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  • Stephanie wrote a new post, David Cameron’s Reckless Folly 4 years, 1 month ago

    by Richard Dawkins
    By calling the EU referendum, the Prime Minister played Russian roulette with the country’s future.
    “You lost. Get over it.” “It’s democracy in action. Suck it up.” Such were the responses t […]

    • It’s not too late for parliament to retake control and re-establish representational democracy!

      Referendums can be re-run as a second referendum as the Danes and the Irish have done previously. – Especially so when the levels fraud and false assurances in the claims of the “Leave Campaign” are taken into account!

      Unfortunately most of our gutless politicians are not prepared to try, while the deluded and totally clueless ones, are celebrating the reckless decision, which most competent specialist bodies advised against!

      If you are daft enough to give a boy racer with no driving experience (except for playing “Grand Theft Auto”), a forty ton bulldozer to play with, in a glaziers’ warehouse, there will be predictable consequences!

      (It’s a bit like letting Bush and Blair play with high-tech armies!)

    • I voted LEAVE and for very good reasons.

      It is true to say referendums are undemocratic. This is only our second referendum and hopefully our last. We want western parliamentary democracy which can do no wrong in the long-term. Mill described majority rule as the worst kind of tyranny and Popper seconded his language. Mob rule maybe good for the majority but it’s not good for minorities. Western parliamentary democracies are places where minorities can thrive. The prized freedoms of speech and press ensure that the best argument can be voiced, broadcast and acted upon. Only the best argument can survive debate and scrutiny in parliament and become law. The best argument rules in western parliamentary democracies and there cannot possibly be a better ruler than the best argument. If you don’t like the decision the floor is yours and you are given all the emboldenment and tools you need to challenge the decision. We beg that you challenge the decision. Just make your argument good and it will rule the day.

      Science, the Oscars, football, sports, music, NATO, the UN, IMF and every international cooperative enterprise will be unaffected by Brexit. The UK will have a better future trading with the 83% of the world not in the EU and the 17% of world trade that is the EU proportion. The EU can spend seven years negotiating a free trade deal (not much free trade involved) with Canada, its US deal is sure to flounder and China is frustrated with its negotiations with the EU and wants a deal with the UK. The US has changed its tune and wish to put us at the front of the queue and not the back.

    • David #3
      Jul 7, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      I voted LEAVE and for very good reasons.

      The information I found, was that the vast majority of experts in relevant subjects were recommending “Remain”!

      Britain doesn’t even have enough trade negotiators to start negotiations with most countries, and we have been warned of the damaging effects of operating under World Trade Organisation rules during the years we are trying to negotiate!

      Science, the Oscars, football, sports, music, NATO, the UN, IMF and every international cooperative enterprise will be unaffected by Brexit.

      That must be why the main scientific bodies said it would be a disaster , multinational companies said it could move their new investments elsewhere, and the IMF said in a report on the UK economy that a leave vote could have a ” negative and substantial effect” and the IMF says Brexit will permanently lower UK incomes!!!

      The UK will have a better future trading with the 83% of the world not in the EU and the 17% of world trade that is the EU proportion.

      Is this something you just made up?
      Around 42% of UK exports go to the EU. If we become uncompetitive because of import levies it will be disastrous.

      The prized freedoms of speech and press ensure that the best argument can be voiced, broadcast and acted upon. Only the best argument can survive debate and scrutiny in parliament and become law.

      While that is potentially so, you seem unaware of the actual nature of many politicians, party dogmas, sponsored stooges, paid lobbyists, and whipped votes.

      The pound achieving record lows and heading downward, with share prices dropping by % double figures, is a good indication of the expert view on the effects and “benefits” of brexit!

    • The “precautionary principle” is used in engineering. A thermostat separates the switch on and switch off points by a few degrees, this is called hysteresis. When the temperature is close to the setting on the dial, small temperature changes from eddies of air around the thermostat would cause the heating to turn on and off rapidly and this would quickly damage the system. Similarly if you allow a large constitutional change on 51% to 49% of the vote in a referendum, the outcome could be different on a different day due to random factors – such as who was able to get to the voting station – without any significant change in the attitude of the public as a whole.

    • And another thing the Brexiteers never even mentioned….

    • Alan4discussion,

      Trade is business to business and not state to state or supra-state (EU). We hadn’t heard of trade negotiators until TIPPS. Free trade should be free trade and not negotiated deals. We love Adam Smith because he gave us the “invisible hand”, the mixed economy and free trade. Every economist since Adam, with the exception of the inventor of monetarism, Milton Freedman, has been politically motivated. On other posts I insist that economics is a technology and not a science.

      We can change WTO and GATT rules with the best argument but we cannot change EU rules. We have had 43 years to do so.

      Scientific bodies. We love science but we also love technology. Science, World 3, can give us Newton’s laws of motion but 1b technologists put them to use, World 4. institutional science doesn’t give us IE, Office, Iphones, Facebook, statins. Institutions teach. They should multiply scientists and technologists, teach concepts and skills and leave learning STUFF to NEED TO KNOW. Just Google it as and when you need to know it. History is “bunk”.

      The scientific bodies, the public sector of science and not the commercially driven must achieve sector, should stick to their core business and not comment on Brexit. I’m not sure about this but it does seem a little teleological on a subject that is bigger than self interest. Surely they can make their above average, well educated lobby for funding more able with a UK parliament than with the EU.

      I’m sorry to report that even before 2004 when the EU was enlarged by ten new members it was a declining entity with a near average age of 60 and states like Italia having a birth rate of 1.1, well below replacement. The EU share of world trade is 17% and declining. Its a place to run from.

      We buy a lot more from them than they buy from us. The last thing the EU want is a tariff war. Get off your EU centrist world. The EU exists for its members. Its protectionist. Its bad news for the rest of the world. It is second only to OPEC making us pay five times over market price for oil for the last 54 years. Anyone can be a goodie. “The road to hell is paved by good intentions”. We want the right thing and that can only be delivered by western parliamentary democracy where the best argument wins and we can do no wrong.

      The £ achieving record lows is great for exporters and inward investment. The FTSE 100 has shot up because our 100 biggest companies earn 70-75% of their income in non sterling currency and benefit from a fall in sterling

    • @David #3

      Brexiteers have been good at telling us what we will not lose:

      Science, the Oscars, football, sports, music, NATO, the UN, IMF

      Many, (particularly scientists, actors, sportsmen, musicians and foreign leaders), would beg to differ, but let’s leave that aside for now. What is less clear is what we will gain. All I’ve heard so far have been some lies about the money we send to Brussels along with vague platitudes about “taking our country back”.

      Let’s be clear; this was about immigration. The people who voted to leave are those who do not want foreigners “taking over our country”. Look who cheered. Marine le Pen. Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin. That should tell you all you need to know.

      I have never felt ashamed to be British but when I saw the idiot Farage grinning in front of the vile “breaking point” poster I came pretty close. My politics is middle of the road – I support free markets, I value greatly living in a liberal Western democracy, I think free speech is important – the usual stuff. But I’m appalled that politicians in this country could have descended to using tactics made famous by the Nazis. I’m appalled that a majority of my countrymen are apparently fine with this.

    • Here is my patriotism. If you are playing a board game it came for the UK. If you are playing a ball game it came from the UK. If you had a revolution in 1776 it came from the UK. If you had a revolution in 1789 it came from the UK. If you live in a country with health, wealth and happiness and the freedom of the individual to do whatever he likes so long as he doesn’t break the law, it came from the UK. We are your fairy god-mother. If you wish to sell your produce without tariffs we will trade with you.

    • John.wb,

      I agree with you. The Labour Party promised a referendum on EU membership but didn’t honor that promise. UKIP were gaining massive ground as immigration became the biggest doorstep issue and the only way to resolve the UKIP threat was to hold a referendum.

      I don’t do Poles, blacks, Arabs. I just do rational beings with Kant. I don’t think there are any racists, misogynists or homophones in the UK or US. The big doorstep issue was numbers. The free movement of labour should have had some qualifications like not swamping one country because it was doing better than the rest. And this was the case made by our PM to the EU post Brexit.

    • Watch Jay Leno interviewing people on the street. Their ignorance and stupidity is laughable. It is naive to think such people can collectively make a wise decision on brexit. Given how close the vote was, I think it nuts to make such a drastic move just because some bigoted street thugs thought it would be a lark. There should be a rear guard action. It was a really dumb error to do a 50%+1 referendum.

    • David #9
      Jul 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Alan4discussion,

      Trade is business to business and not state to state or supra-state (EU).

      WRONG! The scale of modern business is global.

      A huge amount of business is within multinational operations with their franchises, suppliers, sub contractors, and branches of the business in numerous different states.

      You take this foot-shooting example of the people of Sunderland who voted for brexit to kick out at the big “THEY” of “THE ESTABLISMENT”! :-

      The biggest employer is Nissan. Nissan warned that a brexit vote could prejudice future investment (which could be moved to Spain), and is suing the “Leave Campaign” for misrepresenting the company’s position to voters during their campaign. (Toyota is considering similar action).

      Nissan builds cars and exports a large proportion of them to Europe so any levy on non-EU products would damage their competitiveness.
      That is only a tiny part of the story.
      Only SOME of the model range is built in Sunderland. The system works by very large ferries bringing cars etc. from Japan, unloading some in Spain, loading vehicles from their Spanish factory into the freed up space on the ferries, sailing to England, off loading all the vehicles for UK sales in Sunderland, reloading the ferries with Sunderland produced vehicles, sailing back to Spain, off loading some vehicles for Europe, reloading with vehicles from their Spanish factory, and sailing back to Japan with the exported Anglo-European cargo.
      and .. . . . BTW: Nissan has a trade agreement with Renault in France to supply some of the components for vehicle assembly in the UK and Spain!

      There are of arrangements for paying taxes in these various countries – which are subject to international agreements.

      This is only ONE of thousands of companies which are going to be affected.

      Modern trade is very much between States, NOT just between companies and corporations.

      We hadn’t heard of trade negotiators until TIPPS. Free trade should be free trade and not negotiated deals.

      You have no problem with dangerous, vehicles, electricals, toxic chemicals, or fake, imported products and medicines?

