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24 June 2016

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Cee

Right. Keep calm.

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/social-affairs/politics/news/58879/george-galloway-why-im-backing-brexit

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang,
Re "This must be a great blow to Obama, the prophet and organizing force in his imagined coming world utopia."

Perhaps this "world utopia" idea transcends Obama, the affirmative-action trained house elf, and finds its origins in Soros & co. I am waiting for them to blame Putin for the Brexit, and send yet another armored division to parade in Latvia.
Interesting times.
Ishmael Zechariah

b

I don't believe that this is the EU coming to an end, but to a hopefully much shrunk and better form of a European Union.

De Gaulle and Adenauer did not want the UK in the EU for good reason. It was a U.S. horse that didn't belong to the stable. Likewise the Slavic people east of Germany (except the former Austrian-Hungarian maybe) do not belong into the EU. It was U.S. pressure that pushed for their integration.

The ideal would be a remake of the Carolingian empire with some gives and takes on some borders (Spain?).

The EU should be a federation of strong nations and not a supernational state. The second will never work.

With the UK out (if allowed to leave by the powers that are) the U.S. influence on the EU will be reduced too. Very good, as U.S. interests have trumped genuine European interest way too much (see Ukraine which, from a European view, is not worth even one prolonged thought).

Good luck to the Brits. Hope you'll do well as 51st state of America
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es7BgsWq1_g

Daniel Nicolas

It seems as if Scotland has more desire to be a vassal state to the EU than the UK. The Scottish narrowly voted to stay in the UK because they wanted to stay in the EU, and leaving the UK would have meant leaving the EU. Now they are soon to be out of the EU without having left the UK.

To continue their trail of comedic poor timing, perhaps they will vote again soon for Scottish Independence. and join the EU, only to have it crumble as core nations vote to leave as well ( France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, etc. )

Outrage Beyond

re: Why did Scotland vote so uniformly to "remain?"

I believe this has a great deal to do with the Scotch whiskey industry. EU membership has greatly increased market access for Scotch producers; they fear greater barriers to entry without membership. Germany, Spain, and France are all within the top 10 markets for Scotch.

Look for the Scotch Whiskey Association to pour large amounts of cash into the next independence referendum.

Another possible explanation might be a Scottish feeling of being more a part of Europe than a part of the UK.

Freudenschade

This seems really more about economic self interest. Scotland, Northern Ireland and London voted to remain. Scotland has a possibility to remain in the EU by revisiting independence. London and Northern Ireland don't have this option. Depending on how quickly the government invokes article 50, London may abruptly cease to be a world financial center.

One good thing about Brexit: the UK will have less of a voice in Brussels and less of an ability to encourage EU sanctions to provoke Russia.

LondonBob

Really couldn't be more pleased, absolutely delighted. Very proud of everyone who ignored the threats and baseless forecasts of economic doom to vote leave. The big turnout from, in American terminology, blue collar whites, against the wishes of their Labour party masters, to vote leave was the difference.

In the past 20 years Scottish politics has very much drifted off in its own direction, even whilst the politic culture in Wales has actually become more like England's. A variety of theories for this that I shan't go in to, I am not sure which are more valid, but the sustainability of the union is very much up in question, unfortunately. Perhaps in due course we will be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

I hope this will lead to reform of the EU and abandonment of the European project, although I don't expect it will. Some form of European cooperation on certain matters are right and necessary, but the current format is outdated has clearly failed.

kao_hsien_chih

Col Lang,

I doubt anything drastic will take place any time soon. With regards UK, even though the exit referendum won, it offers no guideline for immediate action by the UK politicians. The only practical way that UK can exit EU is via invoking Article 50, but someone has to do it and there is neither a deadline or even an instruction for anyone to actually do so under the referendum. No serious UK politician wants to be in position of actually pulling the trigger any time soon--not even pro-exit figures like Boris Johnson. They will dither and dodge for the foreseeable future, possibly even years, before they do anything--if they do anything.

Everywhere else in Europe, I imagine much the same forces hold sway. There are many discontented people who want "out," not so much because of the specific interests and goals but because of the general malaise they see in EU, both correctly and incorrectly. Many politicians will want to tap into those sentiments, but actually pulling the trigger, they will hesitate, even if they "win." If they are clever, in fact, they will try to rig things up so that they don't actually "win" or, at minimum, aren't obliged by any specific guideline or timetable even if they wind up "winning."

In the long run, this could indeed bring about the end for EU: discontent will be piling up and politicians do nothing but play word games, but if so, they had been doing the same thing for decades and this will be nothing new. What is new is that the discontent has risen high enough that there is incentive for enough politicians to strike up a more "serious" pose, but even that is just continuation of the long term process that has been underway for some time.

