Cliff edge ahead!

by Chris Bertram on July 9, 2018

In the early days of Crooked Timber, I think we took ourselves to be under some kind of obligation to react to major current events. That’s rather fallen by the wayside. During the era of Trump and Brexit, I find the thought of having to write about every absurdity and injustice just too damn depressing. But today is one of those moments in British politics that perhaps ought to be marked, since we have had the resignations of David Davis and his deputy Steve Baker at 11.59 last night (DExEU’s Midnight Runners as social media has it) followed by the opportunistic self-release of Boris Johnson into the community today. What has brought this about is a ticking clock. The fact that under the Article 50 process, the UK crashes out of the European Union in March next year. The Tory party have wasted most of the two year process, running a pointless general election then arguing with one another, but failing to negotiate with the EU’s team because they couldn’t agree a common position. Faced with the warnings from industry, the prospect of queues at the ports, empty supermarket shelves, supply chains severed and planes unable to land, those Tories who still have connections outside of the Brexit fantasy have prevailed on Theresa May to put together something that might be at least the start of a solution (even if it looks unacceptable to the EU in its current state). But since May’s Chequers compromise envisages at least having the minimum conditions in place for continued trade with a much bigger partner, that inevitably involves accepting that the UK will have to swallow the EU’s way of doing things. The UK has walked away from a table where it had a powerful voice and put itself in a position where those left around the table get to dictate terms. All too much to bear for the true believers in Brexit and for those who think their future careers depend on ingratiating themselves with the true believers. Cliff edge ahead.

{ 245 comments }

1

Joseph Brenner 07.09.18 at 7:49 pm

Politics in the post-Trump world strikes me as profoundly boring. Yeah, Trump said something outrageous, yeah, Trump did something awful… no kidding.

We’re stuck, biding our time, getting set for the 2018 wave… and watching the Democratic “moderates” scrambling to try to keep control.

2

Ray Vinmad 07.09.18 at 8:43 pm

DexEUs Midnight Runners! No fair. They get possibly meaningful upheaval while we just get the guys fired on the toilet, or groveling resignation letters. Dude after vanishing dude. We’re running out of nicknames at this point.

Amazed to find on google that DMR is still going strong, and happy to know about the sudden windfall for them courtesy of these craven folks.

3

oldster 07.09.18 at 8:54 pm

For heaven’s sake!

When will someone in the UK just say, “We refuse to do Brexit! Brexit was a Russian influence operation; it meant suicide for the UK and for the Western Alliance; it was a bad idea sold with non-stop lies. Good riddance; the old was was not perfect, but the new way was worse.”

It appalled me when it happened, but there was at least a manufactured air of enthusiasm about it (created, we now know, by a concerted campaign of bribery and payoffs from Putin’s pals). There was at least some appearance that some people thought it would bring improvements.

Now that everyone realizes it is a catastrophe, it is in some ways even more appalling to see an entire country shuffling, zombie-like, towards a doom it can clearly foresee.

What the hell? What will it take to wake up and change course?

4

nastywoman 07.09.18 at 8:57 pm

But up to now reality has proven that there actually won’t be any ”Brexit” -(if the definition of ”Brexit” is a ”real exit” from Europe) – the silly dudes can resign all they want and as we have spend a lot of time lately in ”Britain” –
(as it has become a lot more ”affordable” for anybody who earns her or his dough in Dollars or Euros) – and some of our best British friends even toured Germany with us last weeks –
(and – even kind of – liking it) –
and especially Dresden – which is another ”sign” – that no silly dudes will be able to turn back time in a Europe where just far too many of US -(”real” Europeans) have ”conquered” -(very, very peacefully) – every single country of this continent.

5

Name (required) 07.09.18 at 10:07 pm

At this point the most probable Brexit outcome is a hard exit, with no trade between the UK and the EU, followed very rapidly by the collapse of the UK economy. The UK will come to resemble a version of North Korea with libertarian, rather than communist, tendencies: an isolationist state unblessed by the last hundred years of evolution in economic development or human rights. Within a matter of years the UK itself my well collapse with the Scots, Welsh, and Irish deciding that an uncertain independence (or, perhaps in the latter case, a merger with Ireland) will offer a better future than the certain doom of political attachment to the English.

6

Doug K 07.09.18 at 10:30 pm

I am of oldster’s opinion too – it is baffling to see the marginal win that Brexit eked out with the assistance of the right-wing billionaires running the press, Putin, and Facebook, held to be binding. At this point it’s clear the Leave campaign broke multiple laws and was in close collusion with the Russians. Why not nullify the whole thing ?

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.
– RL Stevenson.

The Brexit banquet is coming up.
As Trump’s trade wars heat up, and the Supreme Court becomes a tool of extremists stuffed with radical activist judges, a banquet is being prepared for the deplorable few that voted for him. Unfortunately we all dance attendance on that banquet..

7

Doug K 07.09.18 at 10:31 pm

I am of oldster’s opinion too – it is baffling to see the marginal win that Brexit eked out with the assistance of the right-wing billionaires running the press, Putin, and Facebook, held to be binding. At this point it’s clear the Leave campaign broke multiple laws and was in close collusion with the Russians. Why not nullify the whole thing ?

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.
– RL Stevenson.

The Brexit banquet is coming up.
As Trump’s trade wars heat up, and the Supreme Court becomes a tool of extremists stuffed with radical activist judges, a banquet is being prepared for the deplorable few that voted for him. Unfortunately we all dance attendance at that banquet..

8

Faustusnotes 07.09.18 at 10:44 pm

Conservatives are traitors and wreckers.

9

bob mcmanus 07.09.18 at 10:58 pm

It’s the oldsters and DougKs that are scaring me. Apparently they believe that 17 1/2 million voters were brainwashed or bribed or puppetized or godknowswhat. They’re serious and sincere.

The center of the Democratic Party (the Left knows better) are now in the position where they can and will claim that every election or vote they lose* is totally illegitimate, without having the will, means, or leadership to do much about it beyond enraging and frightening the opposition. This is what will get us on the wrong side of Weimar.

*I presume this same tactic will be used in the 2020 primaries. I have already seen people watching Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez very closely. She has been seen in the company of those known and proven agents of Russia, Glenn Greenwald and Susan Sarandon. I am not kidding, and I don’t think I can bear much more of this kind of politics.

And this withdrawal of the sane is also what leads past Weimar.

10

Scott P. 07.09.18 at 11:39 pm

The center of the Democratic Party (the Left knows better) are now in the position where they can and will claim that every election or vote they lose* is totally illegitimate,

They got more votes.

11

Mark Brady 07.09.18 at 11:48 pm

@bob mcmanus

Exactly.

12

derrida derider 07.09.18 at 11:52 pm

I don’t get it. Brexit is overwhelmingly driven by the OLD, with a perfectly ridiculous pining for the Empire. It is absolutely screwing prospects for those oldster’s children, and as others have pointed out it really has no democratic legitimacy at all.

So why are those children so supine? Where is the outrage? Why aren’t there millons of them marching? Why isn’t Parliament Square continually awash with tear gas? It is the only way the screwing can be averted.

13

John Quiggin 07.10.18 at 12:31 am

The bigger point is that the ethno-nationalist right have no real solutions to the problems created by the breakdown of neoliberalism. Brexit, Trumpism and so on make for emotionally satisfying gesture politics, but they don’t actually work.

More on topic, I still can’t see the UK going over the cliff, even more so now that the whole Brexit process is so obviously farcical. There’s no time for anything resembling a Brexit agreement (even with the transition period), so the obvious options are to revoke Article 50 or join the EEA. Obviously that requires agreement from the EU/EEA side but it would be a huge win for them, and the alternative is disaster all round.

14

Alan White 07.10.18 at 1:04 am

JQ–

“The bigger point is that the ethno-nationalist right have no real solutions to the problems created by the breakdown of neoliberalism. Brexit, Trumpism and so on make for emotionally satisfying gesture politics, but they don’t actually work.”

As I have said previously about some other posts, I wish I’d said that. The fact that emotional gestures suffice to place people in office, however, indicates that the problem must be addressed by more than purely intellectual dissent, but by some sort of equal and opposite reaction. And that probably means lots and lots of money in the place of mouths.

15

Name (required) 07.10.18 at 1:08 am

It’s the oldsters and DougKs that are scaring me. Apparently they believe that 17 1/2 million voters were brainwashed or bribed or puppetized or godknowswhat. They’re serious and sincere.

Modern propaganda/campaigning is so effective that the outcome of popular votes is decided solely by which side has the most funding for its propaganda apparatus. To preserve the illusion of fairness in voting, rules have been established to limit what forms of propaganda spending are permissible by whom and at what time. For example, it is not permissible to use cutout funding from foreign sources, exceed spending limits, conspire with foreigners in general, or break into an opponent’s computers.

When the rules of fair voting are flagrantly violated to generate victory for one side it is entirely justified to regard the outcome of the vote to be illegitimate. Stolen elections should not be allowed to stand any more than a con artist should be permitted to keep money he defrauded from his victims.

While it would be unwise to specifically accuse either Leave or the Trump campaign of illegal activity there are enough question marks surrounding the possibility of Russian support for both campaigns that both Brexit and the Trump victory ought to be considered democratically tainted at least until the completion of formal, independent, investigations.

16

faustusnotes 07.10.18 at 2:22 am

McManus reiterates the opinion of someone on another thread, that propaganda, advertising or any form of political messaging doesn’t work, and people come to their opinions without any outside influence as if they were just born that way. At what point did the Putin-friendly left develop this insane idea? How do they plan to enact any political change, or fight any conservative movement, if they deny that voters can be influenced? Just stand back and let the 1%’s money wash over the electorate because it makes no difference to the outcome?

This is nihilism. Is this what the beardy old dudes of the left have been reduced to, nihilism and the abrogation of all political engagement? Or is this the consequence of believing that only an armed vanguard can save the working class, so there’s no point in trying to change minds?

17

harry b 07.10.18 at 3:06 am

Worth listening to the podcast of Westminster Hour, which was broadcast immediately before the Davis resignation. At the end, the journalist says something to the effect of, “I would just note that David Davis has been awfully quiet this weekend”.

Also worth listening to Nick Robinson’s long interview with Dominic Grieve from last week.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06cfbx8

And… dare I mention Andrew Adonis’s twitter feed?

18

bob mcmanus 07.10.18 at 3:16 am

At what point did the Putin-friendly left develop this insane idea?

I can’t deal. I cannot and will not converse with this level of malicious madness. You win.

Sorry Bertram if the thread is getting jacked.

19

Chetan Murthy 07.10.18 at 3:17 am

Is this what the beardy old dudes of the left have been reduced to, nihilism and the abrogation of all political engagement?

faustusnotes, I sure don’t know enough about bob mcmanus’ history and views to comment on him, but: sure, there’s a modest subset of the leftier-than-thous who seem to have a real bug up their butts for “heighten the contradictions” and a belief that any sort of attempt to actually meet the enemy (note well: they’re the -enemy-, not the -opposition-) at the ballot box is hopeless. But they’re a pretty small subset, and I don’t think they have much effect.

Look: it’s very possible that the 2018/2020 elections will be stolen. But every time we march and there are millions all over the country, and then the next time *they* march, and there are …. a thousand across the entire country, it’s more evidence that we should keep up the pressure and vote. If the elections are stolen, we’ll deal with that when the time comes. But this isn’t interwar Germany: we’re the majority, and WE KNOW IT.

So ignore the naysayers, eh?

20

Omega Centauri 07.10.18 at 4:11 am

Well, no actually. The cliff edge isn’t ahead. Its behind! And that comfortable feeling of weightlessness…, it doesn’t mean that the law of gravity has been suspended, its just another symptom that those jagged rocks at the canyon’s bottom are rushing at us faster by the moment.

I am across the pond. So the spectacle of watching your train wreck, isn’t quite as troubling. Perhaps it means that those responsible for our own even bigger trainwreck will get just an inkling of what it is they have unleashed. At least it will be gratifying for the Russians and Chinese to contemplate the new world order that they will soon be in charge of.

21

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 5:51 am

Good Lord!? –
are you (oldsters?) scared? – while watching a World Championship where ”Europe” is ”winning” and ”European Teams” prove that even the most moronic politicians won’t be able to turn back time – to times where every British player looked -(and ”played”) like the stereotypical ”Brit”.

Pretending to ”Brexit” will be like somebody trying to take every ”colored member” out of the British Team –

It NO working anymore…

22

mch 07.10.18 at 6:20 am

I wonder if, and hope that, Robert Mueller and his legions will issue a report (along with further indictments) that will make it impossible for any of the traitors on both sides of the pond to continue to escape their due comeuppance, and will free the rest of us to pursue more productive politics. Am I crazy? Our last best hope in prosecutors?

Related: does the timing of all this resigning in Britain have anything to do with Trump’s impending visit? I can easily imagine the Donald meeting with Boris just before he meets with the queen, or just after. Much as I love “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”‘s in-your-face lyrics to the monarchy, I feel awe before this queen’s fortitude, and her fortitude actually gives me hope.

23

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 6:36 am

and about AOC and the comedy of @9mcmanus

”She has been seen in the company of those known and proven agents of Russia, Glenn Greenwald and Susan Sarandon”.

That was funny as I have seen her in the company of even better comedians – like… Colbert!

But what is… this?:
”I can’t deal. I cannot and will not converse with this level of malicious madness. You win.
Sorry Bertram if the thread is getting jacked”.

That really reads some kind of… serious? – and as this thread(t) is about going over the Cliff? –
Don’t do it MAN – it’s really NOT worth it – if reality is standing buy – laughing!

24

Name (required) 07.10.18 at 6:46 am

The bigger point is that the ethno-nationalist right have no real solutions to the problems created by the breakdown of neoliberalism. Brexit, Trumpism and so on make for emotionally satisfying gesture politics, but they don’t actually work.

The non-functionality of Brexit and Trumpism are features to prevent the voting majority from pursuing policies that challenge the past thirty years of upward wealth concentration policies that have been obscured by the plausibly deniable ideological fig leaf of neoliberalism. From the perspective of the 1%, it is far better for the 99% to be engaging in organized racism than thinking about dangerous matters, such as realizing that the reason why the 99% has no money is that all the wealth it has created has been siphoned into the net worth of the 1%.

I still can’t see the UK going over the cliff, even more so now that the whole Brexit process is so obviously farcical. There’s no time for anything resembling a Brexit agreement (even with the transition period), so the obvious options are to revoke Article 50 or join the EEA. Obviously that requires agreement from the EU/EEA side but it would be a huge win for them, and the alternative is disaster all round.

If there were any adults in the room, Brexit never would have happened in the first place.

Everything that has happened surrounding Brexit to date could be predicted before the fact using the knowledge that the Tory party is the manifestation of institutionalized sadism. If there is a choice between two policy options, one which will hurt a large number of people and one which will benefit a large number of people, the Tories will always pick the former. Witness, for example, how Tory social spending cuts have been driven by hatred of the poor rather than by any economic need.

The EEA/Norway option is not viable to the Tories because it won’t hurt enough people.

25

Dipper 07.10.18 at 7:16 am

You folks are all looking in the wrong direction. You should stop looking at the UK and start looking at the EU and ask yourself if this is the kind of supra-national organisation you should be supporting.

To pursue an analogy, surely Canada should become part of the USA? The idea that a small nation like Canada can exercise any sort of meaningful independence when it has a much larger nation beside it on whom it is reliant is clearly laughable. Business could benefit significantly by the removal of unnecessary barriers such as currency, border, different legal systems, immigration controls.

Would anyone on here regard it as acceptable for the USA to announce that unless Canada agreed to be absorbed into the USA it will face complete isolation and economic hardship?

Finally, the demand that the UK observe the Belfast Agreement aka the GFA (it’s here, worth a read) makes a democratic vote subordinate to an agreement that recognised terrorism as valid political expression. There is a logic to where that leads. Don’t be surprised if we go there.

26

Ben Philliskirk 07.10.18 at 8:40 am

Bob McManus has posted just about the only sensible comment so far.

The problem is that the UK had been going to the dogs for a long time before Brexit loomed on the agenda. Many ordinary, apolitical, sometimes bigoted, sometimes ignorant, people were aware of this, and given the chance to vent their frustration, chose to vote leave in the referendum. In this they were led by dishonest, often stupid, sometimes sadistic, sections of the political and media elite.

Yet the solution of most remainers seems to be to pretend that that nothing ever happened and to revert to ‘business as usual’, or to suggest that everything was rosy prior to 2016 and it has all been a big conspiracy. Indeed, rather than defend principles connected to European integration such as freedom of movement, they simply suggest that the country will become an apocalypse after Brexit. It is a re-hashed version of Thatcher’s ‘There Is No Alternative’. No attempt to understand how and why the UK has become such a dysfunctional place, or address the desperate need for political and social change.

Brexit is a symptom, not a cause of the UK’s problems.

27

Chris Bertram 07.10.18 at 8:45 am

@Dipper Yes, the outrageous demand that states abide by international agreements they entered into.

There is a logic to where that leads. Don’t be surprised if we go there.

Who are “we”? Have you joined an extreme British nationalist paramilitary group now?

As far as I’m aware the EU has not threatened the UK with complete isolation and economic hardship, it has said that it the UK is outside the EU it will have to trade on the same terms as other non-members do. Since business in the UK is currently organized around the kind of frictionless trade available to members, an adjustment to third-country status will necessarily be painful. The choice to make that adjustment was made by people like you, who are now whining that it constitutes some kind of punishment imposed by someone else. Never was the world “snowflake” more appropriate. Now go away.

28

Dipper 07.10.18 at 8:56 am

In my local area we are facing an economic cliff-edge go a different kind. My local large town has gone from 4% non-native born population to 21% in a decade. This massive increase is mirrored both in the immediate vicinity but also in the wider south-east of England.

It isn’t for me to say, but I think by and large socially the increase is successful in that there is little (extra) violence and widespread integration. What is happening though is a massive infrastructure hit. Large towns are being planned and built all over, and all villages are having extra housing estates tagged on. It is not uncommon to have three sets of road-works in a 5 mile drive, and for that drive to take an hour.

What isn’t being built is a hospital. We already have the longest waiting times in the country, but there are no plans for expansion, just a wish.

I don’t see evidence that the kind of immigration is going to deliver the money to pay for all this. Anna Soubry (very pro-EU conservative for non-UK readers) said recently in parliament:

“in some parts of our country a large number of people have come in, but these are invariably Polish people, Latvians and Lithuanians who do the work that, in reality, our own constituents will not do. It is a myth that there is an army of people sitting at home desperately wanting to do jobs. The truth of the matter is that we have full employment, and we do control immigration. How do we control it? It is called the market. Overwhelmingly, people come here to work. When we do not have the jobs, they simply do not come.

… However, I say to the right hon. Lady that she must speak to the businesses in her constituency, and she must ask them, “Who are these people? Where have they come from? Why have you not employed locally?” I have done that with the businesses in my constituency, and some have told me that they have probably broken the law. They have gone out deliberately and absolutely clearly to recruit local people, and they have found that, with very few exceptions, they have been unable to fill the vacancies. They take grave exception to anybody who says that they undercut in their wages or do not offer people great opportunities. It is a myth, as I say, that there are armies of people wanting to work who cannot work because of immigration.”

Soubry says these immigrants are not cutting wages, but is it surely a new form of economics that increasing the supply of a resource does not reduce the price of that resource. The major issue in the UK economy identified over and over again is flatlining productivity, and here we have the explanation – massive increase in labour that removes the need to innovate and increase productivity.

I see no sign that this massive wave of immigration based on low-wage jobs can pay for the infrastructure needed to accommodate it. All I see is continued slide in living standards.

And that’s the problem. Cliff-edge of unknown height, or get locked into a downward slide that, if we buckle now, we can never get out of and leads to an underfunded impoverished gridlocked nation.

29

Dipper 07.10.18 at 9:09 am

In a previous comment I said in relation to terrorism “don”t be surprised if we go down that road”. I should have used different words, as I abhor political terrorism and violence, I just think others may be tempted. “We” meant as a nation we find political terrorism becoming more prevalent.

We already have experienced political violence in the dreadful murder of Jo Cox by Thomas Mair. Mair was a member of a nationalist and racist organisation and this was clearly an act of terrorism. I think the best place for him is where he is – in prison. I just ask those who say how important it is we respect the Belfast Agreement if they would be happy seeing Thomas Mair given early release as part of a political settlement, because I wouldn’t.

30

bob mcmanus 07.10.18 at 9:25 am

That really reads some kind of… serious?

I could be wrong, I didn’t think they would get the Thai kids out safely, but like Bertram I see the cliff(s!) ahead horrible terrible times approaching and I feel surrounded by stark raving madness and insatiable greed. Worse than 1960s, I could then at least understand the Cold War imperialists and neoconservative/neoliberal ambitions as much as I hated them. And hell to a degree the assholes won. The current mood feels like headlong fullbore autodestruction…like 1914.

Maybe this is how empires and civilizations end (themselves). I need the time to learn Mandarin.

31

RichieRich 07.10.18 at 9:40 am

@13

so the obvious options are to revoke Article 50 or join the EEA.

Given the complexity of leaving, I think the sensible thing from the outset would have been to apply to join EEA/Efta. Richard North, who runs the blog EU Referendum, has done more thinking on this than most. So it’s interesting to read what he wrote in a blogpost in January this year, lamenting the fact that there probably now isn’t time to take the EEA/Efta option.

The biggest problem, if not entirely of my own making, is one to which I have certainly added: the characterisation of the EEA Agreement as an off-the-shelf solution, making it that much simpler to fit into an exit plan within the limitations imposed by the Article 50 process.

If I had my time over again, from the very start of my writing about this issue, I would have made two crucial changes. Firstly, I would never have used the term “Norway option” and would have instead called it the Efta/EEA option.

Secondly, I would have stressed that, for Efta states, the EEA Agreement is very much a bespoke option. The settlement for Norway is different from that of Iceland which is different in material aspects from the way the treaty applies to Liechtenstein.

It took me a long time to realise this and to begin to understand its unique structure, with the core agreement, the 49 Protocols, the 22 Annexes and the 39 Declarations, the combination of which made for a remarkably flexible instrument.

This great advantage, however, is also an important handicap. To tailor the Agreement to UK requirements – and thus to make it suitable as a short- to medium-term interim solution – would take an amount of time, and almost certainly more than we have left at the moment.

32

MFB 07.10.18 at 9:52 am

It does appear that the British Tory Party is in complete disarray (as has been the case for some time, of course, but it pretended that it wasn’t). Unfortunately, it is divided between those who want Britain to be a satellite of Germany and those who want Britain to be a satellite of the United States (in practice, Brexit will lead it to become a satellite of both) while pretending that Britain can somehow remain an independent and powerful country after three decades of dismantling the economic structures which would have made that possible.

Also unfortunately, the Labour Party is similarly divided.

It seems there is no good prospect, which explains why everybody on this thread is yelling stupid abuse at each other (“Putin supporter!” “Demented maniac”) which serves no useful purpose except to make the person doing the yelling feel good.

In the short run Brexit will probably not be disastrous, because Britain stayed out of the Euro, but over the longer period it will probably prove extremely unpleasant. Unless the British public are prepared to make the sacrifices required to reconstitute Britain’s economic independence (which is spun by the pro-German-satellite crowd as “North Korean”). I doubt that they are, and see no prospect of any British government doing that in any case.

33

Nick Barnes 07.10.18 at 10:00 am

oldster@3:

When will someone in the UK just say, “We refuse to do Brexit! Brexit was a Russian influence operation; it meant suicide for the UK and for the Western Alliance; it was a bad idea sold with non-stop lies. Good riddance; the old was was not perfect, but the new way was worse.”

There is an ever-increasing number of people in the UK saying just that.

A substantial proportion of rich and powerful people stand to make a massive killing from Brexit, either hard or soft. It was their idea in the first place, they hijacked the bus of state, and they continue to drive it towards the cliff edge. And they’re running non-stop “cliffs are great” commercials on the on-board TV, supplemented by announcements on the intercom all about how lovely the cliff will be when we get there.

34

John Quiggin 07.10.18 at 10:01 am

I’m struck by Dipper’s use of hypotheticals regarding the US and Canada when the parallels between Brexit and the actual situation there are so obvious and widely agreed. Like the Brexiteers, Trump has abrogated the existing agreements with Canada and wants to renegotiate on a “have cake and eat it” basis. Again like the Brexiteers, he whines like a baby when Canada responds by playing by the rules, matching his tariffs and so on.

The fact that Brexit is a match with the Trumpist attack on Canada (along with the rest of the democratic world) is agreed by friends and foes alike. Trump cheers Brexit and Boris Johnson wishes he had Trump instead of May. Invoking this case seems like a Freudian slip on Dipper’s part.

35

ph 07.10.18 at 10:20 am

Hi Chris, I’ve read your posts post-Brexit and feel you’ve done an excellent job of responding soberly to event which you clearly find troubling. Your reply to Dipper, sans the insult at the end is excellent. JQ presents my own personal take. harry b’s seems useful.

Lamentably, many of the other comments read like a train wreck from Free Republic paranoids replete with raging accusations against ‘foreign agents, traitors, etc’ polluting our vital bodily fluids. Bad enough that the folks who lied us into the Iraq war (CIA-NSA-MI5) are now held up as virtuous tellers of truth. We’re living through Weimar – shriek!

The past fifty years and more confirm that a great many extremely bad things can happen while the UK and British systems are functioning quite well. Governments form, are dissolved, elections held (often honestly), freedom of expression exists – on campus and elsewhere. The state of Virginia deemed it illegal for a ‘white’ and ‘black’ to marry until 1968, I believe. Flint’s water crisis is a recent example of decades of industrial poisonings and cover-ups. We’ve had similar cases in Canada. One of the issues the new Supreme Court will weigh is a bid by SC? NC? to allow orphanages the right to limit adoption to Christian families, etc. etc. etc.

Waiting for Mueller and pretending all Brexit and Trump voters are ‘traitors’ and ‘racists’ is how Brexit occurred and why Trump flipped the blue states. Real wages flat-line for decades and your elected leaders tell you things have never been better.

As a Trump supporter, I can assure you I do not want a second Trump term. I never want to see Mike Pence, or Ted Cruz, as president. I would prefer never to support a Republican again. However, if lazy liberals wait for piss-dossier to remove what the more sensible recognize is the symptom, not the cause, I fully expect Trump to be re-elected.

The worst thing that could possibly happen is for Dems to win in 2018, somehow succeed in impeaching Trump, and hand the presidency to a religious lunatic like Pence. Get the House, yes. Demonstrate an economy-class interest in those strangers typically derided as ‘beyond hope’ and work to win election in 2020. What a concept.

This is what Brexit will actually look like – endless kicking the can down the road. There will be a delay, although the Mail claims that support for Brexit is actually up by double digits – perhaps because some just want the whole mess to end?

36

bob mcmanus 07.10.18 at 10:34 am

I’ll finally put on my Lenin/Spengler/Toynbee hat and outrage the crowd. Britain is just on one edge of the cliff going down. The “West” is done.

If Remain remains possible, I won’t argue with anyone trying to minimize pain. Do we think that a new referendum if possible would reverse, or that the EU will get all merciful? Ok then. If not, does anyone want May’s job? Does Corbyn?

