Through the Looking Glass: Hope is Not a Strategy

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The short course for strategy and policy is really quite quick and simple. To make policy one determines what your ideal objectives are, establish how much risk you are willing to assume to achieve them, and then either decide to attempt to achieve those objectives or a less than ideal, but still perfectly acceptable, but less risky alternative. Once this is done, in order to further minimize that risk and to ensure the maximum likelihood of success, you determine what ways and means you have, what additional ways and means you may need, how to bridge the gap between the two, and then you execute: applying your ways and means to achieve your ends. Finally, personalities matter and relationships matter. Congratulations! You now know more about strategy and policy than any elected or appointed official pushing for the Leave position that I saw on the BBC News coverage of the Brexit vote from 8 PM EDT last night to 3 AM EDT this morning.

It didn’t matter if the official was from the Conservative Party or from the Labor Party or from the UK Independence Party. They knew what the ends they wanted to achieve – leave the EU on terms negotiated to be the most favorable to Britain, but that was it. None of them expressed any real idea of how to achieve this beyond Vote for Leave, Article 50 now or later, return of sovereignty, and a better future for Britain. I don’t mean to make light of what happened or what anyone tuning in witnessed. A number of these ladies and gentlemen were quite articulate, had a clear grasp of how the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty process worked, and in some cases actually were quite aware that the real issues were poor outcomes for average, and often rural/small town/village British people that resulted from the failures of British government and governance, not because of anything specifically involving the EU.

What we have watched today is emblematic of this failure of strategic vision, clarity, and understanding. Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, made it very clear that former Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Conservative MP and Leave Leader Michael Gove’s assertions about investing the money that will not be sent to Brussels into the National Health Service is unlikely. He also said that he 1) never said it and 2) had he had any official capacity in the Leave Campaign he would not have said it. This was one of, if not the, central themes of the Leave Campaign.

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(Mayor Johnson speaking adjacent to one of the central Leave Campaign Themes**)

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(Mayor Johnson and MP Stuart speaking in front of the official Leave Campaign bus)***

Farage disparaging his more conventional fellow travelers, and being brutally honest about their false promises was a ray of sunshine compared to what we heard from the formal leaders. Johnson, MP Gove, and EU immigrant to Britain MP Gisela Stuart**** are all now calling for calm, patience, time, and space arguing there is no need, nor rush to invoke Article 50 and begin the exit immediately. While this mirrors remarks made by some of the elected officials in the Leave camp that appeared on the BBC last night, others argued that the separation must begin immediately. What no one seems to have prepared for, what no one seems to have considered, is that the EU itself gets a vote. EU officials weighed in this morning by immediately calling for Britain’s invocation of Article 50 to prevent a dragged out process, uncertainty, and the possibility that the nationalist fervor could fully take hold in other parts of the EU.

What Johnson, Gove, Stuart, and their fellow Leave supporters also failed to consider was what would happen if the United Kingdom was not united in the referendum. On the BBC last night, Former Scottish First Minister and Scottish National Party MP Alex Salmond explained to the panel that this concern was brought up to Prime Minister Cameron before the referendum was set. And that the recommendation was that it should require not just a popular vote win for Leave, but a win for Leave in all four constituent portions of the United Kingdom to trigger the Brexit. Salmond explained, with a fair degree of amusement, that Cameron didn’t think that would be necessary, rejected the recommendation, and was probably now regretting doing so. Regardless, and despite Johnson’s call for calm, unity, and no need to or worry that this might lead to the dissolution of the the United Kingdom, that reality has already begun. Scotland is preparing itself for a second independence referendum as they wish to stay in the EU. Republican officials in Northern Ireland have raised the possibility of a referendum to leave the UK and unite with the Republic of Ireland. And Gibraltar’s status is unclear, with Spanish officials calling for shared sovereignty. It is not clear that Labour’s Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has any better strategy for dealing with what the Leave vote has wrought, and a motion of no confidence in his leadership was quickly submitted this morning. It is also not clear that anyone else could successfully lead the currently internally divided Labour Party any better or effectively challenge for a Parliamentary majority.

Despite planning by the Bank of England in case things went wrong, the Vote Leave Campaign leadership, official and unofficial alike, did not seem to have a plan for the effect of victory on the British, European, and global economies. The pro Brexit vote demonstrates the failure of elected and appointed officials who do not have a firm grasp of policy, strategy, and their potential effects – positive and negative. It is quite ironic that a successful referendum campaign partially based on anger at elites, notables, and experts to run things effectively has shown that the elites, notables, and experts running the Vote Leave movement and campaign do indeed not have the foggiest idea of how to run things effectively. Nothing says “I understand and empathize” like a Vote Leave Tory Member of Parliament, who graduated from public school and the Oxbridge system and has been an MP for his entire professional career, explaining to BBC anchors that the average British person is fed up with the failures of the elites and the experts running Britain and that is why the country must leave the EU.

The chaos seen today clearly demonstrates the failure of strategy and policy among the Vote Leave campaign leadership. We can clearly see that they don’t really have any ways and means to achieve their stated end: a negotiated departure from the EU that provides Britain with the best possible terms. Nor do they have any idea what they should be. They have destroyed their relationships with the EU leadership who want the separation done immediately and are in no mood to bargain, let alone allow Britain off the hook easy. And they have no leverage with the EU as a result. Johnson, Gove, Stuart, Farage, and others are now the dog that caught the Vauxhall. Unfortunately they clearly have no idea what to do with it.

* Image from here.

** Image from here.

*** Image from here.

**** Stuart is now under formal inquiry/investigation for failing to disclose a financial interest in a company that has promoted financial planning as a result of the Leave campaign winning.

235 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    Like Bush/Cheney, consequences are for the little people.

  2. 2
    lamh36 says:

    The whole thing is a lesson in what can happen when you pander to the extremes of your party,

    The whole thing is a clusterfuck.

    Cornwall votes for Brexit and then pleads to keep EU funding

    The Cornish council has issued a plea for “protection” following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union.

    ohn Pollard, the leader of Cornwall council said: “Now that we know the UK will be leaving the EU we will be taking urgent steps to ensure that the UK Government protects Cornwall’s position in any negotiations.

    “We will be insisting that Cornwall receives investment equal to that provided by the EU programme which has averaged £60m per year over the last ten years.”…

    But a statement on the council website posted on Friday said prior to the referendum said the county was reassured by the Leave side that withdrawing from the EU would not affect the funding already allocated by Brussels.

    Leave campaigners also promised the county would not be worse off in terms of the investment it receives. “We are seeking urgent confirmation from Ministers that this is the case,” the statement added…

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    At least in California, if a plebiscite turns out to be totally unworkable, it can be struck down by the courts like Prop 187 was.

    Also, that UKIP guy has an extremely punchable face. What an asshole.

  4. 4
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Nobody knows anything. Leave voters want their votes back because they just wanted to make a statement, and thought it was a Buzzfeed quiz or a Twitter poll. Farage and Hannan now admit they were lying like rugs, Boris and Gove have no clue what’s next, the EU heads of govt. seem quite happy to offer the UK the shittiest shit sandwich deal pour encourager les autres.

    Nobody knows anything. That’s terrifying.

    When Ian Paisley Jr (son of the Unionist firebrand) tells his constituents to get Irish passports if they’re eligible, we’re truly in a new world.

  5. 5
    lamh36 says:

    Same thing I said in previous thread, but since we’re talking strategy…

    Please someone tell me, how does one get folks inclined to distrust anyone NOT LIKE THEM to change their feelings about where the country is…we aren’t in a recession like folks still seem to believe, right and the numbers and fact show things getting better than they were.

    Yet facts don’t always matter when feelings are involved. So other than just LYING to those people and telling them what they WANT to hear, even if you know it won’t happen or fix anything (see da Donald), someone tell me.

    I’m reminded of the time I got my car tag and the guy there went on this rant about Obama increasing the deficit all on his own…prior to 2012, would facts change his feelings? HELL NAW.

    So you ok, you pander to them too, and they still vote against you…but now you’ve alienated your dedicated, core voter…so tell me truly, WHAT DOES ONE DO?

