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    TOSK @tosk

    The concept of open borders has been observed in the real world. It is no more complicated than that.



    As somebody on Twitter said, re this, Boris is trying to put the shit back in the horse.

    But this is the reality, and somebody needs to step up and un-fuck this dog.

    We are talking about 50-70,000 job losses in London’s financial sector (plus consequential losses in the professional sector, and that’s not even including the myriad service personnel, from cleaners on up). And the entire nascent fintech sector will be wiped out. Insurance will move wholesale, probably to Hamburg. Capital markets will go to Frankfurt or Paris (probable the former) . Anything that needs passporting, basically, will go – and they already are leaving.

    London will move from being the most important financial centre on the planet to a regional backwater servicing an economy that has had its manufacturing base eviscerated.

    Try funding the NHS with that.

    Then there is Nissan, in the home of the Turkey’s For Christmas Faction, Sunderland – 5,000 jobs that Spain will bend over backwards to poach. Then Toyota in Derby and Honda in Swindon, all of whom voted leave. Swansea may not get its new university campus.

    SMEs are already reporting sackings and lost contracts and removal from European tender lists.

    London house prices will probably drop 20%, which sounds good until you realise that that will leave pretty well everybody in negative equity, unable to get out and with horrific debts. And the country follows where London leads.

    Edinburgh house prices, on the other hand…..

    And if you think for a second that London tax payers will fancy bailing out farmers who have just pissed away their EU money (which is the entire profit of UK agriculture), then think again. Farming will go bust – it is simply not big enough to compete on world markets. (Tenant farmers were massive Leave; owner farmers massively Remain).

    The in-fighting will be horrific. It is called Balkanisation for a reason.

    I have already advised a couple of young recent graduate friends to emigrate and I’m seriously wondering if I can parlay my Irish granddad into anything.

    So I really hope Nicola Sturgeon is as good as everyone thinks she is – because this is way beyond an simple nationalism question now.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @jimthefish    I suspect the fundamental changes in the way we are living our lives now is going to require a fundamentally different politics. I just have no idea what that is going to involve. I suspect no one does yet.

    Exactly.  It’s as if  “the Singularity” has indeed come upon us, only it wasn’t about cyborgs or contact with space aliens etc. at all, but about something much bigger: a reality-based imperative to get society and the planet re-organized such that we can keep living here, or else dying out because there’s not enough left clean and un-poisonous enough to breathe, or eat, or drink and civilization has been flooded out by the rise of hot, fish-less oceans and massive storm systems.

    The divide between Before the Event people and After is perhaps about those who are already simply going ahead with the blending of viewpoints and dropping of paradigms like nation-states, class warfare, corporate bodies, and who knows what else so that we can get down to the very necessary and pressing business of Cleaning Up Our Room  vs. defending the old patterns that have led to the “globalization” of an unsustainable way of life, which must yield to new ways, like it or not.

    So the Before Event folks are, IMO, the nationalists screaming about being “robbed” of everything they think of as theirs by incomers, while the After Eventers, adapting to new conditions because the old ones don’t even exist for them, look back at the old-liners thinking, “How could they have been such idiots?  What are they talking about anyhow?  Don’t they see that it’s all different now?”

    A number of possible new patterns were pictured in post-fifties SF, involving gender shifting, the disappearance of race as a significant social categorization tool, systems of economic anarchy and super-organization in confrontation (LeGuin’s “The Dispossessed” comes to mind), dispersion into a vast array of differing micro economic and political systems across interplanetary and ultimately inter-galactice systems, etc.  But nobody *knows* just how things are actually going to develop, or on what time scale, or what could work and what couldn’t — only that change is here and picking up speed.   The prospect of a future increasingly unmoored from old certainties is terrifying.  When humans are scared, rationality is so easily overruled by emotion.  We tend to get frantic and flail about, or retreat to our various bunkers.

    Brexit, however it turns out, is just a prelude.  From here, I think, the 21st c looks to be a very bumpy ride.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant   Thanks for that clarification of specifics.  Do you think there’s a chance of back-pedaling from this insanity?  Sounds as if Europe is entirely ready and willing to just step up and fix *their* end, leaving England to wallow in its own self-made nightmare, and I don’t see any eagerness from Europe to help stop the bleeding by encouraging a re-think.  Do you?  Comes a point where it’s more trouble to fix the crash than to take off in an adjusted, working model of a new, England-less vehicle.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Do you think there’s a chance of back-pedaling from this insanity?

    That would be the worst thing we could do: was it Emma Goldman who said ‘If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.’?

    Well, we’ve just had a vote that has changed things. We are now running around like headless chickens – but, actually, I think that telling people ‘No, voting can’t be allowed to change things’ would ultimately lead to a civil war. Not over Brexit, specifically. But over something else, some thing that attracts a noisy populist …

    … who will then be able to point to the overturning of the Brexit vote as evidence that there is simply no point working through the ballot box.

