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A few years ago, the Canadian government (at that time it was a majority Conservative government under Stephen Harper) proposed legislation which would have weakened the privacy rights of all Canadians. Part of the justification was to allow easier apprehension and prosecution of people trafficking in child pornography. The justice minister, Vic Toews, said that anyone opposing the bill was in favour of child pornography. Of course, this was a ridiculous statement, creating a false dichotomy of "you're either with us or against us".

Similarly, the media seems intent on painting anyone who favoured Great Britain's exit from the European Union as Islamophobic or Xenophobic. Almost certainly this was a factor in the minds of some of the voters. However, it may also be that many of the voters felt that Great Britain had lost control over matters affecting them that are better handled from within Great Britain than from without. I've seen the effect that globalization has had on the economies of both Canada and the United States. The FTA, and its successor, NAFTA, both resulted in the outsourcing of millions of jobs to other countries. When NAFTA was first passed, seminars were routinely held for big business to show how they could save billions by shipping manufacturing jobs to Mexico and other countries. Globalization worked to the benefit of big business and to the detriment of American and Canadian workers. Globalization is not necessarily desirable nor inevitable but it is far easier for those who would profit from globalization to paint those who oppose it as racist rather than anti big business.

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    diafol 3,720   2 Years Ago

    @AssertNull - wrt UK papers. There are very few reliable ones left. The Independent recently went under and that was pretty balanced and objective. The (Daily) Express, The (Daily) Mail, The Sun are all what some of us would call "Tory Rags" - cheap, right-wing scare-mongering nonsense. Unfortunately, most of … Read More

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    diafol 3,720   2 Years Ago

    The mathematics of it and demographic split make me sick. But democracy is democracy, for better or for worse. However, I'm still hoping for an eleventh hour reprieve! > Anyone, after a few moments of sober, serious thought, should be able to see the holes in creationism, crystal healing, homeopathy, … Read More

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    ddanbe 2,720   2 Years Ago

    Listened to a masterly covered version of Bob Dylan's "All along the watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix today on the radio. The lyrics start with: *"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief, "There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.* Strange...history seems to … Read More

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Just announced, Nabisco is moving 600 jobs from Chicago to Mexico to take advantage of the $4 minimum wage there. Kraft Foods (the parent company) made $7 billion in profit last year but by moving to Mexico and screwing 600 American workers then decided they could squeeze out a few more dollars. If the Chicago workers agree to a $4 wage to match Mexico then they can keep their jobs. Score another one for big business and the government policies that made it possible. But I suppose anyone who opposes this is just a racist xenophobe.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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What ordinary folk voting for "regaining control of the country" ignored is that they don't control anything, the government does. And the current UK government is hell-bent on privatising or outsourcing everything in sight. It also favours corporations over individuals, and mutinationals over small businesses, every time. (Not to mention rich over poor or disabled). It's the more left-wing EU that is the last protector of the rights of workers and the poor in the UK. Without that protection the UK is going to be just like the US (complete with Boris as Trump's mini-me.)

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I am a passionate Europhile and pro-EU. I am absolutely devastated. You mention xenophobia and racism as not being representative of the Brexit crew.s views. Well nearly every conversation I had about brexit highlighted the proud ignorance and open racism of those who opposed my views. So anectodal I know, but that was my experience. This is like losing a friend. I.m not sure I will ever get over it. Feeling something akin to grief. Horrible.

Edited by diafol

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James has it right. There was a lot of talk about sovereignty too. It.s all a matter of perspective not absolute levels. Power and influence. In order to influence the laws of 28 nation states it.s only fair that you cede some "power" or ultimate decisionmaking. If we now want to trade in the EU (single market) we will have to do what we.re doing now AND have absolutely no say on policy. No influence. Nothing. Buggered.

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If we now want to trade in the EU (single market) we will have to do what we.re doing now AND have absolutely no say on policy

He surely speak the truth.

