Michael Maiello's picture

    Brexit is Good

    Quick thought here --

    On the merits, were I a UK citizen, I believe I'd have voted to stay with the EU.

    However, that would have been in spite of a lot of preaching and hectoring by the elites who brought the Uk into the EU in the first place.  As an outsider, I kind of hoped for an "exit" outcome if only to see, for once, a referendum pushing back against what we've all been assured is "the right thing to do," by people who seem immune to the falling wages and abdications of democracy that seem the result of the new capitalist global order.

    Put another way, whether you agree with the exiters or not, a tangible democratic rejection of the technocratic program is a damned good thing for human freedom.  Because sometimes, the answer to the question is not what experts say is best but what the people who have to live with the consequences actually want. Politics has an esthetic component that matters as much, if not more, than charts and graphs.




    I live in the EU - all the moaning about the tough edicts from Brussels and the concerns about immigration are way overhyped, and the UK largely got exemptions from much, such as non-compliance with the Shengen open borders agreement and its yearly rebate of tax moneys.

    Additionally, the UK being part of EU means we can sell easily to them and they can sell easily to us, and we can set up companies in one location and not deal with VAT and customs checks, etc. Yeah, the EU started out as a customs agreement, and despite the hiccups in the later Euro (which the UK never joined), financially and trade-wise it's worked out quite remarkably, despite the bear of taking on 10 East European countries all at once. These countries are often the offshoring R&D and delivery branches for the UK, so they don't have to go all the way to China & India for support, and the generous EU educational grant programs make sure that East Europe is drenched in funds to learn English and otherwise keep up technically. Interoute, Barclays Bank, etc. A region with 20+ languages cooperating - amazing.

    What I suspect few have thought about is that NATO, a largely EU-based security arrangement, will develop a lot more fissures with the UK bowing out of the political/economic portion, and the rise of the Trumpist wing in the British Isles bodes poorly for the rest of the cooperation.

    Speaking of which, Scotland's very likely to take a walk now, since it can exist within the EU quite well without England and Wales (what Northern Ireland does is another question - they wanted to stay in the EU, and they have as much tie politically to Ireland as to England, plus geographically, well, a different country. Whatever - France, Germany, and the rest will have to assume the leadership roles and let England go off complaining about how abused they are, probable assuming the "special relationship" with the US will pick up the slack. Perhaps if Trump finds himself elected, but I imagine Hillary will focus on larger cooperation than that bilateral exchange.

    . . . and NAFTA made things better for working people in the US too!

    WTF? did you run out of Nixon pictures? go away

    Re-reading this piece, I understand it even less. The EU has been very concerned with job loss, and Germany has transferred a lot of money to less-off states, while the EU has a huge number of initiatives to bolster competitiveness, cross-border cooperation, et al.

    People have been betting against the EU foryears - the first and only significant amalgam of states cooperating not forced by an army. The UK wasnt even part of the original EEC, and when it joined up 16 years later, it spent much of its time complaining about how much it was paying, had a natural out for the Shengen Agreement, and decided to stay out of the Euro. Nonetheless, the EU speaks English as 1 of 3 official working groups, a huge advantage toe Brits in selling their overpriced goods.

    Russia always wanted the EU to fail, and the worst of East European oligarchs andnationalists had a heyday bending the rules while stealing money - but eventually reaching a healthy norm.

    (13 years ago the EU said fuck slow expansion and took in 10 largely poor new members all at once and managed to accomodate - the kind of gutsy humanitarian risk I like to see)

    You write as if the EU is like the GOP, cutting budgets and favoring corporates over people, but the EU actually challenges Microsoft on antitrust, challenges Google on usage of personal data, challenges Apple and Amazon for not paying taxes by shuffling profits through Ireland and Luxembourg. When the US got EU to back a poorly conceived armed regime change in Syria by smuggling weapons to doubtful types it was Germany leading the EU to deal with the resulting refugee crisis rather than leaving the poor battere to stew in the desert between 4-5 invading armies. The US instead responded by saying NO to Syrian refugees.

    Greece was a special situation of a country that cooked the books and plotted on a mass scale to default on obligations, with 50% not paying taxes and funneling assets to Switzerland, but still the EU and the Euro weathered that.

    So aside from proving the rigfhtwing Brits can kill a good thing thru lies and hysteria, not just rightwing GOP, I dont know what was accomplished for human freedom and precedent. Except now the rightwing French and Dutch are chomping at the bit. Maybe they can get Anders Breivik as their mascot, Europe's Timothy McVeigh. Meanwhile, glad the Pound fell. If you remember what shitty shape England was in through the 70's, maybe it's not a time to wax nostalgic about freedom and self-determinism. Bitch as they will, replacing their lost colonial possessions with a willing continental market did both sides good. (Te majority of their immigration is still from old colonies, not the EU, and it's 300,000 a year for a country of 60 million). Now we'll get to see where non-cooperation leads. Expect the Scots to tell them where to shove it first.

