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

Off the reservation

by Frank Schnittger Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 11:23:17 AM EST

OK I'm going to go way off the reservation here and make some far out predictions based only on the most tenuous of currently observable facts. I do so because I can't see the Brexit conundrum being resolved within the available universe of conventional solutions, and because I think the retribution of "the people" on those who authored their misfortune will be terrible.

It's one thing punishing a government for poor performance during an economic downturn which may be little more than a reflection of a global business cycle. But its quite another when your government is almost the sole author of your misfortune, and not only that, has caused you to become the laughing stock of the "civilised" world. People have their pride, too, you know, and hate being made to look foolish.


My first few predictions will be somewhat mundane, but then the fun begins:

  1. The May Corbyn talks have already fulfilled their primary function of providing May with a pretext for seeking a further A. 50 extension and giving Corbyn an opportunity to look relatively measured, reasonable, and statesmanlike by comparison. It is in neither leader's interest to actually come to an agreement, and hardly anyone expects or wants that anyway.

  2. Despite Macron playing bad cop the EU will agree May's request for an extension, but with stern words about coming up with a workable plan, participating fully in the European Parliament (EP) elections, and accepting a duty of "sincere cooperation" for as long as the UK remains a member. [Read: Keep Rees-Mogg off our lawn].

  3. UKIP and Farage's new Brexit party will campaign enthusiastically in the EP elections as hating on the EU is their whole raison d'être. As before, no one will quite know where all their funding comes from. The Conservatives will be forced to follow suit despite fearing annihilation and wishing they could pretend the EP elections weren't really happening and claiming they don't matter anyway.

  4. Corbyn will find it increasingly difficult to ride both Leave and Remain horses at once and will point to the EP elections as an opportunity to "let the people have their say" and that Labour would abide by the result. However as the campaign progresses Labour edges ever closer to the Remain/second referendum position for fear of leaking votes to the Lib Dems and Change UK: The Independent Group party

  5. The EP elections will also be a lifeline for the new Change UK: The Independent Group party as most of their members face defeat in a FPTP single seat constituency general election and can only hope to cling on to a political career as MEPs. If elected they will seek to join the EPP so they can claim to be the only UK party in the only European Party grouping which matters much, these days.

  6. Both Sinn Fein and the DUP will lose votes in the N. Ireland EP election with the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP in a dogfight for the final seat. The sky will fall in if nationalists win 2 out of the three seats for the first time ever.

  7. Tory voters simply won't show up for the EP elections claiming they are irrelevant as the UK is leaving the EU sooner or later anyway. Other important "influencers" will try to organise a boycott of the elections but will be confounded when the overall poll ends up being almost as high as the 2016 referendum or at least much higher than any previous EP election in the UK.

  8. The Tories are decimated receiving c. 15% of the vote, outvoted by both the Lib Dems and UKIP/Brexit parties combined. Leave supporting parties are defeated by Remain supporting parties (if you include Labour) by a margin of 2:1. If the poll is high enough this would equate to a victory for Remain by 20 Million votes to 10 Million, eclipsing the 17 Million people who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum. All attempts to proclaim the vote as "meaningless" prove futile in the circumstances.

  9. May finally resigns as Tory Leader paving the way for a Tory Leadership election. Jeremy Hunt ["The EU is like the Soviet Union"] wins the Tory Parliamentary party leadership nomination process with Boris Johnson just about obtaining 2nd. place. Although it might be a struggle to imagine such a thing, Hunt is regarded as the "May Lite" candidate, a Remainer at heart who dutifully followed the dictates of "the people" in search of high office.

  10. Dispensing with such nonsense the Tory Party membership (average age 70+ and heavily infiltrated by ex UKIP members) proclaim Boris Johnson as their new leader. Unfortunately, some Tory MPs fail to reconcile themselves to this prospect and do not vote for Boris as Prime Minister denying him a majority in the House of Commons. When he fails to win a vote for Prime Minister a second time, May (still acting Prime Minister) has no option but to call a general election.

