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Clear Leadership from the EU

by Frank Schnittger Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 12:33:10 AM EST

Not so long ago any article touting the EU as an example of clear leadership would have been heading for the spike anywhere except perhaps on The Onion or the Waterford Whisperer - see current lead on "thousands of British refugees make dangerous journey across the Irish Sea"...  

However the Brexit campaign has all the trappings of a train wreck as far as the UK is concerned, and for once the EU is acting quickly, clearly, and with one voice. As Bernard has documented, EU leaders are pressing for a quick resolution. In effect, they are saying that there is only one process, Article 50, by which a member state may leave the EU, and all else is hot air and silly manoeuvring.  Without the invocation of article 50, the Brexit referendum was an entirely internal UK affair of no legal consequence within the EU.


The EU is of course an interested observer of the political goings on in member states, and must do contingency planning, but no more than that.  The UK could reverse its decision, either by a second referendum or election, or simply by Parliament deciding to ignore the referendum, and it will formally be an internal UK matter.  That is why the EU has also rejected overtures from the SNP to begin discussions on Scotland remaining within the EU. It would be the diplomatic equivalent of opening discussions with Catalonia if done before Scotland formally becomes an independent and applicant state.

Of course, in the real world, lots of informal discussions take place in the background all the time. All sorts of understandings and informal agreements may be in the process of being reached. But if the UK thinks it can again game the system and reach some kind of enhanced renegotiated position by threatening to invoke Article 50, it is in for a rude awakening. EU leaders are not buying it any more. You are in or out. You decide.

In providing this clear response EU leaders are also providing a clear riposte to the Brexiteers' cant that the EU will only be falling over itself to provide favourable exit terms to the UK because of the UK's importance as an economy and a market in its own right. Some Brexiteers actually argued that the EU needs the UK more than the other way around.

The economic costs of the uncertainty created by the referendum are also overwhelmingly asymmetric in the EU's favour.  Very few businesses invest in (say) Portugal in order to gain access to the UK market.  It is nearly always the other way around. The Irish Government has already made it very clear that it is ready, willing and able to facilitate any new investment or re-location of UK businesses that require access to the EU market.

The UK gets c. €30 Billion in FDI p.a. to the Irish Republic's €5 Billion, so even if 10% of UK bound FDI decides to hedge its bets and head for the nearest English speaking centre with a proven track record and ready made infrastructure, then that will be a major boost for Ireland even if small in EU and UK terms.

The longer this uncertainty goes on, the more it will favour the EU. Thousands of business decisions made every day will cumulatively add up to a delay in investments in the UK, the diversion of some projects to other EU markets, and the occasional high profile re-location of existing business from the UK. I wouldn't worry too much about the immediate short term impact of this: it may be mildly recessionary, but it is the cumulative long term impact that will be extremely damaging to the UK, and it will only partially be off-set by the devaluation of the £.

The advantage of Article 50 from everyone's point of view is that it sets out a clear timescale for any negotiated exit, thus reducing long term uncertainty.  Some businesses may be prepared to wait that long to see how things pan out before making major changes to current investment plans.

The disadvantage from the UK's point of view is that if no agreement  is reached within that timescale it will be out without any kind of preferential treatment whatsoever.  I could see little obvious progress being made for the first 21 months putting extreme pressure on negotiators as the deadline approaches. Brinkmanship is the name of the game in any difficult negotiation.

I could see Ireland being very concerned about the re-creation of border checkpoints and customs control at the North South border and other member states might also have their own red line issues, but the negotiations will be conducted on the basis of qualified majority voting on the Council. There is also no provision, under Article 50 for an application to leave the EU to be subsequently withdrawn. It is a one way ticket out of the EU with no guarantee of any kind of an amicable divorce settlement.

In the meantime, the political atmosphere in the UK could become very febrile as uncertainty wrecked havoc with consumer spending and investment decisions.  The prospect of 2 million elderly expats returning would put more pressure on the NHS than immigrants ever did.

Another UK referendum or general election on the terms of exit seems a very likely outcome. The current Labour Party heave against Corbyn may in part be motivated by the fact that with Cameron gone, Osborne in hiding, and the Lib Dems largely irrelevant, there is no effective leadership left in place anywhere to represent the 48% of voters who voted Remain. It is the UKIP and Scottish nationalists who have clear and unambiguous positions easily understood by the electorate and with a democratic mandate. All else are in disarray.

