EU referendum Brexit Great Britain British

The untold TRUTHS about the #Brexit Referendum

So, you might not have noticed there’s this whole EU Referendum thing going on!

Yeah, I know.  There’s been nothing in the newspapers about it.  Or in the News bulletins; like every bulletin, on every channel, every half hour…..

Just when you thought World Politics was all about Syria and the American Presidential race, somebody puts a coin in the Referendum machine and presses the big Media Frenzy button.  Suddenly every Politician feels compelled to push himself forward for interview.  And every bastion of our twenty-first century life, from Facebook to a quiet lunch-hour at the pub, is subject to strongly held (though usually ill-informed) opinions.

In contrast to this, it is the responsibility of every Third Millennium Man to keep himself well-informed when it comes to matters of this nature.  This is not like the British General Election – you know the deal, where the population think they are voting for a Prime Minister when they’re voting for a local MP, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest who is in charge as unelected bureaucrats decide everything anyway.  This Referendum is a big deal and will affect generations to come.  We the British public have got just one chance at this, so we’d better get it right.

So face front and pay attention.  We are going to filter out as much of the noise as we can, just for you, so you the Third Millennium Man can consciously make an informed choice.

UK EU referendum 2016

The lies – and the truth – about the EU Referendum.

Let’s look at some of the – ahem – facts and see if there’s any sense behind them at all.

We rely on Europe as our biggest trading partner.

There is a degree of truth to this.  First of all, Europe is BIG.  Europe is many countries, and we are one.  So it isn’t much of a stretch to suppose that the European market and European commerce is pretty important to us.  That Italian wine and Greek olives you enjoy, the German car you drive, and the French-owned electricity you’re burning while reading this, are evidence of the trade we have with Europe.  However, we buy a lot more from Europe than we sell.  And the European producers of goods which we can’t get enough of are still going to be pushing for trade deals, just like our Politicians and business leaders ought to be.  That new motor you promised yourself will still be available, and the cheese selection at the Deli Counter will be just the same after the Referendum.  Market forces, not policies, will be provide the way forward.

It should also be pointed out that the UK leads the way in specialisms such as Technology and Financial Services.  And other countries will continue to acquire these from the UK, simply because they aren’t available anywhere else, or are nowhere near as good.

EU referendum UK brexit

We rely on solidarity with Europe for our defence.

Actually, our defence abilities are more to do with NATO, the United Nations and working with the United States than with Europe.  Although the European Union has its roots in what you could loosely term ‘defence’ after World War II ended (the original brief was to prevent another war in Europe, following 1914-1918 and 1939-1945), it is more to do with laws, economics and centralisation than defence.

There was a time when it was suggested that the United Kingdom surrenders its seat at NATO in favour of Europe whenever it has a view to share.  We have been unable to ascertain if this is no longer the case, or if it’s just being kept quiet until after the Referendum.  There seems to be no convincing proof either way.

What we ought to be concerned with is the European Defence Agency.  Although it’s been running since 2004, the small print of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty suggests that the UK’s armed forces will come under European control in the near future.  Maybe that’s what the Better In campaign are inferring when they refer to better ‘defence solidarity’ in the future.

Europe is united in its ambitions; the UK will miss out if we leave.

Actually, Europe is split in several ways.

First, there is a North / South divide, where the Northern countries remain far more affluent than the South.  Think back over the last few years; much of the Mediterranean countries have required bailouts or have come close to that position.  Greece is of course the one we all think of, but Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal and Spain have all had their share of similar headlines.  Indeed, Cyprus imposed capital controls (citizens were restricted to withdrawing a maximum of €100 per day of their own money from their bank accounts) and Spain and Italy have not done too well either.  Compare that to northern countries such as Germany, Sweden and Denmark which are affluent enough to attract vast hordes of freeloaders from beyond Europe, who weren’t interested in staying in the southern countries they passed through on their journey.

The international resentment between European nations that has existed for centuries is still prevalent.  World War II is still a living memory for some, the Basque and Catalan regions in Spain continue their struggles and the Balkans conflict in the former Yugoslavia remains an open wound for millions of people.

