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June 23, 2016

Comments

Hancock pretty well nails it, from what I have read.

The Leave folks insist that the EU will still have to give the UK pretty much the same trade terms (i.e. total free trade in goods and services) as they have now. But they won't have to allow EU citizens freedom to move to the UK. And they won't have to conform to the EU rules on various other economic matters.

Which is bunk. The EU is going to give Britain as little as possible. Not least because they want to discourage anyone else who might be considering leaving. And whatever agreement is reached is going to take months (more likely a couple of years). During which time, everything is a mess.

And then there are the non-EU impacts. All of Britain's trade agreements are EU ones currently. So they would have to renegotiate with everybody. And, being far smaller than the EU, their leverage to get a good deal would be far smaller. (Not to mention the same munti-year effort being required.)

So think several years of serious economic pain.

But, as with the Trump enthusiasts, the Leave folks are nativists who are sure that they can return to the glories of the past if they just shut out the rest of Europe. That's part of why enthusiasm is higher in rural areas -- folks in the city actually do business with the rest of the world, and know better.

As for the Scots, they seem to have a better idea of what they get out of the EU. To the point that, if the UK votes to leave, we are likely to see another Scotish independence vote sooner rather than later -- and this time, it would win big. (Might see something similar out of Northern Ireland, and even Wales.)

But why is Leave so popular in the estuaries of the Wash and Thames? Why is Scotland all pro-Remain, when the Scottish independence vote was divisive?

I had always bought the general theory that the less immigration there is in an area, the more obsessed the local population is with the question of immigration and its problems for them, but this interactive map does not seem altogether to bear this out. It's interesting though. Re Scotland, I imagine the difference is partly due to "the auld alliance", so historically they have often felt they had more in common with France than with England, with whom let's face it they were so often either at war or in a power struggle.

I'm horrified at the thought of Brexit. Most recent polls look good for Remain, but London (pretty solidly for Remain) has suffered torrential rain and flash floods today, and it's unclear how much the vote got out. It is conventional wisdom that the Leave camp is more passionate, and would, in the ghastly Farage's phrase "crawl over broken glass to vote Leave", but I'm hoping this has changed in recent days when it really looked as if they might win.

We had excitement trying to vote today - we'd applied for postal votes months ago thinking we'd be traveling at the tone of the vote, but they never arrived. Despite that, we were able to vote in person for the local elections in May with no problem. This time we had to drive from our polling station to the local council offices half an hour away, arriving with only 5 minutes to spare, to pick up replacement postal voting forms. All the while with a screaming baby in the back of the car. Fun times.

Everyone I actually know is voting remain, despite living in a small village in the country. Everyone I know who was unsure has broken in the last few weeks to remain. It's only the old people - who voted 66-33 to join the EEA in the first place - who are voting leave. Unfortunately there's fucking millions of them and since they're all required they have plenty of time to go vote. Small-minded bastards, all.

"Retired", almost definitionally *not* required...

Sanbikinoraion, for "required" read "retired" I presume. Luckily, our postal votes came weeks ago, so no last-minute anxiety for us. I know a few Leave voters, some pretty young, but mainly right-wing obsessives about sovereignty. In the Northern town where I go to various stores etc, some Leavers have wavered recently, possibly because of the murder of Jo Cox, and someone furious with the EU about their treatment of Greece who was considering voting Leave ended up voting Remain because of the appallingly racist stuff coming out of the Leave camp recently.

sanbikinoraion,

Great Britain has never been a member if the EEA, which is the European Economic Area. That is the trade alliance composed of EU, Switzerland and Norway, if I remember correctly. It was formed only in 1994, with Finland and Sweden transferring to EU proper the following year.

Britain was part of EFTA before its EEC membership, though.

The best Great Britain (or better said, United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland), might wish for after Brexit would be EEA membership, which means following EU legislation on most matters, paying dues to Brussels, having your own agricultural politics and fisheries, however, but no vote in the European Council nor any limitations on freedom of movement.