The problem is that it is difficult to identify ANY Labour leader with significant name recognition, standing, or ability to articulate a clear policy position.  Why hasn't Labour, as the main opposition party campaigning for Remain, articulated a clear set of reforms they would require if the UK were to remain in the EU?  And if Labour is now going to "accept the verdict of the people", change its policy, and compete for the Leave vote, what differentiates it from UKIP and Tory euro-sceptics? Why would anyone wishing to leave the EU vote for Labour and not the real UKIP Leave candidate?

Display:
People are desperately hoping this theory about David Cameron and Brexit is true

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was "never". When Michael Gove went on and on about "informal negotiations" ... why? why not the formal ones straight away? ... he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 03:06:58 AM EST
It's becoming quite obvious that Johnson at least, and probably Gove and others within the Leave camp not only had absolutely no expectation of winning the vote, but absolutely no desire to win it.

They thought that, just like usual, they were playing some Great Game within the Tory party using the lives of millions of citizens as mere bargaining chips. It obviously never occurred to them that the stakes were higher than they imagined.

A truly Pyrrhic victory, one victory and they and all their dreams are utterly ruined. Cameron goes off to spend more time with his many millions and only his reputation lost. Jo Fox wasn't so lucky.

If the consequences weren't so awful for the entire country it would be impossible not to laugh. I imagine that much of the world is looking at us now in utter baffled amazement descending into helpless laughter.

tbh If the political classes actually want to avoid this disaster then they'd better have a good plan. I can imagine unlikely scenarios, but none that are remotely likely. And let us just agree that, based on previous performances, the chances of a good plan will from this lot be in short supply.

We're screwed. The people have spoken...the bastards

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 03:12:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first draft of this diary referred to Ireland or other member states vetoing any proposed agreement on the conditions for the UK leaving the EU.  In fact the negotiations will be conducted by qualified majority voting on the Council (see text of Article 50 below) and a national veto can only be applied to a request for an extension of the two year negotiating period.  I have amended the text of the diary accordingly.

Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Article 49 requires that members agree unanimously to the accession or re-accession of an applicant member state, so if the UK decided to reapply for membership it would need the unanimous approval of all existing members. Ironically, the UK might find it harder to  join the EU than Turkey in those circumstances!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 03:33:38 AM EST
Speaking of The Onion:

Americans Confused By System Of Government In Which Leader Would Resign After Making Terrible Decision

WASHINGTON--In the wake of Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement that he would leave office following the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union, tens of millions of Americans expressed their confusion to reporters Friday about a system of government in which a leader would resign after making a terrible decision. "Wait, so he made a really awful choice with far-reaching negative consequences and now he's just stepping down to let someone else take over? [...] Where's the part where he denies any wrongdoing or tries to blame somebody else? This is absolutely crazy." The American public noted, however, that they completely understood the part where voters who had made a demonstrably terrible decision continued to double down on it.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:57:10 AM EST
Why hasn't Labour, as the main opposition party campaigning for Remain, articulated a clear set reforms they would require if the UK were to remain in the EU?

That is the real question for me. That, and the question of who, if any, will discuss the elephant in the room - the abominable treatment of the bottom 90% of the population by both Conservatives, Liberals and, at a minimum, the Blairite wing of Labour? Is Corbyn afraid of burning bridges or does he simply have no clue? I haven't followed his public pronouncements, if any, well enouogh to hazard an answer.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 12:26:02 PM EST
Labour are in opposition. They are in no position to make any such demands. Now that we have had a referendum, the Conservative Government can either invoke Article 50 or admit they were only joking and can we stay, pretty please?

Labour have no role in the process. Not even consultative. It hasn't helped that;-
i) Corbyn admitted he was lukewarm on the EU for several reasons. A depth of honesty entirely absent from the rest of the campaign and for which he was duly punished.

ii) Labour suffered electorally for being part of the Tories Remain campaign in Scotland during their independence referendum. So there was tremendous reluctance at many levels to be over-involved this time.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 03:21:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But surely it is not improper for the Shadow Government to have its own, distinct analysis and set of recommendations. And someone needs to occasionally remind all that it is irrelevant distractions combined with distracted driving that got the country into this policy wreck. Almost everything that was discussed was, in fact, totally unrelated to any of the things that were producing all of the dissatisfaction. Worse, Cameron made the referendum pledge for temporary, tactical reasons mostly having to do with fractures inside the Conservative party, and the consequences are blowing up the business models of his biggest supporters - a major, strategic and long term consequence.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may well do, but whatever it might be is completely irrelevant. It was irrelevant in the referendum because  they were either for or against the idea of the EU.