Secondly, there are four European countries who have announced plans for their own Exit Referendums, with whispers of more to come (sadly due to a UK press blackout we cannot tell you who they are.  The powers-that-be don’t want this kind of info becoming common knowledge).

Thirdly, there is a lot of inter-EU resentment between neighbouring countries over the Migrant Crisis.  Some countries feel that others are being less than helpful, and the burden ought to be distributed more fairly.  Some countries (the ones without excessive migrants, funnily enough) argue that the problem is a national one that need not concern the whole EU.  Some countries are witnessing an exponential rise in racism, sexually-motivated crimes, demonstrations, protests and riots.  Not exactly a unity of ambition.

Add all three together, and you’re left with a rising sense of Nationalism and a political move to the right, all across Europe.  And long term, we at Third Millennium Man think that European nations aren’t done with waging war on one another just yet…..

 

Great Britain referendum to leave or remain in the EU Referendum Brexit
That bit above the ‘E’ might need to be changed.

 

Europe is prosperous.  The UK needs to be a part of that prosperity.

Europe is expensive club to be in.  The UK is the third biggest donor to the EU, behind Germany and slightly less than France.  Those three contributions make up around 90% of the EU’s budget, so if the EU really is prosperous, it’s being prosperous with our money.

Yes the UK gets some of that money back in rebates.  The EU decides where the money goes though – the UK Government doesn’t get that much of a say, though it’s welcome to lobby the EU Parliament like any other organisation.

Away from the EU; is Europe ‘prosperous’?  Not really – perhaps ‘teetering on the brink of bankruptcy’ might be a more fitting description.  Many European Governments are crippled with rising debts (hence their reluctance to see the UK leave the EU), and the European Central Bank which bails them out is practically insolvent.  To this end, money deposited in the ECB currently attracts MINUS levels of interest.  For every €10,000 you have in that bank, YOU PAY THEM €40 just to have it there.

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking – Europeans would be better off withdrawing all their money and stuffing the whole lot under their mattresses!  Well, the European Authorities are already one step ahead on that one, and are taking measures to prevent such a run on the banks from happening.  If everyone was to withdraw all their money from their bank, the banks would collapse – they just don’t have the cash available.  It’s all been loaned out to other banks and insolvent governments.

(If you’re interested, here’s a Wikipedia article concerning the European debt crisis, including a list of countries which have received bailouts.)

Remember the financial crisis in Cyprus?  Capital controls were introduced so nobody could withdraw more than €100 of their own money per day (including businesses).  Meanwhile the €500 note is being withdrawn from circulation, which would make sleeping on your money-mattress a tad uncomfortable and the storage of cash inconvenient.  And in France, it is illegal to conduct a cash transaction over €1000 (in Italy the bar has been set at €1000 for around five years; Spain has a limit of €2500).  Remember that €1001 can be two notes and one coin.  If you want to buy that antique you saw in Paris – or your mate’s second-hand 2CV and you give them over €1000 in cash, you’ll be breaking the law.

All this is being done under the auspices of ‘security’ because terrorists and master criminals always carry bank notes in SWAG bags, presumable while wearing stripy jumpers and masks (they don’t – they use devices such as Bitcoin, or commodities such as weapons or drugs).

You, our reader, are certainly smart enough to decide for yourself if you think the UK can gain from being involved in this.  Or, if you think this is the kind of ‘prosperity’ we don’t need and we’d be far better off well away from it.

 

The UK's EU referendum is on its way

Leaving the EU will destroy the UK Economy for years, maybe even decades.

As an aside; when that is the headline, you just know that a Conservative Government is running both sides of the debate.  To them, everything is all about money.  But that’s a whole other topic.

The fact is, NOBODY can predict the future.  They don’t really know exactly what is going to happen when the UK leaves the EU, because nobody’s ever left the EU before.  All they have are estimates, guesses, wild guesses, and shot-in-the-dark headline-grabbers.

We at Third Millennium Man have an opinion on this matter.  These stories, statements, and propaganda are being spread by Politicians.  The same Politicians who will want us to re-elect them in 2020.  In the same way that the promises made to the Scots following their Independence Referendum seemed to evaporate within days, we strongly suspect that the visceral threats of imminent national bankruptcy, isolation, World War Three, increased terrorist attacks and horrible weather (probably) made by both sides will also be forgotten about some time around the 24th of June 2016.