I live in London and am middle-class (in the British sense - not how you guys use it to mean anyone who isn't a billionaire). I literally don't know anyone who voted Leave. Even the Tories among my acquaintances think it's way too risky.

YouGov forecasting 52:48 for Remain, based on follow up calls to people they have been polling. Still too close in my opinion....

A German friend wonders if high Leave support in the estuaries might be due to resentment of EU fishing regulations, which (like every attempt to stop over-fishing and balance claims) never leave anyone happy.

As cynical as it sounds, the Cox murder may be(come) the deciding factor, which would be pretty ironic.

Doc: yes, that could make sense. Some high profile Leave events etc have been dominated by fishermen, or ex-fishermen, and Michael Gove, the Justice Minister and a prominent ex-friend of the Prime Minister has been harping on the fact that his father's fishing business went to the wall because of the EU, a claim which has rather embarrassingly been contradicted by his father a couple of days ago.

One word: Essex!

Very nervous: reports suggest Sunderland might be 62-66% for Leave, in models it was predicted for 53%, and Newcastle is a very tight win. It's looking very dangerous...

Leave carries Sunderland 61:39%. This is a disaster, it makes it look much more likely that Leave are going to win. Mr GftNC has to get up early tomorrow, so I'm going to bed in some despair.

With Brexit, it is like driving by a massive car wreck and slowing down to rubberneck and think 'which idiot was responsible for that?'

It may be interesting to contrast Hancock's excellent piece with this John Judis piece from TPM. I don't have an animus for Judis, but the whole premise of the piece seems to be the spreading stain of High Broderism to an analysis of any question, anywhere, at any time. Honestly, if the whole campaign is premissed on lies, why TF would Corbyn want to even give the Leave people an inch?

I'm waiting for this sort of analysis to be applied to the Dems and Trump voters. Yes, they supported an absolute liar who does not have a moral bone in his body, but gee, they were acting on their deeply felt fears and anxieties and shouldn't the Democratic party build bridges to them? I know I will see it and I know it will make me gag.

When do they expect final results?

If remain were to lose, it looks to me as though it might be the result of Labour losing touch with those who vote for them:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/17/britain-working-class-revolt-eu-referendum

Certainly their campaigning has been half hearted at times - something one could hardly accuse the Tories of (on both sides).

Ugh:

Final results by 7am UK time, 2am Eastern US time, midnight Pacific.

Thanks.

Shit, not looking very good at all

To my confusion, the referendum isn't binding -- but I don't see how he can avoid a constitutional crisis (and/or a Conservative Party crisis) if Leave wins.

Actually, I don't see how he avoids a Party crisis regardless.

I admit that part of my confusion comes from US-UK differences in organization & membership of political parties. In the US it costs nothing to join a party, and the Democratic & Republican Parties each have 10s of millions of members, and probably 10-20M each who are the party's "core" or "base".

In the UK I guess there's an annual fee for membership, so the parties are much smaller (and presumably all "base"). Most of the voters are, by US standards, "independents", and show little or no party loyalty.

So I don't know if most Conservative Party *members* are Remain, like Cameron, or if the issue is splitting the Party as well as the voters.

Nigel, thanks for that, though I don't think much of the article. I don't know John Harris' writing, but crap like this

But make no mistake: in an almost comical reflection of the sacred lefty belief that any worthwhile political movement will necessarily be built around the workers, the foundation of the Brexit coalition is what used to be called the proletariat, large swaths of which are as united as in any lefty fantasy, even if some of their loudest complaints are triggering no end of anxiety among bien-pensant types, and causing Labour a great deal of apprehension.

just doesn't cut it for me. Like their Republican cousins, Conservatives have created a situation where local government is starved of funds and can't get anything done. The 'proletariat' (the use of the word suggests to me the Blairites who would rather bitch about Corbyn than fight Cameron) then gets upset because their health services are gone, their potholes aren't being filled and they find someone to blame in Polish and Bulgarians who take jobs that they can't be bothered to. Interestingly, the article links to another Guardian article by a different author which has this

When presented with a vote on the status quo, it is no surprise that those with the least stake in it vote to abandon it. The same happened in Scotland’s independence referendum. Threats of economic Armageddon resonate little with people living in communities that feel ignored, marginalised and belittled. “Economic insecurity beckons!” people who live in perpetual economic insecurity are told. A Conservative prime minister lines up with pillars of Britain’s establishment with a message of doom – and it makes millions of people even more determined to stick their fingers up at it.

