Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The fog of war

by Frank Schnittger Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 02:01:53 PM EST

I haven't the foggiest notion what the difference between foggy and nebulous is in the context of the confrontation between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker which occurred on camera at the European Council summit. She accused him of calling her nebulous and he responded that he had been referring to the debate in the House of Commons, not her, and that the word he had used was "nebuleux" in French which had been miss-translated as nebulous whereas he had meant foggy.

Both mean vague, ill-defined or unclear, and that is precisely the accusation leveled at Theresa May by several heads of government after her one hour presentation which is said to have alienated and annoyed many on the Council. She told them to trust her judgement, when that is precisely what they no longer trust. You don't wrap up a legally binding deal after a long and complex negotiation only to come back looking for more changes a couple of weeks later and hope to keep your credibility intact.

EU Heads of government were quite clear that any concessions they make now - without cast iron guarantees they will enable the passage of all required legislation through parliament - will simply be "banked" by UK Brexiteers before they come back looking for more.


What if EU leaders had agreed to Theresa May's backstop request?

Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, on his way out of the late-night meeting, made the leaders' message clear: "Someday, somebody needs to say it . . . and you have to say - openly - that it is necessary that you get some homework done in the British parliament, which has handled this challenge very differently to Denmark, when the Danes voted No to Maastricht, or the Irish, when they voted No to Lisbon.

"In both countries someone took responsibility to decide what do we do. In both Denmark and Ireland somebody took it upon themselves to say what can unite us in our country and what should we ask from Europe."

In the wake of a 2016 Dutch referendum defeat for an EU treaty on relations with Ukraine, prime minister Mark Rutte came to fellow leaders with proposals for a "clarification" of the treaty, but with a clear assurance that his parliament would endorse the treaty if they agreed to the clarification.

The EU leaders accommodated him, as did his parliament.

Mrs May can offer no such assurances. And EU leaders, who read newspapers, are only too well of that reality. They will not buy a pig in a poke.

So unless Theresa May can come up with some concrete assurance - such as a motion passed by the House of Commons - that a certain concession would guarantee the passing of all Brexit related legislation, there is no point in even talking to her further. To make this even clearer, the EU27 stripped out all emollient language out of the Council conclusions:
The ebbing patience with the British is now almost palpable in Brussels

Back inside things were taking a turn for the worse. Mrs May's presentation to the 27 heads of government was not going well. They wanted to know two things, according to subsequent briefings - what did she want, and if she got it, could she get the treaty through Westminster?

Satisfactory responses to the questions were not, it seems, forthcoming. After Mrs May left the meeting, the EU 27 took out parts of the draft conclusions, including a promise to provide further help and clarifications to Mrs May - a move inevitably interpreted as an aggressive move in British reports.

At his press conference on Friday, Varadkar explained the move by saying the leaders felt there were enough assurances already for Mrs May. But the London Times quoted a senior EU official as saying that the UK needed to "feel the bleak midwinter".

"The feeling is that EU leaders will have to do more for her!" bellowed one British journalist down the phone. That wasn't the sense that they had. Not yet, anyway. The ebbing patience with the British is almost palpable in Brussels now

In fairness the DUP have been equally clear in their opposition to the current deal:
What - if anything - would satisfy the DUP in Brexit negotiations?

He [One senior DUP party source] asserted, "If Theresa May tries to railroad through a withdrawal agreement against our will then we would have to review the confidence-and-supply agreement, and she can't get the agreement through without our votes."


That was putting it up to Theresa May to extract a new deal from Brussels, regardless of the fact that the word so far from the EU is that while there can be assurances that it is unlikely the backstop ever will be used, there can be no legal changes to the agreement.

Whatever about Theresa May, the EU27 are not going to be held hostage by 10 DUP MPs whose hostility to the EU and it's remaining member, Ireland, could not be clearer. So Theresa May has to find a majority for the deal without the DUP, or it will be no deal, or no Brexit - her choice. The EU is clearly prepared to wait until this realization drips into the body politic in Westminster and it is Theresa May, not the EU27's job to come up with a decision as to which it is going to be.

Anger in Tory circles is growing at the pivotal role being played by Ireland in all of this. Ex Tory Cabinet Minister's Priti Patel's comments about using the threat of Brexit related food shortages in Ireland as a means of forcing the Irish to give way could not have been more incendiary. In the 1840's Ireland lost more than a million people to starvation and a million more to emigration while food exports continued to Britain reducing the total population of Ireland by over 25%.

