Tuesday 28 June 2016

A perfect storm on Facebook and Twitter continues into its eighth day without abating - her's a sample

David Allen Green (@DavidAllenGreen):

ESTRAGON: Well, shall we Leave?
VLADIMIR: Yes, let's Leave.

(They do not send the Article 50 Notification.)

UKIP needs to be exposed for what it is at base. A vicious racist and terrorist organisation.

EU leaders are worried about the Brexit "contagion" - when you describe democracy as a contagion, something has gone seriously wrong with your system of government.

Let me be clear on something. If you voted for Brexit, you're not my friend. You don't get to treat this as if it was just a difference of opinion. I don't care about your special snowflake reasons for ruining my homeland and believing a pack of transparently obvious liars like Farage and Johnson. You killed jobs. You killed young people's hope in their future. You heartened the far-right. You've made families and kids afraid. You've started a wave of racial abuse and assault across the country, from the schoolyard to the pub. You're a f-king idiot, and I hate you.

Feeling sickened to the point of nausea by the postings by Remnants about how tewwibly sad their own special snowflake spawn feel in the wake of our glorious victory yesterday. Give them a f-ing clip around the ear, then they'll have something to cry about!

I don't have a TV but I wonder if the BBC are shouting about how the FTSE higher now, a mere week post Brexit, than it has been for 10 months.
Could it be we were right, that the EU, BBC and the rest of the establishment and media have been lying to us all this time about the consequences of Brexit?

It's not racist or bigoted to want to know that when you elect a government, that government will do the governing, and not be answerable to Brussels. It's not wrong to think that if you live in a country, that country should be able to manage its own borders.

The EU has been rejected, in some form, by voters, in five of the last seven times the European public had a chance to have a say. The two times it won were basically by holding the population who had dared to say "no" over a barrel. Not one of the previous four rejections has been taken heed of, and nothing has changed in Brussels. That - and that alone - explains what happened in the UK. It's going to keep happening until they get the message. They show no signs of doing so, and that, in the end, will be the EU's undoing.

A lot of comments here about the culpability of the 'right-wing'. This was a result which turned on Labour voters in the north, who had no direction from their party and a burning resentment of immigration. The days of left/right politics are fast disappearing in our rear view mirror. We run with new rules...

New Statesman thinks you are reptiles: "[P]rejudice, propaganda, naked xenophobia and callous fear-mongering have won out over the common sense we British like to pride ourselves on.... the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out."

If you genuinely think the majority of people voted 'leave' because they're 1) idiots or 2) were lied to, then you're probably yourself not quite smart enough to be allowed a vote.

The nastiness of the Remain camp, their disgust with the electorate, is even worse than I was expecting. It can be summed up as "you greedy, old, ill-informed,brainwashed, overemotional, xenophobic idiots, look at what you have done". They've dispensed with the PC veneer to their elitism. They've parked the polite euphemisms they normally use to express their concerns about the throng. It's all out in the open now. Hell hath no fury like a Guardianista spurned by the masses. bon

OK. So we lost. Enough of the self-pity. The important thing is to mobilise and bring all pressure to bear on our new fascist overlords for a second Referendum, this time with a quadruple democratic lock: (1) Only people who voted Remain in the first Referendum allowed to vote; (2) A "Logan's Run" clause whereby as soon as a potential voter reaches 30 they fly up into the air and explode; (3) Only people who live in Gibraltar allowed to vote; (4) Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to be replaced by an open letter from David Beckham. Th
e right kind of democracy CAN and WILL prevail.'

Saturday 25 June 2016

Creating a European demos means restricting immigration into Europe

There can never be a democratic EU unless there is a demos and creating a demos out of 28 (27 now) disparate nations is extremely hard, probably impossible. But Europeans do have very much in common. The Greco-Roman tradition and a Christian culture being the most important things.

Shouldn't EU have a very restrictive  policy on immigration INTO the EU if it wants to create a common European identity? Perhaps even the Fortress Europe policy that Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel have said Europe must avoid.

