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The Road to Brexit


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Guest Br Cornelius
 
Guest Br Cornelius

An interesting article in todays FT, and this is an interesting excerpt:

London first pushed back the imposition of border checks six months ago and has now delayed implementation of full border controls again until summer 2022. It seems that the best way to improve lives in the UK, according to the government, is not to take back control.

Brexit has become an exercise in quiet damage limitation | Financial Times (archive.is)

Edited by The Silver Shroud
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On 9/13/2021 at 10:27 AM, Br Cornelius said:

What strikes me in these discussions is the rosy tinted vision advocates have of the British economic miracle.
I want to outline the reality of the the British economic story over the last 100years, and its not an edifying tale.
 
Britain once was the largest manufacturing economy in the world, how did it achieve this ? It grew a massive Empire and dictated  trading terms with all of its vassal nations, always to the advantage of British manufactures. At this period Britain was about as far away from been an open liberal trading nation as it was possible to be. It could also be argued that the first world war was primarily about constraining a competing German industrial base which was starting to impinge on its ecosystem of closed markets, but I will leave that one open.
The next great event was the contraction of the Empire and the significant economic decline this precipitated within the UK economy. They became desperate and sought alternatives - the main one been the European Union. It worked to some degree but it didn't stop the continued decline of the manufacturing base in the country. This was mainly because the ruling class were trained as rulers of Empire and had little direct interest in Industry or its products. Throughout this time they never developed any meaningful industrial policy.  
The decline in the productive capacity was masked to a large extent by two significant events, the discovery of North Sea Oil and the Liberalization of the financial markets and its knock on effect of inflating the housing market sucking in significant productive capacity in growing the nominal value of the housing stock (whilst failing to meet housing needs in lock step).
All that can be said of North Sea Oil is that it served the main function of masking the continued decline of GDP and it inflated the bank balance of the super rich by squandering the capitol in tax give always. To see how different an outcome we could have had all we have to do is look to Denmark which horded most of its North Sea Revenues and used it to transform its economy by direct investment in productive capacity. A massive missed opportunity which helped to keep the robber Baroness Thatcher in power for longer than her performance warranted.
The liberalization of the economy under Thatcher helped set in train a series of massive boom and bust cycles - each one adding to a chronic long term unemployment crisis with whole communities abandoned by the government to a lifetime of abject poverty.  
Throughout this period the UK continued to fail to invest in manufacturing capacity and as a result it lost all of its heavy industry, steel, car manufacturing (no large domestically owned car manufactures by the end of the 1980's).  It also has some of the least skilled workforce in Europe with minimal vocational training and many degrees which are barely more than fee collecting rubber stamping exercises.
In parallel to this the financial services and banking industry grew massively, growing London to be one of the largest repositories of offshore assets in the world, whilst minimally paying into the exchequer to support more productive investments. This was one of the main points of contention with the EU which had decided that it would force the UK to be more transparent about banks which had been shown to be facilitating tax avoidance and other financial crimes. This was the crunch event that sent Cameron to Brussels to get an exemption from the new financial transparency directive.
Throughout this period the UK built its economy on cheap imported labour from the poorer regions of the EU - which it actively encouraged until it became expedient not to. This took place to the point that many sections of society simply cannot function without those immigrant labourers and have buckled and collapsed when they were sent home.
All this led to Brexit, a long standing wish in certain extremist sections of the conservative party, but never taken seriously until Cameron made his idle threat to hold a referendum if he didn't get special treatment for his banking buddies (and yes they were his buddies - attested to be the fact that he went straight from PM to banking consultant to a raft of dodgy investment firms - something he should be in jail for).
 
The crunch is that no one but the more extreme fringes of the Conservative party really thought the population would be stupid enough to fall for their little political wheeze, they were all devastated to a man when they won (remember Gove and Johnson look of abject misery, and going into hiding, when the result was announced). What became obvious over the next four years was that they never expected to win so had no plan as to what to do if they did. It was four years of deadlock and chaos as ever more extreme proposals were made as to how it would actually work. Instead of taking time to work out what brexit could be May pulled the trigger immediately before she had any plan her greatest mistake of many.

