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Monday, 04 July 2016

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North doesn't like Farage because Farage doesn't do what North says he should. Farage is a man who has made his mark on our history - North is just boring! Presumably he remains an MEP, a constant thorn in the sides of our enemies. We shall need him again because the Tories are about to make a big mistake. I hope Boris Johnson is keeping his powder dry!

I'm not so sure about 'BoJo', I gain the impression that he loves to fly by the seat of his (not insubstantial) pants! My choice is Leadsom although I confess my ignorance concerning the details of her previous political record.

I agree with boe - "North doesn't like Farage because Farage doesn't do what North says he should."

However, Farage's eloquence and persistence have achieved far more than North ever could with his miserable piles of facts and figures. They don't sway hearts and minds and if North hasn't worked that out by now then he isn't worth the effort.

I don't know much about North, but it's always a pity when people quarrel instead of cooperating in a good cause. Farage was not to everyone's taste, but he was extremely effective. I'm sure a lot of his outrageous pronouncements were carefully crafted in order to stir up controversy. He saved us from creeping slavery.

Dr North seems to hold everybody in contempt apart from a small coterie of sycophants. Not saying he doesn't know his stuff but he is so aggressive he puts people off. Nigel is a great man.

Hats off to him.

Didn't agree with much of what he said, but I liked the way he said it: With determination, conviction, and principle.

And the "You're not laughing now" speech was as perfect a finale for a journey such as his as it is possible to have.

I don't think we've heard the last of him either. As the linear system he single handedly broke becomes non-linear, I expect there'll be plenty of interventions and roles for him in the beautiful, fluid, chaos that will now ensue. So much better for him to be free to pick up on any of threads without partisan ties.

Well there was one European pol whose left or right brother was rumoured to be in the Albert Hall; well Nige's missing one definitely isn't - the Albert Hall isn't big enough.

SoD

Ahoy Whitewall, Aussie Fellow D&N Denizens ...

TBH down below queried David as to whether y'all (the UK) had some equivalent to our Fourth and, as sometimes happens, a fellow US Navy/Marine occasioned to remind me of something. Excerpt:

***

"You don’t realize what it means,’ Rawlinson said. ‘Do you want me to run the risk of being sent back to England? Do you mean it is worth that?’ "

"‘Yes, I do,’ replied Monash. ‘It is more important to keep the confidence of the Americans and Australians in each other than to preserve even an Army commander.’ "

"Rawlinson, knowing that Monash was a talented officer, decided to back his corps commander if Marshal Sir Douglas Haig did not countermand the decision by 7 p.m. As it happened, Haig called just before 7, and he turned out to be very helpful. Citing the importance of the assault, he resolved the matter, saying, ‘The attack must be launched as prepared, even if a few American detachments cannot be got out before zero hour.’ "

http://www.historynet.com/world-war-i-battle-of-hamel.htm

Looks like Fraser Nelson and the Speccie have finally cottoned on to that Spiegel article: -

"By George, I think they’ve got it."

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/07/merkel-tells-juncker-britain-needs-plenty-time-invoke-article-50/

The Kaiserin is going for Juncker's jugular like a demented vampire bat.

I guess it's what Wellington must have felt like when he put his eye to the telescope for the second time and realized the uniforms appearing in the distance weren't French blue - but Prussian blue!

So, dear Brexiteers, readying yourselves to quit the field of honour and head for Calais, here's a question for you: -

If Merkel disbands the Commission, leaving the European Council (heads of state, elected by us) as the executive body, and the European Parliament (elected by us) as the legislative body, and the European Court only for judicial matters arising from the "statute" of the previous two and nothing else (all else at the national level), would you be in favour of this "National Europe"?

And I wonder what Nige would say, after he's had some R&R?

SoD

Actually, JK, my comment, "... happy July 4th (assuming you have one in Britain :)" was meant to be taken literally -- not "some equivalent to our Fourth". Of course, there's a July 4th in Britain; there's also one in Russia, Korea, and every other country that references our calendar.

I'll get my coat.

G'day JK,

Happy Independence Day.

Re General Sir John Monash. He is regarded as our most competent and favorite military commander developing systems now adopted by most modern armies and considered as basic tactics.

His troops [including my maternal grand father] revered him which is quite something as most Australian servicemen then, and now, only give their trust to those who are competent in what they do and show actual concern for the troops they command.

