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 The Elephant in the Room.

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 24 Jun 2016, 20:12

@Triceratops wrote:
Now that DC has announced his resignation, I suppose we can expect this Muppet to take over ruining running the country;


But at this morning's uncharacteristically sober press conference, considering that he and his colleagues had actually won, Boris rather looked like someone who had just soiled his trousers. I don't think he wants the job, at least not now and not in these circumstances.
 
I rather get the feeling that Boris thought all this Brexit thingey was a spiffing good wheeze: a jolly jape with fun photo oportunities like kissing a British North Sea cod, drinking an Imperial pint, waving a bent banana ... stabbing your mates in the back, and lying through your teeth. I think that, like most of his parliamentary chums, he basically believed the country would never really vote leave ... but nevertheless thought that playing along with Brexit might be a way to make him Conservative party leader and Cameron's successor ... maybe by the next general election. But the majority have voted in favour of Brexit, Cameron has resigned, and people understandably are now looking directly at him, and Farage, and Gove for leadership. And thicko Boris ain't got a clue what to do, other than being damn sure he doesn't want to be the one with the thankless task of desperately renegociating everything that has been built up over decades, while simultaneously presiding over the UK's political and financial meltdown. Indeed the day isn't even over and already he's frantically back-pedalling and whimpering about there really being no rush to leave the EU afterall.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 24 Jun 2016, 22:26

@Nielsen wrote:
I wonder if the powers-that-be in Bruxelles [read: the bureaucracy] see this as a wake-up call or wipe the result off as a political failure?


Nielsen,

they certainly will do, especially with the couple France/Germany and the Benelux. Perhaps more direct power to the Euro parliament and finally some delegation of power by the constituting countries apart of the bilateral accords of the single countries and finally some central power that can "act" above the independent countries...but as in England they are afraid of their voters and try still to conduct a "national" policy...yes there is still to construct a lot for the common Europe...
Per, about Plancenoit that you mentioned on Jiglu (will contact you on Jiglu too), I had a lot of contact with him on the old BBC messageboard, but never got his E-mail address. The only one I had contact with via E-mail in the time of the BBC, and I don't know how ,was with Tasneem Khan...

Kind regards from your EU friend, Paul.

PS: That don't will say that I leave my old British friends, Australian, New Zealand, Canada and if I forgot one...
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 04:07

@Meles meles wrote:
@Triceratops wrote:
Now that DC has announced his resignation, I suppose we can expect this Muppet to take over ruining running the country;


But at this morning's uncharacteristically sober press conference, considering that he and his colleagues had actually won, Boris rather looked like someone who had just soiled his trousers. I don't think he wants the job, at least not now and not in these circumstances.
 
I rather get the feeling that Boris thought all this Brexit thingey was a spiffing good wheeze: a jolly jape with fun photo oportunities like kissing a British North Sea cod, drinking an Imperial pint, waving a bent banana ... stabbing your mates in the back, and lying through your teeth. I think that, like most of his parliamentary chums, he basically believed the country would never really vote leave ... but nevertheless thought that playing along with Brexit might be a way to make him Conservative party leader and Cameron's successor ... maybe by the next general election. But the majority have voted in favour of Brexit, Cameron has resigned, and people understandably are now looking directly at him, and Farage, and Gove for leadership. And thicko Boris ain't got a clue what to do, other than being damn sure he doesn't want to be the one with the thankless task of desperately renegociating everything that has been built up over decades, while simultaneously presiding over the UK's political and financial meltdown. Indeed the day isn't even over and already he's frantically back-pedalling and whimpering about there really being no rush to leave the EU afterall.

Exactly the impression I got too and Gove wasn't much better. That was a surreal press conference from two who had just won a ref, idiots being led by an overgrown child and look what has happened. Well now the big boys have cut the floor out from underneath them amd are piling on the pressure to hurry up and leave so we'll see what Boris in particular is really made of.

What an utter mess, the Brits I know who live here or elsewhere in the EU and also Greeks who live in Britain are now at panic stations not knowing what to do. Are you going to be ok MM?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 07:30

I have a a French couple, a Dutch couple and a Spanish couple staying here at the moment ... and yesterday over breakfast we obviously discussed it a lot ... and their comments were all basically: why? are the British completely mad? Together with a strong desire to see the damage limited from their own point of view ... and a sense that the UK had just vindictively thrown their own, and everyone else's, toys out of the pram, because they didn't want to play anymore. So I don't think the UK is going to get much sympathy in it's brexit negociations.
 
I am probably in a different situation to many Brits living where you are ID. I have been living here many years, I have a French-registered business, pay my taxes to France, am fully paid into the French health and social security system, I no longer have any property in the UK, am not retired nor currently drawing a pension in pounds from the UK, and have a small but growing French pension. My UK company pension fund will probably drop in value along with the value of the pound but it had already been plundered years ago in a vain attempt to keep the company afloat, so there's not much in it anyway. So unless I get physically deported from France (should Marine Le Pen perhaps become Presidente), I'll be staying here.

But life might start to get more complicated, the need to change my driving licence, apply for a residence permit, and doubtless reams of as yet un-considered and unknown bureaucracy. But should any future French government start demanding that immigrants and financial migrants like me have to prove annual income equivalent to the £25,000 or whatever the figure is that the UK already demand of non-EU immigrants, then I would be stuffed. Although under existing EU law, having moved here some years ago under the current free-movement rules, I believe it would be illegal to change the rules retrospectively to deny me my residence rights. And of course I could always apply for French citizenship, although at the moment I don't see a need and personally consider that a step too far ... although frankly I wouldn't like to have to live in Britain, particularly not now.

