Friday, June 24, 2016

A letter to Brexiters who think they are on top

So you won yesterday by a hair thin margin on such a transcendental question. You got rid of Cameron and you probably will get "common man" Boris or Farage as prime minister in charge of dealing all the unpopular mess that is coming your way. But I guess the Sterling Pound today is already having a few of you wondering if they did the right thing. Heck! No more cheap vacations in sunny Europe for the time being.

But if somethings could well change, some others cannot, no matter what you may believe.


To begin with, Brexit is not done deal yet. There will be a tough negotiation and when the final package comes I bet the "agreement" will not pass the muster of a general election or even a referendum. And if it were to pass, my money is on the UK changing its name to Little England as there is no reason why the Scots should be dragged down into your folly. Let me put it this way, your feel good vote of yesterday may end up in a bitter disappointment as you try to effectively "change" things.

And for all your new born chauvinism there are things that cannot change. Let's take France, for example.

No major countries that I can think of have such an intimate common history than France and England. We made each other what we are today.

The invasion of French words into English language may only be matched by the invasion of English words into French.

You may have won the Napoleonic wars but France had won the Hundred Years one before, and courtesy of both wars England and France became true nations.

You may have kicked out France from India and Canada but the French made you lose the big enchilada of the 13 colonies.

You may disparage French garlicky concoctions but the French drink better tea than you do.

We may have been rivals for ever but our best and brightest elites always spoke French AND English.

Montesquieu wrote the main texts on separation of powers and civil society, but he wrote these because of the impressions England made on him.

You keep buying countryside homes in France but the French have truly made London their favorite foreign capital to vacation and live.

And let's not forget freedom for the world owes to France and England mixing their blood in two world wars and resolute unity on many crisis afterwards.

And you think that Brexit will erase all of this? Think twice.


87 comments:

  1. Great article Daniel. Everyone who really thinks about the outcome is shaking in his boots. Once again the mantra is: people think they will get what they want when in fact they get more than often what they deserve (Chavez anyone?).

    I take only one exception: the 100 year war was a family affair with peasants turned soldiers having their teeth knocked out with rocks when they were caught. A few centuries would pass before the nation state would come to life and according to some historians under the guide of the cardinal de Richelieu whose deserves far more than Alexandre Dumas delivered him.

    I am currently working with two British colleagues. The climate was grim in the office today.

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    1. Maybe. but the hundred years war allowed France to form as a state by booting out all the Plantagenet colonies and taking them over.

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  2. Roberto Carlos1:07 PM

    WOW talk about bitterness.

    "you may have won by a hair thin margin" You know who that reminds me of?
    "Ustedes ganaron una eleccion de mierda". Siii asi es como hablaba Chavez.

    And 52-48 is not a hair's thin in any election by the way. It's a nice win.

    "you probably will get "common man" Boris or Farage ", what do you have against the "common man".

    This is embarrassing and it shows the contempt you have for average day-to-day working people, which you also are but for some reason you seem to wish you weren't.

    And bringing all the greatness of France, where does that come from?

    By the way, among the glorious history of France you forget to mention the surrender of Paris without firing a shot? One of France's finest moments no doubt.

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    1. You are such an ignorant. Boris is as upper class as it comes. The surrender of Paris has nothing to do with Brexit or my intention. Or should I call for the memory of Hastings?

      Asshole.

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    2. In such a grave matter it would have been wise to require a super-majority vote, no?
      Now the Scots and the N.Irish will want out of the UK in order to remain.
      And don't get me wrong, I agree 100% with the plight of the indigenous English who were never asked to vote on whether they wanted to be demographically replaced and have their wages pushed down by a wave of third world immigration or "refugees."

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    3. Anonymous1:19 AM

      If Roberto Carlos is an asshole, what does that make you? Your comments reek of the inferiority complex that some French people still seem to hold against England, its culture and its language. Luckily there are increasingly few of you. Laughable how you reacted so tetchily to his mention of the surrender of Paris after your own little tiptoe through history, which you still unconsciously see as a testimony of French inferiority, and thus feel compelled to correct at every opportunity. "The French made you lose the big enchilada, the 13 colonies." Who are you talking to here exactly?? Roberto Carlos is right. This has nothing to do with the Brexit vote at all. That vote reflected the - perhaps misguided - reaction of a lot of the ordinary people of Britain to the fear that they are losing control of their own country. There are a considerable number of people in France, perhaps a greater proportion, who believe the same thing. They just haven't been asked to vote on it.
      If you think this is all about England rejecting you, get over it. They weren't even thinking about that.
      And cut out the insults and imputations of ignorance. No surer sign of your own defensiveness

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    4. You are right, there is no point replying to "anonymous" who do not even bother to understand the point of my entry. One does not insult people that cannot help being the way they are.

