Dealing With The Consequences Of Your Own Stupidity

25 Jun

In 1989, Margaret Thatcher made a terrible mistake.

She introduced the Poll Tax in Scotland. (She then compounded this mistake by introducing the Poll Tax to the rest of the UK the following year.)

This may seem like a minor matter, but the results were catastrophic.

On the micro scale, Thatcher’s popularity crashed so badly that she was unseated by her own party in 1990. But on the macro scale, it was a slap across Scotland’s face – and an absolute godsend to the SNP. Scotland’s faith in both the Conservative Party and Westminster crumbled – the Conservatives because they were the authors of the Poll Tax and Westminster, because the Scottish MPs were unable or unwilling to stop her. And by isolating Scotland from the rest of the UK, Thatcher galvanised Scottish Nationalism.

It was a terrible mistake. She showed Scotland that Scottish opinions didn’t matter.

Proving, yet again, that politicians and bureaucrats rarely learn from mistakes (theirs and others), the European Union has been cheerfully repeating the same mistake for the last two decades.

The EU has made mistakes. That is inarguable. It isn’t hard to come up with a laundry list of mistakes, from allowing Greece et al to enter the EU without doing anything resembling due diligence to interfering in matters that made it look like a giant waste of time and resources. Ham-handed measures that destroyed the Cyprus banking sector? Ignoring the results of referendums on the EU Constitution and pushing it forward anyway? Encouraging mass migration and then trying to cover up the problems it caused? Absurd energy policies based on Russia – which came back to haunt them when the EU clashed with Russia over the Ukraine? ‘Green’ energy boondoggles that ensured that the price of energy rose when the ‘green’ systems proved unworkable?

One may spend hours detailing all the mistakes the EU has made ever since it started to mutate into something more than a shared economic policy. But the single worst mistake is exactly the same as Thatcher’s – the EU has successfully convinced millions of its own citizens that it doesn’t give a damn about them.

The EU, as it stands today, is a monster that only a bureaucrat, a lawyer or a corporate suit could love. Those who benefit from the EU have done very well indeed. But those who don’t benefit from the EU should not be expected – could not be expected – to embrace it with open arms. Those who suffer because of EU policies – or policies blamed on the EU, which is not entirely the same thing – have no reason to love it. Why should they? People tend to act in a manner that suits their own interests, not those of the common weal. And let’s face it -there is no common weal in Europe.

This alone may not have been a problem, but the contempt the EU elites and their backers have shown for the ‘commoners’ is shocking. A reasoned debate on the strengths and weaknesses of the EU – and a demonstrated willingness to reform a structure badly in need of reform – might have gone a long way. But instead, those who wanted to leave the EU were mocked and belittled. They were called ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘fascists,’ ‘little Englanders,’ and so on.

But they knew, very well, that they were none of these things. And they knew, very well, that they had legitimate concerns. And they knew – there was ample evidence – that the EU elites were not going to listen to them. Why the hell should they not vote to leave?

Even with the possibility of a BREXIT, the EU elites didn’t bend. In one sense, refusing to make concessions wasn’t a bad choice. If the UK left, there would be no point in making concessions that might give other states ideas; if the UK stayed, there would be no need to make concessions. But it was a gratuitous slap across the face to make it clear that there would be no significant concessions – and that what little was offered was not legally binding.

The EU is, very much, the victim of its own stupidity.

The question asked of the elites, time and time again, is this. “You messed up the economy (or whatever other problem you care to raise) and did awesome damage to Europe. Why should we trust you to fix the problem?”

This is not an unreasonable question. But there is no answer. Heads have not rolled in punishment for the EU’s colossal failures. There has been considerable work done on securing the banking sector against another crisis, but there has been no significant reform that might make the EU more trustworthy. Issues and concerns – legitimate issues and concerns – have been ignored. Instead, we were treated to a barrage of propaganda aimed at convincing the masses that anyone who opposes the EU is a BAD PERSON.

Why should anyone trust the elites?

It is important to acknowledge that not all of Britain’s problems are caused by the EU. We have been suffering a prolonged slump since the Major Years, a slump caused – at least in part – by the absence of genuinely smart and sensible politicians. The frustrations faced by countless innocent people will not vanish the moment we leave the EU. Immigration levels are far too high; crime levels are rising; special interest groups and minorities seem to be given a free pass for criminal acts; the media is dangerously untrustworthy; employment is slumping; old certainties are vanishing everywhere …

And so on, and so on.

The elites – and I include British politicians in this – have not been listening. This uprising of frustration, resentment and bitter hatred is fuelled by the belief that no one gives a damn about the common man. That Westminster is inhabited by politicians who are permanently on the gravy train while passing increasingly meaningless laws. That someone who speaks up about the problems facing us – or what he sees as problems – can be silenced, or jailed, or even murdered on the streets, while the police look on impotently. That things are not getting better, no matter what those fat cats in Westminster say …

This might be completely wrong. Of course it might be wrong. But it’s what people are coming to believe …

… And the elites, in their arrogance and contempt, have provided plenty of evidence to confirm them in their beliefs.

Or, as Walter Russell Mead put it:

“Today’s Western elites, in the U.S. as much as in Europe, have never been so self-confident. Products of meritocratic selection who hold key positions in the social machine, the bien-pensant custodians of post-historical ideology—editorial writers at the NY Times, staffers in cultural and educational bureaucracies, Eurocratic functionaries, much of the professoriat, the human rights priesthood and so on—are utterly convinced that they see farther and deeper than the less credentialed, less educated, less tolerant and less sophisticated knuckle-dragging also-rans outside the magic circle of post historical groupthink.

“And while the meritocratic priesthood isn’t wrong about everything—and the knuckle-draggers aren’t right about everything—there are a few big issues on which the priests are dead wrong and the knuckle-draggers know it.”

***

BREXIT cannot be the end.

If we are to save our country, we must first strive for genuine political reform. We must seek to reduce government and bureaucracy as much as possible – and we must devolve power as far as it will go. A centralised government is good for many things, but spreading freedom and encouraging economic growth are rarely included. Placing more power in the hands of everyone from school headmasters to job centre workers would be a good step forward.

And we can start, perhaps, by cleaning up Westminster.

That, I think, will start us off on the right track.

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52 Responses to “Dealing With The Consequences Of Your Own Stupidity”

  1. sentry12014 June 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

    Damn Chris, that is the most sensible article I have heard in the debacle we have just had on the Brexit scenario. I agree with everything you said in it and indeed we really need to move on from Brexit and clean up our own political crap heap in up in Westminster.

  2. Steve Callaway June 26, 2016 at 12:13 am #

    Thank you, Chris a good read.

    “Issues and concerns – legitimate issues and concerns – have been ignored. Instead, we were treated to a barrage of propaganda aimed at convincing the masses that anyone who opposes the EU is a BAD PERSON.”