But the rules can always be changed ... my UK passport says I am a British citizen with the right of abode in the UK, yet the UK government at the stroke of a pen managed to dis-enfranchise me and thousands of other British citizens to prevent us voting in this referendum. In France all French citizens and holders of French passports, wherever they live in the world and regardless of how long they have lived outside of France, still get to vote in all Presidential and Parliamentary elections ... they effectively even have their own constituencies with Deputies specifically elected to represent French ex-pats around the world.

As we all agreed around yesterday's breakfast table, we live in interesting times.

PS:

I would love to be a fly on the wall at Cameron's next meeting with the Queen. If she purred when the Scottish remain vote was declared, I wonder what she makes of the current fiasco with the very real possibility of the complete disintegration of the (dis)United Kindom.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 11:25

The nausea has abated slightly now and I am able to distance myself sufficiently to properly appreciate the sheer madness of the current situation. Most of England and Wales have, for a variety of reasons not least of which is a spasm of rage against an uncaring government, voted for a movement which has presented no policy and no manifesto beyond 'Just get out and everything will be wonderful'. In Indyref 1, the SNP were ridiculed for producing an 800 odd page manifesto, what did 'Leave' offer? Nothing at all but promises which have already been reneged upon and downright lies. The Outers' two organisations, Leave and Vote Leave would not even appear on the same platform apart from on the TV debates which were presented as gladiatorial game shows. If I may quote from a recent article:

So this is our politics today, all wrapped up like a special edition of Britain’s Got Talent. The panto season moved up from its Christmas slot. Look out, an evil and unelected European commissioner is behind you. Oh no he isn’t!

Six thousand hyped-up people are packed into an arena. They will have been there for quite a while before going “live” for two whole hours. It will be hot and stuffy, the expectation, the desperation for their side to win, will have been palpable. The producers might as well have served everyone massive amounts of Red Bull and blue Smarties before the main event. Could George Orwell really have been so far-sighted way back in the late 1940s, when he wrote about the Two Minute Hate?


If I were cruel I might be tempted to say to the 'hordes', (Remember that one, Dave?) who voted 'Leave' as a protest against their abandonment by Westminster " Hell slap it into you" but hearing some of the interviews with folks particularly in NE England one can really only feel pity for what will happen when a right wing cabal takes power comprised of the elite and the bankers that they so hate.

Our two main UK parties are tearing themselves apart with the viciousness that is always reserved for heretics,  the LibDems are an irrelevance and the country is divided as never before: how's that for a legacy, Mr Cameron? And it looks like that, over the next few months, we will have a general election once the Tories pick a new head boy and he decides exactly what their negotiations with the EU are aiming for and quite likely Indyref 2 here in Scotland.

I'm exhausted already, heaven help us all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 11:44

@Meles meles wrote:
@Triceratops wrote:
Now that DC has announced his resignation, I suppose we can expect this Muppet to take over ruining running the country;


But at this morning's uncharacteristically sober press conference, considering that he and his colleagues had actually won, Boris rather looked like someone who had just soiled his trousers. I don't think he wants the job, at least not now and not in these circumstances.
 
I rather get the feeling that Boris thought all this Brexit thingey was a spiffing good wheeze: a jolly jape with fun photo oportunities like kissing a British North Sea cod, drinking an Imperial pint, waving a bent banana ... stabbing your mates in the back, and lying through your teeth. I think that, like most of his parliamentary chums, he basically believed the country would never really vote leave ... but nevertheless thought that playing along with Brexit might be a way to make him Conservative party leader and Cameron's successor ... maybe by the next general election. But the majority have voted in favour of Brexit, Cameron has resigned, and people understandably are now looking directly at him, and Farage, and Gove for leadership. And thicko Boris ain't got a clue what to do, other than being damn sure he doesn't want to be the one with the thankless task of desperately renegociating everything that has been built up over decades, while simultaneously presiding over the UK's political and financial meltdown. Indeed the day isn't even over and already he's frantically back-pedalling and whimpering about there really being no rush to leave the EU afterall.
I was surprised when I switched on the news yesterday morning.  I expected the result to be close but just in favour of "remain" whereas the reverse turned out to be the case.  To be honest, there are things I have been disenchanted with about the EU - the "gravy train" for example and I have heard some people say "We did alright before we joined". Then again, when "the Good Friday" agreement was brokered some emphasis was placed on the fact that Eire as a republic and Northern Ireland as part of the UK both belonged to the EU.  I know that a lot of people at grass roots level feel that politicians don't listen to them.  I think that Boris J is one of those people who are intelligent on paper - doesn't he have a good degree?  He's good at self-publicity as well but for governing the country somebody (or bodies) with practical acumen is (are) needed and I'm not convinced BJ has that.  Mind you I wasn't sure that DC had that in spades.