      I know! That is the problem with brexit supporters!
      They listen to one issue arguments about immigration, and know nothing but false brexiteer assurances, about the international trade we depend on, or the regulatory mechanisms, which keep us from electrical and mechanical injury, toxic products, and protect us from fraud. – Foreign manufacturers, need to know what standards are required, and every country having their own different ones makes no sense!
      EU rules, World Trade organisation rules, (plus before they were scrapped in large numbers of states, British Empire and Commonwealth trade agreements?) harmonise arrangements.
      The present trade agreements and laws on EU citizens rights have taken years and decades to work out and establish, but brexiteers want to throw all these away and start back from scratch at the stone age – and we don’t even have enough expert trade negotiators to start replacing a fraction the agreements they are throwing out of the window.

    • “People have had enough of experts,” Yes, it is their pretence of knowledge. Experts are not aware of their limits when it comes to complex (chaotic) problems and want to “intelligently” design things thay don’t understand. Read this rebuttal of Niel DeGrasse Tyson’s “Rationalia” – a state run by experts .

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437324/neil-degrasse-tysons-rationality-pipe-dream

      And yes, EU is becoming a centrally planed bureaucratic nightmare.

    • David #9
      Jul 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      We want the right thing and that can only be delivered by western parliamentary democracy

      It’s a funny thing, but I thought we had a European parliament, and a council of ministers, while the US had a congress, a senate, and a president, ruling over ALL the states!

      The thing about parliamentary democracy, is that MPs are supposed to have experts advise specialist parliamentary committees, which critically examine evidence BEFORE presenting it to the full house!
      Some clown put it in a manifesto because it might win a few votes, is not a system of critical examination!

      where the best argument wins and we can do no wrong.

      I think the Chilcot Inquiry and the Harvard updates on the Bush estimates of the costs and outcomes of the Iraq and Afghan wars would differ substantially with that view – by several thousand percent!

    • luka_qnice #16
      Jul 8, 2016 at 4:04 am

      “People have had enough of experts,” Yes, it is their pretence of knowledge. Experts are not aware of their limits when it comes to complex (chaotic) problems

      I think you have been taking your definition of “expert” from the comic-book definitions of the scientific illiterates of the popular media, who fumble around posturing as being clever, smart Alecs, while denying expert advice!

      It is in the very nature of specialisms, that their areas of expertise are clearly defined, with teams from several specialisms dealing with complex issues.

      and want to “intelligently” design things thay don’t understand.

      It is quite comical to suggest that the uneducated, with no knowledge of the specialist subjects, can design better systems!
      Perhaps you could try an experiment watching a football crowd design a jet aircraft and navigation system!

      Their lack of knowledge and understanding is quite clearly indicated by post-brexit comments from voters, demonstrating they had no idea what the issues were, let alone how to design systems to make them work smoothly!

      “The experts are wrong, because I have no idea what they are talking about”, – is a very poor argument!

    • @Roedy #13

      How disconnected can Cameron be to have initiated this referendum in the first place? I have to think he didn’t see it as much of a gamble, yet here we are. I agree with Prof. Dawkins: history will not be kind to him.

    • @David #3

      “…83% of the world not in the EU…”

      Hi David

      I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but I want to point out that more than 50% of your 83% is China–not exactly known for the most stable business practices. Just something to think about.

    • Alan4discussion

      You sound like creationist (everything has to be designed by inteligent designers). There is a difference in things to be designed. Experts can design jet aircraft, but can’t design economy. It is better established by every individual with with no special knowledge of the subject.

      The EU bureaucrates want to design and control scientific research (a disaster), regional development, interegional cooperation, art projects, agriculture, monetary policy…They can’t and they shouldn’t try!

    • Interesting reading the comments on here, the supplementary polling questions about the EU found that most ‘leave’ voters were not motivated by just economic arguments. Whereas ‘remain’ voters were looking almost exclusively at the economic part of the debate. It was/is certainly true that Brexit will at the very least cause issues in the markets and trading problems for the UK, if not the whole world.

      BUT therein lies the problem. The EU started out as a trading arrangement called the Common Market but has gradually morphed into a European superstate with political union and passing of sovereignty from the member countries who then have little control or say in how the EU operates.
      This monstrous gestalt of states appears to have little or no control over any crisis situation that may occur, it seems to lurch from one problem to the next with very little control, exposing individual states at the forefront of any particular issue to bear the full force of the problem with little or no support from the whole.

      Recent grand failures have been the Greek bailout, disastrous handling of the problems in the Ukraine, lack of planning on the handling of refugees from Syria and now Brexit. Upcoming events are in the pipeline, failure of Italian banks, a new Greek bailout. I’m sure there are others just based on the track record.

      It’s perhaps unfortunate that Brexit has been necessary to give a wake up call to Brussels (their words not mine) but unfortunately that’s what was needed. I’m still happy to say I voted out and would do so again if there was a second vote with no movement from the EU taking place. It is a ‘brave’ decision because I realise they may put their house in order and give no regard to the UK afterwards. This is not my/our fault I have had one chance only to vote in a way the EU would listen to. I would rather have been voting on the adoption of a proper EU constitution but alas we were never given that chance. Instead it was done via the back door, we, the people, didn’t get a look in, now we have, we had to act.

      So in a nutshell that’s my take on the situation. Fortunately democracy has prevailed and although it may be inconvenient in many ways I’m glad it has. The issue can be resolved far more easily than most of the other still unresolved problems the EU has to sort out if it is to survive. If the result had been 51% – 49% the other way no one in Brussels would have batted an eyelid.

    • David @#3

      The UK will have a better future trading with the 83% of the world not in the EU and the 17% of world trade that is the EU proportion.

      It would appear from your comment that you think the UK is currently not able to trade with the 83% of the world not in the EU. If so, you have been misled.

      This map – http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2012/june/tradoc_149622.png – shows the current situation relating to trade agreements between the EU and non-EU countries around the world.

      As EU members, we are already able to trade freely (i.e. tariff-free) with much of the world outside the EU, and are well on our way to having free trade agreements in place with even more.

      Indeed, the UK does over £450 million of trade with non-EU countries EVERY DAY, thanks to the EU’s trade deals with them.

      Nor, for as long as we remain EU members, is there anything stopping us from trading with countries with which the EU has not yet concluded trade deals. Indeed, we already export £41.1 billion to the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). And whatever it is that’s stopping us exporting even more, it isn’t the EU, since Germany – which is bound by precisely the same rules that we are, exports 2.3 times as much to these countries as we do (£96.6 billion).

      Every trade deal takes a long time to set up – 7 years is not unusual; they can take substantially longer. The quickest I have heard of took 28 months.
      And we cannot legally start the process of negotiating to replace the 50+ EU-brokered trade agreements until after Brexit has been completed.

      So on the day we complete our exit from the EU, we will have none of these trade deals in place and will have to trade under WTO terms – which means tariffs. Inevitably, this situation will prevail for several years, putting us at a serious disadvantage when competing with suppliers who are not subject to those tariffs. At best, in order to compete manufacturers will have to slash their costs, resulting in fewer jobs, lower pay and generally worse conditions for workers.

      Replacing our EU-brokered trade agreements will be a huge undertaking. Years will be spent simply trying to replace what we currently have, though full replacement will not be possible and in most cases we will have to accept agreements on worse terms than now – that’s the simple economic reality of negotiating on behalf of a market of 60 million consumers rather then the EU’s 500 million.

      It is estimated that trying to recreate our existing EU/EU-brokered trade agreements will require 500 specialist trade negotiators.

      The UK has 25.

    • Tim Smith #22
      Jul 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      It was/is certainly true that Brexit will at the very least cause issues in the markets and trading problems for the UK, if not the whole world.

      Which poses the question, “Why would any sane person ask people who are not even interested in economics or trade agreements, to make key decisions affecting the long term future of everyone in a nation dependent on trade”?

      Recent grand failures have been the Greek bailout,

      The Greeks were hopelessly mismanaged long before they joined the EU. They have had to make some improvements because of pressure from the EU, but the population is still dragging its feet, and does not want to face unpopular features of reality.

      disastrous handling of the problems in the Ukraine,

      The Ukraine’s relationships and conflicts with Russia go way back before the EU was formed, and apart from being a neighbour, have nothing directly to do with the EU. They have more to do with history, world power politics, Russia and NATO.

      lack of planning on the handling of refugees from Syria and now Brexit.

      The whole problem of refugees from Syria stems from the failed policies (or lack of them) of USA and Britain in starting an unnecessary war in Iraq, and trying to undermine Assad. This liberated ISIS from being held in check by the governments police and military of those countries.
      Reckless UK Western military intervention also created the refugee problem in Libya, and opened up a lawless route to the Med. from Africa where Saudi Arabia is also stirring up problems.
      These were NATO member created problems not EU created problems.
      The EU states are now trying to cope with this massive refugee crisis while the USA and UK which caused the Iraq crisis, stand by, and while Saudi Arabia who funded and armed rebel groups in Syria, does little or northing to help!

    • Alan

      This is far more complex than you are trying to present, under the rules of the EU Greece should never have been allowed to join, so that is a failing of the EU. In fact the books were deliberately fiddled to get them in, just makes it worse.

      The Ukrainians were actively encouraged to become more militant in favour of ties with Europe rather than Russia, to the point of armed revolution. This gave the Russians the excuse to annex the Crimea, no plan was in place for this eventuality.

      Other EU countries were involved in removal of Saddam in Iraq although these may have been more minor roles. It took the EU 2 years to begin to deal in any proper way with the refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean. Also only 50% of them are actually from Syria.

      Yes I could agree these problems were not entirely created by the EU. But they still have to face up to them and be seen to be dealing with them. Right now it is British troops who are heading off to Poland and Estonia to counter the possible Russian threat, we are doing something, we didn’t make the problem but it will cause us issues eventually if we don’t face up to it.

      Your statement about trade just emphasises how it was being used prior to the referendum as a type of threat against the British people, ‘project fear’ did an awful lot more to help the leave campaign than it did the remain. I see other comments on here (Marco) about trade agreements, the UK is already approaching other countries we haven’t even triggered Article 50 yet so officially we are not leaving yet and it could be against the EU rules, but so what? Will they throw us out for it? If it is wrong.