  6. 6
    redshirt says:

    @lamh36: Same deal with Wales, which received a good amount of money from the EU. They voted “Leave”.

    Xenophobia is a hell of a thing.

  7. 7
    Felanius Kootea says:

    The sun never sets on the British Empire … hahahahahahah!

    There was an interesting article in the Guardian on the impact of being sent off to boarding school at the age of 7 on Tory politicians like Boris Johnson and David Cameron (basically that it produces a dysfunctional, unempathetic, bullying leadership style). Made me go hmm…

  8. 8
    redshirt says:

    @lamh36: Keep talking, keep engaging, never stop fighting for the truth.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    Now I understand why Jon Snow’s decisions up to the Battle of the Bastards were so screwed up on Game of Thrones.

    More seriously, it reminds me of a recent PBS show on the War of 1812, where the US decision to declare war on Britain and to invade Canada were totally lacking in any strategic thinking. And the US politicians never considered the idea that Canada might not want to become part of the US.

    Great post.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    But a statement on the council website posted on Friday said prior to the referendum said the county was reassured by the Leave side that withdrawing from the EU would not affect the funding already allocated by Brussels.

    Those poor dumb bastards. But as any cop can tell you, a con man can only scam you if you want to believe him.

  11. 11
    debbie says:

    @lamh36:

    I don’t know what we can do, but this shows we’re not as evolved as we’d like to think.

  12. 12

    @Felanius Kootea: I hurt a British person’s feeling in Betty Cracker’s thread when I mentioned the irony of Brits not liking immigrants. They were everywhere less than a hundred years ago, bringing “civilization” to the heathens and lining their pockets in the process.

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    From the previous thread, the person who was trying to ‘explain’ to us about the vote, and they wrote about the economic policies begun by Thatcher.

    Let’s get this straight:

    Thatcher Tories=Reagan Democrats

    Muthaphuckas that voted for the very people that caused their economic downturn. And, EVERYTIME, fall for the okeydoke and vote against their economic self-interest.

  14. 14
    PsiFighter37 says:

    The British are idiots for voting for this. For all the supposed enlightenment of Europe, it shows that racism and xenophobia can win the day there.

    David Cameron is an idiot – he promised this vote to cover his right flank 3 years ago, and now he will go down in ignominy for this incredibly foolish decision.

    Jeremy Corbyn is a goddamn fool, and the Labour Party should be ashamed that they chose him as leader. He had a history of being anti-EU and never fully campaigned for Remain. He basically ceded even more ground to the UKIP as a result.

    It is still hard to process that this happened. Perhaps the next PM says “Forget the results, I’m not going to invoke Article 50” – but methinks that would cause even more problems for the broader EU, and Germany/France would rather kick Britain out.

    Complete and utter shitshow.

  15. 15
    kevin says:

    Sadly, the Remain contingent lost to these Leave morons, indicating that everyone involved in public life and politics in England is an idiot. Sounds a whole lot like ‘merica! . . .

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    When Ian Paisley Jr (son of the Unionist firebrand) tells his constituents to get Irish passports if they’re eligible, we’re truly in a new world.

    And we’re truly in a new world, as I heard observed on (I think) BBC this afternoon, when the biggest news of the day isn’t “Prime Minister Announces Resignation.”

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also remember that the US deliberately reduced its armed forces and closed the national bank by 1812 thanks to specific policy decisions made by Jefferson and Madison. The British marched on Washington basically unopposed largely thanks to those two genius decisons.

    And why did they hate those policies? Because they were the pet policies of you-know-who, who had Washington on his side.

  18. 18
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    Here’s a radical (and tongue in cheek) preposition: maybe we should look into instituting a 2nd voting age coupled to a retirement age for elected officials, say 67, after which you can advise or be appointed but you have to sit out elections alongside your 17 year old grandkids

  19. 19
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: God, the irony of the whole situation is just incredible! There was a comedian, I forget who now, with a bit about the Brits going to every corner of the globe and telling “the natives” they weren’t up to snuff and Britain’s the best and then later complaining about all these “bloody foreigners” trying to come to Britain.

    But Cameron is the biggest idiot of all. A kinder, gentler, but no less destructive version of your average GOP politician.

  20. 20
    lamh36 says:

    @PsiFighter37: Right..reminds me of the GOP Not Trump crowd. These folks really think they’ll be able to snatch the nom from Trump and his voters will just be okay then…hell naw

  21. 21
    Xantar says:

    @lamh36:

    What you do is you talk to that person in front of an undecided voter or someone whose mind you think is open. You won’t convince your opponent in the argument, but hopefully anybody watching the two of you realized your opponent is ridiculous and takes your side.

    Obama did this all the time. He never convinced Republicans of anything, but he convinced nearly everyone else that he’s a calm, reasonable and thoughtful guy who knows his stuff.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    FWIW, it sounds like Corbyn may be out on his ear as well, and good riddance.

  23. 23

    @lamh36: “…a lesson in what can happen when you pander to the extremes of your party…”

    You seem to think that parties have components other than extremes.

    You seem to think that politics has components other than pandering.

    You seem to think that “lessons” are capable of being learned.

    Experience has proven these things false: over so long a period, in such a variety of contexts, and so consistently, that I no longer feel the need to dress that observation up with the reflexive politeness of a qualifier, such as “in my view, …”

  24. 24
    lamh36 says:

    @Xantar: except this time around I don’t believe there are “undecided” voters as with Obama….

    The contrast between the two candidates is so stark based on FACTS, that it’s mainly because of FEELINGS that they chose HRC over Trump.

    So how does HRC get them to do that when the number of “undecideds” aren’t worth the effort?

    And yes, Obama did this all the time…yet you sitll have maybe 1/2 the country willing to back Trump cause they HATE HRC.

  25. 25
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because they were the pet policies of you-know-who, who had Washington on his side.

    I’ve been camping for 5 days…Voldemort?

    A lot happened while I was in the woods, but if the Ministry of Magic lodged a position on Brexit, I missed it.

  26. 26
    lamh36 says:

    Again as I said in previous thread, I was listening to BBC News this morning and pretty much all the commenters said the same thing…this was a political gamble taken by Cameron to appease more conservative members of his party and in the government…

    hmmm remind anyone of a certain US political party?

  27. 27
    Elie says:

    @redshirt:

    You know, its a terrible thing to not know where your bread is buttered and know how to not shit where you eat. These people had plenty of time to prepare and yet it didn’t matter. Lack of critical strategic planning and scenario modeling skills — or apparently any perspective on game theory where if you do x, your opponent does or can do y. From what I gather, Cameron must not have done much of that either before he took off on this plan to call for this referendum. Back when he did it I had a bad feeling, coming on the heels of the Scots barely missing their independence vote…. Things were good for too long — now they are gonna know suffering and bad things — and others as well. White pique is a terrible thing. Boris had better start shopping for a wig to cover that distinctive do of his….

  28. 28
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But while that is just in some ways, I wish that he and the other shmagegy, Johnson, and Fara whatsis, had to clean up their mess rather than just disappearing in the anonymity of defeat. I want them to scrub the toilets of their remaining governments with a toothbrush in the town square surrounded by thousands of stupid white people TM throwing poop balls at them….

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    Why Black Voters Are the Most Rational Voters of 2016
    While portions of the white electorate go mad over Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, black voters remain cautious skeptics.

    Charles D. Ellison
    BY: CHARLES D. ELLISON
    Posted: May 24, 2016

    Let’s face it. Black voters are about the only folks in 2016 who haven’t lost their damn minds.

    Contrary to some nimble-minded pop-culture notions that either we’re not politically sharp or we don’t care about elections or we just vote for people who look like us, black voters (for the most part) are a rather strategically sound bunch. But that’s because the stakes are always ever so high for us. There’s little margin for error, little wiggle room when the wrong people are put in power. When election outcomes go south—or, in our case, symbolically Deep South—we can’t accept it because we’re so busy mentally preparing to pull our political rip cords on a proverbial parachute.

