Friday, June 24, 2016

Politics and financial turmoil

Sou | 7:27 PM Go to the first of 209 comments. Add a comment
This is where you can clap with glee or express your disbelief that so many people in England and Wales want to try to go it alone. If you don't care about the political and trade issues, how do you feel about the impact on financial sector in the UK and the world.

Is this the end of the United Kingdom or did that happen some time ago? Will Scotland have another vote to separate, and to stay with the EU? What about Northern Ireland? Will it revert to civil strife? And will other EU countries follow suit, leading to a collapse of the union?

Post your thoughts here - and even better, speculate what Europe (including England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and the world will look like in 2030.

HotWhopper rarely dips into politics, but this vote by the people of Britain to leave the EU could signal some massive changes. It will almost certainly upset the world of finance. The Pound has dropped to its lowest level since 1985. Stock prices have dropped quite a lot all around the world. This could be a kneejerk reaction from the markets, or the start of a bear.

One things seems certain, unwinding from the EU won't be easy or painless. England could sink into a long depression. The Bank of England is trying to talk things up, but will the world listen?

What's the bet that when reality sets in, the people who voted to leave will still blame the EU for their woes?

Update - I've added some links below the fold.

Further reading

Some HotWhopper readers might not be all that familiar with the EU, except perhaps for its massive multi-national research programs. The implications are potentially far-reaching, with the biggest concerns being international stability in terms of security and economics. That's for people outside of the UK. Within the UK it's unlikely that the hopes of those who voted to leave will be realised in the short to medium term, and some things they didn't think about might concern them.

The biggest concern is probably that the xenophobia behind Brexit reminds some people of early 20th century Germany. Racism and xenophobia and wanting to keep out the world is not just happening in the UK, but with Trump in the USA, and with some conservative politicians in Australia, too.

Anyway, here are a few links to get you started:

The Law, Constitution and Brexit

  • Brexit | Legally and constitutionally, what now? - article by Mark Elliott, who is Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution.

EU background and history - plus security implications
Financial and economic implications
Other reading


  1. Its another triumph for the principle of lying to a fundamentally ignorant electorate.

    1. Yup

      "Nigel Farage disowns Vote Leave '£350m for the NHS' pledge hours after result"


      They'll feel great about themselves for the first few years but then reality will set in and they will realize that it really wasn't a very smart move. Then they'll start to talk about rejoining...

    2. Maybe they'll do what Switzerland does: buy itself access to just about everything, and in the process having to follow the EU rules even more than the other EU countries, and thus only have the imaginary idea they're not controlled by the EU, while in reality being even more in its grip - without having any influence whatsoever!

    3. "Maybe they'll do what Switzerland does..."

      We should be so lucky. The number one objective of the EU negotiators when the Brits come begging will be to make such an example of the UK that no other country considers leaving the EU.

    4. If you want the same deal as Switzerland or Norway, I see no reason why you would not get it. Then your situation does not improve, you have the same EU regulations, would have to pay into these systems, but no longer any say in making the rules.

      Being in the EU has clear benefits, if you opt out of these programs, these benefits will go away. The consequence will be clear. No need for the EU to make it extra bad to scare others. (I would not expect EU to want to set an example. Would be pretty pathetic if they thought that would be needed keep the EU together.)

  2. C'mon, it could be worse. At least Trump isn't in the UK.

    Oh. Hang on... Shit!

    Anyway, regardless, how often does a decision driven by nationalism and xenophobia go wrong down the line?

    [Buries head in hands, weeps softly]

  3. The market carnage thing is being oversold. The FTSE 100 seems stable just over 6000, which is higher than it was 10 days ago on fear of an exit and 500 points higher than it was back in February.

    Having said that I voted Remain and am dismayed at this outcome. Whatever small financial benefits we gain from not paying our 'membership fee' will be dwarfed by worsened trading arrangements and our weakened currency.

    The EU is also weakened and recession in the UK and Europe just got more likely.

    Neither campaign covered themselves in glory, however the 'Remain' camp made the best case, when judged on the cold facts. The lies told by the exit side are now coming back to bite them. It was a narrow win and my feeling is that immigration was the deciding issue. There were some deeply unsavoury overtones of xenophobia to some of the material, which may have appealed to the 2 million who read the Daily Mail. They are going to be sorely disappointed when they discover just how little will actually change.

    What will the country look like in 2030? Our place in the world will be smaller, we will be more insular, less diverse (as a small example, we are now excluded from the Erasmus European student exchange programme), our science base will be shrunk - we received 3 billion EUR more in EU research than we contributed - and I'd put the odds on Scotland being independent at better than 50%.

    Oh, and I'll be living in Edinburgh.

    1. I saw a graph that indicated that the largest proportion of those who voted Leave live in areas that have the most trade with the EU.

    2. PHil, I disagree with you re carnage. If you look at the FTSE 250 index you will see that it dropped over 7% on the day. The FTSE 100 has a lot of companies that do most or all of their business outside the EU. Also these include mining companies, such as Randgold - hardly, surprising when gold prices spiked on Friday - a sign of market fears.

    3. Good point Bill, however if you look at the 1 year chart you'll see that fall (so far) in context.

      Its the 'so far' bit that worries me, it looks like we may have to wait for a new PM before we start the Article 50 leave process, which will be months, plus there appears to be doubt as to whether Scotland, which as a whole voted Remain, may have a legal veto. Months of uncertainty IOW, and we know how much the market hates that.

      Plus, as a dirty capitalist speculator, I tried to buy some shares in one of the housebuilders hardest hit by the vote, and my broker was unwilling or unable to give me a quote. So there may be more volatility pent up because investors were unable to trade on Friday.

      Hold on to your hats.

  4. A very sad day for intelligence.

    Also more than 50% of the UK did not vote to exit

    1. Nice job rankling the Tallbloke at the Talkshop. Rog also claimed he solved ENSO and now can predict El Ninos according to the planetary orbits, lol.

    2. Oh, whut, to think that he once was so enthralled by the work of "the scientist, Pukite". What a wonderful collaboration the two of you could have had.

      It's intriguing how similar the stuff emerging from the mouths and other orifices of the brexiteers is to what we hear from the AGW-haters (out of respect for their tender sensibilities I shall avoid the d***** word). To give one example there has been no end of reports from highly respected such as the IMF, the Bank of England and the highly respected UK Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) on the economic harm to the UK to be expected from Brexit. The brexiteers reaction is to say that all these organisations are "closely linked" to the EU, or in the case of the IFS has "received money from the EU in the past" (the EU commissioned a piece of research from them).

      Such conspiracy theorising looks ever so familiar.

    3. Sorry, make that "AGW-theory haters"

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. The triumph of anti-knowledge

      Where ignorance and gullibility are worn as a badges of honour

    6. Tallbloke has blocked me on Twitter since he is a very sensitive bloke, as well as being tall.

    7. (a bit late, but anyway...)

      Bill H: "Such conspiracy theorising looks ever so familiar".

      indeed it would, since the Leave camp got a lot of support from names that would be familiar to everyone here, not least Nigel Lawson.

      "Brexit: The Movie" was directed by the same guy who made "The Great Global Warming Swindle". unsurprisingly, much of it was built on complete falsehoods (as featured in that John Oliver clip that was circulating late last week).

  5. Per PC, the market carnage bit is overstated, I think.

    Sadly, I don't think we'll be able to get away with what the Greeks did: call a referendum and ignore the result.

    1. Wait until we see what the Europeans want as their side of the divorce settlement..... the car, alimony, all the CDs

    2. Maybe V for Vendetta was not that farfetched, sans the pandemia ;-)

      But more seriously speaking, I don't think this will be that serious, sidelining with Humma on what will happen. Maybe it would do good for the ignorati to be ruled by the UKIP (as the current PM will step down). Here in Finland their brethren (perussuomalaiset) were pollwise taken down a peg or two after having to participate in the governing, and essentially became turncoats.

      However! I also think that if Scotland actually votes for independence (and rejoins EU), then the situation may indeed become interesting since AFAIK (and I do confess having quite nonexisting knowledge on the matter) there are strong regional identities such as Wales and perhaps northern Ireland which may follow suite.

      Maybe someone local could shed some light here?

      So if the United Kingdom actually becomes un-united, will it be another anus horribilis for the queen?

      (sorry could not resist, it is the bavarian beer)


    3. Poltsi : Wales voted Leave so no hope there. I dread to think what'll happen in Northern Ireland.

      It'll be a couple of years before the UK is out, so the Scottish government could wait to see what the new arrangements will be and call a referendum on it - that is, leave the EU and stay with the UK or stay with the EU and leave the UK.

      On a personal level, I despair. From now on I will cultivate my own garden and leave the world to its own delusional devices.

    4. "It'll be a couple of years before the UK is out, so the Scottish government could wait to see what the new arrangements will be..."

      I'm not sure about that. Wouldn't Scotland have to renegotiate entry into the EU as a new country if they waited? I'm not sure if they could just stay on the same terms even if they left the UK now. Maybe they will be able to use the threat of a referendum to negotiate separately with the EU.

    5. Last time the general view was that if Scotland left the UK, it would have to negotiate accession as a new country. I think this will be the same if they decide to leave the UK now.

    6. Bellman, I very much suspect Scotland would get a fast track to EU membership to spite the English.

    7. The mechanics of Scotland's accession to the EU are one thing, but the principle and rhetoric of the referendum would be about who to stay with (UK or EU) and who to wave goodbye to.

      If this happens before the UK's deal is clear then we'll hear the same airy "It'll be great, trust us" line from unionists, which is hard to argue against.

    8. William C:

      The carnage isn't just in the UK. French and German markets down close to 10%. You can see why they're furious with the Conservative Party's utter complacency: deciding to spend the next 4 months or so choosing a new leader, then having a lengthy period of consultation, before getting down to divorce proceedings. Heaven knows what the market convulsions are likely to be during such a lengthy period of drift and uncertainty.

    9. Look at the trend WMC not short term viability

      Where have I heard that before

    10. 1st off, thanks for your insights, they have been educational.

      "It'll be a couple of years before the UK is out"

      I'm not sure about this. According to the biggest finnish paper (Helsingin Sanomat), the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgia and Luxembourg considered accelerating the exit-process in order to then be able to contemplate the future of EU.

      It sounds like they want to give the brexit-campaign exactly what the movement demanded :-)

      Speaking of getting-what-you-deserve, there is a piece of funny conspiracy doing the rounds:



    11. thanks for the link Poltsi - very interesting

      it always was an internal Tory party issue, fascinating to see how it plays out

      just a shame people will lose jobs as a result I suppose just collateral damage from people who's ultimate view is

      "to save this village we have to destroy it"

    12. @Tadaaa

      Call that a conspiracy theory? :)

      How about this. Cameron is fed up of being Prime Minister and has already made clear his intention to quit. He felt snubbed and ignored by the EU when he tried to negotiate changes. So he and his old school mate Boris got together to ensure power passed to Boris and could beef up the negotiations with the EU. Boris Johnson now has a grenade he can threaten the EU with while he spins out the negotiation process for the next three or four years till he gets what he wants.

      The EU have to make us an offer we can't refuse just to sort it all out.

