MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

I thought Italy would be next to leave the EU; now I’m convinced it will be Hungary because it looks like Brexit all over again — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2021

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/533124-hungary-leaves-eu-orban-huxit/

Paul A. Nuttall is a historian, author and a former politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019 and was a prominent campaigner for Brexit. I believe Viktor Orban could be readying his country for ‘Huxit’. If he is not, then he is playing a high-stakes game of poker with the overlords in Brussels.

Earlier this week, Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation) ran a headline saying, “it is time to talk about Huxit.” This is a huge development because the newspaper is considered to be the unofficial mouthpiece of Orban’s government.  

Last month, the newspaper announced that “the time has come, now in July 2021, to seriously consider the possibility of our withdrawal from a union of states with a thousand bleeding wounds, showing imperial symptoms, and treating the eastern and central European countries incredibly arrogantly.

The newspaper also stated that there is a culture clash between Western and Eastern European values, something I argued on RT.com last month. Similarly, Magyar Nemzetopined that “our paths have diverged as the West now consciously… breaks from Christian morality and values. Instead, they aim to build a cosmopolitan, faceless world society based on the unbridled self-enjoyment and self-destruction of the individual… we Hungarians, Poles and central and eastern European people hold on to our cultural and religious foundations.”

Reading this came like a welcome dose of déjà vu to an old Brexiteer like myself. All the way back in November 2010, the Daily Express, became the first mainstream British newspaper to come out in favour of the UK leaving the European Union.

The Daily Express announced that “from this day forth our energies will be directed to furthering the cause of those who believe Britain is Better Off Out.” And continued, “after far too many years as the victims of Brussels larceny, bullying, over-regulation and all-round interference, the time has come for the British people to win back their country and restore legitimacy and accountability to their political process.”

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Project Fear’ is here: Perfect storm of the new Covid variant and looming Brexit deadline exposes Boris the buffoon’s empty hand — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2020

Fear is a handy tool. like a crisis, don’t let it go to waste.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/510326-project-fear-brexit-covid/

Tom Fowdy

Tom Fowdy

is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

With lorries lining the roads, food shortages & the UK cut adrift by its former EU allies to suffer its fate, the prime minister is in a pickle he won’t be able to bluster his way out of this time.

Britain is in crisis, a multifaceted one at that. Over the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that areas of London and south-east England would be placed under “Tier 4 restrictions,” or in other words, a total lockdown, following the revelation that a new mutation of Covid-19 has gained rapid traction. The new variant of the virus is reportedly 70 percent more contagious, and has been described as “out of control” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a growing number of countries, including most of Europe, have subsequently responded to the development by blockading travel from the UK. Most alarmingly, this has also included incoming lorries and freight from the port of Dover into France via the Channel tunnel, the artery of Britain’s supply chains to the continent. Although it will not be a permanent measure, this has provoked serious warnings from politicians and supermarkets concerning potential food and supply shortages throughout the country.

Of course, all the talk about cargo delays, Calais and Dover sounds very familiar. Because in the background of this crisis is the looming deadline for Brexit trade talks between the UK and the European Union (EU). Johnson has repeatedly threatened a no-deal outcome if he does not secure preferential terms for Britain, and while there is some suggestion he may be bluffing as a negotiating tactic, suddenly this strategy doesn’t seem too smart on his behalf. Why? Because what is currently happening with Covid-19 is a taster of what a no-deal outcome will be like, and for the UK, it doesn’t look good at all. With potential shortages and national panic, the coronavirus crisis has just served to undermine the prime minister’s negotiating hand. Boris has failed the country on multiple fronts.

The entire logic of Brexit in its most dogmatic form is premised on the belief that the UK does not need to rely on the EU, and is, in fact, fundamentally “better off” as an “independent sovereign nation.” This attitude has thrived on a sentiment of national identity, rather than on geographic and economic realities. Britain is perceived to be “global,” born out of imperial nostalgia, rather than part of Europe, which is deemed to be separate and different. Stark warnings of potential repercussions from leaving the bloc have for years been dismissed under the popularised termproject fear” – and as the debate became polarised and toxified, many stopped listening.

The Conservative government has actively pushed a mantra of Brexit optimism: “This is going to be a fantastic year for Britain,” boasted Johnson in January, talking of potential new trade deals with far-flung countries which Brussels apparently got in the way of. As talks have approached the climax, with just 10 days left until the transition period comes to an end, he’s not hesitated from weaponising the threat of a no-deal, saying Britain will walk away and even subtly threatening to deploy the Royal Navy against France to protect fishing rights. Of course, it may play triumphantly domestically, but leaders on the continent have long deciphered that this isn’t really serious and that Boris is playing to the political gallery.

Now, he’s been made to look the fool. Brexit is one thing, but the prime minister’s utterly catastrophic approach to Covid-19 is another. European leaders must be laughing as Johnson has bluffed over a no-deal Brexit, only to see his virus mismanagement shut down Dover in the precise way his trade threats would do. It blows apart the fantasy that leaving without an agreement will be fine, and illustrates to the public just what beckons in that scenario, meaning that support for his position, and thus his negotiating hand, is seriously undermined. Brussels may now believe it can make him capitulate, not the other way round. The overlapping disasters of Covid-19 controls and a no-deal would serve a hammer blow to an already depleted UK economy, and his support would evaporate.

So, what does Johnson do now? The freight situation will not last for the long term and will eventually be resolved before it inflicts serious problems, irrespective of the spread of the virus at home. However, Brexit negotiations are going on simultaneously regardless. Now that Europe has shown that it can bring the UK economy to heel with collective action, Boris’ bluster isn’t going to wash. The prime minister may be inclined finally to compromise on EU demands at the last minute, or if the timing doesn’t suffice, even extend the transition agreement. 

Of course, either of those options might also be politically destructive for him, but what choice does he have? This is a true case of the ‘Prime Minister’s New Clothes’ – initially going against Europe with tough rhetoric, when in fact he had nothing. Now everyone sees the naked truth for what it is, and it’s not a pretty sight.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why the EU Keeps Fighting Brexit | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 11, 2020

To put this into perspective, the UK is as rich and powerful as the nineteen weakest economies in the EU combined. This shows that although Brexit is not an easy transition for the UK, it will not be without consequences for the EU.