  11. Johnson campaigns for a "no deal" Brexit with Labour promising to attempt to "reform" the EU before considering the matter of Brexit again. The Tories are decimated in the general election with Corbyn becoming Prime Minister and the Lib Dems becoming the largest opposition party. The SNP clean up in Scotland, Plaid Cymru do well in Wales, but the DUP retain most of their seats. (Nothing ever changes in Northern Ireland, see: Winston Churchill’s “the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone").

  12. Prime Minister Corbyn more or less forgets the Brexit debacle ever happened and focuses on a domestic policy agenda. Labour, instead of rejoining the neoliberal-lite Social Democrat group, joins the new European Spring group, providing the bulk of its membership, and sets about the business of serious EU reform. Ireland finds there is a price to be paid for all that EU solidarity and reluctantly agrees some corporate tax reforms including a digital tax on the on-line e-commerce giants.

And then they all lived happily ever after...

Display:
I heartily endorse your Brexit porn, but with one little quibble, while we're at it :

Replace the following paragraph :

Proposals for EU reform are tabled in Brussels but are politely ignored or paid lip service to while the real business of the EU - screwing the little guy - is pursued with renewed vigour.

with
Labour, instead of rejoining the neoliberal-lite Social Democrat group, joins the new European Spring group, in fact providing the bulk of its membership, and sets about the business of serious EU reform.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 12:53:30 PM EST
I am an optimist at heart, but do you really think corbyn will prioritise eu reform?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 01:27:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn doesn't have to.
All you need is some reform-minded Labour MEPs. Brussels is another dimension.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 04:14:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, you win. In the sprit of collegiality I will amend the diary text as advised.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 05:09:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's on their EU reform agenda in the EP?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be invented, like a lot of the (lack of) UK thinking on the EU. The main left wing objections to the EU are the EU prohibitions on state aids to private companies - as likely to lead to "unfair" competition within the Single Market. Left wingers also criticise the EU's role in facilitating globalisation and not taxing and regulating global corporates enough. (Whether small nation states could, acting individually, do this any more effectively is an interesting question.

Restrictions on state deficits and the tendency to impose pro-cyclical austerity when economic growth (and tax revenues) decline would be another common (Keynesian) criticism, particularly as those restrictions are encoded in Maastricht Treaty. The Eurozone is particularly criticised for its Germanic obsession with balanced budgets and debt repayment - when there are structural imbalances within the Eurozone which are never addressed.

However the UK isn't part of the Eurozone, and Tory UK governments have been to the fore in facilitating globalisation and austerity policies. Inequality is at least as big a problem in the UK as elsewhere, and again, it is an interesting question whether this could be addressed any more effectively with the UK outside the EU.

Corbyn is an internationalist, and so I have always been a bit puzzled at his anti-EU stances over the decades. Whatever the faults of the EU, arguably its worst traits have been driven by the UK. Re-erecting trade barriers, restricting migration, and reducing co-operation between governments seems a strange way of achieving progressive goals.

Contrary to some myths, the EU does not stand in the way of implementing Labour's 2017 election manifesto. There is no reason, for example, why Labour could not re-nationalise UK railways within the EU, afaik.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We've got a federal system over here that you can use as a model. Or not, as the case may be.
by asdf on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:54:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who would gain if Florida (say) seceded and erected a hard customs and immigration border at the Georgia and Alabama frontiers? Who would lose? And are there more losers than winners?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 07:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Far more losers, and Florida would be driving the loser bus.  The place is nowhere near self-supporting.
by rifek on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 02:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the principle of comparative advantage, both would lose.
by asdf on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 05:08:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To my mind, the most significant, systematic developments in the concept of US federal authority were (1) banking regulation, through treasury rationalizing currencies in 19th century; (2) treasury rationalizing personal and corporate income tax collection from 19th fin de siècle to present; and (3) congress rationalizing myriad partisan patronage systems parties, begun by fin de siècle "reformers" and culminating in mid-20th century institution of FY grant making to states' legislatures: (a) categorical, (b) block, (c) earmark.

You see the motif imposed on generations of disaffected plebs.