The leave campaign knows all this. It is Trumpism in full pomp: powerful vested interests whose policies would only concentrate wealth and power even further in the hands of the few, masquerading as the praetorian guard of an anti-establishment insurgency dripping in anti-immigration sentiment. It is political trickery long honed by Ukip, a party led by a privately educated ex-City broker that claims to be the voice of the little guy against a self-interested powerful clique. If Donald Trump succeeds across the Atlantic, the terrible cost of leaving millions of working-class people feeling both abandoned and slighted will be nightmarishly clear. The same goes for this referendum.

From a cursory reading of Harris' output, I don't get the impression that he understands that. Or if he does (in that manner of 'of course, but everyone is talking about that, I want to talk about this!') his ironic detachment serves him poorly. Though I would be happy to be pointed to some other writing that might indicate the contrary.

they were acting on their deeply felt fears and anxieties and shouldn't the Democratic party build bridges to them?

You mean like Obama tried to do? Remind me how well that worked out.

Remind me how well that worked out.

Precisely.

Well fuck. I'm really sorry for you guys, and probably no-one should look at their stock portfolios for a week or so.

There's also going to be some painful settlements with the bookmakers in due course.

BBC and Guardian both calling it as leave.

I didn't really want to retire, anyway.

I wonder what the "negotiating new, and better, trade agreements will be no problem" folks will be saying down the road. Because there are already other countries saying "a new agreement with us is at the back of the queue."

At a guess, they will take a page out of Trump's book and claim it's all a conspiracy.

Yeah given that the fundamental reason we've voted to leave is pretty obviously that we don't like Eastern Europeans in our midst, I love this notion that all these countries are gonna be really keen to make preferential trade deals with us.

Economics might well say that's in their rational interest but politics/human nature will say, "Actually, fuck you."

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with a passionate intensity seems about right

By which of course I only mean the best lost, and the worst won. Pretty much all commentators agree that immigration was the core issue, and the out campaign either started racist (UKIP et al),or pivoted to racism/nativism when they saw that was what they needed to do to win it.

I have a bad feeling closer to (my) home. If this trashes the economy of the rest of the world fast enough, it could impact the result of the US election as well. Which, in turn, could further damage the economies of the United States and of the rest of the world.

I have these memories of learning in high school about the impact of "begger my neighbor" policies in the early part of the last century. It was not pretty . . . for anyone. And it looks depressingly like we may be heading down that road again.

"Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." As, regrettably, are the rest of us.

And LJ, for what it's worth, I think you're right: the obsession amongst the electorate with immigration is not because we are a particularly or intrinsically racist country but because the majority in most of the country are hurting, and have been hurting since 2008 under the yoke of an unnecessarily harsh austerity.

With Brexit, it is like driving by a massive car wreck and slowing down to rubberneck and think 'which idiot was responsible for that?'

That would be Cameron, who called the referendum for purely tactical party political reasons, i.e. to keep UKIP and his own backbenchers in check.

Not that it matters now ... maybe I'll move to Scotland.

I was doing some karaoke tonight at my local watering hole, the Pretenders, Day Tripper, whatever .... and there was a regular, a pretty good singer, a Scotsman, they went something like 62% in favor of remaining, who sung this to deplore the Brexit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0NFaQcTJsg

.. and GFTNC has it right ...

"but because the majority in most of the country are hurting, and have been hurting since 2008 under the yoke of an unnecessarily harsh austerity."

The world is done with this conservative scourge .. their imposed austerity.

Fuck conservatives world wide. You are all a bunch of f*cking murderous Putins. It's no mystery that Murdoch/Putin were in favor of Brexit.

We're not going to do it any longer.

This gives Trump Hate the upper hand.