    (As an aside, apparently once upon a time Scottish kilts were long, but the English occupiers had them shorten them to work harder and faster. The English have always been for self-determinism as long as it's their own)

    You write as if the EU is like the GOP, cutting budgets and favoring corporates over people, but the EU actually challenges Microsoft on antitrust, challenges Google on usage of personal data, challenges Apple and Amazon for not paying taxes by shuffling profits through Ireland and Luxembourg. When the US got EU to back a poorly conceived armed regime change in Syria by smuggling weapons to doubtful types it was Germany leading the EU to deal with the resulting refugee crisis rather than leaving the poor battere to stew in the desert between 4-5 invading armies. The US instead responded by saying NO to Syrian refugees.

    I'm not defending the outcome on the merits.  They should have voted to stay.  But it is a good thing that the vote was held and its probably healthy for the European technocrat class to have some actual evidence of a democratic check in place.  If we're decentralizing power in so many other aspects of our life, our politics has to follow eventually.

    Yeah, but this is the theoretical "it's good for America to have 2 parties" bit, when we know given the chance, one party will run us off a cliff or into a wall, not just scale things back or balance it out, so in practice it sucks.

    Yes, it would have been a great debate to have based nominally on facts and relevant opinions rather than poltergeists and shibboleths.

    And I'd forgotten about the number of Brits I know in mixed marriages who'll now have to spend years going through various immigration and permanent resident/citizenship schemes rather than simply moving somewhere and living:

    “I’m so angry,” wrote one Twitter user. “A generation given everything: free education, golden pensions, social mobility, have voted to strip my generation’s future.” Another statement, from a commenter on the Financial Times website that has been widely shared, summed up the sense of furious betrayal among the young: “The younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of its predecessors.”

    But worry not – Boris Johnson said this morning that young people can look forward to a “prosperous future” once “we take back control”. Except few of us are likely to believe his empty rhetoric.

    Three-quarters of young people – a massive mandate – are predicted to have voted remain, according to a YouGov poll, while those older than us made the decision to vote in favour of an uncertain vision of a future Britain that the young emphatically did not and do not want. Thank you to those baby boomers and their parents who either voted to stay, or who, in the days before the referendum, agreed to put aside their own feelings and vote on behalf of their children and grandchildren. We appreciate you trying.

    The UK's economy is in significantly better shape than Greece's or Italy's or Spain's because they never adopted the Euro.  That fact also makes it much easier for the Brits to leave the EU without significant disruption to their economy.  One major blind spot that so many liberals here (and elsewhere) have is they actually believe, despite an extraordinary amount of evidence to the contrary, that what's good for the big bankers is good for the people.  I mean there are people who neither own big banks nor enjoy top managerial positions at them who don't believe they should be broken up. Can you believe it?

    Saying UK's ahead of Greece or Italy or Spain because of the Euro is laughable, and most of the debate was over immigration scares, not banking.

    Here's a glimpse at the significant disruption with UK leaving the EU - just a tip of the iceberg.



    I'm laughing but of course not at me.  You may live in the EU but your knowledge of recent European economic history seems lacking.  The UK in the 70s and 80s was hardly more prosperous than its southern European neighbors.  Maintaining its own currency enabled its manufacturing base to remain somewhat competitive, via a relatively weak Pound, with Germany and France while southern Europe became a dumping ground for northern European surplus goods. 

    Yes London's primacy in financial services helped but Spain, Italy, and Greece have major advantages as well, including tourism, outstanding artisanal foods - olive oil, wines, cheeses.  The major difference is that the Brits could print currency when they needed to.

    But look I get it.  You have decided you believe in free trade.

    "Don't stop believing.  Hold on to that feeling."

    So you'll credit the Euro that went live in 2002 with all the difference between northern and southern Europe. Wine and cheese hardly drive a serious economy compared to selling cars and construction and telecom and new energy and pharma and almost anything. Cute if you're a student and want to pick grapes. Tourism ebbs, which is what cut Spain and Greece, though Spain is hugely diversified and modern. Greece's problem was not needing to print more useless currency - it was freakish spending and a huge useless government sector and a reliance on only 2 industries, shipping and tourism. Anyway, have your class division theories, you have nothing of interest to say to me.

    Greece's problem was it couldn't devalue its currency to pay off its creditors so it kept getting into deeper and deeper hock with the Goldman Sachs loansharks. 

    I'm not even sure Goldman has any exposure to Greek bonds. If it does, it's not a material amount. The big buyers of Greek debt were other EU institution, playing for yield with an EU backstop.

    Specifically Goldman helped cook the 2nd set of books. They'd be stupid to know the real dismal situation and still invest. Instead, they took a billion euros or more up front for "expertise" in misrepresenting debt. Originally European banks were saddled with the debt; after the restructuring, the troika - ECB, IMF, EU - largely owns it. 

    This is great color. Interested to see how this plays out.  And, of course, after Scotland voted to remain in the UK as a way of remaining in the EU...

    And the British right wing was already watering down EU's data protection "just in case" months ahead of the vote:


    But blame Big Brotherism on Brussels.

