Saturday Waffling (June 25th, 2016)

(32 comments)

Neoreaction a Basilisk ebooks went out to Kickstarter backers yesterday. The first sentence never seemed so apt. I doubt I'll find myself writing anything substantial on Brexit before the Capaldi volume of TARDIS Eruditorum, and thus with the benefit of a couple of years' historicization. It's obviously never a good thing when this many fascists are this happy, though. I honestly didn't believe Britain would vote for the side that's literally got Nazis gunning down its enemies in the streets. But then, as I noted last week, I honestly didn't believe Britain would be a place where Nazis would gun down a politician in the streets. But of course, there's always been more to Britain than the bits I love and have written at length about. Equally, that doesn't mean the Britain I write about isn't there. It's always been a Britain of the margins. It's still a land of madmen - poets and snake-worshippers and yes, of course, with boxes. It's all still there, and still as important and central to what Britain is as it ever was. And if there's one thing it's lurking in the margins, ready to flood back in. 

That doesn't make it any less of a depressing day, though. And I know I have a lot of readers for whom this was a particular gut punch. So consider this your open thread to vent, make fatalistic jokes, or cobble together fleeting optimism. 

Game of Thrones review will be Monday morning again, followed by Brief Treatise in the afternoon. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Comments

MattM 1 year ago

I was sort of hoping to see a Jack Graham commentary on all that's just gone down or is that too political for this blog?

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Aylwin 1 year ago

"Minnesota Fascist" on Barton Fink might be a thing at this point.

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Anton B 1 year ago

Yeah come on Jack. We need the Shabogan overview.
Meanwhile...
The two most asked questions on Google today in the UK.
"What does it mean to leave the EU?
And, stunningly -
"What is the EU?"
Bit late to ask that now you dumb fucks!
A totally unrepresentative straw poll amongst people I spoke to yesterday who seemed reasonably sane and happily admitted they voted leave revealed the following reasons

1. We're better off out of Europe/Taking our country back
2. Too many rules imposed by foreign bureaucrats
3. Immigrants taking 'our' jobs
4. Immigrants taking 'our' benefits.
5. There's too many of 'them' coming over here
5. Mumble mumble...something...immigrants

So. Not fascist at all then.

It seems my country has decided to become a pile of shit. Still, a million flies can't be wrong so "we must respect the decision of the majority". Do we though? Can't we just decide that democracy is fucked in the UK because the majority are a bunch of thick xenophobic arseholes who do everything Murdoch's press tell them to?

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Chris Bradshaw 1 year ago

Wow they sound a bit like us Americans. Imagine that...

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John G. Wood 1 year ago

My wife is a midwife in an almost entirely white working class area, and she was saddened yesterday by some of the comments - particularly quite how many times she heard that we were "finally taking our country back from the Germans". But it's wrong to label everyone who voted Leave with the same brush; equally tragic was someone who said they were afraid to admit they voted Leave for fear of being branded a Racist, when they had (what they thought were) better reasons.

One pretty rational reason raised for voting Leave was that the corporate bosses were telling us to vote Remain, so it must be the wrong choice - a sentiment I can certainly relate to!

It seemed to me that a lot of people, including many on the Left, were looking at the problems with Europe but not thinking through whether leaving would actually help. But then, I am currently struggling with my privilege as a White middle-class man. It was really hard yesterday not to smugly look down my nose at the "ignorant masses", safe in the knowledge that I knew better. The fact that such a feeling could come on so strongly was just as sickening as the ignorance.

I just keep thinking of the end of Planet of the Apes: "We finally really did it. You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

Still, maybe Scotland will go independent but allow a few of us sanctuary...

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Daru 1 year ago

"Still, maybe Scotland will go independent but allow a few of us sanctuary..."

Over the last however many years the population in Scotland has actually been decreasing, so yes do come we'd welcome you!

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James Wylder 1 year ago

I wasn't able to write at all yesterday. The fascist possibilities that this portends in the UK and where I live in the US are too awful.

This will go badly for the UK... Though we'll see who all seceded now....

