Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 09, 2018

BREXIT - Still Not Gonna Happen

Good news: The pictured man is no longer the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom.


Bad news: The pictured man may soon be the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Hours before Boris Johnson quit his position, Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned from Prime Minister May's cabinet.

On July 6 the British government held a cabinet meeting at Chequers, the private seat of the prime minister. Following the meeting it published a paper (pdf) that took a weird position towards exiting the European Union. If it would be followed, Britain would practically end up with staying in the EU, accepting nearly all its regulations and court decisions, but without any say over what the EU decides. The paper was clearly written by the 'Remain' side. The two top Brexiters in May's cabinet felt cheated and resigned. More are likely to follow.

The majority of the British people who voted to leave the EU must feel duped.

My hunch is that Prime Minister Theresa May was tasked with 'running out the clock' in negotiations with the EU. Then, shortly before the March 2019 date of a 'hard Brexit' would arrive without any agreement with the EU, the powers that be would launch a panic campaign to push the population into a new vote. That vote would end with a victory for the 'Remain' side. The UK would continue to be a member of the European Union.

Shortly before the original Brexit vote in June 2016 MoA headlined: BREXIT - Not Gonna Happen

No matter how the Brexit vote will go, the powers that are will not allow Britain to exit the European Union.

pic via Aenea Endymion

That's all.

Is that claim still justified?

Maybe Johnson the Brexiter can now launch an inner party coup and push Theresa May out. According to a YouGov poll she lost significant support within her conservative party. Besides the Brexit row she botched a snap election, lost her party's majority in parliament and seems to have no clear concept for anything. It would not be a loss for mankind to see her go.

Boris the clown, who wins within his party on 'likability' and 'shares my political outlook', would then run the UK. A quite amusing thought. Johnson is a man of no principles. While he is currently pretending to hold a pro-Brexit position he would probably run the same plan that May seems to execute: Delay as long as possible, then panic the people into a re-vote, then stay within the EU.

Then again - Boris may do the unexpected.

How do the British people feel about this?

Posted by b on July 9, 2018 at 15:43 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

- It doesn't matter who the prime minister is. The UK has already adopted A LOT OF EU regulations/laws and that will make it nearly impossible to perform a "Hard Brexit". The UK still exports A LOT OF stuff to the Eurozone and then it simply has to follow EU regulations, no matter what the opinion of the government is. In that regard, the current EU regulation simply provides a good framework, even for the UK. No matter what one Mrs. May or Mr. Johnson.
- As time goes by the UK can change parts of the EU regulations to what the UK thinks those regulations should be.
- And do I think that Mrs. May and her ministers have drawn that same conclusion.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jul 10 2018 12:28 utc | 101

Peter AU 1@96

British military expeditions discovered/conquered lands & established colonisation to enable exploitation of resources.

Britain was probably not ready to start colonising/exploitation of Australia but feared that if another country (particularly, France) set up a colony first they would lose Australia and its resources. Britain feared this because although its Naval resources was worldwide, Australia was at the very limits of its network. If another nation set up a colony in Australia first then they could easily cut out Britain.

State and private interests was always part of the British Empire capitalism and is part of all western capitalism to this day. Get the state to pay the costs, then let private interests reap the profits.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 12:38 utc | 102

Let's all rearrange the deck chairs while we're watching the ship sink.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 12:41 utc | 103

Brexit was a referendum to request the British government to initiate talks on leaving the EU. It was not binding. The government can simply say that lacking a satisfactory outcome, they have suspended such talks and are remaining (at least until somebody comes up with a viable plan).

Right now, the best-case scenario seems to involve them remaining as de facto members of the EU, forced to obey its rules but having no voice in shaping policy.

Like breaking up with your girlfriend and still having to put the toilet seat down and pick up your socks and not smoke indoors...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 10 2018 12:48 utc | 104

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10, 2018 8:19:01 AM | 97

There is nothing wrong/inconsistent with the idea of an interconnected world of sovereign (independent) states.

I am not pushing anything of the kind, quite the contrary. Of course you need rules and regulations. But - if you are interconnected - you have to agree on rules and regulations with others. That means, local democracy cannot do as it pleases. It also means you are no longer "souvereign" as in "having the supreme power to govern yourself".

As ridiculous as believing that an individual who purchases a pack of polo mints is no longer free because of the need of a local shop and a manufacturer.

If you happen to be a polomint addict, yes.

I do object to an EU that erodes and undermines the nation state, that seeks to remove state leaders and interfere in state elections/policies.

Definition of nation state
a sovereign state of which most of the citizens or subjects are united also by factors which define a nation, such as language or common descent.

You will have to refight a lot of borders and displace a lot of people in Europe if you try to sort people by language or descent. In the case of Germany - it did not work in 1948, nor in 1870, not now.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 13:00 utc | 105


What kind of party do you vote for? Your pro-refugee argumentation and now your refusal to even recognzie that nations have borders is very extremist, even the most hardcore liberal parties in europe do not even propose such a world.
Is it anarchic-ideology you propose? Thats the closest I can think of describing arguments here.