If by some weird miracle Corbyn and Labour get in I just can’t see attaching to the cliffdivers in the G7. If there is a choice. I vote Lexit, go as socialist (expropriate EVERYTHING) as possible, break up with the NATO WTO alphabet soup, disarm*, and form new vassal alliances with who is likely to survive the next decades: BRICS and their dependents.

This would definitely help the radicals over here, but I won’t argue with any other kind of chosen calvary. Temporary amelioration of suffering is understandable.

*Corbyn favouring denuclearization? I wish we had better than Sanders.

37

Collin Street 07.10.18 at 11:02 am

[…]
‘Right, third gear,’ said Angalo, ‘and a bit faster. Now, what’s that sign ahead?’
Grima and Masklin craned to see.
‘Looks like “Road Works Ahead”,’ said Grima in a puzzled voice.
‘Sounds good. Let’s have some more fast, down there.’
‘Yes, but,’ said Masklin, ‘why say it? I mean, you could understand “Road Doesn’t Work Ahead”. Why tell us it works?’

38

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 11:27 am

@28
”And that’s the problem. Cliff-edge of unknown height, or get locked into a downward slide that, if we buckle now, we can never get out of and leads to an underfunded impoverished gridlocked nation”.

This I understand – as I heard it so often before – from Americans in the so called ”Rust Belt” – but that’s why I never understood the supposedly ”right”-(wing) solution to the danger of going over the Cliff – especially – as I mentioned before – if British Soccer at the same time comes up with all kind of -(European-multiculti-openminded) solutions which point to ”better” future?

And as I travelled all over Britain in the last months – and started to like ”keep calm and carry on” even more than ”protect me from what I want” and I met so many people from AAL over the world with such a pleasure -(especially the dude from Pakistan who seriously ran an ”Italian Restaurant” in London and was able to cook Spaghetti ”al dente”)
– and then in Bath spending all this time with some Japanese?

What more does a country need to understand that the solutions ARE NOT going over the cliff FFace von Clownstick-(or Brexit)like – cut the silly (Internet)drama – vacation time is upon us and if old Brits are able to live happily in Spain they also will be able to live happily in their so called own country – peacefully together with ALL these ”fureigners” who firstly brought Britain sooo much money that London now is one of the richest city on earth -(and thusly Great Britain one of the wealthiest countries on earth) – and THEN it’s just NOT a good idea to try to fight -(a very established reality) and cut yourself OFF.

Just deal with IT Dipper in a ”productive” and ”progressive” way! –
Make the best out of it just like your (MY) favorite Soccer Team!!

39

Dipper 07.10.18 at 11:44 am

Some specifics.

Firstly, regarding the UK being a third country when it leaves the EU, it is worth noting that Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty states “The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.” and “the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.” So article 8 effectively commits the EU to have a negotiation which can end up in special terms.

The Belfast Agreement Strand Three establishes the British-Irish council, which “will comprise representatives of the British and Irish Governments, devolved institutions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales”, the council will “use best endeavours to reach agreement on co-operation on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the relevant Administrations. Suitable issues for early discussion in the BIC could include … approaches to EU issues.” and “The BIC normally will operate by consensus.”

So the Belfast Agreement has specific responsibilities on the Irish Government to sit down and negotiate and resolve issues by consensus. If the UK is going to be held to this agreement I think it only fair the Irish Government is too. Also, if anyone can find a clause that guarantees an open border and not having a custom’s regime please can they point it out to me because I can’t find it.

Personally I’d be happy to just leave with no deal. It was widely acknowledged during the referendum that there would be a hit in the short term, so I don’t think this would be a problem. As I indicated previously, the “jobs first” Brexit doesn’t hold currency round here; our problem is too many jobs, not too few. The problem if we stay in the EU is we will inevitably get sucked into the full EU machine. To think you can have a cake-and-eat-it membership where you have a pick-and-mix approach to issues such as adopting the Euro is magical thinking, to believe in Unicorns.

40

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 11:44 am

– and @
”the West is done”

Last week we were with British friends in Dresden and also booked a tour of Street Art in Dresden Neustadt and the so called ”Tour Guide” complaining right-away about ”Neoliberalism” told us we were staying in ”Disneyland” as we stayed close to the result Frauenkirche and in the Tourguides words ”an area where nothing was (”really”) older than 14 years” – and in the evening we went to a concert in ”der Frauenkirche” and heard a Brits saying that his dad -(”with very good reasons – some agreed) bombed the s… out of this place – and that’s why he -(the younger Brit) had given money to rebuilt it.

And that’s (one of the many) reasons – why ”the West” isn’t done AT ALL!

41

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 11:51 am

– and the feeling – that it might feel so desperate – chaotic and disastrous lately I blame all on people who never lived in Italy for a long time.

As if one ever lived in Italy for a long time and knows – what a wonderful and great life one can have in constant chaotic DRAMA -(to a degree Britain never ever will be able to ”emulate”) –

Let’s play the ”Over the Cliff game” every day –
-(as reality actually keeps on going: ”carry on”!)

42

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 12:09 pm

and about
ph:
”Real wages flat-line for decades and your elected leaders tell you things have never been better”.

Is still NOT a good enough excuse to vote for racists and morons!

43

Layman 07.10.18 at 12:20 pm

Dipper: “Would anyone on here regard it as acceptable for the USA to announce that unless Canada agreed to be absorbed into the USA it will face complete isolation and economic hardship?”

This is a preposterously stupid analogy, but let’s just go ahead and play your game with an analogy which – while also silly! – is at least a bit more to the point: What if a group of existing States decided to withdraw from the United States? Surely the US would be happy to accommodate them, right? I mean, is there any similar historical circumstance we could use to shed light on that hypothetical?

44

SamChevre 07.10.18 at 12:22 pm

I agree with this sentence, with one change:

The bigger point is that the ethno-nationalist right have no no one hasreal solutions to the problems created by the breakdown of neoliberalism.

I have not seen a plan from anyone–left, right, or off in a corner by themselves–that would get back to the central socio-economic fact of 1960: a median-educated worker could support a two-parent family on a typical income, in a neighborhood where two-parent families were the norm.

45

faustusnotes 07.10.18 at 12:29 pm

Fine work Dipper, possibly your finest yet.

Would anyone on here regard it as acceptable for the USA to announce that unless Canada agreed to be absorbed into the USA it will face complete isolation and economic hardship?

I think I know what you’re trying to say here with this ludicrous analogy, so I will ask you: if Scotland had won the independence referendum, would you and your crabby brexiter buddies be saying “yeah sure, Scotland can keep the pound and frictionless trade, and it’s fine if they refuse to let Brits come to work and live in their new country at will, and they’re welcome to have a completely different regulatory environment to us so they can sell any poisonous agricultural crap they want to us because we’re big-hearted people who understand that they have done what’s best for them”? No, you wouldn’t. You absolutely would have demanded that Scotland be punished for leaving and forced to vassalage if they wanted to retain any trade rights at all. So don’t get all hot under the collar when the EU sets some minimum standards for free trade with the newly great Britain.

My local large town has gone from 4% non-native born population to 21% in a decade. This massive increase is mirrored both in the immediate vicinity but also in the wider south-east of England.

No town in the South East has experienced the growth of population that you describe. ONS figures are easily available to confirm this. Slough went from 29% non-native born to 44% between 2005 and 2015; Reading from 19% to 25%; and Windsor and Maidenhead from 14% to 22%. Do you live in any of these places? Because nowhere else in the south-east comes close. Estimates of the proportion of EU/non-EU populations are harder to get, but the Guardian has a (dubious) data analysis that suggests less than half of Slough’s non-UK born population is from the EU. This applies to much of the rest of the south-East too.

If you live in one of these places, how did you manage to convince yourself it was only 4% non-UK born back in the day when in fact it was 20-30% non-UK born? Do you think that a shift from 15% to 21% is particularly noticable to the naked eye? Why do you believe lies about the population of the area you live in? Did you ever bother to check with the definitive, independent collator of statistics in the UK or did you just believe the lies that migration watch told you? I read your comment about 2 hours ago while eating dinner, and then watched a few things on youtube while chilling with my cat, but I have already managed to download the data sets, confirm that the Daily Express and Migration Watch have been peddling bullshit, and confirm that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Did it ever occur to you to check the veracity of the “facts” you spout, and if so why was it so hard for you?

What is happening though is a massive infrastructure hit. Large towns are being planned and built all over, and all villages are having extra housing estates tagged on. It is not uncommon to have three sets of road-works in a 5 mile drive, and for that drive to take an hour.

What isn’t being built is a hospital. We already have the longest waiting times in the country, but there are no plans for expansion, just a wish.

None of the places with the high levels of non-UK born residents that you reported have long waiting times. Slough isn’t even in the top 10, and neither is Reading. While it’s certainly true that some CCGs in the South and South-East have long waiting times and most of the top 10 are from this area, they’re largely economically depressed regions in the East of London and out around Essex. So again, you’re making shit up from whole cloth.

But even if we suppose you are, here’s a tip: if you are concerned about infrastructure issues, vote labour. The Tories have been throttling the NHS since they came to power, along with almost every other aspect of British social services. So if you’re concerned about that, vote Labour. And remember that the last time things were this bad was under Thatcher before the accession of the Eastern European states. Are you seeing a pattern?

I would try to argue further as if you were honest and arguing in good faith, but you’re wrong about every single thing you said, and blatantly so. Either you believe utter bullshit despite the evidence of your own eyes, or you spout utter bullshit knowing it’s wrong. But in either case I don’t think there’s much hope for you, and for all the other people like you who voted to leave on the basis of these fictions you have invented about the real state of British demography.

46

Dipper 07.10.18 at 12:35 pm

@ Layman- that is the analogy used by Guy Verhofstadt. But the UK never signed up to be a member of a federal state so it is not a correct one. The more correct analogy is a federal state growing by swallowing independent states, hence my Canada analogy.

Norway emerged from Sweden, The Republic of Ireland emerged from the United Kingdom, and more recently Czechoslovakia split. Can’t seem to see too many problems with those countries.

47

faustusnotes 07.10.18 at 12:40 pm

I’ll add for the other readers, that what I just found with Dipper’s “facts” is something I have to do an awful lot on this blog – chasing down people’s obvious lies and showing that they’re full of shit. I discovered the same thing two days ago with Yan’s disingenuous tweet about AOC. It’s remarkable how supposedly educated and intelligent people fall for obvious bullshit, and how much of that obvious bullshit is generated by dubious racists and fascists. We live in an era of fake news, and you need to learn to read it and assess it. The bullshit Dipper was spouting was obviously fake news to me, and I haven’t lived in the UK for 10 years. It was clear Yan’s tweet was a quote from AOC, not a comment by Joy Reid.

We live in troubled times, and you need to learn to read. If you can’t analyse this shit, you’re a victim of it. And this also speaks to McManus’s silly idea that people make up their own minds and aren’t influenced by propaganda. Dipper, our resident leave voter, has obviously been influenced by someone, since the facts he’s quoting are 100% wrong. He voted according to those “facts,” which he got from somewhere, and which were disseminated by someone, probably a fascist, maybe Russian funded. What we say and do, the information we spread, matters. This is an academic blog, so everyone should try and act like it, and check the shit that you are spouting here to see if it’s true before you smear it all over us!

48

Cranky Observer 07.10.18 at 1:00 pm

Given the mood of the voting publics in the Western world I don’t see any path by which Brexit – which at this point means hard Brexit – does not happen. That will be disastrous for the UK (or at least England). But I think commentators here and in the wider world are far too optimistic about the effects on the EU. The chaos that results from hard Brexit will not be limited to the UK and the EU project doesn’t look all that stable or resilient from outside Brussels. As just one example the euro losing the safety valve of the UK’s independent currency will have side effects that cannot be foreseen.

49

ph 07.10.18 at 1:04 pm

“Is still NOT a good enough excuse to vote for racists and morons!”

Trump is one person. Brexit is a policy. A meaningful number of the specific counties in blue states Trump flipped voted for Obama twice. But I digress.

Trump’s vulgarity, more than his wealth and his love for beauty queens, is where the unwashed bond with the president – reveling in the disdain showered down upon them by their ‘betters,’ such as you. Betters who, in case you missed it, are out of power and getting their asses handed to them on SCOTUS and sundry other issues on a daily basis.

Good luck with the “forget the fact we’re screwing you, do as the elites say!”

I don’t frankly expect you to understand that many among the lower orders do not like, respect, or trust the better off. For some strange reason we believe you and the other elites do not have our best interests at heart. We’re wrong about that, too, I suppose. Bad us.

50

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 1:29 pm

@44
”I have not seen a plan from anyone–left, right, or off in a corner by themselves–that would get back to the central socio-economic fact of 1960: a median-educated worker could support a two-parent family on a typical income, in a neighborhood where two-parent families were the norm”.

currently residing in an ”area” -(city) where a ”median-educated worker still supports a two-parent family on a typical income, in a neighborhood where two-parent families are still the norm” – I don’t understand it either – why so few people know about such ”plans”?

It’s like they never heard about ”well working social democratic societies”?
Or even worst – if the have heard about them – they try everything to stop ”plans”?

51

Yan 07.10.18 at 1:37 pm

bob mcmanus @18

“I can’t deal. I cannot and will not converse with this level of malicious madness. You win.”

No bob, he’s losing, that’s what destroying his kind’s grip on reality. He actually claimed on another thread the Young Turks are Russian operatives.

We really, truly are dealing with literal mass psychosis. There’s nothing we can say or argue. They can only be professionally helped.

The good news is that we don’t have to persuade them, they are a vocal minority. That’s why they’re so adamant that no one was flummoxed or changed their minds after Ocasio-Cortez. They know they’ve lost. They’ll continue trying to take the left down with their suicide cult—as recently floated rumors of Hillary 2020 show. But all we have to do is ignore them, the general mood of Democrats and the electorate is turning our way.

I’m trying to feel compassion for them since they’re becoming harmless. And they are actually mentally ill.

52

RobinM 07.10.18 at 1:38 pm

I agree with SamChevre, “The bigger point is that no one has real solutions to theproblems created by the breakdown of neoliberalism.”

Maybe some thought should also be given as to why it broke down. It certainly seems to be the case that a great many people were telling how it wasn’t working for them.

And so back, perhaps, to the EU which seems to have become predominantly a neoliberal enterprise. Someone above raised the question, just what sort of EU has it been that so many are now mourning? I’d go along with that too. John Gillingham’s book, “The EU: an Obituary,” seems to me to make that question a legitimate one to ask.

53

Scott P. 07.10.18 at 1:50 pm

Soubry says these immigrants are not cutting wages, but is it surely a new form of economics that increasing the supply of a resource does not reduce the price of that resource. The major issue in the UK economy identified over and over again is flatlining productivity, and here we have the explanation – massive increase in labour that removes the need to innovate and increase productivity.

If this were true, wages, innovation and productivity would be much higher in Wyoming (pop. 580,000) than in New York City (pop. 8.5 million).

Turning London into Wyoming isn’t going to work out.

54

TM 07.10.18 at 1:55 pm

mcmanus: “Apparently they believe that 17 1/2 million voters were brainwashed or bribed or puppetized”

says the guy who consistently dismisses the democratic voice of the 66 million voters who supported Hillary Clinton.

55

Cian 07.10.18 at 2:20 pm

Unexpected outcome of the 2017 election: Centerists embrace conspiracy theories every bit as deranged as those embraced by Tea Party types during Obama’s office. The conspiracy theories about the US election are bad enough, but now it’s used to try and explain Brexit? What next? Centerists embrace wicca and try to conjure up the ‘progressive’ winner of their dreams.

Britain has been divided on the EU for as long as I can remember. The vote was always going to be on a knife edge, and anyone who thought otherwise should probably not have opinions on this matter. Most of the British newspapers have been waging a propoganda war against the EU for as long as I can remember. The EU has always been something that has really REALLY bothered little Englanders, which is a pretty sizable part of the population (and a part of the population that votes). People who wanted to leave have always had stronger feelings about this (THEY REALLY BLOODY CARE ABOUT THIS) than people who wanted to remain.

The Pro-Leave campaign waged a very dishonest, but also very effective, campaign. The remain campaign was incompetent, and mostly spoke the language of elites. Things probably weren’t helped by the fact that it was run by the 35 year old son of a former (and very powerful) Labour politician, with very little experience of campaigning. Obviously he got the job because of who his dad was. And this didn’t work out too well.

So the Pro-Leave campaign wrapped itself in the mantle of the British establishment, at a time when the public despised the British establishment, and lost to a (shudders) ‘better’ campaign in an referrendum that was always going to be very close. That’s it. No Russians needed, or (frankly laughable) Facebook ads.

Enough already with the Russian insanity.

56

Cian 07.10.18 at 2:24 pm

We really, truly are dealing with literal mass psychosis. There’s nothing we can say or argue. They can only be professionally helped.

All I know is that it reminds me of when my wife’s relatives started spouting Tea Party/birther nonsense. What worries me most is that you’ll see Centrists embrace the security state bringing in god knows what kind of repressive horror. McCarthyism may be the last card to be played by the Dem establishment to prevent an insurgency taking the party over.

57

Layman 07.10.18 at 2:28 pm

Dipper: “Layman- that is the analogy used by Guy Verhofstadt.”

Outsourcing your nonsense doesn’t stop it from being nonsense.

“But the UK never signed up to be a member of a federal state so it is not a correct one. The more correct analogy is a federal state growing by swallowing independent states, hence my Canada analogy.”

Oh, it’s your analogy again, is it? Make up your mind. And Canada never agreed to join any federation, loose or otherwise, so it’s a stupid analogy. The EU is offering the UK the same favorable terms that other non-EU states get. Isn’t that what Brexit asked for?

“The Republic of Ireland emerged from the United Kingdom, and more recently Czechoslovakia split.”

…and all the resulting countries are EU members. So, what was your point again?

58

soru 07.10.18 at 2:29 pm

Indeed, rather than defend principles connected to European integration such as freedom of movement, they simply suggest that the country will become an apocalypse after Brexit.

The problem with this argument is that it does not address the reality of the question as to whether, after Brexit, the country will remain part of the first world. Will there be one or three generations that live a life with ten or thirty percent less joy, 5 or 50% more pain?

There is a certain fictionalisation of politics that is close to the root of the problem. People in general can be interested, in some particular country in one particular historical moment, in seeing a film with a certain theme. And no matter what that theme, a good film-maker can create a film that expresses that theme, and it will make money. But if even the greatest director tries to buck that trend, and create a hopeful movie when people want gloom, or a dystopia when people want optimism, they will end up with a box office bomb.

Even the most effective politicians don’t have a fraction of the control a film-maker does over what appears on screen. And the current idiots in government shouldn’t be trusted with a wedding video…

59

Dipper 07.10.18 at 2:35 pm

@ faustusnotes

I don’t like giving too many personal details but as you queried it the town is Harlow in Essex. And a very fine town it is too. The data comes from the ONS (here

The link states that one reason for the increase is to bring in nurses. That is because we had a policy until recently of deliberately under-training nurses and were turning away school children from nursing courses although they had the necessary grades.. The government has recently changed that for the better.

The local hospital is Princess Alexandria which had <a href="https://www.essexlive.news/news/harlow-princess-alexandra-ae-wait-1047189&quot; "the longest waiting times in all England" /it is in need of replacement, but as of yet there is just discussion about possible new sites. It will be years until we actually get a new hospital, but months before the new houses start getting filled.

Much of the initial population increase was non-EU, mainly from China and West Africa. so you are correct it was not from the EU, but what the UK clearly needs is massive productivity increase and simply bringing in lots of people to do menial jobs is not going to deliver that improvement. You cannot restrict immigration with FOM as it was.

So there you are on the fact checking. Anything else I can help you with?

And on Scotland, we are having just those debates about food standards as to whether they should reside in the Westminster or go back to the devolved parliaments. These are subjects for discussion between the devolved regions and Westminster and will be resolved by discussion. I’m happy for you to continue contrasting the functioning of the union which is the UK with that of the EU.

60

Collin Street 07.10.18 at 2:55 pm

…and all the resulting countries are EU members.

Ireland.

Easter uprising, irish civil war, apartheid in ulster, death squads in ulster, terror bombings in canary wharf and eventual peace secured explicitly through the EU and structures that Dipper wants to destroy… and that’s something he thinks fit to envoke as a possible model?

Can we not have him posting here any more, please? Something about dismissing the deaths of those killed in the irish civil war or IRA campaigns makes me not want to share spaces with him.

61

Cian 07.10.18 at 3:16 pm

John Quiggin: More on topic, I still can’t see the UK going over the cliff, even more so now that the whole Brexit process is so obviously farcical. There’s no time for anything resembling a Brexit agreement (even with the transition period), so the obvious options are to revoke Article 50 or join the EEA. Obviously that requires agreement from the EU/EEA side but it would be a huge win for them, and the alternative is disaster all round.

I see these options as pretty unlikely. The EU will maybe offer some kind of EEA, but it won’t be what the Tories want (or will be able to accept). I don’t think any option where the UK can keep EU immigrants out is terribly plausible, and I don’t really see the Tories accepting that. The big problem is that there probably just isn’t any time left to negotiate something workable (by which I mean dealing with the minutae that would have to be customized for the UK). Maybe if the UK negotiated in good faith it could be extended (though obviously that would further weaken the already weak UK position).

Article 50 could be revoked, but the UK would have to give up the various opt outs, which would be hugely humiliating from the Tories.

Politically though I don’t see the Tories have many options. I’m not sure who they would replace May with (Rees Mogg would be ‘interesting’) – nobody sensible wants to own the Brexit catastrophe (all options are catastrophic at this point for the Tories) – the smart money is on being the leader _after_ Brexit. Any who does replace her will be a stupid head banger, so the options will be even more limited.

In terms of Brexit. Reversing Article 50 would make them look weak and stupid, would give UKIP a short in the arm (and remember this was all about neutralizing UKIP), driving the anti-EU part of the party insane. It would also hurt them electorally, depressing turn out. It seems very unlikely that they can get an agreement with the EU that their base will accept (it’s all about the immigrants). And that’s before you get to the Northern Ireland problem. So a hard brexit just seems inevitable, unless May suddenly decided to put country before party (or personal ambition). Which _could_ happen, but would be uncharacteristic.

62

Cian 07.10.18 at 3:19 pm

Nick Barnes: A substantial proportion of rich and powerful people stand to make a massive killing from Brexit, either hard or soft. It was their idea in the first place, they hijacked the bus of state, and they continue to drive it towards the cliff edge. And they’re running non-stop “cliffs are great” commercials on the on-board TV, supplemented by announcements on the intercom all about how lovely the cliff will be when we get there.

I don’t think this is true. Do some? Sure. Some because they’re rather stupid, others because they’re financial spivs who made their money in financial speculation, or tax dodging (there’s some fantasy that the UK will be a larger version of the Cayman Islands). But most business people who actually do stuff at a large scale (banking, insurance, law, manufacturing) seem to be terrified. They know what’s going to happen because they’re planning for it. London’s importance as a financial and legal center may well disappear (Lloyds for example will lose a lot of it’s business which will have to migrate to the EU). A huge part of the services sector is dependant upon Europe – a EUrope where they will no longer have licenses, or even Visas. And obviously manufacturing is screwed in the short term.

One of the weird things about Brexit is that their traditional funders do not want Brexit, and the Tories have mostly responded by shutting the door on them. Politically the UK is at a strange point – the business class don’t have a political home.

63

Cian 07.10.18 at 3:21 pm

I’ll add for the other readers, that what I just found with Dipper’s “facts” is something I have to do an awful lot on this blog – chasing down people’s obvious lies and showing that they’re full of shit.

You’re also guilty of making up facts yourself, or not being terribly careful. For example you claimed that there was proof that the DNC leaked emails contained fakes. Which there isn’t. You also have a history of making very strange claims about the UK.

And this also speaks to McManus’s silly idea that people make up their own minds and aren’t influenced by propaganda.

Something he didn’t actually say. I realize it’s easier if you pretend he did say that because that’s easier to argue against. But he didn’t say that. Again, you’re not being honest.

He voted according to those “facts,” which he got from somewhere, and which were disseminated by someone, probably a fascist, maybe Russian funded.

I imagine he got them from either the leave campaign (mostly funded by British wealthy dickheads), or the British newspapers. Who’ve been shovelling this crap out now for at least 30 years. The idea that it was a fascist seems very unlikely. The idea that it was a ‘Russian’ funded fascist (whatever that means) even more unlikely.

One of the most annoying things about the Russian conspiracies, is that people ignore the very real sources of propoganda and actual conspiracies that are occuring in their country. In the UK it’s the tabloids (notably the Mail and the Murdoch properties), and some of the broadsheets. In the US you had voter supression and probably ballot suppression in a number of places – and almost nobody aligned with the Democratic establishment seems to give a damn. Who cares about trivial amounts of Russian money (assuming that this was even a thing – still not proven), when you have vast dark pools of money from billionares and legalized corruption. The Russians are not stealing America – the billionares are. The corporate elites are.

64

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 3:34 pm

@49
”Trump’s vulgarity, more than his wealth and his love for beauty queens, is where the unwashed bond with the president”

That’s not true as I as an ”unwashed” never ever bonded with the German Barons von Clownstick.

I mean the dude can’t even deconstruct a Harley Motor.
And that’s where your confusion might come from – you seem to think he can – because he likes… ”Beauty Queens”?

And I don’t frankly expect you to understand that many among the lower orders do not like, respect, or trust ”real a…holes”. For some strange reason we believe FF von Clownstick and the other elites – you voted for – do not have our best interests at heart. We’re wrong about that, too, I suppose. Bad US.

65

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 3:47 pm

@62
just a question when you wrote ”The Russians are not stealing America – the billionares are. The corporate elites are”. I hope you meant The BAD Billionaires and The bad corporate elites -(like the German Baron von Clownstick?)

BE-cause I know – and you might know it too – that there are also some ”good” Billionaires and ”good” corporate Elites and I have found out that… somehow… most of them are not ”Russian”? – and so WE all face the same problem all of my friends in Britain -(and the US) are facing – that there seems to be some kind of a conspiracy between all the BAD Billionaires of this earth – whatever so called ”nationality” they are -(as if ”Billionaires even would care about ”nationalities anymore if they aren’t as stupid or moronic as the German Count of Clownstick?) – sooo

– to make a long question short:
If most of the BAD Billionaires are ”Russian” is it ”legit” from your perspective to blame ”The Russians”?

66

Lawrence Maggitti 07.10.18 at 3:48 pm

“If by some weird miracle Corbyn and Labour get in I just can’t see attaching to the cliffdivers in the G7. If there is a choice. I vote Lexit, go as socialist (expropriate EVERYTHING) as possible, break up with the NATO WTO alphabet soup, disarm*, and form new vassal alliances with who is likely to survive the next decades: BRICS and their dependents..”

Bob, there’s SO much that you say that I disagree with, and at the end of the day it’s just not worth arguing – too many un-shared assumptions. but THIS is just delusional. Even if “by some weird miracle” Corbin and Labor get into to power, do you really think that this agenda has even a ghost of a chance of coming to pass? And do you really think that the BRICS nations would allow your socialist utopia? If the BRICS win, it’s centuries of extreme right wing kleptocracies in our future.

Of course I strongly suspect that at some level you PREFER that to the messy Western European social democracies. You’re really not that far from PH/Kidneystones in that regard.

