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    did Jewish families move accounts off-shore or was this a deliberate ranting?

    It’s a classic anti-semitic trope, and a favourite of the anti-semitic left. All Jews are rich, innit? (‘Rootless cosmopolitan”, although a slur more commonly associated with Nazis was, in fact, nicked from Stalin.)

    2016 referendum: 48/52 and as a matter of law advisory only, with no obligation to act, and as a matter of fact massively corrupted by misinformation some of which is repeated above, but immediately hijacked by the hard right to attack “citizens of the world”. Sound familiar? But not just Jews this time.

    All of votes since then: 52-53/47-48, but apparently we have to act on the one hopelessly bent vote because the rules are so badly broken that…well, reasons.

    The British left is making exactly the error that the German left made in in 1930s of thinking it would be their turn after the chaos caused by the far right. Moderate British conservatives are making the same mistake that moderate German conservative made in the 1930s of thinking they could ride the tiger.

    That is not a comparison I use lightly.

    syzygy @thane16

    Crikey, it’s way past my bedtime. But, in thinking of  immigrants & how different voters felt immigration to be a cacophony, with tolerance for only “some” but not “others” I’m reminded of Marcuse -at least I think it is: the law & order are everywhere the law & order which protect the established hierarchy.

    I would say voters were oppressed, if the falsity of the referendum  wasn’t exposed. Are they owed the truth?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    If the message of the referendum is deliberately misleading, then legally, I suppose, one could find an alternate measure of more accurate reasons for Brexit.

    One law for rich and poor alike, that allows them equally to take time off to fight extensive legal cases?

    In the event, I didn’t vote Lib Dem. They don’t like me. 😉

    Because of FPTP, tactical voting (voting against your least-liked candidate) is indeed a ‘thing’ in the UK. I was suggesting that Pedant’s blithe assumption was wrong – 53% of the vote spread among several different parties doesn’t necessarily represent an anti-Brexit majority. For example, there’s a number of SNP voters who vote SNP because they want Scottish Independence AND Brexit. 🙂

    Who is arguing that the message was misleading? That would be the very people who lost an April to June campaign with extensive opportunities to contest any ‘misleading’ messages. Before the campaign there was also an official leaflet from the then government stating that the UK government wished to Remain. Essentially, their ‘argument’ is that they shouldn’t have lost, they did lose, so somebody must have been cheating. Remain are as pure as new fallen snow, Leave are very naughty boys and girls.

    If you’re arguing that successive governments have been fairly crap on agreeing exactly what Brexit means (starting from David Cameron’s decision that it meant resigning), you’re perfectly right. But then, that’s what UK elections are for.

    Which we’ve just had, again, and again the party voted into power was the one that has stated it will enact the vote. Which gets me back to my original question, I suppose – how many times do Leave have to win?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    if the falsity of the referendum wasn’t exposed. Are they owed the truth?

    The ‘truth’ has been extensively discussed in the UK, in huge and nit-picking detail, for the last three years. And each time there’s an election, a large number of people quietly trot down to the polling stations and effectively say ‘Yup, we really, really meant we want to leave’. Because they vote for a party or parties that tells them they’ll enact the Referendum vote.

    And a large number of other people insist that if you add up all the other votes (and possibly add in how people who weren’t eligible to vote at the time would have voted) then there’s now a majority for Remain. Plus, Leave cheated. They did so cheat, look at the court cases. Oops, we lost that one, well look at the other court cases… ignore the fines levied on Remain campaigners, they don’t count….

    Et cetera, et cetera. Claiming that the referendum was won on false pretences is now the only argument left to them, you see.

    I’m not surprised that it’s the one you’re picking up in Australia, because the die-hard Remainers have very loud voices.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @thane16, @bluesqueakpip, @pedant,

    Aside from the important issue of proportional representation, the other difference between the Australian and U.K. electoral systems that needs to be acknowledged is that for the best part of a century, Australia has had compulsory voting. My experience of mentioning this to friends in Canada, the US, and the UK, is that they stare at you, with a sort of “Eh? What? Are we talking about the planet Mars?” sort of way. Personally, I think it has had a profound influence on the Australian political system, and an influence for the good. There is, I would argue, a general belief in Australia that, grumble as one may at the outcome of an election, everyone “abides by the umpire’s decision”. And I think that compulsory voting plays a large part in that. Can it be grafted onto a country that has never experienced it? Probably not. But should it be introduced into the discussion of potential ways of ensuring the stability of a democratic system? I would say yes.


    lisa @lisa

    Just popping in to say Congradts to all that wanted Brexit and sincere condolences to those that didn’t.

    I have constantly wondered why you would want to stay in the EU from a economic standpoint given the

    opportunity to leave.    The EU was a growth economy for a long time but its hit a wall now plus Germany is

    financially undermining many weaker economies.

    Also  the EU wants to go after the UK’s financial services and btw all those zombie banks. If they begin

    to fall into crisis  then the UK will be having to toss in a lot more to bail them out then if your leaving .

    Maybe its my  ignorance but then I never believed in collective socialism which seemed to me what the EU is.

    Although I’ve also wondered about how democratic the EU really is if it isn’t electing  any  top officials?

    The 4 freedoms seem to mean freedoms for all of the corporations first and everyone else is a 2nd class

    status.   Yellow vests anyone?

    I’ve very recently read in the financial news over here (the states) that once you leave there has been many

    whispers about the UK joining Nafta aka USMCA.   That is a possibility that couldn’t have happened if you


    Looking forward to the new season of Who.  Hoping I  find it to be better than the last one !




    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.

    In writing. In the 2016 government leaflet. Sent to every household in the country.

    Of course, after the vote to leave the EU, suddenly the legal point that it was ‘advisory’ became quoted rather more by the Remain side than the embarrassing statement (in writing) that the government was committed to implementing the result.

    And seventeen and a half million people who had voted in the expectation that the winning vote would be enacted suddenly found themselves being called far right, populist, and confused by misinformation. Possibly Russian agents. Definitely racist. Certainly thick. Have I missed anything out? Would you like to add any more?