Once we get towards a general election, then maybe they can mention that they have a different view, but till then...fuhgeddabahtit.

This is not like the US where republicans and democrats sit on foreign policy committees. You win the election, you get to do everything and the other guys get benched


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said elsewhere, the Government of the UK is in complete disarray at the moment. For now, Cameron remains in the office of Prime Minister, but he isn't in charge. And the problem is that nobody else is either.

If the phone were to ring asking to speak to the boss, they'd have to ask them to leave a message. Which is more or less what they've told the EU.

We will have a new PM in October. By then I imagine Johnson will have recovered from the shock and have a plan in place. But his ususal trick of harumphing and hawing to buy time isn't going to work here. He can't bluff when the other side hold all the cards.

I'm quite sure the EU will be able to turn the screws to make it increasingly impossible for the UK to avoid invoking Article 50, the status quo cannot continue. I think they mean it when they say they want this begun by Xmas.

That or Boris is really gonna have to eat crow and officially and loudly declare that, after thinking about it, the Government have decided not to proceed. Personally I don't think he could, so article 50 by xmas

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 03:30:55 PM EST
But can Boris get a majority of Parliament to vote for an Article 50 notification?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question I am currently searching for an answer to is whether the government, or one led by BoJo, can simply go ahead and invoke article 50, or whether they need prior parliamentary approval to do so.  The latter could be quite problematic to achieve, and offers BoJo a way out if he really doesn't want to go down that road.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:16:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let us hope not. Having the government dissolve in a heap of incompetence and irrelevance might be the best outcome for now.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 01:51:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Legal bid seeks to stop Brexit without parliamentary approval

"The outcome of the Referendum itself is not legally binding and for the current or future prime minister to invoke Article 50 without the approval of Parliament is unlawful.

"We must make sure this is done properly for the benefit of all UK citizens. Article 50 simply cannot be invoked without a full debate and vote in Parliament.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 04:15:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now this is the £64 billion question.

Frankly, there is a majority in the House to say "Stay". But I really doubt that the legitimacy of parliament itself could survive thwarting the expressed will of the electorate in that way.

I think it would probably open the doors to a ukip parliament at the following GE and nobody who cares for the health of civic society would want that.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:51:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And still, at this late date, NO ONE of PROMINENCE will even try to explain clearly to the people what has been done to them and why they are suffering. No one will put forth an available optimistic path to make the society again function. Perhaps a UKIP government is all the UK can manage. Sanders did a whole lot better than anything I have seen in the UK. Why is that?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 01:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the leave people didn't expect, and seemingly, didn't want to win (Farage excepted).

But they didn't plan for the result of their wrecking ball. As somebody asked today, do you expect arsonists to bring water to their fire?

As is usual with these Eton toffs, politics is just a parlour game without consequences for them. It's just brinkmanship for applause at their Gentleman's Club. The realisation that they really have torpedoed SS Great Britain is beginning to sink home and they don't know what to do.

Cameron bears all the blame, as I've said ever since this whole sorry affair started is that his first job was not to let the British public, conditioned by the tabloids, have a bloody referendum on membership. They broke it and now they're gonna have to go down in history as being to blame for it.

Although right now the media seem to have decided that it's all Corbyn's fault, along with England's exit from the European Championship. To think there was a time when I just thought Cameron was a pig fucker, they're all at it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 07:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To think there was a time when I just thought Cameron was a pig fucker,

Is that a more, or less civilized version of "motherfucker", or is it just British?  

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 10:46:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a reference to Piggate.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 10:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So he's a necrophilic pig fucker. Fantastic ... no wonder he went into politics.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 01:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even supposing any British politician could coherently explain a case -- have you seen the press in the UK these days?  It's completely toxic.

Like, "Holy shit, when did the BBC become Fox News?"-toxic.

Even traditionally left-leaning papers over there barely even qualify as Blairite trash anymore.

What's more, at least over here in the MSM you've got some younger reporters coming up who aren't beholden to the ancient Reaganist dogma (Olivia Nuzzi, Dave Weigel, etc), and the rise of "data journalism" and new media -- everything from HuffPo to Vox to FiveThirtyEight to the NYT's 6,000 blogs -- seems to be producing actual useful journalism again to counteract the cable news nonsense.  Within five minutes of Donald Trump saying something stupid, it's been debunked by news sites and turned into some sort of brutal social media meme.