This woman died in vain:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/16/europe/british-mp-jo-cox-attacked/

Her murder shows that violence f*cking works, as it always has for nativist conservative vermin like our Republican Party.

All f*cking liberals are butchered.

By conservatives; it never f*cking fails.

And, by the way, any free market conservative Wall Street Republican vermin who tell you the stock market discounts future events is full of butt-f*cking horseshit.

The Dow was up 230 points today. The futures, last time I looked, and what a pigf*cking scam the futures are, but let's leave that for another day, are down 700 points for the opening tomorrow.

Their is only one answer to imposed austere conservative murder around the world.

Violence. Savage. Violence.

But I understand all of you might to demure.

I mean, they have all of the weapons.

And in America, they've arranged that way.


Cameron quit.

The British Government has fallen.

Nah, the British government hasn't fallen. He will stick around for a few months, then they'll elect a new leader, then if the polls look decent they'll call a snap election; if not, they won't.

Meanwhile Labour is in disarray, and seems to be in the process of losing the North outside the big cities. London, Manchester and Leeds are not nearly enough people to win anything.

Bad times.

Wow.

Drum:

I am sick and tired of watching folks like Boris Johnson, Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, and others appeal to the worst racial instincts of our species, only to be shushed by folks telling me that it's not really racism driving their popularity. It's economic angst. It's regular folks tired of being spurned by out-of-touch elites. It's a natural anxiety over rapid cultural change.

Maybe it's all those things. But at its core, it's the last stand of old people who have been frightened to death by cynical right-wing media empires and the demagogues who enable them—all of whom have based their appeals on racism as overt as anything we've seen in decades. It's loathsome beyond belief, and not something I thought I'd ever see in my lifetime. But that's where we are.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/brexit-wins

How long until Greece leaves? Or at least drops the Euro?

...Annnd Trump is in Scotland today.

Perhaps the US should cut off travel from the UK, until "we figure out what's going on".

Okay, too harsh, there's still 48% of good mostly-sane people.

Just put Trump on the no-fly list, until he proves beyond a doubt that he's not a terrorist.

The outcome of the Brexit referendum has this quote echoing through the years for me:

"And, you know, there is no such thing as society."

It's like Saint Ronny's quote "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" echoes in today's United States (though that one never really stopped echoing since the day he uttered it).

"Just put Trump on the no-fly list, until he proves beyond a doubt that he's not a terrorist."

We liberals are so politically correct.

His flight back to the U.S. is thousands of times more deadly to Americans than the four hijacked planes on 9/11.

Demand Obama muster the Air Force and shoot him and his entourage out of the sky.

And then get to work on his fellow Republican terrorists who remain within our borders.

It's time reactionary conservatives receive a little austerity of the deadly kind, as they have imposed thoughtlessly on the rest of us for so long.

Conservatives gave us this new free-trade world order, and now the same idiots who cheered it for 40 years are blowing it up.

Conservatism the world over is a cannibalistic, self-feeding mess, in every country, in China, Russia, the U.S., Europe, and the Muslim world.

They react in the wrong direction to their own mistakes every f*cking time.

Here's some know-nuttin horsesh*t to gobsmack the still gobsmackable (lifted from Hullabaloo):

'Donald Trump sleep-walked back his remark that Hillary Clinton was 'asleep' during the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi Libya in 2012, saying whether Clinton was snoozing or not she was 'asleep at the wheel.'

He modified his comment a handful of times, saying Clinton 'might have been sleeping' and that the attack went on for 'a long time.

Trump got a wake up call about his comment in an appearance on NBC News Thursday, when Lester Holt asked him about his comment during a blistering speech Wednesday.

Trump had said in his anti-Clinton speech that Hillary 'spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched' as secretary of state.

'Among the victims was our late Ambassador Chris Stevens. I mean what she did with him was absolutely horrible. He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed. That’s right. When the phone rang, at 3:00 in the morning, Hillary Clinton was sleeping,' Trump said, in one of the harshest lines of his attack.