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    5. pi314168:12 AM

      Two years years ago as I was holidaying in France I noticed that croissants were no longer the croissants I had known in my youth (I am French). They were straight instead of crescent-shaped.
      A bit puzzled, I inquired. I was told by a baker that to get crescent-shaped croissants you had to choose MARGARINE croissants (the inferior kind). If you preferred BUTTER croissants you'd get the straight kind. But WHY? WHY couldn't I have the BUTTER croissants of my childhood? "C'est une directive européenne" was the answer.

      I had indeed read that the Brussels bureaucrats were fond of sticking their snotty noses everywhere. Time to give them a bloody nose. Brexit if you are British, Frexit if you are French, but never, ever submit to those sorry clowns, whatever the cost.


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    6. You got the wrong baker. Mine does perfectly curbed butter croissants. I checked.

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    7. Anonymous12:48 PM

      You mean you do insult people who do not abide by that criteria.

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  3. I cannot see once Article 50 (I think its called) is enacted they will be leaving. Not sure that Scotland or Northern Ireland will follow but I think this is a done deal.

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    1. Sorry unclear wording. I meant to say that once article 50 is enacted then I feel it is a done deal and they will be leaving. Since any real problems will not arise until after enacted then it seems to me the UK in part or whole will be out of the EU.

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    2. They should have to leave, but they may decide to back pedal one the terms for leaving are set by Europe which has the upper hand there. Leaving countries, like the UK have no bargaining leverage on that. Lisbon treaty is clear.

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  4. You're a total moron. Haven't you seen videos of the pandemonium in Calais? Every danm haji wants to suck Britain dry and kill every single Brit and claim the land for Islam. If Britain doesn't leave the EU they'll be speaking URDU in the not so distant future. So much for your "English and French words" drivel. France is way further down the drain.

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    1. Spoken as a true trumpian brexiter.

      And a true ignorant of why Calais.

      The Calais jungle is a favor that France does to contain immigration at Calais. Once Brexit is completed France can cancel that agreement (if not earlier) and let people cross as if nothing. Then Little England can set its very own concentration camps. That would be, for me, the good side of Brexit, tear down Calais.

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  5. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Thank You Daniel for getting your analysis so right, as always.

    Mine and my Venezuelan wife's lives in 2016 are dominated by two referendums, and the first one hasn't ended well.

    It is always a pleasure to read your latest thoughts.

    Limey

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  7. Based upon your disapproval of self-rule in Britain I am astounded you disapprove of Chavez and his bus driver replacement, after all these are enlightened autocrats who know far better than the people what is good for the country, just as unelected EU bureaucrats know far better than the english people what is best for england. Europe is an economically stagnant region with unsolvable financial difficulties. Germany and Greece cannot share a common currency anymore than Europe can allow unlimited immigration. England did the right thing. Hopefully the USA will look to the brexit example and restore federalism by casting off the many unconstitutional power grabs of a federal government as uninterested in the well being of the populace as the EU , and the Chavistas are . Certainly Denmark and others are already doing so .

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    1. "Self rule in Britain"?

      Please, enlighten me.

      Which was the occupying army/colonial power?

      Was there taxation without representation?

      Wasn't there a body of EU commissioners named by belonging countries?

      Have not heard of a rotating presidencies? Oh! That's right, I remember, the UK turn to bat is next year..

      You will forgive me if I do not bother replying to the rest of your drivel. Thank you in advance.

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    2. The EU president cannot propose legislation or regulations, neither can the elected EU representatives . EU legislation and regulations are made by unelected bureaucrats who the peoples of europe can't remove . The EU reps get to vote on such legislation and regulations, repeatedly until they vote correctly, much as Denmark and Ireland got to vote on EU referendums until the people voted as their betters had determined they should. This is not self rule, it is not freedom and it is not liberty. Dismissing facts as drivel does not alter the facts . There is no occupying army in Venezuela and there are periodic elections so by your own facile criteria Venezuela is a free democratic country enjoying self rule and freedom . England rejected serfdom , until you learn to recognize tyranny I doubt you will manage the same .

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    4. Great conspiracy theory. Bureaucrats that came out of nowhere are ruling over EU. Why not zombies while we are at it.