67

Name (required) 07.10.18 at 4:11 pm

I have not seen a plan from anyone–left, right, or off in a corner by themselves–that would get back to the central socio-economic fact of 1960: a median-educated worker could support a two-parent family on a typical income, in a neighborhood where two-parent families were the norm.

The mass prosperity of the 1950s-1970s was the momentary product of the aftermath of WWII and its fostering of a greater feeling of shared society within national populations. Now that moment has been dismantled thanks to the rise of Reaganite institutionalized selfishness, society is returning to its long-term mean of extreme inequality in wealth. Society is returning to the norms of mass poverty that have held sway for the overwhelming majority of human history.

It is unlikely there is any way to turn back the clock without another non-nuclear world war accompanied by years of mass mobilization.

Who cares about trivial amounts of Russian money (assuming that this was even a thing – still not proven), when you have vast dark pools of money from billionares and legalized corruption. The Russians are not stealing America – the billionares are. The corporate elites are.

The Russians are particularly significant because they are able to break through bulwarks of illegality that the billionares are, so far, unwilling to breach. The billionares, so far, have been unwilling to engage in hack-and-leak, or consider hacking voting machines. The Russians have no such constraints and have become a veto-capable player because of it.

68

bob mcmanus 07.10.18 at 4:23 pm

Corbin and Labor get into to power, do you really think that this agenda has even a ghost of a chance of coming to pass?

What else is there to hope for in Britain?

May mis-managing Brexit?

Corby and Labour in power with what, North helping? Will Brussels help Corbyn if he is a moderate Brexit or punitive Remain? Or remaining and submitting to Schauble/Merkel/Macron Austerity? I said “after Macron, Le Pen” and I believe it.

And then we have Trump, planning on punitive sanctions on Iran Nov 4. Hmmm… Don’t even think normality or amelioration is on the agenda. A hegemony is going down with a bang not a whimper. I don’t think 2020 is really going to help much more than kicking the can, if we even get there intact.

I’m Marxian, which means half apocalyptic pessimist and half Utopian radical. They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

69

Cian 07.10.18 at 4:53 pm

The Russians are particularly significant because they are able to break through bulwarks of illegality that the billionares are, so far, unwilling to breach. The billionares, so far, have been unwilling to engage in hack-and-leak, or consider hacking voting machines.

How can you possibly know this? Are you party to what billionares are doing? Do the Koch brothers invite you to their planning retreats? Maybe you’re a member in good standing of ALEC. We know that certain billionares are happy to fund illegal vote supression measures. We have no idea if voting machines have been hacked or not because (a) nobody has bothered to find out and (b) the machines are so insecure that it would be very difficult to find out.

And seriously, who are the ‘Russians’? Putin? Other more hardline factions in the Kremlin? The FSB? Russian mobsters? Oligarchs who’ve parked all their assets offshore and mostly live in London and Monaco?

To date there is no evidence that the Russians hacked anything. We have lots of assertions, but other than some very weak circumstantial stuff (which could be interpreted many ways) there is nothing. Lack of evidence isn’t proof of innocence, but it’s not proof of guilt. All we really have are some (very lame) Facebook ads (not all of which were political), which may have been paid for by the Kremlin.

But of course you can’t prove that the Kremlin didn’t hack the US election, any more than you can prove that Obama isn’t secretly a muslim.

The Russians have no such constraints and have become a veto-capable player because of it.

Again, how could you possibly know this? Unless you have insider info this is just wild conjecture.

70

Jim Harrison 07.10.18 at 5:00 pm

I’m old enough to have met lefties who were still claiming that “rumors” about the gulags were just propaganda. The notion that Russian involvement in Brexit and Trump’s election remains to be proven is a similar foolishness. If you want to point out that the hacking and bot machines shouldn’t have made a difference, very few will disagree. They did make a difference, however, because of the extreme vulnerability of both the UK and the US to manipulation by dubious actors, Putin et.al. but even more importantly eccentric billionaires and pure soul ideologues. Nietzsche wrote someplace that you could gauge the health of an animal by how many parasites it could tolerate without harm. Well, at this point the fleas matter very much because the animal isn’t very damn healthy.

71

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 5:23 pm

@67
”Now that moment has been dismantled thanks to the rise of Reaganite institutionalized selfishness, society is returning to its long-term mean of extreme inequality in wealth”.

You mean ”society in Consuming Countries – Right”?
And ”society in Producing Countries repeats ”the mass prosperity of the 1950s-1970s”?

Right?

AND ”society” in all the main tourist destinations? – Right?
Because do you know that some people really have faaaar too much money – as nearly all the most expensive tourist destinations of this world are already booked out for this summer – and all of this with prices where – for example – you couldn’t get a decent hotel room in Santorin under 250 Euros a night – and Santorin is Greece – for heavens sake – a country Britain wants to split from?

How will that end?

72

Dipper 07.10.18 at 5:47 pm

Here’s an update from a Conservative point of view compiled from my various contacts.

It is confused. There are successive resignations but it is not clear what the end game is. My guess is that the Chequers Proposal, whilst not ideal, is something that most Tories can live with as forming the basis for future relationships with the EU. It is about as far as possible to go towards the EU without losing the self-determination given by Brexit. Michael Gove gave a strong defence of it on The Marr show (about 36 minutes in). The problem is if in the course of negotiations the EU forces some significant and irrevocable caving in – Single Market, FOM, even Common Fisheries Policy. At that point it becomes unworkable. So the resignations are there to build a strong body of MPs on the back benches to make sure that if we move from here, the deal is rejected and we leave with No Deal.

A key issue now is how the polls unfold. The Toriy polling have remained remarkably strong and stable possibly because both Remainers and Leavers supported May and because Corbyn is unelectable. This coalition may break down with consequences for how the parliamentary party behaves. I’ve had one Tory saying if the Chequers deal goes through they will vote for Corbyn as at least he believes in Brexit.

For many Brexiters, the Cliff Edge is not an economic one of No Deal, it is a political one of capitulation to the EU. The full argument is for another post, but in short if we give in, it is the end of the UK as an independent nation, and that means for many people particularly the poorer and less advantaged in society, it means the end of any hope they have of getting out of the circumstances they find themselves in as their representatives will have no power or influence.

73

engels 07.10.18 at 6:01 pm

Reading CT comments on British politics provides an interesting insight into what it must be like for anyone who is moderately well-acquainted with a given topic to read a CT thread on that topic

74

Cian O'Connor 07.10.18 at 6:59 pm

Trying to imagine a world where Michael Gove could give a strong defence of anything…

Nope, some things just can’t be imagined.

75

Philip 07.10.18 at 7:25 pm

@nastywoman As if one ever lived in Italy for a long time and knows – what a wonderful and great life one can have in constant chaotic DRAMA -(to a degree Britain never ever will be able to ”emulate”) –

On the whole for Italy and Britain that might be right. But it really depends on what parts of Britain you’re talking about. Lots have suffered in recessions and missed out in booms. I’m from Northeast England and there’s a long memory going back to miners being left in the general strike of 26, to the miners’ Strikes then feeling let down by Blair and carrying on regardless of political circumstances. This is an attitude that is missed in much of the discussion. Why will this cliff edge be worse than any of the others? The closure of the Nissan factory in Sunderland is held up as an example of a disastrous consequence of Brexit but the people of Sunderland still voted for it.

I used to work in Puglia and there was a similar attitude there. Maybe I’m missing your point, I mostly feel that I am.

76

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 8:31 pm

@75
”Maybe I’m missing your point, I mostly feel that I am”.

My point just tries to stick it to ”the man” and really never to the workers – and if this point gets missed I’m truly sorry.

77

TM 07.10.18 at 8:44 pm

44: “that would get back to the central socio-economic fact of 1960: a median-educated worker could support a two-parent family on a typical income”

This is exacxtly what we need: a return to the regressive, illiberal, patriarchal, post-war post-fascistic world of 1960 when men worked in factories and women stayed home; life expectancy was so low and the demographics so young that society hardly spent anything on pensioners; unemployment was low because people were at work rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by the war and consumption had been so low for years that huge growth rates (by today’s standards) were easy to achieve; health care was cheap because medicine wasn’t very advanced; the education system was cheap because most children received only basic education while higher education was far more than today a privilege of the rich.

That is the world the right-wingers, Trumpists and Brexiteers want us to return to, but also incredibly some hostorically illiterate leftists on blogs like CT are deluding themsevles into believing that the Trente Glorieuses were really a great time in history. Why on earth did leftists revolt against the world of 1960 in those famous 1960s? Didn’t they know how good they had it?

Sure, by some economic indicators, those were golden times. When you fetishize growth rates (as the high priests of the capitalist order do), you swoon over those impressive GDP growth rates. Never mind that the masses of the people in those times were far poorer than they are today, had far lower life expectancy, worse education options, and so on. Never mind that those impressive growth rates were mostly an artefact of starting at a very low baseline. No sane person who knows a bit about actual living standards would prefer to go back to those times.

Some people on the left rhapsodize over the the post war period as the golden age of the welfare state, never mind that it’s much easier to run a welfare state when expectations and living standards are low, when there isn’t a whole lot of infrastructure to maintain because it hasn’t been built yet, when the rate of pensioners to working population is low, when unpaid housewives take care of children and the elderly.

I’m not denying that certain economic policies of neoliberalism need resistance and that certain economic policies of the post war period are worth reviving. But the idea that we can go back, revive the socio-economic model of those times, is both delusionary and reactionary. And why any progressive would want to do this is beyond me. We live in vastly better times, with higher living standards, more freedom, more opportunity, more diversity, more access to knowledge and education and culture, better food, higher life expectancy, more leisure time, better environmental protection, and on and on.

And the Trumpists and Brexiters who want to turn back the clock precisely want to get rid of those achievements: they want less freedom, less knowledge, less diversity, less regulation, and on and on. They don’t yearn for the postwar economic model (or why else do they support more rather than less neoliberalism), what they yearn for is their lost position at the apex of the traditional patriarchal-racist hierarchy.

78

nastywoman 07.10.18 at 8:55 pm

– and ”the man” and going over the Cliff -(or not?) in this case is somebody who might think:

”the Cliff Edge is not an economic one of No Deal, it is a political one of capitulation to the EU” and ”in short if we give in, it is the end of the UK as an independent nation” –

as this very ”manly” thinking really doesn’t care about –

”people particularly the poorer and less advantaged in society” –

it actually just pretends – like some British Count von Clownstick mumbling: Britain First!
-(but ”The Servants” – last)

79

ph 07.10.18 at 9:17 pm

@75 “The closure of the Nissan factory in Sunderland is held up as an example of a disastrous consequence of Brexit but the people of Sunderland still voted for it.”

Farage, when pressed, stated clearly that if it turns out that Britain will have to take an economic hit post-Brexit then so be it. It’s more desirable to have ‘control of one’s country and borders.’ Which touches on two points: latent and open xenophobia AND a sense of powerlessness within one’s own community. And also speaks to SamChevre’s excellent point @44.

When we discuss economics we forget that cultural capital is as/more important than money, or material goods. The fear that many Trump and Brexit folks express is that, whatever their own circumstances, the world they wish for their children will be unavailable if WE DO NOT ACT NOW ™.

That’s what decades of flat-line wages, globalization, and open-doors immigration will do. But I stand by the point I made in 2015 and 2016. Brexit is not about hostility towards Brussels, it’s about hostility towards London and British elites. Ditto Trump.

Versailles liberals (identified explicitly here: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-american-aristocracy/559130/) such as NW equate a Queens accent with stupidity, which is exactly the same as equating intelligence with skin color – pure bigotry.

The ‘well-educated and highly intelligent’ Versailles liberal professes astonishment when the servants don’t promptly respond to the tinkle of the bell, somehow believing that the lower-orders asked for nothing better than to serve, both literally and as objects of ridicule. Plenty of CT readers understand this. Some vocal commenters don’t.

The lower-orders in the UK and the US do not wanted to doff the hat and wait for a sprinkling of coppers as the carriage of the Versailles liberal (or conservative) passes by. The grubby crowd at a MAGA loves nothing more than watching Donald search for the perfect fragrant turd among a field of so many, place his ‘tiny hand’ straight into the pile of shit, and then hurl the ‘love offering right into the face of some grinning maw of some bobble-head from CNN, or Der Spiegel. The crowd whoops, chants USA, USA, and calls for more.

Little wonder the Versailles liberal rages on about the agents of Pitt disrupting the great chain of subordination.

80

afeman 07.10.18 at 9:24 pm

Cian: There’s been some as-good-as-it-gets circumstantial evidence that the DNC hack was by a group working for the Russian government, but beyond that the case seems to get tortured fast. I suspect the Russians are being seen in everybody’s cold cereal breakfast because people can’t bear to think that their systems operating within their accepted rules produced this polymorphous disaster.

I could swear that 20 years ago people on Slashdot were up in arms about the US’s crappy voting machines, and that there was such a thing as a Euroskeptic.

81

Layman 07.10.18 at 10:35 pm

“There’s been some as-good-as-it-gets circumstantial evidence that the DNC hack was by a group working for the Russian government, but beyond that the case seems to get tortured fast.”

On the other hand, nearly every claim about Russian interference in the US election, or Trump’s relations with Russia, or Russian funding of the Brexit campaign, seem to turn out to be true. I say ‘nearly every’ because there’s no evidence of actual voting machine hacking. Everything else though seems to be true, at least in some form. Even the pee tape.

82

c_haesemeyer 07.10.18 at 11:23 pm

Re: “facts”. For a certain kind of liberal, that’s all there is. Facts, that can be “checked”. This fact-obsession frees them to assert obviously fallacious implications, like “propaganda works, therefore Russian propaganda decided the US elections/Brexit referendum” or “Putin would like to divide the West, therefore the degeneration of politics in the Western world is Putin’s work”. Like all conspiracy theory, theirs relies on the implicit axiom that a true premise makes an implication true.

83

Barry 07.11.18 at 12:15 am

Layman 07.10.18 at 10:35 pm

“On the other hand, nearly every claim about Russian interference in the US election, or Trump’s relations with Russia, or Russian funding of the Brexit campaign, seem to turn out to be true. I say ‘nearly every’ because there’s no evidence of actual voting machine hacking. Everything else though seems to be true, at least in some form. Even the pee tape.”

Also, ‘no contact with the Russians’ has turned into many, many contacts (about which they lied), ‘no collusion’ has turned into trying to collude, but not being able to close the deal (about which they lied), and has now turned into ‘the President is above the law’.

84

Barry 07.11.18 at 12:26 am

Cian: “The conspiracy theories about the US election are bad enough, but now it’s used to try and explain Brexit? “

The last thing that I read had a major backer of Brexit go from 0 contacts with Russians, to 2, to 4, to 12, to 20; no money from the Russians to being offered a lucrative contract to his partner getting deals.

This has happened again and again and again in the US, as well.

It’s amazing how all of these sophisticated, innocent people lie so much, when there’s no conspiracy.

85

John Quiggin 07.11.18 at 12:38 am

Cian @61 The main argument against the feasible solutions (EEA or revocation of Article 50) is that they will be humiliating for the Tories. Certainly that’s why they’ve been ruled out so far.

But the Tories have had plenty of humiliation already, and are set for a lot more regardless of the choices they make. A train-crash Brexit where they have to beg the EU to override the rules to keep food supplies flowing looks about as humiliating as you could get. The sensible options are the least humiliating on offer.

86

Keith 07.11.18 at 1:27 am

Excellent concise summary.

87

faustusnotes 07.11.18 at 2:25 am

Dipper, the proportion of non-UK born residents in Harlow has increased from 5% to 15% over the past 11 years (2005 – 2016). The Guardian data isn’t at that small a level but it tells me that the Essex LGA has less than half of its non-UK population from the EU.

The total population of your area has increased from 78,000 to 86,000, suggesting that the population of British born has declined by 1000. Why is this do you think? It’s likely because of mortality, and young British born moving to London to work. So what has happened is that your UK born population has become older, and about 4000 young EU people have moved in over 10 years to replace the young British people who left, as well as 5000 (likely older) non-EU migrants moving in, probably part of a family migration program. Were Harlow not in the EU, the likely scenario would be that the population would get considerably older, lose its young population to the city, and have no one to work in the hospitals and cafes that old people frequent. Over the next few years after Brexit those couple of thousand EU residents will return to the EU and not be replaced, and your population will age with no solution in place. What solution do you propose for Harlow’s aging population? Non-EU migration? You think that will please the locals more than EU migration?

The reason your hospital is starting to get congested is not the increase in EU residents living in Harlow, but the aging of the local population, perhaps with some family migration from non-EU residents adding to the strain. This is a UK-wide issue, that won’t be solved by kicking out the young people who come from the EU to work at the hospital looking after old UK-born people. How do you propose to fix this issue in a chronically underfunded NHS? I gave you advice above – vote labour. But you will continue to vote for the people who have eviscerated the NHS, and act surprised when Brexit doesn’t deliver the reduced service demand or increased funding you were promised. Even though you have been repeatedly told here on this blog exactly what is going on in your country, and consistently refused to accept the facts. When the shit hits the fan Dipper, you will only have yourself to blame.

88

Keith 07.11.18 at 2:36 am

77 is a great contribution.

89

Keith 07.11.18 at 2:58 am

Substantial law breaking around the UK referendum established by the information commissioner re facebook and cambridge analytica. Max fine at the time imposed on facebook etc

https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2018/07/findings-recommendations-and-actions-from-ico-investigation-into-data-analytics-in-political-campaigns

90

Faustusnotes 07.11.18 at 3:07 am

Yes TM is spot on about the desire to roll back all the gains of the last 50 years. That’s the project and we should be fighting it!

91

Omega Centauri 07.11.18 at 3:58 am

Like name required at 67, I too think the economic state where the median educated could do all those things, was abnormal. And only a concerted and enlightened effort was going to be able to sustain it. So outside of mainly the Scandinavian countries that socio-economic state has not lasted.

The difference now, is that the default position is that it was the natural state, and only a dastardly nasty conspiracy could have ended it.

92

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 4:49 am

@88+90
”Yes TM is spot on about the desire to roll back all the gains of the last 50 years”.
”77 is a great contribution”.

which might need the following amendment from another thread:

”Ever-increasing rates of technological change will result in people constantly moving around the country to new jobs, work will shift from manufacturing to knowledge work, industries will die off and constantly be replaced by new ones, the U.S. will offload its manufacturing to 3rd world countries and move to high-profit knowledge work that will vastly increase the income of the average U.S. worker, and so on. All completely wrong”.

Mobility of workers in the USA has dropped to record lows because the interior of the USA is now depopulating and mired in poverty and chronic drug addiction due to the destruction of the middle class by shipping all the high-paid blue collar jobs overseas. Meanwhile, the areas with high-paying jobs are on both coasts, where housing and everything else has become so expensive average people can’t afford to live there”.

Yes?

”Converting the USA to knowledge work seemed like a good economic model”.

Not – for anybody who knows how few jobs ”knowledge work” creates.

”So ‘globalization sounded completely reasonable and sensible when it was proposed in the 1970s”.

It’s still ”completely reasonable” for any ”Producing Country” – where well paying manufacturing jobs were kept.

”Only in retrospect does it become clear what a gigantic trainwreck it turned out to be, and why”.

Only in ”Consuming Countries” -(like the US) – where the inequality of high paying ”knowledge work” and ”Finance” and poor paying ”service jobs” let to the trainwreck and the funny idea that it is the fault of ”trade” – while trade created million an millions of better and better paying jobs in ”Producing Countries” – which could lead us to –
”Brexit” –
and before to Great Britain selling nearly their whole car industry to Germany.
And nobody who is right in her or his mind wants to return to ”the regressive, illiberal, patriarchal, post-war post-fascistic world of 1960 when men worked in factories and women stayed home” but – when countries stop producing what they consume – they become a major problem with their workers.

And such ”problems” even might lead to Von Clownsticks and Brexits?

93

Dipper 07.11.18 at 5:39 am

faustusnotes

Your apology for falsely accusing me of making stuff up is accepted.

Thank you for giving me so much detail about my local town. It is nearly all wrong. Hospitals have a large number of non-English speakers amongst the patients – I know as I’ve been on regular occasions – and the population is booming as evidenced by the need to build 10,000 homes at Gilston Park, and similar but slightly smaller developments elsewhere in the local area.

We’ve been over the birth/death rates of the EU before. The UK has less of an ageing population than nearly all other countries in the EU. Immigration is not giving us a stable population, or even a population growing in accordance with increasing longevity, it is giving us a sudden sharp increase, 25% in just over 30 years according to the European Commission’s 2013 report (that they have now removed from their site and replaced with slightly lower projections post Brexit).

Any other incorrect assertions you’d like me to fact check for you?

94

Dipper 07.11.18 at 5:48 am

@ Keith “Substantial law breaking around the UK referendum”

I seem to remember Democrats congratulating themselves on their sophisticated use of Facebook data when Obama was elected. Suddenly when same data is used in a referendum with a result you don’t like, it is law breaking.

The referendum was a referendum on the EU, not a referendum about Aaron Banks.

The Government remain side massively outspent the Leave side. The most significant intervention by a foreign power was Obama telling us we would be “back of the queue”. There is as much evidence of collusion between Remain organisations as there are between Leave organisations. Attempts by Remainers to overturn the vote just because they lost are not well received amongst Leavers.

Remainers may think Leavers are all stupid little people incapable of thinking for themselves, but funnily enough Leavers don’t agree.

Just to make one point, the Remain side keep going on about how they are all young and Leavers are all old. So, do you think gullibility increases as people get older? That young people are fully aware of how politicians may lie to them but old people just believe anything they hear they like?

95

Name (required) 07.11.18 at 6:36 am

@Cian, 69:

Don’t be ridiculous.

Guccifer 2.0, an entity responsible for the DNC email hack & leak, was identified as a GRU operative. Very little closer to a smoking gun is possible when attributing the origin of a cyberattack.

Also do not forget that one origin of Russian-funded pro-Trump accounts on social media, and Russian-funded protest groups, was conclusively traced to theInternet Research Agency and a dozen employees of that organization have been indicted (so far) by the Justice Department for interfering in the 2016 US election.

Evidence, not conjecture.

@TM, 77:

In the 1960s human welfare–by many metrics–was either improving or was on the verge of doing so. In the 2010s in the first world, the reverse is true for most economic metrics. It speaks, frankly, to an absurd level of economic privilege to assert that society is somehow improved by the emergence of greater egalitarianism, now, when the basic necessities of life and social functioning are becoming increasingly unaffordable for an increasing number of people. There is utterly no benefit to the abandonment of the social mores of the 1960s, troubling though they were, when the cost now appears to be mass impoverishment.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs must be respected. Equality is an inedible abstract.

96

Name (required) 07.11.18 at 7:02 am

@Omega Centauri, 91:

There is some evidence that more flat growth distributions are unsustainable. Economic shocks cause support for right-wing parties to rise. In general, right-wing parties pursue policies which lead to accelerated wealth concentration, which in turn causes economic hardship for those below the 1% line, which in turn ought to result in increased support for right-wing parties. The feedback loop has no obvious endpoint and means that every recession will trigger a permanent rightward shift in the Overton window.

Decades of recessions since WWII–coupled with the beginnings of dementia among the baby boom generation–make demagogues like Trump seem reasonable to dangerously large portions of the electorate.

97

Chris Bertram 07.11.18 at 7:20 am

@Dipper “Your apology for falsely accusing me of making stuff up is accepted.”

IIRC you have yet to apologize for your claim that the majority of those presenting as child refugees in the UK are in fact adults, despite the fact that I identified at the time that you had misunderstood the original report. Since then, the Daily Mail had to print a retraction of its identical claim.

98

faustusnotes 07.11.18 at 7:36 am

Dipper, my calculations are all from ONS data, calculated using data I downloaded from the ONS Migration Indicators Tool. I’m sorry that you don’t know the situation in your own town and don’t understand how to use or access data, but it’s not my problem – you are the one who has been misled about every aspect of the situation around you. I’m simply correcting you using publicly available data.

Of course there are non-UK born patients in the hospital in your area – 15% of the population is non-UK born. But what you see in the hospital waiting area is not a determinant of what the major pressures on a hospital are. Elderly people are the major cause of pressure on the UK system and the majority of elderly people in the UK are UK born, or at least have been living in the UK far longer than it has been in the EU.

As for fertility … yes the EU has a TFR of 1.8, which puts it below Sweden, France and Denmark, but above a lot of other EU countries. But 25% of births in the UK were to non-UK born people, and since only 9% of the population of the UK is non-UK born, you can see that these are the people who are propping up your TFR. This means that the TFR of UK-born people is below 1.8, i.e. below replacement. But this is irrelevant – as an explanation for what is happening in your area we need to look at population movements in your area. The Migration Indicators Tool contains this information, and shock! Every year since 2005 Harlow has seen a net reduction in its population from internal migration of about 400-500 people. You and I both know this is young people moving out of the area. In fact the ONS also has information on old age dependency ratios for Harlow, which has been static at 23-24% over the past decade. I think you can join the dots – your population is only retaining a static OADR because of young EU migrants moving in to replace the young UK residents moving out.

In fact the increase in population your area has seen is just 10% over a decade, or about 1% per year. Any reasonable society should be able to handle that, it’s what one might expect from a country with an excess birth rate. The UK government has been able to plan for this change but hasn’t. And in the past decade, who has been in government and who is responsible?

Facts, Dipper. They don’t support anything you believe. It’s time for you to change your beliefs.

99

TM 07.11.18 at 8:14 am

Thanks Keith.

95: “In the 1960s human welfare–by many metrics–was either improving or was on the verge of doing so. In the 2010s in the first world, the reverse is true for most economic metrics.”

The second part of the claim required qualification but even if it were conceded: human welfare was on the verge of improving in 1960, *starting from a low baseline*. We now see much slower improvement or stagnation and in some places backsliding, but from a much higher level. This poses a psychological problem because the perception of change heavily influences the popular mood. But it’s nonsense to claim that everything was fine in the 1960s and things have been going downhill afterward. Again, no sane person would actually want to live in the conditions of the 60s. Or are you taking issue with any of the descriptive statements I made at 77?

“There is utterly no benefit to the abandonment of the social mores of the 1960s, troubling though they were, when the cost now appears to be mass impoverishment.”

Again, the masses were much poorer in the 1960s than they are now. To speak of “mass imporverishment” in the first world is total hyperbole. But regardless, the economic change that happened isn’t due to the “abandonment of the social mores” and social regression isn’t going to make anybody’s life better. The very suggestion seems obscene. As I explained, the model of the 1960s was based on demographic and economic conditions that won’t come back (unless humanity is decimated by war or economic calamity). A political program predicated on turning back the clock is sure to fail economically. Politically, it can only be successful by reviving fascism, and this is a very realistic possibility.

100

Dipper 07.11.18 at 9:00 am

faustusnotes

You have this the wrong way round. Young people are moving out of Harlow to neighbouring towns because they cannot afford the accommodation costs which are raised through multiple occupancy and lets to the immigrants coming into the area. And those immigrants moving into the area – what happens when they get old? A massive increase in healthcare demand. And how are we to meet that? More immigrants. As has been pointed out numerous times, mass immigration to meet the labour needs of your country is a pyramid scheme that just requires more and more immigration.