I felt quite annoyed listening to a Labour woman (sorry didn't get her name) baying for Jeremy Corbyn's blood because she felt he had not run a persuasive enough "remain" campaign.  Now, I'm not saying I think JC is the great red hope but that lady's attitude showed a fault demonstrated by quite a few politicians of all parties - as though the voters are well nigh mindless and need to be persuaded, rather than thinking of voters as people with brains who will weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and vote according to what they think.  Having said that in the last few elections bar 2015 I have viewed voting as a damage limitation exercise - voting for the party which I think will do least damage rather than thinking Mr/Mrs or Ms X is a shining star who will save the country.  One lady gave me a metaphorical bashing in 2015 for voting for the Save the NHS candidate because she thought I was taking a vote away from the Labour party by doing so - well there was no guarantee that I would have voted Labour otherwise, was there?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 12:21

@LadyinRetirement wrote:

I felt quite annoyed listening to a Labour woman (sorry didn't get her name) baying for Jeremy Corbyn's blood because she felt he had not run a persuasive enough "remain" campaign.  Now, I'm not saying I think JC is the great red hope but that lady's attitude showed a fault demonstrated by quite a few politicians of all parties - as though the voters are well nigh mindless and need to be persuaded, rather than thinking of voters as people with brains who will weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and vote according to what they think.  


But in my opinion, if the past 48 hours have proved anything at all, it is that the majority of voters do not have the brains to weigh up the pros and cons (it is after all an extremely complex issue subject to huge numbers of unknown variables), and so they do generally allow themselves to be led by the nose by the most charismatic or plausible chalatan of a politician.

Can you imagine what would happen if there were referenda tomorrow for, say:
abolishing the legality of same-sex partnerships;
reintroducing capital punishment;
abolishing the monarchy;
making it illegal to build synagogues, mosques or hindu temples in the UK;
limiting the franchise only to people with both parents born in the UK;
withdrawing all UK financial support for the Falklands, for Gibraltar, for Northern Ireland, ... for Cornwall;
withdraw all UK financial support for orchestras, the theatre and opera;
free beer for all on Saturdays.

There are very sensible and practical reasons why most decisions are left to the people's elected representatives (ie parliament) rather than giving the decision directly to the voters themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 12:52

Yet, MM, somehow it seems to be working fairly well for the Swiss Confederation of 26 cantons.

Are you suggesting that they are better educated than the English [tongue in cheek]?
Or just that they have much more experience with referenda?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 13:03

Undoubtedly the Swiss have much more experience with referenda ... for them they are not once or twice in a lifetime events, and so they better understand the responsibilities that go with the rights. But frankly the brexit referendum was not entirely about Britain's membership of the EU ... I'm sure it was seen by many UK voters as a rare opportunity for them to voice their frustrations and despair about how they are currently being treated by the British government (ie in respect of housing, jobs, wage-freezes, taxes, the NHS etc, all of which are of course national rather than EU issues).
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 13:42

Good article from the Guardian suggesting BoJo did indeed miscalculate and instead of being a gallant and gracious loser who could then step into Dave's shoes when he resigns has now to try to find a way out of this ghastly mess.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/a-pyrrhic-victory-boris-johnson-wakes-up-to-the-costs-of-brexit

Oh, and it appears that we don't have enough properly trained diplomats to conduct the negotiations.

And where's wee Georgie O? Hiding under the duvet?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 14:05

@ferval wrote:

Oh, and it appears that we don't have enough properly trained diplomats to conduct the negotiations.

Yes ... and they are talking about having to recruit from overseas, probably from Europe, indeed most likely people who are currently working for the EU parliament itself. You couldn't make it up. This would make a cracking "Yes Prime Minister" comedy series. Although if it had been produced in the 1980s (when the original series first aired on the BBC) it wouldn't really have worked ... it would have been seen as far too implausible and completely unbelievable.

Oh messers Jay and Lynn, where are you now when your country needs you?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 15:51

@LadyinRetirement wrote:

To be honest, there are things I have been disenchanted with about the EU - the "gravy train" for example and I have heard some people say "We did alright before we joined".

Another myth from the Brexit camp I'm afraid. Britain did alright, well better than alright, at producing thousands and thousands of economic migrants to Australia and New Zealand in search of employment and a better standard of living than that which Britain was offering before the EU. I remember the 10pound migrant scheme which stretched over 20yrs very well, in fact some of Australia's best and brightest today were or are descendents of those immigrants.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 16:08

@ferval wrote:
Good article from the Guardian suggesting BoJo did indeed miscalculate and instead of being a gallant and gracious loser who could then step into Dave's shoes when he resigns has now to try to find a way out of this ghastly mess.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/a-pyrrhic-victory-boris-johnson-wakes-up-to-the-costs-of-brexit

Oh, and it appears that we don't have enough properly trained diplomats to conduct the negotiations.

And where's wee Georgie O? Hiding under the duvet?

Not only the Brexit negotiations but Britain also lacks those all important trade negotiators that are going to be needed to organise all those trade deals across the world that Boris et al have been promising people are there for Britain's taking simply for existing.

And don't even get me started on the Commonwealth are going to come rushing back and beg Britain to boss them around and we'll all be happy clappy together when Britain rules the waves again drivel!

On the bright side from over here, is that Greece is no longer alone in having the worst politicians in Europe, welcome to the club.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 16:18

@Islanddawn wrote:

Britain did alright, well better than alright, at producing thousands and thousands of economic migrants to Australia and New Zealand in search of employment and a better standard of living than that which Britain was offering before the EU. I remember the 10pound migrant scheme which stretched over 20yrs very well, in fact some of Australia's best and brightest today were or are descendents of those immigrants.

Well quite ....  I well remember Britain in the early 1970s before joining the EEC:  strikes, unemployment, three day working weeks, power cuts, bread shortages, schools closed, inflation in double figures, a cod war with Iceland because we'd completely destroyed our own fish stocks, and the start of a violent 25 year IRA bombing campaign across the whole country ... (but of course tell that to young'uns t'day and they worn't believe ya ... but it is nevertheless true!).