    That is how American conservatives feel even from the Republican hierarchy- like a battered wife – except the neighbors join in because they hate you more than your spouse does. I believe the loose terms such as ‘racist, bigot, fill-in-the-blankobia, ect” are losing their strength, most likely a result of the ‘boy who cried wolf syndrome.’

    Is the political climate changing? Do the millennials, such as the Oxford students, who desire to turn the UK into an enormous safe zone, own the future? In a day they already have the signatures to force a new referendum. Will they add ‘old geezer’ (maybe a more British term would be more appropriate) to the mantra?

  3. Lodrik June 26, 2016 at 12:26 am #

    Its always simple to say that others work for themselfs, that the world has issues but until you provide a good solution thats just criticism.
    That reminds me of the proverb “I don’t know if will be better if it changes but it has to change in order to become better.”
    I think we all know better than this, you need solutions, you need concepts that work and make the people in power happy. The economy doesnt work without the big guys and if you want to go over their heads they will go and take the money with them.

    You got a lot more inside on this than I do and your points seem correct, but my only point is that I respect you and if you were to contribute some ideas to make things better the system could start to change.
    The world doesnt need a thousand man to say whats wrong, its time to tell the people how to do something better. Until then we are stuck and all the critism only helps the radicals…

  4. David Lanf June 26, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    In the Westminster clean up if someone comes in and offers up “Hope and Change”. Run for the hills, trust me……

  5. Ian I June 26, 2016 at 1:07 am #

    Have you heard of the Harrogate agency? Go google it. Worth your time.

  6. shrekgrinch June 26, 2016 at 1:39 am #

    Same thing is happening in the US. Substitute feds for EU and both political parties for ‘EU institutions’.

    This is very bad news for Shrillary every bit as it was for Jeb Bush. The Dem elites are every bit as clueless as the GOP’s are..perhaps in some areas even more so, if that idiot Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is any indication.

    Both won’t learn a thing from electoral defeat, either. They will blame it on the knuckle-draggers. I don’t agree with everything Mead says. But when he nails it, he totally nails it good & hard Mencken-style.

    Like he did in that quote just now.

  7. georgephillies June 26, 2016 at 3:51 am #

    Chris, There is a UK Libertarian Party. It might match your desires.
    George
    State Chair
    Libertarian Association of Massachusetts

  8. duncancairncross June 26, 2016 at 5:16 am #

    Hi Chris
    It is tooooo late to fix Whitehall
    (which is responsible for 95% of the things that people blame the EU for)

    The UK is toast
    The English have decided to leave the not the EU but the UK

    In a short while the Scots will vote overwhelmingly to leave the UK
    The Irish will probably follow suit

    Not sure about the Welsh

    The rump of the UK will probably fracture further –
    Welcome to the English Parliament

    • Lodrik June 26, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

      Whitehall…

  9. Anarchymedes June 26, 2016 at 8:03 am #

    I expect to see a lot of you guys and girls here in Australia soon. Where else will you go? 🙂 The rest of Europe may no longer be so welcoming (visas, entry fees, and what not); the US… God knows what will become of them come the next election: someone may decide that throwing the Tea Party 2.0 is the way to boost his/her rating (lndepenence!!! Great Again!!! I Stand Alone, as Godsmack’s song went). And the rest of the world is just downright unsafe – and might have a few grudges of their own, ever since the Middle Ages.
    Don’t get me wrong: Brexit was the right thing to do. The EU is a doomed project, because it requires the members to sacrifice a part of their national souvereignty but forgets to give the usual marketing Three (or Seven, or Ten) Good Reasons why they should do so. So the United States are indeed united: the differences between any two states are minor, compared with what they have in common; so are we in Australia (when the State of Origin series are over 🙂 ). But in Europe, the differences are greater by far then the similarities – not to mention the fantom pains of the past imperial glory. There is no point uniting when there is no common identity: at best, such union will be like a forced marriage; at worst, only one will survive.
    But just like you were euroskeptical, please forgive me for being skeptical about the political clean-up and the bright future. First, Northern Ireland and Scotland are already mulling the split (and staying in the EU). And second, the stories about people googling what exiting the EU actually means (especially after they voted for it) show that there is currently no plan of action, which will more than likely result in chaos and the limited edition of the mob rule, which in turn will inevitably end with some strongman stepping up, banging his fist on the table, and unceremoniously telling the mob (by then yet again disillusioned, frightened, and lost) to obey – which they will, and gladly. Hitler has done just that. And Putin.
    So once again: we’ll welcome you Down Under. ‘For those who come across the sea, we’ve boundless planes to share,’ as our anthem goes.

    • Mark P June 26, 2016 at 10:43 am #

      I don’t think many Brits will opt for Aus, you seem to be having your own immigration issues.

  10. Beowulf 1069 June 26, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    Dear Chris,

    I think you are correct. And now the main thing is to keep the UK glued together and help it find its future.

    See http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/positive/iden1 for suggestions.

    I also want suggest a concept I have been thinking about – though as in most things it will have been prefigured somwhere else in better detail. But anyway this my thrip’ney bit –

    Both the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland and that nice Mr S. Khan, Mayor of London (Labour) state that although they did not get the Brexit result (Remain) they wanted at the NATIONAL level, they claim that does not matter and put that aside; they further claim that they have a mandate for change based on the voters who voted for them.

    This is anti-democratic cherry-picking: Pernicious anti-democratic cherry-picking.

    Why?

    One of the things about voting-and-elections, is that it is in place of that other option, you know the sanguinary one: killing-and-corpses.

    To paraphrase:

    Voting-and-elections is an Armistice with killing-and-corpses.

    The voting-and-elections deal is this everyone get a chance to have their say on the proposition by voting, and the majority that wins the poll gets want they want. Now if you are on the losing side you ACCEPT you lost. And hope that you can can convince enough the voters the next time around to vote for your proposition. What you DO NOT do is claim that despite losing, you have a mandate – not from the majority of the electorate – but from the MINORITY of the electorate that lost the vote. And that you – the loser – must abide by the minority opinion and reject the majority opinion.

    If this is to be the case why bother with voting-and-elections, if the majority opinion is to be ignored.

    Cherry-picked.

    Pernicious cherry-picking.

    Anti-democratic Pernicious cherry-picking.

    In my humble opinion breaking up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be a disaster, that would take us back to the Medieval Period. After all losing the three historic provinces of the Kingdom of Ireland – it being reduced to the Province of Ulster – resulted in a civil war that lasted from Partition to Good Friday: 90 years.

    I don’t expect the future to be any different in this regard: If the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland gets their SCOXIT, and the Sheltands decide to stick with Crown (“It’s Shetland’s OIL!!!”), using the same principle of Minority-Rights-Trump-Majority-Wins that Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland is now using for SCOXIT. Then I expect such principles to be put aside by the Scottish National Socialists of Scotland as they crush the uppity Shetlanders.