    They were accused of all these things for the terrible crime of casting a democratic vote in a referendum and daring to use it to say that they wanted to change the current system.

    For wanting to leave a economic and political partnership…

    I said up above that I think the British people had to make a decision between Mr Saxon and the Slitheen. Clearly, we disagree about who the ‘tiger’ is. But I will say that the 1930’s did not just see the rise of Hitler. They also saw the rule of Stalin and the great purge. The deaths were probably in the hundreds of thousands and may be more than a million. Millions more were imprisoned, despite mostly being utterly innocent of anything. The far left have, in documented fact, easily killed as many as the far right.

    The left have no monopoly on virtue and the right have no monopoly of evil.



    I am not remotely interested in engaging with your witless sophistry.

    Just fuck off please.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yeah, I would be up for compulsory voting – though I will say that until fairly recently Britain also had the ‘everyone abides by the umpire’s decision’ attitude. 2016 shattered that attitude, painfully and spectacularly. For that matter, I voted for AV proportional representation in the 2011 Referendum and didn’t even dream of contesting the vote, or calling the people who didn’t want it names. Likewise, the Welsh devolution referendum was a incredibly close run thing, and I remember my reaction to that as being a mere ‘oh, bugger’.

    I first noticed the ‘not my president’ mantra with Obama, when I did put it down to simple racism. But then Trump came in and suddenly the exact same people who’d been bitterly complaining about people not accepting Obama were hysterically rejecting Trump. So I suspect this ‘votes only count if they go my way’ is part of a wider cultural shift.

    A worrying cultural shift. A deep conviction on both sides that their opponents are disagreeing with them because of either a) stupidity or b) actual evil is not going to end well. Neither is thinking that you can overturn a democratic majority because you don’t like the result.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Have a good evening, and if you don’t want to argue about it, that’s fine.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I would argue that there is a big difference between “grumbling” (which is healthy to democracy and part of an engaged electorate) and “rejecting the umpire’s decision” (which can lead to a breakdown of political legitimacy, insurrection and, in extreme cases, civil war). What I see in the US at the moment, for example, is a lot of grumbling and nervousness on one side, and an incumbent President, and associated political party machine, setting the stage to reject the umpire’s decision, if necessary, depending on the outcome.

    I hope I am wrong, but I suspect I am not.


    syzygy @thane16


    Just from you point of view in the comments above, I was disconcerted as to the responses. I was also  interested in how people felt about Re/Brxt : it’s a complicated mess.

    If the message of the referendum is deliberately misleading, then legally, I suppose, one could find an alternate measure of more accurate reasons for Brexit.

    “One law for rich and poor alike, that allows them equally to take time off to fight extensive legal cases?”

    I believe I wasn’t clear. This was about how the message of Brexit was displayed. The 1st post, earlier, said “the Pakis are taking our jobs. Mosques….not churches” which is, as you say, ridiculous. But my family-in-law & their voluminous friends had these opinions over many years.  Reasons for Brexit were hidden behind mantras on radio, telly, in child care or advanced education & tech. centres. And yes, who would have the time & money to fight legal cases? I don’t think I hinted at this?  The  person you’ve been chatting with for 6 years now isn’t that silly, is she? 😀

    I was referring to constitutional or, more properly, conventional legal Argument or Opinion which would inquire into the Matter, determining the composition of the argument & parties in favour of Brexit or Remain, correctly ‘educated’ the public allowing for impartial judgements involving the ‘organs’ of government: local, county, regional (the Scottish legislature having greater power over its citizens than other regions) according to the Acts of Parliament. Obviously, some dolly taking time off work, selling their 100 000 pound home in order to ‘fight’ the ‘incorrect messaging’ wasn’t my secret plan to fight inflation. Nope, sorry, my automaton brain meant the secret plan to fight Brexit.

    I’m aware this is such a personal problem, too. I don’t live there. Our referenda are markedly different in their measurement.  Also, I don’t think anyone on this Forum, who’s a regular, would ever think that communism was a lesser evil than fascism (though Corbyn from what you’ve all said might disagree!). In the end, the message & its conveyance, it’s method of conveyance caused a problem. Also Brexit-parliamentary supporters were unprepared for the result.

    As for “how many times” -I think that’s a difficult point. If the entire country will change, would it be politic to ensure everyone understands the consequences. DO busy folk read the pamphlets? Or do they listen to hyped up  talk show hosts on their way to Boots? Are they Guardian readers? And should that matter?

    All perfectly good questions.

    I don’t want to tag people who may be interested in this because it appears I started a war. I apologise if it came across like that. I honestly was looking for answers and ideas. In my original post, I was amazed about the ‘provenance’ of your Labour leader.

    …when I did put it down to simple racism. But then Trump came in and suddenly the exact same people who’d been bitterly complaining about people not accepting Obama were hysterically rejecting Trump…

    On this I must disagree. Trump is a dreadful leader. He did not emerge victorious according to the vote-count. He’s a mad-man tweeting because he can’t remember what he’s actually said in meetings. His attitude towards Defence is appalling & has had horrendous consequences for service men & women, including Military Intelligence in Australia.  Trump ought to be rejected & impeached. He doesn’t acknowledge Islam as a religion. He wants walls tendered to separate Mexicans from “true Americans.” And “global warming is fake news.”

    Comparing Obama & Trump, or Clinton & Trump is a tad unjust. And the message there was also wrong: “We will re-open Detroit & put industry back where it belongs” and people believed him. He was lying. Or stupid. Or both.



    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  syzygy. Reason: code code
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I found the ‘not my President’ thing profoundly depressing because it was coming from people who’d spent the last eight years insisting that President Obama was everyone’s President, because that’s how the Constitution works.

    Within a matter of days people shifted from a principled defence of the Constitution to ‘eeek, Trump is horrible, so Not My President.’ I’d never have voted for Trump – I remember well my shock when I went to bed with all the UK commentators saying Hilary Clinton had just swung it and then woke up to discover it was now President-Elect Trump. But the rapid about face when the election didn’t go their way shocked me.