Then, in the 1920's, the border with N. Ireland was created as part of the Anglo-Irish Treaty causing a civil war in Ireland which has shaped the political landscape ever since. Ireland is not going to cave on the backstop just to appease some DUP MPs.

So May is down to really only one choice. The DUP, Corbyn, the SNP, and many in her own party have made it clear they cannot support the current deal and no one will be mollified by some "clarifying" declarations outside of the legally binding text. She herself has ruled out leading the Tories into another general election and she has lost all credibility with the EU27. So she either resigns and makes way for a Brexiteer Prime Minister who will pursue the no deal option, or she puts her proposals to the people in a second referendum.

Her choice.

Display:
Ex Tory Cabinet Minister's Priti Patel's comments about using the threat of Brexit related food shortages in Ireland as a means of forcing the Irish to give way

This is a good illustration of the underlying dynamic of Brexit: a complete lack of understanding of the world outside of the Self and the Self's desires.

Trump has the same problem.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 05:27:26 PM EST
Great summary Frank ... thx for your insight and stamina.

Sorry for using the word "stamina" but Mrs. May has been lauded with this character virtue this week. I haven't caught anyone lauding the PM for her insight in the Brexit negotiations, debate or leadership.

As all parties involved are playing hard-ball, there certainly is a stalemate in UK politics and how to go forward with the only EU-UK deal or Withdrawal Act. The EU Commission has made the promise to move forward with the trade negotiations as soon as the EUWA is ratified by the House of Commons and the European Parliament.

    Ignorant about its leverage and ignorant about the EU,
    the U.K. is coming across as clumsy and caddish.

    [Source: Politico]

EU chief Jean Claude Juncker: "Ireland First in Withdrawal Agreement."



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 06:17:30 PM EST
I have been surprised at some progressive feminists who take a quite positive view of May - mainly because they see her as surrounded by a clique of boorish Eton louts and bullies and like to see her holding her own against them. But holding her to a standard set by the Boris Johnsons of this world is hardly the most exacting of tests.

It isn't sexist to point out her lack of a positive relationship with almost any EU leader, her lack of empathy in understanding other points of view, her lack of communication or negotiation skills, her robotic delivery of the same inane phrases again and again which moves nothing forward and just creates false expectations among ordinary people who look to her for guidance and leadership.

Stamina, perseverance, stubbornness,and willingness to face hostility can all be admirable traits and are often necessary but hardly sufficient to define great leadership abilities. Right now she is inspiring almost no one, leading almost nothing, and articulating no way forward resulting in widespread disMay, disillusion, despair. Surely the UK can do better than this?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 09:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it's a situation she created. Afaik, nobody forced her to take over after Cameron, nobody forced her to make a A50 declaration almost two years before she could define what Brexit she wanted, much less what her party wanted.
by fjallstrom on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:36:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her plan is to kick the can down the road for as long as she is able. There is a vote on Jan 21st. It will be lost, as everybody knows.

So, what she will do is re-schedule a second vote on it for late March. Daring Parliament to make a choice, my deal or no deal.

At the moment, I don't know how Parliament can bring the no brexit or new referendum options to the table.

The HoC is in chaos. Government is in chaos. As Yeats would observe;-
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 07:52:36 PM EST
BorderIrish explains the situation quite well:
by Bernard on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 08:18:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely Corbyn will move a vote of no confidence after her defeat - no later than 21st. January - and surely she cannot win if all she is offering is a default tumbling into a no deal disaster? Will Remainer Tories really vote for her if she offers nothing new after 21st. January?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 09:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn has no interest in a no confidence motion he can't win. He needs the DUP absolutely determined to bring down the govt, he needs a few exasperated tories.

Why? Cos he can't rely on the Blairites. There are Lib Dems, including Uncle Vince, who will look into the abyss and vote with the tories. Cos they're quisling bastards.

So, no, he won't move till he can win. And the mathematics will always be against him

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 09:48:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The DUP and ERG are quite happy with a no deal Brexit so they won't vote no confidence in May while this is the default outcome.  But they will vote against her deal to ensure No deal is the outcome.

So the only way for May to lose a no confidence vote is for Remainer Tories to grow a spine and vote with the opposition to cause a general election.

If May wants to pre-empt this she can offer the Remainers a second referendum, but even then it is unclear whether Corbyn or sufficient Labour MPs will support it.