    (For me it like a baby in pram that does get its way and throws outs rattle. So for me I going call Minority-Rights-Trump-Majority-Wins as “Pram Rattle Democracy”.)

    In summary: The Pernicious anti-democratic cherry-picking as practiced by Mr. Khan and Ms. Sturgeon, WILL end the Armistice with killing-and-corpses.

    Yours

    Stafford 1069

    Dear Chris,

    I think you are correct. And now the main thing is to keep the UK glued together and help it find its future.

    See http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/positive/iden1 for suggestions.

    I also want suggest a concept I have been thinking about – though as in most things it will have been prefigured somwhere else in better detail. But anyway this my thrip’ney bit –

    Both the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland and that nice Mr S. Khan, Mayor of London (Labour) state that although they did not get the Brexit result (Remain) they wanted at the NATIONAL level, they claim that does not matter and put that aside; they further claim that they have a mandate for change based on the voters who voted for them.

    This is anti-democratic cherry-picking: Pernicious anti-democratic cherry-picking.

    Why?

    One of the things about voting-and-elections, is that it is in place of that other option, you know the sanguinary one: killing-and-corpses.

    To paraphrase:

    Voting-and-elections is an Armistice with killing-and-corpses.

    The voting-and-elections deal is this everyone get a chance to have their say on the proposition by voting, and the majority that wins the poll gets want they want. Now if you are on the losing side you ACCEPT you lost. And hope that you can can convince enough the voters the next time around to vote for your proposition. What you DO NOT do is claim that despite losing, you have a mandate – not from the majority of the electorate – but from the MINORITY of the electorate that lost the vote. And that you – the loser – must abide by the minority opinion and reject the majority opinion.

    If this is to be the case why bother with voting-and-elections, if the majority opinion is to be ignored.

    Cherry-picked.

    Pernicious cherry-picking.

    Anti-democratic Pernicious cherry-picking.

    In my humble opinion breaking up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be a disaster, that would take us back to the Medieval Period. After all losing the three historic provinces of the Kingdom of Ireland – it being reduced to the Province of Ulster – resulted in a civil war that lasted from Partition to Good Friday: 90 years.

    I don’t expect the future to be any different in this regard: If the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland gets their SCOXIT, and the Sheltands decide to stick with Crown (“It’s Shetland’s OIL!!!”), using the same principle of Minority-Rights-Trump-Majority-Wins that Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland is now using for SCOXIT. Then I expect such principles to be put aside by the Scottish National Socialists of Scotland as they crush the uppity Shetlanders.

    In summary: The Pernicious anti-democratic cherry-picking as practiced by Mr. Khan and Ms. Sturgeon, WILL end the Armistice with killing-and-corpses.

    Yours

    Stafford 1069

    PS.

    (For me it like a family’s baby in a pram that does get its way and throws out it’s rattle. So for me I going to call Minority-Rights-Trump-Majority-Wins by an additional phrase of “Pram Rattle Democracy”.)

  11. Veraenderer June 26, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    We germans are highly amused about the brexit (or atleast everyone with which I spoke was). The overall opinion seems to be that this will be the end for Greatbritain, with Scotland making a second referendum and Gibraltar getting annexed by Spain. Many companies also reduce their investments in britain and the financialcenter in London will become less important. Furthermore do I think that in a few years Argentinia will try to annex the Falklands again.

    The alternative seems to be a second referendum about the brexit but this will lead to a lose of Britains special treatment in the EU.

    I personly do hope that the brexit will lead to reforms in the EU since a bunch of politicans seem to be shooked and the power of the EU friendly countrys rise wih every EU unfriendly country leaving the EU ^^

    • Mark P June 26, 2016 at 10:41 am #

      As far as The Spanish annexing Gibraltar and Argentina the Falklands I suspect a lot of politicians might think ‘Bring it On’. Margaret Thatcher’s popularity climbed on the back of the last Falklands war. A War over either or both those dependencies’ would probably unit the UK like nothing else. A fight against aggressive bullies tends to unit British people. It would also lead to increase defence spending now we no longer have the delusion of a possible EU defence force.

      • Veraenderer June 26, 2016 at 11:21 am #

        The spanish would annex Gibraltar peacefully
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36618796

        Argentinia would only try to annex the Falklands if GB is weakend (for example through a independence of Scotland and a lowering of military expenses). This would maybe unite the british but what would happen if they aren’t able to wage a war at that moment?

      • chrishanger June 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

        Because she won the war. I’d hope the government might remember Elizabeth’s remark – “wars are chancy things.”

        Chris

    • Anarchymedes June 27, 2016 at 9:40 am #

      Sorry, but the only EU-friendly countries are the likes of Bolgaria and the Baltic countries: and the EU obviously feels it’s too good for them and treats them as poor relatives; and those countries the EU woukd like to keep (France, the Netherlands) increasingly believe they’re too good for the EU. I don’t think this arrangement has any future.

      • Drowe June 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

        You may want to define what EU-friendly is. If you mean rising approval rates, you may be correct, otherwise the majority in all EU members except Britain support the EU and I mean the absolute majority of 50% or more. Although that is currently in decline while disapproval is reaching 40% in some countries.

  12. Ian Birchenough June 26, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    Perhaps a useful step would be, that instead of whoever replaces Mr Cameron as head of the Conservative Party, is not automatically the Prime Minister (on the 150,000 votes of the Conservative Party), but is required to face the opinion of the country as a whole.. That is they have to face a General Election.

  13. Don Yu June 26, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    As we go into final weeks of Australian election I feel the same about the elites actions that shows their contempt to their citizens.

    What should of been a nation building referendum has instead divided the nation. That is what I got the feeling from other side of the world. From young and old, Scotland and Ireland to rest of UK except London. Even united I can see lot of pain and rethink of the social and political system but with nation divided.There is too much detractions and finger pointing that will occur till this Brexit happens, even past that will not make reform happen. Even if reform is what is want by the new elites coming in.

    I don’t see EU reaction anything else but hard-line similar to how they acted towards southern Europe countries. EU will be going full steam ahead from get go since they would not want a long exit with UK to remind people about the issues.

    There maybe lot of issues and reason for the Brexit but at the end results matter not good intensions. Initial responds are not good.

    In the world the capital system that runs in only know personal prosperity matters and that is what EU elites promise. The rights and concerns of the older generation see as precious and the younger generation place less value as they already feel disenfranchised and they feel they will be living the result past the older generation.

    I hope the great nation will keep together not fragment as it seem at the moment.

  14. Stafford 1069 June 26, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Dear Chris,

    I think you are correct. And now the main thing is to keep the UK glued together and help it find its future.

    See http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/positive/iden1 for suggestions.