No Border network

The No Border Network (In the United Kingdom also called "No Borders Network" or "Noborders Network") refers to loose associations of autonomous organisations, groups, and individuals in Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and beyond. They support freedom of movement and resist human migration control by coordinating international border camps, demonstrations, direct actions, and anti-deportation campaigns.

One wonder also why you are allowed to propose dismantling of the sovereignty of states but people who refuse that somehow become racists.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 10 2018 13:19 utc | 106

The basic question is not that of the sovereignty of states but of the sovereignty of the people.
The EU would be a totally different animal if it was a democracy.
The current system is deliberately shaped in order to prevent popular movements from re-distributing wealth, regulating property and socialising, among other things, infrastructure.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 10 2018 13:46 utc | 107

It is always difficult for those interested in real change to say on which side of the fence they will fall if pushed. The argument against Europe is clear. It has become undemocratic, the political wing of NATO and Western Capitalism.

Nevertheless, the U.K. inside a democratic European, socialist-leaning entity is an achievable idea, if only Europe could free itself from the Russophobic, Anglo-American Empire. Pulling up the anchors in the hope the British Isles might float nearer to the other side of the Atlantic, which is basically what upper class twits like Boris the Spider think might be the result of leaving Europe, is pure fantasy. Americans have never been that interested in Britain that's why they had the revolution. They like that we speak a sort of 'American' and that our rock stars play their sort of music. They also like things like the Royal family, and actors that speak English with funny accents, but they're not so sure about our personal hygiene, dental care and stuff like that. After all, crooked teeth convey a bad impression. But then, those are the 'movers and shakers' of the U.S., not the real Americans, many of whom live in dire poverty with only opoids and alcohol to relieve their pain.

Yes, as a Norwegian Englishman living in Spain with a German, I believe in Europe, but I don't really believe in the E.U. or the United Kingdom.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | Jul 10 2018 14:06 utc | 108

Somebody @103

Your arguments are verging on the literalist ridiculist. By your definition there has never been an independent nation. An independent nation is not one that has no contacts whatsoever with the world. An independent nation is one that is free to develop relationships with its neighbours and is free to compromise and is free to make agreements and free to withdraw from agreements.

You are fundamentally dishonest in that you are clearly advocating a world without nations or borders where there won't need to be agreements. You just can't 'fess up to it.

Your clinching point about fighting wars to establish nation boundaries is completely oblivious to the obvious result of the world that you advocate; that of fighting wars to remove borders altogether.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 14:45 utc | 109

Jeremy Corbyn's the man read his manifesto ! And stop the immature bickering, it's embarrassing. Just f ing deal with the curuption and the curupt, for a start ! We can go from there. Get a grip !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 15:06 utc | 110

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10, 2018 10:45:46 AM | 107

"An independent nation is one that is free to develop relationships with its neighbours and is free to compromise and is free to make agreements and free to withdraw from agreements."

By your definition an "independent nation" has to be a hegemon or indifferent to the consequences. You can try to have a relationship and have an agreement but always "depend" on the partner to agree or acquiesce. Even if you use violence -> resistance.

You are fundamentally dishonest in that you are clearly advocating a world without nations or borders where there won't need to be agreements. You just can't 'fess up to it.

All I am saying that "nations" - as in people united by language or descent - have very rarely coincided with "borders", and to try to make them "independent" is futile - see above - and a recipe for war.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 15:12 utc | 111

I would like to live in a world some day where borders are merely administrative in nature, simply determining where you pay your taxes or who issues your driving license. That is a ways off for the time being.

And free movement of labor, goods and capital is really only beneficial when the basic rules, regulations and tax system is harmonized to remove any unfair advantages. That goes beyond tax havens and offshore money laundering. Right now, companies can relocate to nations with weak worker safety or environmental protection laws and gain a competitive advantage.

That does nobody a favor. People in nations with stronger safety and environmental regulations lose jobs where nations with weak or unenforced laws have no incentive to clean up their act.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 10 2018 15:14 utc | 112

Somebody @103

As ridiculous as believing that an individual who purchases a pack of polo mints is no longer free because of the need of a local shop and a manufacturer.

If you happen to be a polomint addict, yes.

Let's take this further so that you might, possibly, see how ridiculous you are being.

If a person needs to eat, is he free? Your position must surely be that if he obtains food from a 2nd party he must therefore not be free. In a world such as yours, if a person needs to eat he can only be free if he produces all the food himself (without any help whatsoever) or if he steadfastly refuses to eat.

I imagine that you will not see the absurdity of the world you have created but will probably leap on this as some kind of vindication. But in doing so (in your world) you remove any concept of a 'free' person and, if a person is not free, he must, therefore, be a slave, and a slave is mere property and to a slave you can do what you will.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 15:19 utc | 113

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 10, 2018 11:14:07 AM | 110

Right now, companies can relocate to nations with weak worker safety or environmental protection laws and gain a competitive advantage.