    Unless the US armed forces are all Trump supporters, I don’t see how he can ‘reject the umpire’s decision.’ The President may be their Commander-in-Chief, but their oath is to the Constitution. One of the cheering things of the last few years has been the discovery that the US Constitution was obviously designed to cope with ‘We’ve just elected an idiot.’

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    it’s a complicated mess.

    This. Times a thousand. As you can see, Brexit brings up very strong emotions in the UK.

    The main problem with Brexit is that both sides are right. But in politics, especially if you know that you are right, it can be very hard indeed to take a step back and try and see that. That, in fact, the Remainers and the Leavers looked at the same facts and came to utterly different conclusions. They did this because Remainers were mostly motivated by what Brexit could do to our economy, where Leavers were mostly concerned about how we run the country.

    But if you can’t step back and see that voters made these very different decisions because they prioritised different goods – it becomes very, very tempting to decide that the other person voted the way they did because they’re racist/stupid/racist and stupid/positively evil/uneducated/easily led by fake advertising/did I mention stupid?

    The truth is that I find it far easier to believe that a losing side is making excuses for losing than that 17.4 million people in a notoriously non-volatile country morphed practically overnight into a bunch of racist, far right, nationalist loons. Especially when pretty much all they’ve done since is troop off to the polling stations and confirm that they mostly haven’t changed their minds.

    Yeah, it’s tricky when you’re commentating on this from another country, so you probably weren’t aware that we’ve had a number of court cases trying to delay or ::cough:: redirect Brexit decisions, generally brought by people who do have the time and money. I thought you were referring to those.

    He did not emerge victorious according to the vote-count.

    Trump’s awful, but you’re showing a fundamental (and very common) misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. President is not currently supposed to be elected by majority popular vote. He (or hopefully, at some point, she) is elected by the Electoral College because that gives the less populous flyover states a say – rather than having the President essentially elected by the East and West coasts. It also allows states to decide for themselves whether to use a ‘winner takes all’ system for the representatives or allocate them according to proportional representation.

    I think there’s been five presidents who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. John F Kennedy also came within 0.17% of losing the popular vote, so it’s not just the less-well-regarded ones.

    On regard to whether busy folk have time to read stuff – when we went for universal suffrage we made a decision that our country may be run by politics nerds, but the politics nerds get elected by everyone. Part of that is admitting that the person who doesn’t have much time for politics should still have a say in how they’re governed.

    Essentially, I would say that if the question of Brexit really was too complicated for busy people, then that is the fault of the 554 MPs of all parties (not the SNP, I think) in Parliament who voted to put the question of Brexit to them. It is not the fault of the busy people. People voted in very large numbers (72% turnout), they discussed it beforehand and an awful lot of people did seem to realise that they were being asked a very important question about the future of the UK.



    Further to the note upthread about anti-semitic tropes, this epic thread is a handy explainer. It is very much from the PoV of a alienated former Labour-supporting Jew, but really the tropes are universal and used by hard left and hard right alike. You should follow Sara Gibbs she is very funny and outstanding (and sometimes heartbreaking) on autism too:

    Also, this graphic shows where Labour lost the election (the waste of space in question is refusing to resign):

    syzygy @thane16


    no, I didn’t make a mistake. I am fully aware of the electoral college having lived in the States for a while.

    It was an inversion. Inversions rarely happen. Even Rutherford Hayes lost the popular vote & the electoral college vote at the same time.  All the vote tallies, as aggregates, are frequently out of whack when elections are close.

    At times, electoral colleges seem a good thing. The current US Constitution  seems a good thing. Those who argued against it in the 90s, felt it was a dilapidated system, preventing ’emotion’ when emotion can’t be prevented. It’s very difficult to be unemotional. That was certainly the case when Bush was elected by ballots in Florida which were mostly incorrectly counted -however, that’s a separate issue.

    good grief. We’re not stupid, here, Blue, seriously.

    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant duly followed. Incredible. Spawn now has homework. He’s busy reading novels. But with a diet of NorthS***re & docos (the latter from me) he now needs MORE. An appetite for knowledge never to be fulfilled.

    The graphic seemed to indicate that Labour wasn’t followed because of Leadership but with Brexit, 2nd & further down.

    ** @bluesqueakpip Well, honestly, clearly I didn’t fact check with Google. Relying on my own knowledge. I think many people use Google before they post 🙂

    Rutherford Hayes won by one ECV. It was Andrew Jackson losing to John Quincy Adams who was behind in the popular vote & lost the electoral college. Admittedly I didn’t fact check. But I get a few points, I think, for remembering it was 48 ‘normal’ elections & 4 abnormals.  The whole thing is worse than actuarial study.

    Fractional electoral votes, low African American turnout, promising funds in exchange for electoral college votes, using emotional, undignified language in order to platitudinously repeat “national unity,” preparedness for aggression against minorities, using sexist, homophobic, anti-intellectual language, promoting domestic jingoism & school prayer,  promoting anti-choice for women, to the extent that earlier success for  pro-choice in the 1970s would be denounced & removed. I think that’s sufficient, when combined with loud voices & clever voices, to consider change to America’s EC  – an outdated & ill-equipped system for the modern day. Certainly, that’s all they have, at the moment, & until it changes (& referenda are notoriously anti-democratic according to various political analysts) nothing will change.

    Syzygy (typed by Thane today).

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Okay, in the spirit of people here being a bunch of (sort of) like minded people, and in a genuine request for a way of understanding recent developments in British politics, if we step back from the leaders and look at the advisors, we have Andrew Adonis (Blair), Seamus Milne (Corbyn), and Dominic Cummings (Johnson). Who should one trust? I confess (and I admit that I am not part of British political culture) that I find myself more in attune with Adonis than the others. I suspect that reveals more about me than I might imagine.

    p.s. deep down, I am really looking forward to January 1, and Doctor Who!




    Cummings is an amoral lying fascist, Milne an amoral lying communist, Adonis something of a has-been but trustworthy and with an intact moral compass.

    Hope that helps.

    Edit: For clarity, I am using the F and C words in their correct sense, not as hyperbole.