      Job done.

  6. A 14 year old grandson summed it up, if Stephen Hawking a most intelligent man advocates remain and Michael Gove is for Brexit then it is obvious that logic is with remain.

    This is the result I feared, ill-informed voters made that way by a reckless, self serving press. 'The Sun' headline 'SEE EU LATER!' is almost as appalling as their 'GOTCHA' thirty four years ago.

    1. PS I am having issues with the verification pictures as they overlie the instruction for choosing so I have to guess what that is (Firefox Win8.1).

    2. I don't think I can help there, Lionel. I just checked with Firefox and the instructions were at the top of the pictures. I had to scroll up on the laptop but didn't have any problem seeing what to check. Is anyone else having a problem?

    3. Odd thing is Sou, and thanks, on a subsequent try instructions were in the heading to the pictures whereas previously they were in plain text hidden behind. I made some good guesses. Maybe I had another page open that was causing conflict. Whatever, I don't wish to detract from the topic in hand any further.

      Except to say darn it, just happened again but now I know what to look for the blue bar to hold the text all but vanishes leaving only a narrow strip of blue with any text covered by rest of page. But the legend pops up OK if one gets it wrong and has to retry. Weird.

  7. On the plus side, the coming world war will wipe out humanity and stop any worsening of global warming, which will reduce the depth of the sixth global extinction event.

  8. Yes, I am in Moscow at the moment and will be flying back to a rather smaller UK on Sunday

    The world still turns, but I suspect the vast majority who are drunk on power and control today will have a hangover in a few years time

    Always winners and losers, but this does not change anything

    On the plus side hopefully all the whining will stop

    1. "On the plus side hopefully all the whining will stop."


    2. yes, my word they are sore losers and even sorer winners

      who would have thunk it

      the amount on stick I am getting on the www for pointing out the what gullible idiots they have been!!!

      as always with conspirtards - it is heads they win tails you lose

      they wont even allow me to laugh at them, complaining that people are being mean to them on the internet

  9. I've been dreading this day for some time. I've no idea what the long term economic impact will be, but I do feel like a big part of my identity has been taken away.

    I think it's very likely that Scotland and NI will leave, but I don't know what effect that will have on the peace process. I'm more worried about the future of Europe, with many far-right groups now looking to emulate the UK. Some on the leave side have made it clear they hope to completely destroy the EU and return Europe to a collection of sovereign nations - which worked so well the last few hundred years.

    What really annoys me is how meaningless the whole referendum was. It should never have been called, it was only a tactic by David Cameron to keep parts of his party happy. It gave a simple yes / no option to a question that had many possible answers. So that now, no one knows what sort of leave will actually be negotiated - and it's inevitable that what ever happens, most who voted leave will be disappointed.
    And it only required a simple majority, with assurances that, no matter how close, there would not be a second referendum.

    It's difficult to know exactly why people voted to leave - in some cases it may have been a genuine desire to leave the EU, but it might also have been a protest against the government, austerity, or immigrants. I do wonder how much the perception of a swing towards remain in the last few days helped the leave cause. Encouraging people to vote leave as a protest whilst thinking they wouldn't have to go through with it.

    I suppose we should be worried by the fact that every climate skeptic was in favour of leaving and is now gloating over the prospect of the UK repealing all the EU environmental measures. But I've no idea what policies will actually change, the whole thing's a pig in a poke.

    1. Yes, the terms of the referendum were really poorly thought through...you can put that down to Cameron's basic complacency.

      In a non-compuslory voting system, terms should be drafted to reflect the likely large number who can't be bothered participating...and so we saw it. 72% voted, and 52% of that number wanted to exit.

      A more realistic threshhold for such important decisions should be 60 or 66% of the turnout, then an argument could be made for a majority wanting out...not that it stops the mendacious, or mathematically challenged, Brexiters claiming the people have spoken.

      Now one quarter of the population are deciding for the country

    2. Cameron sold out his principles to win the general election. He did not want to leave, but to get the right of his part on board and to take the sting out of UKIP he promised the referendum, which he must have known was a gamble with massive consequences. It is ironic that this sell out bought him less than a year as PM and a legacy that will be scoffed t for generations. It smacks of a master tactician with no strategy.

  10. I'm hearing more and more that many who voted "Leave" meant it as a protest and never imagined it would actually happen. Many who voted "Leave" are now horrified and frightened at what they have wrought.

    Let that be a lesson to people living in democracies all over the world. Protest votes are perhaps the worst kind.

    Also, know that voting is not like hitting "Like" on Facebook. It has real-world consequences.

  11. This page has some fascinating analysis


    According to this, 54% who voted leave expected remain to win.

    Also shows that people who said that feminism, the green movement and the internet where "forces for ill" where much more likely to vote leave than those who thought they were forces for good.

    Also, those who identified as more English than British were more likely to vote leave than those who saw themselves as more British.

  12. Reading these comments it seems that there is universal dismay at the referendum outcome.
    Not from me. I voted to leave.
    Here's why....
    The no.1 reason is lack of accountable governance.
    Whatever happens in a society those that shape it should be held to account by the electorate every few years.
    Not so with the EU. No idea who my MEP is and a change in him/her would not make things any different. Non-elected bureaucrats are in charge and one voice among 28 gives no voice at all, never mind continued expansion.
    If we were not in the EU there is no way we would have been voting yesterday about wanting to join. It's not working. Ask the Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese. Great for the Germans who benefit greatly from low interest rates as they sell their engineering to the Greeks and others. Meanwhile the French just coat-tail on them.
    As for Scotland - they voted less than 2 years ago to stay. To be a part of the UK. It would have been risky then with the price of oil. Now? Well good luck. Nationalism masquerading as politics.
    The vote was a UK one not as separate nations. So the fact that Scotland voted to stay is irrelevant. As Churchill said "Democracy is the worst system there is - apart from all the other ones we've tried". The voice of the people. When we joined 41 years ago it was just a trading block - it has become a federal state. At last we had our say on that unbidden process.
    The world is much wider than Europe, as a Commonwealth we traded happily and successfully before and we will again, with others.
    That was the problem with the remain campaign - the threats about what would happen when we leave. The "Glass half-full" view. I went with the "half-empty" one. Besides there is more to life than economics. It is the sense of justice and control over your own society and lives.

    1. "It would have been risky then with the price of oil. Now? Well good luck. Nationalism masquerading as politics."

      The UK is in terrible shape with respect to oil. The North Sea crude oil is rapidly depleting as according to earlier predictions, and it has nothing to do with price, but with the geophysical realities of a non-renewable finite resource.

    2. Tony, that you don't know the name of your MEP is your fault. It isn't difficult to find out. As for accountability - government in the UK has long been heading the same way. The House of Lords is a shining example of democracy, isn't it?

      The Leave campaign made a lot of taking back control. In a global environment, that will be more an illusion that a reality. You and I will be back to voting for one voice in 650, so where does that leave us?

      "Nationalism masquerading as politics." You said it. There was a nasty aspect to the campaigning - I was canvassed by someone who was clearly racist and homophobic. He was told where to go. I have not heard of Leave campaigners being attacked but there was vandalism against Remain campaigners.

      But, the proverb about being careful about what you wish for might be useful here. The losses from the stock market will affect our pensions and I can't afford mine to be squeezed and I am lucky to have a local government one.

      The poorest in the UK will pay for this the highest. Shame that the young will have to pick up the pieces. I was a natural Leaver until I heard the quotations from the denier handbook (FUD) used by the Leave campaign. Shame on them for having no real positive answer to the question of what life actually will be like outside the EU.

    3. "As Churchill said "Democracy is the worst system there is - apart from all the other ones we've tried"."

      Churchill also said,

      "We must build a kind of United States of Europe. ... The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing."

      If you've no idea who your MEP is, it's possibly because you don't have one - there decided by proportional representation, so you have several. Unlike with our truly democratic FTP system where most of the time your vote makes no difference to who gets elected.

      I do suspect that the problem with the EU and democracy is that many nations including the UK resisted the idea of it becoming more democratic. The more democratic it was the less power to individual nations would have. Do you want the UK to be one voice in 28, or do you want it to be a coalition of 28 sovereign states each with a veto?

    4. Good luck with that. It does rather seem like the result will be opposite to what you desired, concentrating power in the powerful and degrading your currency and resources. Burning down the house often does that.

    5. "Tony, that you don't know the name of your MEP is your fault. It isn't difficult to find out. As for accountability - government in the UK has long been heading the same way. The House of Lords is a shining example of democracy, isn't it?"

      Not my point.
      My MEP is powerless to change what affects me.
      Democracies only work on a small scale or else we feel divorced from proceedings.
      Democracies NEED to be accountable to the electorate. The EU is? Really?
      This is the shock the Eurocrats needed to make them realise they have lost touch with parts of their "electorate" (chiefly the original members of the trading block that I originally voted FOR in 1975).
      Heading the same way?
      The House of Lords is hardly new, and has little power anyway excepting in a close Parliament.

      Anyway, this is not WUWT.
      NOT a political platform.
      My view is honestly held and just as valid as anyone elses here.
      It is that of 52% of the vote yesterday.

    6. Tony Banton, June 25, 2016 at 6:35 AM

      "Democracies only work on a small scale or else we feel divorced from proceedings."

      Ah, sounds like you understand how a small part of a greater whole don't feel adequately represented...

      ony Banton, June 25, 2016 at 3:04 AM

      "The vote was a UK one not as separate nations. So the fact that Scotland voted to stay is irrelevant."

      ...or perhaps you don't.


    7. The elderly voted to leave. The young voted to stay.

      Some people simply don't handle change well. Much like we see with racism, sexism, and gender/transgender issues the young are almost invariably more willing to embrace change. It's oft said that science advances one funeral at a time. It's similarly true for many social issues. As the old die off youth will rule. Unfortunately they are, for the moment, handcuffed by the prejudices of their elders.

      I used to think that Ape and Essence and 1984 were taught in most schools. But judging by the still large cohorts that believe nationalism is a *good* thing I've had to reconsider. Arbitrary lines on maps and the accidental geography of where you were bon is still very, very important to many people.

      2500 years after Socrates said, "I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world" many of us still think of themselves first as Athenians or Greeks. Obviously Tony is one of that number.

    8. @ bellman

      This was always about the internal battle of the Tory party, stretching back 40 years

      It is like a divorcing couple inviting the party goers to take sides

    9. @ Tony Benton

      Watch " Brexit the movie"

      Watch the "great global warming swindle"

      Same b0llo0x, same modus operandi, same specious cherry picked easy digestible arguments, feeding off ignorance, same director

      A victory for Lord Monkton


    10. Ronnie Reagan campaigned on 'accountability' in 1980. Of course a soon as he was elected and the eff ups in his administration occurred, which they did over and over again, all he had to say was "oops sorry, mistakes were made." and then turned his back and walked away until the next time. No one in his admin was ever held accountable. From here in the states Ukip and its leaders, and their rhetoric, look exactly like Ronnie.

    11. "...or perhaps you don't."

      You believe that the EU is equivalent to the Union with the following history.....


