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That sinking feeling

We are now 25 months on from the Brexit referendum. Theresa May filed notice of departure from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March, 2017: on 29 March, 2019 (in 8 months' time—approximately 240 days) the UK, assuming nothing changes, will be out of the EU.

In the intervening time, the UK has undergone a disastrously divisive general election—disastrous because, in the middle of an unprecedented (and wholly avoidable and artificial) national crisis, it returned to power a government so weakened that it depends on an extreme right-wing sectarian religious party to maintain its majority. The DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) stands for Union with the United Kingdom, and hostility towards Ireland (in the form fo the Irish Republic); they will veto any Brexit settlement that imposes a customs border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. However, this implies that a customs border must exist between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the two economies are so entangled that this is impractical. (The border between north and south cuts across roads, railways ... and also through farms, living rooms, and business premises.) Creating a hard border in Ireland is anathema to the government of Ireland, which will therefore veto any Brexit agreement with the UK that posits one. (It would also violate the Good Friday Agreement, but hey, nobody in Westminster today cares about that.)

The Electoral Commission has uncovered evidence of electoral spending irregularities in the Leave.UK and Vote Leave campaigns serious enough to justify criminal investigation and possible prosecution; involvement by Cambridge Analytica is pretty much proven, and meddling by Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer has also been alleged in testimny before the US Senate judiciary committee. There's also an alleged Russian Connection with Aronn Banks (the main financial backer of Brexit) having been offered too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities in a Russian gold mine (according to The Observer newspaper).

But not to worry, the will of the people has spoken! (Although it's actually the will of these peope—a mixed bunch of right-wing Atlanticists, hedge fund managers, warmed-over neo-Nazis, and disaster capitalists. Never mind, I'm certain they have only our best interests at heart.)

For added fun and optimism, back in the summer of 2016 it looked reasonably likely that over the next few years we would see business continue as usual, on a global scale. This was before the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the USA. Trump doesn't understand macroeconomics—he's convinced that trade is a zero-sum game, that for every winner there must be a loser, and that trade tariffs and punitive sanctions are good. He's launched attacks on the World Trade Organization (as well as NATO) and seems intent on rolling back the past 75 years of post-WW2, post-New Deal global free trade. The prospects for a favourable post-Brexit trade deal with the United States went out the window on January 20th, 2017; Trump perceives isolation as weakness, and weakness in a negotiating partner as an opportunity to screw them. (So much for the Conservative Atlanticists and the Special Relationship.)

The EU is the UK's largest trading partner, with roughly 44% of all our foreign trade going through our EU siblings. This includes food—the cramped, densely populated UK hasn't been self-sufficient in food since the 19th century, and we import more than 50% of what we eat.

A customs union with the EU has been ruled out unless the UK agrees to cooperate with certain EU "red line" requirements—essentially the basis for continuing free trade: for reasons too preposterous and stupid to go into this is unacceptable to the Conservative party even when national food security is in jeopardy. In event of a no-deal Brexit, Operation Stack will become permanent, causing gridlock on motorway routes approaching Channel ports. Perishable goods and foodstuffs will be caught up in unpredictable protracted delays, resulting in dairy produce (including infant formula) becoming 'very scarce'. Large manufacturing concerns with cross-border supply chains such as BMW, Airbus, and Toyota are threatening to shut down production in the UK in event of a hard Brexit; Amazon's UK manager warns of civil unrest in event of a no-deal Brexit, and in event of a no-deal that doesn't include services (as well as goods) it's hard to see how the Amazon supply chain can continue to function in the UK.

(Note: Online sales account for 18% of all UK retail and Amazon is the proverbial 500lb gorilla in this sector. UK customers who purchase from Amazon.co.uk are, however, doing business with Amazon SarL in Luxemburg, who then subcontract fulfillment/delivery to a different Amazon company in the UK—Amazon SarL takes advantage of one of the lowest corporate tax regimes in the EU. This is obviously not a sustainable model in event of a hard brexit, and with shipping delays likely as well as contractual headaches, I think there's a very good chance of Brexit shutting down Amazon.co.uk and, thereby, close to 20% of the British retail distribution system.)

Current warnings are that a no-deal Brexit would see trade at the port of Dover collapse on day one, cutting the UK off from the continent; supermarkets in Scotland will run out of food within a couple of days, and hospitals will run out of medicines within a couple of weeks. After two weeks we'd be running out of fuel as well.

Note that this warning comes from the civil service, not anti-Brexit campaigners, and is a medium-bad scenario—the existence of an "Armageddon scenario" has been mooted but its contents not disclosed.

In the past month, the Health Secretary has admitted that the government is making plans to stockpile vital blood products and medicines in case of a no-deal Brexit, and the Brexit secretary is allegedly making plans to ensure there are "adequate food supplies" to cover a no-deal exit.

But before you say "well, then it's going to be all right, we'll just go back to 1939-54 era food ration books and make do and mend", we need to factor in not only Donald Trump's latest bloviations, but Global Climate Change! Europe is facing one of the most intense regional droughts in living memory this summer, with an ongoing crisis-level heat wave. Parts of the UK have had the least rainfall in July since 1969, with a severe heat wave in progress; Greece is on fire: Sweden is having a wildfire problem inside the Arctic circle this summer).

A Hard Brexit, on its own, would be a very dubious but probably long-term survivable scenario, with the UK economy taking a hit not much worse than the 10% downsizing Margaret Thatcher inflicted on it in 1979-80. But a hard Brexit, coinciding with the worst harvest failures in decades, ongoing climate destabilization, a fisheries collapse, and a global trade war being started by the Tangerine Shitgibbon in the White House is ... well, I'm not optimistic.

Right now, the British cabinet seems to be locked in a suicide pact with itself. Theresa May is too weak to beat back the cabal of unscrupulous opportunists within her own party who want the worst to happen—the disaster capitalists, crooked market short-sellers, and swivel-eyed imperialist revenants of the European Research Group. Any replacement Conservative PM would face exactly the same impedance mismatch between reality and his or her back bench MPs. On the other side of the house, Jeremy Corbyn's dislike for the EU as a capitalist entity has combined with his fear of alienating the minority of "legitimate concerns" racist voters in Labour's base so that he's unwilling or unable to adopt an anti-Brexit stance. Brexit cuts across traditional party lines; it's a political Outside Context Problem that has effectively paralysed the British government in a time of crisis.

So I'm not optimistic that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided.

What happens next?

On a micro scale: I'm stockpiling enough essential medicines to keep me alive for six months, and will in due course try and stockpile enough food for a couple of weeks. I'm also going to try and move as much of my savings into other currencies as possible, preferably in financial institutions accessible from but outside the UK. (I expect a Sterling crisis to follow promptly in event of NDB. We saw Sterling drop 10% the day after the referendum—and certain people made a fuck-ton of money by shorting the stock market; I expect it to go into free fall if our trade with the EU is suddenly guillotined.)

On a macro scale:

Airports and the main container freight ports for goods entering the UK will shut down on day 1. There will be panic buying. I expect widespread rioting throughout the UK and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland (contra public received wisdom, NI is never quiet and this summer has been bad.)

A currency crisis means that goods (notably food) entering the UK will spike in price, even without punitive trade tariffs.

There will be mass lay-offs at manufacturing plants that have cross border supply chains, which means most of them.

You might think that as an author I'd be immune, but you'd be wrong: although paper editions of my UK books are printed in the UK, you can bet that some elements of the wood pulp and the ink that goes on it and the glue that binds them are imported. About 90% of my UK ebook sales are made as (contractually speaking) services via Amazon.co.uk (see above), the fuel that powers the trucks that ship the product to the bookstores is imported, my publishers (Orbit and Tor) are subsidiaries of EU parent companies (Hachette and Holtzbrink), and anyway, people are going to be spending money on vital necessities during the aftermath, not luxuries.

(Luckily for me, many of my sales come from other EU territories—in translation—and from the USA. Unfortunately, getting paid in foreign currency may become ... problematic, for a while, as Brexit jeopardizes both currency exchange and the UK retail banking sector's ability to exchange funds overseas.)

After week 1 I expect the UK to revert its state during the worst of the 1970s. I just about remember the Three Day Week, rolling power blackouts, and more clearly, the mass redundancies of 1979, when unemployment tripled in roughly 6 months. Yes, it's going to get that bad. But then the situation will continue to deteriorate. With roughly 20% of the retail sector shut down (Amazon) and probably another 50% of the retail sector suffering severe supply chain difficulties (shop buyers having difficulty sourcing imported products that are held up in the queues) food availability will rapidly become patchy. Local crops, with no prospect of reaching EU markets, will be left to rot in the fields as the agricultural sector collapses (see concluding remarks, section 5.6).

Note that during her time as Home Secretary, Theresa May presided over 30% cuts in police numbers. During the recent state visit by Donald Trump, virtually every police force in the UK had to cancel all leave just to maintain cover for those officers temporarily assigned to POTUS' security detail (the policing operation was on a scale comparable to the 2011 summer riots ... when there were many, many more officers available). Also, police and emergency service workers will be trying to source food, medicines, and the necessities of life for themselves and their own families: there may be significant absenteeism from critical posts just as everything comes to a head.

I expect the government will collapse within 1-4 weeks. There will be a state of emergency, managed under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) (which replaced earlier civil defense emergency legislation). Emergency airlifts of medicines, food, and fuel may take place—but it's hard to see the current US administration lending a hand.

Most likely the crisis will end with the UK crashing back into the EU, or at least into Customs Union and statutory convergence—but on EU maximalist terms with none of the opt-outs negotiated by previous British governments from Thatcher onwards. The negotiating position will most likely resemble that of Greece in 2011-2015, i.e. a vastly weaker supplicant in a state of crisis and near-collapse, and the British economy will take a generation to recover—if it ever manages to.

(This is, by the way, not the worst scenario I can envisage. The worst case is that the catastrophic collapse of the world's sixth largest trading economy, combined with a POTUS whose understanding of economics is approximately as deep as that of Louis XVI, will lead to a global financial crisis on the scale of 2007-08—but without leadership as credible as, say, George W. Bush and/or Gordon Brown to pull our collective nuts out of the fire. In which case we're looking at a global banking collapse, widespread famine due to those crop shortages, and a wave of revolutions the like of which the planet hasn't seen since 1917-18. But hopefully that won't happen, right? Because only a maniac would want to burn everything down in order to provide elbow room for a new white supremacist ethnostate world order. Oops, that would be Steve Bannon.)

Anyway: the most likely historical legacy of a no-deal Brexit will be the final refutation of the common British misconception that the UK is still a global superpower, possibly accompanied by Scottish secession and re-entry to the EU, Irish reunification in some sort of federal system, re-acquisition of Gibraltar by Spain, and the disintegration of the Conservative (and possibly Labour) parties at the next general election.

I just hope I'm still alive at the end of it.

Thoughts?

882 Comments

1:

MODERATION NOTE: Despite mention of Donald J. Trump, this is not a thread for discussion of US politics Thread hijacking on the subject of DJP will therefore be considered grounds for a red card and deletion of comments.

2:

If djt unleashes on Iran, it will drive (Russian) oil and gas prices high. Which will flow thru to uk gas and electricity prices.

Good luck paying for those with collapsed currency.

3:

Where do you see Scotland in this ? Rapid independence, then (re)join EU ?

Indyref2 even before march 30 even, to create legal fiction of never leaving EU ?

Is Irish reunification a realistic possibility if the grass is suddenly much greener south of NI ?

4:

I see big employment opportunities in the field of customs inspection.

5:

If possible, on a very personal level, I would attempt to also make sure that my affairs are in order and that during the event itself I am on sabbatical, extended leave or otherwise engaged in parts I expect to remain stable, even if I might need to apply for refugee status... Maybe other EU countries, Norway or Switzerland?

I know that my acquaintances that did work in UK (academia and research all) have moved or are in the process of doing so. Many of them were immigrants even if some techincally had citizenship and did not wait to see how hostile the environment becomes after a NDB, given how hostile it already is. The rest were born and raised in the UK but still found positions abroad to make sure they and their dependants are safe (although from what I was able to hear, extracting extending familiy is proving difficult for multiple reasons.)

The only ray of hope is that most of the people I could interact with would like to return, and hope that somehow the whole s***show might get canceled somehow...

From the european mainland, what I hear is concern for the UK as a whole and disbelief at what those in charge are not doing.

6:

As a British immigrant in the Netherlands, and with an American partner, these past 18 months have been emotionally draining for us (our radio is lightly pebbledashed with granola every morning). I sincerely hope you are wrong on your points, but I really fear that you will be proved right. I was unable to vote in the referendum, which frustrated me far more than I thought it would - and I'm wondering if a hard Brexit will lead to stringent visas being applied. I'm actively avoiding any travel in March and April next year.

7:

What do you think the odds are for something like this coming to pass? (assuming Brexit is cancelled at the 11th hour) odds for better? odds for worse?

8:

What currency, though? I suspect that the probably inevitable crash in the pound will be masked by a lesser but concurrent fall in the Euro (yes, "they need us more than we need them" is bluster and bullshit; but a hard Brexit will affect the EU negatively as well, and I don't see the Euro being a safe haven). The dollar? Not a safe bet either with a trade war in progress. Yen? Gold?

9:

IndyRef2 can't happen and be binding without the consent of Parliament, and would probably take at least six months to put in place. The nearest that could happen at short notice would be a snap referendum called by the SNP with support from the SGP, on a platform of "if we get a 50%+ margin we will have a mandate to run a new independence referendum" — which would be very hard to deny, if they got it.

I will note the Nicola Sturgeon is playing a very canny long game and is on the record as having said that she doesn't want to run another independence referendum unless she's sure of getting a 60% or greater "yes" vote. (We've seen how effective a 52/48 referendum outcome is at uniting a polity behind an issue and damping dissent. Ahem.)

Irish reuinification ...

It won't be reunification the way the Germanies reuinified. The unionists would never accept that, and it'd lead to street fighting and civil war. It's more likely to be two countries with different parliaments and electoral systems but a federal identity within the EU.

10:

Canned food I suspect might be the best currenct if push comes to shove... Gold is not as good for digestion...

11:

I see big employment opportunities in the field of customs inspection.

It takes roughly 2 years to train a customs officer.

The Netherlands began recruiting them by the thousand last year, to cover hard Brexit. The UK government? Nope, tumbleweeds. And we're now out of time.

The best suggestion the tories have come up with is to abolish customs checks on imports (thus opening us wide open to narcotics and firearms smuggling, but hey), to prevent bottlenecks on our side of the frontier. But the EU is very unlikely to reciprocate, so there will still be queues of outgoing trucks.

12:

While I suspect nothing this bad will happen, I agree that it is quite possible that it will and it's worth trying to plan for. If it does, then the long-term consequences of something like this are, I think, terrifying. If we assume the course of events is something like: hard brexit followed by food shortages, general disruption within weeks, financial & economic collapse followed by eventual rescue by the EU on (inevitably) far worse terms than we have now then what comes from that?

Well there will be a large number of people in the UK who will have had a really seriously bad time as a result of this: people will have died, many people will have lost everything. And the EU will have come in to rescue us as a result of which the UK will lose a lot of the rights it now has, as you say. People are going to hate the EU and foreigners in general for the perceived insult to their national pride, and they're going to hate the 'liberal elite' or whatever we are meant to call them now. It does not matter that this is a catastrophe that we have brought upon ourselves: Someone is going to have to take the blame, someone is going to have to suffer for what they did not, in fact do or ever want.

Well, this is the sort of thing that happened in Germany in the 1920s & 1930s, and we know where that ended up. I know this is perilously close to Godwinization, but I am not saying it because I'm playing some rhetorical game, I'm saying it because I am really frightened: the end point of this could easily be fascism. And I'm living in the middle of poor, rural England which is going to be fucked by this and I'm one of the people they will come for.

13:

Don't get your hopes for "never mind" resolution up.

A lot of hard-core EU people, both inside the machinery and in the political layers in the member countries don't much care how UK leaves, but they are adamant, as Charlie mentions, that if they ever come back, it is with no special "arrangements" (Ie: Start going metric, plan to convert to Euro, and then we'll talk...)

UK is, rightly, perceived as having hindered at lot of EU's grand and tiny plans for self-improvement, from unified time and measures to a EU-military, and very much in focus on both sides of brexit: UK has vetoed any serious, systemic attack on tax-evasion.

(This may become quite a problem for my own country Denmark, which has always cruised its EU-scepticism in the shadow of UK's veto power, but the brexit will probably effectively innoculate against a dkexit)

The sentiment I hear right now from EU world is that patience is running out, there are 12 weeks left of negotiations and either there is an agreement or there isn't and that's that: "Nothing is concluded until everything is concluded."

And yes, one doesn't have to fish much to find a quite gleeful schadenfreude at the prospect of a hard brexit either, and true to form, one of my french contacts suggested the official EU response, when UK begs for food-aid, should be "Let them eat financial derivatives then"

14:

Invest in rat farming futures. Or maybe a cryptocurrency for buying and selling rat pies?

(Only half-sarcastic. This is an entirely-self-inflicted WW2/Great Depression-scale economic own-goal.)

15:

the end point of this could easily be fascism

I agree 100%.

16:

As noted above, a War will make even your worst scenario seem warm and fuzzy.

17:

Problem is the next door neighbor, and traditional sparring-partner, also have nukes.

UK attacking Norway or Denmark is probably not a good idea either, so that leaves Iceland, or depending on the state of the UK armed forces, the Faeroyar Islands with Greenland as a final fall-back.

I really don't see that happening any time soon.

18:

Do you tihnk the Pratchett estate owns the trademark for Gimlet's Hole Food Delicatessen or will that be the next franchise to rise in the UK?

Pizza "Quatre rodenti" anyone?

The problem with this own goal, is that it isn't. Those that metaphorically got the ball, passed it back, kneecapped the goalie and, slammed the ball between the posts aren't those that will have to eat at the establishment above...

19:

I suspect the current US government would jump at the chance to ride to our rescue (on their terms) and shut out the EU. After seeing most of our remaining assets bought out on the cheap I'd guess we would end up with the same status as Puerto Rico.

20:

And if fascism is a plausible end point then people who might end up as the targets (the elite, anyone not sufficiently 'british' for the normal not-so-crypto-racist version of that) needs to be planning to leave. If the bad thing happens it will not be enough to have stocked up on supplies or to have saving denominated in Euro: indeed having done those things will make you a target: 'look at tfb, he moved all his savings to Euros in 2017, he knew what was coming, he's one of them, off to the camps with him'. No, you need to not be here if you might be seen to be one of them.

And if it is even plausible this means moving now: before the borders are closed, while it's still easy to move money out of the country.

21:

You were looking for Bad Guys for your space opera the other day. Space Steve Bannon seems like a solid choice. Have we found his underground lair yet? What uniform do his henchmen wear? Does he have a cat?

Seriously though, once the trend curves go asymptotic and if say the govt collapses, it's all chaos in the mathematical sense after that and there's no predicting where the 'sensitive dependence on initial conditions' will lead. Pad out your bunker as best you can; keep your peeps as safe as you can.

My guess based on the reign of GWBush was that Pres. Orange would collapse the US economy during his second term. A 25-28 month timeframe for Brexit slots right into that theory. If it all goes to hell it won't go to hell in one isolated country. Most of us will sink together. Oh joy...

22:

I'm going to second Naive Optimist's suggestion that you take a March-April sabbatical to a country that isn't proceeding to shoot itself repeatedly in one vital organ after the next.

How about Canada? Our election isn't until October 2019 (when the f-ing Tories might take power after a Trump-Lite campaign).

23:

Sorry Charlie, I normally agree with much of what you write but this is nonsensical alarmism.

Any food from the EU that would have been perfectly safe to import on the 28th March 2019 isn't suddenly going to become toxic on 29th March. The only thing that would stop food supplies coming into the country would be if the government was stupid enough to order it stopped, and even this lot of halfwits should see that's a very bad idea (if only because they'd be booted out at the next election). Same applies to any other import. If the EU wishes to get bureaucratic, which it undoubtedly will, goods going to the other way will get held up, but that should be at the French end, not Dover. Ultimately, like any tariff or non-tariff barrier it will hit the buyers who impose the tariff more than the sellers.

Incoming tariffs are something we get to decide on, not have imposed on us. The WTO agreement only sets the maximum tariff levels, we're perfectly at liberty to have 0% tariffs on anything we like, which would reduce the cost of all food from outside the EU (like New Zealand butter and lamb).

The "dairy as a rare luxury" report was commissioned by a dairy company, I'm only surprised the LSE put their name to it because it was rubbish. The UK is pretty much self sufficient in milk and cream (https://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/processing-trade/imports-exports/uk-dairy-trade-balance/#.W1A-g5DTW9c). We import a lot of cheese, but delays in cheese imports don't matter as the entire point of cheese is that it's time shifted milk. We also import some butter, but again it doesn't matter if it takes 6 weeks to come from NZ to get here.

As for Amazon walking away from the UK, IIRC the UK is their second biggest market after the US. Why the hell would they want to hand that over to anybody else?

24:

Whilst some people may see this as unnecessary alarmism, the facts and statistics are not exactly a source of unbridled optimism either.

I am one of the lucky ones. I have an opportunity to move out of the UK for some years, an opportunity that I am inclined to take up -- just to be on the safe side.

25:

Actually, I think that they may paper over the most obvious cracks in the short term. Yes, it will be bad. I have already moved my money into medium-safe havens (mostly index trackers based on non-UK industry)m but that wouldb'e be safe against a real meltdown.

What I see is us signing a 'trade deal' with the USA, which will be TTIP dictated by the America Firsters and not cover simply trade. We are already disgustingly subservient to the USA military-industrial complex, and I expect that to make it a LOT worse. Despite the hysteria, the worst problems will not be food quality, but things like being forced to accept USA legal rulings, especially on things like patents, copyrights and restrictions on industry. We KNOW that the USA wanted to impose those on the EU, so that it could use its lawyers to milk the EU for all it was worth. Worse, that also blocks any chance of independent (i.e. British) innovation and industries becoming established in any areas that the USA lawyers care about - I have personal knowledge of how much that already cripples us, partly because of treachery within Whitehall.

26:

Another data point: We are not alone in this.

Two other families in our neighbourhood are leaving the UK as well. In both cases their decisions were strongly influenced by increased racial harassment following the Brexit vote.

Admittedly, this is only anecdotal evidence, and vanishingly small numbers at that, but it does make you start to ponder if this is the beginning of something more significant?

27:

tfb writes:

And the EU will have come in to rescue us as a result of which the UK will lose a lot of the rights it now has, as you say.
Those aren't rights, they're privileges.

28:

Unfortunately as discussed elsewhere in comments, suspending customs means all sorts of things like drugs and weapons and Russian agents can get into the country.
If the French want inspections done in Dover, and we don’t, they are perfectly entitled to stop the ferries landing - or restrict the quantity to a level that they feel inclined to manage - which I don’t think would be very high!

29:

<Insert long and convoluted discussion of preppers/survivalists and prepping here, which got removed due to going off on too many tangents>
In conclusion, if I were in the UK (inc. NI), I would be stocking up on misc. products (particularly food with a long shelf life, such as flour, rice, dried legumes, canned goods; batteries, candles and matches; solar powered stuff; etc.). In fact, even though I'm not in the UK, come February next year (if not January), I'll slightly re-up my level of stocks of stuff, in preparation of possible bullshit.
I would encourage everyone to also consider their situation and attempt to get at least a few /months/ worth of food (that you actually would eat, and like to eat) into their kitchen cupboards by March 2019.

If nothing happens, you'll have spent slightly more money on food for a while, and then eat the food regardless. If the economy does melt down, you'll have a bit of a buffer against job loss, or even food shortages.

30:

the final refutation of the common British misconception that the UK is still a global superpower, possibly accompanied by Scottish secession and re-entry to the EU, Irish reunification in some sort of federal system, re-acquisition of Gibraltar by Spain, and the disintegration of the Conservative (and possibly Labour) parties at the next general election.

The predicted cost is obviously too high(*), but basically all of this looks like a good outcome to me.


(*) I'm not convinced by predictions of immediate civil unrest. It took a lot of targeted deprivation and bad racist policing to bring us the sporadic localised riots of the Thatcher era. A spike in hate crimes as happened after the referendum result is probably inevitable though.

31:

Oh, but overall, I tend to be a bit of a cautious optimist. I don't think things will be as bad as some people think they might be. Sure things can get bad, but will they really get that bad? The UK has historical connections to various countries that would, I think, happily go back to pre-1973 status with regards trade. That would make it easier for the UK to adopt to leaving the EU (in the medium to long term).

32:

I totally agree that Amazon UK won't collapse. Sure, it's going to be more expensive for them to do business, but it's _not_ going to be more expensive for them than for all the other businesses. Yes, the _money_ currently flows through Luxembourg, but a huge portion of that 18% of British retail that you cite is Amazon sales on _behalf_ of British retailers. Everything's going to get more expensive, and Amazon's portion may shrink, but not so much that it will disappear.

33:

I hope you're wrong, Charlie. My Brexit bag is packed. I only moved back here from Canada in 2015, and always intended to return there by 2028 at latest, but I brought over a lot of money to buy my flat (which I purchased just this year, gambling that you are wrong). If things really do go belly-up, you guys are on your own.

"the most likely historical legacy of a no-deal Brexit will be ... re-acquisition of Gibraltar by Spain

I really don't see that happening at least until Spain cedes Ceuta and Melilla to Morocco.

34:

Your acquaintances have left? None of mine (in Marine biology) have. We even made two Italian PhDs redundant last year (shortly before the vote) and they're still in town.

We have easily a dozen research scientists here who have other EU citizenship, and only two scientists (of any nationality) that I recall have moved in the past year—and one of those moves was planned well before the Brexit vote.

Now, that may well be because marine biology jobs are in short supply, everywhere—which is why I'm here and not in Canada.

35:

We have already had more widespread and serious targetted deprivation than in the Thatcher era. I agree that the government may be able to hold things together in the short term, but I don't see it being feasible for very long. Inter alia, where will the money for all the fixups needed come from?

36:

If I had other EU citizenship I would not leave either, because if the bad thing happens I can just go (let's assume there's some warning before they close the borders). But I don't, because I'm British, so if the bad thing happens I won't be able to go because who will take me?

In fact, if the bad thing happens it is probably already too late for British people without other EU citizenship who may end up being regarded as undesirable.

37:

The "dairy as a rare luxury" report was commissioned by an expensive dairy company

Seriously; I looked for that company's products in my local shops, and the ones that are carried all cost as much as or more than other brand names and the chain's own brand products.

38:

Here's another cheery thought for you all. Everything our host just said about the police (redundancies and budget cuts, personnel having their own families to worry about when things start to get bad etc) also applies to the Army.

39:

Our field is computer science, so young-ish people can quite easily pick the city of their choosing to live, especially within EU and especially if they are willing to accept the local conditions including wages. We are hiring at the moment, and unlikely to soon fill all vacancies created by the glut of new projects granted in CS.

40:

Charlie's predictions might be a wee bit apocalyptic, but this...

"The only thing that would stop food supplies coming into the country would be if the government was stupid enough to order it stopped"

...is not quite right. Delays - any delays - will propagate through the system in similar ways to how spontaneous traffic jams form. I experienced this a couple of weeks ago when crossing the Croatian / Slovenian border. It was a mere formality, as almost all the traffic was EU and the border guards literally just counted the number of burgundy passports and checked against the number of passengers, yet we were stuck in a queue for a good 45 minutes.

Now imagine that effect, but for large, slow trucks, many carrying perishables and more carrying JIT components designed to fit into a fairly precise processing schedule. Even a few extra minutes per vehicle could cause hours of tailbacks *in the ultra-short term* (ie on the first day), and far longer if protracted. Then think of the knock-on delays for the channel crossing infrastructure (think of what happens to flight schedules when a plane is delayed). Then think of how those delays permeate through at the other end. The missed delivery schedules resulting in further delays in getting things where they need to be, for instance. The buildups of goods that cannot be processed until the arrival of others - backlogs of unfinished components building up due to the late delivery of parts (remember the KFC fiasco). And then the drivers who end up overrunning their max working hours, and the need to find replacement drivers (from where?). And so on.

You imply, too, that obstructionism from the EU (by French customs, say) would not obstruct imports. Remember the migrant crisis? That led to colossal delays in exports even though there was never any added obstacle to Britain-to-France transport. The same would happen in reverse: any delays in Britain-to-EU shipping would result in further delays to imports even if Britain were to throw the ports open. (Which they won't be able to do anyway because Brexit was all about Taking Back Control - which demands at least a nominal move to increased border scrutiny).

tl;dr Deliberate obstructionism could create a colossal crisis, but the system is fragile anyway.

41:

I agree that the government may be able to hold things together in the short term, but I don't see it being feasible for very long.

One thing I'm getting at with my scepticism about civil unrest is that there's a tendency for people(*) to assume that civil unrest is the natural state of society absent the wise/ruthless/loving/pragmatic [delete as appropriate] rule of the Designated Authorities and predict rioting in the streets(**) any time there's big change they disapprove of. History doesn't really support that. Actual civil unrest needs some combination of long-standing active grievances, an immediate tangible cause, and a lot of organising work. Tottenham and Toxteth were anti-police riots. Tahrir Square began with student-led protests about the price of food.


(*) Generally middle-aged men, but I think that's just because they do most of the talking. The actual opinion is probably more widespread.

(**) Not our streets, of course. But... you know... those people over there. The scummy underclass and/or authentic revolutionary vanguard we project our unfiltered fears and desires onto.

42:

Make it still cheerier. I can't remember the details of which Acts say this, but the Home Secretary has the power to authorise anyone (including foreigners) to carry weapons, and to deputise them as police, for deployment anywhere in the UK. The former facility is used, sparingly, but the latter has only been dabbled with. If the shit really hits the fan (as the government sees it), especially if the police and armed forces refuse to carry out a dubious or improper order, it wouldn't surprise me if G4S, Blackwater or even the USA were called in.

43:

Good time to try out LED agro as back-up or even primary food supply. Also, laying hens don't need much space, special tech or feed.

44:

"Any food from the EU that would have been perfectly safe to import on the 28th March 2019 isn't suddenly going to become toxic on 29th March."

Remember the horse meat scandal?

without any downside to the senders we WILL start getting rubbish shipped to us. That stuff in the warehouse that someone left out in the lorry for too long? send it to the UK, that expired stuff? send it to the UK... & won't be long before we start getting stuff that is deliberately unsaleable elsewhere

you could say "we won't check anything" and manage a couple of days extra but ultimately you run into the same problem

45:

Charlie:

I haven't yet read through all the links you posted but feel that the article below should be added to the reading list. Please note that I posted the below link on the other comment/Frank's thread before coming over to read your new thread.

https://hbr.org/2018/07/the-real-story-of-the-fake-story-of-one-of-europes-most-charismatic-ceos


Here are the first four paragraphs:

'Laboratoires Berden had quite a run. Founded in 1996 by Eric Dumonpierre, who also served as CEO, Berden successfully commercialized Mutorex, a drug to treat obesity. Dumonpierre quickly became a star chief executive, winning several awards for corporate social responsibility. He invested in an all-hybrid vehicle fleet well before it was fashionable. He planted trees in and around Paris to stop deforestation. His employees loved him; they were given “solidarity leave” — full pay while on humanitarian missions, and he instituted a 32-hour workweek. Dumonpierre was celebrated at industry conferences and political forums, and was cited in the media.

But in the mid-2000s his impeccable reputation took some hits. There was disquiet over Berden’s intent to offshore some operations, potentially leading to layoffs in France. Then a philanthropic venture of Dumonpierre’s was exposed as a front for an organization that employed child labor in Asian factories. Rumors of serious side effects to Mutorex surfaced, and an executive committed suicide under circumstances that are still mysterious.

Still, by 2009 Berden and Dumonpierre had weathered the storms — and profits skyrocketed.

What’s most incredible about Berden and Dumonpierre is not their success or how their reputations recovered from scandal. It’s that neither the company nor its CEO exists. Every iota of information was fabricated — by college students — starting in 2005 and kept alive for a decade. This is the story of how, in our classroom, we at HEC Paris created false news before anyone understood the phenomenon — and what we’ve learned about the techniques that make false news spread and stick.'