    Also, the electoral college was chosen at the insistence of slave owning states, to protect their interests.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Adonis something of a has-been but trustworthy and with an intact moral compass.

    Well, since I admitted that it might reveal more about me than I might imagine…I can live with that!


    syzygy @thane16

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Me too!  @pedant

    I didn’t know that. I knew about Tony Blair when was in my primary school years . The reason not because we studied any politics but because Hugh Grant took on the PM role in Love Actually. Everyone kept saying the character reminded people of Tony Blair

    I didn’t know about slavery connected to politics like that. I spent 12 weeks studying this. I bought (or mum did) 4 books & 1 poetry book on slavery & economics. Thank you for that


    syzygy @thane16


    Again, you see, I never said this. And others reading your response would assume I was ignorant of a political situation.


    would it be politic to ensure everyone understands the consequences. DO busy folk read the pamphlets? Or do they listen to hyped up talk show hosts on their way to Boots? Are they Guardian readers? And should that matter?


    our country may be run by politics nerds, but the politics nerds get elected by everyone. Part of that is admitting that the person who doesn’t have much time for politics should still have a say in how they’re governed. 

    Yes, of course people who don’t have time for politics should have a say in how they’re governed. To admit anything else is tyranny.

    My point was do people have time to read pamphlets? Do they prefer water cooler talk or listening to radio talk shows? Fox News Talk? BBC radio? Where Marr’s so-called ‘explosive rant’ against Johnson wasn’t explosive. Such magnification is worsening in a fear culture already made worse by austerity-chambered weaponry.  The exaggeration, the pit-bulling, the overt radicalised speech of so-called ‘conservatives’ occurs across vast echo chambers which existed less within dignified debates where a non-weasel word-usage- faraday cage focused the   suffrage debate.

    Excusing all of this with “this is democracy” is insufficient. On your point that the Constitution can cope with the election of an idiot is problematic when you peer beneath the surface & look at an amendment which allows people to keep & bear arms. The Founding Fathers weren’t thinking of 6 idiots with semi automatics in a Dodge Durango. Or walking into a church AA meeting with a weapon because most states have shall-issue laws with minimum criteria for what’s ‘good cause.’

    The Senior Syzygy.

    Whisht @whisht

    ah – I’m late to the ‘party’ on this post General Election discussion in the pub (which is exactly the right place for it).

    There’s a lot of things said and not sure I have either the knowledge or wisdom to ‘respond’ or even give my thoughts on it all.
    However I also recognise that many here aren’t in the UK and are getting their insight from their ‘overseas’ (to me!) media. Maybe that’s a more balanced view than we get in the UK(!) but for what its worth, here’s my take (at least today).

    there’s a TL;DR at the end.

    I guess with all things lets start with…

    [Deep Breath]

    @bluesqueakpip is ‘right’ in my view, in that there is a feeling that Leavers are mostly xenophobic, gullible, not-educated-enough and that the Referendum was fraudulent in some way (eg campaigns given too much money; dodgy tactics in Social media; illegal use of personal data).
    So its understandable that Blue would feel “hold on – I’m none of those things, don’t lump me in with them.”
    How many Leavers are xenophobic as opposed to philosophically against the EU ‘project’ and a return to a perception of a greater ‘fairness’ outside of the EU, I can’t know. Perhaps I have less faith in people than Blue does (in fact I’m pretty sure that’s the case).
    Blue is also right in that Remainers have looked to several legal means to reverse the Referendum.
    That also is seen as ‘not fair’ by Leavers and duplicitous. It needs to be said though, that when the Referendum was being counted, Farage believed he’d lost and said he’d fight the Referendum’s outcome.
    That tune quickly changed when he realised he’d won.

    Blue also mentions how poorly the Remain campaign in 2016 was run – I’d completely agree. There was no ‘positive’ message and the tactic the Tories thought had won the Scottish Referendum ‘remain’ decision (“Project Fear”) would win the UK/EU Referendum. It didn’t.
    Blue has said before how Remain MPs were deluded by a ‘bubble’ of info they were getting in metropolitan areas. They were not listening to non-metropolitan areas. This is especially true outside London which has always had many immigrants. But for places like Northampton, suddenly getting a new immigrant population did make (some) people anxious. Seeing ‘Polski’ shops and people speaking another language on the street, did make (some) people uncomfortable. Its anecdotal but I’ve spoken with them. They’re not racist, but… they’re uncomfortable.
    This lack of understanding non-metropolitan working class areas and concerns is again being mentioned in terms of Labour’s defeat in this 2019 General Election. They weren’t listening to their core voters. They weren’t making a good argument for voting Labour. So Labour voters in core Labour constituencies (for generations) either voted Tory to Leave the EU, or stayed at home. As Tory votes only went up a ‘bit’ in these areas, it suggests many stayed at home – not willing to vote Labour yet not willing to vote Tory.

    What I think needs adding into this though is that the UK has undergone a policy of ‘austerity’ under this Tory government for the last 9-10 years. Basically after the Global Financial crash there was a need to look at government spending.
    However the opportunity was taken by the Tories to reduce financing across the social sector. Money was found to go to the Banks/ Bankers etc but not NHS, Social Care, Benefits etc. This was an ideological Austerity that has continued well beyond any ‘belt-tightening’ was ever needed.
    When Brexit was being campaigned there was a conflation of arguments and ‘reality-on-the-ground’. As Blue mentioned ‘too many immigrants, not enough hospitals’. But immigration didn’t cause the lack of services, a lack of Govt investment did.
    And indeed there were media vox-pops where I actually heard a pensioner say “its terrible around here; so many people sleeping on the streets. More than I’ve ever seen. Hopefully this Tory government can sort this out” not realising that they’re responsible.
    Indeed this continued austerity was being conflated with the Tory Governernment’s inability to ‘get Brexit done’ and therefore be able to look at ‘other matters’. As austerity was ideological I personally doubt they would have decidied to turn the taps back on and indeed when campaigning, Johnson was only promising to get finances back to after austerity began (ie not enough to help the pain).