      It's worked perfectly well for hundreds of years in the same format as apposed to 40 years of shifting goalposts from first the inception of the European Common Market in 1957 (that I voted for in 1975) to the present EU.

      Apples and pears.

    12. "You believe that the EU is equivalent to the Union [...]"

      No I don't.

      But I do think that it is a very bad idea to dismiss the strongly held viewpoint of a significant group of people. I'd say it's been a major contributor to the current mess.


    13. Tony writes: "It's worked perfectly well for hundreds of years in the same format..."

      Yeah, right.

      "They say immigrants steal the hubcaps
      Of the respected gentlemen
      They say it would be wine an' roses
      If England were for Englishmen again

      The Clash, Something About England, 1980

    14. Tony, your description to the EU structures is far from complete. You didn't mention the Council of Ministers (democratically accountable to their national parliaments), which actually holds the whiphand, not the "unelected bureaucrats", (incredibly tedious cliche, that: are you going to mention "red tape" while you're about it?) as you describe the senior civil servants of the EU. As for the EU parliament, it has to give assent to whatever legislation those civil servants come up with. The Head of Commission must be approved by the parliament, and the parliament has the power to dismiss the whole Commission - not a negligible power, I think you'd agree.
      I do agree with you that the adoption of the Euro was a mistake, but the organisation of the Eurozone is a rather different matter, and you conflate that with the operation of the EU as a whole.

      The EU does have a democratic deficit, but what supra-national organisation does not? UN, WTO, NAFTA - sizeable deficits there, alright.

      The economic chaos unleashed by the Brexit vote doesn't augur well for "going it alone". The decision by the brexiteers to do bugger-all about negotiating an exit for at least 4 months is just going to make this a lot worse.

      Sorry, Tony, but I think your "leave" vote was an act of irresponsibility. Leading brexiteers are realising their own lack of responsibility. We already have veteran MEP and leading brexiteer Daniel Hannan saying that we should go for the "Norway option" with "free movement of labour". What a knobhead. That won't go down well in Leave-shire.

    15. Tony,

      On another point you say that in the previous referendum on the EU in 1975 that you thought at the time it was just a trading bloc. What on earth gave you that idea? The UK had been in a trading bloc, EFTA, but the Heath govt decided in 1972 that closer integration would be to our economic benefit. I still remember as, a nine year old, the introduction of the EU's Value Added Tax in place of the old purchase tax. The reason I remember this was that, to my delight, sweets suddenly got a little cheaper. It was, nevertheless, my introduction to a tax imposed by a supranational organisation - clearly not just a trading bloc.

      If I worked that out at the age of nine, how did it escape your adult attention?

    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    17. "... handcuffed by the prejudices of their elders.">

      So handcuffed that a high percentage of them could not be bothered to turn out to vote. Enough to have turned the result around.

      "Boo-hoo - look what the old have done to me - though I personally couldn't be bothered to get to the polling booth!"

    18. Tony Banton the UK was / is a major beneficiary of EU membership. Not least of all because it kept its strong ‎£.

      I believe that Portugal and Greece have reasons to leave or at the very least ditch the € so they are free to devalue their own currancy (thereby improving exports and tourism) but I'd be buggered if I can find any economic benefits in UK's departure.

      I suspect that there are major influences in play that are only truthfully discussed in UKIP and NF meetings.

    19. Although there are claims about the voting of this or that demographic, the reality is that we don't know how people voted. Individuals' votes are secret and there were no serious exit polls. The claims of voting practice are based on comparing the final vote from a polling station with the demographics of its catchment area. How accurate is that likely to be?

    20. I don't know about polling information - its a good point

      But Votes aren't "secret" - the voting slip has a number that matches against your name on the voting eligibly sheet when you collect your slip

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. aTTP has, as is his wont, a civilized compendium of commentary and reference in his comments. They led me to two items, the first of which is valuable, showing connections with climate denial. I'm not sure Boris Johnson is still a science denier (though clearly naive on solutions, tricky area), and his connections seem less than most. What is prominent is the export of Koch organs, ALEC and CEI, to bolster up UK denial.
    Mapped connex of Euroskeptic and Climate Denial

    In addition, The New Yorker, the best of US literacy, provides a mildly amusing description of a confrontation between Farage and Bob Geldof, among others, here

    I will hope my html worked, if not, cut/paste will have to suffice.

    1. Forgot to mention, connect mapping is from the invaluable DeSmogBlog UK.

  15. It does appear illegal migration (or the perception of it) was a big driver. The economic arguments for and against seem trivial to me.

    I do see a lot of walls going up in the future. The issue of illegal migration is probably going to get worse in the short term.

  16. I hope agreements concerning
    ongoing observation and conservation of migratory bird species are maintained.
    Many things in the natural world dont have artifical
    political borders.

  17. Susan
    "Correlation is not causation"
    To coin a phrase.
    I am not a climate denier FI.
    If you are not aware of that then Google me or "Toneb".

    1. "Yet causation implies correlation."

      To coin yet another phrase.

    2. Tony, though I think you were irresponsible in the recent referendum, I can fully vouch for your concern about AGW. Your contribution to WUWT is a beacon of light in a morass of ignorance and hatred.

      Thank you.

  18. The oldest rule in politics is "Don't ask a question that you don't know the answer to."

    From an Australian vantage point, it seems that Tony Cameron has failed that test spectacularly.

    I also feel that this is a "Divorce in haste and repent at leisure" moment for the UK,especially for the under-25's who are trying to build their careers.

    My own wife and children and grandchildren, only three of whom have ever visited Europe hold Latvian and Australian citizenship. It's odd that they will soon enjoy privileges in Europe that the citizens of Great Britain, who are Europeans living in Europe, do not.

    There's no explaining some things.

    1. "From an Australian vantage point, it seems that Tony Cameron has failed that test spectacularly."

      That's David - but it has to be one of the most spectacular political suicides in history.

      To be fair to him I suspect he made the promise to hold a referendum before last year's election expecting he wouldn't have to go through with it. If, as was forecast, he hadn't got a majority he would have had to form another coalition with the Liberals and could have dropped the referendum as part of the negotiations. But he got a small overall majority, meaning he couldn't drop it without a rebellion from his own side.

      I'm also not sure if he expected Boris Johnson to be so opportunistic. I'm not even sure if Boris actually wanted to win the referendum, and now seems quite worried by the prospect - I've seen several comparisons to The Producers.

  19. "What's the bet that when reality sets in, the people who voted to leave will still blame the EU for their woes? "

    Sou, that was almost my first thought - except that I'd qualify that as those that promoted rather than voted for it; I really doubt most voters made a well informed choice and some will turn on the misinformers.

    I don't know what the divorce proceedings and settlement after this decision to separate will involve but surely there'll be plenty of opportunity for blame and blame shifting.

  20. The really funny comment i make is that
    The add when i clicked onto the site was for the
    Cripes cringes worthy plus

  21. Here is how it works unfortunately people get the news from pretty poor sources i.e. Fox other than that the every day people relate to any message that says " The reason your having a poor life is because of " There follows a list of reasons, I will not list them but I think you follow my reasoning.
    It is very easy to get a response from people who are ill informed or not able to make a sensible judgement.

  22. The Brexit politicians are hastily 'clarifying' some of their positions now. Apparently they didn't have time to do this before voting day.

    1. "The Brexit politicians are hastily 'clarifying' some of their positions now. Apparently they didn't have time to do this before voting day."

      I am really beginning to wonder if there will be a brexit at all - maybe I'm just in denial. At the least it seems we will be going for the least harmful option, as with Norway, which as far as I can tell would mean nothing changes except we no longer have a say in the EU.

    2. It's a bit late for the petition. The deed is done.

      It's now up to 2.8 million signatures. There's a map, too.


    3. "It's a bit late for the petition"

      Well, yes and no. The referendum was "advisory" so it does not bind the governemnt to anything. I think a case could be made that such a profound constitutional change should be subject to a more careful process. Perhaps a general election as well?

      On a more abstract idea. The devolved Parliaments have to agree to triggering Article 50. Why would the Scottish parliament agree?

      Whatever happens now there is no good way to move forward. All the social progress and advances we have made over the last 50 years are back in the melting pot mixed in with lots of out-dated prejudices.

    4. One way to lose total trust would be for a government not to follow through on the referendum. It was held and the people voted in good faith. It's like asking people to vote on the death penalty. You'd only do that if you wanted to retain/reintroduce the death penalty.

      There are times elected leaders should do their job and lead. This was one of those times. They didn't, and now all of the UK will pay the price.

    5. "It's a bit late for the petition. The deed is done."

      Correct. They can't ignore the vote, otherwise democracy would not mean much.

      The rules were laid out, the campaigning was done, the results are in. I guess the only way they could toss it out now would be to declare the vote unlawful in some way, then break the tear gas and riot gear out of storage.

    6. I should have added, a lot of people outside the UK will be paying the price, too. This decision doesn't just affect the UK. There will be ramifications world-wide, some seen immediately (like the impact on financial stability) and some that may emerge over time (such as security around the world, balance of power issues etc).

    7. Well, Sou and Harry. Yes and no.

      The rules were laid out and it was an advisory referendum. No rules were laid on what happened next. A very shaky basis for a constitutional change.

    8. From what I've read, you're correct, Jammy. I'd say Harry and I are also correct:) The difference is that you are talking about the legal reality and we are talking about the political reality.

      Here's a useful article on the constitutional aspects. (The UK doesn't have a constitution like that of Australia. From what I can gather, the UK constitution is sort of the sum of it's laws. These laws also embrace the EU laws - though I'm not on top of all or even some of the technicalities. Someone more legally-knowledgeable might be able to help out there.)


    9. Exactly Sou, that is what I was trying to say by "yes and no". However the legal reality can drive the political reality. I agree it is a bit unlikely. However Nicola Sturgeon (Scotland) has just said she will do everything in her power to keep Scotland in. If that could be a Scottish veto it could throw the cards up into the air again. It would be a constitutional shambles but as our constitution is a shambles - that is how it works.

    10. I am no expert on these matters, but I suspect Scotland would have to separate from the UK before they can apply for EU membership. All I know is the UK no longer has a vote in the EU procedures.

      I am getting bored with it all (except for the effect on the stock markets). It is done. People crying about it now makes great press I guess, but it is pointless.

      My gut feeling is they should get rid of all the pollies that made this thing happen, elect a new lot, and move on. If it all goes pair-shape then they can change their minds in several years time.

    11. Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit -


    12. The UK still votes on EU procedures. No article 50 has been triggered yet.

    13. What I found interesting was the time it has taken for the media to come up with in depth articles about what the vote will mean. That surprised me, because in the lead up, I got the impression that there was a good chance that the vote would turn out the way it did. Maybe because it happened toward the end of the week and not enough talking heads could be located.

      The funny thing is that I've noticed a lot of deniers think that the vote means global warming will stop. The anglophile science deniers in the USA must think the people in the UK are wizards, or gods:)

    14. Global warming will stop?

      Brilliant. I would have voted OUT if I had known. Who knew it was so simple?