    Having lived and worked for many years both in the UK and on the continent (Brussels , actually) I mostly agree with Peracles. 

    As to Michael 's main point , that it'ś good to see the people getting their way ,it depends as always on which  

    people got their way.There are people and there are people, until 1964 the people -the white ones- in Mississippi got their way and we know what that was like.

    I would rather have seen the people in , say, Crouch End, get their way rather than Colonel and Mrs. Blimp in Seven Oaks. I say that even though good friends in the home counties are celebrating today- by  sending me emails pointing out that with respect to Brexit , The Donald was right !

    What the UK did have  was  the EU without the Euro . From which they were saved by Gordon Brown.

    I´m sorry to see them lose it. 


    If EU President Donald Tusk had talked positively about the obvious need for revitalizing and reforming the EU, and 'sold' the concept of what good the EU can do for Britain, instead of threatening them with 'we will make an example of you so no one lease leaves' staying might have had a chance.

    The British don't like threats, and have suffered far worse than Tusk can dish out.

    An example of EU 'human rights' dictates, just last week the EU court ruled France cannot detain immigrants who have gained entry to the EU with forged passports. They must be released and told to leave on their own.

    The Brits have been threatening the EU forever - screw them.The EU made major changes on the immigration crisis in March and concessions to Cameron in February. Only so far to give in. Dont think Tusk sounded so horrid.



    Donald Tusk, President EU, on a possible Brexit, 11 days ago, your first link:

    'This could in fact be the start of the process of destruction of not only the EU but also of the Western political civilization'

    Hysterical, crazed, unhinged? If it is 'the end' you could engrave Donald Tusk's name on the tombstone.


    For those of us who've been through wars and upheaval, yeah, betting a calm situation will just last forever? Not wise.

    The leave campaign contains a very clear message: "Let us leave, nothing will change, everything will stay as before". Well, it will not. Not only economic implications will be negative for the UK, but first and foremost geopolitical. Do you know why these consequences are so dangerous? Because in the long-term they are completely unpredictable. As a historian, I am afraid this could in fact be the start of the process of destruction of not only the EU but also of the Western political civilization.

    Considering rightest Marina Le Pen and her Dutch counterpart are already clamoring for FRexit and DutchExit, yes, with hysterical concern about immigration and terrorism, including the real attack in France, it can easily take legs no one expected, ust as Cameron didn't expect the British to vote Leave. And if you have a situation say where there's no safe European Union for Balkan states to belong to, they might revert to 1990's warring among themselves, just as Cyprus might revert to its Turkish-Greek hostilities.

    The British Leave contingent has overall been very smug about everything persisting as always, when they don't even very well remember the Troubles of Northern Ireland and the human rights violations that entailed, much less the dreary British bleakness that inspired Joy Division and David Bowie's "5 Years".

    Definitely an interesting point here about tone.  If you tell people, before they go to vote to leave that they really have no choice in the matter because of the consequences that will be unleashed, you invite having your threat tested.

    My take is the EU is not a very good listener, not good at marketing itself, its decisions, its policies.

    Tusk, likely like most EU bigshots, was never in any kind of services business, never had to 'sell' anything to people one on one. He's a top down, big scheme/movement guy. Above the fray of day to day life.

    When the city the EU resides in is found to be a nest of Middle East commuting Jihadist terrorists living literally  just down the street from EU offices, it takes a lot of spin to deny the perception that the EU is a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats with no connection, awareness, or concern with 'the real world'.

    When the city the EU resides in is found to be a nest of Middle East commuting Jihadist terrorists living literally  just down the street from EU offices, it takes a lot of spin to deny the perception that the EU is a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats with no connection, awareness, or concern with 'the real world'.

    Let' s distinguish .

    It takes no  spin whatsoever to deny  the existence of those Jihadists  provides any  more basis for a conclusion about Tusk and/or  the Eurocrats than Orlando does with  respect to the UN.

    The Belgian Jihadists were the responsibility of the various Belgian authorities . There are no ¨Euro police¨ and if there were they wouldn´t have been welcome in Foret.

    Denying the  ¨perception ¨  of Eurocrat lack of concern with the real world is another matter.

    It only takes a few key strokes  to accuse anyone of anything : Hillary, the DNC, whomever. Repeat it often enough and you´ll have created a ¨perception¨. Might even be valid.

    Or not. 




    EU Justice and Home Affairs Council:

    ..is made up of justice and home affairs ministers from all the EU member states. In general, justice ministers deal with judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal law and fundamental rights, while home affairs ministers are responsible for migration, border management and police cooperation, among other matters. The Council adopts legislation, in most cases together with the European Parliament, aimed at offering citizens a high level of protection. It is responsible for asylum and immigration policies, civil protection and the fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism.

    The EU also sets the standards for border control and movement into and within the EU.

     It is responsible for 'police cooperation' within the EU.

    Brussels had upwards of 19 police districts. They had little or no coordination, sharing of information or cooperation with each other or other EU members.

    If the EU cannot fulfill its responsibilities at its doorstep the perception is it is not doing its job.

    Surprise! The UN is not based in Orlando!