Holt asked Trump about the comment, saying that fact-checkers found the attack occurred during the day. Politifact reported that the attack occurred at 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

'It happened all during the day and it was going on for a long period of time,' Trump responded, as Holt pressed him.

'Excuse me, it was going on for a long period of time,' Trump continued.

'And she was a sleep at the wheel. Whether she was sleeping or not – who knows if she was sleeping? She might have been sleeping,' Trump continued.

Then he tried to knock down the idea that she was awake because she sent a tweet.

'Why, because she put out a Tweet. Somebody said she put out a tweet therefore she wasn’t be sleeping. Nobody else could put out a tweet?'

'I can tell you this, whether she was sleeping or not – and she might have been sleeping – it was a disaster.


There was no tweet.'


His polls will rise today, as stupid triumphs.

Any sort of vomit they project against the far wall is a winning wallpaper pattern.

Conservatism is now a toilet drain pipe without a stink trap.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkVZ_WhjqO8

I was going to say "Somewhere Putin is smiling." But "smile" sees so inadequate a word for that huge, sh*t-eating grin.

And now, Ron Obvious will perform his next stunt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ra5h17EbC8

They react in the wrong direction to their own mistakes every f*cking time.

I have to wonder, if we (in the US) could, for instance, somehow put the deficit boogieman to rest and start a very large-scale rehabilitation and build-out of our national infrastructure, putting lots of people to work and increasing wages, would most of this paranoid, anxiety-driven anger go away?

I think this sort of thing (i.e. the Trump phenomenon, which parallels Brexit in the UK) is, at its core, mostly about economic insecurity. That's the source of the anger, irrespective of whatever targets that anger ends up being aimed at.

“They took back their country,” said Trump, who sported a white “Make America Great Again” cap. “That’s a great thing.”

Once again, Trump makes sure that the Clinton campaign will have a soundbyte available. If the economy tanks, that would have been considered a plus for the party not in office. But now, if it happens, the Democrats can just run clips of Trump speaking with a text of "Vote for Trump and make the same think happen here." Brilliant, Donald.

if we (in the US) could, for instance, somehow put the deficit boogieman to rest and start a very large-scale rehabilitation and build-out of our national infrastructure, putting lots of people to work and increasing wages, would most of this paranoid, anxiety-driven anger go away?

Well it appears that the Republicans in Congress think so. Or, at least, are concerned that it might. Which has been a huge motivation for them to keep that from happening, lest their voting base shrink.

Deficits don't matter when you spend money destroying stuff on the other side of the world. But they do matter when you want to build stuff in your own country.

"I have to wonder, if we (in the US) could, for instance, somehow put the deficit boogieman to rest and start a very large-scale rehabilitation and build-out of our national infrastructure, putting lots of people to work and increasing wages, would most of this paranoid, anxiety-driven anger go away?"

What wj just wrote, but to put the finer point on it, racist Republicans (are we still using that title?) in Congress, who have been playing multi-dimensional chess with the deficit since Saint Ronnie took dead mofo Grover Norquist's baby-drowning gambit seriously, have resisted this with all their might (some of them because they actually ARE against any fiscal stimulus whatsoever if it is gummint-originated, unless the bridges, roads, and waterways are built only in Galt's Gulch) because they have been deathly afraid that the nigger in the White House might get a shred of credit for easing economic anxiety the Republicans (there is that word again) themselves have so lovingly cultivated these last eight years going on 40.

Now, they are flummoxed by Trump, who this influential Trump-backer believes will win in November:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jeffrey-gundlach-thinks-donald-trump-142200693.html;_ylt=A0LEVw9kU21XMpUAc7NXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByNXM5bzY5BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMzBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--

The Republican sheiks have been running this con for so long that they now don't quite know how to deal with a truly professional con-artist like Trump, who can stand in Scotland today, where 62% of the vote went against his Brexit preferences, and claim that those people have taken back their country.

The Scotsman standing next to Trump had to check the underpants he wears under his kilt to see it they were still there after that fleece merchant got done.

Remember, Cheney proclaimed deficits don't matter. Day One of a Trump Presidency those will be the words on every flicking Republican lizard tongue, except in so far as deficit paranoia is still useful for f*cking the poor and the medically uninsured and privatizing SS, Medicare, and the National Parks.