    15. Out means out

      Anything else is a nonsense imo

      All this talk of another one is ridiculous

      But at least we have a template for when AGW really starts to smart

      "why weren't we told"

    16. Tadaa writes: "Out means out" I find it a bit odd that even those that voted to remain by and large take this position. Perhaps because in the US we have actual *laws* that can be voted on via referendum or sentiments. An actual law that is passed becomes law without further legislative or political action.

      In this case nothing legal was passed. There's no timeframe for even initiating Article 50. And once it's initiated a whole series of legislative actions and laws stand in the way of it actually occurring.

      Do Scotland and N. Ireland have veto power?

      Will the PM initiate action without parliament being on board?
      Will MPs actually vote for it?

      As they say, the devil is in the details.

      Nick Stokes does a nice job covering the details: Brexit - who will make it happen?

    17. @ Kevin,

      You are correct in that the referendum was technically advisory

      But I really can see no circumstances where MP's will not honour it

      no one informed seriously expects it to happen

    18. Tadaa - what would happen in a scenario where a Labour leader ran for PM specifically on a platform to ignore the referendum? I.e., to treat the election as a 2nd referendum on EU membership. Numerous justifications could be made - Brexit voters were misled, didn't fully understand the consequences, etc.

      Corbyn obviously can't be that Labour leader - hence the coup that is currently underway.

      Now, this scenario probably requires some Tory complicity - but at least if the Tories won an election with those lines drawn they could throw away any misgivings about voter backlash and move forward. But it might be too dangerous for them to actually run on those grounds because they might well lose.

    19. Sou.

      "The funny thing is that I've noticed a lot of deniers think that the vote means global warming will stop."

      Do they really? It doesn't surprise me. The deniers will never accept any science that conflicts with their ideology.

    20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    21. @ Kevin, well to a point "all bets are off", it was a simple binary choice with an Asymmetric outcome

      Something that imv should never have been asked

      A big brexit talking point was "sovereignty" - well we now know that was nonsense, we always had as this vote proved

      Simple common sense was slaughtered on the alter of democracy

      So in some sense this is an issue regarding our lack constitution, so much is actually done by convention - the Queen asks a party to form a government based on the result of a general election

      So we are in uncharted territory, but I don't the scenarios you describe would work

      Also, I am not sure of the timings re general election and our exit timetables

      We have fixed term parliaments now - the PM has no power to automatically call an election

    22. "Out means out!"

      My objection to the whole referendum question is that this isn't true - there's a whole spectrum of opinion as to what out means.

      "We have fixed term parliaments now - the PM has no power to automatically call an election."

      I think it's possible for an election to be called if 2 thirds of MPs vote for it. I expect some will point out the irony of requiring this many for an election, but only 52% for irreversibly taking us out of Europe.

    23. Yes, correct Bellman, it now requires a vote

      Sorry I should have been clearer

      I am desperately said about the whole thing, mostly for my 5 gorgeous children

    24. Bellman. the Brexit referendum is advisory only, it is not binding on the government. Parliament is free to voteit down if they wish. So get in touch with your MP.

    25. Bellman. the Brexit referendum is advisory only, it is not binding on the government. Parliament is free to voteit down if they wish. So get in touch with your MP.

  23. It seems to me every right wing nutter blames the current situation in GB on the EU.

    Globalisation is the real culprit.

    Thatcher has a lot to answer for. She always struck me as a woman who chastised all before her. When this did not work she would double down and claim the chastisement was not applied HARD enough!

    Welcome to the future of gibbering masses and idiots in charge.


    1. Globalization didn't cause Cameron to respond to recession with austerity, that was all homegrown.

    2. Bert writes: "Globalisation is the real culprit."

      I would agree that globalisation is the main reason, but I wouldn't use the word 'culprit' - it connotates something criminal. Instead globalisation was just the logical result of advances in technology - especially transportation and refrigeration.

      Back in H.S. in the mid-70s my best friend was an avowed Marxist. I had never read much Marx or Ayn Rand or anything specifically economic. Still, even then it was obvious to me that the world would have to 'grow smaller' -- the 50 km trips I had taken as a child by train that took several hours to visit grandma were already a thing of the past. We could jump in a car and be there in 45 minutes.

      At the same time, a smaller world meant inequities between neighbors (nations) would become more apparent and would likely have to be settled by increasing the wealth of the poorer countries at least to some degree by decreasing (the rate) of wealth of the richer nations. As the USA was the richest nation we could assume this would be our fate. Of course the USA wasn't the only developed nation and the UK, France, and other industrialized western countries were to some extent in the same boat.

      The past 40 years have simply followed what basic logic dictated. There's no 'blame' for globalisation. What we should look at is wealth distribution. This is what most people are concerned about. There is a small cadre of wealthy people around the world that own a disproportionate share of the world's wealth.

      Blaming the lack of increase in living standards on immigrants, or globalisation, or some other economic chimera is foolish and obscures the real issue. Are first of all Athenians or Greeks -- or are we first of all citizens of the world?

      "All I know is that my happiness is built on the misery of others, so that I eat because others go hungry, that I am clothed when other people go almost naked through the frozen cities in winter; and that fact poisons me, disturbs my serenity, makes me write propaganda when I would rather play..."-- John Reed

      I do not want my happiness to be built upon the misery of others. To me, this is what a Brexit vote represented-- turning one's back on those less fortunate. It's the same with Trump in the USA.

    3. numerobis and Kevin O'Niell you are both quite correct. My short post could not possibly be nuanced.

      If we look at the long history of the rise and fall of human civilisations, we can see a pattern emerge.

      All have good intentions at the start for all members and grow generally at the expense of available resources and their weaker neighbours.

      Everything is fine in the growth phase but problems arise when growth stops. It is then a free for all to compete for a stagnant or diminishing pie. The losers which are generally the majority in this race to the bottom will be told lies or kept in the dark to keep them compliant.

      All failed past empires had a few things in common at the time of their collapse. The rise of infant mortality is one. Relying on irrational beliefs to solve problems was another. Obviously a lack of adequate resources is the main driver.

      In my humble opinion our so called western democracies are in the terminal stages of our empires.

      When this happened to past empires there was room on Space Ship Earth to start somewhere else.

      We have nowhere to go to start again as the place is more than full.

      When forty families have the same wealth as the bottom 50% of humanity there is something tragically wrong.

      Only a rational evidence based methodology to solve humanities' problems have any hope of working. Some of us call this science.


    4. Sir Humphrey here



  24. The campaign bus that had 350 million saved to go the NHS

    Could just as well said CO2 is a trace Gas, No Warming fo XX days"

    After written by the same lunatics

    No project that start with a lie succeeds or indeed deserves to

    The last time that happened (45 mins to launch WMD) millions paid with their lives

    1. And the people predicting economic problems were alarmists (aka Project Fear). Don't listen to the experts: what do they know.

    2. "Don't listen to the experts ..."

      To be fair though, we are talking about economists.

    3. I wonder how many American libertarians in cheering on the death of the "communist" EU block know about the promise to spend an extra 350 million on the socialist health service.

    4. @ Bellman

      US libertarian: Our English allies have struck the first blow for liberty and freedom from big government oppression!
      Brit: But Boris & Co. did imply they'd spend £350 million/week on the NHS.
      Lib: [stares blankly]
      Brit: $500, um, $400 million/week on public health care.
      Lib: Well. [frowns] I don't know...
      Brit: They lied.
      Lib: Whew! You had me worried.

    5. Ha! Well played Magma.

      I've already encountered trapped-in-the-Cold-War 'vital-bodily-fluids' loons on facebook who are describing City types threatening to pull up stumps and haul their operations over to the Continent as 'communists'. You really could not make these people up!

  25. Don't read all the comments in details, but my feeling is that it sounds like the first notes of a requiem.

    For UK, the future looks bleak. A major divide is now visible between London, the campaigns of Wales and England, and Scotland and Northern Ireland. The later two entities vote to remain in UE, but this vote is slightly yet clearly different from the vote in London and some others big cities. Add to that a major economic recession and you have some elements to lead UK to something very worrisome in the next decade or two. Perhaps Scotland and Northern Ireland will try something -I'm not really convinced yet by this hypothesis-, perhaps UK will go to social turmoil; but deep divide in society and economy in bad shape are not a good thing. And the Brexit will probably aggravate the economic situation.

    For Europe too, the future looks bleak. One European country is now in war (Ukraine) for the first time since the 90s -not counting the invasion of Georgia-. And more and more states are in deep trouble, first of all Greece. Pressure is mounting here and there, in the midst of a deteriorating economic situation since the mid 2000s, feeling the brunt of migrants waves, and so on. Again the Brexit will probably aggravate the economic situation in UE, and push some countries to the failed state status. And not counting the deteriorating situation other the Mediterranean sea, with many countries in total chaos (Syria, Irak, Yemen, Libya, etc...) and many others countries at risk (Algeria, Nigeria, etc...).

    The populism has the same roots everywhere, and it is no surprise that Trump is delighted of the result of this referendum, as are Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen. Despite the figures which are more or less manipulated to paint a rosier pictures (among many others tricks, bitches and drugs addicts are now counted in the GDP. A very desperate attempt to inflate the size of the economy...), world economy has not been able to restart since the mid 2000s (economists are now speaking about secular stagnation, lacking a mental frame to understand why printing and dropping money does no help). In this, it is however woth mentioning leaders like Viktor Ordan, who are caught in a trap now. They are angry against Brussels but know the benefit from the adhesion. They are blowing on the embers, accusing the technocrats of Brussels of mismanagement, but in the same time enjoying the financial help. Hungary is going to vote in a referendum later this year also. The subject is more specifically about immigration, but will probably but a good proxy of the willingness of Hungarian to remain in the EU...

    1. Olivier writes: "economists are now speaking about secular stagnation, lacking a mental frame to understand why printing and dropping money does no help"

      Actually, Keynesian economists *wish* some government would start printing and dropping money. *NONE* have.

      Instead what we've seen are 'austerity' policies - exactly the opposite of helicopter drops.

      You do not increase demand by reducing spending. For a nation, it can be counterproductive because the aim of austerity is usually to get a financial house in order, but austerity policies can lead to deeper debt burdens.

      With interest rates at or near historic lows every country should be pushing forward every infrastructure project they can conceive. This would boost employment, boost demand, and help break us out of 'secular stagnation.'

    2. It is not a material printing, but lowering interest rates to zero or putting QEs (quantitative easing) is more or less the same in the end. The point of argument is more that low interest rates and QEs put money in the banking system and not directly in the account bank of ordinary people. But in the end, since 2008, about every central banks has tried hard to print money, and nevertheless economic growth is no more than a mirage. Austerity is also a reality, but the biggest economies (the FED for the USA, BoJ for Japan, ECB for UE) have pushed hard to inject billions of dollars / euro / yen in the banking system and a few years ago it was a sprint to the QE, being the first printing more money giving you an advantage of course. Balance sheet of central banks around the world are increasing; and debt to GDP are skyrocketing about everywhere (for the USA for example, latest figure for Q1 2016: 105.7% only behind the 120% ratio at the end of WWII... Even for China, debt is increasing, and is currently at the highest since 20 years at least, at 45%). Some countries (like Greece...) which were clearly “overheating” experiment a political will pushing toward austerity. But this is not representative of the situation in the world. In most countries, it has been since 2008 that governments spent billions with no significant results excepted for an increase in debt. It is therefore no surprise that people in general are more and more prone to vote for populist leaders, going from Trump to Ordan, passing by Nigel Farage and Boris Jonhson. This is probably a more realistic depiction of the current state of the economy.