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    6. Is Maduro a conspiracy theory ? Did the the chavistas come our of nowhere ? Or perhaps they are not ruling over Venezuela, maybe it is zombies. If you had any intellectual honesty you would realize that the tyranny of unelected and unremovable individuals ruling over the the people is what you hate about the political situation in your own country, yet you criticize the English from escaping the exact same evils . Shame on you .

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    7. Mark

      1) as a lover of conspiracy theories predictably you start pulling straws out of nowhere.

      2) please, learn not to duplicate your comments.

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    8. Daniel,

      1) You have not refuted a single fact I have pointed out , and they are indeed facts not drivel ,conspiracy theories or straws from nowhere as you have erroneously (at best) stated .

      2) Please learn to tell the truth, argue honestly and refrain from childishly insulting those you disagree with rather than addressing their arguments.

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    9. Facts? Where? Are they sustained by you?

      You know, I have quite a lot of experience with chavista trolls who used to haunt opposition pages. I am having flashbacks in this thread

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  9. http://hurryupharry.org/2016/06/20/why-i-am-voting-leave-by-professor-alan-johnson/

    I hope this Brexit fixes the EU, cause it does need fixing!

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    1. Actually I am afraid it will have the counter effect. Britain will be ignored and lonely, unrepresentative once Scotland is out. The EU wagons will be circled tight. Everybody goes down the drain.

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    2. Poland has blamed Brussels for Brexit and said the leaders of EU institutions should “suffer the consequences” and step down, while suggesting a new EU treaty was needed to strip power from the European Commission.
      https://next.ft.com/content/56a93c66-84c6-3206-b0e6-9324a27e841f

      hope it carries...

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  10. The following is a full, comprehensive article about Brexit.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887

    I agree to some extent that the Brits sort-of backed stabbed the rest of Europe. But Daniel focuses too much on just France here. The French are even more arrogant and full of themselves than the Brits. And if it was in their interest, they would have left the EU long ago.

    Other countries in Europe should indeed be pissed at the English. Not just France. The repercussions of this move remain to been seen. There could be damage on all sides, or not much of an effect. Depends on what retaliations ensue from now on.

    But you cannot blame a country for wanting to be independent and rule its own destiny. Imagine a "Latin-American Union" with Venezuela on it.. A total disaster. Or a "North-American Union" with Canada, USA and Mexico. Another mess.

    You can can trade agreements and other deals, without a "Union". Bilateral or multilateral agreements for mutual benefit. And if one doesn't work for one party, well, as in all businesses, you break away from the agreement.

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  11. Additionally, Britain and Germany have had to carry most of the burden of the rest of under-achieving Europe, plus African and Asian immigration. My family is from Spain, but I sometimes feel ashamed to see the thousands of Spanish immigrants collecting government free social benefits in England. Unemployment s massve in countries like Greece, Spain and many others, so they all want to go to Britain or Germany, where things work.

    But not for long. With all that foreign immigration, including Muslim radicals, their systems are bound to take a hit. That's why the Britts said enough is enough.

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    1. Germany has been happy to carry the burden as their better work ethic has allowed them to prosper huge over the rest of the Union. The plight on many countries in the union is a result of a poorer work ethic causing them to get destroyed in the busineses world against the Germans and other better business countries. In fact the ones doing the worse and believed to be benefiting from Germany and England would be best off leaving the Union.

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    2. The German people aren't too happy to live poorer lives to benefit deadbeat nations

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    3. Floyd they are not living poorer lives to benefit deadveat nations. Yes they give the most but without trade regulations between European nations they ha e been the biggest beneficiary. They doni ate EU trade. Yes no question they do it through hard work and inovation over laziness but it is a benefit in trade. Prior to the EU countries like Greece had protection for industry that allowed more jobs etc with innoficient work force. Those got replaced with German products. Germany and the UK have been the biggest beneficiararies of the EU on terms of wealth per populous.

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  12. Here's a link to the best Brexit article I have read.It focuses on these three things, in order of importance: Democracy, Democracy and Democracy.

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    1. The link did not get posted. Here it is: https://warsclerotic.com/2016/06/25/thank-you-america/

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    2. Needless to say that I not only disagree but I find it to be about apples and oranges.

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  13. Brexit is a shock. Yet it may be a harbinger. As an example, for a few years now I spend time in Central Asia. The collapse of communism was definitely a great step forward. Good riddance! Yet I can see more and more and plenty of people who analyse the local situation in various sectors agree that the collapse of the Soviet Union is a tragedy. So a good union disappeared, because of a bad economics i.e. socialism.