Without all the ‘scaremongering’ there would be no debate.  Because nobody actually knows what’s going to happen, you have nothing to live up to if your side wins.  And if you make a load of headline-grabbing noise about what will happen if people vote in the Referendum for the other guy, it saves the politicians the irksome bother of making any promises which they might be pressed to keep.

(By the way, we absolutely loathe that word.  If we ever hear the word scaremongering again after the Referendum, it’ll be too soon.)

But what about the UK Economy?  Is the threat to our national finances – and by extension, the NHS, our schools, and all the rest of the stuff we pay for – a tangible one?

We have our doubts.  And as we said, nobody, not even the top analysts, know for certain.  But the idea that European countries will no longer want to trade with us if we’re not part of the EU Club doesn’t cut any ice in the Third Millennium Man office.  As we discussed earlier, Market forces will put paid to that myth; the Germans are still going to want to sell us cars, the Spanish will want to sell us perishable goods, the French will still own our electricity, and different parts of the whole continent will still welcome us for two smashing weeks in the month of August.

Are you IN?  Or OUT?

This is where it gets interesting.  To round off this piece, let’s look at the truth, and the perceived truth behind this powerful question.  Think about this – everybody is arguing, stating an opinion, or utterly flummoxed over a question which hasn’t actually been asked yet!

Nobody has defined the terms of this Referendum.  Just what exactly is IN?  And what does OUT mean?

Does ‘IN’ mean that we’d be voting for things to remain exactly as they are?  Or are we voting for a ‘closer integration’ (some might call it complete surrender) with Europe?  To what degree does ‘OUT’ mean leaving the EU?  Is it a process that will take weeks?  Decades?

We don’t know.  Third Millennium Man believes that we’re not going to be told.  And certainly not until the last minute.

In the course of researching this article, Third Millennium Man asked a handful of British MPs to define terms.

We’re still waiting for our first response.

 

EU referendum lies truth Great Britain British Brexit
Those flags are waving – are they waving Goodbye?

What AREN’T we being told?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course there’s a lot more happening than this, right across Europe.  It’s just disappointing that our national media is being manipulated in such a way that we don’t get to hear these things.  Just in case it influences our decisions – at a time when many British people who don’t know which way to vote are crying out for facts.

 

Our opinion….

Rather then make any attempt to persuade you to vote one way or the other, we at Third Millennium Man would just like to remind you how things are supposed to work.

The people get ready to elect a Government.  We elect a local representative who we think is the right choice for us and the needs of our local area.  This Public Servant, paid out of the public purse, is then supposed to act with the interests of the people, his constituents, at heart.  If he (or she) is any good, we re-elect them to represent us again next time.  If not, we elect somebody else.  A fair summary?

It stands to reason then that the elected Government should listen to what the people are saying.  If the people voting in the Referendum want to remain in Europe, then the Government have a responsibility to the people to do the very best that they can.  If the people decide to leave Europe however, the Government’s job is to facilitate that.  It is not the job of Government to tell the people what they want.  People are not idiots, they can decide for themselves based on the facts.  Therefore a Government that is selective with the facts, a Government who spends millions of pounds of Taxpayer money in an attempt to persuade by fair means and foul to comply, a Government whose priority is their own covert agenda which is at odds with the interests of the people, is skating on some pretty thin ice.

We have got ourselves into a situation where we complain about the things our Government makes us do (and the things which our Government will no longer allow us to do).  It is the sincerest wish of all at Third Millennium Man that this Referendum ushers in a new era of personal power; where we the people decide what we want and our Government obeys.  Once, the ‘Authorities’ were ‘Public Servants’; we hope this referendum reminds them of that.

UK's EU referendum membership #Brexit
Yes, it has been exhausting. Lie down and catch your breath…

 

We hope that this article has been informative and useful!  If you’ve got anything to add, please feel free to use the Comments Box below.  Spam messages will be deleted.  And please play nicely with each other…

 

 

 

tax havens third millennium man

That whole ‘Tax Havens’ thing – an objective commentary

Just at the time when the UK Government urgently needs something to divert the public eye away from the #Brexit calamity, something bigger conveniently pops up.  Although it’s never been made clear who was behind the ‘Panama Papers’ leak (was an employee of Mossack Fonseca unjustly wronged, and this leak is his or her revenge?) the fact remains that this powerful political tsunami is going to sweep into the land of the wealthy and powerful, destroying everything in its path.  We at Third Millennium Man have discussed very little else just lately; here’s our take on “that whole Tax Havens thing“.