By contrast, EU gov's transformation into a diabolical central, or supranational, bureaucracy is incomplete.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 04:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh the US system is a nightmare, no question about it. Largely because it was developed by a bunch of wealthy, idealistic aristocrats living in a pre-industrial agricultural economy. And they made the system hard to change.

On the other hand, we have managed to hold it together for 230 years so far, which is not too bad.

by asdf on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 08:35:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What, you haven't read the agenda?

(or in pdf)
(Other languages available. Obviously. German Spanish Italian French Portugese and Greek)

(I hate it when people just turn up without having read the agenda!!)

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

by eurogreen on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 02:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our esteemed Editor, Melanchthon is running as a candidate for European Spring in the European Parliament elections. Hopefully he will write some campaign diaries for us.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 07:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On Tuesday I learned that I, too, am on the list... One of our 12 candidates (of the 79 on the list) dropped out, so, days before the deadline, I'm sending in my administrative details today. I'm 77.

It just occurred to me that if the UK participates in these élections, I drop off again (only 74 French seats). Brexit is really getting personal for me.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 06:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No excuses now! You will still be expected to produce campaign diaries for Eurotrib even if you are dropped off the list! Given that the UK may still leave the EU at some stage, the number of French seats may still go back up to 79 again - with the extra five MEPs taking their seats when the UK drops out.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 11:06:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you get all the train tickets to Brussels you have to cancel because they keep not leaving reimbursed?
by generic on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 11:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem right now is, like global climate change, any butterfly in the amazon will either cause London to freeze or bake. And there is a storm of butterflies right now.

Predictions have become futile because we make the mistake on basing them on rational analysis. That's why I'm trying so hard not to pay attention; because watching madness descend gives me a headache.

Right now, the main thing is that the Tories will continue their drift rightward into White Nationalism with a side order of Bankster Capitalism. Their membership is already being refreshed with ex-ukip operatives who will cement this tendency into place.

This will alienate a lot of middle class Conservatives who are small business owners who really don't like the oiky, yobby nouves polluting their poltics with their bad-for-business bigotry.

So, I think TInGe (or whatever they end up calling themselves) will probably see a few tories peeling away (their elevation of Heidi Allen as leader rather than Chuka Umunna was a smart move anticipating this). As John Major said at the weekend, "there will always be a need for a political home for modern conservative thinking, but there's no inevitability for that to be the conservative party".

The Tories will become the new ukip, a solid Leave party, but TInGe will replace them. Blairite without the blair, a return to One Nation Conservatism after the Thatcherite excesses.

But that will take time. Between then and now, all is darkness, we're just flies trapped in a bottle of shadows



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 03:18:31 PM EST
Agreed on all points except I think Change UK will have to cooperate with the Lib Dems in order to have any chance of surviving the brutal FPTP single seat electoral system and, indeed, combine with them to have any chance of replacing the Tories in the Westminster duopoly.

BTW I also agree with you on the futility of trying to make accurate predictions, but sometimes it's fun anyway!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 03:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I think any cooperation between the LibDems and another party would be less than the sum of its parts. They might have some infrastructure that a new party lacks, but they will bring a lot of baggage.
It sort of reminds me of the German Left party, though on reflection the similarities are fleeting.
They were a fusion between a Social Democratic splinter formation from the West and the successor to the Eastern Socialist party. Though the problem here really wasn't the Iron Curtain and the Stasi (as soon as you want to raise taxes on the wealthy all those things become your fault. Remember that Angela Merkel was already politically active in the GDR, which is no blemish on her character, yet the SPD, the only party that didn't absorb part of the old East German apparatus, is always too close to the Reds). Here the problem was that the Eastern party was a mass party that wasn't particularly willing to run radical policies in states they controlled. And that cost them a lot of momentum.

Shrinking in fusions is also something that has happened to most leftwing parties that tried it in recent years. And why not? If you can't make a plausible claim to power, than you can only be hurt by compromising on positions.
But to get back to the point: A party that runs on remaining in the EU, very popular with young people, but also carries responsibility for tuition fees, as popular as cancer among young people, might very well fail to lift off.

by generic on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 09:50:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think any cooperation between the LibDems and another party would be less than the sum of its parts. They might have some infrastructure that a new party lacks, but they will bring a lot of baggage.