    But if we grit our teeth, invoke Article 50, take the hit – then, we have evidence for all our people that the ballot box is very serious indeed and can change our country in huge ways. The last evidence of this was 1945, when the election brought in the Welfare State. Interesting that one of the biggest voting blocs for ‘change’ were the people who remembered the last time things changed so very drastically.

    The real big problem is the one I was writing about up-thread; nobody in Westminster dreamed Brexit might actually WIN – so the planning is having to be done after-the-event instead of before. They thought it was going to be another Indyref; close, but ultimately the status quo will win.

    Right now, I reckon a lot of people on the Remain side are in the Bargaining stage of grief. They’re hysterical, quite frankly. All they can think of is to try and bargain a way to put the genie back in the bottle, and pretend this never happened. You’re seeing all kind of ‘it was only a small majority’, or ‘it’s not legal until parliament approves and most of our MPs don’t approve, so they’ll stop it’, or ‘well, I have a Brexiter here who’s changed their mind, so that proves the majority vote wasn’t really valid’ stuff.

    17.4 million British citizens voted to change the status quo. When that happens, after weeks of being told ‘changing the status quo will bring disaster’, something is badly wrong. The most likely explanation is the simple one: people feel that the current status quo has already brought disaster to them.

    Overturning people’s votes doesn’t make that go away. It just makes things worse.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Boris is trying to put the shit back in the horse.

    Yep, I think that pretty much sums it up. But for all the talk of second referendums, or ignoring this one, it doesn’t look like there’s any going back. The rest of the EU is rightly pissed off and just wants it done. The Leavers are now faced with the prospect of having to make this work with no idea of how to do so. The economy is already nose-diving and as you say it’s going to get much worse. I think the UK (ultimately sans Scotland hopefully, and possibly N Ireland too) is going to look very different 10 years from now. And it ain’t going to be pretty. It’s hard to imagine a worse clusterfuck in recent political history.

    So I really hope Nicola Sturgeon is as good as everyone thinks she is – because this is way beyond an simple nationalism question now

    Here’s hoping, but yeah, she’s really got to step up to the plate now. I think she can though. What she has, that pretty much everyone else at the moment lacks, is the common touch and she does genuinely listen to people. And she’s definitely not to be messed with. And you’re right, indyref2 has definitely acquired weight merely beyond questions of Scottish nationalism.


    good post and dead right. It’s been my increasing belief that we’re at the start of a seismic shift in living and political patterns as great as the change from an agrarian/cottage industry-based world to the urban industrial revolution era one. It’s one of those times where everything changes. My feeling is that the big corporate structures (especially those around the ‘creative industries’) will eventually go, that the eventual arrival of some kind of Universal Basic Income will change even the idea of ‘having a career/job’

    But it ain’t going to be an easy transition and lots of people will have to be dragged into kicking and screaming. There’s going to be a few more Brexit-like scenarios before we’re done, I reckon.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Ah, well. We are living in interesting times. 😕

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    We do indeed. But I suspect you’re right in that democratically speaking this was something that had to happen. If it hadn’t been the Brexit vote, it would have been something else eventually. The politics of the last couple of centuries had more or less reached its shelf life. I just kinda wish it hadn’t been over something with such implications, and that those in charge of driving it forward weren’t such a bunch of incompetent, untrustworthy fudricks….

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish @pedant

    I have no economic/geography/ area of understanding. My knowledge of supply and demand is poor, even.

    I am surrounded by people who say a) “if house prices go down then everyone’s go down, so what’s the problem?”

    b) If everyone finds it hard to get work then that can only help the situation -in the end. It’ll be bumpy but it will better in the end. c) Britain won’t be the ‘resting’ place for ‘just about anybody’ that it has been for the last 30 odd years.

    I don’t have enough evidence or economic knowledge to really answer a-c.  **A is really a problem for me. I think it was both pedant and @whisht and possibly @bluesqueakpip who mentioned that house prices will drop. But if they drop everywhere how does that negatively affect everyone if their equity takes a dive -if everyone’s does?

    Please understand these aren’t my visions/ideas but rather the things I’ve heard in Aus and from some of my English relatives – **/ a) is my concern. How to explain that to others who don’t have good knowledge of economics and with whom (my relatives) I’d like to argue with-to say it’s OK if the UK put more in than they got out occasionally. But the rellies don’t think so.

    And my debating talents fall short!




    a) “if house prices go down then everyone’s go down, so what’s the problem?”

    Are these people, in ay way, retarded?  In short, mortgages are the problem. A house worth less than the mortgage on it is unsellable because the seller won’t be able to clear the debt.

    b) If everyone finds it hard to get work then that can only help the situation -in the end. It’ll be bumpy but it will better in the end.

    Do these people realise that they are sociopaths?

    c) Britain won’t be the ‘resting’ place for ‘just about anybody’ that it has been for the last 30 odd years.

