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The Countdown begins. 23:28 - Nov 10 with 289647 viewspikeypaul



https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20190329T23&p0=1336&msg=Democr

1:19 pm today was the exact mid point from when the result that the Great British public had decided to leave the EU and the time 11pm March 29th 2019 that Democracy will be delivered.

Happy days.
[Post edited 25 Jun 17:01]

🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧
Poll: Next major war involving UK against a super power ?

1
The Countdown begins. on 09:23 - Jul 17 with 1512 viewssherpajacob

The Countdown begins. on 08:21 - Jul 17 by pikeypaul

255AFLI

SIUYRL

No deal is coming home and I fecking love it.


Something else was supposed to be coming home as well.

How did that end up?

Poll: Your favourite ever Swans shirt sponsor?

1
The Countdown begins. on 10:11 - Jul 17 with 1486 viewsLeonWasGod

The Countdown begins. on 00:18 - Jul 17 by Kilkennyjack

Cut and run.

Avoid further embarrassment by running away.

Like the last election where she hid from the people.

Worst PM ever.


It's a tough call between Cameron's lack of judgement and destructiveness and May's snidely cowardliness.
1

The Countdown begins. on 10:12 - Jul 17 with 1484 viewslonglostjack

EU and Japan to sign one of the world’s biggest free trade deals later today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44857317

Poll: Have our US owners improved Swansea City Football Club?

1
The Countdown begins. on 13:17 - Jul 17 with 1436 viewsPegojack

The Countdown begins. on 10:12 - Jul 17 by longlostjack

EU and Japan to sign one of the world’s biggest free trade deals later today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44857317


Don't worry, Liam Fox is going to come up with a blockbuster to put that in the shade.
A no tariff deal to supply surgical stockings to Nevis and St Kitts. Eat your heart out, remoaners.
3

The Countdown begins. on 16:40 - Jul 17 with 1401 viewsShaky

Fintan O’Toole: Brexit White Paper puts the UK on a road to nowhere
When Britain joined the EU it realised the stakes. Now it is mired in petty politicking
By Fintan O'Toole

Irish Times, 17 July 2018

How many people have read last week’s British government White Paper on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union? It is, after all, both at the centre of an immediate drama – the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson – and of immense consequence to the lives of everyone in the United Kingdom. Yet I would guess: not very many. People will certainly have read about it and probably tuned in to discussions on TV and radio. But the thing itself? Why bother?

In July 1971 the British government published what may come to be regarded as the bookend at the far side of the shelf: the White Paper on its proposal to join what was then called the European Communities, or the Common Market. We might assume that nobody much read that either. But we’d be wrong. When it went on sale there were queues outside bookshops. It sold more than a million copies, making it the bestselling official document in British history.

That month, 100,000 people a week paid their 25p for a copy. This was not because the British were surfing a wave of Euro enthusiasm – they were deeply ambivalent about the whole business. But they knew that they were at a very profound moment in their history, and this document spoke to that moment.

If you read the two White Papers side by side what is most striking is how much less boring the 1971 document is than its 2018 counterpart. There is a good reason for this: the 1971 White Paper has a deeply serious sense of what is at stake. It has plenty of boring stuff – transitional arrangements and qualified-majority voting and cumulative tariff reductions and special arrangements for New Zealand dairy products. But at its heart it asks the really big question: what is our place in the world?

As outsiders we tend to see the Brits as being stuck with postimperial delusions of grandeur – and there is plenty of recent evidence to justify the caricature. But this is not the way it was in 1971. On the contrary, the White Paper’s argument for entry to the Common Market is based on a realistically downbeat assessment of Britain’s loss of status after the triumph of the second World War: “During the 1950s, the transformation of our position in the world was increasingly borne in upon us, in terms of recurring economic problems at home and in the balance of payments, of the quickening move to independence among former colonies and of a sense of diminishing influence in world counsels.”

The 1971 document is a kind of confession: it admits that Britain made a mistake in not joining with the six founder members of the Common Market in the 1950s, and that it has paid a heavy price. Of those six countries it says: “The contrast between their experiences in recent years as members of the Communities, and ours outside, when our resources have not been growing sufficiently to do all we should like to do at home and abroad, suggests that they chose the right road.”

It is blunt about Britain’s economic decline relative to the members of the Common Market: “All the Community countries enjoyed rates of growth of gross national product (GNP) per head of population, or of private consumption per head, roughly twice as great as Britain’s.”

Above all, the 1971 White Paper asks British people to reflect on their place in a postimperial world, where there are two superpowers – the United States and the Soviet Union – and (presciently) a third about to emerge, in China. If, it says in its most eloquent passage, Britain decides not to join Europe, “In a single generation we should have renounced an imperial past and rejected a European future. Our friends everywhere would be dismayed. They would rightly be as uncertain as ourselves about our future role and place in the world . . .” What an extraordinarily poignant and honest phrase that is for a country that once ruled half the planet: as uncertain as ourselves about our place in the world.

Now turn to last week’s White Paper and look for any equivalent reflection of where the UK is now. You simply won’t find it. The phrase “place in the world” occurs just once, in a single jumbled sentence with no substance whatsoever. This White Paper is merely a desperate attempt to triangulate between the Brexit ultras and the realities of a negotiated settlement. It uses the word “vision” 12 times, but it doesn’t actually have one.

In particular, it has no self-perception, no attempt at a widescreen view of the country and where it sits in time and place. Given how consequential it is, it is an extraordinarily petty document. It really is boring – and not because of technical detail (of which there is any case very little) but because it has absolutely no sense of where this moment sits on a line between Britain’s past and its future.

The 1971 White Paper had the guts to say a very hard thing: if you renounce an imperial past but fail to embrace a European future you will find yourself nowhere much. The 2018 White Paper is merely a rough map of that nowhere.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-brexit-white-paper-puts-the-uk
[Post edited 17 Jul 16:43]

Misology -- It's a bitch
Poll: Poll: Which former manager would you most like to see back in charge now

0

The Countdown begins. on 17:34 - Jul 17 with 1367 viewsKerouac

Realists, Idealists and the EU By Philip Towle

Written by Philip Towle


"British opinion is emotionally polarised. Realism will again prove more prophetic than idealism but learning its lessons will be painful.

I had lunch some time ago with a member of the Japanese Embassy in London who talked at length of the benefits Japan and Britain derived from Britain’s membership of the EU. At the end I asked him if he would support a similar organisation with ambitions to become a federation based in Singapore including his own country, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. He made a joke about the disadvantages of Singapore then uneasily changed the topic of conversation.