Good points. The Lib Dems also have form in this regard, with the Liberals merger with the Social Democrats providing a temporary boost followed by long term decline (again).

But the FPTP single seat constituency system really only permits a power duopoly with some regional variants in semi-autonomous polities. Sinn Fein and the DUP have also all but destroyed the SDLP and UUP, and it takes a very severe upheaval to bring either into play again.

My argument in the diary is that Brexit could represent one such upheaval, and that if it does change the constituents of that duopoly, the new duopoly could be just as difficult to overthrow.

Proponents of the system argue it is required to produce stable governments - yea right - and that the continental system of almost inevitable coalitions would never work for the UK.

The downside is that there is almost no history of major parties working together and societal polarisation can reach extreme levels, as in the US and UK right now.

So the bottom line is that neither the Lib Dems nor ChangeUK have much of a future in UK politics unless they can displace either the Tories or Labour in the duopoly and to do that they need a crisis and unity of purpose - however temporary - to give themselves a fighting chance in most English constituencies.

This doesn't have to be a full blown merger or policy alignment on all issues, but could be simply an agreement not to compete against each other in winnable constituencies. Quite who gets to lead in what constituencies could be difficult to agree - particularly before a snap election - but a simple system of improvised primaries where the public are invited to select the joint nominee could add novelty, interest, and public participation and legitimation to the process.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 09:38:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have expected Chuka to be the new leader if only because the group has 8 Labour exiles to 3 from the Tories, and failing that, Anna Soubry as the most prominent of the Tories. So what do you make of Heidi's elevation and will that facilitate greater cooperation with the Lib Dems - who have yet to elect a new leader and may not have any good candidates?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 03:50:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the LibDems are dying on their feet, they're down to 8 MPs and have no leader. And probably no purpose. Their behaviour during the ConDem pact where they enabled to entire Tory austerity campaign has revealed them as merely moderate conservatives willing to trample over every last stated principle for the illusion of power.

There was once a time when they split the anti-tory vote, providing a bolthole for Labour supporters upset over perceived slights. But no more, they're seen as tories, they governed as tories and nobody to the left of them will ever trust them again.

As I say, with the Tory split more likely, the schism being pro business pro-customs union versus anti europe swash-bucking free trade brexiteers, I'd say that Heidi allen's role was to be a more welcoming face for the fleeing Tories than the ex-Labour Umunna.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 04:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Wiki the Lib Dems have 11 MPs and their Membership numbers are near an all-time high. Obviously Vince Cable is past his sell by date and I'm not sure they have any good alternatives to replace him with - hence my wondering whether Heidi Allen is a potential "unification candidate" especially if more Tories come across.  In polls including the Independent Group they are polling roughly level with the Independent group (6-10%) and slightly ahead of UKIP.

All of this tells us nothing about likely turnout in an EP election which will highlight the Tory's failure to "deliver Brexit" or negotiate a "good deal". However they seem to be similar pro-business, pro-EU, Tory lite parties with not a lot of potential policy rifts to separate them.  Personality differences are another matter, of course... and they do need a good media performer as a leader.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 05:07:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The LibDems had Clegg, a crypto-Tory, at the wheel at the crucial moment.  I figured at the time that, when they sealed the ConDem deal, they had signed their own death warrant.
by rifek on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 02:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is "Change UK" - CHUK - not a clue about who's really in charge?

Heidi's elevation is just window dressing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 04:05:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the final analysis, human decisions are informed by the Cognitive Systems but made by the Emotive Systems.  Why?  Because Emotive, also called Affective, Processing Systems are where the 'Should-Do' is finalized.  

See "Descartes Error" and other works by Hanna and Antonio Damasio.

To expect MPs to make only rational decisions is to expect the impossible, things have gone beyond that.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 04:38:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So that's how their teaching Freudian psychoanslysis these days, eh? "Cognitive systems" (ego), "Affective systems" (id), and "Should-do" WHERE? (super-ego).

There's a diagram in The Ego and The Id in case you're wondering. Like a ven diagram, except for the blob bit for super-ego.