I didn't want to get into the immigration thing, but Diafol's right about that as well. The UK has a hard core around 15% of proud bigoted violent racists. It's the same bigotry and the same percentage here in France where I now live. Maybe it seems terrible to D's and my ethical instincts, but I bet its low compared to the percentage of proud bigoted racists all across the Middle East (or, dare I say the southern United States?)

The only ray of light here is that with 70% of MPs and near 100% of their advisors in banks, consultancies and businesses firmly in the Remain camp, maybe the process of "leaving" will be drawn out and diluted until, in the end, it makes no difference.

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This won't stop with Great Britain. Brexit passing is going to spur lots of other nascent and not-so-nascent separatist movements. In the US, Texas, Alaska, and New Hampshire have flirted with seceding, and people have flirted with splitting California in two. I don't think any of these have a chance of taking real root, but then again, I didn't think Brexit would pass, and it seems like quite a few British Brexit voters have woken up with Buyers' Remorse, as if they voted for it as a protest vote but didn't actually want it to pass, nor did they know what it meant. This is a case of "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." Donald Trump, of course, was in Scotland congratulating Scotland for voting for Brexit, which of course it didn't. I'm particularly concerned about how this affects the fragile "peace" in Northern Ireland.

The only guy I know who is thrilled with the Brexit vote is a guy from Vancouver who hates Quebec with a passion and is hoping this will reinvigorate the Quebec Separatist Movement so they'll leave Canada.

Edited by AssertNull

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This is like losing a friend.

I realize that I am speaking from an ocean away where the issues regarding brexit have not been aired nearly to the extent that they have in Europe but I'm thinking in terms of what would change after a possible secession of Quebec from the rest of Canada. Politically and possibly economically things would change but as for personal connections, I wouldn't "lose" anything. So I wouldn't look at it like losing a friend.

Yes, there will always be a core of racists but I don't see them as representative of GB any more than I consider the radical jihadists as representative of Islam or the Westboro Baptists as representative of Christianity.

Also, I agree that the government (current) will favour big business (and their own control of the reins of power) but that could change more easily when the seat of power is in London and not in some other country altogether.

I'm going to consider a hopefully far-fetched scenario. What if Canada and the US were to form a political union. The seat of power would certainly be in the US. And if the US and Canada were to jointly decide on the location of a nuclear waste storage facility you could also be sure that it would end up in northern Canada.

A recent article stated

I am no political scientist, but looking at the demographic data of how people voted, it was the lower socio-economic groups in England, outside of major cities, who carried Brexit across the line; those with the lowest expectations for prosperity, the fewest qualifications, low-paying jobs and less opportunity for education.

These are the very people who are hurt the most when the already low-paying jobs are moved out of country.

The same article goes on to state

To those Brexit voters who were well-informed, yet chose to ignore or discredit the unanimous conclusions of objective political science as ‘biased,’ you should have known better. Shame on you.

What is shameful is simply classifying those who voted to leave as either stupid or racist or both.

I don't know what the day-to-day political climate is like in Great Britain, but here in Canada we get a lot of exposure to the happenings to the south and what I see is so-called experts and political "leaders" continually telling Americans things that are clearly opposed to their best interests

  1. Wall Street is good
  2. More guns = more safe
  3. War is necessary
  4. Less freedom means greater security
  5. Lower taxes for the rich means more money for everyone

Is it any surprise that after years of big lies the people are skeptical when big government and big money tell them that leaving the EU will bring the financial apocalypse?

In the US, Texas, Alaska, and New Hampshire have flirted with seceding, and people have flirted with splitting California in two.

I'm certainly no expert in this area but as far as I know there is no legal/constitutional process in place by which a state could secede. Although I think the US would be much better off without Texas, even if only that they might end up with better textbooks in their schools.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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I'm certainly no expert in this area but as far as I know there is no legal/constitutional process in place by which a state could secede.

I'm not sure they care whether it's legal or not. I think it's ingrained deep in the American psyche and even deeper in the Texas psyche that anytime a state tries to secede from a larger state, the larger state might try to punish the smaller state or prevent it from happening, very likely through military force. When seceding, you must be willing to fight militarily. I don't think anyone thought we could secede from Britain without a war and I doubt many in the South thought they could secede without a war, although very few anticipated that the Civil War would be as big as was, but people almost always underestimate how big wars will be.