    Similarly, the European Union is a good idea, free movement of individuals and goods, lots of liberalism to allow foreigners to visit without visas (take a lesson USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) but it is doomed because of the introduction of the Euro without strings attached. The result is fiscal profligacy which will kill the union. In both cases, the USSR and the EU, the baby is thrown with the bathwater.

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  14. I say Congrats to the British people for reversing course after realizing their mistake in joining the European Union. Don't make more of temporary drops in stock markets & currencies than they really are. In the long run the UK is better off abandoning the sinking socialist ship that is the EU. One of the most prosperous & peaceful times in Europe was the century between the Napoleonic Wars & WW I. No welfare-warfare state, EU, or govt managed trade then just free trade. If & when Europe wakes up they can do it again.

    On a side note, I often wonder when will we in the US realize that we made the same mistake when we adopted the CONstitution? As Patrick Henry warned:

    "If we admit this consolidated government, it will be because we like a great, splendid one. Some way or other we must be a great and mighty empire; we must have an army, and a navy, and a number of things. When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object. We are descended from a people whose government was founded on liberty: our glorious forefathers of Great Britain made liberty the foundation of every thing. That country is become a great, mighty, and splendid nation; not because their government is strong and energetic, but, sir, because liberty is its direct end and foundation. We drew the spirit of liberty from our British ancestors: by that spirit we have triumphed over every difficulty. But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire. If you make the citizens of this country agree to become the subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together. Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government. What can avail your specious, imaginary balances, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances? But, sir, we are not feared by foreigners; we do not make nations tremble. Would this constitute happiness, or secure liberty?"
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Henry's_speech_in_the_Virginia_Ratifying_Convention

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    1. Not so sure. I think Europe is doomed now. Snow ball effect.

      Most of Britain's trade was with European countries. Now they are going to start taxing their imports and exports (cars, computers, etc) Meaning? Their former European partners will do the same. Next thing you know, all of Europe is buying everything from countries like China.

      Meaning? Manufacturing and other jobs are lost, meaning people go on the unemployment lines, paid by your taxes. So the economy goes to hell.

      They must be having a party in places China right now. They will be the only ones benefiting from the EU melting down (other major countries will surely follow, and separate too)

      Another few considerations: do you think international transportation costs will diminish when the British buy the billions in materials from China or India or the Americas? Plus the Chinese will tax their products much like they with the USA.

      There will be unemployment, inflation, and a mess.

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  15. Anonymous1:34 PM

    I doubt Brexit is such a calamity. UK had an undeserved priviledged position within the EU, which they will now loose. In the meantime, the UK faces a painful decision of either the Norwegian model of common market, which means the UK will follow the new EU directives without having a say in what is passed, or else loosing the financial power of London City to Paris, Dublin, Frankfurt and the like.

    They shoot their own foot ... with a 16' naval gun.

    In the meantime, yes EU faces a crisis, but the silver lining is that the debacle shows what idiots these 'Euroskeptics' are, and this should at least severely damage their credibility, reducing the likelihood of a domino effect. Plus the EU looses the main brake of it's further integration.

    Bottom line: UK looses on all fronts, EU looses on some but gains on others. It could well be the gains will easily outweigh the losses over the medium term.

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  16. The UK has been described as a ‘post-factual democracy’ in which myths matter more than facts. Many of the working classes who voted for Brexit did so because they thought they were economically disregarded and used the referendum to complain. Others, mainly the elderly, because they thought that by voting for Brexit they were making Britain Great again. Others because of the myth that immigration is the cause of whatever it is they don't like. We were given relevant facts by experts but these were not taken into consideration by most Brexiters (the leading Berxit campaigner said "the British people are sick of experts").

    This reflects a tendency seen in many places: Trump in the US, Podemos in Spain, the National Front in France... People are not interested in facts. Their voting tends to be guided by emotions.

    Young people in England, of ages between 18 and 24, voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. They are the big losers. The post-factuals just stole their future opportunities.

    Antonio

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    1. Antonio

      I think people that are brexiter like should follow their logic through. For example they should give on vaccines, blood transfusions and the like, eat junk food to their hearts content. And then we redo the referendum.

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    2. The EU is not a democracy at all.