 
The real crisis all this highlights is that a private education system which is designed to equip leaders with boundless self confidence and little else is a poor preparation for how to manage a complex modern economy where technocratic expertise is the most important quality. It produces people like Cameron who make idle threats without working out the consequences and then believe he can manage those consequence through force of his own weak will, and people like Johnson who simply say whatever you want to hear and then do the precise opposite at every turn - never pausing to think have I ****ed this up.

Even the supposed Jewel in the Crown of the UK economy is in sharp decline - down from 15% of GDP before brexit to 11% post Brexit, a direct consequence of been outside the Common Market.

 

I don't see a dynamic outward looking economy in any of that, I don't see competence in leadership at any point in that whole sorry story. I see short termism and multiple avoidable crisis at every turn. I can only think to attribute this as a direct consequence of the British fall from grace from the largest Empire in the world to a struggling nation of the fringes of Europe, it never lost the bullying arrogance and disregard for the law which won it the empire in the first place. it needs a strong Industrial base to dig itself out of its current mess, and just at this crucial moment it has locked business out of government and told them they are on their own and they will do nothing to help them through this current crisis (Johnsons F$$K Business has not escaped the notice of business leaders).

A sorry mess of a country. For a nominal unionist party, the one likely outcome of this whole fiasco will be the break up of the UK with Scottish independence a near certainty and Irish reunification likely within the next two decades. Unfortunately for the Welsh they are both two small for independence and to colonized by the English to have the votes (just as Plaid Cymru predicted in the 70's) Nice work Little Englanders.

 

Br Cornelius

So much good stuff in this, thank you for taking the time to write it.

I have high-lighted a few things which are true, and always will be true, although Brexiters cannot yet see them.

Working class Brexiters can't see that Johnson and his ilk are not on their side- they are oblivious to Johnson's "jokes" at their expense- such as Thatcher 'leading the Greens' by closing the mines in the 1070s (which caused endless anguish in S Wales and the North), the Home Secretary addressing  a prison audience "so lovely to see you all here", and Johnson joking that the UK will become 'the Saudi Arabia of penal reform'.He doesn't trouble to mask his contempt for the poor, because they act in a contemptible way, continually voting into power people who despise them. That doesn't make him less contemptible himself though.

And not only despise the poor, they are incompetent themselves-  like the DWP Secretary saying peope on UC benefits only have to work 2 more hours a week to make up the £20 they are losing next month- she either does not understand how UC works (it is tapered to earnings, and penalties apply once you pass earnings caps) and peopel can't just choose to work extra hours, or she just doesn't care. Both probably.

As the leading Tory and business newspapers (Telegraph and Financial Times, and even the Mail) are now openly saying, there were no benefits to Brexit, (except to the Tory Party)  and the best the UK can make of it is to stop trying to 'take back control' and try to quietly let things return to the way they were prior to January 2021.

 

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Inflation is back and set to get worse: Inflation fears are fuelled as headline CPI rate surges to 3.2% in August | Daily Mail Online

The Brexiters didn't like "immigrants" doing essential work (at the legal minimum wage or slightly above, which they were glad to do- the UK was in control of that, remember) so they can get out in the fields, into the warehouses and behind the wheel, and do it themselves instead.

Stop the Brexiters pensions until they have made up for the damage they have done to the economy!

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1 hour ago, The Silver Shroud said:

Inflation is back and set to get worse: Inflation fears are fuelled as headline CPI rate surges to 3.2% in August | Daily Mail Online

The Brexiters didn't like "immigrants" doing essential work (at the legal minimum wage or slightly above, which they were glad to do- the UK was in control of that, remember) so they can get out in the fields, into the warehouses and behind the wheel, and do it themselves instead.