    Even it there was, and in case you didn't realize it, the UN has no responsibility for 'offering United States or Florida citizens a high level of protection', nor does the UN fight 'serious and organized crime' in Florida or anywhere else in the US ! Your analogy is absurd.

    Let's get this straight - you're going to judge the performance of the US by how Washington DC is run?

    Americans vote on their government in Wash DC. There are no elections for EU officials.

    What does that have to do with street safety in Brussels and Belgium?

    Well ¨all analogies limp¨ so let me try a flat statement. 

    The  paragraphs you cite don't indicate  the EU had any right to direct the Belgian authorities to take any particular action with respect to the Jihadists.  If you have some particular information to the contrary  I´d be interested to hear it . 

    Obviously it´s possible to think up an imaginary case in which the Eurocrats might have  have had to get  involved locally ,for example if  the J-dists had threatened  EU personnel .

    Or something.

    But  that´s all academic.  Most likely  you just  felt like criticizing the EU staff so you did.   




    Most likely the EU leadership deserves it.

    I hear you, but I wonder what is the alternative to technocrats? We can celebrate Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, the Five Star Movement, Syriza, and the Austrian Greens, but what if they're not the future of populism? What if the future is Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Golden Dawn, and the Freedom Party of Austria?

    I worry about that, too.

    I guess we have to do our part for our kind of populists.

    But I think it's largely a good thing that citizens of democracies realize that they have choices. This Jonathan Raucvh article in The Atlantic laments the death of the political class, the backroom deal and the direct accountability of politicians to people.  That sentiment, and the idea that there's some group of people who know better and can lead us in some benign way, disturbs me greatly.

    Every time we back a leader, it's someone who "knows better" whether a Bundy or Trump or Ron Paul or Sanders or Clinton  or .... We back ideas and we back the ferocity and organization of their model of putsch based partly on who we think the opposition will be. In our case we have neocons and Tea Party and dead-enders to contend with.

    We have Nigel Farage and Donald Trump because we had Ronald Reagan, Maggie Thatcher, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair.  If recent Presidents had been in the mold of FDR (or Eleanor) and LBJ, there wouldn't be a Donald Trump.  Technocratic neo-liberal governance created the extraordinarily unjust wealth disparities that lead people to embrace extremists..

    The idea that if only the democratic party would adopt far left liberal policy the vast majority of the electorate would rush to them isn't true. I wish it were true but Sanders proved it isn't true. He couldn't beat Hillary even with her high unfavorables. Turnout was down from the record breaking high in 08. The evidence seems to show that the voters were more engaged in a contest between two center left politicians that each got 18 million votes than looking for a far left liberal who only got 12 million to voice their concerns.

    You are writing around my point.  It may well be true that Americans were seduced by Reagan and right-wing media to the point in 1992 where Clinton was about the most liberal President who could be elected.  Likewise, a majority of Democrats in this election may well have preferred another Clinton.  We certainly voted as though we do.  Nevertheless, the neo-liberal policies that the first Clinton continued and W continued after him and Obama continued after him and the 2nd Clinton likely will continue are precisely what led to the rise of Trump just as Thatcher>Major>Blair>Cameron>Farage.

    So the choice ultimately will be between Trump or Sanders between Farage or Corbyn.  Electing a Clinton or a Blair is merely a delaying tactic that polarizes the electorate further and makes it more likely a fascist will take power in the end.  To push socially progressive policies, the left must recognize the imperative of economic justice for the working class.

    I assume that you are aware that when Hillary Clinton was a Senator, she and Bernie voted the same 93% of the time, and that her constituents had enormous respect for her on many levels, including her concern for them and her work for them.  I assume you also know that the difference between Hillary and Bernie's positions as they campaign, are the same except for a matter of degree.  I am sorry that you cannot admit that Hillary's vote that allowed Bush to go to war, was NOT a vote for war, based on her words.  

    I know that you have succumbed to every negative meme that has ever come out about Hillary, and in fairness, it is very easy to do if you just accept what you want to accept about her history and character.  The GOP machine of disinformation began with William Safire, and was accepted as truth without anyone having the courage or vigor to challenge it.  So the left and the right fall into place with the propaganda machine, which has been very successful (and lazy).

    When Hillary Clinton is our President, and she does the things she promises (as much as she can, depending on the Congress she will be either blessed, or cursed with), I hope you will acknowledge all the good that you don't believe she is going to do.  At some point, I also hope that even you will recognize that Bernie, if he had been the nominee, would crash and burn, once vetted.  If by some miracle he could have won, he would sit in the White House and accomplish nothing because he has no idea how to get things done, how to build a coalition, and considers compromise a failure (much like the TeaPartiers).

    BTW, He is hiding something by not publishing his taxes.  Hillary's speeches are a red herring, and a ridiculous demand just to give him cover for not showing his own financials at the same time he is still claiming to be a valid candidate.

    In order to support Hillary, as I did, you don´ t have to  believe that Bernie would crash and burn. He must have done a lot of things  right to have won re election in Burlington with steadily increasing margins.