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  17. EU is very protectionist with way too many stupid regulations and people like the idea of national sovereignty. The EU is more expensive than it should be. The UK will be able to have better trade with the rest of the world without the onerous protectionist policies of the EUSSR.

    The Brits are also tired of paying more for everything, to prop up "poorer" deadbeat EU provinces.

    The EU is one of the most anti-democratic organisations known to man.

    I don't know who the next Prime Minister would be, but he will lead a real nation and not a province governed from Brussels. I would suggest Liam Fox or Michael Gove.

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    1. I think your tune explains well your choice of comment handle.

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  18. Boludo Tejano10:16 PM

    And for all your new born chauvinism there are things that cannot change. Let's take France, for example.

    Which reminds me of Henny Youngman's "Take my wife- Please." From my experience with the French in Latin America and in the United States, my reply is that with the French, chauvinism cannot be new-born, because French chauvinism has always been there. It is not for nothing that the word "chauvinism" came directly from the French.

    One of my favorite French remarks came from a French tourist in Colombia. She told me that a number of her paisans had done some hitch-hiking when they toured the US. Some Americans who had given rides to these hitching French had invited the French to spend the night at their homes. That had also been my experience when hitching around the US around that time. [Today hitching in the US is practically nonexistent.] She informed me that there was something SICK about Americans, that they would be so friendly to strangers. I inwardly laughed, and made no reply.

    If the Amis don't do things the way the French do, then the Amis are SICK.

    In fairness to the French, this is not so much a French/US disagreement about how to treat strangers as a Western Hemisphere/Europe disagreement. I have also been invited into strangers' homes in Latin America. I worked in Latin America with a Peruvian whose parents had immigrated from Italy and with a German national who had spent nearly all his life in South America, courtesy of an expat engineering father. Both had gone to Germany- one to work as an engineer w Volkswagen, the other to go to University. Both found German to be an inhospitable place, where if your family hadn't been in town for 500 years, you weren't someone worth dealing with.

    I have plenty more French tales,but I will stop at one.

    My take on Brexit was that contrary to Daniel's apparent conclusion that the Leave vote was done to spite the French, that the Brits who voted to Leave were responding to the 1) unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and 2)pols and unelected bureaucrats in London, all who know what is best for the unwashed masses and who don't consider it necessary to consult the unwashed masses to help determine what is best for them.

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    1. I wrote "France, for example". I could have done a similar exercise with other countries but I tend to write about what I know best.

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  19. Anonymous12:20 AM

    Daniel, did you see the article of Google searches in UK for "What is the EU ? " Talk about being "desubicados ..."

    See: http://fortune.com/2016/06/24/brexit-google-trends/

    In the end it is sad... seems the campaigns were more about feelings than reason ...

    moses

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    1. Yep. I even tweeted it. When you read some of the comments in this thread .......... [sigh...]

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  20. The EU was dragging Britain further into a socialist and bureaucratic morass.

    The common people in Britain didn't object to being part of a greater European Union. What they didn't like was mainly two things.

    1) The EU was forcing them to take refugees from places like Syria without even knowing for sure who the "refugees are".

    2) The EU was dictating more and more of the regulations that governed Britain.

    Due to 1 and 2 above, the common man was losing his ability to earn a living. Additionally, unchecked immigration from mainly muslim countries was changing Britain in ways that the older British didn't even recognize neighborhoods. At the same time, the regulations from the EU forced the British to in some cases subsidize those people living in Britain such that some of them were living at a standard of living above the hard working lower class people in Britain who had regular jobs and who were paying the taxes for all of that.

    The people in the City who had better jobs were not so impacted by the 1 and 2 and therefore didn't care. They liked the ability to move freely in the Greater Europe and liked being part of something larger - the EU.

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    1. Muslim immigration to the UK is mainly from Pakistan. The EU has nothing to do with this. Controlling this type immigration is an entirely British issue.

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  21. Reading these comments I have noted that people either did get the intent of my text or did not get it AT ALL. There is almost no grey understanding.

    Oh well....... Better not extrapolate further.

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  22. Well, if you just take the example of France in the EU without England: They do have extensive trade numbers between them. Cars, computers, agriculture, etc. So if and when England starts taxing France's exports, they become much less competitive. So the probable response is for France to start taxing British products. Or, more likely, buy elsewhere. And we're talking of billions of $ in trade, just between those 2 countries.

