Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Sooner or later, surely (SURELY?), politicians will go into crisis mode and sort out some sort of shonky compromise to keep the shops stocked.

That's the gist of what I'm saying about Labour helping to push the current deal through.

How bad will they let it get?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 04:56:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my youth I used to be a sort of Hegelian believing that politics is like a pendulum - if it swings a long way in one direction, it will swing a long way in the opposite direction sooner or later. The assumption was that there was a natural state of equilibrium somewhere in the middle.

As I grew older, I realised that the centre, too, could move, and there was no telling how far it could move in one direction or the other. It was like Jews in Germany in the 1920's and 1930's thinking "how bad can it get?", on the assumption that sooner or later a central equilibrium based on human decency would re-assert itself. After all, they were on such good terms with their neighbours.

Now my advice to those who say it has to get worse before it can get better is "just don't go there". There is no guarantee things will not just get worse and worse and there are virtually no depths to which the collective human psyche cannot sink. Even atrocities get rationalised and normalised if they happen often enough.

So you will often find me here advocating for slow incremental steps in a better direction, not only because they are better in themselves, but because they can build a positive momentum and make more incremental improvements more likely in the future. At worst they can stop any momentum in the opposite direction.

Not very exciting, I know, and very far from the flights of idealistic fancy of my youth, where the assumption was that if you break things up, things can only get better. They can, but unfortunately the opposite is often more likely, especially if you disturb the human beast of anxiety, insecurity, fear, anger and felt deprivation.

We may laugh at them now, but the Tory Brexiteer idiots may soon become the new normal, the new moderates, to be displaced by something far more dangerous. The EU is built on a lot of these realisations. Unfortunately the generation which learned those lessons the hard way is fast dying out.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 06:03:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU may be built on those realisations, but that didn't stop Hungary, didn't stop Austria and isn't stopping Poland much either.

Every Presidential election France flirts with Front National, the german secret service seem to be working hand in glove with people far beyond AfD.

Yes, Britain could do lots of things, but I look at europe and I'm not reasured the EU exists to pour oil on troubled water.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 06:23:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The former communist bloc countries didn't go through the same learning experience as "western" Europe. East Germany is still very different from West Germany. They washed away their war guilt by replacing right wing totalitarianism with what morphed into Stalinist totalitarianism. Not a whole lot different in many ways but without the guilty association with Nazism, Fascism, and collaborators.

Yes every country has its unsavoury undercurrents, and sometimes they can seize power. So far, the EU, for all its faults, has been able to hold the line. Maybe it too will succumb in time - with more and more national governments moving to far right, there is only so much the EU can do.

But defeating Brexiteers and the politics they represent will be an important victory, even if it results in significant economic dislocation all round. It will signal that there are some values the EU is not prepared to compromise on. It will not throw Ireland or a beleagured nationalist community in the North under a bus. It will not sacrifice free movement or worker rights on the altar on de-regulated capitalism. It will not allow UK disaster capitalists to game the system and have their cake and eat it.

That cake has been very painstakingly built up, and is for our children and grand children to inherit. Nobody eats it without contributing to its continued growth and welfare.

You can point to Greece and any number of other shortcomings in the EU. But lets not ignore a kleptocratic Greek elites role in their disaster. Ireland had a similar bad experience when our economic and political elites "lost the run of themselves". Mistakes were made at EU level as well, but generally the institutions were as helpful as they could be within their limited mandates.

The rise of the far right in Europe has many causes - fears about immigrants overwhelming traditional cultures, the legacy of government austerity in the wake of the financial crash, globalization and its impact on regional, economic and social inequality. The EU is not blameless, but generally it isn't the primary causative factor either, however much nationalists like to paint it in those colours.

The reality is that many of the factors cannot be addressed satisfactorily at national level and the EU needs more powers, not less, if it is to make a more effective contribution towards alleviating them. The success of the nationalists has been to simultaneously blame the EU for being all powerful and at the same time ensuring that it is as ineffectual as possible.

We will not miss UK nationalism in that regard.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 07:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We may not have time for anything to swing back.  Let's not forget that the real backstop here is climate change, and we have a government here in the US Hell-bent on making it happen.
by rifek on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 11:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And climate change and resulting unprecedented droughts is one of the causative factors for the northward migration of Africans which is causing such political trauma in Europe. It is not coincidental that Trump is against both climate change remedial action and further migration into the USA.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 15th, 2018 at 11:29:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How did you arrive at that conclusion?

My understanding is, here in the USA, "drought" is a popular alternative hypothesis for migration of Syrians, Palestinians, and Afghans out of country of origin to Europe.

