Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 25, 2016

The Imminent Dodging Of Brexit - A Gift For The Fascist Right

We claimed that BREXIT - is not gonna happen and pointed to a propaganda campaign (see further examples in the comments there) launched to reverse the Brexit votes. Within that campaign two memes get pushed:

First, young voters feel cheated of their future because some old, grumpy people voted for Brexit. Well, these young voters of age 18 to 24, tearfully interviewed by the BBC and Channel 4, constitute only 5% of the electorate. Only a third of them voted at all, 70% of those 1/3 of 5% for "Remain". This is a small part, and a not very interested one, of the population. Who are they to deserve some special attendance?

The second meme pushed is the "success" of some petition for a #ReverseBrexit vote someone set up on the UK parliament website. It now has more than a million "signatures". That is a lot in a short time frame. But wait, any dog on the Internet can "sign" that petition provided it has some throw-away email address. I, a German in Germany, "signed" to test the procedure. It took me about 30 seconds.

This propaganda campaign will not have any tangible success, but it sets a certain atmosphere which then will be used to stall the exit process.

The EU exit mechanism is build in a way that allows for an endless postponement of the actual procedure. This is the way the British politicians will likely take. The Jack of Kent Blog explains how this works:

The UK did not [immediately] send to the EU the notification under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on European Union which would have commenced the withdrawal process.

The Article 50 process is the only practical means by which the UK can leave the EU.
And so unless and until the Article 50 process is commenced and completed, the UK will stay as a member of the EU.

In short: no Article 50, no Brexit.
And it is entirely a matter for the Member State to choose whether to make the notification and, if so, when.

The UK immediately filing Article 50, as Cameron once promised, would trigger a two year long negotiation period with the EU which would end with the legal exit independent of the negotiation results. After filing Article 50 the clock would run down to the deadline likely without any serious concession from the EU. The UK has therefore an interest to negotiate before filing Article 50. To negotiate before filing is its only chance to apply some pressure.

But the EU has no reason, or legal basis, to negotiate at all before the UK files. Why should it make concessions to a divorce letter that was not filed and may not ever arrive?

It is a stalemate situation. The powers that are against Brexit will use this to blockade any move.

The six founding EU members claim to push Britain to file the Article 50 application immediately. But that is just playing to the gallery. In reality they want the never ending stalemate:

There is no desperate rush for Britain to trigger the process for it to leave the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, leaving London some space to work out its next move after a referendum vote to leave the bloc.

Despite the British voter decision for Brexit business as usual will continue with absolutely no change in sight:

Jack of Kent:

It is not impossible to imagine that the Article 50 notification will never be made, and that the possibility that it may one day be made will become another routine feature of UK politics – a sort of embedded threat which comes and goes out of focus. The notification will be made one day, politicians and pundits will say, but not yet.

And whilst it is not made, then other ways of solving the problem created by the referendum result may present themselves: another referendum, perhaps, so that UK voters can give the “correct” result, or a general election where EU membership is a manifesto issue, or some other thing.

This will not please Leave campaigners, and rightly so. It means the result of the referendum will be effectively ignored.

While this may be a convenient way forward for the EU bureaucrats and the politicians committed to neo-liberal globalization, the damage in the long run will be much more severe than a chaotic Brexit procedure.

Brexit will join a number of other issues on which the democratic will of the people has been ignored. This further de-legitimizes the EU and whatever it undertakes.

People who argue that a violent overthrow of the system is the only way forward will gain credibility.

The aborted Brexit will also give further impetus to the hard-rightwing parties currently cropping up in several European countries. These parties ostensibly cater to the "small people" who feel unrepresented and on the economic losing side. But the economic programs of these parties are anti-social and would only further inequality. They (ab-)use the grievance of the poor and middle class to gain even more power for the rich.

What is missing in Europe are leftwing parties that take the romantic longing for local nationalism - in opposition to bone-crushing globalization - seriously and merge it with socialist policies. The social-democrats once had that role but under Blair, Schroeder and Hollande they waft away into the anti-nationalism, neo-liberal globalization sphere. Nationalism has, for them, become a dirty word. This at the time as nationalism gains new popularity as the anchor for common people lost in the sea of neo-liberal arbitrariness.