If the attempt to legislate for a second referendum fails, the only option for Remainer Tories who wish to prevent a No deal Brexit is to vote no confidence and precipitate a general election.

My lack of confidence in their willingness to do so still leads me to regard a No deal Brexit as being, just, the most likely outcome, despite a majority of Parliament claiming they are against this.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 09:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes - I think it comes down to this. The so-called rebels - who always talk a good game, but rarely vote against the whip - are going to have kill this thing, either by voting No Confidence, or by adding a motion for a new referendum if May's deal is voted down.

Some of them have explicitly said they won't vote against their party. So the only possible way ahead is another vote, or the kind of tacit support for No Deal that will hang the resulting crisis around the neck of the Tory party and make it unelectable for at least a generation. [1]

This has the useful side-effect of forcing Corbyn to support another vote too. It's official Labour policy to aim for a GE, with a People's Vote as a fall-back if that isn't possible.

A lot of blood was spilled to get that position accepted at the party conference, but it's there in black and white and fully binding.

So the only question is whether or not this can all be done in time. The smart move for Remainers is to write to the rebels directly to nudge them in this direction.

The downside is - of course - that May's insane lame duck government gets to carry on for a while longer. But if Brexit fails she certainly won't survive another leadership contest, and she could be gone even more quickly - because it's not obvious the DUP would continue to support her if Remain wins the new vote.

[1] Assuming democracy holds. If there's a tanks-on-the-streets coup - sadly not impossible given the Establishment's hatred of Corbyn, all bets are off.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 10:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it difficult to believe that the Royal Army would stage a coup even if they could stage a successful coup, which is really hard to see.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember how excited US American innerboob spectators were by 'Arab Spring' in Egypt? Many a petty landlord inexplicably defended the army (for teh peoplw, against Mubarak) and rejoiced when Field Marshall Tantawi condemned Mubarak, then deposed 'democratically-elected' Morsi in order to install Oxford-educated supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces, el SiSi, who has proved to be a fine successor to Mubarak.

UK, too, could look forward to this power-vacuum kit but for the ceremonial status of its armed forces.

## Democracy is not well understood

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 05:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The "Arab Spring" had some [or rather many] footnotes ...

"Jesse James" Morsi was freed from jail by a posse of jihadists coming thru the Sinai desert with support of Hamas fighters early in 2011. Indeed Morsi was democratically elected in a power vacuum after deposed dictator Mubarak was thrown in jail. Instead of using his might of being democratically elected by the Egyptian people in the euphoria of Tahrir Square [grab a pussy], Mohamed Morsi became a puppet of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership. This power grab by religious fanatics was unacceptable to the Egyptian military. Their achievements by historical measurements are well rewarded as they profit from a 20% slice of the Egyptian economy. Protecting their assets and possession, el-Sisi took the step to reimpose a military dictatorship with support and funded by the Arab tribal states of KSA, Emirates and Kuwait. Even in record tempo the Suez canal was widened to boost the Egyptian economy - lots of Western nations and corporations earned the profits of this major investment. The roots of setting Qatar aside by the Arab states with support from Israel and the passive policy of the Trump regime. [MB alliance stretches from Egypt's Morsi to Erdogan's Turkey, Qatar and Hamas in the Gaza strip]

Just as in Western nations, the populace is left behind, have no real influence through elections and are put down by increased inequality. Didn't el-Sisi just block the production/sales in Egypt of "gilets jaunes". :)

Egypt jails human rights lawyer for possessing five yellow vests

Censorship in the modern digital age is just not possible, is it? Certainly not by American corporations like Facebook, Twitter and Google - thinking of the First Amendment. Hypocrisy.

Related reading ....

Secr. Clinton's Embrace of Erdogan, Muslim Brothers and Chaos
Classic Agitator: Preacher Safwat Hegazy Inciting Violence In Cairo
MB Axis Egypt - Turkey - Qatar Faces Defeat by Oui @BooMan on July 7th, 2013

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

by Oui on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 06:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I know that.

My remarks are intended to illustrate ignorance and aspirations that surrounded 'revolutionary' people 'power'.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 06:33:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And as it unfolded, petty landlords also praised the 'revolutionary power' of Libyans opposed to Gadaffi. I've saved a bookmark from that period to remind myself of wide-spread 'optimism' or wtf. (Compliments another from defunct PressEurop, fingering Zapatero.)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 06:46:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Establishment's hatred of Corbyn

The sheer venom in May's demeanour when facing Corbyn (and threatening the country was doomed to a Labour government if her deal was not approved) was something to behold.
Her mask hasn't slipped like that since the Grenfell fire.
It's physiological.