    In my case my support of Hillary  is partially based  on believing that  some of the  very characteristics which make her anathema in Sandersland  are just what will be required to extract concessions from the Republicans.

    I very much hope Clinton will aggressively attack wealth disparities and unemployment when she becomes President.  I am skeptical.  You contend I "have succumbed to every negative meme that has ever come out about Hillary[.]"  A moment's reflection on my work demonstrates the falsity of this claim.  Here are but two examples: I have never written nor do I believe Clinton killed Vince Foster.  Likewise, I reject utterly the right-wing allegation she tried to cover up the attack on the Benghazi embassy.

    What we have is a different interpretation of Clinton's record in government.  You see her as basically a progressive who has worked to make life better for ordinary Americans.  I do not.  I have adduced much evidence supporting my view.  Perhaps you can point to specific legislation that Clinton has championed that supports yours.

    I believe Sanders should have produced his tax returns but the fact remains he makes less each year than Clinton made in each of the hours she spoke to the greedy bankers most responsible for our economic collapse and she still won't let us know what she said to them.  It astonishes me this does not concern you nor does it even cause you to question whether Clinton really is on your side.

    One interesting phenomenon I have noticed here is those who disagree with me frequently attack me personally, even though none have met me in person.  You claim I "have succumbed", another has called me a "fanatic," still another has called me an "asshole".  There are lots more insults out there.  It's easy to understand why this has happened.  My arguments have completely eviscerated every claim in favor of Hillary Clinton except for the purely negative ones that force me to vote for her - she's not Trump, she's not a Republican, the Supreme Court.

    So, Clinton supporters here have two choices: 1) Acknowledge error.  2) Attack me.   Why do so many pick 2?  Well let's face it, none of wants to admit we're wrong.

    3) Pick apart your arguments and watch you recycle them a few days or minutes later. It's the Zombie or Whack-a-Mole option, depending on your region.

    Haven't seen this employed yet.  Still waiting for it.

    Moles have notoriously poor eyesight.

    Insult-rich, fact-free posts are de rigeur for some.

    I say, it's a joke, son... flew right by ya...


    LOL.  Love those Looney Tunes.   Thanks PP.

    The basic disagreement is that most of us see Sanders as full of rhetoric and no action. I repeatedly point out that his ability to form needed coalitions is nonexistent. Single payer could not pass in Vermont. Taxing Wall Street will not pay for his college tuition plan. His college tuition plan will hurt private HBCUs. Sanders sided with the bigots in the Brexit vote because all he sees is millionaires and billionaires, he is incapable of seeing the anti-immigration aspect because he lives in a Socialist bubble where racism is not a major factor. As President, Sanders would be a disaster for Progressive ideals.

    Hillary is not the problem. Sanders is the problem he can not draw a diverse group of voters.

    Yes.  You are very good at criticizing Sanders who is not the nominee and has said he will vote for Clinton.  My question is why can't you acknowledge any errors in Clinton who is the nominee  Are you a fanatic who is blind to flaws in his candidate?  Your insistence that nobody criticize Obama (he's a third rail you said) lends support to this theory.

    Perhaps you can point to specific legislation that Clinton has championed that supports yours.

    That's been done a dozen times here. If we didn't get tired of producing info and links to support it we'd have done it a dozen more times since nothing we do is acknowledged and you keep repeating the same questions. /sigh whatever.

    The legislation to create SCHIP was sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy in a partnership with Senator Orrin Hatch[3] with support coming from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Clinton administration.[4][5][6] At its creation in 1997, SCHIP was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage for children in the U.S. since[citation needed] Lyndon Johnson established Medicaid in 1965.[7

    I'll give you S-Chip.  That's a good one.  This is the conversation we should be having.  What did Clinton do that was productive?  What did she do that was harmful?  How can we push her together to be on our side?

    Are you going to keep this up until 2020?

    One of my points Hal is we've already had it. Several of us posted long comments with lists of her progressive accomplishments. We gradually got tired. You weren't ready to hear it then. And I understand why. I wasn't ready to hear good things about Obama in the heat of the 08 primary. But when it was over I swallowed my hurt and anger and voted for him. And you know, its silly but after all this time I can still occasionally get angry over things Obama did in 08 that I felt were malicious and unfair to Hillary. I suspect and understand that you feel the same about this year's primary.

    Honestly Hal I want to put it behind me, all the debates we had the previous months. I'm really trying not to get involved in a rehash of those debates one more time.  But that doesn't mean we won't still defend Hillary if she's attacked or that we won't criticize Sanders so long as he refuses to get on board with the winner of the primary.

    "This is the conversation we should be having" - nope, been there, done that. Now it's "how to beat Trump and downticket Repubs?" plus "who will make the best  VP?" When you use the pronoun "our" I've no idea whether you mean you, Sync and Wattree or the mainstream Democrats that just decided a rather stirring primary and are moving forward. Actually it is kinda obvious - you want a mulligan, a Hatfield-McCoys moment. Ain't gonna happen.