The space left empty by them will be filled by fascism.

Posted by b on June 25, 2016 at 14:32 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: jfl | Jun 26, 2016 7:51:37 PM | 94

The Financial Times keep their content behind a firewall. But it's not that difficult to access it so long as you can use google.

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jun 27 2016 6:46 utc | 101

john pilger says this is democracy at its best !

so would the 'dear leader' allow a referendum to decide whether to go to war when the next r2plunder opportunity pop up ? [1]

just kidding,

Posted by: denk | Jun 27 2016 6:51 utc | 102

@96 james

I thought Greenwald's take was standard rhetoric, leading nowhere ...

Brexit — despite all of the harm it is likely to cause [1] and despite all of the malicious politicians it will empower [2] — could have been a positive development. [3] But that would require that elites (and their media outlets) react to the shock of this repudiation by spending some time reflecting on their own flaws, analyzing what they have done to contribute to such mass outrage and deprivation, in order to engage in course correction. [4] Exactly the same potential opportunity was created by the Iraq debacle, the 2008 financial crisis, the rise of Trumpism and other anti-establishment movements: This is all compelling evidence that things have gone very wrong with those who wield the greatest power, that self-critique in elite circles is more vital than anything. [5]

[1] The harm has already been caused to the people who voted Brexit, now some measure of that harm may reach the people whose greed and arrogance brought about the harm in the first place and Brexit in its wake, yet the 'elite' insist they will have none of it! It is not their role to suffer in the least, it is the role of the those 'beneath them' to suffer, as it always has been. People won't stand for anymore of that.
[2] The 'malicious politicians' are already in power. Have been for at least two decades. It is true that they will become more malicious. That is the nature of malice and is why they must be removed from power.
[3] Can still be a positive development! Will be, if we collectively stir our stumps and cause that to happen. A change of governments in Britain would be a good start, rather than sitting on our hands, waiting for the conservatives to test the iron and find it cool and the force for change dissipated.
[4] Greenwald, a card-carrying member of the 'elite journalist' crowd himself, still insists that the 'elite' are unmindful of what they have done ... that all the harm they have caused is just an 'unintended consequence' of their greed, which is good, after all, that their program just needs a little fine-tuning. This is absolutely wrong. The 'elite' know exactly what they have done and are doing and intend doing more of the same : all for them, none for 'the rest'. Waiting for top-down change is absurd. It will never, ever come about.
[5] Yes the evidence of the ruthless malfeasance is overwhelming, in every sphere ... to think that 'elite' self-critique is 'vital' for change to come about is to await the resurrection of the dead. It will never happen.

His long article is nothing but a summary of the commentary that has gone on here and elsewhere for a decade and more. If change is to come about it must come from us. The 'elite' view us as standing between them and the realization of their plans.

It is no accident that they have murdered and displaced millions over the last 16 years, that their vision of the future involves perpetual warfare and that as a result all the world's riches will fall into their hands. This is no accident, this is the program.

Forget the 'elite'. The only way things will change is if we change them.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 27 2016 7:01 utc | 103

@101 im

Having to pay for something on the internet is a flag of its lack of worth. None of the Wall Street Journal's stuff is worth the paper it's not printed on. The paywall is there just to keep the illusion of value before all those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Not worth the time to google up a reposting, in my experience.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 27 2016 7:08 utc | 104

re 73

And if the vote had been the other way 52% remain and 48% leave would you be saying the same thing?
Not surprising to see unthought-out quips from partisans. To make it quite clear, there's a little difference between "no-change" and "massive upheaval". On a democratic value level, if you want a massive upheaval, you have to be able to justify it, and not run a campaign full of lies, that were immediately rowed back on once the vote was over. The voters were conned; they were voting for possibilities that were not open to them. I've never seen that done so openly before - it's bad news for Western so-called democracy.

In any case, the Outers, if they lost, were constantly threatening new referenda into the endless future.

The case of the Welsh is the most well known. Guys were interviewed in front of EU-funded projects replacing the industries destroyed by Thatcher, bringing employment to the town, and they were still voting Brexit, even when pointed out that they would be unemployed again, and London would do nothing for them.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27 2016 7:08 utc | 105

re Noirette 78

a close result was perfectly predictable from the start, and nobody peeped a bloody word. (Getting into talking British..) Cameron pushed it ahead.
The leaders on both sides are Tory idiots, playing political games. Nobody, repeat Nobody, made any preparations for what would happen if Out won. You can see the way they've all gone quiet - no plan in evidence

I base my judgement that no second vote will be forthcoming
You may well be right, that none will happen. It doesn't mean that such a result would have democratic legitimacy.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27 2016 7:36 utc | 106

@ Posted by: jfl | Jun 27, 2016 3:08:04 AM | 104

Knowing what your enemies are doing and saying and thinking is always worth it. Enjoy your purity and your impotence.

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jun 27 2016 7:59 utc | 107

@ Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27, 2016 3:08:30 AM | 105

All that information was made available to the electorate again and again and again by an establishment desperate to prevent a vote for exit. The electorate chose to agree with the exit campaign and voted by a clear majority for exit.

And spare us please your "unthought-out quips from partisans" ad hominems you have no idea whether I'm a socialist or a conservative and no idea whether I supported the exit or the remain campaigns.

The fact remains that a majority of the electorate voted for exit. They were warned time and time again that doing so would have dire consequences by one side and told time and time again that voting for exit would bring beneficial changes by the other. Then they made their choice. There was plenty of information available on the consequences of either result.

They voted for exit as was their right now you want to undermine that democratic decision. You're no different from the outers with their threats of constant referenda until they got the result they wanted.

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jun 27 2016 8:09 utc | 108

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27, 2016 3:36:28 AM | 106

It doesn't mean that such a result would have democratic legitimacy.

Since when did you become the arbiter of what constitutes democratic legitimacy?

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jun 27 2016 8:13 utc | 109

b, "What is missing in Europe are leftwing parties that take the romantic longing for local nationalism - in opposition to bone-crushing globalization - seriously and merge it with socialist policies."

Whatever it is that is needed, TPTB supply a counterfeit and that counterfeit occupies the space and steals the support needed by the actual alternative, thus blocking it. Again and again we are fooled by this. Like Tsipras.

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 27 2016 10:59 utc | 110

There are many things worth paying for on the internet. Those who invest their time and resources to do good research must eat too.

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 27 2016 11:03 utc | 111

Brexit as the "will of the people" has one basic flaw: it promises to do something that the evil Brussels did not allow to do without specifying what that would be.

Example 1: EU probably wrongly embarked on liberalization of trade with China and other cheap labor countries, leading to de-industrialization, loss of jobs away from financial/service centers etc. But UK embarked on that direction first, if I recall, and Tory "outers" want to continue it. Blue collar Brexit voters probably wish opposite policies.

Example 2: EU imposes "excessive worker rights" according to UK right wing. And "excessive human rights".

Example 3: EU imposed free movement of workers who are citizens of EU. That was done in stages, and UK jumped first at the opportunity of having cheaper workers before it was required. Because the awful EU operates by consensus, the changes were blessed by UK. Now there is no consistent program if and how it would change after the exit.

Example 4: EU has immigration crisis caused by massive human dislocation, in part because of civil wars fomented by a subset of member countries, most notably, UK. Those civil wars were not an EU project. UK "immigration situation" is not particularly related to that, and more to the colonial past.

Example 5: EU takes some money from UK because of programs to develop poorer regions like Wales (but of course, mostly in the eastern part of EU). But it also collects some money from countries that have the "privilege of free trade" with EU. The delicious contradictions are what would UK (or English) government do with 10 billion pounds to spare. Boris Johnson mentioned that it could be spent of national health service, but that was obviously mendacious rhetoric.

In short, Brexit's goals are happiness and prosperity for UK. You could as well replace the established religions of the united kingdoms (different in each) with Scientology -- justification would be exactly the same, and connection with the means equally vague.

Concerning "democratically expressed will", there is that. But there is also the aspect that changes of constitutional nature should not be too frequent, hence, they should not be to easy.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 27 2016 11:21 utc | 112

rg the lg @ 22,
"Individuals, whether the so-called 1%, or the alleged 99%, are simply complicit in the destruction of the earth."
Destruction of the earth! Try at least to be selective in the propaganda you believe. No one has proven you wrong? There's nothing to disprove. You didn't make your case.
Kalen @ 25,
You clever thing! What you've written is persuasive. I wondered how it was that TPTB were unable to make the vote-count fraudulent. They're using it as a negotiating tactic to get perks for the bankers. Of course!

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 27 2016 11:33 utc | 113

Posted by: jfl | Jun 26, 2016 7:49:12 PM | 93

Brexit was a Conservative Party Upperclass scam. These people do know each other from the schools they went to. Do you really believe poor people would profit from England leaving the EU with a Conservative or right wing UKIP party in place? As is the EU austerity party has lost, good for EU, but English people won't profit from it. And they seem to have triggered Brexit without a plan.

I had not watched British politics for a while. The way the media and Cameron think they can publicly shame and bully Corbyn is out of the last century (probably -ies).

Posted by: somebody | Jun 27 2016 11:37 utc | 114

@103 jfl.. i thought it was a good summary, but i get your point.. if more people say what he is saying, it might not change how the elite, or establishment operate, but then again more people will be aware of how they are being had..

@104 jfl.. i agree strongly with you there!

@107 irony maiden.. funny response to @104! we all want to be omnipotent like you, lol.. and @109 - good point!

Posted by: james | Jun 27 2016 15:08 utc | 116

So damn true, and it is great to have the need straightforwardly articulated: "What is missing in Europe are leftwing parties that take the romantic longing for local nationalism - in opposition to bone-crushing globalization - seriously and merge it with socialist policies."


To bad it is only articulated here and not anywhere else in the leftosphere.

Posted by: fairleft | Jun 27 2016 16:30 utc | 117

i have worked in the city of london many times and it would seem to me that the
cattle outside the city state outside the country that is the empire of the city of london the cattle should be ignored.
i say let are friends in tavistock in the bbc and sky are friends at kings and the lse all go to work.
we will have these scum in pieces and corrected in know time.
instability is a pennies in the pound buying oportunity it also gives us much time to negotiate better deals for the city and her child tel aviv even today europe still has not learnt to be multicultural why all the doom and gloom opportunity knocks for the brave men of zion.
are agents in the msm after only a day have the british dogs pleading for a new vote westminster is already chock full of king netanyahoos agents mi5 and the police are on murdoch video tape like cameron performing with animals.
i believe an old english expression is sewn up like a kipper.
that is fish kipper not yom kippor

friends of oded yinon england once lion heart is are's.

Posted by: menechem golani | Jun 27 2016 18:02 utc | 118

Reading that i can't wait for Polxit
The head of Poland's right-wing ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, would like to see the UK hold a new in-out referendum, AFP news agency reports. Mr Kaczynski said the EU would have to "radically change" in order for Britons to want to return.

He called for institutional reforms that would make the EU a "superpower". A confederation of nation states would be created, he said, under a president in charge of a powerful military "with two great fronts - the east and the south".

The former prime minister also blamed Brexit on his Polish political rival, European Council President Donald Tusk, according to Reuters news agency.

"A particularly dark role was played by Donald Tusk, who conducted negotiations with the British and in fact contributed to them getting nothing," Mr Kaczynski said. "Hence, he is directly responsible for Brexit and should simply disappear from European politics." at 17:07

Posted by: Mina | Jun 27 2016 19:17 utc | 119

@Mina 119 Why?

Posted by: ProPeace | Jun 27 2016 19:31 utc | 120

@61 Jules

You're quite right that I don't have a good understanding of parliamentary systems.

But I had thought that their strong point was their ability to call new elections after stunning reversals like this one.

But perhaps the bulk of Labour is neo-liberal - allied with the Tories against their own leader, certainly against the people of Britain, and is unlikely to call a vote of no-confidence, or to vote no confidence if one were called?

@114 somebody

Please see @83. It's quite possible, quite usual?, for ostensibly the same course to be undertaken for opposite reasons. That the fascist minority can exploit the cause of the majority in pursuit of its own ends and try to subvert those of the democratic majority.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 27 2016 20:33 utc | 121

@115, pp 'One of the reasons why the judeo-masonic British oligarchy won't allow the Brexit'

I suppose that's what Menachim Golani is on about @118?

The other two links are to practices similar to those prevalent in the US Congress ... and I saw in the film mentioned @83 that the EU 'parliament' is not empowered to initiate legislation? that it can only accept or reject legislation written by councils and commissions whose members are appointed ... by someone?

This is actually exactly like the US Congress as well, where the actual legislation is written by corporate 'lobbyists' and dutifully passed, most often, by their employees in the Congress. Although those corporate employees are not by law forbidden to initiate legislation themselves what they do propose 'themselves' has the same beneficiaries in mind.

In a very real way the rejection of the EU is a rejection of the USA, and corporate government, in Britain.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 27 2016 20:59 utc | 122

re 108

All that information was made available to the electorate again and again and again by an establishment desperate to prevent a vote for exit. The electorate chose to agree with the exit campaign and voted by a clear majority for exit.
Sure, the Brexit leadership rowed back on all their claims within 48 hours of the vote. No decline in immigration, no more money for the NHS, no better economy, no immediate "independence". Everything that people voted for has been denied.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27 2016 21:00 utc | 123

Laguerre, be fair, this is the business model the City has imposed to everyone else. You"buy" my argument", I cheat you, no prob.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 28 2016 6:00 utc | 124

Posted by: jfl | Jun 27, 2016 4:33:01 PM | 121

If Britain has a progressive government it does not matter if they are in the EU or not - they can get what they want from the EU paying 20% of its income.

One way or other they need EU countries - so now they will negotiate something like Norway or Switzerland - just they have not said yet what they really want and what is the plan and no, it will not get cheaper as they will have to pay for access to the market, just what they get in return will be in doubt. They just have lost a lot of bargaining power, coming under pressure from their own electorate (and Scotland and Ireland who are not stupid in what they can expect from Westminster, same goes for the people who actually live in London)

When people are made to believe they can withdraw to entitlement by birth right in today's globalized world you can be sure they get cheated.

There is now the absurd situation that people with British passports invoke their right to have an Irish passport, too - to be sure to be able to cross EU borders.

UKIP has shot an own goal as now their European MP's will be unemployed - and EU money is important for small parties.

Owners of empty business buildings here in Frankfurt expect a boom when the Euro part of London's financial business will be moved.

China already said they are not pleased and will have to reevalue investment.

Can you name any advantage for any England fan who voted for exit except "feeling great again" - I agree the psychology is important. What happens now is that Eastern Europeans and Asians get targeted on British streets on a personal level which creates a vile atmosphere for everybody - and would be the basis for something like Ukraine should the political "elite" or external secret services be interested, weapons be delivered and young guys trained.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 28 2016 10:39 utc | 125

Actually, football is the perfect metaphor for what is going on. Britain as Britain could easily win the European Cup. But England gets beaten by Iceland.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 28 2016 11:17 utc | 126

This here is funny in many ways - Canada's Globe and Mail
Vladimir Putin's fifth column

Posted by: somebody | Jun 28 2016 11:25 utc | 127

All the pearl-clutching over voiding democracy would be quite touching. Except that y'all have (again) overlooked reality in favor of pre-cooked sloganeering.

British elites might want a do-over. But Cameron is clear -- it ain't happening. Leadership election has been moved up.

Cameron was adamant, however, that Britain will leave: Despite campaigning relentlessly for a vote to “remain,” the prime minister said the will of the public “must be accepted.”

He also seemed to dash the hopes — however faint — of the millions of Britons who have signed a petition in recent days pushing for a rerun of the referendum in the expectation that the 52 percent to 48 percent “leave” victory will be reversed.

“I’m not planning a second referendum,” Cameron said.

And maybe more to the point, Euro-elites want the Brits out, ASAP.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 28 2016 11:41 utc | 128

@RM 128 Unless of course, something "extraordinary" (thanks to MI5/6) happens... ;-)

Posted by: ProPeace | Jun 28 2016 13:52 utc | 129

jfl at 100 great graph, thx. One of the things about the EU is that for ex. many voters in Britain are never told, it is never explained, what the EU is, how it works, etc. And by now (though even 10 years ago it wasn’t the case) if you look for the info (e.g. EU site) yourself, all you find is pictures, vague press releases, projects, mission statements (that are NOT official), similar to corporate propaganda. Absolutely scandalous. So ppl rely on gut feeling and emotion. This is done on purpose, because those ‘feelings’ can be manipulated (charismatic leaders, TV shows, gutter press..) - or that is the elite theory. This relates to b's last sentence about fascism which I meant to expand on but ..another time.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 28 2016 14:00 utc | 130

@130 noirette

Thank graphviz for the graph. Have you had a chance to watch Brexit, the full film?.

There the claim is that the only elected people in the EU hierarchy are the MEPs. and that they cannot initiate legislation, but only pass - or not pass, I suppose - legislation put before them by the various councils/commissions whose membership is ... appointed? ... by whom? In other words, that the EU is like the US government, run by the TNCs, but a little worse, since its structural definition is anti-democratic, so they don't have to break the law to accomplish their corporate aims as the USG does.

On the other side the lamentation is the regulation, regulation, regulation put forth by the EU. I have not doubt that a lot of it is counterproductive, but the problem with financial capitalism is the lack of regulation, or the captured regulators. I feel sure this is a front for the British branch of financial capitalism, wanting to be 'free' in the liberal sense from all responsibility for their actions and what they regard as the "external" aspects of their depredations. The Brits are at war with all ... the US, Germany, China, everyone ... when it comes to finance, as are all the rest in that snake pit, and they want absolutely no shackles, they want total financial war, at which they think they excel.

So it will be good that Britain is free from the totalitarian, transnational corporate EU, but the ordinary Brits have their work cut out for them - as do we all - in cutting the financiers ... the fusiliers and fossil-fuelers as well ... down to size after they/we've regained sovereignty. Brexit was just the beginning, the opening of Pandora's box. Ready or not here come all those monsters.

It's not the end of the world, but the beginning. It does require courage, a willingness to use the reins of political power to bridle the wild horses of war, both real and financial, as well as those who have made a livelihood of abusing the environment, and, of course, the ones who 'engineered' this move : the banksters - the financiers.

The financiers think they have won the day. They must be disabused of that notion.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 28 2016 14:31 utc | 131

Posted by: somebody | Jun 28, 2016 6:39:16 AM | 125

"If Britain has a progressive government

Britain doesn't have a progressive government. Britain has a conservative government, what part of the fact that the ruling party is a conservative party with explicitly conservative policies are you incapable of understanding?

"UKIP has shot an own goal as now their European MP's will be unemployed

Given that that is exactly what they campaigned for how exactly does this count as "an own goal"? The UKIP campaigned for Britain to exit the EU. That means an exit from all the institutions of the EU. What part of the fact that the UKIP was founded explicitly to campaign for Britain to exit the EU and all its institutions and have done so are you incapable of understanding?

Posted by: Irony maiden | Jun 28 2016 15:31 utc | 132

in re 129 --

Do you have some actual half-baked scheme in mind for the services, or is that just a generic response to unpleasant facts.

Irony at 107, etc.

You be tearin' 'em up, as you have quickly sussed out "Moon of Alabama values". I forget the thread on which I saw them piously invoked recently.

"Knowing what your enemies are doing and saying and thinking is always worth it. Enjoy your purity and your impotence." I wish I'd said that; purity and impotence are real big sellers here. If you don't understand reality, you can't change it.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 28 2016 22:50 utc | 133

nana2007, 98-99

Dada poetry? Cool! Schwitters after about 1:15.

in re 130 --

See The Cult of Personality. These sorts of figures abound across the political spectrum. "I'm the smiling face on your TV."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 28 2016 23:16 utc | 134

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