    We’re not simply jumping out of a crashing national plane, so to speak (because where else can we go, considering our statistical lack of social mobility, anyway?). Yet we do suddenly find ourselves escalating communitywide survival mode.

    When the nation’s political condition hits the fan, it predictably hits us first. In recent polls, we can see the sharp differences between rising, practical black anxiousness and the largely distressing white callousness over just how high the stakes are. When YouGov asked (pdf) likely voters last week if they could understand why someone would vote for Donald Trump, nearly 70 percent of African Americans couldn’t grasp it. Yet 60 percent of whites could see why (along with, interestingly enough, 35 percent of Latinos, nearly double the percentage of blacks polled).

  30. 30
    dr. bloor says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Those poor dumb bastards. But as any cop can tell you, a con man can only scam you if you want to believe him.

    As it turns out, you can protect people from just about anyone but themselves.

    My frontal lobes are among my most treasured possessions.

  31. 31
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Corbyn has basically done to Labour what I imagine Bernie would have done to the Democrats if he had won. That is what happens when you put a gadfly backbencher who has never been a team player in charge of the team – the team loses big. Labour already had a hard climb back after the SNP took all of its seats in Scotland in last year’s election, but this spells doom for Labour. They are rapidly losing their working-class base to the UKIP, and their former base of support (Scotland) is almost certainly going to declare independence at some point.

    Gordon Brown really screwed Labour when he didn’t hold a snap election right after he took power in 2007, and Ed Miliband did even worse by shivving his older, more competent brother in the back. Corbyn is just the final nail in the coffin – there’s no way they can recover from this debacle, IMO.

    I also still don’t quite understand how the fuck Boris Johnson ever became mayor of London, much less the (very likely) next (last?) prime minister of the UK. Total fucking clown.

  32. 32

    @Felanius Kootea: They didn’t just come and complain, they killed millions out of sheer callousness.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    Some people here are reacting to the name “Hamilton” like I’d just said “ni!” so I’m trying to spare their flinches.

  34. 34
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    I won’t pretend to know squat about whether Brexit is or is not a good idea.

    The thing I find, fascinating, though is Trump’s rush (along with Drudge and Breitbart and other fellow travelers) to claim that this vote somehow vindicates some position or other of his.

    What would that be exactly? I can’t think of any policy for the US he has advanced (and, yes, I know using the word “policy” gives him too much credit) that is similar or analogous to the UK pulling out of the EU.

    The only thing I can think of is the word salad that Palin offered up – that this is somehow about “sticking it to the elites” and so forth.

    But zooming out, I am trying to recall anytime in the past 40 years or so of presidential campaigns that I know a little about where a presidential candidate has glommed onto events in another country in such a way. Can someone with a better recollection help me out here.

  35. 35
    Elie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Interesting about Latinos. Maybe more used to corrupt authoritarian leaders in countries such as Mexico and just about anywhere in South America?

    We blacks have been through this many times. It is in our self interest to quickly read tea leaves on the direction things are going. White people are frequently blind to their own motivations and inner drives — blinded by their entitlement — just cannot see what is pulling them. A person like that with power — political or coercive – a gun — you have to always know where they are “in the house” and what they are up to. They wake up with blood on their hands and can’t remember how the “wife” ended up in a pool of blood in the kitchen….

  36. 36
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: There is not a single FB friend/acquaintance I have that is celebrating Brexit, save for a bitter Greek-American who feels the EU shafted Greece so much that they deserved Brexit (yes, Greece got shafted, but that is no reason to start the march backward towards ugly European nationalism). All of the folks who live in the UK are around my age and are despairing over the vote.

  37. 37
    sigaba says:

    @PsiFighter37: Can the EU force a member out?

  38. 38
    Ken says:

    a negotiated departure from the EU that provides Britain with the best possible terms

    “Goodbye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out” may in fact be the best possible terms.

  39. 39
    Emma says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Not only did he glom on to it, he glommed on to the wrong side. Those with more experience (like our former Secretary of State) simply put out a very anodyne statement and kept out of the shitstorm.

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    The thing I find, fascinating, though is Trump’s rush (along with Drudge and Breitbart and other fellow travelers) to claim that this vote somehow vindicates some position or other of his.

    As far as I can tell, he’s saying that Obama said something mildly negative about Leave, and now Leave won, so obviously it all must be Obama’s fault for trying to tell the British what to do. I guess that Trump, as the anti-Obama, thinks this must make him inherently better or something.

  41. 41
    chris says:

    Brilliant. Thank you, Adam.

  42. 42
    JMG says:

    The EU kind-of-government, as opposed to its citizens, has every reason to make Britain pay dearly. The people of EU countries in terms of raw self-interest ought to favor an amicable split, but they won’t. Funny how when you say “Fuck you” to someone, that’s what they say back.

  43. 43
    Elie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Can you imagine him as President during something like this?

  44. 44
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Elie: ” White people are frequently blind to their own motivations and inner drives — blinded by their entitlement — just cannot see what is pulling them.”

    Those white folks is cray cray.

  45. 45
  46. 46

    @TheMightyTrowel: At the moment, I long for an upper age limit to voting, and I’m over the one you name. Old people have lost their minds. Of course, so have white people, especially old, white men.

  47. 47
    Ken says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I mentioned the irony of Brits not liking immigrants

    Well, I can’t blame the Brits. But they’re such a small fraction of the motley mess of Belgae, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Vikings, Normans, French, and Germans that inhabit the islands.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PsiFighter37: There were overwhelming calls today, including by people who voted for leave, to redo the referendum. The question now is going to be what Parliament choses to do. Or a future Parliament choses to do. It may be that if things continue to get worse for a couple of weeks, that will provide the shock to the system that led cooler heads prevail. But my guess is they’ve gotten what they said they wanted and they’re stuck with it.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @Amaranthine RBG

    Romney’s fumbling through Europe springs to mind.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: Lord Voldemort had Washington on his side?

  51. 51
    Elie says:

    @chris:

    I agree — wonderful analysis…. frustrating but excellent.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:
    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Turnout was 78%.

    Young turnout was 40%.

  53. 53
    Earl says:

    I don’t think the UK’s negotiating position is as weak as all that. While they certainly benefited from access to the EU market, so did eg Germany. I think I read somewhere that 1/5 of BMWs are sold in England. German’s economy is based on massive trade surpluses and they desperately need buyers for all those goods.

    As Krugman mentioned, this crackup has been a long time coming. And while no one can deny the racism of eg ukip, there also are a bunch of middle class voters left with little future and this is an entirely predictable backlash. You have to be innumerate to deny the effects of widespread unskilled immigration on eg low skilled domestic laborers, and when the response of the ruling class is, “Life’s hard (for you!)”, well, we end up here.

  54. 54
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @sigaba: Saw a report today that the EU is digging into the treaty looking for a way to do so if the UK drags its feet.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I was thinking earlier today that a whole bunch of younger Brits are now seeking power of attorney (or whatever the British equivalent is) for their parents and grandparents.

  56. 56
    Tripod says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Wow. Though I’d like to see some evidence the Irish Republic wants them. NI’s “best” option might be as an independent state.

  57. 57
    🚸 Martin says:

    I was surprised that Milton Keyes voted for Leave. F1 teams would arguably be better inside the EU.

  58. 58

    @Baud: Sigh. There’s blame to go around, I guess.

  59. 59
    Baud says:

    Isn’t this precisely the situation God saved the Queen for?

    Time to divine right this motherfucker.

  60. 60
    lamh36 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    What Obama said in April..

    Obama argued that he had a right to respond to the claims of Brexit campaigners that Britain would easily be able to negotiate a fresh trade deal with the US. “They are voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do, I figured you might want to hear from the president of the United States what I think the United States is going to do.

    “And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done”.

    He added: “The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”

    Standing alongside his visitor, Cameron said the referendum was the “sovereign choice of the British people” but it was important for voters to listen to the opinions of allies such as the president. “On this vital issue of trade, where Barack has made such a clear statement, we should remember why we are currently negotiating this biggest trade deal in the whole world, and in the whole world’s history, between the European Union and the United States.”