    I think you're lumping things into two sides. There's a lot of grey out there. It's all subjective but here's my take. I never liked Bill, though out of necessity I supported him. He was very clearly a man of the center. Even so I think he was more left than the congress allowed him to be. He tried and failed on some good progressive policy. Obama was to the left of Bill and would have gotten much more done but his congress was less open to compromise than Bill's. I wanted Kucinich in 08 like you wanted Sanders. But the country just wasn't ready for it. It took Warren to pave the way, changing demographics, and the young growing up the a world with civil, gender etc rights laws. I fought for Hillary in part because I thought she was significantly more to the left than Obama.

    It will take a hellish crisis to transform America. It will take a hellish crisis to get a Kucinich or Sanders win. And really, I think a hellish crisis is more likely to get us a fascist. But if we can get 4 or 8 years with a good center left president with a democratic house and senate an Obama or Hillary could take us far. Not as far as both of us want but far enough. I could be wrong but I truly believe and I think the evidence supports the idea that given a democratic congress Hillary will pick up the ball and run left with it.

    Unsatisfactory explanation. In many Euro countries (France, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Netherlands), the mainstream liberal parties are far left of Clinton and Blair, but right-wing populism is still surging.

    There may be truly progressive parties in France, Spain, Greece, and the Netherlands.  But the economy in those countries is still being driven by unelected neo-liberals.  In any case, economic justice does not guarantee people will stop being bigots and xenophobes and I never said it does.   But history shows that when people are less fearful of grinding poverty or personal economic collapse, they are most likely to adopt progressive social reforms.  Consider the success of the civil rights movement in the 1960s when poverty rates were declining rapidly.

    In Konrad Heiden's the Rise of Hitler, Heiden points out repeatedly that Hitler's popularity was inversely correlated to the economic status of agricultural laborers, the petite bourgeoisie, and factory workers.  When small shopkeepers feared bankruptcy, they fled to Nazi rallies.  When industrial workers were threatened with wage cuts and layoffs, many rejected their union leaders, who urged them to vote for the Socialists.  Instead, they embraced either the Communists or the Nazis.

    The point of a democracy is that the people make the choices and have to stand by the consequences of their choices.  Who are you, or any other non-Brit, to decide that Corbyn is better than Farage?  And why do you assume that the technocrat's answers are better than theirs?  If the technocrat's answers fail, how can he/she be replaced?

    Brits can stand or fall.  No one other than Brits made this choice.  This is a place where thoughtful people can post their ideas, thoughts, and opinions (usually based on evidence),  who are we?  Just schmucks who have opinions.  Who do you think we should be?

    BTW, who are you?

    BTW, who are you?

    Just another schmuck with opinions, though mine are tempered by 20-years residence in England.

    Of course, everyone's entitled to their opinions.  But the reporting from England, it seems to me, has missed the point.  It's being treated as a battle between rabid racists, who want out, and bean-counters who want to stay in because it's good for business.  What's missing is the smoldering rage of ordinary people who are fed up with being told what to do by the 'experts', and whose opinions are dismissed.  The Brexiters knew that leaving would hurt them economically, but were willing to suffer rather than put up with it anymore.  Rather noble, I think.  Time will tell if they did the right thing, but at least they knew that they were liable to be hurt.  They have skin in the game.

    Lurker, I've been hearing the smoldering rage message, and Maeillo's post underscored it. I even empathize with and admire it. My point was the smoldering rage takes many forms. One of these forms is racist and xenophobic. You see it in Britain and many other places, including the U.S. I think the starkest contrast is in Greece, where Syriza and Golden Dawn took out both centrist technocratic parties.

    I think the Liverpool to London bit expressed some of this - it's not just racist rage, it's also people who've been on the wrong side of the economy too long.

    C'ville, Lurker has been a dag semi-regular for years, invited by acanuck originally (who I miss very much). He is thoughtful and intelligent, but his opinions tend to be very different from most other dagbloggers, which I appreciate.

    PS But even if he weren't a regular, that's no way to welcome a newcomer.

    I'm glad you remember that connection to Acanuck whom I would also like to see return. Maybe Lurker will pass the word. And also, welcome to Lurker. 

    Mike, I was responding to this from Lurker:

    Who are you, or any other non-Brit, to decide that Corbyn is better than Farage?  And why do you assume that the technocrat's answers are better than theirs?

    My answer was that we are pretty much Schmucks with opinions, and then I said, "BTW, who are you?"   Beginning, as I did with a self-effacing comment, I thought that asking "who are you?" Was just a simple way of finding out more about him/her.  

    You think it came out as an unwelcoming comment, but Lurker responded by saying he is a schmuck too, so I don't think he took it except as how I meant it.

    I agree that Lurker's comments are interesting, and especially since this Brexit situation is so fluid and not well understood.  It is helpful to have a perspective from a thoughtful schmuck who is on the ground.  :-)

    What, we're not allowed to form opinions of foreign leaders?

    Probably everyone has seen this but just in case I add it. I think this is an important statistic.