They'd better build two sets of new infrastructure, one for me and one for their use, because I will blow up any public bathroom, water treatment plant, roadway, airport, school, or monument to Reagan they erect.

I don't share with filth.

Remember, too, all of these chimpanzees are armed because all they give a f*ck about is making the big bucks any way they can and avoiding all taxes:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-gun-business-is-making-killing-by.html

FOX does one of its oops the-banner-says-what we-really-want pratfalls on purpose:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fox-chyron-uk-voted-leave-un

They lie, you buy.

This, I disagree with:

"Once again, Trump makes sure that the Clinton campaign will have a soundbyte available. If the economy tanks, that would have been considered a plus for the party not in office. But now, if it happens, the Democrats can just run clips of Trump speaking with a text of "Vote for Trump and make the same think happen here." Brilliant, Donald."

Everything that comes out of his mouth is copacetic with 48% of the population at this point. Any guy who has been laid as often as he has and who can pose in solidarity with uptight and outasight evangelical lunkheads in front of a photograph of HIMSELF with a porn star, is free to vomit any old thing out of his piehole to a ready and willing reactionary audience.

He could pose in front of a train full of Jews on their way to delousing and the "anxious" filth we're surrounded by in this country would click the heels of their jackboots together to make a majority.

All the better if the train wrecks. The eyeballs would love it in our bankrupt, corrupt, Murdochian conservative jackal media.

Although still devastated, there is always room for black humour. Trump, in Scotland (which voted 62% for Remain) tweeted "Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!". The tweets back at him at least made me smile for the first time today.

More Kevin Drum:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/it-was-immigration-wot-won-it

More cleek and company:

http://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?p=24216#comments

Bouncing off this:

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2016/06/bye-dave.html

It's rough justice when the pigs you have been f*cking austerely f*ck back.

Super-depressed all over again, having just been sent this poem by Justin Huggler:

Here lies Great Britain
Murdered
It used to be a place that mattered
But now it's just a windswept rock full of angry people
No one cares about
Somewhere off the edge of Europe

commentor RobC on my blog:

putting the Brexit up for a vote was :


giving a lot of angry and frustrated people ...access to a big red “Fuck it!” button ...

Yurp.

It's open borders for stupidity:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-perils-of-protest-vote.html

Whatever happened to exploding golf balls?

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/06/uhm-trump-spoke-today-surrounded-by.html

It's looking like England will need to rebuild that wall.
But will they be able to make Scotland pay for it?

I'm Comanche, what are all of you?

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a46143/why-brexit-bad-for-britain/

Time for the Passport to Pimlico yet?

College boy Donald goes after another Judge in his inimitable manner:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/denver-allen-judge-bryant-durham-floyd-county

This is for Girl from the North Country and all of our other Brit friends here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EktZbtJxFs

No matter what happens to you or us, I'll keep buying the best British exports there ever were, the Beatles.

Only Paul could write a hysterically happy song called "I'm Down".

I wouldn't doubt though, as stupid does as stupid is, that we on this side of the pond will have to go through another round of burning their records under the fascist, xenophobic Trump regime.

Don't really have time to set down my (fairly gloomy) thoughts about this yet, but for now, here's some quite illuminating exit polling (of a quite large number of voters):
http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/

& whatever you might think off Ashcroft, if you even know who he is (I'm not a fan), his polling efforts are pretty good, and untainted by any political views he might hold.

Dear Count, a kind thought, but I am unconsoled. In the meantime, many people who voted Leave have changed their minds, one even said "Next time I will vote Remain"! Who are these people? I find myself getting awfully close to thinking wistfully of a minimum IQ requirement for the franchise....

With the bookmakers giving odds all the way up to 12/1 for remaining, perhaps more than a few Leave voters thought they were engaging in a protest vote, not a vote to actually leave.

Perhaps it's time to read/reread The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be.

