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Thursday, 30 September 2021

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Hey Sod, despite being in broad agreement with a lot of what you say it would be nice if the arguments for and against are more measured. That is, could we please start thinking constructively. A bit of an objective look at what has gone wrong, a lot less finger pointing and a new approach because many have decided that they made the wrong decision in voting leave. Some could see but most couldn't, and we are so engulfed by crackpots who shout loudly. It's terrifying that the sane voices are being drowned out by the noise.

I hope that your dad is okay. His writing was pretty darn good and he had a particular style that allowed you to forgive him no matter how wrong you believed him to be. I wish thatI could write half as well.

Please, send him my best wishes.

Mary, I noticed you were spoken to very harshly by the proprietor of that 'other blog'. Spoken to that way for no reason I might ad. A prickly disposition has taken over that site.

That is, could we please start thinking constructively

See Mary, that's how they get you. As soon as you start blathering on about how to run a British Leyland - where the factories should be, how much the workers should earn, how many wheels the cars should have - like some 1970's saloon bar bore (I heard that at the back!), or the health industry or any other industry, you've joined their system of failure!

Democratic socialism fails just like undemocratic socialism. In fact, probably more so, because the idea of democracy taken out of the limited context that it was intended for grants socialism a fake mandate, a false justification.

You're not Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates, Mary, and neither am I. And most importantly, neither are they.

Falsificationism is our only weapon against these monsters, who knowing that they aren't Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates, still demand the role, and trick us by telling us we are too and should join them in the role: Keep telling them "They're shit and they know they are" as the old chant from the terraces goes!

And grab your money back - and by all means a bit of somebody else's if you're poor - and do the thing that you can do: Choose in the global market from the myriads of Richard Bransons, Alan Sugars, Warren Buffets, and Bill Gates the ones who meet your needs that day. And change on the next day, and the next. Get a real, meaningful vote every day with every green queen you spend, tune up the neural network and make it dance to your tune.

That's the best democracy known to man, the real deal.

SoD

"The Revolt Against The Masses..." On Amazon

"The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. “Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,” Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, “and the artist and the scientist will erect in ( the West) a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected.” Alienated from middle-class (western) life, liberalism drew on an idealized image of “organic” pre-modern folkways and rhapsodized about a future harmony that would reestablish the proper hierarchy of virtue in a post-bourgeois, post-democratic world."

Covid has been handy for governments everywhere.

Democracy out the window, fair enough. Replace it with a jury service style system for selecting law-makers at home, but only out of the pool of people who have never run for or held a position in office. Keep the pol-gened personages out of our domestic lives for the rest of eternity. Let democracy operate only for selecting people for foreign affairs and defence. Send the pol-gened ones abroad, like we did under empire when we had prolonged Liberty and prosperity at home, and let Johnny Foreigner feel the Love once again.

And leave capitalism as is.

That'd about do it.

SoD

Meanwhile, back in Non Fantasy Land, if capitalism were left only to its own devices, you really would be a slave, Son.

Mary, did you dare to suggest that Democrats should be anything other than the party that's terrified of what Republicans will say about them?

SoD. I was going to just get cross with you again but decided to be more measured. The first point I want to make is that it is no more sensible to judge whether Brexit was a good or bad thing now, less than a year after the event than it would have been sensible to judge whether our entry into the then Common Market was a good or bad thing less than one year after we entered in the early seventies. Both were important strategic changes in the political direction of the UK and I think it is at least a decade and maybe more before any reasonable assessment of the effects of Brexit can be made.
On that ground alone your fulminations, in so far as they are directed at Brexit, are premature. However, I suggest that to some extent membership of the EU has hollowed out our democracy by removing from Parliament a significant number of the important policy making areas which were within its remit before 1972. For this and other reasons I believe that entering politics has gradually become a less attractive proposition for able people than it once was and that this is manifested in the lamentable standard of our current crop about which you rightly complain. Brexit is a long term move but I am hoping that by degrees, now that the UK Government and Parliament have regained the policy responsibilities given to the EU, we will start to see higher calibre candidates entering Parliament.
I’m not sure why you felt it necessary to express yourself in such . . . er incontinent language. It’s OK from time to time but it can be overdone and the risk is that you end up sounding like a slightly loopy ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’.