    I also want to suggest a concept I have been thinking about – though as in most things it will have been prefigured somwhere else in better detail. But anyway this my thrip’ney bit –

    Both the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland and that nice Mr S. Khan, Mayor of London (Labour) state that although they did not get the Brexit result (Remain) they wanted at the NATIONAL level, they claim that does not matter and put that aside; they further claim that they have a mandate for change based on the voters who voted for them.

    This is anti-democratic cherry-picking: Pernicious anti-democratic cherry-picking.

    Why?

    One of the things about voting-and-elections, is that it is in place of that other option, you know the sanguinary one: killing-and-corpses.

    To paraphrase:

    Voting-and-elections is an Armistice with killing-and-corpses.

    The voting-and-elections deal is this everyone get a chance to have their say on the proposition by voting, and the majority that wins the poll gets want they want. Now if you are on the losing side you ACCEPT you lost. And hope that you can can convince enough the voters the next time around to vote for your proposition. What you DO NOT do is claim that despite losing, you have a mandate – not from the majority of the electorate – but from the MINORITY of the electorate that lost the vote. And that you – the loser – must abide by the minority opinion and reject the majority opinion.

    If this is to be the case why bother with voting-and-elections, if the majority opinion is to be ignored.

    Cherry-picked.

    Pernicious cherry-picking.

    Anti-democratic Pernicious cherry-picking.

    In my humble opinion breaking up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be a disaster, that would take us back to the Medieval Period. After all losing the three historic provinces of the Kingdom of Ireland – it being reduced to the Province of Ulster – resulted in a civil war that lasted from Partition to Good Friday: 90 years.

    I don’t expect the future to be any different in this regard: If the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland gets their SCOXIT, and the Sheltands decide to stick with Crown (“It’s Shetland’s OIL!!!”), using the same principle of Minority-Rights-Trump-Majority-Wins that the Scottish National Socialist Party of Scotland is now using for SCOXIT. Then I expect such principles to be put aside by the Scottish National Socialists of Scotland as they crush the uppity Shetlanders.

    In summary: The Pernicious anti-democratic cherry-picking as practiced by Mr. Khan and Ms. Sturgeon, WILL end the Armistice with killing-and-corpses.

    Yours

    Stafford 1069

    Ps.

    (For me it like a family’s baby in a pram that does not get its way and throws out it’s rattle. So for me I going to call Minority-Rights-Trump-Majority-Wins by an additional phrase of “Pram Rattle Democracy”.)

    • Drowe June 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

      I agree that Scotland leaving the UK would be a bad idea, nevertheless I don’t see how it would be any less democratic than the UK leaving the EU. Two years ago promises were made that weren’t kept. That and the uncertainty if an independent Scotland would be allowed to join the EU caused the referendum to fail. So now that the majority of Scottish voters wanted to stay in the EU but the more populous England voted to leave, why shouldn’t they try again? Since the UK seems to be so committed to be independent from Europe, why should Scotland not be granted independence from the UK?

      • G. Shoun June 27, 2016 at 9:51 am #

        Dear Drowe,

        Thank you for response. I will be responding soon – well, after my dentist talks to teeth 😦

        Yours
        Stafford 1069

  15. Drowe June 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    The problem with the leave campaign was, that it provided few arguments rooted in facts. It won based on emotions, because it engaged people who felt their voices weren’t heard, it addressed the legitimate fears of people and a convieniend scapegoat. It promised to change the status quo knowing very well, that they wouldn’t be able to keep their promises, a fact that became apparent just after the referendum.

    The remain campaign did just the opposite, they thought that by making people fear leaving by providing rational arguments based on economic self-interest would be enough to convince people that the status quo was desirable, and failed to recognize that people don’t vote on that principle alone.

    In essence, you have one side that isn’t trustworthy and another that is too disconnected from the concerns of the working population to make the decisions people want them to make. But that is just part of the problem. Ever since Britain joined the EU the british government failed to create a sense of belonging to the EU, Britain still saw itself as the superpower it once was and tried its best not to surrender any sovereignty to the EU. It opted out of more EU treaties than any other nation, and blocked many attempts to better integrate with the rest, benefiting from the single market was the main concern. Unpopular regulations that the government agreed were necessary were ‘reluctantly’ implemented and the EU was blamed.

    Another problem is that voices to leave got louder as the generations who remember the horrors of world war 2 aged and died. This generation saw the EU as the best guarantee to prevent a future war in Europe, but also remembered the British empire. The following generation hasn’t been touched by war, they forgot the original purpose. This generation saw Britain join the EU and while the older generations pushed for a monetary and fiscal union as a means to forever prevent another European war, the next generation opted out of the euro, instead of doing the sensible thing and push for a fiscal union to go with the monetary union.

    If the demographic situation was different, the referendum would have failed. The majority of people younger than 45 voted against leaving, nearly three out of four voters between the ages 18 and 25 voted against leaving the EU, what that means is those who would have to live with the decision the longest were the ones who didn’t want to leave, while those who enjoyed the benefits of being part of the EU the most, are the ones that will die within a decade or two, that hardly seems right to me.

    The real problem is not the EU, the real problem is that many have forgotten that prosperity is not something that is guaranteed. And that personal freedoms should end where it harms someone else or infringes their personal freedoms. The generation that voted for leaving the EU in Britain and who advocate nationalism all over the world is the same generation that caused the problems we are seeing now, who elected those politicians who caused the debt spiral, who deregulated financial markets and caused those huge speculative bubbles we are seeing now.

    If politicians all over the world hadn’t chosen to rely on fossil fuels and nuclear power alone for decades, we could by now cover most of our energy needs through renewable sources. You may not believe it, but that doesn’t change the facts. The reason for doing so is no longer environmental alone, it’s economical. Because renewable energy technology works like any other technology, prices start high and drop rapidly the more of it gets produced with the added benefit, that efficiency increases the more advanced it gets. At the same time the higher the demand for fossil fuels gets the more expensive it becomes, especially as easily accessible sources get depleted and costs of meeting the demand increase. Last year several countries could produce energy cheaper by using renewables than by burning fossil fuels, for the first time and this trend will only increase.

    Back to the EU, yes they made mistakes, but placing the blame primarily on the EU is like blaming a national government for the mistakes of a regional government. Of course you could say the EU should never have allowed Greece to join, that the EU didn’t do its due diligence. But when Greece joined they did not use this opportunity to consolidate their finances and the EU didn’t have the authority to force them. Instead the Greek government increased its spending by borrowing money at interest rates much lower than before until this system collapsed. The cause was not the EU or the Euro, it was the lack of a fiscal union to go with a monetary union. It was the absurd idea, that you can indefinitely spend more than you earn, that your economy can grow indefinitely. Of course it is possible to grow your economy faster than your debt, by investing borrowed money and decreasing your debt through inflation, but there are limits, something that became apparent only in recent years, well unless you think back to the 1930s.