That does nobody a favor. People in nations with stronger safety and environmental regulations lose jobs where nations with weak or unenforced laws have no incentive to clean up their act.

I would think that can be very easily - and is easily - stopped by import regulation.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 15:22 utc | 114

I hate to agree with the first part of Boris's letter after the rubbish he writes at the end but it is true that this proposal from May and her Remainer cabinet is for vassal status only within the EU - so desperate are they to remain.

While it does at least have the possible advantage of removing some of the toxic influence of the UK-US foreign policy establishment (as expressed by Boris himself in the letter and during his tenure as Foreign Secretary), are France and Germany any better? Perhaps on Russia, where Germany has trading interests, but they all didn't hesitate to create the illusion of 'international comdemnation' against Russia with the Skripal expulsions.

But that isn't the main point here. The main point is that in a referendum a majority of people voted to leave the EU. That means leaving all EU institutions and despite the constant refrain of 'people didn't know what they were voting for', actually they did. They voted for national self determination - which means passing your own laws, spending your own money, managing your own borders and trading openly in the world.

It would be reasonable to assume that the political class would be capable of translating this into actual policy and action, but no, this has not happened. Probably because they have no intention of making it happen, because almost the whole of the modern British ruling class is pro-remain.

During the referendum campaign the British people were ORDERED to vote Remain by the leaderships of all three main political parties, the vast majority of MPs, the house of Lords, the City, the Bank of England, the CBI, all of the serious newspapers, the BBC, academia, the entertainmant industry and the judiciary. Taken togather this lot pretty much constitutes the collective powers of influence and control in Britain.

Added to this lot were European and International voices from the IMF, World bank, ECB, EU Commission, and threats from the POTUS Obama (electoral medding, anyone?).

Yet some commenters here seen to think that the desire for Brexit comes from the rulers of Britain. It doesn't. comes mainly from the poorer classes of ordinary people who have been lectured to, villified and increasingly hated by the ruling classes and their loud-mouthed middle class supporters.

There were no plans for a Leave vote because they never though they would lose (see also Hillary Clinton). There have been no plans (even now) for a no-deal exit, even though if you are negotiating a deal you have to make it clear that no-deal is a possibility for the negotiations to be meaningful. Corbyn was right when he said that Donald Trump could have done a better job than May. I said so myself the previous day, and the reason is that the British ruling class are not trying to deliver Brexit, they are trying to sabotage it, make it impossible, and destroy it. As they intended to do all along.

Labour are the same, of course. Despite Corbyn's long-time Bennite leftist opposition to the EU, he has as turned his cloak, it seems. Even if he didn't the Blairites and his own supporters are all pro-EU, and would destroy him. What Labour have forgotten is that they cannot form a goverment with only the votes of the metropolitan middle class, who they now represent. The working class Leave voters who they have betrayed will not vote for them again.

As for the commenter above who said that left-leavers are wrong and should postpone the project to leave - mate, we just had a referendum. Now IS the time or never. And no radical left programme, including renationalisation can be implemented by any country that is not allowed to pass its own laws.

The EU is by design an undemocratic (and capitalistic construct). It's aim is to reverse the slow clawing-back of power from the top which started with Magna Carta, the Civil War and the Levellers, through to the Chartists and Suffragettes.

Posted by: Ash | Jul 10 2018 15:23 utc | 115

The leading statement "The majority of the British people who voted to leave the EU must feel duped" looks quite untrue especially when the phrase "who voted to leave the EU" is offset with the required commas. The truth is that a majority of the British people never voted to leave the EU. Far from it. A big majority either voted against or abstained in a legally and constitutionally meaningless poll, defined as ADVISORY to the TORY "government," with a choice restricted to the contentless words "leave" or "remain," and with millions of "British people" ineligible to vote because they are pensioners living abroad or members of the "Windrush generation" who the Tories refuse to consider "British people." The "result" of such a false "referendum" deserved and deserves no respect whatsoever, and by using that term Corbyn proved himself another mere "left social democrat," not the leader of a workers' party.
Your sentence, by the way would be plausible and not a lie if it had read "A majority of THOSE British people who [thought they had] voted to leave the EU may feel duped, the rest being too British to realize that they were played by the Tories"

Posted by: Fosforos | Jul 10 2018 15:31 utc | 116

No, the uk what did they do to God to deserve such a plague & misery over their heads?
Was it the countless nobility titles granted to bloody pirates for centuries and ages?
Was it the pitious cut off of the Indian weavers hands just to guarantee the markets?
Was it the permanent closed doors cheating of WC with FDR just before the entrance of Us in WWII?
or perhaps the support of the SHELL OIL profitable war in Nigeria to convert blood in oil?
Or even maybe the steady, secret and active support of UK to the sucking bloody brutal south african Apartheid system for so many years, until it was senseless hopeless at last?
Was it the endless meetings of the UK PM with a whole dozen bunch of british OIl business executives in Nov and Dec. 2002 right there in 10 Downing St... just to prepare the script and agenda for the 2003 US invasion of Iraqi OIL FIELDS?? As it eventually happened in march 2003.
Or was it the shameless UK lap dog behaviour towards all and every US empire recent evil doing all over the world?