      I would say, I am not over the moon about the present situation. But it is an unfortunate consequence of a dismissal by politicians of the concerns of the majority in the UK over an extended period. As Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others”. Purely as a rebuttal of the first part of your comment I must say that I am not happy for those only interested in making money to be in charge of my freedom, democracy and human rights. Also are you saying David Cameron is not sane?

      I am quite concerned about economics and trading, they are important. But I won’t just ‘sell out’ to the highest bidder, maybe I am not making this clear but the narrowness of the vote would almost emphasise my point that the country as an entity really made this decision as the British people. The idiot was the person who put the question in the way they did without considering all the possible outcomes, eg. 49.999% to 50.001%, quite clearly this was possible. Or did they have their own agenda?

      As an aside I have noticed a pickup in business for me and other small businesses over the last week. I am not claiming this to be a scientifically verified trend, but I do think we should deal with the situation we have. In truth nothing has changed in the real world only perceived (sometimes exaggerated) future problems and speculation of what might happen. The EU will need to change if it is to survive (evolution I suppose :-)) so it is actually possible for things to turn out no worse or even better (and who knows how the EU could have gone if we remained) in the end, it really depends if some have a vested interest in ‘the end of the world’.

    • Marco,

      Yet again an excellent post.

      Tim Smith,

      The very likely loss of low cost access to a progressive common market is the tragedy. The US market in many transitional sectors like cars and electric power has regressive standards giving “how to” formulations (build it like this) that are difficult and expensive to challenge unless you have big company resources. These tended to be protectionist and favour internal markets, The Chinese contract manufacturers simply invested in their own test houses to gain access and besides were not interested in any technological innovation for exports to the US.

      By contrast EC regulations are lower cost to apply and structured to favour innovation, setting clearer goals further back than the physical. These standards make the EC the place to innovate for the single clearest hi tech market, particularly suitable for small businesses without the deep pockets of the Chinese. Its absolutely not about access to markets. Its about access to pace setting markets. The EC legislate and set standards ahead of the curve too. (Single states in the States may compete, but that only highlights that in many sectors the US fails to be unified, having state variations adding cost to access.) They are in the vanguard of solving, on a pretty big scale, eco problems. Innovating in this sector will become very much harder with a cost barrier to 500 million customers imposed…

    • Tim Smith #25
      Jul 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      This is far more complex than you are trying to present, under the rules of the EU Greece should never have been allowed to join, so that is a failing of the EU. In fact the books were deliberately fiddled to get them in, just makes it worse.

      I try to keep it simple in the interests of brevity in a discussion.
      I agree about various fiddles probably motivated by “empire building”. Some are considering similar fiddles for Turkey, which is totally unready for civilised European membership.

      As has been more than sufficiently demonstrated, there are no limits on the levels of stupidity in politics.

      The Ukrainians were actively encouraged to become more militant in favour of ties with Europe rather than Russia, to the point of armed revolution. This gave the Russians the excuse to annex the Crimea, no plan was in place for this eventuality.

      As with the warring rebel factions in Syria and Lebanon, foreign interference is aggravating local tensions.

      Purely as a rebuttal of the first part of your comment I must say that I am not happy for those only interested in making money to be in charge of my freedom, democracy and human rights. Also are you saying David Cameron is not sane?

      No! .. but as I said on an earlier discussion, he is pandering to the loony fringes of his party to keep his parliamentary majority.

      As for making money from the misfortune of others, the loony fringes of the Tory Party have no problem with that.. I would not be surprised if some of them or their close followers, have been making money short selling the pound or banking shares!

      As an aside I have noticed a pickup in business for me and other small businesses over the last week.

      The BoE took steps to spur bank lending and will cut base rates and resume quantitative easing to promote trade, so perhaps a little more business is to be expected.

      I am not claiming this to be a scientifically verified trend, but I do think we should deal with the situation we have. In truth nothing has changed in the real world

      It really has changed, or will do, if brexit goes ahead and we have to renegotiate masses of trade deals.
      Britain’s credit rating being down-graded, and the drop in value of the pound , are real changes which will have profound effects.

      only perceived (sometimes exaggerated) future problems and speculation of what might happen.

      Just because there are many variable factors, that does not mean that some predictable ones will have no effect.

      (and who knows how the EU could have gone if we remained) in the end, it really depends if some have a vested interest in ‘the end of the world’.

      I think it depends much more on who, for how long, and how many, sit in denial of real threats, which they do not understand, and refuse to recognise.

      Even if a UK government works really hard to repair the damage, it is going to take years, and will probably go badly, at which point the muppets will undoubtedly try to make political capital, blaming those doing the actual work, and throwing spanners into the works wherever they can! Goodness knows how things will go in Scotland!

      I see Marco has made some very clear points at #24.

    • brexit
      ugly and venomous though it is
      wears yet a precious jewel in its head
      breaking up the size of trading zones
      industrial globalization is disastrous for the planet
      especially in the private auto industry
      ecology must trump economy
      or we’re fucked

    • Nonsense, quarecuss.

      Big enough trading zones with progressive and demanding standards is the only way to make substantial improvements from the mess we’re in now.

      Look, I know you wish technology’s Pandora’s box closed after half the stuff is put back, but its not going to happen like that. Myself, I believe it will be better than that.

    • Tim Smith #25

      The Ukrainians were actively encouraged to become more militant in favour of ties with Europe rather than Russia, to the point of armed revolution. This gave the Russians the excuse to annex the Crimea, no plan was in place for this eventuality.

      The Ukrainians were not actively encouraged to become more “militant”, as you put it. “Militant” is an irresponsible word to use in a context where Ukraine has itself come under direct military attack. They were encouraged to seek closer ties with Europe, something that Ukraine itself was eager to do and had every right to do, just as other former Soviet satellite countries had already done. The response to the situation in the Crimea and Ukraine more generally has not shown the western world in its best light, but it is disingenuous to point the finger at the EU, when neither NATO nor its key individual members have performed any better.

      Other EU countries were involved in removal of Saddam in Iraq although these may have been more minor roles. It took the EU 2 years to begin to deal in any proper way with the refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean. Also only 50% of them are actually from Syria.

      Perhaps you would care to tell us which Western countries have performed better than the EU in dealing with the unprecedented refugee crisis? The US and UK efforts have been derisory. Having opted out of all EU measures in respect of refugees, the UK was and is free to act alone, so could have shown the world how much better than the EU it is at handling such situations, had it chosen to. Instead, it has announced plans to take a pathetic 20,000 refugees over the course of the next 4 years, and blocked a proposal to allow 3000 unaccompanied refugee children safe passage to the UK. Truly shameful. No one is claiming the EU is perfect, but frankly, it is again disingenuous to present the chaotic response to the refugee crisis as though it were an EU issue when it is very much a global one and, however inadequate the EU response, the UK’s has been even worse.

      Right now it is British troops who are heading off to Poland and Estonia to counter the possible Russian threat, we are doing something, we didn’t make the problem but it will cause us issues eventually if we don’t face up to it.

      Actually, it is British and American and German troops, under the NATO banner, with the nationality of the fourth battalion still to be decided.

      I see other comments on here (Marco) about trade agreements, the UK is already approaching other countries we haven’t even triggered Article 50 yet so officially we are not leaving yet and it could be against the EU rules, but so what? Will they throw us out for it? If it is wrong.

      It’s not just a question of EU rules. It is a question of legally binding international treaties which we entered into freely, the treaties having been first approved by our national parliament. “So what?” Do I really need to explain why it is unwise for a medium-sized nation about to embark on the process of trying to secure 50+ new international treaties with potential trading partners to kick the process off by flagrantly disregarding its commitments under the ones it already has?

      As an aside I have noticed a pickup in business for me and other small businesses over the last week. I am not claiming this to be a scientifically verified trend, but I do think we should deal with the situation we have. In truth nothing has changed in the real world only perceived (sometimes exaggerated) future problems and speculation of what might happen.

      Nothing changed in the real world?

      Since the referendum the pound has repeatedly hit new 31-year lows and has today overtaken the Argentinian peso as the worst performing currency in the world in 2016. Bad news for families who’d planned a European holiday this summer – the desperately weak pound will add an average of £200 to the cost.

      Bad news, too, for anyone buying products originating in other EU countries – including very many of the foodstuffs that have become part of our national diet in the last few decades – since the price of those, too, will inevitably rise in consequence. Someone I know has reported a conversation he had with the owner of his local corner shop: the current stock is still being sold at the old prices, but since 90% of the goods in the store is imported from France and Poland, the drop in the pound means prices will have to go up by 15% as soon as he has to restock.

      A this year-last year analysis of online job vacancies for the two weeks immediately before and after 23 June shows a drop of 700,000 advertised vacancies in the two weeks following the referendum compared with the same two weeks last year.

      There have been multiple reports of international businesses relocating from the UK to elsewhere in the EU. Here’s just one example:

      Mark Constantine, founder of Lush cosmetics, has announced plans to move EU production from Poole in Dorset to Germany. Lush employs 1,400 people in Poole – that’s 1400 people spending around £4.6 million locally on food, leisure and housing, including around £700,000 in council tax.

      I have heard further reports of businesses having spent years negotiating deals with EU partners, only to have them all fall through because of Brexit. Of people offered jobs that no longer exist because they depended on our EU membership. Of businesses putting recruitment plans on ice. Of British research institutions being dropped from scientific projects because of the lack of clarity surrounding their ongoing eligibility for Horizon 2020 funding.

      High Street sales started June 3.8% up on the same period last year, but by the end of the month – after the referendum – were down 8.1% compared with last year.

      Consumer confidence has seen its sharpest drop in 21 years: after the referendum the confidence index fell by 8 points to -9, a drop not since seen December 1994. To put that in context, that’s even worse than it was during the 2008/9 financial crash that devastated the financial sector worldwide.

      Three international credit rating agencies have taken the UK out of their top bracket and put us on a negative outlook, which will significantly increase the cost of servicing our £1.5 TRILLION national debt. An increase of just 1% in the interest rate would add £15 BILLION – 3 years’ worth of our net contribution to the EU – to our annual repayments. Again to put that in context, George Osborne had previously announced £4.4 billion of austerity measures. A 1% interest rate rise as a result of our lower credit rating would require those austerity measures to be tripled.