    The main problems the EU has are caused by the reluctance of national governments to surrender authority in matters that cannot be solved on the national level, and the tendency of national governments to surrender authority to the EU to avoid getting blamed for unpopular regulations, when the EU shouldn’t be involved in the first place. What is really needed is a federation where local matters are settled locally while European matters are solved by a European government. We don’t need sovereign nation states with their own armies and their own fiscal policies anymore, it is inefficient and unstable. What we need is a European government that is elected with many regions roughly equal in population that are represented by local elected governments. With regions I don’t mean national territories, but smaller units similar to Germany’s states or swiss cantons.

    Now I rambled enough…
    Greetings Drowe

    • Jozza June 27, 2016 at 10:44 am #

      Nicely said 🙂

    • Anarchymedes June 28, 2016 at 7:46 am #

      1. ‘The problem with the leave campaign was, that it provided few arguments rooted in facts. It won based on emotions, because it engaged people who felt their voices weren’t heard, it addressed the legitimate fears of people and a convieniend scapegoat.’
      Emotions are stronger than facts. As noted by Nietzsche, ‘it is precisely facts that do not exist, only interpretations.’ No amount of facts will make people stop believing in what they want to believe; even when the consequences are apparent, there is always a way to blame something unrelated for it. So ladies & gentlemen, enjoying the sites of our zoo, please take special care not to frighten the ostrich: the cage has concrete floor. 🙂
      2. ‘What is really needed is a federation where local matters are settled locally while European matters are solved by a European government.’
      And who decides which exactly matters are local, and which are Europian? And while we’re at it, what exactly are ‘Europian matters?’ That’s what I’m talking about: there is no such thing as ‘Europian identity’: ask a Californian or a Texan what is their nationality, and both will say, American; but a Greek will answer Greek, and a German will answer German. To me, that is the end of it.
      3. ‘We don’t need sovereign nation states with their own armies and their own fiscal policies anymore, it is inefficient and unstable.’
      If that is true, how come sovereign nation Russia bullies the entire Europe into submission? How come the sovereign nation China is about to hijack the global leadership? If it’s not the nationality, what on Earth should people unite around? I believe the answer, when someone offers one, in the language the masses, not just the elite, understand, will be the key to saving (or resurrecting) the EU.

      • Drowe June 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

        To item 1:
        I don’t contest that emotions have a stronger impact than facts, that is what went wrong with the whole campaign in both parties. The leave campaign was successful for exactly that reason, they managed to get the voters emotionally, my critique is not the method but the dishonesty they employed. The remain campaign however completely failed to grasp that elections are not won by rationality alone, they may have been more honest, though they too did their share of fear mongering, but they weren’t successful in appealing to the emotions. The only thing that nearly saved them was the murder of Jo Cox.

        To item 2:
        This requires a political consensus, who decides who is responsible for what is not important, as long as it is a democratic decision. You are right, without a European identity this can not be achieved. At least not to the degree I proposed. But for some inspiration we could look at the United States before the 1930s, I’m not saying that was perfect, but some of it was good. As for what is a European matter, basically everything that the EU is exclusively responsible for already, plus defense and fiscal policy. While it should lose much if not all power that it currently shares with national governments. But that’s only a half baked idea, people much smarter than me would have to find a workable solution.

        To item 3:
        That was maybe not entirely clear on my part, I didn’t mean no nations at all, I meant the European nation states, each as seperate entities within a loose union that quarrels more within itself than present a united front. It’s precisely because of this disunity that the EU can be pushed around by Russia. None of the European nations could stand up to Russia, China or the US by itself, and the current system can’t work forever. As long as Europe does not sort this mess of shared responsibility out and fails to develop a shared identity it will continue to be a problem. This process needs to happen, but it can’t be forced, not by the EU nor by national governments. The European people have to want it and for that they need to be emotionally involved. The people need to feel that their voices are heard and matter, but the more people a government is responsible for, the less each individual matters to the big picture. Because of that there has to be a local government that is responsible for local issues, which road needs to be repaired or where to build a new school. Those are examples for issues a European government couldn’t address and therefore shouldn’t meddle in. I’m sure you can think of dozens of other examples, but it’s likely that we won’t agree on everything. Meanwhile foreign policy and issues that can’t be addressed on a local level should be the responsibility of the European government. I believe it’s much harder to find a consensus there, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

        Greetings Drowe

  16. PhilippeO June 27, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    ” If we are to save our country, we must first strive for genuine political reform. We must seek to reduce government and bureaucracy as much as possible – and we must devolve power as far as it will go. ”

    Disagree with this. Political power should be as high as where national feeling is. EU failed because it failed to generate enough “national loyalty” to it. UK might fail or not depending whether people feel they citizen of UK or citizen of Scotland/England.But if people loyal to England then there power should reside, if people loyal to UK, then power should reside there.

    devolve power as low as possible would cause state collapse. City would turn predatory on each other. They would lower tax as low as possible to steal factory from other city, allow poisoning of river as long as it goes downstream, and use police as fine collecting agency from renters and transient. it will be return of Heptarchy era. make UK potential victim for more organized outside force.

    in fairness, giving concession to UK would not be possible without angering Poles (and other East European states).

    people shouldn’t let anger at elite blind them to true cause of ineffective government, other voters / people.

    Many problem of EU is indeed caused by Brussels Elite. but some problem is not. Irresponsible borrowing is caused by MedEurope dishonesty and Central Europe willingness to risky lending. Economic crisis is caused by Germans (and other Central Europe) unwillingness to have inflation despite Meds economy collapse. EU policy on Internal Immigration from East Europe is supported by East European like Poles. EU idiotic energy policy is caused by Germans demand for Russian oil and gas. etc

    EU problem is less elite dominance, but its too large size. with no national feeling to EU, each member country inside pursue its prosperity, even at expense of other members.

  17. Jozza June 27, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    I’ve read your collective comments with some saddness. Im a fair minded ‘libertarian’ small government conservative British European…. at least I thought I was…

    The EU is broken, but I actually believe it isnt an unsaveable institution.. Interestingly the Dutch, and Germans I regularly speak to through work feel the same. The problem is the economic model was developed by the Germans and benefits tie Germans and reflects their world view of themselves, The Political model was developed by the French and benefits the French reflecting their world view of themselves. The Trading model was primarily the Dutch and the British baby. Open global trade to compete with the other great 1960’s and 70’s super trading blocks. You could argue that its the politics and economy which are failing in Europe (Outside of Germany) but that trading has transformed beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings.

    The Campaigns were run by what can only be described as the inept. A turning point was using the US President to tell the British to get back in your box was an act of stunning stupidity. He used terms like Queue and Brilliant – extremely British idiom suggesting a Brit had written it. They used him because they believed he was popular with the British people a ‘Trusted Advisor’ It tookl Borris (Bafoon) Johnson exactly 1 min to tear the argument to shreds by simple saying – you wouldnt do it to your country would you Mr President!

    Remain used the tried and trusted tactics of fear which they genuinely believed worked in Scotland… It didnt it was canny Scotts rural sensibleness that weighed it all up and realised it was the same old Marxist techniques that the central belt and Dundee had spouted for years… Jam tomorrow for all.

    So in my humble opinion here’s what may happen.
    Westminster – General election conservative win – Borris elected (It’s like the republicans in the US – its him or its Corbin and if thats the choice its him)

    Scotland – The EU will tell Scotland that they cannot deal with a province and they will have to be a FULLY separate nation.

    She will throw the dice regardless of the majority she migjht think she has and demand the referendum be repeated. The vote in Scotland will now be about Europe in the SNP’s mind…. but the canny rural Scotts.. remember them, will weigh it all up again and decide that they really dont want to be like Ireland pushed around from pillar to post and economically they dont want their share of the national Debt – they wont be able to afford the military to be any more impressive than Irelands.which is a problem because in order to control the borders she will HAVE to emplace border controls otherwise migration will shift to travelling through Scotland – its all sounding a bit less appealing now isnt it….

    Northern Ireland – Is a red herring there is insufficient mandate at all from the population there will ALSO be a border issue here too.the majority Unionists and will oppose any approach through the assembly.

    ‘Meanwhile’ – as Clarkson would say – Germany is waking up to a difficult conclusion. Britian, Germany and the Netherlands are net contributors – the other nations are net recipients… $30bn payments into the trough are ending… what does that mean to the contributors… do they need to up their contribution further… As Abraham Lincoln once said ‘Too many pigs for the teats’ he was referring to self serving senators and officials Im suggesting the same but with national over tones to match.

    Britain remains the 5th biggest economy in the world – 6th biggest Military – we have moved on from being the exhausted post colonial great power that was declining in the 70’s when we joined – its time to accept the message of the people and move on. Time to remind some of those who voted exit that they need to pick up the jobs that will become available and they need to stand up and be counted in politics and in supporting the society they have helped create. Time to build new and better international relations with those that want them, and time to work around those who want to ‘punish’ us for daring to challenging the establishment.

    Oh and I’d quite like to go back to calling ourselves British as I dont feel UKish……

    Jozza

    • Drowe June 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      Mostly I agree with what you said, but there are two points where I disagree. First the possible second referendum in Scotland, though I hope to be wrong. The Scottish want to remain in the EU, that may very well motivate them to leave the UK, so might northern Ireland, though that’s less likely since they don’t seem to want a united Ireland.

      The second point is the assumption, that Britain could avoid being a net contributor to the EU. Britain wants and needs access to the European single market, so they will have to contribute financially and accept the terms of the EU. Britain might contribute less than now in absolute terms, but since they wouldn’t be eligible for EU investments anymore, the net contribution may actually rise.

      Another point that should not be ignored, is that Britain will be seen as fickle and untrustworthy by the EU. Especially in light of their delaying tactics now. Britain’s behaviour in the past hasn’t helped and many EU countries resent Britain’s tendency to opt out, which is seen as cherry picking. Any treaty with Britain now will be iron clad and the EU will not be as accommodating as Britain has come to expect. The EU wants Britain to be part of the single market, but it isn’t as important to the EU as it is to Britain. The EU may not want to actively punish Britain, but they do have an interest in making Britain feel what it gave up for various reasons, including discouraging others from leaving.

      Drowe

      • Don Yu June 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

        Good points but you assume that EU will allow same level of access to their market as now. EU will be going hard line to make sure that other countries will think again about leaving the EU after what happens to the UK.

        Two main industry, the car manufacturing and banking/finance will be going where the profit and access will be-in the EU. Import/export tax and other restrictions and red tape will make it better for them to move to the EU. It will not be short term but mid to long term.

        Before UK was seen as a country that was needed in the EU to make it work but now…… No more friendly EU.

  18. shrekgrinch June 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    …and the Euroweenie elites are behaving as predicted. They are now saying that all members of the the EU Council need to be notified from the UK about Article 50 while stating “that won’t happen’ – thus implying that all EU Council members won’t be available or the next UK government will be fully bribable to not do so despite the will of UK voters whom the Euroweenies despise.

    Then Merkle went on record stating that further exits should not be allowed. I guess that East German power monger thing where they resort to shooting people trying to leave runs strong in the Merkle force, eh?

    • Drowe June 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

      That is nonsense, now that Britain voted out the EU wants to start the proceedings as soon as possible, it’s british politicians who are stalling, most of all Boris Johnson. They made promises they couldn’t keep in their internal power play, now they fear the consequences. You hold the EU in contempt, but they are not responsible for your problems. The british government used the EU as a scapegoat for unpopular laws and regulations they wanted to implement, as did many other governments. Only if they didn’t want to implement them, they opted out. Brexit now forces your government to take responsibility for their actions and uncovers just how many benefits the british people had from being part of the EU, because now they will go away.

      • shrekgrinch June 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

        Yeah, there’s a lot of denial going on amongst the elites. That is what they are SAYING. Don’t launch on me.

        ” You hold the EU in contempt, but they are not responsible for your problems.”

        I’m not British. So yes, I hold it in contempt..more like I hold it as a sick joke. But a failing EU is not a problem for me.

        “Brexit now forces your government to take responsibility for their actions and uncovers just how many benefits the british people had from being part of the EU, because now they will go away.”

        That’s a good thing, isn’t it? More accountable government usually is.

  19. R.A. Mathis June 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    I read Hugh Howey’s blog post about Brexit just before reading yours. His views are utopian, globalist, totalitarian drivel wrapped in peace and love to hide the smell. Seriously, the guy has some disturbing views when you cut away the feel-good fluff. Your post and its replies were a breath of fresh air. Thanks for restoring my faith in logic and reason.

  20. Drowe June 27, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    @shrekgrinch
    Government accountability is a good thing. The bad thing is that this will be paid for by those who were deceived.

    Holding someone in contempt is very unwise, it leads you to ignore someone whether they are right or wrong. It blinds you and limits your option. Even if someone is wrong 99 out of 100 times, the one time they are right is the one time that will lead you to an avoidable mistake that could prove disastrous.

    You hold elites in contempt, therefore you don’t believe they may have a point. You see the same thing in american politics, anything a democrat says is wrong to a republican and vice versa, that makes it impossible to reach a common ground, it’s become so bad that even the word compromise is seen as a dirty word.

    Those who suffer the consequences of this attitude are the common people like you and me, not those who sit on the top. But without us realizing, that the concerns of others are valid and their arguments are not immediately dismissed but examined and discussed in order to find a solution both can live with, we end up in an autocratic or plutocratic society…and we’re well on the way to that.

    Drowe

    • shrekgrinch June 27, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

      Drowe,

      “Government accountability is a good thing. The bad thing is that this will be paid for by those who were deceived”

      They pay for it anyway. You have just basically stated in those two sentences that if they don’t hold the government accountable, the deceived somehow magically do not pay for it.

      “Holding someone in contempt is very unwise, it leads you to ignore someone whether they are right or wrong”

      Not for me. I pay attention even more so because I have found that ignoring the problem only makes it worse…and this case the cause of the problem are those I hold in contempt for being responsible for it. Logic 101.

      “You hold elites in contempt, therefore you don’t believe they may have a point.”

      No. That is entirely an imaginary assumption that you made about me w/o a shred of evidence whatsoever to back it up.

      “You see the same thing in american politics, anything a democrat says is wrong to a republican and vice versa, that makes it impossible to reach a common ground, it’s become so bad that even the word compromise is seen as a dirty word.”

      No. It is just that the fundamental philosophical differences are so profound that there isn’t any room left for compromise. You appear to me to refuse to acknowledge that as the core problem but rather only look at the symptoms. I have even worse news for you: That gulf in philosophy is widening. Big time. At least it is in America. Seems like it is between Scotland and the rest of the UK as well.

      “hose who suffer the consequences of this attitude are the common people like you and me, not those who sit on the top.”

      Mostly you are correct. But right now those who are on top are starting to suffer. I hope it only gets worse.

      • Drowe June 28, 2016 at 3:09 am #

        In the case of Brexit the deception caused them to leave the EU, and with all its faults, it does still serve its original purpose, namely making wars between European nations impossible. The tendency of nationalism and isolationism is worrying for exactly that reason. If the EU breaks NATO will eventually follow, frictions increase within Europe which could either lead to another war inside Europe or Russia seizing this opportunity to expand militarily. And in this case, the deception was in avoiding blame for unpopular regulations and laws, those don’t go away by leaving the EU because the government wants them, so no Britain leaving is the decision that will cost the people, and misinformation and deception is the real cause.

        “Not for me. I pay attention even more so because I have found that ignoring the problem only makes it worse…and this case the cause of the problem are those I hold in contempt for being responsible for it. Logic 101.”
        Our minds are exceptional in justifying our beliefs through rational thinking, if someone you hold in contempt says something you disagree with, you will mainly try to disprove the statement but will only spend little time if any to look for evidence that support it. Everyone behaves that way and the more contempt you have for someone, the less you are willing to accept anything coming from that person as valid.

        Let me give you an example, liberals in the US believe, that gun laws should be tightened to prevent violent crime. And they are right, this is a problem and regulations for firearms would help. Conservatives on the other hand believe that the constitutional right for arms should not be restricted because it is a way to prevent the government from oppressing its people. They also have a point, and while I don’t share that view, this is a valid concern for them, that shouldn’t be dismissed without due consideration.

        The word ‘Elites’ is not well defined, the most common usage is as a term for the ruling class, including politicians, corporate exexutives, educated experts etc. and among those who oppose them it is mostly used as a derogative. Since it describes such a broad group it is a generalization and any statement made about them is too general to be accurate. Your statement claimed that some ill defined group has said that the UK would have to notify all members of the EU council would have to be notified, which is true, because the members of the European council are the respective leaders of each EU country, and also claims that someone said that wouldn’t happen, which I would very much like evidence for. Your conclusion is therefore the EU won’t allow Britain to leave, which is false. The EU has no interest in the current situation, they want to start the proceedings as fast as possible, but refuse any informal negotiations before article 50 is invoked. Currently the ball is in Britain’s court, but Cameron is resigning and wants his successor to deal with it. Meanwhile Boris Johnson says that there is no hurry to leave, and I haven’t heard anything from Nigel Farage.

        I disagree with your sentiment, that there is no common ground, there most definitely is common ground. It doesn’t matter which political view you have, if you are willing to listen to people with different political views than your own and try to find evidence that supports their view, you will find that they have a point. Not in everything and most certainly that evidence will fail to convince you but you will learn that the world is not black and white, that some arguments for different opinions can not be refuted and that just because your values differ, the other person isn’t bad.

        Your last sentence is the one that seems to confirm my opinion of you as someone who is so keen on seeing those fail that you dislike, that it has become more important to you that they fail, than making positive changes (though it would also be explained by a deliberate provocation in order to keep the discussion going). You hope it gets worse just because they will suffer and for that you are willing to let everyone suffer, that is exactly the kind of attitude that caused this inability to find common ground in the first place, because if you don’t even try to find it, there is no chance at all. This most likely had an impact on Brexit as well, with some people resenting the EU so much (partly caused by deliberate misinformation and general ignorance about what the EU is and does) they rather see the EU fail than work within it towards improvement. This is a kind of thinking that undermines the democratic process, which requires people with different political views to resolve their differences and work towards a common goal.

        Drowe

      • shrekgrinch June 28, 2016 at 5:52 am #

        Drowe,

        Sorry. There is no common ground on most major issues now. How can there be when one side believes abortion is murder and the other side openly mocks that view? Plus, unlike every other major nation in the world the abortion laws in the US were not legislated but imposed by unelected justices. And now the same side that pulled that off is trying to gut the Constitution regarding the 2nd Amendment via more extra-constitutional means (because they know they will never be able to amend the Constitution the proper way). If they don’t respect the Constitutional rights of other Americans, then why should those other Americans respect theirs? That is an example where there really can not be any compromise and how one side trying mightily to enforce it’s way contributes to the breakdown of trust on compromising on any other issue.

        He’ll, even Bernie understood that about guns despite how most of his followers did not.

        Same for guns(as already mentioned). Same for culture. How to raise one’s kids. Same for welfare spending. The States should be doing the welfare spending and education. The 10th Amendment is as clear as day about that. People living in South Dakota should not be paying taxes to provide welfare checks to people living in Arizona and vice versa.

        Cosmopolitanism never works in the long run. Live and let live via strict federalism does. The Swiss figured that out while the Yugoslavs did not. Based upon what you just wrote, on
        this we agree but I think for different reasons. Brits don’t really ‘get’ federalism because you’ve never really experienced a federal relationship with your government. It is not enough to just intellectually understand the term, you see.

      • Anarchymedes June 29, 2016 at 1:16 am #

        ‘It is just that the fundamental philosophical differences are so profound that there isn’t any room left for compromise.’

        And there I was some lines above, using the US as an example of true unity. 🙂 If it’s really that bad, should the two sides be forced to live together? Isn’t it like a forced marriage? No, even worse: like the punishment system outlined in Stanislav Lem’s Edem, whereby the individuals specifically chosen to be incompatible are condemned to live together and cooperate in order to survive?
        BTW, as a side note, my personal feeling is that it’s the same with the West and Islam in its present form, but I may be wrong on that.

  21. terry edmunds June 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Well thought out and well written, as.usual, Chris!!#

  22. Drowe June 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    @shrekgrinch
    Let me address your last sentence first, I’m not a Brit, I live and grew up in Germany, which does have a federal system.

    Your comment generally proves my point, both political parties in the US are at fault and neither party is doing the american people any favor by continuing this behavior.

    Frankly speaking the whole political system in the US is deeply flawed, which can be easily demonstrated by the fact that in presidential elections the vote of someone in California counts less than the vote of someone living in Rhode Island or any other low population state. But it’s easier to see the flaws in others than in oneself, so I won’t go point fingers while Germany has its own issues.

    I very much understand your anger towards liberals, because I’d resent it too if someone belitteld my opinions and beliefs, called me a racist and bigot or calls me ignorant and stupid. You know very well that those accusations are wrong, so it’s only natural to push back. (I’m assuming you’re conservative or libertarian, if not substitute your favorite insults towards your political views, the point remains the same)

    There are several reasons for the situation, but first and foremost the main problem is that you don’t try to understand each other, you have different values and even interpret the same values differently. A liberal can’t understand why someone would oppose gay marriage or a woman’s right to choose an abortion, because from his point view there’s nothing wrong with it. But to a conservative this is against his christian values, and he holds those values dear, that’s something liberals fail to recognize. The same is true for conservatives especially on economic issues like taxes and regulations. Government is spending too much, so it must cut spending but increased taxes are an anathema. Any policy that includes the word social is automatically associated with communism and belittled by conservatives. I can understand the mindset of conservatives on an intellectual level, why should you pay more taxes to support those who fail to make it? But at the same time my convictions say that helping those who fail get back on their feet is the right thing to do. And those who can contribute more should do so for the good of all. The fact of the matter is, both points of view are right to some degree. A social system is important, but it needs to both be sustainable and provide incentives to get off of welfare as soon as possible.

    As long as there is no open minded discussion between people with opposing political views there can be no compromise. And for that to happen there must be mutual respect. You must be willing to believe that the other side is not entirely wrong, you can not hold them in contempt, because as long as you do so, you will only ever look for flaws in each others beliefs, instead of working with each other to find a solution that both can live with.

    I do believe you are capable of that, your last comment proved that to me. You are not going to change your mind on your political views, and I certainly don’t want you to. Political diversity is important, because it is necessary for the democratic process. But as long as you are at least willing to listen to the other side and not just dismiss them as wrong, there can be common ground. Someone has to make the first step though, someone needs to start treating the other side with respect, fully aware, that the respect will not immediately be returned, but that eventually it will come. Why not be the one who starts?

    Greetings Drowe

    • Vapori June 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      What I don’t Understand why the so called EU elites are so unpopular in Britain. Maybe they are less concerned about the britisch people as many of them aren’t britisch. But then the Elites in the UK are much more isolated socially as in most European states.

      Both Boris Johnson and Cameron were at Eton College..
      same goes for most MP’s they were there or in Oxford and a few other locations.

      Whatever bad can be said over the elites in the EU. They are a lot more heterogen then most of the Political Establishment in Great Britain.

      • Drowe June 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

        This is a simple question with a highly complex answer. I doubt anyone can give a complete and entirely accurate answer. There are historical reasons, cultural reasons, political reasons and economical reasons, probably others as well.

        One often cited reason is the lack of accountability of european institutions, specifically the EU commission. Euroskeptics claim that this is undemocratic or if they really want to get people riled up they call it dictatorial or tyrannical, and to some degree, the undemocratic claim is not all that inaccurate (tyrannical or dictatorial however is wrong).

        Another reason is, that Britain never really saw itself as part of Europe, since 1066 there hasn’t been a successful invasion of the British mainland that would have introduced new cultural ideas from Europe (I’m not saying it didn’t happen at all, but it was more difficult), additionally, migration between mainland Europe and Britain was much more difficult than on the continent.

        Through its empire Britain was the last big superpower before the US and USSR took over, and Britain lost the empire after two exhausting world wars. Even though now hardly anyone who has actual memories of that time still lives. But at the time Britain joined the EU, people who remembered those times still were around and while the EU was desired by them, to prevent another war, they didn’t want to get too involved in the affairs of the continent they didn’t really feel they belonged to.

        Often governments who wanted to pass a law or regulation that wasn’t popular, allowed the EU to pass that law instead of passing it themselves, this allowed them to point the finger at Brussels and claim they have to implement it because of those undemocratic EU bureaucrats decided on it. This causes resentment among the population towards Brussels and let’s national politicians free from blame.

        Brussels on the other hand isn’t free from blame either. They have a tendency to pass unnecessary regulations and for a long time wasn’t accountable to the people at all, now this has changed somewhat, the commission can be disbanded by the democratically elected EU Parliament and while the commission are the only one who can propose laws, only the Parliament can enact them. But this change has not been communicated very well. Especially in Britain.

        There are more reasons, but I think you get the gist: it’s complicated

        Greetings Drowe

  23. puffin muffin June 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    I think we need an English parliament and then sideline the failures in Westminster.

    • shrekgrinch June 29, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

      IF the Brit Elites had any brains, they would have organized the Commonwealth as a global federal concern with Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as ‘Crown Domains’ along with the states of Australia, provinces of Canada, New Zealand, and all the smaller nations that wanted to join. Commonwealth House of Reps and a Senate in London. Senate would be like the US or Australian version, not Canadian. English Parliament in Winchester sans Scottish and Welsh lords and MPs. Welsh Assembly would have never have happened…they get their own full on parliament too.

      Trade, currency, national defense, national judiciary for Commonwealth crimes, foreign affairs would be the Commonwealth’s job. Everything else for the Crown Domains or Kingdoms.

      They could have done this back in the 50s when they were divesting the Empire. Kenya and Jamaica would still have left, probably. But most of the rest would have stayed in. Canada and Oz were mostly independent anyway and would have had to join in.

      But that is just another lost historical opportunity.

      • Drowe June 30, 2016 at 11:51 am #

        It’s an interesting idea, that’s for sure. Historians often engage in thought experiments where an event is altered from what historicly happened and try to figure out how that would change things. Some of those are published, if you find this scenario thought through, let me know.

        It is easy to employ hindsight and knowledge of current events to point out mistakes made in the past. But the people who made those decisions do not have this benefit. No one could have accurately predicted a century ago how rapidly the world would change. Claiming that the people who made those decisions were stupid is ignoring the fact that their reality was very different from the one we live in today. And it also fails to account for the possibility that this may not have been realistic at the time, who knows if the political climate would even have allowed that to happen. It’s not unlikely that in another century people will look back at us and our ideas and say the same thing about us. They may look back and ask why we were so stupid and believed free market capitalism was a good idea.

        Point is, we simply don’t live in the same reality as people in the past did, people make decisions based on outcomes they can envision at the time, not based on what the actual end result turns out to be.

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  1. Dealing With The Consequences of Your Own Stupidity II | The Chrishanger - January 21, 2017

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