Posted by: augusto | Jul 10 2018 15:42 utc | 117

Somebody @ 107

In no way did I say or imply that a nation state needed to a hegemon or indifferent to consequences. I did say they needed to make agreements with other nations; you don't need to make agreements if you are a hegemon.

Wars happen, by and large, because powerful countries (the west) want to extract the resources of other countries (at minimal cost). This has nothing to with nationalities or nation states.

The aim of removing national states/borders is simply to make this extraction process even cheaper.

Russia is a country that experienced a vast opening up and exploitation by the west after the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was a time when the very future of Russia as an entity was in question. But somehow, Russia (under Putin) managed to claw its way back and it did that by reinforcing the Russian nation not by allowing Russia's dissolution.

States often contain many nationalities and as long as each nationality is happy to remain together then that is fine and in no way contradicts the concept of a nation state. But I am happy to concede that what I am referring to (and advocating) is independent states (not dependent on nationality).

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 15:42 utc | 118

Augusto @ 114
Thank you sir a real human being speaking reality. Instead of a bunch of brain dead zombies !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 15:56 utc | 119

@ralphieboy #108

Referendum not binding? This is a lie.

A leaflet (actually pro-Remain propaganda funded by the taxpayer) was sent to every home saying "This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

It was not advisory.

Posted by: Ash | Jul 10 2018 16:00 utc | 120

It seems to me that Theresa May has always aimed for this and was just using Davis/Johnson et al. as cover

The negotiations conducted by Davis (probably unknown to Davis) were just a sham. The final agreement was always ready and waiting for the right time.

It feels that the timing of announcement of the Governments new position was just waiting for a distraction event. England's success in the World Cup provides this. Theresa May can look forward to at least 4 to 6 weeks distraction if England somehow win the world cup. If not, there will be at least a week or two of weeping about England's defeat (more so, if it is unfair in some way).

It also feels that the new poisoning was added for a further distraction (as a precaution). Which leads to the possibility that the original Skripal poisoning was also somehow about the EU; perhaps the poisoning happened as planned but other factors didn't fall into place so the Skripals where allowed to live. The assumption might have been that fear of Russia might make British people reluctant to leave the security of the EU.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 16:08 utc | 121

Part 1

Daniel Good @18

Your post is wrong headed on so many points.

The reason why most British (really English and Welsh [probably down to English settlement]) people want to leave the EU is probably down to the negative press on the EU for over 30 years, the fact that politicians blame the EU for so many things, and the austerity that has been inflicted on ordinary people (with no visible, future way out). The advantage of leaving the EU is that politicians should become more accountable to the electorate (UK politicians have been saying something like 'we would if we could buy....y'know the EU says..' for 30+ years now).

The reason why Scottish and Irish wish to stay in the EU is that they blame the UK for their problems and view staying in the EU as a least a mitigation and (at best) a way of escaping the UK.


Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 16:21 utc | 122

Posted by: ADKC @97

There is nothing wrong/inconsistent with the idea of an interconnected world of sovereign (independent) states. I don't object to an EU as a grouping of independent states acting collectively. I do object to an EU that erodes and undermines the nation state, that seeks to remove state leaders and interfere in state elections/policies. The EU that we have is the latter and there is no practical way to reform it to the former.

The Peace of Westphalia (German: Westfälischer Friede) was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster that virtually ended the European wars of religion.

These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, with the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies on one side, and the Protestant powers (Sweden, Denmark, Dutch, and Holy Roman principalities) and France (Catholic but anti-Habsburg) on the other. The treaties also ended the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch Republic. The Treaties of Westphalia brought to a close a tumultuous period of European history which saw the deaths of approximately eight million people.[1]

The negotiation process was lengthy and complex. Talks took place in two different cities, as both sides wanted to meet on territory under their own control. A total of 109 delegations arrived to represent the belligerent states, but not all delegations were present at the same time. Three treaties were signed to end each of the overlapping wars: the Peace of Münster, the Treaty of Münster, and the Treaty of Osnabrück. Collectively, these treaties make up the Peace of Westphalia.

The Peace of Westphalia established the precedent of peaces established by diplomatic congress. A new system of political order arose in central Europe, which political scientists now call Westphalian sovereignty, based upon the concept of co-existing sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power, and a norm was established against interference in another state's domestic affairs. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.[2]

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 10 2018 16:22 utc | 123

Guerrero @120

Many thanks. That is how I see things. It does feel that malign forces are trying to destroy the concept of 'sovereign states' for nefarious reasons.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 16:29 utc | 124

@Posted by: Alan | Jul 10, 2018 6:37:23 AM | 88

Boris Johnson is no clown. You should look beyond the (carefully crafted) popular image and see the dangerous fascist lurking in plain sight.

Indeed, "highly likely", the same as happens with other "populist clowns" ( carefully crafted ) like The Donald.....
You only have to notice their equal purposes and final goals to note that they are part of a wannabe "International Fascist Order" intent in the making....even when soemtimes they could play a "blue on blue"....

Many so called "alt-media", especially those hosted in the US, help them in this "intent"....

Posted by: Sasha | Jul 10 2018 16:31 utc | 125

Part 2

Daniel Good @18

Technically you can claim that the UK is not a loser since the institution was formed in 1707, but I would contend that the UK is an institution which signifies the domination of the British Isles by a ruling class that conquered England in 1066. Prior to 1066 the King had to ask Chieftains right down to hamlet level if they would agree and take part in war. After 1066 the new Norman rulers ruled by fear and extreme punishment. Any resistance was met with brutal reprisals.

My point being that English, Scottish, Welsh & Irish people are all defeated, subjugated people (losers in your terms). Your assumption that British people are the reflection of its leaders and media (or vice-versa) is simply wrong.


Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 16:44 utc | 126

Alan @88 & Sasha @122

Sorry, but it's ridiculous to describe Johnson and Trump as 'fascists'. Leaving aside the definition of what is a fascist (which isn't that easy to define) it is clear to me that they both fall way short of being fascists.

They both lack an ideological framework, they lack a movement (or the ability to define one), and they haven't (as yet) thrown their opponents in jail.

I very much dislike what Trump is doing in Syria and want him to get out, I really object to the current posture towards Iran. But I am supportive of his long held desire to hold a summit with Putin.

I dislike Johnson opportunistic populism.

I admit that it looks like both could end up doing something rash if they had the power but that doesn't make them fascists.

The best way to deal with them is on policy and, in the UK, vote for Corbyn's labour and, in the US, for gawd's sake don't select Killary, go for a joint ticket of Sanders/Warren, as the next democratic candidate for president.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 17:11 utc | 127

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10, 2018 11:42:40 AM | 115

Russia as inherited from Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union is not a nation state.

Putin is not a Trumpist

Preservation of identity in Russia is an important issue, but it is necessary to take into account that Russia is a part of the global world, and that isolation can do harm, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

"The world is surely developing, there are a lot of connections, they are limitless, and any restrictions in contacts are being left behind, it is the right process, and we are part of this global process. And we should not reject it," Putin said in the Kremlin during a conversation with form teachers of graduating classes of secondary schools.

He recalled the history of China, which was once the world's leading country, but then isolated itself and rolled back.


Moreover, in Russia, the identity can be Buryat or Yakut or Russian or Tatar, Putin said.

"But there must be one more common national identity, this is what unites us, this is what we have. It can be called anyhow, including patriotism. This word is not bad, it's a love for the Motherland. Even in spite of all the irony, Lermontov, such a specific man, said 'I love my fatherland, still love of mine is odd.' But everything was reduced to the fact that he loves forests and rivers," Putin said, adding that Lermontov in his work confessed he loves the Russian people.

I think it is a good idea to agree on the love of forests and rivers.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 17:12 utc | 128

Somebody @124

I think I had already stated that I don't necessary view a nation state as being a state for a specific nationality but rather an independent state that may contain a number of nationalities (as long as those nationalities are each happy to be together).

In your quote Putin refers to 'national identity' and I think that this is what most people understand by nation state. I am glad that you quote Putin in support of your arguments because if there is one thing we both can be certain of and that is Putin is not up for dismantling Russia's national state borders anytime soon.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 17:38 utc | 129

It seems that joining the EU is analogous to a "pine cone up the arse" as a colleague of mine once put it. Easy going in but not so easy to get out.

If BoJo really wants to get out of the EU (not sure he does) maybe sending British Navy to enforce a blockade of Brussels would send a message. The Brits still have military superiority over anything Germany or Brussels could come up with. Use it or lose BoJo!

Posted by: Chris | Jul 10 2018 17:42 utc | 130

Artist taxi driver Twitter. --- watch his video

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 17:56 utc | 131

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 10, 2018 12:22:25 PM | 120

Yep. That was a European peace treaty of 1648. It finished the so called 30 year's war.

It was followed by a war between Sweden and Poland/Lithuania from 1655 to 1660/61

- a war against the Ottoman empire by Austria in 1663/1664

- a war against the Ottoman empire by Poland/Lithuania in 1672–1676

- a French, English, Swedish war including Münster (place of the Westphalian peace) against the Dutch from 1672 to 1678

- a war between Sweden and Prussia from 1674 to 1679

- a French war against an alliance of German states from 1688 to 1697

and so on and so forth. I skipped a few wars.

The Westphalian principle - any ruler can do as he pleases within his borders - solves nothing.

The first stable peaceful period in Europe of some 50 years was created by the multilateral Vienna Congress in 1815 when participants agreed on territory. And no, borders were not drawn according to "nations".

This Westphalian principle stuff came up in the discussion when "the West" tried to divide the Middle East along religious lines. It was the desaster you could expect from history.

You do not get very far as a "souvereign". But of course you can make war.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 18:09 utc | 132

ADKC et al

somebody's advocacy/propaganda for 'Open Borders' sparked a long debate in the previous Week in Review / Open Thread. You might want to have a look starting here (though it stated earlier than that).

I think somebody's conviction will mean that 'Open Borders' issues will continue to spill into other threads.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 10 2018 18:31 utc | 133

Al-Pol @73

Thank you for that clarification in that it was the Lisbon Treaty, not the EU Constitution,that was eventually ratified.I was operating from hazy memory and with a time restricted lack of research. And sorry for the slow reply....

I see your point that having one country “scupper the results” for the rest of the EU might be unfair or undemocratic,but there is the argument (that has at times come from EU representatives themselves) that the EU itself, as an evermore centralizing power, is undemocratic.

I still think it is worth noting within the EU treaty ratification process there are provisions for that process to be held according to the “traditions, constutional arrangements, and political processes” of each country, and when those called for a country-wide referendum the result was more often a ‘No’ vote. I recognize that the following vote was taken by groups of “elected representatives”, but is it not curious that those same representatives always reversed the vote of those they claim to represent?

Posted by: NotBob | Jul 10 2018 18:44 utc | 134

maybe b can give somebody a platform via someobodys own thread where he articulates his crazy assed ideas all in one spot.. that way anyone who is crazy enough, can join in..

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2018 18:45 utc | 135

Heads up M O A barfly's we'v got a few us uk backed 'rebels' in the camp / post ! Seen any white helmets yet watchout for the chlorine gas !!!
Seriously though you got 'm like ticks. !
Labour partys bled dry with um. This lot--blareit or Tory who knows who cares. We rockin boats !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 18:52 utc | 136

Somebody @132

I have read up on previous postings and can see that you are committed to no/open borders and the abolition of the state (nation or otherwise). So tell how do you see that happening?


And should a nation refuse, should they be forced to dissolve?

And what replaces the state? Nothing? Or a supra-state?

And will capital be free to do as it will? If not, how is capital to be controlled/stopped?

And will religion be free? What if a religious state is created? Will they be stopped? And who will stop them?

And who will be responsible for the poor? Will there be a welfare system? Who will pay for this welfare system?

And how will people have a say? Or will they just become voiceless?

And should people rise up against a supra-body, will they be obliterated?

And should people organise and create a cooperate structure that might be regarded as a proto-state, will they be punished?

Is war a valid means of creating a border-free, stateless world?

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 10 2018 20:00 utc | 137

Posted by: james | Jul 10, 2018 2:45:18 PM | 135

I just decided to debate a few crazed right wing talking points. They think if they repeat it again and again it will become true.

The European Union has been the best prolonged period central Europe has been in for the last few centuries.

There is always room for improvement. But returning to "souvereign" mini states duking it out amongst each other fails the smell test.

In the case of Britain the time before EU membership was a hell where you could get neither decent coffee nor food except for Indian restaurants :-))

And yes, I am in the BREXIT thread.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 20:01 utc | 138

Mark2 @110
"And stop the immature bickering, it's embarrassing. Just f ing deal with the curuption and the curupt, for a start ! We can go from there. Get a grip !!!"

Amen! This bickering about how to treat the refugees has gone on so long, and taken up so much bandwidth here that I'm beginning to suspect it's a deliberate troll campaign.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 10 2018 20:07 utc | 139

@ 138 somebody... the brit food has always been bad as i understand it.. they needed those indian curry houses to spice it up some! i am not sure being a part of the eu was going to help any, but anything is possible i suppose...

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2018 20:10 utc | 140

Daniel @ 139 & beven generaly
Qudos to you both

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 20:14 utc | 141

James big respect to you too

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10 2018 20:21 utc | 142

I don't care for extending this OT subject, and it looks as if it comes down to the wire depending on definitions. However, my comment is supported in this link under "Free settlement to penal colony"

In December 1828, the British Colonial Office agreed to establish a colony at Swan River in Western Australia. It then issued a circular outlining the conditions of settlement, which stated, "It is not intended that any convicts or other description of Prisoners, be sent to this new settlement."[3] That Swan River Colony would not be a penal colony was highly attractive to many of the potential settlers, and the condition was mentioned often by promoters during the period of Swan River mania.[citation needed]

Swan River Colony was established as a "free settlement" in June 1829.[4] Still, in early September the merchant vessel Anglesea grounded at Gage Roads, at the mouth of the Swan River. She did not break up, as had been expected, but instead survived to become Western Australia's first prison hulk.[5]

For the first fifteen years, the people of the colony were generally opposed to accepting convicts, although the idea was in constant circulation almost from the start. Early in 1831, the Colonel Peter Latour asked permission to transport 300 Swing Riots convicts, but was refused. ...

Personally, I would count the Albany military venture from NSW to be an international European regional tussle between Britain & France rather than founding a colony per se.

Posted by: imo | Jul 10 2018 20:37 utc | 143


You are right on Western Australia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 10 2018 21:26 utc | 144

Last post at 144 should have been addressed to IMO as well.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 10 2018 21:31 utc | 145

140 It has become pretty good.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2018 21:38 utc | 146

@146 somebody... thanks for that! at least they have some foodie places going for them...

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2018 0:36 utc | 147

somebody @146

Hmmm.... French Cuisine, French Cuisine, Japanese Cuisine, French Cuisine.....

No one ever said the Empire couldn't appropriate nice things. ;-)

Not that I don't enjoy a bangers and mash or fish and chips now and again. I don't give "the englanders" credit for the "Elgin Marbles" either, though they did make some tremendously gaudy crowns out of plundered gemstones.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 11 2018 2:09 utc | 148


The Congress of Vienna (German: Wiener Kongress) also called Vienna Congress, was a meeting of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, and held in Vienna from November 1814 to June 1815, though the delegates had arrived and were already negotiating by late September 1814. The objective of the Congress was to provide a long-term peace plan for Europe by settling critical issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. The goal was not simply to restore old boundaries but to resize the main powers to balance each other. The leaders were conservatives with little use for republicanism or revolution.

Those who DO have a use for republicanism and revolution much prefer
the Peace of Westphalia with it's affirmation of a world of sovereign nation states,
to the Congress of Vienna which was, after all, a shameless conclave of autocrats, determined to stamp out every constructive popular movement in Europe, whether it were on fire or not.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 11 2018 2:59 utc | 149

NotBob @134.

I don't think the elected representatives ever reversed the vote of the people - in terms of accepting EU Treaties. They were answering different questions, accepting different Treaties. In the cases where the people were asked and said No (Danish for Maastricht 1992, Irish for Nice 2002 and the Irish again for Lisbon 2008), the Treaties were amended, the same people asked again and the same people this time said Yes. The time the people were not asked again was for the EU Constitution in 2005 and that was not amended, but rejected and abandoned. You could say the Lisbon Treaty was an amended form of the EU Constitution but in reality it was a total rewrite. Each time the people said No, the EU listened and made changes. There has never been a one-size-fits-all Treaty. Every member state has it's special exceptions. Notably the UK has always had more opt-outs and special exceptions than any other member state. (No Euro, no Schengen, no refugees, a huge rebate, a thousand and one products without Vat ...and much more.)
Maastricht in 1992 when the European Community became the European Union and they attempted to include a whole new Social Chapter to emphasize social rights, workers' rights, peoples' rights was almost rejected by the UK as well as the Danish, but both countries got a whole range of Opt-outs. The UK government almost rejected it precisely because most MPs didn't want those Opt-outs. They wanted the new Social Chapter with it's host of workers' rights included, but the Tories were afraid those new rights could be damaging to business and they forced through an acceptance of the Treaty with a complete Opt-out of the entire Social Chapter. Several years later the Blair, Labour government reversed that and opted back in to the Social Chapter with the Amsterdam Treaty.

The EU is undemocratic ? I hear that often but can make no sense of that statement. As mentioned above the EU repeatedly adjusts to fit the needs of individual countries. The EU parliament is composed of MEPs elected through proportional representation, so virtually everyone who bothers to vote (which isn't many as yet) is likely to have a party representative (unlike the UK's Firt-past-the-Post system which throws away 2/3rds of the votes and smaller parties usually end up with no representatives at all).
The EU Council is composed of the democratically elected government leaders of each member state. The Council of Ministers is composed of the ministers from each of those democratically elected governments.
The EU Commission (or Civil service part of the EU) is composed of commissioners from each member state slected by their own democratically elected governments.
Where is the undemocratic bit in any of that ?
Is it the Presidents who are seen to be undemocratic ? The EU Presidents are not rulers or dictaors they are people who "preside over" and to a large extent are purely acting as chairmen. They are all elected/selected (or rejected) by the Council and Parliament.

Evermore centralizing power ? At present the EU parliament has very little power and is little more that a debating and voting chamber. I for one would be quite happy to see the parliament given a bit more power and more say in forming new legislation. It is after all the one place in Europe where I am actually represented, where my vote actually counts (but thanks to Brexit I may soon lose that vote, although I may be able to keep it if the local Polish authorities agree). My votes count for nothing in the UK and never have in 40 years or so of voting (as I've always voted for smaller parties whose policies I can better agree with).
At present the EU is sufferring precisely because of an almost complete lack of any centralized power. It is unable to force members to share the refugee burden. It is unable to prevent various countries politicizing their judiciary. It desperately needs a bit more power to be able to function efficiently and to be a benefit to all. What is the point of all the member states agreeing to the Treaties if there is no authority or power to ensure any country sticks to those agreements ? It's not a case of replacing or removing local or national governments or reducing their powers. It's a case of needing a bit more EU-wide governance and EU-wide authority to maintain the EU-wide agreements.

Posted by: Al-Pol | Jul 11 2018 6:42 utc | 150

The German government hell bent on doing their best impression of Captain Louis Renault in Casablanca:

"Strasser: [after Laszlo leads the band in playing the French national anthem] You see what I mean? If Laszlo's presence in a cafe can inspire this unfortunate demonstration, what more will his presence in Casablanca bring on? I advise that this place be shut up at once.

Renault: Everybody is to leave here immediately! This cafe is closed until further notice. Clear the room, at once!

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Renault: I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here!

Croupier: [hands Renault money] Your winnings, sir.

Renault: Oh, thank you very much. Everybody out at once!"

BND Indicates KSA as destabilising force

Germany closes probe into balkan arms transfers to Syria

Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 11 2018 11:22 utc | 151

@ Al-Pol - 150

"What is the point of all the member states agreeing to the Treaties if there is no authority or power to ensure any country sticks to those agreements ?"

Indeed , and therein lies the rub.

It was never set up to function. It is merely an astronomically expensive construct that hasn't had a budget approved in years, that spends prodigious amounts on remuneration for entitled bureaucrats, that pushes through aberrant legislation and that, all in all, merely makes work at the expense of the citizenry.

Citizens of all constituent countries are therefore burdened not only by the profligacy of their own administrations but also by the excesses of the ridiculously bloated Bruxells administration that for mere petulant reasons finds it necessary to meet in two geographical distinct locations.

In its present form, the EU is nothing but an expensive thing aimed at assuaging the ego of the bureaucrats that ping around within it and from whence they hand down directives and decrees in order to justify their own existence.

Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 11 2018 11:46 utc | 152

@151 broken link

Saudi Arabia Destibilising Arab World

Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 11 2018 13:02 utc | 153

guidoamm @152.

Astronomically expensive ? With only 1% of GDP going to the EU to improve living standards for all it's people, whilst 2% is meant to go to NATO to destroy the lives of everyone else, it's seems a bit of an imbalance. Time to reduce that NATO contribution and give more to the EU so it can work better for the benefit of it citizens. Once the EU begins to function a bit better, producing more EU-wide benefits all the member states can begin to reduce their own over-bloated administrations and thus be able to reduce the tax burden on us all.
The UK's own civil service shrunk considerably after joining the EU with so much administration being passed over to Brussels, but now it will need to reverse that and beef it up a bit, which is going to be costly.

Posted by: Al-Pol | Jul 11 2018 14:16 utc | 154

Al-Pol @150, etc.
(And guidoamm)

I don’t mean to sound reductive or dismissive, I just need to keep this short.

It seems your argument is of the often heard “it doesn’t work because it isn’t big enough” direction, which is usually countered with “more of a dysfunctional beaurocracy is supposed to improve things? Not much historical basis for that.” You obviously have more historical background and at stake here than I do (not in the EU myself, but married to an EU citizen, with family and small property there), so I am interested in your take on that part of the discussion.

Posted by: NotBob | Jul 11 2018 15:54 utc | 155

@153 guidoamm... i would like to read that article you keep trying to link to, but i get the 404 error message.. i am on their site right now, but it is very slow.. trying to search for it, and not having any luck... thanks..

Posted by: james | Jul 11 2018 16:14 utc | 156

The isolationist bent of the ex-super ‘Anglo powers’ (GB, USA > Brexit, Trump, etc.) are in your face revanchard, controlling and seemingly hopeful for a more stellar future as wielding ‘lost’ power once again, thru retrenchement and arms, plus spewing ..whatever..

The USA-GB are *not* soldered blocks, and forces within them (Big Corps according my pov, much could be discussed) are in play and dominant.

Many Overlords and Masters, imho, don’t perceive what the dissolution of GB (loss of N.I. and Scotland - not that it will happen soon, but it is now in the open and discussed) would mean for them.

Why? Because Mafia-like organisations are always circumscribed in a ‘tight - ingroup’ ring and they act in a territorial scheme that they believe they control, thru links to powerful ‘figures’ -- they are subject to group-think and sticking to allegiance to ‘mates, members', -- In short, they are very locally-cum-ideologically bound to perso, known and approved contacts, communication circuits, as their aim is to stiff everybody else. Where this leads them exactly they don’t know and in a way don’t care.

I also thought that Brexit would never happen. I have now changed my mind, it probably will. Under what shape wil be seen…

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 11 2018 18:32 utc | 157

Great post. "How do the British people feel about this?" We may never know.

Jeff in the first comment gives a list of (some) of the minefields to be got past. Ab initio may be being a little optimistic on whether the planes could still fly at all if the worst case ever came to pass. The go to specialist website that gives chapter and verse on the various mines is "EU", articles written by Dr Richard North. Dr North has been studying the EU for maybe thirty years (and wanting to get out for that long as well) and has devised what I think is the only practicable way of getting out safely. It's called "Flexcit" and amounts to a cautious withdrawal through the minefields. A sensible plan and therefore ignored.

The first paragraph of this article may give a feel for why it's desirable to leave the EU. I don't know the site apart from this one article:-

Grim subject. Of topic or not I found Peter AU's talk about Australia more fun and a lot more interesting. I hope there's more of it.

Posted by: English Outsider | Jul 16 2018 20:18 utc | 158

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