Cheeseburger Gothic


Posted June 27, 2016 into Politics by John Birmingham

I'm back from a week at the beach and much has changed.

Lord Nblob wisheds to dicuss the UK's leaving of Europe, and possibly their senses, but I'm not familiar enough with it to write much. It just seems a bit of a monster raving loony decision to me.

Perhaps I shall turn this over to Mr Wrren Ellis, who weekly newsletter, Orbital Operations, was mostly concerned with the madness of Brexit.

(You can subscribe here).

Not a great week, eh?

I've spent the last couple of days wondering what the hell I'm going to say here. As most of you know, my country voted to leave the European Union.

Jo Cox, foreign aid worker, anti-slavery activist and MP, was shot in the face, shot twice more and then stabbed multiple times by a man who gave his name in court as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain." Vote Leave repeatedly flew a plane trailing the slogan banner "Take Control #VoteLeave" over her memorial in London. On the night of Leave's victory, UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed to have won a war of independence "without a single bullet being fired."

Yes, I'm furious, still.

Ex-commodity broker Farage, inspired to enter politics by Enoch Powell and as cartoonishly-drawn an incipient Fascist leader as could be imagined, is gleefully informing people that Leave promises like 350 million a week put into the National Health Service were bare-faced lies and that he still intends to push for its dismantlement. The EU exit does not block future immigration, and towns like Sunderland that voted Leave experience around a quarter of the average immigration rate per capita. (Sunderland's massive swing for Leave is put down to one of the region's major employers, Nissan, writing to its employees suggesting they may want to consider Remain because something like half their output is sold into the EU.)

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (yes, you read that right) is likely to be the next Prime Minister - while Farage claims Brexit as a defeat of the elite by "ordinary. decent people," he has been an instrument in placing a man related to most of the royal families of Europe and educated in Brussels and Eton into power.

The EU is moving to punish us. Technically, the legal instrument to commence our exit from the EU doesn't have to be triggered for some time -- in fact, some legal voices say there's not actually a basis to trigger it at all. But it seems the EU intend to punitively fast-track British exit in order that other member states get a good look at what happens when you fuck up this badly.

Immigration is what makes this country great. Always has been. Free movement is what has allowed millions of British people to live and work in Europe. Kind of nervous about showing my face in Berlin or Paris now, to be honest with you.

Scotland want to negotiate their own stay in the EU, which is unlikely, as then it opens up the possibility of, say, the Basque region or Catalonia deciding they might like their own status with the EU as a precursor to another move for independence from Spain.

I confess to still not being completely rational about all this.

The Labour Party's defense of Remain was, frankly, somewhat half-hearted and somewhat stumbling, and now leader Jeremy Corbyn is dealing with movements to remove him by apparently setting up an auto-da-fe that seems quite likely to burn the current party structure to the ground.

And, hey, Sunday morning, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon thinks she sees a way to veto the exit. Concerns about rising hate speech. Leave campaign may not have had a post-win plan. Increases in hate speech reported. Rumblings of Corbyn planning to have ex-PM Tony Blair imminently investigated for war crimes, triggering a Blairite coup. Schisms in EU about speed of exit. Everything is happening very fast right now, and some of what I've said above may be about to change, and may already have changed by the time this reaches you.

I would love to have something brilliantly clever to say about all this, or even warmly comforting, but I am feeling neither clever nor comfortable.

Perhaps I may sleep under Glastonbury Tor until Albion needs me again.

38 Responses to ‘Brexit’

Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted June 27, 2016
Warren is always wise.

Remember, despair is a sin. Anger, such as Warren's above, is a better reaction.

My own reaction, as a non-Brit but married to a Scot, is severe disappointment.

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted June 28, 2016
Not about the reading habits of folks living in the American Midwest, but then I digress.

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted June 27, 2016
Travelling to Germany in a few weeks. Mrs W and I are both UK passport holders. But will be blazoning ourselves with Aussie flags, now.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted June 27, 2016
To me it was the anti-immigration types pandering to a "Love Thy Neighbour" mentality; "Eeeeh! That Eddie's a scamp isn't he? But deep down a loverly chap."
That sort of fear of outsiders taking jobs, culture and national identity away was not countered well by the Remain group. There is now the real concern that those who work in manufacturing and service industries will lose jobs as EU countries look elsewhere for products. The older voters who strongly supported the "leave" campaign may well find their pension funds devalued in the subsequent ructions in markets and uncertain trade arrangements. That'd be a fine irony.
There is some thought that the younger voters who'd prefer to stay didn't turn out in enough numbers because, you know, Facebook, Twitter and lassitude.
It was an emotional vote based on fear and a yearning for "old" Great Britain. Its almost as if they want to bring back rationing, crap Leyland cars and pub's closing between lunch and dinner. Oh, and Dick Emery.
The politics of fear. Emotion over thought.
Kinda reminds me of something.
So when do we start sending care packages again?