I recall only one colleague in another continent who wanted to federate his own country with its neighbours. He was an African who was an admirer of Kwame Nkrumah. Canadian and American friends who express astonishment and dismay that Britain voted against EU membership would be shocked by the idea of a federation involving Canada, the United States and the Latin American countries based somewhere in Central America. Australia and New Zealand have never formed a confederation despite their shared British background, culture and strategic colocation. It is hard to keep the Organisation of American States, the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation or the African Union meeting together let alone to persuade them to federate. Yet, if asked, they would probably express support for a European federation.

Of course, much of this stems from familiarity and economic interest. Across the world people have become used to the EU and they expect other areas to stay the same even if they wish for changes at home. The Japanese have made an invaluable contribution to the British economy by setting up factories here which export to the EU and elsewhere. Such companies like stability.

When the European Community was founded the continent had been the focus of two horrendous World Wars with millions of deaths and massive economic damage. Those like Edward Heath who had served through the anti- Nazi war were willing to make national and personal sacrifices to avoid a repetition. In a world where most wars are domestic, clearly a federation cannot prevent them breaking out: the greatest war fought by the United States was the Civil War to maintain the US federation and the last wars in Europe were in former Yugoslavia fought, in part, to keep the Serbian remnant of that country intact. But, because Heath thought otherwise, he was willing to hide Europe’s federal ambitions when he spoke to the electorate and took the country into the EU while quietly encouraging such ambitions by supporting monetary union.

After each great war for the last 200 years there have been moves to establish institutions to prevent a recurrence. Subsequent events have shown these were too ambitious. Transport alone made it impractical for European statesmen to meet regularly after 1815 as the idealists like Tsar Alexander I had hoped; the League of Nations set up in 1919 could not discipline Japan and Germany which simply walked out of the organisation when its members objected to their conquest of foreign countries; the UN Military Staff Committee which was supposed after 1945 to command large standing forces was far too ambitious. This was particularly obvious in the Cold War but decades later the UN cannot even establish an effective committee to plan for peacekeeping operations and the Military Staff Committee has been forgotten by all but historians and a few diplomats serving at the UN.

Arguments about the EU are between the realists who believe that experience has shown the problems with embryonic federation and the idealists who want to preserve the founders’ hopes of establishing a federation which could balance the United States and Soviet Union. Certainly, as pointed out above, the EU is unique and it is the product of well-meaning and idealistic views but so were the League of Nations and the Military Staff Committee. What matters are its effects.

One might have expected the ‘pragmatic British’ to join the realist camp but there is a strong idealistic tradition particularly amongst the young and radical. It was fashionable in the 1930s amongst such people to ridicule the patriotic ‘Colonel Blimps’ who they blamed for the last war and its casualties, who doubted the efficacy of the League and who feared the ambitions of the Japanese, Italians and Germans. Semi-pacifist views percolated through to books written for children by A.A.Milne and others and they were propagated by George Lansbury, the leader of the Labour party who wanted to close the army recruiting offices. The League’s supporters remained loyal long after it had become obvious that the Axis were bent on aggression and that the meetings in Geneva could do nothing about it. The realists, like Churchill, who spoke of the dangers of German rearmament, were lampooned as reactionaries who forgot how badly the Germans had allegedly been treated in 1919.

Shocked by the slaughter of the First World War and embarrassed by the enthusiasm which the Bishop of London and others had shown for the allied cause, the Church of England focused on the peace the League of Nations was supposed to bring about and ignored its weaknesses. Although he was warned about these by British diplomats, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested in 1922, ‘the league of Nations … can claim unhesitatingly, both for its purpose and policy, the surest Christian sanction. Its key-note vibrates in harmony with the key-note of the Christian Faith itself, and the Christian Faith lies at the core of the progressive history of mankind’. Surveying similar comments and the wreck of the European international system in 1939, Alfred Zimmern, the Professor of International Relations at Oxford, commented, ‘I am putting it mildly when I say that it is open to doubt whether the direct influence of the Churches on British foreign policy in the last twenty years has done more good than harm’. Yet, in the same vein as his predecessor, the current Archbishop of Canterbury has recently called the EU ‘the greatest human dream realised since the Romans’, ignoring the harm that institution is currently doing to European harmony.

Today British opinion is emotionally polarised as it was in the 1930s with the realists pointing out the damage the Euro has done to the South European economies and the way in which the EU’s inability to deal with immigration is encouraging xenophobia and setting one country against another. On the other side are the idealists now led by French President Macron but with strong support on this side of the Channel amongst the media, the Liberal Democrats and the Church of England who dismiss BREXIT supporters as ignorant populists. Because Donald Trump backed BREXIT they present BREXIT supporters as akin to Trump’s but this is the same as representing all vegetarians as similar to Hitler because he avoided meat. Meanwhile the EU’s supporters see present problems as an opportunity to press ahead with federalism. There is the same arrogance today towards people who take the realist view of the European scene as there was in 1930s when it was reflected in titles like Leonard Woolf’s Intelligent Man’s Way to Prevent War published in 1933.

If history is any guide the likely outcome of the current situation is clear, realism will prove more prophetic than idealism but learning its lessons will be appallingly painful. As the Canadian economist John K Galbraith once pointed out, ‘ideas are inherently conservative. They yield not to the attack of other ideas but to the massive onslaught of circumstance’."

 



Dr Philip Towle is Emeritus Reader in International Relations, and former Director of the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge

Poll: Who would you most like to see banned?

0

The Countdown begins. on 18:06 - Jul 17 with 1347 viewssherpajacob

imagine you're in business.

You've got to get an important business deal agreed by October. That's the deadline because it needs to be signed off by the directors of several firms at their AGMs before going live in April. You've had two years notice to get the deal sorted and so far have agreed the square root of FA. So the pressure is really on.

Naturally, you allow everybody involved in the process to go on holiday until September, and suggest that everybody actually finishes a few days early because you've come up with a draft proposal which nobody can agree on.

Poll: Your favourite ever Swans shirt sponsor?

2
The Countdown begins. on 18:15 - Jul 17 with 1339 viewslonglostjack

The Countdown begins. on 18:06 - Jul 17 by sherpajacob

imagine you're in business.

You've got to get an important business deal agreed by October. That's the deadline because it needs to be signed off by the directors of several firms at their AGMs before going live in April. You've had two years notice to get the deal sorted and so far have agreed the square root of FA. So the pressure is really on.

Naturally, you allow everybody involved in the process to go on holiday until September, and suggest that everybody actually finishes a few days early because you've come up with a draft proposal which nobody can agree on.


Exactly. The whole thing is just unbelievable.

Edit: Unless May is better than Machiavelli and we’re heading for a second referendum with no deal in place. If so, hats off to Westwalesed for calling it first ! Clever buggers in Newcastle Emlyn - always have been!
[Post edited 17 Jul 18:26]

Poll: Have our US owners improved Swansea City Football Club?