      “With interest rates at or near historic lows every country should be pushing forward every infrastructure project they can conceive. This would boost employment, boost demand, and help break us out of 'secular stagnation.” It is already the case since 2008, with no significant changes... And low interest rates means that money is “cheaper”, which increase in the end the monetary mass. The huge increase in debt all other the world speaks for itself. This is probably the most massive increase in public debt since WWII around the world (for USA it is the case). Perhaps it is not the letters of Keynesian economics, but it is nevertheless its spirit.

    3. Olivier - Ben Bernanke wrote of 'helicopter drops' as a way out of the zero lower bound before he became Fed chairman. This was just another way of introducing the concept that Keynes put forward of paying people to dig holes in the ground and then pay them to fill the holes up.

      No, infrastructure spending is *down* in most countries. Central banks printing money only increases the money supply. It doesn't automatically put money into circulation or, more important, increase the velocity. Putting money into the hands of people who will spend it is the primary cure for economic stagnation. This is the whole rationale for counter-cyclical automatic stabilizers.

      *Cheaper* money is meaningless unless it is spent. Simply giving everyone a check from the central bank (helicopter drop) or paying them to dig holes, or paying them to build bridges accomplishes this. Printing money that sits in a bank vault does little or nothing. You shouldn't need to be a Keynesian to understand that.

    4. Yeah I know but this is the knot, easy money wich does not circulate. Velocity is nearing or is at lowest point (for US among others). But it is not the fault of austerity, there is no evidence of a political will to reduce spending. On one hand some economists wants austerity and are saying that governments are spending too much. On the other hand, some economists wants spending and are saying that governments are on wrong way with austerity. There is two important elements to go through this dichotomy. First, central banks are all printing money and public debt is skyrocketing about every where. Second, money is only a symbol which has to be backed by some "hard" production. We are now reaching limits of the world and production can't increase despite the increase in supply of money. Money can't create wealth, it's only a sign. Since 2007, coal production has not increased despite the easy money, and for oil the increase is extremely painful and laborious and depends on mountain of debt, a true card casstle -and not only in USA-. If you don't have anything to produce, you can print money you will not be able to produce.

    5. Tadaa - It's not often in economics we get real world experiments; post 2007-8 was one opportunity.

      By theory, the freshwater school of economics (free-market, libertarian, neo-liberals) said that adding trillions of new money would drive up inflation. As Peter Schiff wrote:

      "My fellow Austrian economists and I loudly voiced the minority viewpoint that money printing is always inflationary-in fact, that it is the very definition of inflation."

      The difference is that Keynesians saw this as completely wrong because inflation is fueled by demand. In addition, central banks normally 'jumpstart' an economy out of recession by cutting interest rates, but in the Keynesian view once you near the zero lower bound cutting of rates is ineffective.

      And of course we've seen historically low inflation and interest rates in the wake of the financial crisis. What fuels inflation then isn't the stock of money, but the demand for products. The demand for products also fuels production. It is this deficit in aggregate demand that is secular stagnation.

      Now, austerity policies are policies of *less* spending. Less spending means there's even *less* demand for goods and services. To change this we need to get more money into the hands of people who will spend it. People who spend money create demand. More demand and companies will produce more to meet that demand. This really isn't rocket science.

    6. Yes I understand this. Inflation occurred in global market, the rise of markets since 2008 is totally absurd. Inflation occurred for oil and coal prices for example, and oil prices crashed when FED announced its intention to slowing down a bit on easy money. But still, creating demand is only possible if it is physically possible in the end. You can put money directly in the hand of ordinary people, if there is no more oil they will not be able to buy oil. You can't be sure to create demand only by giving money to people, but giving money to people is indeed a good start to create demand. Energy is the keystone of an economy of course. And despite increasing the supply of money, oil production barely increase and coal production remains flat, prices of energy went up putting pressure on the global economy, and easy money never flown. This is why discussing of where you put the printed money is not an important fact in my opinion. Keynes is right if there is the physical volume for the increase. If there was still space for an economic growth, all this money would have probably lead to an economic growth. But again, we have reached limits.

    7. Tadaa - you're still not facing the issue: if there was more demand prices would rise. Prices are not rising.

      Oil is nowhere near it's historical high in price. I.e., few are demanding oil. If there was more demand, oil prices would rise. Same for coal. Production is flat because there is little demand. If there was demand, prices would rise and production would increase.

      There is unlimited space for economic growth. Much of the growth we see today requires little material resources. An e-book has minimal production cost - yet its price can always rise. Similarly the same can be said for services.

      You are fixated on scarce resources, but scarce resources would be reflected in increasing prices. Inflation is at historical lows. I.e., scarce resources are not currently the problem.

    8. Sorry - that should obviously be Olivier - not Tadaa - in the comment above.

    9. yeah no problems here ;)

      Wolrd is finite so infinite growth is not possible. Law of the demand and offer works well and fine only in classic economics theories. Prices are actually very high, even adjusted for inflation, and where even higher since the last few years:


      Economy is only about energy. It is a perpetual flow, of peoples and materials.

      “Much of the growth we see today requires little material resources. An e-book has minimal production cost - yet its price can always rise.”

      Sorry, but this totally false. For an e-book, you need an e-reader and a web. For an e-reader, you need rare earth coming from China and dig (dig, so energy consumption) from the ground in conditions against which coal will appear the best ecological solution possible. You need oil for plastic. You need cooper. And so on, each of this elements coming from a different corner of the Earth, so had to be transported (and so energy, etc...). And even more, you need a web to downloads books. Internet is extremely expensive in resources. You need a massive amount of electricity (energy, again). You need web servers, which in turns, like your e-reader, need cooper, rare earth, plastics, and so on. You need guards to patrol and secure vital data centers. You need air conditioning to avoid overheating of data centers And each days, many hard drives and servers crashed and you have to replace the components. Internet is an abyss for energy: http://www.france5.fr/et-vous/France-5-et-vous/Les-programmes/LE-MAG-N-25-2014/articles/p-20415-Internet-la-pollution-cachee.htm The growth of Internet requires massive amounts of resources and energy, and being heavily depend on electricity and rare earth, Internet is nothing next to ecological. The growth, economical growth in the sense of GDP growth, is still only possible with energy consumption, and the two are almost the twin of the other.

      If producers needs a barrel at 100-150$ to be alive, and consumers can pay only 10 or 20$ per barrel, -which is generally the case currently- then how can you adjust? If prices are high, you destroy demand, and if price are low you destroy supply, but in every case there is no middle ground and economy suffers of this mismatch. By accepting a high price (which is still the case currently, 40 or 50$ per barrel is already way to high for consumers), money is dedicated to increased oil supply (and coal also, this two sources of energy have followed a similar path since 2005) and not to the growth of economy. More resources, human labor, etc... are used to increased the production from lower quality ores. If there is more and more lower quality oil, prices are not going to rise indefinitely. World economy never could accommodate a 200$ barrel.


  26. Top google trending search term for google a.Co.UK is "what is the EU"

  27. Sou, that is a really great take on Planet of the Apes from Nick Mamatas. Keeping with the visual themes, this tweet by Gavin Schmidt is equally evocative:


    Personally, I posit that the UK populace blew it with their short-sighted, nationalistic, and xenophobic thinking. Seems to be the norm nowadays, unfortunately, with striking parallels to what's happening in the States re. 'Make Donald Drumph again'.

    1. "short-sighted, nationalistic and xenophobic thinking." You missed out "stupid." I have watched video of people who voted leave saying they thought it wouldn't happen, and listened to others who wished they hadn't voted leave and now regret it. As the Aussies say, "grow your own dope, plant a pom." Right now I am somewhat embarrassed to be a Brit.

    2. Well, yes, it is a bit embarrassing. But you are falling into the trap of blaming the least able in this society for the woes being inflicted on us by an incompetent set of Eton twits who care for nothing but themselves. It is like blaming the least able in society who are on benefits for all our economic woes. Really? That rather incompetent individual over there who is not coping very well is why we cannot improve our economy? It is just distraction politics. And you are falling for it just like those "stupid" people you berate.

      There is a parallel with the Trump phenomenon. If you do not give a proper democratic consideration to people they will take the first opportunity they can to give the elite a slap.

      Calling them just stupid is part of the problem of marginalising them and not listening to their problems. It also makes them more susceptible to the siren calls of the far right. Think about who has really got us into this situation.

    3. I don't equate stupid with least able, after all, David Cameron was rather stupid to call a referendum because his party was losing votes to UKIP and he needed to pacify some of his far right colleagues. And most of us, no matter how intelligent and well educated do stupid things from time to time. Sure, the Eton twits, the free marketeers, the malign influence of the right wing press, an education system that celebrates only top grades and a cynical political system that is driven solely by the desire to achieve and maintain power are just a few of the reasons why our society is going downhill. But the people to whom I am specifically referring are not among the least able: capable of running small businesses and able to articulate their views, but certainly not victims of an unjust society. Participation in the democratic process is a serious business and people need to consider the consequences of their actions.

    4. "...and people need to consider the consequences of their actions."

      The people around me are living planet destroying lifestyles: so they are habituated to not doing that.

  28. I've added a few links to the article up top. The major concerns globally (outside the UK) seem to be the impact on security, world trade, the global economy and global finance. These can probably be dealt with by other mechanisms, but it will take some working through. Of course if Trump gets elected, that would delay (or prevent) international efforts to sort all this out.

    For people in the UK, it's doubtful that the hopes of those who voted to exit will be realised any time soon.

    1. Actually, comments blog are not an easy way to argument, as each comments is a thread in itself and every guy is speaking in his own corner; and comments are limited to up to 4096 characters... The magics of Internet... Nevertheless, now that I start speaking I must be consistent with myself. What links show, among others things, is that we are heading toward a more fragmented world. Yes, this is really what is at stake. The world is slowly but firmly dislocating and exploding. In Syria, Iraq, Yemen (yeah men!), Nigeria, Sudan, and so on. Yes in the poorest states fragmentation and chaos is not absolutely something new. But this trend reaches last years an unprecedented scale. And now, European countries also are slowly disintegrating. Ukraine is lost in chaos, regionalisms are speaking more and more loudly (en Cataluña por ejemplo, donde el corriente politico para la independencia esta ganado fuerza), and now countries are trying to leave UE. And UK leaving UE will possibly lead to an independence of Scotland, or a new war in Northern Ireland, or independence of London, or something totally weird of the same ilk. Even in USA, the movement for a secession of Texas is gaining ground the last years ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_secession_movements#Other_discussions_of_secession_starting_in_2012 ). We are still a long shot away from secession, but who knows? Still, we are seeing a more and more fragmented world.