A crowd of around 250,000, a large number of them being his former "Diggers", turned out for his funeral in 1931.

For an excellent short biography see http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/monash-sir-john-7618.

Not mentioned in your referenced article is the fact that Americans were also assigned to Australian Artillery batteries at Hamel including the one my grand father commanded.

Some years ago [1991 to be precise] I was engaged in an after-dinner discussion with a couple of US Army officers on exchange duty here. The discussion was taking place in the Mess which had a portrait of Monash on the wall. They knew who he was and expressed the opinion that Pershing should have allowed the US troops to stay with the Australians during the battle for Hamel as the experience gained would have far outweighed the fact that they were not under the command of an American.

By one of those strange quirks of fate one of them had a grand father who had been with the Australian artillery at Hamel. We are still in touch with each other

I have had a few run ins with Dr North a most obnoxious person. In the comments column of his blog. I believe I bested him. Nigel Farage warrants a peerage but will the establishment give him one? I suspect not. Listening to Douglas Carswell on Breakfast this morning I believe there is a role for UKIP post Brexit and that is to take on the UK's corrupt and rotten establishment. If his sensible ideas are taken on by UKIP I may actually vote for them.

Sod if the commission had never been born or at least not been given the power that Monet decided it should have the EU would be quite a different animal today. Sadly disbanding it now will be a great improvement but too late as the monster is out of the cage and it will be very difficult to get it back in or better still kill it. The latter the UK has done or at least started the process.

I wonder if Nigel has disproved Enoch Powell's dictum that all political careers end in failure.

Sit back and wait, another 5 days will bring another load of people as the rats desert. We'll get to the bottom of the barrel eventually.

I was just reading about Leeds, where people are actually experiencing the kind of crowding that apparently the Brexiteers make up. Schools and housing are unavailable to the local people. If I read one more stupid person insisting that we "just build more houses" I am going to scream. You'd think someone would have cottoned on to the fact that we can't, particularly now that the Government has noticed that HA's had some money in the past and have stripped it all away at a moment's notice (Pre-vote, before anyone blames THAT on it).

Right, back to the news to see who else has left. Ah, Chris Evans. Oh wait, different story......

"Retirement", is it? Nigel's running for cover right behind Boris.

Not quite accurate, Bob, because Boris isn't running for cover, he had his legs chopped off at the knees by his erstwhile 'comrade', Michael Gove. Anyway, what is Nigel running from?

In the fullness of time we'll see what Boris and Nigel can do to forward their program of de-Europification, and you will studiously ignore what they're running from.

I'm not following you, Bob. Neither Boris or Nigel are directly involved in the Brexit negotiations, although it's possible they *might* be invited by whomsoever becomes prime minister. As for running away, I haven't a clue as to what you are hinting but if you know something I don't then do tell - you're amongst friends here and we won't tell - honestly!

Here's a more specific hint David: The pound is at a 31 year low against the dollar. Per Mr. Trump, the bright side is that more North Americans will be golfing in Scotland.

BTW, neither of the aforementioned politicians wish to be involved in negotiations. That's exactly what they're hiding from. They only wanted to take advantage of conservative voters by using Brexit issues to stir up an artificial problem they could then pretend to solve. The success of the referendum was an extremely unpleasant surprise for them. In America we would call them dogs that caught a car.

Bob I am intrigued. What was the artificial problem which required the pretense of solving? Membership of the EU? If that is it then BREXIT was/is the means of Britain regaining control of its own destiny. That old fashioned idea of self determination has a strong appeal to those who have direct knowledge of the alternative. Didn't some colonies on the east coast of North America do something similar 240 years ago?

Farage, a member of the European Parliament, holds no part in the British Government and it is they who have to carry BREXIT through to its conclusion. Observing from a distance here in Australia I think Farage deserves admiration for the determination to carry his campaign over many years despite the vilification heaped upon him.

Bob, in my lifetime, the £ has gone up and the £ has gone down - so what's different?

I think you are wrong to suppose that neither Boris or Nigel want to press for Brexit. Boris no longer has a role and Nigel has spent most of his adult life pursuing it. But again, it is now over to who-ever wins the Tory leadership and at that point, I agree, the governmental 'blob' will do its best to water down the result.