    Obama argued that it was much more efficient for the US to negotiate with the EU as a bloc, rather than attempt to take on “piecemeal trade agreements”, and suggested that Brexit would send a signal of division to the world.

    Link

    After which,

    Leave campaign seeks to limit Obama damage

    After President Obama warned that Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for trade deal negotiations if it left the EU, Brexit campaigners have been doing their best to play down the significance of his intervention.

    The official campaign Vote Leave equated Britain’s continued EU membership to the US opening its border to Mexico. Since that would be unthinkable, it said, it was hypocritical of the president to back Britain voting to stay.

    Link 2

    GOP like Trump et al, trying to blame the vote on Obama. Saying the vote is to spit in PBO’s eye…

    Now though seem likely, it’s just plain old misinformation, xenophobia, and yes racism.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Those white folks is cray cray.

    Gluten drove them around the bend.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Chait ✔ @jonathanchait
    Democrats should collect snippets of regretful pro-Leave voters saying “I didn’t think it would really happen,” use them in ads this fall.
    7:01 AM – 24 Jun 2016 · Washington, DC, United States

  63. 63
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @sigaba: I’m sure they wish they could, but as far as I know, the head of state (not anyone else) has to invoke Article 50 of the EU Constitution.

    @Adam L Silverman: The fact that some idiots out there voted ‘Leave’ because they only wanted to make a statement is absolutely ridiculous. What the hell do they think voting is about – shits and giggles? And unlike the TARP vote, where Congress screwed the pooch the first time, there’s not going to be a do-over. Even in his resignation, Cameron is leaving in 3 months so the Tories can consolidate behind a successor and maximize their political strength. At this point, he cares about putting the Tories in pole position for the foreseeable future, which frankly will be the case if Scotland goes / Corbyn stays on much longer as Labour’s leader.

  64. 64
    Jean Hunter says:

    I could well be wrong so please tell me if I am. But I don’t think the referendum itself has any constitutional standing under the traditional British “constitution.” I do believe that Parliament has sovereignty and must act to implement Brexit. There is not in Britain, to my knowledge, any constitutional basis for a referendum as making law, just as there is none in the US Constitution.

    Now, it’s possible that Parliament had to pass an act to hold the referendum and it is possible that said act held that its results would be binding. That is all that would be needed to make it so. It is also possible that under the European constitution that this kind of a referendum has a legal basis. (And wouldn’t that be paradoxical if the Brexit folks can only base the legitimacy of their policy on the European constitution they are trying to overthrow.)

    If my doubts are correct, then the majority Tory Party will have to pass the necessary legislation to proceed with Brexit. Cameron has resigned because he opposes such legislation. But he did not resign immediately but rather said he would resign in October. A lot can happen between now and then and it is possible that English “buyer’s remorse” will be strong enough by the fall to prevent the enacting of the enabling legislation. Does the Tory Party really want Boris Johnson as their leader? I would think as much as the Republicans want Donald Trump.

    I know quite a bit about British constitutional history, having taught the subject for decades. But I admit that I know more about the 18th century “constitution” than the 21st. So if anyone out there can tell me exactly what legal standing this referendum has, I’d appreciate it. It could be that those Brits who thought they were “just stating their opinion” were right

  65. 65
    smith says:

    @Baud:

    Turnout was 78%.
    Young turnout was 40%

    IIRC, the Tories, following the lead of their Republican cousins, recently passed legislation making it harder for college students to register to vote. This was for electoral reasons of their own, of course, but it seems to be another way in which Cameron’s amoral cleverness has bitten him in the ass.

  66. 66
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @lamh36: Okay, so I guess the “reasoning” is: “There take that, Obama, 52% of UK voters don’t like you so [insert magic incantation here] I will win the election in November.”

    I guess the UK is getting all mavricky or something. Right, Ms. P:Palin?

  67. 67
    Mary G says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Leaving the EU is analogous to Trump’s wall, as the EU required

  68. 68
    Earl says:

    I can’t edit my above comment, but (imo) the scary bit for the US is eventually we’ll get our own Nigel Farage — someone polished who can say the quiet parts quietly, etc, and will follow Donald Trump’s path. I mean, we could attempt to build our own middle class but we’d rather have tax cuts, nafta, tpp, and really cheap imported white goods.

  69. 69
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m sure you saw this in the uk too but the generation split ca current age 50 (born late 60s) and older is extraordinary. Mr. Trowel is the very accidental youngest of 3 in a very working class family. His older sibs were born in the 50s he was born in the early 70s. It’s like they’re from different countries.

  70. 70
    dr. bloor says:

    @rikyrah: One of–possibly the only, actually–the most amusing facets of the day was the parade of punditubbies crowing about how this was good news for the Tangerine Ballsack and how Hillary needs to be worried. She’s going to pivot on this faster than you can say tea and crumpets.

  71. 71
    Kay says:

    David Axelrod:

    Portentous and meaningful stat: 66% people who left school at 16 voted for Leave. 71% of those with university degrees voted to Remain.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PsiFighter37: Mayor of London is largely ceremonial. That’s how. And there’s a history of colorful mayors of London, so.

    What really stands out is the cross party coalitions. There was a UKIP, obviously, Tory, and Labour coalition for Leave. And a Tory, Labour, SNP, and whatever is left of the Lib Dems coalition for Remain. With Sinn Fein and UDP split up too. Almost seems as if the birth of new parties would make sense at this point, but my guess is that Conservative and Labour are too institutionalized to do that.

  73. 73
    lamh36 says:

    @PsiFighter37: basically, even “protest” votes mean something…and voting “anti-” just because can actually cause alot of hurt for everyone, but hey…it felt good to pull that lever for bullshit..smh

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    Comparing the buyer’s remorse BREXIT voters to those telling us that ‘ Trump really doesn’t mean what he says.’

    I will say it again…

    As a Black person in America longer than three days..

    I.DO.NOT.HAVE.THE.LUXURY.TO.NOT.TAKE.THE.MAN.AT.HIS.WORD.

    Folks kill me thinking that people mean something other than what they say. He doesn’t speak in dogwhistles. How can you even utter that he doesn’t mean what he says?

  75. 75
    Tripod says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    +1 on the Sanders analogue. I would add they are both hopelessly fifty years out of touch with their constituents interests.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: He endorsed Brexit a couple of weeks ago.

  77. 77
    Elie says:

    @lamh36:

    In keeping with your comment, this is from a commenter on Josh Marshall who knows what is up with American trade deals….

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @Earl:

    I don’t think so. It really is in “the elites” best interest that the world not fall apart. They’ll get it, eventually. Christ when Larry Summers is begging them to spread some of the wealth around or worry about “unrest” you know it’s trickling up and starting to dawn on them.

  79. 79
    smith says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He endorsed Brexit a couple of weeks ago.

    After demonstrating very shortly before that that he didn’t know what it was.

  80. 80
    Calouste says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Statistics are IIRC that at age 85 about 50% suffers from senility in one degree or another. Yes, there are people of that age who are are still all there, but there are also teenagers who are smarter than a lot of adults will ever be, and they don’t get to vote either. Not an easy subject though.

  81. 81
    dr. bloor says:

    @Earl:

    I think I read somewhere that 1/5 of BMWs are sold in England. German’s economy is based on massive trade surpluses and they desperately need buyers for all those goods.

    I don’t completely disagree here, but BMW is about the worst possible example you might have chosen. Brits who can afford the BMWs will gladly pay any added tariffs and pass the costs on to the real economic victims in the UK.

  82. 82
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Tripod: Just look and see what he’s done for Question Hour on Wednesdays. That has always been a bit theatrical, but it’s a perfect forum for scoring political points. Corbyn dutifully reads 5 questions from citizens and doesn’t bother pushing back hard after Cameron is done.

    I read a profile of him in The Atlantic or The New Yorker a couple months ago and came away even more unimpressed than I had been before. No wonder he had trouble putting together a Shadow Cabinet.