'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 Dec 16th, 2018 at 12:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"She's beginning to sound a lot like Trumpy, everywhere she goes...."
by rifek on Mon Dec 24th, 2018 at 07:39:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeremy Corbyn seems to be real (old) Labour, therefore he should be very successfull in administrating the UK. Should stay for 2 full terms and be allowed to point a successor which would rule in a third Labour term, before being replaced by the Tories at a political landscape redefined by the effectiveness of Corbyn politics. Provided Corbyn did not compromise.

Compromise is however what we in the western world have got used to, and it is much more efficient than tanks. While the age of compriomise (third way) has certainly ended the the US, and in the rest of Europe may only succeed as a (deeply undemocratic) united front against AfD in Germany and FN in France, it may be still be doable in the UK. Combined with financial pressures it would lead to Corbyn having a crippled second term, and - this is would be the real victory - no change in UK's political discussion.

by aDoorIntoSummer on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 01:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Commentators who lament Corbyn's failure to provide leadership misunderstand the role of the Leader of the Opposition in UK politics. His primary responsibility is to oppose May's policies and her deal, and that he has been doing quite effectively. What he can't do is implement different policies or negotiate a different deal because he doesn't have  Commons majority to do so. So he has to wait for an opportunity to win a confidence vote and fight and win a general election.

The only way he can do that is if Tory Remainers develop a backbone and vote no-confidence in May's government and that they have been unwilling to do until now. So all the outrage that is being hurled at Corbyn really needs to be re-directed at Tory Remainers who talk a good game but who are ultimately not prepared to vote against their party even as it drives the UK over a cliff.

In the meantime the best Corbyn can do is try to keep both Leavers and Remainers in his party united around the common goal of defeating the Tories in a general election. Then he can campaign on the basis of giving the people a vote on whatever deal he can agree with the EU - which will probably end up being very similar to the current deal, but with different priorities for the future relationship.

Then, if the people vote for his deal or remain, he can accept their verdict and govern on the basis of the new dispensation. Whether he is an extreme left winger or not really is beside the point: The point is he is a democrat, and at this point he doesn't have a mandate either to govern or to oppose the referendum result. Without at least a second referendum with a more decisive result, there will never be any change in the dominant anti-EU narrative in UK politics.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 01:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"the age of compromise (third way) has certainly ended the the US"

This is incorrect. There is plenty of compromise in the American system, even with our current screwed up administration. An example is the pending government shutdown, which is related to a specific and narrow point of argument, and affects the 25% of government that is related to that point. The other 75% of the government spending bills have already been debated and passed, using the traditional system of compromise and bartering, and will not be affected by a shutdown.

The press focusses on the "man bites dog" stories for obvious reasons, but it is important to look carefully at the overall situation.

by asdf on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 03:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the past two and a half years I have been predicting a hard "no deal" or "no substantial deal" Brexit basically because the two sides were so far apart and Brexiteer expectations so unrealistic.

However even I underestimated how spectacularly incompetent the Tory government proved to be.

Consequently it has become obvious to even many low information voters, that a disaster looms, and more and more people are looking for a way out.

At the moment it is still unclear if and how a second vote can come about, but I have recently been raising my mental odds of this happening one way or the other; such is the widespread disillusion.

So whereas before I would have put the odds of a hard Brexit at 80%, it may be down to about 50% now, with 10% for May's deal and 40% for a second referendum followed by no Brexit.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 09:47:23 PM EST
One other question: when are the rest of the 27+ parliaments to ratify the WA? It looks like a rush job. After the UK or in parallel? While the chances for ratification are so much higher than in Westminster, one trip-up and the ship goes down.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 10:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"one trip-up and the ship goes down"

No - the Brexit deal only has to be approved by a weighted majority on the Council, so some governments/parliaments can vote against without derailing the deal.

As for timing, I'm not sure. I think they were all waiting for the meaningful vote in the HOC before starting their own debates/votes on the issue. Now that it looks increasingly unlikely the HOC will ever approve, why waste precious parliamentary time on a deal that may never be agreed by the UK in any case?


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's reassuring.. as much as it can be in these circumstances. At least, the EU side won't be technically at fault if the no-deal apocalypse comes. As they say "no-deal is now a deliberate choice".