But how far has it gone down, David? Presumably you have seen it lower? And what happened to the country as a whole after it dipped?

A statue next to Cromwell would be appropriate for Nigel. The man was privy to the EU corrupt gravy train wasters and their tennis partners. He won the Brexit. Do not be surprised if the Tories and the rest of Parliament attempt to backtrack. The EU was a big earner for the political idle.

AussieD, the artificial problem was the idea the EU was smothering the UK. For example, there was a lie told that funds currently going to the EU would be used for the NHS after Brexit.

Economically the EU was a net positive. It was also a force for socially stability. Besides worsening economic conditions there are now questions about the funding of UK social services due to the drop in the pound.

I can sympathize with resentments toward globalization. It hasn't always been a positive force here either.

I'm no historian, but there are some that think the US would have been better off as a Commonwealth country like yours. It's amusing to me that conservatives only consider governments able to take away freedoms. Business concerns seem much more adept.

Hmm...

Bob, I'm beginning to suspect that you inhabit a parallel universe! If indeed the idea of the EU smothering Britain was "an artificial problem" then I'm surprised that 52% of the largest vote even held voted to get out! And the absolute fact is that we are a net *contributor* to the EU, we pay in a huge amount and get some of it back (less the costs of administration, ie, huge Brussels salaries and pensions) so, if we choose, then indeed some of that 'returned' money can be used for the NHS.

I have no idea what you mean by "Economically the EU was a net positive" given that they sell a huge amount more to us than we do to them. As for "social stability", the resentment by working class voters against foreign immigration was part of the reason that Brexit won. The referendum may, just, have taken the steam out of that bubbling kettle.

Nor do I understand what you mean by "globalisation". If you mean international free trade (by which I mean minimal government interference) then that can only be a huge benefit overall to Mankind.

The fact that you sneer at the notion of governments taking away freedoms indicates some naivitee on your part. Today, America is a prime example of government and big business going hand in hand to the detriment of the people. Ask the owners of the Clinton Foundation!

"I have no idea what you mean by 'Economically the EU was a net positive' given that they sell a huge amount more to us than we do to them."

Typical mercantilist country bumpkin nonsense!

I could say: We give them, say, £10bn in goods and services and they give us, say, £20bn. So we got £20bn worth of stuff in exchange for giving £10bn worth of stuff. So we won and they lost!

You say: They sold us more than we sold them. So we lost and they won!

Neither your argument nor mine stack up. They're both nonsense.

To understand why the trade balance is as irrelevant as the value of sterling (which you do seem to understand) you have to step back from the two and look at it more holistically.

You get there in your next pronouncement - note your holistic wording overall: -

"Nor do I understand what you mean by 'globalisation'. If you mean international free trade (by which I mean minimal government interference) then that can only be a huge benefit overall to Mankind."

Free trade / globalisation doesn't care what the trade balance and currency exchange rates are between states. The trade balances and exchange rates are mere measures of the internal processes of re-adjustment, re-allocation, and re-organization as the most efficient system known to man for organizing and operating the means of production and distribution as it goes about its business.

Free trade / globalization / the market, call it what you will, is a real world instantiation of a neural network. So is the brain.

Left alone, it will yield the greatest output per unit of input; no other system known by man improves upon it.

And "leaving it alone" requires that labour, as well as capital, goods, and services, should be free to move and re-adjust, re-allocate, and re-organize. There are no exceptions to the moving parts operating in accordance with the system that is provably the most fit for purpose - why would there be?

There are no economic arguments against free trade / globalization / the market. The only arguments reside in the social and political spheres.

But you need to be very careful when attempting to adjust the neural network to cater for social or political matters, as follows.

"As for 'social stability', the resentment by working class voters against foreign immigration was part of the reason that Brexit won"

Stoopid! Restricting immigrants from coming to the UK to ensure higher wages for British workers is completely counter-productive. The immigrants who would have come to Britain to work because the wages were higher go somewhere else to do the work for lower wages. Their output is cheaper because their cost - wages - is lower. Which means in the free trade system you propose the British workers have to compete against foreign goods and services that are cheaper, and so the British workers wages have to go down, not up!

So then you have to say "Well let's dispense with free trade, and put tariffs up on the ex-immigrants cheaper goods and services they're producing abroad due to their lower wages". And thereby, from one of your axioms - stopping immigration to Britain - you've contradicted one of your other axioms - free trade is good.