Former Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry says Texas has the RIGHT to secede, but shouldn't. I've heard Texans argue that Texas is different and negotiated an option to secede when it joined the US that applies to Texas and only Texas. I'm personally unqualified to offer any legal opinion, but I'm skeptical that Texas has any more of a right to secede than any other state. I think it's a bluff anyway, and used for conservative Texas morale and get-out-the-vote purposes.

Although I think the US would be much better off without Texas

Texas generally brings secession up as a threat, as in "If you don't give us what we want, we can secede". They don't seem to realize that a lot of the rest of the US doesn't share their opinion that they're superior to all the other states. They think we'll beg them to stay, when in fact if they tried to secede, many Americans would say good riddance. Personally I love Texans, though not to the extent they love themselves. I'm wondering if many in Great Britain assumed the rest of the EU would be begging them to stay instead of the "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out" reaction they're getting.

proud bigoted racists all across the Middle East (or, dare I say the southern United States?)

I won't comment on the South compared to the rest of the US or compared to other countries, but I am noticing an increase in the number of "proud" racists in the US recently. In recent years it's been unacceptable socially in most parts of American society to openly be a racist. Racists had to largely keep their opinions to themselves or use "code words". Some type of plausible or semi-plausible denial had to be maintained. I'm seeing more people getting more comfortable using thinner and thinner "code" in polite company, an openness and pride I did not see as much ten years ago. Not to blame Donald Trump for everything, but he had to think about whether he needed to disavow an endorsement from David Duke of all people (I'm not buying into him not hearing the question or not knowing who David Duke is). It hurt him a little bit, but in prior years anyone having to think about that would be toast. Of course, he gets away with a lot of things no one else can. I think he'll lose the election, but his lack of a filter and willingness to say outlandish things has allowed racists to come out of the shadows. Maybe it's good to have it out in the open. Sunlight's the best disinfectant.

Edited by AssertNull

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For a thread titled Brexit, it sure has a North American tang! You cannot even begin to compare the EU to an economic (and possibly political) pact between the USA and Canada. The EU is not just about a trading block, athough many argue that's exactly what it should limit itself to. It has evolved into something far more important. There has been a redistribution of wealth in my part of the world, although the proudly ignorant chose to ignore that little fact and voted to leave. Wales and Cornwall receive much more than is paid in by the taxpayer. Many of these initiatives and projects are "cultural" and "educational" in addition to the economic grants awarded to "Objective One" regions. The Prime Minister stated (a long time before a referendum) that these monies would not be awarded directly from the UK government if the EU decided not to fund them - although the EU moey is technically UK taxpayers' money. Cheers guys, let the valleys slip further into deprivation.
Many of my compatriots are like creationists or homeopathists - you can show them the evidence over and over again, but they'll stubbornly believe what they want to believe. Wales has the lowest immigration of the whole UK (3%), yet this was a huge issue here. You could fit all the country's immigrants into a small football stadium. Most of them live in the capital city (Cardiff) anyway, which voted to Remain!
So, "old" people tended to vote Leave - harking back to when they though Britain was "Great". We've been in the EU (EEC) for 43 years. So comparing then to now is like comparing 1945 to 1988 - WTF?! How is that even relevant? When was Britain "great" anyway - when it ruled half the world, murdering, pillaging and looting as it went along? Sorry don't want to rant. I could go on for days, frothing at the mouth, but it won't help :(

Edited by diafol

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You cannot even begin to compare the EU to an economic (and possibly political) pact between the USA and Canada.

I was only using that as an hypothetical. In the EU, what is to prevent most of the member nations from passing a resolution that would act to the detriment of one of the other members?

There has been a redistribution of wealth in my part of the world.