0
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The Countdown begins. on 18:21 - Jul 17 with 1332 viewsmajorraglan

The Countdown begins. on 18:06 - Jul 17 by sherpajacob

imagine you're in business.

You've got to get an important business deal agreed by October. That's the deadline because it needs to be signed off by the directors of several firms at their AGMs before going live in April. You've had two years notice to get the deal sorted and so far have agreed the square root of FA. So the pressure is really on.

Naturally, you allow everybody involved in the process to go on holiday until September, and suggest that everybody actually finishes a few days early because you've come up with a draft proposal which nobody can agree on.


Party political interests coming before the National Interest.
2
The Countdown begins. on 18:29 - Jul 17 with 1326 viewslonglostjack

The Countdown begins. on 18:21 - Jul 17 by majorraglan

Party political interests coming before the National Interest.


Indeed.

Poll: Have our US owners improved Swansea City Football Club?

1
The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 19:05 - Jul 17 with 1300 viewsKerouac

The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 21:29 - Jul 15 by DJack

I'm just waiting for page 100 of the idiots crusade...


Waging the culture war By Joanna Williams


Written by Joanna Williams


"The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU.

Gina Miller, the multimillionaire who felt so ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of Brexit she hired lawyers to prevent the government from invoking Article 50, is cross. The anti-Brexit activist, along with other ‘top women,’ wrote a letter to The Guardian in June declaring women’s rights to be at risk if Britain leaves the EU. In response, people – some of them women and many without letters after their names – criticised Miller and her friends for spreading historically illiterate, elitist, fear-mongering nonsense. She is now outraged that, yet again, the uppity-plebs answered back rather than bowing and scraping before their superiors.

Miller’s longing for experts to step in and wrest Brexit away from the ‘low information’ masses and place it safely in the hands of QCs, PhDs, MPs and Lords articulates the anti-democratic sentiment that became explicit almost as soon as the EU referendum was announced. Fear and loathing of a decision taken by a majority of the populace quickly became expressed as contempt for those who voted against the wishes of the cultural elite. In the ensuing culture war, people normally careful to watch their words for fear of causing offence decreed that, when it comes to leave voters, political correctness does not apply. There is simply no insult too egregious it can’t be hurled at the upstarts who didn’t do as they were told.

Miller reiterates the central trope of the anti-Brexit culture war: leave voters are stupid. Before the referendum, comedian Robert Webb took to Twitter to comment on the audience’s response to a Boris Johnson Brexit speech and in particular the ‘wild applause’ he received from ‘thick people.’ Nick Cohen, writing in The Guardian, denounced the Brexity masses in stronger terms. He declared, ‘It is as if the sewers have burst.’ The day after the referendum result was announced Laurie Penny wrote in the New Statesman that, ‘the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out.’ There is ‘something rancid in the air,’ wrote another Guardian columnist.

Time and again, Brexit voters have been written off as irrational. Labour MP David Lammy called for Parliament to ‘stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end’. The concerns of 17.4 million voters are brushed away as act of insanity: ‘madness’. In Lammy’s eyes, only the ‘mad’ would vote to leave the EU. Others have continued this theme. ‘Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances’ writes one commentator. Bizarrely, the fact that Project Fear’s worst predictions failed to materialise was seen as a further indicator of the irrationality of the masses: ‘British consumers have been on a heedless spending spree since the vote to leave the European Union; and, no less illogically, construction, manufacturing, and services have recovered,’ notes the economic historian Robert Skidelsky.

What seems to have upset remain-backing commentators more than anything else is the shocking revelation that, in a democracy, all votes carry equal weight. Philosopher A. C. Grayling argues that the Brexit vote came about because ‘too much power’ was given ‘to the wrong sort of people.’ In his Times column Matthew Parris complains that: ‘Something of an “I know what I like and no stuck-up expert is going to tell me otherwise” spirit is abroad in our country today, something brutish, something authoritarian, something mean.’ The authoritarianism underpinning the sentiment that only the right sort of people with the right sort of knowledge should determine the future of the country is unacknowledged.

It seems that many remainers are unable to comprehend that people – with full understanding of what they were voting for – deliberately and knowingly chose to reject the EU. Excuses must be found. Leave voters are old, white and irredeemably racist runs one popular explanation. Hate crime, an offence based on perception of intentions – and not necessarily the victims’ perceptions – is said to have ‘soared at an unprecedented rate since the Brexit vote’. This narrative of xenophobia rapidly became established despite serious doubts being cast on its legitimacy. Sir Vince Cable still argued that leavers were ‘driven by nostalgia’ and a longing for a world where ‘faces were white’.
When racism is challenged, other excuses are sought. We’re told that it was The Daily Mail that made people vote leave. According to The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, ‘Decades of straight-banana EU fabrications and myths sowed the seeds, but nothing was as shocking as his front pages in the referendum run-up, filled with dark-skinned migrants making bogus claims, criminals and terrorists heading this way.’ Even if we assume all Mail readers blindly follow the paper’s lead there are still roughly 15 million more people who voted leave than regularly read The Mail.

The Russians have become another popular scapegoat for remainers. Apparently, it was messages posted by Russian-language Twitter accounts, ‘tools of the Kremlin,’ in the days leading up to the referendum that swayed the vote. And then there’s the connection between Leave.EU backer Arron Banks – self-styled ‘bad boy’ of Brexit – and the Russians. Panics about ‘reds under the bed’ are, it seems, making a comeback. And of course, in the long list of explanations we must not forget that slogan on the side of the Brexit bus!

The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU. Their rage against democracy exposes the elitism of remainers and unwittingly reveals why so many of us backed Brexit."



Dr Joanna Williams is an author and academic. 

Poll: Who would you most like to see banned?

0
The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 21:24 - Jul 17 with 1255 viewsKilkennyjack

The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 19:05 - Jul 17 by Kerouac

Waging the culture war By Joanna Williams


Written by Joanna Williams


"The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU.

Gina Miller, the multimillionaire who felt so ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of Brexit she hired lawyers to prevent the government from invoking Article 50, is cross. The anti-Brexit activist, along with other ‘top women,’ wrote a letter to The Guardian in June declaring women’s rights to be at risk if Britain leaves the EU. In response, people – some of them women and many without letters after their names – criticised Miller and her friends for spreading historically illiterate, elitist, fear-mongering nonsense. She is now outraged that, yet again, the uppity-plebs answered back rather than bowing and scraping before their superiors.