      And this is no surprise. The end of a civilization is through splitting and division. Best example is the collapse of roman empire, which start itself to divide itself in small pieces. And the movement gained momentum, ending in the small pieces of feudal territories at the end of the millennium. It takes a full millennium after that to aggregate again these pieces of territory and build something more powerful than the Roman Empire (a Principate to be fully exact) with the Victorian era. But it is true for every twilight. Joseph Tainter has done a great job seeing similarities between the collapse of each civilization, beyond the apparent diversity of cause. If you want a reference : http://www.polemia.com/leffondrement-des-societes-complexes-de-joseph-a-tainter/

      What is significant with UK, is that it is UK. It is the first big country which shows the signs of this implosion. It is no more a remote country, far away, a country of bearded men or of wankers, far far away. Other “big” country -acknowledging that being more important than UK is a rough ride- in Europe are also possibly near the edge. Like Spain yes, but being Spanish and knowing the country, I'm not convinced that Spain will collapse anytime soon, despite the forces of the regionalism. Perhaps I'm wrong here. Nevertheless, UK is really the first big fish to walk in the path of split and divide. This is the important fact, more important even than the consequences for the economy or security. Our own civilization is disintegrating right ahead our eyes. From links:

    2. "Why? Because it calls into question the best thing humanity has created in its political history: the post–World War II global order. [...] The thing that is truly scary about Brexit is that it may be just the beginning. Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, and anti-immigrant populists are surging in polls in France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden."

      I'm not convinced that the global order built after WWII is the best thing created by humanity, but yes this is what is at stake.

      "But Brexit raises the prospect of a reversion — of one shock to the system begetting another. Each shock undoes a bit of the global order, which makes people poorer and angrier, begetting more xenophobia and international tensions. As xenophobia and international tensions rise, markets panic, making everything worse."

      Yes, fragmentation has probably some positive feedback, and yes the movement is gaining momentum.

      "If another euro crisis emerges, Europe may lack the political cohesion to address it. Further separatism could fragment the common market, bringing the demise of the six-decade-old project of European integration. [...] But whatever the risks were before, Britain just increased them."

      And so on.

    3. @ Olivier, good post

      Ironic that the current mantra of the Brexiters is "working together"

    4. It's human. In periods of trouble, humans centered on smaller group and reject the marginals. Apparently there is also an increase in racial violence in UK after the referendum:



      At on hand it can leads to the processes of scapegoat. Nothing new really.

      Now UK is deeply divided and it will be difficult to build something. In any case, it will be a rough ride for many leaders in years to come. I don't actually how it will unfold. Perhaps UK will opens the negotiations but let them drag and drag for years. But in any case, now there is at least a significant minority of people wanting to leave. Going against them will be political suicide, but going with the Brexit probably implies the end of the UK as we know it currently. The most logical solution is of course of the division, people centering more and more on smaller groups with which they share many things. We will see. For the reference, but I will not bother translate it:


      Now what is at stake also is the Hungarian referendum. It is more specifically about immigration, but nevertheless will be a good indicator of the divorce between Hungary and EU. Hungarian saw with the UK referendum what implies to vote against EU, and probably electors will be less versatile and less prone to regrets. And now that UK has at least open the door, it is "easier" to go through if I may say.

    5. And it's not really about lying or ignorance or theft also. In period of troubles, humans refocused on smaller groups, sharing more in commons and with renewed narrative. The stiffening of conservatives in recent years everywhere is not about deception and fallacy. It's more about, in period of growing troubles, it's more about focusing on more intimate groups with renewed narratives. It's human, and lying is a very relative notion. And it's not only about age. Young people didn't vote massively, and speaking about a theft of the vote from older people is not true. If young people wanted to remain in EU, they had to go to vote. Younger people are more easily connected, enjoying the advantages of Internet, of the EU -for studies especialy-, etc... But still young people don't know were we are going, suffered from underemployment, etc...

    6. Interesting discussion. A lot has been made of the fact that older people were more likely to vote to leave than younger people.

      Here's a breakdown of the age profile from Wikipedia (2011) - I couldn't split out the 18 to 19 year olds:

      16,924,000 35% 20 to 39

      20,785,000 43% 40 to 64

      10,376,000 22% 65+

      There are more 20 to 39 year olds than 65 and older FWIW.


    7. Yeah, from a demographically point of view, there is enough young people to win the day. I am very uncomfortable with all these rhetoric following this referendum. Older people have also their say, even though they will probably live far less time with their decisions. Older people have a long life behind them and they have possibly more experience than younger people. Speaking only of life expectancy is very short-sighted.

      And again, participation rate was low among young people, and especially in London which was a large supporter of the "remains" camp:




      Saying that older people have stolen the referendum is totally false. If young people really wanted to remains in EU, they should have voted. And saying that young people where demobilize due to the weight of the older people, because they already know they could not influence the vote against older peoples, seems more like an a posteriori justification :


      If you want to remains, go to vote. But the remains camp don't mobilize. It's probably a bit the same with Trump and Clinton. The electoral base of Trump is probably a bit more restrained than that of Clinton, but it's very not certain that all the electoral of Clinton will mobilize. Because of disillusion, disappointment, and so on. With Trump, peoples are feeling something, many electors of Trump are people which were abandoned by the American dream, but with Trump they are dreaming again if I may say. It's really not about fallacies, self-delusional or anti intellectualism. The most important is believing in something again, even though it is totally at odds with the reality. Because the reality is harsh, economics crisis is deepening day after day, there is wars and rumors of wars, people are sinking more and more into drugs and alcohol and suicide, the climate is becoming totally weird, and even life expectancy is decreasing here and there:


      Also true in France for example, where mortality rate is increasing a bit since 2004 and life expectancy is showing recently signs of stagnation even at national level. Speaking of an economic recovery... For the vast majority of people, there has been no recovery since 2005, just a long slip toward basement punctuated by biblical flood and infernal fires. With Trump or with the Leave camp people feels they can again built something, “make america great again” or “working together”, and being no longer a wisp of straw in the tempest. Euro-skepticism of younger people is probably a bit different from the euro-skepticism of older peoples but it is here without any doubt. The difference is that younger people tend to have a grim view of future and so don't go to vote. And it manifests itself by the abstention and low turnout. But in the end the results is here, 52% of electors wanting to leave. Nobody steal this referendum. It's just a referendum of hope and despair caught in a major crisis of our civilization.

    8. Again this article is sensible and a good summary:


      “It’s not hard to see why. The country is overwhelmingly Eurosceptic – every survey from every source confirms that the European Union is a widely and deeply unpopular institution. As a rallying cry, ‘vote to stay part of a club none of us particularly like because, reluctantly, it’s the sensible option’ is plainly less exciting than the alternative. ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’, those atmospherics that always gather to one side or the other in elections, seem naturally to be the property of the ‘Out’ campaign.”

      It is really this, the Leave camp is the camp of a true alternative, something which speaks to people. While the “Remains” camp is the default option, something which don't speak to people. Conservatives wins because they have a strong narrative in this times where narratives are failing apart, even though again this narrative is at odd with reality. What is important is not to say something sensible, it is to say something which speak to people, give them again hope in a time of great despair.

    9. As the votes are secret and there were no serious exit polls carried out it appears that any discussion on the demographics is based on comparing the vote per polling station with the demographics of its catchment areas. Is that really valid?

    10. I don't see the point. You can put it the other way. Higher participation is weakly but positively correlated with rejection of EU (excluding Gibraltar where about everyone vote, and vote to remains in the EU, but it's Gibraltar). This has nothing to do with exit pool or secret votes or anything else, it's only the count of the ballot. And it is no news also that older peoples were more favorable to leave the EU. I don't quantify exactly the proportion of this and that, but it is clear that the remain camp did not mobilize as did the leave camp, and that young people did not go to vote and defend the remain camp as did older people for the leave camp. Of course, it is not as simple as young / old, but by the way we are on a comment section of a blog and it will be a bit difficult to build a sociological analysis. But nevertheless, low turnout was associated with a pro EU vote, there is a strong congruence between low turnout and remain vote with younger area, and it is not a secret that younger people were more favorable to remain in EU -at least in appearance because as I said euro skepticism is strong and not going to vote is significant in itself-. I don't see where I built castle in the air here. And for the remainder, I was not speaking about statics of the vote, only about the dynamic of the referendum in UK, and comparison with other "advanced" countries -to put it in a nutshell with a bad but understandable expression-. The dynamic was not with the remain camp, and it has nothing to do with exit pool or secret ballot.

    11. How do you know "... young people did not go to vote and defend the remain camp as did older people for the leave camp."? What is the source of your data? As I said above the vote is secret, so there are no official figures on who voted and how old they are. All we know is the percentage who voted in each polling station's area. Prior to the vote there were opinion polls, but as they got the result wrong they don't seem relative enough to base claims upon.

    12. Sorry for being late, I was not aware of your answer. Still, I don't understand your argument about secret votes. It comes out of the blue. I am not speaking about a mathematical demonstration of the %age of young or old people voting, not voting; or something else. It is only about the fact that there is a broad agreement between younger area, low turnout, and support for the "remain in the EU":


      But it is not a demonstration, it only illustrate the fact that euroscepticism is really mainstream, even for the younger people. The difference is in the expression of this opinion, younger people being more disinterested and not caring a lot about the vote. Of course old people have lived through Wold War and they have known something else. Some probably have still in mind the magnificence of the British empire. Younger peoples were borned after the cold war and have only known the EU. And the gap between the generations is real from this point of view yes. Youth is probably not actively wanting to leave EU, but still are abandoning the vote, which in the end means letting the older to decide. Young people in their vast majority don't care about voting and it's nothing new. And so, the broad agreement previously mentioned. It was already apparent before the referendum, when the news paper and politicians tried to mobilize the pro EU electorate -unsuccessfully...-.


      Even among educated students, there is a growing disinterest into the national conversation and the political process:


      Low turnout among young people is a logical consequence of this. If it was other way round, with signs of a strong engagement from the young, yes it will need hard figures, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. But here, it fits a pattern, it was well anticipated before the vote, so why doubting it?


      “Many of my friends who couldn't be persuaded to vote in the referendum didn't think politicians or politics in general did anything for them and they didn't see why the EU referendum would be any different. When there is a political atmosphere that mostly ignores the young, they mistakenly believe that the result will ignore them too.
      If we judged youth engagement by social media posts instead of voter turnout, it would seem young people were interested in the referendum. Facebook and Twitter were rife with young people engaging with the referendum, and -- on Friday -- expressing their anger with the result. Many young people felt betrayed -- not, interestingly, by the other young people that didn't vote, but by the country's older generations.

    13. […]
      The young people talking about the referendum on Facebook, Twitter, and at protests are the engaged ones -- they're the ones who got out and voted. Among my friends and acquaintances, those who don't vote don't talk about the referendum on social media. The judgment of youth engagement based on social media and protest attendance -- suggesting that a lot are engaged but didn't vote -- is a distortion.”

      Youth don't see the point to go vote. They care about their growing daily life problems, not about a political process which is broken:


      Again the fact is that the economic and social situation is bad for about every own, and speaking of keeping the statu quo which brought all this misery is really not appealing... Underemployement, senior working, etc... show how bad the situation is:


      And the youth is badly hurt. The riots of 2011or of 2015 are a good illustration of this lingering social stress. Strong inequalities, long boring day, and so on, explain this riots:


      No future, no hope, daily life being a struggle. And so, if youth does not hope in the future, is not able to see farther than the daily life horizon, how can they think about voting for what is tagged as the defining issue of this generation??? Of course people are not going to vote if they fell are not able to project into the future, if they are choked in daily live problems.