As has also been pointed out numerous times, the economic problems of the UK are primarily down to low productivity. Importing more and more people to do manual tasks is not the way to increase the GDP per person. As an example, people used to routinely use automated car washes to wash their cars, and now they use teams of Rumanians. Replacing machines with humans is to put into reverse the process that has delivered increasing living standards for decades. I find it unlikely that Rumanians doing car washing are generating sufficient income in income taxes to pay for their children’s education and their parents’ healthcare.

On the subject of population, immigration is causing a massive increase in the population, not keeping it stable. The scale of projected house building has to be seen to be believed – it is immense. To repeat, the increase in UK population projected by the European Commission from 2013 to 2056/60 is more than the population of Belgium, of Sweden, of Portugal, or of Austria. The infrastructure required is equivalent to the infrastructure of any of these countries. All to be paid for by the proceeds of manual car washing and minimum wage manual tasks. It simply doesn’t add up.

101

Dipper 07.11.18 at 9:03 am

@ Chris Bertram

You are correct and I apologise. I had misread the report and it was over half of those challenged. So just 15% of the overall number proven to be not children.

102

Ben Philliskirk 07.11.18 at 9:23 am

TM @ 77

“This is exacxtly what we need: a return to the regressive, illiberal, patriarchal, post-war post-fascistic world of 1960 when men worked in factories and women stayed home; life expectancy was so low and the demographics so young that society hardly spent anything on pensioners; unemployment was low because people were at work rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by the war and consumption had been so low for years that huge growth rates (by today’s standards) were easy to achieve; health care was cheap because medicine wasn’t very advanced; the education system was cheap because most children received only basic education while higher education was far more than today a privilege of the rich.”

You’ve never had it so good. Even the things you think are bad are actually great improvements. I seem to recall these kind of arguments being used by the Tories in the 80s and 90s.

Of course, what they amount to is ‘sit down and swallow it, we know what’s best for you’.

103

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 9:56 am

@95+77
”now, when the basic necessities of life and social functioning are becoming increasingly unaffordable for an increasing number of people”.

which could remind us all on one of our most basic ”basic necessity” – Our ”Shelters” ?
– as what has the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found out:

”Since 1960, renters’ median earnings have gone up 5 percent while rents have spiked 61 percent; homeowners earn 50 percent more while home prices have gone up 112 percent.
AND:
”By nearly every measure, the American housing sector is broken. For decades, city, state and federal policies have contributed to rising rents, falling subsidies and the systematic shift of homeownership to older, richer and whiter Americans – and as the UK seems to follow all US (financial or gambling) trends –
(or even loves to predate them?)
”the long-term prognosis is grim”.
-(in twenty years shelter will take 100 percent of an average Brits income and there will be no money for food or fun anymore?!)

And wasn’t the anger of average Brits – that they can’t afford to live in London anymore -one of the (main) reasons for the crazy ”Brexit”?

AND NO! – ph!
NOT: ”Ditto Trump”.

– as why would you vote for your ”Slumlord” -(and on top of it a German Baron von Clownstick) – in order to-… evict you?

BE-cause Trumpists love to evict… themselves?!

104

ph 07.11.18 at 11:00 am

If there’s any possible way Versailles Democrats can avoid taking responsibility for not engaging with voters in blue states Trump flipped Versailles Democrats will cling to it for dear life – actually visit Wisconsin and shake hands with the great unwashed? Anything but that.

That’s the killer feature/bug of the Russia app. As long as Russia is responsible for the loss, then Dems don’t have to take responsibility for their choices over the last 3 decades. White voters account for 70 percent of the electorate and that number isn’t changing fast enough to avoid a couple of decades more losses.

Democrats either treat white rural voters as equals, or continue to lose ground in battle-ground states. But if Russia is really, really, really responsible for the Democrats loss, then maybe the Versailles Democrats can retain their perches and perks a while longer.

David Axelrod explains why Hillary lost:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/03/david-axelrod-reacts-hillary-clinton-james-comey-237924

105

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 11:24 am

@99
”Again, the masses were much poorer in the 1960s than they are now”.

That all depends on your way of accounting and who you count as ”the masses” – as we currently doing a comparison of our relatives in California – Germany and Italy.
And as we are doing it on the bases of ”the basic necessities of life” –
1. ”Shelter” (which always took the biggest chunk out of mans – or woman – income)
2. ”Food”
3. ”Health Care Costs”
4. ”Cost for Education”
We very sadly had to come to the conclusion that with the exception of Italy – the middle class masses -(if we are allowed to call them like that) are much ”poorer” now – than the generation of our parents in the 60s –

Meaning my generation can hardly afford to own a house anymore?

106

Ben Philliskirk 07.11.18 at 11:26 am

Dipper @100 like a cirrhotic alcoholic blaming his liver and not the booze.

107

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 11:33 am

@104 ph

”Is there’s any possible way that Versailles Trumpists show a little more love for all other type of ”Versaillesists” –

A ”unwashed” is asking!

108

ph 07.11.18 at 12:17 pm

Hi Chris, one final one, please, for the historically illiterate re: anti-London sentiments. This from the Economist is a pretty good place to start: https://www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2016/12/24/how-norman-rule-reshaped-england

I recall crossing the US/Canada border for a visit as a young man. The US Customs agent asked how he could be sure I wouldn’t remain in the US. To say I was offended doesn’t come close to describing my feelings. I explained that I’d visited many times prior and always voluntarily returned north. The notion that Canadians ‘must’ wish to remain in America has always struck as very silly. My American relatives left the US many years ago for more socialist Canada. So there’s that.

Only someone spectacularly uninformed would assume that people in the UK, especially Brexit supporters harbor a deep desire to move to London. Even academics I know in Cambridge, loathe the city. The further north I travel the deeper and more open the hostility to ‘tossers’ in the south (no disrespect intended for London residents.)

The corrupting influence of London on even the English language can be traced to Caxton, from Kent, but who figured printing his English translations of European texts in the London/Norman dialect would be more lucrative. I expect even the most uninformed must have some notion of the violent attacks on various communities the English based at London. Numerous acts of uniformity issued by various monarchs provoked rebellions of different types. Loyalty to London meant the Welsh ‘could keep’ their language and culture, as a subordinate culture to the truly great and good culture of the English. Similar antipathies exist against Paris among the nominally ‘French.’

So, no. I doubt very much that all those brexiters in various parts of non-London UK who pulled the lever to leave did so because they believe brexit will permit theme to live in closer proximity to those they openly loathe.

But it’s telling you believe that Brexiter must harbor a secret desire to live in London. The very suggestion is, well, infantile. Walk into a restaurant in Brittany and announce you love Parisian food.

Three guesses what happens next.

109

TM 07.11.18 at 12:18 pm

Ben 102: Do you take issue with any of my factual statements? Would you prefer to live in 1960, in the same place and economic percentile you live in now?

“You’ve never had it so good. Even the things you think are bad are actually great improvements. I seem to recall these kind of arguments being used by the Tories in the 80s and 90s.”

I thought the argument of the Tories has always been “’twas better in the olden days”.

Logic alert: even if one believes that the current generation is comparably better off by most indicators than the preceding generations (which I think is true at least in most of Europe), one still needn’t embrace the status quo. I’m calling BS on the ridiculous delusion of a lost golden age.

110

Cian 07.11.18 at 12:42 pm

John Quiggin @85:
From your perspective these things may be true, but the Tories don’t share that perspective. Everything we’ve seen suggests that they think claims of disaster are over-hyped, or at least they are managing to convince themselves of this.

But even if they did share that perspective they have a choice between a known and certain humiliation and political disaster (revocation of Article 50), vs this rather more vague and undefined thing.

If the Tories revoked Article 50 the following would happen:
+ Support for them would crater (it would either go back to UKIP, or just stop voting)
+ For the next 20-30 years their political identity would be defined by them having the referrendum, screwing up the negotiations and then backing down. They would be the butt of a million jokes. Everytime they said they would do things people would laugh (oh yeah, like the referrendum). And what’s more – their hardcore supporters (declining fast) would become at best lesser evil voters.
+ In the short term Labour would do really really well (which means loads of Tory MPs losing their seats at the next election, including some pretty powerful) as they would look incredibly statesmanlike in comparison.

Now yes, I agree all these things will probably happen with a hard Brexit. It may be worse for them. But that’s an outcome they don’t really believe in, whereas they can see the outcome I just described in their nightmares. And the nightmares are occurring with increasing frequency.

111

engels 07.11.18 at 12:43 pm

Funny how quickly this became a discussion about Hillary/Russiagate

112

Cian 07.11.18 at 1:06 pm

TM @ 77:

Wow. So you see there being a direct link between the income of a median educated worker and a patriarchical, illiberal, regressive world. The more median educated workers are paid, the more socially repressive the country will become. This is possibly the most insane argument I’ve ever seen on this board, and there have been a lot.

So you think that a world in which a median single mother can make enough to support her kids and have a decent lifestyle is necessarily a repressive, patriarchal one.

Tell me why you think more equal income distribution in a society is correlated with lower pensions, lower life expectancy, more patriarchy, worse education, worse healthcare? What is the mechanism?

The reality is that income distribution in a country is about political decisions. The US has high levels of inequality because the unions were destroyed, welfare was gutted, taxation on the rich was lowered, it stopped enforcing anti-trust regulations and the gutting of financial regulation. How would reversing any of these things affect the patriarchy, or lower old age pensions.

The reality is that a significant number of feminist women would like to be able to stay at home and raise their children. Not all of them, but plenty. A truly ‘feminist’ society would support that choice, just as it would support the choice of other mothers to work. Forcing women to work when they have children is just a different form of oppression to forcing them to stay at home and look after their kids, or stay in abusive relationships (which actually you seem to be okay with, as long as the mechanism is economic). Freedom is about having choices.

Some people on the left rhapsodize over the the post war period as the golden age of the welfare state, never mind that it’s much easier to run a welfare state when expectations and living standards are low,

So Sweden, Norway, Finland, France – or god, even Germany – these countries don’t exist? What you meant to say is that it’s much easier to run a welfare state when the rich aren’t sucking up all the resources.

And why any progressive would want to do this is beyond me. We live in vastly better times, with higher living standards, more freedom, more opportunity, more diversity, more access to knowledge and education and culture, better food, higher life expectancy, more leisure time, better environmental protection, and on and on.

Dude, check your privilege. These things are true if you’re in maybe the top 25% in the US and UK. The further down the socioeconomic ladder you go the less they’re true. Get to the bottom 25% and things have very definitely got worse. Way more people in the US now are hungry than were in the 70s. Housing has become harder to access (and homelessness has rocketed). Even basic healthcare is becoming out of reach for many (which the actual healthcare is expensive, due to monopolies, and not very good). Workplaces have become far more oppressive than they were then. For the poor schools are significantly worse than they were in the 70s. Lifelong debt is becoming a thing for an increasing proportion of the population. Salaries have stagnated since the 70s, despite the US GDP having grown significantly since then.

113

hellblazer 07.11.18 at 1:07 pm

Will there ever be an end to ph/kidneystones po’splaining/Trumpslaining/Brexitsplaining to us? For someone who’s not originally from the USA, who hasn’t lived there in recent years AFAICT, and who bases all diagnoses of UK academia & left on bad impressions he received when passing through years ago, he seems awfully strident in his diagnoses and rhetoric. The prolier than thou aspect is pretty irritating, too.

Brexit is not about hostility towards Brussels, it’s about hostility towards London and British elites.

While there is an element of the latter, to completely dismiss the former just because it’s a claim made by people ph/kidneystones sneers at for being (the equivalent of) “Versailles liberals” is boneheaded. I live and work in an area that voted for Brexit. Several colleagues who voted Remain have friends and family who voted for Brexit. I think I trust the primary sources rather more than whatever the hell ph/kidneystones is reading.

The lower-orders in the UK and the US do not wanted to doff the hat and wait for a sprinkling of coppers as the carriage of the Versailles liberal (or conservative) passes by.

I can’t speak to the US, but this is a strawman argument in the parts of the UK I’ve observed. If the Orange One ever turned up in my current town, the protestors won’t be ph/kidneystones’ vision of latte-sipping liberals in the media or US-professor-salaried equivalents; and the equivalent of MAGAs if there are any won’t be the punk-spirited neglected wanting to stick two fingers up at The Establishment, they’ll be the EDLers and the people who like to shout “get back, get back, get back to Iraq” at the overseas undergraduates when they turn up in town at the start of the year.

There’s more to politics than decoding the sodding rhetoric of the people you dislike. Actual facts occasionally matter.

114

Cian 07.11.18 at 1:11 pm

Logic alert: even if one believes that the current generation is comparably better off by most indicators than the preceding generations (which I think is true at least in most of Europe), one still needn’t embrace the status quo. I’m calling BS on the ridiculous delusion of a lost golden age.

The bottom 20-40% in much of Europe are worse off than their parents were. This is certainly true in the UK. And I suspect it’s a larger chunk too, once you start considering things like debt, accessing to housing, ability to start a family.

The reason that Social Democrats and centrists are dying is because they’re in denial about this very basic reality. It worked for a while when it was just the poor, who mostly (but no always, hence Brexit) stopped voting. But when this reality got so bad that it started to affect the lower end of the upper middle classes… At this point you might as well campaign on the corn laws.

115

hellblazer 07.11.18 at 1:12 pm

Even academics I know in Cambridge, loathe the city.

Sample bias, perhaps? (I would get sample bias in the opposite direction)

The further north I travel the deeper and more open the hostility to ‘tossers’ in the south (no disrespect intended for London residents.)

You do realise that London’s not a synecdoche for “the south”? If the people you talk to think it is, they’d probably find they’re not hugely keen on Oxfordshire, Kent, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, etc. And having lived in the properly northern bit of England I would say that the (theatrical) hostility may be more open but would dispute it is really deeper. When were these visits, anyway?

116

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 1:46 pm

@
”I’m calling BS on the ridiculous delusion of a lost golden age”.

Well – just imagine a house in Newport Beach CA? –

right on the Beach for just about 140 220$ -(and not the 2.6 Mill it cost right now) – a nice creme colored 280 SL convertible (1996) even a member of the Californian middle class could afford – and an always filled HUUGE Fridge with eggos and the nicest thing of IT all -(to get away from all teh icky materialism) – all the ”flower power” – and frozen Bananas nearly for free? –

And THE music!!
-(and the wonderful unspoiled yet – American landscape)

You can’t call BS if YOU have lived in… Meck-Pomm -(or Liverpool) at that time?

117

Cian 07.11.18 at 1:46 pm

Barry @83:The last thing that I read had a major backer of Brexit go from 0 contacts with Russians, to 2, to 4, to 12, to 20; no money from the Russians to being offered a lucrative contract to his partner getting deals.

Yeah Aaron Banks is a notoriously dodgy business man. Like many rich dodgy people in the UK he is trying to do business in Russia. Maybe his support of Brexit helped with that, maybe it didn’t. Who knows.

None of this has anything to do with his support of Brexit. He supports Brexit because that’s who he is. It’s like a rich evangelical southerner in the US who is anti-abortion, or anti-union. It’s just part of his identity.

I really don’t want another thread to become about the US (Brexit! It’s Brexit!). But… There is no evidence that the Russians were actively trying to help the Trump campaign, but there is evidence that the Trump campaign would have accepted help if it was there. Instead we have meetings with lawyers (with no connection to the Kremlin) who were representing their clients (much to the irritation of those in the meeting), or meetings where the Trump administration were trying to do a deal with Russia on behalf of Israel. Oh and a few dodgy consultants/lobbyists. And a few other random meetings (some of which were not terribly unusual) which don’t seem to amount to anything.

118

bob mcmanus 07.11.18 at 1:46 pm

Oh, if you want detailed current discussion on Brexit, I recommend Richard North at EuReferendum, a source I got from Naked Capitalism. Last article I read was about Boris Johnson being all wrong on biking regulation. That kind of thing. He also co-wrote a book, something like Can the European Union Be Saved?

119

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 1:48 pm

@111
”Funny how quickly this became a discussion about Hillary/Russiagate”

See – I was right – we only read what we want to read!

120

Cian 07.11.18 at 1:58 pm

Layman: <On the other hand, nearly every claim about Russian interference in the US election, or Trump’s relations with Russia, or Russian funding of the Brexit campaign, seem to turn out to be true. I say ‘nearly every’ because there’s no evidence of actual voting machine hacking. Everything else though seems to be true, at least in some form. Even the pee tape.

And the evidence for the pee tape being true is? Have you actually done the due dilligence and checked that the breathless reporting in the WP/NYT etc is supported by the facts? Or are you just assuming that they’re right?

Afeman: There’s been some as-good-as-it-gets circumstantial evidence that the DNC hack was by a group working for the Russian government, but beyond that the case seems to get tortured fast. I suspect the Russians are being seen in everybody’s cold cereal breakfast because people can’t bear to think that their systems operating within their accepted rules produced this polymorphous disaster.

TBH we don’t even know if the computer was hacked, as there hasn’t been an independent forensic analysis of the allegedly hacked computers (which is really bizarre). I wouldn’t be surprised if the computers were hacked (I’m sure as we speak the NSA are hacking the computers of political parties in various NATO countries), but the evidence doesn’t actually exist for even this. We have no idea if the actual files came from hacking, or an insider leaking them. It’s all conjecture. The idea that the leak had any effect on voting seems very unlikely though. Can’t imagine too many working class voters in the rust belt thought “you know I was going to vote Hillary, but these articles in the NYT about boring admin stuff sure have changed my mind”.

I also remember the slashdot posts. We’re still using the same hacking machines for the most part. Though I think they mostly run on Windows XP now.

121

Ben Philliskirk 07.11.18 at 2:06 pm

TM @109

‘I thought the argument of the Tories has always been “’twas better in the olden days”.’

Tories 150 years ago maybe. The person who coined the phrase ‘you’ve never had it so good’ was Tory PM Harold MacMillan. For decades the Tories have embraced the cause of economic ‘modernisation’ and the promotion of capitalism. In the Thatcher era this led to most of British industry being killed off or scaled down. The only thing the Tories want to conserve is the social hierarchy.

As for whether I want to live in 1960 or 2018, it’s a pretty stupid question because I lack a time machine to experience it for myself. But it’s somewhat facile to promote the idea that a one breadwinner family, affordable housing, easy access to health care and earlier retirement were somehow proto-fascist relics that we’ve been ‘liberated’ from in glorious late-capitalism.

122

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 2:06 pm

@Ph

about your funniest comment of the day:
”Walk into a restaurant in Brittany and announce you love Parisian food.
Three guesses what happens next”.

You get hugged by the owner of the restaurant who is from Spain but learned to cook in St. Germain?

BE-cause as even your hero Von Clownstick likes to say:

”France is not France anymore” –

Meaning – ”France” is a lot more nowadays than the narrow-minds of nationalistic morons can imagine?

And do you know that especially in Brittany the French restaurant owner are wonderful ”open-minded” Europeans?
They even wait to cook dinner for their diners from Great Britain until midnight if the ferries happen to be late.

123

Chris Bertram 07.11.18 at 2:40 pm

Fact-checking Dipper again:

Claim: “In my local area we are facing an economic cliff-edge go a different kind. My local large town [Harlow] has gone from 4% non-native born population to 21% in a decade. This massive increase is mirrored both in the immediate vicinity but also in the wider south-east of England. “

Harlow had the second biggest increase in the entire country, after Boston Lincolnshire, and the largest increase in the South East. Only 16 local authority areas listed in the ONS data had a percentage point increase of 10 or larger. Many of those are not in the South East. 380 local authority areas are listed in the spreadsheet. So the “mirrored” claim is a case of taking one of the most extreme instances of change and representing it as typical.

124

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 2:41 pm

AND I sooo love this question when life was ”poorer” -(for the poor OR the rich?) in the 60s or nowadays – and the creme-colored 280 SL -(from my grandfather was from 69 and not as censored – from 96) – and as I have these British friends who have all these funny photos from the 60s in London we even could make it all about ”Pre-Brexit” – the wonderful times when the Beatles really – really wanted to play on the European Continent – and all these Brits got their first sunburn in Lloret de Mar.

What a truly ”golden era”?
-(and everybody knew that this European without borders-thing is going to be truly – ”fantastique” – that’s ”French” for ph!)

125

TM 07.11.18 at 2:52 pm

Ben 121, what is “facile” is your strawmanning. The same goes for Cian 112.

“a one breadwinner family, affordable housing, easy access to health care and earlier retirement”

“Earlier retirmeent”, seriously? In 1960? Male life expectancy at birth was 68 years.
“Easy access to health care”, measured how? I don’t have a time machine either but I was around and spent some time in public hospitals in the 1970s (not in the UK). They were crowded and kept afloat only by nurses imported from the Phillipines.

Cian: “So Sweden, Norway, Finland, France – or god, even Germany – these countries don’t exist?” They do exist, thereby proving that the welfare state is alive and well (outside of the UK and the US at least). What is also true however is that the cost of maintaining these welfare states is far higher now than it was in the 1960s (*), due to economic and demographic reasons that I gave. This is by no means an insurmountable hurdle – society is rich enough to still pay for the welfare net, even for a more generous one – but to pretend that it’s not an issue at all is not an option. What is often overlooked is that neoliberalism was politically so successful (voters in the UK, the US, Germany handed the Thatcherites 3, 4 straight election victories) because many of the lower and middle class people supported lower taxes. We know that this benefited almost exclusively the rich but the “people” still voted for it. Getting people to vote for higher taxes is hard. Face reality.

(*) For example, German workers fund retirement, health care etc. with a contribution of almost 40% of their gross pay (nominally split between worker and employer).

126

Cian 07.11.18 at 2:54 pm

Yeah the idea that Brexit was largely about London and elites is silly. People who voted leave generally have strong opinions about Brussels, are not afraid to share them (god I wish they were), have held those opinions for a really long time and there are a lot of the bastards.

I suspect, based upon anecdotal data, that floating voters (low information, not necessarily going to turn out) may have tended to vote against the status quo. Or rather they voted for Leave because the establishment were for it. But they’re going to be a minority of voters.

127

engels 07.11.18 at 2:56 pm

Note to Americans and others: please don’t confuse the cranks who comment here with British public opinion:
https://amp.ft.com/content/b9cfac7a-836e-11e8-a29d-73e3d454535d

128

Lawrence Maggitti 07.11.18 at 3:11 pm

“I’m Marxian, which means half apocalyptic pessimist and half Utopian radical. They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”

So Bob, again the lack of shared assumptions makes too much engagement futile (at least in the context of comment thread). But it seems to me that, while you guys can still argue that Marxism hasn’t really been tried and would be great – I mean, I can’t conclusively disprove that – the whole “heighten the contradictions” thing has been pretty much conclusively disproved by history.

Which is to say that from your perspective I can see the reason for the apocalyptic pessimism, but not really the case for utopian optimism. Whatever comes next won’t be your marxist utopia.

Now, I’m more optimistic that you are about the possibility that some version (hopefully more humane) of the current system will survive the current unpleasantness. I know you don’t buy that vision, or particularly want it (but as an alternative to a fascist kleptocracy I would think that even you would find it somewhat preferable). We’re lucky in that regard that Trump is in many ways an idiotic buffoon; a smarter / better informed / less lazy person with his odious world view could possibly have much more successfully consolidated the low information persuadable “center,” such as it is.

But I guess the one thing I really don’t get … for all of the many manifest problems of meliorist liberalism, I would think that the fact that the material circumstances of the proletariat in western Europe over the past half century plus – in world historical terms it’s never been better – would give you at least SOME as to your rejection of meliorism. Even if it doesn’t come close to your utopian radicalism.

129

Scott P. 07.11.18 at 3:18 pm

”So ‘globalization sounded completely reasonable and sensible when it was proposed in the 1970s”.

It’s still ”completely reasonable” for any ”Producing Country” – where well paying manufacturing jobs were kept.

I don’t understand any of this.

Manufacturing jobs have been on a consistent decline since 1950 due to productivity increases. Globalization has barely affected the trend. It applies to ‘producing countries’ (like Germany) as much as to the UK or USA. It is even now applying to China!

From 1981 to 2018:
Manufacturing employment in Germany has shrunk from 33% to 20% of the working population.

Manufacturing employment in the UK has shrunk from 22% to 8% of the working population.

Virtually the same decline, just from a higher baseline in Germany.

130

TM 07.11.18 at 4:10 pm

P. S. The comparisons I insist on making aren’t “pretty stupid” (Ben 121). You don’t need a time machine to learn about living conditions in earlier times. There are statistics you can look up, indicators you can compare. Go ahead, don’t be so lazy, do some actual work to support your claims, show us some evidence that things have gotten worse since the 1960s!

131

Chris (merian) W. 07.11.18 at 4:26 pm

What worries me most is the apparent inability to make reasonable strategic decisions via the democratic process. (That is, a choice between options based on an approximately fair debate about their respective long-term effects.)

Second of course the low threshold of minor short-term challenges at which some (dipper here for example) think that xenophobia is excusable or even reasonable. Me, I’m glad I left the UK before this all came down. As an EU migrant I’d now have to be registered at the Home Office, a process that for many of my peers didn’t go well. Of course, in the short term as a qualified tech worker and single person with top 20 or 25 percentile income *I* would have been considered relatively desirable, even though in the long term, being middle-aged and childless, anyone should have seen that my contribution to my community would have been much less than that of a young Polish family — but since in the short-term they likely needed some resources to settle in, they’re the ones pointed with fingers. It’s just disgraceful to watch.

132

Nigel 07.11.18 at 5:15 pm

‘Trump’s vulgarity, more than his wealth and his love for beauty queens, is where the unwashed bond with the president – reveling in the disdain showered down upon them by their ‘betters,’ such as you’

The vulgarity that includes racism, sexism, multiple accusations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dodgy business dealings, screwing contractors, separating families at the border and locking up the children and screwing up the process of reunifying them, attacking black sportsmen for kneeling, calling a black female politician ‘low IQ,’ gutting health care, funneling enormous wealth towards corporate shareholders via tax cuts, cutting swathes of environmental and consumer regulations and protections – those and all the other vulgar things you self-described unwashed bond with him over. I dunno, I think people who don’t bond over those things are, in fact, ‘better.’

133

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 6:06 pm

@128
”I don’t understand any of this”.

I never do – as the statistics you quoted just don’t explain why Germany’s workers earn about the highest wages and salaries in the world?

And why the whole area – where I most of the times reside right now – Baden-Württemberg -(run by a ”Green” government) – nearly entirely seem to live from manufacturing -(of Mercedeses and Porsches and all kind of other machinery?)

It’s a complete mystery to me??

And why this area has about the lowest unemployment rate you can think about – with employers desperately trying to fill really, really high paying jobs – and when you are looking for a job – you don’t have to write countless applications – NO! – you can pick the employers who offer you ”the best deal”?

And as I mentioned before – it totally don’t understand that most of these workers in manufacturing – even on ONE salary can support whole families – and even can afford to make five to six weeks of vacation a year?

I just don’t get it?

Why – if I travel in my homeland the US I run into all this stuff ”Made in Germany” and when I travel in Germany I run into all of this stuff ”Made in Germany” and when I travel in Italy I run into all this stuff ”Made in Italy” – and that US -(and the UK?) just don’t seem to understand – that if you give up producing what you consume –
you really – REALLY make your workers very… unhappy??!

and… mad!