I suppose it says something that the top topics googled in the UK on Friday were What is the EU? What would leaving the EU involve? and similar questions. What that suggests is that a lot of people cast what they saw as a protest vote, without even considering that it might actually happen.

That is, I'm not sure what we are seeing is really people changing their minds on the issue. Because they were didn't actually want to leave in the first place.

I forget whether it was Vikings, Scots, Iroquois, Zulus or Spartans who had a rule for making important decisions in their tribal councils: first, you debate and vote drunk; then you debate and vote sober. You only know you're doing the right thing if the decision is the same both times.

Kenneth Rogoff has an op-ed in the Boston Globe that I have agreed with for a couple of decades now. Key grafs:

The idea that somehow any decision reached anytime by majority rule is necessarily “democratic” is a perversion of the term. Modern democracies have evolved systems of checks and balances to protect the interests of minorities and to avoid making uninformed decisions with catastrophic consequences. The greater and more lasting the decision, the higher the hurdles.

That’s why enacting, say, a constitutional amendment generally requires clearing far higher hurdles than passing a spending bill. Yet the current international standard for breaking up a country is arguably less demanding than a vote for lowering the drinking age.

Some of the attached comments are worth a read too. I especially like this one:
Spot on. But there are also some questions that should never be asked, regardless of what type of supermajority is required to pass. Like, "should we confiscate the 1%s money and divide it among everyone else?" Think that wouldn't pass? That is why direct democracy (aka mob rule) is such a bad idea.
Not saying I endorse the conclusion, but I like the example.

BTW, it seems fairly clear that Cameron is a doofus who put his own political fortunes ahead of his nation's stability, but at least he's honorable enough to have done the British thing -- resign.

--TP

"many people who voted Leave have changed their minds"

"a minimum IQ requirement"

I love cats, but we don't allow them to vote either.

Will you stay or will you go, indeed?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we1KDAW1Z4g

Tony:

"first, you debate and vote drunk; then you debate and vote sober"

There may something to drinking before voting instead of afterwards. Maybe that's why Scotland did the right thing.

In Texas, they drink before and after voting, and probably during.

So things are looking good for their secession from the Union.

Now when dealing with Republicans, the rule is shoot first, ask drunken questions later.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a46167/mitch-mcconnell-gun-legislation/

A nice survey of why IQ tests and anal cavity checks (easy to do since their brains and their asses are located in the same space) should be administered to foreign conservative American terrorists entering England, and Europe, for that matter:

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/06/24/trump-takes-idiot-to-eleven-in-scotland/

If Trump is elected President, Scotland needs to break off all diplomatic and trade relations with the United States.

Ran across this lovely item, on the reaction to Trump's comment yesterday:
one Scot on Twitter referred to the [Republican] presumptive presidential nominee as a “clueless numpty“

Gotta love their ability to turn a phrase.

Most cultures have a "decisions made while drunk should be reconsidered while sober"

The ancient Persions had a "decisions made while sober should be reconsidered while drunk" rule.

Sounds good to me.

"I love cats, but we don't allow them to vote either"

Have you TRIED registering "Furry McFluffybutt"?

Okay, needs to be an old (18 years!) cat to make the age requirement, but I'd bet there isn't an actual-written-down "must be human" rule.

And the new touch-screen voting machines seem to be perfect for cat use. Except when they go to sleep on them.

wj, the tweets Scots have sent Trump are amazing in their creative use of obscenities and scatological insults. People have been trying to collect the whole set:

"toupéd fucktrumpet"

"WITLESS FUCKING COCKSPLAT"

"tiny-fingered, Cheetoh-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon."

"degenerate corned beef face syrup wearing wankstain"

"weasel-headed fucknugget"

"weapons-grade plum"

"mangled apricot hellbeast"

Glorious stuff.

"weasel-headed fucknugget"


Let it never be said that Trump does not inspire greatness.

Another lovely neologism:
Bregret -- the reaction the morning after in Britain.

Snarki, esteemed offspring of Loki,

It was Herodotos that claimed that Scythians had the rule that they would make their all important decisions first roaring drunk and then reconsider them soberly next morning. Better still, Herodotos actually claimed that the decisions were taken in a tent heated with hot stones where the Scythians would put hemp on the stones, then throw water on the stones.