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t think there was much Labour support for Leave – but then again, given that Corbyn clearly didn’t bother to really whip the party to vociferously support Remain, it could seem that way. I bet given his past statements, he’s probably secretly pleased that Leave won.

  83. 83
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    Folks kill me thinking that people mean something other than what they say.

    They don’t want to admit that they like what he says.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    VOR says:

    When I see that clip of Nigel Farage admitting the 350M pounds won’t be going to the NHS, as the Leave propaganda strongly implied, I think of a line from the movie “Animal House”: “you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up… you trusted us!”

  86. 86
    PatrickG says:

    @Baud:

    Got a source on that Baud? I’m finding extrapolations, but nothing hard.

    ETA: Reports indicate lower turnout from The Youngs, but best I can find is the number of newly eligible voters fell by 40% (attainers) from here.

    ETA2:

    “If no one inspires you, that is how you end up being marginalized, divided and fearing,” Sani told The Guardian. “This generation are so passionate, they care so much about issues, but they are just not empowered to use the means of communication to get through to make real change

    I’m rapidly approaching John Cole status here (and I’m almost a millenial!). You don’t need “means of communication”, you need to fucking vote.

  87. 87

    I swore I would take a break from political blogging. I did that Thursday afternoon before the Brexit vote started.

    I regret my decision. And I had to blog about this shitshow. Because JESUS CHRIST ENGLAND YOU HAD ONE JOB! http://noticeatrend.blogspot.c.....-stop.html

    Next week. I’ll stop blogging next week.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @PatrickG:

    I read it somewhere. I’ll try to find a source.

  89. 89
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Mayor of “The City of London”(the square mile) is ceremonial. Boris was Mayor of London(greater London).

  90. 90
    Jonathan Holland Becnel says:

    BREXIT!

    The failures of neoliberalism coming to a country near you!

  91. 91
    Gvg says:

    @Roger Moore: actually I think it was a kind of parochialism. He assumed everything was about the us. Romney was almost as clueless…ok nobody is as clueless but I was embarrassed by Romney too. The thing is we,are all rather American centered but Presidential candidates are usually too busy campaigning to do Foreign trips during the election season. Trump is weirdly inept and is trying to do business during a campaign and Romney had a prior commitment to support his wife’s horse in the Olympics.

  92. 92
    Baud says:

    @PatrickG:

    That’s the only source I could find. So appropriate caveats are in order.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    I think the only thing you can do is convince them that Gary Johnson is a more trustworthy white guy than Trump. Better to have them throw their vote away on a third party.

  94. 94
    Tripod says:

    @Kay:

    So non-HS grads in the UK skew older.

    File this under “no shit”.

  95. 95
    PatrickG says:

    @Baud:

    Would be appreciated. The hardest evidence I can find is the poll of a Glastonbury music festival where 22% of young voters did not vote, with 65% of them having failed to register in time — that’s actually referenced in my link.

    For various reason I’m skeptical that’s reflective of the youth vote overall, but I’m genuinely curious as to the methodology of polling a music festival. More curious as to being willing to use those numbers as evidence of much.

  96. 96
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @srv:

    What’s the over-under on the US having 50 states if Hillary gets a term?

    About the same as Obama being President.

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PsiFighter37: I didn’t say the voters were rational.

  98. 98

    @Ken: When you put it like that..

  99. 99
    sigaba says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Petition for redo crashes parliament website.

    http://www.theguardian.com/pol.....t-77185841

    There’s also discussion of perhaps a 2/3rds requirement, or 75% participation for the vote to be effective. What a mess.

  100. 100
    batgirl says:

    @lamh36: I truly believe that elections are no longer about swinging the “undecided” vote. It’s about identifying your voters, getting them registered, and then getting them to the polls on election day. This is what Obama’s team did so well in 2012. You win by tapping into the very large percentage of Americans that don’t vote who if they did vote, would vote for you. Those are the votes you need.

  101. 101
    lamh36 says:

    @Elie: So once again PBO was just trying to tell folk the truth rather than what they want to hear…I truly respect him or that.

  102. 102
    PatrickG says:

    In case you want to know about the Glastonbury music festival poll, there’s a link somewhere in this sentence. Some fun stuff:

    Some 3 per cent said they hoped there would be a polling station on site, while 7 per cent said they were too lazy.

    That’s a refreshingly honest seven per cent. And a really uninformed three per cent.

    George Floodgate, 24, had a novel excuse. He said: “My ex-girlfriend has my postal vote, but we broke up a week before the festival. It was a pretty sour break-up, so I didn’t want to ask for my form back.”

    I’m giving this guy a pass.

    Anyways, the music-goers claimed a 73% 78% (typo!) vote rate in this highly scientific poll.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jean Hunter: Its an advisory referendum. Parliament is sovereign, not the British people. Parliament, either the current one or a future one, could choose to disregard the vote. The political ramifications of doing so on the members of Parliament are unclear. If things continue to get worse and go badly, they may be rewarded for bucking the vote. Or, even if things continue to get worse and go badly, they may be punished.

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I did. The Scottish dynamics, as well as the Northern Irish ones, are a bit different because of the differing regional contexts, but what you’re describing was what I observed.

  105. 105
    chris says:

    @smith:

    There was a quick note on the Guardian last night which said the universities and colleges were on holiday so the students were away from their registered addresses. I retained it but it didn’t compute until now. Brilliant move on Cameron’s part.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Criming while white: Frat bros ran massive campus drug dealing operation — right in plain sight
    24 JUN 2016 AT 16:07 ET

    A network of young, white, privileged people ran hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of cocaine, pills and other substances through downtown Charleston’s roaring party scene in plain view, the Charleston Post and Courier revealed in an investigative report.

    The ring had been “hiding in plain sight” for years with wealthy young drug dealers — some of them fraternity members — profiting off the area’s booze and drug-filled college town culture. But the ring was sophisticated and large, with different dealers focusing on specific substances. In a raid executed in relation to a connected murder, police turned up $214,000 in cash.

    Samantha Hincks, 26; Daniel Katko, 25; Zackery Kligman, 24; Robert Liljeberg, 22; Benjamin Nauss, 23; Jake Poeschek, 21; Jonathan Reams, 19; Michael Schmidt, 21; and Christopher Sliker, 22, were all arrested as part of the drug ring, the Post and Courier reports.

    The dealers operated steps away from the College of Charleston campus out of multi-million dollar homes, with students and former students packaging pills with a factory-grade press and ingredients bought online. They found drugs via a variety of online and street sources, then found thousands of buyers by way of the college’s downtown night life.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smith: details, schmetails!

  108. 108
    Tripod says:

    @Jonathan Holland Becnel:

    Right you are! The pits are sure to re-open, and shipbuilding return to Newcastle!

  109. 109
    Applejinx says:

    @rikyrah: I’ll buy that. It’s one of the most fundamental reasons I swung over to supporting Hillary Clinton, in fact. I kept seeing black friends and acquaintances approving of Hillary. You are right. I continue to listen.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PsiFighter37: Gisela Stuart is a Labour MP. She was one of the Vote Leave leaders. What the proportion was among Labor officials was I do not know.

  111. 111
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    This:

    Jonathan Chait ✔ @jonathanchait
    Democrats should collect snippets of regretful pro-Leave voters saying “I didn’t think it would really happen,” use them in ads this fall.
    7:01 AM – 24 Jun 2016 · Washington, DC, United States

    along with this:

    Comparing the buyer’s remorse BREXIT voters to those telling us that ‘ Trump really doesn’t mean what he says.

    would make the perfect political ads. The office is too important to use as spite.

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VOR: I watched a Leave Campaign Tory MP on the BBC about an hour ago explain that “of course we were never going to put 350 million pounds a week into the NHS. We never said that, we never even suggested it. What we suggested is that money would be freed up to be spent here at home. We will propose about a 150 million pound per year infusion. That should do nicely.”

  113. 113
    chris says:

    @dr. bloor: Tangerine Ballsack? New keyboard please.