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:17:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither technique nor 'incompetence'* will have anything to do with blame assignment ( BY WHOM? ), when the UK leaves the EU bloc 29 March 2019.

---
* competence or incompetence is a value assignment that recurs in pseudo-intellectual analysis of political activity involving millions of people. It's common usage is misplaced, because (1) value assignment is meaningless when the political project, its criteria, goals, and agents are not defined by 'analysts'; and (2) attribution merely attaches ad hominem, a speaker's high- or low-esteem, to someone associated with a ill-defined political project.

For those supporting UK LEAVE, May's competence is nearly incontrovertible; project success is imminent.

For those supporting UK REMAIN, May's incompetence is nearly incontrovertible; project failure is imminent.

For anyone assigning (in)competence to May alone, May's political status is nearly incontrovertible; project agency is unknown, democracy is understood to represent autocratic prerogatives.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 06:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
per A.50
EP consent to Withdrawal Agreement required
archived: EU Parliament aims to endorse any deal just two weeks before Brexit day, hurdles
before Council "ratification" of Withdrawal Agreement

Get.a.Grip
Before any of that occurs, UK parliament must vote to accept the EU Withdrawal Agreement ("May's Deal" to LEAVE 31 Dec 2020).

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 07:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing is going to happen until the vote on the current Deal.  Everybody expects the vote to be a resounding no.  I think you're over-estimating the ability of Parliament to get anything done in the 67 days between Jan 21 and Mar 29 while May is Prime Minister.  In the new UK quasi-Presidential system - as I understand it - May doesn't have to resign simply and only because she has the political power of a dead trout.  And I doubt she has the nous to know exactly how terribly bad she is as Head of Government.

So on March 30th I expect the good people of the United Kingdom to wake up in the morning and start to realize just how totally screwed they are.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:11:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All the House of Commons has to do is pass legislation for a second referendum before the end of March and the EU will agree an A.50 extension to actually hold it. I can't see the EU agreeing an extension merely to facilitate further negotiations. They can then best be held with the UK as a third party.

It become tricky if May refuses to agree to a second referendum and instead plays for time to hold a second vote on her deal in March. At that point Tory Remainers either have to vote no confidence in order to force a second referendum/General election or accept that the most likely outcome is no deal. Corbyn isn't going to bail them out.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 11:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

All the House of Commons has to do is pass legislation for a second referendum before the end of March and the EU will agree an A.50 extension to actually hold it.

You make it sound so simple.

Having observed the behaviour of the MPs to some extent over the past months - though not as exhaustively as you probably have - I fail to have confidence at this juncture that the House could realise a majority even for that.

Plus, Blair just spoke in favour of holding a second referendum, to much ire of May - but I'm hardly sure whether his support for the referendum would make it any more attractive for the Tories to support.

by Bjinse on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 09:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair is pretty toxic these days - he poisons any well he drinks from. I think it will take quite some time for Parliament to get its act together on any option, and by then it may well be too late.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 09:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another factor is the timeline and cost required for government and business to get things set up for whatever exit or non-exit arrangement is finally agreed.

If, when the dust settles, there is no Brexit after all, then any money spent now on setting up for an exit will have been wasted. The way for a commercial outfit to minimize their cost and risk is to implement their exit strategy now, and if it turns out that there is an implementation period, that will be good news.

And if there is no Brexit after all, then the cheapest thing to do will be to retain whatever arrangements were made in preparation for Brexit, which means that no-Brexit is not the same as "going back to how things were before this all started," it is more like "you wanted us out of here, so we are out."

A bank that has just moved thousands of workers and IT systems to Frankfurt is not going to be in a rush to move them back to London next April.

by asdf on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 03:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's worse than that: a certain amount of businesses that would never have contemplated moving have now got costed plans (at least) to do so. Some percentage of those will go because it makes business sense anyway, now that they look at it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 05:17:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I doubt she has the nous to know exactly how terribly bad she is as Head of Government.

This is where self-referential meets deranged. Very similar to Trump, as you say in your first comment.

Strong dose of Dunning-Krüger (advanced nouslessness) Syndrome too.


'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 Dec 16th, 2018 at 01:10:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone else enjoy BBC World's 'Dateline London' (14.30 GMT Saturdays)?
It's a half hour political talk show with 4 guest journalists from different countries.
Today's was especially animated.