      Housing Associations will also be hit by the lower credit assessment, making it more expensive for them to finance new builds. Add to that the fact that they will no longer have access to EU Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, the European Regional Development Fund or the European Social Fund. European Investment Bank funding for new social housing is also likely to dry up – that’s £5.5 billion in its own right. The National Housing Federation had set itself a target of building 135,000 new shared ownership properties next year, but now says the reduction in investment and the challenges to commercial developers mean that target is unlikely to be met.

      Standard Life, Aviva and M&G property investment funds have all suspended payouts to investors, due to too many people wanting to get their money out.

      I just heard today about a local charity that had been planning to use EU funds to set up support and counselling for domestic abuse victims in remote, rural areas; all fallen through, thanks to Brexit.

      I could go on and on and on, but frankly, since all this stuff is out there in the public domain, anyone who’s not willfully determined not to see it could have found it for themselves.

      And all that’s without even mentioning the appalling and shameful sudden rise in racist hate crime since the day after the referendum, unleashed by the disgraceful and frankly repellent anti-migrant rhetoric deployed by the Leave campaign at every turn. Not an economic consequence, perhaps, but just try telling your non-British-born neighbours nothing in the real world has changed.

    • David @#9

      The £ achieving record lows is great for exporters and inward investment. The FTSE 100 has shot up because our 100 biggest companies earn 70-75% of their income in non sterling currency and benefit from a fall in sterling

      It really is not rocket science that when the value of the pound falls, due to poorer prospects in Britain, overseas assets and income in non sterling currency go up when valued in pounds!
      This not an indicator of a business success!
      It is a measure of protection of assets, which simply hold their value against the failures affecting the value of the pound!

    • maria melo #32
      Jul 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      I assure you, I know Allan4discussion has to contradict all arguments, and insensitive opinion seem equivalent to “expert opinion”.

      Expert opinion is based on professional interpretation of researched data, mathematical projections of charted historical trends, and the lessons of history.
      The source is usually some national or international institution, professional body, or university study.

      It has nothing to do with sensitivity, feelings or hunches.

      In fact, I am thankful to Mr. Nigel Farange speeches in EU Parliament (shut your ears if you don´t like to hear)

      My ears have been wide open, but Farage still produces the babblings of an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!
      In terms of understanding legal requirements, treaties, science, aircraft safety, climate issues, energy policy, or almost anything else, he has less intellectual capability than a thirteen year old, but has a similar level of emotional development and disruptive behaviour!

    • @phil rimmer
      figures you would be along
      negative comment about cars like a red flag

      “progressive and demanding standards”
      like those in the eu-leading german auto industry?
      you are deluded

    • Quarecuss

      The German auto industry is class leading on eco.

      https://www.vda.de/en/topics/environment-and-climate/environmental-protection-in-production/car-production-and-sustainability.html

      I’m not going to defend stupidly fast vehicles or the NOX lies, though.

    • @maria melo – I must confess that I have no idea what point you have been trying to make in your last few posts here; if I remember correctly, I had fewer problems (very much fewer) in your posts in other threads.

      Just one comment – also to all others commenting on “gut feeling”, too:

      “Gut feeling” – or perhaps more widely understandable “intuition” – has very much to do with experience. Intuition paired with ignorance of the subject is rubbish. That is where prejudices originate. Intuition allows someone to come to a decision much more quickly that thinking about the same topic to come to a conclusion, for which you need to hear and read very many, often contradictory, opinions – and the problem is often that you do not know enough about the context of the arguments. But the context is almost always decisive. For intuition to be useful, you need to have a lot of experience – most of all, you need to be able to put what you are trying to decide on in its context. Then, intuition can be quite a powerful help for decisions. But these decisions will only be useful for the frequently quite narrow context. Besides being ignorant of a subject (as stated above), intuition also becomes useless, or even harmful, when something useful in a narrow context becomes at best useless, if not harmful, in a wider context. Knowing your intuition’s limits is important. But within its context, intuition can help when you when you have incomplete information – so often the case.

    • I have to compliment the commentators above for their research and contributions. Marco and Alan4discussion have taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know. Thank you everyone.

    • maria melo #47
      Jul 9, 2016 at 4:42 am

      I was in a way right about it as far as referenda in your country-Britan- are not in fact biding in political terms.
      whatever the results of such referêndum might be- and it was before I comment and Prof dawkins wrote- it was not biding in political terms, and it seems in a way Prof. Dawkins was right too.

      The referendum result is not binding until parliament approves brexit, and begins the formal procedures.

      However it seems, none of the politicians or political leaders have the courage to challenge it, so are just following like sheep, while pretending they have no other choice! Some of them are too ignorant to even recognise the size of the problems.

    • maria melo #47
      Jul 9, 2016 at 4:42 am

      What I am supposed to find clear given your link, I don´t get it, nor even can I figure it out.

      You asked about my level of experience and expertise in politics.

      The link shows the sort of people I am used to having discussions and meetings with, and those who are emailing me with information.

    • maria melo #50
      Jul 9, 2016 at 5:05 am

      Listening to a tv commenter, a European deputy by the way, (besides a politician) commenting: Forget it, there´s no way that UK could have a second referêndum, at least, political rules seemed too clear for him,

      The rules were the same when the Danes and the Irish had their second referenda. (see links @#5 and #6)

    • David #45

      That’s a very gracious reply, David.
      Thank you and chapeau!

    • I cannot speak for others but I voted to leave the EU for what I believed (and still believe) are good reasons.

      I vote in every election here in Britain because I believe it is important that the Executive branch of government is chosen by the people, and that the people have the right to reject and replace the Executive branch if it no longer serves their collective needs. Essentially, I vote for democracy. This is not true in the EU. The European Commission picks itself. It is neither elected by the people, nor can it be replaced by the people. It disdains the opinions of ordinary citizens, after all they cannot be trusted: the citizens of Germany once voted for Hitler, and we know what that led to.

      Before the referendum, Ben Goldacre made the point that the opinion of the individual voter has a negligible effect on the eventual outcome of an election, one vote in a country of 65 million is just as ineffective as one vote in a country of 500 million, so we might as well chose to live in the EU; but this wasn’t the choice we were being offered. I chose to vote to live in a country with democracy, instead of living in a country with a bureaucratic dictatorship and an electorate of zero.

      We were told that staying in the EU made our country stronger, but the EU’s objective is to end the existence of individual countries as separate entities, so I don’t believe that statement.

      We were told that our security depended on EU membership and that the EU had kept peace in Europe for 50 years, but that was the achievement of NATO and so I don’t believe that statement.

      We were told that our economy would suffer as almost half our exports go to Europe. Well, it’s only almost half if you count the EU as one country, if you consider them individually, they are each a much smaller fraction; and that’s also an admission that over half our exports go to the rest of the world, so that statement isn’t really a statement in favour of the EU. We are a net importer of EU goods, are we really being told that if we leave, they will make us pay more for their goods? Wouldn’t that harm their suppliers if we looked for a new country to buy those goods from? We will still buy their goods if the prices are acceptable and they will still buy ours.

      We were told our access to the Single Market would be restricted if we left; but our access to that comes from our membership of the EEC, not from the EU. They were formed by separate international agreements and are separate organisations despite being comprised of the same member countries. International trade, as represented by the EEC, does need to be regulated at an international level, but the political strategy of “ever closer union” enforced by an un-elected cabal of bureaucrats is not want I want for my country.

      We were told that if we left, our country would not be able to stand alone, but if our membership of the EU has so enfeebled us that this is, or soon will be, true, then we should leave while we still can.

      We were told that we depend on EU laws and regulations for many of our cherished rights. This is both inaccurate and insulting (bordering on racism) against the British people. We have rights in this country because of laws passed in Parliament. Those laws may be the result of edicts originating from Brussels, but they still have to wait for approval from Parliament before they convey rights to the British people. Furthermore, are they saying that the British people and Parliament lacks the wisdom to formulate our own laws more closely tailored to our own needs? When you go to a shop to buy a coat, you choose the colour and the size and the style to suit your own tastes and needs. European laws are like being told you can have one huge shapeless mass of a coat, in one colour, one style, and one size, whether you want to buy a coat or not.

      We were told that regions of this country would suffer without EU subsidies, but Britain is a net contributor to the EU so we can use all the money we save from leaving, to continue the subsidies and still have money left over, so I don’t believe that statement.

      There has been a deplorable outpouring of racism in this country since the referendum, which cannot be tolerated in a civilised society, but there have also been calls for a second referendum, petitions have been raised, and marches held, “because it wasn’t decisive enough”. The point is that, despite the blatant lies, scare-mongering and distortions from the Remain campaign and the ad-hominim attacks made against Vote Leave campaigners, the majority of people in this country did (for whatever reason) vote to leave the EU, and the result is no more controversial than a political party with a majority of one Parliamentary seat forming a government. The Remain campaign lost, get over it, and stop throwing childish tantrums in public because you think you might be able to overturn the democratically expressed will of the British people by doing so.

    • N_Ellis #54
      Jul 9, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Essentially, I vote for democracy. This is not true in the EU. The European Commission picks itself. It is neither elected by the people, nor can it be replaced by the people. It disdains the opinions of ordinary citizens,

      The EU has professional administrators (like those trade negotiators the UK is lacking), just as the UK has permanent civil servants and diplomats, but the national representatives on the council of ministers are elected or chosen by the individual country’s elected MPs, while the Euro MPs are directly elected to the European parliament by their constituency voters.
      Democracy works at various levels, but it is most unusual and highly risky to ask for mass opinions from people with negligible understanding of specialist subjects.
      This is especially so when liars and the stooge media are misinforming electors to manipulate the outcome.

      Both the cabinets of national government and local councils are not directly elected by the people but are chosen or elected by by their elected representatives. That is how democracy works.

      Representative democracy works after a fashion, in a rough and ready manner.
      Mob rule is pretty consistently disastrous!

      there have also been calls for a second referendum, petitions have been raised, and marches held, “because it wasn’t decisive enough”.

      Decisions by the misinformed acting on false claims and assuraces from deluded fanatics who have no idea what they are taking about, would raise serious doubts about a marginal decision!

      The point is that, despite the blatant lies, scare-mongering and distortions from the Remain campaign and the ad-hominim attacks made against Vote Leave campaigners,

      This is laughable and totally backwards!