  114. 114
    smith says:

    @chris: Here’s the link to a Guardian explanation . About 800,000 people were dropped from the rolls, largely in student dominated areas, because the procedure no longer allowed voters to register by household as a group. Student residences were considered households. The article notes that the Tories justified it by saying they wanted to deter vote fraud (sound familiar?) and Labour noted that it appeared to be aimed at their voters.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: details, schmetails… Sorry, I got confused. I have a respiratory infection. So I’m a bit zoned out right now.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sigaba: That’s exactly what I saw earlier today. Thanks for posting the link.

  117. 117
    Gimlet says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/pol.....pean-union

    Polling suggests discontent with the scale of migration to the UK has been the biggest factor pushing Britons to vote out, with the contest turning into a referendum on whether people are happy to accept free movement in return for free trade.

    Public unease has been fuelled by a failure to prevent immigration from piling pressure on jobs markets and public services, and a refusal by politicians to acknowledge the sheer numbers of Europeans making new homes in the UK

    The leave camp tried to make the arguments for Brexit more about the economy and sovereignty than immigration, but quickly found that “taking back control” over immigration was the most resonant message. They also linked immigration to shortages of primary school places, difficulty in getting a GP appointment, and depressed wages.

  118. 118
    Tripod says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    One hundred years ago UK cities were brimming with immigrants from Eastern Europe and Ireland.

  119. 119
    JPL says:

    Adam, great post and I hope that you have the time to continue writing about this.

    Of course, I love the hope is not a strategy title.

  120. 120
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I don’t think there was much Labour support for Leave –

    Official Labour support, no — but a lot of left-Brexit noise from people who unaccountably think that a Tory-led UK, out from under various EU requirements, without various EU legal bodies looking over their shoulder, is somehow going to be greener, and more worker-friendly.

  121. 121
    Ken says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    we were never going to put 350 million pounds a week into the NHS…We will propose about a 150 million pound per year infusion

    Times 52, carry the four… So what’s happening with the other 18 thousand million pounds?

  122. 122
    Gimlet says:

    @Gimlet:

    Public unease has been fuelled by a failure to prevent immigration from piling pressure on jobs markets and public services

    Consequences of “austerity” not keeping up with need and partially misdirected blame on swelling immigrant population.

  123. 123
    Anoniminous says:

    @Jean Hunter:

    It’s not ‘All About the Brits’ anymore. The EU Commissioners are moving to toss the UK out in order to limit uncertainty and give a Real Life example of the horrible things that happens to a country when it leaves.

  124. 124
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This assumes the EU doesn’t just say “Fuck it, you’ve made your bed, now get the hell out of our neighborhood” in response.

  125. 125
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tripod: John LeCarre has a character in, IIRC The Spy Who Came in from The Cold say that to create a really authentic-sounding super-English ‘legend’ for an agent, you should use a foreign-sounding name.

  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: I’ll follow up as I think appropriate. The negative second, third, and fourth order effects. The UK, as part of their special arrangement with the EU on border control, maintains a UK Customs and Immigration station at Calais. What this has allowed Britain to do is push their clean area of border security, as in through our checks and checkpoints, not healthy, outward onto the continent. This has prevented an unorganized rush of refugees and asylum seekers from reaching Britain because Britain can stop them in France before they reach British soil thereby making them a problem for the French and the EU states within the Schengen Area. The Mayor of Calais has already called for, and begun seeking, permission from both France and the EU to reassert French sovereignty and immediately close the UK Customs and Immigration officials. If this happens then the actual effect of the successful Leave vote is a 180 degree opposite of what it was supposed to produce. The mind, it boggles.

  127. 127
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gimlet: The entire EU, not just Britain, drank the austerity kool-aid and look what good it’s done all of them.

    The elites have their heads up their asses. Well, when they’re not vacationing on the Rivera or at Gstaad.

  128. 128
    Gimlet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Sounds like a right-wing response to a complex problem.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ken: I have no idea. I think this is covered under Spade’s Law: the cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”

  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anoniminous: Yep and they are going to make it as painful as possible to hammer the point home hard. Repeatedly.

  131. 131
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This should help(and is funny): The Secret History of London.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: True. We are, once again this week, off the map.

  133. 133
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah: Not real crimes; skin color too light, family too rich, etc.

  134. 134
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: At least you have job security.

  135. 135
    Gimlet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I C&P’d this excerpt because I see a parallel to the rising US xenophobia.

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I’ve seen that before and actually do know the difference. I’m just not feeling even 60% right now and forgot about the actual real mayor of London and that it was a real position with real duties.

  137. 137
    JPL says:

    @Baud: I see what you did.. lol

  138. 138
    ThresherK says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Ever see “Ripping Yarns”, Tompkinson’s School Days?

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    So I’m watching a cheesy 2005 sci-fi horror flick on El Rey and a team of commandos just got off a jet and onto a bunch of choppers carrying what look like traditional stock, M1A rifles. But they’ve got like 28 inch barrels on them. I had to hit pause to figure out what I was looking at. It was like whoever did the props was enamored of Hawkeye’s long rifle from The Leatherstocking Tales and said “I have a great idea!…”

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gimlet: Our elites are so busy counting their ill gotten Tubmans that they acquired by squeezing the people doing the actual work in this society that they probably won’t see the tumbrels lining up to take them to their well deserved fate.

    We have a serious parasite problem, and none of them are located where the Drumpf voters think they are. They’re not on SS disability, they’re not on SNAP, they’re not enrolled in the ACA.

  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: I’m a consultant right now. I get paid by the gig. Not sure I’d call that security, but it is better than a lot of people have it.

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I wonder if Calais will be found engraved on Cameron’s heart when he dies.

  143. 143
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How much is Cole paying you for this gig?

  144. 144
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: i pointed that out today to a brit colleague who doesn’t vote but whose while family voted leave. He just wouldn’t believe it.

    He’s a funny case – former punk, very working class little britain, very well traveled with a foreign wife who he met while living and working in her country, exactly 50 so right on that generational cusp, very well educated but prone to believe the worst of tabloid speculation.

    I spent most of yesterday watching his little britain inclinations war worth his intellectual and global world view. When all the ultra right wing party leaders started congratulating the uk the penny finally dropped. He left work early to go home and drink.

  145. 145
    Gimlet says:

    @Baud:

    How much is Cole paying you for this gig?

    A little more than “Right to Rise”.

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Here be there dragons.

  147. 147
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Zero. Also nothing.

  148. 148
    Anoniminous says:

    When it comes to important or crucial decision making I prefer the honeybee. They routinely coordinate tens of thousands of individuals to accomplish something. Homo sap. sap (that’s us!) can barely organize eight people to be at a specific bar at the same time to have a free beer.

  149. 149
    Tripod says:

    @Ken:

    The Aristocrats!

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I will be amazed, if the British economy continues to worsen, if there isn’t rioting if not outright revolt. All the drivers are there.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: At least it is steady, honest work.

  152. 152
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think you’re worth more.

  153. 153
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s Wales. Also leeks.

  154. 154
    Baud says:

    @Tripod: That’s especially funny in Britain.

  155. 155
    Gimlet says:

    @Baud: I think you’re worth more.

    As much as “Right to Rise”?

  156. 156
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is true and I get to ban the occasional troll. I’m waiting on final notification for a PCS later this summer back onto a full time assignment. I’ve done the hurry up and now I wait.

  157. 157
    chris says:

    @smith: But, but but voter fraud!
    Jesus, these people. They did some of that here in Canada too. Too bad it blew up in their nasty conservative faces.

  158. 158
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: If you watched the video I linked to, you’d know that means you’re entering the City of London.

  159. 159
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: On the other hand it does allow me to ignore any attempts, not that there have been any and the one or two times I asked Cole was positively stupified by the question, at editorial control.

  160. 160
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tripod:

    NI’s “best” option might be as an independent state.

    Economically, Ulster is completely non-viable as a standalone country, unless it turns itself into a pure tax haven like Lux or Cyprus–and if Verstanger gets her way, that will no longer be possible within the EU.

  161. 161
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I realize that one of the stunt guys playing a mercenary in this film makes me look tiny, but those M1A props are so big you’d have to be almost 7 feet tall to properly shoulder one of these props.