I know, I know. Needs moar fMRI.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is nothing like psychoanalysis


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 08:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet there it is:
reference to experimental observations ("neuro science")
of peripheral, somatic, and autonomic expressions (a/k/a "behaviors"),
produced by physiologic interactions contained to
anatomical structures of the human nervous system (taxonomy),
whose theoretical purposes are communicated by categorical analogies (semantic distinction)--
not one but three domains of conscious and unconscious significance only to other human beings.

Freud-Complete Works, "The Ego and The Id". pp 3967-4011

Coincidence? Non! Neologism.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 11:01:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Freud was a charlatan and psychoanalysis is pseudo-scientific poppycock.

Freud: The Making of an Illusion

Actual science:

Emotion and decision making

Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

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

by ATinNM on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 08:12:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
m'k.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 08:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May is going to continue to play the Orphan Card:

After being convicting of killing her parents the child pleaded for mercy because she was an orphan.

as long as the EU lets her get away with it.

Does the EU know that?

May is going to continue to play the Orphan Card:

After being convicting of killing her parents the child pleaded for mercy because she was an orphan.

as long as the EU lets her get away with it.

Does the EU understand that?

¯_(ツ)_/¯
shrug

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

by ATinNM on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 04:28:06 PM EST
Who has May killed, if not the Conservative party, and why should the EU worry unduly about that?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 05:34:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK's membership in the EU


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 08:39:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's still on life support...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 09:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't take that extreme degree of optimism to Las Vegas.

More likely scenario: One of the small EU countries will say "no way" on the extension and it will be full blown, no deal, over the cliff Brexit in three days.

by asdf on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 05:49:02 PM EST
Except that they have all been united until now...

Don't worry - I don't have any money on the above scenario... This is a crisis with many moving parts, therefore a near infinite number of ways it could all go pear shaped...given there are so many ways to arrive at a bad outcome and only an unlikely set of circumstances that can produce a good outcome, only someone with surplus cash would would put money on any one set of events leading to one outcome.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they have all been united in supporting IE, whatever may come.

Varadker's pretending that UK and IE are conjoined twins, because he does have skin riding "flextension" income. c'mon. How does it help the banks?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You tell me. The main impacts identified so far are on the Irish agri-food sector

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 09:10:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What banks?


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 12:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank: I think the retribution of "the people" on those who authored their misfortune will be terrible.

I'm not so sure about that: the UK right wingers have always excelled at deflecting any blame towards Johnny Foreigner in general and Brussels Eurocrats in particular.

Cue in the EU-Punisher plot (h/t Cat), the whole of Europe Soviet Union banding together to deprive plucky Britain of the land of milk and honey of the post-Brexit glorious era. It's going to be all over the tabloids and the Leavers will lap it up, you just watch...

by Bernard on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:45:50 PM EST
Yes, I concur. Look at the US where the Trumpistas still won't admit they got conned

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 06:59:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They got conned? They got what they voted for.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 01:36:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They got all the racism but none of the economic recovery.
by rifek on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 02:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, they got the important part.
by Zwackus on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 12:13:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think voters are motivated by economic promises. The vote for Trump was a tribal vote, and Trump is a tribal president.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 07:53:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The majority, yes. But most elections are decided by swing voters (or differential turnout) and if the US economy is doing ok and employment numbers are at record levels then those factors will do Trump no harm at all. If, on the other hand, global trade tensions and other factors result in a sharp down-turn by November 2020, Trump could be in trouble, wall or no wall.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 08:32:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No doubt, but the question was whether Trump voters felt conned over the last time out.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 08:52:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I have to agree that most of his "base" probably don't. Trump learned early that its not what you actually do in office that matters, but how you emote and what you are seen to be trying to do.

So Trumps shenanigans over the wall matter, even if less than a mile is actually built. I recall reading analyses that his supporters didn't actually expect the Mexicans to pay for it and will settle for more anti-Mexican rhetoric and some trade restrictions to vent their hostility.

Trump's base is about emotional satisfaction, and his rallies supply that. Even his failures - mirroring their own - will just feed their paranoia that "the elite" is against them and increase their identification with him. Democratic angst and anger is grist to their mill.