"May is stubbornly in pursuit of the impossible"

Best part: a conjecture shared by two journos that May's secret Machiavellian plan is a second referendum, and she's the butler with the candlestick!
Hilarity ensued, but there was an aha moment as well. It fit so perfectly, where better to put your Remainer Trojan Horse than at 10 Downing St. at the head of an imploding party, riven by its own unresolved contradictions if your real desire is to Remain?
Oscar material, if true.

'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 Dec 16th, 2018 at 01:47:37 AM EST
A catastrophic Brexit now looks to be on the cards
As soon as Theresa May gave her infamous Lancaster House speech, almost two years ago, setting out a list of impossible-to-deliver demands, it became easy to predict the future. The Brexiteers superficial sound bites, empty slogans and sloppy thinking would, sooner or later, have to confront reality. The only thing that wasn't predicted - was not predictable - in early 2017 was what would happen once reality intruded into the Brexit process. Now we know - or at least part of the answer.

Former chancellor Ken Clarke has for years warned that the Europhobic wing of the Tory party would never compromise: no matter what concessions they gain, they will never be sated, they will always come back for more. He was right: the Brexit ultras have behaved as predicted and no longer bother to conceal their desire for a total rupture between the UK and Europe. Their chances of getting what they want have never been higher. They sense total victory and have adopted the methods and mantra of their new best friends, the DUP. There will be no surrender.

How can that be, given that Brexiteer fantasy has now run full tilt into the brick wall of reality? It's a weird kind of inverse car crash politics: the politicians driving the country into a wall are not the ones hurt by the collision. The spectators, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, are the victims. Michael Heseltine has been making some magisterial speeches about all of this over recent weeks. They are well worth looking at, if only to remind ourselves that there still some decent, thoughtful politicians in the UK.

That certainty I mentioned: for the UK to leave the EU on 29th March, 2018, all that needs to happen is nothing. To put it slightly differently: to stop the hardest Brexit of all, as a matter of EU law, something very dramatic now needs to occur.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 07:01:54 PM EST
Summary execution by the EU Council to retain the UK, eh, Frank?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 07:11:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably in the dreams of some hard core Brexiteers who see the EU as a Nazi fourth Reich...  The reality of the EU is a lot more prosaic: They like to spend their time talking consumer goods regulation and banking resolution...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 07:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

`Unprofessional' May alienated European leaders with summit dinner speech

Summit conclusions rewritten to remove backstop observations

Theresa May's attempt to rescue her Brexit deal ran into serious trouble in Brussels on Thursday night, after despairing EU leaders accused her of having no viable proposals to sell her plan to a hostile British parliament.

The British prime minister, already wounded after more than a third of her MPs voted to oust her in a confidence vote, arrived at a European Council meeting to a warm reception from EU leaders who want to salvage the Brexit deal.

But during an hour-long presentation, Mrs May succeeded in alienating many fellow leaders after making a series of ambitious proposals to appease her domestic critics, including a one-year time limit on the Irish backstop.

After Mrs May left the room, many leaders were despondent. During more than two hours of talks over dinner, EU leaders agreed to scrap plans for a formal process to provide reassurances to Britain until Mrs May decided what she wants.

"This debate is sometimes nebulous and imprecise," said Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president. "When it comes to the future relationship, our British friends need to say what they want, rather than asking us what we want."

A video of Mr Juncker and Mrs May later emerged appearing to show a tense confrontation during the summit on Thursday.

Michel Barnier, EU chief Brexit negotiator, claimed that Mrs May was not seeking reassurances but was reviving old ideas rejected during Brexit negotiations. One EU diplomat briefed on the talks said Mrs May was "unprofessional".

Another EU diplomat claimed that there was even a suggestion that it might have been better if Mrs May had been ejected from Downing Street in this week's abortive coup by Tory Eurosceptics.

"She didn't know what she wanted," the diplomat said.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 12:59:02 PM EST
May could find something sexist in the confrontation with Juncker. That is not out of his character, as at 0:30 here:

What feminism or masculinity would restrain him?

As typical for women in power, May is good in staying the course. But no creativity under nebulous existential circumstances, whatsoever.

by das monde on Mon Dec 17th, 2018 at 06:38:11 PM EST
What "course" is May "staying"?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 03:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A course of privileged Brexit, what else?
by das monde on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 06:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it femininity or masculinity then that restrains May, who you style a 'typical woman in power'?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 06:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Grybauskaite -- their determinations are relatively obvious, for better or worse. They resist sideways inspirations too well.
by das monde on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 07:13:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Answer my question.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 07:51:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to raise my brows.