  162. 162
    Gimlet says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Peaceful protest is the only effective means to change.

    Our governmental officials and the news media continually tell us that and then they remind us that’s how we got our independence from England back in 1776 and the French from their aristocracy a little later on.

  163. 163
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Cole was positively stupified by the question,

    “I have a blog?”

  164. 164
    SRW1 says:

    @sigaba:

    Can the EU force a member out?

    Formally they can’t because of the veto right every member has in that question. This was an issue during the Grexit crisis last year, because pushing Greece out – purportedly on a temporary basis – actually was a path the German finance minister Schäuble suggested against the stubborn resistance of the Greek government.

    Of course, there is always the possibility of making life so hellish that a country eventually decides to give in. In the case of Greek that path was blocked by the intervention of Renzi and Holland. To their eternal shame, some of the smaller countries actually were perfectly fine with what Schäuble attempted.

  165. 165
    Baud says:

    @Gimlet: But you know better?

  166. 166
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: If i recall correctly the term we’re looking for is rogerring.

  167. 167
    JPL says:

    Educated folks mentioned to me today, that it’s not a big deal because it will take two years to break from the EU… haha.. Yes it might, but consulting companies that made London as it’s EU headquarters are rethinking it and new companies won’t consider it.
    I’m streaming CNN and they are talking about the voters taking a gamble.. It wasn’t a gamble, because they knew what would happen. White power sucks.. just sayin

  168. 168
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I saw a documentary called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 that had a dragon in it, and it was set partially in London, so it checks out.

  169. 169
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gimlet: Please to ignore the Dutch Army marching on London in 1689, too.

  170. 170
    burnspbesq says:

    At the time of the first Greek debt crisis, somebody called the European Central Bank ‘the Wehrmacht by other means.” It’s now basically true of all EU institutions. Verstanger is trying to force a hybrid of German and French tax laws (that’s actually worse than either) down the throats of the other 26 (25?) members. I fully expect Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Cyprus to bail.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gimlet:

    we got our independence from England back in 1776 and the French from their aristocracy a little later on.

    We managed it, but the French still had a monarchy on and off until 1871 thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte and his relatives.

  172. 172
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gimlet: I’m speaking about Britain. Also, I’ve found that violence is often very, very effective even if it is awful and terrible and horrible. We like to pretend we’re above such things, but the reality is that the conditions are almost right in Britain right now and things are likely to get worse before they get better. There is also a subset of the ethics of war about just revolution, so things are not quite as cut and dried as they may seem.

  173. 173
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @burnspbesq: Correct. I’m not trying to defend the EU here. They have some significant issues too.

  174. 174

    Me, on Twitter: ‘some “Leave” voters are starting to act like people who just failed at a suicide attempt, realizing they didn’t mean it after all.’

    Jean Hunter@64: as far as I know, you are correct; the referendum was advisory. It is possible that the EU leadership will decide to force the issue, proving that the complaints that the EU is dictatorial have some substance.

    Meantime, everyone who is thinking about a protest vote in the US Presidential election, think again. Gods help me, I’m currently planning on working for Clinton, who I personally detest. Better dead than orange.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gimlet:

    And, okay, since I haven’t quoted my favorite musical in at least a couple of hours:

    We signed a treaty with a king whose head is now in a basket
    Would you like to take it out and ask it?
    “Should we honor our treaty, King Louis’ head?”
    “Uh, do whatever you want, I’m super dead!”

  176. 176
    Baud says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Better dead than orange.

    I love this.

  177. 177
    SRW1 says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    The EU is looking into the modality of triggering Article 50, which is the article of the Lisbon treaty about the procedure to be followed when a member wants to leave the EU. Article 50 foresees a two year period for the negotiation of the conditions under which the member leaves the EU. During that two year period that member is still bound by all its membership obligations, meaning it still has to follow EU regulations and – presumably most annoyingly – it has to continue paying its contribution.

    The leading Brexiteers Johnson and Gove want to delay triggering Article 50, because, believe it or not, these geniuses don’t actually have a plan for these negotiations yet but are nonetheless deluded enough to believe that they can play one member against the other during the Article 50 negotiations, even those negotiations are conducted by the EU commission. Not surprisingly, the EU doesn’t want to play that game, because ” hey fellas, you realize we can actually hear you”.

    Even if the EU lawyers find a way to trigger Article 50, formally the UK will continue to be an EU member for at least another two years.

  178. 178
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: too right old bean.

  179. 179
    Gimlet says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was agreeing with you.

    I think government officials would like to channel that anger into something they can control and extinguish without necessarily resolving rather than avoiding bombs and dodging bullets.

  180. 180
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    okay, since I haven’t quoted my favorite musical in at least a couple of hours

    It’s been that long? I’m shocked, just shocked!

    P.S. Got my Huntington cards yesterday.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Welcome! I also have a “Hamilton” lyric for you that scans surprisingly well:

    And if you were to ask me who I’d promote
    Hillary has my vote.
    I’ve never agreed with Hillary once
    We’ve fought on like seventy-five different fronts
    But when all is said and all is done:
    Hillary has beliefs. Trump has none.

  182. 182
    Emma says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Better dead than orange

    .
    The new BJ motto!

  183. 183
    SRW1 says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Labour voters were split about 2:1 in favor of ‘Remain’.

  184. 184
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Did you see the marquee sign the Lyric Opera of Chicago put up? Made me laugh.

  185. 185
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Better dead than orange.

    Look what happened to Vince Foster.

  186. 186
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq: Yup, the EU has its problems internally above and beyond the Brexit vote. “The Wehrmacht by other means” is pretty good analogy. What the Germans could not get by force of arms, they’re trying to get by force of Euros.

  187. 187
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Raven Onthill: House of Orange libelz! (See aforementioned reference to 1689).

  188. 188
    Gimlet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Oompa Loompa!!1!

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I think you’ll enjoy it. Assuming you like Chinese food, the little cafe in the Chinese garden is actually pretty good and (from what I’ve been told) reasonably authentic.

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I saw it on LMM’s Twitter feed. His response was, “I’m going to enjoy a moment alone in the SHADE YOU JUST THREW!”

    Apparently one of “Hamilton”‘s techies (I think the set designer) has done a lot of work for the Lyric Opera and may be based in Chicago.

  190. 190
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Well, thanks for your contributions. I look forward to them.

  191. 191
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gimlet: Okay, sorry, under the weather. A bit muzzy headed on this end.

  192. 192
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotoriousJRT: You’re welcome. How you getting on?

  193. 193
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I saw it on LMM’s Twitter feed. His response was, “I’m going to enjoy a moment alone in the SHADE YOU JUST THREW!”

    It’s things like this that make me think I may be missing out on important stuff by not being a Twitterer.

  194. 194
    Tripod says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Like it isn’t a non-viable entity in the UK or a EC Ireland.

    It wasn’t Germans that shot down civilians in Belfast.

  195. 195
    Tripod says:

    Corbyn ratfucked the youth vote that put him in to power.

  196. 196
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: FWIW Twitter is what one makes of it. I find it very useful during breaking events. I also have a fairly limited number of people I follow. Mostly serious, but also a few like Henry VIII and Richard III who have an ongoing Twitter spat.

  197. 197
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also remember that the US deliberately reduced its armed forces and closed the national bank by 1812 thanks to specific policy decisions made by Jefferson and Madison. The British marched on Washington basically unopposed largely thanks to those two genius decisons.

    And why did they hate those policies? Because they were the pet policies of you-know-who, who had Washington on his side.

    I agree that the economic decisions were dumbass, but still fit the theme of the main blog post. Jefferson and Madison were so intent on undoing the economic policies of “He who will not be named,” that they could not clearly think about the consequences of their decisions. They were also, as I’ve said before, inferior, backwards thinking political economists compared to Mr AH.