People talk about the miseries of austerity now, but it was equally miserable then. My father was a polytechnic lecturer and my mother worked as a secretary in the tax offfice, so two wage-earners on reasonable salaries (and both my sister and I had slave-rate Saturday jobs too) ... but  we only ever had one holiday a year, never abroad just a rented caravan in Wales, Cornwall, or the torkshire Dales; we never had a new car; we only got a telephone in 1971 and a freezer in 1975; and a lot of our clothes, books, toys ... my bicycle, my sister's violin etc, were second-hand and came from jumble sales. In the 1970s Britain was known as "the poor man of Europe" ... and it certainly felt that way too. (Although I still had a very happy and secure childhood).


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 16:43

The Brexiters whinging about 'austerity' has been a source of great entertainment in Greece, they should come over here and learn what austerity really means people say.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 17:17

a cod war with Iceland because we'd completely destroyed our own fish stocks,

Yes and a lot of fishermen are jubilant about Brexit today ignoring the fact that without EU regulations on catches there wouldn't be a haddock left between here and the Faroes. The farmers however, who voted 'No' en masse, are panicking about loss of subsidies, particularly the hill farmers who have done well.

The tectonic plates are beginning to move here; some prominent 'No' voters including a former Labour First Minister are now saying they would support another indyref and the Scottish Labour Party have said they will 'consider all options'. It was noticeable that today the front pages of the Scottish papers were either non-committal or vaguely supportive. The Daily Record is our home grown tabloid and which was deeply opposed to independence before produced this:



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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 25 Jun 2016, 17:46

MM wrote:
Well quite ....  I well remember Britain in the early 1970s before joining the EEC:  strikes, unemployment, three day working weeks, power cuts, bread shortages, schools closed, inflation in double figures, a cod war with Iceland because we'd completely destroyed our own fish stocks, and the start of a violent 25 year IRA bombing campaign across the whole country ... (but of course tell that to young'uns t'day and they worn't believe ya ... but it is nevertheless true!).




Sorry, couldn't resist.

Wasn't there a State of Emergency declared at one time during the 70s? I do remember that the dead couldn't be buried, which was rather upsetting, but at least the bodies weren't piled up in the streets, although the rubbish was. But we survived, plucky little Brits that we are. And the music was good, as always. This was my favourite - was it about 1978? The lyrics seem peculiarly apt today.





PS Were the whole sorry mess not all so horribly serious, it would actually be fun watching the media and Westminster elite running around like headless chickens. But if Iceland beat us next week, and they do go for a second "Oh, heck, we didn't really mean it" referendum (highly unlikely, but the last one on Thursday apparently is not actually legally binding), there'll be all hell let loose. The  petition demanding that there be a second referendum is growing longer by the minute (over two million folk have now signed it). So much for democracy and the "will of the people", eh? "Dumb" folk don't deserve an opinion, do they? I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry at it all.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36629324
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 08:35

@nordmann wrote:
It's definitely woken several people up to just how dumb society is getting, though in truth it will always inevitably be the dumb ones who are too dumb to realise how dumb they are, so maybe not. A high tolerance of low intelligence always sounds good in theory but rarely produces anything less than catastrophic in the long run.



The implications of that statement are enormous - and extremely disturbing.

Yesterday, on BBC News Channel, two women from Boston in Linconshire (80% "Leave") were invited to discuss the result with two young men from Lambeth (80% "Remain"). I suppose it is fair to say that the women were "working-class" and that they had not studied anything to degree level; and that the voters from Lambeth, one of whom was a lawyer, the other a student who is reading politics and economics at, I think, the LSE, were of the educated élite. At one point in the discussion, one of the Boston ladies simply said: "You think we're all thick, don't you?"

There was an embarrassed silence.

I voted "Remain" and I am dismayed at the result, but could it not be argued that suggesting that people are "dumb" is not actually helpful? Is it not - dare I say it - an appalling arrogance to assume that the views of over half of the British electorate should be dismissed because they all simply too "thick" to understand what they are doing? Is that not the attitude that has got us into this mess? I don't live in Boston - perhaps I am very fortunate?

But then am I fooling myself? Was my father, ironically enough, actually quite correct when he steadfastly maintained that Plato was right and that democracy is a dangerous system? Should the government of a state always be in the care of a privileged, educated élite who have been trained to think "properly"? And what is "thinking properly"? Is the enlightened despot the best ruler? If so, who decides what is "enlightened" and what is not? And do we live in "democracy" anyway - or is that just another urban myth?

I wonder if Boris, with his "bellyful of the classics", fancies himself as an enlightened one? Or is he just our very own Alonso Quixano? I'm sure I have no idea anymore. Does anyone?

I am using a lot of inverted commas this morning - always a sign of desperation with me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 10:10

There are of course mitigating circumstances that can be applied to many dumb decisions we make, whether we are dumb or not. In the case of a referendum open to the general population of a country in which there is no constitutional framework to govern its reason, wording or actual legality then the dumbness obviously begins before the population has even started considering the choice it will make.

To effect foreign policy on the basis of a plebiscite in which the voters have not been apprised of the true consequences of their action could also be said to be rather dumb.

To vote in such a referendum without due regard to these consequences might be said to be dumb, except of course when given little choice or valid information in the matter the population is then obliged to participate for fear of an actual minority of public opinion being falsely represented as a majority due to others' non-participation. To vote therefore demonstrates potential intelligence at work, though actual intelligence would also suggest voting to keep the status quo until a more intelligent choice is made available and a more intelligent approach to informing the public of all the consequences can be applied next time round.