So, the Scythians would make all their decisions in a sauna, drunk and stoned, then reconsider next morning.

IMO, it matters less who originated the "drunk first, sober later" plan, but what we do with it.

But thanks for the correction Lurker.

I need to upgrade my insults.

Here's another shot at Trump from a Scotsman:

"we never got our country back, we wanted to remain, bolt ya hamster heedit bampot, away and boil yer napper"


From here:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/06/25/open-thread-donald-trump-insult-muppet/

"Chaos muppet" is pretty good too.

He's the big orange rage face of America right now.

Thanks Repubs, ya planks.

I hope Scotland gets some of those English nukes when they leave the Empire. They could name it after Trump's mother and fling it his way.

Yep, the Scots have definitely raised the bar for you. But I have faith that, with work, you can rise to the challenge.

I, for one, look forward to Count's efforts. Now, he might have to start posting while wearing a kilt. And to build up his posting-muscles by tossing cabers down the mountainside (youtube them, please). But soon enough he'll be peppering his comments with 'ye droolin fncknugget!' to the delight of all and sundry.

I bet he starts with tossing bats, and works up to cabers.

My worry is what on earth happens next...


Chancellor (for now) George Osborne famously boasted of having destroyed the Liberal party in 2010; he could now almost boast of having done the same for both Labour and the Conservative party...

There appears to be something of a power vacuum; Cameron has announced he'll stay on for at least three months - but will do nothing about Brexit negotiations in the meantime; Osbourne seems to have disappeared; Her Majesty's opposition is deliquescing.
What would happen if (as is likely) a new Conservative leader calls an election this autumn... and then loses it, but without Labour gaining a parliamentary majority? Unchartered territory does not begin to describe it.

I actually don't criticise Cameron for holding a referendum. To my mind it has been inevitable since Labour reneged on a manifesto commitment to hold one ahead of the Lisbon treaty, and then went ahead and ratified it anyway. His conduct of the campaign was seriously misguided, though, and I do think remain could have won despite everything with a bit more nous. The EU did not help matters by displaying open contempt for him during his attempt at 'renegotiation' ahead of the referendum.
That there were no contingency plans in place for a loss - the civil service was forbidden from even discussing it - is inexcusable however unlikely this outcome was believed to be at the time.

Interesting times.

"deliquescing"

Thanks, Nigel. I've learned a new word! (And may have occasion to apply it to the Republican Party here before the year is over.)

Nigel, what do you think of the scenario posited by a comment captured by this Washington Post article?

Sapient, I did like the comment to the WaPo article:
"seems like the dog that caught the car, now what does he do with it?"

That does seem to rather reflect the reactions of those who lead the Leave campaign. (Not to mention those who voted for it.)

It will happen, I think. The risks of a second referendum for both Europe and the UK, with the bitterness and division engendered by the first one outweigh any likely benefit - and merely to ignore the first vote is pretty well unthinkable.

This is by far and away the most sensible proposal I've seen:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/26/parliament-must-decide-what-brexit-means-in-the-interests-of-the/
Whether sense prevails is, of course, another matter.

('It' being Brexit.)

And European leaders are making it very clear that they don't want to help us rethink our choice:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36637232

Very clear indeed:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/26/eu-may-refuse-informal-brexit-talks-until-uk-triggers-article-50

It can hardly be surprising that European leaders are not keen on helping the UK deal with its choice. After all, they (generally) and their countries have a lot invested in the EU.

And the UK, with all its previous demands for opt-outs, etc. has hardly endeared itself to them. While there are obvious down-sides to having the UK leave, it is easy to see how much easier life within the EU would be if it wasn't continually having to deal with a member which is, at best, seriously ambivalent about being a member.

Ambivalence is not entirely confined to the UK:
http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/07/euroskepticism-beyond-brexit/

When that obnoxious teenage lout, that has been causing trouble for YEARS, yells "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!" and storms out the door, it takes incredible patience to not just lock the door and turn up the music.

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