And this is a good thing. We have that in Canada as well in the form of transfer payments from the "have" provinces to the "have-not" provinces via the federal government. Some would argue that the amount of these payments varies not by need (of the provinces) but by need of whatever party is currently in power to buy votes to stay in power or to appease Quebec (sorry Michael but we in Manitoba are still smarting from the loss of airplane maintenance jobs). Being so removed from the day to day politics in Europe I don't know if it's the same situation over there. I don't know how easy it is for a company to relocate from one EU member nation to another to take advantage of lower labour costs (for one example) or more favourable tax rates (for another).

Also, over here the redistribution of wealth has for the most part been upward while those at the top continuously cry for even more to governments that are only too happy to oblige. Yet another reason to distrust the informed opinion of both as to what is in our best interests.

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I was only using that as an hypothetical. In the EU, what is to prevent most of the member nations from passing a resolution that would act to the detriment of one of the other members?

The uk was one of a few countries to hold the right to veto. However that.s the thing with a big club you have to reach accommodations and make compromises. You have influence over common policy.

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Yeah. With NAFTA the "accomodations" were that any disputes would be resolved according to American law and in American courts. Guess how many of the disputes that Canada filed were settled in Canada's favour? You can count them on the fingers of no hands. I was unaware, however, that the UK had a veto. That does alter things somewhat.

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The comparison of 2 countries club vs 28 countries club breaks down pretty quickly I'm afraid. The veto, while there, has not been used much - it seems to be a bit of a nuclear option. The term "veto" may be a bit misleading anyway - this article explains it quite well:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/european-elections-explaining-the-mysterious-british-veto-john-lichfield-writes-the-first-of-a-1438345.html

I like to think of the EU more like a national football league (NFL). All clubs pay something into it to keep it going, but all have a say in how it's run. The NFL secures deals on behalf of its member clubs. It distributes a certain amount of money. It sets rules on the movement of players from one team to another, etc. Clubs can do deals with one another. Clubs can trade with other clubs outside the NFL. Each club decides how many players they want to attract from outside the NFL.
This brexit, to me, is like a club that used to regularly win silverware, saying sod it, I don't want to be part of this NFL anymore. Of course now, it has to try to organise its own games, even with NFL clubs. The NFL turns around and says, well if you want to play any of our clubs, you'll have to pay your dues and accept our rules. The difference is you'll have no say in how we're run.

You banked the farm on a new independent deals with other leagues. They wanted even more concessions than the NFL! Bastards. It could even be that the NFL told them that just dealing with you would jeopardise their trade. Fun and games.

I know this is a very simplified and flawed analogy, but for the life of me, I just can't see the logic - not won't - just can't.

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OK. That makes it clearer. It will be interesting to see how things work if other members decide to go the same route.

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Surely no one else will jump before they see exactly how this plays out for the UK. Which could be a long wait. The concensus from both sides is that there's no hurry to trigger clause 60, regardless of what Merkel may want.

Todays Guardian has a very thoughtful article suggesting thet Cameron's decision not to do anything before October has successfully sunk Boris and the Brexiters. By October it will be blatantly obvious what trouble a Brexit will cause/is causing, and candidates for PM will have to answer to "when will you trigger 50?". It's a fair guess that by then there will be far less popular support for an exit, and the successful candidate will be the one who answers "well, not immediately, there's much work to be done etc etc (politician speak for 'never')" - so it won't actually happen.

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My feeling is the pro-Brexit sentiment came more from the feeling that being in the EU increases the immigration rate rather than trade/tax issues. Women born in Western Europe have much lower birth rates than immigrants coming from Africa and the Middle East. Germany's is low to the point that Merkel is worried about a demographics crisis in the young-to-old ratio and is actively seeking immigration to counteract that demographics trend. The UK's isn't as bad, but that's largely due to the immigrants already there. I think some of the pro-Brexit folks are quite worried that if immigration to the UK doesn't slow down, it will become less and less British due to the differing birth rates. Interestingly enough, this demographics trend would affect the young much more than the old, yet the young voted against Brexit and the old voted for it.

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Surely no one else will jump before they see exactly how this plays out for the UK.