Had Mrs. Merkel and the EU followed this policy Europeans would be very much happier, the UK would not be leaving and Marine Le Pen would not be a strong contender in the next French presidential election.

Like him or not, Nigel Farage is responsible for Brexit

Image result for if there is hope proles

Brexit is the biggest shock in my lifetime.

I said to the Portuguese ambassador last week, talking about I forget what EU policy, 'It's up to you, of course. We're off on Thursday". 

He gave me the smile a corpse gives the undertaker. But I didn't think for one moment that we really would be off. I went to bed at 3 yesterday morning unhappy, thinking Remain had won and was frozen in amazement at 6.45 the next day to open my browser and see the BBC call it for Leave.

I admit my feelings were mixed. Astonishment, pleasure but some fear too.

The electorate have let down the politicians very badly.

When the revolution finally came most (not all) of the left-wing middle class found they were on the side of the rich and the banks. Funny how things turn out.

It's a bit like when the crisis of capitalism finally occurred in 2008, as Stalin had predicted, and the far left was not there to take advantage. The centre-right not the left benefited. The old party divisions that we have had since the 1920s increasingly make less sense.

Nigel Farage is the man who did this. But poor David Cameron and Angela Merkel played equal parts. 

Whatever you think of him and you might loathe him, Nigel Farage, who is the reason this referendum was called, is one of the two politicians in post-1945 British history who changed the country the most. The other, of course, being Edward Heath.

The story of how an amateur, home-made, Ealing comedy party like UKIP, widely despised, directly or indirectly took Britain out of the EU is extraordinary. If it were a novel people would throw it away in disgust as absurdly far-fetched.

The same is true of the stories of Trump, Corbyn, the million migrants crossing Europe, the bizarre American row over transgender lavatories, ISIS, September 11th and so much else. God is not obliged to consider probabilities.

Mr Farage's referendum was hijacked by others and it's good that it was. I am reminded of what Reagan said, that there is no limit to what a man can do if he is content for others to take the credit.

He was not allowed to be part of the official Leave campaign, who were frightened he would make their brand toxic. in the eyes of many he would have done, but he had the wisdom to push immigration into the forefront of the campaign, knowing it was a much better issue for Leave than the economy. 

On the economy, Leave could not stand up to David Cameron's carefully choreographed Project Fear, but immigration let the Leave side instil its own share of fear. Making a major issue of Britain's support for Turkish membership of the EU must have won Leave many votes. It boxed David Cameron into a corner and showed him to have been very economical with the truth. It also enabled Leave to elide concerns about European and non-European immigration, although Brexit will not reduce and may increase non-European immigration.

I saw very few speeches during this campaign and none by Mr Farage, but this one, which i watched today, is remarkably good. He is a better speaker even than Messrs. Gove or Johnson. Why do many people in the UK dislike him so much? He predicted that "this will be a turnout referendum" and he was right. They were queuing round the block to vote. 

I am lost in admiration for the courage of the British people. It took a lot of courage to vote Leave. People thought very hard and in many cases changed and unchanged their minds.

It was absolutely not a result made on a whim, or from prejudice or knee-jerk reactions or to punish the government or taken unthinkingly. It was made very thoughtfully and there was an amazingly high turnout. No-one knows exactly what issues were in the minds of Brexit voters but they were surely many. 

It was not a plebiscite on immigration, though that was important. I think people didn't like being ruled by foreigners.

Had the referendum been held in a couple of years' time Brexit would have lost, because older voters were inclined to Leave and younger ones, educated in the pieties of internationalism and EU idealism, inclined to Remain. 

I am convinced that it will be hugely helpful to the rest of the EU. We might just have saved Europe from a totalitarian future once more.

I want to quote (again) these lines by Philip Larkin.

Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand,

As epitaph:

He chucked up everything

And just cleared off,

And always the voice will sound

Certain you approve

This audacious, purifying,

Elemental move.