Let's go with that assumption for the sake of ... satire. From which African countries are migrants --mostly detained in Libya-- fleeing "drought" to enter the EU?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 16th, 2018 at 05:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a migrant population of 22 Million non-EU citizens resident in the EU of which c. 2 Million arrived in 2016 from non-EU countries. Approximately 1 million were granted EU citizenship in 2016 a number which has been increasingly slowly every year since 2010. Most of these came from Morocco, Albania, India, Pakistan and Turkey. Approximately one million asylum seekers have moved to Europe from sub Saharan Africa since 2010.

I haven't been able to find a breakdown by country of origin of those fleeing Africa for Europe via Libya. However those fleeing Syria are obvious fleeing war, not drought or other factors. Afghan refugees are hosted mainly in Pakistan and Iran, not Europe. Palestinian migrants are hosted mainly in Jordan 3,240,000, Israel 1,650,000, Syria 630,000, Chile 500,000 (largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East), Lebanon 402,582, Saudi Arabia 280,245, and Egypt 270,245. Israel actively "assists" Palestinian emigration in their efforts to maintain a Jewish majority and an apartheid state in Israel.

Much of this migration is forced by war, deprivation, racism and drought, with drought being the most important factor in sub saharan Africa. Which part of this human tragedy do you find funny?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 16th, 2018 at 08:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "drought being the most important factor "

That's all you've got?

I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't know the answer. I have been monitoring a variety of public data sources purporting to estimate the number of arrivals to the EU, from country of origin, since the first PR breakdowns (semantics) in administrative preferences: What is "human trafficking"? Who is a "migrant"? Who is a "refugee"? Who is an "adult"? and so forth.

I've seen your source several times before from the CA Cohort of Petty Landlords ... since 2013. I was waiting for it. For that lot, US-CFR authority enhanced their assumption that "drought" was pretext for Assads' dynastic scheme kill his people, populate Europe with Islamic terrorist child assassins, or both, inexplicably. Which was ironic because so few of them trusted climate science, and none were familiar with historical bases for this sudden "drought" alarm --in that particular state but not, say, the verdant plains of Eritrea or Afghanistan.

More amusing is the extent to which some people reach for an explanation other than NATO conflict coupled to economic ruin by "structural adjustment" of every.single.region from which these migrants come. Interrogating Hegel (Nazi or not Nazi?) is just icing on this cake of NEW! origin stories.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 16th, 2018 at 09:33:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you have a bone to pick with the "CA Cohort of Petty Landlords" - whoever they are - please take it up with them but don't try to involve me in your arguments. I would be the last person to excuse NATO's role in creating various refugee crises. I don't find their involvement amusing either. As for your questions, please don't bother me with them if you think you already know the answer. I have better things to do with my time than engage with someone more interested in fighting battles that have nothing to do with me. Most of your comment I just find unintelligible and certainly not relevant to anything I have said.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 16th, 2018 at 11:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CA Cohort of Petty Landlord is a stereotype, Frank, of republican with a keen interest in money marketing and wealth accumulation. For the Petty Landlord the purpose of government is to siphon by taxation and careless expenditures real property and unearned income value to line the purses of equally petty bureaucrats who have been trained in communist propaganda in any case. One might even say, regardless of the Petty Landlord's physical location, gender, religion, or partisan inclination, this person is comforted by security in status quo --in so far as inequality insures profit, guaranteed income, and temperate indoor/outdoor conditions for recreation. It is a parochial worldview.

A conservative observer, the Petty Landlord is quick to detect threats, slow to assimilate opportunities which cannot be validated by prior experience, or plain English, whichever comes first. These instincts and generally thin distribution of the cohort present difficulties for the casual ethnographer who is interested in cataloging its range and customs by any other name.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Nov 17th, 2018 at 02:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the explanation. We have a landlord class in Ireland as well, who are obsessed with property values, rent seeking, law and order, personal and financial security, and who see themselves as the backbone of the economy and the moral order. Never mind that their "work" and output consists largely of exploiting inequality in order to exacerbate it.

Still not sure what any of this has to do with anything I have written above...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 17th, 2018 at 09:56:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

The UK's slide into despair

by tyronen - Mar 25
16 comments

Après May

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 22
79 comments

The gloves are off

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 20
32 comments

Brexit Fun: The John Bercow Show

by Oui - Mar 18
21 comments

Healing Earth (Through the Waters)

by gmoke - Mar 19
2 comments

No justice for Bloody Sunday

by IdiotSavant - Mar 14
2 comments

People playing games

by Frank Schnittger - Mar 15
50 comments

Occasional Series