Mum’s nowhere near Iceland.

First of all, there’s the predicament of the Icelandic Prime Minister.  Remember the start of the economic downturn, when so many British local authorities and companies had money stashed in Icelandic banks, earning far higher rates of interest over and above what UK banks were paying – only to lose vast chunks of it, or all of it in some cases, when the Icelandic banks went belly-up?  Although there was officially a news blackout (though there was nothing about that at the time in the newspapers…) it was reported through Internet channels that the fair people of Iceland kicked off big time, almost on the verge of civil war.  Bankers were imprisoned, and the Icelandic authorities just about survived intact.

Due to the news blackout the UK failed to follow suit, which is why the financial crisis in Iceland was over and done with and back into prosperity within nine months; in the UK, we’re still feeling the pinch, the Bankers are still earning million-pound bonuses, and the people haven’t reacted angrily other than the odd Facebook post or a strongly-worded letter to the paper.  The UK Government (and the mayor of London) spent money on riot precautions such as Water Cannon, but nothing ever materialised.  The people never rose up, the riots never came, so the austerity measures have been allowed to gradually increase.

back in Iceland though, it transpires that at the time of the economic upheaval, Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson had millions stashed away offshore, in a company joint-owned by his wife.  That’s proved to be enough to instantly push the Icelandic people over the edge, and those people know how to protest.  Mr Gunnlaugsson has resigned (in less than 24 hours after the leak) but now claims that the company is now owned outright by Mrs Gunnlaugsson, who hasn’t made an appearance in the media yet; she’s enjoying her fortune down in the Caribbean, we hope.  In any event, the Icelandic Prime Minister is the first political casualty – perhaps he’s on his way to a sun lounger next to his wife as I write this.

Will there be other casualties?

Well, there are a lot of questions being made of the British Prime Minister David Cameron in relation to his late father, Ian Cameron.  The Prime Minister says he “does not gain from offshore funds” ignoring the fact (which is obvious to everybody else) that Dad paid for little David’s education at Eton, a roof over the family’s head, and all the rest of it.

No doubt David’s inherited something too.  Unless dear old Ian had his loot changed into Traveller’s Cheques and took it all with him.  If he has inherited anything substantial, where is it?  You’re probably thinking what we’re thinking…

There are also rumblings about Dave’s stepfather-in-law, who has delicate tax matters of his own to contend with.  We’re clearly all in this together.

Mr Cameron has made it clear that his father’s offshore arrangements with Tax havens “are a private matter”.  We however see this as payback for the awful way the comedian Jimmy Carr was treated over his tax affairs.  You reap what you sow, Dave.  You and Jimmy Carr, you’re both in this together.

It’s interesting to note that there’s currently far more about the Icelandic Prime Minister in the British press right now, than there is about the British Prime Minister.  Strange, that….

 

tax havens third millennium nan
This offshore bank has branches everywhere.

So what is so wrong with Tax Havens?

Nothing, if you are stinking rich and you’d like to stay that way.  Plenty, if you’re a greedy, money-wasting Government teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, like in the USA, Britain, and most of Europe.

We have socialists such as Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.  he says that Tax Havens in British oversea territories should face direct rule if they don’t comply with UK Tax Law.  He also says that the UK Treasury loses up to £7.2Bn a year, to tax avoidance and tax evasion.

This is the bit that Third Millennium Man takes an exception to.

First, there’s that figure.  Seven billion, two hundred million pounds, each year.  Does that sound a bit like a made-up number to you?  The fact is, nobody actually knows.  It’s a made-up figure, but it sounds about right and it’s doing its job.

Secondly, there’s the money itself.  Remind me, whose money is it?  It is money earned (or maybe given to) some lucky individuals.  The thing is, it’s their money, and they’d like to keep it. It’s not £7.2Bn that’s been robbed from UK Government coffers, it’s £7.2Bn that the UK Government would really like to get their hands on.