Although Brexit now appears to be a done deal, the EU bureaucracy may find ways to punish the UK for its independence. Moreover, the EU may use the Brexit experience as a reason to further limit the freedom of member states so as to avoid any future exit by other member states. This represents a sort of bait-and-switch for member states that were sold on membership as an opportunity to join a free trade bloc and a chance to participate in a more cooperative Europe. The reality today is something much different.

 

https://mises.org/wire/why-eu-keeps-fighting-brexit?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=c96eb260b4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_07_10_03_38&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-c96eb260b4-228343965

The 2016 Brexit referendum was the culmination of a debate which had been ongoing for years. While the Leave promoted rhetoric targeting the EU as an illegitimate and despotic entity threatening the freedom of all British citizens, the EU institutions together with politics and media supporting the Remain disregarded most of the concerns raised by the Leave to focus on the pieces which could be easily labeled as either xenophobic or anti-European. It was difficult to find any constructive conversation about the motivations of citizens supporting the leave option. Nevertheless, listening to what the Leave said shows that behind Brexit is a complex of interconnected issues about what the EU has become and what perspectives the EU proposes for the future.

But opposition to the EU has long been about the growing power of the EU bureaucracy over the member states and their populations. During his last speech in front of the EU parliament, UK deputy Nigel Farage summarized his viewpoint by reminding them that the UK had signed an agreement to facilitate business relationships, reciprocity, and exchanges of scientific and technical expertise, all of this to foster collaborations among Europeans. Mr. Farage pointed out that the initial agreements never included the legal framework for the implementation of a bureaucracy made up of unelected technocrats interfering with affairs normally controlled by the states. He also reminded his audience what problems appear and worsen with bureaucracies designed so that a minority of individuals is granted power without accountability.

Brexit in a Nutshell: What Is (Really) at Stake

The EU’s power rests in many ways on its revenue, and this is among the reasons why the EU has so long fought a British exit.

To understand the importance of the UK’s exit from the EU, one should keep in mind that the UK is the fifth-largest economy in the world. With a population of 65 million, the UK represents around 13 percent of the EU’s population while its economy accounts for 18 percent of Europe’s GDP. This makes the UK the second-largest economy of the EU. To put this into perspective, the UK is as rich and powerful as the nineteen weakest economies in the EU combined. This shows that although Brexit is not an easy transition for the UK, it will not be without consequences for the EU.

The EU should feel the economic consequences of Brexit in three stages. In the short term, there is the loss of the British contribution to the community budget. As the contribution of member states to the EU budget is dependent on their GDP, it is understandable that behind Brexit there will be considerable financial consequences. It was sometimes said that the negotiations, from the day after the initial Brexit vote and through their interminable duration, only served to perpetuate the English contributions to the EU budget which should have otherwise been compensated mainly by Germany and France. In the medium term, both parties need to redefine agreements to ensure the continuity of trade and business relationships. Trade talks should continue until December 31, 2020, when it will be known whether the transition period has allowed the two sides to establish strong points of convergence. Finally, in the longer term, the UK having freed itself from all European regulations, there is a good chance of seeing there develop an economic and social model competing with that advocated and imposed by the EU on its members. The UK will be free to conclude trade agreements with new partners and could reach an advantageous agreement with an EU that cannot do without either the British market or its army, whereas with the withdrawal of the British, the military expenditure of Europe is cut by 21 percent.

EU Destiny: From Fostering Collaboration to Empowering a New Form of Continental Statism

In any case, the regulatory power of the EU has grown over time.

Until the Maastricht treaty of 1992, the European Economic Community applied the principle of subsidiarity by confining itself to its areas of exclusive competence. The exclusive powers of the union were the Customs Union; the establishment of the competition rules necessary for the functioning of the internal market; monetary policy for member states whose currency is the euro; the conservation of marine biological resources within the framework of the common fisheries policy; common commercial policy; and the conclusion of international agreements. In terms of barriers to trade, the EU has been beneficial when it has put an end to customs barriers and to repeated devaluations which were a means for companies to avoid the need to make productivity gains. European integration, as it took place up to and including the Single European Act of 1986 (which preceded the 1992 treaty), has made European economies more modern and more competitive.

The EU in its current form is different in the sense that it has “shared competences” with the member states, “competences to support, coordinate or supplement the action of the Member States,” and, finally, “competences to take measures to ensure that member states coordinate their policies.” To the Europe of free trade was added the Europe of standards, regulations, and lobbying. There is no longer any principle of subsidiarity, and the EU can interfere in fields such as culture or social policies. With the extension of its prerogatives, the EU has turned into a bureaucratic organization whose institutional bodies continuously centralize powers. The EU pushes to reduce economic and societal disparities among its members, and this induces conflicting relationships between some European countries and European institutions. The UK often dissented within the EU and argued against EU policies while requesting exemptions. During the debates at the EU parliament, one deputy claimed that the Brexit started when the EU granted exceptions and that it was this that impaired integration under a homogeneous regulatory scheme. Far from questioning this quest for homogenization of the EU political and economic spaces, he asserted that the solution for avoiding such catastrophes was to ensure that no similar treatment would ever be granted in the future.

There remain many defenders of EU institutions, which are seen as guardians of “continental stability.” It is also argued that the EU is a powerful tool that constitutes a system of balances to protect individual rights against encroachment by member states. For the proponents of minimum governance, it would be preferable to decrease the government power at the national level rather than adding a layer of institutions acting at the continental level. The EU might look like a protective entity, but centralized structures are never politically neutral and are not exempt from regulatory overreach or abuses of power. Over time they tend to distance themselves from the viewpoint of the citizens. Technocrats working from within become convinced that they know better and that this justifies intrusions and interference in the business of others.

Although Brexit now appears to be a done deal, the EU bureaucracy may find ways to punish the UK for its independence. Moreover, the EU may use the Brexit experience as a reason to further limit the freedom of member states so as to avoid any future exit by other member states. This represents a sort of bait-and-switch for member states that were sold on membership as an opportunity to join a free trade bloc and a chance to participate in a more cooperative Europe. The reality today is something much different.