So either free trade pure - with freedom of movement - is best, or full protectionism is best. And we know the answer to that. Free trade is best.

Any dilution of free trade is a contradiction by being counterproductive, that is, it defeats the axiom that you want British workers to not earn less.

SoD

SoD, I haven't the time right now to give a detailed response to your comment - and also because I agree with much of it!

Because resentment at mass immigration was a factor in the Brexit success does not mean I totally agree with it. My support for Brexit was almost entirely based on my belief that the laws of Britain should be laid down by the British parliament.

As you know perfectly well, I am very supportive of free trade provided it is properly conducted. For example I would not be in favour of imported goods produced by slave labour, or, imported goods made cheap by foreign governments subsidising their own manufacturers.

All of that (and much more) comes under the heading of theoretical liberal economic philosophy but there is no doubt that from time to time it comes head to head with *social* reality. If you ram your metro notions of totally open borders down the throats of local people and their centuries old societies then you can expect an increasingly extreme re-action - that's human nature. So what are you going to do, put armed troops into northern towns to enforce your 'liberal' philosophy onto the local population? Good luck with that one!

"For example I would not be in favour of imported goods produced by slave labour, or, imported goods made cheap by foreign governments subsidising their own manufacturers."

Oooh, you're actually quite a Liberal internationalist under all the muddy knees and grass cuttings! Big debates inside both of those, for another day.

"So what are you going to do, put armed troops into northern towns to enforce your 'liberal' philosophy onto the local population? Good luck with that one!"

The irony being we now have more cause to need to have to put armed troops into northern towns than we did before we embarked on the counterproductive policy that will lead to lower wages "Ooop north" in order to compete with the erstwhile immigrants' goods and services produced more cheaply abroad.

Just remember what the chavs did to Blighty's cities only 4-5 years ago when times weren't even that bad.

In fact just remember the voting base that your vote just locked us in with: -

- Northerners
- Sweaties
- Taff's
- Paddies
- Public Sector workers
- Large corporates workforce (sponging off clientalist relationship with HMG for contracts)
- Farmers and English hinterland country bumpkins (needing CAP replacement)
- Manufacturing workforce
- London and BBC metro class (innately lefty)
- Student class (dumbed down “world owes me a living”)
- Chavs (rose up and tore our cities apart when times were good, imagine what they’ll do in a downturn – must be funded)
- Greens (melons, as we know)
- The loyal “Labour ‘til I die” comrades

Jezza won't have a problem getting this lot out for a "back to the future" teleportation to 1975. There's no-one left in Blighty of any consequence who understands, or wants to understand, the undeniable logic of the globalisation / Liberalization / free market / free trade / neural network system.

We will have to have a new dark age, a "Sleep of Reason" encore with attendant monsters, before we relearn it again.

Ah, but they're all British, so no worries there then.

SoD

One final little related twist.

I note that Juncker-the-Drunker was trying to get the CETA free trade deal signed off with Canada without passing it to the national governments to decide.

The Kaiserin then waltzed in and said "No you don't sonny Jim, it's got to go through the Bundestag first", and all the other nation states followed.

So from your newly found internationalist Liberal perspective, Juncker has shown his true colours - he's one of yours!

Far from the received wisdom that the EU project as represented by Juncker-the-Drunker wants tariff barriers around the EU, or at least interminable foot dragging before free trade arrangements are setup with non-EU countries, he / the EU actually wants to move ahead with free trade arrangements promptly, and it's the nation states wanting to slow it up!

So in the gloves off fist fight that's just started between the Kaiserin and Juncker-the-Drunker I'm not sure who I want to win any more! Given the above evidence, the Commission seems more likely to give us a prompt free trade deal than the 27 individual parliaments of the nation states.

As we bob around in the English channel wondering if we should pull into Southampton for a hot meal and change of underpants before departing back to Europe, I'm not sure if we've just left Dunkirk with a view to doing a D-Day, or if we've just left Corunna and are heading back for Lisbon - if you take my analogical meanings!

The coming weeks and months will tell, I suppose. "Watch and shoot", as my old corporal used to say when he had no idea what to do next but needed to say it in an "in control" and official way that didn't give away the fact he hadn't got a Scooby-Doo.

SoD

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