    But with respect to the military, the US was up shit creek. They were still wedded to the idea that standing armies were bad. But even so, the Brits were not interested in waging war, because they were initially occupied with a far more important opponent, Napoleon. So they sent second rate forces to just punish the shit out of the US, which they could do with relative impunity. The US also found that they were still not truly a united country; New England thought about pulling out because they had no issues with continuing trade with Britain. The whole mess accomplished little, and the saddest collateral damage was the ruin of Native American tribes which had sided with the British.

  198. 198
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I wonder if Calais will be found engraved on Cameron’s heart when he dies.

    Damn. This is why I love BJ. Come for the pets, stay for the Bloody Mary Tudor references.

  199. 199
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    also a few like Henry VIII and Richard III who have an ongoing Twitter spat.

    They would.

  200. 200
    Ian says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    The British would have marched on Washington DC and Baltimore anyway. They just finished their war with France and wanted to kick some serious ass. I have also heard the burning of DC was a revenge for the burning of Toronto.
    Certainly a central bank would have given us more money, but would it really have helped the United States win the war?

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Brexit led to some rather good bits. I also follow this guy.

  202. 202
    Tripod says:

    @Brachiator:

    The whole mess accomplished little, and the saddest collateral damage was the ruin of Native American tribes which had sided with the British.

    Exterminating the locals affiliated with the UK was not exactly an unfortunate turn of events for the good ol’ US of A.

  203. 203
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Looked at rescue JRT’s today, but I don’t think the time is right. I just miss my beast.

  204. 204
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ian: Money is always very helpful in winning wars.

  205. 205
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I will be amazed, if the British economy continues to worsen, if there isn’t rioting if not outright revolt.

    Of course, England has a long history of stifling peasant revolts. Successful bottom up revolutions are exceedingly rare in England.

  206. 206
    Gvg says:

    Heh, I still think the EU will also have negative consequences to UK leaving (if it does). They may be mad but rationally I don’t think they should want it either. They can’t appear to be doormats but I don’t think they should manage to be too successful at pushing UK out early. I would expect a drop in the euro exchange rate too. If trump loses decisively some companies will shift here. Not sure what they should do while waiting. The U.K. is part of the profitability of the Eurosong too and none of the components would get near the benefits of being in alone. Texas and their succession talk are the same kind on idiots.

  207. 207
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Ian: The US had some trouble raising money to fight the war without the First Bank of the US. The few years between the end of the First Bank and the chartering of the Second Bank were marked by runaway inflation and a withering of trust in the government bonds.

  208. 208
    Misterpuff says:

    @Tripod: Golf Clap

  209. 209
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotoriousJRT: I understand. The actual last good thing you’ll do for him is when you’re ready to give another one as good a life as he had.

  210. 210
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: This is true. A lot of political passion has been unleashed in a very short burst and now economic pain is being inflicted. That is not a good combination.

  211. 211
    redshirt says:

    Click here if you want to see One Europe.

  212. 212
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I follow LMM and a couple of other Hamilton-related feeds, John Scalzi and his cat pictures feed @scamperbeasts, a few other SFF writers (highly recommend @UrsulaV), a fellow you might recognize who tweets as @MadeOfTeeth, and make temporary lists of reporters for things like the Oregon standoff. I like TweetDeck to keep it all straight.

  213. 213
    Elie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Especially if, as you say, the leaders of the Leave side actually have no idea how to manage this whole thing. To lob more uncertainty on to this due to their incompetence would probably make people go nuts. Its one thing to jump of a cliff knowing what you are doing vs grabbing hands thinking that you are jumping into a pile of down. Just voting these people out of office would just not be enough and that to me would present the focus and energy for violence… when there is no legal, rational or logical redress to satisfy major grievance……

  214. 214
    Tripod says:

    David Cameron so totally fucked this up. The House of Commons is going to have to swallow hard for Queen and Country. Sorry. Our constituents are morons. We didn’t really mean it. Stiff upper lip.

    Jo Cox got murdered because of this bullshit.

  215. 215
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elie: Yep and then factor in the underlying racial grievances and animus that’s been stirred up with this and its not a good combination.

  216. 216
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Well, yes, but there is the honour of the thing, isn’t it?

    I mean, money is all well and good, ain’t it, but Honour, now that’s the proper thing to be concerned with, innit?

  217. 217
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV: Does he really want the right to put a skull-fucked kitten on his coat of arms?

  218. 218
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If this happens then the actual effect of the successful Leave vote is a 180 degree opposite of what it was supposed to produce.

    Well, they could flood the Chunnel. (cough.)

  219. 219
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Have you seen these Russian Army Punishments?
    (Only vaguely related, but amusing.)

  220. 220
    Panurge says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Lord Mayor of the City of London” is largely ceremonial. AFAIK, “Mayor of Greater London” (Boris’ position) is very substantive.

  221. 221
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bill Arnold: Bad link.

    ETA: Never mind. You fixed.

  222. 222
    Elie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And that grievance is always easily accessible when people are scared. Always — no matter what race or ethnicity you are… we see it all over the world…… The old “R” (reptile) formation in the deep brain is territorial and connects to all our major aggression and fear. It keeps us alive when our cerebral cortex doesn’t work fast enough — synaptic input to and from the adrenal glands (fight or flight) and our ability to shut down rational thought to do self preservation. Unfortunately, it is terrible for us when it is summoned inappropriately and leads to bad things as we see at least in part….

  223. 223
    Librarian says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I believe you’re confusing the mayor of London with the Lord Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor is mayor of the City of London, the central area which is the oldest part of the city. That’s the ceremonial office. The mayor of London, which Johnson was, governs Greater London and is the “real” mayor.

  224. 224
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Panurge: @Librarian: Yep, we’ve covered it up thread. I knew better, but am muzzy headed from the respiratory infection I’m fighting so mucked it up. Mea culpa.

  225. 225
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: I have now. That is certainly an interesting approach to good order and discipline.

  226. 226
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Tripod:

    David Cameron so totally fucked this up.

    From another point of view, he has inadvertently destroyed the Labour Party. A Tory dream for over a hundred years.

    In the future there will only be one party capable of securing enough support to form government in what is left of the UK. The Conservative Party.

    The Labour Party will now be competing for its base vote with UKIP, leaving them about as relevant as the Liberal Democrats.

  227. 227
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Unlikely. More likely they’d do something like this:
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PcT0Nsi2l4c/hqdefault.jpg

  228. 228
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I think its also likely he looses his internal, back bench supporters the the UKIP as well. That’s why I said up thread that there is a strange opportunity here to realign, rack, and stack the various parties. I don’t think it’ll happen, but the opening is there.

  229. 229
    NotMax says:

    @Raven Onthill

    Better dead than orange.

    Too Dutch.

  230. 230
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The original SPD was interesting. Their union with the Liberals was probably a mistake. Well, since it went from Roy Jenkins to Nick Clegg, it was a mistake. Jenkins, et al., would never have allied with the Tories.

  231. 231
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I couldn’t keep thinking last night, while listening to a very sharp Lib Dem MP on the Beeb actually provide a good run down of how Britain had gotten to that point and all the potential effects if Leave should win the referendum, that without his party leader’s idiot decision to partner with the Tories Britain might not be where it was or is.

  232. 232
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Nick Clegg deserves a shitload of the blame for what just happened. The Lib-Dem alliance was meant to offer a center-left option. Aligning with explicitly right wing Tories does not do that. Moi, If British, might have been SDP curious back in the day, but I put too much into loyalty. I would more likely have melded into the Hattersley faction – more or less.

  233. 233
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep. That makes sense.

  234. 234
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ian:

    This may be too late since this thread is dead, but someone here recommended a book that I read called When Britain Burned the White House that covers a lot of this stuff. Basically, yes, not having a standing army or a ready source of funding hurt the US in a serious way. The British sent their best troops straight from the Peninsula and were contemptuous when they discovered they could burn the US capital basically unopposed because our “army” was mostly a bunch of disorganized state militias, exactly as Jefferson and Madison wanted.

    If Baltimore hadn’t been better organized and fortified to resist them, we would have been totally screwed. And the British didn’t have any interest in reconquering or reoccupying the US — they just wanted to kick our asses a little for revenge.

  235. 235

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