Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bjinse on Mon Jun 12th, 2017 at 08:59:49 PM EST
New attempt to involve GroenLinks in Dutch coalition government fails - DutchNews

Talks on forming a new coalition government in the Netherlands collapsed again on Monday evening, when chief negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink said the four parties involved ­­­­­­­had decided not to pursue the alliance. The ruling VVD, Liberal democratic party D66 and the Christian Democrats met for a second series of talks with the left-wing green party GroenLinks over the weekend and on Monday but soon decided to call a halt.

Tjeenk Willink told a news conference said the stumbling block proved to be a motion about reaching deals on returning refugees with North African countries which GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver rejected. `GroenLinks could not agree to my final proposal,' Tjeenk Willink said.

by Bjinse on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 09:31:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

New refugees in Germany. Balkan route closed at the second line, Turkey pact at the third.

by generic on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 12:28:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolute: On the British General Election | Salvage -
It is, with this in mind, notable that many of the recent figures of left-wing revival have been older politicians - Mélenchon is sixty-five, Sanders is seventy-five, and Corbyn is sixty-eight. The difference between those politicians and their, sometimes younger opponents, is that they are completely unsullied by the betrayals of the centre. Corbyn's record as a principled opponent of British foreign policy, anti-nuclear campaigner and proponent of Irish republicanism was of a piece with a general incorruptibility. Those politicians implicated in the hacking scandal, or the expenses scandal, or in betrayals such as Clegg's reversal over tuition fees, appealed to a cynical subjectivity: this is just how politics works. Corbyn was being demonised for breaking with this pact, which had been part of what turned millions off parliamentary politics altogether.
by generic on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 01:25:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amusingly Clegg, who painted himself as an ardent Remainer in the GE, is now arguing for a soft Norway-style Brexit in the pages of the FT.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 08:53:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading it, I see a clear example of that Overton window at work...
by Bjinse on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 06:44:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like Clegg is thrashing about for another way to successfully fail.
by rifek on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 12:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Austria's interior minister (left) listens raptly to experts discussing his new police powers law.
by generic on Tue Jun 13th, 2017 at 03:46:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what it's like in Austria but politicians in the UK and US seem to feel obliged to function on 6 or at most 7 hours sleep a night with work or work committments being an overwhelming majority of waking hours. Which means that most of them are barely functional.

I'm sure occasional cat naps are inevitable but it's an odd way to run a railway, let alone a government.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 11:22:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU open to change of heart, say France and Germany

French President Emmanuel Macron says the possibility of the UK remaining in the European Union is an option until Brexit negotiations have concluded.

He was speaking at a joint news conference with UK PM Theresa May.

But he said he acknowledged and respected that a decision to leave had been taken by the British people.

He echoed the words of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who also said the UK could change its mind about Brexit.

"If they want to change their decision, of course they would find open doors, but I think it's not very likely," Mr Schaeuble told Bloomberg Television.


by Zwackus on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 03:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Preferred EU outcome is no Brexit.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 06:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It might be trolling, but unless other governments contradict them, A50 declarations are now reversible. Because if all governments are united on interpretation, who will take it to the Court?

And that might become important down the line, for example if Corbyn becomes PM within two years and puts the Brexit negotiation results to a referendum.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 10:45:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there is much discussion here from legal political types here that A50 hasn't actually been legally invoked and so is technically invalid.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 11:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the more excitable are pointing out that the whole process was designed to con the voters and Parliament.

A50 legislation - as passed by Parliament - explicitly labelled advisory, not binding
Cameron - "binding referendum, your wishes will be respected"
Cameron, Osborne, and Corbyn - the most unpopular politicians in the country - lead Remain
Ref - "the will of the people"

And then we discover that Cameron was a closet Eurosceptic all along.

It is, to put it bluntly, an utter crock of shit.

Interestingly the FB remain groups are currently dominated by LDs shrieking about how they're the only true Remain party - an easy claim to make with a handful of MPs - and no one should ever vote for that nasty Corbyn man ever again.

They're oddly quiet about the Tory side.

Some of them become very abusive when challenged about this.

I honestly can't decide if the LDs are actually imbeciles, or if the party is a stage-managed viper's nest of crypto-Tories being manipulated by Tory HQ.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 01:24:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland has had a 24 hours cabinet crisis.

The True Finns - aka the ugly party - elected a new party leader, and the "let's not hide our racism" wing won. The other two parties in government declared that they could not work with the new party leader. Then the True Finns parliament group split down the middle and a new party was born - New Alternative. New Alternative has all the ministers that the True Finns had and will continue in government.

Remains to be seen is how the voters split. Brand name or old leader?

by fjallstrom on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 10:53:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Truth About Jeremy Corbyn's Triumph Staring Us Smack in the Face | Alternet -
It's not just that centrism is unpopular; there's simply no such thing. The center is a fiction, believed in only by politicians and the people who would like to become them; political science majors and the people who teach them; journalists and the people who imitate them. Nobody else has ever identified themselves with something as vapid and empty--an ideology of no ideology, the plan to keep everything the same, the residue of class power disguised as a doctrine. It's the imaginary space between parties, a desert, a wasteland. For most people, the world doesn't revolve around a happy stable core: it's a nightmare, in which the rich want to fill their veins with the blood of the poor, in which the old promises of health and security are vanishing, in which everything has gone and continues to go monstrously wrong.