Willy B

It's already happened:

http://tass.ru/en/world/884358

turcopolier

b

"Hope you'll do well as 51st state of America" This would require a constitutional change in the US since the constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government. pl

Matthew

DN: Scottish nationalism has awoken English nationalism. Scotland is a beautiful country with many talented people. IMHO, England & Wales, more so. If the Scots want to go their own way, the door is open. The Cross of St. George is a prettier flag than the Union Jack.

Valissa

Not a fan of Larry Summers, but has a few interesting things to say here... possible a sign that some of the elites are starting to realize how angry many people are about the effects of globalization on their lives, and their resentment that the elites are the ones benefiting from globalization the most.

Why Brexit is worse for Europe than Britain https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/24/whats-crucial-to-know-the-morning-after-brexit/
Brexit will rightly be taken as a signal that the political support for global integration is at best waning and at worst collapsing. … After Brexit, Trump, Sanders and the misforecast British and Canadian general elections, it should be clear that the term political science is an oxymoron. Political events cannot be reliably predicted by pollsters, pundits or punters. All three groups should have humility going forward. In particular no one should be confident about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. The political challenge in many countries going forward is to develop a “responsible nationalism.” It is clear that there is a hunger on the part of electorates, if not the Davos set within countries, for approaches to policy that privilege local interests and local people over more cosmopolitan concerns. Channeling this hunger constructively rather than destructively is the challenge for the next decade. We now know that neither denying the hunger, nor explaining that it is based on fallacy, is a viable strategy.
---------------------

Reiterating the key bit of the above excerpt for emphasis:
"It is clear that there is a hunger on the part of electorates, if not the Davos set within countries, for approaches to policy that privilege local interests and local people over more cosmopolitan concerns."

Fred

Ishmael,

Our colleges and universities are infested with this type of people. They have self selected a life of work in an intellectually and economically segregated community that rigidly enforces this segregation by administrative fiat under the guise of a variety of SJW mandates such as “affirmative” action, Diversity and other “progressive” hiring policies. In these segregated communities the only (relatively) poor (or non-degreed) people are the grounds and maintenance, cafeteria and some administrative staff members. These latter folks are not the kind of people the professoriate are going to invite over to their home for wine and cheese on a weekend. They are just as ruthless in the enforcement of ideological standards of purity in the admissions office and the classroom.

S.E.

I am attending a big European conference in Oslo, Norway, on migrant health. Lots of things have become clear these two days from the conference and the media commentaries on brexit.
1. Brexit is a huge shock to the system all the way down, not just for the politicians.
2. Those voting for brexit vote for hatred, bitterness and division (according to one speaker). They are also old, stupid and poor, and voted to destroy the lives of young people (according to pundits, slightly exaggerated by me).
3. Migration is good and benefits the economy, and we have a moral obligation to let people in and accomodate, provide health care etc. So, it´s win - win - win (we all win both economically and morally).
4. The EU-system is allotting huge resources to providing for migrants, researching on migrants etc, and ought to do more.
5. There is a big bureaucracy and research community with interests in keeping migration high.
6. Lots of those working with migration are themselves migrants. This is seen an argument for the benefit of migration. Might they be biased?
7. Dissenting voices seem nowhere to be heard. Only to be defined as wicked. This is surprising, as one should have expected a well developed ability to listen to "voices with a culturally different perspective".
8. Human right issues are central, and there is a slide in human rights thinking, regarded as positive, from citizen rights to human rights, which entails R2P. If this trend continues, we should see more R2P interventions in the future. Citizen rights is seen as "too weak" and Rwanda and Bosnia are main examples of why R2P is necessary.
9. It is admirable to assist in destroying Syria in (vain) hope of gaining freedom. The speaker who gained most applause was a young Syrian refugee, now living in Norway, who told this story: he lived in Homs, went to school, played football, was happy. Then he saw on tv that the Tunisians had toppled a dictator. He told his father, "look what they´ve done!". His father said "we are not interested". Then he saw on tv that the Egyptians had toppled their dictator. He wanted freedom so much, he went to demonstrations in Homs. His father was against it and said: "we will pay a very high price for this". But the boy wanted freedom, he did not care. After a couple of months of demonstrations, the government cracked down with "bombing and arrests". His father told him, it´s to dangerous for you to stay, you must flee. So he did. Huge applause from the audience. Now, the boy worries about his old football friend, may be he is forced to join the military in Syria. Should the boy have listende to his father? The audience seemed to think obviously not, he surely did the right thing.

Exordium_Antipodean

"The American media have already begun to describe the menace of analogous revolt in November, once again implied to be a revolt of rural, ignorant buffoons."