Miller’s longing for experts to step in and wrest Brexit away from the ‘low information’ masses and place it safely in the hands of QCs, PhDs, MPs and Lords articulates the anti-democratic sentiment that became explicit almost as soon as the EU referendum was announced. Fear and loathing of a decision taken by a majority of the populace quickly became expressed as contempt for those who voted against the wishes of the cultural elite. In the ensuing culture war, people normally careful to watch their words for fear of causing offence decreed that, when it comes to leave voters, political correctness does not apply. There is simply no insult too egregious it can’t be hurled at the upstarts who didn’t do as they were told.

Miller reiterates the central trope of the anti-Brexit culture war: leave voters are stupid. Before the referendum, comedian Robert Webb took to Twitter to comment on the audience’s response to a Boris Johnson Brexit speech and in particular the ‘wild applause’ he received from ‘thick people.’ Nick Cohen, writing in The Guardian, denounced the Brexity masses in stronger terms. He declared, ‘It is as if the sewers have burst.’ The day after the referendum result was announced Laurie Penny wrote in the New Statesman that, ‘the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out.’ There is ‘something rancid in the air,’ wrote another Guardian columnist.

Time and again, Brexit voters have been written off as irrational. Labour MP David Lammy called for Parliament to ‘stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end’. The concerns of 17.4 million voters are brushed away as act of insanity: ‘madness’. In Lammy’s eyes, only the ‘mad’ would vote to leave the EU. Others have continued this theme. ‘Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances’ writes one commentator. Bizarrely, the fact that Project Fear’s worst predictions failed to materialise was seen as a further indicator of the irrationality of the masses: ‘British consumers have been on a heedless spending spree since the vote to leave the European Union; and, no less illogically, construction, manufacturing, and services have recovered,’ notes the economic historian Robert Skidelsky.

What seems to have upset remain-backing commentators more than anything else is the shocking revelation that, in a democracy, all votes carry equal weight. Philosopher A. C. Grayling argues that the Brexit vote came about because ‘too much power’ was given ‘to the wrong sort of people.’ In his Times column Matthew Parris complains that: ‘Something of an “I know what I like and no stuck-up expert is going to tell me otherwise” spirit is abroad in our country today, something brutish, something authoritarian, something mean.’ The authoritarianism underpinning the sentiment that only the right sort of people with the right sort of knowledge should determine the future of the country is unacknowledged.

It seems that many remainers are unable to comprehend that people – with full understanding of what they were voting for – deliberately and knowingly chose to reject the EU. Excuses must be found. Leave voters are old, white and irredeemably racist runs one popular explanation. Hate crime, an offence based on perception of intentions – and not necessarily the victims’ perceptions – is said to have ‘soared at an unprecedented rate since the Brexit vote’. This narrative of xenophobia rapidly became established despite serious doubts being cast on its legitimacy. Sir Vince Cable still argued that leavers were ‘driven by nostalgia’ and a longing for a world where ‘faces were white’.
When racism is challenged, other excuses are sought. We’re told that it was The Daily Mail that made people vote leave. According to The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, ‘Decades of straight-banana EU fabrications and myths sowed the seeds, but nothing was as shocking as his front pages in the referendum run-up, filled with dark-skinned migrants making bogus claims, criminals and terrorists heading this way.’ Even if we assume all Mail readers blindly follow the paper’s lead there are still roughly 15 million more people who voted leave than regularly read The Mail.

The Russians have become another popular scapegoat for remainers. Apparently, it was messages posted by Russian-language Twitter accounts, ‘tools of the Kremlin,’ in the days leading up to the referendum that swayed the vote. And then there’s the connection between Leave.EU backer Arron Banks – self-styled ‘bad boy’ of Brexit – and the Russians. Panics about ‘reds under the bed’ are, it seems, making a comeback. And of course, in the long list of explanations we must not forget that slogan on the side of the Brexit bus!

The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU. Their rage against democracy exposes the elitism of remainers and unwittingly reveals why so many of us backed Brexit."



Dr Joanna Williams is an author and academic. 


And with comedy timing ...you post this on day that the Leave campaign has been found in breach of electoral rules and the matter referred to the police.
Criminal charges may follow ?

And i shall not mention the misinformation and lies, the ‘easiest negotiation ever’ remember.

Golden pensions and inherited wealth has stamped on the working man.
Its his job on the line, not the Tory toffs.

Stop Tory Brexit.

‘Beware of the risen people’ ........🍀🇮🇪 💚 YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

1

The Countdown begins. on 05:50 - Jul 18 with 1158 viewspikeypaul

254 AFLI

SIUYRL

No deal is coming home and I fecking love it.

🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧
Poll: Next major war involving UK against a super power ?

0
The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 09:13 - Jul 18 with 1115 viewsWarwickHunt

The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 19:05 - Jul 17 by Kerouac

Waging the culture war By Joanna Williams


Written by Joanna Williams


"The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU.

Gina Miller, the multimillionaire who felt so ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of Brexit she hired lawyers to prevent the government from invoking Article 50, is cross. The anti-Brexit activist, along with other ‘top women,’ wrote a letter to The Guardian in June declaring women’s rights to be at risk if Britain leaves the EU. In response, people – some of them women and many without letters after their names – criticised Miller and her friends for spreading historically illiterate, elitist, fear-mongering nonsense. She is now outraged that, yet again, the uppity-plebs answered back rather than bowing and scraping before their superiors.

Miller’s longing for experts to step in and wrest Brexit away from the ‘low information’ masses and place it safely in the hands of QCs, PhDs, MPs and Lords articulates the anti-democratic sentiment that became explicit almost as soon as the EU referendum was announced. Fear and loathing of a decision taken by a majority of the populace quickly became expressed as contempt for those who voted against the wishes of the cultural elite. In the ensuing culture war, people normally careful to watch their words for fear of causing offence decreed that, when it comes to leave voters, political correctness does not apply. There is simply no insult too egregious it can’t be hurled at the upstarts who didn’t do as they were told.

Miller reiterates the central trope of the anti-Brexit culture war: leave voters are stupid. Before the referendum, comedian Robert Webb took to Twitter to comment on the audience’s response to a Boris Johnson Brexit speech and in particular the ‘wild applause’ he received from ‘thick people.’ Nick Cohen, writing in The Guardian, denounced the Brexity masses in stronger terms. He declared, ‘It is as if the sewers have burst.’ The day after the referendum result was announced Laurie Penny wrote in the New Statesman that, ‘the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out.’ There is ‘something rancid in the air,’ wrote another Guardian columnist.

Time and again, Brexit voters have been written off as irrational. Labour MP David Lammy called for Parliament to ‘stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end’. The concerns of 17.4 million voters are brushed away as act of insanity: ‘madness’. In Lammy’s eyes, only the ‘mad’ would vote to leave the EU. Others have continued this theme. ‘Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances’ writes one commentator. Bizarrely, the fact that Project Fear’s worst predictions failed to materialise was seen as a further indicator of the irrationality of the masses: ‘British consumers have been on a heedless spending spree since the vote to leave the European Union; and, no less illogically, construction, manufacturing, and services have recovered,’ notes the economic historian Robert Skidelsky.

What seems to have upset remain-backing commentators more than anything else is the shocking revelation that, in a democracy, all votes carry equal weight. Philosopher A. C. Grayling argues that the Brexit vote came about because ‘too much power’ was given ‘to the wrong sort of people.’ In his Times column Matthew Parris complains that: ‘Something of an “I know what I like and no stuck-up expert is going to tell me otherwise” spirit is abroad in our country today, something brutish, something authoritarian, something mean.’ The authoritarianism underpinning the sentiment that only the right sort of people with the right sort of knowledge should determine the future of the country is unacknowledged.

It seems that many remainers are unable to comprehend that people – with full understanding of what they were voting for – deliberately and knowingly chose to reject the EU. Excuses must be found. Leave voters are old, white and irredeemably racist runs one popular explanation. Hate crime, an offence based on perception of intentions – and not necessarily the victims’ perceptions – is said to have ‘soared at an unprecedented rate since the Brexit vote’. This narrative of xenophobia rapidly became established despite serious doubts being cast on its legitimacy. Sir Vince Cable still argued that leavers were ‘driven by nostalgia’ and a longing for a world where ‘faces were white’.
When racism is challenged, other excuses are sought. We’re told that it was The Daily Mail that made people vote leave. According to The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, ‘Decades of straight-banana EU fabrications and myths sowed the seeds, but nothing was as shocking as his front pages in the referendum run-up, filled with dark-skinned migrants making bogus claims, criminals and terrorists heading this way.’ Even if we assume all Mail readers blindly follow the paper’s lead there are still roughly 15 million more people who voted leave than regularly read The Mail.

The Russians have become another popular scapegoat for remainers. Apparently, it was messages posted by Russian-language Twitter accounts, ‘tools of the Kremlin,’ in the days leading up to the referendum that swayed the vote. And then there’s the connection between Leave.EU backer Arron Banks – self-styled ‘bad boy’ of Brexit – and the Russians. Panics about ‘reds under the bed’ are, it seems, making a comeback. And of course, in the long list of explanations we must not forget that slogan on the side of the Brexit bus!

The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU. Their rage against democracy exposes the elitism of remainers and unwittingly reveals why so many of us backed Brexit."



Dr Joanna Williams is an author and academic. 


Yeah - but Leave voters are mainly pretty thick though...
2

The Countdown begins. on 10:14 - Jul 18 with 1072 viewsShaky


Misology -- It's a bitch
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The Countdown begins. (n/t) on 19:05 - Jul 17 by Kerouac

Waging the culture war By Joanna Williams


Written by Joanna Williams


"The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU.

Gina Miller, the multimillionaire who felt so ‘physically sick’ at the prospect of Brexit she hired lawyers to prevent the government from invoking Article 50, is cross. The anti-Brexit activist, along with other ‘top women,’ wrote a letter to The Guardian in June declaring women’s rights to be at risk if Britain leaves the EU. In response, people – some of them women and many without letters after their names – criticised Miller and her friends for spreading historically illiterate, elitist, fear-mongering nonsense. She is now outraged that, yet again, the uppity-plebs answered back rather than bowing and scraping before their superiors.

Miller’s longing for experts to step in and wrest Brexit away from the ‘low information’ masses and place it safely in the hands of QCs, PhDs, MPs and Lords articulates the anti-democratic sentiment that became explicit almost as soon as the EU referendum was announced. Fear and loathing of a decision taken by a majority of the populace quickly became expressed as contempt for those who voted against the wishes of the cultural elite. In the ensuing culture war, people normally careful to watch their words for fear of causing offence decreed that, when it comes to leave voters, political correctness does not apply. There is simply no insult too egregious it can’t be hurled at the upstarts who didn’t do as they were told.

Miller reiterates the central trope of the anti-Brexit culture war: leave voters are stupid. Before the referendum, comedian Robert Webb took to Twitter to comment on the audience’s response to a Boris Johnson Brexit speech and in particular the ‘wild applause’ he received from ‘thick people.’ Nick Cohen, writing in The Guardian, denounced the Brexity masses in stronger terms. He declared, ‘It is as if the sewers have burst.’ The day after the referendum result was announced Laurie Penny wrote in the New Statesman that, ‘the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out.’ There is ‘something rancid in the air,’ wrote another Guardian columnist.

Time and again, Brexit voters have been written off as irrational. Labour MP David Lammy called for Parliament to ‘stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end’. The concerns of 17.4 million voters are brushed away as act of insanity: ‘madness’. In Lammy’s eyes, only the ‘mad’ would vote to leave the EU. Others have continued this theme. ‘Brexit was fueled by irrational xenophobia, not real economic grievances’ writes one commentator. Bizarrely, the fact that Project Fear’s worst predictions failed to materialise was seen as a further indicator of the irrationality of the masses: ‘British consumers have been on a heedless spending spree since the vote to leave the European Union; and, no less illogically, construction, manufacturing, and services have recovered,’ notes the economic historian Robert Skidelsky.

What seems to have upset remain-backing commentators more than anything else is the shocking revelation that, in a democracy, all votes carry equal weight. Philosopher A. C. Grayling argues that the Brexit vote came about because ‘too much power’ was given ‘to the wrong sort of people.’ In his Times column Matthew Parris complains that: ‘Something of an “I know what I like and no stuck-up expert is going to tell me otherwise” spirit is abroad in our country today, something brutish, something authoritarian, something mean.’ The authoritarianism underpinning the sentiment that only the right sort of people with the right sort of knowledge should determine the future of the country is unacknowledged.

It seems that many remainers are unable to comprehend that people – with full understanding of what they were voting for – deliberately and knowingly chose to reject the EU. Excuses must be found. Leave voters are old, white and irredeemably racist runs one popular explanation. Hate crime, an offence based on perception of intentions – and not necessarily the victims’ perceptions – is said to have ‘soared at an unprecedented rate since the Brexit vote’. This narrative of xenophobia rapidly became established despite serious doubts being cast on its legitimacy. Sir Vince Cable still argued that leavers were ‘driven by nostalgia’ and a longing for a world where ‘faces were white’.
When racism is challenged, other excuses are sought. We’re told that it was The Daily Mail that made people vote leave. According to The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, ‘Decades of straight-banana EU fabrications and myths sowed the seeds, but nothing was as shocking as his front pages in the referendum run-up, filled with dark-skinned migrants making bogus claims, criminals and terrorists heading this way.’ Even if we assume all Mail readers blindly follow the paper’s lead there are still roughly 15 million more people who voted leave than regularly read The Mail.

The Russians have become another popular scapegoat for remainers. Apparently, it was messages posted by Russian-language Twitter accounts, ‘tools of the Kremlin,’ in the days leading up to the referendum that swayed the vote. And then there’s the connection between Leave.EU backer Arron Banks – self-styled ‘bad boy’ of Brexit – and the Russians. Panics about ‘reds under the bed’ are, it seems, making a comeback. And of course, in the long list of explanations we must not forget that slogan on the side of the Brexit bus!

The culture war against Brexit, waging for almost three years, is growing increasingly desperate in its attempts at besmirching leave voters. We can only imagine the outcry if such insults as are routinely directed leavers were levelled at any other group in society. But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU. Their rage against democracy exposes the elitism of remainers and unwittingly reveals why so many of us backed Brexit."



Dr Joanna Williams is an author and academic. 


" But the never ending churn of excuses and insults continues because it allows remainers to avoid the painful reality that millions of people rationally weighed up the arguments and decided to vote to leave the EU."

Rationally weighed up? Really? The vast majority of leave voters I know voted out because of immigrants. Nothing rational, just hatred of immigrants.
3

The Countdown begins. on 11:48 - Jul 18 with 1031 viewsShaky

Dairy products 'may become luxuries' after UK leaves EU
Reliance on EU butter, cheese and yoghurt means sharp price rises, says milk producer Arla
By Lisa O'Carroll Brexit correspondent Brexit correspondent

Guardian, Wed 18 Jul 2018 06.00 BST Last modified on Wed 18 Jul 2018

Everyday dairy products such as butter, yoghurt and cheese could become luxury items in Britain after Brexit, with price rises being caused by the slightest delay in the journey from farm to table, a report by the London School of Economics finds.

The LSE research, commissioned by the company behind Lurpak, Anchor and Arla brands, also found that speciality cheeses could become scarce after Brexit, with escalating costs whatever the outcome of the exit negotiations.

Ash Amirahmadi, the UK managing director of Arla Foods, said: “Our dependence on imported dairy products means that disruption to the supply chain will have a big impact. Most likely we would see shortages of products and a sharp rise in prices, turning everyday staples like butter, yoghurts, cheese and infant formula, into occasional luxuries. Speciality cheeses, where there are currently limited options for production, may become very scarce.”

The LSE report comes a year to the day after the government was warned that it was “sleepwalking” into a post-Brexit future of insecure, unsafe and increasingly expensive food supplies.

Britain’s food production deficit has been put in the spotlight after repeated warnings that the country needs to rely less on imports to feed the population.

Britain does not produce enough milk to keep up with demand, creating a dependency on the EU, including on dairy-surplus countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark for everyday items such as cheddar cheese and butter.

If the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal and defaults to World Trading Organisation rules, prices will almost certainly rise as dairy products, along with meat, attract high tariffs.

A milk product with a fat content of 3% to 6% has a tariff of 74%, while fresh mozzarella is rated at 41% and unripened cheese at 68%.
Even if a deal were struck and there were no tariffs, imports would face costly delays at Dover, the report says. LSE estimates that every seven-minute delay at a port such as Dover will add a minimum of £111 extra per container because of extra labour costs.

In addition, rules of origin certificates could add €48 (£45), with veterinary controls costing £50.60 per consignment, the LSE finds.
“Fuel costs, lorry maintenance, loss of perishable goods shelf life and increased wages of lorry divers, mean the above figures [are] at the lower end of the likely range,” finds the LSE.

The research suggested that small cheese suppliers in France and Italy could find their products uncompetitive in British shops, generating scarcities and, in turn, price rises.

Amirahmadi said it was important to be clear that Brexit might bring opportunities to expand the dairy industry in the UK, boosting the country’s declining food security levels. However, he warned that this would take time.

“Brexit might bring opportunities to expand the UK industry in the long-term, but in the short- and medium-term we cannot just switch milk production on and off. Increasing the UK’s milk pool and building the infrastructure for us to be self-sufficient in dairy will take years,” he said.

Arla is the largest dairy company in the country with a turnover of £2.6bn and supplies the big supermarket chains including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda with branded and own-label products. It is a pan-European cooperative with production facilities in 11 countries supplied by its 11,200 dairy farmers, 2,400 of which are British.

Commenting on the LSE report, Amirahmadi suggested that farmers who owned the Arla dairy cooperative already offered the consumer the best possible price.

“There’s no margin to play with here in the value chain,” he said. “Any disruption means that if we don’t get the practicalities of Brexit right we will face a choice between shortages, extra costs that will inevitably have to be passed on to the consumer, or undermining the world-class standards we have worked so hard to achieve.”

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/18/dairy-products-may-become-luxuri

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The Countdown begins. on 11:48 - Jul 18 by Shaky

Dairy products 'may become luxuries' after UK leaves EU
Reliance on EU butter, cheese and yoghurt means sharp price rises, says milk producer Arla
By Lisa O'Carroll Brexit correspondent Brexit correspondent

Guardian, Wed 18 Jul 2018 06.00 BST Last modified on Wed 18 Jul 2018

Everyday dairy products such as butter, yoghurt and cheese could become luxury items in Britain after Brexit, with price rises being caused by the slightest delay in the journey from farm to table, a report by the London School of Economics finds.

The LSE research, commissioned by the company behind Lurpak, Anchor and Arla brands, also found that speciality cheeses could become scarce after Brexit, with escalating costs whatever the outcome of the exit negotiations.

Ash Amirahmadi, the UK managing director of Arla Foods, said: “Our dependence on imported dairy products means that disruption to the supply chain will have a big impact. Most likely we would see shortages of products and a sharp rise in prices, turning everyday staples like butter, yoghurts, cheese and infant formula, into occasional luxuries. Speciality cheeses, where there are currently limited options for production, may become very scarce.”

The LSE report comes a year to the day after the government was warned that it was “sleepwalking” into a post-Brexit future of insecure, unsafe and increasingly expensive food supplies.

Britain’s food production deficit has been put in the spotlight after repeated warnings that the country needs to rely less on imports to feed the population.

Britain does not produce enough milk to keep up with demand, creating a dependency on the EU, including on dairy-surplus countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark for everyday items such as cheddar cheese and butter.

If the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal and defaults to World Trading Organisation rules, prices will almost certainly rise as dairy products, along with meat, attract high tariffs.

A milk product with a fat content of 3% to 6% has a tariff of 74%, while fresh mozzarella is rated at 41% and unripened cheese at 68%.
Even if a deal were struck and there were no tariffs, imports would face costly delays at Dover, the report says. LSE estimates that every seven-minute delay at a port such as Dover will add a minimum of £111 extra per container because of extra labour costs.

In addition, rules of origin certificates could add €48 (£45), with veterinary controls costing £50.60 per consignment, the LSE finds.
“Fuel costs, lorry maintenance, loss of perishable goods shelf life and increased wages of lorry divers, mean the above figures [are] at the lower end of the likely range,” finds the LSE.

The research suggested that small cheese suppliers in France and Italy could find their products uncompetitive in British shops, generating scarcities and, in turn, price rises.

Amirahmadi said it was important to be clear that Brexit might bring opportunities to expand the dairy industry in the UK, boosting the country’s declining food security levels. However, he warned that this would take time.

“Brexit might bring opportunities to expand the UK industry in the long-term, but in the short- and medium-term we cannot just switch milk production on and off. Increasing the UK’s milk pool and building the infrastructure for us to be self-sufficient in dairy will take years,” he said.

Arla is the largest dairy company in the country with a turnover of £2.6bn and supplies the big supermarket chains including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda with branded and own-label products. It is a pan-European cooperative with production facilities in 11 countries supplied by its 11,200 dairy farmers, 2,400 of which are British.

Commenting on the LSE report, Amirahmadi suggested that farmers who owned the Arla dairy cooperative already offered the consumer the best possible price.

“There’s no margin to play with here in the value chain,” he said. “Any disruption means that if we don’t get the practicalities of Brexit right we will face a choice between shortages, extra costs that will inevitably have to be passed on to the consumer, or undermining the world-class standards we have worked so hard to achieve.”

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/18/dairy-products-may-become-luxuri


Not to worry. We can bring in all that lovely American cheese instead.
[Post edited 18 Jul 12:58]
1
The Countdown begins. on 12:13 - Jul 18 with 1004 viewsHighjack

The Countdown begins. on 10:12 - Jul 17 by longlostjack

EU and Japan to sign one of the world’s biggest free trade deals later today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44857317


Will japan have to pay into the European Union for this privilege? Will they have to accept the supremacy of EU law and will they have to sign up to free movement of people?

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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The Countdown begins. on 12:36 - Jul 18 with 983 viewsShaky

The Countdown begins. on 12:06 - Jul 18 by londonlisa2001

Not to worry. We can bring in all that lovely American cheese instead.
[Post edited 18 Jul 12:58]


. . .to be enjoyed with Stork margarine.

It's the taste of taking back control.

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The Countdown begins. on 12:45 - Jul 18 with 980 viewsShaky

It is literally imposing costs on British industry, by forcing them to hold significant extra stocks. If AstraZeneca's 20% increase in stocks were applied across the board for British companies I imagine cost would easily run into tens of billions. This is insanity.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
AstraZeneca increases stockpiles in 'safety net' for no-deal Brexit
By Hannah Boland

Daily Telegraph 17 July 2018 • 11:57pm

AstraZeneca has said it is increasing the stockpiles of medicines it has available in both the European Union and the UK to protect against the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to Newsnight on Tuesday evening, the vice-president of AstraZeneca's global external manufacturing, Juliette White, said: "Ultimately – and as a safety net – we will increase the amount of finished medicines available to pharmacies and hospitals in those countries [on both sides of the Channel].

"We always have an additional amount of medicines available. We are increasing that by about 20pc."

Ms White said the FTSE 100 company had been preparing for the possibility the UK would crash out the European Union without a deal since the Brexit vote in 2016. It is currently looking to duplicate labs in the UK and EU, and said it has more than 30 people working on preparations for Brexit.

Pharmaceutical companies have been vocal in their concerns over a no-deal scenario, as the industry is heavily regulated and drugs are manufactured in facilities across the EU.

They have warned over potential future hurdles including having to test and register drugs in both the European Union and the UK, as well as difficulties in recruiting scientists.

Speaking last year at a conference in Madrid, the head of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot had called for clarity over what a trade deal may look like, saying: "What is starting to worry me, I must say, is the potential for the one thing I didn’t think would happen which is a hard Brexit.

“If there is no extension we will be left in limbo because the UK will come out of Europe and we will have no trade agreements.”

The European Medicines Agency earlier this month warned that many drugs manufacturers were not ready for Brexit.

After conducting a survey, it said it had "serious concerns" that the work needed to ensure that 108 drugs, only made in the UK, could still be sold into the EU after Brexit would not be carried out in time.

Ms White told Newsnight that: "In the event of a hard Brexit and a particular product that we couldn't complete all of those complex activities in time for, then we'd ask for a specific time extension from those regulatory authorities."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/07/17/astrazeneca-increases-stockpiles

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The Countdown begins. on 12:57 - Jul 18 with 974 viewsEbo

The Countdown begins. on 17:34 - Jul 17 by Kerouac

Realists, Idealists and the EU By Philip Towle

Written by Philip Towle


"British opinion is emotionally polarised. Realism will again prove more prophetic than idealism but learning its lessons will be painful.

I had lunch some time ago with a member of the Japanese Embassy in London who talked at length of the benefits Japan and Britain derived from Britain’s membership of the EU. At the end I asked him if he would support a similar organisation with ambitions to become a federation based in Singapore including his own country, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. He made a joke about the disadvantages of Singapore then uneasily changed the topic of conversation.

I recall only one colleague in another continent who wanted to federate his own country with its neighbours. He was an African who was an admirer of Kwame Nkrumah. Canadian and American friends who express astonishment and dismay that Britain voted against EU membership would be shocked by the idea of a federation involving Canada, the United States and the Latin American countries based somewhere in Central America. Australia and New Zealand have never formed a confederation despite their shared British background, culture and strategic colocation. It is hard to keep the Organisation of American States, the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation or the African Union meeting together let alone to persuade them to federate. Yet, if asked, they would probably express support for a European federation.

Of course, much of this stems from familiarity and economic interest. Across the world people have become used to the EU and they expect other areas to stay the same even if they wish for changes at home. The Japanese have made an invaluable contribution to the British economy by setting up factories here which export to the EU and elsewhere. Such companies like stability.

When the European Community was founded the continent had been the focus of two horrendous World Wars with millions of deaths and massive economic damage. Those like Edward Heath who had served through the anti- Nazi war were willing to make national and personal sacrifices to avoid a repetition. In a world where most wars are domestic, clearly a federation cannot prevent them breaking out: the greatest war fought by the United States was the Civil War to maintain the US federation and the last wars in Europe were in former Yugoslavia fought, in part, to keep the Serbian remnant of that country intact. But, because Heath thought otherwise, he was willing to hide Europe’s federal ambitions when he spoke to the electorate and took the country into the EU while quietly encouraging such ambitions by supporting monetary union.

After each great war for the last 200 years there have been moves to establish institutions to prevent a recurrence. Subsequent events have shown these were too ambitious. Transport alone made it impractical for European statesmen to meet regularly after 1815 as the idealists like Tsar Alexander I had hoped; the League of Nations set up in 1919 could not discipline Japan and Germany which simply walked out of the organisation when its members objected to their conquest of foreign countries; the UN Military Staff Committee which was supposed after 1945 to command large standing forces was far too ambitious. This was particularly obvious in the Cold War but decades later the UN cannot even establish an effective committee to plan for peacekeeping operations and the Military Staff Committee has been forgotten by all but historians and a few diplomats serving at the UN.

Arguments about the EU are between the realists who believe that experience has shown the problems with embryonic federation and the idealists who want to preserve the founders’ hopes of establishing a federation which could balance the United States and Soviet Union. Certainly, as pointed out above, the EU is unique and it is the product of well-meaning and idealistic views but so were the League of Nations and the Military Staff Committee. What matters are its effects.

One might have expected the ‘pragmatic British’ to join the realist camp but there is a strong idealistic tradition particularly amongst the young and radical. It was fashionable in the 1930s amongst such people to ridicule the patriotic ‘Colonel Blimps’ who they blamed for the last war and its casualties, who doubted the efficacy of the League and who feared the ambitions of the Japanese, Italians and Germans. Semi-pacifist views percolated through to books written for children by A.A.Milne and others and they were propagated by George Lansbury, the leader of the Labour party who wanted to close the army recruiting offices. The League’s supporters remained loyal long after it had become obvious that the Axis were bent on aggression and that the meetings in Geneva could do nothing about it. The realists, like Churchill, who spoke of the dangers of German rearmament, were lampooned as reactionaries who forgot how badly the Germans had allegedly been treated in 1919.

Shocked by the slaughter of the First World War and embarrassed by the enthusiasm which the Bishop of London and others had shown for the allied cause, the Church of England focused on the peace the League of Nations was supposed to bring about and ignored its weaknesses. Although he was warned about these by British diplomats, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested in 1922, ‘the league of Nations … can claim unhesitatingly, both for its purpose and policy, the surest Christian sanction. Its key-note vibrates in harmony with the key-note of the Christian Faith itself, and the Christian Faith lies at the core of the progressive history of mankind’. Surveying similar comments and the wreck of the European international system in 1939, Alfred Zimmern, the Professor of International Relations at Oxford, commented, ‘I am putting it mildly when I say that it is open to doubt whether the direct influence of the Churches on British foreign policy in the last twenty years has done more good than harm’. Yet, in the same vein as his predecessor, the current Archbishop of Canterbury has recently called the EU ‘the greatest human dream realised since the Romans’, ignoring the harm that institution is currently doing to European harmony.

Today British opinion is emotionally polarised as it was in the 1930s with the realists pointing out the damage the Euro has done to the South European economies and the way in which the EU’s inability to deal with immigration is encouraging xenophobia and setting one country against another. On the other side are the idealists now led by French President Macron but with strong support on this side of the Channel amongst the media, the Liberal Democrats and the Church of England who dismiss BREXIT supporters as ignorant populists. Because Donald Trump backed BREXIT they present BREXIT supporters as akin to Trump’s but this is the same as representing all vegetarians as similar to Hitler because he avoided meat. Meanwhile the EU’s supporters see present problems as an opportunity to press ahead with federalism. There is the same arrogance today towards people who take the realist view of the European scene as there was in 1930s when it was reflected in titles like Leonard Woolf’s Intelligent Man’s Way to Prevent War published in 1933.

If history is any guide the likely outcome of the current situation is clear, realism will prove more prophetic than idealism but learning its lessons will be appallingly painful. As the Canadian economist John K Galbraith once pointed out, ‘ideas are inherently conservative. They yield not to the attack of other ideas but to the massive onslaught of circumstance’."

 



Dr Philip Towle is Emeritus Reader in International Relations, and former Director of the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge


"the Liberal Democrats and the Church of England who dismiss BREXIT supporters as ignorant populists. Because Donald Trump backed BREXIT they present BREXIT supporters as akin to Trump’s but this is the same as representing all vegetarians as similar to Hitler because he avoided meat. "

Awful analogy. Brexit supporters are pig ignorant and thick as shit as illustrated by our resident Pikey on here.
[Post edited 18 Jul 13:01]

Thank you, goodnight and bollocks
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The Countdown begins. on 13:00 - Jul 18 with 971 viewslonglostjack

The Countdown begins. on 12:13 - Jul 18 by Highjack

Will japan have to pay into the European Union for this privilege? Will they have to accept the supremacy of EU law and will they have to sign up to free movement of people?


The UK is not in the same position as Japan though are they? The deal took over 4 years to negotiate and will account for 20% of global trade. Concessions were obviously made by both sides in this painstaking process. To get a good trade deal takes time and has to be negotiated from a position of strength. You are right of course Japan will not enjoy one of the biggest benefits of being a member of the EU - free movement of people and numerous other benefits which I admit you can probably only really appreciate if you are living and working in another EU state. Why do you think the EU should offer the UK the benefits of being a member at no cost?

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The Countdown begins. on 16:01 - Jul 18 with 907 viewsHighjack

The Countdown begins. on 13:00 - Jul 18 by longlostjack

The UK is not in the same position as Japan though are they? The deal took over 4 years to negotiate and will account for 20% of global trade. Concessions were obviously made by both sides in this painstaking process. To get a good trade deal takes time and has to be negotiated from a position of strength. You are right of course Japan will not enjoy one of the biggest benefits of being a member of the EU - free movement of people and numerous other benefits which I admit you can probably only really appreciate if you are living and working in another EU state. Why do you think the EU should offer the UK the benefits of being a member at no cost?


The point is that all the people who say you can’t have a free trade deal with the EU without accepting EU law, paying in, accepting free movement and coming under the jurisdiction of the EU courts are quite clearly lying.

The EU doesn’t want to do that with us because then every other country would be the same and we’d just end up a group of independent nations trading freely with each other which is what it was supposed to be when it was first set up.

As you say concessions have to be made. There is little chance of it here with their gravy train on the line.

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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The Countdown begins. on 16:34 - Jul 18 with 887 viewslonglostjack

The Countdown begins. on 16:01 - Jul 18 by Highjack

The point is that all the people who say you can’t have a free trade deal with the EU without accepting EU law, paying in, accepting free movement and coming under the jurisdiction of the EU courts are quite clearly lying.

The EU doesn’t want to do that with us because then every other country would be the same and we’d just end up a group of independent nations trading freely with each other which is what it was supposed to be when it was first set up.

As you say concessions have to be made. There is little chance of it here with their gravy train on the line.


Sure, but why should the EU compromise on their four basic principles just to accommodate a single member that wants to leave because they have changed their mind on one of them?

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