Hope his first day of October was an enjoyable Birthday, Mary.

T'was a great birthday. How funny that you remembered. Evidently, 65 is a significant birthday. To me, it's just old. My husband gave me an eternity ring. Whaaat? You have to know him to understand how unlike him that is. it's taken 43 years to arrive. I've never had so many presents and messages. They're obviously not expecting me to last 'til seventy!

Bob, the less said the better. I made someone "retch" for my wickedness. Enough is enough.

Whitewall, you have no idea how many hostile messages can be delivered "privately". I've stopping reading now. I should have stopped a while back. The thing is, I liked the guy and really agreed with much of what he wrote. He writes well and is very clever indeed but his tolerance, when crossed, is zero. I really hate that we can't agree to disagree. It's crazy. No one is allowed to deviate from the party line. End of.

Mary, 65 you say? You wear it well.

Mary,

Wickedness over there is often confused with any deviation from outdated 1990's Democratic party orthodoxy that failed spectacularly, culminating in the defeat of the neocon, neoliberal, globalist, socially conservative Clinton machine by a candidate that should have been very weak. I said as much in several ways and was eventually driven off, apparently with many other ex readers and commenters. The traffic over there has become too low for web statistics counters to monitor.

David and Son have senses of humor, can disagree respectfully, and seem to appreciate input from America. I miss David's posts too and also wish him well.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/lorry-driver-shortage-an-imminent-national-emergency-in-ireland-1.4686883

https://order-order.com/2021/10/01/new-brussels-shop-shelves-empty-despiteeu/

Obviously caused by the foetus brained turnips having a vote 5 years ago.

From Mark's first link ...

A shortage of 3,000-4,000 lorry drivers has put haulage firms under pressure to keep trucks on the road amid severe disruptions to the global supply chain as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, exacerbated in western Europe by new post-Brexit border requirements.

The problem of an industry of ageing drivers has long been flagged: a future skills report as far back as 2015 forecast a demand for just under 7,000 HGV drivers to last year. A follow-up report, in 2018, addressing skills shortages linked to Brexit, said this statistic was “a cause for concern, requiring urgent attention”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/eu-single-market-avoids-supply-problems-petrol-lorry-drivers-ld5526lv6

Shortages of lorry drivers have not led to empty supermarket shelves or significant disruption in Europe because of “labour flexibilities” in the European Union’s single market, according to industry experts.

They say the single market allows the European logistics industry to protect itself against the shortages that are causing big supply problems in Britain.

"Obviously caused by the foetus brained turnips having a vote 5 years ago." - seems that way Mark.

SoD

@SoD

Well I suppose the votes by foetus brained potatoes are not generally allowed to stand.

Of course the vote can stand, Mark, I just disagree with it. And if through due process a second referendum came about, I'd vote to rejoin.

Given Brexit exists I'd move to accept the SMFFASAR (Single Market, Four Freedoms, and State Aid Rules) unilaterally i.e. without any negotiation with the EU. We accept EU products, services, capital and labour without quotas or tariffs, including their standards and governance rules and regs straight onto our statute, in addition to our own.

The Brit peeps can then see and read the labels and choose every day of their lives whether they want UK or EU goods, services, investments and staff.

No reciprocal requirement from the EU is required. WTO for exports would be just fine. No need for any "trade negotiators" scoffing expensive dinners and clocking up air miles spouting their hot air. Blighty's problem is nothing to do with exports, it's always been to do with imports. We need optimal cost and value supply chains.

In addition to the EU I'd add ...

Any other non-EU European states
US
Canada
Israel
Oz
NZ
Japan
South Korea
Taiwan
Singapore

... on the same basis.

Our family and friends. The guys who get it. All in Blighty's Multi-Market.

Make Blighty the hub of the West where anyone and any capital can set up and produce or serve using their own standards, governance and practices, and set the Brit peeps free to choose - proper democracy, a vote with each green queen every day.

I guarantee you we'd be on $100,000 per capita per annum by the end of the decade, just like Singapore ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Singapore

If I thought Blighty had the peeps and pols to take this onboard and do it I'd have voted Brexit. Because it was, an now is, palpably obvious Blighty does not, I voted Remain as second best, with Maggie's safe and sure SMFFASAR externally applied to keep the degradation and oblivion we are now facing at bay.