46:

"The Shirley Exception is a bit of mental sleight of hand that allows people to support a policy they profess to disagree with. It's called the Shirley Exception because … well, I mean, *surely* there must be exceptions, right?" – Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) on Twitter., https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1004400861865488384.html

I do not see England or the UK or GB or whatever rejoining the EU, if the EU makes it hard; after starvation no-one says, "Oh, we're friends again." And no country ought to subject itself to the tender mercies of the ECB and its ordoliberalism.

I suppose trade with other regions is possible: the Americas, China, Russia, various Asian nations, but they will all demand their pound of flesh and then some.

Hard times, hard times.

Croak!

47:

You are (slightly) mistaken there. Long-standing active grievances? Tick, got them. An immediate tangible cause? We are speculating that. A lot of organising work? Not really, because that can follow the initial unrest, if it is mishandled, thus adding more grievances and tangible causes to those existing.

An example was in Northern Ireland. When the disorder started (1968 or so), it was NOT organised except by small gangs, and the IRA was in abeyance (and that led to the Official/Provisional split). Stormont completely fucked up its response, and it exploded from there.

48:

If this blog prediction were likely, it might be expected to be reflected in today's stock market and currency prices. By that metric there's good reason to be skeptical about these predictions.

49:

predict rioting in the streets(**) any time there's big change they disapprove of.

i'm positing rioting that gets started as food banks run out of food (although the folks dependent on food banks are generally already too beat down to complain) and then supermarkets that Folks Like Us shop in run out of staples like milk and bread. In other words, it starts as panic buying and then gets worse (as seen in the build-a-bear chaos earlier this month.

Obviously, running out of food is going to be a whole lot worse than running out of plush toys. Especially when it coincides with petrol shortages, traffic jams due to heavy goods vehicles, and "the sky is falling" news.

50:

"People are going to hate the EU and foreigners in general for the perceived insult to their national pride"

Half of them are. The other half are going to hate the first half for dropping us in this shite.

I am reminded of the Civil War(s) (as in Cromwell). It's something that everyone has strong views about, with the same religion-based inflexibility (note: using "religion" to describe a class of behaviour rather than the specific subclass that involves gods), and while there is some regional separation there is still a lot of mingling of people of opposite views; it even divides families and "sets father against son". No, I don't think it's impossible that something similar might happen again.

(And of course the eventual outcome of that episode, 28 years later, was that we invited a chap from the Continent to come and rule us and welcomed him with open arms...)

51:

"If this blog prediction were likely, it might be expected to be reflected in today's stock market and currency prices. By that metric there's good reason to be skeptical about these predictions."

what. the all wise all knowing market traders?

those magic people are just that: people. The things that Charlie is talking about are just becoming apparent - the more forward looking (and I would suggest that someone whose actual job is near future prediction might be at the forefront of that) are _just_ getting there now. It will slowly sink in as people put the pieces together. I also think that there is a large amount of "that couldn't possibly happen. could it?? could it?..."

the thing is - history tells us it can. The markets will start reacting when it becomes clearer - right now there is room to be optimistic - people might come to their senses, the government might collapse (I personally can't imagine how May will survive until March (but that doesn't mean it won't happen))

52:

I'm in agreement with our host, and hope it won't come to that.

I'll just note something which bothers me: it's not a left-right issue, this brexit thing. It's an open-closed thing.

Yes, closed is more prevalent in the right, but not exclusive to... By no means.

Why am I saying this? I think we need to fight this scourge. We need to recognise that universal values of freedom and openness and rights in general are foundational to our civilisation surviving. We need to accept that there are the people on the other side of the aisle we can talk to and disagree with, and people presumably on our side who are toxic.

Anyway, I'm sick and tired of being what upon by the universe in the form of old people afraid of the future and of foreigners (and the occasional young idiot with the same bend). But at least now there'll be a brilliant object lesson on the deep reality that we are all deeply connected.

53:

If this blog prediction were likely, it might be expected to be reflected in today's stock market and currency prices. By that metric there's good reason to be skeptical about these predictions.

Translation; 'the holy market is always 100% accurate and predictive of events many months in advance".

I cry bullshit, and point to 1929, 1987, and 2008 as trivially-available evidence.

54:

So, firstly I agree with everything you say. The hubris of the Brexiteers is finally catching up with them (hint: As an Australian, I can assure you the days of Australia sending troops off to Gallipoli because King and Country are LOOOOONG gone, we aren't just going to roll over and sign some sort of trade deal with the Poms just because they beg us to, it'll be on our terms). I'm terrified of whats happening to the world; it's not just the UK and the US, it's everywhere (see: Hungary, see Austria, see...). As a non UKer I have been constantly boggling at the absolute and total incompetence of the UK government in handling this. The hard left who complain about the EU being an evil neoliberal capitalist entity are also in for a rude surprise when they find out just exactly how food, for example, is actually produced.

However I wonder if in the very long term this will end up being positive? Global warming is here. It has arrived. We are dealing with the affects already (eg, the Syrian situation was greatly exacerbated by drought). We (and by we I mean the world) can't deal with 1.5million Syrians. What will we do when, say, 30 million Saudis (most of whom lack any useful skills to be blunt) run out of water? Do we see global supply chains lasting in this situation? I remember reading that one side affect of the Greece crisis is that everyone in Greece has a relative with a farm on one of the Islands or something, and a lot of people went back to the land because of it. Same with Cuba, famously when the Soviet aid was cut off the life expectancy actually increased because everyone started living off veggies they grew in their garden. Maybe it's time to collapse early and avoid the rush?

The US btw is going to get very interesting soon. A much more important thing happened in 2016 than the elections; the mayors of a bunch of coastal Florida towns wrote a joint letter saying, basically, "The Flooding is out of control! We need to do something!" It was ignored of course, and if you talk to the Dutch Miami is toast, there's nothing you can do to save that. Combine that with the fact that Phoenix will have to be abandoned because it'll just get too hot, and suddenly denial stops working. And I'm not at all convinced US culture is prepared to handle this. But maybe I've read too much Dmitry Orlov.

55:

"the cramped, densely populated UK hasn't been self-sufficient in food since the 19th century, and we import more than 50% of what we eat."

Worse than that, it's about 75% last time I looked (also we were already unviable by the end of the 18th century, if not before, the rot had set in well before that).

56:

PS Did you read that dairy report, or just the media commentary? Sure, it was commissioned by a dairy company. That doesn't affect its validity, and it doesn't look obviously "rubbish" to me. Though I've only read parts of it... http://www.lse.ac.uk/business-and-consultancy/consulting/assets/documents/the-impact-of-brexit-on-the-uk-dairy-sector.pdf

Btw, the UK may be nearly self-sufficient in raw milk but it is the world's second-largest importer of dairy overall and has a huge deficit (we import roughly double what we export, based on your own source). I don't feel reassured.

57:

I, too, agree that Charlie’s scenario is unlikely to occur, Most likely some sort of fudged, cobbled-together deal is going to be achieved. It quite likely will be at the 11th hour, and it may well be just be a kicking of the can further down the road (an Artilce 50 extension perhaps), but some sort of deal that keeps the food moving and the planes flying is almost certainly going to happen. And even in the event of a true no deal Brexit, while there might indeed be an attitude of “let them eat financial derivatives”, I really don’t see the EU27 actually forcing starvation onto the UK if things got to that point.

A deal is not likely to happen this side of business heading to the continent though, which is already starting and will be a stampede come the end of the year, maybe as soon as the autumn. I know of one household-name investment bank which officially only expects to move “a few dozen” jobs from London to the EU27 but in fact is right now leasing out two whole office blocks in a major EU27 financial centre in readiness.

The scary part though is that in these sorts of crises events can run out of control so easily, whether anyone wants them to or not. And we know there are actors that *want* Charlie’s scenario, or worse, to happen, and they’ll certainly be trying to tip the balance that way. So it could happen, even though I don’t think it is likely to.

And that is the most tragic part of Brexit for the UK: that the country has willingly and deliberately put itself into a position where such scenarios are plausible! 300 years of more or less stable government and more or less consistent economic development and a reputation that we do it by evolution, not revolution, thrown away in two years of madness.

Anyone else remember the 70s fascist Britain dystopias like Chris Priest’s Fugue For A Darkening Island, Robin Cook’s (no, not the minister) A State of Denmark or Wilfred Greatorex’s “1990”? I used to devour those, but even growing up during the three-day week and the winter of discontent I always felt their weakness was a handwaviness of how the country gets into these states in the first place.

But now we know. All you need is a bus.

58:

"I have been constantly boggling at the absolute and total incompetence of the UK government in handling this."

What makes it even more boggleable is that before the referendum there were numerous charts of the composition of Parliament published that showed that apart from a few tens of Tories, MPs of all parties were heavily in favour of Remain. Which led to the expectation that even if the referendum did go Leave not a lot would happen because most of Parliament would oppose it.

Where the fuck have those hundreds of Remain-supporting MPs all gone? I know there's been an election, but it didn't result in that many MPs being replaced, and in any case the sudden vanishment was apparent straight after the referendum long before the election was even proposed. All the stupid crap has gone through the Commons practically on the nod and the only effective opposition has been from the Lords. Have they all been nicking off to fancy dinners instead of putting their votes in? Has some Illuminati/Mafia-type figure managed to put the bite on several hundred MPs across the country? Or what?

59:

As I commented earlier today elsewhere, all you need is a set of have-nots who don't see any downside in risking the unknown...

60:

Referencing levels of drug smuggling, I would like to draw your attention to the flurry of papers which followed an innovative drug use survey carried out in Rome:

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/topics/pods/waste-water-analysis_en

The results of these surveys are actually rather enlightening and quite stark in their conclusions: narcotic use is much higher in prevalence and kilogrammes used than previous police and government guesstimates thought probable.

Working from this, the police are generally rather ineffective at seizing imported drugs, and serve only to keep prices high. Government guesstimates of drug use are inaccurate enough as to be useless, and given that most drug users seem to be invisible to health and law enforcement, it would seem that most people can handle taking drugs recreationally.

Therefore, I don't fear a greater influx of narcotic drugs into Britain post-brexit. About all that'll happen is that drug dealers make less money.

61:

@Elderly Cynic: An immediate tangible cause? We are speculating that.

@Charlie Stross: i'm positing rioting that gets started as food banks run out of food (although the folks dependent on food banks are generally already too beat down to complain) and then supermarkets that Folks Like Us shop in run out of staples like milk and bread. In other words, it starts as panic buying and then gets worse.

So I think we agree a hard Brexit isn't going to be an immediate cause in and of itself? At the very least, a credible prediction of unrest needs to specify who will be doing what, and why. (And ideally, when. I'd expect the economic troubles of a hard Brexit to push politics in radical directions, but mass protests a year or two down the line aren't the same thing as riots up front.)

Rioting over food is at least a concrete example - though I think the suggestion that it would start with food banks is an example of the kind of projection I mentioned in my last post. UK food banks are sparsely distributed and don't allow anyone to visit more than once a month, "to discourage dependency". The angry crowds are much more likely to be at the supermarkets. But even then I'm sceptical that we'd end up with rioting rather than the panic-buying we saw in the 1970s.

62:

tfb / Charlie @ 15
"fascism"
And Corbyn is rabidly pro-Brexit, yes?
I simpply don't beieve the levels of stupid.
I supect we will have to post guards on our allotments - but if the 'leccy supply goes down, so do our frozen food reserves - NOT good.

Will stop here, coming back later, off to pub ......

63:

...and further: The very morning after the referendum, the Leave side flat out admitted that their bus had been a complete lie. The day after that they admitted that one of their other major promises had also been a lie. And yet nobody gave a shit. Not only was there no outcry, there was no reaction at all.

It's not just the levels of stupid that are incredible, it's the levels of passive acceptance and lack of will to resist.

64:

I for one look forward to a No Deal Brexit in which, to keep food and vital supplies flowing, we have no customs controls at the borders. I seem to recall that Leave voters had some concerns about controls at the border, what was the slogan, "Take Away Control Of Our Borders"? Something like that.

65:
A lot of organising work? Not really, because that can follow the initial unrest, if it is mishandled, thus adding more grievances and tangible causes to those existing.

An example was in Northern Ireland. When the disorder started (1968 or so), it was NOT organised except by small gangs


NICRA had existed for a year by that stage.
67:

I wouldn't say that market predictions are 100% correct, but how's the track record of predictions by science fiction writers? Probably not so hot either.

68:

how's the track record of predictions by science fiction writers? Probably not so hot either.

Then why are you bothering with my blog?

You're not a regular around here. Better mind your manners; you're skating very close to a ban for rudeness.

69:

I know that. There are already organisations and marches against government policy, and we are now in the days of smartphones being used to promote such things, which makes it MUCH faster to organise a demonstration or riot.

Let's say that there is panic buying and the supermarkets in a deprived area run out of food, so some hundreds or a thousand descend on those in neighbouring rich areas. No problem. But what if they were blocked from doing so? A few days of that, and the imprisoned, hungry people could easily turn into a rampaging mob. Whereupon ....

My point is that a crisis turns into serious disorder mainly when they authorities completely fuck up the response. But what is the chance of this government NOT fucking it up?

70:

Jesus, I'm glad not to be part of this particular family squabble. I only have to deal with...(nods exaggeratedly westward). If I recall correctly, Leave were busted for violating election laws on spending limits for this non-binding referendum, but their obvious chicanery and Russian interference are not enough to invalidate the result, because this really isn't an election. When I read Barbara Tuchman's "The Proud Tower" I wondered how people could sleepwalk towards doom, some even eagerly rushing forward. No longer.

The only thing that can be predicted with certainty is that the Conservatives will bodge Brexit or its reversal, so plan accordingly.

For what it's worth, MEP and Brexit Representative Guy Verhofstadt (The Hof!) supports a petition to grant EU citizenship to UK citizens living on the Continent (at 327K signatures towards the goal of 500K).

https://www.change.org/p/do-you-want-personal-eu-citizenship-send-a-message-to-the-european-parliament

There's also a change.org petition to strip The Hof of his parliamentary immunity for recently calling some marching Poles a bunch of Nazis (4125 signatures towards goal of 5000), because, hey, the EU. By sticking around, British citizens get to deal with the smoke rising from the EU's eastern edges (and literally from the northern and southern edges).

71:

I think Charlie has posited a believable scenario of post E-day Britain(E for Exit) but suspect several things will happen instead. If we are approaching a hard exit, the E.U. and Whitehall will “stop the clock” until an agreement is reached-after an outbreak of sanity in Whitehall.I believe it was Charlie who pointed out there are three deadlines, E-180, when 6 month forward contracts are settled, E-90 for 3 month contracts at which points an outline of the disaster will become clear to all who can/want to see. The 3rd deadline is E-day.
I do not think the E.U. wants to see the total collapse of the UK(or just England) as such unrest is not easily quarantined and can spread to neighbouring countries.
Ultimately I fear that the Leave population is like an alcoholic-they will not admit to a problem until they hit rock bottom.
(There is another outcome-certain forces start work on Project Fairfax(for non UKA persons, look up the English civil war.))

72:

Unfortunately Mr Corbyn, for all his virtues is something of a Marxist and unfortunately seems not to have the wit to keep quiet on this belief system.

Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future, none of which have come true. He also made a number of assertions about how an economy should be run, which were comprehensively shot down at the time by his intellectual contemporaries in the Austrian school of economics, and which have been fairly well tested in real life several times.

Real-world Marxist governments generally muddle along rather incompetently for a while, then eventually descend into totalitarian economic messes. Venezuela is the poster child for this; it takes a rare sort of anti-talent to comprehensively mess up running a petro-state and its economy, but this the Marxist government of Venezuela has managed.

Thus politics in Britain is getting to be rather depressing. We have a choice between what is almost a minority government headed by the Incredible Charisma Vacuum, with Captain Plonker burbling his incompetent way through leading the Labour Party ever leftwards.

Way out there somewhere we also have the comic relief group formerly run by Nigel, and some yellow bunch headed by someone nobody has ever heard of.

Why is there a preponderance of politicians with silly hairstyles about the place now? Why do some of them look likely to get into power? Where did I take the wrong turn that led to this madhouse?

73:

Didn't stop Napoleon reckoning that he could starve us out if it wasn't for our Navy. He knew we were dependent on importing food.

74:

Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future, none of which have come true.

Disagree strongly: the inherent contradictions in capitalism were to some extent averted in the 20th century precisely because of Marx's predictions (evasive action was taken to head them off at the pass), but it looks like we're getting back into Crisis of Capitalism time again at this point.

(Now, as to his prescriptions not working, that's another matter. But then, Marx was about 95% diagnosis and 5% prescription anyway.)

75:

I apologize. Your post was educational and interesting, even if I don't agree with it. I will mark my calendar for five years from now, to see how your prediction fared.

76:

Re: 'Why is there a preponderance of politicians with silly hairstyles about the place now?'

Personally think some of this may be attributable to the fear (in the UK) about not getting a good job if one publicly discloses one's political affiliation thus preventing many sensible people from actively engaging politically at a grass roots level - the source pool of future political leaders/PMs.

The hair could be part of why they couldn't get a good mainstream job. :) Think this is like 'artistes' being allowed to be weird: after a while, 'allowed' turns into 'expected', so that if you're not weird enough, the common bloke can't believe that you could possibly be an artiste/pol.

77:

Not fair. No US political comments but you drop a line like: "leadership as credible as, say, George W. Bush and/or Gordon Brown." Can't tell on this side of the Atlantic whether you are being satirical or not but that kind of sentiment is designed to elicit reaction that must by its essence involve US political comment. Provocation is fine but play fair, man.

78:

Re: Food shortages - smuggling

Of the impression that there are still many small fishing boats all around the UK coast. If yes, then instead of fishing, many of these boats will likely start engaging in food smuggling. Sources could be legitimate farmers from the EU or an increase in large cargo/container ships from anywhere on the planet (esp. China) passing more slowly than usual just off the international/national sea border.

If this happens then it's likely that some idiot pol (possibly backed by a supermarket/retail giant) will insist that the UK navy get involved to stop this: better die of starvation waiting for the next UK harvest than survive eating un-British food. (The old better-dead-than-red argument.)

79:

I remain somewhat hopeful, not least of which pretty much all my current pension savings are tied up in the UK. However, to respond to the idea that 'food will be fine because it's not changing', that's dangerously missing the point about modern 21st century supply chain management.

We might skip inspections on the trucks coming in, although how we do that and not get smacked out of the WTO on whose terms we would be trading (because they have opinions on that) - even a delay on either end of, say, 30 seconds per vehicle adds up to trucks being stuck on the M26 or in the new lorry parks they're ALREADY building across chunks of the Kent Countryside that should ALREADY be on their way back through with stuff for the supermarket marshalling sites in Leicestershire.

If the trucks get delayed on that job, then they're not available for Jobs 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 on which they are already booked. The whole Just In Time logistics system is that fragile. Start mucking with it and things start failing very quickly. Fresh food only stays fresh for a while after all.

Screwing with the whole basis of modern logistics alone should be enough to cancel Brexit.

80:

Re smuggling (and this is offtopic) but: Long tradition of that. You could buy French Wine in the UK pretty much throughout the entire Napoleonic wars for instance.

81:

Claiming 'market predictions are not 100% correct' is, while strictly true, fairly misleading: market predictions are often catastrophically bad. It is one of the many awkward truths about economics that the assumption that the markets price things in just does not work very well.

82:

That sinking feeling
(produces evil cackle) Aha. Ha. Ha. Ha. You are going to have to get used to it from now on, aren't you.
The real sinking feeling happens not when events actually are unfolding in front of your eyes, but when you look back and realize how much you've already missed. Give it a bit of time, and you will be grateful for many of the Brexit failings you are now considering so bad now, because the Big Trade War will hit you hard, and then some more. You will have to get used to things like this:
http://www.lngworldshipping.com/news/view,uk-lng-shipment-headed-to-us-likely-originated-from-yamal_50436.htm
https://eadaily.com/en/news/2017/12/15/at-a-loss-why-has-poland-sold-its-lng-from-united-states-to-ukraine
And why worry about food shortages, this is not how capitalist economy works, isn't it?

the end point of this could easily be fascism
There's no reason for oligarchical regimes (who promote and secure fascist governments all over the world) - not to treat their own citizens in the same manner eventually. Especially while said citizens are still riding a globalist wave of optimism and all-loving pink-glasses idealism. It only means that you are the last dish on the menu.
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/resilience-left-latin-america

We are living in world-encompassing white, supremacist, neoliberal state which accepts no borders, liberties or alternatives to its rule. Not because the "white" ARE majority of the people, but because they OWN majority of the people, and it is natural for some(only some) more extreme and less wealthy of them to try and adjust their grip on the assets they feel like they can lose at the moment. These people may bicker for a while, but overall nothing would change for better to everybody else, because even the individuals (this one and the other one) who have the power to change something, they understand - it is a different game altogether. They make a mistake, and they are crushed like bugs under a gold bar.

and a wave of revolutions the like of which the planet hasn't seen since 1917-18
And here I am, to actually remind that 1917 revolutions started with government coup, when liberal government toppled the Emperor and became the new ruler of.. whatever it was left of the Empire. However weak these people were, the Tsar's crumbling bureaucracy was even weaker, so people do not usually blame them for this action and rather stress the following events.

83:
Where the fuck have those hundreds of Remain-supporting MPs all gone?

OK, let's do an explainer on this:

There are 317 Tory MPs now. Of these, there are perhaps 50 who are seriously pro-Leave (the "European Research Group"), 20 that are pro-Remain and 247 who are pro-doing what the party leader says. That's where most of the vote went: when Cameron was leader, they were being told to vote Remain, so they did; now May is leader they are being told to vote Leave, so they do. Only a handful of the pro-Remain (sometimes just Kenneth Clarke, sometimes Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan as well) will actually rebel on major votes, but when the rest (a group led by Dominic Grieve) push hard, then Theresa May will offer them something to back down - however, they are mostly instinctive loyalists, and will often accept fake compromises in exchange for not rebelling, so they can't be relied on. If you follow American politics, think Susan Collins, who threatens to rebel much more often than she actually does.

All 10 DUP MPs are either pro-Leave or pro-obeying the party leader.

All the other minor parties are 100% either pro-Remain or pro-obeying a pro-Remain party leader. There are a few (most notably the Lib Dems Norman Lamb and Tim Farron) who represent strongly pro-Leave seats and might have some problems if they actually had to vote against Brexit in a vote that could overturn it, but voting for the softest Brexit possible isn't a problem for any of them.

Over in the Labour party (262 MPs), there are four groups aside from the majority whose principled position is doing whatever the Labour leader says:

The leadership itself, which is instinctively anti-EU, but also knows that (a) most Labour voters and MPs are instinctively pro-EU, and (b) No Deal will be a disaster and therefore they have to make sure that if No Deal happens they mustn't get the blame. They've appointed a lawyer-MP (Keir Starmer) to do the detailed work and he's been slowly edging towards the obvious solution of the "soft Brexit" (staying in the economic bits of the EU and leaving the political ones) but without admitting that this is impossible without retaining freedom of movement, which is hated by lots of racist Labour voters. As the party out of power, they can pretend that they could have got something that is impossible and blame it all on the Tories for not getting it ... as long as they can vote against what the Tories do without actually winning - so their strategy is to lose the votes as narrowly as possible. If they accidentally stop Brexit, then the government will fall and it becomes their problem, which is something they desperately want to avoid.

A rebellious pro-Remain faction who will vote for anything that softens Brexit and don't give a crap about pissing off racists by keeping freedom of movement. This is probably 100 MPs, but Corbyn never wants to call a vote where they will actually rebel against him, because that weakens his position. This is why Labour keep abstaining - Corbyn and the Remainers can agree to abstain and the party doesn't look totally split.

Two separate pro-Leave factions. One is comprised of the true believers and is either four or five MPs (Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer, Frank Field, John Mann, and Kelvin Hopkins. Hopkins is technically not Labour because he's been suspended during an investigation into claims of sexual harassment).

The other pro-Leave faction covers a number of MPs who are instinctively pro-EU, but not particularly committed to that, and whose constituencies are very very pro-Brexit. This could be as many as 50 MPs, but probably no more than 20. They are the main reason why Labour has been pretending that it's possible to get rid of freedom of movement without chaos.

Most of the time the Tories can keep their number of rebels small enough that the few Labour rebels will fill up the gap.

84:

Or, much simpler "The market can stay irrational much longer than you can stay solvent".

85:

I do not think the E.U. wants to see the total collapse of the UK(or just England) as such unrest is not easily quarantined and can spread to neighbouring countries.

No, of course EU does not want not want UK to collapse, just as - just exactly as - they don't want to Ukraine, Switzerland or Norway collapse: Collapsing neighbors make lousy fences.

But to be utterly brutal about it: EUs point of view boat-refugees in the Channel or the Irish Sea coming from a politically collapsing UK are, after 30 march 2019, in all respects indistinguishable from boat-refugees in the Mediterranean coming from politically collapsing Northafrican countries.

86:

Yes I could have phrased that better. I guess I'd say that market predictions would appear to me to be the best of the many bad ways to predict the future. It's not so much that I'm saying they are good as I'm saying they are the least bad method.

87:

Not fair. No US political comments but you drop a line like: "leadership as credible as, say, George W. Bush and/or Gordon Brown."

I detested Dubya at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight? We've got it infinitely worse today.

As for Brown, he knew his macro, but had all the charisma and charm of a two-by-four.

So you can take that quip as "dislike, but grudgingly concede there are worse things out there".

88:

No, no, no, Charlie! Rats are too much gristle and bone. Allow me to offer a much tastier alternative: as we (yes, that includes me, personally) Yippees said in '68, "Eat the rich!"

Steak of hedge fund manager, anyone?

89:

I disagree. The chances of Trumpolini getting through his first term, never mind reelected, range from slim to none.

Btw, I have this picture of a new band, The Tangerine Shitgibbon, as "playing" a fusion of heavy metal and avante garde jazz, the kind of jazz I refer to as "amelodic".... Or maybe this band is just waayyyyy off-key.

90:

Oh, yes, the joy of JIT supplies. Or, as I have been calling it for many years, Just-Not-In_Time.

And it gets deeper than that: I know the US, and so I suspect the UK, also, changed the tax laws so as to taxx stock (that hit artists hard), and so industry wants to stock as little as possible. Now, with border delays, they'll want to stock up, but it will cost them higher taxes....

The upshot is modern capitalism: "sales and revenues down? increase prices to maintain a steady revenue stream!", as opposed to the version of capitalism I saw growing up, which was "sales are down? lower prices".

91:

It will be rioting and looting. For those not familiar with them, read up on the riots in US cities in the mid-sixties.

And, of course, if the Tories are still in power, there'll be an overreaction, though whether they'd do the US "looters will be shot", I don't know.

92:

Hey, you won't have to do that. I mean, King Charles (or whatever name he takes) can be given some ruling powers....

93:

That's an amazingly stupid statement. For one, it clearly shows a complete inability to distinguish between a person who is a writer's *fiction*, and the person's actual opinions about the world here-and-now.

And how are they doing? Well, let me put it this way: I never expected to be living in a literal cyberpunk future, with multinationals more powerful than most governments, and controlling the others.

So, whose predictions do *you* find credible - Trumpolini's on a trade war? Farage's on Brexit?

94:

Sorry, but some alcoholics never admit it,even when they do hit rock-bottom.

And I can say that, having lost my late ex to complications of cirrhosis.

95:

Re: '... obeying the party leader'

If obeying the party leader is the default of the majority members within every party, hold party leaderships as many times as needed until the mix of party leaders will act sanely, i.e., for the benefit of the electorate at large.

It's not as though there haven't been surprise party leaderships before in the UK - you're not bound by some obscure x-year tradition.

96:

I'm too young to remember any of this, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure this country didn't have an existing "lost generation" of disaffected casualties of a previous economic crisis in the Seventies. How many foodbanks did we need before the Winter of Discontent?

97:

Charlie, while your scenario for a NDB sounds right (you forgot that NI imports all its electricity from Ireland; London is seriously planning to ship over generators in case of a NDB), I think this will be averted: Soon after E-180 Dublin will see that no solution for Ireland is likely and veto any deal on the table (since none will keep the GFA).
This will lead to an extension according to 50.3 (which as we previously noted, can in theory be done infinitely), maybe late (the European Council can do that without any parliaments).
Most likely we will know around New Year what will happen (looking forward to this years Royal Christmas Message).

For the NBD scenario note that the weather at that time of the year can still be cold.

98:

Have we found his underground lair yet? What uniform do his henchmen wear? Does he have a cat?

Re cats and evil (Brexit) villains,
Risky business: linking Toxoplasma gondii infection and entrepreneurship behaviours across individuals and countries (25 July 2018, abstract only without access)
The inexplicable is explained! And don't forget to stockpile cat food., which can be eaten by people if necessary. Seriously, though, stockpiling such that one cycles through the stockpile regularly is never a bad idea. If one has a pantry or pantry cabinet, fill it up with food.
Using a saliva-based assay, we found that students (n = 1495) who tested IgG positive for T. gondii exposure were 1.4× more likely to major in business and 1.7× more likely to have an emphasis in 'management and entrepreneurship' over other business-related emphases. Among professionals attending entrepreneurship events, T. gondii-positive individuals were 1.8× more likely to have started their own business compared with other attendees (n = 197).

99:

Richard Gadsden broke down the numbers, but to add to that, the simple fact is that the UK is indeed an elective dictatorship. We plebs simply don't have any direct routes to influence politicians and parliament, especially when most of the media is against us. Thus, many people have lapsed into apathy over the years.
Moreover, a lot of people, including politicians, really don't know how the world works, and assume things will be sorted out by someone. There are a lot of people, including in business, who are only now waking up to the fact that the adults aren't going to step out and take away the toys and make sure everything turns out okay. There aren't any adults, but their entire world view assumes there is. Adjusting to this will take time. These people also don't understand how bad things could get; I might need to start explaining things to friends and relatives who don't have a clue about it all.

100:

This will lead to an extension according to 50.3

The crucial word in §50.3 is "unanimously".

That will be a tough row to hoe for UK without loosing both the Marbles and the Rock.

101:

Re:
[quote]Canned food I suspect might be the best currenct if push comes to shove... Gold is not as good for digestion...[/quote]

Canned food is good, but whiskey might be better for trade. It's not as compact as gold, but it's harder to counterfeit. And if food is short, whiskey and beer won't be being made.

If you're planning trade goods, try something *slightly* exotic. Smoked oysters may be good. Octopus is probably too exotic.

If you're planning for yourself, focus more on storage space and consider cost. Also utility after the crisis (presuming it's temporary). So freeze dried hiking supplies might not be a good choice, but I'd certainly consider powdered milk.

102:

Well, you've got a bit of time, but "LED agro" implies that you don't have a lot of room. If you want to raise chickens, you'll need a bit more space than you seem to be expecting. My grandfather had a 10 yard X 10 yard chicken yard to keep him and his wife an eggs, with a chicken once a month. And he bought chicken feed, supplies, etc. The chicken yard was well fenced, and in the middle of cottom fields, so weasels, foxes, etc. didn't show up, but he also kept a dog outside.

The "LED agro" might work as a supplement for personal use, but it depends on a reliable electrical supply.

I think you need to think your plan through a bit more carefully, and possibly put in a bit of practical research. Not everyone who publishes checks to ensure that their plans would really work.

103:

Whisky (we don't make that stuff with an 'e' in it) is a pipeline good several years long, by law. We've got hundreds of thousands of barrels of the stuff maturing away with the raw whisky going into bond today not seeing the light of the Sun again for at least five years (seven years is more realistic for a single malt worthy of the name, and ten years is considered a 'good start').

104:

The UK has already lost its marbles and is definitely between a rock and a hard place :-)

More seriously, the latter will apply to any deal, the way that Spain has been given special privilege by the EU. The press has been awfully quiet on it, but I suspect that the UK will (maybe Robbins already has) agree that Gibraltar remains subject to all EU regulations, the ECJ etc. After all, we had the converse arrangement for the Channel Islands and Isle of Man for a long time.

Greece is vulnerable to pressure from its creditors, who I suspect would be keen on such an extension.

I also suspect that other pressure might be applied, but I am not sure what form it would take.

105:

What do you have against Bushmills?

106:

It's a long time since the Sovereign has suspended Parliament, but I live in hope!

107:

"I do not think the E.U. wants to see the total collapse of the UK (or just England) as such unrest is not easily quarantined and can spread to neighbouring countries."

Greece, I tell you, Greece!