 

 

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The luxury of apocalypticism – spiked

Posted by M. C. on March 18, 2020

Resisting the apocalypticism of the comfortable doom-mongers who rule over us is unquestionably the first step to challenging Covid-19 and preserving society for the decades after this illness has wreaked its disgraceful impact.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/03/17/the-luxury-of-apocalypticism/

The elites want us to panic about Covid-19 – we must absolutely refuse to do so.

Brendan O’Neill Editor

People’s refusal to panic has been a great source of frustration for the establishment in recent years. ‘The planet is burning’, they lie, in relation to climate change, and yet we do not weep or wail or even pay very much attention. ‘I want you to panic’, instructs the newest mouthpiece of green apocalypticism, Greta Thunberg, and yet most of us refuse to do so. A No Deal Brexit would unleash economic mayhem, racist pogroms and even a pandemic of super-gonorrhoea, they squealed, incessantly, like millenarian preachers balking at the imminent arrival of the lightning bolt of final judgement, and yet we didn’t flinch. We went to work. We went home. We still supported Brexit.

Our skittish elites have been so baffled, infuriated in fact, by our calm response to their hysterical warnings that they have invented pathologies to explain our unacceptable behaviour. The therapeutic language of ‘denialism’ is used to explain the masses’ refusal to fret over climate change. Environmentalists write articles on ‘the psychology of climate-change denial’, on ‘the self-deception and mass denial’ coursing through this society that refuses to flatter or engage with the hysteria of the eco-elites. Likewise, the refusal of voters to succumb to the dire, hollow warnings of the ferociously anti-Brexit wing of the establishment was interpreted by self-styled experts as a psychological disorder. ‘[This is] people taking action for essentially psychological reasons, irrespective of the economic cost’, said one professor.

How curious. In the past it was hysteria that was seen as a malady of the mind. Now it is the reluctance to kowtow to hysteria, the preference for calm discussion over panic and dread, that is treated as a malady. Today, it is those who prefer reason over rashness, whether on climate change or Brexit, who are judged to be disordered. According to the new elites, their apocalypticism is normal, while our calm democratic commitment to a political project, such as Brexit, or our desire to treat pollution as a practical problem rather than as a swirling, cloudy hint of nature’s coming fury with man’s hubris and destructiveness, is mad, deranged, in need of treatment. Their End Times nervousness is good; our faith in moral reason is bad.

This strange, fascinating tension between the apocalypticism of the intellectual and cultural elites and the scepticism of ordinary people is coming into play in the Covid-19 crisis. Of course, Covid-19 is very different to both No Deal Brexit and climate change. It is a serious medical and social crisis. In contrast, the idea that leaving the EU without a deal would be the greatest crisis to befall Britain since the Luftwaffe dropped its deadly cargo on us was nothing more than political propaganda invented from pure cloth. And the notion that climate change is an End Times event, rather than a practical problem that can be solved with tech, especially the rollout of nuclear power, is little more than the prejudice of Malthusian elites who view the very project of modernity as an intemperate expression of speciesist supremacy by mankind.

Covid-19, on the other hand, is a real and pressing crisis. It poses a profound challenge to humankind. It requires seriousness and action to limit the number of deaths and to mitigate the economic and social costs of both the disease itself and of our strategies for dealing with it. But what ties Covid-19 to the other fashionable apocalypses of our nervous elites, including the green apocalypse and the Brexit apocalypse, is the interpretation of it through the language and ideology of the elites’ pre-existing dread, their pre-existing cultural skittishness and moral disarray. Predictably, and depressingly, Covid-19 has been folded into their narrative of horror, into their permanent state of cultural distress, and this is making the task of facing it down even harder.

The media are at the forefront of stirring up apocalyptic dread over Covid-19. In Europe, there is also a performative apocalypticism in some of the more extreme clampdowns on everyday life and social engagement by the political authorities, in particular in Italy, Spain and France. Many governments seem to be driven less by a reasoned, evidence-fuelled strategy of limiting both the spread of the disease and the disorganisation of economic life, than by an urge to be seen to be taking action. They seem motivated more by an instinct to perform the role of worriers about apocalypse, for the benefit of the dread-ridden cultural elites, rather than by the responsibility to behave as true moral leaders who might galvanise the public in a collective mission against illness and a concerted effort to protect economic life.

A key problem with this performative apocalypticism is that it fails to think through the consequences of its actions. So obsessed are today’s fashionable doom-predictors with offsetting what they see as the horrendous consequences of human behaviour – whether it’s our polluting activities or our wrong-headed voting habits – that they fail to factor in the consequences of their own agenda of fear. Greens rarely think about the devastating consequences of their anti-growth agenda on under-developed parts of the world. The Remainer elite seemed utterly impervious to warnings that their irrational contempt for the Leave vote threatened the standing of democracy itself. And likewise, the performative warriors against Covid-19 seem far too cavalier about the longer-term economic, social and political consequences of what they are doing.

First, there is the potential health consequences. Is suppression of the disease really better than mitigation? The suppression of disease preferred by China, in very authoritarian terms, or by Italy and France, in less authoritarian terms, may look successful in the short term, but the possibility of the disease’s return, in an even more virulent form, is very real. Likewise, entire economies of everyday life have been devastated already by the severity of government action in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people in Italy and Ireland have lost their jobs already, in the night-time, hotel and entertainment sectors in particular. That is a social and health cost, too: job loss can lead to the loss of one’s home, the breakdown of one’s marriage, and to a palpable and destructive feeling of social expediency. As to keeping elderly people indoors for months on end, as is now being proposed in the UK, it is perfectly legitimate to ask whether this poses an even greater threat to our older citizens’ sense of personal and social wellbeing than their taking their chances with a disease that is not a death sentence for older people (though it impacts on them harder than it does on the young).

The point is, there is such a thing as doing too little and also such a thing as doing too much. Doing too little against Covid-19 would be perverse and nihilistic. Society ought to devote a huge amount of resources, even if they must be commandeered from the private sector, to the protection of human life. But doing too much, or acting under the pressure to act rather than under the aim of coherently fighting disease and protecting people’s livelihoods, is potentially destructive, too. People need jobs, security, meaning, connection. They need a sense of worth, a sense of social solidarity, a sense of belonging. To threaten those things as part of a performative ‘war’ against what ought to be treated as a health challenge rather than as an End Times event would be self-defeating and utterly antithetical to the broader aim of protecting our societies from this novel new threat. To decimate the stuff of human life in the name of saving human life is a questionable moral approach.