      “The Iraq war, tuition fees and austerity have really shrunk the horizons of what young people consider possible. They are just trying to get by, to play by the rules and navigate increased risk in transition to adulthood.”

      And this is backed by different studies:


      The rejection of the EU is explicit in the vote from the old people, while young people are not going to vote for a statu quo in which they are struggling, but in the end the result is the same. And so UK opt

    14. for a “fuck off you bloody pricks”


      The remain vote was really only an appeal to look at the statu quo, at the current situation, which is way beyond bad. Rejection of EU, despite lies and misinformation, was really more a vote of hope, trying something else than keeping the murky, current situation:


      And pools in UK tend to often underestimate the share of the conservative vote this years. It was also true for the 2015 general election for example. People thinks they have to say in public what they are supposed to say, and so not speak about immigration, conservative values, etc.. Here, specifically for this referendum, ok, I don't have rigorous proof; but nonetheless for the pools it was probably the same story. People think they can say what they think only in the secret vote. And if you don't believe a word of what I said, I will retrieve the newspaper article speaking of this after the 2015 general elections, but I don't have it under the hand currently. Euroscepticism is very mainstream in UK (and elsewhere...) but for the pools about referendum people probably prefered to give the “good” answer, to remain in EU. The magnitude of the eurosceptism in UK was probably only apparent after a secret vote.

      Of course for old people, the Some probably have still in mind the magnificence of the British empire; while younger peoples borned after the cold war and have only known the EU.

      Perhaps there is still a significant portion of the population, and especially among the young, who still have faith into the EU. But frustration and discontentment is growing everywhere, even among the young people, and the “fuck you EU” is the logical consequence of this.

      And this is not a strong uk specifity. Eurosceptism is stronger in UK than elsewhere probably but every where EU skepticism progressed and this movement bring UK to the tipping point due to a higher baseline but is not really UK specifics. In France, politicians are speaking NOT bringing a referendum about EU, knowing it will be an epic fail for example. But in Hungary it is already to late, the referendum is coming, and it can possibly lead to a second seism.


      If there is so many countries in EU which are headwind against EU, it probably implies that old fucking Britons are probably not alone in their delirium.

      And in other news, political instability is growing also in Östereich:


  29. Hey, if the global economy does indeed wobble and keel over after this gobsmackingly Stupid vote - I can still scarcely believe it - can we call the ensuing collapse the GFJ, in honour of its architects, Gove Farage and Johnson, and to simultaneously commemorate, and distinguish it from, the GFC?

    There's nearly 2 1/2 million signatures on a '2nd referendum' petition to Parliament already, but this die is well and truly cast. You break it, you bought it! Interesting times...

    I'm sure we're all aware that the Leave campaign and climate change deniers are sets so massively overlapping they may have achieved unity! Like our national IQ test failure in 2013, a vote like this makes me honestly feel we're never going to solve the climate problem, are we?

    1. In his latest rewriting of reality Farage now says that Britain was heading into a recession anyway. Presumably its just a 'natural cycle'.

  30. Yup, no growth since June 23rd 2017. All natural and not Brexit induced at all.

  31. The vote has been cast.
    The government will have to deal with it.
    Perhaps a sensible move would be to write into the act to do the dissolving of the union from the EU would be to say a certain number of names on a petition for another popular vote is to be considered.

  32. This is probably just the fevered brain of someone who's hardly slept since Thursday, but last night I had a strange vision that almost certainly won't happen, but I'm putting it here just in case.

    Could we see a general election by next year, in which Boris Johnson, now PM, stands on a remain platform, and Corbyn, who's somehow managed to head off the rebellion and is standing on a leave platform?

    It would mean Euro-skeptic Tories having to choose between reneging on their desire to leave the EU, or voting in an extreme left wing party who would be unfettered by any constraints from Europe.

    Of course they could just vote UKIP, but that could make Labour getting in more likely. I'm assuming a lot of the support for leave came from labour supporters.

    Of course it would be a major piece of hypocrisy from Boris, but that's not stopped him so far, and he could easily frame as wanting a new referendum to resolve existing uncertainties.

  33. I liked how this WUWT post ended

    "We, the people, are the masters now. Our politicians will have to reacquire the habit of listening not to Them but to us."

    Yes, that's the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley speaking. The man who spent so much time arguing that parliament had no right to remove him from the House of Lords.

    1. Ha ha.

      For me, the favourite bit was after he rabbited on about democracy and power to the people he finished with a tug of the forelock and God Save the Queen:D

      In the comments among all the rants about people power, many people took strong exception to the democratically-elected US President.

  34. I'm a Northern Irishman with moderate unionist tendencies. Even so, I went to my nearest post office yesterday, which is in a strong unionist district, to pick up Irish passport application forms for myself and my immediate family. (We can legally hold joint UK/Irish citizenship here; that now meaning joint UK/Euro citizenship.) One problem: The post office had no Irish passport application forms left. Many more are on order, I was told. The population of 'Ireland' is about to increase considerably.

  35. 2030?
    Coral dead.
    Who cares about fascism.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. (I deleted my previous comment to fix a dreadful typo. NOt at all the same as re-doing a referendum.)

    There's a dangerous tendency in modern democracies for the losing side in an election or referendum to refuse to accept the results of the voting. When there's a fair vote with more than one possible outcome, inevitably one side will win a majority (or at least a plurality) and the other(s) won't. Democracy only works when this basic fact is accepted.

    I've been on the losing side of enough votes that I know how awful that can be, in both practical and emotional terms. Sometimes the vote goes in a direction that has destructive or even catastrophic results. That's the danger and the price of living in a democracy. The alternatives are various forms of anarchy, totalitarianism, or oligarchy which really don't have a better track record in the Good Decisions Department.

    Here in the US, the Republican Party has still refused to admit We the People elected a black guy as president in 2008, and reelected him in 2012. This foot-stamping isn't confined to Republicans; many of the supporters of Bernie Sanders are having a hard time coming to terms with him having lost the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    If the basic fact of winning and losing is not accepted, then democracies don't work. Here it's resulted in an obstructionist Republican-controlled Congress that merely opposes the President and so does nothing, accomplishes nothing, and is worth nothing.

    There is certainly a danger in any democracy for a majority to impose its will on a minority or minorities, so democracies need to have protections for minority rights. In the case of the Brexit vote, as far as I can tell, this isn't at issue. The nation voted. The nation made a decision. It was a catastrophically stupid decision, but it was (by all accounts) made fairly. To call for take-backsies now rather defeats the purpose of having a rule of law.

    Some of our US states have made some amazingly stupid decisions, for example electing as governors a collection of idiots and morons out of a Monty Python sketch. Somehow, these jokers often manage to get reelected, and some have even survived recall votes. In Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, and a few other states, the governance is so bad it's harming the economy of the nation as a whole. The governor of Michigan poisoned a whole town. Yet these guys stay in office because their elections are held in off-years, and few people can be bothered to vote. Decisions are made by those who show up.

    Even bad decisions stand. As an old Emerson, Lake, and Palmer song goes, "The Christmas we get, we deserve."

    We can hope at least some voters in some of the world's democracies will take a lesson from this about voting while drunk.

    1. None of what I said above should be taken to mean that later elections or later votes can't un-do previous decisions. In a democracy, we can vote someone out of office, or can elect a new crop of lawmakers who will alter or repeal bad laws made by the last crowd.

      That's different, though, from immediately calling for a new election or referendum days, or even hours, after a vote, because you don't like the result.

      Perhaps the UK can be forgiven for their desire for a re-do, since, not having a constitution, they don't have rules for when votes regularly happen. Further, the Brexit vote wasn't a regularly-scheduled every-four-years kind of vote. There isn't a mechanism for undoing or redoing or reconsidering this decision.

      But that, that was part of the rules at the time. The vote was supposed to be a final, one-time-only shot at it. Anyone who didn't sufficiently consider the implications of the vote shouldn't have voted.

      (On a personal level, even after having said all that, I hope they do find a way to reverse this disaster. It is bad in every sense of the word "bad".)

    2. Yes you captured my views perfectly DC Petterson

  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ikd7A2VuHs

  39. In case any one hasn't seen it yet here's Boris Johnson's own statement on Europe


    "I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment."

    He seems to be arguing for the Norway model, but I'm puzzled how it would mean "British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down.", but also "Yes, the Government will be able to take back democratic control of immigration policy, with a balanced and humane points-based system to suit the needs of business and industry."

    1. It won't. Norway by accepting the "EU package" has free access for its people to the EU zone, by accepting that EU citizens have free access to Norway.
      Freedom of circulation was never negotiable in the EU. If Britain wants visas back, it will have to get used to ask for visas for EU.

      One can have a lot of grudges against EU, but has to admit that it is at least consistent in that matter.

  40. and here's the reported response to Boris from Brussels:


    EU diplomats reacted witheringly to the idea that the UK could stay in the single market without following the rules.

    “It is a pipe dream,” said the EU diplomat. “You cannot have full access to the single market and not accept its rules. If we gave that kind of deal to the UK, then why not to Australia or New Zealand. It would be a free-for-all.”

    This might be an obvious point, but I really wish all this had been worked out before the vote.

    1. It was all worked out before the vote. The leavers lied about it and the remainers were dismissed as experts, of whom the people had had enough according to Michel Gove. Obviously preferring the uninformed and ignorant.

  41. According to Wikipedia Boris Johnson went to the European School in Brussels (paid for by the EU) whilst his dad was working as head of sub-directorate for the prevention of pollution of the EU Commission. Apparently his mum and dad split up over his dad's infidelities. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Johnson

    I do hope that Brexit isn't the result of Daddy issues.

    1. Interesting theory. His father was campaigning for the other side.


    2. On the other side of the political fence Piers Corbyn (the greenhouse effect denier who Boris keeps looking to for weather advice), was campaigning to leave, whilst his brother (leader of the Labour party) was supposedly campaigning to remain.

  42. If you use google you can hear a YouTube audio of Boris giving his old Etonian friend and convicted fraudster Darius Guppy the details of a Journalist - so that Darios can "rough him up"

    Although to be fair to Boris he does request "only a bit"

  43. From the Gruniad:

    How to stop Brexit: get your MP to vote it down

    t’s not over yet. A law that passed last year to set up the EU referendum said nothing about the result being binding or having any legal force. “Sovereignty” – a much misunderstood word in the campaign – resides in Britain with the “Queen in parliament”, that is with MPs alone who can make or break laws and peers who can block them. Before Brexit can be triggered, parliament must repeal the 1972 European Communities Act by which it voted to take us into the European Union – and MPs have every right, and indeed a duty if they think it best for Britain, to vote to stay.

    Petition for second EU referendum may have been manipulated
    Read more
    It is being said that the government can trigger Brexit under article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, merely by sending a note to Brussels. This is wrong. Article 50 says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” The UK’s most fundamental constitutional requirement is that there must first be the approval of its parliament.