    This is racist horseshit. The area with most immigrants nearly all voted Remain.



    And if you want a view from Ireland (and you should):

    (Tweets not by me, obv)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The area with most immigrants nearly all voted Remain.

    That’s an over-simplistic analysis. London – which has a centuries old tradition of high migration – certainly voted Remain: other areas with recent high immigration voted Leave. Birmingham, for example, very multi-cultural and hardly an area of low immigration, went Leave. Boston, Lincs, with 10% of its population recent immigrants, went Leave. Peterborough, Cambs (9% of population recent migrants), went Leave.

    Those areas with hardly any immigrants are very often living near areas of high immigration, as well. Attitudes get worse when you can see the effects, but don’t get the mitigating factor of chatting to or working with any recent migrants.

    I could go on. I was arguing this for weeks before this damn vote: mass migration has a flattening effect on the wages of the native-born low-paid. Even with a minimum wage, wages often decrease because available hours decrease. The effect has been observed in the UK, by the Home Office and by the Oxford Migration Laboratory. It’s been observed by studies in Norway. But mass migration is good for the middle and upper classes and for the nation as a whole.

    If you leave this to ‘sort itself out’ because the effect is ‘temporary’ and ‘small-scale’ – and ignore the fact that ‘temporary’ mass migration is now in its second decade – you get rising inequality and some very pissed off people at the lower end of the scale. Add to this a Labour Party that thinks migration is always good (despite the above statistical evidence that it increases inequality in the short term) and that anyone who even hints at possible problems is a racist xenophobe who is too thick to understand that the real problem is Blairism, or Thatcherism, or possibly captialism – and you get what we’ve got.

    Which is a (currently democratic) explosion from people sick of nothing being done about their problems. Telling them they’re racist xenophobes and giving them diversity education only helps if there are no real problems.

    Don’t get me wrong: I think the problems from mass migration can be solved by far better means than ‘stop all migration’ and ‘send them all back’. Mass migration is a net good for the receiving country. And its basic cause of huge income disparity between countries isn’t going to go away overnight.

    But we can’t pretend that the problems are all in people’s racist and xenophobic heads. Suddenly importing an extra 10% population into a smallish, previously rather insular area requires more schools, more hospitals, more low cost housing, an eye being kept on wages and employment. Otherwise people will start looking for scapegoats – and the big, obvious scapegoat staring them in the face is that extra 10%.




    You misspelled “concise”.

    Whisht @whisht

    oh dear.


    I have no idea if I have music for this….

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I think we’re rapidly approaching the ‘Everybody Hurts’ stage. 😕

    Anonymous @

    @pedant  @bluesqueakpip

    Yep, probably retarded. Thing is, if migrants come into the UK where will they work and be housed?

    In a country of many people with dwindling resources?

    ( THEIR argument in bold) I said “they need to work in the unoccupied areas”.

    I was shouted down for this because a) work exists in cities only and b) the country is incredibly small and immigrants are prepared to work for less.  This is bad/wrong..”

    I said “so?”

    Then I was clocked on the head.

    So, yes sociopathic.

    Thing is, people don’t understand the basic economics. They need a good lesson/tutor in understanding exactly how immigration helps the ‘basic ordinary britisher’ and how when all work ceases on a home because the bank doesn’t approve equity loans (an overdraft) for capital improvements that this is a VERY BAD thing.

    The argument then is, OK so it will take several years for everyone to find their ‘level’.

    Prince Charles lost 20 million pounds in the last recession (apparently) and only now has reaped the improvement (in the last year or so).

    “Poor Charlie” would be my response 😉

    lisa @lisa


    Markets seem to be up everywhere today.  Why?   It seems the analysis of a Brexit deal is

    beginning to change.   The UK  may come out of this much better than you’ve been thinking.

    What’s wrong with taking back aspects of your national authority that was ceded to

    the bureaucracy  of the EU?   Seems to me you are in a powerful position right now to negotiate.

    The article I’m posting speaks to  reasons.

    Mersey @mersey

    @lisa I bet the author supports Donald Trump. It’s completely irrelevant that GB is the member of NATO. Turkey has the second after USA army in NATO and it’s not a mamber of EU. Today Angela Merkel said that there will bo no single market access without free movement and EU regulations in GB.

    lisa @lisa



    Its my understanding that part of the reason that Turkey isn’t yet part of the EU is in regards

    to its Army’s  accountability and their resistance to EU reforms.   Didn’t  Merkel say that about

    free movement months ago before the Brexit vote?   Well she might have a change of heart on

    that when and if it comes down to how the loss of access between the 2 markets effects her economy.

    Don’t forget your banks are in much better shape then her banks.  Her banks are basically broke.

    Lets see how hard she sticks to that so called ‘non negotiable’  point.


    XAD4 @xad4


    Please change your source of information.