 

That the practical challenge posed by this new sickness has been collapsed into the elites’ pre-existing culture of misanthropic dread is clear from some of the commentary on Covid-19. The language of ‘war’ gives Covid-19 a sentience it of course does not deserve, accentuating the idea that this is not just an illness but a fin-de-siècle menace. This illness is being interpreted as a warning. It has been speedily refashioned as a metaphor for our weakness in the face of nature. It ‘has come to tell us that we are not the kings of the world’, says one headline. This malady is blowback for ‘our foolishness, our rapacity’, says Fintan O’Toole. We must now ‘learn the humility of survivors’, he says, cynically using this crisis to seek to diminish the presumed specialness of humankind. ‘Coronavirus is an indictment of our way of life’, says a headline in the Washington Post, echoing the way that natural phenomena are constantly weaponised by apocalyptic greens to serve as judgements against the temerity of the modernising human race.

Here, we cut to the heart of the apocalyptic mindset of the modern elites. Their dread over natural calamities or novel new illnesses is not driven by the actual facts about these things, far less by the desire to overcome them through the deployment of human expertise and scientific discovery. Rather, it speaks to their pre-existing moral disorientation, their deep loss of faith in the human project itself. It is their downbeat cultural convictions that draws them to apocalypticism as surely as a light draws in moths. In her essay on the AIDS panic of the late 1980s, when that sexually transmitted disease was likewise imagined as a portent of civiliational doom, Susan Sontag talked about the West’s widespread ‘sense of cultural distress or failure’ that leads it to search incessantly for an ‘apocalyptic scenario’ and for ‘fantasies of doom’. There is a ‘striking readiness of so many to envisage the most far-reaching of catastrophes’, she wrote. It wasn’t so much ‘Apocalypse Now’, said Sontag, as ‘Apocalypse From Now On’.

How perspicacious that was. From AIDS to climate change, from swine flu to Covid-19, it has been one apocalyptic scenario after another. The irony is that the elites who readily envisage catastrophe think they are showing how seriously they take genuine social and medical challenges, such as Covid-19. In truth, they demonstrate the opposite. They confirm that they have absolved themselves of the reason and focus required for confronting threats to our society. It isn’t their apocalypticism that captures the human urge to solve genuine problems – it is our anti-apocalypticism, our calmness, our insistence that resources and attention be devoted to genuine challenges without disrupting people’s lives or the economic health of our societies.

‘I want you to panic’, they say. But we don’t. And we shouldn’t. Apocalypticism is a luxury of the new elites for whom crises are often little more than opportunities for the expression of their decadent disdain for modern society. To the rest of us, apocalypticism is a profound problem. It threatens to spread fear in our communities, it causes us to lose our jobs, it mitigates against economic growth, and it harms democracy itself. Resisting the apocalypticism of the comfortable doom-mongers who rule over us is unquestionably the first step to challenging Covid-19 and preserving society for the decades after this illness has wreaked its disgraceful impact.

 

Be seeing you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brexit: Why the Threat of High Tariffs Wasn’t Enough To Stop It | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 6, 2020

But much of the concern over EU membership has focused on issues that are hard to quantify, such as government regulations and lost opportunities. How exactly does one quantify a new regulation on British businesses handed down by EU bureaucrats? An individual business might be able to hazard a guess, but aggregate data is far less reliable and far less available.

Even harder to count is the opportunity cost of EU membership. As noted by EU critics, for example, membership in the EU has limited the ability of the UK to expand trade outside the EU bloc. There’s no way to put a number on how much these lost opportunities have cost British households. Certainly some researchers have tried. But we end up debating the accuracy and relevance of the research. Ultimately, it all requires a judgment call as to whether or not EU membership is “worth it” to a specific person.

When government tells you something, start wondering what it doesn’t tell you.

https://mises.org/wire/brexit-why-threat-high-tariffs-wasnt-enough-stop-it

Chris Johns at the Irish Times is dismayed by all the support he sees for Brexit. He’s vexed by the fact so many of Brexit’s boosters are — in Johns’s eyes—going against their own economic interests.

Johns notes, for example, that Brexit may take a significant toll on British manufacturing, and may be problematic for income growth and tax revenues. Resigned to Brexit as a fact, Johns suggests trying to make the transition as painless as possible, but insists, “Britain will either be poorer or much poorer.” But it’s too late the avert at least some damage. Thus, the narrative goes something like this: “we tried to warn you people about the dangers of Brexit to your pocketbook. But you went ahead and supported it anyway. So now you’re worse off.”

Johns’s is missing a big part of the economic argument made by Brexit supporters.  At the moment, even the economic data suggests the British are better off today, but the Brexit gambit for many has always been one in which supporters calculate political independence will bring long-term economic gains, even if there are problems in the short term.  This hardly proves supporters are acting against their own economic interests, or that they don’t understand economic realities. It simply shows their predictions of the future are different from Johns’s.

[RELATED: “Brexit: Predictions of Economic Doom Show Why People Ignore ‘Experts’” by Ryan McMaken]

But Johns’s misunderstanding is bigger even than this.  A big part of why he assumes people will soon be worse off thanks to Brexit is because he is too limited in how he understands the process of calculating costs and benefits. Once we move beyond “homo economicus” notions of benefits being limited to monetary gains, we realize the benefits of Brexit can be found in ways that aren’t tracked by any government office, and don’t show up in any statistical data.   Economists and pundits who limit their calculations to measurable statistics are missing a big chunk of how humans measure and value the world around them.

We Can’t Put a Number on the Opportunity Cost of EU Membership

Government statistics have been devised to keep track of identifiable and countable events and dollar amounts. This is why numbers such as “unemployment rates” and “median incomes” form the backbone of government stats. They can be identified and counted with relative ease based on survey data or direct observation. But these numbers are hardly comprehensive in measuring the real world.