      Some of the Remain Campaign called out the false assurances, coming from people who had obviously done no homework on the implications, while the Leave Campaign falsely claimed that a whole string of experts advising on the folly of their actions, was just scaremongering!

    • N_Ellis, #54 (cont)

      We were told our access to the Single Market would be restricted if we left; but our access to that comes from our membership of the EEC, not from the EU. They were formed by separate international agreements and are separate organisations despite being comprised of the same member countries. International trade, as represented by the EEC, does need to be regulated at an international level, but the political strategy of “ever closer union” enforced by an un-elected cabal of bureaucrats is not want I want for my country.

      The EEC ceased to exist in 2009.

      The Single Market is an inherent part of the EU, and it is the EU that has the power to grant or withhold access to it, and to set the terms of that access.

      The issue of ever-closer union I have dealt with above.

      We were told that if we left, our country would not be able to stand alone, but if our membership of the EU has so enfeebled us that this is, or soon will be, true, then we should leave while we still can.

      This is a fatuous argument. The world has changed enormously since we joined the EU. Prosperity, power and influence are now created through partnership and co-operation.

      Country after country – including the US, Japan and the most economically important Commonwealth countries – have made it crystal clear that creating trade agreements with a standalone UK will be of low priority for them.

      Inward investors – bringing jobs and tax revenue – have made it clear that, outside the EU and therefore no longer providing a springboard to the Single Market – the UK will no longer be of interest to them.

      Your “reasons” consistently fail to take account of the interconnectedness of the modern world. Casting ourselves adrift in order to go it alone in the modern world is nothing short of folly.

      We were told that we depend on EU laws and regulations for many of our cherished rights. This is both inaccurate and insulting (bordering on racism) against the British people. We have rights in this country because of laws passed in Parliament. Those laws may be the result of edicts originating from Brussels, but they still have to wait for approval from Parliament before they convey rights to the British people. Furthermore, are they saying that the British people and Parliament lacks the wisdom to formulate our own laws more closely tailored to our own needs? When you go to a shop to buy a coat, you choose the colour and the size and the style to suit your own tastes and needs. European laws are like being told you can have one huge shapeless mass of a coat, in one colour, one style, and one size, whether you want to buy a coat or not.

      The rights we have in the UK are underwritten and protected by the EU, meaning they cannot be revoked. Some of them – the Working Time Directive, for instance, which limits the number of hours you can be forced to work – have come directly from Brussels and not from the UK. Numerous Conservative politicians over the years have made it clear they would like to slash those rights. Tory leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom has said in the House of Commons that the government should scrap all regulation for small companies with 3 employees or fewer: no minimum wage, no maternity or paternity rights, no unfair dismissal rights, no pension rights. You may feel the European safeguards are superfluous now, but that could change overnight.

      We were told that regions of this country would suffer without EU subsidies, but Britain is a net contributor to the EU so we can use all the money we save from leaving, to continue the subsidies and still have money left over, so I don’t believe that statement.

      Also mistaken, I’m afraid. We won’t save any money at all from leaving. It’s not just the fact that the Leave campaign has already created a list of things to spend our EU membership on that comes to 10 times the cost of our EU membership, it’s also the fact that, according to the CBI, every pound of our net contribution to the EU generates approximately £10 in inward investment. That’s the equivalent of putting the money into a saving account with an interest rate of 1000%. Losing £10 in order to save £1 is bad economics in anyone’s book.

      There has been a deplorable outpouring of racism in this country since the referendum, which cannot be tolerated in a civilised society, but there have also been calls for a second referendum, petitions have been raised, and marches held, “because it wasn’t decisive enough”. The point is that, despite the blatant lies, scare-mongering and distortions from the Remain campaign and the ad-hominim attacks made against Vote Leave campaigners, the majority of people in this country did (for whatever reason) vote to leave the EU, and the result is no more controversial than a political party with a majority of one Parliamentary seat forming a government. The Remain campaign lost, get over it, and stop throwing childish tantrums in public because you think you might be able to overturn the democratically expressed will of the British people by doing so.

      The sudden upsurge in racist attacks and abuse are the clear result of a Leave campaign which exploited and fostered fear and resentment of migrants, and appeared to legitimise views that had not been socially acceptable for decades. Leave voters cannot simply shrug off their share of the responsibility for the overt racism that has resulted: your own reasons for voting Leave may not have been racist, but you allied yourself with a campaign that was. If you play with fire, you cannot deny all responsibility when others get hurt by it.

      As for the referendum result, it is vastly more controversial than the result of any parliamentary election, no matter how close. Parliamentary elections are re-run every 5 years, and they don’t throw the entire fabric of our society and economy into disarray. Changes of governments modify our country, and those modifications are largely reversible at a later date; leaving the EU changes everything – drastically and permanently.

      The referendum result is an inadequate basis for such a huge and very probably deleterious transformation to the way our country is run for all of the following reasons:

      The result was far too close to give a clear mandate for such enormous and far-reaching change. Most jurisdictions require at least a 60:40 result for changes on anything like this scale, sometimes in conjunction with a very high turnout. Nigel Farage is on record as having said that a 52:48 result in favour of Remain would in no way mean the end of the battle, because it would be nowhere near a strong enough result, and UKIP would fight on and on to overturn it. Sauce for goose = sauce for gander.
      The referendum has no legal status. It was advisory only. Sovereignty rests with Parliament, which itself works on the basis of representative democracy – once elected, MPs are under no obligation to consult their constituents on how they should vote in the House of Commons.
      The vote for Leave was won on the strength of brazen lies, endlessly repeated. We do not send £350 million per week to Brussels, that money is not going to be available for spending on the NHS or anything else, Turkey is not set to join the EU and the UK would, in any case, have a veto even if it were, EU migrants are not the reason why our public services are under strain (decades of underfunding has taken care of that all by itself; EU migrants actually make a significantly higher net contribution to the Exchequer than native Brits do; the staffing crisis in the NHS will be greatly exacerbated if we lose the EU doctors and nurses working in it); the EU is not run by unelected bureaucrats, it’s not about to set up its own army, and it doesn’t give a damn about the number of bananas in a bunch. A campaign run on downright, provable lies is not democracy: it is fraud.
      The electorate was desperately underinformed about the actual workings and limitations of the EU. It was clear from almost every conversation I had with people planning to vote Leave that they didn’t have a clue which layer of government was responsible for what. Reasons I heard for voting Leave included potholes in the local streets, petrol being cheaper in Poland than in the UK, and resentment of the Abu Hamza decision (which was a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, quite separate from the EU and totally unaffected by either Remain or Brexit). Your own list of “good reasons” is no such thing, as I hope I have shown.

      For democracy to have any meaning and value whatsoever, you need an electorate that is reasonably well informed about the issues and the mechanisms of government; you need a press that takes seriously its responsibility to inform the public accurately; and you need political campaigns that remain within acceptable bounds of honesty. In the case of the referendum we had none of these things – not even close.

      There is evidence to suggest that some Leave voters are now regretting their vote, now that they are beginning to see what they have unleashed.

      So: an advisory referendum, won on the basis of outright lies that went far beyond the kind of spin we are used to in political life, by a small majority that there is reason to believe would now be smaller still or even overturned, but that will result in many years of economic (and therefore social) chaos and even greater austerity. No, N_Ellis, don’t expect Remain voters to just roll over and accept it. There is far too much at stake.

    • N_Ellis #54
      Jul 9, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Vote Leave campaigners, the majority of people in this country did (for whatever reason) vote to leave the EU, and the result is no more controversial than a political party with a majority of one Parliamentary seat forming a government. The Remain campaign lost, get over it, and stop throwing childish tantrums in public because you think you might be able to overturn the democratically expressed will of the British people by doing so.

      0000000000000000000000

      Creationsts, the majority of people in this country {some 78% of Americans} did (for whatever reason) ) today believe that God had a hand in the development of humans in some way, and the result is no more controversial than a political party with a majority of one Parliamentary seat forming a government. The scientists lost, get over it, and stop throwing childish tantrums in public because you think you might be able to overturn the democratically expressed will of the American people by doing so.

      Yep! Rent-a-crowd, can really tell those experts and those scientists!

      But the thing about reality, is that it bites those who don’t believe in it, so finding in the future, that you have just voted for less jobs, poorer services, more expensive goods, and lower pay may come as a shock!

    • Would like to see people making more effort/thinking into how we make the situation better rather then crying over split milk or trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    • Great, KeithSloan #59.

      Why not get the ball rolling? What are your suggestions for making the situation better?

    • mods
      why are my comments being blocked?
      two of them

    • Marco,

      Exceptional.

      The value potentially lost is huge. It is so not about the monetary membership dividends put in and taken out and their net balance but about the problems that got solved and the value thereby created.

    • Maria Melo and quarecuss

      Please check your emails as we have replied to you both privately.

      The mods.

    • “Why not get the ball rolling? What are your suggestions for making the situation better?”

      Maybe Dyson & JCB could make one of their board an ambassador to coach others on how they intend to make maximum use of not being in the EU.

      Seems to me that we need to do all we can to encourage our exporters

    • KeithSloan #59
      Jul 9, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Would like to see people making more effort/thinking into how we make the situation better rather then crying over split milk or trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

      The best option is for parliament to recognise the nature of the mistake and size of the potential problems, refuse to begin the official exit procedure, restore representational democracy, and bin the referendum!

      A possibly gentler approach is to run a second referendum and see that the people are properly informed, with any pontificating fake “authorities” exposed.

      A possible fudged approach is for politicians to try to negotiate some sort of associate membership deal which retains most of the features of membership, but placates the brexiteers, inflicts less damage than a full exit, and saves face for politicians.

      A very damaging approach is to try this and fail!

      A disastrous approach is to let brexit take its course, try to renegotiate all we have lost with a multitude of separate states, and to write-off all the benefits to science, medical research, Europe-wide reciprocal medical services, trade benefits of membership, and international co-operation. etc. while pretending to be super traders who’s world is our oyster!

    • received and replied, Maria.

    • “Why not get the ball rolling? What are your suggestions for making the situation better?”

      Maybe some Universities could start offering a Masters in Trade Negotiations. I would imagine based in a Law department, but don’t really know enough about Trade Negotiations.