    So if England cuts it's trade with countries like France, where are France and England going to purchase their imported products? Where ever they are cheaper, of course. China, Asia.. That will hurt local manufacturing companies in both countries, they will be selling less products, so they will have to fire people. People without jobs consume much less, so the entire economies are affected.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Britain reverses this dumb decision, if it's not too late, and many other European countries also decide to leave the EU. They'll live to regret it.

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  23. Boludo Tejano12:28 PM

    Daniel:
    I wrote "France, for example". I could have done a similar exercise with other countries but I tend to write about what I know best.

    As France is what you know best of all the countries in the EU, you should be aware what a howler it is to write about "new born chauvinism" in the UK and then immediately point to France. Rather like the madam of a house of prostitution running for political office on a campaign devoted to chastity

    Or perhaps you are glad that the UK, with its "new born chauvinism," is imitating France. But I doubt it.

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  24. "On the immediate matter of Brexit, the British people have rejected the arrogant rule of the EU superstate and the tyranny of its unelected courts, commissions and bureaucratic overlords.

    As Donald Trump was quick to point out, they have taken back their country. He urges that Americans do the same, and he might just persuade them.

    But whether Trumpism captures the White House or not, it is virtually certain that Brexit is a contagious political disease. In response to [Thursday's] history-shaking event, determined campaigns for Frexit, Spexit, NExit, Grexit, Italxit, Hungexit and more centrifugal political emissions will next follow.

    Smaller government—–at least in geography—–is being given another chance. And that’s a very good thing because more localized democracy everywhere and always is inimical to the rule of centralized financial elites."
    David Stockman

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  25. "Britain will be ignored and lonely, unrepresentative once Scotland is out." In Scotland 2.6 million voted in EU referendum vs 3.6 in Scotish independence referendum. Seems Scotland's more concerned with staying in the UK than on whether they stay in the EU if participation is any indicator. As for the Brexit vote, 4% is not "a hair thin margin." I realize you feel jilted but England will never be little. As long as you French continue to nap until noon and take three months off a year, you will be lapped. Peace.

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  26. What a let-down this blog-post is, after years and YEARS of insightful comment on many things (mainly Venezuela of course).

    Hair thin margin? No hair thin was the 0.5% in the Austrian election thrown at the last minute by dodgy (and being investigated) postal votes.

    The 48/52% is IMMENSE. The whole establishment was for Remain, the whole of the EU, the USA the world. The UK government machine was used (against the rules) to push for Remain. 'PURDAH' rules were broken blatantly by Osborne. The "Jo Cox effect" was said to be worth 5%, the fact that fear of change meant another 5-10% for the Remain...all this and STILL 56-57% of England and Wales (outside London) voted Leave. You clearly do not realise the MASSIVE shock this was.

    Regarding your actual comments here: 66% or more is regarding the historical relationship between two great powers of world history. None of this history will change obviously. But you end with "And you think that Brexit will erase all of this?" Of course it won't! Nor is that the intention nor will it be a consequence. I am beginning to think you don't really know what the arrangements are. The vote is to leave the EU...NOT to leave Europe. There is also the EFTA, EEA as possible alternatives (EU Customs Union, Eurozone and Schengen aren't really possible).

    As per JSB, the Scotland thing is a red herring, Sturgeon is just 'making hay while the sun shines' to get the best deal for Scotland (a) they can't veto Brexit and (b) they'd need to leave the UK before they can do anything with EU (who have already told her to wind her neck in despite a few idiot MEPs saying the wrong things in the heat of the surprise result)

    Also, the Calais treaty is between France and UK, nothing to do with the EU, why would France stop it's control? They would be more likely to stop those immigrants crossing their eastern and southern borders in the first place to avoid more hell.

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    1. Decisions of such consequence should be decided by 10% or more margins. When a country is split in almost equal parts over matters such as constituions, and belonging to the EU is constitutional, the result never puts the country at rest. If you add to it the dramatic regional division, then you get a potion for years of instability.

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    2. I agree 100%! And to make matters worse, Brexit was just an excuse for a punishment vote against Cameron. After Chavez, I will never advocate for a punishment vote, EVER, in favor of a populist. Even if Cameron was wrong.

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    3. The French vote on the EU constitution lost with less than a 10% margin. So did all of the Quebec referendums. Is France or Canada less stable now?

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    5. Was there a 10% margin in the vote to JOIN the EU ? No there wasn't , in fact there was no vote at all . You do seem to favor momentous decisions being made by unelected experts, except when those decision apply to you .

      Delete
    6. JSB

      Your point would be good except that those votes did not have the dramatic regional divisions we see in the UK. There two countries there. You did not see that in the two referendums you mentioned.

