international good.

I’m not quite sure why he’s chosen a Sunday afternoon in the Easter holidays to wade into the fray afresh with a cheeky tweet, but you can’t really argue with him on this.

The “by their friends you shall know them” theme is one he’s talked about before:

Paddy doesn’t tweet very often, but when he does, he’s usually bang on the money. Here’s one I missed when I was ill that is worth a larger audience.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Tsar Nicholas 3rd Apr '16 - 9:25pm

    Where is the evidence that Putin supports Brexit?

  • Paddy Ashdown had his day a long time ago. For the sake of the “remain” campaign he should keep a very low profile. It’s a shame, but his standing in the country was so damaged by his support for Nick Clegg he’s no longer an asset.

  • Bill le Breton 4th Apr '16 - 8:13am

    Paddy is right that Putin has been digging away at the foundations of the EU in the hope of adding to the forces acting to break it up. We should be worried that extreme right wing forces are gaining ground in the EU member states formally tied to the Soviet Union.
    But we are not countering this tendency by failing to to do all in our power to truly reform and renew the economic relationships of the member states whilst campaigning for the radical repatriation of powers to nations, regions and city/sub regions.

    The Remain campaign, to which we have tethered our wagon, has been abysmal, but we all knew it would be – arrogant business people like Lord Rose at its head, and directed by failed campaigners – no ‘campaigners’ is not how we should describe them.

    The Remain campaign is about Flouncing and not Convincing.

    It is going to get worse. This article (limited free access) is an eye openner: here’s a quote

    “Moody’s, the credit rating agency, has warned that Brexit will be credit-negative for the EU, heightening the risk of copycat referendums and further exits across Europe.”

  • Unbelievable both in publishing this and Carons starry-eyed comments. Remain is unfortunately losing the argument and this just adds to a sense of foreboding.

  • Paul Murray 4th Apr '16 - 11:10am

    “Ex-MI6 Dearlove says security cost of Brexit wld be low. Hmm. not sure we shld take the advice of the man who promised Blair, Iraq had WMD!”

    OK. So how about General Michael Hayden , former CIA and NSA Director who says “The Union is not a natural contributor to national security of each of the entity states and in some ways gets in the way of the state providing security for its own citizens”.

    Or if you want a pro-remain opinion then maybe you could try former CIA Director General David Petraeus, who says “a Brexit would only make our world more dangerous”. Oh, but hold on, since Paddy is so keen on disregarding those who have made past errors of judgment then wasn’t Petraeus the guy that lost his job because he’d been discussing classified information with his mistress?

    I despair of the standard of the “debate” from both sides. For every so-called expert giving an opinion for one option it is easy to find another expert who will give the exact opposite view. I broadly agree with Nigel Lawson who said in an interview the other day: “The important issue is democracy and self-government. It is about that principle. Self government is more important than anything else.”

  • Bill le Breton 4th Apr '16 - 1:59pm

    Paul, I agree and Lawson is right to focus on that issue above all else.

    I have absolutely no doubt that if John Bright were campaigning today he would be campaigning for Leave.

    Supporting the EU as presently constituted is our own equivalent of supporting the Landed Interest defending the Corn Laws.

    It is the European Central Bank policies which are depressing economies across European including those outside the Eurozone and it is the illiberal structures across the EU that are alienating the least well off and driving them into the arms of the Right.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 4th Apr '16 - 8:01pm

    A comment which was little more than a personal attack on another commenter has been removed. Please avoid personal rudeness.

  • Tsar Nicholas 5th Apr '16 - 7:43am

    @Bill le Breton

    Bill, I see no evidence that Putin is digging away at anything. Are you saying that he’s funding the right wing movements in places like Hungary?

    Even if he was, could his actions be as blatant as the American Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Victoria Nuland) handing out cookies to anti-governemnt demonstrators in Kiev, or discussing the post-coup government personnel on the phone several weeks before the legitimate Ukrainian government was overthrown?

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