Singapore-on-Thames. The Multi-Market. It's coherent. It's logical. It's honest. It's truthful. It doesn't spin. There's no evidence that contradicts it, ever, anywhere, at any time. It's what made Blighty great in the first place.

In time it will be done. Just not in my lifetime.

SoD

@SoD

(actually I meant Irish votes but never mind)

But as far as I can see from what you are saying, this country has mediocrity in its DNA and its only by being a part of the EU that we can stay out of caves!?

The EU is to be a superstate, and the individual nation states are to be broken up and merged into it, with a political structure designed to ensure that the divergent peoples (who do not, in any conceivable sense, constitute a demos) can have no meaningful say in how it is run (and please, don't get bogged down in all this "EU is more democratic" bollocks)

I voted to remove this country from this ferocious engine of political and economic decline that has been condemned to a pretty horrible death by the Euro (I really can't see what they can do to cure it). Any lifeboat is better than the titanic (but I have rather more faith in the people and fundamentals of this country).

A brexit in name only, which is what you are describing, means we can only deal with third parties on EU terms. We couldn't have a meaningful trade deal with Pitcairn island on that basis. Why do you think we could remain in the EU in all but name and become "Singapore on thames" at the same time?

The vaunted "four freedoms"? What are these in reality? How free are people to actually move around inside this "market" given the cultural, linguistic and political barriers (i.e. real ones). It's not just for governmental teatsuckers and some entitled nomenclatura, its how it works for the real peoples. These are incompatible with the Euro as without proper internal mechanisms for shifting money around properly (the 3-8% of GDP I've previously mentioned) trying to move people instead is a pretty piss poor (actually unworkable) alternative. How many people (real people) in the 27 satrapies actually want to live and work in another country?

Are the tories a shower of shite? Are labour? (facetious questions) But they are British governments and can be replaced. The EU power structures cannot be, because that is how they were designed. Don't forget that for 50 years the British political classes have been vichyite satraps of their masters in toytown Austria-Hungary. How could we ever have changed that other than by leaving? (they still are of course, so much of their behaviour should come as no surprise).

The EU is to be a superstate, and the individual nation states are to be broken up and merged into it

That's a load of old codswollop, Mark. The heads of state of the nation states are the EU executive. They'll never assent to merging into a single state. And if they ever did, it would be the democratically elected heads of state doing it, to which you should have no objection.

The EU is and always will be a confederation.

I honestly don't know where you must live to say "Does anyone want to move around the EU and live and work outside of their place of birth? How many actually do it? etc etc.". 5.5 million came to Blighty - isn't that the figure the xenophobes themselves are tub-thumping these days? The movement of people around continental Europe is huge. The movement of non-European people to Europe and Blighty is huge too, their cultural difference is far greater than Europe to Europe but it doesn't stop them.

I feel closer culturally to my Czech, Slovak, French and Polish friends than I do many Brits. The wokery, victim-hood status claiming, level-up demanding country-bumpkins, Northerners, Sweaties and Paddies are in stark contrast to the "get on with" self-dependant attitude and culture I remember from my youth in the 80's and I see in my European immigrant friends today.

They're headed back home now. Poland Czech, Republic and Slovakia are booming. Jeez, Fluffbun bought our retirement flat in eastern Czech Republic 6 years ago for £30k with her ironing money earned in her second self-employed evenings and Saturdays job. It's just been valued at £100k. I'm so proud of her. And tonight I just watched some whingeing fat cow with red hair and tattoos on the BBC demanding I buy a house on the Isle of Skye for her and her four kids to loll about in doing f'all, because that was her homeland and "it's my right, innit?"

Who TF do you think you are luv? Why should Fluffbun part with a penny of her 20 years of hard graft on top of her day job for you? Why not come to London, keep your legs shut, put some hours in, and buy it yourself you lazy effing slag?

SoD

SoD, what I love about you is your finesse.

@SoD

(in no particular order) Single currency, a “parliament”, various executives, foreign policy, military, a constitution, diplomats and ambassadors, regional policies…..