      That is why a 10% spread is a good idea, just in case a section of the country goes way overboard.

      Delete
    7. The 1996 referendum in Quebec had closer margins than the Brexit vote. 49.42 to 50.58 so I'm not sure how you define "dramatic regional divisions" but it seems Quebec was pretty damned divided and widely so. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_referendum,_1995#/media/File:Quebecref.PNG) The lack of a 10% margin was not "a potion for years of instability." It may be that you're right and the UK suffers long term instability. I hope not. They have some practice being outside of Europe. My bet is they'll be just fine in the long term.

      Delete
  27. Daniel (8:12) Almost equal parts? If the vote were done in the same way as UK general Elections it would be regionally 75/25 for Leave. You're right about instability; luckily the UK will now - after a period of settlement - leave that behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Span

      Referenda and general elections have drastically different objectives. You cannot equate these electoral modalities.

      And since you sort of ask I am partisan of referenda approved only if 50% of the ENTIRE electorate says yes or no. I also think there should be a "none of the above" option and if that one wins then election should be repeated without the original players.

      Delete
    2. Actually I agree with that; I think voting should be compulsory (that way we would avoid the silly demonstrations in London today (and other scattered demos all last week). The 'None of the Above' option is good too: it would have won in most recent elections!

      Delete
  28. Boludo Tejano12:50 PM

    Bonfire of the EU laws: From crooked cucumbers to powerful vacuum cleaners, the barmy Brussels regulations we can now get rid of.

    One example:
    4. Drinking water does not prevent dehydration

    In 2011, a ruling by the European Commission claimed that drinking water 'does not ease dehydration'.

    EU authorities passed a law which claimed scientists had found no evidence to suggest drinking water stopped dehydration.

    Manufacturers of bottled water were prohibited from labelling products with claims that would suggest consumption would fight dehydration.


    Had the EU remained a customs union, I very much doubt that Brexit would have even come up for a vote. It wasn't just the Nanny State intrusions from Brussels that prompted the Leave vote, but also Nanny State intrusions from London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never said EU was perfect. I am saying other options are worse.

      And yes, Nanny state was a ridiculous reason, for me, as the offense comes from Brussels as well as from London.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous12:54 PM

    Wow, I just started reading this blog to learn more about the situation in Venezuela. I'm not sure I'm at the right place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Silly anonymous 12:54

      There more than 4000 entries in this blog. Surely another one will catch your fancy. No?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8:31 PM

      I started reading Daniel's blog about 6 months ago. If you go back and read some of the older posts you'll learn a lot about the situation in Venezuela, as well as Daniel's personal struggles. This is the first (and last ?) time I've commented here. I prefer to watch. I've keep reading because I was hoping for a happy outcome for Daniel, as well as a little reward for the time I've "invested". For me that reward would be to wake up one morning and to see that Daniel has (dare I say it) "awakened" and seen even MORE of the light.

      Daniel indeed sees the evils of Hugoism, Venezuela's brand of socialism. I gather he's lived through all 17 years or so of it. But in this post, Daniel saw fit to ridicule those who voted for Brexit. Until now, I hadn't noticed this side of Daniel. I'm sure life is a living hell for him. But in his comments, he is showing pettiness (1:20 - "asshole"), retribution (1:21), and bitterness and meanness (7:55). This may be enough to drive me away from this blog.

      Just maybe, maybe, the Brexit voters want to put the brakes on the headlong race to the bottom in their own country. How dare they ! Daniel could have seen the vote as glass half full, but instead chose to see it as glass half empty. Even though he lives in a socialist hellhole, he's having trouble seeing the forest for the trees. It's so damn hard to make oneself see things differently. I'm 71 years old and I speak from personal experience. Human nature.

      As someone indicated earlier, Great Britain entered the EU by the government approving a treaty, circa 1973, not by a vote of the people. But when the people want to apply the brakes, well then, we have to change the rules, move the goal posts, whatever it takes to stop that audacity. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those with the power will do almost anything to keep it. Human nature again.

      By the way, I think Daniel more than met his match in Mark Abrams. Congrats Mark.

      Delete
    3. Apparently I am the lone convinced European here.

      Bye.

      Delete
    4. Mile High Ben9:18 AM

      Hurling insults to anyone who disagrees with him, his favorites being asshole, ignorant and the new one Trumpster, with each post about world politics Daniel reveals himself more and more as a repugnant leftist.