Aristotle pointed out competence cannot be divorced from an 'end'. In newspeak, that means technocrats work out the 'how' while the demos determines the 'what'. You collapse that distinction and you have what the paleocons call the 'managerial state' and Chomsky 'manufactured consent.' Nothing exemplifies those tendencies more than the EU.

visitor

I agree that announcements of the UK leaving the EU are premature. After all, the EU elites (including the British ones) do not want a brexit, so they will do everything in their power to invalidate the vote.

Just like they did to every single popular referendum going against EU wishes during the past decade:

1) Dutch and French "no" to the "EU Constitution" in 2005; bypassed by adopting the Lisbon treaty instead.

2) Irish "no" to the Lisbon treaty in 2008; forced the Irish to re-vote in 2009 to give the "correct" answer.

3) Greek attempt to organize a referendum on a bailout deal in 2011; cancelled after the EU threatened to interpret any such referendum as a being one not on the bailout, but on membership of the Eurozone.

4) Greek referendum on another bailout deal in 2015; result simply dismissed by the EU (with the active complicity of Greek politicians).

5) Dutch "no" to the EU-Ukraine agreement in May 2016; result quietly ignored by the EU, the agreement is currently being applied anyway.

I contend that the brexit vote will never be taken into account -- whether by delaying a brexit forever as suggested by kao_hsien_chih, by overriding it in Parliament, which is not bound by the referendum anyway, or via some contrived legal manoeuvre by the EU and UK government.

That's European democracy in action. The one that is to be generously spread around the world.

Fred

b,

The EU needs Turkey now more than ever. I'm sure the Sultan has a few million people available who can replace all those Britons who no longer want to be EU.

Peter

Cheers to the Brits! They will enjoy their new independence from 40 years of stultifying bureaucracy, political meddling and domination by an unelected foreign political oligarchy. And David Cameron resigned - icing on the cake!

jsn

The rights framed up in the EU charter protect the Scotts from the worst abuse they can expect from London in the event Brexit is actually allowed to happen. The Scotts have a fair degree of autonomy from London granted under those EU provisions, these they stand to lose.

S.E.

I give Cameron credit for calling for a referendum, and resigning when the result was in.

jsn

On your last point, if banking collapses in the UK as a result of a Brexit implementation (and I remain skeptical the elite feel bound by this plebiscite) and the UK experiences a debt implosion like Ireland or Spain, where in order to "save" their insolvent banks they nationalize the private debts, I expect the UK to get the Ukraine treatment from IMF etc. rather than the Puerto Rico or Argentina treatment. But if so, it will be another monumental and transparent double standard.

ex-PFC Chuck

Novelist Frederick Forsyth in an op ed a few months back on why he backed Brexit. The money quote:
"The whole group was mesmerised by one fact. In 1933 the Germans, seized by rabid nationalism, voted Adolf Hitler into power. Their conclusion: the people, any people, were too obtuse, too gullible, too dim ever to be safely entrusted with the power to elect their government. . . People’s democracy was flawed and should never be permitted to decide government again if war was to be avoided. Real power would have to be confined to a non-elective body of enlightened minds like theirs. . . In the 70 years since, the theory has never changed. It remains exactly the same today."
http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/frederick-forsyth/651377/Brexit-referendum-EU-never-meant-to-be-democracy-says-Frederick-Forsyth

Harry

1. Summers needs a pitchfork where the sun don't shine. He is late to notice the damage he did in government and rather than admit his mistake he turns to some arbitrary economic analysis from the 30s which only partially explains what we have experienced. Probably because this explanation doesn't involve him admitting his financial deregulation was the culprit.

2. Scotland historically always looked to France to offset English influence. Also Scotland had many poor areas which benefit greatly from European structural funds. The model for independence always leaned on the eu. If the UK leaves then the Scots might be trapped with the English outside the EU unable to achieve independence.

Harry

I am increasingly annoyed by the characterization of those who voted leave as xenophobic or worse. The areas which voted to leave have become poorer since EU Accession. Those who voted remain generally have become rich from it. The vote was based on perceived self interest. Indeed the remainders are more likely to have voted on the basis of faulty calculation than the leavers, because all the propaganda was in that direction.

A. Pols

ideas of the "ignorant, elderly and unsophisticated. These are characterizations heard today"

Colonel;
If that's what it takes,then count me
among those!

Jim Kunstler, who is often strident, likes to refer to these times as an era where "Anything goes and nothing matters"

The slurs directed at ordinary people in Scandinavia, Germany,and France who object to their world being invaded by hordes of young Muslim men, are disgraceful and of the "let them eat cake" genre...

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