Thursday 23 June 2016

It's still the masses against the classes, but the liberals have swapped sides

Gladstone said that all the world over he backed the masses against the classes (proof, incidentally, that he had a Northern accent). Nowadays liberals take exactly the opposite view. This referendum has done many valuable things. One of the most important is to show that liberals these days really do fear and despise the masses. If you don't believe me just read the Guardian or the stuff some of the In people are posting on Facebook.

Three last thoughts (not mine) on Brexit

I am assuming that, should Remain triumph, there will be complaints from those who voted for it, within about six months along the lines of "that's not what I voted for". Let me enlighten you: if you vote Remain you vote for whatever the EU decides to throw at you and whatever happens in the EU next. No complaints, please.

Helen Szamuely 

I'm feeling so much solidarity today with those old people, poor people, working-class people, Old Labourites, Shire Tories, blue-rinse ladies, nurses and tradeunionists who, despite being defamed as bigots, despite having the entire establishment lined up against them, despite being smeared as thick and overemotional and dangerous by the political class, the media and celebrities, and despite being told by hysterical officialdom that they are bringing about the end of Western civilisation, will nonetheless go out today and say a polite, cool and radical "No thanks" to the EU. That takes guts. To stand by what you believe in against the capitalist class, the political class, the media class and the Brussels bureaucracy -- that takes bottle. To me, these people represent the best of democracy.

Brendan O'Neill

To the best of my knowledge not one of the commissioners, and it should have been Junker, have made any comment not even along the lines of 'may the best man win'. They remain faceless, arrogant and apparently disinterested, evidently disconnected from the turmoil of the Demos,for why should they not? they have their plan, their predestined path, they are untouchable. Unless you vote OUT to make them understand that it is our world and we have a say in who runs it.

Nick Ward 

My two killer arguments for voting to leave the EU

My sister just called me - to discuss the referendum. Like many people she hasn't made up her mind though I know her heart is Brexit.

My (I hope) killer argument was: it won't be decided by your one vote. If we leave and it goes wrong you can share the blame with 20 million people.

But if In wins - as they almost certainly will - you will spend decades when you watch the news regretting voting In.

Another argument, not the best reason to vote Leave, perhaps, but a persuasive one is that the Remain people are so very annoying. The Out people, by contrast, are mostly terribly nice.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Remaining in the EU is signing a blank cheque

The EU has, on balance, done much good in Eastern Europe, though harm too. Elsewhere since 1999 it has been on the whole a big disaster. The Euro has destroyed the economies of Southern Europe, Schengen has failed to protect countries from invasion, the EU has shown that it cannot be a player in foreign affairs and it is clear now, as should always have been clear, that it can never be democratic because it has no demos.

Immigration is not a key issue - Brexit might not affect immigration at all - except that people who want a million or three million migrants to enter Europe without papers in a single year are very dangerous people - mad, bad and dangerous to know. The one strong argument for our staying is that Scotland might secede in ten years time. If we do vote for Brexit expect the EU to come up with a counter-offer. And more referendums till we get the answer right. 

I don't think we shall ever escape. And young people are educated in the pieties of internationalism, so this is our last chance.

Thursday 16 June 2016

Let's enjoy the next week while Berlin and Brussels fear we might leave the EU

I firmly expect Great Britain to vote to stay in the EU next Thursday, but let's all enjoy every single blissful moment of these halcyon days when our German and other European rulers think we might leave. This is the last moment when Great Britain roused herself to become a free country. After we vote to stay in, it will probably resemble what Claude Cockburn's tutor told him life was like after Oxford: just a long slow slope to the grave.

Bertrand Russell said ‘Collective fear stimulates herd instinct and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd’. I see a lot of this coming from the In camp who seem almost to hate or despise the Outs. Especially they seem to hate UKIP and despise the working classes. The viciousness is born of fear. I find it disgusting but it is what politics and democracy are about. 

Whatever your views on Brexit what a great argument this referendum is for lots more referendums. Though of course there is not really very much room in the EU for referendums.