    Also worth adding is that Brexit wasn’t ‘getting done’ due to Brexiteer MPs and advocates (eg Farage) disagreeing on what flavour of Brexit they wanted. They consisstently voted down various options and prevented Brexit. The lack of a majority for the Tory government and a Leader (Teresa May) who was ill-equipped to work with alliances, meant that everything stalled in Parliament. It wasn’t just Remainers preventing Brexit, it was often hard-line Brexiteers.

    @lisa mentions Trade Deals.
    Brexit will happen and trade deals will come. The flavour of Brexit Johnson can now deliver could be anything between no-deal/ crash out and a close, “level playing field” with EU and somewhere between. The extremes are now possible with his majority and they have implications for UK economy and any trade deals. But these will take time, the UK economy is stagnating and will have less after leaving the EU. The “sunny uplands” people are hoping for are years away.
    From what I read of Blue’s posts, hers are ideological reasons for leaving the EU. I haven’t read in our media a believable analysis that says UK will be better off economically (at least in short term).
    Fwiw my inclination is to stay in EU and influence its direction from within as we have done. We now have zero influence of a very influential group of countries (though by leaving we may have weakened it so that its dissolution is more likely in next 40 years).
    By staying also sends a message of tolerance in mt view, but tolerance is not dependant on staying in EU.

    Finally, a small mention to the Media.
    The Print media has always been mainly right wing. Johnson as a ‘journalist’/writer has written for them.
    They have been vociferously anti-Corbyn and pro-Johnson.
    Their vociferousness has included lies about Corbyn (as well as uncomfortable truths) and ignoring Johnson’s racist remarks (that he often made in them).
    The BBC has been accused of bias toward the Conservatives, but whether its Tory bias or bias toward the Government of the day is a possible debate. There will be a review no doubt.
    Social media has played its part in bubbles, targeted messaging, and untrue stories spreading quickly before being fact-checked.
    The media (esp. Social) is where “dead cats are thrown on the table” to distract from bad news for Johnson and Tories.


    Possible reasons Labour lost the General Election and Tories won:

    – Corbyn (perceived as: antisemitic; Marxist; holding an uncomfortable position(s) on Brexit; possibly hard to understand or warm to in interviews)
    – Brexit (confused Labour message; not as simple as Tories’ relentless single message of “done by Jan”)
    – Labour Manifesto (individual policies apparently attractive, but there were too many to be remembered and the message was unfocused and in total unbelievable to voters they’d deliver it)
    – Not a party that listens to the working class (this could be Leave-related in that many Labour voters voted to Leave but Party not seen as respecting that; Labour seen as thwarting Brexit thus stopping the Govt acting on social issues/ investment).

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Well, I suppose you could say an 12.8% rate is rare. Sorry, I didn’t know you’d lived in the States (so have I).

    Look, I seem to be misreading you. Please remember that I’m dyslexic and that it’s very easy for me to miss nuances and subtleties. You asked if busy folk have time to read pamphlets and I picked up on that. Your real point is that – what? That people are going into their respective echo chambers? Agreed. But I would argue both sides are going into their echo chambers.

    Again, studies. 91% of Guardian readers voted to remain. But when the Press Gazette reported, they took the angle of reporting on the newspapers who strongly favoured Leave (The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Telegraph).

    So, with 91% of Guardian readers voting Remain, and 85% of Independent readers voting Remain, the Press Gazette chooses to lead on the four very popular papers which didn’t even hit 70% of their readers following the paper’s party line… heck, Telegraph readers were split 55/45.

    As a Guardian subscriber I have to wonder who’s living in an echo chamber. 91% of readers voted the same way? That’s actually quite scary.

    Basically, None of The Above. I’d agree with @pedant about Adonis, but with the caveat that his Twitter feed has sometimes suggested that he’s suffering from Brexit Derangement Syndrome – bit like Trump, sometimes you wish a friend would just prise his phone from his hand until he can calm down.

    Dominic Cummings is this generation’s Alistair Campbell, and I would never trust Campbell. I spent some of my childhood in countries run by actual fascists, so I’m not sure I’d use the F word – I think he’s on the more libertarian right wing – but certainly a guy most right wingers would see as to the right of them. A very, very clever man, with a real talent for finding out what voters are thinking and how to target them.

    Given that Milne has worked for Communist publications, the C word is probably accurate. Also a very, very clever man – responsible for creating the Guardian’s online comment section in the days when it was an exciting place to be, with lots of genuine discussion. Also comes under my ‘would not trust as far as I can throw him.’

    On the whole, I’d say that I don’t think Dominic Cummings would have me shot for the ‘greater good’, though he’d certainly fire me in a skinny minute. But Seamus Milne, I think, would.

    @thane16 – Junior Syzygy – the influence of slavery on the United States is definitely worth looking into.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    They’re not racist, but… they’re uncomfortable.

    Absolutely agree. I think one of the pressure points for leaving was that ‘uncomfortable’ feeling – as I said above, one-third of the Leave vote agreed that ‘control over immigration’ was the reason they voted Leave. But I also think that there’s been far too much of confusing a ‘pressure point’ with racism.

    Basically, if someone is uncomfortable about a local/national issue, what can they do? Talk to their MP at a local surgery. What can the MP do? Talk to their party leadership. What can the party leadership do? Try and get elected as the next government, if they’re not the government. Possibly, along the way, your local/national issue will be resolved, or possibly you’ll discover that most people don’t agree with you. Either way, there’s a sense that the individual citizen is not completely helpless, that there’s a ‘release valve’ for such pressure points as worries about immigration.

    But if people are ‘uncomfortable’ with an issue that’s decided EU wide, where do they go to? Their MEP? And what, exactly, will their MEP be able to do about it? Especially when the issue is one of the Four Freedoms and people are being informed by the BBC that even the Prime Minister can’t get a temporary reduction on freedom of movement (technically, I believe, he should have been able to get it; practically, he was advised that he shouldn’t even ask for it).