    Mersey @mersey

    @lisa My point was that it’s irrelevant for EU if GB is or isn’t the part of NATO. If you think that such issues as free movement and other EU rules can be negotiable why they are not for Norway and Switzerland? Rules are rules. If they make any concessions to GB other countries will ask for more for them. And you forget that other EU members want to stay toghether. Any concessions to GB will lossen unity and that’s not in anyone’s interest in EU.

    lisa @lisa

    I think the UK wants to just control the free movement more.   Why shouldn’t  that happen?

    It may be like the quota system that the Swiss have implemented.  I don’t think they want to

    restrict the movement of retirees or students.

    Still think that the EU will negotiate with the UK.  Because it  comes down to the economics the way

    always does.    I know a bit about political economics.   In the end the EU needs the UK more

    than UK needs the EU if you take into account the surplus Germany runs from doing business

    with the UK.   You cant convince me that they wont do some deal.


    Anonymous @


    hey there, good to see you about: it’s been awhile. Hope you’re well.

    I think with respect to @lisa and @mersey (and btw, Mersey, don’t use incendiary comments like “I bet the authors a…” or “you forgot that…” –Lisa doesn’t forget anything!) I think that our discussion up top with @pedant @jimthefish and @ichabod encouraged ideals well beyond the current methods of thinking.

    I believe nationalism (even patriotism) will eventually crumble. There may be nation states desperate to install governments which aren’t secular: unfortunately battles may continue along those fronts but the way we all think will change. As much as I despise concepts like “globalisation” (I think it’s a fake idea implying the movement of money which doesn’t exist) I can see how many people (the younger “generation perhaps) will consider re-shaping the world in which they have a stake. It’s not about ploughing away history though -our history needs management and memory.

    Closing off borders and creating small governments isn’t the answer. I’m in favour of government -the bigger the better. The era of big government isn’t over (as Toby Ziegler famously said).

    Cheers, PuroSolo.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Closing off borders and creating small governments isn’t the answer. I’m in favour of government -the bigger the better. The era of big government isn’t over (as Toby Ziegler famously said).

    Far from over; I agree.  In fact, the wreck we’ve made of our planet’s natural equilibrium actually *requires* Big Government, to martial the kinds of funds and projects we’re going to need on the scale we’ll need to rescue some form of environment that a large human population can live in decently.  This may still be possible to do, but I don’t think anybody is saying it will be quick, easy, or fun, or that what we replace post-industrial “civilization” with will be pleasant for everyone and loaded with free choices for individuals. Big change is nasty, but I think when the ocean changes drastically, everything changes like it or not, and you adapt or you stop surviving, and I think that means narrowing down choices, not opening them up.

    Governments will have to use force for a lot of this — which is always enormously risky and involves abuses, because there are always abuses.   That’s no surprise, considering how we got here (well, as I see it, anyway).  The “dominant culture” (meaning modern consumerism run amuck, as its promoters have designed it to do) was created by force — the force of money in high concentrations being used to grab the goods of the commons (clean air, water, fertile land and the decisions about what’s grown on it, fuel, trade routes and centers, etc.) and turning vast swathes of it into poisonous sludge while selling the usable bits, polished up and divided into packets, back to everyone else at a huge mark-up (see recent water wars waged by Nestle and other bottlers against entire populations’ drinking water supplies).

    How can that money-power be re-aquired by the citizenry at large and deployed instead in forms that will alleviate, repair, or even heal some of the waste and loss that blind greed has created.  You can tax the rich and their luxuries,  and then use the revenues to pay for intentionally restorative work rather than use it to extract the greatest possible cash profit, or you can refuse to redistribute and end up with revolution instead, which tends to just dig us all deeper into the greed-and-spoil heap.

    Ideally, we could develop a more effective mix than we have now of Big Governments taking on jobs like relocating coastal cities as the oceans rise, and smaller governments maybe creating local solar power systems to replace as much as is feasible of the old plant-and-wire grid systems, and so on.  Or, we could have a heavy-handed, inefficient, and often deeply stupid “World Government” lumbering around trying to make changes using the military and its “contractors” against fanatical local resistance.  Probably both — well, we have both now: the US is a very large government that can barely get a budget through Congress while our population re-fights the god damned Civil War, while the Dutch have been busy fortifying their coastline against the North Sea.

    And the first real, lethal pandemic of this century has yet to sweep through.

    So, hard times coming; at least, so say the folks who study and sample and write about the environmental vectors already on the move (Bill McKibben’s name comes to mind, and there are lots of others; “futurists”, they’re sometimes  called.  Only the future is already now).