Disagree. Strike while the iron's hot.

It's a fair guess that by then there will be far less popular support for an exit

Exactly why you wouldn't wait if you wanted a Brexit-like vote to succeed in your country.

the successful candidate will be the one who answers "well, not immediately, there's much work to be done etc etc (politician speak for 'never')" - so it won't actually happen.

Again, that's why you wouldn't wait if you wanted it done. As you mentioned, studying the issue, which takes time, is often a method of stalling and letting an idea die after people are no longer talking about it.

Brexit has proven that this can be done, "this" being defined as successfully getting people to vote for it. That's going to embolden any Frenchman wanting France to leave the EU, any German wanting Germany to leave the EU, etc. They're already convinced that it's a good idea and can work and they want to seize the opportunity now before the idea gets stale. Their opponents are convinced it's a bad idea and would not work. Neither side is likely interested in waiting and studying the data objectively. It's a cynical, but true fact that laws are most likely to get passed when people aren't thinking clearly. The "Three Strikes" law passed immediately after horrific child abductions, exactly when people are not thinking about potential civil liberties issues. Gun Control laws are passed right after horrific school shootings. The Patriot Act passed right after 9/11. All the "We're going to regret this" voices were told to shut up and think of the children.

People perhaps SHOULD wait until it's clear whether Brexit was a good idea or a bad idea, but then again, people should have googled "What is the EU" BEFORE they voted on Brexit, not after.

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The FTA, and its successor, NAFTA, both resulted in the outsourcing of millions of jobs to other countries.

Most of those jobs went to non-NAFTA countries (eg. the US textiles industry moved to Bangladesh, call centres moved to India, most manufacturing moved to China, Tiawan, and Singapore) thus the exodus cannot be blamed exclusively on NAFTA.

Globalization & out-sourcing was an inevitable result of the development of poor countries. Middle/Working class jobs will always move to the country with the lowest labour costs which also have the minimum technology & infrastructure required to support that particular industry. The only option to protect such jobs would have been to impose extremely high tariffs which would have the effect of making the whole world poorer in an absolute sense - i.e. you could have a decent manufacturing job but iPhones would much more expensive so your "purchasing power" would probably be lower than it is today.

That said tax-loopholes and off-shore tax havens are a huge problem for all countries (technology & internet companies are the worse offenders since they exist everywhere and nowhere) but can only be addressed through global cooperation possibly through institutions like the EU (though sadly the UK Tories have blocked most of the EU's efforts on financial regulation).

With NAFTA the "accomodations" were that any disputes would be resolved according to American law and in American courts

That's because the US with it's much bigger population & economy is far more powerful than Canada, hence any deal will naturally favour them. Similarly the Brexit campaign claimed leaving the EU would allow the UK to get better trade deals with the rest of the world, which obviously is delusional since by negotiating as a block the EU rivals the US in economic & cultural power hence should be able to negotiate a relatively fair deal, whereas the UK alone is only slightly bigger than Canada thus can only hope for a slightly less skewed deal than we got. Within the EU, the UK was one of the most powerful countries (though sadly they mostly squandered that power by sitting on the margins not fully committed to the European project), hence its veto powers and special opt-outs for the Euro and I think a few other initiatives.

I think some of the pro-Brexit folks are quite worried that if immigration to the UK doesn't slow down, it will become less and less British due to the differing birth rates.

I think this is right but for the wrong reasons. The British who are worried about immigration (similar to the US) are generally those who are least affected by it, that's because the worry about "Britishness" is rooted in xenophobia which comes from the fear of the unknown. People exposed to immigrants know that for instance Polish food is delicious so a new Polish deli in town is to be welcomed not feared, whereas those who have no exposure (and are "stuck in their ways" i.e. old) just think Polish food is weird and thus bad.

Plus the immigrants people were most worried about (i.e. Muslims) are not coming via the EU's free movement of people because they largely are not EU citizens, they are arriving through the already existing points-based system for non-EU immigrants. And prominent Leave-campaigners have admitted immigration from the EU will continue even if the UK leaves the common market (which it probably won't because that would risk the financial industry moving to elsewhere since it relies on free-movement of capital around the EU).