Stop the Brexiters pensions until they have made up for the damage they have done to the economy!

I don't think this article by the Mail mentions the word Brexit at all in relation to this spike in inflation. The pandemic is being blamed. But surely it is having an effect? The Guardian did a piece two weeks ago that reported the warnings by business leaders about rising costs and the threat of a major jump in inflation. 

The graphs in this piece are sobering: Inflation set to surge this autumn as Brexit and Covid combine | Inflation | The Guardian

'The Bank of England expects inflation to peak this year close to 4%, before falling back towards its 2% target rate as Covid disruption recedes. However, retailers warn prices are likely to rise soon.'

Manufacturers, retailers and other businesses cannot continue to absorb increasing costs due to Brexit (supply chain disruption, extra import/export costs, labour shortages, etc) - they will have to pass them on to the consumer or go to the wall. So it is more likely that this spike in inflation will not drop back to 2% as predicted by the BoE.

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4 hours ago, Ozymandias said:

I don't think this article by the Mail mentions the word Brexit at all in relation to this spike in inflation. The pandemic is being blamed. But surely it is having an effect? The Guardian did a piece two weeks ago that reported the warnings by business leaders about rising costs and the threat of a major jump in inflation. 

The graphs in this piece are sobering: Inflation set to surge this autumn as Brexit and Covid combine | Inflation | The Guardian

'The Bank of England expects inflation to peak this year close to 4%, before falling back towards its 2% target rate as Covid disruption recedes. However, retailers warn prices are likely to rise soon.'

Manufacturers, retailers and other businesses cannot continue to absorb increasing costs due to Brexit (supply chain disruption, extra import/export costs, labour shortages, etc) - they will have to pass them on to the consumer or go to the wall. So it is more likely that this spike in inflation will not drop back to 2% as predicted by the BoE.

Well the lack of available cheap workforce in undesirable yet essential services like agriculture and logistics will likely drive prices up, as the workers (in principle) have higher bargain power in wages negotiations (workers left) and less product available though again a fall in demand (workers left), yet the demand there is is from those who (for some reason) will not do the jobs left vacants in agriculture and logistics.

 

 

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Guest Br Cornelius

Looking objectively at the motivations of the Tory party, they wanted to sever ties to external scrutiny of their criminality and dismantling of the democratic institutions of the state. Brexit was necessary and one of the key motivations was to free themselves from the European court of justice. This is a party of the far right (they aligned themselves with other far right European parties) who is actively trying to set up a dictatorship. Really the impoverishment of the mass of UK citizens is part of this plan (just as Orwell predicted of the British ruling class) and should not be seen as a mistake on their part. They have tried to ban the right to resist with their policing bill and have introduced draconian penalties for both protest and whistle blowing of their criminality. The weaponizing of language as a means of suppressing active opposition can be seen in the campaign to frame Jeremy Corbyn as anti-semitic and has been successful to the extent that almost no one thinks of Corbyn and the Labour party in any other terms, thought crimes in action.
Demographic crises of the loss of Scotland is another benefit to the Tories as it will help cement their perpetual control of their English fiefdom.
What Orwell wrote about in 1984 was predictive of what is been put in place by the current Tory Government - with the full and active participation of every branch of the establishment.

How best to achieve this, put a clown up front so no one takes the threat seriously.

 

Br Cornelius

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More news from the US where joe does not like Boris and is Irish, don't you know. ;)

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday plans to announce a plan to share advanced technologies in a working group with Britain and Australia, Politico reported, in a possible move to push back on China.

The working group, to be known as AUUKUS, will enable the three countries to share information in areas including artificial intelligence, cyber, underwater systems and long-range strike capabilities.

As part of the pact, the U.S. and U.K. share their knowledge of how to maintain nuclear-defense infrastructure.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-announce-alliance-with-britain-australia-tech-cyber-defense-politico-2021-09-15/?rpc=401&

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Guest Br Cornelius
Quote

The New Right’s Convergence on Brexit

Brexit is Renton’s paradigmatic example of the new right. He reveals how the “leave” vote was the product of the coming together of the extreme Margaret Thatcher wing of the British Conservative Party with the far-right United Kingdom Independence Party based on a shared hostility to the EU, migration and — above all — Muslims.

Inaccurate characterizations of the right can lead to disastrously mistaken strategies to fight it.

Contrary to media pundits, the right found its principal base among traditional Tory voters in the petty bourgeoisie, mainly in the South of England. It did win over a small but significant voting bloc among unemployed and retired workers who depend on state benefits in depressed areas of Britain.

The working class as a whole, though, and especially working-class people of color in big cities like London and Manchester, voted overwhelmingly for “remain.” They did so not out of some commitment to the EU, but because they saw the Brexit campaign as racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic, and opposed it based on class solidarity against such hatred.

“Remain” lost because it was led by Tories like Prime Minister David Cameron who had himself traveled far down the road to far-right bigotry and had nothing to offer the workers suffering real problems and fears of declining living standards. Tragically, the left failed to present a coherent alternative, vacillating between “remain” and “leave.”

As a result, the new right scored an enormous victory for their agenda. They solidified a base among Tories, shifted the party leadership to the right, and successfully racialized British politics, promising benefits and jobs to British-born citizens, while aiming to ban and expel migrants and reduce those remaining to second-class citizens relegated last in line for state benefits.

https://truthout.org/articles/conservatives-the-far-right-fascists-and-how-we-defeat-them-all/

You simply cannot consider Brexit without putting racism front and central to your analysis. Casual racism is endemic to England and the rhetoric of the Tory party has normalized it as acceptable. But again Brexit is simply a stepping stone to a far right dictatorship.

 

Br Cornelius

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3 hours ago, Br Cornelius said:

You simply cannot consider Brexit without putting racism front and central to your analysis.

I’m sorry but this is simply not true.  I can see that this thread has become nothing more than an echo chamber for those remainers that are still unable to come to terms with reality.  The issues we face today are due in no small part due to those divisions.  Racism was never a consideration for the overwhelming majority of leave voters.  Racism was however touted as a motivator as part of the remain campaigns efforts to swing the vote away from leave.

 

3 hours ago, Br Cornelius said:

Casual racism is endemic to England

Is it?  There is no doubt Racism that exists in this nation, as it does in most, if not all nations across the globe, and is espoused by the ignorant or uneducated, but this is the exception rather than the norm.  When was the last time you experienced casual racism in England?

 

3 hours ago, Br Cornelius said:

rhetoric of the Tory party has normalized it as acceptable.

I’m not a Tory, by any stretch of the imagination, but where is the evidence for this?

 

3 hours ago, Br Cornelius said:

But again Brexit is simply a stepping stone to a far right dictatorship.

I don’t see it.  On the contrary the U.K. is one of the most left leaning countries in the western world, even the Tories by comparison to most nations are the most left leaning right wing party.

I think in your nice little echo chamber here you have completely lost sight of the circumstances that triggered Brexit.  The vote was an election promise by Cameron, made because the political establishment on every spectrum had become complaisant.  The U.K. had become beholden to the European Court, Time was running out as pressure mounted to join the free movement zone, Merkel had invited millions of immigrants to cross EU borders, a move which laid bare the German dominance of the Bloc, through the silence of Brussels.  While Immigration  was a factor, it was never just that in isolation, and certainly branding concern over immigration as inherently racist is at best unfair and actually downright offensive.  Every nation has an immigration policy, which comes with restrictions.  There were of course many more considerations, paying into a regime, that was clearly unable to align its interests with the U.K., military considerations.  The U.K. had resisted the formation of an EU standing army, something we now see.  An elected cohort beholden to an unelected commission, a political cabal actively open to lobbying for a price.  I could go on.

Clearly you feel still feel bitter about the result, I’m sorry about that, but what I cannot tolerate is the shameless stereotyping of leave voters.  It is ironic that you tout racism as a key attribute of the leave voter, and yet you actively discriminate in a similar manner yourself quite openly.  Further, it is people like yourself that continue to fight Brexit that make it such a difficult process.

Brexit happened, time to move on.

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Guest Br Cornelius

Just because a Brexiter is embarrassed by the rising tide of Racism in his own country doesn't mean that it isn't a real motivator for voters. Also, if people are been increasingly racist now it doesn't mean that they weren't always racist, the difference was they were embarrassed to be overtly racist and now the feel liberated to express their casual racism. And yes I have experienced racism  of this type from three members of my immediate family and those views are perfect predictors of how each member of my family voted.

 

Quote

Ethnic minorities in Britain are facing rising and increasingly overt racism, with levels of discrimination and abuse continuing to grow in the wake of the Brexit referendum, nationwide research reveals.

Seventy-one percent of people from ethnic minorities now report having faced racial discrimination, compared with 58% in January 2016, before the EU vote, according to polling data seen by the Guardian.

 

The data comes amid rising concern at the use of divisive rhetoric in public before this week’s European parliament elections, where some leading candidates, including Ukip’s Carl Benjamin and the independent Tommy Robinson, have records of overt racism.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/20/racism-on-the-rise-since-brexit-vote-nationwide-study-reveals

I can also report casual conversations I have personally witnessed from affluent older county living whites expressing horror at the idea of going into nearby cities because of all the coloured people there and the risk of been robbed, the exact demographic which was so decisive in returning a Leave vote. But here's the thing that unifies all those casual racists - they would vehemently deny been racists despite their racist attitudes, the simple explanation been that everyone likes to think of themselves as been a nice person - even when they objectively are not.

 

So don't be surprised if I don't take your denials as seriously as you might hope.

As for your assessment of that Britain is one of the most left leaning countries in Europe, words fail me for that level of myopia.

Br Cornelius

 

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1 hour ago, Br Cornelius said:

Just because a Brexiter is embarrassed by the rising tide of Racism in his own country doesn't mean that it isn't a real motivator for voters. Also, if people are been increasingly racist now it doesn't mean that they weren't always racist, the difference was they were embarrassed to be overtly racist and now the feel liberated to express their casual racism. And yes I have experienced racism  of this type from three members of my immediate family and those views are perfect predictors of how each member of my family voted.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/20/racism-on-the-rise-since-brexit-vote-nationwide-study-reveals

I can also report casual conversations I have personally witnessed from affluent older county living whites expressing horror at the idea of going into nearby cities because of all the coloured people there and the risk of been robbed, the exact demographic which was so decisive in returning a Leave vote. But here's the thing that unifies all those casual racists - they would vehemently deny been racists despite their racist attitudes, the simple explanation been that everyone likes to think of themselves as been a nice person - even when they objectively are not.

 

So don't be surprised if I don't take your denials as seriously as you might hope.

As for your assessment of that Britain is one of the most left leaning countries in Europe, words fail me for that level of myopia.

Br Cornelius

 

Look, I’ve said my piece, I’m not chiming in to change your mind, just trying to demonstrate to those on the outside looking in, that there is always more than one side to every story, and just because one person is louder and more persistent than the rest doesn’t make that the correct or official narrative.

Carry on then.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Given that the general discourse of this thread seems to have degenerated somewhat over the last few pages, coupled with several of the main contributors having either stopped contributing or having declared their intention to stop contributing, I think it's fair to say that this thread has run its course.

At the end of the day it isn't necessary to have a single thread for everything Brexit related - we don't have a thread like this for any other political topic and since Brexit has already happened, the title "Road to Brexit" is a bit redundant anyway; if you want to discuss some other aspect or development with regard to Brexit, feel free to start a new topic about it.

Closed.

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