[RELATED: “The Homo Economicus Straw Man” by Ryan McMaken]

But much of the concern over EU membership has focused on issues that are hard to quantify, such as government regulations and lost opportunities. How exactly does one quantify a new regulation on British businesses handed down by EU bureaucrats? An individual business might be able to hazard a guess, but aggregate data is far less reliable and far less available.

Even harder to count is the opportunity cost of EU membership. As noted by EU critics, for example, membership in the EU has limited the ability of the UK to expand trade outside the EU bloc. There’s no way to put a number on how much these lost opportunities have cost British households. Certainly some researchers have tried. But we end up debating the accuracy and relevance of the research. Ultimately, it all requires a judgment call as to whether or not EU membership is “worth it” to a specific person.

The “Psychic Profit” of Leaving the EU

Other things are even harder to quantify than lost opportunities. These are what many voters perceive as the intangible benefits of leaving the EU.

For example, a pro-Brexit voter might argue that British laws should be decided in Britain—even if this means paying higher tariffs. Thus: political independence is more valuable than selling goods to France at a lower tariff rate. Obviously, there’s no way to determine exactly how much benefit “political independence” produces for a person who values it. But the value is real.

We’re now in the realm of “psychic profit,” which is the profit that a person perceives in his own mind from a certain action or state of affairs. The problem with psychic profits is that they are not quantifiable as money profits are. As economist Ludwig von Mises noted, at a fundamental level, profits and lossses are “psychic qualities and not reducible to any interpersonal description in quantitative terms.” Moreover, Mises notes that the “psychic phenomena” from which these valuations derive involve “incalculable intensive magnitudes.” Even if a person values Brexit more than low-tariff trade, it’s impossible to put a number on how much more.

A similar accounting problem arises with the immigration issue. Some voters support Brexit because they suspect or hope that it will reduce immigration. In this case, some have concluded that their psychic profits are improved by being surrounded by people of similar language and culture.

Faced with the idea that greater controls on migrant labor could push up the cost of living, some may nonetheless conclude the psychic loss resulting from immigration outweighs the monetary benefits of low-cost labor at the supermarket.

All of this should illustrate that when we’re talking about a voter’s decision to support a certain policy, we’re not exactly employing an exact science. By supporting policies that might ultimately lead to higher prices or higher foreign tariffs, one is not necessarily falling victim to economic illiteracy. One is simply taking a position that, in one’s mind, something that can’t be measured in pounds is more valuable than something that can be measured in pounds. There is a rational—and possibly well-informed—process of calculation going on here. It’s just a calculation that’s impossible to quantify.

Some economists find this sort of thing quite irksome, however. Johns, for instance, bemoans the fact that the “culture war” behind Brexit has led to ” the economy tak[ing] acceptable collateral damage.” He apparently means that voters have abandoned what he considers to be sound economic thinking in favor of “benefits” that can’t be counted in any ledger.  In the minds of pundits like Johns, people are “irrational” if they chose a policy that might reduce their incomes as measured in dollars or pounds.

The Real Problem: Majorities Forcing Policies on Minorities

Brexit critics like Johns would do well to admit their adversaries aren’t necessary irrational economic illiterates. But even if we all agree different people calculate economic benefit in their own non-measurable ways, we haven’t solved our political problems.

Policies like Brexit will always be problems so long as people who make very different value judgments are forced to live under a common government.  We have a problem because the democratic majority can impose a preferred policy on the losing minority.

In the case of Brexit, for example, nearly half the population appears to be either indifferent to membership in the EU or actively in support of it. And just as statistical economic data can’t tell us whether or not pro-Brexit supporters are “right,” it can’t make a judgment about EU supporters. Many EU advocates simply like the fact the EU hands down lots of environmental regulations to all member states. Supporters may like that EU membership (presumably) increases total immigration for reasons totally unrelated to economic factors. Some feel they benefit emotionally from a politically united Europe.

But this doesn’t mean that this minority of voters ought to be forced into leaving the EU because 51 percent of the population says so.

The ideology underlying democracy offers no answer to this. We have a situation in which about half of the population believes that it profits (psychically or otherwise) from one policy. But about half of the population believes it profits from the opposite policy. This problem becomes even worse when reduced to a regional level. An outright majority of residents in Scotland, for example, apparently opposes Brexit. Now that Brexit is a reality, a slim majority of Scots support independence. It would seem to violate basic notions of justice to insist that Scotland be held to the dictates of the English majority forever.

Scottish Separatists Are Now the “Irrational” Ones

In spite of years of being told how economically inept they are for supporting Brexit, some are now turning the same arguments on the Scots. This pundit, for example, might as well be saying  “look at those crazy Scots. They want to cut themselves off from their best trading partner (England)!” In the minds of those opposing independence, the dictates of economic good sense mean that Scotland should stay in the UK. But the anti-independence pundits may be making the same mistake the anti-Brexit pundits were making. It could be pro-independence Scots feel that they would gain more from independence than from unity—even if government stats say otherwise. If many Scots truly believe this strongly, it will be very hard to convince them otherwise, no matter how many studies by economists are trotted out.

Ultimately, we’re still left with a political problem that can’t be solved by insisting all the intelligent people agree with us because our spreadsheets and bean counters tell us which political position is “best” for us.

None of this should be construed to suggest that sound economics is wrong. Yes, low tariffs are better than high tariffs. Yes, business owners ought to be free to hire workers regardless of what country those workers are from. Yes, government regulations on businesses are a destructive burden, whether imposed by London or by Brussels. But the Brexit debate wasn’t really about whether high tariffs are better than low tariffs. It was about who should decide tariffs, and where and how. It was about issues far beyond whether or not an additional 1 percent growth could be wrung out of GDP next quarter. Many have tried to turn Brexit into just a debate about economic policy. But economics as imagined by mainstream number crunchers has never been sufficient to understand how people calculated the value of leaving the EU.