    • @phil rimmer
      @alan4discussion

      “class leading” big euro auto?
      laughable
      “class leading” in fiddling emissions?
      angela MERC-el in its pocket
      doesn’t matter what powers it
      the sacred cow of the private car is the problem
      totally unsustainable and hugely central to the brexit gridlock
      day in day out the evidence mounts

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-09/12-die-in-giant-indonesian-traffic-jam-official/7582848
      (2 more current links in separate posts)

      WAR ON THE CAR!
      WAR on Ford Nation!

    • quarecuss

      Like you I don’t believe the future of personal transport is the privately owned car. It doesn’t make technological nor commercial sense. Leased services at worst and on demand services for the bulk will allow technology to directly address energy, material resource and safety and congestion concerns instead as some grafted-on-for-show legislation. We already have the first un-ownable vehicle proposed. Circular economy developments and a return to old style modularity, newly aided by very short range contactless power and data transfer techniques and (at last!) financial institutions waking up to the value of owning these new long lived assetts, will take us, with the renewables they will aid, to sustainability.

      Good luck with winding back the clock….I’m sure some communities will and they will be lovely places.

      Oh.

      Peace.

      (Stephen of Wimbledon you really should start charging for this.)

    • quarecuss #70
      Jul 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      @phil rimmer
      @alan4discussion

      “class leading” big euro auto?
      laughable

      Three links @#71 #72 #73 :-

      Indonesia’s Islamic administration, cannot plan road works and traffic flow,

      Temperature inversion, traffic fumes in a vulnerable geographic location Mexico,

      and poor town planning and Urban sprawl in Canada’s oil town!

      What exactly do these have to do with VW planning to make a major move into electric car production or brexit?

    • How come the first thing those who support the supreme sovereignty of Parliament do is bypass it with a referendum?

      Blair usurped it in 2003, and has lived to regret it, and now many millions with smug grins on their faces on July 24 will live to do the same; indeed, many already have.

      But the worst thing of all is that the young have been betrayed.

    • @phil rimmer comment #74

      the transition from today’s me-me merc motor mania to your utopian vision
      of “leased-on-demand-unownable” services is beyond too slow
      given the climate emergency we are facing
      big auto has no intention of making the private car obsolete
      within the tiny window we have to mitigate disaster
      it will do everything in its massive power to spin its wheels
      and its bs-ing world’s biggest advertising budget
      the momentum of individual car ownership
      is such that your solutions are pissing in the wind
      we need a churchill
      (not a may, corbyn, MERC-el or clinton) to identify the enemy
      as he once did in early 20th century when he took on auto associations
      (he sold out later)
      turning back the clock?
      no
      marching/walking into the future

      WAR!

    • @alan4discussion comment #75

      blame anything but the car
      the sacred cow
      it reminds one of apologism for religion
      VW will do anything to avoid the demise of the private litter

    • quarecuss,

      your utopian vision
      of “leased-on-demand-unownable” services is beyond too slow
      given the climate emergency we are facing.

      And yet it is cracking along nicely because companies realise that they have to make a transition to cash stream businesses that tie in customers over longer terms, stabilise investment profiles and drop the cost of money. GM long ago stopped making cars and left the bulk of the work to a rationalised set of tier one module suppliers. These modules are clipped together to make the cars. The value added by assembly is now below the money they make as a bank financing the ownership of the final product. Car companies have seen this coming since the nineties and the transition to service and a cash stream model suits them just fine.

      Myself I have been in the eco business for over two decades. Luddites like yourself, fighting antique battles, on the basis of little evidence (I see you have only offered opinion) are the biggest threat to making change.

      https://www.fiafoundation.org/media/44209/gfei-annual-report-2014.pdf

      Here’s the world’s continuing progress on fuel efficiency in road transport. See P24 for the relevant data. Notice EU and then Japan way ahead of the US/Canada in fuel efficiency.

      The transition to electric will be stunning. Fuel efficiency particularly the ability to use night time wind will introduce sudden drops in oil use. This is stuff I was discussing with an excited CTO of a Californian power utility in the late nineties. This is like a switch flipped to the value of wind turbines.

      You have no insight into the minds of current technology investment, the many tens of billions committed so far to the vision, nor the significance of the deep synergies that will arise, nor the speed of transition as we approach the sweet spot of converging, good enough technologies. Your uninformed opinions are frankly damaging.

    • Alan, quarecuss,

      The Bollore design of the Blueindy (designed by Pininfarina built by Renault) has excellent regenerative braking due to its use of ultracapacitors, netting very high efficiencies in towns. It is well established in France with similar schemes and has ambitious plans in London with very competitive rates for usage.

      http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/new-bluecity-electric-car-sharing-scheme-launch-february

      Two decades will see astonishing changes. High street retailers are becoming power retailers also. (M&S are causing Tesco and others to reconsider their rejection in 2011-2013, when things were going pear shaped.) I predict free power in their parking lots in exchange for points or purchases. I anticipate “free” power at low charge rates and high charge rates at a premium. All such retailers have refueling stations already in the suburbs. Captured rechargers may as well shop for the duration…have a coffee especially if the recharge is “free”…the logistics are perfect. Their wholesale purchase of power, especially if they install say a 20MW Flow battery storage to use night-time wind and mid-day local roof solar PV with their remote storage service, offers the least cost renewables with greatly reduced network demand, peak shaving, and buffering of high charge rates.

      As the chief proponent (name? Pah. Interviewed on Costing the Earth BBC R4) of solar in China has it… people will do this because it makes better commercial sense. (If China is not already at peak CO2 it certainly will be by 2020, well ahead of its plan to be by 2035….technology can flip quickly as we have seen in say communications. More importantly technology jump starts third world countries, increasingly taking out the obscene carbon hump that has greeted earlier industrialisations. The UK was worst, but these up front humps of carbon intensity have got less and less with time, with technology ameliorating energy costs.)

    • 83

      Sorry wrong dates. 2011-2013 should read 2013-2014.

    • @phil rimmer and alan4
      you sound like matrix monitors
      or is it daleks?

      today’s casualty figures in the war of exterminate exterminate
      collateral damage?
      sacrificial victims?…
      https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/10/no-escape-nairobi-air-pollution-sparks-africa-health-warning

      this luddite vs the car-go cult
      that is turning the biosphere
      into a gas chamber?
      so be it
      WAR!

    • quarecuss

      How old are you?

      I’m no matrix monitor. I work in the circular economy designing solutions to save the planet. Two decades ago I worked on systems to take 50Kg out of the weight of cars to reduce electricity drain and improve fuel consumption. (Weight saving is the quickest way to improve the various eco impacts.) Since then I’ve been working on innovative energy saving systems in buildings, resi and commercial and horticulture, and circular economy engineering for modularity.

      this luddite [vs the car-go cult
      that is turning the biosphere
      into a gas chamber?]

      will do what to help?

      Electric bikes are a great way forward for Nairobi. They are especially useful for we older folk who no longer command the aerobic fitness we once had. I haven’t bought mine yet but I know the one. (£600 only, converted mountain bike.) Today’s invention for Africa, a fold up perovskite solar PV bicycle cover to recharge it.

    • quarecuss #85
      Jul 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

      this luddite vs the car-go cult
      that is turning the biosphere
      into a gas chamber?
      so be it
      WAR!

      @link – no-escape-nairobi-air-pollution-sparks-africa-health-warning –
      Pollution in the Kenyan capital is ‘beyond imagination’. With Africa’s predicted rise in population – and a constant stream of dirty secondhand cars from Europe and Japan – this urban health crisis could kill 1.5 million within a generation

      So I ask again – What has this got to do with VW moving to manufacture clean electric cars which do not pollute the atmosphere or the link about Blueindy city electric cars, providing a reduced number of vehicles which are clean running – most likely on green energy as Phil explained. ?

      Yes I know the third-world poor and the Luddites, will try to persist in using old type polluting vehicles, but that is not an argument against manufacturing clean new ones, or setting up better managed transport systems!

    • @OP – Her impoverished imagination vouchsafed her not the faintest inkling of the intricate webs of European cooperation that have been built up, over decades, by British companies, institutions, universities, research establishments, galleries, employers of British skills and British labour. Now wrecked.

      This is very much about demands from simplistic minds!

      The demand for an IN -OUT referendum was ludicrous!

      It was perfectly clear, that the UK was never going to go “all-in” joining the Euro and becoming part of a European state!

      and we were never going to come ALL-OUT abandoning all trade agreements with Europe or the WTO.

      Even now, if the stupidity of brexit goes ahead, England is probably going to become an associate member or observer of the EU. (Scotland ? who knows?).

      Cameron thought he was going to win the vote and shut-up the Tory far-right Little-Englanders, so he did not bother to look at the scale or nature of the potential consequences.
      Nor could he be reasonably be expected to anticipate the Labour Party stupidity which is Corbyn and Co.!

      The IN-OUT vote was about pandering to the discontinuous minds, which cannot cope with wide-ranges of complex issues.

      It’s time some people in government were asking the question,
      “Was there ever a realistic option of going ALL-IN or ALL-OUT, and if not, why frame that childish simplistic “black and white” question?”

    • @OP:

      ”Cameron should not have called the referendum at all, but at least
      he should have set the bar higher: a two-thirds majority, or a
      majority that places the verdict outside the statistical margin of
      error, or a second referendum a fortnight after the first, to ratify
      the decision.”

      The referendum agreed to by Parliament was advisory (a fact that was widely ignored during the campaign, and contradicted by a promise from David Cameron). One might ask why the bar should be set at any particular level if Parliament are going to decide what weight to give to the number of Remain votes and to the number of Leave votes in the context of other considerations.
      I could hardly believe it when Cameron dictatorially implied otherwise on June 24th. I wrote to David Cameron to complain about this, but his reply was a polite version of what-I-say-goes. (I have written again, but I doubt whether he will reply.)

      The same sort of contempt has been shown to the four million people who signed a (rather poor) petition entitled “EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum” behind which was a plea for hysteresis. On July 9th, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s response to the petition was:

      ”The European Union Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December
      2015, receiving overwhelming support from Parliament. The Act did not
      set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.