That hasn't really happened over there.  At least not to anywhere near the same extent.  Political coverage is getting better here, albeit slowly.  Over there, it's a god-damned horror show.

A lot of media personalities here -- whether they support him or not -- genuinely like Bernie and are sympathetic to his causes, or at least feel they deserve a hearing.  Bernie would simply be denounced as a lunatic in the UK media.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 10:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're all just waiting for Murdoch to die - although he probably won't unless he runs out of virgins' blood, or Satan decides it's time to call in the loan.

Dacre/Rothermere on their own are more or less manageable. But when they're playing on a tag team with Gollum, sanity becomes that much harder to find.

Corbyn has deliberately been sidelining the MSM and going social, which is an excellent long-term strategy. He may have run out of time, but I think he's laid enough of a foundation to keep some momentum going even if he's taken out.

So we only have another term of this - two at most. There may not be much left by then, but when the tide turns the change is going to be epic.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 02:19:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn has deliberately been sidelining the MSM and going social...

This would explain why US citizens have heard nothing from him of note. Almost 18 months ago Sanders already had a significant social media presence. I don't know if that was visible to most Brits. Is there an easy way to get Corbyn's social media posts? Sanders was virtually blacked out of US press coverage and most of what he got was badly slanted. Yet we see what he accomplished. Has Corbyn been that far behind. I should have imagined he would have gotten such a project going right after gaining the leadership, if not well before.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 02:45:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn posts on FB sporadically. He refrained during this clusterfuck.
I mean really what did people expect him to do?
Try and steal thunder from opportunistic Tory twats?


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 03:34:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Provide quotable quotes for re-posting that concisely get to the meat of the real problem the UK is facing and what are the possible alternatives.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 03:43:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
one of the more grounded criticisms of Corbyn is that he's a bit of an old fashioned meetings basher. Doesn't do soundbites, not very good on social media.

And that is as much the fault of the people who surround him who should doe exactly what Sanders' team were doing for him, filling in the gaps with a social media blitz.

Which is why supporting Corbyn and expecting him to win the next election is a bit of a struggle, he's just not working in the 21st century but expecting to communicate with people who do. Personally, I wish there was somebody else, but we are where we are

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 05:05:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Supporters should do it for him, but carefully. Start with things they know he will accept.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 06:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better yet would be for a young progressive Labour candidate or one who wants to be a candidate in the next election to start posting progressive memes. Labour needs good candidates available now for every possible seat in the next election - which could be in a few months.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 06:57:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is -- where's that young progressive candidate?

That's the whole problem with the coup.  If there's a potential leader to be found on short notice within the pool of Labour MPs, it's not obvious.  Everybody's locked into either the Blairite or the anti-Blairite factions.  Nobody's really got a vision for what Labour should be.

Simply saying "Recruit a bunch of young progressives to run against establishment figures" sounds great.  In the US, you can do that via our primary process and grassroots fundraising.  Dem and Rep activists have both pulled it off in recent history.  Not so easy in Britain.  The parties there are incredibly powerful.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 09:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Corbyn has control of Labor at present. I don't see what would stop him from doing just that.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 11:47:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All I can think is that British left politicians just have a major attitude problem - one that is just not up to the current demands. Well, as they say: "The times make the man." Hope for their sake this happens.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 11:51:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest new is Blair has generously offered his skills as a "serious statesman" to handle the Brexit negotiations - through a piece published in the Daily Torygraph.

At this point I'm beginning to suspect that the best way forward is to invite everyone from the last forty years of politics to Westminster, and then bury it under half a mile of concrete.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 01:19:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk about an attitude problem. The world's biggest twit can't even see himself in the mirror. The scary thought is that a new Tory government might just take him up, on the thought that they would then make it bi-partisan.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 02:59:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's fine to not be terribly good with soundbites.

The problem with Corbyn, from my view, is this:  Other than opposition to austerity (which I'm, of course, with him 110% on) and the National Investment Bank/"People's QE" (which sounded intriguing but, alas, was probably largely just populist rhetoric), I don't really understand what he stands for.  He seems to have been a protest candidate who won, and now he doesn't really know what to do.  The dog who caught the car, basically.