Overall, the message the pro-Remain camp failed to get across is that there are real issues facing "Middle England" but these issues have very little to do with the UK's membership in the EU (they are a result of global trends & the UK Conservative party) so Leaving will do essentially nothing to rectify the problems, rather it will create a whole bunch new problems.

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That's because the US with it's much bigger population & economy is far more powerful than Canada, hence any deal will naturally favour them.

That's sort of like making a bet with a gambler who says "if I lose, the bet's off". Here's an article about how NAFTA's Chapter 11 Makes Canada Most-Sued Country Under Free Trade Tribunals. Most of the lawsuits are the result of Canada having stricter (and more sensible) environmental regulations than the US.

In the US, the people who are disgusted with the existing two party system and clear-eyed enough to realize that a drastic change is needed had supported Bernie Sanders. A lot of them have said that they will vote for no one now that Sanders has lost the nomination. They realize that Democrat or GOP, nothing is going to change for the better. I woulodn't be surprised to see them vote for Trump out of spite. Someone said "Sanders is the president we need. Trump is the president we deserve".

I have to wonder if the disenfranchised in GB have come to the same conclusion about the Tory and Labour parties and have decided that voting to leave the EU will be a change that will actually result in a change. If it's a change for the worse they are llikely to be less affected than those who voted to stay.

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They realize that Democrat or GOP, nothing is going to change for the better.

I had hoped the success of Obamacare might have changed that, but it seems not. While it is true nobody can undo globalization the GOP and UK Tories clearly implement policies that hasten the rise in inequality, while the Democrats and UK Labour implement policies that reduce the rise in inequality. Though in truth the main reason both the Democrats & UK Labour have abandoned policies that would actually decrease inequality is because they (rightly or wrongly) believe such policies make them "unelectable" so they have to settle for just reducing the rise in inequality -> this is the main drive against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and was the main criticism of Sanders.

I have to wonder if the disenfranchised in GB have come to the same conclusion about the Tory and Labour parties and have decided that voting to leave the EU will be a change that will actually result in a change. If it's a change for the worse they are llikely to be less affected than those who voted to stay.

I can't find the link now but there was an article talking about rising unemployment among working class white men and a corresponding rise in suicide among that demographic, trying to suggest Brexit was an act of "economic self-harm" by those who have given up on "the system".

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Got this link from two different people a few hours ago. One of them regularly sends me some fairly off-the-wall rumors regarding One-World-Government-Run-By-The-UN links no matter how many times I ask him not to, so I generally view his links with some skepticism. The other one is much more mainstream, though he tilts quite Conservative, anti-NAFTA and anti-EU, and when he sends me stuff, you can be fairly sure that many, many non-crackpots are discussing this seriously. Here's the link...

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/683739/EU-referendum-German-French-European-superstate-Brexit

Headline is "European SUPERSTATE to be unveiled: EU nations 'to be morphed into one' post-Brexit".

Quote from article:

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.
Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.
Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.
The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland - a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism - after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.

A few things stand out here, The language in the article, including the headline, is a bit splashier than, say, the New York Times might use. Two, this is not a direct quote from anybody. Three, it's purportedly from a "leak" to a Polish news station from some FUTURE speech/plan that France and Gerrman ministers plan to pitch to the remaining EU members now that Britain's out of the way. We don't know who leaked it as far as I can tell, and the ministers have not actually presented this plan yet.

Four, the e-mails I got show quite clearly that the people sending it/reading it are attributing some of the spin/racy words in the article as direct quotes from the leaked plan and from the French/German ministers who are supposedly going to present this plan. This is "telephone" where the message is spun from one person to the next and the spin ends up being the direct quote by the end.