      ”The EU Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015. The
      Act was scrutinised and debated in Parliament during its passage and
      agreed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Act
      set out the terms under which the referendum would take place,
      including provisions for setting the date, franchise and the question
      that would appear on the ballot paper. The Act did not set a threshold
      for the result or for minimum turnout.

      ”As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House of
      Commons on 27 June, the referendum was one of the biggest democratic
      exercises in British history with over 33 million people having their
      say. The Prime Minister and Government have been clear that this was a
      once in a generation vote and, as the Prime Minister has said, the
      decision must be respected. We must now prepare for the process to
      exit the EU and the Government is committed to ensuring the best
      possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.”

      The first two paragraphs of this response do not mention that the referendum was advisory. What the third paragraph says we must do is a lie.

      I am not in favour of a second referendum because, if it was binding, the bar would have to be raised to a sensible level, and we already know that that level was not reached by the first referendum. But that assumes that a distrusted government is able to calm potential rioters from the Leave side.

    • TreenonPoet #89
      Jul 11, 2016 at 9:47 am

      We must now prepare for the process to
      exit the EU and the Government is committed to ensuring the best
      possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.”

      The first two paragraphs of this response do not mention that the referendum was advisory. What the third paragraph says we must do is a lie.

      Some very stupid politicians have dug themselves and the country into a hole, and are now looking to tunnel sideways to save face, rather than climbing out and correcting the error!

    • quarecuss.

      Not too keen on listening are you?

      each spewing ggs and toxic filth either on site
      like methane-farting sacred cows
      or outsourced to some distant electric power plant

      Nope. EVs facilitate renewable energy facilitates EVs. They actually make each other possible for mass adoption. EVs are the mass energy storage opportunity renewables have been looking for….Cars are driven infrequently and will be plugged in a lot. They use night time wind and mid-day solar and can be used to provide mass and distributed peak shaving energy back into the grid, obviating the need to turn on pre-emptive gas turbines stations.

      The smart grid will facilitate a spot market in electrical power to facilitate these clever and helpful loads. Night time wind near optimum turbine count will be cheap, free or negatively priced on occasions. The current debate is if the supply frequency delta (the change in frequency from the nominal) can be taken as a direct indicator of the spot market electricity price. (Frequency is a direct measure of spinning reserve the kinetic energy stored in the connected electrical machines/generators, and the ability of the system to withstand a sudden spike in demand. ..the generators slow down under load…). No definitive scheme has been decided upon though a number are being evaluated and we have already produced designs for smart loads like EVs.

      The plan has been decades in the making, believe it or not and is much cleverer than you seem aware.

    • q

      corporate big auto like vw is not going to retool its lines
      to replace private cars with clean comfy public transportation
      without a massive wheel-spinning costly fight

      Teslas are a good mitigation along the way.

    • @ Alan

      Alan, Theresa May. Your thoughts?

    • Dan #94
      Jul 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Alan, Theresa May. Your thoughts?

      It’s hard to say! Like some others, she has said she will go ahead with Brexit and do the best for Britain.

      This statement is an oxymoron, but she is dependent on quite a number of brexiteer MPs to maintain a majority to stay in power as a government.

      She may also try for closer trade ties with the US.

      Both the Tories and Labour seem more concerned with getting their parties back together and healing splits, rather than doing anything useful for the future of the Country.

      The Labour party is going to continue tearing itself apart in a leadership election, with the loony-left backed by some ignoramus union leaders supporting Corbyn, against the better informed majority of the Labour MPs, who recognise him as an ideological windbag who is clueless about finance, trade, investment in the future, or constructive leadership.

    • Well Richard I didn’t expect you to be so ferocious and emotional.

      I voted leave on several grounds, the most important being the democratic deficit. The moment a pleb like me can’t vote to remove his ruler then a trust has been broken and a right lost.

      Europe is not the centre of the universe. There is more life outside it than within.

      Alan4discussion:
      As for the referendum being advisory…. the political class could always repeat the exercise until the governed give them the answer insisted upon. What would the affect be on social and political cohesion in the UK?

      And I do hope – but don’t expect – a hard limit on total, and a complete end to semi and unskilled immigration. Far better for the planet for us to export jobs if we lucky enough to be able to do so, and have economic forces upskill and raise the wages and life expectations of the poorer half.

      We need less division and an reversal of the separation of society too many of us are suffering from.

    • Aidan, #96

      I voted leave on several grounds, the most important being the democratic deficit. The moment a pleb like me can’t vote to remove his ruler then a trust has been broken and a right lost.

      Then I am sorry to say you have made a catastrophic decision based on false information. My posts on this page explain why, but this section of Comment 56 will be particularly relevant:

      The EU equivalent to our House of Commons is the 100% directly elected and proportionally representative European Parliament.

      Then there is also the European Council, which is indirectly elected, since it comprises elected representatives of the 28 national governments.

      These are the only bodies in the EU with voting rights.

      The closest UK equivalent to the European Commission is the Civil Service. It’s not an exact equivalent, but the underlying principle is similar. You don’t elect the European Commission and you don’t elect your Civil Service.

      Nor does the European Commission pick itself. Each of the 28 elected national governments nominates someone to be their Commissioner. Each Commissioner is subjected to scrutiny and approval or rejection by the elected European Parliament.

      And the European Commission has no voting rights: it can propose legislation, but it cannot approve or reject it.

      I addressed the rest of the democracy issue in another post a few weeks ago, so apologies for the repeat information that follows.

      Because there is no EU government as such, the EU works as much as possible on the basis of consensus. What this means in practice is that, before putting forward proposed legislation for MEPs and the Council to vote on, the Commission spends a great deal of time consulting each of the 28 member governments, which gives each of the member countries an opportunity to influence the legislation being proposed. Far from having EU legislation foisted upon us, we (and every other EU member state) are fully involved in the process of creating it right from the start. This might explain why, over the last 6 years, the UK has agreed with 97% of all EU legislation passed.

      For all areas of major significance – new members, for example, or changes to membership arrangements; trade deals; new or modified treaties – the EU can only act if the action is approved by the EU Parliament, the Council AND each of the 28 national governments. That’s not just some govt representative in Brussels: it means those plans have to be approved (or rejected) in our Houses of Parliament. Several member states have even opted to make their approval of such major policy areas subject to a national referendum. It only takes one national government to reject the proposed policy for the whole thing to fall through.

      In any case, the EU only legislates in policy areas that have been either wholly or partially delegated to it by the member states. There is also a fundamental principle built into the EU (and being emphasised more and more in recent months and years) that decisions should be taken locally wherever possible and at EU level only where necessary for greater transnational effectiveness. The key policy areas affecting our day-to-day lives – housing, welfare, health, defence and foreign policy – are all entirely in our own hands.

      Finally, even outside the EU, our laws will still not be set entirely by elected representatives in our own parliament. When did any of us last elect anyone to the House of Lords? When did we elect our Head of State? Nor did we directly elect the Cabinet – each individual member of the Cabinet was elected as an MP, but was then appointed to a government position by the Prime Minister. None of us had a say in Jeremy Hunt becoming Secretary of State for Health, for example (and I daresay most of us would choose to kick him out if we could). And we certainly don’t get to elect or even influence the choice of Permanent Secretaries in the Civil Service. What’s more, thanks to our First Past the Post electoral system, not even the House of Commons genuinely reflects the actual numbers of votes cast for any given Party, and if I recall correctly, we have never had a majority government that had actually won a majority of the votes cast. The European Parliament, being elected on the basis of Proportional Representation, is a much fairer and more democratic reflection of the votes cast by the citizens of the EU.

    • aidan #96
      Jul 12, 2016 at 5:16 am

      Well Richard I didn’t expect you to be so ferocious and emotional.

      I think the words you are looking for are, “very disappointed with an appalling destructive decision”, which ignores almost all of the expert opinion offered.

      Alan4discussion:
      As for the referendum being advisory…. the political class could always repeat the exercise until the governed give them the answer insisted upon.

      True – if they were stupid enough to start the process of asking the uniformed, and then letting the charlatans and wish thinkers feed them simplistic disinformation and wilful lies!

      What would the affect be on social and political cohesion in the UK?

      I think the foolishness of the example of asking people to make decisions on topics way beyond their comprehension, is clearly demonstrated by the chaos in the political parties.
      They know the decision is divisive and wrong, but have dug themselves into a hole and now want to save face.

      When major technical decisions have been evaluated by specialist parliamentary committees acting on specialist expert advice, and then voted on by the Commons and Lords, there has never been this sort of chaotic division with people rushing to defend the bad judgements they have made by being fed false information.

      And I do hope – but don’t expect – a hard limit on total, and a complete end to semi and unskilled immigration.

      That may well be done in the EU, but Britain (or the remaining parts of it) will nolonger be involved in those decisions, but is likely to be affected by them (as Switzerland is) if it continues trading with the EU.

      Far better for the planet for us to export jobs if we lucky enough to be able to do so, and have economic forces upskill and raise the wages and life expectations of the poorer half.

      Suggesting that exporting jobs to the sweat-shops and sickness pollution centres of world, will “upskill and raise the wages and life expectations of the poorer half”, would be laughable if it was not so sad!

      We need less division and an reversal of the separation of society too many of us are suffering from.

      So how is voting for more expensive goods(for a devalued £), poorer wages, less jobs, and the government spending more of our taxes on interest payments (because of their now lower credit ratings), reduce divisions? This is pure wish thinking!

      The brexiteers arguments were of the same form as Young Earth Creationists and AGW deniers. “Let’s con masses of the pubic and a few gormless politicians, because we have zero chance of persuading the informed experts who will laugh at our silly made-up claims”!
      The warnings from majority of expert scientists, economists, bankers, business leaders, and political parties, which the brexiteers dismissed as “the scaremongering of the Fear Campaign” ARE and will CONTINUE to materialise around us with dire consequences!

      As Marco explained @#97 (and in other comments elsewhere in this and in related discussions), you were conned by reckless liars, who were either too ignorant to know what they were doing, or thoroughly dishonest, and now everyone is going to pay the price for years to come!
      Richard and everyone else who knows what is happening has every right to be angry about these grossly incompetent decisions which ordinary members of the public should never have been asked to make!

      If I need decisions on international trade agreements, planning, or aircraft safety, I will definitely NOT be asking Nigel Farage!