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted June 27, 2016
Can anybody tell me why the incumbent retards didnt make this a MANDATORY FKN VOTE! or did they think they had the numbers etc etc. I'm watching .........its a fkn train wreck I think..pending!

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Aaron is gonna tell you...

Posted June 27, 2016
Who needs a clever conspiracy when all you need is some half assed rhetoric aimed at people who couldn't be bothered to google what they were voting on.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted June 27, 2016
Are you referring to Great Britain or Australia?

Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted June 27, 2016
Seems to work well for both....

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Apparently they googled it AFTER they voted. At least according to the google analytics including the phrase 'what is the EU?'

Cynic mutters...

Posted July 15
Hi Barnesm

That was debunked the day before you posted that comment.

damian mutters...

Posted July 16
Yep, definitely sea-lioning.

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pitpat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 27, 2016
I think from what I have read that the majority have given the elite the finger. Those well educated smug condescending and well meaning individuals have just had a powerful lesson in why you should go down to the pub on a Friday evening to have a listen to what the shop worker, the single parent, the recently sacked, and the middle management types think when they are half cut and are more likely to tell you what they actually think.

The majority that voted for the exit have done so purely out of self interest. This is at least honest. Whether it was an emotional or rational response is not relevant. From my distant view I can see no morally right or wrong position, and economically it is far from clear that the EU was going to survive much longer anyway. It may turn out to be well out of the coming carnage that is surely coming western Europe's way.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted June 28, 2016
"so purely out of self interest" like the town Ebbe Vale in Wales that of those who voted, 62% voted to leave, inspite of meaning they loose out on significant funding provided by the EU. The Guardian estimates 1.8bilion promised by the EU for infrastructure by 2020 is no longer assured.

Its not self interest, when you aren't provided with the correct information to make a rational decision. How can you know what's in your 'best interest' when your are manipulated and those who you depend on for information lie to you.

pitpat would have you know...

Posted June 28, 2016
I'd agree with a caveat. That being that at the time of casting their vote they acted in what they thought was in their ( and presumably their families) best interest based on the information they had to hand. It is not rational. Voting is a popularity contest, it is not based on merit, the best idea does not always win, if you give people a binary choice don't be surprised if they don't agree with you. The failure of the 'remain' camp and the EU in general to positively articulate their message only exacerbated an already fear laden older populace who are worried about their children's future. These are the people who voted.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Similarly with agriculture. The EU subsidises UK agriculture by 2.5 - 3 billion pounds per year. This represents up to 60% of income for farmers who receive EU and environmental subsidies. Farms which aren't economically viable but assist in maintaining a green environment (and look pretty as well) are subsidised. This happens throughout the EU. So there's another thing which the UK government will need to address.
Other will point out the possible movement of financial businesses (what they call The City in London) to EU bases. London has been seen as an important hub in the EU financial world. Mebbe not so much in the near future.
A lot of consequences which weren't considered. Fear won.

damian puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
London is the biggest exchange market for the Euro, even though the UK is not a Eurozone country. It can only do this because the UK is an EU member state, which means it simply can't continue when that isn't the case.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted June 28, 2016
Yep. I reckon the facilities/real estate teams in the major banks/institutions will be keeping an eye out on commercial lease options for extra floor space in their Euro locations. In a year or two could be some attractive lease options come up in the vacated London spaces.

damian asserts...

Posted June 28, 2016
Not to mention housing not longer required for City yuppies. It could mean apartments in London becoming affordable for the first time in generations.

Cynic has opinions thus...

Posted July 15
Damien: "London is the biggest exchange market for the Euro, even though the UK is not a Eurozone country. It can only do this because the UK is an EU member state, which means it simply can't continue when that isn't the case."

- I don't think that's true:

damian mumbles...

Posted July 16
The article you link doesn't actaully say that, rather it characterises Hollande saying something similar as an "empty threat" and makes a series of assertions without any convincing argument or citation. This opinion piece in Forbes doesn't say anything about the quite widespread discussion around the London financial markets finding more accommodating homes in Frankfurt, Paris and Rome. The columnist appears to be arguing against a case that no-one is making.

You on the other hand seem to be sea-lioning.

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Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted June 27, 2016
I voted "Remain" ,now that was a catchy slogan :-(
So my two cents (actually only 1.4 cents since Stirling devalued)

apart from the dire economic consequences (which may or may not be long term)
1. Union will break up- Scotland will leave
2. Connected to the above, and the fact we can’t afford it- we won’t have a Trident replacement. I don't particularly want a replacement (although i do think we should keep nukes - anything that would make a mess of a few cities in Middle East should suffice) but I know that Putin will consider cancellation a geopolitical win.
3. Irish problem will reignite, and you know what- as the son of an Ulster protestant I’d actually support a United Ireland now.
4. Boris pure rationale was to become leader of Tory party and PM – but he counted on losing the vote – but still critically wounding Cameron – now we’re leaving its genuinely acknowledged that Boris lack of eye for detail just isn’t up to the job… he may have F’*ked himself as well as the country.
5. This may be the first chink in the western alliance which brings everything tumbling down.
6. The pre-eminence of the english language (and associated value system may well suffer as a consequence

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted June 27, 2016
1. Tip of the thinsulate lined beanie.
2. 2 parts ignorance, 1 part anger. Blend with a handful of Apathy. Blend. Serve in a tall glass with bruised & balkanised Tories.
3. Or the first proxy war between Murddoch aging Sultanate vs El Goog & Farcebook.

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
That would taste awful.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted June 27, 2016
Scotland will do something, whether or not they can block the Brexit. Their second secession referendum is "highly likely". I don't see how independent Scotland in the EU means a Basque state too, but also not convinced if it did that would be a bad thing (though cf Northern Ireland).

Not sure how many more whispers of Irish Unity it will take to make us suddenly very aware just how many guns the IRA and the UDA/UFF have squirreled away. Both sides contain factions of humorless people with long memories, who weren't really convinced the fighting should stop the last time around. Not sure an independent Ulster makes any more sense of course.

For England an immediate increase in the frequency and severity of racist violence (some say already happening, others that it's the new normal). Farange has already proudly boasted that the thing he said about the NHS was a big lie. Cameron has trashed Jonson's career on his way out. Already clear that as far as the Tories are concerned membership of the EU or not will have zero effect on immigration. And whatever is left of the UK will have at least one land border with at least one EU member state (not counting the chunnel).

The other part is that the investment bankers (not just rhyming slang here) will likely need to relocate and that's a really big deal. The London financial markets have made a big, big thing out of being based in a non-Eurozone but EU member state. Maybe the Brits are well in the rights to see the backside of those parasites, but it doesn't mean they, or the rest of the world, get a free ride through any resulting economic effects. No-one really knows what those are right now. It might not be a massive global recession, but it's not likely to be happy fun times either. For us looking to something like Swann's performance in 2007/8 is the model for weathering that, and we can only hope there isn't a nitwit like Morrison in the hot seat when the time comes.

Lulu mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
"Not sure an independent Ulster makes any more sense of course."

Going by my own extended family, the humorless Ulster Presbyterians who paint Union Jacks on their letterboxes tend to have cultural / family / etc links with Scotland. So if Scotland exits the UK to stay in the EU, they might be happy doing the same. However, the possibility of a "United Kingdom of Scotland & Ulster" might be looked upon less kindly by the Ulster Republicans.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted June 27, 2016
And le sigh, is there a reliable way to get paragraph spacing in this place anymore?

NBlob mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
You need to pop down to Greybeard's HTML foundry. He wrought for me a pair of jabby brackets and a nice br to fit between them. They work quite well


NBlob puts forth...

Posted June 28, 2016
Sometimes, when fruit fondle slab doesn't auto capitalise.

damian mumbles...

Posted June 28, 2016
Seems legit


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Aaron would have you know...

Posted June 27, 2016
My statement could apply to both oz and uk or most places for that natter.

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Dirk would have you know...

Posted June 28, 2016
About 300 kliks from ground zero on the other side of the channel, dust is settling. The vox populi that rears its - imho ugly - head in Europe at the moment and won it's first battle. And though we, on this side of the channell will reap the benefits of this, the situation saddens me. I'll explain:

For all intends and purposes it's 1848 again. Then as now in an continent that was at peace, it was believed something had to change. Sure, the EU isn't perfect, neither are those who rule it. But thinking that a process of splitting it up is the solution, will have dire consequences.