So the socialist press can pretend it’s theft as much as they like; they can paint a woeful picture of greedy fatcats stealing money out of the NHS safe, or hanging up a CLOSED FOR BUSINESS sign in a school so they can gleefully run off to Panama with a wheelbarrow full of cash.

These wealthy individuals know that it’s their money.  And be honest, if you were in their position, you’d want to keep as much of your own cash as you possibly could too.

(While we’re on the subject – why do politicians only ever speak of “schools and hospitals” when they talk about money?  And not the billion-pound refurbishment of Westminster, or the £22Bn loss when RBS is sold to Tory backers at a discounted price?  Or the two payrises MPs have received this financial year, totaling over 11%?  Or the MPs who have become millionaires since taking office?  Or their expenses – take a look at what your local MP claims for….)

It’s perfectly possible to obtain dual-citizenship nowadays.  We know Field Service Engineers and Sales Executives who have two passports so they can work in Israel and the USA, and then Saudi Arabia and Iran (yes, we know that passports and citizenship are two different things, but the point is that anyone with the means and the patience can do it).

So if you are a citizen of two countries, where do you pay your taxes?  I’d choose the country that’s the most advantageous – which in this particular instance, means the one where I’d pay the lower taxes.

Punish the millionaires Mr Corbyn, and they will disappear.  And probably take their businesses, jobs and UK investments with them.

Tax Avoidance – v – Tax Evasion.

The current fashion is to demonise wealthy people, by blurring the distinction between these two notions.

Tax Evasion is deliberately NOT paying Tax.  People do go to prison for it, and they go for very long periods of time.  Break the law and face the consequences.

Tax Avoidance however, is LEGAL (though journalists seem to enjoy calling it ‘unethical’ and ‘immoral’!  I thought highly biased reporting was immoral and unethical, myself….)

We’ve all done it in some way; anybody that’s invested money in a tax-free ISA is, by their definition, immoral and unethical.  Anyone that’s deposited small, regular amounts into their kid’s Child Trust Fund deserves to be named and shamed as a tax-dodger.  If you’ve ever bought Duty Free booze at the airport, then hang your head in shame.  A professional gambler of our acquaintance keeps accurate records in order to minimise his tax burden, as his winnings are tax-free.  What a scumbag.

 

money business idea million pounds third millennium man

“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

Judge Learned Hand, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934).

 

There is NO OBLIGATION – legal, moral, ethical or otherwise – to pay as much Tax as you possibly can.

If you take nothing else away from reading this article, then please re-read that sentence and absorb it.  Bear it in mind the next time you watch or listen to the News, and you’ll see just how deceptive these biased reports are.

 

tax havens overseas bank third millennium man
Just because. That’s why.

The other benefits of Tax Havens.

Okay, there’s one obvious one.  If you have billions – okay then, maybe just millions – salted away in one of those Tax Havens that’s also a beautiful and exotic holiday destination, then so much the better.  You can go and visit your money once or twice a year.  And, if things get a little too uncomfortable at home (as it will surely do for some over the coming weeks and months) then you can always stay there permanently.  You’ve got enough there to keep you in island luxury for the rest of your days.

The other main benefit?  Money held in a Bank Account in another country is a pretty good Get Out Of Jail Free card.

When the banks of Iceland went belly-up, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson wasn’t too worried.  As Prime Minister, he knew it was on the cards, and made sure his assets were where the Icelandic authorities couldn’t touch them.  And until just a short time ago, he was still getting away with it.

When the banks of Cyrus imposed Capital Controls, such as being able to withdraw a maximum of €60 per day (in a country that uses cash a lot more than it uses debit cards) it only affected people with Cypriot Bank Accounts.  Tourists with German Bank Accounts were able to withdraw as much as they needed, up to the normal €500 limit.

Much has been made of Economic Migrants traveling across Europe in search of a land of milk and honey, and free houses and benefits.  Nothing at all has been made of the guys who flew over First Class, welcomed into Europe as they already have money and property there.  If war broke out in the country you currently live in, think how much easier it would be to start a new life abroad if you already held assets there.

Seen the film Gone With The Wind?  Rhett Butler, anticipating the Civil War, had already taken his assets overseas.  Which is why he makes only the occasional appearance throughout the three-hour film, and speaks frequently of his trips to London and Paris.  Neither side in the civil war could seize his assets, unlike so many poor victims of that terrible time.  Bet you didn’t already know that.

We hear a lot of stories and anecdotal evidence of Investors and Moneymen who believe that the finances of the country they live in are about to take a turn for the worst.  American debt (well over $19Tn by their own figures) is unsustainable, and the economies of the UK and mainland Europe are not far behind (which probably explains why all this fuss over Tax Havens and revenues is being made in the first place).

Your money in a UK Bank is only protected up to £75,000 per account holder, per institution.  That sounds like a lot, but not if you run a cash-rich business or if you’ve just sold property and you’re waiting for the conveyancing to finish so you can reinvest.  If the Banks invoke Capital Controls at an awkward time, then you’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

It is far better to keep your assets beyond the reach of those who might seek to steal them.  Keep your biscuit tin where the kids can’t reach it, keep your valuables in a safe where burglars can’t get them, and keep at least a portion of your assets overseas, preferably in Tax Havens with an agreeable climate.  Your Government is not your friend.

We know of people who have broken the Law.  Two individuals come to mind, who we know were innocent.  The first was held and convicted on Drugs charges, and his assets were seized under the Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002.  He was released on appeal but, nearly twelve years later, he is still awaiting compensation for his assets.  Apparently he’s supposed to ask for them in court, with no money after the courts confiscated it all, and no entitlement to Legal Aid.  How different things would have been had he saved a portion of the generous assets he had accumulated though his legitimate, profitable business, and stored them beyond the reach of the UK Authorities.  YES you can do this legally, but afterwards is always too late.  The second individual faced similar treatment, but on different charges.

Tax Law is incredibly complex.  Thousands and thousands of pages of new Tax legislation are produced by Governments, almost daily.  Which says to us at Third Millennium Man that the Laws are not there for you to obey.  They are there to trip you up, so your assets can be stolen from you, under the terms of that Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002.  Can they do that?  They certainly can.  Your Government is not your friend.  But they can’t do that, if your assets are beyond their grasp.

Hence, the witch-hunt for those who store assets overseas in Tax Havens.  They want your assets where they can steal them.  Not that there’s anything unethical or immoral about that.

In conclusion.

This news story is going to run and run.  We at Third Millennium Man have nothing to worry about; we wish that we did, because that would suggest that we are all millionaires.  As Tax Havens are only really of benefit to those with several millions in the Bank, we can’t see it being a problem any time soon.  If only it was…

We do however note one thing that the Media at large has missed.  We think it’s been missed on purpose, because it hits right at the very heart of corrupt Governments and the wickedness of the people involved.

Watch and read the News carefully.  You will find much outrage is still to come, when Officials are seen to be embezzling funds from Government departments, companies, and storing the money overseas in Tax Havens, in the mistaken belief that they will never get caught.  What I would like to know is this.  How can someone who is so greedy and corrupt obtain, and is then be allowed to remain in, such a position?

Get rid of the greedy people!  If we really are “all in this together” then we the public need to see for ourselves that this is actually happening.  Stop wasting billions on hunting down overseas millions, and stop the real criminals.

At the start of the economic downturn, the UK Government introduced some hefty ‘austerity measures’ designed to bring in more, spend less, and reduce the UK national debt.  In the meantime, everything that isn’t nailed to the floor has been sold off and privatised.  However in the last Budget, it was announced that the debt has risen, and even harsher austerity measures are to be introduced.  Quite why NOBODY seems to be asking the Government what have you done with all our money is, quite frankly, a mystery.  Perhaps it has been siphoned off – and is already spread around different Tax havens all over the World.  There’s still a lot more to come out of the ‘Panama Papers, so stay tuned for more revelations.

 

 

 

overseas banking offshore tax havens third millennium man
“Right, I’m just popping to the Bank, love. Back in six weeks….”

 

There’s a lot here about Tax Havens to discuss!  Use the Comments box to tell us what you think.

Positive criticism only.  And NO SPAM please!