    More here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/27/stop-brexit-mp-vote-referendum-members-parliament-act-europe

    1. There's the little thing about the 27 members of the alliance who need to be convinced to let backsies pass. In the past, the UK has punched above its weight by threatening to leave. It can no longer do that anymore: the EU, even if it does let the UK stick around, is just going to call the bluff.

    2. It a question I've been asking myself, if it's possible for an exit to take place without going through parliament. Whatever the legal rights it seems incredible that we could make such a change without the normal democratic steps.

      This article seems to suggest there may be legal requirements before article 50 is invoked.


    3. As I said earlier because we have no written constitution, things are done by precedent (aka tradition - which is why Americans think we a "cute")

      All bets are off - who knows

      Ultimately I think parliament is sovereign

      We will "muddle through" we always do, then have a cup of tea

  44. As a Yankee ex-pat living in Ireland for the past 30 years, I have to say that the Schadenfreude is looming huge here. It's the 2nd Brexit in the same week, this time from the European Championships at the hands of the Icelandic football team.

    But the main Brexit is not good from any standpoint. The world could well do without the financial and political instabilities at the moment.

  45. It's worth pointing out that the Brexiteers were very much integrated in the global Nexus of Stupid.

    The elephant in the room we're not discussing is whether we can hope to deal with the cimate challenge in the face of such galactic-scale xenophobia, ignorance and magical thinking.

    The irony is, that as the changing climate worsens conditions and becomes ever more blatantly obvious, the retreat from reality is, on this showing, only likely to accelerate.

    Thereby the future millions of displaced will spur the further hauling up of drawbridges and ever-spreading infantile defiance and irrationalism among those not yet overwhelmed.

    All neatly facilitated by the reactionary tribal Right - bonafide magical thinkers too, not 'rational' cynics; witness John Howard's endorsement of Brexit a la 'we decide who comes here' despite the rejection of the market and economic chaos - and their tabloid prolefeed fishwrappers...

    1. I'll point out that Joe Romm has a thoughtful piece on the same phenomenon, and that I won't really think there's absolutely no hope for humanity unless and until Trump gets elected...

  46. I wonder if the leave vote is a good example of emerging Grey Power. I think the proportion of 65+ is increasing in the Western world as fertility drops off.

  47. The Leave side is retracting its pledges and goals as fast as it can, or explaining that people 'misunderstood' them.

    During the EU referendum campaign the Conservatives were deeply divided and Labour was led by an ideologue with no enthusiasm for the EU who is in such an impermeable bubble that he reacted to today's 172-40 vote of non-confidence in his leadership by Labour MPs with the following statement:

    "I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60% of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy."

    Poor UK.

  48. Unfortunately we English have an exaggerated sense of fair play.

    It has rapidly become apparent that the Brexit case was grossly optimistic and leaving the EU is a negative sum game.

    We will leave, despite this, because a majority voted for it.😕

  49. On familiar territory, the recent post at WUWT is disgusting and offensive to me. He describes Brexit as the UK's Rosa Parks moment. Anyone who fought for civil right in the USA should make their opinions known.

    1. More grotesque than the Right's many recent attempts to annex and twist MLK in order to perversely silence black America! But we are talking gibbering xenophobic muppets here - WUWT - and really can't expect much more...

  50. Those that are furious might enjoy an incandescent John Oliver. One can at least get a laugh! 'Three time cover model for "Punchable Face" magazine...' - who can he be referring to?

  51. ...and an equally scathing Samantha Bee, with a bit of help from a Doctor!

  52. My main issue with the EU was the lack of control of migration. The numbers involved are quite staggering. Using the Governments own figures, since the formation of the EU there has been a net migration of over 4 million people into the UK, prior to that there was a net loss of 750,000 from 1964 to 1993 (http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/HTMLDocs/dvc123/index.html). We simply cannot afford to grow the infrastructure at a rate that can support that level of migration.

    1. @Mike McClory
      I think you miss the importance and significance of a loss of 650000 before. And you are confusing the lack of investment and spending with "extra" infrastructure needed. Not to mention that a lot of that immigration was driven by war and poverty that we bear some responsibility for.

    2. I agree that there are a huge number of people living in the UK. However between 1994 and 2014 the UK population rose by 12%. Australia's rose by 31%. From this website.

      What infrastructure is lacking? Housing? Schools? Transport? Roads? Communication?

      Interestingly, from the link in Mike McLory's comment, from 1996 onwards, the top country for emigration from the UK has consistently been Australia.

      Another thing to think about is that the pressure to accept new people is only going to increase over time, because of civil unrest and climate change (which are related to a great extent). This issue isn't going to go away.

      It's time to think about the world as a whole, not just individual countries. How is the world going to address this issue over time? Getting divorced from other countries isn't going to solve anything. The only way to address it successfully is for nations to work together cooperatively. Otherwise our world will not do so well.

    3. For comparison, from 1994 to 2014, the populations of:
      Australia increased by 31%
      USA increased by 21%
      Canada increased by 22%
      France increased by 12%
      UK increased by 12%
      Netherlands increased by 10%
      Germany decreased by 0.5%

      Again from this website.

    4. From other countries, from 1994 to 2014, the populations of:

      Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 71.5%
      Pakistan increased by 54.8%
      India increased by 37.4%
      China increased by 14.6%

    5. Mike, as far as I know, the net immigration from non-EU countries is *still* higher than that from EU countries, and has been so since at least 1993. That non-EU immigration has very little to do with any lack of control on immigration as a result of the UK being part of the EU. That immigration includes quite a few from your former colonies, like India, Pakistan and Nigeria. There's nothing in any EU rules or guidelines that prevents the UK to minimise immigration from those countries.

    6. Sou

      I agree that there are a huge number of people living in the UK. However between 1994 and 2014 the UK population rose by 12%. Australia's rose by 31%. From this website.

      From the same link, let's compare the far more relevant metric of population density in the UK and Australia. I think this is at least a partial key to the popular unease that has been exploited by populist politicians.

      As Marco correctly points out, the EU is not the major source of immigration and scapegoating it is dishonest.

    7. BBD, population density may have relevance to overall numbers, but not so much in the context the trend of population increase and infrastructure building, which is what Mike McLory was talking about.

      As an aside, I cannot imagine Australia having the population of the UK, let alone the population density. Most of the country is inhospitable, being desert. Australia is the driest continent after Antarctica.

      Determining the carrying capacity of Australia has occupied some of the best minds we have, and there's no easy answer from what I've seen.

      From the 1970s

      From the 1990s - a parliamentary report.

      More recently - from the ABC

    8. Sou

      BBD, population density may have relevance to overall numbers, but not so much in the context the trend of population increase and infrastructure building, which is what Mike McLory was talking about.

      The UK hasn't spent enough on infrastructure - roads, housing, GP services, education, emergency service provision, hospitals, energy - you name it - for several decades now.

    9. Sou:

      "Another thing to think about is that the pressure to accept new people is only going to increase over time, because of civil unrest and climate change (which are related to a great extent). This issue isn't going to go away."

      And don't I know it. I have been locked in verbal combat with some on FB (one time colleagues in the RN's FAA) for the last few days, hence my not following up on an earlier post) there is just so much contra-factual information to debunk going around.

      It has become clear that my protagonists get their information through a Murdoch type filter, already suspected but all but confirmed when one of them writes:

      "We haven't helped Climate Change, but we have not caused it either. The Planet has warmed up and cooled down for Millions of years. The Former Head of Greenpeace, an expert on Climate Change said many claims about damage we cause were over stated, mainly to allow businesses to profit from NEW power source & storage technologies!"

      And I got into such argument by promoting this following thought of yours coupled with wider environmental concerns.

      "It's time to think about the world as a whole, not just individual countries."

      I put information in font of their eyes and get this in return and indirectly referred to at that, "I have enjoyed reading the plonkers posts...' and 'Who is this dick'.

      Clearly the drip feed of disinformation has seeped to deeply into consciousness of some for the situation to be retrieved other than by the slow passing of an infected generation.

      The problem with high population density in the UK has been exacerbated by poor, even corrupt, planning regimes.

      I was in conversation with a builder only yesterday who is giving us a quote for some replacement roofing work — started leaking after the recent deluges — and he mentioned a development at Lower Farringdon where local people were ignored about the dangers of building on a flood plain.


      Replacement houses were built at higher level to replace those lower than an adjacent road which often became flooded. Some ignorance on the part of the planning authority there!

      There has also been a tendency to build houses for the wealthier, bigger margins I guess, when there is a desperate need for affordable housing. Also housing developments have lacked provision of amenities such as shops, schools, post offices, doctors surgeries and recreation. Also poor transport links. Malnutrition from of an inability to get the foods for a balanced diet is a growing problem.

      The lack of affordable houses has lead to an increase in buy-to-let with city property magnates developing property portfolios in the provinces. Boris Johnson has something of a mixed record there WRT his time as London Mayor.

      I have been so thoroughly sickened by the attitude of some who say such as — 'you lost get over it', clearly what we have lost has not sunk in yet it is not a simple as that, I feel cheated by liars.

      Would the Australian Air Force like a new insignia created to put on their aircraft if Scotland walks the walk, and maybe even Northern Ireland too. Little wonder HM is looking a bit glum about things, I bet she really loves Farage, he who would have pushed for a 2nd referendum in the case of a 52/48 split to remain — he isn't crowing about that now is he.

    10. There was a deliberate attempt to confuse the issue on immigration by confusing immigrants and refugees. The EU is responsible for freedom of movement of EU citizens. The 1951 UN convention on the treatment of refugees handles refugees. So leaving the EU will not solve the refugee issue.

  53. And the latest from the GWPF confirms what we already knew (source: BBC News)

    But the Global Warming Policy Forum – influential amongst Conservative MPs – warned in its latest policy note: “Since the UK will need to sail fast and free post-Brexit, the economic engine must be fuelled as cheaply and efficiently as possible, a requirement that is incompatible with currently applicable EU (climate) regulation, and much of it will consequently have to be rejected.”

    It pointed to 230 rules affecting energy supply and called for the speedy rejection of three major planks of EU climate policy: the emissions trading scheme, which increases the cost of pollution for big business; the Industrial Emissions Directive which cuts pollution from power plant; and the Renewables Directive, which requires the UK to obtain 15% of total energy from renewables by 2020.

    55 Tufton St casts a long shadow into the future.

    1. I see, by G search on 'GWPF Brexit' that the GWPF have tossed in a strawman:

      "Some people have cast the entire Brexit campaign as a plot by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)."

      which was top of list.

    2. To slight surprise in some quarters (including this one), the UK has just agreed the Fifth Carbon Budget which will cut carbon emissions by 57% by 2032 relative to 1990 levels.

      One in the eye for the GWPF, which whined (source: BBC News):

      The climate sceptic group Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) complained the decision should have been left to the next government. A statement said: "The government has behaved unreasonably, and should have delayed approval of the Budget and reassessed the impacts in the light of the far-reaching changes flowing from the referendum result."

      The CCC has warned that policies will need improving if the 5th CB is going to be met.


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