The opinion polls today show Leave up to 7% ahead of Remain and the bookmakers, who are  always the best place to look, to find out what's going on  today give Leave an astonishingly high 30% chance. I give it a lot less (5-10%?) but what does impress me is that the polls are swinging towards Leave despite the attempts of the government the IMF and most of the establishment to terrify electors with stories of economic Armageddon.

And could we really leave?

I suppose yes!

And then?

Who knows?

The Germans could want to punish us very hard pour encourager les autres but this would do huge damage to the EU economy and especially Germany’s. The German Finance Minister says we will be booted out of the single market (the same Finance Minister who thinks if Germans do not take immigrants they will start committing incest – he really did say that recently). But I was more interested in what Juergen Hardt, senior CDU foreign policy spokesman, told Der Spiegel. If the UK votes to leave, he said the EU should gauge possible action to prevent a British exit from becoming a reality. “Brussels shouldn't close the door right away.”

I had dinner last night with a very Europhile British friend, 60, public school educated and well off, who is anguished that 'Literally ALL my British friends without exception want us to leave'. More than half his British friends live on the Continent, by the way.  

He made a number of weak arguments for staying in the EU. He said that all economists think we should stay (which is, of course, certainly not true) and that no former party leader thinks we should leave. I mentioned Michael Howard, Ian Duncan Smith, David Owen, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Foot. 

I could have mentioned Jeremy Corbyn who probably does not really want us to stay, but Corbyn is a name even less likely to persuade anyone than Foot's. Instead, I surprised him by mentioning Nigel Lawson. He had no idea that very experienced intelligent people like Howard and Lawson wanted us to leave.

Then he said that he thought nationals of other EU countries who live in the UK should have had a vote in the referendum. This was like the thirteenth stroke of the clock, that not only was not convincing in itself but cast doubt on the other twelve. I don't think he gets the idea of nationhood.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

A revolutionary moment in Britain

The support in the opinion polls for Britain leaving the E.U. (exactly 50-50 these days) is the nearest the British have come to a revolution since 1848 - and that includes the General Strike of 1926 and the strange revolutionary moment when Diana died. The people (half of them) are battling against the political parties, big business, the banks, the Americans, the Europeans and even the Archbishop of Canterbury. How interesting that the left these days (including Jeremy Corbyn) is always opposed to revolutions.

Donald Trump, of course, is a revolutionary too.

Monday 13 June 2016

More EU referendum quotations

England has never been more little than it is now, a subject province of someone else’s empire.

Peter Hitchens

The price of true freedom is uncertainty.

Kate Hoey

We’re getting killed, it’s madness. We’re being asked to argue with our voters, telling them that they’re wrong about immigration and the EU. And then at the end we’re supposed to turn around and say vote Labour. It’s like putting up a sign saying vote UKIP.

Anonymous senior Labour MP quoted in Politico

Unfortunately British Muslims have no choice. They need to ask whether it is safe for them to remain part of a European Union which is being steadily captured by anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred.
The latest example of this dangerous trend concerns the dreadful remarks made two weeks ago by the Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. "Islam" declared Fico, "has no place in Slovakia".
Fico made clear that he was not calling for a secular Slovakia. He wants to keep Muslims out as part of what looks and sounds very much like a crusade for a Christian Slovakia - and by extension a Christian Europe.

Peter Oborne in Middle East Eye

Sunday 12 June 2016

More Brexit referendum campaign thoughts

When you win, everything you did was an act of genius and when you lose, everything you did was the work of a fool. 

Ed Miliband

A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.

Ronald Reagan

We should change the name Conservative Party because we are not.

Margaret Thatcher

The constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man. Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man. In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life. If he exists, I certainly have no knowledge of him.

Joseph de Maistre

In a democracy people identify themselves as part of a first person plural—a 'we' established by inheritance and history.

Roger Scruton

We envisage few political evils worse than that of a government that controls us, but which we cannot control.

Roger Scruton

Saturday 11 June 2016

Brexit referendum campaign thoughts

To simplify wildly the main current in liberal-left thought is universalist. We believe that rights are for everyone. Logically we are committed to the position that a new immigrant to Britain, for instance, should be as entitled to benefits and public services as a British citizen born and bred here. Large chunks of the British electorate could not disagree more. They are communitarians. They believe that natives should have greater rights; that you have to belong before you can receive."