Be seeing you

?u=http2.bp.blogspot.com-PHz2lYHCjogTknVSW-EwgIAAAAAAAAF48gzFph6vhhZks1600BadEconomicIndicators.gif&f=1&nofb=1

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brexiteers Don’t Want Democracy; They Want Freedom | The American Spectator

Posted by M. C. on January 31, 2020

American satirist H. L. Mencken was devastating in his critique of the common voter. “He not only doesn’t long for liberty, he is quite unable to stand it,” he wrote scornfully. “All else is affectation, delusion, empty words.” But Mencken never met a Brexiteer, for whom liberty is the sine qua non of his existence.

https://spectator.org/brexiteers-dont-want-democracy-they-want-freedom/

And by George, they’ve got it: The UK leaves the EU this weekend.
When the United Kingdom exits the European Union late on Friday, Brexit will be hailed as a victory for British democracy. Three times Britons voted to leave the EU and “take back control”: in June 2016, when the Leave campaign won at the EU referendum; in the general election the following June, when the vast majority of voters cast ballots for parties promising to fulfill the referendum will of the people (even though the Conservative party itself only achieved a minority government); and finally in December 2019 — the second general election in as many years — after months and months of Remainer parliamentary obstruction, Britons overwhelming elected Boris Johnson on the pledge to “get Brexit done.” Third time’s the charm.

But is this really a victory for democracy? Yes, on the face of it, if by democracy you mean one person, one vote. On the other hand, Britons were subjected, figuratively and literally, to months of their elected representatives in the House of Commons hell-bent on frustrating that self-same will, all in the name of parliamentary democracy.

The prime minister and no less than Elizabeth II, fulfilling their legitimate constitutional powers to prorogue Parliament, were vetoed by an unaccountable UK Supreme Court, “miraculously” imbued with the ability to augur that the Head of State and her First Minister were motivated by malevolent intent against democracy. Thus vetoed, Boris Johnson was forced to return to the Commons, cap in hand, to the repellent glee of Remainers. Brexiteers were rightfully outraged, while the establishment was unconvincingly nonplussed. They hear “the fury in your words, but not your words,” to summon up Shakespeare.

What is it about democracy that Brexiteers dislike? Most would never put the question so bluntly and, if queried, would proclaim themselves the most proud and patriotic democrats in all of England. Except … Why do politicians and more perniciously, “public” servants, put their interests above those whom they have sworn to serve?

Were justification required, we could put the blame on Edmund Burke, who infamously told his Bristol electors that MPs “owe you, not his industry only, but his judgment.” Furthermore, “he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion,” Burke protested.

Burke’s political nostrum, however, had its limits even in his own day, let alone in ours. In truth, we need go no further than to admit that public officials are usually no more “public-spirited” than the general run of the populace. Perhaps even less so.

Brexiteers who are fully committed to British independence don’t stop at limiting the power of Brussels. They’ll extend it to Westminster, too. Here they enjoy the support of the late Victorian political economist and (classical) Liberal MP, W. E. H. Lecky. “This increase of State power means a multiplication of restrictions,” Lecky wrote. “It means an increase of bureaucracy”— them again! — and a “constant increase of taxation, which is in reality a constant restriction of liberty.”

Lecky was an early opponent of the evils attending democracy and taxing powers, joining John C. Calhoun before him and Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek (as well as many others) after him. “No danger in representative government was deemed greater than that it should degenerate into a system of veiled confiscation,” Lecky observed, “one class voting the taxes which another class was compelled to pay.”

So while not disavowing democracy outright, few Brexiteers are happy with its results. Like most public disaffection, democratic dissatisfaction has been roiling under the surface of public discourse for decades. UK governments shifted from Conservative to Labour and back again, sometimes even comprising a coalition when circumstances warranted, but nothing seemed to change for the better. If anything, the state of British politics only worsened. Until Brexit came along.

American satirist H. L. Mencken was devastating in his critique of the common voter. “He not only doesn’t long for liberty, he is quite unable to stand it,” he wrote scornfully. “All else is affectation, delusion, empty words.” But Mencken never met a Brexiteer, for whom liberty is the sine qua non of his existence.

We may no longer need question why the Brexiteer has an uneasy relationship with democracy, seeing as how the burgeoning State robs him not only of his liberty but of his tax dollars, too. More to the point, however, is just how far Brexiteers are willing to go to regain both their freedom and their hard-won earnings. Is their outrage confined to Brussels, or are they willing to take on Westminster, too?

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Everything you know about Europe is wrong – UnHerd

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2020

https://unherd.com/2020/01/both-brexiteers-and-remainers-know-nothing-about-europe/

BY

The apocryphal newspaper headline — “fog in the channel, continent isolated” — famously said something about the British mindset. It’s hardly surprising that we are insular — we are literally an island after all — but this insularity is something that curiously crosses all barriers in British social and political life, whether of Left or Right, middle or working class, and on almost every issue.

This is true even for British liberals who, reeling since the night of 23 June, 2016, have made the continent a sort of spiritual home as they’ve become alienated from their countrymen.

Right-thinking Britons see their country as an embarrassment sliding towards populism, a sad contrast to the moral superpower that is Germany and France under centrist leader Emmanuel Macron. Yet the Continent of the Anglo liberal imagination is as unreal as the supposed nostalgic Britain of yesteryear loved by Leavers.

 

Italy

Britain, many people fear, is moving away from the European dream and towards fascism. It’s such an established meme that even the most recent BBC Agatha Christie adaptation was a thinly-veiled analogy about 1930s fascism and Brexit.

Yet people keep on coming to this Nazi hellhole, with the fabled “Brexodus” of migrants leaving the country actually seeing an extra 212,000 people arriving last year, and with record numbers of foreign students, too.

The fascist Brexit Britain theory is held among a minority of Remainers because they’re measuring the country by a theoretical ideal rather than comparing it to other — real — countries. So while the hate crime “surge” following the referendum mostly involved very minor incidents, Italy saw a number of openly racist murders during the late 2010s.

Whether they’re connected or not, Italy has also had a populist Right-wing government in power for most of the past four years, and the Lega may well return — at around 33% in the polls, it is by some distance the most popular party. Italian politics has been, as long as anyone can remember, chaotic and unstable, which makes me wonder if Mary Beard’s Italian colleagues who make her feel “embarrassed” about Brexit have been paying attention to their own country.

 

France

A central theme of fascism is a love of violence against ideological opponents, and so a visitor from outer space with a vague understanding of our human political philosophy would probably conclude that there was only one fascist state in the EU — France, where the brutality of the police is on a scale that would be unfathomable in England.