Is anyone familiar with "The Express"? It strikes me a bit like People Magazine. What is interesting is that if you google the following phrase:

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.

you get tons of hits from many sources. However this is NOT a quote from any person or any document. It is the article writer's description, his spin. In particular, this phrase:

is being described as an “ultimatum”

is being quoted over and over verbatim. "Ultimatum" is in quotes. However it is NOT a quote from anyone or any document. There's no inkling about who might have used the word "ultimatum", but clearly the article is saying that it IS a quote. Seems like the original source is the link above, which apparently owns "The Daily Mail" and "The Sunday Mail". Not too familiar with British news organizations/tabloids. I've heard The Daily Mail was a bit tabloidy, which of course doesn't mean they can't write real news too.

Anyway, just wanted to share the narrative that's making its way around some circles: With the UK out of the way and thus unable to block anything, France and Germany are trying to make Europe one big country with one law for all and one army for all.

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The world is changing too rapidly and too fast. This strengths the myth that “once upon a time there was economic heaven for uneducated workers in the industrialized world”. There never have been such a place , and if anyone felt it that way it was only because the needs of each individual in old days were relative easy to be covered because they were so basic. Today the customer needs of each individual cost real money and there is the feeling that a part of the society is “left” behind by those who seek progress.

Recently I had a conversation with a friend from my childhood who is an “uneducated” worker , his family really strive to keep their home , he support right wing xenophobic approaches (but he don't define himself as racist) and he was complaining about how poor he is based in the model of his smart phone. Even if all recent immigrants were left from my country (that is the 1/10 of the population just the last decade) he still couldn't get the last model of a fancy company but when I compare that consumer need with the need of his family to keep their house and the need of some immigrants not to drown in the Aegean sea it make feel so sad because he believes in those myths.

No society can be completely open to immigration without any rule. One problem is that the rules that we have in EU don't apply in reality. We built this EU with the dogma “throw them into the sea and they will swim”. In 2004 the European Constitution sank in referendums and there for we have a common economical zone and some of us a common currency without common policies or transparent democratic decisions. Prior to 2009 it was a common secret that some governments of the EU eurozone area (more than 5) were in a debt management policies that couldn't get along with that monetary policy for a strong Euro. Nobody (or almost) from those countries did anything , but it is evenly important that nobody from the EU constitutions did anything although they knew.

I am strongly in favor of EU with deep and transparent democratic decision making. I believe that in 50 or 60 years from now EU will be our common identity. But without loosing all those diverse things in culture that each country of EU has and makes it unique. UK was a problem for EU , they were “in and out” , they were to big to dismiss their demand to “bend” the rules and to small to make the rules themselves. Of course that policy have been worked great for UK and they will loose some from their decision to “Brexit”.

But EU is not only the currency the economical advantages that UK had or anything like that. EU is a vision of a continent without war , a continent that shares basic elements of civilization and tries to put the brightest of those in power.

I hope that , this referendum will be a strong bell ringing for the western industrialized world. That the EU will deepen and that across the world the myth of “once upon a time white uneducated workers lived in an economical heaven , - GIVE OUR COUNTRY BACK-” will buried in history as a historical nonsense. But things will not happen by themselves , we have to do something. I hope …

Edited by jkon

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I had hoped the success of Obamacare might have changed that

The intentions were good but the execution was awful. It won't clean up until they have single payer. For example, some hospitals charge different rates if you pay out of pocket or through Obamacare. One example - $80 for a blood test under Obamacare, $15 if you pay yourself. Wkth deductibles you can end up paying less if you pay yourself.

Democrats and UK Labour implement policies that reduce the rise in inequality.

In the US, the Democrats today are far to the right of what they were decades ago. With Clinton in the pocket of Wall Street I don't see inequality getting any better under her. It's not that better policies would make them unelectable, it's more that those policies would result in a major loss of campaign financing which I suppose ends up meaning the same thing.

is being described as an “ultimatum”

This sounds like a variation of the "some say" strategy. Start a rumour and wait for it to spread then claim "where there's smoke there's fire".

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I haven't seen it yet because we don't get it here at the cottage, but apparently John Oliver reported on Brexit stating that

There is no do-over. That was the f*cking vote! That was it!