My basic reaction to the Brexit is an A followed by 20,000 H's.

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Lambda 1 year ago

I feel like I'm being mugged by 52% of voters and having my European citizenship stolen.

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SpaceSquid 1 year ago

Seconded. What's struck me is that the friends who I was able to forgive voting Tory last year I'm entirely incapable of even acknowledging right now. Rightly or wrongly, this just seems like more direct of a betrayal.

(Says the cis-het middle-class white guy, of course.)

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Daru 1 year ago

With you both.

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Bob Dillon 1 year ago

The Economist had a wry line yesterday: The quickest way to resolve this would be for England and Wales to seceed from the UK, leaving the United Kingdom of Scotland and Northern Ireland to remain in the EU. No lengthy negotiations needed.

This would have the added benefit of Leaving Edinburgh with the UN seat and all the Nukes.

Bob

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Daru 1 year ago

Sounds good! I'm up for that as a Scot (but not the nukes, get shot of them).

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FJ 1 year ago

The sharp generational dividing line between leave and remain voters gives me hope for the future. This hate and fear will be dead within my lifetime, and my friends will then be safe. Well, safer, at least.

That sounds desperately naive, but, well, I'm desperate.

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John G. Wood 1 year ago

Unfortunately, if you think about it, the group which voted most strongly to leave were mostly the teenagers of the 50s and 60s. The rock & rollers and the flower power generation. If the Boomers have been so squashed in the last fifty years, where will my children's generation end up in another fifty?

My two lovely teens are devastated. May had her final GCSE yesterday morning and spent the afternoon writing angry but thoughtful rants on Tumblr and Facebook. Isaac came home from his practice DofE expedition and as usual was quieter but still obviously upset. None of their peer group friends wanted Brexit. None of them had any say. We still celebrated their achievements, but it wasn't how we wanted it.

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Phuzz 1 year ago

Assuming people are born, and die at the usual rates, by the time two years are up enough old Leavers will have died, and young Remainers will have reached 18 that the vote would go the other way.
And that's without people changing their minds (or the presumably increased death rate as the NHS gets even more fucked).

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Aylwin 1 year ago

Trouble is, that demographic trend may now be another might-have-been. Old bigots dying off will probably now be offset to a significant extext by people leaving, who will be overwhelmingly from the pro-European/non-racist side of the line (both for political/cultural reasons and because, being generally younger and better educated, they will be readier and better able to flee the impending slump).

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David Gerard 1 year ago

Obsolete Units Surrounded By Hail: An A to Z of Brexit. Cathartic fragments, pessimistic conjectures - an essay Andrew Hickey linked on Tumblr.

The backstab myths from the brexiters when their utopia fails to materialise are going to be darling.

We are already seriously enumerating the exits.

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Phil Sandifer 1 year ago

I almost linked this in the main post - it's Tom Ewing at his best.

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Comment awaiting approval 1 year ago

Tim B. 1 year ago

After the months of right-wing pandering we're going to be treated to the joys of a Tory party leadership contest.

Hopefully every time Jonson opens his mouth he'll be asked about the £350 million pledge, Gove if he appears to be expert about anything he'll be ridiculed, May asking her about how the lengthy re-negotiations we will have to be involved in with the Good Friday agreement (just as one example) is worth leaving the EU declaration on human rights that she appears to be so fond of. And of course for every candidate how exactly the EU's perfectly fair demand for freedom of movement is going to be squared off with the 'taking control of our borders' (as well as having singularly failed to do 'take control of our borders' for at least a thousand years how do we intend to do now?).

On the plus side Farage as an MEP is now out of a job, and if he had half the principle he claims to have he'd quit now.

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Bob Dillon 1 year ago

As I understand it, although the withdrawing member state cannot participate in the discussions on the EU side at Council level, any eventual agreement must (among other hoops) get past the European Parliament, and there seems to be no requirement for the representatives of the withdrawing state to recuse themselves.

So he can calim that it is his duty to stay on for that one single vote.