    This is the point, I think, where people started thinking that Leavers were voting Leave because of xenophobia (all these immigrants, coming in taking our jobs, etc, etc) rather than recognising that the ‘release valve’ had been blocked and people had realised that – it was just that one-third had spotted it because they were ‘uncomfortable’ about the recent rapid immigration. The EU had tried to insulate itself from populism, but in the process had created a situation in which there was no way to ‘appeal to Caesar’.

    Which is why the slogan ‘Take Back Control’ was so very, very powerful.

    I haven’t read in our media a believable analysis that says UK will be better off economically (at least in short term).

    There isn’t one for the short term. I’ve read loads of economic analyses, quite a few before the campaign period – some of them do argue we’ll be better off long term.

    But I don’t know any Leavers who think the UK will be better off in the short term. I’m sure there are some, somewhere, given that about 6% of Leavers put ‘economy’ as their main reason for Leaving – but outside political speeches promising puppies and unicorns, everyone I know reckons it might be a rough few years. Even the ones who think the puppies and unicorns will turn up in a decade or so.

    But if you argue on economics, you will never convince people on the Leave side, because they are (and surveys back me up) mostly motivated by the question of how the country is governed. They do not see ‘the country’s economy’ as their primary good. They voted to leave primarily because they thought decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK, because they wanted to control immigration and because they thought the UK had very little control over the future direction of the EU.

    That was the mistake the Remain campaign made – they argued almost entirely about the economy, when it wasn’t ‘the economy, stupid.’ For slightly over half the voters, it was a question about how we run our country. A classic example of preparing to fight the previous war.

    – Corbyn (perceived as: antisemitic; Marxist; holding an uncomfortable position(s) on Brexit; possibly hard to understand or warm to in interviews)

    You missed out ‘weak’, which was what I heard from a few people, including some who’d lived in his constituency. I also think people may have underestimated how ‘supported the IRA’ would play among the generations old enough to remember the Troubles.

    The Print media has always been mainly right wing.

    Agreed, but I think we would disagree on the reason for that. I would say that the print media in this country is mainly right wing because their readers are mainly small-c conservative. They’re right wing because it sells papers, not making naturally progressive people somehow morph into right wingers.

    Again, I remember being told immediately after the Referendum that the dreaded Murdoch had caused it because his papers had supported Leave and replying that if you check, the Murdoch papers had actually supported both sides, depending on the paper. Whatever sells… that seemed to be the official position of the Murdoch group.

    confused Labour message

    Comedian’s joke – the Russians interrogated Comrade Corybn for a week, and they still don’t know his position on Brexit…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    If you are interested in voting and the long-term impact of slavery in the US, you should read this article, just published today:


    lisa @lisa

    @whisht   @bluesqueakpip


    Trade deals ?  The EU is afraid that equalization  will diminish its power in other trade alliances.  They

    want ‘harmonization’  aka a level playing field. The UK wants equalization.  The rest of the world is moving

    towards the equivalency system.  Yes the trade deals will take some time but these  3 years that Parliament

    has been stuck have given both sides the time to imagine ways to get in the ring and push thru something.


    My sister from another mother that I’ve know for all of my life is an Oncologist in the Sheffield-Derby

    area and she sends me lots of stuff about Brexit and I send her stuff about our slow rolling constitutional

    crisis here.  I mention that cause the NHS is her pet peeve and its why she was Brexiteer. She insists that

    there is no party of the NHS.  But spend, spend, spend  isn’t the answer either.

    She likes the Australian model.   Australia has a trade deal with the USA  which includes

    provisions for medicines and devices and they haven’t seen any increases in pharma or devices spending.

    She says that this same deal would have no effect on the NHS either.  In fact the NHS wanted to get cancer

    drugs and other special drugs from the USA but having to go thru the EU meant that it took forever. So she

    wants local control back.

    BTW,  she was no great fan of Corbyn.   She kept calling him ‘magic Grandpa”    because of all the ‘free’

    stuff.  Just saying….. that’s a big reason why Boris got that majority.




    You are a fucking idiot.

    Just fuck off.

    lisa @lisa



    Triggered?   Seek help


    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant @lisa

    Fair enough Lisa. You came back after 2 years away, knowing there’s a 1% “i’m a Leaver” on this Forum, by the regulars, to ‘rub it in.’

    Also “hope the next season of Who is better than last year!” comment. If you read many of the regular’s posts in the past year or more, the new season was welcomed by & large. Sure, like anything, there’s a few crumbs to be vacuumed & kinks to be ironed out.

    So, not cool, Lisa.

    The Old Puro & Thane.

    lisa @lisa


    Yes it is fair to have opposing views and to try and attempt to understand them!

    That was a huge issue for the leavers too for these past 3 years.

    Right now I’d prefer to have a Boris than an orange grifting gangster idiot running my country!

    Boris has an good and well educated  intellect and we’re stuck with some one with spelling challenges.

    Apologies but I didn’t realize that you couldn’t drop in and out if your not a regular.

    I think there were many crumbs last season


    syzygy @thane16


    The “Australian model” your sister writes about is worthless, I’m afraid. It’s a difficult thing to manage, you see.

    There have been massive increases in pharmacological prescriptions and devices.

    How do they ‘get around it’ to make a profit? They remove certain items from the PDB (the Pharma Day Book -see listing under Legislation July, 2019, HR & Senate), place them under a ‘ban from prescription’ rule so consumers & patients pay more by 20%. In order to keep the items or ‘scripts cheaper, the GP rings Medicare, quotes a number & bravo it’s the same cost. Except it aint.

    You can only purchase it at the cheaper price if you buy FOUR times the quantity. Never mind that you don’t need it & by the time you’re a third of the way thru, the various side effects will’ve kicked in, or the patient has died, or there’s no place to store it because some poor granny lives in a top floor area where the meds must be stored in a non humid environment under 21 degrees Celsius & so the bloody lot goes in the bin.

    The following year pharma & the legislature puts the now-non prescription drugs BACK on the list but because it’s occurred within the one financial year it looks as though we’re doing brilliantly & the patients are very happy.

