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CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE

(Back from Worldcon, where I didn't win a Hugo, and Eurocon, where I was awarded the ESFS Hall of Fame award for Best Author, 2019. Whee!)

So I guess I don't need to give a detailed run-down of political events while I was travelling, save to say that we're now getting into 1642 territory constitutionally, with the unelected Prime Minister declaring his intention of asking the unelected monarch to shut down parliament so that he can force through an unpopular policy that everybody was assured was not a possible outcome of a referendum that was only upheld by the courts because it was non-binding (so the foreign interference and straight-up vote rigging couldn't be held a violation of election law). He's also proposing to pack the House of Lords with unelected pro-Brexit members just in case the HoL tries to to throw a spanner in the works.

Reminder: the legal wellspring of British authority is the crown-in-parliament (i.e. the powers of the monarch, as vested in parliament after the king picked a fight with that body and lost, comprehensively). This is an end-run around British sovereignty. It's a bit like, say, a US President packing the supreme court and then issuing an executive order suspending the 14th amendment (with a manufactured court rubber stamp): procedurally suspect and ethically outrageous. BoJo is gaming the British Constitution on a scale never seen before; if he's allowed to get away with this then, never mind Brexit (and a no-deal Brexit would be very, very bad in its own right), it means the end of British constitutional governance and a shift towards rule by executive decree implemented via the Civil Contingencies Act and/or Henry VIII Orders. In other words, a dictatorship.

Oh, and if the Queen gives Boris his rubber-stamp prorogation, it's quite possible that Brexit will not only take down the British economy, the British constitution, and the Conservative Party: it could well take down the monarchy as well. The Queen is personally popular, but she's in a horrible cleft stick: if she prorogues Parliament she pisses off the remainers (over half the population) and personally gets some of the blame for a no-deal Brexit. If she refuses to prorogue Parliament without a bulletproof legal precedent then she acts unconstitutionally and takes a fire-axe to the relationship between Parliament and Monarch ... and she pisses off a not-much-smaller segment of the population. The Queen is 92. Being put on the spot like this can't possibly not be incredibly stressful for her: there's no good solution, unless I've overlooked her having some magic constitutional power to, say, require the PM to prove that he has the confidence of parliament before he prorogues that chamber. The whole point of the post-1688/1832/1912 British Constitutional system is to put the theoretically-absolute powers of a once-absolute monarchy in a lead-lined safe at the bottom of a very deep mine shaft. So expecting the Queen to ride to the rescue is ... excessively optimistic.

To add to the fun and games, the political advisor at Number 10 who has the PM's ear is Dominic Cummings, who is noted for being both an Accelerationist and a closet singularitarian (he keeps the latter out of the public eye but it's on his blog). He can thus best be approximated to an ultra-capitalist rapture-of-the-nerds embracing Trotskyite, merrily intent on pouring gasoline on the bonfire of British constitutional traditions.

Opposition--both internal, within the Conservative party, and external, split between the minority parties--is divided. I'm seeing tweets by Labour MPs proposing that if parliament is prorogued they will conduct a sit in and establish a People's Parliament. (I was not exaggerating when I invoked the spectre of 1642.) But the situation is not helped by the new and rather right-wing leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinston, refusing to vote with a Corbyn-led national unity coalition. Or by Labour's perpetual on-going snit with the SNP (Scottish Labour has an unofficial policy of "whatever the SNP are for, we're against", because the SNP are their deadly rival for the peculiarly Scottish niche of "left wing party of government"; this has spilled over into Labour/SNP relations in Westminster). In theory there is an absolute majority in Parliament opposed to a no-deal Brexit, or indeed almost any form of Brexit. In practice, they seem to be more intent on forming a circular firing squad.

Sterling, needless to say, is down 1% this morning, trading at $1.20 to the pound, and the London stock exchange is tanking. Remember that this is nominally a conservative government, the party of business ... except Boris Johnson when asked about the effects of Brexit declared, "fuck business": he's actually got the Financial Times, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, and the Trade Union Congress lined up against him (which is the British equivalent of sheep and wolves holding hands in solidarity).

Folks, I have no idea what happens next. Lewis Goodall (a Sky News political commentator) noted on twitter that Johnson's strategy seems to be:

  • Get through first 2 weeks of Parliament in September (by prorogation)

  • Survive Party Conference season

  • Unveil a new brexit deal at council on 17th October

  • Survive the Queen's Speech because if they don't there'll be no deal by default

  • Ram the new deal through a terrified parliament in the days before October 31st

But it's not obvious that there's any scope for such a new deal to happen. Ireland will veto any arrangement that leaves out the Northern Irish backstop, and the EU 26 have their back. The ERG will veto any deal that includes the backstop. The EU negotiators have already declared that there's no more room for negotiation; they're fed up with the UK's perfidious nonsense and they spend three years negotiating with May in good faith: take it or leave it.

This isn't new. It was broadly the shape of affairs while Theresa May was in charge. What's new is a Prime Minister who is ruthless and willing to destroy the constitution, the monarchy, and the economy to get his own way--and who is listening to the accelerationists.

That's profoundly frightening.

UPDATE: They did it:

(via twitter)

ALSO:

Ruth Davidson resigns as Scottish conservative leader (actual resignation reported on the BBC in past 15 minutes; she's strongly opposed to a no deal Brexit and there's personal animosity with BoJo)

Legal move filed in Court of Sessions in Edinburgh to have Prorogation of Parliament ruled illegal (it's a cross-party move)

List of protests in cities around the UK

(I can't keep up; this is all news that's broken in the last couple of hours.)

2463 Comments

1:

PS: this profoundly depressing shit-fest, in combination with the ongoing terminal decline of my only remaining parent (now on terminal care) has done a number on my ability to work. It's also done a number on my ability to blog about anything remotely creative. Sorry, folks, normal service will be resumed after the catastrophe.

2:

Frak. Thank you for this precis from the other side of the pond.

3:

I don't understand it, how this is happening...

(Do you remember when we believed in the existence of a deep state? Innocent days. Now if we want to impose order on events, we posit it is chaos loving hedge fundies, making huge profits regardless of consequence, deliberately playing with structural instabilities in Western democracies. It still doesn't make sense to me.)

I guess that on an individual level, we now seriously have to have contingency plans to leave the UK, middle term --- if we are really in coup territory. And just stockpile in preparation for the no deal riots in October for short term (like 1/4 of the country...)

4:

This is pretty fucking scary.

5:

You put my sentiment and frustration into words like only an experienced and talented writer such as yourself can.

6:

Looks like anyone who favoured the Derp State view of politics can take a gold star...

7:

This makes the (actually horrible) current political situation in Italy seem all rainbows and sunshine in comparison...

8:

Relax: the no-deal riots won't happen until mid-November, assuming the supply chains feeding our supermarkets get clogged up by border checks and a lack of permits/visas for the trucks that keep us fed (remember 50% of our food is imported, mainly from or through the EU).

9:

Forget any "new deal" strategy suggestions; Bojo & Co want a no deal. That gives them the greatest financial return ("disaster capitalism"). Everything is aimed at getting over the line of falling out of the EU, which happens automatically if nothing else is agreed.

Plus for the more ambitious the ensuing disaster following a no deal Brexit would allow them to use the powers in the Brexit Acts & Civil Contingencies Act to rule by decree indefinitely á la Northern Ireland (where such "temporary" arrangements lasted 49 years). Not saying that *definitely* is their plan, but...

10:

Just as we hit the worst constitutional crisis in nearly four centuries (alarmist view), or two centuries (moderate view) we get our very own Silvio Berlusconi, egged on by the lunatic fringe.

11:

As I am not going to get anything constructive done in the near future (replay of recent past), due to this and the recent diagnosis of my eldest surviving family member with a particularly unpleasant and aggressive form of dementia (which means that for all practical purposes, I am now the family matriarch: https://www.elephantsforever.co.za/matriarch-elephant.html) you will find me in the ancestral wine-cellar, exercising my matriarchal rights.

OK, there's a bottle of wine in the fridge, and I suspect it will be insufficient.

12:

Stupid question, but what exactly is the speakers role here ?

I he only the impartial referee keeping the play inside the white lines, or is there actually substance to the "free access to Her Majesty whenever occasion shall require." bit, allowing him to plead against Boris' coup ?

Second, what are the chances Lizzie told Boris at the job interview: "Make it stop, I dont care how you do it, just make it stop." ?

13:

Off-topic: it makes me sad that we can keep things out of the public eye by putting them on our blogs.

14:

2 points, hooefully without typos.

1) from a distance it looks like petty dictatorship behaviour. Very ugly potential.

2) i hope London Bridge doesn't fall down anytime soon.

15:

(2) in the sense of the codeword for the Queen dying, yes?

I'm very afraid that this situation is extremely stressful for a 92 year old.

If she was in her forties or even her sixties she might very well give Boris a stern talking-to.

But the Diana Spencer affair scared the shit out of her—for a while the fracas around her death looked like a potential monarchy-ending event—and she's instinctively cautious. Her #1 priority since before she took the throne is to maintain continuity for the monarchy; don't underestimate the impact of her uncle's abdication crisis. So she's probably going to sit tight and do whatever the Privy Council advise her to, with a tie-breaker side-order of King Log.

The stress might do for her, in which case we get BoJo clowing around and a royal succession crisis on top (the first succession since 1952). Remember, nobody now in politics remembers her coronation save as a childhood memory; she is, per wikipedia, "the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-serving female head of state, oldest living monarch, longest-reigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving current head of state." Yes, there's a well-defined line of succession. But Charles isn't anything like as popular as his mum, and he'd be dumped head-first and bloody into the shark pool of a big-ass constitutional crisis.

16:

If the collateral damage for revoking article 50 is unrecoverable crisis for the monarchy, I for one would be not unhappy. Not likely, sadly, even in my dreams.

(PS, yes riots in November, but stockpile in October. And expect shortages from mid October. I presume the supermarkets will be stocking as if xmas happens Nov 1, in terms of meeting temporarily high demands. If they don't.. more tsures. Oy.)

17:

In practice, they seem to be more intent on forming a circular firing squad.
See also Nojay's comments in this blog ...

a Prime Minister who is ruthless and willing to destroy the constitution, the monarchy, and the economy
Terrifying, isn't it?

Alternatively, Brenda is 92 - she has NOTHING TO LOSE by kicking BOZO's arse, ahrd - PROVIDED she can get the backing of one person - Mr Speaker.
Watch Mr Speaker - he has amazing power at this point - maybe.

Oh yes obligatory reposting of a link from earlier: Here

@ 8
ONE SLIGHT PROBLEM: Regulatory permits for transpoirtation OF ANY SORT - not just "external" flights but internal ones like BUS ROUTES & Railway Operating Companies & ......

@ 10
No, we are in 1642-land, you are correct.

18:

I'm not convinced of that.
While (allegedly) around 1/4 of the population is currently stockpiling, that leaves a lot of people who aren't but who might panic buy in the last couple of days before a crash exit.
So while it's possible that we'd get a couple of weeks' quiet between Stupidity Day and the start of the food riots, there could also be a sudden shortage of basic cheap foodstuffs the week before exit. That moves the large chunk of the UK population who are already in food poverty (thanks to Tory policies like austerity, benefit cuts, etc) from "unreasonably, and unnecessarily, hungry" to "unable to get food at all".
At which point, all bets are off, and the rioting, rationing, martial law, etc, can kick off at any point.

I'd say rioting is very unlikely more than a week or so before Stupidity Day (though not impossible, because crowd behaviour can get into nasty feedback loops), but entirely plausible at any point from then on.

19:

Why would you wait until October to stockpile? Stockpile now, because prices are only going to rise, and supplies will only run shorter, as time goes on.

Also, the more people stockpile earlier, the lower the stress - both on the system and on those people who are unable to stockpile themselves - when the crisis arrives.

But seriously, UK residents: If you have money and space, please stockpile for the crisis now, so that those who can't - the disabled, the unemployed, people in care homes, etc - have the best chance we can give them.

20:

Re Charlie 8 and 15:

Under better circumstances the U.S. and Canada would happily ride to the rescue to resolve any food supply issues, but our own political messes and even greater recent weather+climate catastrophes are likely to render that option impossible or ineffective.

Meanwhile, it's been my hope for a long time that Charles will reign for a matter of days, or be aided by some constitutional sleight of hand to avoid accession altogether, so that Wills falls next in line for all intents and purposes.

But first, the present garbage fire must be put out...

21:

I was actually thinking more in the opposite direction, that the queen feels this has gone on for so long that the nuances of how it ends are far less important than that it ends soon.

Take a look at it from her side of the board:

The only thing Parliament can do which is guaranteed brings finality, is to approve May's deal.

But Parliament is not going to do that, they voted NO on that 3 times already, and by the way that "finality" would keep UK in EU for another couple of years, pissing of the least civilized half of the population to the point of rioting.

Parliament cancelling brexit ?

No chance until a super-majority says so in a referendum or general election.

No signs of anything like that on the horizon.

So all Parliament can do at this point, is to delay things, subject to EU's not unlimited patience.

There is no indication that a general election would bring an improvement, quite the contrary, the new Parliament might be even more dysfunctional than this one, if brexit was still unresolved when people vote.

So seen from the chair of somebody who has been head-master since 1952, it might be better to simply get on with it, and pick up the pieces afterwards, land where they may.

Also dont forget that her formative years where a very romantic and privileged view of the heroic rebuilding after second world war: Suffering surely builds Character!

Maybe the new shared experience of lack of pretty much everything will bring back the jolly mood from The Good Old Days ? Might even give Charles a head-start if you think about it ?

Finally, but maybe most importantly: She has seen all statesmen in the last half century, and it does not appear that she suffers fools gladly.

What better way for her to abridge the tenure of Boris the Clown, than to hand him all the rope he asks for ?

22:

> so that those who can't - the disabled, the unemployed, people in care homes, etc - have the best chance we can give them.

Ouch. That is a genuinely convincing argument. Any advice on how to store 20kg bags of Basmati rice, and ditto for pulses?

23:

I suppose one could hope that Charles might be able to play on the fact that nobody likes him very much to get away with shitting in Boris's hairstyle and then taking all the flak personally, letting William take over on the basis that people do like him and he wasn't king so he didn't do it. Especially as he's no spring chicken himself and I don't think he really wants to be king much anyway. Trouble is, he would need to be canny about it but he really is a bit of a div.

24:

Thank you very much for this thumbnail sketch of our puppet-master:

"To add to the fun and games, the political advisor at Number 10 who has the PM's ear is Dominic Cummings, who is noted for being both an Accelerationist and a closet singularitarian (he keeps the latter out of the public eye but it's on his blog). He can thus best be approximated to an ultra-capitalist rapture-of-the-nerds embracing Trotskyite, merrily intent on pouring gasoline on the bonfire of British constitutional traditions."

That he was a frustrated technologist was all too obvious. That he's a fire starter with no subsequent plan for the country was also fairly obvious. I had wondered whether his Russian Sojourn (involving starting an airline that was the close down by the KGB after just one flight) might explain something.

But no, just bog-standard libertarian raptor-of-the-nerds stuff.

Do we yet know where he intends to ride out the shit storm of his own creation? Because I feel a personal visit might be appropriate at some stage where I can forcibly press my point.

25:

"In 1990 came the Trafalgar Square poll tax riots. For Class War, those who took part in the violence were working class heroes. For the enemy is the ruling class, anyone with enough money or property not to need to work. The Class War paper encourages attacks on rich people who move into traditional working class areas." - Oi Polloi, Guilty

"Over the last few days, riots have caused significant damage to parts of London, to shop-fronts, homes and cars. On the left, we hear the ever-present cry that poverty has caused this. On the right, that gangsters and anti-social elements are taking advantage of tragedy. Both are true. The looting and riots seen over the past number of days are a complex phenomenon and contain many currents." - Solfed, 2011 http://solfed.org.uk/?q=north-london-solfeds-response-to-the-london-riots

I do not remember the Poll Tax Riots. But I do remember the riots in 2011 in the UK, though I was elsewhere. The violence of the rioters was condemned, that of the police, praised. In Ukraine [before the fall of the Russian-leaning government], the Western media praised the rioters, and condemned the government.

I am lead to believe, partly from reading this blog, that police numbers in the UK are now even less than they were in 2011. Might be a good idea for people to not just stockpile food and medicine, but also boards, nails and hammers. Also balaclavas, so that when you are out throwing bricks through brick windows, you are less likely to be identified.

Any riots will have various causes. No doubt there will be opportunists out to make a quick buck from stealing a TV. But, if the government wanted law and order, they would have funded schools, libraries, social services, and those other institutions that give people skills and safety nets. They would have made proper preparation for an orderly "Brexit". Instead, my only conclusion, is that the government (or at least a sufficient number of people within), both the parliament and the civil service, wants riots.

26:

Chris,

One thing worth considering is that martial law is not an option these days. Quite simply there are no longer enough troops and police combined to do anything other than defend themselves. This is the upshot of the Government's own assessments.

So, we'll have to call in UN Peace Keepers. I wonder if Trump would contribute?

27:

Storage of rice and pulses: you want three things: dry, vermin-proof, and liftable. Any sort of sealable plastic or metal containers are good, wooden ones are crap, and plastic bags are nearly useless because mice and rats don't consider them a barrier at all.

Remember to add onions, cabbages, and cooking oil; they all store well and add flavor and nutrients.

How optimistic is my theory that BoJo and company want a hard Brexit *and* don't want to be governing immediately afterwards, since that government is going to be associated with months to years of disruption?

28:

if the government wanted law and order, they would have funded schools, libraries, social services, and those other institutions that give people skills and safety nets. They would have made proper preparation for an orderly "Brexit".

Nailed it in one.

This is increasingly looking like the on-ramp to an authoritarian one-party state run by an extreme right-wing faction spanning the right of the Conservative party to the Brexit party (similar to Hungary): think Mussolini's Italy, without the uniforms.

29:

Some initial thoughts:

Could the Queen Just Say NO!? Does she have to prorogue parliament just because BoZo requested it? Could she tell BoZo, "You broke it, you own it ... You fix it."

What happens if the Queen does say no?

About that plan to pack the House of Lords ... did you see the photo of BoZo & the beer magnet. Who'd have believed there was someone with hair fucked up even worse than Trump & BoZo ... you know, I think I might be on to something here ... it's a bad hair conspiracy.

Isn't this pretty much what Hitler did after Hindenburg appointed him chancellor of Germany? Might want to keep the Westminster fire department on high alert.

PS: Sorry about your mom.

30:

Cool, dark, dry places, if at all possible.
Remember to get at least a couple of days worth of bottled water, too, in case of supply interruptions.
(Or suitable purification gear, if you live close enough to a river, large pond, etc.)

31:

So, we'll have to call in UN Peace Keepers. I wonder if Trump would contribute?

The scariest suggestion I heard mooted (at the worldcon in Dublin, by a commentator who follows this blog but remains quiet and who is generally on the nail) is that HMG could farm the wet work out to Xe/Blackwater … who are immune from prosecution by non-US authorities (according to the Trump regime's courts).

So, heavily armed US mercenaries with a track record of brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan.

32:

The escape route (FCVO) for the Queen, if not necessarily the rest of us, would be a vote of no confidence in Parliament. If Boris survives said vote then clearly he has the confidence of the house and should be allowed his prorogation, if he doesn't then clearly he doesn't and therefore shouldn't?

33:

I think this is all being a little oversold. Firstly I'll say choosing to prorogue right now is obviously a tactical choice by the government (and in part a response to the Church House declaration yesterday). However it is not a "coup" nor in any way unconstitutional and it doesn't do anything to prevent Parliament from stopping a No Deal Brexit.

Essentially at this point MPs have four routes to stop a No Deal Brexit:

1. Vote of No Confidence followed by putting a new "Government of National Unity" together with a new PM who will either ask for a further extension or cancel withdrawal
2. Pass legislation to cancel the UK's Article 50 notice and remain in the EU
3. Pass legislation to compel the PM to ask for an extension (as it did in the spring)
4. Pass either the existing deal or any changed deal that the government comes up with

There is enough parliamentary time for any of these to happen and at this point either the anti-No Dealers have the numbers or they don't.

34:

What happens if the Queen does say no?

She drops a nuke on the British Constitution. Whee! It's a one-time power the crown theoretically has—she or her heirs gets to use it once, then whackiness ensues (and not in a good way).

(It'd also piss off the Canadians something rotten, because prorogation has a History there) and violate precedent (the Governor-General is a proxy for the Queen as head-of-state in Canada: what a GG does is what the Queen would do if she was present).

I'd like to see the Queen demand that Johnson demonstrate that his government has the confidence of the House (by holding a vote of confidence in lieu of a general election) to prove he has the authority before he blows the walls down, but I fear even that is an ask too far.

35:

True dat.
I should probably have said "misguided and monumentally stupid (but what else is new, with quitlings?) attempts to impose martial law despite not having more than about 1/10th the number of enforcers required".

I do occasionally worry about a post-coup government putting out a call for volunteers to enforce curfews, etc, but - as demonstrated by turnout for their marches - the hardline leavers just don't have the boots on the ground for that.

36:

THEY DID IT.

(via twitter)

37:

Nope. The endgame here is when you get Russian peacekeepers.

38:

Null-I @ 3: I don't understand it, how this is happening...

What's to understand? The greed-heads no longer have any constraints on their depredations. Himmler gets his suits tailored on Savile Row & works as a hedge fund manager.

39:

I'm not seeing the graphic at number 35.

40:

It's a PNG. TLDR is, they prorogued parliament between the 9th and 12th of September until October 14th. Order by Her Majesty in Council (i.e. the Queen didn't blink).

41:

--- Also balaclavas, so that when you are out throwing bricks through *bank* [not brick] windows, you are less likely to be identified.


Anyway, as to how to store food stuffs, and what food stuffs to store, there is a wealth of information out there on the general Web. Not just from preppers, but also from actual government sources. I recently found a Queensland government publication which seemed rather sensible, for dealing with cyclones. For example, what sorts of food that would require refrigeration and cooking you might store.

Remember also, not just food, but also anything you use on a regular basis that might not come through for a few weeks or months if the trucks stop. Toilet paper. Matches. Pens and pencils. Batteries. Baby necessities.
Why not buy a solar powered charger for your mobile communications device/pocket computing device today?

How to start? You start by buying slightly more every time you go shopping. If you like baked beans, buy an extra couple of cans every time you shop. If you eat oats, buy another packet every other time you go to the supermarket. Powdered milk goes a long way. Lentils are miracles; especially split-red ones that require little cooking.

42:

Remember when failing upwards was a Dilbert joke?

Now we've got blonde failures leading countries on both sides of the Atlantic. Even though they're both demonstrating the Peter Principle in spades, they want to ascend to dictator level, because failing at constitutional governance (with the checks and balances training wheels on) means that they should get rid of all checks and balances...

43:

I'd also point out, on general principles (and talking to myself), that it's a good time to learn how to can produce and store your own. After all, it's harvest season, so hit the markets and store your own for what looks like a fairly rough winter.

Don't depend on the markets to have it all canned up for you: do it yourself and avoid the botulism.

44:

Charlie,

That suggestion is in line with my senior civil service contacts.

45:

Ah. Mr Shipley, the unrepentant peddler of Brexit propaganda (“BREXIT: The Movie”) is back. Was wondering when he would reappear to smear his opinion around again. Strange that he’s peddling the narrative of “We should all just calm down and let this run its course”. I wonder where his particular bolt hole is?

46:

PNG shouldn't be a problem. I was eventually able to use the developer tools on my browser to open the link in a new tab and I saw the image, but I really had to dig. I think your link is subtly borked, but I couldn't figure out how.

For anyone else who can't see it, here's the same link using an 'href' instead of an 'img src.'

47:

The USA doesn't do UN peacekeeping duties. US military and police are very good at killing people and smashing stuff, not so good at keeping the peace so the UN doesn't want them fucking around in problematic areas like the Green Line in Cyprus.

As of July 2019 the USA has 34 people, a mixture of police and military officers deployed in some of the fourteen current UN peacekeeping missions around the world. The top contributor to UN peacekeeping is Ethiopia with a bit over 7000 people deployed. The UK has 570 people doing UK peacekeeping duties.

48:
1. Vote of No Confidence followed by putting a new "Government of National Unity" together with a new PM who will either ask for a further extension or cancel withdrawal 2. Pass legislation to cancel the UK's Article 50 notice and remain in the EU 3. Pass legislation to compel the PM to ask for an extension (as it did in the spring) 4. Pass either the existing deal or any changed deal that the government comes up with
1: and said extension would be granted on what grounds?

3: see 1.

4: you think the Johnsonites can come up with a deal acceptable to the EU?

2: yeah, that might do it.


TL;DR: The EU exists, has opinions.

49:

It's because there's an ampersand in the URL which means the browser may or may not think the URL ends in "format=pngname=small" and that in turn may or may not matter.

FWIW my browser does think that, it doesn't matter, but I still see only half the image because it is too wide. Adding the CSS rule ".comment-content img { max-width: 100%; height: auto; }" fixes it.

50:

I think Her Majesty, has answered my previous questions, by not even hesitating for a single day and by not listening to a single one of the many who have asked for an audience to advice her on the subject.

51:

1 & 3: Agreed - would be difficult. I think unless it was to arrange time to pass the WA or for a referendum to cancel Brexit they'd be very unlikely to say yes.

4: I think it's incredibly unlikely. They could theoretically vote for the existing WA though once parliament comes back as it will be a new session

The EU has made it clear that there are a *very* limited set of circumstances under which they'd extend again so yes, I think those are harder pathways. The point is that an extra few days of parliament sitting is not going to make the difference here - either the anti-No Deal / remain coalition in parliament has the numbers for action or they don't.

52:

Her Majesty does what her Prime Minister tells her. That reality was explained to her predecessor, Charles 1 back in 1641 with the edge of an axe and she won't go against that particular part of Britain's unwritten Constitution.

53:

That's...not the argument I'm making. I'm saying that this prorogation doesn't actually do anything to make No Deal more or less likely. That choice resides (as it always has) with the MPs in Parliament. They have the time to do something or not and the choice remains theirs.

54:

Is talking of people going hungry due to food shortages not something of an overreaction?

Here in Dublin I think if we saw our next door neighbors in real need of basic food/medicine there would be no lack of effort or money to make sure that supplies were delivered. Which isn't to say that there will be a shortage of fine wines or more exotic foodstuff. But there will be bread and milk and meat and veg and airdrops of medicines if required.

Now granted if there is a general collapse of law and order in the UK it may not be possible to get that food where it is needed in all cases but is that a real possibility?

Not throwing stones here, just honestly curious about how far you think things might go? While the government of the UK may be cracked and the UK may not be a well thought of nation by a lot of the EU at the moment, that's not to say that the people of the UK don't still have plenty of friends/fellow humans who will try to help out where they can.

55:

So Parliament is prorogued. ("Pro-rogue" - get it?)

But what happens if a majority of Parliament rents a big hall, has a meeting, and passes a vote of no-confidence? Or if a majority of Parliament sends official letters to the Queen expressing that they have no confidence in her PM? Is this a possible way forward?

56:

Mr. Stross, thank you for putting in the time to explain this to those of us who are un-educated in the ways of the Tin Isles.

57:

1) Are you taking stock of your own food & med stores?

2) Might Prince Charles, in a succession, step aside for his son? (The people, absent Lizzie, desiring a young popular leader etc.)

58:

Well, I've seen a suggestion elsewhere that this will allow BoZo to put Maybot's "deal" before the House of Oathbreakers for a 4th time, but not allow them time to bring a formal motion of No Confidence.

Nicola, it's time to "woman up", and declare UDI!

59:

That strikes me as the kind of act which would be *really* bad for the UK's constitutional fabric - competing bodies claiming to be the legitimate legislature generally does lead to serious civil strife and in this situation we would presumably have some subsection of MPs claiming to be parliament sitting despite that not being the legal or constitutional position.

There are plenty of constitutional methods available here - either seizing the order paper to enact emergency legislation to cancel Brexit or plead for an extension, or a Vote of No Confidence followed by a new government (which also wouldn't be a coup or constitutional outrage, despite it being called that by the madder end of the Leave / Brexit Party movement).

60:

The top contributor to UN peacekeeping is Ethiopia

Mm-hmm.

Ethiopian army peacekeepers will go down really well with the Gammon ("I voted for Brexit to get rid of them foreigners").

61:

[ Drive-by deleted by moderator -- CS ]

62:

That strikes me as the kind of act which would be *really* bad for the UK's constitutional fabric

You say that like you think they'd be the ones who started it?

Johnson is responsible, solely responsible, for everything that happens from now on, on his watch. If he ignores or evades parliament (by prorogation), that's on him.

Remember, he was elected by 0.2% of the population. There's no general election mandate behind him.

Yes, they need to run through the constitutionally valid methods first, but this looks very much like an authoritarian PM trying to game the system by exploiting loopholes—a dishonest stance rather than a legitimate one. Which in turn legitimizes any attempts to stop him.

63:

The parliament shows every sign of not going quietly. I can imagine there's a possibility that both Parliament and Borris Johnson claim to the EU that THEY are the ones with the true right to govern, each claiming contradictory intentions for Brexit. meaning the EU will either need to decide between them or say, "Figure out who runs the country & get back to us"

64:

I think it would be an unnecessary leap outside of the law and constitution when the opposition to the government have plenty of scope (as per Cooper-Letwin) to bring and pass legislation to block No Deal. Obviously the timing and length of this prorogation is convenient for the government and makes things harder for the opposition.

Obviously if the government started going outside of the law / constitution then all bets are off and a "pop-up parliament" becomes a reasonable response.

E.g. if Boris was seeking to not re-open parliament at all next week and keep it closed until 31st October then that would be pretty coup-like and I think would justify very much stronger and different responses (and despite being pretty publicly keen on Brexit I'd be cheering on those opposing the government in that siutation).

The current situation just doesn't reach that test in my view and our MPs remain able to stop No Deal Brexit if they get their acts together and vote accordingly. Bercow will clearly make time available and Corbyn has said today he will be bringing legislation forward when parliament reconvenes next week.

If they can't win these votes in Parliament though I'm not sure where the Remain / anti No-Deal movement go.

65:

What power, if any, does the EU have to say, "No, you're not leaving the EU while your government is divided against itself and neither side has an accepted legal right to govern & make decisions like this."

66:

Not just that. Thatcher and Blair paved the way by giving the Chief Shit, sorry, Home Secretary powers to give such people the powers of the police, as well as allow them to use military weapons. Add that to the CCA and any other such law that is still extant, and ....

I am very concerned about the results of the election that will happen almost immediately after the No Deal. If Bozo gets a
majority, he will implement the Cummings economic, social, ecological and political plan and sign us up to permanent and total subserviency to the USA. If he doesn't, Corbyn will get the blame for the catastrophe, and the next extremist right-wing government will do that.

67:

More like: "See last line of Article 50. KTHXBI!"

68:

I don't think any? Article 7 of the Treaty allows for suspending and removing rights etc but it's a slow process and if you look at the speed with which the EU are reacting to Poland and Hungary it seems unlikely they'd do anything before 31st October. Plus it would probably massively boost support for leaving the EU and likely hand us over to a Farage premiership which I think we all agree would be very bad.

69:

That wouldn't help a lot, but thanks for the offer. The problem is that the UK's food supplies are now critically dependent on the dominating supermarkets' "Just In Time" processes. I doubt that we will run out of food in an absolute sense, but we can expect increased malnutrition and some people facing complete starvation.

70:

Nojay,

I was being a bit facetious -- though I could imagine a call from our ministers to Trump or Blackwater in lieu of a call to the UN.

71:

First the EU has to decide whether there's more value in the UK staying than in letting the UK be the poster-child for what happens when you leave the EU. I suspect more the latter than the former at this point.

72:

I doubt that you are right. She almost certainly had foreseen this and taken advice before it happened.

To Troutwaxer (#55): I, too, have wondered about the latter. It isn't impossible, and a younger monarch would certainly use it to choose another PM - probably Ken Clarke, until Parliament gets SOME kind of act together. But, as OGH says, she is 92.

73:

You mean exactly like we vote for our Government a maximum every 5 years? Thats exactly how our democracy is supposed to work.

Consider yourself fed troll.

74:

The next few countries in the list of UK peacekeepers wouldn't warm the hearts of the white folks who voted for Johnson in the leadership poll.

2 . Rwanda 6,520
3 . Bangladesh 6,431
4 . India 6,178
5 . Nepal 5,674
6 . Pakistan 5,062
7 . Egypt 3,190
8 . Indonesia 2,911
9 . Ghana 2,778
10 . Senegal 2,651

After that comes China.

https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/troop-and-police-contributors

75:

I'm very sorry to read about your parent.

As for the rest, I'm sorry and depressed for the creatures of the world - including me. Ugh.

76:

Okay, this from The Guardian is just plain funny, appearing on their front page just "below the fold" so to speak from the prorogue story, about a horde of coins found (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/aug/28/huge-hoard-norman-coins-reveals-millennium-old-tax-scam)

The story ends with this quote:

“Imagine a period of instability with someone in charge of the country that not everybody actively supports and uncertainty in terms of the relationship with the continent,” he said.

“It is the sort of circumstances in which anyone might choose to bury their money.”

77:

TOO LATE
Brenda has acceded to the PM's LEGAL request for a prorogation - see why for Charlie @ 34 - she would have to have VERY good grounds to say "no"
BUT Corbyn has asked to see HM ...
TRouble is Corbyn is AT LAST playing by the rules & so is Brenda - BOZO isn't - nor is Cummings
[ PHK @ 50 -= WHAT couild she, actually do? ]

HOWEVER there's a tiny window of opprtunity in early September.

78:

I'm an American lawyer, so I apologize in advance for what I'm sure is going to read as blisteringly stupid to British eyes. Why couldn't the queen have simply denied that she had the power to prorogue Parliament against Parliament's consent? Wasn't that what King Charles II was convicted of?

79:

That ship sailed months ago.

When was the last time you heard *anybody* in political EU talk about "remain" ?

Nobody, not even tweeded anglophiles, can see how UK, in its present state, can function, and be trusted to function, as a member of EU.

And there will be no negotiations delivering a last minute miracle.

There may be meetings, but EU is not going to offer Boris any kind of candy after what he did to them as a "journalist", and certainly not on the premise that the result will be rammed through a pissed of parliament in a couple of days right before the deadline.

No: This is it.

Brace for Impact!

80:

The rather snide point I’m making and that you are missing is that your opinions are not to be trusted, seeing as you proudly stood beside your work on “BREXIT: The Movie”, and defended that piece of mendacious trash by basically saying it’s ok to lie to people so long as you get the result you want. Someone who distributes lies, proudly stands by those lies, even more proudly declares that they know that they’re spreading lies disinformation and propaganda is not to be trusted. Ever.

(PS: You never ever got round to providing an answer to my question about how Brexit was good for NI.)

But this is sailing perilously close to not playing the ball and some light sea-lioning, so I shall let it drop here.

81:

She could have waited a couple of days, given the various visitors a chance to say their piece, before she did whatever she had already made her mind up to.

That would have given the impression that the result that she valued and respected the input from her speaker and the leader of the loyal opposition.

Instead she just rubber-stamped it right through, less than 12 hours after the public and the Parliament heard about it first time, indicating that in her view A) Parliament is not part of the solution and B) Corbyn does not matter.

It's a pretty strong signal to send if you think about it, all while staying 100% inside the dotted lines and far away from any constitutional crisis.

... And as I said: Probably the fastest way to get rid of Boris too.

82:

On one hand, I think you have it exactly right.

On the other hand, I'll repost my link from earlier, this time with some text from the Wikipedia article:

"The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia is a geopolitical book by Aleksandr Dugin. The book has had a large influence within the Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites and it has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military. Its publication in 1997 was well-received in Russia and powerful Russian political figures subsequently took an interest in Dugin, a Russian eurasianist, fascist and nationalist who has developed a close relationship with Russia's Academy of the General Staff."

Why the fuck does nobody seem to care about this?

83:

The notorious Article 50 starts with "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements". This can be read in two ways. (1) The parliament voted to invoke Article 50, thereby satisfying the requirement (the interpretation loudly trumpeted by HMG). Or (2) The parliament has to approve the final act of withdrawing. Given that thanks to Maybot the current parliament is not the one that invoked A50, I have heard it said that legally reading (2) could have more weight and that if courts agree, the default position is not falling out of the EU, but A50 automatically expiring on Halloween.

Pigs may fly, of course, but one is grateful for any crumb of hope. :-(

84:

As an American, watching this slow-motion disaster is maddening. It seems blatantly obvious that the UK's leadership has been charting a course for disaster for the last five years or more. And yet, no one seems willing or able to stop them. It's really depressing.

And... then I think about what's been happening in the U.S. since at least 2016 and see the exact same dynamic at play. I want to believe that all of this (in both countries) was caused by a combination of Russian influence operations and greedy, short-sided political leadership, but that may just because I find the alternative--that we really are that stupid--to be too frightening.

85:

IIRC, in his "Stand on Zanzibar", John Brunner had these words of wisdom: "As a human race we are not entirely stupid, but it must be admitted that we do have a tremendous aptitude for it."

86:

Chrisj @ 19: Why would you wait until October to stockpile? Stockpile now, because prices are only going to rise, and supplies will only run shorter, as time goes on.

I suspect those who can will. But what about those who can't? What about people who are barely getting by even before the catastrophe arrives? How do they stockpile if they can barely afford to feed themselves today?

87:

Why the fuck does nobody seem to care about this?

Because it takes more than writing a book on geopolitics to change the world. Hint: remember the Project for the New American Century and look how well that worked.

88:

For what it's worth, when the UK invoked Article 50, the interpretation of its text by everyone was entirely in accord with your interpretation (1) -- that invoking Article 50 started a 2-year clock to an exit, which might be advanced if a Withdrawal Agreement was concluded earlier, but which provided for no way back. This has since been modified by a ruling from EU internal bodies that a state which has started the clock by invoking Article 50, but which has not yet finally left, can decide to revoke its Article 50 notification and forget the whole thing. But that has to be by an affirmative act, which fulfils conditions -- there was language in the ruling to the effect that the once-leaving state must be sincere in its desire to remain, and not be revoking as a temporizing move or negotiating tactic.

So, it seems pretty doubtful that the EU would adopt a position that inaction by a national parliament somehow constitutes the affirmative act of revoking a prior Article 50 notification. Parliament can avoid No Deal by explicitly revoking their Article 50 notification, or by approving a Withdrawal Agreement that's acceptable to both them and the remaining members of the EU (any of which has a veto) -- but they must do something. Further inaction on their part gets you out with no deal. Sorry.

89:

Dave Lester @ 26: Chris,

One thing worth considering is that martial law is not an option these days. Quite simply there are no longer enough troops and police combined to do anything other than defend themselves. This is the upshot of the Government's own assessments.

So, we'll have to call in UN Peace Keepers. I wonder if Trump would contribute?

God, I hope not. I don't know who would want American troops deployed as "peace-keepers" in the UK less, You or US?

90:

Looking like Ruth Davidson may be resigning tomorrow.

(fetches popcorn)

I am finding it hard to see how Boris losing four or five days of Parliament scrutiny is worth this shit show…

91:

I'd point out that I'm not clear that we could deploy peacekeepers to the UK.

From an article Bill Arnold linked to a couple of posts before, about the problem of invading Iran:

"The US Marine Corps is also facing resourcing issues as it has no Marine expeditionary units to spare—they are all currently committed for existing training or operations. And the US Navy is also stretched. The three–carrier group show of force off the coast of the DPRK between November and December 2017 burned through an entire year’s worth of maintenance, training, and operational resources in a three-week period. Finally, Gen. Tony Thomas, commander of US Special Operations Command, has made it clear to Congress that he has no more special operations forces to spare.

"And this is where the United States’ side of the human geography trap circles back to Karle’s argument about the need to plan for an occupation the way the Marshall Plan was conceptualized. Much of the military capabilities utilized to make the Marshall Plan successful were the result of leveraging civil affairs expertise to provide military support to government. Unfortunately, the farther the United States moved away from the Marshall Plan, the more this core competency of civil affairs was allowed to disappear. While there has been a fitful attempt to bring this capability back to the US Army civil affairs community with the creation of the 38G area of concentration—military government specialist—and the creation of a new Institute for Military Support to Governance akin to what was used to prepare civil affairs soldiers for their work in implementing the Marshall Plan, these efforts have, unfortunately, repeatedly stalled."

Note that I'm citing the Marines because they and the Navy seem to be generally tasked with policing and disaster relief, so at first glance they'd bear the brunt of peacekeeping. I'm not sure the Army or the National Guards have anyone to send, either, especially if we have to start doing the hurricane cha cha cha again this fall.

92:

StormChaser @ 54: Is talking of people going hungry due to food shortages not something of an overreaction?

Here in Dublin I think if we saw our next door neighbors in real need of basic food/medicine there would be no lack of effort or money to make sure that supplies were delivered. Which isn't to say that there will be a shortage of fine wines or more exotic foodstuff. But there will be bread and milk and meat and veg and airdrops of medicines if required.

I think not. BoZo and his ilk don't have the common decency or basic humanity of your Dublin neighbors. Having the under-classes suffer is the whole point of the exercise.

If they don't want to suffer, then they shouldn't be poor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYHmQT_7a2c

93:

Well, that depends. If you have enough hubris to set out to engage in nation building, e.g. PNAC, you may find it takes more than a platitude laden manifesto.

But if it's nation-breaking that you're seeking to do, well, it's going swimmingly right now.

94:

Troutwaxer @ 55: So Parliament is prorogued. ("Pro-rogue" - get it?)

But what happens if a majority of Parliament rents a big hall, has a meeting, and passes a vote of no-confidence? Or if a majority of Parliament sends official letters to the Queen expressing that they have no confidence in her PM? Is this a possible way forward?

The proclamation says "no earlier than Monday the 9th Day of September". That's 11 days (not counting today). Could Parliament hold such a vote between now and then? I don't expect it to happen, but is there any rule/law/custom that says it couldn't be done? In that case, would Parliament even need to "rent a big hall"?

95:

Has anyone in the UK press proposed (even jokingly) punitively taxing all increases in income (and perhaps wealth, and perhaps above a threshold) after a hard Brexit, at something in excess of 100 percent? In the US it's been a well-known truism that If You Tax Something, You Get Less of It. Such talk might get the attention of people who've arranged their financial position such that they will personally gain from a hard Brexit, including MPs and other politically powerful people.
"Taxes are always distortionary because people can change their behavior to avoid the tax."
Which is to say, I wonder how much of the current UK crisis is being driven or enabled by profit opportunities.

Re storage of rice, beans, etc, metal trash cans (?rubbish bins?) with lids are rodent-proof and cheap. (one like this)

96:

Seen from Switzerland this is all very troubling and weird. Shouldn't this be an opportunity to think about a written constitution? Unwritten constitutions only work with strong norms, which obviously are not present anymore. And at the same time, one could also discuss if a monarchy really makes sense, given that the Middle Age is safely behind us.

97:

I read that as the UK being their neighbours.

It would be deeply ironic for the Irish to be sending food to help us, given the history of the Famine Years.

98:

Sigh. They'll happily send you all the potatoes you want.

99:

Except that this does seem very much to be the current Russian playbook. If I was in charge of Iran, for example, and understood how much influence neo-conservatives have on U.S. politics, I'd take the Project for the New American Century very seriously indeed.

I don't want to be paranoid and see the Liberal equivalent of "reds under the bed," but when another country prints a manual about how to regain power and uses it as a textbook for their general staff, maybe it's useful to take it seriously and factor that work into your analysis of enemy intentions and practices!

If you live in the U.S. or U.K. this book is a very big deal.

100:

I'm no longer sure if I should feel bad that I have spent a lot of time working out how an individual can short the pound (it's relatively easy if you're solvent enough to borrow money against some security, but I'm not sure if I want to take the risk).

I know I should feel bad because I'm contemplating taking a bet from which I will profit if the UK falls (further) apart. But I can't: I can't care any more. I've spent so much time caring what happens and so much time trying to do the right thing and I'm just done now. All this idiot fuckery has eaten three years of the time we really don't have to deal with climate change: the Amazon is on fire, and still, somehow, brexit is more important, perhaps because it affects rich white people and climate change is mostly hurting poor black people (so far).

Fuck humanity: we deserve what's coming.