Nick Cohen

'It isn’t important whether you win or lose, so long as you survive. So long as your people survive. And that’s the only good reason for fighting that anyone ever invented. The survival of your people and race and kind. That’s the only victory that matters.'

Sir Harry Flashman (from 'Mr American' by George MacDonald Fraser)

SMILE at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget.
For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.

G.K. Chesterton

What people like Polly don't seem to realise is that, rather like at the end of Animal Farm, her beloved bourgeois left crowd and the Neoliberals have become so similar as to be indistinguishable.

Comment on a Polly Toynbee article online

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Why I decided I hope the UK leaves the EU

I have always been certain that my country would vote to stay in the EU even as I become more and more persuaded that, on balance, we should leave. But now, suddenly, hope has crept by inches into my heart.

I decided after much thought that I would vote Out had I a vote. But I have been abroad too long. Why? Because the EU will always be undemocratic. Because you cannot have a democracy without a demos.  

Our economic future might eventually be better outside the EU, but no-one knows and people who say they know are deluded or deluding. What matters is that I do not see any reason why laws should be made by unelected foreigners that we in the United Kingdom have to obey. 

There's no right or wrong decision on Brexit - it depends on your values. Do we prefer to be free or want kind masters? I think the English will prefer kind masters. They will vote to stay in, for fear that there would be fewer laws if we leave. But maybe I'm wrong.

One thing that has helped me make up by mind about Brexit is that I find I tend to like the way Brexiters think about things in general, like their sense of humour - and find the

Reaction to the referendum result anticipated by Philip Larkin

Reaction to the referendum result if the UK were to vote to leave the EU, as anticipated by Philip Larkin:

Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand,

As epitaph:

He chucked up everything

And just cleared off,

Monday 6 June 2016

Quotations for Monday

She was also incapacitated by much of daily life and had 'no aptitude whatsoever' for domesticity.

Sybille Bedford

Trump routinely deploys all the subversive transgressiveness that campus Leftists claim to value.

Camille Paglia

A lot of the craziness comes from cultural/ethnic issues—rural White Americans who feel they are losing their country, and they are right. They are losing their country. In the end, the power they now have will go away, but it’s a very difficult and dangerous time until then.

Paul Krugman, 2014

Sunday 5 June 2016

Back in Cernauti/Chernivtsi

An unmistakable sense of freedom as soon as we arrive in Ukraine. A sense of normal people who think like human beings. A civilised place where people believe in God and love their country. Romania is like that too but is becoming EU-ised.

It took eleven hours to drive from Bucharest to Cernăuți instead of the eight we'd planned on. As happens every summer in Romania there were floods, a road was closed. At the border we waited over an hour. An argument for the European Union. All Romanian borders took half an hour to cross before she joined the EU.

This is my third visit to the Northern Bucovina and Cernăuți or Czernowitz. Cernăuți was its name when it was in Romania from 1919 to 1940. Chernivtsi is its Ukrainian name. Czernowitz was its name in the period of its prosperity, when it was the third city of the Austrian empire, in Austria's equivalent of the Wild West, and Yiddish and German speaking Jews made up much the largest and most influential ethnic group in the city.  

The city was at the same time a centre for Ukrainian, Romanian and Jewish nationalism. Now the streets are named after Ukrainian heroes, the Jews and Romanians are mostly gone and the great synagogue is a cinema - called by wags the Cine-gogue.

The Jews were mostly relocated and then killed by Romanian soldiers during the war, though the Romanian mayor persuaded the Romanian dictator, Marshal Antonescu, to spare twenty thousandThe surviving Jews mostly left for Israel or, recently, Germany. About a thousand remain. That is a small number but a Jew from Cernăuți, Volodymyr Groysman, became Ukrainian Prime Minister in April, belying American suspicions that Ukraine is an anti-Semitic country (though I suspect that it might be).