Over the weekend we had the world famous (infamous?) Eurovision Song Contest. However these days things are slightly different, in that Australia are also allowed compete. This is the second time they have entered the competition, and this time they nearly won it, being beaten at the last hurdle by Ukraine. Why was Australia allowed to enter the Eurovision Song Contest I hear you ask (well, maybe you didn’t, however we will tell you anyway). Last year was the 60th Anniversary of the competition, and due to the fact Australia has strong cultural and political ties to many European countries, plus the fact it’s been televised down under for the last 30 years, meant they were invited to take part.
Now, as we did for last year’s Rugby World Cup, if we were to use Stratton Street’s Net Foreign Asset scoring system as the basis of winners and losers of the Eurovision Song Contest, we would again get some surprising results. The top 3 places would be taken by Germany (who did in fact come last) with a Net Foreign Asset (NFA) of 7 stars, followed by Russia and France, both with an NFA score of 4 stars. The bottom 3 would be made up as follows; rock bottom would be Bulgaria, NFA star score of 1, then just above them would be Spain and Hungary, again both with NFA ratings of just 1 star. The United Kingdom would have been in 4th place with a 3 star rating, and Ireland, who have won the competition a record 7 times, would be just behind also with an NFA of star score of 3 .
Also over the weekend the campaign over whether the UK should stay in Europe or not took a darker turn when Boris Johnson, the conservative MP and ex mayor of London, compared the EU’s aims to those of Napoleon and Hitler’s. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said that while EU leaders are “using different methods” from Hitler, they share the same aim of unifying Europe. He is quoted as saying “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically, the EU is an attempt to do this by different methods” adding “But fundamentally what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe. There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void.”
In the same newspaper, Sajid Javid, the government Business Secretary, came in defence of the stay campaign, claiming that although he is a “Eurosceptic and proud of it” argued that the EU “gives every business in Britain access to 500 million customers with no barriers, no tariffs and no local legislation to worry about.”
With 37 days to go before the EU referendum poll, and with up to 29% of voters undecided, the referendum debate still has a long way to run.