I could be wrong, but that's my impression of him.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 09:45:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I may hazard a guess, what his followers want (other than the 2 features you mentioned) would be -is- that he be free from the rancorous betrayal of labour values embodied in Blair, Cambell and Mandelson, aka tory-lite.
If the price of that is a leader without telegenic charisma, juicy media-grabbing soundbites, or ability to lie fluidly and without compunction, then fine.

Sure, anachronistic. Completely unadapted to the current political landscape, yes!

We have become so used to the usual BS, it's chronic.

Normalised pathology, it's nice to know plenty of folks feel sick and tired of these politics, and want a simple, ordinary human with old-fashioned values instead of a cult of personality and a spin-machine to sell it.

As the Nasty Party goes into spasm prior to Chilcote revelations phony Tony is working all the old gears to try and head off the threat looming over him.

Leave or remain, a sideshow compared to what threatens Tory credibility.

I mean, Gove, FFS. May, pleeeease.

Boris has given a preview to you merkins what Chump is about to do to your Grand Old Perverts party.

Again, Ryan, wtf?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 10:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mercifully for Boris Gove used the hook to get him off the stage.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 03:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I may hazard a guess, what his followers want (other than the 2 features you mentioned) would be -is- that he be free from the rancorous betrayal of labour values embodied in Blair, Cambell and Mandelson, aka tory-lite.

That gets to precisely my point though.  His whole schtick is just "That shit sucks" rather than saying, "You should make me PM, because I'll do x, y and z."

It's great to be against Thatcherism and Blairism n(I think we all agree with that), but what does that mean as a practical matter for the generic Brit on the street?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2016 at 12:10:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn's Shadow Chancellor, John McDoonnell, makes a start by outlining that program in The New Statesman:
What is needed in a crisis like this is urgent government action to shore up investment, already falling before the vote. Shovel-ready projects should be brought forward, creating jobs and focused on beginning to rebuild those parts of the country currently most deprived - and where the vote to Leave was strongest. As a country, we will get through this crisis, and we will do so when we no longer tolerate a situation in which too many of our people are excluded from even the chance of prosperity.
Elsewhere in the article he stressed the importance of ending austerity

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2016 at 12:37:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I still can't follow this line of reasoning. If Corbyn reverses Osborne's cuts, doesn't bomb a middle eastern country and picks a serious fight with the media organisations like he has promised he'd already be the best PM for generations. What else do you want?
by generic on Sat Jul 2nd, 2016 at 04:26:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone have a link to the promise to take on the media?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 03:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeremy Corbyn - The Big Interview (The Morning Star) - Jeremy Corbyn MP

Jeremy would no doubt agree: "I think the media's attitude towards the Labour Party and our campaign has been horrendous."

His shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has long been associated with the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom -- as has the Morning Star. The campaign calls for curbs on the power of the handful of super-rich tycoons who control the bulk of the British press.

Would a Corbyn government take action to break up media monopolies? "Yes," he says immediately. "We are developing a media policy based on breaking up single ownership of too many sources of information.

"And actually promoting co-operative ownership and co-operative access, including local TV and radio stations and newspapers like the Morning Star."

by generic on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 09:46:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this link. I now have The Morning Star added to my list of news links. I was wondering were a paper like The Daily Worker was in the UK. And I would recommend the linked 'long interview' of Jeremy Corbyn to any who still wonder what he stands for and intends.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 02:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn promises to bring social justice. All those who voted him leader, you think they did it because of his looks?
It's also what he doesn't do, such as kowtowing to royalty or kitsch patriotism, betray his integrity to shill for the EU.
He did a bit of Obama being too nice to his political enemies.
Now he got his snakes to leave without firing them. Benn's tidily out of the way, now his arch-enemy is
May, UK's horrible Hillary.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2016 at 06:59:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of people who are a disgrace to their family's long tradition, I offer you Hillalry Benn - prize winning example. I pray he gets deselected.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 02:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What. A. Weasel..

Go cuddle up with Gove already.

That apple really did roll far from the tree...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 04:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More like it fell down Alice's rabbit hole - in a bad way.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 02:38:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think you could really have a social media aware Corbyn without loosing a lot of his effectiveness. People trust him because he is a relic from a bygone age not despite of it.
As to what he stands for: Opposing austerity is enough for the leader of opposition if it is not a election year. And even then it is worth more than all the all the focus grouped visions you tend to get usually.
I mean you can easily spend five years fixing the damage Dave from Marketing did and be not even half done.