      But I keep coming back because each post about Venezuela or his own daily ordeals gives me a new emotion that I never felt before that is as addictive as heroin: Schadenfreude.

      Delete
    5. Mile high

      So, I am the only offensive party here? I should turn my other cheek?

      Quite a miserable comment you just posted there. Difficult to conceive more bile in less words.

      Delete
  30. Fact is that the financial stock markets are crashing big time, other European countries are threatening to leave the EU, there's a feeling of instability and impending doom everywhere, and no one wants to invest in Europe now. The snow ball effect of Brexit is quickly taking its toll.

    On top of that British officials are backtracking on their promises of saving billions of $, and cutting immigration. They're now saying it won't be that easy, if it happens at all.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Perhaps it is time for everybody to stand back and take a breather. I check this blog neary every day and personally I was suprised at the tone of the posting when I read it, but since then I also have been worried about the author.

    None of us know the personal circumstances that Daniel may be going through, and life in Venezuela is extremely difficult at its basic level, so sometimes it takes very little extra to reach the limit of endurance.

    The debate around Brexit will continue to roll on across the media, and time will tell whether it was the correct course to take or not.

    Meanwhile, here in the UK we have supermarkets full and overflowing with food. We can pick and choose what we want and buy consumer magazines that tell us which of many options we should choose from. Hospitals are functioning and the much critized NHS still provides care and excellent attention in the majority of cases.

    The electricity is constant, the children can play in the street, and many still leave their doors unlocked unless going out of the house, and the locks on the car are something you use when parking in a larger town.

    So let us not get sidetracked. The problems related to Brexit are minimum in the eyes of many in Venezuela for whom the question of "de donde viene la proxima arepa" is the most important. Hard working folks who cannot get the basic medicines for their kids. People who are going hungry and are desperate. People needing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, kidney dialisis, etc who are dying because it cannot be obtained at any price. People for whom "one murder every 20 minutes" is not just a statistic but a cruel reality in their own families.

    So perhaps a bit of perspective might be good, and hope all is ok with Daniel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous 5:45

      In a way you bring one of the issues that truly pushes my buttons on Brexit. Indeed, why do people who in general had never had it this good materially are so willing to risk it all on presumptions.

      Note, I am aware that not all of the UK was fine and dandy but in general the UK had reached heights never expected. Heck, even the culinary offerings had improved! Michelin is now routinely bestowing its coveted stars.

      The problem is becoming clearer now as 1) The government drags it's feet at invoking article 50 of Lisbon Treaty 2) from Farage to Boris there is a telling backpedaling. I am afraid that the whole Brexit affair was more about racism and cheap politics than the actual good of Britain.

      But of course, for all my anger and angst I cannot wait to be proven wrong. Yet I am not holding my breath.

      Delete
  32. Biggest issue is the people more often then not do not know what is best for them. Ie most socialist, Chavez supporters, Trump supporters etc. Is easy to promise better future that someone else is to blame for others struggles and get the common man to follow. Is the reason religion works so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People NEVER know what is good for them. That is why they need politicians to tell them.

      OK, some of us know but we are straws in the wind.

      Delete
    2. Anita6:31 PM

      The arrogance of thinking that people don't know what's good for them BUT YOU DO!

      Breathtaking.

      Delete
  33. "I am afraid that the whole Brexit affair was more about racism and cheap politics than the actual good of Britain. "

    That's why Donald Trump is praising the move..

    Not only cheap politics, but quite divisive and selfish. It's a nationalistic, isolationist decision, which send a clear message: "we don't care about our neighbors". "we're superior people". Almost half of the population now thinks it was a bad decision.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/29/europe/uk-brexit-eu-referendum/index.html

    Trade will certainly be affected. China is looking forward to it..

    ReplyDelete
  34. I see the decision in the context of the rise of stubborn and near sighted populism. Like the rise of nationalistic parties in nearly all countries of Northern and Eastern Europe. Probably it has a lot to do with our demographic problems of an ageing populations.
    They talked a lot about more democracy. Now only one week after the vote, I read in spiegel online that the exiteers have sacked all mayor campaign promises, like to redirect money dedicated to "Brusseles" to Health Care or more selective work permits for citizens of other EU member states.
    To be effective more democratic decision making requires well-informed citizens. Doesn't the backpedelling of the exit-campaigners on central campaign issues clearly show that exactly their voters have become easy prey for cheap slogans without much rational content?

    ReplyDelete

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