    Some signs are there: the 20th c saw several attempts at consolidation of large political units, like the League of Nations and the U.N.  The European Union is another try, and having big problems.  We’re new to this, and bad at it.  To me, it looks like the home-grown version of the old SF meme of Earth governments uniting to defend humanity from invading aliens.  Only it’s environmental breakdown that must be adapted to — if enough of us are prepared to figure out what’s necessary and then do it.  Gigantic corporate wealth is already tenuously united against a long, livable future for more than the 1%.  Can their grip be broken by anything less than a unity of  governments, working together against them?  Seems to me we either find a way to encourage that — rather than retreat into our separate national bunkers with our fists raised against all comers — or we go full-on dystopia, and probable extinction long before the natural apex of our full potential as an evolving species.

    That would be a shame; we have so much promise.  The universe, caring not a jot, would just roll right along.  Isn’t that something the Doctor might say?


    Anonymous @

    or what she said…(@Ichabod) 🙂

    Brilliant and correct.



    Mersey @mersey


    There’s nothing incendiary in my comment. As CNBC is an american television channel and the only american politician who supports Brexit is Donald Trump and the article linked by @lisa is in favour of Brexit I assumed that it’s author shares some beliefs with Donald Trump.

    I read the article and shared my reservations. That’s far more than XAD4 did with his sneering comment and it’s me who has been told off by you.

    Maybe it’s easier for someone to talk about european situation right now without emotions when he/she lives in a country which don’t take refugees and has such strict immigration laws that doesn’t take disabled people or people with mental health problems because they would put too big strain on its health care system even if they can work and pay taxes.

    Mersey @mersey

    @puroandson or her sneering comment (I don’t know XAD4 gender, sorry for that).

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @mersey — @XA24 is based in the UK and so is very much directly involved/affected by the omnishambles that is Brexit. And no, @lisa, I don’t remotely think that the EU will be inclined to offer England a deal. The prevailing attitude seems to be ‘go and go now’. And you can’t blame them on top of the Brexit vote you have Farage trotting off to insult them to their faces like an utter twunt and Cameron still trying to dictate terms. I mean, why would they?

    @ichabod and @puroandson — Big Government, even World Government, is a nice idea and it might happen eventually but we’re nowhere near it. At the moment, it’s not working. It’s leaving too many people behind, which is why knuckle-dragging demagogues like Trump and Farage can hold so much sway. Rather in the immediate future, I suspect the future is something smaller, interlocking, but subject to a greater degree of checks and balances than the EU currently is. But that doesn’t mean that the wisest thing is to walk away from the EU. In the short term, the best bet for everybody is to make it work, and work properly.

    It’s true though that there are big questions that need to be answered. Things like controlling climate change and curbing population but because we’re firmly in the age of short-termism, no politician really wants to touch them with a bargepole.

    Mersey @mersey

    @jimthefish @xad4 has nothing to do with my post above. Didn’t do anything wrong. Nor did I. But @puroandson marked me as a troublemaker and I disagree with that.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @mersey — my apologies. I misread your comment.




    I think the UK wants to just control the free movement more.   Why shouldn’t  that happen?

    Free movement of labour is a condition of access to the Single Market (AS IS acceptence to competition law AND paying for access). If we end up in either the European Economic Area or The European Free Trade Association we will have to abide by these rules. So all that will happened is that we have sacrificed influence – not just in Europe, but globally – for zero net gain. Norway (EEA) and Switzerland (EFTF) both abide by free movement. The quotas do not relate to this.

    If we don’t join either (and they may not have us) then we are stuck with WTO rules with onerous tariffs and a nation that has no experienced trade negotiators will have to try to thrash out new 200 treaties.

    And @jimthefish is right. There is zero goodwill towards the UK within the EU. Do not underestimate how gratuitously offensive it was to Germans it was to compare the EU to Hitler (Juncker’s father was conscripted by the Nazis). The will be quite happy to pick over our economic corpse.

    And we will have lost Scotland and possibly destroyed the Northern Ireland peace process.

    For nothing.

    lisa @lisa

    @pedant    @mersey   @all

    I respect your opinions and you make good points .  I’m just saying you shouldn’t let the EU

    try to make an example of you. Look what they have done to Greece.  Also,the EU has/is syphoning

    huge sums of money out of the UK and then giving it almost all away in the form of grants to multi national

    companies to move out of the UK for cheaper labor.  You have lost more than I think you may have

    possibly gained by this EU connection.  What makes everyone think the EU rules are better then UK

    rules? Please tell me how.

    I believe they are trying to intimidate you the same way they have done to Greece.  I don’t think

    the Brexit means that your future has been taken away from you.  I still believe the EU is in a chaos

    dilemma and in any chess game that should mean that its a fluid situation that the UK can take

    advantage of.



      I’m just saying you shouldn’t let the EU

    We have no cards to play(1).

    Also,the EU has/is syphoning huge sums of money out of the UK and then giving it almost all away in the form of grants to multi national companies to move out of the UK for cheaper labor.

    This is complete nonsense.