I'm also rather fond of his People's QE. Putting the idea out there that banks get free money and you could to is the most effective attack on the household capacity I can think of on short notice.

by generic on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 07:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which is interesting cos they're missing a huge story on the extent of the planning and co-ordination of the coup against Corbyn.

But it's all over the blogs and the fightback is happening very quickly. To such an extent that the msm simply aren't seeing it and will be shocked when it fails and unable to explain it.

Which is a shame cos the de-selection of 150-odd MPs in the next couple of years is gonna be fun

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 08:01:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it's all over the blogs and the fightback is happening very quickly.

Good! I had seen that a huge rally was to be held for Corbyn on Monday, but that could have been organized by the Labour national party. Are you getting daily FB posts, etc. from Corbyn supporters and critical of the elites?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 12:04:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am friends with Corbynites, they post like crazy.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 03:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lots and lots of analysis on who is doing what within the coup, who is funding it and were the meetings were held.

Sadly, a major source of "info" is The Canary, which regard as a hyper, prone to leaping to press on scant info and arriving at the wrong destination. It ain't entirely trustworthy. Which is a shame cos 60% of the posting is very good and grounded, you just can't tell how good it is until some hours/days later

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 30th, 2016 at 05:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If he, or anyone, does get it done by Christmas it will be a true "Merry Christmas, Motherfuckers!" Christmas card to all.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 06:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Predictable petulance from Schultz, why follow Brits down to that level.
High school taunting, both sides look stupid.

And weak. The EU cannot rush Cameron and crew, losing their cool so soon. Pace yourselves boys, dig in for the long nightmare of 80,000 trade documents and agreements to change to keep you busy.
Brits have made it personal (too many Poles!) and now pong follows ping.
If the Tories even exist a year from now the electorate is certifiably brain dead.  
UKIP is a cult of personality. Farage has no team or serious strategy.


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 07:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that leaves a gap a mile wide.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 07:54:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I find so unfathomable is the lack of any leader who can even speak truth and rally support on social media, a la Sanders. Why is that?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 at 01:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Schulz is hardly alone; even Merkel who was painted by the British media as keen to leave enough time to the UK to prepare their position is putting some limits: no informal talks until Cameron or BoJo triggers article 50 first.

EU Leaders Vow New Priorities After `Brexit' Vote - WSJ

"Until this has happened, no further steps can be taken," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint press conference in Berlin with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and French President François Hollande ahead of a dinner at the chancellery.
by Bernard on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 08:04:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then again, there is now open war between Merkel and the SPD about pushing for a quick Brexit.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 at 09:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps they react this way not only because they're childish but because they fear this Brexit may end up turning out to be another gambit to change the EU.
Seeing Jungker drunkenly bitch-slapping the other EU leaders as welcome makes me wonder if the EU is on its last legs. Legless!
Draghi's doing his best to save the Italian banking system, which is emitting a sonorous death-rattle.
What a crew... Renzi, Merkel, Tusc, Jungker, Disselbloem, Hollande.
How did Europe end up like this?
The game could be up for these Eurocrats and their cosy little cabal of undemocratic cronies.
They are equally despicable, and fully deserve their cult of Mammon-uber-alles to fail.
Europe's like a senile dowager with dementia, tipsy with privilege, a rotten tree ready to crumble.
One more push from another disenchanted state... these constipated clowns do not a circus make.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jun 29th, 2016 at 04:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Britain is trolling at the highest level yet, can you say 'Sand in the gears?'
Out. Of. Control. Boris. Couldn't resist the brass ring.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 04:55:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I, personally, will be very sad if Corbyn goes.  He may very well be the last leader of Labour as a major political force.  Yes he is a throwback to a previous age: The sort of leftwinger who organised rallies and protests and joined all sorts of progressive advocacy groups that I used to get involved with in my youth.  But he also represents a decency and integrity which is almost entirely absent from todays post factual politics.

The candidates he stood a against in the last leadership election were simply absolutely awful.  They couldn't give a straight answer to  straight question. All seemed to be careerist crawthumping ingratiaters who would do or say anything if they felt it would further their promotional prospects and who wouldn't know a principled stand if it slapped them in the face.  None of them actually seemed to believe in socialism or trade unionism or anything Labour used to stand for.

So Corbyn was a giant amongst pygmies, and remains one of the greatest assets the labour party still has.  I wouldn't be surprised if he successfully withstood the Westminster coup being plotted against him.  In fact it could further his standing as an outsider not of the Westminster elite who have been primarily responsible for the current mess.  Perhaps the British press are about to find out that they no longer call the shots.  