Sometimes so mad that they even might vote for all kind of ”exits”?

134

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 6:20 pm

Or wait? @129
and:
”I don’t understand any of this”.

I once met an hairdresser from Detroit who told me that US Car Companies killed nearly every good hair salon in Detroit -(with the exception of some Salons in Bloomfield Hills)

and I didn’t understand that either – as what does ”hair” have to do with Car Companies – and the hairdresser told me:

”Dummy – where there is no Car Manufacturing anymore – there are is nooo Salon to do the workers women hair – anymore?

And so perhaps the statistic that you quoted forgot all the… hairdressers?

135

harry b 07.11.18 at 6:53 pm

I’d second both Chris (merian) W’s comments. On democracy — it is alarming that the Brexit referendum was the unintended result of electoral manoevering by a party that didn’t expect to win an election and that that same party, which now does not have a majority in parliament, is completely unembarrassed about expecting that the details of Brexit will be the result of the outcome of a faction fight within their party — a faction fight from which one faction (the most sensible one) seems to be excluded.

On xenophobia. I grew up on one of the nicer edges of Slough. Kids at my school (I left in 79) were nearly all born in the UK, but many (probably not most) of their parents weren’t. 10% of the kids in my year got top grades in Polish at O’Level, even though it wasn’t taught in the school. And ours was one of the less cosmopolitan schools in the area. I revisited the school with a friend a decade ago. Again, most of the kids their were born in the UK, but a lot of their parents, and most of their grandparents, weren’t. Those immigrants paid/pay taxes, built the factories, worked/work in the factories, in the NHS, in the schools, at the airport, often in menial positions, contributing far more than they ever got back. Their children were/are English. The same will be true of the newest wave of immigrants to Slough, and to Harlow, if they’re allowed to stay. (For goodness sake, the Poles who came to Slough in the 2000s and 2010s came to join their English cousins). England without something like the scale of immigration it’s had since 1950 would be a dreary backwater. (Slough, it has to be said, was never that).

136

bob mcmanus 07.11.18 at 6:55 pm

Manufacturing jobs have been on a consistent decline since 1950 due to productivity increases.

Not much inclined or equipped to argue this in detail, so let’s just say I don’t buy “productivity” measurements or most mainstream economics. Is finance more “productive” than ditch digging? Well, the hedge funder makes zillions per year, so must be.

Reading two books now, one about the protectionist high tariff “American School*,” and another about the history of the Syrian economy, historicizing the high gov’t spending controlled Keynesian economy of the 50s and 60s and the turn to privatization and neoliberalism after the USSR went down. You know, the common postwar story where in one era schools roads dams and hospitals got built, and then the one when a few oligarchs got very rich and the masses immiserated and politics went right and crazed. Oh, did you remember I was talking Syria?

Given a choice where one “Versailles elitist” gets shot and ten peasants get land reform, healthcare, and literacy I’ll be a monster if liberals won’t deliver or get out of my way.

*Interested folk can search for themselves.

137

Doug K 07.11.18 at 7:03 pm

Layman @ 81, “there’s no evidence of actual voting machine hacking. ”

There won’t be, since these machines can be hacked undetectably. Their design is so laughably bad it starts to seem it must be intentionally bad. See link from my name for an overview.

bob mcmanus @9, “Apparently they believe that 17 1/2 million voters were brainwashed or bribed or puppetized or godknowswhat.”

no, I believe that a sufficient fraction of those voters were lied to, repeatedly and consistently. There’s the base crazy of about 30% that will always vote Tory/Republican for a variety of reasons, but there is a persuadable fraction that is being bamboozled.

138

Dipper 07.11.18 at 7:51 pm

@ engels

“Note to Americans and others: please don’t confuse the cranks who comment here with British public opinion:”

The reason immigration is less of an issue in the UK and people are more positive to immigrants since the referendum is because we’ve voted to Leave and so take back control of immigration. It was always about numbers and jobs, not about different people.

139

ph 07.11.18 at 8:13 pm

Hi Hellblazer@115, You make a fair critique, especially re: anecdote and theatricality. I had direct affiliations with two UK universities during the last decade, and indirect connections with Cambridge during the preceding decade. So, I was in London and the north during this period. I have a large family in the UK, regular contacts with them, and consume a lot of UK press regularly, less so in the last year.

I am an adjunct lecturer, however. My own teaching wages have actually declined in the last three decades – more teaching hours and outside class work for basically the same hours, plus higher rates of taxation of various kinds. So, yes, I’m quite familiar with the ‘economic boom hasn’t lifted my own boats.’ That said our life isa big step up from the Gorbals, where my father and his siblings spent their formative years. Full credit to my parents for providing us with more choices. As a young man I did a great deal of low wage and/or physical labor. I quite enjoy this type of work, but prefer my current career, such as it is.

My weakest remark is about Brexit and London. ” But I stand by the point I made in 2015 and 2016. Brexit is not about hostility towards Brussels, it’s about hostility towards London and British elites. Ditto Trump.”

This claim is so overstated as to be quite wrong and for that I apologize. Voters motivations vary and are complex: built into the mix of various frustrations, expressed at times with overt and latent racism and xenophobia against ‘others’, we find long-standing hostility towards elites based in London. Brexit is as much about this hostility towards London as it is towards Brussels for a significant subset of Brexit voters.

On Brexit, I’m soft remain. My limited experiences and understanding of the dynamics strongly confirm the argument that social and cultural capital matter.

I do sneer at the Versailles liberal/conservative because I see them as two sides of the same effete coin. The difference being the conservative is usually quite open about his/her contempt for people unlucky enough not to be them. Hope this helps.

140

Dipper 07.11.18 at 8:45 pm

@ Chris Bertram

“So the “mirrored” claim is a case of taking one of the most extreme instances of change and representing it as typical”.

I didn’t claim other towns were identical. You have identified 16 other areas with significant increases in immigrant populations. That’s quite a lot.

I get that cities are international. I get that skilled and professional people moving around is a good thing. But what is it that is so important and beneficial that it requires a sudden inrush of large numbers of immigrants to Harlow, to Kettering, to Northampton, to small town after small town, to do? Since when has the Left supported employers’ rights to fill jobs at whatever low rates they wish to offer?

There is a widespread sense of betrayal, in a gut feeling way. The government treats the people as expendable, as replaceable. Why train so few nurses and Doctors? Why bring in people to do jobs rather than training our own? If your government doesn’t represent you, isn’t ambitious for you, keeps shoving you aside and bringing in some shiny new folk who are so much better than you, then you have nothing, no chances, no options, nothing to work for.

The Brexit vote was a chance to at last have a government that the people could hold to account. None of this “sorry – EU rules” excuse whenever people asked for anything. Needles stop say the fight back has been intense. It is absolutely essential now that a proper Brexit takes place, or else a lot of people are just left with no power, no way of holding politicans to account, no prospect of a future in which their opinions, their ambitions, matter. I cannot begin to tell you just how furious many people are at the campaign to reverse Brexit and how angry they will be if their vote is ignored or taken away from them.

141

Dipper 07.11.18 at 8:52 pm

@ Doug K

“I believe that a sufficient fraction of those voters were lied to, repeatedly and consistently. “

Please can you list the Lies in the Brexit debate that were propagated by Russian Bots or Putin’s allies? Because I’ve seen lots of stuff about shadowy people in dark corners, but I haven’t seen anything concrete, just rabid attempts to remove my vote from me.

Bear in mind that the bulk of economists, the governments advisors, and the Bank of England, all said there would be recession and job losses immediately after a Vote to Leave, and there was continued growth and an increase in jobs. So the bar for untruths is quite high.

142

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 9:08 pm

@139
”I do sneer at the Versailles liberal/conservative”

– but what’s about the Versailles a… holes?
What’s about them –
”the Versailles Trumpists” –
you got to sneer at them – as you always tell us – that they love to be sneered at?

143

Dipper 07.11.18 at 9:15 pm

One of the things we are finding in the UK is how much EU membership has damaged political and parliamentary thinking. One of the reason for the crisis is that now what parliament does actually matters. We no longer elect people to rubber stamp proposals from the EU commission, we elect people to make decisions that have significant consequences and the government machine is simply not used to doing anything other than engaging with the EU commission.

One example of the rot in thinking that should annoy everyone on the left is this letter to The Guardian from a group of illustrious metropolitan women. It says women’s rights come from the EU.

This is a complete re-write of history and a complete undermining of the working class. This year we are celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage in the UK. This was fought for by many women who committed many dangerous and brave acts. Women’s suffrage was not a result of an EU Directive to an unwilling nation. And it doesn’t stop there, This letter effectively airbrushes The Dagenham Women from history, and every other UK campaign for rights.

What the letter-writers would have us believe is that the people of the UK cannot be trusted with their own rights. They must be stopped from doing something unwise by better informed people. Only by submitting to rule from overseas and taking direct orders from foreign powers can we be properly governed. Everyone who believes in national democracy should be seething at this nonsense.

144

Dipper 07.11.18 at 9:25 pm

@ Chris W 131

“some (dipper here for example) think that xenophobia is excusable or even reasonable.”

I haven’t said that and don’t think it. Please retract.

@ harry b. A friend gave me the full low-down on his Polish heritage that I hadn’t appreciated. When Hitler invaded Poland from the west Stalin came in from the East, and Stalin rounded up and deported anyone who had been involved in local politics, so a significant influx of Poles with political affiliations from the Eastern part came to the UK.

My friend has a PhD and voted to Leave the EU by the way.

145

nastywoman 07.11.18 at 9:25 pm

– and as our team lost – it all started when Great Britain sold the Mini – that was the moment when everybody knew – that it won’t end well – and after Great Britain sold the Bentley too and even the Rolls – there was no question that the country had lost all of it’s national pride and was ready for ”a takeover by the hunn’s from teh east”!
-(just joking) –
and now as we won’t be world champions -(at least this times) I think Great Britain should offer Europe to stay –
-(under the condition that London Taxis won’t be completely taken over by Mercedes) – and that’s about how absurd this ”whole deal” – is – while FF von Clownstick is attacking Germany BE-cause he really never will forgive the country:

”that Berlin has developed a vibrant social system and thriving export-driven economy unfairly and on the back of the United States – and NOT on the back of German workers.

As the only way to create ”a vibrant social system and thriving export-driven economy” the Trumpists way is by exploiting the own workers – and taking them to the cleaners just like a kidney stone…

Or is this too absurd for a threat about Brexit?

146

Nia Psaka 07.11.18 at 11:40 pm

To nastywoman @65,
Once we pretend that there is such a thing as a “good billionaire”, we invite others to imagine that there are “benign fascists,” “benevolent mobsters,” and “constructive police brutality.” Besides, Trump’s appeal is that he is supposedly The Good Billionaire. One thing I appreciate about the young leftists on Tumblr and Reddit is that they have learnt to say, “There are no good billionaires.” There are only less offensive ones.

Dipper @72:
“The Toriy [sic] polling have remained remarkably strong and stable possibly because both Remainers and Leavers supported May and because Corbyn is unelectable.”

This sentence reads like it was written by a fourteen-year-old schoolboy trying desperately to get some kind of credit for writing a sad little page of buzzwords; not aught that would convince any adult conversant with present UK politics.

147

Alan White 07.11.18 at 11:44 pm

From this west side of the Atlantic, where the number of people one could fit inside Lambeau Field (the Green Bay Packers stadium) made the electoral difference between Trump and Clinton, I just have to say that Nigel’s @ 132 comment should be type-set in platinum-iridium and on display beside other classic standards of measurement. “Better” and “worse” do admit of having objective standards at least in the minds of those who give a damn about more than themselves and their tribes.

148

harry b 07.11.18 at 11:57 pm

“When Hitler invaded Poland from the west Stalin came in from the East, and Stalin rounded up and deported anyone who had been involved in local politics, so a significant influx of Poles with political affiliations from the Eastern part came to the UK”

Yes, we all knew this. There were left wing (fled Hitler) and right wing (fled Stalin) families, and in the late 70s those differences were still understood by the kids. Interestingly, from my fb feeds, I discern that only one of my friends from that school voted to leave. But they have mainly stayed pretty close to Slough.

149

Orange Watch 07.12.18 at 12:26 am

ph@139:

I do sneer at the Versailles liberal/conservative because I see them as two sides of the same effete coin. The difference being the conservative is usually quite open about his/her contempt for people unlucky enough not to be them.

This simply is not true. The best example of a Versailles conservative is almost without question Donald Trump, who is anything but candid about his (beyond doubt very, very real) contempt for ALL his “inferiors”. As with most such individuals, the contempt is expressed openly towards those not perceived to be useful, while making vague distinctions along the lines of “deserving poor/undeserving poor”, or blatant racism. Thus, the useful peasants can cheer their betters’ denouncement of the bad people (to include many of the Versailles liberals below the top of the hierarchy, but well above and looking down on the great unwashed) while not really paying attention to the transparency of the distinctions between them and those denounced,

Your failure to notice Versailles conservatives spitting on you doesn’t prove that they’re not surreptitiously doing it, just that you’re far better at noticing when the liberals do it… much as a liberal is less inclined to notice the universality of the veiled contempt spewed downwards by Versailles liberals that they identify with, but sees right through the corresponding conservatives’ veil because there’s little question that it’s directed at them.

150

Faustusnotes 07.12.18 at 12:42 am

Dipper if you want evidence of the lies that got people voting for brexit look at your own comments here, which have been wrong on every substantial fact. Look also at your responses to correction which have also been wrong (eg you correct me for saying the population of Harlow is not increasing when I said it was increasing and gave the amount and compared it with population growth from other causes). You can’t read, you can’t analyse, you can’t think, you believe every lie the daily mail tells you and then repeat then uncritically, and cannot change your ideas when shown they are completely wrong. You complain that the infrastructure isn’t there for even moderate population growth and vote for the party that destroys infrastructure because of foreigners. Yes you were lied to and now you come here and lie to us.

Cian contradicts TM by pointing out the welfare states of France, Germany, Sweden etc. Where are they? So the people of the UK are voting to leave the “neoliberal” EU so they can have a welfare state more like … All the states of the EU? Think about how stupid that is. Second only to your misrepresentation of TMS point as “rich societies must be patriarchal.” Really, this is primary school debate class stuff.

151

eg 07.12.18 at 2:11 am

I get the feeling that Dipper’s perception of UK immigration is akin to older North Americans’ perception that crime has increased despite statistics to the contrary.

As for Brexit, it needn’t be a disaster if the UK administration which emerges is prepared to embrace fiscal stimulus per MMT; unfortunately, the chances of that appear to be very slim indeed.

152

Royton De'Ath 07.12.18 at 3:53 am

Right. Some of us didn’t live in the 60s but, nonetheless, life was s**t ‘cos statistics and indicators. I grew up in the ‘post war, post fascistic world’ and was bloody glad of it! To imply that, somehow, that was a bad thing is stunningly inane: life expectancy was “somewhat precarious” in the world of war and fascism, doncha know?

On the positive side it’s grand that there is such concern for the working class and its “gains”. But, true to the age of the classless society we just have to assume the working class is actually the target of the “best of all possible worlds” Theory that’s been thrashing about in these comments.

And. Yep. What a cliche our lives were. I worked in a factory in the Golden Times, doing an apprenticeship in heavy industry. All my family worked. We were “skilled” (not as skilled as people today, of course!) including my mum, who also (gulp) worked in a factory (and, yes, she was paid less. That was as shit then as it is now). We loved the long hours, the dirt, the noise, the shit pay, the Maypoles and the Unicorns. Oh, uppity us, how we wished for a “clean job”. And. When we finally got one, it made all the difference to our tired, cliched, stunted, savage, working class lives. Hurrah! Glad to help youse make your point, Sir.

If only. If only, the folk whose lives are sliding away from them these days could just remember the ‘high base’ they’ve come from and just get that the issue is actually one of psychology! Gratitude, people!

The argument that the Right want to return “us” (who, exactly?) to the 60s is just silly. They certainly want to maintain the “old verities”, regain their “lost glories” and return to the “proper order of things”. But. That wasn’t exactly in the 50s or 60s. This is a far older fight; this is something far more visceral.

John Freeman, Junior Minister in the 1945 Labour government: ‘I have not forgotten the tension of rising of rising to answer questions or conduct a debate under the cold implacable eyes of that row of well-tailored tycoons, who hated the Labour government with a passion and fear which made them dedicated men in their determination to get it out of office and to limit the damage it could do to the world which they saw as theirs by right’ (quoted in Kynaston, 2007).

J.G. Ballard mentions how ‘middle class people … talked as if this Labour government was an occupying power, that the Bolsheviks had arrived and were to strip them of everything they owned’. Kynaston talks of the ‘atavistic loathing’ of the middle classes, and of the ‘strong, almost tribal middle-class, backlash’ against the Labour government in 1946.

What? Who’ll do our shit-work, now? Uppity oiks that they are. The loathing, of course, sprang into being, fully formed, in – what? 1951, or thereabouts? Of course it didn’t. It forms the very plumbing in the walls of British “life”.

Talk about old pipes rattling in dank walls … Anthony Heap, middle-class diarist (1961): ‘Latest immigration figures show that West Indians flock into this overcrowded country at a higher rate than ever … But, does the Government heed the pleas from MPs, local authorities and other public bodies to restrict immigration on account of the acute housing and health problems created by this ever-increasing influx? No. Cravenly cowed by the leftist parrot cry of “no colour bar”, they won’t do a damned thing about it …’ (Quoted in Kynaston, 2015). Remind you of anyone nowadays? Kynaston referred to Heap as ‘impeccably bigoted’. Great turn of phrase, that.

And. Brexit. Tories decided on the “goodnesses” of the Common Market. The impacts of entry were assessed by the Lord Chancellor in the early 60s, but, apparently, not shared broadly: ‘(a) Parliament would be required to surrender some of its functions to the organs of the Community. (b) The Crown would be called on to transfer part of its treaty making power to those organs. (c) Our courts of law would sacrifice some degree of independence by becoming subordinate in certain respects to the European Court of Justice. In the long run, we shall have to decide whether the economic factors require us to make some sacrifices of sovereignty. My concern is to ensure that we should see exactly what it is we are being called on to sacrifice, and how serious our loss would be’ (ibid).

It’s a very long road and a very battered can, but, kicking it around all these years has been such fun. Look how far we’ve come! Oh! Right. But. Nice gadgets we’ve got now though, eh? And. Look on the Bright Side: We’re gonna get Freedom, Sovereignity and Unlimited Impeccable Bigotry, too. This Is The Future. Haven’t we done well?

I left the UK over 40 years ago. I’m bloody miffed at missing out on all the brill times back in good ol’ blighty. Not.

153

nastywoman 07.12.18 at 4:55 am

@146
”Besides, Trump’s appeal is that he is supposedly The Good Billionaire”.

That’s what’s so tremendously ”sad” – that he is no Franklin D. Roosevelt –
so let’s say there are ”good” and ”BAD Millionaires”?

154

ph 07.12.18 at 5:33 am

As my final comment and reply to same fair criticism. I’ll pose this question:

Leaving aside the truth problems facing the majority who predicted wrongly that Brexit would fail, the Brexit would be catastrophic, that Trump would never run, that Trump couldn’t win the nomination, that Trump couldn’t win the election, and that having won election Trump would rule by executive order ending elections, that the world economy would collapse, that Trump would resign, that Trump would be forced from power via the 25th amendment, that Trump would start WWIII, etc. etc….let’s say after being so spectacularly wrong about all or some of the above, the much-better educated and intelligent start being right. What would being right look like exactly?

@149 Clearly I’ve struck a nerve with the Versailles liberal tag. But credit due, you have at least tried to formulate what a Versailles Trumpster might look like. FWIW, I whole-heartedly agree – Donald, and perhaps some of his family members is what a Versailles Trumpster is. The problem is I can’t think of any others.

To be clear: the Versailles liberal and the Versailles conservative are the same in most respects; both share the same view – they’re better than everyone else by virtue of intelligence, hard work, and all other measures and therefore damn well justified in believing they are in fact the best.

What distinguishes the Versailles liberal from the Versailles conservative is detailed in part in the linked Atlantic article above. I suggest the interested read it. The Versailles conservative does not pretend any affection for the lower orders, or interest in their lives. The Versailles conservative loves globalization because of higher profits for 401 ks, etc. The Versailles liberal pretends to care for the lower orders, just not white, working-class, male, and without a college education, type lower-orders. But actually cares only about his/her progress within the Versailles hierarchies.

Progress might involve pretending to care. Harvard is currently trying to defend their practice of racial selection by diversifying the student body by heading into Trump country. Hey, look everyone!
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/06/30/bacow-promises-more-outward-looking-harvard/775WSyrNerKqGh8B06TM2O/story.html

Finally (oh let it be so), I did not employ the term ‘spitting’ on, but I’m well aware that the Versailles conservative has no regard for me or my well-being, a point I thought I made clearly when I stated that the Versailles liberal and the Versailles conservative are two sides of the same effete coin. The Versailles conservative doesn’t care and doesn’t pretend to, the Versailles liberal tells him/herself and all the world that getting along with ‘ordinary folks’ is what makes life worth living. Pure BS. What makes life worth living is getting your kid into Stanford, etc. But on occasion one must pretend. So we find Michelle Obama accidentally encountering photographers when doing her ‘usual’ shopping at Target.

@146 is entirely right about the rich.

As it turns I’ve been recently researching the use of portable cuspidors in ‘better’ society during the 19th century. So spit away!

155

Dipper 07.12.18 at 6:45 am

@faustusnotes

So, firstly, you haven’t actually got any instances of Russian Bots or Putin-funded agencies giving demonstrable lies that influenced the campaign.

Secondly, you’ve nit-picked a couple of points and gone from denying that any town had the kind of population increase due to immigration I’ve described to arguing about the cause of said increase. Keep ’em coming.

@eg – except everyone accepts that the amount of immigration into the UK recently has been considerable.

156

Ben Philliskirk 07.12.18 at 8:59 am

TM @ 130

“P. S. The comparisons I insist on making aren’t “pretty stupid” (Ben 121). You don’t need a time machine to learn about living conditions in earlier times. There are statistics you can look up, indicators you can compare. Go ahead, don’t be so lazy, do some actual work to support your claims, show us some evidence that things have gotten worse since the 1960s!”

Now you’re not just pretty stupid but utterly stupid. By your logic the majority of the human race, even slum dwellers in Bombay and workers on 18 hour days in Bangladesh, are better off than Louis XIV because they have mobile phones. Propagandists for capitalism at the time of the Industrial Revolution also liked to make the argument that the new wage-slaves working long hours in the cotton mills were better off than when they were farming because they enjoyed higher wages.

As someone pointed out in another comment, people in 1960 had confidence that things were getting better, in terms of housing, health, working hours and conditions, personal liberties. That makes a big difference to someone’s mental outlook and political attitudes. Now relatively few people can say that they are looking forward to improvements in these fields, there is much greater insecurity, material and existential, and politics and social life are much more unstable.

157

Nigel 07.12.18 at 12:17 pm

‘What would being right look like exactly?’

Finding Trump’s policy of separating families and locking up children and failing to keep adequate records monstrous. That’s the absolute bare minimum for being right at the moment.

158

nastywoman 07.12.18 at 12:18 pm

@152
What a wonderful – wonderful response!
(seriously!)

159

Nigel 07.12.18 at 12:25 pm

Oh, yeah, and the irony of stuff like this, heh:

‘that Trump couldn’t win the nomination, that Trump couldn’t win the election,’

is that people who thought these things were giving people like you what turned out to be way too much credit, not so much in terms of intelligence, but in terms of basic morality.

160

nastywoman 07.12.18 at 12:30 pm

and about my fellow comedian ph

Yes – the ”Versailles-Shtick” – needs some improvement and perhaps we can ask Stewart or some of the writers of Colbert?

Are you reading us guys??!!!

No?

Well – then I might have to tell – that it really doesn’t work as well as the FF von Clownstick synonym – that’s faaaar more funny and the ”Ballon Man Baby” in Britain or ”the American Idiot on Nr. 1 of the charts – really beats Versailles by a few ”Mirror Halls” -(if you get my joke?)
And about the:
”I’ll pose this question”:

What was the question – again?

161

nastywoman 07.12.18 at 12:45 pm

and about:
”you’ve nit-picked a couple of points and gone from denying that any town had the kind of population increase due to immigration”

This was the weirdest dispute for anybody who once lived in an area -(in NY) where nearly all Puerto Ricans settled?

And whassup with Chinatown – dudes??!
-(or worst: Little Italy? – just joking!)

And as I have found out – that even in the UK there are areas where certain… let’s call it… ”groups” of people like to… congregate…
How in this world could somebody come up with this idea- that if he lives in the ”Turkish” part of Berlin… and in the hospital he sees all of these… Oh my god… Turks? – and if he moves there from Britain -(because in the ”Turkish Parts” rents are more affordable) – and so Dipper stands there waiting for the doctor – how would he really feel if the owner of my favorite Turkish restaurant would complain to me that he lately is getting overrun by British dudes from…
where?

from…Harlow?

162

Yan 07.12.18 at 12:45 pm

Some big picture perspective from German economist Wolfgang Streek:

https://newleftreview.org/II/87/wolfgang-streeck-how-will-capitalism-end

163

Faustusnotes 07.12.18 at 12:52 pm

Do workers in Bangladesh have smallpox? Polio? Have you seen the progress Bangladesh has made on infant and maternal mortality? It’s a global success story. Did you know that education is free for girls in Bangladesh? Do you think that applied in the era of Louis xv?

For that matter the UK has made huge progress on infant mortality since 1948. It is also a global success story. Things aren’t great now compared to other countries, but compared to the 1960s? TM’s point is that just about mobile phones.

Dipper I haven’t nitpicked. You were wrong about every single thing you said, you just pulled figures out if your arse to construct a story of a South East swamped in migrants who consume everything, when this is very far from the truth,and those migrants mostly aren’t from the EU, and when they are from the EU are there to replace the loss of local young people. You have been completely wrong about everything.

As pointed out above this idea isn’t new in the UK, your tory buddies have been spouting it since labour seized power in 1948. I don’t need Russian bots or conspiracy to explain why you spout this bullshit – it’s because you’re a tory. And the Tories, aswe now know, are liars, traitors, and wreckers.

164

faustusnotes 07.12.18 at 1:43 pm

While I’m here I’ll add that Dipper’s claims about having the longest waits in the country are also untrue. He referenced Accident and Emergency waiting times, but these are only a small part of how waiting times are assessed. The larger and more important waiting time issue is access to outpatient care and non-emergency surgery in inpatient care. Outpatient care is where your first appointment for cancer treatment occurs for example, where almost all HIV management occurs, etc. The waiting times for access to this care are shocking in the UK, but they are far worse in other parts of the UK than in Harlow. These waiting times are assessed not at hospital level but at the level of clinical commissioning group (CCG), since they involve more than one hospital and their interactions with general practitioners and private specialists. I mentioned this above, but South east UK CCGs are not in the top 10 waiting times by this measure. Dipper’s local hospital may be shit at managing A&E, but it’s doing a great job on broader waiting times. Why? Some might say this reflects good staffing (probably a lot of European doctors and nurses!) but more likely it reflects a well functioning local GP system. But this story doesn’t suit Dipper’s narrative of migrants from the EU overwhelming local services so he doesn’t mention it.

