Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Brexit hysteria continues

The anti-democratic thinking of many of the establishment people behind the "Remain" vote is now clear.  Many of these miserable elitists are agitating for the exit not to be implemented.  Parliament could do that but it would create an unprecedented  constitutional crisis.  The Brexit MPs would simply not allow it.  They could bring parliament to a standstil by voting "No" to every government bill until the referendum is honoured.  So it's all just big talk from little people.  If they persist with their agitation it will only brand them permanently as the worms they are.

The EU mandarins are clearly furious and are suggesting that Britain will not get a good trade deal when it exits.  But in the end they are just public servants and it is the national governments that will have the final say.

France is once again making highly sympathetic noises: 'We must put an end to this sad and finicky Europe. Too often it is intrusive on details and desperately absent on what's essential,' [Prime Minister] Valls said. 'We must break away from the dogma of ever more Europe. Europe must act not by principle but when it is useful and pertinent.'"

And the German motor vehicle manufacturers are arguing emphatically for free trade arrangements to continue.  They sell 800,000 cars into the British market every year so you can understand why:  "German manufacturers last night demanded that Britain be allowed to continue trading with the EU without any barriers. The car-making industry said punishing Britain makes no sense – and it called on the German chancellor to give the UK a favourable trade deal

It is clearly in the best financial interests of both Britian and the EU to continue free trade arrangements so it will happen. Britain buys quite a lot more from Europe than it sells into Europe so a collapse of free trade would actually hit the EU the hardest

There is an extraordinarily pessimistic article here in which a Brussels-based journalist argues that Britain will get a very harsh deal on exit -- but he is obviously listening to the EU mandarins only, not the national leaders.

He draws on the Greek experience to argue that the EU will be very demanding.  But I think he draws exactly the wrong conclusion from the Greek experience.  Greece had many billions of its debts written off -- and the EU got very little in return.  The EU can clearly be very forgiving if it thinks it is worthwhile -- and free trade was the very foundation of the EU.

It's amusing that the Brexit vote has spooked sharemarket investors worldwide.  British shares were down a bit on the most recent reports but  the losses in other countries were mostly much bigger.  It's just nervousness on the part of shareholders who don't understand what is going on.  The businesses underlying the shares are still there much as before so the "losses" will mostly be reversed in the not too distant future --JR.

Chancellor George Osborne says robust contingency plans are in place for the immediate financial aftermath of #Brexit


This courageous vote is our best chance to reshape Europe’s future

Liam Halligan

Brexit clearly caught financial markets on the hop. With opinion polls, betting odds and the “conventional wisdom” all pointing in one direction, the vast weight of money thought the UK would stay in the European Union.

 That’s why, when reality hit in the small hours of Friday morning, the pound plunged violently, enduring its biggest one-day drop in living memory. And when the London stock market opened later, the FTSE 100 dropped a stomach-churning 8.7pc –again, showing the extent to which traders had previously backed Remain.

What was striking, though, was how quickly the markets bounced back after the initial shock. Shares ended the day down a relatively unremarkable 1.9pc. Sterling also pegged back, as the Bank of England, for weeks central to “Project Fear”, switched back to “Project Reassure”.

It also became clear, despite weeks of “morning after Brexit” scaremongering, that for some time this Leave vote changes little. The UK won’t invoke Article 50, sparking the two-year exit negotiation process, until October at the earliest. And, before that, what with an impending Conservative leadership contest and Labour’s dramatic implosion, there’s an awful lot of domestic politics to resolve before the UK’s leaders –whoever they turn out to be – fully engage in the task of unpicking our 43-year relationship with the EU.

That political reaction has, so far, been unedifying. David Cameron’s laudably dignified resignation speech quickly gave way to a determination among his supporters that the battle for the Tory crown is even nastier than the referendum. A “Stop Boris” unit, it appears, is compiling a “revenge dossier” on the private life of the former London mayor and lead Brexit campaigner, with the sole intention of blocking his path to No 10.

Labour, meanwhile, has gone into self-destruct mode with even more abandon, as party high-ups scramble to avoid blame for a collective failure to recognise the most basic concerns of millions of traditional Labour voters – concerns which ultimately tipped the national balance in last week’s historic vote to Leave.

Most disgraceful, though, has been the response of numerous Remain supporters who are now attempting – from a combination of anger, pique and an extremely over-developed sense of their own entitlement – to reverse this vote.

All weekend, on the airwaves and across social media, the “referendum re-run” drums have been beating. No sooner had 17.5m voters secured a clear victory in a hard-fought but ultimately fair referendum than self-appointed arbiters of the national mood were dismissing them as “ill-informed” and “manipulated” in a bid to justify another vote.

Demands by bitter MPs that Parliament overturn this “advisory” referendum are extremely dangerous. Look-at-me virtue-signalling petitions undermining a decisive democratic outcome are nothing short of incendiary. And to argue that older voters who backed Brexit “should count for less” is, quite frankly, beyond the pale.

What next, an upper age-limit on voting? And how about the notion that far from dissing the views and experience of older people, we pay them particular attention?

Should a referendum outcome be scrapped because it was driven in part by people who live in the east Midlands rather than Richmond-upon-Thames? Who shop at Lidl rather than Waitrose and eat “dinner” or (heaven forbid!) “tea” at night, not “supper”?