    The EU rebuilt Manchester after the devastation of an IRA bomb. The EU provides the entire profit margin for UK agriculture (which will get crucified without the subsidies), the EU helped rebuild areas destroyed by Thatcher’s evisceration of our manufacturing base; The EU helped move Nissan to Sunderland, Toyota to Derby and Honda to Swindon and has provided more funding than any other body to try to bring life back to the UK’s coal fields; the EU provided the passporting that has permitted London to become the most important financial centre in the World.

    The EU underwrites, and provides the legal framework for, the Northern Ireland Peace Accord.

    The EU ensures that, throughout its area, the playing field is more or less level and (whether Greece likes it or not) tries to ensure fiscal credibility. I’d still like to see the Goldman Sachs people who cooked Greece’s books so it could join the Euro go to jail, but in the end the Greek people paid the price for its own government’s vanity.

    The EU is like an insurance policy – sure it costs a bit fro day to day, but when you need it is really delivers, but it will act to protect the whole body.

     fluid situation that the UK can take advantage of.

    We have no pieces. None.

    And even if we did, we have no experienced trade negotiators.

    Our economy is 80% services based. There is nothing that can’t be moved offshore, virtually at the push of a button.

    But here is the latest that I have heard from people who know their shit:

    The EU might let us slide on free movement if we give up passporting. That would be the suckers deal that scared Tories might take, that would prompt a huge exodus of banks to Paris (and dig Hollande out of a hole with France’s far right, which is why the EU might try it). It would fuck London up the wrong ‘un with an Arizona cactus.

    And in an economy that is 80% services, that would be Armageddon.


    1. Correction: as in War Games, the only winning move is not to play. It is on the UK to issue the Article 50 notice.

    Mersey @mersey

    The only way to cut immigration from such countries as Poland, Lithuania or Romania is to make an improvement in the standart of living in these countries. Do you know that a junior doctor in Poland earns less money than a picker in GB? 2.6 £ per hour.

    lisa @lisa

    Today the US, Canada and Mexico are having a meeting. I bet the Brexit is on their itinerary.



    The EU isn’t your only trade partner.   The UK has been sending 12+ billion to the EU and

    getting back 4+billion in investment.   The EU has consistently blocked trade agreements

    between the UK and the US and you trade just as much and more with other countries.

    There will be a new trade deal with the US and other countries to be sure.   For now the

    focus has to be unraveling yourself from the EU.   I don’t think you ever signed the Schengen

    Agreement.   So please tell me why the UK  has been  made to feel compelled to accept that policy?

    Still think your opportunities outside of the EU will be excellent.  Not right away. The next few

    years will make you all feel vulnerable.  Given the fact that having greater access to US and other

    markets because the EU cant do anything to block this anymore is to your advantage.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Pretty much. The real reason for the global mass migration is that wealth is almost entirely dependent on where you were born. Move countries, and your children are very likely to be much better off than you were.

    The long term solution is a less unequal world.

    lisa @lisa

    There is also this….



    These are real  trade deals!  Some countries that have markets greater than the EU.

    Anonymous @

    @lisa @mersey

    to Mersey-dear, I am sorry -I really thought it was a bit incendiary -but it’s fine. You were simply expressing your opinions but doing so against another. I found that a bit upsetting I guess?

    Here our mental health patients receive very good care: but not excellent (is that what you were referring  to?)


    Now, that’s what I wanted to know -and understand. That email/notification I’ve put in my ‘forum politics’ section (together with @jimthefish ) for I am no economist -I’m learning (and it’s slow).

    @lisa the points @pedant and Jim are making seem absolutely spot on, no? I think if one country reviles another then the attitude will be to say “you don’t want us or our money then see how it feels out in the cold!”

    unfortunately whilst big govt seems a great idea it could be used to harness the worst of us (I think we have examples in Who where there’s a suggestion of that -govt as some multinational creation which, when you think about it, is what people assume is big government -when it’s not my definition).

    Anyway, I certainly don’t think anyone’s a trouble maker -Mersey -definitely not m’dear.

    It’s late for you? So, good night!


    lisa @lisa


    I really do understand all of these points.  My point is that this may in fact be a good

    outcome for the  UK.   I just posted  a link to an article above showing there is already

    lots of other countries that are extremely interested in new trade deals with the UK.

    While the UK was part of the EU they were essentially barred from doing these  deals.

    I think the UK will have a tough patch to get thru for a time but with new trade deals they

    can bring so much new money back to their country.  Some of these countries seem really

    anxious to implement big trade deals.  India has been trying for years to do a deal with the EU.

    That market alone is so enormous.  Seems like there could be so much symmetry just between those

    countries.   Doesn’t look to me like the rest of the world wants to let the UK flounder in the way the EU

    wants to do.  Doesn’t seem like some other countries want the UK to be left out in the cold.

    The EU maybe the real loser.  That is my only message.