Trump hasn't actually done much, except appoint lunatic judges, pass tax cuts for the wealthy, and tear up trade and disarmament agreements none of them understand anyway. So long as the economy holds up he is safe, providing the authoritarian strong-man image and tribal leadership they crave. A war would actually help his cause, and failing that, lots of disputes with foreigners.

And all the while the USA is in relative decline...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 10:00:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump supporters are all about ressentiment:

a psychological state arising from suppressed feelings of envy and hatred that cannot be acted upon, frequently resulting in some form of self-abasement

They are Right Wing Authoritarians who desire to be told what to do by a Social Dominant - Trump - as long as he feeds their need to have THOSE PEOPLE!, i.e., anybody not them, hurt in some satisfying manner.

 

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

by ATinNM on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 03:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Trump voters I know are a long way from feeling conned.
by asdf on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 03:55:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And they won't, unless they lose their jobs or their businesses lose a lot of money. Even if he loses a war. De Nile is more than a river in Egypt...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 04:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're mostly retired, living off Social Security and Medicare and TRICARE (military version of Medicare). Most of their energy is spent in complaining about all the lazy young punks who are getting government handouts, and about how the libruls are ruining 'merica. Especially AOC; it is amazing how fast she comes up in conversation.
by asdf on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 04:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well she is a young, female, Hispanic, librul, New Yorker with attitude. Everything they hate...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 05:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything they fear: the loss of WASP privilege.
by rifek on Sat Apr 13th, 2019 at 11:33:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Nah. The Martha Stewart-Ralph Lauren Rule applies: Anything you can do I can do better. See?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2019 at 11:55:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My observations are, they are delighted by him disrupting "The Establishment" and, more startling, have abandoned purported fear of "deficit spending".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 04:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only because they trust Trump to 'do the right thing'.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 05:36:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deficit spending was never a problem for GOP administrations - Cheney:  Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.

It was only ever a stick for Republicans and Democratic centrists to beat libruls with.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 05:45:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This true.

Both parties have enjoyed deficit without impugnity (by the press) until Budget Control Act of 2011.

Remember that? heh heh heh. And the Super Select Committee "sequestering" this program and that program, the "ceiling" and the "suspensions". O, the confusion this caused! And how Miss Nancy endorse "pay-go" restraint on ... whatever it is that the DLC disapproves of, including national health insurance, but not DOD budget, because.

That's all behind the liberal liberals and the conservative liberals now.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 06:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fox Business issues correction for botched Trump approval poll
The Georgetown Politics poll, as featured on Fox Business network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," showed a 58 percent approval rating for Trump's handling of the economy and a 55 percent overall approval rating for the president.

However, the 55 percent figure actually represents the number of respondents who said they hold unfavorable views of Trump. According to the survey, 41 percent have a favorable view of Trump. Of those polled, 52 percent disapprove of Trump's job as president, compared with the 43 percent who said they approve.

## Mental disorder is a communicable disease.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 08:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because they'll never blame him for not bringing the jobs back.  "It's all cuz o' them Dimcrats and so-shul-ists, just like Fox and Rush and Alex say."
by rifek on Sat Apr 13th, 2019 at 11:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The bottom line is if UK goes into recession, unemployment goes up, incomes go down, inflation goes up, public services go down, and the £ - that symbol of national virility goes down - the government of the day will get it in the neck.  They can blame the EU if they want, but the EU does not owe them anything once they leave - especially if they leave with no deal and don't even pay their bill on leaving the restaurant.  After a while even the most dim-witted may get the idea...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 07:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that recession is part of the business cycle, and affects the economy as a whole, more or less in sync, and hopefully is recovered from within a reasonable time.

A no-deal Brexit would be a more fundamental change to the economy than a recession. Banks and manufacturing moving out of a country are not easily reversible, temporary actions. The Irish backstop will still be in play, which will either be permanent or will be replaced by unification--also permanent. Major and permanent political realignment could happen when you have two parties that are both divided on the EU issue; maybe there won't be either a Conservative OR a Labour party. Trading relationships are not permanent, but they have a really long lifetime because they are so hard to negotiate. Getting back into the EU will be tough, and will be under different terms.