Ref: http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-European-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

Ref: http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-the-functioning-of-the-european-union-and-comments/part-5-external-action-by-the-union/title-5-international-agreement/506-article-218.html

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Tim B. 1 year ago

It's more a statement of what he should do rather than what he legally can do. Looking at his comments post result regarding shots fired and victory for decent people he seems someone not particularly troubled by self-awareness. I only wish the adage about getting exactly what you wish for holds true.

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Daibhid C 1 year ago

I don't discuss politics with people IRL due to anxiety. I was reminded why at my jobclub yesterday, when one guy said before we started that he was in a good mood because his side won. I kept quiet and thought "Well, I'm sure he has his reasons, he doesn't seem like a far-right loon, keep an open mind."

When I left he was on the phone to someone about how awesome Trump is. So there's that.

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Iain Coleman 1 year ago

I haven't received the ebook or any information about it yet. Should I be concerned?

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Phil Sandifer 1 year ago

Check your Kickstarter messages and shoot me an email if it's not there.

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Iain Coleman 1 year ago

Thanks, Phil, it was indeed in my Kickstarter messages. Evidently there was some problem with my email notifications.

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D.N. 1 year ago

My favourite Pink Floyd album, "The Final Cut," has just become - sadly, frighteningly - more relevant:

"Should we shout?
Should we scream?
What happened to the Post-War Dream?
...What have we done?"

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Jeff Heikkinen 1 year ago

The bit you left out is actually kinda relevant too. Thatcher's as responsible as anyone for this political climate.

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D.N. 1 year ago

Very true. Her poisoned legacy lives on.

Also, since it amounts to Britain's youth being fucked against their will by old people, is Brexit analogous to Jimmy Savile?

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Eve Schmitt 1 year ago

Oh joy, referendums. Combining a slight majority of venal and short-sighted people with a state-wide simple-majority vote. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

Referendums should not be decided on a simple majority. A simple majority on the scale of a state is not a genuine majority, because the majority is usually decided on very slim margins. Referendums ought to require a 2/3 majority vote. It would make Direct Democracy still possible, but rarer, as people proposing referendums would have to actually consider what the genuine majority of the country wanted.

There's also the fact that a simple majority vote can cause a schism among the masses, as one side gets mad about the other for steering the country in what they consider the wrong direction. With a 2/3 vote the losing minority is much smaller, and the majority can say "well, most of us are for X proposal, so get with the program."

As opposed to "10,000 people in Bristol voted for the proposal, so I guess you've lost."

Did David Cameron think of this as he planted a time bomb under his own political career? Of course not. He's David Cameron. He doesn't give a damn what the masses think.

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David Brain 1 year ago

Oh, I think Cameron knew what he was aiming for, and his gamble seemed perfectly sound. A 52/48 Remain vote would have given him a very strong hand in the renegotiation round - it might even have forced treaty talks - but without the actual risk of needing to consider leaving. And, I suspect, this is what Gove and Johnson were aiming for too. But not Farage. And since he was the one who genuinely believed in his own cause, he knew what buttons to press and had been pressing them for years.

A 60/40 Leave or Remain vote would have been a categorical statement of intent; the majority would have been clear and it would have felt decisive.
Instead, we got the worst of all options, with a decision that affects our entire political future as a nation (and, possibly as a continent) made by a small majority and, ironically, considering one of the core arguments made by the Leave side, completely unaccountable.

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Daru 1 year ago

Was a weird day waking up to find out that a large percentage had voted to leave, I felt genuinely sad. The weirdness came from the fact that I felt happy as a Scot that not a single constituency had voted to leave. I had really had a difficult time during our Independence Referendum in Scotland, as many of my so-called open minded colleagues who were feverishly pro-Yes were actually spouting pre-emptive hate and bile towards anyone who might vote No.

In the end for that Referendum I voted No, as I didn't care for the strong sense of divide and "us against them". But now if Scotland does have another Independence vote I may well reconsider my vote. I guess we'll have to see what route all of this takes and where Scotland goes with it all. Sad with a feeling of resignation, but I am sure I'll get out of that soon enough.

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