Among the recent victims of the gleefully violent French police is a teenager who lost an eye in Strasbourg and an elderly woman in Marseilles who died from her injuries after being hit by a rubber bullet. Just this month prosecutors launched a probe after a video appeared to show a policeman firing point-blank at protestors with a riot control gun.

France is quite far down from Britain in the Freedom International rating, and treats minorities like Roma in a way that would do more than embarrass liberal Brits.

Right-wingers often complain that the horrific behaviour of the French police towards the gilets jaunes has received scant coverage in the BBC; certainly if Hungary or Poland treated their citizens like that, I’m pretty sure it would be on our news more. But then France has always been a politically violent country.

The last mass murder of protesters in England occurred in 1819, when 18 people were killed by authorities in Manchester; in France police in Paris killed up to three hundred unarmed protesters in 1961.

Had anything even vaguely comparable happened during the US Civil Rights era it would have been the subject of about 500 films and even my children in an English primary school would now be learning about it now. But then Anglo liberals are fascinated with the Anglo world; not so much by the continent.

France is different to England, in some ways far more traditional; for example, the same-sex marriage campaign there was opposed by enormous protests, while, like many continental countries, it has a 12-week limit for abortion, when even talk of a 20 weeks-limit would have the Anglo commentariat dressing up in those Handmaid’s Tale outfits.

Germany Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A New Definition of Warfare, by Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2020

But perhaps the definition of war itself should be expanded. The one area where Trump and his team of narcissistic sociopaths have been most active has been in the imposition of sanctions with lethal intent.

It’s absolutely in [your] interests and the people of Great Britain’s interests to join with President Trump, with the United States, to realign your foreign policy away from Brussels, and to join the maximum pressure campaign to keep all of us safe.”

Ever notice how politicians and armies of sanctioned countries stay in pretty good shape while civilians do not?

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/a-new-definition-of-warfare/


Supporters of Donald Trump often make the point that he has not started any new wars. One might observe that it has not been for lack of trying, as his cruise missile attacks on Syria based on fabricated evidence and his recent assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani have been indisputably acts of war. Trump also has enhanced troop levels both in the Middle East and in Afghanistan while also increasing the frequency and lethality of armed drone attacks worldwide.

Congress has been somewhat unseriously toying around with a tightening of the war powers act of 1973 to make it more difficult for a president to carry out acts of war without any deliberation by or authorization from the legislature. But perhaps the definition of war itself should be expanded. The one area where Trump and his team of narcissistic sociopaths have been most active has been in the imposition of sanctions with lethal intent. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been explicit in his explanations that the assertion of “extreme pressure” on countries like Iran and Venezuela is intended to make the people suffer to such an extent that they rise up against their governments and bring about “regime change.” In Pompeo’s twisted reckoning that is how places that Washington disapproves of will again become “normal countries.”

The sanctions can kill. Those imposed by the United States are backed up by the U.S. Treasury which is able to block cash transfers going through the dollar denominated international banking system. Banks that do not comply with America’s imposed rules can themselves be sanctioned, meaning that U.S. sanctions are de facto globally applicable, even if foreign banks and governments do not agree with the policies that drive them. It is well documented how sanctions that have an impact on the importation of medicines have killed thousands of Iranians. In Venezuela, the effect of sanctions has been starvation as food imports have been blocked, forcing a large part of the population to flee the country just to survive.

The latest exercise of United States economic warfare has been directed against Iraq. In the space of one week from December 29th to January 3rd, the American military, which operates out of two major bases in Iraq, killed 25 Iraqi militiamen who were part of the Popular Mobilization Units of the Iraqi Army. The militiamen had most recently been engaged in the successful fight against ISIS. It followed up on that attack by killing Soleimani, Iraqi militia general Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and eight other Iraqis in a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport. As the attacks were not approved in any way by the Iraqi government, it was no surprise that rioting followed and the Iraqi Parliament voted to remove all foreign troops from its soil. The decree was signed off on by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, based on the fact that the U.S. military was in Iraq at the invitation of the country’s government and that invitation had just been revoked by parliament.

That Iraq is to say the least unstable is attributable to the ill-advised U.S. invasion of 2003. The persistence of U.S. forces in the country is ostensibly to aid in the fight against ISIS, but the real reason is to serve as a check on Iranian influence in Iraq, which is a strategic demand made by Israel and not responsive to any actual American interest. Indeed, the Iraqi government is probably closer politically to Tehran than to Washington, though the neocon line that the country is dominated by the Iranians is far from true.

Washington’s response to the legitimate Iraqi demand that its troops should be removed consisted of threats. When Prime Minister Mahdi spoke with Pompeo on the phone and asked for discussions and a time table to create a “withdrawal mechanism” the Secretary of State made it clear that there would be no negotiations. A State Department written response entitled “The U.S. Continued Partnership with Iraq” asserted that American troops are in Iraq to serve as a “force for good” in the Middle East and that it is “our right” to maintain “appropriate force posture” in the region.

The Iraqi position also immediately produced presidential threats and tweets about “sanctions like they have never seen,” with the implication that the U.S. was more than willing to wreck the Iraqi economy if it did not get its way. The latest threat to emerge involves blocking Iraq access to its New York federal reserve bank account, where international oil sale revenue is kept, creating a devastating cash crunch in Iraq’s financial system that might indeed destroy the Iraqi economy. If taking steps to ruin a country economically is not considered warfare by other means it is difficult to discern what might fit that description.

After dealing with Iraq, the Trump Administration turned its guns on one of its oldest and closest allies. Great Britain, like most of the other European signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been reluctant to withdraw from the agreement over concern that Iran will as a result decide to develop nuclear weapons. According to the Guardian, a United States representative from the National Security Council named Richard Goldberg, had visited London recently to make clear to the British government that if it does not follow the American lead and withdraw from the JCPOA and reapply sanctions it just might be difficult to work out a trade agreement with Washington post-Brexit. It is a significant threat as part of the pro-Brexit vote clearly was derived from a Trump pledge to make up for some of the anticipated decline in European trade by increasing U.K. access to the U.S. market. Now the quid pro quo is clear: Britain, which normally does in fact follow the Washington lead in foreign policy, will now be expected to be completely on board all of the time and everywhere, particularly in the Middle East.