They are not restricted by their deplorables, really.

by das monde on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 01:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
alrighty then

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 03:23:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
her dogged determination to prevent the Tory party tearing itself apart.

This fault line, loosely between the disaster banksters and the industrial financiers, has run through the Tory party since the Lawson boom (swiftly followed by the Lawson bust as all his stupid giveaways bankrupted the economy). The red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalists versus those who manage the economy for good business and industry. They pretend they are on the same side, ie against the working classes and the precariat, but beyond that, their aims and means are in complete opposition. The EU is the touchestone, their Tesseracht.

Cameron's entire idea about the referendum was to try to shut one side up, but they were too strong for him. May has tried to appease them, but they will soon devour her too

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 06:32:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'stupid woman' jibe at Theresa May
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing calls to apologise for apparently calling Theresa May a "stupid woman" during Prime Minister's Questions.

The prime minister was mocking Mr Corbyn during heated exchanges, telling him to "look behind you" when he was caught on camera muttering words.

[...]

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "He did not call her a stupid woman and so I don't think there's any basis for an apology. As I understand it, he said 'stupid people'."

A hit to hanker for.
by das monde on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 03:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goodness me... BBC beat-up on Corbyn... That's a surprise

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 03:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Corbyn now adds that Johnson and Reese-Mogg are stupid men, will everything be OK?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 04:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as we throw in Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove at no extra price, then it's a deal.
by Bernard on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 07:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are moments I wonder even about that...
by Bjinse on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 09:09:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No more dodgy women drivers as UK bans sexist stereotypes in ads
Britain is to ban advertising showing women who can't park or men who struggle to change a nappy in a crackdown on gender stereotypes, the industry watchdog said on Friday.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said a review had found some stereotypes were harmful, citing ads that belittle men for carrying out tasks seen as female, or suggest new mothers should prioritise looking good over emotional wellbeing [...]

From next June, adverts featuring a depiction of gender roles that could cause offence or harm will be axed, it said.

The ban will apply to broadcast and non-broadcast media, including TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

The Brits will never be stupid
by das monde on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 10:17:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about ads which depict a Brexiteer driving over a cliff?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 10:21:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So I guess you can't advertise Lego in England any more, now that the sets themselves are sexist.
Ms. Magazine helpfully illustrates that sexism is hardly isolated to the boy side of the Lego aisle. Lego figures meant for girls now have slimmer waists and actual busts. The strict, bold, primary palette of the Lego bricks I remember from childhood has been replaced by the pinks and blushes that characterize the girl aisle of the toy store.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 10:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a (shitty) marketing reaction to the gendering of Lego as a boy's toy by society at large.

We'll have our local MRA around in a second to explain why girls don't like construction toys due to evolutionary pressures in a moment.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 10:44:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by das monde on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 11:32:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

one of my favorite example of

RACIST!!&SEXIST!!


toys manufactured in the last two decades.

##Another case of misplaced precision

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Dec 21st, 2018 at 03:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of this from four years ago:

Archived

by Bernard on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 08:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LEGOs weren't even 'boys' toys' when I was a child. I played with them, colored and unfinished wood blocks, and Linkin' Logs along with dolls and other figurines.

Why? you might ask. I'll tell you. LEGO shapes were punched in primary colors (and still are) as were many manipulatives for early childhood development. And, yes, I did not buy my toys. Santa delivered them.

So what's 'different' 50 years later about LEGO, CREATIVE PLAY THINGS, or PLAY MOBILE product lines?

Consumer demand for 'gendered' product lines. You (pl.) demand context-specific manipulatives, Evil Corp delivers. Children demand 'gendered' products 'as seen on TV!', Santa delivers.

The irony at this point is, the world is living through neurotic projections of an aimless political class of persons, who alternately express contempt for and pride in 'femininity' or 'masculinity'.

imbeciles

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 09:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

FIFTH WAVE is intellectually bankrupt but flush with cash as are, of course, all parents and all children across the world who struggle, inexplicably, against involuntary, color-coded 'gender' assignment foisted on them by Evil Corp in the aisles and in the trash heaps of 'first world' dysphoria.

GFAFB

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 09:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that's a pity. One less way to filter out shitty brands I don't want to give my money to. If I ever watched any ads.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 at 10:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries