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May 29, 2024

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Nations Service is one way to ameliorate the housing crisis - pack thousands of young people into barracks and pressure their parents to lease out their bedrooms: Meeting housing needs within planetary boundaries requires opening the black box of housing “demand”

Better quarter them at home and rent out the barracks.

On the second bullet point ("CCHQ recalls message which accused politicians refusing to knock on doors."), my local MP, a cabinet minister, knocked on my door a few weeks ago (well before the surprise election announcement), and when he asked why I so vehemently said he could not rely on my vote I replied "Because this government and the Tory party are both incompetent and corrupt." He was extremely taken aback. It was rather gratifying.

"Better quarter them at home and rent out the barracks"

UK doesn't have a 3rd Amendment, so I guess they could do that.

About packing them in barracks, it's my understanding of the National Service plan is that only a (small) portion of the National Service slots are with the military, with the rest being weekend requirements. This link
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-69065695
says 30,000 slots. Would that ameliorate housing issues?

It also seems notable that only the military national service is paid, the rest is required but free. I assume that the discussions required that due deference be given to the military (hey, you'll get the best because they are being paid!)

Typical technocrats: "Give us power and money and we will engineer a good society."

Meeting housing needs within planetary boundaries requires opening the black box of housing “demand”

A title which might seem reasionable to someone familiar only with England (or maybe Europe). But travel thru the US west of the Mississippi (not to mention the vadt majority of Canada) and the idea that the planet is lacking space for housing is seen to be just ludicrous.

My father did national service about 75 years ago. Even then the military had no use for short-term conscripts. He says it was a complete waste of time.

wj: But travel thru the US west of the Mississippi (not to mention the vadt majority of Canada) and the idea that the planet is lacking space for housing is seen to be just ludicrous.

Did you read the article? It's not about land, it's about resources and carbon footprint (including, IIUC, the resource-intensiveness of building more housing).

The fundamental premise of our analysis is that not all housing demand and use are equal. There is a fundamental difference between housing being demanded and used to meet a fundamental human need for shelter, and other uses, which in the extreme are closer to resource-intensive luxury consumption. Housing needs and wants compete for the same resources: our carbon budget and practical and political constraints to building more houses. If the goal of housing policy is to meet housing needs within planetary boundaries, then we have to open the black box of housing “demand” and prioritise meeting housing needs over expanding housing independent from use.

If solving the housing crisis involved just building more homes, then we would not be having a housing crisis to begin with. Research by co-author Rebecca Tunstall shows that the large-scale, resource-intensive expansion of the UK housing stock since the 1980s has largely accrued in second and third spare bedrooms, rather than addressing persistent problems of overcrowding, homelessness and affordability.

Not that I think "spare bedrooms" is a very practical way to think about it. But I do think distinguishing between needs and wants is useful. I'm sure I've mentioned my never-happen, pie-in-the-sky notion about homelessness and housing unaffordability in the US: no one gets to have a second (or third or whatever) home until everyone has a first home. Totally unworkable, obviously, but it does shine a light on...a number of things.

Signs are out again in central Maine of the "we buy houses" variety. Little scruffy-looking signs with a phone # ... enterprising capitalists at work. (Signage is strictly regulated in Maine as to duration, size, etc. No billboards....)

"Resources" probably also includes the cost of heating and cooling spaces that no one is actually living in, whether that means extra bedrooms or extra houses.

I live in the state that according to one article I saw has the most second homes of any of the 50. There are lots of high-end second homes, of course, many belonging to people who are only in them for part of each year. But there are also lots of "camps" -- rustic cottages that many middle and working class Mainers have for hunting trips or just getting away, not suitable for full-time, year-round dwellings but probably counted when someone is looking at 2nd homes.

JanieM - When I was looking for/at houses in Maine, I saw a bunch of those camp listings on real estate web sites. They looked perfect: some right on the water, not too expensive, maybe needing a little work. I was chagrined, to put it mildly, when I learned they're not meant for year-round residency :(

CaseyL -- yes, and a different form of confusion about them comes with the label "camp." To most of the rest of the country, AFAIK, "camp" means something like summer camp, girl scout camp, etc. That was my understanding of the word when I first came here -- someone told me that someone else (an adult) had already gone "up to camp," and I had no idea what that meant.

Further to the UK election, I give you this gem from today's Times:

Heir to Marcus Aurelius
Sir Keir Starmer has reached the “which Roman emperor would he be” stage of the election cursus honorum. Asked this at the Hay Festival, the historian Tom Holland said Starmer seems like “Marcus Aurelius without the philosophy”, which just makes him sound like a warmonger. He doesn’t even have a beard. Holland said his choice was largely because, unlike most emperors, Starmer “isn’t mad”, which you might think would be a minimum requirement for PMs. “I can’t see him making his horse a consul or castrating someone who looks like his wife,” he said. “That’s more a kind of Boris behaviour.”

It's not about land, it's about resources and carbon footprint

For big chunks of the west, the resources which are critically lacking are infrastructure. Including the electrical infrastructure needed for electric vehicles to reduce the carbon footprint.

Trump found guilty!

GUILTY ON ALL 34 COUNTS

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Didn't realize that this hadn't actually posted when i wrote it at 5:09 p.m. I guess the spam monitor doesn't like quotation marks.)

For big chunks of the west, the resources which are critically lacking are infrastructure. Including the electrical infrastructure needed for electric vehicles to reduce the carbon footprint.

Ah, Mike bait.

The US has three regional power grids. 30 years of work at the various national labs has clearly demonstrated that the Western Interconnect is by far the easiest to convert to carbon-free. Even when electric vehicle loads are added. (To better than a first approximation, the Western is AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, and WY.) Two of the biggest hurdles for the Western getting to carbon-free are parts of the federal government.

The Western Area Power Administration and the Bonneville Power Administration control quite large transmission networks within the Western Interconnect. The WAPA and BPA's primary charge is to operate at a surplus and deliver the "profit" to the US Treasury. Their transmission networks are operated to maximize income from sales of hydroelectricity from their big dams, even if using the network to transport wind power from Montana to Portland would be "better" from an overall renewable perspective. ("Profits" are revenue in excess of all expenses. That originally included the amortization of the big dams at market rates, which have long since been paid off. To meet new capital requirements, the WAPA and BPA sell revenue bonds in the open market.)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sets rules for interstate electricity markets in the US. The only interstate markets the major utilities in the Western Interconnect participate in are limited energy imbalance markets, because those are the only ones where generators can be restricted as to fuel type. The big states (by population) don't want to participate in interstate markets where Wyoming or Utah could bid cheap coal-fired electricity.

Ahem: The pile of walking talking vomit has been found Guilty on all 34 counts.

The pile of walking talking vomit has been found Guilty on all 34 counts.

The days when you want an up button :^)

:D

Clearly everything was a shambolic sham of a sham witch hunt, with a twist of lemon.

Janie, it was worth your all caps, and all the exclamation marks!

yes exclamation marks, not quotation marks; i am multitasking, obviously not a good idea

I have had a TV channel on for an hour or so, which I rarely do, and am marveling at the reminder of how these people have to blather and blather and blather some more ... first realized it during the coverage of Diana's funeral procession -- I hadn't watched TV for years at that point, and hadn't understood what it had turned into

oddly enough, what it reminded me of is the 4 days after JFK's death -- the first and only time in my childhood when TV covered only one thing for several days

Now for the sentence, the appeal and finally the delay of a SCOTUS decision until after the election where he will be found guilty if losing and innocent if elected again or installed by coup 2.0.
But let's get a little high for the moment.
I am going to open the bottle of cider prematurely instead of waiting for the weekend.

I’ve largely ignored the trial —( guess what I think Trump should be tried for? It starts with a Y.) but it is somehow moving that 12 ordinary people all concluded he was guilty of all counts. I would assume Trump’s lawyers were satisfied with the jurors back whenever this all started. I would assume some are Republicans. I hope so, because it would reinforce the hopeful idea that ordinary people can look at facts in a nonpartisan way.

it is somehow moving that 12 ordinary people all concluded he was guilty of all counts

Yes. It is like waking up at least briefly from a weird dream, and feeling as if regular life can still be had. I have schooled myself not to have any hopes in relation to anything Clickbait touches, and today gave a bit of a respite from the constant disgust, dismay, and dread.

Also -- I fear for the jurors....

Sentencing looks to be interesting. The penalty could be just monetary, or it could include jail time.

On one hand, as a first time offender he might be unlikely to get jail time. On the other hand,

  • There were 34 counts, not just one. So, more like a crime spree.
  • His accountant was convicted on just a dozen counts of the same thing, was also a first time offender, and got 7 years in prison. Equity would seem to require at least some jail time.
  • There is no sign of (or, realistically, any chance of a show of) remorse. Which is usually a precondition for leniency in sentencing.
So, all in all, it won't be amazing, at least to me, if TCFG** gets sentence to do time. Maybe home detention and an ankle monitor, but something.

There will doubtless be appeals. But to have any chance, there would have to have been evidence improperly allowed (and if the defense didn't object at the time, that collapses), or something wrong with the judge's instructions to the jury as to what the law is, etc. Appeals courts virtually never reverse a jury's finding of fact. In short, appeals might buy time. The NY appeals courts, and Supreme Court, might reject frivolous appeals rather briskly, so perhaps not that much time.

** The Convicted Former Guy.

Also -- I fear for the jurors...

Also the prosecutors, the witnesses, the judge, etc. And even their families.

BUT, the convictions and sentences for the January 6 insurrectionists appears to have concentrated minds among the armchair revolutionaries. ("You mean I could go to jail for this?!?!? Who knew???") That doesn't mean there aren't still some nutcases out there. But there is a much smaller crowd for them to hid in. Which makes spotting them ahead of time is far more feasible.

..., or something wrong with the judge's instructions to the jury as to what the law is, etc.

The case is complex and novel enough that there's a good chance an appeal court may find a reason to sustain the appeal.

Two things can be true: Trump is guilty and he was subjected to politically motivated prosecution. It's also the weakest case brought against him so far.

Here are some criticisms of the case. First, a summary since the article may be tldr.

"Sullum critiques the prosecution's theories as convoluted and implausible. He notes that the case relied heavily on Cohen, a convicted felon with questionable credibility. The prosecution needed to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal another crime, which they argued was a violation of an obscure New York election law and possibly federal campaign finance laws."
Summary and Analysis of "The Verdict Against Trump Suggests Jurors Bought the Prosecution's Dubious 'Election Fraud' Narrative"

The article:

"Bragg's predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., after lengthy consideration of possible state charges based on the Daniels payment, decided they were too legally iffy to pursue. Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor in Vance's office who worked on the Trump investigation, concluded that "such a case was too risky under New York law." In a 2023 book, Pomerantz noted that "no appellate court in New York had ever upheld (or rejected) this interpretation of the law.""
Trump's Conviction Suggests Jurors Bought the Prosecution's Dubious 'Election Fraud' Narrative: There was a glaring mismatch between the charges against the former president and what prosecutors described as the essence of his crime.

Maybe SCOTUS will take that as a pretense to declare campaign finance laws for per se unconstitutional and any conviction for breaking of such as nil and void retrospectively (requiring compensation for the donor ands acceptor class victims).

I like people who weren't convicted.

https://x.com/OrinKerr/status/1796288684876292511

Maybe SCOTUS will take that as a pretense to declare campaign finance laws for per se unconstitutional and any conviction for breaking of such as nil and void retrospectively (requiring compensation for the donor ands acceptor class victims).

He wasn't charged with breaking Federal campaign finance laws. (Which would have been a Federal, not a state, crime.) He was charged with falsifying business records -- which he quite clearly did.

But that would be a misdemeanor normally. The reason it was a felony was that the falsification was in aid of committing another crime. That other crime could have been breaking Federal campaign finance laws. Or it could have been to fraudulantly obtain business loans. And, note that, as I understand it, the jury didn't have to specify what that other crime was. Indeed, under New York law, the jurors didn't even have to agree on what that other crime was.

In short, it isn't known whether Federal campaign finance law even came up. And, short of question each juror, there isn't any way to tell.

Trump continues to attract less-than-competent lawyers. And then interferes with the legal strategies of the ones he gets.

"On Thursday, Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to become a convicted felon thanks to a jury of 12 New Yorkers. The verdict was swift, coming after less than two days of deliberations in the hush money trial.

But a conviction was not inevitable. The legal issues were intricate and in some key respects novel, and some of them will credibly be at issue on appeal. The state’s evidence was voluminous but far from airtight, and there were weaknesses and gaps in the prosecution’s evidence as the case unfolded."
Trump Bungled the Trial (Summary and Analysis)

wj, as if the current SCOTUS bunch would care about such technicalities. They are thinking far beyond His Orangeness and obliterating campaign finance laws is on the agenda. It could be: "Sorry, we can't do anything about this specific case (rescuing His Orangeness) but - while we are at it - it touches on the matter of campaign finace laws, so we feel the obligation to address that too and, based on OUR understanding, those are clearly against original intent which only wanted to ban working people not the spiritual successors of landed gentry from pooling money to lease politicians."

The one thing most apparent to me in the last 24 hours is just how thorough the regime cleavage in the US has become.

Two entirely different worlds. No bridges remain.

I mean, what is there left to discuss? Engagement is pointless.

The average person has more freedom of speech today than ever before, and all of it is entirely useless on the other side of the chasms that have been created between groups.

nous: depressingly, horrifyingly, true.

Here are some excerpts from the jury instructions discussing what laws the falsification of business records may have been in furtherance of:

NEW YORK ELECTION LAW § 17-152 PREDICATE

The People allege that the other crime the defendant intended to commit, aid, or conceal is a violation of New York Election Law section 17-152.

Section 17-152 of the New York Election Law provides that any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto, shall be guilty of conspiracy to promote or prevent an election.

Under our law, a person is guilty of such a conspiracy when, with intent that conduct be performed that would promote or prevent the election of a person to public office by unlawful
means, he or she agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct.

(...)

“By Unlawful Means”

Although you must conclude unanimously that the
defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were.

In determining whether the defendant conspired to
promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you may consider the following: (1) violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act otherwise known as FECA; (2) the falsification of other business records; or (3) violation of tax laws.

THE FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT

The first of the People’s theories of “unlawful means” which I will now define for you is the Federal Election Campaign Act.

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, it is unlawful for an individual to willfully make a contribution to any candidate with respect to any election for federal office, including the office of President of the United States, which exceeds a certain limit. In 2015 and 2016, that limit was $2,700. It is also unlawful under the Federal Election Campaign Act for any corporation to willfully make a contribution of any amount to a candidate or candidate’s campaign in connection with any federal election, or for any person to cause such a corporate contribution. For purposes of these prohibitions, an expenditure made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or his agents shall be considered to be a contribution to such candidate.

(...)

VIOLATION OF TAX LAWS

The People’s third theory of “unlawful means” which I will define for you now is a Violation of Tax Laws.

Under New York State and New York City law, it is unlawful to knowingly supply or submit materially false or fraudulent information in connection with any tax return.

Likewise, under federal law, it is unlawful for a person to willfully make any tax return, statement, or other document that is fraudulent or false as to any material matter, or that the person does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter.

Under these federal, state, and local laws, such conduct is unlawful even if it does not result in underpayment of taxes.

I predict a short prison sentence, because really, why should Merchan put up with Trump's behaviour?

I don't predict that Trump will actually serve any time.

I predict a short prison sentence, because really, why should Merchan put up with Trump's behaviour?

I don't predict that Trump will actually serve any time.

I think you're half right. Both his fixer and his accountant were convicted over the same crimes, albeit not for so many counts. They got 3 years and 7 years prison time respectively. So it doesn't seem like a stretch that he'll get some time.

But I expect that he will actually have to serve time. It might be house arrest, with no phone or Internet, but it also might be an actual prison of some kind. (I don't know from the New York prison system, beyond having heard of Sing Sing. So I don't know what the options are.)

Partly it's just that the conventional wisdom seems to be "No jail time." Just as it was that he would never be convicted, and before that that he would never be brought to trial. The predictions of his immunity have been so consistently wrong that it's enormously tempting to expect them to be wrong yet again. I'm giving in to that temptation.

wj: FYLTGE

Not that we needed any reminding, but the GOP reaction to the verdict is a stark reminder of why they should never have the WH, a majority on Congress, or a majority on SCOTUS ever again.

They're very straightforwardly calling for an end to a criminal justice system that does not favor the GOP, and the creation of one that does.

This made me smile, posted by a guy called Hopi Sen who is a former head of campaigns for Labour:

We’ve convicted two former heads of state in England. The sentencing guidelines are clear, the first had his head chopped off, The second was already dead, so we dug him up, chopped off his head and displayed it on a spike above the legislature for 25 years. Your move, America

Tsk, tsk.
If you keep saying things like this, you'll make us think we are (in law, if not in practice) more civilized than you Brits are. Which would require a serious readjustment of our worldview.

Trump continues to attract less-than-competent lawyers.

LOL. Perhaps if he did not have the well deserved reputation for stiffing them, he might get better representation.

"Bragg's predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., after lengthy consideration of possible state charges based on the Daniels payment, decided they were too legally iffy to pursue.

KDrum would demur: https://jabberwocking.com/39236-2/

Also of note: I have heard that the appeal cannot be started until after the sentencing. This should be fun.

Trump continues to attract less-than-competent lawyers.

I don't think this is quite accurate. Say rather that Trump continues to pay premium prices for less-than-competent lawyers. Simply because competent lawyers generally decline to work for him. And those who will, just for the huge paychecks, look incompetent because their client insists.

I have heard that the appeal cannot be started until after the sentencing. This should be fun.

I believe this is how New York does it.

I have read that one of the next steps is an investigation by the probation department, including an interview with Trump. The department will make a sentencing recommendation to the judge. I would pay to watch that interview.

If I have understood correctly, going for the interview isn't (quite) required. And not going isn't super unusual, especially for first time offenders. Note, that's first time offenders; not serial offenders who have merely been convicted for the first time.

It's just that not doing so can be negatively interpreted by the judge during sentencing. Not least because the interview is where contrition can be expressed. (Of course, if there is no contrition, that's a moot point.) It's also where extenuating circumstances (if any) can be brought up.

I liked this, from a Business Insider piece about the probation interview.

"Most first-time, white-collar criminals are so utterly shocked by their conviction and so completely terrified as to what comes next, that they will crawl to the probation offices and begin the process of begging for mercy," joked Kuby.

Well, I can't help wondering whether Nigel Farage's decision to replace Tice as leader of the Reform Party (actually a company of which Farage is the owner), and stand for the seat of Clacton, after saying a mere week or so ago that he would not stand because it's more important to help re-elect Trump, could be anything to do with Trump's conviction. Hard to believe it's not connected....

On the one hand, Trump's conviction. On the other, Trump has no convictions whatsoever.

Of course Trump has convictions. He's convinced that he's great. He's convinced that, whenever things go wrong, it is someone else's fault. Just for two examples.

Although, on stuff that doesn't impact him personally, about all he has convictions on are things amounting to racism.

There's a fine line between a conviction and an unhealthy fixation born of deep insecurity. I've always thought that Commander Rikers fell more on the insecurity side of the equation.

Off thread: I'm just watching C4 News which is showing many of the ceremonies, in France and here, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I may have posted this before in previous years, but I know that so many of you are connoisseurs of Britspeak that you may nonetheless appreciate hearing it again. One of the English officers (whom I knew many years ago and who told the story) was camped on the South Coast with thousands of others awaiting the date for embarkation, which was secret even from all of the troops and most of the officers. He was woken at dawn on the day by his batman coming in with tea, and saying "Morning, sir. Tea, sir. Invasion, sir.

"

Excellent story.

British batman always sounds more like Alfred.

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British paratroopers had to go through French passport control after parachuting into Normandy

:)

https://x.com/SkyNews/status/1798608825890619770

Ah, Brexit. The gift that keeps on giving.

I do wonder how long it will be before the UK is willing to admit, if only implicitly, that they were conned into a bad mistake. And applies to rejoin the EU. It's pretty certain, IMHO, that it will happen eventually. The only question is, When?

Speaking as an ignorant Yank, I don't see the UK rejoining the EU for decades.

As I understand it, UK law rests heavily on the sovereignity of Parliament, which means there is no agreement which could not be overturned by 50%+1 vote of a later Parliament.

Now, this has always been the case, but after the Tory/[other right-wing parties] debacle, it's far more likely.

A lot of very moving stuff from Normandy today. I only hope that US news shows Biden speaking: passionate, clear, articulate, all there.

I only saw a clip of Biden, but my spies now tell me his whole speech was terrific and powerful, and it was on MSNBC. For anybody who wants to see it, and/or spread it around, it certainly dispels any idea of his being gaga, and for those who remember Trump in Europe, and his "but what was in it for them?" remarks about the fallen soldiers, the contrast is instructive.

And applies to rejoin the EU. It's pretty certain, IMHO, that it will happen eventually.

I don't think it's going to happen - within the next 20 years at least.

Whatever happens, it will be a gradual process and the end result will probably some form of associate membership for economic reasons. Even if the UK eventually becomes a member again, it will never get the special status back it once had and current member states will make sure that the UK is put in its place.

Of course the EU and its member states are proclaiming that the UK is always welcome to come back and UK public opinion is quite positive, but I don't think this is realistic:

The EU has been strengthened by Brexit, as the UK is not impeding integration anymore and the European right stopped using EU exit as a threat.

Both major UK parties are scared to even mention Brexit, let alone talking about rejoining. And the majority of the media has been attacking the EU and pushing 'sovereignty' for decades and will do so forever.

typed in a hurry...

Sunak's decision to leave the D-Day commemoration early, to go and record an ITV interview for the election campaign, has drawn huge criticism and no little fury. The thing is, WW2 is very widely seen as a just war, and to some extent (and to quote Churchill) "our finest hour". Not only jingoist rightwingers take these ceremonies seriously, particularly as all the remaining veterans, many of whom were there, are either approaching or past their centenary. I have no doubt that racism will play a part in the criticism from some quarters (Farage et al, for instance), but even lefty/liberals seem pretty disgusted, and the Tories (who are far more susceptible to going on about patriotism) are incandescent with fury. It couldn't happen to a better bunch of people.

Trump decided when president not to attend a memorial ceremony near Paris lest his hair get wet. That doesn't seem to bother the US right.

I don't suppose anyone actually cares directly whether Sunak spends his time cluttering up a beach in Normandy or telling lies on UK TV. It's just that we want politicians to put up with some inconvenience on these occasions.

Meanwhile, authorities in France saw fit to check the passports of paratroopers dropping in for the commemoration. Brexit was a stupid idea, but there's not much love here for the EU and we won't be rejoining any time soon: this sort of behaviour may explain why not.

#1: it's not the fault of French border control that UK went for Brexit.
#2: if they were *smart* (which they should have been, but probably not), those border control agents would put a SPECIAL commemorative stamp in the paratrooper's passports, and enthusiastically welcomed them.

Even if the UK eventually becomes a member again, it will never get the special status back it once had and current member states will make sure that the UK is put in its place.

Yeah, the pound will be right out.

Euro membership is by no means a requirement for EU membership.

The EU would be pretty keen to have the UK back, as the third largest net contributor to its budget (after Germany, and France). It would make concessions to achieve that. But for the same reason, now that the UK has withdrawn, getting the electorate to agree to rejoin would be very difficult.

Meanwhile, authorities in France saw fit to check the passports of paratroopers dropping in for the commemoration. Brexit was a stupid idea, but there's not much love here for the EU and we won't be rejoining any time soon: this sort of behaviour may explain why not.

I don't know, I can't see it as particularly bad behaviour by the French; I gather the passport checks took place in a corner of the field that most of the paratroopers had come down in. Seems reasonable to me, in today's world.

My impression on the Brexit thing is that public opinion has switched. According to the National Centre for Social Research poll of polls, 58% are for "Remain/Rejoin/For Rejoining", and 42% for "Leave/Stay Out/Against Joining". But the subject is so heavily freighted with bitterness and anger (and not only mine!) that I think politicians are far too wary to even go there. Maybe it will change in 10 years or so.

The UK net contribution to the budget in 2016 was about 5%, so this won't be a major factor in trying to get the UK to rejoin. The overall loss of trade is much more significant but is felt more by the UK economy and can be absorbed more easily by the EU.

In 2019, the UK's last year in the EU, its net contribution was approaching 7% of the total budget. That is a major consideration for both sides - in budgetary terms Brexit is like California seceding from the USA.

My impression is that UK voters in favour of Brexit are much more likely to vote on that basis than the soft majority for membership. If politicians could win net votes by advocating rejoining, they would.

I don't think the EU budget hole is relevant in the long run - of course Brexit would cost everyone some money, but in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing.

I'm much more worried about the long-term impact on the UK and, believe me, there is no gloating involved (not anymore to be truthful) because for better or worse I live here and really don't want the socioeconomic situation in the UK to deteriorate even further (thank you Tories!). Stuff like this makes me shudder (as if things weren't bad enough already):

https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-new-report-suggests-uk-311bn-worse-off-by-2035-due-to-leaving-eu-13046256

I don't think focusing on rejoining is helpful as it's not realistic anytime soon. Hopefully, Labour will find a way to simply converge with the EU as much as possible without the crazies noticing or the public caring, so that the economic impact can be minimised gradually.