If you want to call this a confederation, I suppose that’s up to you.

“The movement of people around continental Europe is huge”. No it isn’t, it seems to be around 3.3%. (EU citizens living in another Member State - statistical overview - Statistics Explained europa.eu – first thing I found).

So you have lot of European friends to whom you feel a deep cultural affinity. And with one of these you have set up your retirement (OK I’ll believe you, thousands wouldn’t).

Not sure when you are planning to go there, but its nice to know you will be retiring to a thriving confederation and I’m sure the young people being priced of homes will welcome you with open arms and won’t treat you with the sneering disdain you seem to have for so many in this country.

Things are fine here in Scotland and the UK. The anti Brexit socialist capitalists are creating false stories to undermine our elected government and that is expected. My gov pension is in the bank as is my works pension. No problems here.

Maybe we will be OK.

Albanians are willing to work for free to bail-out Blighty from the fuel and super-market shortages ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/03/albanian-migrants-to-uk-would-work-for-free-to-tackle-fuel-crisis

Albania has said thousands of its migrants to the UK would be willing to work for nothing to help tackle the petrol crisis.

Albania’s ambassador to the UK, Qirjako Qirko, told the Guardian: “If your government would like, we can offer good reliable drivers, maybe 5,000 immediately.”

The poorest country in Europe, but still willing to act in solidarity with dear old Blighty in her moment of need. The toe-curling Brexit poignancy of it.

And the prisoners, don't forget them too. Boris takes a leaf out of the Taliban's book and sets them free. There they were minding their own business, lolling about in a cell deciding whether to knock one out or put the kettle on and make a cuppa as their activity for the day, and suddenly Boris thrusts a Yorkie bar in their hand and they're trucking for Blighty ...

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-09-30/raab-ex-prisoners-and-low-level-offenders-could-drive-lorries-to-help-shortages

And on the subject of the Taliban, now we can see what a favour they've done us by kicking our arse on the field of glory: we've got loads of soldiers lolling about with not much to do, so Boris has drummed them up to truck for Blighty too ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/uk-58766648.amp

I should have started this comment with a joke, shouldn't I? What have Albanians, jail-birds, the Taliban, and the British Army got in common? They've all trucked Blighty.

SoD

SoD. The idea that the EU is merely a confederation died with the introduction of the single currency. The Commission was advised that a single currency could not be made to work unless a central authority had the power to order participant countries to transfer up to one third of their GDP to other participant countries. The EU went ahead anyway ignoring that advice. The result, predicted by many, was that when the inevitable financial crash came the poorer countries who shouldn’t have been allowed in the single currency in the first place were in a hopeless position. In particular it didn’t matter what their electorates voted for, their financial policies were dictated by the organs of the EU. Try telling the Greeks that the EU is a mere confederation. You need very rose tinted glasses to defend the democratic credentials of the EU in the way you do.

The EU is no different to the PIIGS than the UK is to the SWINEs: the sterling single currency that works with the UK single market to drive labour and capital away from the periphery and into the core, the mirror image of the EU's Euro.

And another identicalness, this one between SWINEs and PIIGS: whenever they're asked if they want to leave, they always decide to Remain, thereby falsifying your theory that the PIIGS want to leave the EU.

If the EU ever falls apart it will likely be because one of the core countries throws in the towel not one of the PIIGS, as evidenced by the French and Dutch when they were asked to ratify the EU constitution and rejected it, and Blighty who has already left.

This "core rejection, peripheral acceptance" phenomenon is directly comparable to the English who are exhibiting an ever stronger propensity to throw the SWINEs out.

SoD

SoD. You really are confused aren’t you. The UK is one country and has had a single currency for many years. The EU, you keep telling us, is a confederation of separate countries. The UK works as a single currency area precisely because the transfers of GDP to the poorer areas, under the Barnett formula in the case of Scotland, are made. In the case of the EU such transfers are not made between the separate countries because there is currently no mechanism for making them. I really shouldn’t have to spell this out. So when you say that the UK single currency is the mirror image of the Euro single currency area you are, to put it bluntly, completely wrong.

I have never put forward any theory that any of the current member states want to leave. In fact I’m pretty sure they don’t want to even if, in some cases, they might be better off if they did.