It’s also worth noting the full implications of the A&E waiting times issue. Dipper wants to claim that this is becuase of all the migrants. But as I showed above there are two areas in the South East with much much larger migrant populations and just as large growth in migrant populations as Harlow. These areas don’t have long waiting times. So are Harlow’s local hospital A&E waiting times really a function of the increase in population it has seen over the past 10 years (10% in 10 years), or are they a consequence of other local factors that Dipper doesn’t know and doesn’t care to know?

The UK’s public services were destroyed by the Tories, the same party that brought on Brexit and don’t know how to manage it. They did all this without losing power because they convinced people like Dipper that the migrants were to blame, not the “perfectly tailored tycoons on the front bench”. Dipper has been lied to repeatedly, and believed it because the story about how everything is Johnny Foreigner’s fault suits his predispositions. He has then come on here repeatedly over the past two years to repeat those lies. He’s incapable of understanding what is happening around him and unwilling to try. This attitude – just like the attitude of the holier-than-thou leftists above who are outraged at the suggestion life is better now than in the era of smallpox and polio and coal dust and emphysema and dead babies and wife beating – is an absolute gift to the Tories. They love it when you repeat their lies – they didn’t even have to squander their ill-gotten Russian money to make you do it. Are you proud of yourselves?

165

Dipper 07.12.18 at 1:53 pm

@faustusnotes. No. You stated I was wrong about a town existing with the stated increase in population, and I corrected you. And you still talk nonsense. A 25% increase in a generation is not replacing a loss of local young people. As for Tories lying; they are politicians. The job of the average punter is to wade through the stuff that comes from politicians and work out which of the liars you dislike least. I’m still waiting for that recession and those 500,00 job losses we were promised if we voted Leave …

@nastywoman. Once again, I have no idea what your point is. You are literally making up stories as evidence for your opinions. It’s entertaining, but it isn’t analysis.

166

nastywoman 07.12.18 at 2:09 pm

@162
Yeah – but sadly – like most of us – he just likes to talk about ”us” –
or what he calls ”rich, highly industrialized—or better, increasingly deindustrialized—capitalist countries”.

For somebody who prefers to call such ”increasingly deindustrialized—capitalist countries” – ”Consumer” Countries – and really knows a little bit about ”Predominant Producing” Countries -(where ”capitalism” can be as ”new and exciting” as in China – as a lot of Chinese think – and NOT necessarily ME) – Streeks’s outlook is faaar too pessimistic – like when he brings up the bust of ”our” housing bubble of 2008 -(as one of the major ”pre-plays” for a lot of his Doom Predictions) – he just forgets how – for example – China currently deals with probably an even YUUUGER housing bubble – in a completely ”non-capitalistic” way – by just not letting any self-destructive ”busting market forces” collapse the whole deal.

So – if the guy starts writing also about – how ”capitalism” will end up for ”Producing” Countries – now that could really be some BIG picture perspective?

167

efcdons 07.12.18 at 2:57 pm

@156

Thank you. They were basically making the “look at all the refrigerators!” argument conservatives make when people point out the terrible poverty statistics in America.

Weirdly enough, changing the socio-economic system to make it more like the post war era with greater union density, full employment, and higher marginal tax rates does not actually require we give up the internet. Or color television. Those improvements in technology aren’t actually caused by or even related to de-unionization or stagnating wage growth. We didn’t make some sort of informed choice to take modern technology in exchange for precariousness, low wages, and extreme income inequality.

168

Cian 07.12.18 at 3:46 pm

Faustusnotes: As ever you seem to battling the strawmen that haunt your fevered imagination.

I don’t think that membership of the EU has anything to do with whether a country has a decent welfare state. That would be weird. Nor do I think anyone particularly in the UK was voting to leave the EU because they thought would get a better welfare state. And before you make one of your assumptions – I voted remain.

If I misrepresented TM’s point, I misrepresented it as “more equal societies must be patriarchal”. Your paraphrase (“rich societies must be patriarchal”) doesn’t make any sense for the point either he, or I, were trying to make. Seriously – READ WHAT PEOPLE WRITE, before slagging them off. It would be nice if you could also be less rude, but if you feed rudeness is an integral part of your personality at least do people the courtesy of trying to understand their arguments.

169

Cian O'Connor 07.12.18 at 3:54 pm

Ben Philliskirk @156

I think you could make the argument that housing and working conditions are worse in the UK than they were in the 1970s for at least the bottom half of the population. The only areas in which things are unquestionably better are racial and sexual discrimination in the workplace.

Though I suspect once you go further down the socio-economic spectrum these things are pretty pervasive, same as they ever were. Doesn’t matter what your rights are if you have no way to enforce them.

170

Cian O'Connor 07.12.18 at 4:04 pm

Faustusnotes: I suspect that if he were given the choice Louis xv would choose to remain king in his era rather than be a sweatshop worker in Bangladesh in the modern era.

I also think the relevance of any of this to brexit is pretty questionable.

171

Cian O'Connor 07.12.18 at 4:13 pm

As pointed out above this idea isn’t new in the UK, your tory buddies have been spouting it since labour seized power in 1948. I don’t need Russian bots or conspiracy to explain why you spout this bullshit – it’s because you’re a tory. And the Tories, aswe now know, are liars, traitors, and wreckers.

I don’t see anything in what Dipper has written that necessarily implies he’s a tory. Plenty of non-tories are pro-Brexit and anti-immigration. A significant minority of tory voters are pro-immigration and remain.

I am glad that you no longer think that that it was “the Russians Wot Won It” though. Progress.

172

Orange Watch 07.12.18 at 7:30 pm

ph@:154

The Versailles conservative doesn’t care and doesn’t pretend to, the Versailles liberal tells him/herself and all the world that getting along with ‘ordinary folks’ is what makes life worth living. Pure BS.

You’re expat, right? I suppose that might be why you only see the loudest-shouted, sanitized pontifications from our betters. But even accepting that, “they’re both equally bad, but some are more equal than others” is not a convincing assertion.

The way that the Versailles conservatives shows solidarity with their foot soldiers is not by expressing concern about their financial well-being (the shock of hearing that might loosen their grip on their bootstraps, after all), but rather by signaling shared virtues WRT patriotism, morals, and culture. Thus, we have e.g. old-money Yale-and-Harvard alumnus George W. Bush as an aw-shucks, jus’folks guy you’d like to have a beer with, even as his mother is perhaps a bit too honest about how she won’t be troubling her “beautiful mind” about the American servicemembers who shan’t be coming home from invading Iraq.

But of course, it should be obvious that the same language and tropes are not used on both sides of the spectrum. The right, long invested in declaring “class war” something they simply don’t do, are not going to use the language of class war to convince their peons of their solidarity; they use the language of culture war. Even as they value going to the right schools with the right people, they disparage the “overeducated” to focus their followers’ ire on their political rivals and not them. Your unwillingness to notice this is standard divide-and-rule smoke-and-mirrors as employed by the rich as a whole rather than some particular curse of liberal hypocrites does not change the prevalence of callousness coupled with virtue signaling from American elites of all stripes.

173

Suzanne 07.12.18 at 8:52 pm

“ Trump’s vulgarity, more than his wealth and his love for beauty queens…”

@49: Perhaps it should be noted that this “love” for “beauty queens” involves deliberately barging unannounced into the dressing rooms of contestants, some of them teenagers, presumably with a view to catching them in various states of undress.

“I don’t frankly expect you to understand that many among the lower orders do not like, respect, or trust the better off.”

For the record, the lower orders voted for Hillary Clinton. And I imagine the unwashed will find “their” great SCOTUS victory over the liberals a distinctly Pyrrhic one.

174

nastywoman 07.13.18 at 12:32 am

@165
”I have no idea what your point is”.

The point is:

Don’t be ”the silly Brit” in the joke about:

”a Brit who moves to the ”Turkish” part of Berlin… and then in the hospital he sees all of these… oh my god… Turks? – and he complains to the arriving ”German” doctor –
(a friend of mine!) –
about all these ”Foreigners” – and the German doctor –
(a friend of mine)
nods and says: Yes – far too many Brits…

And that is NOT supposed to be ”analysis” –
That’s supposed to be… ”entertaining”!

175

faustusnotes 07.13.18 at 2:12 am

Dipper, again with the mistakes and misrepresentations. You did not correct me. You said your town went from 4% to 21% non-UK born, and I pointed out that your town went from 5% to 15%. That’s a large difference. You said it was mirrored in neighbouring towns and across the south east, and I pointed out it wasn’t. I based my arguments on statistics from the ONS – you pulled your ideas out of your arse. Now you seem to be saying that I said a 25% increase in population was just replacing young people. I didn’t say that, because your town did not experience a 25% increase in population – it was 10%, a fact I had to point out to you because you didn’t know it. Your town went from 78000 people in 2005 to 86000 people in 2016, due primarily to migration. That’s a 1% increase per year. I pointed out that your UK born population declined by 1000 during that time and said this was likely due to a mixture of elderly people dying and young people leaving. You can’t even remember your own arguments now.

Cian, you got me there – I didn’t go up to your comment and check. But your correction is just as much of a misrepresentation. TM wasn’t saying that “more equal societies must be patriarchal”. He was saying that this is what you want to return to. He was also pretty clearly saying that those societies weren’t more equal, and that they were only more equal on the narrow dimension of white male income. But of course you misrepresented it, because you know he’s right.

Here’s another example of misrepresentation, with Cian O’Connor saying that louis xv wouldn’t want to be a modern Bangladeshi garment worker. That’s so obviously not the point being made – which is that it’s better to be a Bangladeshi garment worker now than a Louis xv era garment worker. And again someone misrepresents the argument as “look at your nice refrigerators”, as if improved environmental protections, increased life expectancy, massive reductions in infant and maternal mortality, reliable access to contraception, routine availability of health care, and vastly improved communications and transport, can be dismissed as “internet-enabled fridges” or something.

So much disingenuous rubbish, so little time …

176

ph 07.13.18 at 2:20 am

I’ve nothing new to add but will reply to@ 172 and @173, if I may.

@172 I fear we’re talking past one another, at best. Your rich dividing etc. is so general and so commonplace that it tells us nothing, I fear. There’s little doubt that rich Saudis play their part in influencing elections in the US and elsewhere. Non-state actors also pay to influence elections here and there, and campaigns to divide and conquer are part and parcel of all politics. The 2007 primary campaign of Obama exploited African-American antipathy to gay lifestyles to pry lose significant sections from the Clinton grip on African-American voters. That’s not apples to apples, but fear campaigns are part and parcel of politics. I’ve explicitly stated that I see no difference between elites repeatedly (see my support for @146), so I’m not entirely sure why you insist I claim the opposite.
We’re done.

@173 You raise a fair point regarding the lowest orders in terms of income, but even there the spread is lower than we might expect. I took a look at a few different studies of exit polls and settled on Nate Silver’s primarily because there’s no paywall and he addresses income and education among other factors. His post-election analysis seems to me much stronger than his predictive skills, as we might expect.

I’ve mentioned that social and cultural capital matter. The Atlantic article on the Versailles liberal makes clear that post-secondary education is the true marker of the 9 percent. By that metric you’re entirely wrong. The lower orders voted overwhelmingly for Trump. The data is quite striking. Well worth a look. Nothing further to add.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/education-not-income-predicted-who-would-vote-for-trump/

177

nastywoman 07.13.18 at 3:58 am

@176
”I’ve nothing new to add but will reply to…”

But you didn’t reply to me – and you could have added that you friend -(the German Baron) just told ”them Brits” -(and especially this… ”brown” London Major) – what… how… what did he say again? that we are ”losing our culture” –
(which might be true in the case of the London Major if he keeps on acting so… so ”British”?) –

But what do you say about Von Clownstick losing his ”culture”?
Okay – at the presser in Brussel he stood to his German Culture – even excused himself that his dad was ”German” – but did he really had to mentioned what great weapons producers US are – and that the Germans should buy more of them?!

That’s really dangerous man!
As I somehow know that them Germans already – really – really don’t like the BabyMan.

But on the other hand – after the Baby is flying over London – and will be sooo cute – they might change their minds and will buy some more bombers?

What’ya think?

178

Raven Onthill 07.13.18 at 5:59 am

nastywoman@133: that, at least, we have an answer to: mercantilism; trade policy whereby Germany impoverishes its trading partners.

It helps to have the sympathies of the European Central Bank, too.

179

Orange Watch 07.13.18 at 6:34 am

ph@176:

We’re not talking past each other. I’m talking directly at you and you’re pointedly looking and talking all around me while claiming you’re talking to me.

You appear to carefully ignore that what I said is in response to what you said; your repeated position upthread can be justly paraphrased as “both sides have their callous, condescending ‘Versailles’ elites, and they’re both bad, but the liberal ones are worse because they’re dishonest about their scorn while the conservative ones are better and more honorable because they’re frank”. And as I repeatedly, clearly stated, that’s ridiculous, because they’re not. The aloof conservative elitists are no more frank nor forthright than the liberal ones; they merely deploy different rhetoric to mask their disengenuousness. This poses a problem for your narrative, and if I assume you’re acting in bad faith I suddenly have a simple, clear explanation for why you aren’t willing to address it.

It’s telling that you keep circling back to that Atlantic article and characterizing it as being about “Versailles liberals”. It’s not. It’s about the lower and middle upper class as a whole, who as a group are dishonest across the political spectrum on the subjects of class and class interest, as that article admits early on. These are the rich who have the chutzpah to call themselves middle class; these are the rich who claim to have triumphed through meritocracy. It’s about (see §7) those who scream class war as soon as someone mentions that they’re actually wealthy – and I remind you, “class war” is not a liberal call to arms. You’re reading far too much of your preferred narrative into §8… while ignoring that section’s extensive discussion of how divide-and-rule is directly pertinent to the current climate.

I repeat: that article is not about “Versailles liberals” – it’s about the entirety of the lower rungs of the upper class; it’s about the framework underpinning the establishment. Trying to paint it as being about special liberal evils is absurd, almost as absurd as your claim that that’s not what you’re doing despite your repetition of the phrase “Versailles liberals” and your offhand NABAing each of the few times you deign to mention their conservative counterparts.

The reason that the disingenuous 9.9%s on the right are not foremost in alt-right populist crosshairs has nothing to do with frustrated working-class searchers for honest men recognizing their candor, and everything to do with mutual utility, tribal loyalty, and above all the aggressive, ideologically-tailored virtue signalling of “Versailles conservatives”.

180

Dipper 07.13.18 at 7:10 am

@ faustusnotes

“You said your town went from 4% to 21% non-UK born, and I pointed out that your town went from 5% to 15%. That’s a large difference.”

No. Go to the ONS link . Scroll down to the map. Find Harlow and click on it. Non UK born 2017 21%. Change in non-UK born, 2007 to 2017, 17%.

Harlow as a town is not growing greatly in population because it cannot. Further growth is in areas that are not Harlow, so 10,000 homes over the River Stort in Gilston Park (aka Harlow North), continued expansion of New Hall and development of Churchgate Street to the east, two massive developments at Bishop’s Stortford, and large new towns proposed at Dunmow and Braintree.

If waiting times in A&E are not important how come they were all over the news at Christmas? a 25% birthrate to immigrant mothers (ONS 2015) is a pipeline of 25% of school places to immigrant children, 25% of childcare in hospitals and social services, which are costs. I’m not passing judgement in this paragraph, I’m just pointing out the numbers.

181

casmilus 07.13.18 at 8:19 am

Britain is trying the experiment of letting the masses decide major policy issues and have the social superiors at least go through the motions of attempting to follow the instruction.

What we’ve learned:

1. The staggering banality and incoherence of what most Ordinary Britons actually think. This was always mumbled over by generations of “advanced” and “progressive” thinkers who discreetly edited and supervised the details and kept themselves in charge of government, literature departments, etc.

2. The complete moral and intellectual exhaustion of a ruling elite that no longer believes in itself or any thinker or movement it once followed, and is now quite prepared for the death march to oblivion trying to follow orders it doesn’t believe in but can’t formulate any reason to reject, or organise an alternative action.

It’s a great time to be alive, though I spend most of my time looking forward to the new society of 2050, when most of these people will be gone.

182

Chris (merian) W. 07.13.18 at 8:41 am

Dipper:

I have no reason to retract anything. You presented an increase of the foreign-born population from 4 to 21% in 10 years (whatever the actual, apparently disputed, numbers might be) as inherently problematic in some way and what you write is fully invested in metaphors of migration as a natural catastrophe (flood, influx etc.). I don’t know if you’re presenting your own opinions or those of a prototypical Leave voter in your home town, but in any event these obviously xenophobic ideas are presented by you with sympathy.

Sure, you try to mitigate by saying it’s about infrastructure, but in the same breath you write that in reality there are no major infrastructure problems, other than some that adequate financial and capital investment management of the NHS would eliminate (the hospital needs upgrading, if I understand you correctly).

I grew up with this sort of distorted xenophobic line of thinking. In Germany, when I was an older teen, it was first asylum seekers. I grew up in a highrise, where my step-mother could afford buying a flat because they were being sold off by her (big company) employer, to preferential prices. The city also bought a bunch of the flats, and the tittering and pearl-clutching started right away: the rumour was they wanted to put, gasp, asylum seekers in them. And indeed, the asylum seekers materialized and so did the anticipated negative impacts. The biggest complaint was the noise. See, they put one family per bedroom, and many had small children. They didn’t bother putting carpet down on the floor, and the families, with nothing to do and unsure of their welcome outside, spent their days holed up inside. With toddlers that kept running to and fro over the uncarpeted concrete floor. Nuisance of nuisances. (Luckily at one point the homeowner’s representative managed to get the point across, the city had carpet lain in their flats, the asylum seekers turned out to be quite normal people, and they started to dare to let the kids play in the communal sandboxes…) Then the war in Yugoslavia brought much larger numbers of refugees, most meant to be temporary. It was confusing! There were so many different refugee groups. Some people hated the Serbians because of the massacres. Others liked the Serbians because they had stood with Hitler. There were Croatians and Kosovans and Bosnians, some of which were Muslim etc. etc. And some of the groups, surprise!, didn’t like each other. Everyone had a favorite story of some refugee home for [disliked group X] being vandalized, or some other transgression with respect to local people. My ears perked up when I realized that, my federal state having objected to taking in as many refugees, they had proceeded to install refugee camps for thousands of people (who received no or very little cash, had no right to work, and basically nothing they could legally do) right next to villages of maybe 500 rural Germans. If you *wanted* to trigger clashes, this would have been the best approach…. Later, there still were a lot of Kosovo Albanians seeking refuge. I could tell many more stories of this type, which come down to: authorities, out of incompetence or ill will, create a tension-prone situation, or manage a challenge in a way that creates unnecessary tensions, which then are blamed on the migrants. It’s too transparent a ploy to work any longer on me, sorry.

What it (= xenophobia etc.) comes down to, for me, is: who do you include under “we”. When you talk about these Polish families, clearly they are not part of your “we”. You don’t feel responsible for them. What if, say, a similar population increase had been triggered, rather suddenly, by some catastrophe that made it necessary for the population of a large English city to move out over a short term? Would you feel the same, given similar challenges on infrastructure or services, or would THEY be part of your “we” in a way EU migrants aren’t? This is something to ponder.

Last, #138 “The reason immigration is less of an issue in the UK [compared to the US] and people are more positive to immigrants since the referendum …” Are you kidding us? Sure, you’ll find people in the US that are just as xenophobic as the best EDL member, especially with the current climate. But overall, it’s the UK for which there’s hardly a day without news of people being harassed on the streets for speaking Polish, or French; people getting deportation notes despite being married to a British citizen and having had indefinite leave to remain for ages; researchers getting deportation notices because their visa is invalidated by too many absences from the country, said absences being for the purpose of carrying out research that the British taxpayer is funding; stuff like this: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05632-w … I lived in the UK from 2006 to 2011, and it was a good time, I thought. Now, I’m just glad I’m out of there. Clearly people like me aren’t wanted any longer. I’m bitter about it. Also, what you forget is that he principal targed of US racism are native-borne people, first and foremost Native Americans and the descendants of enslaved people, and by extension all African-Americans. For all the terrible things, anti-foreigner xenophobia comes way after that. Also, much unlike Britain, you’ll also find in the US (and even more so Canada) full-throated defenses of immigration as a good thing. Polls come out as more than 50% pro-immigration even these days. Try that in England, or Germany for that matter.

183

TM 07.13.18 at 10:56 am

Ben 156: You are guilty of egregious strawmanning and don’t really deserve a response buit one last time.

“By your logic the majority of the human race, even slum dwellers in Bombay and workers on 18 hour days in Bangladesh, are better off than Louis XIV because they have mobile phones.

That is not my logic. I specified several indicators that are fairly reliably known. I didn’t mention mobile phones but I did mention life expectancy. Louis XIV reached the age of 77 which is higher than what many people now alive – not only 3d world slum dwellers – can expect. On the other hand, a first world middle class person now alive really enjoys vastly better living standards than Louis did. The comparison is not meaningless. We have better and more diverse food stuffs, far better health care, access to much more knowledge, we are able to travel to much more places much more comfortably, and we are also freer in many respects. (On the minus side we don’t have a host of servants and can’t start wars.) So on the whole it’s true that a considerable part of humankind now live demonstrably better lives than even the upper class of earlier times could ever hope for. And to point that out is neither “stupid” nor is it as you insinuate a celebration of the status quo. Marx fully appreciated the liberating and progressive effects of the rise of capitalism. He understood that this progress was ambivalent, that there were costs as well as gains. And of course he lived in a time when mass impoverishment was real lived experience in the capitalist heartlands. But he would be shocked by the regressive “return to the golden age” vision that is here being peddled as leftist politics. That vision os profoundly anti-Marxian.

“As someone pointed out in another comment, people in 1960 had confidence that things were getting better” And as I pointed out, it’s not so hard to be confident that things are getting better if you are starting from a very low baseline. Wait until the next world war, perhaps after 15 years people will be as optimistic as they were in 1960. If humankind survives at all.

184

TM 07.13.18 at 11:25 am

As an aside, it’s amazing how many people here pretend not to understand the concept of comparison. The idea to use the year 1960 as a reference wasn’t mine, it was proposed by SamChevre at 44. But if you embrace the claim that things were better then, you *are* making a comparison between now and then. And what many comments here show is that those who take that perspective really have no clue and also aren’t really interested in the the actualyl lived experience of the time. It’s really just a leftist version of a golden age myth.

185

Cian 07.13.18 at 2:05 pm

TM wasn’t saying that “more equal societies must be patriarchal”. He was saying that this is what you want to return to.

Well he’s wrong, that’ not what I want to return to. I suspect the same is true of most of the people he’s arguing with. And given he spent a lot of his post arguing that the welfare state of the past is impossible, embedded in a post about how awful the past was, I think there’s a strong implication in his original post that more equal societies are less ‘woke’. Maybe he didn’t mean that, but it’s certainly one possible interpretation.

Where do you stand on the wokeness of economically equal societies? Do you think that making modern Britain more economically equal with high taxation, a better welfare state and stronger unions – would result in more racism, more sexism?

He was also pretty clearly saying that those societies weren’t more equal, and that they were only more equal on the narrow dimension of white male income. But of course you misrepresented it, because you know he’s right.

I don’t know that there was anything clear about his post tbh. But if you’re right, then it’s dumb because the metric is the direction in which society was moving then, and moving now, is the important thing. The UK today is moving backwards. The UK then was moving forwards, and was actually more equal (economically) by the 60s than the UK today. And was also better on a number of factors such as housing access, despite the fact that it was a poorer country. Progress basically reversed with Thatcher. Do you disagree with this? And are you seriously arguing that Thatcher’s economic policies made the UK more woke? And if you’re not arguing that, then why the hell are you even having this argument?

If on the other hand you’re making the neoliberal argument that neoliberalism is great because wealthier Chinese makes up for impoverishing the western working class – at least admit that’s what you’re doing.

Here’s another example of misrepresentation, with Cian O’Connor saying that louis xv wouldn’t want to be a modern Bangladeshi garment worker. That’s so obviously not the point being made – which is that it’s better to be a Bangladeshi garment worker now than a Louis xv era garment worker.

Dude, that was exactly the point that Ben was making in @156. You know, the post that you misrepresented in @163. You’re the one who wanted to make the argument about Louis xv era garment workers.

You’re basically Piers Morgan in this clip:
https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a22126614/girl-shouted-communist-you-idiot-piers-morgan/

Still can’t quite work out if it’s deliberate or not.

186

harry b 07.13.18 at 3:08 pm

“His post-election analysis seems to me much stronger than his predictive skills, as we might expect”

If you are talking about his prediction of the election result, this seems unfair. In the several days (and at many times in the several weeks) before election day he was giving Trump a 20% chance of victory. That is, if you ran the election 10 times, he would win twice. If anything, I think this overstated Trump’s chances. Trump won by a sliver — everything that could possibly go right for him did, and everything that could possibly go wrong for his opponent, did. When the electoral college loser wins the popular vote by a small amount you can reasonably say “Oh, well, that’s only because the winner campaigned strategically (Bush/Gore)”. But when they win the popular vote by such a large margin as Clinton did, it is very hard to think that’s the reason. So, I think Silver deserves a lot of credit. His estimate of Trump’s chances of victory was much higher than almost any other non-delusional person’s.

187

nastywoman 07.13.18 at 4:14 pm

@183
”It’s really just a leftist version of a golden age myth”.

Actually not – as the idea of a ”past golden age” – actually – is the most famous and pretty NON -leftist remembrance of ”a golden age” –

And you can’t tell me that you never met older Germans – or Americans – or Brits – or even Italians? – who didn’t tell you for hours and hours how much better ”everything” was in the golden 60s or the 70s –
and when they bring out their photos you just can’t tell them that they ”really have no clue and also aren’t really interested in the the actualyl lived experience of the time”.

That would be very – very… impolite?

You just sit there politely – listen to the great stories and also start dreaming about when it still was possible to buy a house – or renting a great apartment by just using 20 percent of your yearly income. AND we haven’t even start talking about Baby’s in diapers?

Were Baby’s in Diapers allowed to roam free in a city like London in the 60s?

Nope!

My Mother also had enough decency – NOT to breastfeed me like right out there inf Front of Blenheim castle while the whole world was watching!

And YOU seriously tell US – today was better than on the 5th of June 196o?

You are delusional!

188

Lee A. Arnold 07.13.18 at 4:40 pm

I remember predicting a month before the election that Trump could win, because the polls had narrowed in response to several campaign events.

After the indictment of 12 GRU for hacking the Clinton campaign etc, I now imagine that Trump will be charged with felony federal conspiracy, either as accessory (if he got a heads-up before the fact) or because you can’t claim the willful blindness defense (if after the fact).

189

Cian 07.13.18 at 5:05 pm

TM @183: This is what Sam Chevre wrote:

I have not seen a plan from anyone–left, right, or off in a corner by themselves–that would get back to the central socio-economic fact of 1960: a median-educated worker could support a two-parent family on a typical income, in a neighborhood where two-parent families were the norm.

Now one can agree or disagree with this – but he’s clearly not making a general comparison between now and then. He’s making a very specific comparison about incomes in the middle class. He’s certainly not harking back to “a leftist version of a golden age myth”.