The reality is that this courageous Brexit vote, for all the doubts and tensions it raises, represents a precious opportunity for the UK to shape not only our own future, but influence the direction of Europe. Far from leaving the UK at the mercy of other EU nations and assorted eurocrats, it’s already clear that there is much appetite to do deals with a Brexited Britain.

There is “no need to be nasty” in negotiations with the UK, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend. “We want a good, objective atmosphere,” said Europe’s most powerful politician. “It’s important we work together to get the right outcome.”

That outcome, of course, is one keeping UK markets open for French wineries, Italian furniture-makers and German car producers. Britain’s trade deficit in goods with the EU – which surged to a record £24bn during the three months to April – represents hundreds of thousands of continental jobs and billions of euros profit.

Even before our Brexit vote, the main German employers’ organisation was publicly calling for trade with the UK to “remain free”. Of course it was, because that’s what makes commercial sense for both sides. Brexit gives us the chance to spread our trading wings way beyond Europe, rediscovering –almost a half century since we last cut a bilateral trade deal – the UK’s inherent genius for buying and selling.

For all our mercantile heritage, we currently trade less with the big four emerging markets – Brazil, India, Russia and China – than with Belgium. This is ridiculous. The UK desperately needs to turn far more diplomatic and commercial attention to the world’s fast-growing markets.

For now, membership of the European Economic Area, a Norwegian-style deal, is a useful and available stopgap. Be in no doubt, though, given our large economy and display of electoral resolve, the UK has considerable bargaining power. Brexit is galvanising voters across the EU, and could well provoke, before our Article 50 negotiations are over, several copycat referenda. It is the European Project, rather than the UK, which is now on the back foot.



How Did I Become the Bad Guy?

Steve Noxon

Once again, a radicalized Muslim decided it was time to commit another act of terror on American soil and, almost as if it were part of a script, the media and the left have again blamed me for his actions.  “Oh no,” they tell me, “The shooter was not motivated by Islam, you bloodthirsty, crazed bitter clinger!  It was YOU!  You are the problem, don’t you see?”

Perhaps it happened prior to September 11, 2001, but it seems to me that that day created a huge paradigm shift in how blame was assigned in the leftist’s mind.  It was September 12 when I heard a liberal radio talk show host ask what we had done to make them so angry at us.  I was stunned.  Not only did this remark strike me as callous and vile, as we were still searching for survivors in the rubble of the Twin Towers, but it also exposed an amazing ignorance of history.  Radical Islam has hated the United States since its founding and to wonder why is to ignore what they have clearly told us for centuries.  They hate us for our freedom and our success.  They believe that they are the rightful rulers of the planet and anyone who disagrees is considered their enemy.  Seriously, it’s not really all that complicated.

And we used to understand this.  But no longer, it seems.  “Our betters” have decided that the people doing the shooting and who have very clearly stated their reasons for their actions are not the problem, I am.    Whenever a follower of this murderous ideology commits another vile act of terror, “our betters” put the pedal to the metal and work feverishly to point their scolding fingers at me and make me out to be the bad guy.  They tell me that I have somehow created a “hostile environment for the LGBT community,” because I believe people have the right to practice their faith, while they ignore the fact that Islam calls for the actual murder of gays.  I am the bad guy because I believe in the right to defend myself from those who wish to do me harm, like oh say maybe a crazed radical Islamist with a semi-automatic rifle who is on a mission from Mohammed.  I am the bad guy because, for some bizarre reason, I have come to the conclusion that the repeated attacks on innocent people by a very specific group of “lone wolves” might actually be tied to a larger threat that needs to be addressed.

Look, I’ve been married for over 25 years, so I’m used to being blamed for everything.  But the behavior of everyone on the left, including the New York Times and President Obama has taken this tactic to a new level over the last few years.  Every single time there is an obvious act of Islamic terrorism, the usual suspects race to the cameras or their keyboards to start assigning blame.  And invariably, it is me, a white male conservative Christian NRA member, someone who simply loves his wife and kids, lives in an ethnically diverse community, gets up and goes to work every morning to feed my family and keep a roof over our heads, who is to blame for these atrocities.

Why would these politicians and so-called “thought-leaders” put so much effort into making me the villain?  Simple.  Because if I am the villain, then their policies are not complete and abject failures.   And their policies couldn’t possibly be wrong, could they?  They are the smart ones.  That’s what they tell themselves at their little dinner parties, as they surround themselves with those who hold a wide variety of opinions from hard-left to extreme-left. It can’t be that reality doesn’t align with their world-view.

If I can be made out to be the villain, then the solution is easy.  Fewer rights.  Less freedom.  Bigger government unfettered by interference from the people.  More control. A further and further tightening of the yoke.  And it goes without saying that they would be the ones in control, since they are the smart ones.  Far smarter than those who, when they hear a radical Islamist declare that he is killing in the name of Allah, actually believe him.  They went to the right schools and they think the right way, so of course it is their birthright to be the ones behind the protected walls, making the rules for the rest of us to meekly follow.  Honestly, who could possibly disagree with that arrangement?

Me. The bad guy.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up --  about Brexit, immigration and such things

A recent picture of Chris Brand

The latest from Edinburgh:  Chris is now elderly so his health is letting him down.  But he still had time for a sociable beer with the glamorous Mrs J. and her children.  His glamorous Taiwanese wife is beside him


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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