Seems to me that expecting the Brexit fallout to be of the scale and permanence of a recession might be misleading.

by asdf on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 07:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexiteers have made much of the UK being the 5th. largest economy in the world, and thus a major economy in its own right, and in a position to set its terms of trade with other economies to its own advantage. They claim it's historic and special relationships with the US and Commonwealth make it a world rather than just a European power in political, military and economic terms.

But what happens if the UK starts slipping down the global ranking list towards 10th. place? What happens if the chronic political instability and economic under-performance of the 1960's and 1970's returns? We're not talking short term recession here, but long term decline.

Economies have changed radically since the 1970's. The UK has de-industrialised and become more dependent on food imports. Financial services, capital movements, supply chains and cross-national just in time manufacturing processes have become much more complex and integrated.

Sometimes I think that national politics haven't caught up with these changed economic realities. I see the UK industrial base eroding further, financial services migrating abroad, intellectual properties being sold off, and the government's tax base disappearing down the toilet. But we won't know the extent of this for some years, and yes, the scapegoats will be many and varied. But it will be too late for that to matter. The damage will have been done.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 08:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the time this is over we will be dreaming of being in 10th place.

The UK's economy is boosted by the global pre-eminence of The City. But leaving the EU will damage its usefulness, even if the City has already negotiated its own deal about access.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 08:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But its quite another when your government is almost the sole author of your misfortune, and not only that, has caused you to become the laughing stock of the "civilised" world. People have their pride, too, you know, and hate being made to look foolish.

Fazes Trump supporters not at all, and I suspect a significant percentage of Tory voters are the same.  Ignorance is bliss.

by rifek on Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 03:08:00 PM EST
The Counties of Laois and Offaly are part of the Ireland North West constituency if the UK takes part in the EP elections. They are part of the Ireland South constituency if the UK does not. That means voters in those counties will have a different slate of candidates to vote for depending on whether the UK takes part. It also means a different set of candidates will be canvassing, organising and postering in those counties depending on whether the UK takes part. This is not something that can be decided one way or the other on May 22nd. It has to be decided on April 12th. so candidates know where they are standing, where to canvass, and voters know what choices they have. Anything less than certainty from April 12th. invalidates the EP elections. Will someone please tell the UK government their decision on whether or not to take part in EP elections doesn't just have implications for the UK. Strangely enough, being part of the EU has implications and responsibilities outside of the Westminster bubble. It's not all about the UK, you know...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 01:21:43 PM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 01:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU leaders mull risky second Brexit delay
Despite the chronic drag caused by the ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the tough talk from leaders and ministers about not allowing an extension without a credible plan, no country wants to be seen as responsible for shoving the U.K. over the Brexit cliff edge. That outcome would entail significant economic pain to the U.K., but also to a lesser extent to EU members such as Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

As the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier put it in Luxembourg Tuesday, a no-deal Brexit will "never be the decision of the EU."

That does not mean that London will get an easy extension to its perpetual Brexit essay crisis. The draft conclusions, which were discussed by EU ambassadors in Luxembourg on Tuesday evening, set out several conditions. The Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened; no "unilateral commitment" from the U.K. can detract from its "spirit or letter"; the extension can't be used to begin future relationship talks; and if the U.K. is still a member on May 23 to 26, it must take part in the European Parliament election.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 06:46:10 PM EST
Another way to put it:

by Bernard on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 06:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So paragraphs 1 and 2 of my predictions above look like they have come to pass. The May Corbyn talks look like they are going nowhere and the EU has agreed an A.50 extension until October 31st. That means the UK has to take part in the EP elections and it creates enough time for a change of Tory leader, a general election, and even, at a pinch, a second referendum.

My suspicion is that not a whole lot will happen - despite much Sturm und Drang - until after the EP elections which I expect to be a disaster for the Tories.

In the absence of other major developments, the EP elections will also become a proxy for a second referendum and the outcome, depending on the turn-out, could determine whether Brexit will ever happen.