1848 brought us constitutional monarchies, liberalism, revolutions, the naissance of socialism, and a lot of death. War in the 1860-1880 followed in Germany, Denmark and France, which led to ultimately WW1 and 2.

So a few predictions:
1. the end of the United Kingdom; broken up in a block of England-Wales, an independent Scotland (in the EU) and maybe even an united Ireland (also in the EU).
2. England klinging to it's nukes, but with no money to renew them. High unemployment and an exodus of intellect and capital.
3. A new EU in which the Benelux, Austria and Germany (and maybee a France under Sarkozy and Italy) will become for all intends and purposes one state (USofE lets say). A safe haven for British capital and free minds, but with a strict immigration barrier to the not so fortunate brothers and sisters in the rest of Europe and Africa/ME.
4. A fractured old EU in which a Front National dominated France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Eastern block will have to lick their wounds and hope for handouts from the USofE block.
5. A Scandinavian block which will be more akin to the German/Benelux block and in the future could merge with it.

But one thing will be certain I fear. There will be blood and tears. A Chinese curse is "May you live in interesting times". Alas we do ...

So the glass is half empty I fear.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 28, 2016
Another thought bubble:
Campaigns I've witnessed featured nuanced messages that bore *some* relationship with what one could call reality.

It would seem that some of the statements made ( I only know of examples from the Exit campaign) were flat false. Out & out horesh!t with 0.0 factual content. Yet people, presumably good, normal rational people reacted to these myths as fact. <Br>

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted June 29, 2016
That nice young Mr Carlin has an interesting take.

Suggesting that under an authoritarian regime the Lumpenproles can be *reasonably* controlled through a playbook old as the hills.

In a participatory democracy the proles, once sufficiently disaffected with the Established parties, start delivering electoral FuckYous. Probably to their own long term cost, but (& heres the rub) not significantly more than they were getting screwed by the current version.

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Guy reckons...

Posted June 30, 2016
I voted Leave for the simple reason that I want my country to be governed by people I can vote to remove if I think they're doing a crap job. I can't vote for anyone on the European Commission or the "President of Europe", yet these people have huge power over the UK.

Also, the EU is a disaster, with the nonsensical Eurozone about to fall apart and the Schengen passport-free zone being a paradise for terrorists (remember the Paris and Brussels bombs?) and hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Yes, there's a lot of instability because of Brexit, but it will settle down, and I don't believe anyone in the USA would accept people from Costa Rica or Chile having a big say in how America is run, so why should we accept people from Slovenia and Spain having power over the UK?

I don't know about Australia - would you be happy taking orders from politicians from Indonesia and Japan?

Frankly I'm getting a bit sick of being told that anyone who voted to Leave is obviously a racist. You may not agree with me, but remember I'm part of the majority.

Lulu mutters...

Posted June 30, 2016
Guy, unless something has changed in the past couple of years, the UK is not part of Schengen. The last time I got a Schengen visa (2010) it did not entitle me to enter the UK.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 30, 2016
Interesting, thank you. & No disrespect intended.

damian mutters...

Posted July 1, 2016
A better analogy for Australia would be people in Tasmania seeing their concerns constantly overridden in favour of people in NSW due to the vastly disparate number of seats in the House of Reps. Though talk of Tasmanian secession has only ever been raised as a joke in my living memory.

Of course here, the federal system has a balance for that in that Tasmania (pop 500k) and NSW (pop 7.5mill) get the same number of senators. The Council of Europe is supposed to be the equivalent but doesn't provide the same kind of balance. European Parliament does have the population based proportionality of a House of Reps (though it's proportional within constituencies made up of member states) but not in the Council.

The US version of your analogy would better reflect hte situation if you put it the other way around - that Costa Rica (not quite a state yet but no longer quite not one, eh?), Hawaii and Alaska have their concerns overriden by California or New York State.

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Guy asserts...

Posted June 30, 2016
Hi Lulu - no we're not part of Schengen, thank goodness. I was saying that it's one of the main things wrong with the EU. It has been hailed as "the greatest triumph of the European project" recently by the Commission President, but it's been a disaster in practice. Actually it's mostly suspended at the moment as more than a million refugees were using it to reach Germany, France and Holland. The Leave campaign was strongly advocating an Australian-style points system.

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