During his visit, Goldberg told the BBC: “The question for prime minister Johnson is: ‘As you are moving towards Brexit … what are you going to do post-31 January as you come to Washington to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the United States?’ It’s absolutely in [your] interests and the people of Great Britain’s interests to join with President Trump, with the United States, to realign your foreign policy away from Brussels, and to join the maximum pressure campaign to keep all of us safe.”

And there is an interesting back story on Richard Goldberg, a John Bolton protégé anti-Iran hardliner, who threatened the British on behalf of Trump. James Carden, writing at The Nation, posits “Consider the following scenario: A Washington, DC–based, tax-exempt organization that bills itself as a think tank dedicated to the enhancement of a foreign country’s reputation within the United States, funded by billionaires closely aligned with said foreign country, has one of its high-ranking operatives (often referred to as ‘fellows’) embedded within the White House national security staff in order to further the oft-stated agenda of his home organization, which, as it happens, is also paying his salary during his year-long stint there. As it happens, this is exactly what the pro-Israel think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) reportedly achieved in an arrangement brokered by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton.”

The FDD senior adviser in question, who was placed on the National Security Council, was Richard Goldberg. FDD is largely funded by Jewish American billionaires including vulture fund capitalist Paul Singer and Home Depot partner Bernard Marcus. Its officers meet regularly with Israeli government officials and the organization is best known for its unrelenting effort to bring about war with Iran. It has relentlessly pushed for a recklessly militaristic U.S. policy directed against Iran and also more generally in the Middle East. It is a reliable mouthpiece for Israel and, inevitably, it has never been required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

To be sure, Trump also has other neocons advising him on Iran, including David Wurmser, another Bolton associate, who has the president’s ear and is a consultant to the National Security Council. Wurmser has recently submitted a series of memos to the White House advocating a policy of “regime disruption” with the Islamic Republic that will destabilize it and eventually lead to a change of government. He may have played a key role in giving the green light to the assassination of Soleimani.

The good news, if there is any, is that Goldberg resigned on January 3rd, allegedly because the war against Iran was not developing fast enough to suit him and FDD, but he is symptomatic of the many neoconservative hawks who have infiltrated the Trump Administration at secondary and tertiary levels, where much of the development and implementation of policy actually takes place. It also explains that when it comes to Iran and the irrational continuation of a significant U.S. military presence in the Middle East, it is Israel and its Lobby that are steering the ship of state.

Be seeing you

This starving girl was searching for food to eat. A few ...

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will the Secessionist Epidemic Ever End? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/12/patrick-j-buchanan/will-the-secessionist-epidemic-ever-end/

By

Fresh from his triumphal “Get Brexit Done!” campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson anticipates a swift secession from the European Union.

But if Britain secedes from the EU, warns Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland will secede from the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland, which voted in 2016 to remain in the EU, could follow Scotland out of Britain, leaving her with “Little England” and Wales.

Not going to happen, says Boris. His government will not allow a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Yet the Scottish National Party won 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats in Parliament, and Sturgeon calls this a mandate for a new vote to secede:

“If (Boris) thinks … saying no is the end of the matter then he is going to find himself completely and utterly wrong. … You cannot hold Scotland in the union against its will.”

She has a point. If a majority of Scots wish to secede, how does a democratic Great Britain indefinitely deny them the right of self-determination?

Is Scotland fated to become for Britain what Catalonia is to Spain?

Where does this phenomenon, this continuing unraveling of old and proliferation of new nations, this epidemic of secessionism, end?

The most recent population explosion of new nations began three decades ago, when 15 republics of the USSR became independent nations. Soon, several of the 15 began to unravel further.

Transnistria seceded from Moldova. South Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded from Georgia. Chechnya sought to break free of Russia, only to be crushed. Since 2015, the Donbass has sought to secede from Ukraine.

When Josip Tito’s Yugoslavia collapsed, six “nations” seceded from Belgrade.

When did secessionism begin? The Americans started it all.

The first great secessionist cause was the Revolution, when the 13 American colonies declared and won independence from the British crown.

It is solemnly declared today that our Revolution was about ideas, such as the equality of all men. But the author of the Declaration did not believe in equality.

Jefferson was a Virginia plantation owner, some of whose slaves were with him in Philadelphia. He described Native Americans in the Declaration as “merciless Indian Savages.” The British are fraternally called “brethren” with whom we share “ties of a common kindred,” but who have been “deaf to the voice of consanguinity.”

I.e, our cousins have been deaf to the call of our common blood.

John Jay, in Federalist 2, before the Constitution was even ratified, spoke of the elements that formed the nation — “one connected country to one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion … similar in their manners and customs.”

A second secessionist movement, six decades later, created a second American nation. Texans under Sam Houston rose up and ripped that vast province away from its young mother country, Mexico.

The third secessionist movement united 11 states that sought to create a new confederated nation outside the Union, as the revolutionary generation had created a new nation outside of Britain. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UK’s Johnson claims Brexit mandate as Tories secure majority

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2019

Wow! This shocks me.

Does this mean the unwashed masses want to throw off the EU yoke? I find that hard to believe.

Getting something other than a fake Brexit will still be difficult.

https://apnews.com/0980b30ccff3be31ca82d99072bfeb73

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won a thumping majority of seats in Britain’s Parliament — a decisive outcome to a Brexit-dominated election that should allow Johnson to fulfill his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month.

With 642 of the 650 results declared on Friday, the Conservatives had 358 seats and t he main opposition Labour Party 203.

Johnson said it looked like the Conservatives had “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

The victory makesJohnson the most electorally successful Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher, another politician who was loved and loathed in almost equal measure. It was a disaster for left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who faced calls for his resignation even as the results rolled in.

Corbyn called the result “very disappointing” for his party and said he would not lead Labour into another election, though he resisted calls to quit immediately.

Results poured in early Friday showing a substantial shift in support to the Conservatives from Labour. In the last election in 2017, the Conservatives won 318 seats and Labour 262…

Be seeing you

Listen to his followers cheer. They did not vote for Boris.

Why do fellow countryman tolerate this? Makes me think Brexit still won’t be easy.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »