Race you to the top

monkey trap

Good news! There is optimism in the air – unfortunately it seems to be emanating from the Leave camp.

Is that good news?

Paradoxically yes. Leave campaigners are now in effect held by the political equivalent of the South Indian monkey trick. They can’t let go of whatever Brexit nut they grabbed hold of in the tree because, to let go would mean they no longer have the certainty they believed they voted for. They got to this position because the referendum was really only half a decision. Coming to a crossroads and rejecting one route is not the same as deciding which route to take. The Brexit camp understood this. To win they employed a number of techniques most notably what I’d term ‘future curtailment’, i.e. reducing the argument to one point of direct concern to the voter and then ‘falsely’ attributing its negative effects to the EU. And, at no point did they offer an alternative. Many voters just simply filled in the blanks with whatever they thought most attractive to their world view and now they are waiting for that world to take substance (If only they could get that nut out).

Consequently, we hear “Just get on with it” for which we can read – ‘I’ve got hold of the nut now we just need to get my hand out of this hole’ or “Be optimistic” for which we can read – ‘I’ve got the nut and I’m sure someone will rescue me as I seem to have my hand stuck in this hole’.  The only way they’ll get their hand back seemingly is if they let go of the nut but, that might mean considering the decision as a bad one and therefore getting rid of the certainty.

Isn’t that all depressing rather than good news?

Well it could be except for the ‘future curtailment’ bit. Voters who have now (rightly or wrongly) registered their displeasure will soon get frustrated (that the nut ain’t coming out) and will, once they let go, have a blank space into which they’d want to re-introduce the certainty they are looking for.

So, if the last 9 months can be characterised by a race to the bottom – the time until the next general election may be a race to the top.

Now let’s give Theresa May due respect here as she seems to understand this and her first speech set out a ‘cake and eat it’ approach. I don’t think that is achievable against the background of Brexit and voters may bite if they detect further flannel. Also, there is a miscalculation here. If the Brexit vote had elements of protest, it was more about unfairness than self-interest.

Therefore, we need a different approach that surpasses that outdated politics. One that fills that blank space to invigorate an electorate with the British qualities of compassion, equitability and graft: exporting those attributes to whatever international organisations those people choose to be a part of. I am optimistic this is achievable and so should you be.

* Phil Craxford is a new member

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86 Comments

  • John Peters 18th Jul '16 - 9:43am

    I may be a monkey and share half an o-level with other monkeys but this monkey will never vote to remain in to the EU.

    By the way, if you wish to influence people, comparing them with monkeys may not be helpful.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 18th Jul '16 - 10:08am

    As a Brexit voter I’m pleased with the results so far…

    USA and Australia both want a trade deal, we have a PM who has promised to take us out the EU and govern the country for all people including those at the bottom, something that neither new labour or the coalition did. And our new PM while promising to get us out isn’t being rash. We’re leaving, things will be ok, it’s the new reality, you have to get used to it because the British people voted for it.

    We’re not going to get badly punished for leaving either by the sounds of things, Angela merkel won’t allow it.

  • John Peters.

    So if the ‘deal’ Davis and Johnson negotiate is more costly, we have only limited access to the single market (where 45% of our exports go) and we have to accept all and any terms with EU give us without any way of influencing them, you’ll be happy with that?

    What is the best deal we can negotiate is far worse than our present deal in the EU? Will you vote to accept that?

    Well, I won’t and I suspect an awful lot of others won’t either.

  • John Peters
    Rather proving one of the points Phil makes about letting go of the nut, I think.

  • Neil Sandison 18th Jul '16 - 10:33am

    Bit unfair on monkeys they eventually learn from their mistakes.

  • Leave won. Arguably the only monkey’s desperately clinging to a nut are in the remain camp. The logic seem to be “we’re the bestest monkeys, our nut is a special sacred nut, other monkey’s are just confused”.

  • Jenny Barnes 18th Jul '16 - 10:53am

    …and the star bellied sneetches
    had stars upon thars…
    Cat in the hat.

  • Mick Taylor

    We already know the best deal the EU can offer. That was rejected by the referendum.

  • The voters have voted for impractical things in the past, often for the strangest reasons, and this is just another one which we will have to accept and just make the best of it. Eventually mistake are corrected although there maybe costs in the meantime. Who knows the LEAVE side might turn out to be right but whatever the truth no Government could ignore the verdict of the majority in a democratic system so nothing can be done to change it without the passage of time and experience of the new arrangements.

  • Mick Taylor 18th Jul '16 - 1:34pm

    John Peters

    So you are prepared to accept second best, because believe you me David Davis won’t get us a better one.

  • John Peters 18th Jul '16 - 2:09pm

    I voted to leave the EU. That is the best option as far as I am concerned. I’m not interested in rehashing the pros and cons.

    My main point in posting was in suggesting that comparing Leave voters to monkeys is not a very sensible approach.

    I’m not convinced the Liberal Democrat’s have a winning strategy.

    “Poll: Voters do not want second EU referendum and think Theresa May should continue without general election”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/poll-second-eu-referendum-brexit-theresa-may-general-election-voters-a7140721.html

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 2:11pm

    John Peters

    I may be a monkey and share half an o-level with other monkeys but this monkey will never vote to remain in to the EU.

    Fine, so tell us what comes next that will deliver the massive improvements in people’s lives that the Leave campaign promised leaving the EU would give us. It’s up to you now.

  • Phil Craxford 18th Jul '16 - 2:25pm

    Thanks to all those who have taken the time to read this and for clarification, I am not comparing people to monkeys. I was merely using it as a metaphor to explain the logic.

    I’m not saying either side was or is better than the other. This is a message to everyone to move on, to give them the ‘hurry up’.

    Why?

    For Leave. Because Leave didn’t specify what leaving should look like before voting for it they have effectively signed a blank cheque for David Davies to form the UKs policy as he wants to see it and I suspect this is very different from what many Leave voters actually wanted. (Although some may be happy with it)

    For Leavers and Remainers, No party has a workable ideology. Labour is in flux and the Tories social reform is compromised by the cost of Brexit. Smaller parties are ‘coming about’ more quickly but I think there is still work to be done.

    You may be happy with the result of June 23rd but it was hardly Britain’s finest hour. So in my view, there is an opening for anyone who can turn the disappointment of the last 9 months into positive message based on principles but (for me) it needs to be far reaching. We don’t want to have to pass this way again.

  • John Peters 18th Jul '16 - 2:44pm

    Matthew Huntbach

    I reject your premise.

    It’s not up to me to tidy up after being kept in the EU against my wishes (along with quite a few of my countrymen). I’ll lay that duty squarely on the shoulders of the EU and those UK politicians who ignored my wishes for so long.

  • What happens if Brexit is an unqualified success. Would the money become King Kong?

  • Jane
    Is North Korea an unqualified success?

  • Manfarang,
    Why do you keep insisting Britain will become North Korea. We’ve opted to leave the EU not to become a dynastic Marxist dictatorship. There are plenty of other countries not in the EU, plenty of other Islands who are perfectly open without being tied to a big pseudo state.

  • ???? Sorry don’t compute.

  • Leave The EU 18th Jul '16 - 5:13pm

    ” There are plenty of other countries not in the EU, plenty of other Islands who are perfectly open without being tied to a big pseudo state.” e.g. Australia.

  • Rightsaidfredfan says

    “We’re not going to get badly punished for leaving either by the sounds of things, Angela merkel won’t allow it.”

    I suggest you take a little time to see what Angela did to and is doing too Greece and then rethink your statement.

    Oh and look up Frankfurt s plans

    Spearheading the campaign to persuade executives that Germany’s financial capital – the most important in continental Europe – should become the new London, is the city’s social democrat mayor, Peter Feldmann, who said Frankfurt was both “weeping and laughing” at the Brexit decision.

    “We’re sorry things have turned out like they have,” he told the Guardian. “But now this sovereign decision, which everyone now believes is irreversible, has been made we say we’re ready and waiting to provide the bankers with a new home.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/18/frankfurt-tries-to-tempt-the-bankers-fleeing-a-post-brexit-britain

  • Australia’s fortune is tied to that of China; if China sneezes Australia will die of pneumonia.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 5:32pm

    John Peters

    You are talking absolute nonsense.

    This is like we are driving a car to get to a destination. I say “I think we need to turn left”. You say “No, I think we need to turn right”. So we ask our passengers, and they say “We agree with John, let’s turn right”. So we turn right, and after that I say to you “OK, where do we go next?” and you say “Uh, dunno, that’s up to you”.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 18th Jul '16 - 5:38pm

    @Matthew

    It’s upto the government to negotiate a deal, not UKIP, not Brexit voters nor anyone else. In fact, nobody other than the government can tell us what happens next.

    Fortunately, the government (unlike the lib dems) have promised to respect the people’s choice so I’m sure they will get us a good deal.

    This site actually helped convince me Brexit was best when I read an article on here about why we should welcome turkey into the eu. At the time I thought that turkey should never be allowed in the eu and I would never want to be part of a political union with turkey. This helped me decide to vote for the otherside. The recent events in turkey prove to me that Brexit was right and those in favour of the eu and turkey joining were wrong.

  • Leave The EU 18th Jul '16 - 5:38pm

    @Matthew Huntbach – or like getting in a taxi and saying “A city essentially called UK independent democracy please.” Much later and against your wishes, you end up at “a city and superstate in the making called the EU” – who is at fault when the original location needs to be found?

    🙂

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 5:42pm

    Glenn

    Why do you keep insisting Britain will become North Korea. We’ve opted to leave the EU not to become a dynastic Marxist dictatorship.

    Well, ok, you answer the question. How is Britain going to get wonderfully better, as the Leave campaigners said it would, when we leave the EU? What is to be done to achieve that? I am asking this as a genuine question, because I don’t know myself, so I would expect those who campaigned for Leave to supply me with the answer.

    When I try to think about it, one way is to become much less reliant on trade with other countries, more self-dependent. I think this would be tough, and would require some sort of authoritarian top-down government to push it. North Korea is an extreme example, to be sure, but something at least part that way would be needed.

    Otherwise what? It would seem to me we are still in the hands of international big business, still run by people who import cheap labour to do the jobs because that’s easier than paying to train natives, still liable for them to run the business dry in order to live their lives of luxury in Monte Carlo or wherever and then close it down altogether.

  • Richard Underhill 18th Jul '16 - 5:45pm

    The minority in the 2014 Scottish referendum are not fully reconciled.
    The minority in the 2016 EU referendum are not fully reconciled.
    Leavers should not argue that Remainers should agree with them is democracy, it is not, it is an attempt to curtail freedom of speech. Many policies have been installed and reversed later. It is not possible to bind a future government.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 5:45pm

    Leave The EU

    or like getting in a taxi and saying “A city essentially called UK independent democracy please.”

    Oh yes, answer to all life’s problems, jump into a cab and say “Drive me to a land flowing with milk and honey where everyone is happy all the time”. And when the cab driver says “Er, how do I get there?” you say “Uh, dunno, that’s up to you”.

    That’s my point. Brexit won’t lead to the mythical land you lot claimed it would. You lied. Now you are being found out.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 5:52pm

    We just can’t return to a sort of 1950s golden age the Brexit people seemed to suppose leaving the EU would get us to. Sorry, the world has changed. Resources have been used up, the environment has degraded. Industry and business has come under global control. We aren’t a land of shopkeepers any more, the shops have closed down because people shop in big supermarkets these days. Privatisation has lost the control we used to have of so much business and services. There aren’t houses for everyone as in need as there was then because of the sale of council houses. There isn’t even the abundant available land to build more of them, at least not where they are needed. The NHS is hugely more expensive because people live many years longer, and there are many more ways of keeping them alive – at a cost. We have the internet.

    OK, so are none of you Leave people able to make at least a start in answering my question?

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 5:57pm

    Leave the EU

    ” There are plenty of other countries not in the EU, plenty of other Islands who are perfectly open without being tied to a big pseudo state.” e.g. Australia.

    Er, somewhat lower population density. That helps. So, do you start by reducing ours by chucking out all those EU citizens who are here?

  • John Peters 18th Jul '16 - 5:59pm

    Matthew Huntbach

    Surely a closer simile would be getting on a London bound bus in Birmingham and repeatedly asking to be let off when it started going to Glasgow – then on arrival refusing to pay the fare. Perhaps I should be asking for compensation.

  • Leave The EU 18th Jul '16 - 6:15pm

    @Matthew Huntbach – looks like a strawman argument – whoever argued that would happen? Rather, people said that at least we could take control and responsibility for where things would end up and the current EU destination looked like trouble. Unless you can support your statement, then it can be transparent to anyone that you are saying things you cannot substantiate.

    “Oh yes, answer to all life’s problems, jump into a cab and say “Drive me to a land flowing with milk and honey where everyone is happy all the time”. And when the cab driver says “Er, how do I get there?” you say “Uh, dunno, that’s up to you”.

    That’s my point. Brexit won’t lead to the mythical land you lot claimed it would. You lied. Now you are being found out.”

  • Glenn
    Actually other parts of the world are forming economic unions.
    Now that the government are looking to expand trade I can assure them there are indeed opportunities of increasing trade with North Korea.

  • Matthew.
    Personally, I think voting out of the EU is an end itself and I’m fairly comfortable with results so far. And really trying to reason that we will become even remotely like North Korea is just laughable.

    As for your argument about people wanting a return to the 1950s. Indeed the world has changed and now it’s just changed again. The world changes.

  • Glenn
    Actually in the 1970s North Korea was the industrialised part of the peninsula as was the north of England the industrialised part of England. Forget about Marxism think Confucianism.
    30 years ago who would have predicted that China would become the world’s second economy?

  • Manfarang,
    We both know that you are not really answering the question asked, which is why do you keep implying that Britain is going to become an extreme isolationist dictatorship like North Korea. IMO you are being as OTT as those who talk about the EUSSR.

  • 30 years ago who would have predicted that China would become the world’s second economy?

    All those who read the tea leaves and invested in “emerging markets” particularly those in Asia, of which China via Hong Kong was the biggest!

  • Just found out that the Parliamentary seat of Canterbury voted Remain.
    Sorry to interrupt but I needed to feel cheerful about something

  • Little Jackie Paper 18th Jul '16 - 9:24pm

    Huntbach – Mind if I have a go? I voted LEAVE, and I’d do it again tomorrow. I did not believe that leaving the EU would give us a land of milk and honey, and I know of no one that thought it would.

    Anyone who did think leaving the EU would solve all problems was dumb.

    What we have had for many years could loosely be termed, ‘the open agenda.’ Indeed, as you point out in an earlier post, ‘Industry and business has come under global control.’ The open agenda has been pushed zealously by all mainstream parties for decades. Now, of course, we should ask searching questions about UK governments over that time. It is quite true to point out that other EU countries don’t seem to have the problems we’ve had.

    However in saying that the EU and its direction is entirely of a piece with the open agenda and corporatism. Open borders, open flows of capital, open to foreign ownership and so on. This referendum was just about the only meaningful opportunity anyone had had to vote against, ‘open.’ Whether those of us that want something less open will actually get anywhere is doubtful – but at least the point was made loud and clear. And it is a point other electorates around the EU make too.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I also voted leave because as I look at the EU’s performance over the past decade there is not much to shout about. I get a sense from your posts that you weren’t exactly belting out Ode to Joy as you ticked the box?

    Yes, many have had a sweet deal out of open and the EU and I for one hope that when the dust settles people are accommodated in their ambitions. But please don’t ask me to tick the box for the EU on either its performance or because I believe in the full-blown open agenda as an inherently good thing.

    That, not some fantasy borrowed money for our bloated NHS is why I voted leave. I’m more than willing to let the dust settle before I start kicking off.

    I’ll sit back and let you tell me what a thicko I am now.

  • @Little Jackie Paper
    Excuse me but haven’t you just handed the country over to people who want to pursue this ‘open’ agenda even more vigorously?

  • Little Jackie Paper 18th Jul '16 - 9:43pm

    AndrewR –

    ‘Excuse me but haven’t you just handed the country over to people who want to pursue this ‘open’ agenda even more vigorously?’

    It’s certainly a concern. And I’d love a real UK party that does not slavishly follow open.

    However unless you are about to seriously tell me that ticking the, ‘more of the same please,’ box was a way to register my disapproval with the Open Agenda then I’m not sure what your point is.

  • LJP
    In terms of “open” v “closed”, I don’t think you wee being offered any box marked “closed”, and it is more than debatable that you were being offered anything substantially different regarding economic or capitalist systems. Surely what most of us (on our side of politics) want is a way of balancing the power corporate organisations have in globalised society. Surely the European Parliament at least offers some potential progress there? No purely British institutions do – they simply haven’t the clout.

  • Little Jackie Paper 18th Jul '16 - 10:18pm

    Tim13 – I assume you voted remain? Were you belting out Ode to Joy as you did so? Maybe you were, just as I look at the EU in the last 10 year I just could not bring myself to want more of the same.

    Look, I don’t know what to tell you. ‘Surely what most of us (on our side of politics) want is a way of balancing the power corporate organisations have in globalised society.’ OK, I also like motherhood and apple pie.

    As far as my limited social circles go REMAIN votes seemed to me to come from three lines of thinking

    1 – international capital needs a supranational institution to ‘tame,’ it.
    2 – the EU represents some sort of balance to an increasingly neoliberal world
    3 – the EU keeps Europe peaceful.

    As far as I can see 1 and 2 are based more on hope and crossed fingers than actual performance and 3 is reachy at best.

    Maybe you were on the sweet end of the deal, I don’t know. And if you think that the EU was all A-OK then that’s your view and you are entitled to it. Only please don’t tell me what to think.

  • Yet another post that starts from the premise that there were 17 million gullible idiots who were conned into voting Leave. Including a third of Lib Dems. It’s not helpful or constructive. We did not make the case for Remain well enough, we lost and we must now be fully engaged in getting the best possible Brexit solution. Whining about lies when Remain did its fair share will not change the result; it’s done.

    It is not a good idea to say to Leave you got us into this mess what next, you fix it. This was a 2 part question. In or Out? Answer, Out. Next, EFTA/EEA or North Korea or some point in between. Say when. Part 2 is far more complex and will be decided by Parliament and the Government not by referendum and we need to be influencing where the pointer stops. I do anyway. Where it stops, if we engage positively, is likely to be close to a Norway solution that will annoy many Brexiteers but carry support from a majority of MPs and voters with an opinion. If we leave it entirely to Leave then it’s far more likely to be WTO rules. May has 4 years to hit the Article 50 button and once she does, and she will, we’re out. But the closer we are to EFTA/EEA the easier it will be to rejoin.

    “so are none of you Leave people able to make at least a start in answering my question?”

    I’m Remain, I drink from a mug with the EU flag on it, not Leave but all those things you list are the same in or out of the EU aren’t they? Why are you asking Leave for answers, why aren’t you setting out an agenda to get second prize with a view to trading up in the future when the time is right?

    It’s easy to get the nut out of the jar anyway. Smash the jar. That’s what the monkey does if you don’t work with him to find a better way.

  • Little Jackie Paper 18th Jul '16 - 10:37pm

    Stevan Rose – ‘Yet another post that starts from the premise that there were 17 million gullible idiots who were conned into voting Leave.’

    Well indeed. There seems to be this idea doing the rounds that LEAVE somehow tricked or frightened people. What I think is closer to the truth is that a good portion of those 17m people were REPRESENTED. Until someone in REMAIN gets that we’ll get nowhere.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 10:49pm

    Little Jackie Paper

    Yes, many have had a sweet deal out of open and the EU and I for one hope that when the dust settles people are accommodated in their ambitions. But please don’t ask me to tick the box for the EU on either its performance or because I believe in the full-blown open agenda as an inherently good thing.

    I am not asking you or anyone to tick the box for the EU for the reasons you suggest or for any other reason. I am asking you to tell me what practical things you think can be done when we have left the EU that would make life better for most people.

    I am sorry, but I have seen the growth of the Brexit movement with its economic right-wing funders. What they are about is the exact opposite of what you think Brexit is about. If I thought Brexit might deliver what you seem to think it is about, I might have voted for it. I voted to Remain because I am absolutely sure it wouldn’t.

    The misery that people have been feeling is caused by the Thatcherite economics pushed by all governments since 1979. The Brexit campaign was a ruse to try and distract attention and make out it was caused by something else. It was run and funded by the country’s most extreme Thatcherites.

    If you want and believe Brexit could achieve something else, it is up to YOU who think that way to cause it to do so. Not just sit there saying “Duh, I dunno, we’ve got Brexit, that’s it”, which you are all doing. In that way, you hand control over to those extreme Thatcherites.

    Duhhhhhhh ….

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 10:59pm

    Little Jackie Paper

    What I think is closer to the truth is that a good portion of those 17m people were REPRESENTED.

    So, you are all Tories? You think Boris Johnson, Michael Gove et al represent you. Do you wear your “I love Maggie” badges with pride? You ought to. You voted for extreme Thatcherism. You voted for the line pushed by the Thatcherite press, THE Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express.

    If that’s not what you think, you had better hurry up and come up with an alternative because you have handed power over to that lot.

    And if you think that the EU was all A-OK

    No, I don’t. I have never said that. Just because I don’t see leaving the EU as doing anything to mend the damage caused by Thatcherite economics, unlike you lot, doesn’t mean I think everything about it is wonderful.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 11:05pm

    Stevan Rose

    Where it stops, if we engage positively, is likely to be close to a Norway solution that will annoy many Brexiteers but carry support from a majority of MPs and voters with an opinion.

    Yes, which means in practice almost no difference from what we have now.

    Yet when the Leave vote won, there we had the right-wing press going on about it being us freed from slavery, it being “independence day” and so on. So that suggests an expectation of some big changes. If there are to be big changes that warrant this sort of thing, I would like some details on how they are to come about. So why is it unreasonable, as I am being told, to ask those who voted Leave to give them? You believe it will make a big difference, and millions voted Leave because they were told it would, so prove your point by telling me how.

    If you can’t do it, that proves my point. You are all fools who were conned or liars who knew it wouldn’t deliver what your leaders suggested it would.

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Jul '16 - 11:10pm

    Stevan Rose

    Including a third of Lib Dems. It’s not helpful or constructive. We did not make the case for Remain well enough, we lost and we must now be fully engaged in getting the best possible Brexit solution.

    Sorry, but no. I think we must remain silent and let those who believe that Brexit will improve lives for the majority by showing us how.

    We lost the case, so now it is up to those who won to prove we were wrong. As I keep saying, go ahead and do that by telling us HOW Brexit is going to deliver all that those who voted for it thought it would.

    I am happy to accept that I may be wrong, but since I can’t myself see how, I want to leave it to those who think they know better than me to demonstrate. Go on, do it. But you aren’t, are you? The more you don’t, the more you prove my point.

  • Little Jackie Paper 18th Jul '16 - 11:16pm

    Huntbach –

    ‘The misery that people have been feeling is caused by the Thatcherite economics pushed by all governments since 1979.’

    Sure. No dispute there. This is not about one party or government.

    ‘No, I don’t. I have never said that.’

    Well, to be honest with you I’m at a loss for what you are saying. You say that you don’t think everything about the EU is wonderful. But apparently think that anyone wishing to leave is de facto Thatcherite scum. So what? Those of us with doubts are all to swallow hard and tick remain…because it tickles your fancy?

    ‘If I thought Brexit might deliver what you seem to think it is about, I might have voted for it. I voted to Remain because I am absolutely sure it wouldn’t.’

    Quite fair enough. Look, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this. I do think some people (on both sides of this debate) need to seriously wise up if that’s what you mean.

    ‘You voted for extreme Thatcherism.’

    Don’t tell me what I voted for or why.

    ‘The Brexit campaign was a ruse to try and distract attention and make out it was caused by something else. It was run and funded by the country’s most extreme Thatcherites.’

    The CAMPAIGN might have been. I paid no attention to that, I know few that did. I assume I’m allowed to form my own views?

    Regardless, I shall leave the last word to you if you want it.

  • Little Jackie Paper 18th Jul '16 - 11:18pm

    Huntbach – ‘But you aren’t, are you? The more you don’t, the more you prove my point.’

    Oh knock the chip off your shoulder.

  • Matthew Huntbach

    I’m getting a little lost in the narrative on just how I’ve been made to look such a fool.

    You seem to be saying the Referendum Leave vote was a Tory plot. They arranged that the bulk of their MPs pretended to be for Remain. I guess that’s why the Lib Dems wanted to insist that MPs vote on Article 50 before it is triggered. But now the true low cunning of the Tory plan has been exposed. They are all now for Leave. This was a deep conspiracy. Nothing to do with the Tory election pledge to implement the referendum result regardless of whether it was Leave or Remain. No wonder you seem upset. Would an ePetition help?

  • I would say that I’ve seen YouTube clips of young remain voters claiming the best thing about the EU is NHS and another convinced Brexit will mean the end of Nando’s. So I don’t know if us Leavers have the monopoly on irrationality.

  • “But the closer we are to EFTA/EEA the easier it will be to rejoin.”
    There seems to be some misunderstanding in some circles that Ukip has gone away, now that the vote to leave is won. The Tories are under no such illusion. There is an uneasy calm for Theresa May, whilst she is in her honeymoon period. But she knows, the pitchforks are not back in the barn just yet.
    EEA is a very liberal ‘fudge’, but it does not solve the core issues that brought about the referendum in the first place. If there’s any attempt by Theresa Maybe/Maybe-Not, to slide back from a true Brexit, into something resembling a fudge, she knows full well, that in 2020 or sooner, a re-branded Ukip, will,.. Let loose the dogs of war,.. on any constituency seat which is not securely nailed down. Theresa May has a vote headroom of 12. Labour are in no fit state to do much about that,… but Ukip are,.. and will eat Labour’s lunch.
    This is not finished.

  • Glenn,
    I remember in my youth talking to people who lived in Germany in the 1930s. It was inconceivable that something like they experienced could ever happen in Britain. In recent years I am now not so sure. Do not misunderstand me I wish for a proper democracy in Britain but there are signs of ugliness now which leave me unsure.

  • @Manfarang that’s because the liberal left have over-stepped the mark on migration. Unless you think that Justin Trudeau is some xenophobe. Lib Dems have got to stop this `Pollyanna act`thinking that everything is kum-ba-yah 70s hippy.

    We’ve gone past `peak liberal` on migration. The country wants controls on it – just like in other countries like Liberal Trudeau Canada. Until the Lib Dems stop thinking this as racist particularly against those at the bottom of the employment heap and the `new liberals` who have done an intellectual journey on it they won’t progress.

    The Left has got to stop telling the well-to-do and young idealistic people what they want to hear – they need to compromise with history and lay out their own liberalism that appeals on a one nation level.

  • Jane
    Canada is a nation built on immigration.
    From outside the EU immigration is heavily controlled to the point where restrictions are placed on British citizens who marry a foreign spouse. Remember overseas students are not immigrants as such as nearly all of them will leave after they complete their studies. British universities are kept financially afloat by these students.
    Free movement gives or gave young people opportunities to work in other EU countries.
    I hope those at the bottom of the heap in Britain can be given education and training to get better jobs. I did it they can do. There are barriers of deep prejudice to overcome, it can be an exhausting process but untiring effort will yield rewards eventually.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 5:45am

    Little Jackie Paper

    Oh knock the chip off your shoulder.

    What chip?

    I am asking you and others who support Brexit to explain to me why I am wrong. You clearly believe I am, and I may be. Perhaps there is a way that Brexit will lead to improved lives for most people. It’s just that I can’t see how. So I am asking you lot. And you seem unable to tell me. I find that rather alarming.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 6:09am

    Manfarang

    I hope those at the bottom of the heap in Britain can be given education and training to get better jobs. I did it they can do. There are barriers of deep prejudice to overcome,

    Yes, there is deep class prejudice. It can mean employers would rather employ an immigrant than someone from a working class British background. The left on this country doesn’t want to admit things like this.

    In any case, suppose as an employer you have a choice: someone from the bottom quartile of ability from Britain or someone from the top quartile of another country? Who are you going to take? Suppose you have a choice: pay taxes to train people here, or pay nothing an import people trained in other countries?

    I have argued again and again with people who supported Remain and who dismiss those who voted Leave as motivated only by racism, that they are wrong and that they don’t understand the genuine fears of those who voted Leave. I was in a meeting at work the other day where I spent most of my time doing just that.

    Now you see why I have largely stopped contributing to LibDem Voice. I always find myself in a position where in any argument I am arguing against both sides, and each side just seems to think of me as being an uncritical supporter of the other.

    I hope having put this point that the people I have been arguing with here can see more clearly what I am saying and why. Those who led and funded Brexit want more immigration, not less, because they want to be able to bring in more non-EU immigrants. Sure, they got votes from those who thought the opposite, and cynically worked it in order to get those votes. But when they talk in their own circles, it’s very different.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 6:13am

    Glenn

    And really trying to reason that we will become even remotely like North Korea is just laughable.

    Well, let’s see what Little Jackie Paper wrote: “Open borders, open flows of capital, open to foreign ownership and so on. This referendum was just about the only meaningful opportunity anyone had had to vote against, ‘open.’”.

    North Korea does not have open borders, open flows of capital, openness to foreign ownership and so on. So, LJP has is quite right, if Brexit is to deliver what those who voted for it want, it must move to a more closed society, and that does mean moving in the direction where North Korea is the far end of the spectrum.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 6:44am

    I have seen it put that the reason German industry is so successful is that strong employment protection laws in Germany mean companies have to train and develop their workers, whereas in the UK when things get difficult companies just sack them and run down.

    Now this shows how very wrong the Brexit campaign was when it suggested we are “ruled” by the EU who make most of our laws. When I see how different the laws over employment are in Germany, I sometimes wish that was the case! There are no EU laws that compel us in this country to train our people.

    The line that was continually used by the Remain campaign that at times almost persuaded me to vote the other way was “We need to be in the EU because our NHS relies on workers from the EU”. Duhhh, can’t they see the problems with that? How can an economy be sustainable if it relies on immigrants for basic services, the sort of standard jobs that people at the lower end of the ability spectrum would in the past have taken (because they don’t just mean bringing in people with rare specialist medical skills – they mean people like cleaners and basic carers)?

    We aren’t like Canada. We don’t have huge amounts of empty land. We just can’t take in another few million every generation as that line says we have to do. There’s a problem, it needs to be resolved rather than just to accuse those who are worried about that problem as being motivated only by racism.

  • Peter Watson 19th Jul '16 - 8:05am

    @Matthew Huntbach “There’s a problem, it needs to be resolved rather than just to accuse those who are worried about that problem as being motivated only by racism.”
    I completely agree, and elsewhere, David Allen described this problem very well (https://www.libdemvoice.org/its-time-to-be-positive-about-immigration-51322.html#comment-409810).
    I can only assume that having ignored the issues for years, and with politicians generally being on the side of the fence that benefits from a supply of cheap trained labour, the dismally negative Remain campaign chose the easy approach of shouting “Racist” rather than address genuine concerns. Even after the result of the referendum, Lib Dems seem more comfortable continuing to fight that campaign, dismissing 17 million voters as gullible fools. I would prefer to see the party fighting for the sort of measures that would make membership of the EU or the EEA something that more people would support.

  • Paul Murray 19th Jul '16 - 8:40am

    @Matthew Huntbach – I would suggest that the reason why German industry is so successful is largely down to the cultural phenomenon of mittelstand – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mittelstand.

    As is often the case, this word is not exactly translatable into English, although the wiki definition bullets makes it clear that it is *not* the same as Anglo-Saxon “SME”. As the wiki article says: The Mittelstand acts as a counterpoint to a singular focus on shareholder value and dispersed investor-orientated shareholding..

    The culture of mittelstand may lead to the expectation of tough employee protection laws – but the laws follow from the practice, not the other way around. British industry could learn a great deal from German industrial practice, but it requires more a significant cultural shift than top-down legislation. A commitment to develop and embed a mittelstand-like culture in the UK would be an interesting proposal for a Lib Dem manifesto.

  • Matthew,
    I was unaware Little Jackie Pepper had become PM!
    The N. Korea comparisons are just alarmist hyperbole. Most of the world is not in the EU.

  • David Garlick 19th Jul '16 - 8:55am

    Wow! Just look what you’ve started now Phil….

  • Little Jackie Paper

    “Oh knock the chip off your shoulder”

    So you can’t answer Matthew Huntbach questions and revert to this.

    Game set and match Huntbach.

    P.S Jackie thanks for voting for the pig in a poke option. If you’d like to describe what the pig looks like and what a fine pig it will grow up to be feel free. Personally I think you’ve bought a brick in a poke.

  • Glenn you broke it you own it. So come on how are you going to fix it and make life better for us all. But I have no power says Glen, err sorry Glenn you had the power to pull us out of the EU and used it, so go on what should we do now?

  • Glenn
    Of course Asian countries are very different from European ones but North Korea is as much strongly nationalist as it is Marxist. In fact since the collapse of the Soviet Union the pictures of Marx have been taken down there.
    The EU is outward looking. It has offices in other parts of the world and trading agreements with many countries. As I have said other parts of the world are forming economic unions.
    It seems Leave voters are concerned about the absence of well paying jobs available to them but being outside the EU won’t change that. The Exiters ‘trading with the world’ seems to mean mostly trading with other English speaking countries.
    Britain as a country is living beyond its means. Beggars can’t be choosers.
    My guess is a treaty will be negotiated which will give free access to the EU market but much of the free movement will be retained as the price for this.

  • Manfarang
    You are just stretching the N. Korea stuff. Virtually everywhere is outward looking and has offices all over the world. Most of the EU stuff is barely over ten years old. The right to reside is from what from 2004?
    Anyway it’s spilt milk. We’re heading out and I for, one, am very pleased about it.

  • Glenn
    Sure, the British mercantile marine carried much of the world’s trade. It doesn’t today though.

  • Christopher Haigh 19th Jul '16 - 11:53am

    @Manfaring. I agree. What we need is an arrangement with the EU exactly as it is now except that we don’t have to send people like Nigel Farrage or anyone else to take part in the running of it.

  • Phil Craxford 19th Jul '16 - 12:05pm

    @David Garlick – Sorry I thought I was helping. We seem to be caught up in the vortex again.

    To all who have responded to this I’m guessing (either good or bad) it’s resonated with you in some way. As I said in the original blog I’m really looking to those who can reunite us so that we all feel we are working to something more worthwhile. ‘Future Amplification’ if you like.

  • Phil Craxford

    As that is your intention then the monkey metaphor was indeed unfortunate.

    May I also point out that as you did not intend to say either side was right or wrong the following also has questionable phrasing.

    “Good news! There is optimism in the air – unfortunately it seems to be emanating from the Leave camp.

    Is that good news?”

  • Frankie.
    I don’t think anything has been broken.
    IMO, we’ve simply left a dysfunctional anti democratic failing super state only formed in 1993 (without ever being put to the electorate) and gained independence. I’m quite happy to own that.

  • David Allen 19th Jul '16 - 1:11pm

    “It’s not up to me to tidy up after being kept in the EU against my wishes … I’ll lay that duty squarely on the shoulders of the EU and those UK politicians who ignored my wishes for so long.”

    Translation: “When Brexit goes pear-shaped (as I secretly fear it will, though I don’t want to admit it), I’ll blame the Remainers, not the Leavers. Y’see, the Big Lie works, Boris has proved it!”

    “Personally, I think voting out of the EU is an end itself and I’m fairly comfortable with results so far.”

    Translation (on falling past the upper windows of the Empire State Building) “Well hey, it’s OK so far!”

    “I voted LEAVE, and I’d do it again tomorrow. I did not believe that leaving the EU would give us a land of milk and honey, and I know of no one that thought it would. Anyone who did think leaving the EU would solve all problems was dumb.”

    Fine, so some of you Leavers out there are reasonable rational people who don’t go in for Big Lying, massive self-deception and wishful thinking. We should engage with what you say and accept that many of your points have some validity. But, just don’t go thinking that it was rational argument that won it for Leave. It woz the Big Lies wot wun it!

    That was a national disgrace, and that will have to be overturned.

  • Denis Loretto 19th Jul '16 - 1:20pm

    So much of this and other similar threads seem to get down to re-fighting the referendum. What matters now is how we (and by “we” I mean remainers like me and leavers who turned out to be rather more numerous) can find the best (or least worst) way forward for our country and in particular for those who have benefited least from what we call economic progress.

    If as I think this means getting as close as possible to the EU single market and given the likelihood of that requiring freedom of movement I think we must seek change not just in the UK’s relationship with the EU but within the EU itself. At last this morning I have read an article in the Guardian which not only takes up this point but also argues that it is not an impossibility. Here it is – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/19/second-referendum-britain-eu-leaders-listen

  • John Peters 19th Jul '16 - 1:30pm

    David Allen

    2020 Manifestos

    Tory: Can’t we at least try to balance the books.

    Labour: There is no problem which can’t be solved by spending some one else’s money.

    Liberal Democrat: Hey, this EU thingy is great, let’s get some more of that.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 7:42pm

    John Peters

    You seem to be saying the Referendum Leave vote was a Tory plot. They arranged that the bulk of their MPs pretended to be for Remain.

    No, I have not said this at all. There was a division in the Tories on this. Those who were in favour of Remain were the more right-wing ones.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 7:42pm

    Sorry, I meant those in favour of Leave were the most right-wing ones.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Jul '16 - 7:56pm

    Paul Murray

    @Matthew Huntbach – I would suggest that the reason why German industry is so successful is largely down to the cultural phenomenon of mittelstand –

    Yes, I am well aware of this. But I could hardly write whole document going all through it in the short space a LDV comment gives us, could I?

    The point is, if the EU imposes laws on all its countries and they are our main rulers, as the Brexit campaigners allege, how come it is so different in Germany than it is here? And why do those who voted Leave think that leaving from an international organisation involving countries like Germany with this sort of decent attitude towards workers, and so putting compete control into the hands of extreme economic right-wingers, is going to help make life better here for workers?

    By the way, look at the quote here (bottom right of first page) from Douglas Carswell. Here he is, arguing that foreigners should be able to buy up British companies and do what they like with them. Like close them down to remove competition. Er, how does this fit in with “UK Independence”? Looks to me like the one MP who is supposedly in the party that stands for that actually stands for selling the UK off to foreign control.

  • Of course the USA & Australia want a trade deal. in the case of Australia they desperately need one to replace the deal they already have with the UK through the EU. The idea that was put around by Brexiteers that the EU stopped Britain trading around the world was rubbish. You can of course argue that we can negotiate different deals on our own but they won’t necessarily be better deals. Already businesses are getting nervous that we will end up having to give away more to these countries in bi-lateral deals than we did through EU collective deals.

  • Matthew Huntbach 21st Jul '16 - 7:42am

    Glenn

    I was unaware Little Jackie Pepper had become PM!

    No, but at least she has come up with something that indicates how Brexit might work – unlike you.

  • Matthew Huntbach 21st Jul '16 - 7:43am

    John Peters

    Tory: Can’t we at least try to balance the books.

    Labour: There is no problem which can’t be solved by spending some one else’s money.

    Liberal Democrat: Hey, this EU thingy is great, let’s get some more of that.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some intelligent people here that we could have serious discussions with?

  • Matthew Huntbach 21st Jul '16 - 8:04am

    Little Jackie Paper

    You say that you don’t think everything about the EU is wonderful. But apparently think that anyone wishing to leave is de facto Thatcherite scum.

    No, that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that the Brexit campaign was led and funded by extreme Thatcherites whose main grudge against the EU, if you look at what they say among themselves, is its potential for blocking extreme Thatcherism by setting common standards for things such as employment protection laws, consumer standards and environmental protection.

    Of course they did not put it this way to the bulk of the population. When they talked about the EU stopping “us” from having control they did not indicate that by “us” they meant “us the extreme Thatcherites”. I felt it was terrible to see so many people voting “Leave” and doing so explicitly stating that it was because they were against big money rule, and yet not realising it was the most extreme faction of big money rule that was behind the Brexit campaign.

    We have already seen big companies play one country off against another, insisting they will take their money and jobs elsewhere if any country tries to take control of its economy and insists on high standards and taxation of big companies to pay for decent state services. I believe we need international co-operation to challenge that. I was extremely concerned to see the misleading way that sort of international co-operation was written off by the Brexit campaigners.

    It is extremely frustrating not to be able to have a serious discussion on these issues, because as soon as you take the line that you accept membership of the EU, you get written off in the way John Peters has used in his silly “2020 manifesto” comment.

  • Matthew,
    You just become rude when people disagree with you.

  • John Peters 21st Jul '16 - 1:05pm

    Matthew Huntbach

    That is how I summarise the aims of those parties.

    Why don’t you spend a few minutes and come up with your own summary. What are the differences to mine? How do you persuade the electorate that the Lib Dem summary is the one to choose.

    To me it seems the Lib Dems have decided to become unelectable by prioritizing policies which are irrelevant to the voters. That doesn’t concern me, I just wonder if it’s intentional.

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