    @lisa @puroandson

    Well, given that one of them is Germany they clearly aren’t (for every Germany there is a France). And anybody who does not realise that Germany is very keen to grab its share of London’s capital markets and all of our insurance trade (ie Lloyd’s of London) is tragically ill-informed. Or, as is the case with Murdoch-owned Dow Jones (owner of the site you link to) has a massive agenda and a long track record of lying.

    And the Obama may well try to keep the peace, but the ‘special relationship’ is a myth that not even politicians believe. And Paul Ryan has no control over foreign policy.

    Iceland. We have about 20 cities the same size as Iceland and many more much bigger. Also, look up the Cod Wars.

    India. By far the most bureaucratic democracy on the planet. It will take years.

    New Zealand and Australia: Commonwealth pals -bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahaha. Although Oz’s farmers could finally kill off our farming industry. Also NZ First has less than 9% of the vote and 11 seats in a 121 seat parliament. It has no authority. And none of the links texts are supported by the article they link to.

    Canada – With Trudeau, maybe a chance. But they will not risk souring relations with Europe.

    Mexico – and when we have a few trade negotiators we may get round to reading it.

    Switzerland – bound by EU law (see also Norway)

    South Korea – See India. Not that different and has major corporate governance issues.

    Ghana – if you think UK farmers will accept less protection from places such as Ghana, then you have never met a UK farmer. Once they realise they have shot themselves in the head, they will want to screw it down tight.

    And, seriously. Check the sources for these stories. The Sun

    the are more than 200 counties in the world. We have about 12 negotiators.


    These are real  trade deals!

    No. They are not.

      I don’t think you ever signed the Schengen Agreement.   So please tell me why the UK  has been  made to feel compelled to accept that policy?

    It hasn’t. We are not, and have never been part of Schengen. Free movement of labour is nothing to do with Schengen.

      Given the fact that having greater access to US and other markets because the EU cant do anything to block this anymore is to your advantage.

    What?!?!?! Eh?!?!?!!? The EU dos nothing to block our access to the US and has also very effectively stopped the US imposing onerous terms on Europe (the US could, of course, screw us to the wall alone).


    Do some source-checking.


    You are right, of course. And Poland is currently the fasted growing economy in Europe. One of my (London-based) clients uses Polish programmers (in Poland) to do his coding. They are very good.

    lisa @lisa


    Welcome to the new world where you cant be protected by the EU.   But wait,  the EU

    is so broken now that  you will probably be better off  in this new world.   You send

    them 12+ billion  and then they turn around and send you back 4+ billion of  YOUR own

    money as tokens to make some improvements.  I simply don’t understand that equation.

    You got all these British people that felt that the EU is threatening their way of life.

    They felt that the EU was broken and not easy to fix. So maybe its time to dive into making your

    own deals.   There  could also be more  advantages too?

    BTW- From other articles I’ve read there are many other countries in the EU that want to

    take the same deal as the UK.   Your only the first but probably not the last.  That’s why the EU

    wants to make  an example of the UK. The EU bureaucrats  are probably scared shitless.


    Anonymous @

    @pedant @lisa

    I remember the other day that I wanted some education about economics and the way trade works.

    I have to admit -again -that I know nothing about economics by comparison with the minds in this Forum. I really appreciate these questions. It’s to my shame that whilst I ‘edercate’ myself about politics, both here and in the States, I find that I haven’t answered the hard economic questions of our time.

    To some extent surrounded by right wing advocates in my own family (brother/father/uncles etc) has made this more difficult as bias and sheer emotion gets in the way of authentic and sensible answers which put people first and not some ‘market god’. I’ve always felt that when pollies speak about ‘market forces’ they’re indulging others with the idea that this ‘market’ is something unswayed by political decision, by representation of its citizens containing a panoply of almost liturgical devotion with which we cannot possibly argue.

    It’s flippin difficult: these are hard questions and they need careful clarity. And I appreciate that here.



    Kharis @kharis

    @ichabod @puroandson @lisa Thank you, it’s been a mess.  My bank is doing a good job going after the group, but still a hassle which drove me to comfort eating and wine, the later being more severe for a ballet dancer and displays the depth of my stress.  The company that stole it has a legitimate looking front, but turns out to be a group that steals credit cards and identity.  They are called “PPL Labs” and are now being investigated.

    Glad you like my River/Tasha Lem/Clara Ravenswood theory.  It was a fun one to play with, still looking for more clues to back it up.  I actually dressed as Tasha Lem for the Doctor Who Ball in San Francisco a few months ago, but when I was researching her costumes I didn’t notice her raven like outfit.  It was not until I watched the ‘Time of the Doctor” back to back with the ‘Husbands of River Song’ that I noticed the raven theme.  The raven theme I noticed from the introduction of Clara, but it was only recently I noticed the River\Tasha tie in.

    Wish I could find comfort in another show like some of you mentioned. Love Sherlock, but as we all know it also has year off also, and in the right mood I enjoy Downton Abbey and Firefly, but both of those are no longer producing new shows.  Outside of the above, I pretty much find everything else too predictable on the tele, or too boring or too annoying to watch.  In a really weird mood I can watch John Oliver, the Daily Show or Big Bang, but that’s a rare mood indeed.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, especially if considering the above list of shows I actually enjoy.