I wonder how much of the acceptance of the ECB's treatment of Greece is due to it being a southern European country, and therefore considered to be slovenly and lazy, unlike the thrifty Germans (whose debts have been forgiven multiple times.)

But if it's the UK, well, they're going to have a lot of explaining to do, to make the case that it is moral failings on the part of the UK.

108:

It's sillier than that. Almost all the time science fiction writers are not trying to make predictions, except about how people might react in some situation. And they will often set up the situation in a rather off-hand kind of way, or just assume it, because that's not what they're about.

That said, I don't really find that *any* group has a very good way of making predictions. Delphi is about as good as I've ever seen. Or perhaps bookies, though they're usually tightly focused on what kind of bets they will handle. Some aren't, but I think those are pari-mutuel, and thus count more as a Delphi system than as predictions made by the bookie.

109:

Bushmills (the single malt) is okay-ish.

Now, Writers' Tears is actually quite quaffable.

110:

I try not to make actual predictions in my fiction because that's not what fiction is about. I do, however, strive for plausibility — for coming up with a setting in which the characters' actions make sense and which is consistent with the background from which it emerges. And as I'm probably somewhere on the spectrum, I take this monomaniacally seriously by the standards of many of my peers (and some of my readers).

111:

Thanks for the recommendation. Touring Eire on a trike is on my list ....

112:

Great. I am *not* looking forward to a rapid increase in the cost of the Balvenie 12 yr Doublewood I buy....

113:

Preserved food and canned goods are a sensible idea, and a stock of luxuires isn't bad. But trading tins of spam for fresh vegetables is not a long term solution. Sadly it's time to be sociable, to let your neighbours know who you are and what you can do. Got a car? Offer to take people to the shops (SOON TO BE RENAMED COMMUNITY RATION OFFICE). Building skills? Have them to keep you in mind if they need repairs. Able bodied? Maintenace, hauling rubbish away, all that kind of thing. Not able bodied? Tell them to keep you in mind for baby-sitting, making drinks and meals, neighbourhood watch, keeping an eye on things generally.

Communities working together are more resilient than households, which are better than people on their own. There's always the danger that the worst case scenario doesn't come to pass and you've joined in a street of people who work together and know each other and help etc. even when survival isn't on the line. Still, in that hideous event, then Brexit was a success and you can probably use your newfound prosperity and freedom to move to somewhere where people don't make eye-contact and say hello when they meet.

114:

Delphi... do you mean the method of incorporating sufficient ambiguity in your predictions that no matter what actually does end up happening you can claim that's what you meant? Or does the word get used to mean some other bloody thing nowadays so some group or other can look pretentious at the expense of confusing everybody else?

Bookies... yes, I used to consider them as the most reliable easily-accessible source of predictions. But they seem to have lost their touch when it comes to current UK politics. In fact they seemed to start getting it wrong before politics started to go really off the rails, which might be significant in itself.

115:

When in that House MPs divide
If they've a brain and cerebellum, too,
They have to leave that brain outside,
And vote just as their leaders tell 'em to.

So basically we are re-confirming my long-held opinion that the whip system should be abolished, and some serious thought given to how to implement a secret ballot.

116:

"Work for the best, prepare for the worst."

I'm currently poring over the slim volume "Getting ready together" at https://www.byline.com/column/67/article/2206 - it's written by an ex-copper with an axe to grind, but he's open about it.

NeilW @112 - community is a good thing on the whole, especially when you make at least a token effort towards it.

117:

"(*) I'm not convinced by predictions of immediate civil unrest. It took a lot of targeted deprivation and bad racist policing to bring us the sporadic localised riots of the Thatcher era. A spike in hate crimes as happened after the referendum result is probably inevitable though."

I think you are being somewhat optimistic - imagine a situation akin to the fuel protests, but with no obvious resolution in sight, a large part of the PTBs advantage in such cases is mobility - and if a large majority of the country's hotspots go up at once, then they effectively lose that advantage (even if you ignore the obvious possibility of traffic chaos as folk travel to elderly family members and so on).

118:

Honestly, Charlie, the logical conclusion of your own analysis is that you should move to Ireland or a Commonwealth country.

119:

"A rebellious pro-Remain faction who will vote for anything that softens Brexit and don't give a crap about pissing off racists by keeping freedom of movement. This is probably 100 MPs, but Corbyn never wants to call a vote where they will actually rebel against him, because that weakens his position. This is why Labour keep abstaining - Corbyn and the Remainers can agree to abstain and the party doesn't look totally split."

In terms of recent votes where Labour abstained the most obvious would be the EEA vote, however even if they hadn't abstained they are unlikely to have won, because there are a reasonable number of MPs (other than Hoey, Fields et al) who would vote against anything that was insufficiently brexity (people like Gareth Snell and Ruth Smeeth)

On that vote 15 Labour MPs voted with the government to keep the UK out of the EEA, so even if Labour had voted for the EEA, 23 Tory MPs would have had to vote with them to defeat the government.

On the same day Labour voted against the government 13 out of 14 times, and lost every vote because they just didn't have the numbers, and the Tory rebels never materialised.

So no, I don't think description is correct.

120:

Preserved food and canned goods are a sensible idea, and a stock of luxuires isn't bad. But trading tins of spam for fresh vegetables is not a long term solution. Sadly it's time to be sociable, to let your neighbours know who you are and what you can do.
Oh, yes. Stockpiled food (and water, or means to make/get/purify clean water), especially cooked food, is (well, should be) for feeding neighbors during times of crisis, to build ad-hoc communities and strengthen existing communities.
Same with skills (especially emergency and improv skills), tools (e.g. chainsaws in the US), etc. And this is what happens for real, usually. (Also in my experience, although I have never suffered infrastructure outages more than a few days finish-start.)

121:

That would be a fucking superb bit of historical bookending, in the light of the reasons why he isn't all that keen on taking the name of Charles at the moment...

Or are you hinting that Britain might end up being ruled from a flat in Edinburgh? :)

JNIT (JOOT?) ... yet another example of the catastrophic nature of the consequences being magnified by our insistence on doing something which is so obviously a bad idea I've thought we should stop doing it ever since I realised we were doing it.

Tax on keeping stock... I have no idea whether we have this or not, but I do know that our accountants have this massive fixation with not keeping stock because they think it costs money. They don't mean things like taxes (and things that aren't called taxes but are) on the building you keep it in, or electricity to keep it refrigerated (if it needs it), either; they mean some bollocks cost that doesn't actually exist, invented by the usual accountants' method of treating zero as a very large negative number, which since it doesn't exist can be increased arbitrarily until they win the argument.

It is also an obsession which tends to grow, first from not keeping stock to not having any stock, and then to not having anything else either (like a workforce), instead relying on calling on some other outfit to wipe their arse for them whenever they need something - and that other outfit are doing the same bloody thing, and so on and so on. All these outfits can then claim that they are making a success out of JIT, pointing to their zero-length record of being held responsible for any failures, and omitting to mention that the reason is not that there haven't been any, but that every time there have been they've been able to pass the buck on until it ends up with someone in China who doesn't answer the phone.

122:

There aren't as many fishing boats as there used to be.

There are, instead, people who say the EU has ruined our fishing industry because the EU quotas don't let them function. This seems to be less of a cognitive strain for them than admitting that the fishing industry has ruined itself by catching all the bloody fish, and without the quota restrictions to try and safeguard what's left it would probably have collapsed altogether by now.

There are also a crapload of yachts, especially on those bits of the coast which are nearer to the Continent, which are entirely capable of making the crossing, and next to no customs except at the few ports capable of handling big ships.

123:

Actually, that was Thatcher again. When the EU set up the licence system, most countries bought up their local licences, but she left it to the 'free market' amd they went abroad.

124:

I understand that all those weighty tones proving Malthus wrong are especially filling and nutritious

125:

Could this economic collapse you describe be contained in the UK, or will the UK collapse be the first domino that knocks down the world economy - Great Depression Part Deux?

127:

The other half are going to hate the first half for dropping us in this shite.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner. The backlash is going to be ugly! Let the average Liberal go a few days without food and we'll be happy to kill and eat the Conservatives! (I say this tongue-in-cheek, of course, but after a hard Brexit people are going to be pissed!

128:

Worse than that, it's about 75% last time I looked

According to the government it the UK either produces 76% of it's food or 49%.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515048/food-farming-stats-release-07apr16.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/food-statistics-pocketbook-2017/food-statistics-in-your-pocket-2017-global-and-uk-supply

Although the 49% number is what is produced in UK minus exports.

129:

What makes it even more boggleable is that before the referendum there were numerous charts of the composition of Parliament published that showed that apart from a few tens of Tories, MPs of all parties were heavily in favour of Remain. ... Where the fuck have those hundreds of Remain-supporting MPs all gone?

Very similar to what happened in the US when DT won. If DT said the sun rises in the west the R's from heavy DT voting areas lined up and agreed. Even if their previous platform was based on it rising in the west.

NOT trying to drag DT into this. Just pointing out how populism seems to extract the spine of many of what once appeared to be people with strong ones.

130:

There are also a crapload of yachts

Yachts are pretty reasonable for carrying people, albeit much worse than ferryboats. But for cargo they generally suck. You're back to stevedores carrying sacks and cargomasters very carefully working out how many sacks go where, and the actual load capacity can be tiny. Sure, a 15m sailing catamaran can carry a tonne of provisions, but you're going to be sadly disappointed by its seaworthyness if you put more than about 5 tonnes of cargo into it. Older yachts will likely perform better, because before computer designed composite hulls they just put more structure in so a 10m wooden ketch can probably be gutted and used to carry 10 tonnes of whatever you want... but slowly.

Fishing boats are ideal for this because they are designed to carry large quantities of fluids (fish are fluid in this sense), deal with heavy weather, and not need many crew. So your 10m fishing boat is likely already set up to carry 10 tonnes of cargo and be much easier to load and operate than a converted yacht.

About the only place yachts have a clear advantage is smuggling gold - like the book says, a keel cast from gold works just like one cast from lead, right up until the end of the voyage :)

131:

Not fair. No US political comments but you drop a line like: "leadership as credible as, say, George W. Bush and/or Gordon Brown."

I detested Dubya at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight? We've got it infinitely worse today.

Gotta disagree, although I don't want to derail into US politics. However, this is important. Bush was a practiced politician who got a lot of countries (including the UK) into both Afghanistan and Iraq, at a (what?) trillion dollar cost and hundreds of thousands of lives.

Now I agree that the current administration is potentially more dangerous through sheer cluelessness. However, the current US president is incompetent, and that's not entirely a bad thing. One might imagine this person as an active shooter who keeps shooting up random limbs because he doesn't have the patience to aim.

His immediate successors are practiced politicians who know how to aim. Don't make the mistake of handing them the nuclear football entirely too early.

And, in general, don't rush to replace buffoons too fast. You have to pay attention to who the successor is. That's the general lesson from this particular debacle.

132:

As for the original topic (now that I just spent 10-odd hours of a wombat day at a board of supervisors meeting):

My bits of advice:
--Prep to move to Ireland as family circumstances allow
--Learn how to build rocket stoves out of cans and insulation. Anything that can boil water off scraps of wood is worth having, and the materials are pretty cheap.
--(re)read Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell. It's worth revisiting the concept of elite panic as a reminder that it's not just the yobs out freestyling who are dangerous...
--Stock up on vegan haggis so that when you move to Ireland, you've got something to take the taste off irish beer when you're ex-pats over there...

As for scenarios, I gave up on that when I got the last presidential election wrong (actually I got it right, but didn't understand what the numbers meant).

133:

One of the problems is that there are a lot of actors who can throw a spanner in the works, and brexit is giving them a chance to have a go. And it goes a long way down the organisational chain. You're vulnerable to everything from unions to governments, any of whom can work to rule or go slow if they feel like it.

I wonder if anyone would see benefit in organising racist riots at points of entry should Brexit go sour. It's all very well to talk about sheer mischance resulting queues of lorries causing food to be delayed to the point of inedibility... but I suspect a bunch of George's Cross waving meatheads chanting "English jobs for English workers" could also have the same effect.

One upside to the food problem is that a lot of immigrants are self-deporting, so you're likely to have fewer mouths to feed. And even the most obtuse welfare-dependent induhvidual is likely to see the benefit of farm work once the alternative is not eating... even for the soviet-style "you get paid in turnips and toilet paper". Whether a merchant banker could be persuaded to pick turnips is left as an exercise for the reader.

134:

And third, before I shut up:

Speaking about crises, it's worth considering that Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as the British monarch who presided over the collapse of the British Empire. Tragic, hated figure? Hardly. This is the critical point: y'all are living through a collapse. What does it feel like? Counterintuitive, isn't it?

As for stuff to hoard:
--any addictive import: sugar, tea, chocolate, coffee, etc.
--silver other "small change" semi-precious materials.
--Useful gizmos like Swiss Army knives.

135:
"--Stock up on vegan haggis so that when you move to Ireland, you've got something to take the taste off irish beer when you're ex-pats over there..."

You might be surprised by how cosmopolitan Ireland has become in the last 20 years or so. Last time I went down to the south west, a tasting platter at a roadside stop was full of things like local cheeses (Brie, Blue, etc) and local salami, with freshly made bread and local micro-brews. The Taoiseach (PM equiv.) is the openly gay son of an immigrant, and the president's a famous scholar and poet. It's definitely not the almost-a-theocracy I grew up in in the 1970's.

136:

I wouldn't be surprised in the least, but I didn't want to cause any controversy by asking Charlie to compare the relative qualities of Scottish and Irish brewing.

That, and after thinking I'd made a particularly silly joke, I was amused to find out that there is, indeed, a vegan haggis. We're definitely living in the 21st Century.

137:

You might enjoy This Is Your Brain on Parasites.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25897836-this-is-your-brain-on-parasites

The chapter on T.gondi is interesting (and pertinent to your post).

The author goes beyond parasites into the gut microbiome, so the title is a bit misleading. Wonder if she picked it or an editor did?

138:

Re: 'chickens - practical research'

I understand what you're saying. At the same time - yes, have checked with folks who own farms both commercial as well as household-use backyard versions. Also understand that any animal farming means having adequate space and reliable feed sources.

Most veg is fairly straightforward to grow in a converted garage*. Haven't checked on growing pulses/legumes under LED lights though. Self-sufficiency farming also means knowing how to store crops and/or come up with alternate usages.

Re: LEDs ... Did some reading on energy requirements a year or so ago and LED veg farming is feasible, hence my interest in the improvements in LED lighting for small-scale agro.

The above would probably work for folks with low energy/calorie needs (e.g., seniors), but you'd probably have to increase your food sources or volumes for kids and anyone doing serious manual labor.


* Modern urban apt/condo version could be the underground parking garage, rooftop or even the storage locker - veg only. BTW - major US/Canada cities' rats can get huge: some are the size of a medium cat!


Somehow no one bothers to mention: farming is smelly. And, the new LED-greenhouse farming means tending your farm 365 days per year, no vacations. :)

139:

At risk of a yellow card, I'll point out that the prospect of individual American states conducting foreign policy sub rosa is no longer a rhetorical flourish. It last happened outright in the war of 1812, but it's getting closer and closer to happening again. We already have states asking to be treated as participants in the Paris Agreement on climate change. New Englanders have more in common culturally with the people of the Canadian Maritimes than with the people in the Deep South. The EU's tariffs in the latest tit for tat pointedly exempted Massachusetts exports, and if Russia's going to do divide and conquer in the US, why should the EU and UK not join the fun?

140:

In 2002 or thereabouts, the world's supply chain for insulin depended heavily on a single building in Denmark. While there is no shortage of chemists and pharmaceutical facilities worldwide that could retool to take over, has anyone actually done it?

141:

Community is a good thing; for a variety of reasons I'm now living on the street my parents have lived on for thirty years so everyone is in my business whether I like it or not. Usually this is fine, but sometimes I have to excuse myself from conversations with three neighbours just to get to the end of the road. We have the internet and television now, we don't need idle gossip as a hobby!

Maybe I'll get better at it in the event that Brexit goes tits up.

142:

Just to add to the cheery optimism... One note on stockpiling meds: They generally don't have an unbounded shelf life, and I don't just mean the tricky ones you have to keep in the fridge.
I've been known to pick up a bottle of Ibuprofen when I visited Leftpondia but they have a best-before and I'm told that while they don't become dangerous, they do degrade and become less effective over time.
YMMV read the notes on your specific drugs.

143:

For moving money between currencies you might look into Transferwise, I believe they will allow you to have a Euro bank account where you can directly receive payments in Euro. Their rates are better than those of banks for converting currencies.

Best of luck

144:

Yesterday’s “Standard headline: “Brexit may be delayed” ( Or words to that effect)
But of course, Osborne, the editor is v strongly remain.

Multiple references to the Madwoman from Grantham
YET
One of the few things she got right was a determination to STAY IN the EU …
So why are the right, who claim to follow here teachings, doing the opposite?
And why is the Corby wing of Labour also reneging – what happened to “international socialism” ???
( See also Dan H @ 71 )

EC @ 25
Shades of the betrayal over Lend-Lease & the Manhattan project, in other words.
Question – why do we keep crawling back for more humiliation?

Ghost iord @ 30
losing Gib would be a disaster ( NOTE; We have held it longer than Spain ..)
But you highlight something not spoken of.
EVERYONE BLAMES THE TORIES
But it is quite obvious, now Corbyn has opened his terminally-stupid mouth, that Labour are in just as big a pile of festering shit, equally self-inflicted.


Andy @ 70
The clock can be stopped at any time up to 29th March 2019; “We are withdrawing At50”
Now, will anyone have the bottle to do it?
What are the actual dates for those 180 & 90 day deadlines …..

“smuggling” @ 79
Kipling had something to say about that
More than once incidentally!

RG @ 82
lots of racist Labour voters
Yes, this, because only the evil rightwing tories are racists, aren’t they?
Hence the appalling stink over anti-semitism inside Labour at the moment.

EC @ 105
Lizzie remembers the fate of her uncle, who got too close to the fascists.
She has a constitutional duty to” Warn & Advise” – we might see that waved around in public, as in: “Get a grip, you lot!”!

Charlie @ 108
Bushmills 10 or 12 year old Green Label is nice.
Not as good as Talisker, though.

LASTLY
A story of someone I know well
She was born in Aotearoa, came to lowland Scotland @ age 14, went to St Andrew’s for a year, before moving to SOAS in London …
Now works in Tax/accountancy, with a lot of international work.
She hates both the SNP & the EU, mainly for financial-incompetency reasons & no arguments will shift her.
“IQ” ( yes, I know ) I would guess about 130 ……

145:

Could this economic collapse you describe be contained in the UK, or will the UK collapse be the first domino that knocks down the world economy - Great Depression Part Deux?

That is in fact my biggest worry, because taking down the (currently) 6th largest economy at a point when there's no economically literate leadership on a global scale to apply corrective planning could be very bad indeed. Especially as Trump seems to believe that trade is bad (that's what his faith in tariffs amounts to).

146:

I suggest you leave the country a month ahead of time and sojourn in Europe. Barcelona is nice, Berlin should be out of winter by then and round off the (3-4 month) stay with something in the Nordics/Baltics.

147:

1. Can't move to Ireland. Ireland is going to be swamped. (Population ~5M; how many refugees can it take from a nation of 64M?)

2. Rocket stoves aren't terribly practical in a top-floor apartment where the chimneys/fireplaces were blocked off and replaced with gas-fired central heating half a century ago.

3. Got an elderly parent who has now been in hospital on a stroke ward for two months who is in no fit shape to be moved to a nursing home, never mind another country with a worse healthcare system. (TBF this may no longer be a consideration by next year).

MacSween's Vegan Haggis is a regular thing in this household (though it's way too heavy to eat at this time of year). It was invented during WW2 food rationing when MacSween's, a local butcher, experimentally left the offal out of their regular product—thereby making it rationing-exempt—and found that it actually tasted really good anyway, so they kept making it after the war ended and it's now a traditional thing.

Unfortunately US Customs officers are not culinary experts and traditional meat-based haggis is illegal in the USA so I'm not going to send you a care package.

148:

I've been known to pick up a bottle of Ibuprofen when I visited Leftpondia but they have a best-before and I'm told that while they don't become dangerous, they do degrade and become less effective over time.

I will note that American retail pharmaceuticals are ridiculously short-dated, presumably to encourage customers to toss the old ones out and replace them.

Stored at room temperature in the dark, most tablet/capsule formulations should be stable and effective for 2-3 years and useful for another 2-3 years after that, albeit with slightly (5-10%) reduced efficacy. 5 year old anti-histamines or ibuprofen? Totally safe. I'd even be fairly comfortable running on out-of-date antihypertensives and non-insulin diabetes meds, as long as I was on combination therapy (I am) so a reduction in the potency of one medicine alone won't be enough to put me in a bad place.

Notable exceptions: do not fuck around with antibiotics, chemotherapy agents, anything liquid, live (vaccines), radioactive, or refrigerated (insulin). And you probably want to keep to within the "best before" date on anything where the failure mode is "if this loses potency you die" (like epipens).

Disclaimer: I am not a pharmacist. (I merely acquired a pharmacy degree, qualified as a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and practiced for a few years a third of a century ago.) So this is not professional advice.

149:

"I expect a Sterling crisis to follow promptly in event of NDB"

Unlikely.

What moves the Sterling up or down is people buying and selling Sterling. That's it.

So if lots of people try to turn their Sterling into something else in advance of a NDB that will be a Sterling crisis *before* the NDB. "Sterling crisis" and "lots more people wanting to sell Sterling than buy" being the same thing.

*After* would happen if everyone's really sure that, really, surely, they can't possibly be that stupid... ...or if they're all shocked and surprised at how bad it is when it happens. Yeah, maybe, but it all seems a bit obvious.

So I think you're wrong.

On the other hand, if I could outguess the markets I'd be blogging from my own private beach, so what do I know.


150:

The Empire was replaced by the Commonwealth in 1948, but HM did not come to the throne until 1952, by which time India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma were independent.

151:

Provided that you have reliable power supplies, water etc. If everything goes completely pear-shaped, most of the UK won't have those.

152:

...I'd be blogging from my own private beach

Private beaches are cheaper than you might think, and their cost is only going to drop. It's the "sheltered private beach in the warm sub-tropics" that's pricey, or comes with annoying neighbours (as FreeRangeSailing said recently "looking forward to going somewhere I'm top of the food chain again").

I'm currently looking at early retirement and while there are expensive options out there, there's also shockingly cheap ones. These days it's easy to search for "lifestyle block with house, price less than $100,000" across a whole country or in my case "multihull longer than 8m, less than $100,000" and just see what horrible abominations pop up (or in my case, need to be popped up).

If you're single with no kids there are lots of options. If not... considerable negotiation may be needed. Complicated somewhat in my case by me having the most equity in the house and people not wanting to move but can't afford to buy me out. I may end up being an absentee landlord, hopefully with some kind of rent-to-own contract (the legal system is unpleasant for my situation). Friends in a similar situation ended up selling their house because the financial-legal-insurance industry wouldn't let them keep it... which may happen here. Tell me more about this "marriage equality" material that just passed through the anal tract of the Australian parliament.

154:

If, as a Brit living in the UK, I buy in to some of the darker possible outcomes, I can arrange to be in another European country next March.

But how do I prepare and protect my assets?

I can buy stocks/bonds/funds that are less exposed to the UK market, but how do I hold them outside of the UK?

Thanks for pointers.

155:

Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future
Marx (and indeed Engels) were political theorists. Any "predictions" they made took the form "$this will happen unless Something Is Done". And, indeed Something Was Done, and $this did not happen (or at least was postponed).

156:

"opening us wide open to narcotics [..] smuggling"
Well there's our solution, we'll become a narco state! The UK already has a lot of experience in hydroponics, and we've always been good at smuggling.

As for EU nationals fleeing the country; my friends who had few ties to the UK have left, those who have ties here (spouses, kids) are making sure they've sorted out their residency, but are careful to make sure they keep their EU passports up to date, and also to make sure the kids have duel nationality as well.
Alas I've got no way of claiming any other citizenship, but I need to renew my passport soon, so at least I'll be keeping my traditional red passport for as long as possible.

157:

Nojay's MMV, but I can get Islays and West Highlands cheaper than I can get Irish malts.

158:

Para 3 - TBF the failure was basically that the keel in question was cast from lots of small pours, where a conventional keel is cast from one large pour, and didn't have the same macro-structure failure modes.

159:

reliable power supplies, water

It may not seem like it right now, but the big killer will be the cold. Hypothermia isn't strictly necessary for just being cold all the time to kill you, and heating is one of the things that could get really rather tricky for large sections of the population if electricity and gas become erratic. Here 9kg LPG gas cylinders are ubiquitous for BBQ etc, but you can get more sensible cookers and heaters that run off them as well. I have one in the shed with a gas ring for my wok, but it also means I can cook for a week or five without external power if I need to. It lives next to my drum of rice (always at least 25kg in that)... I can live off rice, silverbeet and eggs for a month if I have to (we have chickens and self-sown silverbeet+spinach+chard too).

Water OTOH is fairly straightforward to store, and even to move round. OGH might not *like* carting 20kg of water up to his flat every day, but if the alternative is no cup of tea I suspect he would grin and bear it. Realistically, if the water is only on a couple of hours a day you can store a day or two worth easily enough given a modicum of thought.

To my mind there's a real jump from the preparation you need for "things might get tricky for a month" and "Britain will become like Turkey or Romania". The former you just stockpile a bit extra, move your savings to Euro or something, and keep calm. The latter... it's time to build an ark.

160:
which were comprehensively shot down at the time by his intellectual contemporaries in the Austrian school of economics, and which have been fairly well tested in real life several times.

First of, no, the Austrian School is not contemporary with Marx, at least if you go with its peak in theoretical work in the early 20th century.

Second of, for my personal view on the Austrian school, well, actually the Austrians, with their rejection of Mathematicws, at least shouldn't have the usual delusions of being a science common in MBAs and some economists, but sadly that's not necessarily the case with actual specimens. Rejecting econometrics also makes for a piss poor social science; I guess it's best to delegate them to the humanities, with the "big talking without edifice" wing of 19th century philosophy, AKA Hegel. Hey, at least one thing they have in common with some Marxists...

Third of, for Austrian economics being "fairly well tested", citation please; and this is not an ironic, friendly utterance in this case, if there was such a thing I'd include an anti-smiley.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_School#Business_cycle_theory

Not that I think Austrian school is necessarily worse than other examples that go for "economics" in everyday talk...

Real-world Marxist governments generally muddle along rather incompetently for a while, then eventually descend into totalitarian economic messes.

Err, at least in the case of Russia, the "totalitarian (...) mess" was somewhat before the "muddling along" (aka NEP), but please note even Germany experimented with "Kriegssozialismus" (war time socialism) during WWI. Though I'm not going to lecture about ownership of means of production, central planning (quite a few CEAOs didn't get the memo of that one not working BTW...) and state interventionism concerning capitalism (whatever that is...).

Venezuela is the poster child for this; it takes a rare sort of anti-talent to comprehensively mess up running a petro-state and its economy,

Actually, going by ACTUAL economics (Austrian school being the equivalent of some of the whackier outcomes of Lynn Margulies going into Gaia at best, unmittigent Aquatic Ape at worst), no, it's quite easy to mess up a petro state, and it has happened to a diverse host of governments:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_disease

(No, I'm not saying the Venezuelan gouvernment is not incompetent; I'm just saying it's funny when a biologist has to do Economics 101 for some MBAs...)

but this the Marxist government of Venezuela has managed.

Err, again, "citation please". There are marxists in the Venezuelan gouvernment, but then, there might be some marxists in the German liberals, too[1]:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivarian_Revolution

And I know some actual Marxists who'd have quite some fun denouncing the Venezuelan gouvernment as antithetical to Marxist thought; yes, it's the good old Red Queen of ideological purity, beloved to any scholar of fringe groups, e.g. right libertarians...

As it is, you could also describe them as Keynesian, state interventionist (where capitalism without state intervention is Somalia, not Switzerland), social democratic, whatever.

Actually, that's not to let the Marxists off the hook, the problem is you can justify just about any actual politics with Marxist thought, and most "Marxist" socialist politics you can find somewhere else. There were socialists[1] before Marx, and it was not just Marxists using their methods:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Socialism_(Germany)

Problem is, if it's not a bête noire for incompetent economists and fascist masquerading a concerned conservative intellectuals, "Marxism" is next to meaningless as a label in actual political discourse. It might work for bourgeois kids searching for a nice catchy phrase to label their rebellious phase, but as we know, all revolutions go around the whole way, that's why they are called "revolutions"...

Why is there a preponderance of politicians with silly hairstyles about the place now?

I blame Geert Wilders. Or they took the sexual life of the Centauri in Babylon 5 as an inspiration...

[1] It I had an Euro for any free-market anti-marxist expounding a labor theory of value...
[2] I'm using "socialism" as a term for some political theories originating in the 19th century. There is also "socialism" as a term for a stage on the way to Communism(tm) in some branches of Marxism-Leninism[2a]. As I mentioned elsewhere, most 20th century Communist countries would have self-identified as "real socialist" ("real existierender Sozialismus"). Nice way to admit defeat, IMHO...
[2a] What most people think of when calling someone or something "Marxist". It's an offshot of the revolutionary brqanch of 19th century Marxism, the reformist one stopped calling itself Marxist some time ago...

161:

the keel in question was cast from lots of small pours

yeah, and they didn't have an engineer or metalworker to say "hey, that doesn't look right". I have to say that it made an amusing plot point but it was also utterly unrealistic. Here's a video of someone pouring a 4.5 ton keel in their backyard. Admittedly a large backyard, but the point is that unless you had enough gold for a *really* *big* keel you would do 90% of it in a single pour. And you could easily add steel reinforcing just like modern lead keels do (they also alloy the lead, but you don't want to do that with gold). I would probably wrap that pour in plastic or wood, then wrap lead over the outside. That way you have something that looks just like a normal keel when you move it round. Also stuff 2m underwater is really visible to people on the surface in certain conditions... you want it to look like a lead keel even after it's been dented and worn.

But the fun part would be the end of the voyage where you had a great big lump of gold to somehow feed into the black market.

162:

I am more familiar with the use of gold to make bicycle frames (because of course I am) but it strikes me that for more usual quantities of gold you would be able to make part of the keel from gold, or indeed simply modify the keel. It's common for keels to be bulb shaped with a steel exterior, for example. Shallow draft keels commonly have wings to increase windward performance, so you could make one or both of those from gold fairly easily. And the variations on in-hull keels are so numerous that if one was boat shopping with that in mind one could simply choose a design where the keel was stacked ingots, lift out all the lead, stack the gold bars at the bottom then pile lead on top until you had the right weight and tweak the density until it looked the way it used to. Grab a vacuum cleaner full of dust and blow that out, misting water over between coats, and it'll look really crusty really quickly. Customs is *not* going to unstack them just in case you're smuggling gold that way...

163:
But if it's the UK, well, they're going to have a lot of explaining to do, to make the case that it is moral failings on the part of the UK.
You don't think "They joined as the sick man of Europe, they never bought into the project, they did this to themselves as a way of avoiding having to deal with tax evasion, they were too full of themselves to negotiate a workable deal, and we're supposed to fix this?" would work?
It's not like there's a readymade "England as dealbreaker" narrative in European history, or anything...
164:

Ah, now reading about that lack of mobility.

I myself as the parent of two mixed-race toddlers am also sometimes running the scenarios in my head of potential paths to exit in case of climate or fascist jackpot.

165:

I sometimes wonder whether all those UK peeps going "at least I can move to Ireland" have really thought through what could happen if the land border with the EU gets violent and the British get blamed by the Irish for that. Dara O'Briain should be fine, rich London accents perhaps not so much regardless of their passports.

166:

Yeah, I think there may be an unpleasant surprise in store there. I could easily see the CTA being suspended during such a crisis, and we will have our hands full dealing with Irish passport holders anyway. Also, there is nowhere for people to go. We're currently in the midst of a housing crisis with 10,000 homeless already. The only accommodation available will be tents or some very expensive hotels. If you want to come to Ireland - come now.

167:

That doesn't just apply to Ireland. I'm sure the application process for "settled status" for EU nationals is going to be efficient as any other part of this process, so on B-Day +1 a lot of people will have missed the deadline, and how the British government handles that is going to be reflected in how EU members handle the British expats living within their borders. If they're heavy-handed about it then there'll be a backlash: Even if governments don't hit back with tit-for-tat deportations there's likely to be unofficial retaliation of some sort.