    HOW AGES VOTED (YouGov poll)

    18-24: 75% Remain

    25-49: 56% Remain

    50-64: 44% Remain

    65+: 39% Remain

    If you add up the numbers, this poll also hints at how many people from each demographic voted. 

    Yes but those 75 and 56 ¨remain¨  percentages  were frequently a  gratifying share of a disappointing turn out whereas in the towns and villages they flocked to the polls to vote ¨ leave ¨. 


    Europe likely has fewer youth than the US. The once fecund Italians are now the lowest birthrate in the EU. So not sure we conclude low youth turnout.

    Note: youth vote was pretty good considering the vote took place 1-3 weeks into summer vacation. How easy absentee ballots were, don't know, tho lots of expats complaining about no ballots.


    Those old enough to remember what it was like to live in a democracy, when it was possible to throw out unpopular leaders, voted to bring that back.  Those too young to remember, who grew up under the European Union, run by bureaucrats who could not be removed, voted to preserve the only world they knew.

    Those old enough to remember East Europeans living in the shadows of Russian tanks, Germans having to worry about invasion across the Fulda Pass, Yugoslavians fretting their carefully but precariously welded together alliance, the steady but shaky assimilation of Turkish guest workers in Germany, Britain's economic malaise and ugly "Troubles" involving an endless cycle of violence and human rights violations, followed by Yugoslavia's horrid "little" war and numerous ETA bombings and Catalonian separatism somehow came to think of the EU as more than enough democratic.

    Unlike the laissez-faire pull-yourself-up attitude of the US government, Brussels helped 10 small countries assimilate into the union rather successfully and uneventfully, and together dealt with the quandary of what to do when our experiment at regime change in Syria blows up and we get a mass of refugees of the wrong religion rolling across the borders. The Brits had enjoyed buying up retirement property in the south of Spain, but when the recession hits and the value goes down, some think they got a raw deal - though it's mostly Brits who never owned a passport that voted Brexit. As someone noted, the history of Europe is "war, war, war, war, war, war, the price of bananas", with the nearest serious threat 1200 miles east of Vienna, plus a very few alarming terrorist attacks to deal with . Britain can return to those nostalgic days of the 60's when life was shit and they listened to the Kinks singing "Shangri-La" and "Victoria" in honor of a by-gone empire, or when Maggie Thatcher put the dreaded poll tax on both England and Scotland and the Scots revolted. Yeah, democracy was grand then. I think so far, the Brits are experiencing #Bregret.

    I think the disintegration of the USSR had a lot to do with solving many of the problems you mentioned, not the creation of the EU.  What connection was there between the EU and the "Troubles"?  How did the EU help end the civil war in Yugoslavia?

    I think the EU provided a supra-context over combative Irish, British and local Northern Irish parties, so it was easier to work out compromise knowing there was a larger political & economic structure, as well as funds poured in to try to rebuild and provide jobs & development for peace - http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU...

    The EU provided a destination for breakaway Yugoslavian states - first Slovenia then Croatia, with some progress towards eventual Serbian membership. Yeah, it's an alternative to a Tito-like strongman establishment holding a fragile truce together.

    Obviously there was more to these issues than just the EU.

    As someone noted, the history of Europe is "war, war, war, war, war, war, the price of bananas"

    That's a great quote.  Where's it from?  I can't find it on Google.

    Hmmm, maybe I made it up. If a tree falls in the woods and it can't be Googled, did it ever really exist?

    @pavilionopinion tweeted:

    History of Europe: 
    Arguments about bananas. 

    To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments. #remain

    I am the googlemaster


    In the two years after Margaret Thatcher had been elected, unemployment had gone from 1 to 3 million, as her policies laid waste to Britain’s manufacturing base. In 1981, we saw Rupert Murdoch buy the Times and Sunday Times. We witnessed inner-city riots, unprecedented in their scale and violence, in Liverpool and London. The formation of the SDP split the left. The Tories lost their first assault on the coal miners, capitulating over the closure of 23 pits.

    Read more in the rather insightful I Walked From Liverpool to London. Somehow one doesn't think of Maggie as the mother of Britain's EU journey, and indeed, she was the flame from which they fled. Boris seems to have taken up her role as chief fearmonger and EU impeder. It's similar to the story in the US and the GOP's hard-to-deny charges that Democrats failed to make work the government that Republicans continually kneecapped. Meanwhile, persistent underemployment and dilapidated infrastructure remain a bargaining chip, not a source of shame.




    I lived through Thatcher's reign, and suffered from the Pauline Kael Syndrome:  how can she keep getting reelected, when nobody I know voted for her?


    I wonder how this choice will influence Ireland and Scotland. Ireland is very involved with EU businesses. Scotland has a strong separatism agenda. Maybe Britain is about to get a lot smaller.

    Young Brits are angry about older people deciding their future, but most didn’t vote

    Polling and survey data indicate that young people voted in far fewer numbers than even senior citizens and that areas with the highest youth populations also had the lowest turnout.