I could even see Corbyn becoming Prime Minister if the Tory party splits over the EU, and UKIP runs away with a lot of their votes.  He is the only person with the standing to actually reverse course and negotiate a left leaning reform of the EU as the price of staying in - following an election in which he explicitly campaigned for a remain.  But maybe that is wishful thinking on my part...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 11:57:55 AM EST
The VSPs hate him - my VSP friends on Facebook are looking forward to his departure, and I really can't tell why. It seems to be one of those VSP litmus tests.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 12:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very Serious People??

They hate him because he is opposed to Blairite corporatism. Which is their very reason to be in the Labour party (as opposed to the Tories, their more natural home)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 1st, 2016 at 05:37:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why? Because he shows up the government as grifters. He doesn't play the game, therefore they can't attack him on the usual battlefield.
So they make shit up and their buddies in the MSM throw it at the wall and try make it stick...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2016 at 07:08:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU tells Swiss no single market access if no free movement of citizens | World news | The Guardian

The European Union is to show its determination to make no concessions to the UK on Brexit terms by telling Switzerland it will lose access to the single market if it goes ahead with plans to impose controls on the free movement of EU citizens.

The Swiss-EU talks, under way for two years but now needing a solution possibly within weeks, throws up the exact same issues that will be raised in the UK's exit talks - the degree to which the UK must accept free movement of the EU's citizens as a price for access to the single market.

The Swiss are desperate to strike a deal in order to give its politicians time to pass the necessary laws to meet a February 2017 deadline imposed by a legally binding referendum in 2014.

The former president of the FDP-Liberal Radicals, Philipp Müller, on Sunday said the Brexit threat should serve as a warning to the Swiss, amid suggestions in Brussels the prospect of UK-EU exit talks meant there was less willingness to give ground on freedom of movement.

by Bernard on Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 at 11:28:36 AM EST
What if the UK just muddles along for months and months--or even years--without getting to an Article 50 declaration? EU ministers have already met together without the UK; how far towards practical Brexit can they go without a declaration, in the interests of their own internal European stability?
by asdf on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 10:17:07 AM EST
The EU has already endorsed the concept of "a two speed Europe" so some countries going ahead on some proposal without unanimity is not a new thing.

In practice, all a non-activation of Article 50 will achieve is to further undermine the UK's negotiating position in Europe.  Why would anyone take the UK seriously when both Government and opposition parties are so divided, and when they are operating in violation of the only popular mandate they have in relation to the EU?

So, for all practical purposes, the UK is already outside of the EU. They can retain access to the single market by not activating Article 50, but they have already lost any political influence they might have had on the future direction of the EU and all those regulations they so love to hate. Even their Commissioner has resigned.

With BoJo and Farage now both out of active politics, their campaign can be seen for the act of vandalism it truly was: Play to the worst fears of the electorate, make all sorts of false promises, and then run away as fast as you can when faced with the actual real consequences of your campaign...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 10:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
So, for all practical purposes, the UK is already outside of the EU.
Well, as I mentioned in my diary, since the UK is still a EU member, they still have to send £350m each week to Brussels (OK, minus some EU funding received in return), implement all "bendy bananas" directives from the reviled Eurocrats, and keep allowing free flow of migrating Poles (or French, or Portuguese or...), all things that are routinely denounced in the tabloid press.

Not to mention that "uncertainty is bad for business".

The Brexiters now seem stunned by their unexpected success, but how long will it take for them to turn really, really nasty when they realize that the Tories/UKIP (whomever succeeds Dave, Boris and Nigel) haven't even started to plan to extricate Britain from the EU's evil clutches?

Muddling through can only be a temporary stopgap. Something's got to give eventually, but what?

by Bernard on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 06:42:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the biggest problem seems to be that the expressed wishes of people who voted leave revolve around the sort of social spending solutions that are impossilbe with conservative neo-liberalism.

This is going to result in a lot of really disappointed people

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 07:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems to me that, in such a situation, saying, in effect, "the voters have spoken and there is nothing we can do" is to empower every rich rouge and demagogue in the polity. Surrendering to manufactured lies that deliberately misled voters is a choice, not a necessity. But a majority may well prefer that choice to the choice of trying to explain properly what happened and what are the real alternatives.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jul 4th, 2016 at 08:14:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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