That's not technically true, is it? Great Britain is still in the EU until Parliament legislates secession. An option here would still be for the government to reflect on the fact that since Thatcher, the system has clearly been rigged to benefit the financial elites. If serious steps were taken to bring balance to the system so that it operates more fairly then perhaps an election could be called and function as that very "do-over". If enough of the disenfranchised felt that the government was seriously addressing inequality then perhaps a different result would emerge.

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@AssertNull - wrt UK papers. There are very few reliable ones left. The Independent recently went under and that was pretty balanced and objective. The (Daily) Express, The (Daily) Mail, The Sun are all what some of us would call "Tory Rags" - cheap, right-wing scare-mongering nonsense. Unfortunately, most of the country, despite their political affiliations read these things. The Daily Mirror is a left-of-centre paper, but still prints ridiculous articles.

The right wing press: The Times, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Sun
The left-of-centre press: The Guardian, Daily Mirror, The Observer

There are others and Sunday sister papers. Our media is controlled by a handful of very rich, very manipulative individuals. Scary.

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Although the Independent paper folded, it's web version is still very much alive and an excellent source of balanced info. And of course there's always the BBC. The UK edition of the Huffington Post has a lot of good coverage inbetween it's celebrity nonsense.

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The world is changing too rapidly and too fast.

People have been saying that is the case since the beginning of the industrial revolution (and probably before then).

Seems like the original source is the link above, which apparently owns "The Daily Mail" and "The Sunday Mail"

Those rags are about as close to news papers as FOX-News is to a news program. They are well known to take any possible proposal by the EU and blow it way out of proportion to create fear of the EU. Even though most of the proposals they scaremonger about never get formally put forward (or are long term plans not intended to be seriously considered until 20+ years down the road) or are immediately and decisively defeated in the European Parliament.

Edited by Agilemind

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This sounds like a variation of the "some say" strategy. Start a rumour and wait for it to spread then claim "where there's smoke there's fire".

It's a very effective straw man argument.. The French and German ministers, whatever they are proposing, no longer can wait till they actually propose it and defend what they actually propose. They instead must contend with a skewed version of what they have not yet proposed. I find Donald Trump's version of it particularly interesting. Paraphrasing, "Some people say X. I'M not saying X, but some people are saying X. I think it's Y, but some people are saying X, so we should talk about X and find out if it's true." So he gets to start the rumor, encourage the rumor to be talked about, and say he doesn't believe the rumor and didn't start the rumor all at the same time. X itself is usually something vague and ominous, so impossible to disprove. And if he starts Trump News Network, he'll have more opportunities to do that.

Those rags are about as close to news papers as FOX-News is to a news program.

More people read the Daily Mail than the New York Times, as of four years ago, depending on how you count things. Fox News takes the "most watched" prize too.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/02/daily_mail_new_york_times_how_the_british_tabloid_became_the_world_s_most_popular_online_newspaper_.html

http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/ratings-fox-news-tops-all-of-cable-total-viewers-q1-cnn-up-triple-digits-1201741012/

I'll be quite interested to see what the French/German ministers actually propose and comparing it to the article I posted to see how close they are.

Edited by AssertNull

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Well, the three premiers: French, German and Italian are the biggest net contributors to the EU, so they have a massive interest in how to shape the future EU. They all want different things of course. France is very much in favour of a type of United States of Europe, whereas Germany and Italy are pretty lukewarm about the idea. There is a "rumour" that Britain will delay triggering Article 50 in order to see if a nice little offer comes from the EU that may stay the "will of the people". Either way, I forsee a horrible few years of horse trading and trying to out-do the other. Markets will be volatile, without confidence and therefore jobs will be on the line. I expect to see a recession. £40bn has been already wiped off the economy - but that's a debatable statistic and likely to change with the fortune of the markets. If this figure "sticks", then all the belt tightening through austerity policies over the years will have been undone in a couple of days. Worst case scenario maybe. We've got reports of a marked increase in cases of racial abuse to boot. Thankfully this number is still quite small, despite the huge percentage increase. Oh Dog help us.

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