    Kharis @kharis

    While I am throwing random theories out there, especially concerning Clara, what is going on with the Dalek theme with her?  That Dalek in the Cloisters repeating “Exterminate ME” certainly makes me think it’s Clara warning the Doctor of ME, but that could just be my bored mind impatiently waiting for season 10.

    Kharis @kharis

    @jimthefish @ichabod I really enjoyed reading your political posts.

    @ichabod comment #52947 is brilliant.  You should submit an article with your thoughts in a newspaper or political magazine.


    Anonymous @


    Hmmm. The question of  beautiful writing -and writing of a philosophical nature per se -is that whilst it endures as literature it must also be helpful economically and politically, specifically.

    Something to ponder.

    Yes, I think Clara was probably warning the Doctor about ‘Me’ -I believe that Clara lives outside of present time: I know. It sounds nuts. But she does have that prophecy-girl thing going.

    Your bank situation sounds awful. God. I hope that something IS done to stop these people. Eating for comfort? Know the feeling. I remember being SO skinny for so long and then with medication I become completely unaware of what I’m doing: I eat (apparently) and it makes me go “bleurgh”

    Bad feeling all ’round. But I’m not making light of your $$bank$$ situation. These people. Grrgh. <read that Puro is swearing loudly>

    Now, a Doctor Who Ball? ooh-la-lah! We don’t have balls in Brissy. There are Law Balls, Medical Balls, the Policeman Balls and then there’s Brawls…but you know, it amounts to the same thing here.

    As for telly. Without @jimthefish and @pedant I wouldn’t have picked up ideas. I always used to like Boston Legal with Shatner and Spader (heavens, do you remember Sex, Lies and Videotape?) and recently I’ve introduced Son to BL -and he loves it.

    As to suggestions, again I have asked Mr P and he recommends Rectify, Leftovers and every season of House (which you may have seen already). I really want to get my hands on the earlier David. E. Kelley production called LA Law but it seems to be out of print? I may have to prostitute myself.

    The other magnificent show I discovered at the age of 27 was Chicago Hope which worked well as I was actually in the States at the time and freezin’ my elbows off in Connecticut during the holiday season. Boy, did I love Mandy Patinkin. He came here to do a sing-a-long many a year ago which was terrific.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @kharis  Why, thank you — I hoped it would be coherent, at least.  I do sometimes write to the local newspaper (owned by a bunch of starchy liberal-haters) about various issues, usually local ones though, and I like it that they always print my letters — they don’t even phone me any more to make sure I’m really the person who wrote them, and not some fraudulent whatever-the-hell.  I have advantages, you see.  I’m a professional writer, for starters, who aimed (way back) at becoming a professor in academe, so verbal expression is my natural metier.  And SF — reading and arguing about and with — some really brilliant people (and also some on the cutting edge of the feminist resurgence of the sixties and seventies) was a huge help in learning to think about big questions and articulate ideas about them.

    I owe my field — my much-maligned, often automatically denigrated and dismissed field, and that includes a myriad of very smart and passionate readers, editors, critics, the lot — an incalculable debt for welcoming me to their sandbox, where I got to play happily for decades.

    But I don’t send out articles to mainstream venues, since I used to be completely occupied with writing fiction and preferred to let my fiction speak for me.  Now everything is so contentious that getting into public wrangles with opponents (and sometimes with allies) can gobble up an entire lifetime’s charge of energy.  Not to mention being concerned that I’m not as well informed these days as many proponents of competing viewpoints are, and may be out of touch and off base in many ways.  I don’t like to hit and run, so to speak, bugging out on a discussion because my calcium-loaded blood is knocking me out and demanding that I sleep another day away.  (Surgery scheduled for late July to fix this!  Rogue parathyroid, pain in the neck.  As it were.)

    But hey, there’s the Fox Inn — a great place for thinking out your own ideas, and engaging with those of others whose caliber of thought and experience is impressive — and fun.  Now that’s the last of the wine, and off to sleep.  There’s a Brexit opinion piece in today’s NYT that I wanted to bring up, but I read it in the coffee shop this a.m. and don’t remember it in enough detail to do so . . . damn.



    Anonymous @


    Hmm: “writing must be helpful politically” No. That came out all wrong!

    Sometimes, writing which is about politics should be helpful politically -and economically, otherwise, in its beauty it is wedded to something lesser; something which will fade, dissolve, collapse.


    Missy @missy


    I’m baaack!  Did you miss me?

    I too enjoyed y9ur quote from Heaven Sent. It hasd a lot of pathos.

    The political discussion I shall keep away from. Some of the posts are so long that I had to skim them.







    I’m afraid your last post made absolutely no sense.

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