Rather than respond to this, you instead constructed an argument against a figment of your imagination who wants to return the UK to the exact state of 1960. An argument that literally nobody made because it’s mad.

Usually when people argue with strawmen it’s because they’re incapable of engaging with the real arguments that their opponents hold. But let’s be generous. Let’s assume that you and Faustusnotes are just really bad at reading comprehension.

So let’s try this again. Do you think that pushing for a Britain where a median-educated worker can support a two-parent family on a typical income is a political project worth pursuing today? If not why? Explain the dangers that you see, and why you think we should take them seriously.

190

Cian 07.13.18 at 5:06 pm

Harry B @185

Silver’s analysis of his own failings post-election were also very impressive. He identified what he got wrong and why he got it wrong.

191

Dipper 07.13.18 at 5:29 pm

@ Chris (merian) W.

“who do you include under “we””

Well yes, this is the point. If you include everyone on the planet under “we”, then you end up saying everyone can live everywhere, have equal rights everywhere, vote everywhere. Hey, lets have a World Government! Lets have a World Benefits system!

If you are proposing that, then please say so. If you are not proposing that, then who are you excluding? Where is your line?

Using immigration to demonstrate your alleged moral superiority to people who disagree with you is the easiest thing in the world, and also the most irritating and irresponsible. No-one who is “pro-immigration” can ever answer a single question on numbers. Just vague waffle about it being a good thing.

Would you have limits? Would you have criteria for entry? Would you deport people who came and were found not to have satisfied the criteria?

Simple questions. Should be straightforward to answer.

192

efcdons 07.13.18 at 7:56 pm

@175 faustusnotes

The argument appears to be that technological advancements, as you put it:

“improved environmental protections, increased life expectancy, massive reductions in infant and maternal mortality, reliable access to contraception, routine availability of health care, and vastly improved communications and transport”

outweigh the social, political, and economic stagnation experienced by large swaths of the developed world since the end of “Les Trente Glorieuses” such that it is illiberal to base a movement on reverting to that era politically. Is that not what you and TM are saying? That we shouldn’t want to “go back” in time because there have been vast improvements in the intervening years which either wouldn’t have happened or will have to be given up?

Setting aside how the argument is basically the same argument conservatives make in response to left claims about the current state of wealth and income inequality in the developed world (e.g. Scott Winship, “The Big Lebowski Defense”, https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottwinship/2015/03/25/the-big-lebowski-defense. “Edsall and the liberal researchers he interviewed (many of whom I like a lot, for the record) all want us to focus on relative poverty rather than absolute poverty—to view people as no less poor even if everyone’s income doubles over time. They are welcome to prefer looking at that kind of a measure, which blurs the distinction between material hardship and income inequality. But no one provides any reason to privilege it over looking at material hardship. “), I don’t even get why it’s being brought up unless there is a belief that the “absolute” improvements are either “because of” the neoliberal policy regime (I use the word only because TM used it @77) or could not have happened under the “Trente Glorieuses” political regime (leaving open the possibility something other than neoliberalism would have made the improvements possible).

What evidence is there that we had to make a trade off, which was either a conscious decision at the time or evident in hindsight?

Since the post war era was a time of incredible progress and advancement in all of the areas you identified, what makes you believe that sort of advancement would have been unable to continue?

I mean, talk about disingenuous rubbish. The whole idea we have to choose between ALL of 1960 vs. ALL of 2018 is ridiculous. It’s based on a thinly veiled assumption about the driving force behind material improvements in peoples’ lives over the last few decades and says the collapse in the relative standard of living was a necessary trade off for the improvements in absolute standards of living. Not to mention the sly implication those who want to see a future which resembles elements of the past are somehow the same as right wing reactionaries who want some imagined past that never existed. When it’s the people making the “look at the improvements in absolute standard living” argument who are literally parroting the arguments those on the American right make to try and dismiss those on the left who claim the need to address relative inequality between people in the same political unit, living in the same period of time, is vitally important.

193

Name (required) 07.13.18 at 8:27 pm

@Cian, etc:

The US DOJ today indicted 12 Russian GRU officers for offenses connected to the hacking and leaking of Democratic party documents in 2016. Details of GRU efforts to manipulate the 2016 US election are contained in the indictment.

It is very curious that efforts to identify illegal influence in the Brexit vote have been so lackluster in comparison.

194

Hidari 07.13.18 at 9:11 pm

@193

‘The US DOJ today indicted 12 Russian GRU officers for offenses which they claim are connected to the alleged hacking and leaking of Democratic party documents in 2016. Further claims of alleged GRU efforts to manipulate the 2016 US election are contained in the indictment.’

FTFY

195

Hidari 07.13.18 at 9:17 pm

Just your regular reminder that the odds of Trump being impeached are close to zero, and the odds of him actually being removed from office, i.e. armed guards smashing down the door of the White House and dragging the President off to jail (something which has literally never happened in the history of the Republic) are absolutely and precisely zero. It is not going to happen.

(Likewise, there is not going to be a second referendum on Brexit, and the odds of the Brexit referendum result being overturned in any meaningful way, are zero).

We now resume your regular scheduling.

196

Name (required) 07.13.18 at 10:02 pm

After the indictment of 12 GRU for hacking the Clinton campaign etc, I now imagine that Trump will be charged with felony federal conspiracy, either as accessory (if he got a heads-up before the fact) or because you can’t claim the willful blindness defense (if after the fact).

It is unlikely that Trump or his senior henchmen will ever be indicted. America is a Republican country (Democrats are only allowed to pretend to lead it on an irregular basis) and no Republican will tolerate the prosecution of one of their own kind for transgressions that led to the capture of power from the (Democratic) Other. The fact that the Party seized power absolves all crimes.

A Democratic president with the same degree of connections to a hostile foreign power would have already been impeached, convicted, tried, and imprisoned. Or, perhaps, assassinated.

In the unlikely case that Trump is indicted or impeached, then serious mass violence is not beyond the bounds of possibility. Trump is seen by boorish Republicans as a savior figure; his detractors are at best, the Other. Any punishment of Trump will be seen as a blasphemous usurpation potentially worthy of an armed response.

197

Layman 07.13.18 at 10:11 pm

Cian: “Have you actually done the due dilligence and checked that the breathless reporting in the WP/NYT etc is supported by the facts? ”

Most people would think that comment hasn’t aged well over the last few days, but you’re not most people, so who knows?

So, Russian GRU officers did the DNC hacking, then passed some of the results to people in contact with the campaign; when Trump openly asked them to hack Clinton’s email servers, they immediately started trying. Which part of the Russia conspiracy is a fantasy again?

198

ph 07.13.18 at 10:26 pm

@179 I’ve re-read the sections of the linked article on the role education and geography play in the creation of America’s new aristocracy.

First, my argument requires no paraphrase. I’m saying both parts of the 9.9 percent, (and the 1 percent) are equally indifferent to those below them in the social order. Where I’ve overstated the case, as in Brexit, I’ve acknowledged the error, and reformulated my claim.

Your@179 is as poorly-constructed as my worst off-the cuff typo-riddled vent, which is too bad since you seem to have put (some?) considerable effort into the comment. I won’t say your argument is absurd (as you do mine), but it does seem to be built to make the Versailles liberal some kind of victim.

The result is that you’re making my own argument, rather than your own. The Versailles conservative believes quite openly that poor people are poor because they don’t work hard enough. The Versailles conservative argues that stable families, faith, hard work, and education will life anyone up. The Versailles liberal believes something similar, but asserts the opposite. That’s the distinction, and this distinction requires no paraphrase.

Worse (for you) is the fact that many/most immigrant families embrace the values expounded by the Versailles conservative very strongly, in my experience. I spend a fair amount of time in Europe. I visit a Turkish restaurant on occasion near a national library. One wall is filled with a large (tacky?) painting of an entire family bundled into one rickety bed, umbrellas protecting the elderly and the young from the rain dripping in from the holes in the roof – the caption ‘together we can do anything.’

As for your ‘divide and conquer’ nonsense, that’s what Russia is trying to do. There’s nothing particularly wrong, or novel about this sort of interference. One of the main metrics I used to judge the probability of a Trump victory was actual evidence of enthusiasm. I watched reporters standing for hours in long-lines of entirely ordinary Americans patiently waiting for a place inside a Trump rally, across America, throughout 2015-2016. Hillary was outspending Trump 40 to 1 in battleground states. And the first female president TM failed to convince a great many women that she’d do a better job than the beauty pageant entrepreneur. But there’s really no need to go over this, again.

@186 harry b. That’s a fair comment. However, I did get it right, and I wasn’t the only one. We hear what we want to hear and as the LA Times observes, plenty of Democrats in 2016 didn’t want to hear that Donald Trump was going to win. The filters are still in place.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-usc-latimes-poll-20161108-story.html

And that really is it.

199

Steve 07.13.18 at 11:33 pm

ph is Chris Bickerton, of magical thinking fame, and I claim my proze

200

Raven Onthill 07.13.18 at 11:54 pm

Journalist Marcy Wheeler’s (@emptywheel) timeline and account of what is known so far of the hack, updated with information from the new indictments.

Key point:

Wheeler – “I have been saying forever that the easiest way to steal the election would be to steal Hillary’s analytics.”

Indictment – “In or around September 2016, the Conspirators also successfully gained access to DNC computers hosted on a third-party cloud-computing service. These computers contained test applications related to the DNC’s analytics.”

It is looking more and more like the Russians successfully interfered with the US Presidential election.

We now return you to our regular Brexit flamewar.

201

Collin Street 07.14.18 at 12:53 am

No-one who is “pro-immigration” can ever answer a single question on numbers.

Dipper, a man who cannot find out or comprehend current numbers is in no real position to critique others for their unwillingness to declare the shape of the future to him.

I mean, suppose people do answer your questions. What will you do differently to ensure you don’t ignore/misunderstand/misremember this information like you did the last batch?

[We’re not lording it over you for our moral superiority. We’re lording it over you because of our much-more-clearly-demonstrated intellectual superiority. Most of which, I need to remind you, is rooted in learnable skill, not born talent: you’re too lazy to do the training but still think you should play in the top leagues.]

202

bob mcmanus 07.14.18 at 2:22 am

Well, it is now looking like “her emails” was indeed the important story of 2016 because it indicated a criminal lack of computer security in the Clinton campaign and DNC. One might hope the next Democratic candidate gains a better grasp of responsibility from this Russian operation, but since the Clinton apologists, still fighting for power, are seeing this as an excuse rather than a catastrophic failure I doubt it. #Notherfault is the forever meme.

You goddamn don’t get excuses for losing entire countries.

203

J-D 07.14.18 at 3:01 am

Name (required)

How do you reconcile your analysis with the record of political events in the US in July and August 1974?

204

ph 07.14.18 at 3:15 am

@188 Lee, you were/are one of the few sober observers of 2015/6. Indeed, twas thanks to you that I first watched a Trump rally. I’d caution anyone to think carefully about what you just wrote.

‘Kennedy is a Russian stooge!’ – 1963, John Birth Society. “Wanted for Treason!”
‘Trump is a Russian stooge! – 2018, Crooked Timber commenters.

There has never in the history of the United States, or any other major western power, a precedent of the kind you’re suggesting. Never is a very big word in this case. Galactic, in fact. And, and Lee, you’re all in for the conspiracy theory? Really?

I can’t frankly see the Democratic party emerging from this episode unscathed. Forget the fact that the timing of the announcement coincides exactly with the testimony of senior FBI officials promising to interfere in the election and prevent a Trump victory. No need for links. Marcy Wheeler, whatever her skills, is a dedicated partisan.

So, we once more we are treated to the spectacle of self-described skeptical and sober academics confusing a charging document with a judgement, assertion for fact, and conjecture for evidence. Worse the conjecture is that a sitting US president conspired with the Russian GRU to steal the US election and effectively turn over control of the US government to Vladimir Putin.

COULD BE TRUE!!!! SO, WHAT’S YOUR EXPLANATION, HUH??????

After 2016, I didn’t frankly imagine sensible people could become any sillier, but I was wrong – again.

“After the indictment of 12 GRU for hacking the Clinton campaign etc, I now imagine that Trump will be charged with felony federal conspiracy, either as accessory (if he got a heads-up before the fact) or because you can’t claim the willful blindness defense (if after the fact).”

Coz this is so what happens every time a US president gets caught conspiring with Russia to overturn US elections. Remember?

205

Layman 07.14.18 at 3:29 am

bob mcmanus’s lawn: “Well, it is now looking like “her emails” was indeed the important story of 2016 because it indicated a criminal lack of computer security in the Clinton campaign and DNC.“

Given a story the headline of which seems to be “Clinton’s email server was the only one the Russians _couldn’t_ hack”, of course you’d say it’s her fault.

206

Faustusnotes 07.14.18 at 3:32 am

Bob’s comment is a thing of beauty, the perfect encapsulation of the Putin friendly lefts current derangement. He’s gone from “Russia didn’t do it” to “Russia did it and it’s the DNC at fault for being hacked, and the Republicans were right about Hilary s emails all along.”

This is the modern American old school left, folks. They’d rather sell their country to a Putin controlled party of oligarchs than let a democrat win. Even the most egregiously treacherous and corrupt scumbag in the system is preferable to a left wing woman, so long as they get their 60s protectionism back.

207

Faustusnotes 07.14.18 at 3:51 am

Note also the indictment includes hacking voting machines, which means Trump didn’t win the election. All the whining from the Bernie Bros and the policy prescriptions from the Putin friendly left are irrelevant in the face of that.

208

Orange Watch 07.14.18 at 4:29 am

ph@198:

Your@179 is as poorly-constructed as my worst off-the cuff typo-riddled vent, which is too bad since you seem to have put (some?) considerable effort into the comment. I won’t say your argument is absurd (as you do mine), but it does seem to be built to make the Versailles liberal some kind of victim.

You’re getting increasingly nasty, condescending, and unwilling to engage with your own prior arguments (let alone my current ones) as you’ve continued along on this thread.

You’ve now claimed that Atlantic article means several different things depending on whether you’ve been called out for saying it’s about things it’s not. For example, it’s not at all about how the 90% despises the left-leaning side of the lowest of the gilded class because their insincere, while despising the right-leaners less because they’re honest. It never discusses anything at all about this. It discusses class resentment based on inequality, and its major point is not that the gilded class is trying to delude the proles, but rather that they’re deluding themselves.

Your point has seemed to be through this whole thread that insincerity is the linchpin of resentment. As evidence, I offer you your latest comment, like the ones before it, wherein you do at long last make an admirable effort to actually cast scorn on the right-leaning gilty, even if you turn that scorn into a backhanded insult that approvingly points to their sincerity.

But even if we ignore your veiled compliment, your claim that the condescending rich right don’t claim to be looking out for the little guy is very hard to credit. Go back and look over right-wing rhetoric surrounding tax cut debates. Go back and look at right-wing rhetoric surrounding healthcare reform. It may be phrased as “we’re gonna help you help yourself”, but they’re dishonestly reassuring the(ir) proles that they’re on their team just as much as the sneering liberal elites you despise.

BLUF, the Atlantic article calls out the right and left of the 9.9% as self-deluding, condescending scolds who preach meritocracy while undermining it at every turn. It’s not a screed about the special failings of the rich left. The jus’folks compassionate conservative rich right and the humane cosmopolitan liberal rich “left” both tell their would-be thralls that they’re helping them, the deserving poor and working class, in a way that comports to their individual values. And then they both help themselves., and inequality and resentment grows.

Finally, at long last… Stop trying to make “Versailles liberal” happen. It’s not going to happen.

209

Raven Onthill 07.14.18 at 4:49 am

bob mcmanus@202: Clinton’s server was adequately secured against normal risks. But few, if any, civilian cybersecurity measures are effective against state actors. This is largely the result of the machinations of state actors, who like to be able to eavesdrop.

Don’t blame Hillary Clinton for being targeted by a Russia information war attack.

Now, of all times, we need to come together to oppose the fascists, and we are still fighting like the KPD and the SPD.

210

Chris (merian) W. 07.14.18 at 6:02 am

Dipper @191: We’re making incremental progress. Thanks for stating so clearly that those EU migrants are, for you, outside of the communal “we”. Unfortunately your next two moves are a) a fallacy and b) an unkindness.

a) Does it have a name? Maximalist fallacy maybe. It goes like this: Because I cannot solve all problems, I don’t have to solve any problems. Because I can’t save everyone, I have no ethical obligation to save anyone. (1) I don’t subscribe to this. I think that we can, and maybe should, take the time to think about where the limits are of what we can do, but then do however much is realistically achievable.
b) So your disagreement with me is a difference of opinion, but my disagreement with you is “demonstrating my alleged superiority”? How is this little put-down enabling the productive discussion that, as per your subsequent questions, you pretend to desire?

What you’ve arrived at is smack-bang my operational definition of xenophobia: If members of my community(2) because they are marked as foreign(3) are excluded from the “we”, this is the very essence of xenophobia(4). Maybe this clarifies why I used the term regarding your writing: it hits the definition right on the nose.

You’re asking, in a hostile way and at comment 200+ of a thread that is likely to be closed off any moment, what I really think of immigration. Sorry, that’s just too big a question for this space. Not just because it would go way beyond the scope of this conversation, but also because I believe — and many here undoubtedly don’t — that we sometimes run up against conflicting ethical imperatives. I the case at hand, to be extremely sketchy, no, I don’t think that ultimately, pushed all the way down the argument, we have a good reason to ever exclude anyone from the community of “us” BUT at the same time we ALSO have an obligation to respect the self-determination of other people, and these two are in conflict. We simply have no world-wide governance system that would bring us even close to acting in a community with a random person in a far-flung place without committing incidental injustice.(5)

So, no, I can’t write down here my Grand Unifying Theory of global migration. What I can write about are my own guiding principles and minimum criteria. What would I do with the settled foreigners? Make it easier for them to have a good, lawful life here, according to their needs. Doing this would increase the incentives to help other countries to make live just as livable there as it is here. For example, supporting democracy and human rights, rather than corrupt dictatorships that give companies from my country favorable business conditions. Would I ever deport anyone? Pretty much no in general, though exceptions are easy to construct.(6)

(1) There is a story that has become a cliché among people who work on problems that are just so ubiquitous and overwhelmingly recurrent that they can’t be driven by hope eradicating them. It’s the story of the boy on a beach of stranded starfish. https://starfishproject.com/the-parable/ It’s not 100% germane to our discussion, but I was reminded of it.
(2) For simplicity’s sake, say people who legitimately conduct their regular lives there – live, work (if applicable), go to school (if applicable), partake in community activities, buy their food on the market or at the stores… just regular inhabitants. There will be disagreements about what “legitimate” means, but a rock-bottom minimum definition would be anyone who arrived by legal means, certainly including EU migrants under freedom of movement. My own definition is a lot larger, but for the sake of the argument, let’s stick to what’s least controversial: people who have simply availed themselves by what they have been told is their right.
(3) In any event, people lacking local citizenship status. In most cases, their children. In later generations, the degree to which a mark applies will depend on whether their physical traits, names, clothing customs, religions etc. differ from the prototypical autochthonous person.
(4) If the reasons are racial rather than national (there’s an overlap of course), or related to gender or sexual orientation, it would be racism, sexism and homophobia, respectively.
(5) I have the feeling that the weakness of international institutions, of anything resembling global governance will be remarked upon in future history books along with the inability of advanced rich Western democracies to make democratic choices based on long-term goals. Well, I hope we’ll still have history books.
(6) Like, I’d hand Anders Breivik, had he committed his massacre in my country, back to Sweden, knowing that his chances of receiving justice would, if anything, be better. But someone like him can be in someone else’s problem field, if that “someone else” has a good human rights record, won’t execute him etc.

211

Chris (merian) W. 07.14.18 at 6:09 am

bob mcmanus, #202, what are you talking about? As far as I am aware (maybe I’m a day or two behind in the news, in which case I apologize) Clinton’s private email server had absolutely zero negative real-life repercussions. It wasn’t hacked by the Russians, unlike Gmail accounts and the DCCC email, and possibly the official State Department one. If we want the prominence of stories to reflect how much impact the underlying facts had on people’s lives, there was nothing there. She planned, whose? her daughter’s? wedding on it and asked her assistant to make sure to refill the tea supply and procure Parks and Recreations DVDs. A small number of (mostly subsequently) classified messages were sent there, even though she was arrogant enough to think it could be avoided. She acted like CEOs and other high-ranking executives act every day by the shovelful, demanding maximum convenience, and bending the rule if the official installation can’t deliver convenience. I will remain a Clinton apologist on that, independently of my negative opinions of her policy attitudes. And I desire no power at all.

212

nastywoman 07.14.18 at 7:15 am

It’s ”Brexit” Baby!

The Topic of this thread is ”Brexit” – and how a Baby in diapers made it very difficult for one of the ”babysitters” trying to plan to ”exit” in some kind of… organized… can we call it ”organized” manner – and I have come to the conclusion – that ”they” whoever these ”they” are – are never-ever will be able to execute the however planned ”exit” – as in reality it is as impossible as a Baby walking next to a Queen in any type of an organized manner -(if the Baby doesn’t have some help from some Russian Babysitters) –

AND that’s what it is! –
On this weekend – on a wonderful sunny saturday on the world famous Lake of Constance – bordering at the same time 4 -(in words: four) countries – in an area – where quite naturally – since generations – 3 to 4 languages have been spoken and about everything – dudes like Dipper – or ph are worried ”mixes” quite pleasantly.

And about these ”Russians” -(they also absolutely love this area – they were just joking – Right? – joyfully messing a bit with some Anglo-Saxon minds – which is my Italian boyfriends favorite hobby too – because WE – the American Anglo-Saxons – never ever will understand that one just doesn’t enter a church in flip-flops – while in the UK you have to wear a tie)

Capisce?

213

bob mcmanus 07.14.18 at 7:24 am

I care what’s happening overseas, for instance France. India. China investing in Palestine and Jordan. Yay. Republican and Democrats, Russians and Americans can tear each other tooth and claw. Stick your Wall Street Silicon Valley financed Popular Front. The root problems are global and material.

Linda Matar:

“The socioeconomic roots of the Syrian uprising of 2011

” In retrospect, all the social conditions prevailing in Syria would have
contributed to the uprising. Social unrest erupted in Syria partly because
of years of poor developmental outcomes and the loosening grip of the
ruling class on the state. The wide-ranging neoliberal reforms led to
the slowing of economic development and exacerbated social problems
of unemployment, poverty, and the worsening of living conditions.
When the state bourgeoisie relinquished its part of the social contract
by depleting the resources hitherto destined for the working class and,
in particular, the peasantry, it also set in motion a poverty dynamic that
would act as a catalyst to the revolutionary process. Grievances had
built up against the regime and its vassals across the broad spectrum of
wage workers as well as in the countryside. However, the insurrection
began in rural areas.

This is the modern American old school left, folks.

Cultural Appropriation and Victimhood Politics …Claire Lehman

“One of the key components of victimhood culture is its projection of collective guilt, social offenses between individuals are no longer about the actual people involved, they are about “one social group harming another.””

214

J-D 07.14.18 at 7:37 am

Hidari

Just your regular reminder that the odds of Trump being impeached are close to zero, and the odds of him actually being removed from office, i.e. armed guards smashing down the door of the White House and dragging the President off to jail (something which has literally never happened in the history of the Republic) are absolutely and precisely zero.

‘Being removed from office’ and ‘being dragged off to jail by armed guards who have smashed down your door’ are not synonymous. There are plenty of examples of people who have been removed from office without armed guards smashing down their doors and dragging them off to jail (including in the US; and including Presidents; no Presidents of the US, it’s true, although it seems clear to me that the prospect of being removed from office appeared so certain to Nixon that he resigned to avoid it).

215

Name (required) 07.14.18 at 8:33 am

@bob mcmanus, 202:

The balance between offense and defense in information security is such that defending against top-tier cyberwarfare units (of which Russia has more than one) is essentially impossible. Even if the Democratic party had protected itself with the best available tools and doctrines (which it seemingly did not), the most it would have accomplished would have been to delay the GRU rather than prevent its entry entirely.

Cyberwarfare defense is an unsolved problem.

@J-D, 203:

It is unclear how many lessons of four and a half decades ago are relevant today. The GOP was just a political party then; now it is much more of a religion/authoritarian cult. Nixon was just a President; Trump is seen by the GOP base as the last bulwark against the invading unAmerican enemy known as progress. Red state workers who have lost their jobs to Trump’s trade war have been quoted as accepting their fates in the name of Trump because they believe their leader wouldn’t start a trade war unless it was truly necessary. This is cult-like thinking. Loyalty to Nixon was not that rabid.

If there is any lesson to be carried forward from 1974, however, it is that the pardon of Nixon speaks to the point of the Republican party not tolerating the punishment of its own members for crimes committed against Democrats.

216

Hidari 07.14.18 at 8:49 am

‘Note also the indictment includes hacking voting machines, which means Trump didn’t win the election.’

Except for the trivial fact that he did, your point is unarguable.

One thing that is really important to understand (and I know it seems extraordinary and unbelievable right now, but I’m right) is that in 30/40 years time no one is going to remember any of this. Trump (assuming he wins a second Presidential election) will become sanctified by the liberal elite, and the NYT will be writing anxious op-eds about ‘Why can’t President Kim Kardashian obey the norms and values of her predecessors, like the fondly remembered Presidential reign of President Donald Trump?’. And if you speak to your friends about the Russiagate stuff, they will look blank for a few seconds, search their memories and then go ‘oh yeah? Wasn’t Trump accused of…I forget the details…something about Russia?’ And then you both will try and remember what it was all about, get most of it wrong, and then order another beer.

This Russiagate stuff (even if half of it is true, which seems unlikely) is going nowhere. Trump will not be impeached. He will not be removed from office. The results of the election will not be overturned (I don’t even know how that could happen).

The only conceivable way I could be wrong would be if the Democrats got their act together, put forward a positive message, won back the Congress and Senate, and then, on the basis of a really strong positive message of social democracy, put forward a young radical politician (preferably a woman, better still a woman and POC) who would win the next Presidential election.

But they almost certainly won’t do that, and one of the major reasons why is that they are obsessing about Russiagate, a ‘scandal’ that no one, in their heart of hearts, really gives a shit about.

217

Lee A. Arnold 07.14.18 at 10:53 am

To be guilty of conspiracy, Trump doesn’t need to have known before the fact. If he found out after the fact and didn’t alert the authorities, he might be charged with accessary to conspiracy after the fact. Willful blindness is not a defense. And there is evidence of intent: there was a quid pro quo (promises to reduce sanctions against Russia, etc.); he benefitted from it (he used it against his political opponent); he rewrote his son’s public statement for the reason for the Trump Tower meeting; in video speeches he is saying “Russia please hack Hillary,” etc.

There may be additional, related, and grave charges concerning statutes about foreign relations with a hostile power.

Trump’s possible political defense has already been broached by some of his closest supporters: that the campaign couldn’t conspire because it was too disorganized. But there are several ways in which that excuse will cut against him and bring into sharper focus the question of his current fitness for office.

218

Dipper 07.14.18 at 11:44 am

@ Collin Street oh you again. As I explained, I got my numbers off the ONS website, and they are what I state them to be. And I see no numbers from you, because there never are in answer to that question.

@ Chris (merian) W. And no numbers from you either, because there never are in answer to that question.