The Tories will go absolutely mad, desperate to get rid of Theresa May by any means available, and yet I expect May to hang in there until after the EP elections at least unless her deal is passed by the House of Commons beforehand.

More hard Brexiteers will probably be prepared to support her deal now, worried that otherwise Brexit will never happen at all. But she could also lose votes from Tory Moderates and Remainers who favour a second public vote. So, again, I doubt her deal will pass, and the EP elections could change the whole ball game.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 10th, 2019 at 11:53:57 PM EST
I can't really find that May accepted the offer, but it seems to be treated as a given. Taking back control indeed.
by fjallstrom on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 10:38:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
High representative has accepted it in a letter sent last night.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 11:02:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Acceptance means acceptance."
by rifek on Sat Apr 13th, 2019 at 11:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Labour have two brain cells to rub together, they will use any means available to avoid a general, steering all desires to vote on something toward a second referendum.  With the local races coming up, Labour are likely to have a lot of new faces coming up, but they aren't anywhere near being ready for prime time national government now or in the near future.  Even if they were, Brexit is going to be a wreck, and the Tories will sit back and say, "See, we provided Brexit, but Labour just couldn't handle it."  And the average voter, lacking those two brain cells to rub together, will actually buy that Barn Stuff.  Then the Tories will be back in business, worse than ever.  The Tories whipped up this dog's breakfast; Labour should make them eat it with a big spoon.
by rifek on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 12:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm past caring what conservatives will say. They don't need facts to back up what they are saying anyway, and other conservatives will lap up what they are saying because it is conservatives who are saying it.

There never will be an ideal time for Labour to take power. They are only likely to be voted in after conservatives have made a complete mess of things anyway.

At the moment the priority is to stop Brexit happening. It's best to have the conservatives doing the stopping as then they are hoist on their own petard. But the consequences now are already bad, after years of awful conservative government.

A strong performance by Remain and second referendum parties in the EP elections will throw the cat among the pigeons and sow even more angst, doubt and confusion in conservative ranks.

Can a general election be far behind?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 10:12:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent Group MPs refuse to face by-elections - because it would 'crush the birth of democracy' - Mirror Online
Independent Group MPs have refused to face by-elections because they claim it would "crush the birth of democracy".
by generic on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 03:25:49 PM EST


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 03:36:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's traditional for conservatives to claim elections are anti-democratic.
by rifek on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 12:09:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

At this point they can just put the Brexit extension between the Queen's speech and the jokey first MP session. If you look at it the right way it's sort of like doing Norway except even more silly.
by generic on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 08:50:13 PM EST
hmm, from the looks of that thread, EU dodged the bullet. T. May is shouldering all THE PUNISHMENT!!!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 11th, 2019 at 11:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lucy Jill Lawless gets creative in this RECESS.

Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament's flaws

LONDON (AP) -- As a symbol of the woes of Britain's Brexit-era democracy, it could hardly be bettered. Lawmakers had to be sent home in mid-debate last week when water from a burst pipe began gushing into the House of Commons chamber.
"self-care"!
In this environment, Parliament's stressed, exhausted politicians and their staff are frankly relieved at the 10-day Easter break that began on Friday.
[...]
"Let Brexit stand as a cautionary tale to the people of Europe," [MEP Richard Ashworth] warned.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Apr 13th, 2019 at 08:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tories are decimated receiving c. 15% of the vote, outvoted by both the Lib Dems and UKIP/Brexit parties combined.

"A taste of honey, tasting much sweeter than wine"

~ Acker Bilk~

'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 Fri Apr 12th, 2019 at 11:01:24 PM EST
I'll always prefer "Stranger on the Shore".
by rifek on Sun Apr 14th, 2019 at 12:24:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh I'll believe that figure just as soon as I've seen the exit polls of an election.

People make all sorts of wild talk and then they get into the polling booth and an alchemy occurs where they vote the same way they always did.

Parris, the ex-tory MP & Times columnist, has frequently talked of voting for another party but finds that when he gets into the booth "my pen slips and I emerge into daylight to find that my cross has settled into its accustomed position next to the conservative candidate"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 16th, 2019 at 08:03:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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