    The Doctors get annoyed, the pharmacy is running back & forth with “yes it’s available with a script. Oops, not any more, oh hang on, if you get 4 boxes of a 100 each you can get it for $89.00 instead of one box for $25”

    Then there’s the quantity itself. The problems that causes when patients who have 4 boxes of stuff, added to another 4 boxes of other stuff, added to 8 boxes of MORE stuff. They make a mistake, they die.

    Sometimes they don’t make a mistake. They take the whole goddam lot & die.

    Australia’s model is totally shit folks.

    Syzygy the Elder

    lisa @lisa


    Ok I will definitely forward you post to Dr.  Thomas about your differing view of the Australian model.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @lisa – I’m typing while needing to do something else so massive apologies if thsi is rushed.
    Will write better tomorrow.

    Blue post definintely needs attention too!

    But just wanted to say from my standpoint – you can dip in and out of here just like everyone else does. No hierarchy. If someone joins tomorrow I’ll read their post just as closely as someone who was here from the beginning.

    I think you need to get sources of info other than your friend. It sounds like you’re getting a single source and just so you know, I know a few people in DoH and none of them think Brexit is ‘good’ for NHS (in and of itself). That’s not to ssay I know everyone, nor that they know more than your sister, just that there are valid other views.

    gottta go as my typos I can see lots of red and its annoying me(!) but I really gotta go.
    But also Johnson is an incredibly dangerous poilitician. I won’t suggest equivalences with Trumop but Johnson lies because he enjoys the attention and sees no problem with lying.
    This is incredibly dangerous. Especially for a politician.

    sorry for rushing reply

    syzygy @thane16


    I totally sympathise with you & your orange headed twerp. Thing is, though, there are some who are equally twerpy, like Boris, and, like Trump, wouldn’t know the cost of milk unless their assistants gave ’em a heads up.

    All are welcome to comment, obviously, Lisa. My point was that you may’ve seen “ah, the CONS are back in, let’s go and congratulate them as this is a vote for Brexit.” You’ve spoken before about Brexit & disappeared when the arguments became a tad heated/factual. Recently, even a hasty look will’ve shown the implicit worry for their kids/grandkids. That’s what it is. When you live there. It’s a worry is all.

    But merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope they are well.



    syzygy @thane16


    Yes, the point was that people may not have time to read pamphlets. The balanced views written on pamphlets may’ve been ditched due to a busy schedule with commuters listening to talk-radio hosts -this just from Remainer friends in the UK & the husband’s family who don’t have time for reading (they’re working 2 or 3 jobs due to conservative austerity funding & thank you @whisht for reminding me it’s been 9 to 10 years of austerity “lets get back to surplus” causing exhaustion: emotionally, intellectually, physically) & who do listen to radio shows where there’s lots of call ins from “Alan from Brentwood” or “Little Joey from Romford” & where it’s very much about confirmation bias. “It’s OK folks, to want your paki bosses or Polish colleagues to disappear back to where they came from. Britain for the British.”

    Job done. They claim not to have any time to fully read the outcomes of potential decisions. They trust Johnson because he comes across as intelligent & a man of the people when he’s really not. And I can see you’re as frustrated by him as whisht or pedant or anyone else.

    As you say, it’s complicated. At least I think it is. I’m wondering though how complex it really is because the EU & the direction it went in the 70s has been forgotten. How many people can live in a country where most of their agrarian needs come from abroad? Where it’s a service economy, where industries existing in the 7os or 6os are abandoned & where major factory work exists abroad simply because of the size of it. The UK is SO small & so at a basic level if you leave the EU how exactly will this economically benefit the country.

    I think I’ve seen it as common sense to stay -in the past & my thinking hasn’t changed.

    syzygy @thane16


    Yes, exactly Hannah Arendt.   What more to say. 🙁

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Re Brexit   Those who are interested and have the time to spare might care to look at this .  It is a lengthy and somewhat dense read, but it details the lobbying and pressure groups behind the Brexit campaign and their various agendas and aims. I do not get the impression that these were necessarily in the interests of the majority of those voting leave

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Or there is this, also long but perhaps more readable, which explains why leaving the EU on January 31 is only the beginning and details the options open to the UK trade negotiators and the pitfalls and drawbacks. Suffice it to say that they will not be in a strong position, whichever course they choose.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Boris has an good and well educated  intellect

    Well maybe. He certainly had an elite education (Eton and Oxford) and was apparently regarded as bright by his teachers, at least initially. They also concluded that he was bone lazy, and it may be noted that he didn’t get a First Class Oxford degree.

    What his record does show is that he is an unprincipled opportunist (he is reported to have considered backing the Remain cause but decided that backing Leave was a surer route to power).  He has also displayed a decidedly cavalier attitude to truth. When he was a journalist he was sacked from on newspaper for making up stories out of the whole cloth, and as Brussels correspondent for another paper he was responsible for fabricating some of the more absurd stories about EU regulations – eg Bendy Bananas.  Only the gullible would trust any of his promises in the election campaign.

    In the campaign he also proved notably reluctant to face questioning by the press or public and ducked altogether out of the TV debate on Climate issues.



    he was sacked from on newspaper


    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @lisa – here’s another source of info on Boris.
    Here’s a least one site and journalist (Peter Oborne) trying to keep up with the lies he tells.
    Also he’s not as smart as his posh tones would suggest, but is lazy (as has been recorded by tutors, fellow students and even in a documentary when he was Foreign Secretary).

    One hope that I’m clutching onto, is based on the fact that Boris Johnson is massively opportunistic. He has always wanted to lead the country and now he is. But he has shown how he will stab people in the back (Gove during Referendum) and renege on promises (too many to list). The most egregious broken promise may be to the DUP. He voted against Teresa May’s negotiated agreement because it would leave a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. He said no Tory leader would ever countenance such a betrayal. This ‘red line’ was one reason many doubted he could negotiate a different Withdrawal Agreement. It was only when the EU realised he was willing to break that red line that they opened up negotiations again thus creating a ‘border down the Irish Sea’.