    % who got through our final poll turnout filter by age group:

    18-24: 36%

    25-34: 58%

    35-44: 72%

    45-54: 75% 55-64: 81%

    65+: 83%

    One issue is British colleges let out somewhere between June 1-June 17, so either they voted ahead of time (and a larger number of mail ballots never arrived) or they come back from vacation to vote. Hardly encouraging.

    Voice from the past here. Nice to see so many familiar names (or noms-de-plume). Here's my basic take: The Brexit vote is an unmitigated disaster not only for the "United" Kingdom but for the whole EU and the global economy. And the highest price will be paid by the insular, anti-globalization Little Englanders who voted to Leave. But it's way too convenient for British and European politicians to lay the blame on these "Bridiots," when in fact the whole process was a massive failure/absence of leadership in both the U.K. and Europe.

    Voters faced a binary choice, urged on by a Tory PM who called the referendum for what he assumed would be partisan advantage, a Labour leader who was only half-committed to his party's "Remain" policy, a neofascist xenophobe -- and most glaringly, an EU executive that was indifferent if not openly hostile to calls for a more flexible union (not only by Britain). Yesterday, EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker was demanding that, ready or not, the U.K. kick off exit negotiations, even as he declared those talks will not be "amicable."

    The Czech foreign minister in turn called Juncker unfit to lead and part of EU's "elite" problem. Before his election to run the EU in 2014 (over British objections) Juncker was PM of Luxembourg for eight years. On his watch, it became a notorious tax haven. Not a man of the common people, by a long shot. Like Cameron and Corbyn, he has got to go if Europe (including Little England) is to be saved.

    Jeremy Corbyn, despite his roots in Labour's far left, was chosen to lead the party because he was universally known as a straight-shooter. But when explicitlly asked yesterday how he personally had voted, Corbyn ducked and weaved. That's the kind of leadership the Remain side had, and those same leaders are now agreed that the people have expressed their sovereign will and it must be respected. Pathetic.

    None of them even raised the possibility that an actual vote to leave might reignite the drive for Scottish independence and talk of reuniting Ireland. What a cockup!

    Glad to see you back!  Thanks for a concise (if scary) explanation of this mess.  

    Don't be a stranger!

    Many of the Czechs are notoriously Euroskeptic, and I"d note that the EU did major negotiation with the UK in February and March related to easing conditions yet again for the UK and restructuring immigration in their favor. There are only so many times to go back to that well.

    While I think there are other big issues related to people in non-trendy jobs falling prey to new tough living conditions and folks in general having trouble fording the new economy, I wouldn't just blame everything on the EU. Everyone's dealing with difficulties of offshoring, increased competition and lower profit margins, etc.

    Most Europeans seem to be Euroskeptics these days, no? Yes, the EU did grudgingly offer Cameron a deal that might have appeased British grumblings. I blame the government/official opposition's half-hearted Remain campaign far more than the EU bureaucracy (which had no role to play in the referendum). France and Germany now seem to realize the EU's problems run deeper than just financial and immigration rules, and are promising changes. Too late for the U.K. and possibly too late for the Union. Globalization is here to stay, and integrating national governments looked like the logical way to counter-balance unbridled capitalism. But despite practical successes, the EU never seemed to win any hearts among those powerless, ill-served and ignored by their own leaders. The European Parliament and executive, physically distant, felt like a further dilution of control. The Brexit vote was a cry of despair. One that will make things worse.

    Czech euroskeptics are often building up their family-held money tunneling schemes and/or bolstering that special connection with the Russian mafia. Slovaks have been fighting off their right-wing nationalistic yearnings for decades now (it led to the split), and Hungary's gotten way into tje act now. Not sure Poland's situation, but I think Euroskepticism is as much about limits on stealing as it is about benefits for the underclass or tru self-determinism, thougj the prospect of taking a few thousand refugees has thrown some into a tizzy - forgetting their numbers that were refugees in communist days or that the Poles are the new vermin of the UK, despit the fact they're providing good skilled work ratherthan a drain in refugee camps.

    Does anyone see Labor Party leader Corbyn's weak endorsement of stay and refusal to campaign for remain alongside Cameron as at fault for the vote?

    He was anti-EU in the past as not being liberal enough, and being a tool of capitalists to oppress workers.

    He is a 40 year MP veteran who voted against British entry into the EU in 1973.

    Like Sanders, Corbyn talks incessantly of a 'new' politics, income inequality, attacks Israel while being soft on Hamas and British anti-terror policy, and has big support among the young social media generation.

    He also seems to be a poor leader, as Labor MP's just voted overwhelmingly today to oust him for his lack of leadership, especially in the wake of the apparent disastrous referendum outcome. Most of the leave vote came from Labor Party strongholds.

    Good to see, ac. Astute as always.

    I wonder whether the leadership blunders will matter in the long run. As I see it, the EU was bound to suffer a big defection sooner or later from Britain or someone else. The real question is whether Brexit is the beginning of the EU's unraveling or a temporary setback. If the former, then Brexit was inevitable even if Remain had persevered this time. If the latter, then the UK will probably return eventually--though maybe not all in one piece. Not that it's much consolation to the Brits who will suffer in the meantime.

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