To fail to regard the consequences because they have not been explained and one is not in a position to work them out for oneself is not necessarily dumbness. However to ascribe potential consequences to one's decision which are patently unlikely and which follow no political theory or logic which could be reasonably deduced from common observation of contemporary or historical events is a crucial ignorance, and for the sake of my point also therefore dumbness in this case.

To use a plebiscite designed to decide one particular aspect of foreign policy, and a hugely important one at that, as a tool for showing dissatisfaction with a current regime is dumbness in the extreme.

This issue did not highlight a difference between "clever" and "thick" people to any great degree. It did however reveal a grossly unintelligent system at work in which dumbness is rewarded by enacting national policy based on its expression, in which so-called leaders almost invariably appealed to the dumber nature of the electorate rather than its intelligence to vote according to their recommendation, in which lies were circulated as much if not more than actual information was disseminated, and in which at no point did either side in the debate - be they leaders or supportive media - apparently wish to end the process before it got any dumber, which of course it inevitably did.

The stupidity, arrogance, insularity and ignorance of a large part of the population with no constitutional safeguards designed to keep these tendencies of theirs in check was given a voice and a means to adversely affect the rest of the population. It was not a failure of democracy per se since democracy without such constitutional restraints is simply therefore another form of tyranny, especially when reduced simply to a concept of "majority wins" with no thought to what issue is actually under debate, or to what extent the issue will have consequences, or the nature of these consequences. If it was a failure it was one of intelligence, both at government level and among the population which facilitates such government through participation, or rather proof of successive failures of intelligence.

A lot of intelligent people are now going to have to be depended upon to repair the damage this mis-exercise in democracy has led to. If the latter has proved just how dangerously dumb society can be in modern Britain then the former might go some way to restoring faith in its intelligence. Though the Britain that emerges from this mess will not be one that either side actually predicted when they were attempting to engineer opinion.

I will be watching the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with great interest and no small amount of trepidation in the time to come. An issue that barely made it into the so-called debate, a glaring example of the short-sightedness and arrogance of many British people when weighing consequences, is now going to have to be addressed with urgency and more intelligence than history suggests Britain is capable of.

Your father's interpretation of Plato is only partially correct. Democracy is dangerous only when it is half-applied. Just how dangerous this misapplication has been in this case remains to be seen. But thanks to some innate dumbness it will now be seen, and not just conjectured.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 10:46

I'm intrigued by difference across the border in voting results - what's that all about? We're not richer, better educated, more intelligent and on average younger up here, are we?
Is it because our political leadership across the board was largely united in supporting Remain and the loudest (in every sense) voice for Leave was the ridiculous David Coburn whereas our three women are pretty impressive? Do we have more trust in our political class?
One glib answer might be that we have been less affected by immigration than parts of the south but the result in Glasgow which has the largest number of immigrants and refugees voted to remain by a higher than average margin although the turnout was disappointing.
One feature of our results was the striking homogeneity across the nation; urban or rural, post-industrial or suburban, Highlands or Borders, even Shetland and the Western Isles which have been very different in attitudes in the past; the votes went the same way. Are we just a bit more socially cohesive? I'm interested to hear what others think about this.

What happens now? God knows but it won't be boring, my inner politics geek is taking a perverse pleasure in watching the fun.

edit: I see nordmann has posted but I'll stick this up before I read his contribution.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:13

A further problem with this referendum was that it was posed as just a simple stand alone question. There was no prior decision or explanation as to what it meant politically and what a majority either way would entail (and indeed if a 52%-48% split would count as a majority). Legally the referendum is not binding, Parliament is sovereign and it could be that now Parliament should discuss what to do with this result. But this wasn't made clear before hand.

Nordmann ... wasn't the Irish EU referendum made as a choice between two packages, so rather than being a simple question it was carefully worded as a choice with legal actions and a timeframe for implementation written in, so that it was clear that if you sided one way, these such-and-such laws would then be implemented etc? That seems a much more open and honest arrangement.

Ferval, I don't know about Scotland but I notice that Ebbw Vale in South Wales - a town that over recent years has directly received £12.2 million of EU money to revitalise the area after the closure of the steelworks, coupled with further indirect EU grants to businesses to relocate there, and which also has very low numbers of immigrants - still voted over-whelming for leave. That seems dumb, cutting off one's nose to spite the face sort of dumb, but is presumably not so much a vote against the EU but a protest vote against the British political system. In such a toxic political environment, it would now be a rather brave move for Parliament to ignore the vote and refuse to implement the implied, but never actually stated, action of implemending withdrawal from the EU.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:20

The referendum which allowed Irish entry into what was then the EEC was a simple yes or no, but the question was not "whether we joined" but if a new article could be inserted into the constitution allowing us to join. This was passed and the following article was added:

Insertion of new Article 29.4.3:
The State may become a member of the European Coal and Steel Community (established by Treaty signed at Paris on the 18th day of April, 1951), the European Economic Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957) and the European Atomic Energy Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957). No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State necessitated by the obligations of membership of the Communities or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the Communities, or institutions thereof, from having the force of law in the State.


Once that was passed then the real work began regarding negotiations to join, which were cross-party and with a hefty involvement from industry, the legal profession and academia in the form of delegations. The ultimate decision to join was made by the government of the day, though safe in its assumption that the large majority of voters who had enabled this amendment clearly wished them to do so.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:27

A comment on Radio 4 was pithy - if the Scottish exhibited an optimistic naivete in their voting pattern the Welsh exhibited one equally as naive, but born of bitterness.

The Scots probably had more wherewithal in light of recent times to actually judge the issue for what it was really worth, especially in relation to Scotland and its future. It would be a brave heart indeed who would cheekily interpret the Scottish result, for example, as a local endorsement of Cameron.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:28

EDIT: Haven't read MM's or nordmann's new posts.


@ferval wrote:
 




I'm intrigued by difference across the border in voting results - what's that all about? We're not richer, better educated, more intelligent and on average younger up here, are we?
Is it because our political leadership across the board was largely united in supporting Remain and the loudest (in every sense) voice for Leave was the ridiculous David Coburn whereas our three women are pretty impressive? Do we have more trust in our political class?  



I think you do, ferval, and with good reason. You Scots seem to have a real tradition of caring for the people (a tradition which goes back - ironically enough - to John Knox and the recommendations in The First Book of Discipline). More so than the English have ever had, perhaps? We certainly lack real statesmen and women in England at the moment - no one seems to give a damn - and the people are sickened by what they perceive as the lack of integrity and sincerity in the governing élite. I find the state of our nation heart-breaking. The words of Elizabeth I to her judges (in her address to them just after her accession) have been going round and round in my head since Friday morning:

"Have a care over my people - do you that which I ought to do. They are my people. Every man oppresses and spoileth them without mercy. They cannot revenge their quarrel nor help themselves. See to them - see to them, for they are my charge..."

But then that is probably me being a sentimental old fool who is not living in the "real" world. Perhaps, as nordmann suggests, many English people, of whatever class, are simply stupid, arrogant, insular and ignorant. It is a damning judgement on us all and, of course, on our education system.

PS I'd like to move to Scotland, but I suppose soon I'll be seen as an unwelcome immigrant. But I can support myself and I have always been a good worker. I wonder if I could sneak over the border at Jedburgh?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 12:03

Come Temp, come, I promise you would be very welcome and Glasgow Cathedral and St Mary's in Edinburgh have choral evensong on Sundays to provide a taste of home.

There's an interesting point coming up at the moment, it is at least possible that the legislation to extricate the UK from the EU may need to receive consent from all the national parliaments and assemblies so in theory Scotland and NI could block it happening. Would we have the bottle? Watch this space........
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 12:16

I see that there's now a petition being organised for a second referendum ... how ridiculous ... whatever next: best of three, best of five? Although I do like the movement's name: "Regretxit"
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 12:32

Yes, over two million have signed the petition (see link I gave above). Someone I've only met once sent me an email yesterday urging me to sign.

I think we should have a referendum to see if we want another EU referendum. I wonder what else we could have a referendum on, while we are all in the mood?

Thank God Wimbledon's starting tomorrow. Even the football will be a welcome relief from politics. Dear God, please do not let England be beaten by Iceland. It's tomorrow, isn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 13:20

Who will protect my Stornoway black pudding, Arbroath smokies and Scotch whisky after Brexit? Will Melton Mowbray pies be imported from Hungary and Cornish pasties made in Birmingham, or worse, Devon?
We must be told.


And this has just come out on Twitter from Nick Robinson:



Nick RobinsonVerified account
‏@bbcnickrobinson

WANTED:
For small country heading in unknown direction at dangerous time

LEADERSHIP  
Applicants need to be available to start immediately


https://twitter.com/bbcnickrobinson/status/746970315226505216
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 14:08

@Temperance wrote:
do not let England be beaten by Iceland

England has already been beaten ... by Greenland. That was in 1984 when, as part of the Kingdom of Denmark, that territory nevertheless left the EEC. Denmark as a state, of course, remained a member.

Given the constitutional confusion and divisions arising between the various member states of the UK resulting from the Brexit vote, then here's a suggestion. England, Wales and Cornwall can leave the EU in exactly the same way that Greenland did. The UK, however, can remain a member of the EU being represented by Northern Ireland, Scotland and Gibraltar.

Let's not  forget either, that Denmark's other North Atlantic territory, the Faroe Islands never joined the EEC in the first place. And neither did the UK's associated territories, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. Intriguingly, in Thursday's referendum the Scilly Isles voted to remain while Cornwall voted to leave. So Hugh Town should have a representative along with Stormont, Holyrood and John Mackintosh Square in the UK team during the negotiations.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty does not need to be invoked at all. We just need a 'South Britain Treaty' agreed by the EU member states enabling the secession of England, Wales and Cornwall.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 15:54

@Meles meles wrote:
I see that there's now a petition being organised for a second referendum ... how ridiculous ... whatever next: best of three, best of five? Although I do like the movement's name: "Regretxit"

It is a bit like wishful thinking, and I agree that they won't get a second ref. However as the ref has to pass through parliament before it is binding, imo there will be nothing done about it until after the election. An election which will, in effect become that second in/out vote with parties campaigning for either remain (overturning the ref in parliament) or brexit (upholding the ref and invoking article 50). Lib Dems have already said they'll be for remain, Labour will have to also once they get themselves sorted considering their stance during the ref and the Tories will depend on who ends up as leader. If we don't see the complete collapse of both Labour and Tory before then that is, they are both looking rather pathetic at the moment.

Well that's my 2 cents worth anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 16:01

I've just been sent this. I know I shouldn't laugh, but I did:


http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2016/06/24/thousands-of-british-refugees-make-dangerous-journey-across-the-irish-sea/



THE IRISH coast guard has today issued a nationwide warning for the East Coast as hundreds of thousands of British refugees risk their lives to cross the Irish sea in an attempt to flee the impoverished and unstable nation.

Dinghies overflowing with desperate migrants are so far half way through their journey, many with women and children aboard, wishing to make a new start on the Emerald Isle.


“We have rescued hundreds of people from crafts due to overcrowding,” winchman Derek Ryan of Rescue 117 told WWN today. “It’s a terrible situation as many of these people are only hoping for a better quality of life in the EU”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called an emergency meeting in the Dáil this afternoon to help find a solution to the influx of British refugees.

It is expected many of those landing on the Irish coast will have to be quarantined, as they are not a part of the European Union.

“Emergency prefabs will be erected to help cope and house these poor unfortunate people,” Mr. Kenny stated. “I urge everyone to do what they can to help support the migrants in anyway, whether that be waiting with hots cups of tea on the shoreline, to giving them fresh clothes to wear”.

An estimated 450,000 people have already fled the UK mainland to neighbouring EU countries.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 17:08

Oh dear - you've all gone horribly quiet again: I do hope I have not offended anyone with my last post.

I have been out since lunch and have not yet seen the news. Has anything else awful happened? The Queen (heaven forbid!) hasn't died or anything, has she? That really would be the last straw.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 18:09

@Temperance wrote:
Oh dear - you've all gone horribly quiet again: I do hope I have not offended anyone with my last post.

I have been out since lunch and have not yet seen the news. Has anything else awful happened? The Queen (heaven forbid!) hasn't died or anything, has she? That really would be the last straw.

The Queen is probably planning exactly what she is would like to do with Cameron when they next have their weekly meeting.

Though I'm not sure it's really possible to disembowel someone using just a late Regency, pearl-handled, silver-gilt letter opener.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 18:19

You had better get a move on, Temp, before everything is fully in place. Don't worry, I will sponsor you if necessary.





This is from the BBC website:

Independent Scotland welcome to join the EU, says Merkel ally
Posted at
18:02
An independent Scotland would be welcome to join the European Union, a senior German lawmaker and ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel has said after Britain's vote to leave the bloc, Reuters reports.

"The EU will still consist of 28 member states, as I expect a new independence referendum in Scotland, which will then be successful," said Gunther Krichbaum, a member of Ms Merkel's party and chairman of the European affairs committee in parliament.

"We should respond quickly to an application for admission from the EU-friendly country."
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 19:08

Why are those customs/passport booths on the left side of the traffic? Is an independent Scotland intending to adopt driving on the right too? It might be a sensible idea as it would then only need Ireland to change over for the whole of the EU to be standardized as driving on the right ... (leaving only England, Japan, India plus a few other states worldwide driving à la gauche) Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 19:46

Malta and Cyprus (EU members) both drive on the left too. Somewhat counter-intuitively, however, Gibraltar drives on the right.

If Scotland does adopt right-hand circulation post-independence then they'll have to set up double roundabouts, i.e. figures-of-8, at Gretna Green etc as existed on Sweden's borders with Norway and Finland before Sweden switched from left to right in 1967.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 19:56

@Meles meles wrote:
Why are those customs/passport booths on the left side of the traffic? Is an independent Scotland intending to adopt driving on the right too? It might be a sensible idea as it would then only need Ireland to change over for the whole of the EU to be standardized as driving on the right ... (leaving only England, Japan, India plus a few other states worldwide driving à la gauche) Wink

When we choose to be thrawn, we can be really thrawn.   cat
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 20:02

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 20:04

@Vizzer wrote:
Malta and Cyprus (EU members) both drive on the left too. Somewhat counter-intuitively, however, Gibraltar drives on the right.

If Scotland does adopt right-hand circulation post-independence then they'll have to set up double roundabouts, i.e. figures-of-8, at Gretna Green etc as existed on Sweden's borders with Norway and Finland before Sweden switched from left to right in 1967.



You mean like the Magic Roundabout at Swindon? I got in a real state one Tuesday afternoon in 2012 trying to negotiate this:




I think I ended up in Marlborough when I was simply trying to get back on the M4.


PS ferval - yes, please do be my sponsor: I should - please - very much like to live in Edinburgh. But in all this post-referendum frenzy, I have decided to adopt the attitude of Mark Rylance's character in Bridge of Spies. To all who question my apparent lack of concern about the future - to comments that I do not seem to be worrying about my ISAs - I am  now simply saying, "Would it help?"







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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 20:36

I'd imagine they were quite similar to that Temp but perhaps not quite so crazy looking.

If you are thinking of emigrating to Scotland, then ferval has also been providing some wonderful Scots language words on these boards of late. I love 'scunnered' and 'thrawn' for example. If I remember any of the Ulster-Scots terms I heard from my time in Belfast then I'd like to add 'skelf' if I may. That's what those Conservative and Labour politicians in England will be picking out of their behinds after having cynically sat on the fence during the electoral reform referendum in 2011 and again during this recent EU referendum. The result on Friday must have come as a 'quare gunk' to them the 'toty skitters'.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 26 Jun 2016, 20:40



EDINBURGH! Good God woman, do you realise you would have to wear a fur coat and discard your knickers?

They are good, aren't they Viz. We were indeed dumfounert at the result but there is hope...


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 09:38

The absence of a constitution is proving a god-send to Sturgeon. She's a smart lass!

It's also doing the buffoons down south no end of favours at the moment too - though whether they have the wit to avail of the opportunity in a way that doesn't further screw what's left of the country up is another matter ...

In all the talk of Article 50 no one as yet seems to remember just why it ended up so vague. The original draft used a "so many policy opt-outs and you're out" method of ensuring that a state which repeatedly opted out of certain policy judgements from the European Court would eventually diminish its representative status and function within the European Parliament, a really intransigent state finally having seceded in all but name, this status of secession being then made official by those members still playing ball through a majority vote. One country however insisted that secession could not be based simply on the fact that a member country was intransigent and uncooperative when it came to accepting European rulings - be they in matters of justice, security, economy or social policy, and that the same country could simply not play ball at all, in fact it could still retain its right to veto anything it didn't like even if it was alone in thinking that way, but still remain in the club. In the end everyone else was forced simply to give in to this rather arrogant ultimatum just to get the ratification procedure underway. Guess which country that was?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 11:23

The whole affair has been very vague. I'm amazed that while the Referendum Act (2015) that laid down the wording of the question and decreed who was eligible to vote etc, no one actually thought to lay down in advance how the result was to be determined and what actions it would trigger.

I would have expected procedural stuff to have been defined long in advance, basic matters like that the whole thing would be invalid if say the turnout was less that 50% (including spoilt ballots), and that a result for either one way or the other would only be declared if the difference was, for argument's sake, more than 52% to 48%, or 55% to 45%, or whatever. And bearing in mind that the nation comprises England, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, the latter three with partially devolved powers, I'd have thought it would have been clearly stated what the legal and constitutional results would be in the event of again say Scotland voting firmly one way and England the other. And finally, since Parliament is sovereign, it should have probably been made very explicit that the declared result was advisory only, but would then prompt debate, and if necessary legislation by Parliament (directly? or at the next general election?). Foolishly Cameron once stated that if the referendum result was for leave he would invoke Article 50 "directly" .... although I'm not sure he legally had the power to do so without even at least consulting Parliament.

Since everyone knew that leaving the EU is/was going to be a monumental and essentially irreversible change, such rules written in advance of the referendum would have guaranteed a period of pause for reflection and adjustment whatever the result (which if nothing else would have softened the blow against the pound and stock exchange). As it is the electorate, businesses and even the EU seem to have been lead to believe, by the British government no less, that everything would happen immediately. In contrast to the UK's shambolic management of the affair, the EU seems to have its plans and options all ready and legally ratified in advance. Britain keeps banging on about having "the mother of parliaments", but it seems they should have paid more attention, and maybe taken a few lessons from that "creaking, bureaucratic, unelected, dictatorship" that supposedly is the EU.

I know it is easy to be wise after the event but I thought paying attention to important details and planning for all eventualities was the principal function of Britain's Civil Service. This all strikes me as gross incompetence, but while the politicians are busy either falling on their swords or knifing each other in the back, the Humphrey Applebys and other Permanent Secretaries in Whitehall are all no doubt still expecting to retire with knighthoods and on full index-linked pensions.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 11:45

MM, we have an expression Could'nae run a penny menage that applies to both camps. (a penny menage was a scheme where women contributed a penny a week and every week one was given the entire takings for that week)

It has been said that Cameron refused to allow the Civil Service to make any preparatory plans for Brexit and the Leave side, in expectation of losing, hadn't (or couldn't) made any plans either.

It is rumoured that Boris has been seen qntering this establishment:

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 12:12

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 12:17

@nordmann wrote:
Guess which country that was?


I bet it was Latvia, wasn't it? The spoilt brats of Europe. They always get what they really want, one way or another.

Everyone seems a bit perkier this morning; life goes on and, as is our wont, people are laughing about the whole sorry mess now - or at least they are trying to. And if that nice Mrs. Merkel lets us stay in the single market everything will go on as before - sort of - won't it? She has after all said there is no need to be "nasty" to us Brits, even though we are such utter pains in the backside. That is such a relief.

The FTSE was at 6058 a bit ago: it was 6097 at the end of February 2016, so it's not quite jump off the Gherkin time - yet.

The BBC sent a reporter to Glastonbury this morning to get the opinions of the young people on the result. One spokesperson for the "Remain" camp , a muddy and disgruntled fifteen-year-old, said that 14-17 year-olds should have been able to vote because all the tiresome older people who have voted  "Leave" will be dead soon. "I couldn't vote," this young man continued, "but my Granny, who will probably die in about two years' time anyway, could. It's not fair."

There are times when one is glad one has missed out on the joys of being a grandmother.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 12:22

@Islanddawn wrote:
Great analysis here, and if true Britain won't be leaving.

http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/people-are-really-really-hoping-this-theory-about-david-cameron-and-brexit-is-true--bJhqBql0VZ

Good article - thank you for the link, ID.

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 12:58

Warning!!! contains strong language;

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 13:03

@ferval wrote:
MM, we have an expression Could'nae run a penny menage that applies to both camps. (a penny menage was a scheme where women contributed a penny a week and every week one was given the entire takings for that week)

It has been said that Cameron refused to allow the Civil Service to make any preparatory plans for Brexit and the Leave side, in expectation of losing, hadn't (or couldn't) made any plans either.

It is rumoured that Boris has been seen qntering this establishment:



Ferval,



This is perhaps the most succinct analysis I've seen of Anglo-British politics and politicians - of many colours - at the moment.


Last edited by Nielsen on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 13:09; edited 1 time in total
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 13:05

More international fun and games after Gibraltar votes to Remain;


Gibraltar, Spain & Brexit.
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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 13:14

@Triceratops wrote:
Warning!!! contains strong language;

John Oliver





Trike,



To me this sounds somewhat like the time President Bill Clinton was misquoted, when actually saying, "Sack my cook".
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