Principles are all very nice, but round here we are living in a world of numbers. Numbers of houses, numbers of people in schools, numbers of people in front of you in a queue. And we are quite used to the different countries of origin of all those folks, and from what I’ve seen everyone seems to get along fine. As I wrote, Harlow is a fine town. Why would all the recent arrivals all be so keen to bring their friends and relatives over if they were receiving the kind of abuse you allege?

I think despite all the moaning above that I’m entitled to point out that bringing in enormous numbers of people to do minimum wage jobs doesn’t seem like a route designed to deliver prosperity for all, or even pay for itself, and once you’ve done this and everyone has made their homes here, there is literally no going back. In contrast to the cliff edge,this is a steady slide into a world of “how the hell did we get here?”. So given this is a policy you cannot undo, I think it would be good to stop it before it goes any further and we are sure we know where this is going. Hence the Brexit vote to make sure we have elected politicians we can make accountable for immigration policy.

219

Layman 07.14.18 at 12:03 pm

Hidari: “This Russiagate stuff (even if half of it is true, which seems unlikely) is going nowhere.“

This is a kind of chant you keep repeating as if it had some mystical power. It may well be going nowhere, for reason which have little to do with whether it is true, but the repetition that it isn’t true in the face of the systematic demonstration that many of the elements of the story _are_ true isn’t really a rational act. Why not be specific? Which things aren’t true, and which are? I suspect it’s because the silliness of the chant would become obvious even to you.

220

Ben Philliskirk 07.14.18 at 12:55 pm

TM @ 184

“But if you embrace the claim that things were better then, you *are* making a comparison between now and then. And what many comments here show is that those who take that perspective really have no clue and also aren’t really interested in the the actualyl lived experience of the time. It’s really just a leftist version of a golden age myth.”

I’ve never made the argument that we should ‘go back to 1960’. I was countering your assertion that history is a package deal where if we want more security and control over our lives, we have to accept some kind of proto-fascism. The fact is that it is possible to rectify wrongs and agitate for improvement without having to accept some kind of unstoppable ‘wave of progress’ that destroys as much as it creates.

221

J-D 07.14.18 at 1:08 pm

Name (required)

It is unclear how many lessons of four and a half decades ago are relevant today.

That’s fair enough. I accept that.

But just to be clear what I’m reacting to, I’m going to quote your exact words:

America is a Republican country (Democrats are only allowed to pretend to lead it on an irregular basis) and no Republican will tolerate the prosecution of one of their own kind for transgressions that led to the capture of power from the (Democratic) Other. The fact that the Party seized power absolves all crimes.

A Democratic president with the same degree of connections to a hostile foreign power would have already been impeached, convicted, tried, and imprisoned. Or, perhaps, assassinated.

That’s what I was referring to when I asked you how your reconcile your account with the events of July and August 1974; so is it a misunderstanding on my part to think that you mean that your quoted description did not apply then, although you are still affirming (you are still affirming this, am I right?) that it applies now? Because in that case you’re suggesting a drastic change between then and now in the US; not just a drastic change in the Republican Party, but a drastic change in the country. I suppose it’s possible that the US has changed drastically between 1974 and now in a way which makes your description accurate, but without more explanation of what this change was, and how it happened, and how you know this, your case is not convincing.

Hidari

One thing that is really important to understand (and I know it seems extraordinary and unbelievable right now, but I’m right) is that in 30/40 years time no one is going to remember any of this. Trump (assuming he wins a second Presidential election) will become sanctified by the liberal elite, and the NYT will be writing anxious op-eds about ‘Why can’t President Kim Kardashian obey the norms and values of her predecessors, like the fondly remembered Presidential reign of President Donald Trump?’.

I would also really like to know what the basis for this conclusion is. I have no idea what sort of treatment past Presidents from long ago get in the pages of the New York Times, but my guess is that most people in the US have only the sketchiest ideas, if that, about Presidencies dating to before they were themselves grown up; so if you were to tell me that in thirty or forty years the majority of Americans will have little idea of what Trump’s Presidency was like, it would seem highly plausible, but if you were to tell me that in thirty or forty years time the majority of Americans will think of Trump’s Presidency in strongly favourable terms, it would seem much less plausible.

222

Faustusnotes 07.14.18 at 2:44 pm

Hidaris solution when faced with treasonous fascists: ignore it and pretend they’re normal.

You’re either stupid or shameful.

223

James Wimberley 07.14.18 at 6:10 pm

Can anyone point to a Brexiter who knows anything about customs software, or understands what May signed up to last December over the “no hard border” in Ireland?

224

Name (required) 07.14.18 at 9:55 pm

@Hidari, 216:

In forty years the average person will be too preoccupied with surviving their day-to-day life, possibly complicated by the consequences of global warming, to care much about what happened forty years ago. The average person today cares little about what happened in 1978, after all.

Political historians, however, will regard Trump’s illegitimate installation and the issues that allowed it–politicization of the NY FBI office, Russian intervention, Republican voter suppression, and population changes between the states stripping the majority of democratic representation–as the beginning of the end for American democracy.

American democracy is ultimately doomed but there is nothing improper about pointing out that the wheels are beginning to fracture.

225

Cian 07.14.18 at 10:01 pm

Faustusnotes: This is the modern American old school left, folks. They’d rather sell their country to a Putin controlled party of oligarchs than let a democrat win.

No offense to Bob, but I’m fairly sure he doesn’t represent the whole American old school left.

226

Cian 07.14.18 at 10:41 pm

You all know that an indictment is not proof of guilt right? Especially an indictment that relies upon secret evidence. I realize (heavy sarcasm) that the FBI have never indicted anyone on weak evidence, particularly in a natsec/terrorism case, so this is just refusing to accept the evidence. Fortunately we’ll never know if the secret evidence is any good, because the case is never going to go to trial. So this is all theater. Don’t forget to tip the usher on the way out.

The last indictment is not going particularly well, for those interested in such things. And is typical of Justice Department/FBI terrorism/natsec cases, they’re trying to make some pretty aggressive demands about keeping evidence secret (including effectively secret from the defense team).

It would be nice to know what, if anything, is supporting the claims about voting machines. While US voting machines are garbage and completely insecure, hacking them remotely and en masse would be pretty difficult. They’re not necessarily on public networks, or in ways that make them easy to find remotely (easier if you’re local obviously). Also there are loads of different types, configuration etc that you would have to hit – making a mass hack pretty much impossible (or at least improbably labour intensive).

That’s not to say that voting machines weren’t hacked. I’m sure they were. But they would have been hacked by local machines/parties – just as in the past ballot boxes were stuffed by locals.

227

Cian 07.14.18 at 10:43 pm

Just to reiterate the point about the indictment. An indictment is an allegation, not an objective fact.

228

John Quiggin 07.15.18 at 2:15 am

“An indictment is an allegation, not an objective fact.”

You can say the same about a conviction. It’s a judgement, not an objective fact. Plenty of innocent people have been convicted, often after giving full confessions. A number of people have been convicted by Mueller already, and it’s open to you to claim that these convictions weren’t reliable, and that the same will be true of future convictions.

If your prior beliefs are strong enough, no evidence can change them as we see from climate change, evolution and just about every belief held by Trump supporters.

So, is there any evidence that would lead you to change your views on this, or are you just engaged in derp?

229

nastywoman 07.15.18 at 3:59 am

– and the Topic of this thread is still ”Brexit” –
even on the beginning of an even – for sure similar admirable sunday where we prepare for two European Teams playing against each other for ”a world title” –

– while some silly old folks still are… ”haggling”? about if the Russians ”did it” it – or not.

Well – I go to a wedding to St.Pete at the end of the week – and I will ask the bride?
How about that?

So will y’all accept what she has to say about Russian Sports?

230

john c. halasz 07.15.18 at 5:43 am

@208: Really, Quiggin? You’re going to “derp” Cian, who IMHO is one of the most sensible commenters on these threads? I don’t know about other country’s legal procedures, but in the U.S. it’s proverbial that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. An indictment that will never be tried., (because it’s doubtful that anyone indicted would accept an all-expenses-paid offer of a trip to Las Vegas), based on top secret testimony from the oh-so-reliable intelligence apparatus should induce such certainty as to transform anyone’s priors? Stephen Cohen, based on long experience of U.S./Soviet(er Russian) relations already predicted that such a manoeuver would be forthcoming beforehand. And the idea that there are only two sides of the issue, pro-Trump/Putin or Pro-Dembot/anti-Putin. is a propagandistic absurdity, since it’s little likely that any Russian efforts swung the election toward Trump rather than a host of other factors. The fact is that Trump didn’t win the election but HRC and her cohorts lost the election and the Putin meme is just a means of throwing shade so as to deny responsibility for their own failure, while still attempting to cling to power within their party apparatus. Back in 2008, I thought that liberals, though I disagreed with them, were rational interlocutors. Since 2016, as amply evident on these threads, it’s clear that they are deliriously delusional and need to be “derped”.

231

Hidari 07.15.18 at 6:13 am

‘This is a kind of chant you keep repeating as if it had some mystical power. It may well be going nowhere, for reason which have little to do with whether it is true, but the repetition that it isn’t true in the face of the systematic demonstration that many of the elements of the story _are_ true isn’t really a rational act. Why not be specific? ‘

I can accuse anyone of anything. But my words mean nothing unless they have consequences. The Russiagate thing would only have meaning if something concrete were to follow from it.

It’s worthwhile stopping for a second and asking ourselves what this would be.

There’s a lot of handwaving on this thread, but let’s cut to the chase: a lot of people are deluding themselves that Trump will be found guilty of collusion with Russia, will be impeached and removed from office. Or at least that this is probable or possible. It’s not. In order for that to happen, a paper trail (or email trail) would have to be produced in which Trump (for example) approached Putin, asked for help in throwing, or altering, or interfering with, the election, Putin wrote back, and they…well…they colluded. That’s what the word means.

No one has even hinted that such a paper trail exists. I have no idea what Mueller will find, but unless he produces what I just described, or something similar, then Trump will not get impeached. Sorry but that’s the reality. Some others on this thread (who I won’t name, because I don’t want to sink to their level) can scream abuse at me for pointing this out, but it remains true.

I don’t normally criticise the ‘owners’ of CT but ‘You can say the same about a conviction. It’s a judgement, not an objective fact.’

Yes but it’s a judgement that has consequences: i.e. you go to jail (or you are impeached) after you have had a chance to defend yourself. Loads of people in the Trump administration have gone to jail as they are all a bunch of crooks and liars (and no one denies that), in the same way that loads of people who surrounded Nixon and Reagan went to jail (Nixon and Reagan themselves did not go to jail on the other hand, though both of them were clearly guilty of extremely major crimes, and one can, and should, draw an inference about the odds about Trump going to jail or being impeached from this).

The people who Mueller has convicted so far have invariably (with one exception) been convicted of lying to the FBI, which I am absolutely 100 per cent sure is correct and true. These people are liars. They lie to everyone. The one exception is Robert Pinedo who ran a firm that help hackers/troll farms (some of whom were Russian) get round PayPal’s security procedures, and deluge Facebook etc with spam, some of which was pro-Trump (and some of which wasn’t). The indictements against the Russians themselves are obviously going nowhere ‘cos…they’re Russian. They live in Russia. Would YOU up sticks from Russia and go to the United States (whose criminal ‘justice’ system is renowned throughout the world, and I don’t mean that in a good way) to defend yourself in a trial on such an emotionally charged issue? I wouldn’t.

As Atrios has tirelessly pointed out, it’s just about possible to imagine Trump being indicted or impeached for something else. After all, he’s a crook, his tax affairs are ‘dubious’, Mueller might stumble upon something there. This is, IMHO highly unlikely (I mean the impeachment idea) but just barely possible. But he’s not going to be impeached for collusion with Russia. And any electoral strategy that assumes that he will, is doomed.

Finally:

‘ if you were to tell me that in thirty or forty years time the majority of Americans will think of Trump’s Presidency in strongly favourable terms, it would seem much less plausible.’

True, I agree with you. But it’s certainly not outside the boundaries of plausibility, and the way that previous Presidents have been rehabilitated (up to, and including, Nixon) makes me think that is definitely plausible. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying this is a good thing. But this is how American politics works. Needless to say, this rehabilitation, if it happens, will involve key members of the upper echelons of the Democrats.

There’s also the trivial issue that the United States is currently engaging in human rights violations almost infinitely worse than that which Russia is accused of, including enthusiastic participation in the genocide in Yemen, US responsibility for at least 800 (some say 6000) dead civilians in Syria, support for the Israeli massacre in de facto occupied Gaza, Trump’s ‘loosening up’ of the rules relating to civilian deaths vis a vis drone strikes (all of which are, yes!, worse than what Obama did, but, equally, developed out of what Obama did), but I suppose mass murder is off topic, and of less interest to liberal elites than discussion of Russian troll farms.

232

John Quiggin 07.15.18 at 6:42 am

@jch (and many others) Hillary lost by (around) 50 000 votes in a small number of states. So, other things being equal, any factor that cost her more than 50 000 votes in those states cost her the election.

For example, in my opinion, her selection of Tim Kaine rather than an established critic of the TPP and NAFTA was such a factor. So was her reliance on attacking Trump’s character in the expectation that “decent Republicans” would turn against him. So was Comey’s last minute statement about the emails. So were the leaks of information hacked from the DNC. So was her “born to rule” manner. The fact that any particular one of these factors lost her enough votes to make the difference does not invalidate the claim that another of these factors did the same.

233

J-D 07.15.18 at 7:05 am

Hidari

Finally:

‘ if you were to tell me that in thirty or forty years time the majority of Americans will think of Trump’s Presidency in strongly favourable terms, it would seem much less plausible.’

True, I agree with you. But it’s certainly not outside the boundaries of plausibility, and the way that previous Presidents have been rehabilitated (up to, and including, Nixon) makes me think that is definitely plausible. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying this is a good thing. But this is how American politics works. Needless to say, this rehabilitation, if it happens, will involve key members of the upper echelons of the Democrats.

When Nixon was President, some adulated him and some excoriated him. Now, some praise him and some condemn him. I’m not sure what you think has change that would count as a rehabilitation. What I’m sure has changed is that the proportion of the population that has no particular opinion about him has increased because there are now far more people who just don’t know anything about him. That seems by far the most likely thing to happen also with Trump’s future reputation: thirty or forty years from now there will be some whose evaluations are positive, just as there are now, some whose evaluations are negative, just as there are now, and some who have no particular opinion, but much more of those than now. I expect if you looked hard enough you could find some historians with positive things to say about James Buchanan or Warren Harding, but for the most part they are forgotten.

There’s also the trivial issue that the United States is currently engaging in human rights violations … but I suppose mass murder is off topic, and of less interest to liberal elites than discussion of Russian troll farms.

All over the world governments are perpetrating monstrous wrongs, as has always been the case, and tomorrow when I go to work people will be talking about what they did on the weekend (myself, I bought a birthday present for my nephew). I don’t think this is because the people where I work are all liberal elites.

Chris Bertram began his post like this:

In the early days of Crooked Timber, I think we took ourselves to be under some kind of obligation to react to major current events. That’s rather fallen by the wayside.

Well, so it should. The bloggers here are under no obligation, individually or collectively, to comment on every major current event. They blog about what they want to blog about. Personally I’m pleased that I was able to read here that Geoffrey Bayldon had died, and to comment. If you find their choice of topics uninteresting, or trivial, the obvious solution is to stop reading.

234

bob mcmanus 07.15.18 at 7:22 am

Nah, Clinton lost Ohio and Florida, two large and important states that Obama had won twice. This dwarfs those three smaller upper midwestern states in consequence because with this disadvantage they, and Pennsylvania, become critical.

Clinton lost big and badly.

235

ph 07.15.18 at 7:46 am

@232 JQ provides a succinct, sober useful assessment. Add to that the difficulty in US presidential politics of the same party carrying the WH for a third successive term, a very rare feat. Hidari’s comments have also been useful here. Would Hillary have won without the leaks? She might well have. But that’s not really the issue, at least for me.

The leaks are an historical treasure trove of immense value. I encourage any able to put down the cudgel to review some of the articles linked below and others. Sarkozy’s motives for invading Libya are my own favorite – gold, oil. And that’s the point. In a world where we’re inundated with ‘fake news’ the DNC hack provides us the real material. (And that’s the real problem for Democrats – the indictment confirms beyond any doubt that the hacked emails are in fact from the DNC servers.)

I began with Brennan and Clapper on Iraq, the CIA – torture, Obama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Brennan video (2011) describing how Obama’s CIA outsources torture in Somalia, hours of video of guards and others discussing torture in Somalia/Ethiopia . Brennan’s decision 2014 decision to retain the CIA manager running the Bush-era secret CIA prisons in Thailand, and that officer – Gina Haspel’s recent confirmation as Trump’s head of CIA, supported by six Democratic senators this spring. Here’s Clapper and Brennan – heroes of the American left in 2018.

“Clapper claims Trump presidency not legitimate.” The director of a top American spy agency said Tuesday that he believed that material from Iraq’s illicit weapons program had been transported into Syria and perhaps other countries…The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material ”unquestionably” had been moved out of Iraq.
James Clapper: https://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/world/the-struggle-for-iraq-weapons-search-iraqis-removed-arms-material-us-aide-says.html

“John Brennan – I will speak out until integrity returns to the WH” During his February 2013 confirmation hearings to be CIA director, John Brennan told senators he had come to doubt his previously held view — formed as a top agency official — that brutal CIA interrogation techniques had yielded valuable intelligence. Brennan came to question that premise, he told the Senate Intelligence Committee, after reading an unreleased summary of the panel’s…report on the question… “I do not know what the truth is,” Brennan said.
Now that he leads the CIA …Brennan defended his agency — and the fruits of severe interrogation practices.
https://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/john-brennan-cia-torture-113456

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/world/africa/18cia.html
https://www.thenation.com/article/cias-wars-and-john-brennans-dilemma/
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-haspel-cia-confirmation-20180515-story.html
https://www.channel4.com/news/somalia-torture-united-states-cia-al-shabaab-video
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/amnesty-questions-claim-that-gaddafi-ordered-rape-as-weapon-of-war-2302037.html

As Hidari notes, little has changed (ever changes) regarding the use of violence and torture as a tool. We need only stress that the UK, France, Iran, Israel, Russia, Egypt, etc. etc. employ the same methods. Perhaps if these nations had a constitutional amendment that banned war violence wouldn’t seem such a handy tool. Crazy talk, I know.

236

nastywoman 07.15.18 at 8:01 am

AND the Topic of this thread is STILL ”Brexit”! –
and I still have no idea who this ”Hillary” person is – and if an average American can’t find Britain or Europe on a map I (ME) have the right NOT to know who this Hillary person is and why some old dudes on a Blog called ”Crooked Timber” -(remember KANT!) are talking about this Hillary person as if they are exchanging their war-remembrances…?

SOOO!
the Topic is BREXIT and how often do you stubborn guys have to be told?
– and as I read this morning in a European sunday paper that my Euros -(or Dollars) are now even 15 percent more worth – if I spend them in Britain – and that I can get a whole house somewhere on the British countryside for a complete bargain -(about 40 to 50 percent cheaper than in CA) – BUT on the other hand in Egypt my money would be worth NOW about 100 percent more – BUT as I once spend 3 month in Egypt -(teaching not only Brits ”culture”) I definitely will go for the British Countryside – and so IF FF von Clownstick and all these crazy Dippers will be even more successful in destroying Great Britain – I will do my part to built it UP again by buying UP Great Britain for… how is it called? – for… ”peanuts” – and just think about it – if it soon will be cheaper to live in Great Britain than in… for example Spain?

All these Brits who are now in Spain will have to come back to ”their homeland”!

GOD -(but NOT Trump) Save the Queen!
-(or ”Quennie” how my British friends call her)

And about these Russians – do you guys know – that them Russians truly think – that American Minds are the best to toy with?
It’s really like Jimmy Kimmel sending out somebody on Hollywood Blvd and asking the people who Vladimir Putin is?

”Vladimir Putin”? –
”Putn”??!
Isn’t that these Baby-naked Angels one finds in… church?

237

Hidari 07.15.18 at 8:11 am

‘All over the world governments are perpetrating monstrous wrongs, as has always been the case, and tomorrow when I go to work people will be talking about what they did on the weekend (myself, I bought a birthday present for my nephew).’

What a mindboggling piece of ‘oy vey life is tough what can a poor boy do’ism. The key point is that I listed possible war crimes of the Trump administration. What I was implying (and obviously I wasn’t being clear, so I will spell it out for you) is that there is a considerable amount of evidence that Trump could (and should) be hauled off to the ICC, and could (and should, IMHO) be found guilty of mass murder/genocide, and could (and should) be put in jail for the rest of his natural life. What’s interesting (to me) is that internet users of the #nevertrump persuasion or, even, God help us, members of #theresistanceAnd despite the ‘goodness me everyone commits war crimes’ ‘blase attitude’ I am willing to bet that if these war crimes allegation were being levelled at an Official Enemy (Assad, Putin) then The Usual Suspects would suddenly find it very interesting and be calling for ‘the international community’ to do this, that and the other.

After all, the idea of impeachment is hopeless and is going nowhere (and will continue to go there) whereas the idea of Trump being hauled off to the ICC is possible, assuming that the Democrats ever showed any interest in making the US a State Party to the ICC, something they have never shown any interest in so doing, despite the obvious political advantages this might have, given that Trump is a mass murderer and all. I wonder why.

Anyway here’s your semi-regular reminder that the US not only threatened to, but did in fact interfere in Russia’s democracy, and even made a movie about it (with Jeff Goldblum!) boasting about how wonderful an event this was. (It was a comedy, which shows how seriously Hollywood takes the democracies of non-Americans).

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

238

Hidari 07.15.18 at 8:14 am

‘ If you find their choice of topics uninteresting, or trivial, the obvious solution is to stop reading.’

My comment above was grossly off-topic (which is why I’m now going to stop posting and go out and enjoy the sunshine, pausing only briefly to reflect that this is the beginning of a complex process that will probably result in the end of our technological civilisation) but then so was yours so, ‘chutzpah’ I believe is the word.

239

nastywoman 07.15.18 at 8:33 am

IN conclusion about the Brexit we even could come to the conclusion that it was ALL this really bad-mouthing of Europe and the Euro – and ”Socialism” and ”Socialists” by the Baron von Clownstick types – which made some really – really confused ”Dippers” do it.

And that is soooo sad!

If one has to finally realize – being misled by just a Balloon-baby.

And I know the joke is getting tired – but I know as the American I am -(too) – that some of my Americans friends -(even some very progressive ones like Paul Krugman) – will do anything –
ANYTHING just to put down ”Urp” – as the rumors had spread -(not only via Bernie quoting Denmark) – that THIS place ”Europe” already is on a completely different level of ”social” progress than the prehistoric man-eats-woman-jungle of Trumpland!

240

J-D 07.15.18 at 10:29 am

Hidari

You’re right, I didn’t get your point. Thank you for the clarification. If people are going to fantasise about Trump being impeached and removed from office for collusion with Russia to rig the election, then they might just as well (or even better) fantasise about his standing trial before the ICC: I agree with that. If you’re going to dream, why not dream big? Good point.

241

Nigel 07.15.18 at 11:31 am

‘I have no idea what Mueller will find, but unless he produces what I just described, or something similar, then Trump will not get impeached’

If you can find anyone who thinks there’s something to Russiagate who is under the illusion that there’s a anything other than a slim-to-none chance that Trump will get impeached or convicted even with the clear evidence you describe then cherish them, because they’re so rare you’ll need them to stand in for the masses you keep talking about that they represent. Trump represents someone who is getting away with crap. Someone like Trump getting away with crap is a real and concrete result and honestly I don’t think there’s anything wrong with judging people according to how they react to that prospect – with applause, with a shrug of indifference, with acceptance and contempt for anyone who doesn’t accept, or with horror.

242

Layman 07.15.18 at 11:37 am

Hidari: “It’s worthwhile stopping for a second and asking ourselves what this would be.”

Why bother, given that I have granted the point, in the actual text you quoted from me? (“It may well be going nowhere, for reason which have little to do with whether it is true…”)

If you mean to say that you think that Trump won’t suffer legal consequences as a result of the investigation, then say that, and you won’t get much argument from me. But what you’ve actually said that I object to is this: “…even if half of it is true, which seems unlikely…”

Again, I pointed to that exact thing, which you quoted. (“…the repetition that it isn’t true in the face of the systematic demonstration that many of the elements of the story _are_ true isn’t really a rational act…”)

Yes in your entire response, you don’t address that. I wonder why not?

243

engels 07.15.18 at 11:54 am

Enjoying the Brexit thread

there is a considerable amount of evidence that Trump could (and should) be hauled off to the ICC, and could (and should, IMHO) be found guilty of mass murder/genocide

Ok I’ll bite: what is it?

244

Chris (merian) W. 07.16.18 at 4:50 am

Oh, well, Dipper – you ask an impossible question and then of course you’re disdainful when I don’t answer it. Quick, tell me, how many secondary school places should there be in Wales? How many university places in courses that lead to a qualification in graphic design? How many angels should be accommodated on the tip of a needle? (TBH, I don’t even know how many inhabitants your disunited kingdom has at the moment, and I don’t care.)

Here’s another guideline: If the number of people who want to use a service, live in a place, recreate in an area, send their children to a school, be treated by a dentist etc etc. is so great that straightforward short to medium term policy measures cannot resolve in a way that is generally accepted as equitable and protective of people’s rights (to an education, to medical care, to an intact environment…), THEN you can start waving the flag and asking for intervention on a higher policy level. But according to you that isn’t the case. Life isn’t a hellscape in your town, despite the atrocious 21% of people born with non-British citizenship. You accept yourself that the main need is another hospital. Also, it seems (and we’ve had this very same discussion before, right here) some laws preventing exploitation of hourly workers, protecting employment, raising the minimum wage, and if I remember correction, outlawing the practices of slum landlords. My view is that it is the inability of central government of getting these things implemented, of wresting some of the fruits of labour from the owners of the capital for the benefit of reversing the more and more unequal society. Your response is: let’s exempt our government from obeying international agreements they have previously entered to reduce the number of immigrants. What a short-sighted view! Don’t you think that instead of exploiting Polish families they’ll just go back to exploiting English ones, to the extent they’ve ever stopped? It’s not a zero-sum situation — except if your policies slide down a rabbit hole of neoliberal employee-coddling, it is completely clear that yes, these immigrants will easily pay for themselves. Instead of the disgraceful spectacle that your government is currently presenting to he world you could have debates about how many more training places in nursing and plumbing and accounting should be opened (sometimes with EU money, as I understand, in Cornwall for example).

245

casmilus 07.16.18 at 10:29 am

@189

“So let’s try this again. Do you think that pushing for a Britain where a median-educated worker can support a two-parent family on a typical income is a political project worth pursuing today? If not why? Explain the dangers that you see, and why you think we should take them seriously.”

Because that 1960 world was also a world in which female competition for employment was greatly restricted as well, both at access and in progression and in the general level of rewards. “Married Man’s tax Allowance” was one of the things we had in that world, and there was a whole network of social assumptions and structures supporting it.

What changed: fewer Real Jobs For Real Men, more Women’s Work.

Comments on this entry are closed.