I can guess at but am not sure what you mean by PIIGS and SWINEs. I recommend Gowers’ The Complete Plain Words.

Transfers of GDP from one part of a single currency area to another is purely optional for the successful running of a single currency area, so long as a free market exists in that area.

When a single currency is asserted over a zone, labour and capital will move from the less competitive periphery to the more attractive core to re-establish optimal use of resources - so long as labour and capital is free to do so in a single market.

GDP is returned to what it was under multiple competing currency zones, albeit with a peak in the core and lower in the periphery, like an upturned breakfast bowl. The average GDP is the same.

You don't need to hammer GDP flat again after instigating a single currency - like an upturned dinner plate to continue the analogy.

The EU and UK operate the same baseline single currency system. The UK chooses to shift GDP regionally for other national social and political reasons. The EU doesn't, precisely because it is a confederation not a state.

You highlighted the exact fact that distinguishes the EU as a confederation and the UK as a state.

The redistribution that occurs through the EU budget, which might indicate state-like behaviour, is a trifle compared to the truckloads of English cash that heads up the M1 and M6. More like inter-state charity. The objection of the EU core to fiscal transfers means it'll never amount to much, else the core will leave - as signalled by the French and Dutch in the EU constitution referendums and in actuality by Brexit.

The EU is a functioning confederacy that's just overcome the birth pains of implementing a new single currency treaty across nation state borders.

That's a very unique and interesting place in the world. Amazing in fact. Didn't go too well stateside two centuries ago, for example.

Makes one wonder why it worked in one place but not in another? The absence of the slavery issue and repeated experiences of modern industrial-grade total war (see next post) might be the two factors that made confederacy in Europe possible, but not in the US.

The weakness of a one-size-fits-all federal state is becoming apparent in the US, where people are unreconcilably divided and wish to live along different cultural, moral, and even legal lines. If there was a Poland or Hungary to go and live in for a traditional Mum and Dad hetero nuclear family style life, and London for everyone else, and in fact a plethora of 27 variations to choose from, with freedom of movement betwixt them all, the conflict might simmer down. But this "four years on, four years off" federal stroboscope doesn't cut the mustard.

In Blighty we have the worst of the three systems, being neither confederal nor federal, but a centralised mono-state with a fake democracy that presents blue socialism, yellow socialism, green socialism, and red socialism as though they were a real choice on the ballot paper. Just like the single party elections held by the former Ost Bloc and Soviet Union. Just like the oldest salesman's trick in the book: would you like the blue, yellow, green, or red one, sir?

None, thanks very much for asking.

SoD

Oh, and BTW, the PIIGS acronym is Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. The SWINEs acronym is all me own work guv: Scotland, Wales, Ireland North East.

Perhaps we should have a D&N acronym buster and list of characters and their terms of endearment: Dirty Erdy (Erdogan), Ping-a-Ling (Xi Jinping), etc., for the newbies?

SoD

Pound dropping even as gilt yields rise, high returns offered on Blighty's debt but no takers. Inflation heading north but growth heading south.

"Take back control", the dead hand of the state, is demonstrating it's no match for the SMFFASAR, the invisible hand of the free market. The markets are starting to pick up the scent of innate incompetence leaking from "take back control" and circling like sharks ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/10/05/sterling-struggles-investors-lose-faith-conservative-competence/

“The extent of the sell off that we saw in sterling, despite the fact that it was after some hawkish remarks from the [BoE] Governor, did highlight something was going wrong,” says Jane Foley, currency analyst at Rabobank.

“That is behaviour that you are more likely to see in an emerging market currency than a G10 currency, that’s for sure.”

“A noisy and economically damaging Brexit followed by a worse than average response to the pandemic has left the UK public and financial markets with more than a faint impression that the UK is performing well below its potential,” adds Pickering.

Sterling’s slip last week despite a climb in gilt yields, on rising expectations for interest rate rises at the Bank of England, marked a highly unusual move for a major currency on markets. Rate hikes at the Bank would usually mean a stronger rather than weaker pound.

The feeding frenzy of degradation and incessant bad news, like the 1970's, is just beginning. Oblivion is but a hair's breadth away.

SoD

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