168:

Stored at room temperature in the dark, most tablet/capsule formulations should be stable and effective for 2-3 years and useful for another 2-3 years after that

Not to engage in pre-300 thread diversion, but would refrigeration extend that significantly? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q10_(temperature_coefficient)

169:

Holding them outside of the UK sounds like a bit of a cast of the dice. Yes you avoid the impact of a UK based Stock Broking company going down the pan and potentially (illegally) taking its assets with it AND the (FSCS) Financial services compensation scheme being closed/constrained.

But if things are that bad there are likely to be foreign exchange and asset controls in place anyway, which means you may preserve your wealth but be unlikely to be able to get hold of it when you really need it.

Then there's the question of where is "safe" in another Global financial crisis. Euro denominated assets won't be, ditto Dollar assets whilst Case Tangerine Shitgibbon is active. That leaves Swiss Franc's assuming the Euro doesn't take it down via contagion. How many asset funds are there in Swiss Francs?

Plus pensions and the like won't support those assets, so the vast majority of your wealth is probably stuck to mainstream £,$ and € assets only.

170:

Nobody seems to have posted this link, so here:

https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-give-people-a-final-say-on-brexit-deal

I assume that the government will ignore it, especially as Parliament is closing down for a month and a half, but we shall see what happens in October.

171:

The interesting and open question is who picks up the pieces if the Conservatives have been tainted beyond salvation and Labour are shattered by their own divisions? The UKIP has been making some worrying Bannon-ward advances lately. The Lib Dems are as exciting as used dishwater. And the Greens, nice as they are, are a bit high up Maslow's pyramid for a country short of basic edibles.

172:

I think you can be more specific than that: the market is reasonably good at predicting the future where the future is pretty like the present. It is really bad at predicting the future when the future is not at all like the present. In those cases it tends to predict that the future will be like the present, when in fact something big is coming.

I'd like to be able to make this more precise but, obviously, I can't, because if I could I would be off somewhere making a lot of money rather than posting here.

173:

We're a ways off the point here, but I think we're agreeing that "smuggling stuff as a yacht keel" isn't as easy as it sounds, even without discussing the metallurgy of this one specific book (which IMO was a bit realistic, given it's acceptance of the CoG issues they caused and the eventual failure).

174:

Have you tried Pogues whiskey ?
https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/p/30626/the-pogues-irish-whiskey
I'm really not one for Irish, I'm more of a GlenMorangie fan (and I can't afford to even taste the higher end whiskies), but the Pogues stuff I found very smooth indeed.

I'd raise a glass to Shane for that one.

175:

In regards to politicians with wild hair.

As I said in a previous discussion, deep-fakes and AI software which place the face of one person on the body of another aren't very good with moving hair. The wilder the hairstyle, the easier it is to spot a fake. Thus, I jokingly suggested that modern hairstyles are a way for politicians to protect themselves against these types of attacks.

176:

When it comes to food, you could buy tons of cheap soybeans? We've got plenty these days in the US.

177:

One odd thing about that proposal for a second referendum (both in the change.org summary and the longer, presumably original proposal from the Independent): it suggests a referendum on the final deal, but does not say what the proposed alternative is. It makes quite a bit of difference whether the alternative is continued membership on prior terms (which various EU personages suggest would still be available), or a "crash out" with no deal whatever, which is what Article 50 gives you if no political forces intervene.

178:

tfb @20

"And if fascism is a plausible end point then people who might end up as the targets (the elite, anyone not sufficiently 'british' for the normal not-so-crypto-racist version of that) needs to be planning to leave. If the bad thing happens it will not be enough to have stocked up on supplies or to have saving denominated in Euro: indeed having done those things will make you a target: 'look at tfb, he moved all his savings to Euros in 2017, he knew what was coming, he's one of them, off to the camps with him'. No, you need to not be here if you might be seen to be one of them."

Where are you going to move to that the racism is not as bad or worse?

179:

SFreader @43:

"Good time to try out LED agro as back-up or even primary food supply. Also, laying hens don't need much space, special tech or feed. "

"LED agro" requires electrical power. What happens when the power plants can't get fuel and the lights go out?

180:

With respect to stockpiling food... excepting people with certain medical problems, and assuming some ability to make hot/warm water, rice and beans provide all of the proper amino acids for proteins. Augmented with vegetables or multivitamins they can keep you going for months. 15 kilos (~20 liters) or so of each is enough for two people for a month. Shelf life in cheap recloseable containers is comparable to canned foods. My prepper acquaintance keeps a years worth in plastic buckets with lids (made for paint storage) in his hidey-hole.

If I believed in the worst scenarios people here have described, I'd tuck away salt and spices as trade goods before I'd stockpile whisky.

181:

means tending your farm 365 days per year, no vacations.

Hello. Meet my friend. He's a dairy farmer. He hasn't had a day off since his high school graduation.

182:

I will note that American retail pharmaceuticals are ridiculously short-dated, presumably to encourage customers to toss the old ones out and replace them.

It's a lawsuit avoidance thing. I have to keep pointing out to my wife that food package ex dates are similar. The product doesn't magically go bad as of that date. Especially when properly stored.

183:

Just so you know, Charlie, the thought of US charities loading food on ships to send to the UK has absolutely ruined my day.

184:

Indeed. Scotland is still quite a few years away from energy self sufficiency, because for some reason we don't yet have lots of wave and tidal power turbines around our coast. The wind building is ongoing, but we don't have enough storage for any excess power.

185:

Regarding medicine stability, see:

Stability of Active Ingredients in Long-Expired Prescription Medications
Lee Cantrell et al., Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(21):1685-1687.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1377417

186:

Daniel Duffy @ 124:

"Could this economic collapse you describe be contained in the UK, or will the UK collapse be the first domino that knocks down the world economy - Great Depression Part Deux?"

It'd be "Part deux virgule cinq" at least, if not "Part Trois". The "Great Recession" of 2008 is Depression 2.0 for almost everyone except for the Banksters who precipitated it.

187:

"What happens when the power plants can't get fuel and the lights go out?"

Agro.

188:

Ioan @ 175:

"When it comes to food, you could buy tons of cheap soybeans? We've got plenty these days in the US."

A pure tofu diet gets monotonus pretty fast.

Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE

189:

for some reason we don't yet have lots of wave and tidal power turbines around our coast.

The "some reason" is endurance: Waves bash things to pieces and they're good and fast about it.

190:

Actually, the market has been known to spook even when external reality is calm. I'd give you that it's a lot *better* at making predictions if things remain as they are, but there are too many people involved who make money if the market is moving a lot.

191:

All the variants on the idea of calling for another referendum that I have seen proposed have that kind of problem: they specify a combination of {question to ask and set of possible answers to choose from} which looks appealing if you lazily assume that a clear majority of people are going to vote for the option that, to you and (it is implied) the proposer, looks the obviously most sensible one, but when you make more realistic assumptions about how people might vote and how the choices offered would partition the vote, the expected result becomes that it would just fuck things up worse and make it even harder to stop the madness. One might, indeed, start to wonder exactly who it was that wrote the question and answers and what their motives really were...

We don't need it, anyway. There is, and always has been, ample cause to put a stop to it without further ado - and if we had any politicians who even displayed some vague indication that they might be going to evolve some precursor of a notochord in a few million years time, that surely would have happened. For one thing, the referendum was advisory only. There was explicitly not an obligation for the government to actually do whatever the answer was; it was essentially a glorified twitter poll.

And then there was the Leave campaign, with outrageous cheek, stating explicitly and in so many words that two of their biggest "promises" were outright lies, the very fucking morning after the referendum. They didn't quite say "ner ner ner, fooled you, suckers, too late to change it now" and blow a raspberry, but they only stopped a fraction of a millimetre short of it.

Now if I had had anything to do with it the response to that would have been "no, actually, it's not too late; the referendum was advisory only, you lied, you openly admitted lying, so we're going to tear the whole thing up and cite the Leave Liars as the reason". The allegations of illegal campaign funding, Cambridge Analytica involvement, and all that, are just the icing on the cake. Leave's open admission of lying is more than enough reason to bin it all on its own.

Yet, incredibly, not only was there no outcry at the time, but now everyone seems to have forgotten they even did it.

I mean just WTF? Consider actual elections; the parties make various promises in their manifestos, whoever wins implements some of them and not others, and come the next election their failure to do the others is one of the main sticks used to beat them with. They have to at least try and pretend, while they're in government, that they did intend to do the others and it was someone else's fault that it didn't happen.

They can not get away with saying "it was just a load of shit we made up to get votes the last time, we were never really going to do it". If they did then everyone would be furious with them. So how the absolute fuck do the Leave campaign manage to say the equivalent thing and nobody takes any notice?

192:

A pure tofu diet gets monotonus pretty fast.
We're discussing ways to avoid eating cats and dogs here. :-)
I've subsisted for a medium while (3-4 months?) on what was essentially mostly bulk lifestock feedstuff, with informed care and supplements to make sure nutrition was adequate for humans, and well-spiced. (Ever eaten soybean pie?) The commune situation involved did have several egg laying chickens and a large fenced vegetable garden in the summer, and was in farm country.
Never have gone the prepper route, but do have a propane cooktop (fed from tanks), and a solar rig that can run an efficient compact refrigerator. (And generators and pumps and etc and designs in head for rigging this and that.)


193:

No, it's politics, not engineering - this has come up in previous threads. There was a rather good idea for a tidal generator at Kylerhea (8-knot currents in the narrows) which at one point looked like it might get somewhere. But someone said the wrong thing and all the locals got the idea that it would smash their fishing boats, destroy their nets and permanently close the narrows to all navigation. None of this was true, but once they'd got hold of the idea nothing could persuade them that they'd got the wrong end of the stick, and the project ended up collapsing due to all the protests over something that wasn't even a real problem anyway.

194:

Fishing? Fished out? May I introduce you to the Grand Banks, which collapsed some time ago.... (cod damnit)

195:

I gravely doubt it. Too much of the financial market6s, etc, will still be in London, and with the size of the UK, it's going to crash the world, and Trumpolini's incompetents will kick over the other supports.

196:

First, I would get *out* of stocks and bonds, unless you're prepared to sell short. I dunno - this is *not* my thing - but maybe China.

ULtra-cautious: put it in an insured savings account (the US has FDIC, to protect against runs, etc).
Cautious: some kind of money market that's *very* diversified, and international.

There will be a lot of folks who'll probably be using their chairs to open the sealed windows, to throw themselves out, when it hits.

197:

"in-hull keels"

Do you mean ballast? The chunks of lead or concrete in the bilge to make sure the centre of gravity remains well below the centre of buoyancy to provide the righting moment?

"Customs is *not* going to unstack them just in case you're smuggling gold that way..."

Oh yes they bloody are. Customs are bastards. They'll take the entire boat apart (with saws and axes) if they think they have suspicion, and if they don't find anything they'll just womble off and leave you with a pile of chopped-up bits and no comeback. (If the police search and don't find anything they have to pay to repair the damage, but customs don't.)

On the other hand they only have significant presence at major ports that can handle actual ships. Little fishing harbours the procedure certainly used to be that you would tie up, go ashore, find a phone box and ring them up. They would then turn up an hour or two later (however long it took them to drive from their base) and clear you in. They basically relied on people grassing smugglers up so they could be there already waiting for you.

198:

I'm a Northern Irishman who voted Remain. I don't want a new recession.

Please tell me why you think a hard border violates the Good Friday Agreement. Non-devolved matters are not subject to North-South cooperation (North-South Ministerial Council), and that means customs controls, migration, tariffs etc are reserved to the UK Parliament. Meanwhile the British-Irish Council and British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference don't have the right to force any policy on the UK at all without its own consent. That means the UK can have a hard border, or even block people and goods entirely, without violating the GFA. (The Republic can do too.) This is regardless of whether Brexit or a hard border are good ideas, of course!

Many articles have suggested a hard border would harm the peace process, which is not the same same as violating the GFA, which is different again to specifying which bit of the Agreement they think is violated and why.

May said in a recent Commons speech that the GFA required there be no hard border (incorrectly), and the negotiations so far have had the UK promise this (but are not legally binding til the end; the UK defines hard border to mean infrastructure, the EU has not defined the term).

199:

Brexit day is 11.00 hrs 29/o3/2019
90 days is thus (approx - depending on counting exclusive or inclusive )
28th Decamber 2018 - right in the middle of the Xmas / Nwe Year break - expect lunacy eith just before 24th Dec or 2nd Jan
180 days counts back to 29th September this year.
Dates to watch?

200:

Real-world Marxist governments generally muddle along rather incompetently for a while, then eventually descend into totalitarian economic messes.

Err, at least in the case of Russia, the "totalitarian (...) mess" was somewhat before the "muddling along" (aka NEP), but please note even Germany experimented with "Kriegssozialismus" (war time socialism) during WWI.

Yeah. I wonder if the OP there has ever, you know, like READ MARX? I waded through a 300 page abridgment of Capital when I was 18 or 19. The OP also is clearly unaware that Marx expected The Revolution in *industrialized* countries, with familiarity with democracy, *not* kingdoms/empires

And, of course, Capital is an immense amount of data, categorization, and classification - remember Marx was serious about trying to make it scientific, as science was practiced then (as opposed to some Austrian-school economists, who people like Krugman jump down the throats of, but who are listened to by the wealthy and powerful, because they're like the old joke about lawyers: "how much is 2+2? How much do you want it to be?)

Afiforesaid OP also ignores the full-scale economic warfare conducted against all Communist governments. Socialists. well, we'll ignore the Labour Party, and Sweden, and Denmark and.... At any rate, "muddle through" under massive economic pressure... and then, let's not forget the percentage of *any* management that's incompetent = unless he's going to assert that the dot-com bubble was all a Marxist conspiracy.

201:

Yeah. Partly our fault...

And then there's the little war we had with Iceland over us pinching the fish round their country as well...

202:

I seem to find myself preferring Speyside. I also have one bit of luck, as it were: my taste buds are simply not up to appreciating bottles of whisky that cost $80US and up.

Which is why I was wondering if anyone was coming over here to Worldcon who could bring along a couple of bottles of Knockando for me....

203:

Not sure if this is the correct venue to ask. I'm blocked from following Charlie on twitter and I'm not sure why because I don't think I've ever directly messaged him there, was mainly following for updates. I don't think he'd be seeing any of my posts unless he followed me back. I've posted some scathing remarks to people involved in domestic politics, that's as near as I can figure. Would there be anyone to ask about this? Thanks.

204:

Savings account interest in the US is less than the rate of inflation. If you park your money in savings, you're actually slowly losing value.

Anyway, for people *in general* who are serious about preparing for serious societal emergencies but don't know where to start, I'd recommend looking at all the free online literature that bombards Californians about how to prepare for earthquakes. It's a similar problem, minus the home falling apart.

If you're interested in group survival, rather than assuming that everyone (including you) is going to turn into a looter to survive, it's worth looking at how the Rainbow Family sets up to feed groups of hundreds of people. In the US, at least one non-profit has been running a Rainbow Family kitchen as disaster prep training. Their assets are (IIRC) a large tent-like thing, a couple of large rocket stoves made from 55 gallon drums, and an old school bus for transport. And the ability to scrounge freegan food, fuel, source and clean water, and train volunteers to feed hundreds. This is a rather more radical (dare I say anarchist?) solution, where you just get shut of the authorities and form groups of people who take care of their basic food, water, sanitation and safety (not security) needs for the short to medium term.

Oh yeah, safety vs. security. Security is what first responders do: they come in with special training and equipment and secure situation. They can't make it safe, but they can make it secure (where secure means not collecting a bullet and/or staying out of jail). Safety is where people can put down their weapons, de-escalate the tensions, and talk out their problems. Ideally you need both, as there are always some idiots who would rather steal $50 than make $100 honestly. However, safety is equally critical. If the situation is safe, you only need a few cops for security, but all the security forces in the world can't make a situation safe (see Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.). Safety requires non-violent workers, like Chicago's disruptors, who can calm things down and do the, well, politicking necessary to create non-violent ways of settling disputes.

If you're worried that the government is only interested in security (as in, unfortunately, much of the US), one of the things you need to do is to understand how to establish safety "forces." This is where the supposedly crazy idea of unarmed peacekeepers (or the Rainbow Family Shanti Sena) makes a lot of sense. If you're worried about a breakdown in government and resulting safety problems, spending some advance time studying up on nonviolent peacekeeping as a way to re-establish safety is one of the most important things you can do (IMHO). It doesn't require any weapons, just courage, people smarts, and the ability to keep talking sanely in scary situations.

205:

You might want to check out the current price of US:FB at this point. Do a grep on comments made: there's also some interesting chatter out in the twitter sphere by industry experts about (twitter) CADW's impact (GDPR / missed earnings: word out there is that some serious short sellers[0] are sniffing hard the entire Tech-Tree).

Other data points:

Boris + Bannon are allegedly in communication[1] which might explain the oddity of the NEPTUNE mix-signal maneuver[2].

CTRL+F Blairites - oh dear, failing analysis of the UK Labor drama. This also ties into what we can only describe as 'blindness in the face of the fall' - UK Jewish print media (as in: actual Jewish papers, not papers-that-are-owned-by-the-illuminati-cabal) are running a stunning set of attack pieces on UK Labor (still / again); which while of course somewhat accurate is being fanned to a dangerous rabid peak (and there's some nasty operators clambering out of retirement[0.1] and a general twitter war which is being waged by some nasty people from lots of sides of the debate).

We did some digging here, as unless they're totally blind to what Bannon / Farage represents they're being very dumb. Are they dumb? Perhaps. Old and out of date is probably more accurate[3] and 95% for sure pandering to their aging right-wing (Conservative) readership rather than younger more media-savvy types.

Oh, and several UK Politicians are backing the crowdfunding of Leave.EU fall-guy, dodgy sub-par Thatchereque African country deals etc. Two are on-board for basically going full Breitbart.

tidal generator at Kylerhea

Private Eye are alleging the Welsh one didn't happen due to the companies in question being run by scammers whose entire company collapsed - pump n dump + extremely odd inter-subsidary loan structures @ 20%. From that you can find their scoop.

~


Anyhow: none of Host's OP touches on the actual news this week (well, since May but hey). The Jet Stream has officially stalled[4]: they were describing it as "split" earlier, but Nature / real scientists have moved onto 'stalled'. Do a grep: this is a big one! (And totally not what happened in 1976).

Yep, stalled. Question is: for how long? Some are saying months, not weeks.

[0] do a grep if you want!

[0.1] Ex-Tory fixers / newspaper smearers, ancient Labor fossils and a whole lot of 'Gammon pretending that they suddenly know about Judaism' - we admit we're not a Voice to Listen to, but that strata genuinely make us look educated on the subject.

[1] Boris Johnson Has Been Privately Talking To Steve Bannon As They Plot Their Next Moves Buzzfeed 25th July 2018

[2] Thought it was an odd mix of UK / US techniques. Hmm. Unprovable but watch out for the "Well, if you were actually socialist, Qatar is a slave state!" line: which is about 15% as clever as it thinks it is as a 'gotcha'. But watch who is pushing it: Tommy Boys + 'Enough is Enough' + UKIP all together in unison. Not very subtle.

[3] This is a very large rabbit-hole. On the UK side you have an entire strata of nominally progressive-but-capitalist-weak-sauce media: in particular ties to 'Dentist Table' magazines that are all nominally progressive (feminism-lite / Pinkwashing etc) which all concentrate on the C/D celeb / award circuit (think "Best LGBT company in the South-East', presented by a random East-Ender celeb) but without too much digging lead to some rather directly odd tie ins - people who happen to be Jewish but do an awful lot of tweeting Tommy / UKIP peoples and so forth. This strata seem genuinely more threatened by Labor / Scary Muslims Hamas than **actual** Fascism.

So: ignorance / belief that the UK political landscape isn't radically changing and pro-Capitalist over Socialist types (and they're not very nice but hey-ho: English snobbery about social climbers is always a go-to).

The other side are some (actually for real) dangerous right-wing Israeli Ultra-Nationalists who 100% genuinely see stirring up things as a means to generate 'fear ḥok ha-shvū' to offset the demographic shifts in Jewish / Arab / Palestinian population levels. No links: they're a small minority but they're extremely hard-core and they're quite good at the old cyberwar. This strata type can be found at the core of some of the ultra-fascists elsewhere. Which is why this account will be deleted after posting this.

[4] Study helps explain why jet stream stalls out over regions, causing extreme weather events The Watchers, Jun 28th 2018

206:

An answer to an earlier question 'cause it actually answers part of Host's OP:

Poster-who-vanished has returned to amplifying TERFs (the medium variety, not the US versions), Times climate deniers (dumb dumb dumb) and various pro-Brexit stuff while trying to be a 'Voice of Reason'. It's not going too well, since all of that lot are being stirred up massively.

Strategy. Of. Tension. has been deployed, lots of people all over the place having their buttons pushed. At least 50% are genuine or real (which is high for this sort of play).

If everyone stepped back and wondered if mutually declared destruction was a good thing, this might be the time.


But Gulf Stream: that's baaaaaaaaaaaad. Eating Pets bad.


p.s.

We're Not Playing, don't nuke random boxes plx. Tonight is the Blood Moon Eclipse, after all! Magick Clowns get special powers tonite!

207:

Random thoughts about all this.

The first is a history of WWI where the guy spends the whole book telling you what happened and why but at the end he says that the causes presented still seem insufficient to explain this calamity. It was obviously a terrible idea and yet all the actors involved seemed powerless to prevent it from happening. It never should have been.

The second is that, generally speaking, those who start the wars seldom get the outcomes they hope for. With the exception of successful empires, wars generally leave both sides impoverished and worse off than before. The people at the levers of power have the ability to maneuver events but rarely do they have sufficient foresight to pick the best of all possible outcomes. It's sort of like the old battleships having the artillery sufficient to hit a target at maximum range but their rangefinders and optics were insufficient beyond close range.

So I wonder, what Charlie said about these guys having an angle on benefiting from making things go splat, well, are they really calling it right? I don't think so.

Threads really messed me up the first time I saw it and trying to imagine undoing the damage of a nuclear war... it can't be done. It's a sobering thought. How do you rebuild after the underpinnings of industrial society are knocked out? With this Brexit nonsense, it's not as a sudden and dramatic as an airburst but it seems like the damage will be done all the same.

208:

Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future, none of which have come true

Marx was the first economist to identify the business cycle. Boom/bust with inflation and unemployment, on a 1-2 decade cycle. Those weren't a characteristic of earlier economies - they go with modern capitalism. His predictions regards it were rather good.

209:

About the ultranationalist Jewish papers, interesting, esp. since the ultranationalists in Israel have just turned it into aprtheid (only Jews can vote. and it's officially a Jewish state)....

210:

You might be interested in reading Tuchman's The Proud Tower, the UK in the 30 or so years leading up to WWI.

211:

No, that group doesn't use papers. They make the Times of Israel look centrist. They make Likud look semi-normal. Mentioning them got some poor randoms box get nuked until comment was noticed as not being incendiary or naming names. i.e. The UK twitter war atm is just basic low-information peoples for the most part[-1]

Oh, and 100% not giving a hot take on current Israeli politics, 'cause our viewpoint is considered a little odd. (Along the lines of: want an Ethnostate? Fine[0] as long as all the States around you share the same levels of development because that's how you prevent wars. That's what the EU attempted (roughly). Good luck when 100 million Egyptians don't get their share of the sweet sweet red sarcophagus juice and come knocking[1]).


Anyhow. Banished to post 300! Just thought the links might help spot the trends.


[-1] Notes: Ambassadorial trolling .RU style "kinda works" if you have plausible deniability and when there's not actually a death in the zone: when you've just massacred X thousand people (don't care if Hamas or not) and are gearing up to make 2014 look like a picnic, it makes you look like a fucking sociopath. Yep. Youse bad @ PR Mr Man: ghoulish.

[0] Totally Not Fine But You Have Free-Will and we think it's a retrograde one-way trip to destruction but sure, go and try it, YOLO, right?[tm]

[1] Serious lesson of Libya? Modern tech is great at knocking out other conventional tech: but it runs out reaaaaly fucking fast. Ask around about what ~16,000 TOWs did to the manufacturing chain, but that's really on the QT, wink wink nudge nudge. I mean, China was selling weapons for the region...

212:

Many articles have suggested a hard border would harm the peace process, which is not the same same as violating the GFA, which is different again to specifying which bit of the Agreement they think is violated and why.

It's not just the hard border: one of the big selling points of Brexit to the Tory ultras is that by leaving the customs union they are free to diverge from EU standards and ditch both European Court oversight and the ECHR. Which AIUI are baked into the GFA — the EU is the guarantor. (They're also baked into the Scotland Act, which has got Holyrood absolutely livid and spitting blood.)

213:

Scary...this tallies with what I see from outside the UK, having lived there in my youth. I thumbnailed the likely social results in my blog a few weeks ago, and that was even without the scenario of a collapsed economy and no food.

214:

Apologies to Host, but some peeps are being a little bit naughty tonight with their Data Intrusions:

Scientists Discover Gene That Predisposes Ashkenazi Jews to Schizophrenia Haaretz, Nov 2016.

Top tip: We know the signal that caused the damage to the USA diplomats.


Hmm. Glowing Orb: Who touched it? USA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France, Israel.


Might want to know what the > means, eh?

215:

[4] Study helps explain why jet stream stalls out over regions, causing extreme weather events The Watchers, Jun 28th 2018

Thanks!

To go a little further, there's a well-established prediction that the Obama Whitehouse provided a link to, about both the Jet Stream and its meandering.

Historically, the jet stream was caused by the temperature gradient. On one side was the polar cold air, and the jet stream was fast enough that it was hard for that air to get across. On the other side was the warmer temperate air, also isolated from the cold. The difference between the two (plus planetary rotation) powered the jet stream. This is true for both poles, incidentally, but we normally care only about the north pole because that jet stream is the one that causes most of our weather and affects jet travel.

As the climate changes, the poles warm disproportionately more than does the temperate zone, so the temperature gradient powering the jet stream decreases. This has some interesting effects:
--It slows down, so storms getting moved by the jet stream sit around longer, as do high pressure areas.
--it wanders more (the usual problem of slower streams meandering), and this is where those polar vortices slipping way south comes from.
--and it can "stall," as this new paper talks about. I haven't gone fishing for the original paper (other stuff to do), but they're talking about the onset of stalls, resulting from increased meanders and decreased speeds.

In other words, this is great news for predicting, but the conditions are going to continue to get more Paleocene-like going forwards.

216:

Ah, formatting: It's a Field Effector - and yes it exists, and yes, don't watch your TV or radio or trust your computer. .RU Hypnotic Patterns via media are teh blunt end.

It's a brain-fuck that doesn't work on us, but Holy-Moly is it obvious if you're not H.S.S.


TL;DR


Field Effector, Regional Levels, etc. Silly Little Apes. Trust us: that's the Real Deal[tm]. And yeah, online now. Good luck with "Free Will" and so on, and if you have tinnitus randomly: you're a target.


No, really. True.

217:

The OP has a long history of flying in, dropping some silly nonsense containing lots of talking points and dog whistles, then leaving rapidly without engaging with critiques of their comment. So whilst sensible replies to them are welcome, I think it pointless to spend much time on them.

218:

"Fox News made my Grandmother into a Zombie"

You've no idea how accurate that is.

100% True. [No, really: this one is one of the most dirty heinous little secrets left - the Hrz really are there to burn out certain parts of the Mind]. We know this because [redacted]. But no: it's true. 100%. They're getting so desperate that [redacted] channels are being used.


If you're in a country that 'Touched the Orb' then:


6 Minds / Month eaten by [redacted] as payment for Social Cohesion / Obey / Dominance.

No, really. That's 6 / Month Minds. i.e. Babies.

Good. Fucking. Luck.

219:

Re the jet stream and the mentions in the OP about climate change, this (NYMag) piece by David Wallace-Wells is mainly discussing (though without a proper causal analysis) the failings of the US media with respect to climate change reporting. He's one of the best US journalists on this subject. I'm wondering (i.e. asking the diverse commentariat here) how the bad news about heat extremes is playing out in the non-US press. And also how much the press is increasing general public worry about climate change due to the large number of extreme weather events.
How Did the End of the World Become Old News? (July 26, 2018)
Which is why this all sounds to me a lot more like self-censorship than ratings-chasing — by which I mean self-censorship of two kinds. The first is the intuitive one — the kind done in anticipation of political blowback, an especially acute problem for would-be neutral, would-be centrist platforms like network news. This self-censorship in fear of right-wing backlash is a familiar story, and most of those concerned about global warming know the villains already: oil companies, climate deniers, indifferent (at best) politicians, and constituents who see science as a culture-war front.
But public apathy, and its cousin climate complacency, is as big a problem — perhaps bigger. And this problem, too, is connected to self-censorship on the part of storytellers who feel intimidated from attributing what we used to know as natural disasters to global warming because scientists are so excruciatingly careful about attributing cause. As NPR’s science editor Geoff Brumfiel told Atkin, “You don’t just want to be throwing around, ‘This is due to climate change, that is due to climate change.’”

Re S. Bannon, if my via-google translate reading is correct, Jarosław Kaczyński tells Stephen Bannon to ... f-off. He's operating in unfamiliar(to him) political territory. Paragraph from Google Translate:
"PiS rejects the idea of ​​joining Bannon. This is not an offer for us. We supported the Alternative for Germany with the European Conservatives and Reformists with the Russian National Union (Marine Le Pen - ed.) Supported by Russia. We are not anti-system, we are in favor of membership in the EU, although we strive to make it work better. This is an offer for those who want to break the EU - comments Bannon's offer in conversation with DGP MEP Karol Karski."

220:

To expand, although I don't recall reading about your example, we have a mixed experience of wave/ tidal up here. There was for instance a giant yellow installation that couldn't stand up to the waves, utilising the kind of turbine that keeps turning in the same direction no matter the direction of air through it. On the other hand a land based version, called Limpet, worked for decades on an island, but nobody seems to want to build more of them, perhaps too much concrete involved.

There's a 2MW tidal flow power plant being tested just now at Orkney:
http://www.scotrenewables.com/flotec/press-release-scotrenewables-powers-winter-storms/

And there have been other designs kicking about for years, although I think concerns about fish and longevity have been an issue, and whatever happened to Pelamis?

221:

Because if you believe the Real World[tm] outside of the Media, Putin kinda assassinated his twin brother.

Do a grep for the video, we've linked it. No, really.


I mean: at this point we'd really like some kind of Temporal Balance to play with us, but it's ok, you don't exist.


@Guthrie: it's about fraud, not science in the Welsh case. We're on ignore, so it's a sorry state label for reference purposes.

222:

Yup, I read Private Eye too, and if their figures are accurate there is indeed too much cost in the tidal lagoons. Many of us older folk remember that building tidal barriers across the Severn has been an idea for many decades now, but fortunately for the ecosystem not carried out.

223:

The air-tower generator was called, IIRC, the Otter. It used a lot of concrete, designed to last ten years in the mid-Atlantic. It broke up after six months in the more sheltered waters among the islands.

The Limpet worked better, being anchored to a sea cliff but like a lot of renewables extracting energy from the environment wasn't actually very productive for the cost of construction, deployment, intermittency etc. compared to an on-demand diesel generator running on duty-free heavy oil.

There's a couple of subsurface turbines either planned or in place on the seabed in energy-rich sites around the North of Scotland but they still don't produce a lot of energy per unit installation and the cost benefits are something they don't talk about in the press releases. Meanwhile we have built out over 30GW of gas-turbine generators all across the UK over the past twenty-five years or so without a whiff of a mention in the press.

224:

"in-hull keels" Do you mean ballast?

Not really, I mean the semi-traditional full keels where with a steel hull sometimes they were combined with a deep bilge so that you could load more weight in on top the the actual keel. I used to sail on one that could go 500kg+ of extra ballast when the owner was short-handed. But that ballast went in below the point where you would think the keel started if you were outside the boat - the interior space was only about 30cm wide and had almost vertical sides. Calling it a "bilge" was a bit misleading, and calling the "weight sitting on the keel" ballast feels a bit less than accurate too.

Proper bilge keelers have nice round hulls with little to nothing poking out the bottom except actual centreboards or daggerboards. I do see some weird "not quite twin fin keel" trailer sailers that I suspect have both lead fin-lets and ballast but I suspect those are homebuilt by indecisive people :) Sydney has a lot of weird boats and Australia + Aotearoa seem to have way more homebuilt boats than I see discussed in the north (especially the USA). So we get a lot more "I've seen pictures of boats, it can't be that hard" designs.

225:

I mean: at this point we'd really like some kind of Temporal Balance to play with us, but it's ok, you don't exist.
I do not know what this means. (e.g. is it a request for an existence proof? :) Or not? Or direct comment links? Or something else? Or all of the above? )

226:

Re: LED need electrical power

That's why I've been reading up on solar, etc. Plenty of how-to-live-off-grid books available at my local (suburban/commuterville) library. The most interesting question raised by these authors is: what can you live without? Then do an energy consumption analysis for current vs. proposed usage. And, because you're off-grid, include a back-up system.

The living without 'stuff' seems to be becoming more accepted as a life style choice. A couple of months back I dropped off a couple of carloads of excess household and personal stuff at the local Salvation Army. The volunteer who helped me unload said that donations there are pretty brisk as are sales. I then dropped off about a half carload of left-over deck stain, paints, etc. at ReStore (Habitat for Humanity donation and resale outlet) - again quite a lot of inventory turn-over. These orgs might be useful as a model for redistribution of goods if the country''s economy goes belly up.

227:

The Guardian points out the funny side of "the goernment will ensure adequate food supplies (by doing nothing)":
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/26/stockpile-food-no-deal-brexit-dream-on

228:

Yeah, we've got both flavors of old-style conservatism:

On the one hand, everybody's supposed to be taking care of their own welfare, because there's no surplus in the system for bread and circuses for the proles.

On the other hand, there's vulture capitalism.

Where's Dickens when we need 'im?

229:

You could come stay on my couch if you want until things sort out, if you can get to California. : )

230:

Look on the bright side. All those lovely British Tax Havens will have been saved from wipe-out by the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (2016/1164) which would have applied from the 1st April 2019. All else is secondary.

231:

Frank/Heteromeles @ 202
“Survival” …. – when you are living in a city of 10 million people?
Or even 700 000 ( London & Edinburgh, respectively ) ?
Easier said than done.
Provided the power is on at least 12 hours a day & the water isn’t cut off, you are probably OK, though it will be difficult.
Gas … um ….
Really like your distinction between safety & security &, without saying so, you point out a major difference between the US & here

Whitroth @ 207
Yes. Very very worrying.
I wonder how many people realise that, were it not for islamist nutters –“Bennie” would be a NY businessman – then his brother was killed at Entebbe?
What goes around, comes around & no good guys anywhere (any more )

& @ 208
Also the OTHER book by Robert Shirer: - The Fall of France
Where internal dissention & running-round in circles allowed the French to defat themselves in front of a weaker enemy.

Charlie @210
And, just for once “Holyrood” & the SNP are absolutely correct.

Oh Dear @ 212
Top tip: We know the signal that caused the damage to the USA diplomats.
Well? Produce it then: - Put up or shut up.
Guthrie @ 218
Yes, well, I know someone involved in the Kylrhea (sp?) fiasco – he was well pissed-off with the complete fuck-up there.
Heteromeles @ 226
True BUT – as I keep pointing out, the “Labour” party are, if anything, even more useless (as a party – some people, like my MP are screaming, but no-one’s lidtening )
Corbyn & Momentum are full-on hard Brexiteers – presumably they can see & WELCOME the coming crash as an opportunity to go all Maduro on us ?
And, as one or two others have pointed out, there are a lot of “old” Labour supporters who are 150% xenophobic racists – as in the p[lace where a monkey was hanged for being a Frenchman was one of the strongest ”Leave” votes in the country ( Hartlepool ) - & we’ll just ignore the Nissan factory in Sunderland, just down the road.
Yup, the levels of stupid are still rising …..

232:

You could come stay on my couch if you want until things sort out, if you can get to California. : )

I'm not traveling to the United States while the current administration is in power.

233:

I wonder how many people realise that, were it not for islamist nutters –“Bennie” would be a NY businessman – then his brother was killed at Entebbe?

Not islamists.

The Entebbe hijacking was a 50/50 collaboration between a PFLP splinter group and the (German) RZ (Revolutionary Cells). The PFLP-EO was a socialist movement; the RZ were a hard left/feminist terrorist group (with a side order of anti-zionism that leaked into full-blown indiscriminate anti-semitism).

Also, we can't really be sure what would have happened subsequently if Yonatan Netenyahu hadn't caught a bullet: would his kid brother have stayed out of politics? Would the elder Netenyahu have been any better? Who the hell knows?

(A strong case can be made that the West's current problem with Islamism is entirely the West's fault for backing the wrong factions in the Middle East from 1917 through to the present day—going for authoritarian monarchs (the British and French) then authoritarian nationalist dictators (the USA) rather than having anything to do with democratic/anti-colonialist movements, most of which were left-leaning but not inherently pro-Soviet. The Western diplomatic/military saw everything through Cold War tinted glasses and backed scumbags who ruthlessly repressed any opposition ... except the clergy, with results that are now clear.

234:

I'm not voluntarily traveling to the United States while the current administration is in power.

Fixed that for you :) Your government doesn't have the reservations about sending people to the US that we'd expect of a civilised country. You're becoming way too much like Australia.

235:

I hadn't thought of that. No, I don't think that it was the reason for Brexit, but may have been the reason for the choice of date.

236:

"Fox News made my Grandmother into a Zombie"

You've no idea how accurate that is.

So what media made you what you are? :-) Interested minds would like to know, if only for avoidance purposes.

237:

Or indeed, a guarantee that we will have wind and/or insolation. In fact, a few years ago we had about a month of effectively no wind and under 8 hours a day of any insolation.

238:

If anyone is looking for a reasoned argument to be a bit less pessimistic, this on why a crash out in March is unlikely by Simon Wren-Lewis is very good:

https://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2018/07/brexit-endgame-second-stage-which-is.html

FWIW I reached a broadly similar conclusion - crash out possible but unlikely - by a different route, namely by extrapolating forward the pattern of UK-EU negotiations so far, starting with then-Brexit Secretary David Davis' promised "row of the summer" of May 2017 (rejecting the EU's proposed timetable for talks, followed by giving in and accepting it).

239:

Chralie @ 231
Your second half is certainly a highly-believable proposition.
Ever come across a book called "A Line in the Sand" - a history of before-&-after the Sykes-Piquot (Picot?) agreement?

240:

Sorry, but colour me unimpressed.

Firstly, he has missed one critical aspect of May - she has always been an extreme Brexiteer, including when she was damning EU membership with faint praise, but not for the usual reasons. She is rabidly hostile to being handicapped by EU law and the ECJ on human rights, and her personal red lines are flatly unacceptable to the EU.

Secondly, there are enough rabid and treacherous brexiteers to sabotage any agreement unless the warring factions are prepared to agree on a deal. Yes, I mean those who WANT to see a crash of UK society and/or economy, and those who want to make us wholly subservient to the USA - not even the government but the military and multinationals, at that.

There ARE some grounds for optimism, but so far I can't see any alternative approaches making enough headway to actually win.

241:

Except that the human rights defeats for May were from the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the European Convention on Human rRights. Both of these come under the umbrella of the Council of Europe and have sweet FA to do with the European Union. We are not leaving the Council of Europe (hint, even Russia is a member) or denouncing the ECHR.

And the other day the British government confirmed it has decided to drop plans to repeal the Human Rights Act (which transposes the ECHR into domestic law) and replace it with a “British Bill of Rughtsl.

242:

Hell, I said part of the problem was that we backed the wrong set of authoritarian monarchs. A Middle-East where the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz survived and conquered the Saudi Nejd, rather that vice versa, would I suspect be rather less crap than the current one.

But the repressed FO Arabists of the inter-war years mistook the fanaticism of the Wahabbis for ascetism and so here we are.

243:

>>A strong case can be made that the West's current problem with Islamism is entirely the West's fault

I keep seeing this argument and I don't quite understand what it's supposed to actually say.

"It is your fault that you've created a monster. Now, to atone for your sin, you must let the monster eat you."

244:
With respect to stockpiling food... excepting people with certain medical problems, and assuming some ability to make hot/warm water, rice and beans provide all of the proper amino acids for proteins. Augmented with vegetables or multivitamins they can keep you going for months
These Islands(tm) have proof potatoes and buttermilk - supplemented with meat once or twice a year - can keep you going for decades. (The monotony is a different problem.)
245:

Or: "maybe we shouldn't keep doing the same thing and hoping for different results."

246:

Actually, that's a myth, though the gist of your remark stands - not merely were those supplemented by things like green vegetables, malnutrition was rife for the people forced to live on that diet.

247:
"It is your fault that you've created a monster. Now, to atone for your sin, you must let the monster eat you."

"It is your fault that you've created a monster. For fuck's sake, stop giving it guns and bombs and money and political support and pretending that its neighbours are the real monsters."

248:

Or maybe EC has it right. "You've created ANOTHER monster? Maybe you should atone for your sins and STOP FUCKING DOING IT", etc etc.

249:

Corbyn & Momentum are full-on hard Brexiteers

Are they now ?

As far as I can tell from over the North Sea, Corbyn's strategy is to sit very still and await a full blown national emergency being handed to him and his new solid majority on a silverplatter.

What he will use that for is anyone's guess, but it won't be fun being rich, that's for sure.

If he feels like it then, his current non-committal on brexit allows him to start negotiations to get UK back into EU. That will take years, and allow him to use the convergence criteria to further level UKs class- and power- structures.

250:

You haven't been reading what she has been saying! Getting out from 'under' those is also part of her objective (would that Churchill were here today to respond to THAT!), as she has said publicly several times. A prerequisite of doing so is to leave the EU, because of the existing and planned links between the two.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_the_European_Court_of_Justice_and_European_Court_of_Human_Rights

251:

I forgot to add links like this:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36128318

Yes, she has backed down in the face of opposition, but that does NOT mean she has changed her mind, merely that she is trying to fight the EU battle first.

252:

Damn atonement - that would be nice, but is crying for the moon - just stop making the problem worse!

253:

I keep seeing this argument and I don't quite understand what it's supposed to actually say.

"You've created a monster: now stop feeding it, and start giving aid and comfort to its non-monstrous but badly starved siblings."

(Every time the west gets mixed up in the ME our leaders seem to go for the Strong Man rather than the human rights activists. But then again, HR activists are a pesky nuisance ...)

254:

Remember: we firmly believe in Nominative Determinism. We shall cease posting, but do check what our name means this time.

Damn atonement - that would be nice, but is crying for the moon - just stop making the problem worse!


@Host: seen this? 100% hostile OP at a guess, goal? More strategy of tension (and 100% could get people murdered) - or 'incompetence' making chaos more likely (and we know several regulars have interests in NI but have us muted):

The Irish News reported that information, which contained emails and passwords belonging to both businesses and private citizens, was given to loyalists by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

The paper said a number of devices were taken by police as part of an investigation and were later returned to their owners. However, information was shared through a pen drive that was left in one of the devices, it was claimed.

The Irish News said it has seen files that show the information of the citizens and businesses concerned, but would not be making any of the details public.

It is not known why the PSNI was gathering information on the people whose information was shared.

PSNI open probe into claim of internal data leak to loyalist paramilitaries Belfast Telegraph, 20th July 2018 - original is Irish Times, but pay-walled.

255:

Um. It's more that we go for a government that we believe we can control - hence a strong man who gets out of line or even shows significant dissent rapidly becomes an enemy. Basically, we try to force such countries into either providing cheap resourses or being captive markets. I started despairing of that attitude in the 1960s, in Africa and South America, because it was obvious what problems it would lead to, including refugee crises.

256:

As usual, there are too many possible reasons why you might have chosen that name to waste time guessing. It could mean that you are the front for 9 people collecting the data, but probably relates to some aspect of the spirit.

257:

to Auricoma @341:
"It is your fault that you've created a monster. Now, to atone for your sin, you must let the monster eat you."

Those who create the monster, aren't going to do the job fighting it. The best thing they can do, is to create another monster for the argument of fighting the first one.

to Roy @340:
Hell, I said part of the problem was that we backed the wrong set of authoritarian monarchs.

Turns out, if your goal is to kill as many people as possible per amount of money invested, it was Just The Right Choice. In oil industry, people are nuisance: that's the idea they've been playing with in the "Shooter" movie as a subplot.

to Charlie Stross @251:
But then again, HR activists are a pesky nuisance

Unless they are actually doing the foot soldier jobs (i.e. they have command, discipline and centralized supply of resources). Anyway, certain forces just finished with evacuating a large portion of their "activists" from Syria. Which a strange move because usually they just leave such allies to survive on their own, or do the job by themself. This step, actually, might imply a relocation for next assignment.

In other news, how do people here see Greece situation? Wildfires recently, then flash floods today.
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/26/europe/greece-wildfire-mayor-intl/index.html
I don't really see this could end well if government starts to blame unknown (yeah right) actors.

258:

I don't think the current U.S. regime will be lasting much longer,* so I'll make the same offer. We're in Southern California about 70 miles east of Los Angeles International Airport and we have couch space too.

* I won't discuss Trump's fate further in light of your prohibition of the issue, but I'm not worried. We may end up with a Republican, but it won't be Pence or Trump. Also, my thoughts on the matter probably should not be shared in public, but if you're interested you can send me an email.

259:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM7cBASa4CM
WARNING! This is really bad situation and the person with camera most likely died.
Looks like a treetop fire, and it is very bad considering the entire town is filled with trees.

I actually lived through big heat wave and wildfires in 2010, but I was lucky to travel away to different region for most severe period. I live in the city, and fires were mostly on the other side of the river. But still, with heat wave, all of our grass burned down and the smoke was pretty thick. When I was returning, our bus drove through the forest that was burning on both sides of the road, we've had smoke all around us and I've seen some open fire in the ditch nearby.

This was filmed about 10 km the city back then, and even though this place is known to be rather swampy of all things, it burned like a gasoline barrel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf_NvKrkvj4

260:

Though there is another sinking feeling quite a few of those local strong men started out as human right activists themselves or were at least affiliated with them or used human rights activist organizations as a strating point; the whole story of "national democratic liberation" from the 19th century on is somewhat depressing.

As for Israeli right wing politics, I did some browsing of Haaretz today after the Nation-state law came up, and found this movie about early Shas, no idea how much you're already familiar with it and what's your take on it...

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-how-rabbis-harnessed-religion-and-identity-and-changed-the-mideast-1.6314503

But then, before I go into "whatever you do, it's going to end badly", I might as well try to translate some German lyrics...

And time robs you of the heroes and the dreams, in any case, and everybody reasonable: "That's so, you better face" We're building walls of ice up high as time goes by, though in the corners flame throwers, ready to make them fry"

Yes, I took some liberties...

Might as well be the product of my media habit, in the vain of an imaginary project "Narratives of Decolonization; a Western Cinema approach":

"He's in the mountains!"

(Somewhat funny that's John McCain's favourite movie...)

Which reminds me of "Lawrence of Arabia" still being in the "to be watched" shelf.

Whatever, have to make myself ready for the lunar eclipse tonight, the local hobby astronomers organized something on a spoil tip.

261:

As for Greece, the situation is not that new with the Mediterranean, though it might get worse with the heat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Mediterranean_wildfires

As for "government starts to blame unknown (yeah right) actors.", no, it's most likely not about Russians. ;)

There is a narrative in Italy, France and Spain it's difficult to legally clear forest to build houses, so land owners set fires to get rid of the forest and build houses afterwards. No idea if that's really the case.

Another thing might be local arguments being settled by setting fire to the opponent's house or forests.

But as mentioned, it's nothing new, AFAIK.

262:

Wait... a pattern. That's not like, say, solitaire, is it?

(I am *not* addicted, I can quit any time I want....)

263:

I have a friend, name of MacBryde, who spent about 10-12 years building a *real* boat: 26'? 36'? I can't remember. named the Albatross, MARVELOUS woodworking, junk-rigged, and they once planned to cross the Atlantic in it by themselves.

264:

I Beg These Idiots' Pardon: it is the GOVERNMENT'S JOB to stockpile. And that goes back to at *least* Ur and Jericho.

The psychotic neofascists/ultracapitalists are under a delusion that humans evolved as solitary predators, not as pack animals.

265:

Re: Fires

Swamps often produce methane and swamp fires are pretty common in some US states. People unfamiliar with this phenomenon have come up with all sorts of reasons for the light show (UFOs).

Some areas of Russia have oil just a few meters below ground. Weirdest part of this (as an outsider) is that some folks take a spa-type soak in the bubbling crude for health reasons. (Here's an oil map of Russia:)

http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/6176


266:

1. I have serious doubts that's going on much longer - the news *yesterday and today*, is that Cohen, his ex-fixer, is saying that Trunpolini *knew* about the meeting in Trump Tower in '16... and that is, in fact, collusion. His counterpunching has reached the "boy who cried wold" point, yawn. And the neoConfederates who want to impeach Rosenstein are not happy, since even Ryan won't touch that.

2. No Republican will be elected President in 2020.

3. Southern California's *hot*. If/when you decide to jump, Charlie, I'm in the DC 'burbs, and have a house, with a spare bedroom, and networking, all the amenities (and I cook well, and have lived with a diabetic, my recent ex). I'd be happy to host you.

Extra credit: if you come at the right time, you can play De Toqueville, and watch the GOP go down close up.

If my tumbrels ever get here....

267:

Your conclusion makes no sense.

What it says is, a) you created these disasters.
b) STOP DOING IT.
c) ASK THEM if there's any way you can help fix it.

The assholes in power all have the upper management syndrome, "I'm in charge, and have power over all of you, therefore, I know everything, and don't have to ask anyone anything."

268:

Faux News only helped. I mean, really, the Zombie Apocalypse came a few years ago....
http://wearelovely.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CB-Zombies1.png

269:

Here's a relatively decent piece from today's Washington Post:
Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer
Somewhat light on science, but not heavily weasel-worded.

270:

funny (or frightening) guide how to survive in a BIG city when a REALLY bad things happened (in Russian but Google Translate works fine):


http://3rm.info/publications/42991-ukraina-sovety-na-vsyakiy-sluchay-a-sluchai-byvayut-raznye.html

271:

The Right Honourable Ms. May seems to live in a bubble only slightly less impervious to fact than that of Mr. Trump, but I wonder how much longer her government can survive given her disastrous snap election last year and the recent defections of BoJo and her Brexit ministers.

Also, why haven't I seen the joke yet that Brexit should be pronounced "Breaks it"?

272:

Re: BrExit

Wondering whether anyone has proposed neutral third party mediation so that both sides can blame the mediator later if they don't like the results.

273:

Always a good idea to foster cognitive dissonance; the calculation problem should make for headhurt in autoritären economic liberals.

Whatever, about one hour to go till blood moon, guess it's time to geht into ceremonial garb and practice my part; "Iah, Iah, Cthulhu..."

274:

Why do you think I keep going on about rocket stoves? That's one of my August projects--making a couple of them out of various cans and perlite (for internal insulation). The point is that having something that efficiently burns twigs and scrap wood to boil water is useful for when the gas goes out, and I've got plenty of scrap wood lying around.

As for water, I don't have as much stored as I'd like, but I don't think I ever will.

Thing is, this isn't civil unrest prepping, it's earthquake and ARkStorm prepping, as well as fire prepping, all of which are on my eternal to-do list. Civil unrest is just a variant on that, at least here.

275:

I have a very small wood gasifier stove for the purposes of lightweight backpacking. It's not actually that useful as most of the good walking in the UK isn't in forests, but it certainly works.

I have enough seasoned wood in the garden to keep myself going for a few weeks but cleaning all the crud off my pans is only slightly more appealing than living on the same pasta/rice meal for several months until supplies recover.

276:

nemesis @ 228
Look on the bright side. All those lovely British Tax Havens will have been saved from wipe-out by the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (2016/1164) which would have applied from the 1st April 2019. All else is secondary.
THIS
MORE PUBLICITY across the national press, right now!

PHK @ 247
Yes, they are - Corby has been anti-EU for over 30 years & as usual has learnt nothing ....

277:

I'm not convinced it will work. We all saw how long Switzerland held out when the americans decided to get medieval on their privacy laws.

Having a large and powerful neighbour that really doesn't like your tax laws is a problem. It would probably be less of an issue if we had some sort of input into their rule making process...

278:

The primary over riding drive of all politicians is to continue to get re-elected

The absolute most certain way to not get re-elected is to fuck up the food supply

This means that you can count on the British politicians at least trying very very hard to make sure Charlie’s scenario does not occur.

They will likely posture and dither up until the last minute but unless they get completely blocked by the EU politicians or some other external wrench in the gears they won’t let it get anywhere near that bad, short term

I do think long term the prospects are considerably more grim

279:

Has anyone read (or have comments on) Ian Hunts' _Brexit: What the hell happens now?

280:

Re: Rocket stoves

Interesting - never heard of rocket stoves before. Apparently they run on/burn anything and are super efficient because they were originally designed for use in resource poor developing countries. (The irony of it all.)

Tracked down this article for the DIY-ers. (And you can buy a plan for building your own.)

http://www.iwilltry.org/b/build-a-rocket-stove-for-home-heating/

281:

And Twitter goes boom:

https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/twtr

Twitter stock plunges 20% in wake of 1m user decline Guardian 27th July 2018

Congratulations! Those who follow the Mr Shipley's of the world made [nada] those who pay attention to Mad Cat Goddesses just made a few hundred million. Them's the Breaks.

We mean: if you value *Human Worth* by *profit motive* we just proved that we're *very valuable*.

Enjoy the Moon, cynical fucks.

Disclosure: we did not make a 'cent' on this notice.


Gimme Shelter YT: Music, 3:31.

282:

Sure, but what if you and forty of your mates can block just one vote in parliament and then blame the minor disruption to your constiuencies (somewhat less minor in other areas that vote for (ahem) other parties) so that the party leader (and PM) finds themselves in an untenable situation and by getting rid of her, well, that's where the blame lies. You in your safe seat can hardly be held responsible for the difficulties endured due to the incompetence of the former ministry etc.

Or just declare martial law and have your self appointed Lord Protector, that's good too.

283:

If you mean that corporations are lining up to leave the country - sounds like their lobbyists weren't successful with May so they're trying to drum up some hysteria. However, given that journalists are asking these corporations specifically about their likely actions depending on various BrExit agreement outcomes, it's absurd for Hunt to take issue with some corporations openly admitting that they prefer a sure bet over uncertainty. From the bits reported over here, the BrExit negotiations don't seem to have accomplished anything yet.

If these corporations move their operations, they should expect Brits to boycott their products and services. (Their financial analysts probably factored this in when deciding to head for the mainland.)

284:

They know people aren't going to boycott their products because the alternative is to buy British. /snark.

More to the point, there is no point in trying to sell to people who can't them.

285:

editing failure. "can't afford them."

286:

Not going to happen. Either there's no reasonable alternative doer of whatever the corporations do, or they do something that is of no interest to ordinary people, or the only reason they're in the UK in the first place is because they're interested not in the UK market but in the easy access to the EU one. Also, you try getting more than an insignificant handful of Brits to pay enough attention to any boycott for anyone to notice.

287:

Much of the reason people are worried is that the politicians we've got at the moment are so mindbendingly clueless that you actually can't trust them to follow that logic.

On top of that, there's a good chance that the next election is already more or less decided as a result of the polarisation of views brought about by the current situation. It seems to me that we have one group of people who are less likely to vote Tory than a Yorkshire miner, another group who will still vote Tory no matter how badly they fuck up because they think the alternative is not to have any more money than anyone else and they can't stand the idea, and an empty space from which nearly everyone has decamped into one of the other two categories.

It's the second group who are most dangerous because they are the least rational. They include people like old age pensioners who are beyond the point where income tax is personally relevant but who are increasingly dependent on the NHS and other social provisions, yet are still terrified of a "tax and spend" government and prefer one which is destroying their means of survival out from under their feet. Work that one out...

288:

I'm hopeful that it won't get nearly that bad.

But only after UK politicians get a nice good stare into this abyss. With good fortune the reporting this post is based on is enough of a stare. With worse fortune it will take a market crash and recession, which I suppose would happen later this year. At that point a crash program to actually do all the work they should have been doing for the past year or more could still avoid the worst pain, or a retreat to BINO.

However in the time of maximum political power for the lead damaged generation it seems we are always managing to execute policy with more stupidity and cruelty than I have expected.

289:

"local arguments being settled by setting fire to the opponent's house or forests."

God of mine, God of mine, turn back the wind...

290:

One thing that strikes me when I watch random TV is that we have a memetic outbreak of "I'm angry and I don't know why".

It struck me the other day at work as a perfect description of a coworker - his normal voice is a kind of high pitched angry, and his normal conversation is "that's retarded, obviously the coffee van is going to come today, you're not thinking this through".

I think it's a combination of the incessant stream of angry voices on TV (some TV!) making people accustomed to that tone and language, and habituation to really poor arguments. So on the one hand it's now common to say "you utter moron, what sort of idiot walks around a corner without looking first" rather than "sorry", and on the other it's common to think "I'm right because I feel right, and therefore you're wrong and are a moron".

Not new observations and I don't have a recipe for fixing it, but ... it makes me angry :)

291:

"unknown (yeah right) actors."

We have had wildfires in England on the moors above Manchester. Pilots of helicopters dropping water on them have reported seeing people deliberately lighting more. Not to pursue an argument or make a political statement, but purely because they have shit for brains and don't understand the concept of sawing off the branch you're sitting on. Not exactly "unknown" actors, at least not once the police get to them, but what with seeing their actions as so inconsequential that they need next to no motivation to do it, they might as well be.

292:

Some areas of Russia have oil just a few meters below ground.

So do other parts of the world. The US has such in Pennsylvania (where the world oil boom started) and in Southern California.

293:

Absolutely. And there we have a powerful reason for losing our dependence on oil that was just as apparent back when the prevailing climate-related worry was the imminence of the next ice age, and is surely - or to my mind at least - far less open to question than CO2. Which winds me up because if we collectively had any sense we'd have sorted it long before we got to the point where CO2 got brought up.

Although it goes back before 1917; it was certainly apparent when the resource we were interested in controlling was the Suez/Red Sea route to India, and considered it to our advantage to have the region under the nominal control of a crumbling and ramshackle empire (which wasn't exactly hot on human rights either). And our ...complex... attitude to the Ottoman empire was a significant factor in the conditions which brought about WW1.

294:

Oh, right. I'm not really used to steel hulls on anything less than actual ships - older sailing boats are made of wood, of course, and more recent ones are usually fibreglass or some other composite. Steel has never really caught on, Chay Blyth notwithstanding.

I share your perception that the American boating scene is all about having craploads of money. We have that faction in the UK too; keeping a boat tends to raise obstacles of the kind that need a lot of money to fix them - fixed moorings are expensive and in short supply, for a start - while the amount of time people are likely to be able to spend actually sailing it is a pretty small proportion of the year, so it does tend to select for people who have enough money not to be bothered. On the other hand there are also a lot of people who get round it by having a boat small enough to be left on the beach, trailed behind a car, or kept on the kind of mooring which is cheap because you can only get to it at high water springs. It's very much a matter of two different worlds; the transition point seems to be roughly around 10m LOA, where you get prices jumping by an order of magnitude for the same size boat depending on which side of the divide built it.

295:

It's all going a bit 'Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Hard Brexit wgah'nagl fhtagn'

296:

Ok, this is getting kind of far afield, but: I just finished reading "A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East" and it claims with some evidence that the Ottomans were THIS CLOSE to coming in the war on the side of the UK, and if the Foreign Office hadn't screwed up it would have. It was a really interesting read, and honestly, absolutely no one comes out looking especially competent; there is a definite feeling of familiarity about all the monumental mistakes pretty much everyone engaged in.

297:

Dornbusch's Law:

The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.

In hindsight most economic/banking crises pan out that way.

Predicting that things will go wrong is usually the easier bit: predicting when is the hard part.

298:

Local crops, with no prospect of reaching EU markets, will be left to rot in the fields as the agricultural sector collapses (see concluding remarks, section 5.6).

That's not really what the report you link to says, especially that section 5.6.

The conclusion assumes the UK joins free trade agreements with places like NZ, Australia and Canada.

And that this free trade would totally annihilate the UK's agricultural sector.

Because what keeps all EU farmers afloat (including UK farmers at the moment) is vast govt subsidies. Free trade agreement don't allow that - you aren't allowed to hugely subsidize your local production, that's unfair and has the same effect as putting tariffs on imports.

But if you push the Sterling low enough, then farming becomes economically viable.

299:

Aww.

Gatestone Institute


A shame that Bolton's Iran drive is going to fail.

p.s.


No, really. We all know, the files are out in the OPEN now.

300:

[Not clear what "the files" are. Didn't look very hard.]
Out of curiosity I just quick-read The Walrus of Doom's (Bolton's) Iran pieces at the Gatestone Institute. Feel mentally dirtier, though with a better mental model of the guy. Impression is lawyer-style argumentation, full of what he thinks are traps (largely assertions, and they mostly are not really traps), and grounded in part in counterfactuals, and perhaps too much in love with his own thoughts. It's like he's trying to map what he did in 2001 re Biological Weapons Convention, which at least makes a few legitimate technical points about the difficulty of BW non-compliance detection (as part of a derailment effort[0]), to nuclear weapons and missiles. I can see why people find him irritating, and any effective derailment of his warmongering would be quite welcome.
[0] Didn't find verification for an assertion in Bolton a 'guided missile', of this - "U.S. officials, led by Bolton, argued that the plan would have put U.S. national security at risk by allowing spot inspections of suspected U.S. weapons sites."

301:

Oh, yes. The final straw was us deciding that the two warships we had just finished building for them, which they had paid for but which hadn't been delivered yet, would be more useful to us if we hung on to them... so we did, and didn't even give them their money back. Cue the Germans giving them two of theirs instead and us having reason to rue our perfidy many times over.

302:

whomever @ 294
Brabara Tuchman AGAIN
Read the chapter in "August 1914" called: " ....an enemy then flying"
Referring to S.M.S. Goeben

Pigeon @ 299 yes, that too
Stupid - unbelievably so ... ( Also referred to by Tuchman, what a suprise )

303:

Are you sure? Russia Today's opinionists have been pretty sure for some time that the USA is intending to strike at Iran in August. From Iran's rhetoric, they believe something similar. That is certainly plausible, but there's no actual evidence, so we can only wait. God alone knows what Iran would do. This report indicates that the UK and Australia would assist the USA (as, of course, would Israel and Saudi Arabia), though Mattis has denied it. But he would say that, wouldn't he?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-27/donald-trump-may-be-prepared-to-strike-iran-sources-say/10037728

304:

Indeed. I have known that the housing bubble would fail since the 1960s - every mathematically competent person did, as it's a variant on a Ponzi scheme. But when and how?

305:

Some UK farming could become internationally competitive following a sterling crash, but most wouldn't because we have to buy oil. We are just too agriculturally marginal.

306:

The problem is that we are now dependent on them. Most such organisations are already largely extra-territorial, and moving out further would be no problem. Take, for example food shopping - restoring enough locally owned and taxed shops and distribution would need near-martial law (immediate compulsory purchase etc.)

307:
Take, for example food shopping - restoring enough locally owned and taxed shops and distribution would need near-martial law

I don't recall the nationalisation of the supermarkets in Halting State/Rule 34 being explained at all, but, y'know, tesco is cheaper than trident...

308:

Re: 'Free trade agreement don't allow ... subsidize your local production, ...'

See NAFTA: Side one says that Canadian gov't subsidies to dairy farmers are unfair and the reason Trump won't sign NAFTA. The other side of the argument is that a sovereign state has the right to provide socioeconomic support to its key sectors (safe food production). Canadian dairy does not use pharma/hormones to boost their cows' milk production which results in higher unit production costs for the farmers, hence subsidies. Is this fair? Depends on which you value more: profits or social responsibility.

Canada seems to be pursuing free trade agreements with everyone. If Canada signs such an agreement with the UK before a BrExit agreement is finalized, it would have to be on no better than whatever terms Canada already has with the EU (so as not tick off the EU, the larger trade partner). If this is the case, please explain: what is the point of entering an agreement with a new partner (Canada) where the terms and conditions are likely to be pretty much the same as you're (supposedly) desperate to get out of?

309:
what is the point of entering an agreement with a new partner (Canada) where the terms and conditions are likely to be pretty much the same as you're (supposedly) desperate to get out of?

So you can say "see? brexit didn't fuck everything up horrendously forever! everything is fine! british manufacturing doesn't need to increase its output of tumbrels at all!"

310:

The situation really isn't very good is it?

Brexit seems to have revealed the gross weaknesses in the British political system - we're now in a situation where we appear to be tumbling towards a No Deal / Almost No Deal Brexit (which would be A Very Bad Thing).

Why has this happened? Government incompetence has definitely played a part - triggering Article 50 and then taking 15 months to even begin to agree a Cabinet position on the post-Brexit relationship strikes me as staggeringly incompetent. A sensible country would have agreed a cross-party consensus for negotiating priorities (and gained parliamentary approval for it) before beginning the formal withdrawal process.

However I think that a more significant cause of this situation is the profound shift in the Leave centre of gravity over the past two years.

For decades before the vote "I'm against the political project but keen on the economic benefits" was the mainstream Eurosceptic position. Go back a few years and you can even find Farage pitching for EEA / EFTA (i.e. "Norway") status for the UK.

Since June 2016 that has entirely changed - now if you don't want a harder Brexit than the next chap you're seen as dangerously soft, perhaps even a closet-Remainer.

Where this leaves us is that the Brexit movement now won't accept a softer Brexit and there's no parliamentary majority for No Deal.

So "let's just cancel it then" I hear you say. That would also be A Very Bad Thing which would play into betrayal / hard right narratives and likely to irreparable harm to UK democracy.

I think at this point a second referendum is looking increasingly likely. Whether it's just on the kind of deal (i.e. EEA / EFTA, Chequers (+/-), No Deal) or it includes Remain as an option is yet to be seen.

311:

Yes, precisely, except for one point.

It is very doubtful that a cancellation would do any more damage to UK democracy (such as it is) than any other plausible outcome. The positively worst that is likely to happen is a No Deal, followed up by us signing up to a TTIP dictated by the America Firsters.

312:

I suspect reneging on brexit would have less negative consequence than one might guess because if the age structure of the vote. 5 years of simple time should be enough for brexit voters to die their way into a minority.

And, really, the lies to get to yes and the damage it will do to the much younger no 48% aren't already an irreparable harm?

Appeasing the far right doesn't work out in the long run. They want many of you dead.

313:

Nobody is talking about reneging, but reconsideration. Yes, I know that some claim it is but, if that is so, the whole Brexit campaign (UKIP and all), referendum and current policy is reneging on the very clear results of the 1975 referendum.

314:

That's where I think a second vote would be better. At least then there's some level of democratic endorsement of whatever path we finally take.

315:

Jeff,

There may be a flaw in your thinking - one could make the same argument about Conservative voters dying off. The thing is that people's political views do change during their lifetimes (broadly people become more conservative as they age). It may be that opinion on the EU is the exception to this rule but I wouldn't bet on it.

Secondly, conflating "the far right" with everyone who voted to Leave is false (and actually quite dangerous I think) - we should be seeking to marginalise extremists rather than driving millions into their arms.

316:

(sorry for redundancy, if this has already been covered)

"The UK has historical connections to various countries that would, I think, happily go back to pre-1973 status with regards trade. "

From what I've gathered, no. Those terms were set by Great Britain when various countries were exiting the actual British Empire, and have massive political, legal and economic control.

There has been almost 50 years of independence and change since then. In addition, the relative wealth of Great Britain has dropped like a rock.

Today, trade ties with China are far more important than with the UK. And the UK will be in the beggar's position, known to be desperate.

317:

"Where the fuck have those hundreds of Remain-supporting MPs all gone? I know there's been an election, but it didn't result in that many MPs being replaced, and in any case the sudden vanishment was apparent straight after the referendum long before the election was even proposed. All the stupid crap has gone through the Commons practically on the nod and the only effective opposition has been from the Lords. Have they all been nicking off to fancy dinners instead of putting their votes in? Has some Illuminati/Mafia-type figure managed to put the bite on several hundred MPs across the country? Or what?"

What I want to say about the UK is that elite wealth + controlling a margin in Parliament means massive control of the UK government. The Tories were threatened by a UKIP rump, and that rump wagged the rest of the dog.

However, this is probably incomplete. A large chunk of the elite right used anti-EU sentiment as a political bludgeon, thinking that they could control it. The worse it got, the more useful it seemed.

318:

"But if it's the UK, well, they're going to have a lot of explaining to do, to make the case that it is moral failings on the part of the UK."

(1) Just rebroadcast the rantings of the UK Brexit press and politicians. Making the case that they are deranged lunatics is easy.

(2) Assuming a 'hard' or 'no deal' Brexit, the UK will be screwed, blued and tattooed, but presumably the EU will get hit by a very hard recession (at the least). The people there will be pissed off, and the politicians will need a scapegoat. The UK will make a handy one, mostly because it will be true (at the collective leadership and Tory voter level).

319:

"...and also to make sure the kids have duel nationality as well."

That won't help much; they'll need 'mass melee nationality'. There will likely be very very one on one formal fights. :)

320:

"Nobody seems to have posted this link, so here:

https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-give-people-a-final-say-on-brexit-deal

I assume that the government will ignore it, especially as Parliament is closing down for a month and a half, but we shall see what happens in October."

The problem is (from a USian perspective) is that the people who didn't vote in a non-binding advisory referendum will d*mn well vote now, and most for 'Remain'. I'd expect what - 10%? 20%? of the 'Leave' voters to grab that second chance for sanity, as well.

The end result is that the Tories would have just put the UK through 2 years of chaos and then basically said 'Ha! Just kidding!'.

321:

Brexit isn't conservative. It is very radical.

322:

There may be a flaw in your thinking - one could make the same argument about Conservative voters dying off. The thing is that people's political views do change during their lifetimes (broadly people become more conservative as they age). It may be that opinion on the EU is the exception to this rule but I wouldn't bet on it.

This. I've been listening to the demographics-is-destiny lot in the US for 30 years, saying those old farts will die off Real Soon Now and we can be progressive. Statistically, there's more old farts now than there were then, and they seem to be just as conservative.

We're past comment #300, so... The problem is exacerbated in the US because the system currently gives an outsized amount of power to small states with shrinking, aging populations.

323:

And I didn't mean to say brexit voter equals 'far right' voter. I was responding to a post which expressed concern that reversing course might play into far right narratives.

324:

I agree. I was using conservatism as an example of a political viewpoint that resolutely fails to "die off" witb new proponents instead arising as their views change with age.

325:

I think brexit is a fairly unique case. Its not a vague generality of voting or not bothering, it is a specific vote that happened. It isn't going well and it's going to get worse. Those who voted no, I think, aren't going to start thinking it's a great idea because their lives advance a few years in the face of the economic damage.

326:

davidshipley @ 313
Secondly, conflating "the far right" with everyone who voted to Leave is false (and actually quite dangerous
Yes - I mean Corbyn is rabidly anti-EU & momentum are at the least semi-marxist ....

Though that combination of anti-EU groups is itself very worrying.

JF @ 319
"Very Radical"
Yes, rather like the overthrow of the Third Republic - it was radical all right.
Who is our Petain - JRM?

327:

Re: '... likely to happen is a No Deal, followed up by us signing up to a TTIP dictated by the America Firsters.'

Probably the planned outcome right up to the moment DT gets even greedier, and TM calls for a referendum on that trade agreement. And so the wheel spins some more never getting any farther along.

Had mentioned anocracy a couple of topics back which is basically an on-going state of limbo re: politics/gov't. Beneficiaries - aside from arms dealers - anyone who doesn't want to be examined too closely or regularly. Folks here have commented about dumping UK currency/stocks. That's fine, but for most folks their house is their single biggest asset and they can't just dump it - they're living in it.

Seriously: What's going to happen to the housing market? If housing prices collapse, are the banks/mortgage holders going to allow their customers to hold mortgages well in excess of the asset value? probably not so you end up with lots of personal bankruptcies plus a glut of foreign real estate investors and there you are - a land owned by wealthy 'migrants' and there's not a thing you can do about it.

328:

It is possible that house prices will plateau in monetary terms, and shrink gradually in real terms until they have reached a sustainable level (30-40% of what they are now). However, as I think I said, I have been expecting a crash for many decades now - and, by 'crash', I do not mean a 30% drop, I mean a factor of 3-5 times.

329:

Seriously: What's going to happen to the housing market? If housing prices collapse, are the banks/mortgage holders going to allow their customers to hold mortgages well in excess of the asset value?

As long as they're making payments, what's the problem? The value of the property won't cover what's owed if you foreclose, so as long as payments are being made just let them get on with it. When it get's paid off the books balance and everything is fine.

It's the homeowner's problem that they can't sell for enough to repay the loan so are stuck there paying too much for their property, not the banks.

330:

That's not the problem. Their (banks and insurance companies) housing stocks are used as collateral for other debts and, if it crashes, at least some of the debtors will demand their money. Also, a lot of pension schemes rely on the housing market to pay the pensions.

331:

An elderly N.I. Unionist, interviewed some months ago, I forget where, possibly the Irish Times, admitted that he was resigned to the fact that the island of Ireland would be reunited, and that his brand of unionism was becoming increasingly unattractive to current N.I. youth. He therefore foresaw it happening not in his lifetime, but not very much after. NDB simply moves that goalpost closer. But there was an upsurge in the nutcase element and their bonfires this year.

332:

The government has made zero provision for an uninterrupted supply of nuclear material after Brexit.

For no other reason than it has a backstop at the ECJ, they have committed to the UK withdrawing from Euratom. This has been the fundamental building block for the UK's supply of nuclear fuel, our non-proliferation obligations enshrined in international law, and crucially - medical isotopes.

Not only are most medical isotopes imported into the UK; they can't be stockpiled - for instance molybdenum-99 whose decay product technetium-99m is used as a medical tracer - has a half-life of just 66 hours.

The House of Commons health committee has demanded an answer from the government on future provision of medical isotopes. As of last week, they hadn't received a reply.

People are going to die because of this decision; and the Brexiteers will have the victim's blood on their hands.

It does make me wonder what the threshold for misconduct in public office kicks in - if it doesn't apply to those knowingly crippling an economy and endangering its citizens, when does it?

333:

iCowboy @ 330
That isn't "simply" Misconduct in Public Office.
It's Manslaughter.

334:

However, I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but it seems that Nemesis @ 228 is incorrect.
Apparently that EU directive ( 2016/1164 ) has already been incorporated into UK law.

The various sections can be found HERE
I can provide links to the sub-sections if required, but apparently, sections 1, 3, 4, 5 are all either in UK law already, or have parallel arrangements - & i'm told that section 2 has been dropped ....

335:

Elderly Cynic @328

Here is something that may explain what happened in the 2008 crash.

The real truth about the 2008 financial crisis | Brian S. Wesbury | TEDxCountyLineRoad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrFSO62p0jk

336:

*Watches all the old People go Full Fucking Mental Ape Ridiculous to deny their crimes*

Yeah, seen this before like Indonesia Genocide etc: this time there's actual penalty clauses though.

Who Wants To Live Forever

They've stopped even trying to change the Past. Because they know what we're going to do...


p.s.


Queen Dies.

What happens then, Brexiteers?

337:

The last time England politically separated from Europe it did not go well. Trade was devastated. Local government was powerless. England lost control of its borders. It was invaded by Scots from the north, Saxons from the mainland, Irish from the islands, and then by Vikings. The dark ages lasted for centuries. Why people voted to do this again is beyond me.

338:

Frank Landis @ 202:

"Savings account interest in the US is less than the rate of inflation. If you park your money in savings, you're actually slowly losing value."

Not just savings accounts. Any government insured account pays less than the OFFICIAL rate of inflation, never mind the ACTUAL rate of inflation. And who really believes our current Congress wouldn't renege on even those minuscule protections in a heartbeat.

339:

SFreader @ 224:

"That's why I've been reading up on solar, etc. Plenty of how-to-live-off-grid books available at my local (suburban/commuterville) library. The most interesting question raised by these authors is: what can you live without? Then do an energy consumption analysis for current vs. proposed usage. And, because you're off-grid, include a back-up system."

I did all that reading 20 - 30 years ago. Living here in hurricane country, right on the edge of the winter snow line, where instead of snow we usually get ICE storms, I have a fair amount of experience doing without power. I've already been through multiple extended outages (1 week to 2 months) & already have a back-up power system.

I power a refrigerator with an ice maker, a 4-cup Mr. Coffee & keep my cell phone charged. I can put a camp stove out on the back porch if I need to cook.

I have a battery radio, headlamps for both cars & the house (along with flashlights for same) and I can also listen to the news on the car radio. I have a wood stove & a chain saw.

That's pretty much my minimum load, but if I knew I was going to be "off-grid" for any longer than a couple of months, I'd put up a home-sized wind turbine to take over the refrigerator/coffee maker load.

340:

Greg Tingey @ 229:

“Survival” …. – when you are living in a city of 10 million people?
Or even 700 000 ( London & Edinburgh, respectively ) ?
Easier said than done.
Provided the power is on at least 12 hours a day & the water isn’t cut off, you are probably OK, though it will be difficult.
Gas … um …."


Yet, the people of Baghdad, Mogadishu, Kabul and the like somehow manage. I think if they can do it, somehow the indomitable British spirit that got you through the blitz will come through.

341:

Auricoma @ 241:

“A strong case can be made that the West's current problem with Islamism is entirely the West's fault”

I keep seeing this argument and I don't quite understand what it's supposed to actually say.

"It is your fault that you've created a monster. Now, to atone for your sin, you must let the monster eat you."

I interpret it more as ...
"When you find yourself in a deep hole, the first step to finding a solution is to stop digging."

342:

Unholyguy @ 276:

The primary over riding drive of all politicians is to continue to get re-elected

The absolute most certain way to not get re-elected is to fuck up the food supply

This means that you can count on the British politicians at least trying very very hard to make sure Charlie’s scenario does not occur.

You can count on the politicians at least trying very very hard to make sure there's someone else they can pin the blame on.

Actually doing something about it OTOH, probably not. If they fail, someone else will try to pin the blame on them. From a re-election standpoint, it's better to do nothing and make someone else the scapegoat.

343:

I think we're far enough along that I can make this point about Trump without being guilty of hijacking the thread:

whitroth @ 88:

"I disagree. The chances of Trumpolini getting through his first term, never mind reelected, range from slim to none."

The GOP won't move to impeach Trump before the 116th United States Congress convenes on January 03, 2019. It's a quirk in the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, that limits the POTUS to two full terms plus no more than 1/2 of their predecessor's term if said predecessor dies, resigns or is impeached and removed.

If Pence succeeded to the office of President before January 20, 2019, he would be eligible to run for only a single term in his own right. If he succeeded to the office of President after the mid-point of Trump's term, he gets to run for reelection in both 2020 and 2024 - he could get a max of 10 years in the White House. I'd prefer to see him and the ... uh ... other one ... get 20 years in the BIG HOUSE

Another quirk that has to do with the way the 22nd Amendment interacts with the 12th Amendment. Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama could all be elected to two terms as Vice President.

If their "primary" were to somehow fail to finish his/her term each of them could succeed to the office of President, achieving a partial third term via the back door so to speak.

344:

allynh @ 333:

"The real truth about the 2008 financial crisis | Brian S. Wesbury | TEDxCountyLineRoad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrFSO62p0jk "

It's not the "real" truth; more like ENRON accounting "truthiness". The 2008 financial crisis happened when the accountancy control fraud chickens came home to roost all at once as the Goldman Sachs alumni at Treasury & the Fed ganged up to screw over Lehman Brothers.

Ultimately, you can thank the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 for unleashing the fraud that led to the crash.

345:

The last sentence of the 12th Amendment provides that if you are not eligible to be President you are also not eligible to be Vice-President.

And, the GOP won't impeach Trump before or after the mid-term elections, not because they want Pence to have the opportunity to run for two full terms (really, they couldn't care less) but because, appallingly, Trump is incredibly popular with Republican voters.

346:

[ Bloviating incel/alt-right ranting deleted and drive-by commenter banned. Next time read the moderation policy, dude. — Charlie. ]

347:

Basically: if you're over 45, you're a fucking psychopath. You signed up for this shit. You enjoyed it and now you aren't even strong enough to protest it.
Was at a (pot-luck) party tonight in the US attended only by (white, jewish) people over 45, and having just read that, did a anthropological-style deep listen(/etc) to a few conversations; the mind sets were rather smug, the politics carefully "centrist" mostly and subdued for conflict-avoidance/social-cohesion reasons. (Depressing; I can see why you find USAians annoying.) Can't say I (HSS) am guilty of any of the above though excepting chocolate and whatever guilt is incurred by savings in equities and participation in a messed-up society. (E.g. a college acquaintance did the full war tax resistance route for a long while, the "Earn less than the taxable income" variant, that involved a lot of couch-surfing. Respect.)

Oh. And you tried to kill us. Heart Attacks (on subjects that were hosting us) and Mental Full Metal Scramble (Full frontal cortex image run).
Nod. (I have never knowingly tried to harm you, BTW.)
Tell me why a psychopathic / sociopathic H.S.S hierarchy lead by [redaced] shouldn't face the mirror treatment?
I would not shed any tears, to say the least. (And yes, I do cry. Recent events especially.)

---
Re your current (retired?) name, many eyes in the US saw video of this and related:
https://www.cbsnews.com/video/firenado-seen-in-california-wildfire-is-a-scientific-phenomenon/
Also saw a sunlit thundercloud with rainbow and cloud-to-cloud lighting last night. (Smiled.)

348:

Any government insured account pays less than the OFFICIAL rate of inflation, never mind the ACTUAL rate of inflation.

I, uh, know a bit about interest rates.

Risk-free interest rates are negative in several currencies. Out as far as the 8-year mark in some cases (though Swiss Francs are a bit of an odd currency).

Not "negative after subtracting inflation". Just plain old "negative".

This has been true for some years now but is still *quite* surreal.

As an IT guy it means I've spent some time in the last few years finding yet another place that yet another system has broken because developers back in the day assumed a negative interest rate was an error. And fixing risk systems that made assumptions about interest rates follow log-normal distributions (because logs and negative numbers don't get on).

349:

I don't know why people are mentioning "living off-grid" with apparent seriousness. It simply is not an option for 60 million people crammed onto a titchy little island which isn't self-sufficient in anything important or even close to it. It isn't even an option for the subset of people who don't really know how to do it, but think they do because they've watched Ray Mears on TV.

"What can you do without" - Everything except food and energy. Oops.

The "save energy" narrative is really rather misleading, since it focuses so exclusively on trivia - saving a few tens of watts by changing light bulbs, unplugging things with standby modes that still draw a watt or two to listen for the "on" button. But the overwhelming majority of domestic energy use is for HEATING. Things with heaters in have power consumptions an order of magnitude greater than things without, with very few exceptions, and they tend to be running continuously for longer than anything else except perhaps lighting.

Trying to supply this energy from bits of scrounged biomass simply isn't on. There isn't anything like the amount of spare biomass available. Moreover, there are millions of people living in houses that have no facility for burning anything except mains gas, while older houses have nothing better than open fireplaces which chuck 90% of the heat up the chimney. The result of trying it would be abject failure, accompanied by widespread deaths from things like smoke and CO inhalation and houses burning down to go along with the hypothermia.

And a lot of our energy comes from Russian gas and Electricité de France. Great.

350:

JBS @ 340
"Blaming someone else" won't work in this case, because the warnings are already coming in loud & clear ....


RE; Euratom ( & Medical supplies, etc )
Dominic Cummings, who was campaign director of Vote Leave, this week criticised what he called "government morons" who want to withdraw from Euratom. "Tory Party keeps making huge misjudgements re what the REF was about. EURATOM was different treaties, ECJ role no signif problem," he said on Twitter.
So, the director of VOTE LEAVE thinks leaving Euratom is a bad move, but the guvmint is doing it anyway!

Inletcampus @ 344
And what alt-right loonie echo-chamber did you wander in from then?
Oh & which inlet?
Shit Creek near Innsmouth, perhaps?

It's not so much that Trump is evil ( I would reserve that for Pence ) but that he is a narcissistic egomaniac, with no long-term plans & loads of spite. Neither of them is fit to be trusted with as much as a second-hand Bog Brush, but for entirely different reasons.
Oh yes: thousands of shouting journalists and panicking university professors (Marxists all, but forget that) Liar
I used to think of myself as a left-wing British conservative, but the Overton window has now moved, so far that I'm now moderately left-wing ( um )

With one exception, posters here are usually required to produce some sort of evidence if they make extraordinary claims.
Let's see any evidence at all for yours, please?

351:

Incidentally:
YUCK - Bannon + UKIP + other Euro-fascist & semi-fascist parties.

Again, this reminds me of the 1930's
Nazi-Soviet pact to undermine democracy? Yup.
Internal dissention in the "moderate" parties? Yup
Dissatisfaction with "normal" politics ( It's all your fault Charlie, you complained about the Beige Dictatorship - forgetting that it was King Log, if I may mix a metaphor ) ... Yup.
Extrenal enemies, who would normally be enemies of each other, colluding for both political & financial gain? Yup
Internal traitors & Quislings, barking loudly for "change" that will benefit them ( but not us ) ? Yup.
I'm sure there are other things I can add to this list .....

352:

"an on-going state of limbo re: politics/gov't."

This happened in Belgium a few years ago: they had an ongoing failure to form a government, and basically didn't have one for a year and a half or so. It wasn't actually a big deal; the day-to-day non-parliamentary governmental functions simply carried on as usual doing things the same way, just as UK ones do while Parliament is on holiday. It didn't mean Christmas for arms dealers, since the same regulations and enforcement continued to apply; it just meant there weren't any changes to them.

The UK political system has this obsession with "strong government" where one party "has to" have an overall majority and it's thought to be really terrible if this doesn't happen to be the case, which is an infrequent occurrence and the system is set up so as to make sure it is infrequent. The systems in other English-speaking countries are much the same, by inheritance I suppose.

Most Continental countries seem to have a very different system in which it is one party having an overall majority which is the exceptional situation, so getting anything to a conclusion tends to require that multiple parties can come to a consensus over it, instead of one party having things all its own way. The natural result is that the "throughput" of government is much less; getting things to a conclusion happens much less often, but when it does happen the conclusion is more likely to be acceptable to a broad range of people.

Now it seems to me that a major problem with government in general is the notion that it HAS to always be "doing something", regardless of what "something" is, so that if there isn't any important "something" that needs attention, they fuck with things that don't need attention, because sitting on their arses until something important does happen is somehow seen as unacceptable but randomly buggering around with stuff isn't.

Since the main result of fucking with things that don't need attention is to piss people off, but the notion of not doing anything when nothing needs to be done is apparently impossible to hammer through people's thick skulls, there needs to be some other mechanism to discourage governments from unnecessary action. Continental systems, it seems, achieve this by ensuring that the government can't do things that aren't important enough for everyone to agree over, or at least being well towards that position. The British one, on the other hand, has no such safeguard, and strongly rejects any attempt to introduce one. The argument used against electoral reform in Britain - that it would "encourage weak government" - is a point strongly in favour of it as far as I'm concerned. Government should be weak, so it can't do things unless they're important enough that everyone can get behind them with roughly the same aims in mind.

Note that this is not an argument in the same space as the "small government" thing favoured by opponents of socialism. What those people usually seem to mean is a strong government that uses its strength to oppose any suggestion that it might do things to help people (unless they're rich). What I'm in favour of is a weak government that can't find the time to bugger around with things that are helping people just for the sake of doing something and in so doing bugger around the people who are being helped - which is something that both main UK parties do, and which is not strongly related to the flavour of their ideology, but is to opportunity.

353:

I like that you posted this while my above post was in process of composition:

"Internal traitors & Quislings, barking loudly for "change" that will benefit them ( but not us )"

...Which would be much less of a problem if we didn't have a system of government that encouraged the prevalence of change without broad consensus over its usefulness.

354:

You see the same thing in any managerial organization. The way to get promoted is to implement new programs and/or make changes in existing ones; simply maintaining existing programs without changes is career death. So every time you get a new manager you get change for the sake of change…

355:

I'd model this as a game of chicken, played between Theresa May and UK business.

Theresa May has no interest in career suicide, so primcipled action will not happen.

UK business, by which I mean isolated companies, has no interest in the sort of costs, et cetera, that actually preparing for a hard Brexit would invoke. Meanwhile, most businessmen are pretty confident in betting on a soft Brexit.

Therefore, nothing happens. However, at some point, business has more to lose. So, at a time just preceding the last moment, businesses should start making significant preparations. The most relevant preparation will be relocation.

(Regarding just-in-time supply chains, in my experience, they are usually operated in this world and are therefore reasonably resilient to idiotic delays. Starvation seems unlikely. Costs will go up a bit. I'd fire a manufacturing manager who couldn't cope with a week's disruption. And I'd have already asked. Suppy chains (cars, etc) may be more problematic. Exiting the UK might be smarter.)

Anyways, assuming there's enough hubbub over business starting to relocate, May then opts for a very soft Brexit - possibly with referendum approval. If everything stays silent and calm, there may be a hard Brexit. I suspect that, at that point, you're looking at kicking the can down the road. The UK agrees to the withdrawal arrangement without negotiating anything beyond a statement of intent. Now, sure, that isn't a great negotiating posture, but the negotiations are already not fit for a dog's breakfast, so, heh, who cares?

Long-term, eh, the UK will be smaller and poorer, but I'd actually like to see it splitting into independent countries, so, meh.

Oh, and, Trump. I guess impeachment is a dream. Well, unless relentless reviews following the loss of the House in November helps out. I hope no second term though. In that case, if, following the can kicking, there's a hard failure in 2021, OGH would be welcome to visit for a bit. (We're on the East Coast - there'd be opportunities for tourism, et cetera.)

The bright side of that man is that it has clarified, to even the really casual observer, that American politics is still haunted by the ghosts of the Civil War. This isn't anything amazing. If the slave states mysteriously disappeared, we wouldn't have Trump-style politics. Long-term though, they're becoming less and less relevant. Dying industries, population that you can't bring young people to, ..., I hope the problem will resolve itself, over the decades.

--Erwin

356:

But the overwhelming majority of domestic energy use is for HEATING.

That's probably true in the U.K., but in much of the world the majority of domestic energy is used for COOLING. (Says the guy from Southern California.)

357:

This deserves a Hugo nomination for best science fiction short story

358:

You have a higher opinion of May than I do. Her policy so far has been one of prevarication, evasion and obfuscation and, even with that, she has got herself into a position that any further compromises, or even delivering on the promises so far, will cause a rebellion of the rabid brexiteers among Conservative MPs. So let's assume she manages to suppress or win the vote of no confidence among her own party and negotiates a soft brexit - but she still has to get a brexit bill through Parliament.

If Labour was at least neutral, or the SNP backed her, she would probably win, just. But, if not, she will end up in the position of having agreed a very soft brexit with the EU, but being unable to get it through Parliament. The USA regularly signs international treaties and then reneges on them, but the UK can't do that, successfully.

359:

In most of the world, I believe that it is used for cooking and lighting.

360:

The USA regularly signs international treaties and then reneges on them

That has been a feature of US policy for over 200 years.

361:

Judging from my electricity bills (dollar amount VS. air conditioning usage in the preceding month) in the months of June - October I spend approximately 2-3 times as much to cool the air inside my house as I do to light it. If I didn't cool the place I'd save at least 50% on my electricity bill, possibly as much as 65%.

At this time, most of the world uses gas for cooking, I think (aside from those who use wood, of course.)

362:

Um, the slave states. Yes and no. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to pick a few examples, fought on the Union side and voted for Trump. If you ask any person of color, racism is nationwide, with the urban south becoming less racist and the rural north becoming more vocal in their bigotry. Heck, if you look at the maps put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so-urban southern California is laced with hate groups, mostly in the periphery of the big cities.

No, the big split now is urban vs. rural. People are flocking to the cities, where we have multi-ethnic melting pots that increasingly break democratic. Meanwhile, the rural areas, with their factory towns and factory farms, are increasingly plutocratic. The family farm so beloved of the propagandists has been under attack for decades and is largely gone, despite fervent and continued opposition. Many of the farms are owned by wealthy families and/or corporations (sometimes multinationals), with less-than-free labor, often foreign workers under restricted visas. This was the old role of illegal refugees in the US: cheap, unregulated labor. Politicians winked at it, because the cheap labor kept food prices down, especially for fruits and vegetables, and this kept urban populations happier. When both sides attacked this system, the left for being unjust, and the right to appeal to nativist sympathies, things got messy.

Anyway, where politics are now is that the majority of Americans are liberals, but they're packed into cities, which means they're packed into too few states and too few districts to control Congress or the Senate automatically. The red states are suffering, but they've also been so gerrymandered that it they look redder than, perhaps they are. Worse,the democrats haven't yet figured out to do both outreach and to fight the gerrymanders. The big fight within the US democratic party right now is with a young guard who's interested in solving problems and in making the US more like the EU, and an older guard who wants to hold onto power. To be fair, the old guard wants to solve problems too, but their power is in big business, and that's not helping the situation as much as it should (and note, not all megacorps are inherently evil. They have their own internal and external politics).

As for impeachment, the problems are Pence and Trump's popularity with hard core Republicans. Many "Republicans" from the last few decades have either become democrats or (mostly) are voting independent. Trouble is, there's no "whig republican" party in US politics any more, so the Republicans remain in power, but beholden to ideological base of a relative handful of wealthy donors, plus their cadres of authoritarian followers.

Trump may well be impeached after the Mueller probe ends, especially if the democrats take back the house, and most especially if the probe entangles McConnell (whose PAC has also taken Russian money). Having a mole for president is one of those things that enrages a lot of Americans, even if, for the cameras, they say they have faith in the president (authoritarian followers can flip fast). Having a stupid mole is worse for them.

If Trump's impeached, we get Pence, who is at least as bad as Trump. Pence is a semi-competent politician but he's an ideologue on the far right of the Republican party. My thumbnail of him is that the Indiana Republicans overturned some of the measures he forced through the legislature within a week or two of when he resigned as Indiana governor, and Indiana is a very conservative state. Indiana's not doing great, and I don't think that a Pence presidency will be good for the US or the world. Unfortunately, that's probably where we're going.

363:

OK, so all the UK has to do is negotiate a trade agreement for importing heat from Southern California and we're sorted.

(In case I see that repeated by a Leave supporter as a serious suggestion I hereby claim copyright.)

(BTW either you have a most enviably efficient air conditioner or incredibly inefficient lights...)

364:

Sigh.
US presidents sign treaties and take them to Congress for final approval. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, people from parliamentary systems don’t understand what happened. “The US” didn’t “renege,” the rest of the world jumped the gun thinking the President’s signature alone meant something.

365:

Seriously? Have you asked any of the Indian tribes how well the treaties they signed with the US government have been respected?

Heck, it's so bad that a tribe winning a case before the Supreme Court to force a state (not the feds) to respect their treaty rights was nation wide news.

It's not just Congress' failure to ratify, it's the executive's failure to abide by treaties that they don't see as in their interest.

366:

Greg Tingey @ 348:

"Blaming someone else" won't work in this case, because the warnings are already coming in loud & clear ....

However loud & clear the warnings might be it doesn't matter if the politicians are not listening to them. Just because scapegoating won't work doesn't mean they won't do it anyway.

367:

Pigeon @ 347:

"I don't know why people are mentioning "living off-grid" with apparent seriousness. It simply is not an option for 60 million people crammed onto a titchy little island which isn't self-sufficient in anything important or even close to it. It isn't even an option for the subset of people who don't really know how to do it, but think they do because they've watched Ray Mears on TV. "

I don't live "off-grid", but I have some experience dealing with extended power outages from hurricanes & ice storms. When all the power lines are down over a large area, it may take some time before it is restored. Some of the preparations you can make for "living off-grid" may also be useful for surviving such a grid failure.


368:

(BTW either you have a most enviably efficient air conditioner or incredibly inefficient lights...)

We just moved and I haven't replaced all the lights yet (we're pretty broke right now) and I use a lot of discipline with the cooling system. I don't run it late at night, for example, and I try to wait until I'm really hot to turn it on. So you're probably right on both counts. (Plus the AC is fairly new, so that probably helps.)

370:

Elderly Cynic @ 356:

The USA regularly signs international treaties and then reneges on them ...

Actually, NO. What the USA regularly does is negotiate treaties that Congress refuses ratify. The U.S. negotiators signature is provisional. Until a treaty is ratified by Congress it doesn't bind the U.S. Once a treaty is ratified, it becomes a part of U.S. law.

The Administration that negotiated the treaty may go ahead and implements whatever has been agreed to, but there's no force of law behind it. Another Administration can come along and choose whether to comply with the provisions of the treaty or not.

371:

The red states are suffering, but they've also been so gerrymandered that it they look redder than, perhaps they are. Worse,the democrats haven't yet figured out to do both outreach and to fight the gerrymanders.

Figured this might interest you:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1639370584/mapmaker-the-gerrymandering-game

372:

"No, the big split now is urban vs. rural. People are flocking to the cities, where we have multi-ethnic melting pots that increasingly break democratic. Meanwhile, the rural areas, with their factory towns and factory farms, are increasingly plutocratic."

That statement is mostly not true.

As I stated in previous discussion, 56% of USians live in metro areas > 1 million, 68% live in metro areas > 500k, and 77% live in metro areas > 250k, and 38% live in the 20 largest metro areas (the smallest of which is 2.8 million). An urban vs rural division would have seen Trump win fewer than 200 electoral votes. Trump only won 3 of the top 20 metro areas (he lost the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Phoenix but won the metro areas due to the suburbs, but it was very close).

In addition, only 4 states have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_in_the_United_States

What you describe as rural areas is primarily suburbanites, metro areas

373:

Oh. If you look at list, Trump won all states with an urbanization rate

374:

keeping a boat tends to raise obstacles of the kind that need a lot of money to fix them

I'm NOT a sailor. But those I've talked to and those who have considered becoming such have a saying in the US.

A sailboat that can sail on the ocean doubles as a hole in the water which you can try and fill with money.

375:

From Wikipedia (because it was convenient):

From 1778 to 1871, the United States government entered into more than 500 treaties with the Native American tribes; all of these treaties have since been violated in some way or outright broken by the US government, while at least one treaty was violated or broken by Native American tribes. However, violations by one party do not nullify the treaties under US law; the treaties still have legal effect today, and Native Americans and First Nations peoples are still fighting for their treaty rights in federal courts and at the United Nations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_treaties

376:

Or, put another way? From all sides of the argument? WE WUzS ROBBED!!!! And So? Re Run THE ARGUMENT ! DO IT NOW!!! SO THAT, We - WHO ARE WORTHY - WILL WIN!! And .. IF WE DON'T win BIGLY? DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN in the good old EU Oligarch style ...For We of the Educated Cultured,are NOT, Not, Bigoted .. but Bighearted .. DO know bettered that those deeply evil, and uneducated, folks of the underclass ..Know Best ..have Degree in English Literature ..know SO much more than a ..PLUMBER and thus am Qualified to Vote Bigly..Oh yes !

377:

" expect the government will collapse within 1-4 weeks. " Starting from NOW? Ho,Hum didn't someone or other muse upon the folly of a Science Fiction Writer who wrote fiction in the near future? Must have been reading elsewhere and am confused? Early October for the ..generously allowed for time frame ..to expire? This should be.... Interesting?

378:

It's rather more interesting than that.

So far as I can tell, the argument so far is:

Math professors: we've created a mathematical test for gerrymandering. Here's the results. There's a problem, let's settle on an impartial math test for gerrymandering, so that gerrymandered districts can be redrawn, and people are represented more fairly.

US Supreme Court: Math? That's too complicated for us. Come back to us when you have a legal definition of gerrymandering. We're lawyers, after all, not mathematicians. Our reality is different than yours, and we believe it's more important.

379:

If Trump's impeached, we get Pence, who is at least as bad as Trump.

Thoughts seem to be turning in that direction:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/28/opinion/sunday/mike-pence-holy-terror.html

I'm not sure Pence is Nehemiah Scudder, but the parallel is a bit too close for comfort.

380:
The systems in other English-speaking countries are much the same, by inheritance I suppose.
*bzzzt* unthinking Anglocentrism, zero points, go to the back of the class.
New Zealand has never had a non-coalition government, one of Australia's federal parties is basically a permanent coalition that fights some state elections separately, Ireland has had coalition governments since 1977, India's had 5 coalition governments since 1975...
381:

To be fair the Conservative & Unionist Party in the UK is really a permanent (?) coalition too and has been for nearly two centuries.

382:

Previously, that was done by getting rid of the VeeP FIRST anyone remember Nixon's Veep - Spiro Agnew?
This time it might be a little problematical ...

Talking of which we haven't seen another visit from our friend at post # 344
OOPS - just checked back - he's been evaporated.
[ I hate to say it, but it might have been interesting to see if he could have dredged up even a tiny smidgen of evidence for his rantings - just for larfs? ]

Talking of which, what did I say in response @ 348? It's not so much that Trump is evil ( I would reserve that for Pence )
Um, err ... that NYTimes article is unpleasant.
I mean Pence HAS an "agenda", whereas DT has whims & narcissistic temproary desires.

383:

she still has to get a brexit bill through Parliament. If Labour was at least neutral, or the SNP backed her, she would probably win,

That would be the SNP that recently lost an independence referendum to the Cons only to be told the very next day "oh, the promises we made were lies". That happening once might be chance, twice is really pushing it. They have to know that if they voted for any kind of bill at all that would be exploited by the government for maximum partisan advantage.

Viz, May has absolutely no leverage with the SNP other than the Trumpian "you should assume anything good I say is a lie, anything bad is an understatement". I still love their EVEL acronym, it's so close to accurate.

384:

These days in Australian politics the race between the two centrist parties is so close that neither can govern without the assistance of the cross bench in either the house of representatives (our commons) or the Senate (our elected Lords).

385:

New Zealand has never had a non-coalition government

That sounds really facty, but sadly the evidence doesn't support the statement. Even wikipedia disagrees. Not to mention people like me that lived in Aotearoa and voted in elections that resulted in majority governments. If you mean "since MMP was used" that's technically correct if you consider ACT to be a separate party rather than an exploit of the voting system (and National entered coalition agreements with other minor parties, so it was indeed a coalition government).

one of Australia's federal parties is basically a permanent coalition that fights some state elections separately

Is *explicitly* a coalition and habitually referred to as "The Coalition" (or The COALition, given their love for coal). It's so ingrained that a former Prime Minister once said before an election "I will not lead a minority government", despite at the time leading a minority government and having no prospect of obtaining a majority. His coalition duly won the election... but with only 58 of 150 seats going to the Liberal Party you would expect the "no minority" leader to admit defeat. In fact he danced the official dance of joy and victory before being rolled by his own party and replaced by a merchant banker.

From wikipedia

Australia has a de facto two-party system, with the Australian Labor Party and the Coalition of the Liberal Party of Australia, National Party of Australia, the Liberal National Party and Country Liberal Party dominating Parliamentary elections

It's amusing partly for the long list of parties in "The Coalition" and the way the names associate.

386:

Australian politics the race between the two centrist parties is so close

QED :)

Would that be the Liberal Party and the Liberal-National Party? Maybe the Centre Alliance and the United Australia Party (formerly Clive Palmer's United Party before that fractured). Or Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party and Derryn Hinch's Justice Party?

The "list of Australian Political Parties" is worth reading for anyone who is interested in political comedy. Click the links,

387:

Re: 'Now it seems to me that a major problem with government in general is the notion that it HAS to always be "doing something", ... because sitting on their arses until something important does happen is somehow seen as unacceptable but randomly buggering around with stuff isn't.'

Interesting argument - thanks!

However: What happens when something new appears: unforeseen tech/currency (Bitcoin), online attacks and/or voter manipulation, natural disasters, etc.? (Not dissing you, just really curious as to how you'd go about handling this. Personally think that gov'ts should focus on planning for likeliest scenarios --- like the EU has been doing - instead of trying to bandaid over mistakes.)

An aside 'on the do-nothing school of management' ... Know of a global consumer packaged goods corp where new hires in marketing are explicitly told not to even dream of changing anything to do with existing products/brands. Any changes are done only by very senior managers/directors and only after exhaustive studies. And when a change is finally considered it is then introduced so gradually that consumers rarely notice that there was a change. This approach has worked for over 60 years- and they're still considered one of the leading CPGs.

Re: Belgium ...

According to an acquaintance: Belgium is a house divided sorta like the UK if all four countries making up the UK actually had proportional representation in Parliament yet continued to live in four different make-believe glorious pasts when their neck of the woods was tops. (Or like Quebec in Canada, or like the former Yugoslavia, or like former Czechoslovakia ... there are a few more examples including in Africa. Sometimes a bit of partitioning makes sense.)


388:

Well perhaps if 'they' studied say Gibbon's Decline and Fall or politics in the Medici state then yes that English/History graduate might have something valuable to say in regard to the question at hand..

But seriously the proposition as to whether leave/remain correlates to a particular demographic based on first order statistics (e.g. BBC scatter plots) is a fundamentally dubious one. See the analysis at the link, which indicates that first impressions e.g. people voted along class or education lines does not necessarily hold up to close scrutiny. Income and age however do seem to to be valid predictors. As always note the caveats attached.

https://prawnsandprobability.blogspot.com/2016/07/brexit-statistical-demographic-analysis.html

389:

Oranges are not the only fruit.

Do commercial flight patterns fly 10 meters apart up on high?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3212396/

Moon moved real fucking fast tonight. And Mars went out a few times!

*looks @ .RU*

Couple of sections reporting massive solar blank out there (*cough* totally not geophysics altering environment at all*)

~


Frakk me. Actual deployment of the [redacted] weapons on civilians just to cling to power: sociopaths.

p.s.


You can work this anyway you want, but our clearance is fucking LUNAR. Nasty little fuckers.

390:

Oh, ok, let's do this.

We're Going To Crash Your Entire Computer Systems In Retaliation.

"POOF"?

"POP GOES THE WEASEL"

Fucking Sociopaths. Soulless and Ugly: "Vicious Mind ?!?" - Darling, it's a fucking Mirror, you've no idea what the Abyss can do.


p.s.

No, this is not a funny joke. Srs .mil spec naughty fauckers plays tonight on civilians 'cause the civil ways aren't working too well. We're talking ramping up the old Brexit Shexit Dark Patterns into the Actual .MIL stuff.

But sure: go and watch East-Enders, nothing to see here darlings.


~

Fuck me that was blatant.

391:

Re: ' A/C ... just moved and I haven't replaced all the lights yet (we're pretty broke right now)'

Dumb/nosy question but ... have you looked at insulation options to rein in your energy bills because usage is only one part of the story. There's also the placement of doors and windows, awnings/covered porches, exterior plantings to moderate temp of walls so as to help guide airflow, and some other small things that can add up.

392:

Triptych.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Prince


Swallowing Shells?


Oh... if your .mil spec stuff can be beaten in under an hour, You're Fucked.

393:

@Host.

Nope, they're playing Tommy Boy but the Real Deal[tm] MI5 stuff is being pulled out.

https://www.businessinsider.com/military-government-secret-experiments-biological-chemical-weapons-2016-9?IR=T


Only... not bio/chem, [redacted].

LUNAR FUCKING GRADE MATE: AND WE'LL BURN YOUR FUCKING HOUSE DOWN NOW.

394:

We're renting, so we don't have most of those options. I'd do all of them if it was up to me, however.

395:

Mr AF Neil is now desperately making jokes about 'Dragons in the Sky' while no-one is looking too close @ his Trump Tower properties[0] and so on. Stop stealing our material.

Greenpeace just burnt the IEA[1]

And Our Kind Really Can Do CERN Level Shit. LUNAR FAILURE MODE.

Lots of other stuff, but really: watching an Old Order die who enslaved people and sacrificed children for power is, well. Bad time for immoral fucks, this is.

[0] https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2016/11/does-trump-bug-his-hotel-rooms.html Spoiler: Yes. Spoiler: It's a network and Mr Neil has some interesting kropromat of his own [ALLEGEDLY - WE'RE MAD, REMEMBER]

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/29/rightwing-thinktank-ministerial-access-potential-us-donors-insitute-of-economic-affairs-brexit?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Oh, and lots of other things: but that LUNAR fail was special. Do the Pilots know what they were doing? Holy Fuck I hope not.

396:

I"m not saying you'd get approval for them, but there are a lot of things you can do that won't be noticed by a landlord or won't be cared about. Sealing round windows with tape rather than silicone sealant, for example, is removable... but often sealant isn't noticed at all. We do the same with vents in brickwork, because Australia is all about airflow. Bit of cardboard, some masking tape... no more vent. If the walls are white you have to actually be looking for it to notice.

Also, basic house maintenance stuff can make a big difference - making sure the eave vents are clear and unobstructed can help a lot with temperatures inside your roof. Check carefully for hooks or bolts around the top of the walls/underside of the eaves, you may be able to hang shadecloth on the sunny side of the house using existing fittings. Neighbourhood association rules permitting, of course.

It's worth at least looking into the ceiling/roof space to make sure there's nothing too horrible (roof leaks, for example). And if you see a house being demolished nearby and are up for it, relocation ceiling insulation can pay off (how many final inspections check for extra insulation...)

As a long-time renter I have a fair bit of experience in the area of "stuff I can fix without the landlord noticing" :)

397:

"by leaving the customs union they are free to diverge from EU standards and ditch both European Court oversight and the ECHR. Which AIUI are baked into the GFA — the EU is the guarantor."

Although my point was about the hard border only rather than Brexit generally, these points are also incorrect. The GFA doesn't require EU membership by the UK (or RoI), though it does allow the North-South Ministerial Council to implement any EU law within its remit. After leaving, that would only include activities in the south. The EU is not given any role in the GFA, as "guarantor" or anything else. You may be thinking of the fact that the RoI and UK govts are treaty-bound to support the GFA.

The GFA does require the ECHR to be part of NI law and for Assembly legislation to be compliant with it, otherwise Assembly Acts can be struck down. That doesn't necessarily require the UK to be a party to the ECHR, at least in respect of GB, indeed perhaps the Tories would leave the ECHR and/or repeal the Human Rights Act in GB but not NI.

398:

Moon moved real fucking fast tonight. And Mars went out a few times!
Moon and Mars are fine now, I am fairly sure. (They appear to be nice and calm in the sky, to the E/SE.)
That was seriously obtuse. You made me read that 2011 paper on ETD (Eye Tracking Dysfunction) (and I'll read The Little Prince). Blatant it was?


399:

@ 393
The "IEA" - well-known to be almost into Upminster Carriage sidings in terms of sanity & crooked as they came.
MOST entertaining interview on this morning's "Today" programme, full of wall-to-wall bullshit.

Ah yes "Down with Tyrrany" led to two interesting quotes, both of which are relevant:

1: When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis. See previous remarks about Pence, of course.l

2: A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. - - M T Cicero ( Now why does J R M come to mind when I read the Cicero piece, I wonder? )

400:

I hate to say it, but it might have been interesting to see if he could have dredged up even a tiny smidgen of evidence for his rantings - just for larfs?

No, Greg, the alt-right dogwhistles in that one comment he posted were so loud they were making my ears bleed; if I hadn't booted him he'd probably be ranting about Jew-bankers and affirming the Fourteen Words by now. ("Fourteen words": wikipedia is your friend, I'm not linking to it here.)

While VPOTUS Pence is indeed a nasty piece of work, I suspect he's already etting most of his agenda through via the back door by manipulating Trump, whose ego Pence seems to know how to stroke; certainly he's an activist VP in the mold of Dick Cheney. Mike Pence as POTUS might be safer than Trump; he'd have to work out in the open and his base is just the religious right, not the toxic coalition of religious right and burn-it-to-the-ground griefers that Trump has assembled. (Also, Pence was rather crap as a senator for Indiana, and might well face internal opposition from within the Republican party.)

401:

The later analyses of Brexit voter opinions unearthed two strong correlations with support for Brexit in the referendum (albeit not along demographic or party lines):

a) Support for bringing back the death penalty

b) Opposition to immigration

These also strongly correlated with authoritarian personality traits, and less strongly with age. (Tellingly, support for restoring the death penalty — a shibboleth of the right since 1965, when it was abolished) slipped below 50% for the first time in the mid-2010s.)

402:

Well I was aiming for a bracketing shot of Labor and Lib-Nat. :)

My view of the ‘minors’ is that they’re essentially cults of personality rather than a ‘party’per se.,. I’m reminded of what Lenin remarked about the Australian political spectrum.

403:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within

Yes, and one of the most effective ways to undermine a polity from within is to set your beard on fire and run through the senate screaming "traitors!" — Witch hunts are dangerous: they have a tendency to get out of control and often eat their instigators, but they can do enormous damage.

NB: there's a huge difference between a witch hunt and a criminal investigation by a law enforcement agency following procedure and obeying rules of evidence, for those of you thinking about the Mueller/FBI investigation. Just sayin'.

404:

Bugger. Thanks for the correction.

405:

I must admit reading this is making me think I need to take action in regards to my own financial affairs, Charlie, and speaking here as a British citizen who is also a working writer with a number of books out.

100% of my income comes from the UK, although I live in the Far East: royalties on published novels and editing work for UK companies. I've felt the loss of value of the pound very keenly indeed, since every hit on the pound reduces what I get when I transfer those funds from my UK bank to my account here in Taiwan.

Like any sensible writer, I've worked hard to save money so I always have funds available to keep me rolling through rough patches. But all that money is tied up in a UK account. I'm not really terribly financially literate, so I haven't really thought about the very thing you're talking about, moving funds into a non-UK account in case of a hard Brexit.

I don't know if I really believe such a thing could happen without the political equivalent of a staged intervention, but then again history has a habit of proving optimists like me wrong. Now I'm wondering if I should shift as much of my savings either to my bank here in Taiwan, or...where? Where _can_ one place one's money in the event of a dangerously suicidal and extremist government driving us all off the cliff?

If anybody knows, don't hesitate to share.

406:

My view of the ‘minors’ is that they’re essentially cults of personality rather than a ‘party’per se

I think you do The Greens a disservice, and IMO there's a good argument that The Australian Democrats were a decent party undone as much by their optimism about the maturity of Australia's press as by their own stupidity in supporting the GST (electing not one, but *two* female leaders in succession at a time when both the press and parliament were struggling to get past "nice tits" as a response to women holding office [1]).

There are also a plethora of other very-minor parties and microparties that in some ways necessarily look like personality parties because if they have an elected member it will be ONE member... the LDP in the form of David Leyonhjelm for example. You get the same in Aotearoa, people questioned whether ACT could survive the departure of ... basically every MP and leader, for example. Worth noting that The Greens in NZ were also called a personality party, and when Rod Donald died some members of the media presumed that was the end of the party. Ditto when Jeanette Fitzsimons retired... that garbage is neverending.

[1] I may be biased by my arrival in the country coinciding with Natasha Stott Despoja being their leader and the press losing what was left of their decorum - she was not just female, but young and blonde. I has just left NZ at a time when the top five leadership positions were all filled by women and the sexist debate was almost entirely limited to talkback radio (viz, The Queen of Aotearoa/New Zealand and Sundry Lesser Territories and Islands, The Prime Minister[2], The Leader of the Opposition, The Head of the High Court and of course The Governor-General[3])

[2] I assume you have all seen the media excitement that the current occupant is only the second PM ever to give birth in office, and the first white women (they don't say that out loud AFAIK, but Benazir Bhutto didn't generate half the news despite also being a women heading a Muslim country (which, OMG, I'm surprised the Wahhabis didn't declare war))

[3] worth noting that none of those positions other the Queen use the feminine form, not even the Governess-General. I suspect the kiwis would only do that for laughs but it wouldn't surprise me to hear of some European monarchy doing is with straight faces.

407:

Charlie
"14 Words" - Euwwwww .....
Except also that the three mst pro-Brexit people I know are all younger than me & 2 of them are certainly well-educated. ( The ex-NZ one, of course, has her own reasons for being that way - a. n. other story )
Yeah, um, err a witch-hunt, asin McCarthyism & real traitors - again you don't want to whip up fear for a non-existent foe.
I happen to think JRM actually wants his version of Airstrip One - a vision not too different from Pence's actually - certainly not if you were under its' boot-heel.

408:

And I hoped to find a PhD position somewhere in the UK sometime in the nearby future. I wish you all good luck and to find some kind of peaceful resolution that wouldn't involve famine, pestilence and their friends. You'll have enough troubles without me.

410:

Re: The conclusion assumes the UK joins free trade agreements with places like NZ, Australia and Canada

This: "New Zealand Government pushes out warning of Brexit trade war risk" - https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105859499/new-zealand-government-pushes-out-warning-of-brexit-trade-war-risk

411:

I've never understood why UK "sailing boats" have such an obsession with Bermuda and/or ketch sail plans.

412:

That sounds plausible; certainly my electricity usage (all-electric rented house) at ~57.5N is about 90% heating, and 10% cooking, lighting, refrigeration and entertainment. (I happen to have modern cooker, fridge-freezer and Tv.)

413:

Yeah, the last NZ cults of personality were Peter Dunne and United Future and Jim Anderton's Progressives. Technically the Winston Peters Party New Zealand First would count but they seem to get a few others elected so can stand on their own merits.

As for those claiming that NZ and Australia would be happy to go back to trading with the UK as we did prior to 1973 ... good luck with that. Our farmers have long memories, and well remember exactly how the UK shafted them. They then spent the next 40 years developing markets in Asia, Russia and the Middle East. So that's the meat and dairy sector out.
Alongside that ... what exactly does the UK intend to trade back in return? Complex derivatives? Looking at the top ten export commodities of the UK, basically none of them are relevant.

414:

Tiny nit: Pence was never Senator, he was Governor (head of the state) and previously a congressman aka House of Representatives. Doesn't change anything else you wrote being 100% accurate however (and the polls were saying he was likely to lose the next Governor election pretty decisively).

415:

I'm sure a goodly part of it is simply that junk rigs are perceived as weird and exotic; they certainly look highly distinctive as their appearance is in a different class from that of any traditional European sail plan, which all show a family resemblance. And there's also the self-perpetuating aspect that next to nobody has sailed one.

One obvious reason to prefer triangular sails is windward performance. Sailing is kind of like cycling in that no matter which way you go the wind always ends up being against you, and you end up spending more time close-hauled than on all other points put together, so it makes sense to have a rig that performs well into the wind; and there is also the manoeuvrability advantage in narrow waters of being able to get close to the wind, which is one of those things that when it matters it really matters.

There's also the difficulty that a junk sail tends to be incompatible with a stayed mast, so you end up having to use a plain pole mast that relies solely on its own stiffness to stay upright - and probably has to cope with more bending moment than it would with a triangular sail because the centre of pressure on the non-tapering junk sail is higher up. No big deal on a dinghy, but on anything big enough to comfortably live aboard a pole mast will be heavy, and there's nothing you can do about it since the separation between the tension and compression sides of the bending force is only the width of the mast rather than half the width of the boat. And having all that weight high up does not suggest good things about the boat's motion in a sea. It's also harder to feed the mast support forces into the hull, so you are likely to have to step it in the keel which in turn means a big obstruction in the middle of the cabin.

416:

> However, I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but it seems that Nemesis @ 228 is incorrect.
> Apparently that EU directive ( 2016/1164 ) has already been incorporated into UK law.

Well the UK is still in the EU, so it has to be, doesn't it?

It comes into effect in January 2019. It can largely be ignored in all the chaos until April, at which point its easy to remove quietly.

417:

The UK fairly often doesn't put EU directives into law until the EU gets stroppy about it - in quite a lot of cases, we still haven't done it for Northern Ireland; there are almost certainly some for the Crown Dependencies and probably some even for Great Britain.

418:

the three mst pro-Brexit people I know are all younger than me

By years or decades?

Once we (me included) hit 50 anyone within 10 years is basically the same age as us mentally.

419:

No no, for the love of god no! It's called biomagnification, people. The rich are apex predators. They accumulate toxins. If you eat the rich, you get all those toxins. So do *NOT* eat the rich. Just Mulch the Rich.

420:

So being of poor memory and personally much effected by the Good Friday Agreement, I went back and re-read the whole thing (I used the text here: https://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/IE%20GB_980410_Northern%20Ireland%20Agreement.pdf)

In strict terms, you are correct: There is no item or text in the Good Friday Agreement that explicitly disallows a hard or enforced border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, there are a number of points in the text where a frictionless or invisible border is implied.

Declaration of Support, Item 3 (pg 2): "We are committed to partnership, equality and mutual respect as the basis of relationships within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between these islands."

To me (and to many others in NI) this implies a lack of a hard border, or significant barrier, between North and South.

Rights, Safeguards and Equality of Opportunity, United Kingdom Legislation, Item #2 (pg 18): "The British Government will complete incorporation into Northern Ireland law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with direct access to the courts, and remedies for breach of the Convention, including power for the courts to overrule Assembly legislation on grounds of inconsistency."

This is the item that most directly speaks to the point that Charlie was making, I think (and what you have noted too). Removing the UK from ECHR jurisdiction does seem to break this. However, as you point out this is something implicit in a "no deal" scenario, rather than just the hard border (although, the first necessitates the second) -- note that I say "implicit" and not that it is a certainty.

Economic, Social and Cultural Issues, Item #1 (pg 20): "Pending the devolution of powers to a new Northern Ireland Assembly, the British Government will pursue broad policies for sustained economic growth and stability in Northern Ireland and for promoting social inclusion, including in particular community development and the advancement of women in public life."

While this section speaks to the interim commitments for the British Government prior to establishment of a working Assembly, it could be argued that it also applies in absence of a working Assmebly. If that is the case, then the British Government (and it's partners-in-crime, the DUP) seems to be deliberately pursuing a policy that offers neither "sustained economic growth" not "stability" for Northern Ireland. Again, this is more pertinent to the whole "no deal" Brexit scenario, but the imposition of a "hard border" could be compellingly argued as a major impediment to NI's economic stability and growth.

Security, Item #2, Subsection ii (pg 22): "the removal of security installations"

Perhaps a stretch, but as a fellow citizen of this bonkers place, you can surely appreciate how significant sections of the community will see the restoration of any security apparatus on the border as a big red flag, and a betrayal of this item.

"Agreement" text (pg 30): "Wishing to develop still further the unique relationship between their people and the close co-operation between their countries as friendly neighbours and as partners in the European Union"

Perhaps best illustrated by analogy: You can't agree to be your neighbour's friend, and then expect to erect a 20 foot high fence between your properties without undermining that friendship.

At the end of the day, a hard border doesn't explicitly violate the letter of the Good Friday Agreement, but many people in NI will feel (quite rightly, in my opinion) that it violates the spirit of the Agreement. And when people here feel wronged, they seldom stop to be too calm and rational about it.

421:

NB: there's a huge difference between a witch hunt and a criminal investigation by a law enforcement agency following procedure and obeying rules of evidence, for those of you thinking about the Mueller/FBI investigation. Just sayin'.

Agreed completely, but Putin and Trump bought and paid for a criminal investigation, a [redacted] and a witch-hunt, with a side-order of new Cold War. I hope they enjoy everything they ordered, because their waitress is a cranky middle-aged lady who's going to serve them everything they ordered, then present one heck of a bill!

The important thing for Putin and Trump to remember is that U.S. Republicans are crazy and loud. U.S. Democrats (given power,) are sane and quietly effective. (Bush invaded Iraq, while Obama killed bin Laden.) IMHO, the next ten years are going to be very hard for both Republicans and Russians.

422:

“At the end of the day, a hard border doesn't explicitly violate the letter of the Good Friday Agreement, but many people in NI will feel (quite rightly, in my opinion) that it violates the spirit of the Agreement. And when people here feel wronged, they seldom stop to be too calm and rational about it.”

Actually I’d go a little further than that, in that on the basis of Dave’s reading while a hard border isn’t explicitly required by the GF agreement it would make things which are explicit in the agreement very, very, very difficult to deliver.

And the stuff about the EHCR really does look like a potential deal breaker...

423:

I found this on Brexit just now.

Note that Naked Capitalism is sometimes right and sometime wrong...

424:

I would also add that we're talking pretty much in pure political terms of impact for a hard border. We can make educated guesses about that based on the text of GFA, and we can make some grim informed predictions about economic impact; but we can't do much more than guess about the social impact of a hard border (and none of those guesses look pretty).

425:

David L @ 372:

A sailboat that can sail on the ocean doubles as a hole in the water which you can try and fill with money.

"bottomless hole"

Cornelius Vanderbilt (Commodore of the New York Yacht Club) once likened ownership of a yacht to standing under a cold shower tearing up $100 bills.

426:

_Moz_ @ 394:

I"m not saying you'd get approval for them, but there are a lot of things you can do that won't be noticed by a landlord or won't be cared about.

I expect it's more about having to spend your own money to make improvements on someone else's property. The landlord is unlikely to squawk about the improvements; it's more a question of whether you'll get a decent return on your investment.

Would you spend a thousand dollars to save five hundred on your electric bill? Especially if the improvement you make "justifies" the landlord raising the rent if/when you go to renew your lease?

427:

to Trottelreiner @259:
There is a narrative in Italy, France and Spain it's difficult to legally clear forest to build houses, so land owners set fires to get rid of the forest and build houses afterwards. No idea if that's really the case.

Apparently, it is, indeed, the case - or so local people who survived the firestorm believe. Firstly, the city was not build according to modern standards of safety - but that happened when these standards were not yet in effect. And, obviously, government did not have any opportunity to enforce them. The other reason is more obvious - this is pretty expensive land near the coast, so some people wanted to benefit from it, and that explains why people are rising suspicion about arsonists.

https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/07/pakistani-migrant-arrested-for-trying-to-set-fire-in-greece/

I was totally expecting this story to continue in usual EU direction of talks about migration deals, but apparently I overestimated it. Either the people who are profiting from the tragedy are smar enough, or the right wing is not really that popular among modern Greek population thanks to constant EU enforcement of draconian austerity measures.

to Charlie Stross @399:

The later analyses of Brexit voter opinions unearthed two strong correlations with support for Brexit in the referendum (albeit not along demographic or party lines):
a) Support for bringing back the death penalty
b) Opposition to immigration

It would not possible notice anything like (a) opinion on international level, but anti-immigration is pretty much how it started some years ago, if anybody cares to remember. As certain military "defence" alliance completely exploded Libya, torched Syria and stirred Egypt big time, a flow of migrants and refugees increased tenfold, so certain countries started to play their tug of war with Brussels about how to handle them. Greece is worth mentioning too, as it was worst-performing economy post-crisis, so they vouched to leave the EU, which resulted in pretty cruel case of failed expectations. These two factors are pretty obviously resulted in current proposition by sheer force of inertia.

428:

Noting this bit:

Asked if there are any borders anywhere in the world where there is no physical infrastructure, he replied: “No. The most open systems of trade which exist are either in South Africa, where there is the South African Customs Union since the early 20th century, and there is a border. And if you look at for instance Norway-Sweden, there is a border.

Back during the Cold War the US-Canada border was the longest undefended border in the world. In places it passed through towns and even buildings. Crossing it was a casual matter along most of its length.

Then 9/11 happened, and the US went hysterical. We got blamed for allowing terrorists into the US*, got no credit for taking in the planes that the US would have allowed to crash after it closed its airspace, had to upgrade our airport security even though it was already better that the US post-9/11 security, etc…

But pre-hysteria, the infrastructure in many places was a signpost with a phone number to call when you got to the next town.


*And are still being blamed (Napolitano, McCain, et al.) nearly two decades later, when the original story was debunked within days.

429:

I think this whole mess has already poisoned political debate, generational relationships, and friendships for a generation on the mainland, add that to Ireland’s, errr..., “interesting”, pre-existing situation and the social implications are beyond messy...

430:

Re insulating a rental:

Big projects, well one could try talking the landlord into doing it. There are government and utility company subsidies available sometimes that could make it very cheap. You do provide a benefit by being willing to take the disruption. But most landlords, it is my impression, are very short term thinkers.

What you very much can do, however, is wander around your unit trying to find air sealing flaws and other major problems. You can fix a bunch of those for $5-100, depending on what you find, and they can make a big difference.

My last rental was in Chicago, where the winters are very cold. It was a centrally heated building so I couldn't turn the heat up. During the second winter I wandered around the place on a very cold day just feeling cold spots and finding possible air holes. Then I spent around $60 to plug up a bunch of holes and stuff insulation into a few specific places. It made a huge difference. The place was about 5f/2.5c warmer. Best find: on top of one of the bathroom vanities there was a 1 square foot opening going into the wall, just gushing warm air up toward the unit that did have the thermostat.

One can also do temporary things, like that plastic you tape across windows. It's kind of ugly, but it works.

431:

Found that article very informative & frightening.
one small nit to pick
THIS is the Sweden / Norway border ( Main Stockholm / Oslo road ) note that although there are customs checks, you are still permitted to drive straight through ...
MIGHT that JUST work in Ireland?
Somehow, I doubt it, given the other problems ....

432:

Facebook's hundred billion dollar stock plunge last week got me spontaneously recalling Henley's tune "in a New York minute everything can change" as I lounged drinking tea in the backyard this morning. The lyrics depict a red in tooth and claw state of nature with phrases like "listen to a fool's advice, take care of your own, the wolf is always at the door."
Which led me to the question is that really so bad, life thrives when predators like wolves in Yellowstone cull herds of grazers. People might even need existential challenges just to get out of bed in the morning. Followed by, yeah but every time I watch business news the key takeaway is always, damn I'm glad I'm not working anymore.

Maybe an economy creates maximum utility, personal satisfaction or life fulfillment, whatever measurement is preferred, "utils" for its participants when it manages somehow to balance between extremes, prolonging to the utmost any stable periods of development, between extreme pendulum swings from stifling Latin American style oligarchy to chaotic Oklahoma land rush, Soviet breakup types of free-for-alls.
 
Such a view resembles the balanced ecology emphasis I've noticed in writings by environmentalists. Could it be that we're our own biggest beneficiaries when taking an interest in things like species preservation? Species come and go to replace each other all the time, nature finds its equilibrium regardless of human meddling, but even though someone may think they're fighting for the spotted owl, who really runs off with the proceeds of that fight is the general public, by exposure to the whole ecological frame of mind. Benefits include the concept of ourselves as an endangered species, awareness of the hazards of long term unintended consequences from slapdash remedies, and better understanding of the individual's place in the larger scheme of things, a systemic emphasis.

Any books or articles around, that explore this conjecture? I'd be unsurprised to learn I've just reinvented the wheel, and there's a whole literature going back decades that neatly packaged and long ago dismissed such pondering. Mostly i'm reminded of Gary Larson's cartoon showing space aliens with captive Americans in a terrarium, where they put in a little strip mall decoration, similar to a treasure chest or pirate ship in a goldfish bowl. "Aw, look, now they're happy!"        

433:

No. It's been proposed several times, and debunked immediately by anyone who actually looks at it.

According to Wikipedia, there are 10 staffed Norway to Sweden crossings and 30 unstaffed ones; Northern Ireland to Eire has over 300 crossings, and a large number of places the border passes through properties.

Perhaps more seriously, there is a tradition of behaving legally and responsibly in Scandinavia that is somewhat lacking in the Irish border area. Even today, things like fuel and cigarette smuggling are big business; I don't know how things have changed since this, but I suspect not a lot.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmniaf/1504/1504.pdf

434:

Inflation. I remember when it was ten pound notes :-)

435:

What you're replying to wasn't one of my posts.

436:

THIS is the Sweden / Norway border

This is not quite a straightforward a comparison as you might imagine.

For all practical purposes, the SE/NO border is an internal EU border, Norway is a "-light" member of EU for this purpose, so there are no tarifs involved.

Second the SE/NO border is remote (as in: hours of driving) from both countries capitals, which means that any smuggled contraband or luxury goods must be particularly illegal/profitable to offset the necessary cost of fuel.

Friends on boths side of that border tell me that the norvegians are the worst, smuggling mainly sugar and vegetables. (In Oslo, the difference between "a burger" and "a luxury burger" is usually three slices of cucumber and a small leaf of lettuce. The suggar is for fermentation.)

None of this match the situation with the Eire/NI border.


437:

My late wife and I converted her old two-burner camping stove to propane. It's a looot easier. My ancient backpacker gas stove, yeah, well, water will boil, if you get it going and wait.

438:

What got me about all this, for days, now, is "growth wasn't going up!!!"

I mean, what were the idiot/investors (to repeat myself) planning for, when there were 7B twitter account - that everyone should start a second?

To paraphrase the Batman, stockbrokers are a superstitious and cowardly lot.

439:

"Tax and spend". That's one of the chestnuts the GOP always use to attack the Dems. I swear, if I run, my instant response to it is that they're "borrow and spend wastefully" Republicans.

I refer you to the "deficit hawks" who voted in a tax cut that will massively a) benefit the rich, and b) increase the deficit.

440:

At least for the US, I think the operative adverb? is "had". Anything near the surface was sucked up and sold long, long ago.

441:

I have grave doubts about all the above. I cannot see *anyone* going in with Trumpolini in attacking (militarily) Iran. I don't even know how much the Pentagon would go with it. And ALL the Dems in Congress and the Senate,a and probably some Republicans would go, "Cheney told us that going into Iraq wouldn't cost us anything. Somewhere around $1T US and $2T US later, they'd be screaming. Already, there's a bill to force Trump to go to Congress, the way it says in the Constitution....

442:

So do *NOT* eat the rich. Just Mulch the Rich.

I may have to start a new Psychobilly band - Donnie Shlump & the Wood Chippers.

443:

One of the things that made the US collapse so horrendous were ARMs - adjustable rate mortgages. Low rates for the first 3, 5, or 7 years, then you *have* to remortgage, or the current mortgagor will *seriously* crank your rates up. Houses went under water (my daughter's is), and rates went up to where the owners couldn't afford them. Many literally just walked away.

444:

The Queen dies, and suddenly there's an opening on the hillside of Glastonbury Tor, and we *know* who rides out with his knights to save the realm....

445:

There's a few issues here: just last week, I saw a piece that Trumpolini *really* solidified his hold on his base... but his base is shrinking. Older Republicans are gagging and leaving, and the independents are leaving by the boatload.

446:

Yep. Here at work, someone comes into Purchasing, and oh, we need three quotes, no, we need one quote, and they'll put it out for bid, no, three quotes, but they'll still put it out for bid, no....

447:

Please note that some cities or suburban areas go GOP because of literal gerrymandering (look of the origin of the word). Austin, TX, for example, that some Texans aren't really sure is part of Texas, it's so liberal, has districts that go out 40 mi. And then there's that disctric in NC, that runs about 90mi, and in many cases is < 5mi wide.

Note, also, that if Pence comes in, he will have an anti-"mandate", if anything, and be very week.

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448:

By the bye, "family farms" are a thing of the past (and I say this, having close friends who have one). As of the 1990 Census in the US, that was "no longer a recognized occupation", because it comprised < 1.5% of the population.


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449:

Wellll.... A century and more ago, in the US, most state legislatures only were in session a month or three out of the year. Now, however... they still take a total ov a couple months of, but with the population, um, twice what it was when I was in my teens, there's just so much that needs to be dealt with.

450:

Adjustable-rate mortgages are standard in the UK, although many are fixed for the first couple of years. I couldn't believe it isn't usually the case here in the US when we bought our house. "You mean the monthly repayments never go up from this? No matter how bad inflation is, or what the Fed rate is? Where do I sign?"

451:

It was from the link you gave. Sorry, should have made that clearer.

452:

The Kickstarter campaign I linked to has a map of the district in Austen that the game designers come from. Looks like about 1/3 of Austin's urban area + five and two-halves of rural counties.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1639370584/mapmaker-the-gerrymandering-game

I think I'm going to back it. Looks like a pretty decent game on its own, even ignoring the political implications. Campaign runs for eight more days, and the PnP level is only $10.

453:

No! Then you've got a number of them, and that'll increase the amount of nasty things in the single plot of ground.... And it's not like you're going to be on a steady diet of them, I mean, there's a LOT more of us then there are of them, and they don't breed fast enough (Praise be Ghu, purple be His Name!)

454:

Given the current situation, there would also be one from Silbury Hill, another from a cave near Tintagel, and yet others would materialise in Stonehenge and Amesbury; they then would proceed to fight over who is the One True King. All with the grasp of modern problems that you would expect from people who have been asleep for a millennium, and were' entirely part of the real world even before that.

455:

You buy them. 10 year, 20 year, 30 year. I always got 30 yr, which have low rates, but winds up with them making a *lot* in interest. Then, if you can, you pay it off early. That's what I did on the house I live in - I paid it off *very* early.

Check banks and mortage cos (and credit unions! for rates, and downpayments. If there's any way at all that you can make 20% down, DO IT, and then you don't have to pay for PMI (they should be hung) which is *you* paying *their* rates to insure that if you default before you hit 20% principal, *they* get paid.

And UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES *E*V*E*R* LET THEM BUY HOUSE INSURANCE. Talk to whoever you insure your car with (I really like State Farm), and find out what it will cost. The reason for this is that if you let *them* buy insurance, THEY ARE THE INSURED. If your house burns down, or someone's flying car (this is the 21st C) crashes into your second floor bedroom window, YOU GET NOTHING AT ALL, and you still have to pay off the mortgage.

456:

Oh, come on, those are all just different Gates to the otherwoldly Avalon.

Here I'm an American* and I know that!

* I'm also serious about the Matter of Britain, and probably read more old journals on it in my late teens than you've ever seen....

457:

I guess we'll just have to wait for the most recently dead one to turn up and tell them all to stop being silly.

458:

"My ancient backpacker gas stove, yeah, well, water will boil, if you get it going and wait."

Those things are designed to help the French sell expensive butane (at least over here they are, adjust according to national circumstances).

Fortunately it is easy to circumvent their dastardly schemes using tinfoil, brown paper and paste. These items are used to construct a cylinder of brown paper with tinfoil pasted to the inside, height to be slightly taller than the stove plus pot, diameter just big enough to clear the pot. The cylinder keeps the wind off, the tinfoil lining stops it catching fire; it folds conveniently flat when not in use, and it makes a tremendous difference to how fast the thing boils.

Alternatives include things like digging a hole to put it in or building a little dry stone wall around it, which are considerably more hassle, although the dry stone wall can also be fun. They tend not to work so well, though, because the fit is not so good, and as for sheltering it under the overhang of your tent, that is nearly useless. It's remarkable how little draught it takes to blow a huge amount of the heat away, far less than you'd think significant from how it feels on your skin, and it takes much more to shield it effectively than the crappy little shallow dish thing at the level of the flame that seems to be the most a stove as bought ever gives you, if it even does give you one.

459:

Well if nothing else, looks like we might get ekranoplans back...

Still not worth it.

460:

Nope, we're not allowed.

So here's a Brexity thing.

Memes, how to do it wrong (this is relevant):

As some of you have already noticed, Hillary is wearing Illuminati earrings in this. It's those subtle touches that make this more than your run-of-the-mill anti-Semitic effort. Yair Rosenburg, Tablet Magazine, 30th July 2018

Yair is counting on people not using search tools:

AMERICA VANQUISHED, Part 2: America under Jewish Rule American Vanquished, DarkMoon, 2011 - Note: this really is a batshit antisemitic site so, you know, be prepared.


Why is this news?

Because it's (again) ancient pre-Trump / Brexit sources (come on... 2006? 2011? that's about fifty generations in internet terms).


Now go look up Ms. Bari Weiss supporting Toby Young or the funniest thing you'll spot all year outside of BigFoot Porn:

Thanks @bariweiss for your thought-provoking talk on a new "Seven Dirty Words" @chq Michael Hill, Twitter, 26th July 2018 - read the comments, savage. Now think to who famously made the '7 words' speech.

And if that is your cultural reference in 2018, you're a dying breed.

~


If you want to relate this to Brexit: Older Generation, Out of Steam: No New Talent.


Now ask why.


p.s.


You need to get up to speed on magnetic pole shifts and other wryd. But .RU, UK and .CN are pretty blatantly dumping shit into the atmosphere atm to respin the old current. [ALLEGEDLY].

p.p.s

"It Gets Better".

461:

Oh, and if Davidcshipley wants to play Future Games and rack up a score, Louise Mensch is getting taken to the cleaners over, well:

would ask that everybody take a moment to report @conspirator0 and @ZellaQuixote for targeted, anti Semitic harassment of me and of my family. These two men have imposed a Pepe over my face @TwitterSupport. My husband is Jewish, and 8chan attacked our family physically. THREAD Louise Mensch, July 29th, 2018, noted friend of Milo and Murdoch.

Note: #resist is mostly Shareblue, but there's other elements: Mensch is getting taken to the cleaners by a couple of amateurs and she's panicking now.

Suspect a Milo Deportation Soon[tm]. (As promised).


~

Basically: we can shatter mirrors. Times / Gate is a biggy, esp since they've been using non-dom sources to police content.

Tsk Tsk Tsk.


Actual Adult Lesson: Dragons in the Sky isn't yours to pinch for a joke, little fat man. Be very careful who you poke next.


462:

She's Also Not Jewish. By a fucking mile.

Which makes her the second British National this week to falsely claim Jewish Status in their projects.

The other is a Labor MP, LFI, who is a right noxious piece of wankstain. Iain.... something.

But you can note the pattern: whose gonna be the third scalp?


p.s.


Swatting / Doxxing is bad Martin, we play hard when threatened.

463:

Note: http://animeright.news/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/12/ARN-milo-yiannopoulos-confirms-louise-mensch-is-a-troll-who-runs-cover-for-rupert-murdoch_1498215245-b.jpg

If you're being outed by Anime Right Wing muppets a year ago, well. Srsly. We'll show you how to crack mirrors my laddios.

This goes for the entire UK Media Sphere: you're out of date and out of time.

Burn our House Down? Not a nice threat.

Off the record: you'd be amazed at how bad Media Barons are with phone security. FFS, Hunt can't even remember his wife is a .CN asset, he thinks she's Japanese, that's how stupid this is.

p.s.


Hmm, the old .IS as unassailable. We hate going back to the old country (pillars of salt), but we can: takes ~5mins to find the illegal arms shipment deals and so on.


Fucking. Apes. (And yes: this is all a joke about the Monkeys Gag - if anyone outside of Israel knew how institutionally racist and retrograde you were, even in comparison to Iran, fuck me.)


You. Are. Not. The. Chosen.


/done

464:

I've never understood why UK "sailing boats" have such an obsession with Bermuda and/or ketch sail plans.

My overriding impression is of gaff rigs everywhere, whatever the general sail plan. I assumed that came from a combination of low bridges, deforestation/forest control, and working sailboats (you can reef a gaff rig much more effectively than a full mast one - with a triangular storm sail your windage is smaller *and* lower - if you're committed to sitting in the North Sea fishing for a week that matters).

Bermuda rigs (sloops and cutters) are popular because these days it's "run the extrusion a bit longer" and strength in general is easier to get. So you care about efficiency, and having two jigs on rollers + a single mainsail gives you a good balance between lots of options and simplicity of rigging and operation. Especially now with kiting sails and asymmetrical spinnakers, you can fly dramatic rigs in light winds and leave the fixed sails for heavier weather. Also, modern battens reduce the comparative advantage of a gaff rig, the "rectangular" sails you see on racing yachts are gaffs in all but name (they're curved-edge quadrilaterals that don't lie flat so there's no really good planar-geometry way to describe them).

The reason you see fewer two-masted rigs is that these days losses from shading the trailing mast are way more important than having a second mast or more rigging options. A modern composite rig will be less than half the weight of even a modern aluminium/stainless rig, and it's so much stronger that you benefit more from a taller mast/lower aspect ratio than you possibly could from more sail lower down. Two masts makes for a heavier, more expensive, harder to manage rig... and extra crew to manage it just add to the weight penalty.

465:

Re: ' ... balanced ecology emphasis I've noticed in writings by environmentalists.'

Sorry, unaware of any such book but it's an interesting idea and I hope you'll inform us of results.

Question: What is included as comprising the environment? (Levels of authoritarianism, religiosity, wealth distribution, trade/economic sectors, size ... ?)

466:

My understanding of junk rigging (note that I'm not much of a sailor) is that it's optimized to a different set of circumstances.

--It's cheap: by using bamboo battens to take the strain on the sail, they can get away with using cheaper cloth between the battens. This contrasts with having to use higher strength, more expensive cloth for western rigs.
--You can spread the junk rig fairly high up, which reportedly works around Chinese harbors, which often have barely a breath of wind. These sails can be optimized for low wind, as well as high.

As for the keel, junks were built wide, like motor boats, rather than having a keel (something about shallow harbors and coral reefs further south, would be my bet). They'd have a dagger-board equivalent to drop down, but they tend to plane, rather than having a Bermuda-type keel to lean against.

Not being a sailor (I don't have enough money to afford a floating financial hole for entertainment), I can't say how much of this is true, but what I am pretty sure of is that boats are designed for their local seas, and junks are really designed for the South China Sea. They can be sailed all sorts of places (Wooden Boat had a great picture of a small junk sailing around the icebergs somewhere up north), but the fundamental design wasn't about pining for the fjords, shall we say.

467:

I expect it's more about having to spend your own money to make improvements on someone else's property.

Most of what I do costs only time, or goes with me when I leave. At one stage I bought the offcut end off a roll of bubble-wrap+foil insulation (from Reverse Garbage, so I don't know the real origin). That cost me about $2 for ~20m x 500mm. I used it primarily to wrap the shitty, rental-grade storage hot water cylinder in ~5cm of the stuff. That took 30% off our power bill... and cost me about $5 (the tape to hold it in place was the most expensive part). I also taped some into sheets to attach to the sliding aluminium "ranch slider" doors, because there were no curtain rails ... no thermal drapes possible, property manager was a dick about adding them.

I'm not kidding about "stealing" old fibreglass batts from demolition sites, I've lashed out $20 on a plastic overall and respirator then spent a few hours one night moving bike-trailer-loads of batts into our ceiling.

Sure, those costs mount up and you can end up spending $1000 on it. But the combination of increased comfort and lower bills is something I'm willing to pay for. It's just a question of security of tenure... it's really annoying if you're just getting settled in and you get the boot. In Australia and NZ you're a tenant at the convenience of the landlord, they can flick you on 2-3 weeks notice without cause if "a family member wants to move in"... it's effectively impossible to challenge that because after all "the situation changed" can also happen...

I think the most extreme change I've ever made was replacing the oven/stove unit. I found a better one free, made a trivial repair, and fitted it. Since they all look basically the same and the property manager was a 19 year old real estate agent I figured they'd not notice. I was right :)

To me it's all about what the property manager/owner cares about and notices.

468:

If The UK media knew just how fucking normalized and usual Genocide Language was is in Israeli politics and culture.

Holy Fuck, they'd probably declare Jihad.

Yes, True.

If you attempt to import your bullshit, don't be surprised when Blow-Back happens.

For the record: Most Israeli Politicians, even from the "Labor" party engage in extreme forms of genocidal language against Palestinians. It's not even open to a Parliamentary Sanction - they just keep doing it.

*shrug*

You don't want to be playing this game now, my little squeeks.

But, so be it: If you want to make sure that 90% of UK people know exactly how racist Israel is, we can do that.

Your Major party are facists: everyone knows this: you laugh at people getting killed and you live in a militarized ghetto structure.

All of this is True.


Want the .is gov links?

[Seriously: You're pissing off some very nice people and.... oh, Holy Shit, you tortured an Ascendant Angel for political gain. Frakk Me are you sociopaths]

469:

Balanced ecology and equilibrium are not stuff that academic ecologists have been talking about for a very long time. We're having more fun with things like trophic cascades (the wolves in Yellowstone, for example).

There's no balance in nature. That's why things like speciation and the occasional mass extinction happen. It's more like there's a relentless churn of coevolution: something happens, say a population of bugs is mostly eaten by a predator for some reason (perhaps it's a bad year for the prey to hide). Anyway, the survivors proliferate, and whatever they did to survive makes them invulnerable to the predator, who in turn mostly dies off, except for the few who can eat the new version of the prey, and the interaction goes back and forth indefinitely. It's more like the eternal game of politics than like a balanced situation watched over by some benevolent deity.

Trophic cascades, incidentally, are fun. Here's a simple one: wolves eat elk, elk eat plants. If there are no wolves, elk numbers grow, they eat more plants, and the plants that survive are not the ones elk eat. In Yellowstone, this leads to meadows. Add wolves, wolves eat elk (and more importantly, elk stay away from areas where they can be ambushed by wolves), elk eat less of their favorite plants, and those plants come back (these plants would be things like willows and cottonwoods, which help a bit control flood damage). Add humans into this: humans kill off wolves, elk proliferate, willows and cottonwoods go away, damage from rainstorms increases, human ranchers downstream suffer.

As an environmentalist, here's my conservation argument: we evolved in a world with three million-odd species, and it now looks like we can kill off most of them if we really want to. However, the species that remain will be the ones we can't kill off, either because we need them to survive (like our crop plants) or because, well, we can't kill them off. The ones we can't control will proliferate to fill in the gaps left by our killing off the ones we could control. Is this a good idea or not? Do you want to camp in a field of thistles, lock your garbage cans against raccoons, and lose your garden veggies to pests that are immune to whatever you spray? If so, keep doing what you're doing. Alternatively, we can keep around more species, even though this requires us to be restrained and merciful. They may help control some of our worst pests, or they may not. But ultimately, that's the question: do you think we should stay in the world we evolved in, or should we build a world that can take advantage of us despite whatever we do? I'm for the first choice. You?

470:

I kinda prefer the hovercraft-based one a guy in Nelson made. Still wing in ground, albeit the power required for a hovercraft also apparently gives him the ability to bounce quite high...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/26223/Above-sea-ride-sends-inventor-over-the-moon

471:

Sometimes I wish we had upvoting.

472:

"Brexit isn't conservative. It is very radical."

Are there any actual conservatives left in the UK? Or just radical right-wingers calling themselves that?

473:

Do you want to camp in a field of thistles, lock your garbage cans against raccoons, and lose your garden veggies to pests that are immune to whatever you spray? If so, keep doing what you're doing. Alternatively, we can keep around more species,

So much that. In Australia and Aotearoa it's quite blatant because the latest hominids love them some introduced carnivores that dramatically change the landscape. But you talk about controlling the cute widdle kitty cat population and ... gee... seems like some people would actually prefer I was gunning down schoolchildren.

In Australia we have a shit-ton of other problems, because we exterminated and eliminated the traditional farmers, let their fields run riot, and now we're scratching our heads wondering why everything is changing. Not to mention the various really big fences we have to destroy ground-based wildlife (oddly enough not many species here have evolved to deal well with fences... but they are starting to do so now, either by changing behaviour or being replaced by fence-tolerant alternatives).

I wonder if anyone has studies marine predation patterns in the context of deliberate killing of anything that eats people. Do we get a change in mix when that's not part of a "kill them all" programme (or do we not have an example of that to study?)

474:

Sorry, but I think "committed to partnership, equality and mutual respect as the basis of relationships" somehow implying a lack of a hard border would essentially mean that any decision that any side in NI does not like could be construed as against the spirit of the GFA. And when one speaks of violating the GFA, as Charlie did in his original post, one means breaking the letter. Either a hard border breaks the letter or it doesn't.

"Removing the UK from ECHR jurisdiction does seem to break this. However, as you point out this is something implicit in a 'no deal' scenario, rather than just the hard border"

I think you misunderstood my argument. ECHR means the Convention, not the court (ECtHR). Being a party to the ECHR is apparently not required for the UK, but its incorporation into NI law is. I have not said it's implicit in a no deal scenario at all. Instead, the GFA involves the ECHR, but Brexit does not. Brexit removes the UK from the EU, but not from the ECHR. The EU and Council of Europe are separate things. If the govt announced we were going to quit the ECHR you might have a case. But we're quitting the EU.

No, I'm sure "pending the devolution of powers" became a dead letter twenty years ago.

"Removal of security installations" doesn't create a duty never to put them back. Consider, the GFA required the Republic to hold a referendum on amending Articles 2 and 3. An effect of that change was to create birthright citizenship. After a while they didn't like immigrants' babies being automatic Irish citizens. So they amended the Constitution again. It didn't violate the GFA. Similarly, the fact the IRA hasn't disbanded and has megabucks in their war chest doesn't actually violate the GFA.

Secondly, we all know that the objection here is to *British* customs officials telling people what to do. If we have a no-deal Brexit, the EU will require checks (however seldom) on the southern side to protect the Customs Union. Nationalists won't feel the same about *Irish* customs officials. And Irish Revenue has been doing preparation, which would be strange if it violated the GFA. An all-electronic system is possible, though not in the next year or two, with lorries only being diverted to a depot miles from the border.

"unique relationship between their people and the close co-operation between their countries as friendly neighbours" -- this is the preamble to the British-Irish Agreement. It isn't legally binding so it isn't possible to violate. The RoI has of course agreed in the B-IA that the UK *can* now erect a 20 foot high fence.

"many people in NI will feel (quite rightly, in my opinion) that it violates the spirit of the Agreement. And when people here feel wronged, they seldom stop to be too calm and rational about it".

This can just as easily be used to argue that we should all discourage people from feeling wronged, and that it would itself be wrong to use the "spirit" to avoid giving the UK its rights to a hard border under the letter of the GFA and to Brexit under Article 50, which the Republic ratified in a referendum.

In any case my original argument was that the GFA is not violated by this, regardless of whether it's bad for the peace process (and yeah, people saying it's provocative was always going to be part of that). Fwiw I hardly think the UK's future trade policy should be dictated by a hypothetical threat from the weak, small and unpopular dissident republicans, any more than loyalist terrorists or the killer of Jo Cox should push us around.

The reason the border argument is doing so much business is that Remainers in the UK want to believe it to try and stop Brexit (there's plenty of more attractive arguments for us to use on GB's voters guys) and that the Irish government knows it will make it more difficult to use GB as a land bridge for their lorries to the continent, not to mention the effect on their trade with GB (which is large) or even NI (which is small).

475:

The time of the gaff as the default rig coincides more or less with the time of wood as the default material for hull construction. These days it's pretty rare; you find it on old boats of course, and on boats which are trying to look old, and occasional dinghies. Nearly everything has triangular sails now (and hulls mostly made of fibreglass or some more complicated composite).

There are places like the Broads where gaff rigs are more common, but that's mainly because there's a lot of deliberate "living in the past" going on there, whether in the way of survival of old boats in the benign fresh water river cruising environment or of continuing to build new boats to old designs. Going through bridges is much the same for sailing cruisers regardless of sail type; moor on one side of the bridge, mess about lowering the mast, pole or motor through the bridge, moor on the other side, and mess about raising the mast again. These boats tend to be hired out for a week or two at a time to people who through inexperience often aren't very good at handling them, and the arrangements for lowering the mast are accordingly designed more to make the operation difficult to fuck up rather than slick and rapid.

Slick and rapid is what the wherries - working cargo boats - and their experienced hands are good for. The sail is a single huge loose-footed gaff, and the mast is pivoted in the step with a big counterweight on the bottom end. With one person at the helm and one handling the rig, they can collapse the sail and lower the mast in a flash, shoot the bridge on momentum, put everything back to normal with equal rapidity on the other side and carry on without a break, even against the current. This works because the crew have been doing it for years and the rig is highly optimised for it, but the pleasure boat hire operators would prefer their rigs to be such that their customers don't even think of trying it.

The advantage of a short mast is not related to bridges - no mast could be short enough - but to trees. On stretches of river with trees growing along the bank, the taller your mast the less width of river you can use before it catches in the branches.

Working sail boats did indeed use either a gaff rig or something closely related for the reason you cite, and general ease of handling with a minimal crew. They also used it because triangular sails hadn't become popular yet when working sail was still around. For blue water voyages, square rigs persisted until working sail came to an end.

Ketch rigs on boats that you might think are too small to warrant it have some popularity with people who like to sail short-handed. Breaking the sail area up into smaller chunks makes each chunk easier to handle, and in bad weather there is the advantage that you can drop the main altogether and carry on under foresail and mizzen alone.

476:

"Brexit removes the UK from the EU, but not from the ECHR."

In theory perhaps. In practice we have Theresa May who is fanatical about losing the ECHR so she can get on with installing the telescreens.

477:

1) You seem to have missed the bit where I agreed with you about a hard border not being a violation of the Agreement.

2) You also seem to have missed the larger point I was making (or believe that it can be hand-waved aside).

I don’t see the merit in continuing an argument that seems destined to go in ever decreasing circles; but thank you for at least providing me the impetus to re-read the GFA after all this time.

478:

At least for the US, I think the operative adverb? is "had". Anything near the surface was sucked up and sold long, long ago.

Not quite. Any LARGE deposits near the surface are long gone. But there are a lot of small things within a few feet to a few hundred feet that are too small for the big rigs. Drive around parts of OK, TX, So Cal, and PA and you'll see small walking beam jacks pulling up stuff from not far down. A truck will come by every few days or weeks and collect what is pumped. You can even spot the behind faux art and buildings if you look close when driving around LA. Quantities are small but still the cost of extraction is less than the value of the oil.

479:

And then there's that disctric in NC, that runs about 90mi, and in many cases is

I think your formatting ate some of your comments.

NC is an odd duck in this argument. NC has been gerrymadered for decades. It's just that the R's got very good at it when given the chance. But prior to their drawings in 2012 the D's did some major whackyness. They, the D's, were the ones that started drawing districts with areas connected via miles of highway medians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina%27s_congressional_districts#Historical_and_present_district_boundaries

I've lived in a gerrymandered district since I moved here nearly 30 years ago. Reliably D.[1] Especially those years when I was grouped with a town 60 miles away instead of with the 1/2 million or so neighbors I had within 10 miles.

[1] Well except for that 2 year term 94-95 when the R's swept out all kinds of D's. (For good reasons in many cases but not all.) But our R was so bad he was booted in the next election and we got our predetermined D back.

480:

I'm sure I saw some programme not long ago about an outfit of that kind - can't think where, though, and it's not a usual way for me to discover information, so I'm a bit puzzled. There was a "lot" of shallow oil that could be reached almost by poking a stick into the ground, but which only came out slowly. The point of the programme was that the whole operation was powered by one of those systems where you have a big crank in the middle pulling on a bunch of rods made from sections bolted together which radiate out in all directions and pull on the pump jacks. They had what looked like enough land to keep a couple of hundred cows on if it had been pasture, which it probably had been at one point, but now it was mixed grass and smallish trees, with arrays of pump jacks at various points, each array fed from its own branch of this most amazing network of reciprocating rods that strode across the grass or snaked between the trees to the central crank, which was driven by really not all that big a motor. It made sense: to power all those jacks individually with electric motors would have used a broadly comparable amount of metal in the power distribution network, but it would be expensive copper rather than cheap iron; and the electric system would have more ways to go wrong, whereas with the mechanical system, as long as someone walked the lines with a brush and a bucket of grease every so often it would last more or less for ever. They had been slowly extracting oil there for over a hundred years; they seemed to be keeping it going now mainly as a museum-type operation, but it did still produce enough oil to make greater than zero profit.

481:

I think I saw that one also. It was in western PA.

482:

Reliability is not the point - Electric motors have extremely long mean time before failures, far better than any mechanical linkage not contained in a housing. More likely, it was just never worth the capital outlay to replace a setup that worked until it got so old it became a literal working museum.

483:

Heteromeles @ 467
Yeah
Or the one noted by uncle Chas D (?)... that settlements with cats had more bumblebees, because the cats eat the mice, which themselves preyed on the bee nests. ( Something the occasional rabid cat-haters ough to have pointed out to their tiny brains )
Or the re-introduction of Beavers in various parts of the UK, with spectacular results to ... everything.
Or down on our allotments ... foxes & particularly almost-adult fox cubs can be a nuisance - they LOVE digging stuff up - especially if "the humans" have just put something ( like seedlings ) into the ground.
To them DIGGING IS FUN & so is exploring waht the 2-legs have been up to.
You (we) simply put up little fences or lay down grids & put up with it.
Why? Because the foxes EAT RATS & PIGEONS - which do much more damage & are probably more likely to carry diseases we can catch.

484:

I've been reading this blog for quite a while, but the side discussion on the Swedish-Norwegian border drew me out of the lurking woods.

Greg Tingey @ 429:

There are a few things to note about the border and special relationship between Norway and Sweden; Poul-Henning Kamp @ 434 touched on some of it.

The most important part is that both countries are part of the