      Nigel Farage: After the plane crash, I lit a fag. Not a great idea close to aviation fuel

    • @Alan #98,
      “True – if they were stupid enough to start the process of asking the uniformed, and then letting the charlatans and wish thinkers feed them simplistic disinformation and wilful lies!”

      Why bother with elections, clearly party A is the sensible one, and anyone voting for party B is uninformed and misled by charlatans and conmen!

      Given that 51% of the voters are pig-ignorant sheep (or the charlatans and conmen who duped them), we clearly can’t trust them to vote at the next election. They might vote X in!

      Clearly elite opinion must always overrule the majority vote, for their own uninformed good, on issues of national importance. We can always let the hoi polloi vote on unimportant issues now and then, if they want to feel involved.

      I’m just not clear on one thing, namely how we determine whose opinion is so valuable that it compensates for millions of uninformed but dissenting opinions.
      Perhaps we rely only on the opinion of those who hold a PhD in a hard science? (Only from Oxbridge or an Ivy League university, naturally.)
      Or maybe, we should just leave it up to the existing elites, the landed gentry and old money, and the self-made billionaires, I’m sure they have a clear vision and all our interests at heart. One pound, one vote.

    • MadEnglishman #99
      Jul 12, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Why bother with elections, clearly party A is the sensible one, and anyone voting for party B is uninformed and misled by charlatans and conmen!

      As Churchill said, “Democracy is a very bad form of government – but the others are so much worse.

      Democratic elections are a way of removing tired, warn out governments, who have nothing further to offer, and also to give a change of direction, when ideologists go off at a loony tangent.

      They are not ways of determining positive visions of the future.

      Those are derived as experts brief the elected members on what is possible and what is useful. Sometimes the elected members are intelligent enough to listen to advice from expert specialists, or even to their fellow MPs who familiar with those subject areas.
      Sometime (like theists) the ideology blocks their minds from evidence and reason, and another election is required to see if something better can be found!

    • Olgun #103
      Jul 13, 2016 at 5:17 am

      ‘We have given back control to people over their own lives and over their livelihood—over the decisions that matter most to them and their families’

      Margaret Thatcher.

      it is easy to understand when you know the Tory definition of “people”; – which is similar to the definition of “chaps”, or “Old Etonians”!

    • Mad Engishman, #99

      In the run-up to the referendum I spoke to literally hundreds of people about the EU and Brexit, and was deeply shocked at the complete lack of knowledge and understanding that was evident in almost every conversation I had.

      I spoke to people planning to vote Leave because their local streets were potholed (actually the responsibility of the local council); because they thought it unfair that fuel cost more in the UK than in Poland (the responsibility of oil companies + Westminister in the form of fuel duties); because they objected to the Abu Hamza decision (the responsibility of the European Court of Human Rights, which is quite separate from the EU and will be untouched by Brexit). One woman was sick of the EU telling her what she could eat. A fellow campaigner had a conversation with one man who – quite seriously – said he was voting for Brexit because he didn’t want to have to use the Euro any more. One man insisted that the entire EU was entirely unelected, and went on insisting it at high volume even when informed by a fellow campaigner that she herself had stood for election to the European Parliament last time around (“No, you didn’t.”)

      And the myth of the unelected, unaccountable, undemocratic EU was only one of the lies people had swallowed: there was of course also the now-notorious £350m per week that could be used for the NHS post-Brexit, plus the notion that Turkey was “set to” join the EU (with Syria and Iraq handily labelled on the map in the Leave leaflet) and that we’d shortly have 70+ million Turks heading for the UK. People – lots of them – actually believed this stuff.

      Then there was the way the Leave campaign, aided and abetted by an utterly partisan press, consistently and deliberately conflated the 3 quite separate and distinct issues of open borders, freedom of movement, and asylum seekers (only one of which was relevant to the question of Brexit). Please don’t imagine for one moment that your average voter was able to see through this ruse. They patently were not. Large numbers of them were also patently being swayed by the entirely baseless impression that Brexit was going to mean an immigrant-free future.

      The question of whether or not the UK should remain in the EU went to the very heart of how our country is run, how our economy thrives, and how we exercise influence in an increasingly interconnected world. And it was put to an electorate that had never been properly informed about those issues, or even about which layer of government is responsible for what. An electorate that for decades had only heard successive governments blame the EU for their own failures, and take the credit for improvements in our economy, environment, research and workers’ rights that were very largely attributable to our EU membership. An electorate that was then systematically lied to by both the Leave campaign and the Murdoch/Desmond press.

      I will go on saying it. That wasn’t democracy: that was fraud. Fraud on a massive scale, perpetrated on an unsuspecting public by a handful of dishonest, deeply unpleasant, self-serving politicians supported by billionaire backers with a libertarian agenda that the Tea Party itself would have been proud of.

      Britain is not a direct democracy: it is a representative democracy. We elect politicians to make complex decisions on our behalf. That is their job, that is their responsibility. And given the extent to which the UK and the EU have become intertwined in so many aspects of national life, decisions don’t come much more complex than the one put to a woefully uninformed (also actively and deliberately MISinformed) electorate.

      What David Cameron did with this referendum was the political equivalent of asking the nation to vote on the best design for a nuclear power station.

      “Reckless folly?” That is putting it mildly.

    • Olgun 101, 102, 103.

      The maddening myth of the omni-competent individual in the equally mythic nuclear family.

      These conservatives are the selfish ones, the ones who cannot let experts decide on their behalf how compassion is best apportioned. The mistrusters, the moral skinflints.

    • Lets have a referendum about climate change. And none of them damn Experts either. Are you for it, or agin it? Live for today or prepare for tomorrow?

      Should we (a) ignore all warnings of impending disaster and carry on hoping for the best or (b) actually take a look and try to figure out what we can do to lessen the impact?

      Sleepwalking to our doom. More like lemmings after all. Swarm behaviour?

    • Dan replied 4 years ago

      Jul 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm
      OHooligan 108

      Man! That’s infuriating. You’re right. It’s getting worse.
      We have Trump over here, a climate denier too, and he just picked his VP. Another pro-life, anti-gay religious schmuck.
      Terrible massacre in Nice. Unforgivable. Are you watching the news?
      This kind of thing makes people more xenophobic which in turn causes more attacks.
      The National Front in France is fascist. Trump is a crypto fascist, and it looks like May is just another freak.
      So terrorism will get worse, the environment will get worse.
      Conservatism has become a self-destructive suicidal movement. It wasn’t always that way.
      It’s the age of extremism.
      It’s all starting to come to a head.
      (Sorry. That wasn’t one of my more eloquent comments. I am stressed out.)

    • OHooligan #108
      Jul 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      It just keeps getting worse and worse…..

      It’s hardly surprising that those ideologists who are duffers at international trade agreements, are also duffers at preparing for mitigation and reduction of climate change!
      This was about about giving control back to “the people”, err – Tory millionaire Chaps!
      It was well known that the brexiteers had a goodly proportion of climate change deniers in their numbers!

    • Dan replied 4 years ago

      Alan,

      Theresa May’s first decision was to close the dept. of climate change.
      Didn’t take long to show her true colors. (I was hoping, as you were, that she wouldn’t be that bad.)
      The conservatives (here as well) are now engaging in active self-destruction and out and out denial.
      They are anti-reason and anti-science.
      I don’t think we will survive the century, frankly.

    • Dan replied 4 years ago

      Alan,

      Wouldn’t Corbyn, with all his faults, have been better than May? Boris Johnson makes Trump look like… whomever. (Whoever? Never could get that right.)

    • Dan #117
      Jul 15, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Wouldn’t Corbyn, with all his faults, have been better than May?

      Corbyn is totally clueless and is simply playing to the loony left and any UKIP defectors he can attract.
      He is basically a rebel against authority figures, and has no idea that he should be getting advice from the expert ones.
      Unfortunately the indications are that he has no idea who the expert ones are, and he has no inclination to listen to anybody offering competent advice – Not even the majority of his MPs or his own deputy!
      Any competent opposition leader, rather than dissociating himself from “the fear campaign” which warned of massive problems, he should have been challenging the bland assurances about superior trade deals, and pointing out that the UK currently does not have ANY trained or experienced trade negotiators capable of negotiating such deals!
      As the MPs who passed the vote of no confidence in him recognised – he is an amiable buffoon who plays to the crowd, but who is simply useless as a leader or international representative.
      He is digging in with a tight group of hard-core yes men clinging to what power they have left, who share his ideology and lack of management skills!

      Its too early to tell a great deal about May, but she has dumped Gove and some of the old guard.
      Despite Tory stories, she is unlikely to be any friend of the ordinary people.

    • Dan replied 4 years ago

      Its too early to tell a great deal about May.

      Alan,

      But she closed the dept. of climate!

      You have written at length on the subject of climate, and posted an impressive list a while back of all the science organizations that have concluded that global warming is man made.

      And she hired that Trump look-a-like Boris Johnson, who said this and much worse:

      From Mirror July 14, 2016

      Writing in his Telegraph column in September 2006 he criticised internal fighting in the Labour Party and in doing so offended the people of Papua New Guinea by calling them cannibals.

      He wrote: “For 10 years we in the Tory party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour party .”

      Why do you say it’s too soon to tell?

    • Dan #117
      Jul 15, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Wouldn’t Corbyn, with all his faults, have been better than May?

      The Corbynite loony left still has nothing useful to say about brexit, but their stooges on the Labour Party National Executive are trying to close down party meetings until after the election, while some of the unions representing the low paid and not very bright, are encouraging their members to pay a reduced Labour Party membership fee, and swell the numbers qualifying to vote for Corbyn as leader!

      The term, “Rent a rabble comes to mind”!

      They will, if they achieve their objective of keeping a failed leader in post, describe these shenanigans, as “democracy”!

    • Pratik Sinha #125
      Jul 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Please take a look at my blog about DC and how he has left Great Britain in the lurch:

      Hi Patrik,

      The moderators do not permit links to personal blogs, but if you wish to comment and engage in these discussions you are welcome.
      Quite a number of people here regard brexit as a disaster on the basis of the available expert advice, and the lack of any coherent advance evaluation or planning from brexiteers!
      They have said on several discussion RDFS threads.