    I mentioned ‘hope’! My hope is that he’ll blow in the media wind and we’ll end up without too damaging a withdrawal from the EU or Trade deal.
    I mentioned I was clutching, but I don’t believe that Boris particularly believes anything enough to ‘die in a ditch’ over something.
    Of course, the same thing could lead to us crashing out in a very damaging way.

    lisa @lisa

    @whisht  @mudlark    @thane16


    Hi  – So  where I am coming from is that you got a PM that has critical thinking skills in 4 languages

    We have the orange idiot that is challenged in his native tongue.  You have a guy who’s hero is Churchill.

    We got a guy that never wants to read anything but yet astonishingly has read Mein Kamph and admires

    Hitler!   You got a guy that can write reasonably decent books.  We got a guy that needs power points in

    big felt tip markers.   I’m just saying count your blessings.  So what if he’s an intellectual snob… we got a

    witless snob.   This is an interesting insight into Boris

    NYTimes 7/17/2019  Books Boris Johnson 72 Virgins

    ( a bit of trouble posting this, the picture keeps coming up )

    So what if he has a lazy nature.  He hired Cummings and some decent talent around him.   Our clown

    has hired lobbyists in the cabinet to run the gov’t.   Rudy Giuliani anyone?

    So what if he’s an opportunist?  So was Churchill.  So were some of our best Presidents.  I have a lot better

    expectations for yours than I do for mine!



    @thane16    The kid  goes to the ranch and hugs all the horses everyday and then  picks 1 to exercise.

    She’s a happy camper.  How’s Thane?


    Happy holidays everyone!

    Mudlark @mudlark


    If you think that the adjective ‘decent’ applies in any shape or form to Cummings you are either ill informed or your judgement is seriously askew, and one of the most dismaying things about the House of Commons as currently constituted, and more particularly the Conservatives, is the lack of talent on the front benches.

    As for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, when I described him as an unprincipled opportunist the emphasis was on ‘unprincipled’. Many able politicians are opportunists to some extent, but all those who deserve respect in any degree adhere to at least some principles beyond self interest.


    I stand corrected 🙂



    They’re not racist, but… they’re uncomfortable.

    “I’m not a racist, but…”

    Yes. They are. Stop making excuses for them.


    syzygy @thane16

    @lisa Thank you, yes I’m doing well. Mum & I share our ‘handle’ as, if she’s a bit crap with Crohns (very literal!), I join in.

    I’ve finished school this year with an OP 8 which is hard to say in American or even other Aussie terms! I did all Humanities subjects all rated at ‘9’ or less where top Maths, physics, chemistry were rated at 2-5 & web design & design art were 6-7 ratings. I would love to love horses but I always sneeze a lot. Even 200 metres from them. I think it’s the hay etc & not the horses. Mum has a terrifying story when she turned 15 I’ll tell you at the bottom.

    It sounds like she is a campy camper, your daughter.  I never knew what that phrase meant when I was 7?  I’m permanently happy. It’s weird. Maybe I take after my dad? Mum’s the “old Czech grumpy one” with a frown forever on her forehead. That’s OK, because my grandad (he’d been 92 or something if he were still alive) was always like that & now my  uncle is sort of like that but he’s still optimistic. I think it’s because he’s doing more than OK financially, has been retired & self-pensioned, or self-superannuated (which is totally the wrong term), & never watches the TV or any newspapers in the last year or more which I think is pretty …..odd.

    We have no newspapers delivered. I think I last touched one when I was in grade 6 as it’s all on-line. We have ABC radio which has no advertisements & is fabulous to listen to from the cricket to ‘what to read for your Christmas bucket list’ as well as politics. But we’re really parochial here. I’ve heard next to nothing about UK politics & as America is our ally we hear a lot about you, but very little detail. Here it’s mainly fires or storms.

    As a surprise, grandma took mum & her best mate to a riding place. The people were weird. They put mum on ‘Thunder, a tall horse which started cantering down a hill & she could barely stop it. Then, they tried her on a gelding which was ‘Lightening’ & it galloped for 20 minutes with mum screaming & nearly falling off. Her helmet blew off, they caught up with it because it was heading for the troughs as it hadn’t had breakfast. Meanwhile her best friend had a great ol’ time. They stuck Mum on Red Ned 30 minutes later & he never moved at all! It wasn’t a good day!


    syzygy @thane16


    I think mum was muttering about “embarrassed xenophobia.” I had to look it up! It’s suggesting that if a group are uncomfortable, they’re feeling “dis-ease” or “ill at ease.” When one person thinks this way it might be fine. If a group is born from that feeling they might feel embarrassed about being xenophobic. Eventually if more people enter the frame then they’ll eventually say or do something which they’re not embarrassed about anymore. In fact, according to some book I’m really trying to read properly (it’s hard going & I don’t know where she finds these things) called The Enigma of Reason, its’ easy to go from “dis-ease” to anger. It’s 2 steps.

    Anywaay, it’s Christmas really soon.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @thane16 Your story about your Mum reminds me of my first horse riding experience when I was a kid. Mostly all I remember is sheer terror. I did go horseriding with friends in the Lakes District, back in my backpacking days and that was lovely though I was still very nervous. A year or so after that I rode a aged children’s pony around a farm in Dorset or Somerset. (Down that way) My feat almost touched the ground so that was fine though I would have walked faster.

    I do want to contribute a few thoughts to the above discussion but might have to wait until after next week. I have a fifty minute podcast to edit and recording another this afternoon, plus I have not even started on the Christmas baking and most of my energy is being taken up by trying to  keep the garden alive through this horrendous heat. About 46c here today. I have strung up sheets over my garden to stop the plants from burning. Looks like the kind of play tents I used to make in the dining room when I was a kid but right now aesthetics are my least concern.

    And though I do not at the moment want to discuss politics I cannot help but remark on the remarkable absence. (I am sure Thane knows what I am referring to.) We don’t buy newspapers either and I prefer world news, partly because I like to know what is going on everywhere and also partly because I don’t want to concentrate on what is going on in my own country because it makes me too “b****y” angry. so before I go on a rant,

    I hope you guys are ok up in Brisbane and keeping cool and I hope all our friends in the north are keeping warm.



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