That's actually not true. I do know one (1) real life centrist who is no journalist.

by generic on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 11:22:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there is also the tricky problem of defining where the centre lies.

Just as politicians are generally far more overtly religious than the people they govern, they are also more right wing. This is to some respect ineviatble as politicians tend to be born richer and thus become wealthier than most voters with certain assumptions about how the world works that simply don't apply for most of us.

this also aplies to the journalists who act as their stenographers, all coming from very siilar social and educational backgrounds.

So their centre ground and the assumptions that drive them may be some way to the right of the electorate.

survey after survey has shown this to be true in the UK and US, I'm sure it's true in most places. Corbyn is the first politician of the modern era who seems to have created a manifesto for the electorate rather than Rupert Murdoch and Viscount Bothermere (Heil owner)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 14th, 2017 at 11:31:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the triangulation policy of both the DLC/DNC and the Blairites, you can't define where the center lies because its position shifts like an open dune field.
by rifek on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 01:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 04:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm beginning to think May wants out: it seems inconceivable she could have got this far in politics and  be this stupid.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 07:58:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She's not only every bit as stupid as she seems, she seems to have been cursed to a term where the country remains in perpetual crisis and absolutely nothing goes right for her - because every new disaster simply highlights the past seven years of barbarous Tory venality and greed-fuelled incompetence.

Even if her own ambition gave her the option of resigning - questionable, given her history - her party won't allow her to, because all the alternatives are even less popular.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 11:37:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But she's not even good at politicking.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 16th, 2017 at 06:13:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She's more popular than any of the alternatives. And probably better at politicking too.

But now after Grenfell Tower we seem to be heading towards the Angry Mob with Pitchforks and Torches stage anyway.

Next week is going to be interesting.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 16th, 2017 at 08:30:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First Act: Brexit referendum.
Second Act: May's hosing at the polls,
Third Act: Grenfell.
Denouement Coup de grace: Tories go down in flames and remain tepid embers for 20 years.
Epilogue: UK cans the Monarchy and the House of Lords.

Britain backpedals Brexit, EU fires Jungker, Disselbloem and Tusk, completely redesigning the bureaucratic closed-doors decision making into something really democratic. France resists neo-lib labour reforms, Italy gets an electoral law and votes in Di Maio as first 5*M prime minister.
Schauble retires, then Draghi.
Macron flakes when he realises Merkel is not his friend and France drops him as fast as he arrived.
Orban has to pay back all the EU funds unless he shapes up.
EU kicks out all American bases, bans nuclear power and powers up the green revolution with massive public investment in new euro grid rollout.
EU unilaterally withdraws from all military alliances with America.
Europe finally starts being worth its salt.
Farage, Salvini, Boris and May are gently escorted to a safe location by kind nurses in white coats, never to be seen again on the world stage.
Blair and Berlusconi in the dock at the ICC Hague.
All council housing is brought up to scratch.
Feel free to add your own wishlist items!

'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 Jun 18th, 2017 at 11:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been thinking for a while she may have Aperger's, rather than being stupid.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 at 09:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're not the only person to suggest this. Clearly she's not low-IQ stupid, but she has quite astoundingly poor emotional intelligence and an extremely limited capacity for empathy. She also leaves a much bigger trail of devastating fuck ups than you'd expect from someone who was truly competent and professional.

This from three years ago is disturbingly prophetic, especially if you note all the fiascos and basic mistakes she was responsible for during her time at the Home Office. The Guardian: Theresa May

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2017 at 06:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grenfell Tower Fire and Loss of Life

Grenfell Disaster: Criminal Neglect Is Manslaughter


Grenfell Tower fire: Scotland Yard opens criminal investigation | The Guardian |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Jun 16th, 2017 at 09:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coincidentally, the election in Kensington was very close. Those people must have made the difference, amen.
by das monde on Fri Jun 16th, 2017 at 10:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 06:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 06:58:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How neoliberalism's moral order feeds fraud and corruption
Notably, each of the last three British Prime Ministers have at different time issued appeals for a more moral capitalism (Tony Blair and Gordon Brown), or more moral business sector (David Cameron) in response to a range of problems including bribery, high risk financial activities, interest-rate fixing and rising executive pay. That idea of simply needing more morality, or less immorality is deeply flawed.

Economic practices (including the use of deception, intimidation or violence while earning a living) are already supported by a set of specific moral views, understandings, priorities and claims. In other words, our current neoliberal economy does constitute a moral order whether we like the dominant morals or not.

by das monde on Fri Jun 16th, 2017 at 04:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Thu Jun 15th, 2017 at 07:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In her reshuffle this week, Prime Minister Theresa May promoted the MP to a junior role in the Department for Work and Pensions.

During the 2013 exchange, Labour MP Alison McGovern asked Mr Opperman to consider the reality of working on a contract that did not guarantee hours "perhaps not in his own life, but in reality, in our economy now."

Mr Opperman replied: "As a barrister, I spent two and a half years without a contract. With respect, I therefore suggest I do have some experience of that, with no contract whatsoever."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jun 16th, 2017 at 01:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series