What's it worth to the UK to be able to issue debt in a currency they can print in unlimited quantities -- subject to what the international currency markets do to them -- than to issue it in euros?

Was site chair at a conference at my uni this week, so sorry for missing all the fun about Rish! and D-day. While I usually agree with pro bono, I disagree with the comment about the passport checks. To say the French are doing it just to make a point is basically saying that everyone should have cut the UK more slack, so it's basically some sort of privilege that is being invoked. Which is kind of what got the UK in the problem in the first place.

Also, while I don't feel any sympathy for Sunak, it does seem like no one likes him, hence the unloading. It feels like there is some underlying racism flaring up, though this Guardian piece points to other flare-ups related to patriotism and the World Wars.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jun/07/rishi-sunaks-d-day-campaign-history

The article had a nice bon mot at the beginning

We shall fight them on the beaches, said Churchill. We shall leave them on the beaches, said Sunak.

ouch.

I'm not sure how much of it is racism (the rightwing Tories love Badenoch and Patel for instance) - it might rather be a more diffuse form of nativism and general revulsion against an international billionaire who is out of touch - he didn't know how to use a contactless bank card at the petrol station for instance:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2022/08/10/rishi-sunak-was-taught-how-to-use-a-contactless-card-17159690/amp/

I wonder about that too. I feel like they like them until they don't. They certainly dropped (I think) Kwasi Kwarteng pretty quickly. Which is unfortunate from a bad pum standpoint, imagine the fun that would have with Badenoch as PM and Kwarteng as Chancellor and the crashes they could achieve...

Hmmm. I think that dismissing racism on the basis of Patel and Badenoch is simplistic. IMO the racist Tories (i.e. not all Tories) see those two as wonderful tokens. Sort of like what Ann Coulter said to Sean Hannity in 2011, talking about Herman Cain, "Our blacks are so much better than their blacks".

I disagree with the comment about the passport checks. To say the French are doing it just to make a point is basically saying that everyone should have cut the UK more slack, so it's basically some sort of privilege that is being invoked. Which is kind of what got the UK in the problem in the first place.

It's probably worth noting that, even pre-Brexit**, the passport checks would have happened. Likely in the UK, before boarding the planes, so nobody would have noticed. But they would have happened.

To have avoided that, the UK would have to be part of the Schengen Agreement. Which it never has been.

** I confess that my first thought was to credit blame Brexit. But I was wrong on that.

Nothing wrong with the passport checks having happened discreetly. But setting up a comedy desk in a field is just rude.

it's not as if anyone thinks the paratroopers might be illegal immigrants.

It's one of those things which doesn't actually matter, like Sunak leaving early. But it looks the way it looks.

That's so funny, Pro Bono! I would have thought it was much worse to have them go elsewhere, like an office, for such a formality. To me, the field was a charming way to handle something that had to be done, but which everybody understood to not be a real suggestion that there was anything dicey about their status. Ah well, different strokes etc.

In other news, i.e. EU elections:

The far-right AfD will likely be the 2nd strongest party in Germany (16%), after the Conservatives (30%), creating huge problems for the current coalition (Social Democrats (14%), Greens (12%), Liberals).

Even worse, RN, Le Pen's party is getting twice as many votes (31%) as RE, Macron's party (15%) and he is calling a snap election for 30th June / 7th July.

Finally, Austria's far-right FPO becomes the strongest party (27%).

Good times!

Nothing wrong with the passport checks having happened discreetly. But setting up a comedy desk in a field is just rude

But was it handled badly? Or did the French handle it properly, and some enterprising (British, probably) photographer just seized an opportunity?* The latter wouldn't surprise me.

** And to judge by the reaction he was not wrong

it's not as if anyone thinks the paratroopers might be illegal immigrants.

At least not in France. I am pretty sure many in the US could be made to believe that this is the new way to get past the Southern border and the vigilantes.

In other news, i.e. EU elections...

Before the end of the century, well over a billion climate refugees will attempt to migrate to the temperate, developed parts of the world. Arguably, it has already started. The anti-immigration part of the far right's platform is going to be increasingly popular.

And it's already getting increasingly normalized to call for outright (and televised*) murder of prospective immigrants and refugees. On both sides of the Atlantic.

*Italy's Berlusconi was the pioneer of that over here (he was prime minister and also the owner of huge parts of the media. Like Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes as POTUS)

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