101:

Climate change does rather feel like asking the question "Mommy, why can't we talk about how much Daddy drinks?" It's the main dysfunctionality of our time.

102:

Unwritten constitutions only work with strong norms, which obviously are not present anymore.

If enough of a country's political leadership abandons its norms, a written constitution becomes dead words on a page, with no power to drag them back. The United States may not have had this happen yet, but at best, we're teetering on the precipice.

103:

There has been a concerted effort to cultivate cynicism towards government in the anglosphere - Which has resulted in far to many cynics in government and not enough idealists. Idealism may be dangerous, but kleptocracy is ruinous.

Note how very, very old the main figures opposing the "Steal Everything" tendency are. Frankly, they look like surviving relics from before the public choice propaganda started doing the rounds.

104:

Jim D @ 76: Okay, this from The Guardian is just plain funny, appearing on their front page just "below the fold" so to speak from the prorogue story, about a horde of coins found (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/aug/28/huge-hoard-norman-coins-reveals-millennium-old-tax-scam)

The story ends with this quote:

“Imagine a period of instability with someone in charge of the country that not everybody actively supports and uncertainty in terms of the relationship with the continent,” he said.
"It is the sort of circumstances in which anyone might choose to bury their money."

Just out of curiosity, who gets to keep how much? Since it hasn't been valued yet, fractions will do ... or percentages - e.g. the finders get 'x' percent, the farmer gets 'y' percent and the government gets 'n' percent (and then I presume the TAX man gets to take a bite out of whatever the finders & the farmer get.

105:

I'd point out that I'm not clear that we could deploy peacekeepers to the UK.

The units you cite are entirely wrong for deployment to the UK, where the mission is not to trash the infrastructure and depose the government, but to prop up the government in the face of mass unrest, demonstrations, a possible general strike, and starvation-induced riots. Again: the British Army and Royal Marines are vastly understrength for this mission, and the Police are outnumbered (they've been cut by 30% since the 2011 riots, which they barely contained: Brexit food riots are likely to be much bigger and vastly harder to suppress because starving people have literally nothing to lose).

I fear we'll be seeing Xe mercenaries with guns shooting demonstrators in the streets. Nothing to do with the US Army/USMC.

Also, as a developed nation with a population of 66M, the UK is much more densely populated/infrastructure-complex than the usual places UN peacekeepers end up. It's a harder problem—who's going to keep the lights on and the natural gas pipelines flowing, not to mention the nuclear reactor fleet? (Some of the latter are US-style PWRs, but other reactors are built to a design unique to the UK: the AGRs. In event of civil unrest making it hard to maintenance staff to get to the control rooms …)

Oh, also B-day (November 1st) is scheduled for about two weeks before the onset of winter, when power consumption rises in the UK (because it gets cold). If the currency collapses at a time of peaking energy imports, we're going to be in the shitter.

106:

For you and anyone else I know from this blog, (with a couple exceptions) if you need to get out my wife and I have an unused room in our house. Just saying... My gmail address should be obvious.

107:

Poul-Henning Kamp @ 81: ... And as I said: Probably the fastest way to get rid of Boris too.

If you really wanted to get rid of BoZo FAST, you could check with the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds to see if they have one of those old WWI/WWII railroad guns that could fire a shell as big as a Volkswagen all the way across the English Channel. Isn't this the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny & doesn't BoZo like stunts?

I'm sure there's got to be some date worth commemorating between now and October 31st that would be suitable for sending him to France via the Human Cannonball Express.

... and if not, just make something up.

108:

Charlie, the thing is that we use carrier battlegroups and marines to deal with disasters: the carrier provides a floating airport for the helicopters lightering in goods from cargo ships that can't dock, while the Marines tend to have the small unit/less lethal/unarmed training that can be adapted to deal with civilian unrest and infrastructural meltdown. The Marines tend to get tasked with the crap (like decontaminating biohazards) that the regular military doesn't want to deal with. If it's a true disaster, the Marines might get deployed with Medecins Sans Frontieres (for the medical part of the emergency) and Red Cross or similar (for the logistics part of the emergency) to provide peacekeeping.

Unfortunately, everyone who can do that seems to be deployed doing something else right now, so it's a moot point. Unless we've got some National Guard MPs on home training right now who could be redirected, the US won't be doing much other than sending thoughts, prayers, or the odd billionaire looking to restructure things to help out post-Brexit.

Personally, my thoughts at the moment turn to paralyzing the City of London until Halloween, so that the backers of Brexit really get stung and lose money before they get their way. Alas, I'm sure that's daft and impractical.

109:

Charlie, thank you for remembering the effect the Queen intervening would have had on our esteemed Canadian neighbours. (She is reigning head of state for sixteen countries!)

As a small quibble (that the Canadian scandal wasn't over proroguing parliament), ISTR that the constitutional crisis in Ottawa you have in mind was the 1926 King-Byng affair (what the wags called the 'King-Byng Thing'), involving the GG, Lord Byng of Vimy, being asked by embattled Liberal Party PM William Mackenzie King to dissolve parliament and drop the writ for a general election, refusing to implement his PM's request, and then sitting by while the opposition Conservatives briefly formed a government that almost immediately lost a confidence vote, returning the previous PM to power.

The experience of a GG seemingly refusing a PM's request to call new elections for reasons of partisanship in Canadian affairs lead to a legal reform where the GG's former imperial powers were clipped off entirely and permanently.

Apparently particularly persuasive were the fact that GG Byng not only claimed insincerely to be refusing to act so that the matter could be settled in Canada rather than in London, but also refused to consult the British government prior to making any decision. In other words, Byng acted like a viceroy, and Canadians decided they'd have no more of that.

110:

There is an explanation of what's going on, though not a very convincing one. There's reasonable, though hardly conclusive, evidence that Trump is somehow under Putin's thumb. What if he's also got his hand in British politics?

Of course, it could just be that social media lives by amplifying emotional reactions, and they don't pay any attention to whether it's true or false, and a lot of people judge things based on their emotional reactions, and also spend a lot of time on social media.

Or some combination.

111:

Off-topic: it makes me sad that we can keep things out of the public eye by putting them on our blogs.

That's not really off-topic. Part of the problem is information overload. Nobody can keep track of most of what's going on, so they only track those things they've already decided are important...and they decide what's important by what those things they've already decided are important tell them. This is a positive feedback cycle, and is a big part of the problem, particularly since most people have decided that, e.g., Facebook is one of the most important things.

N.B.: People have always worked this way, but before the information overload most people knew a larger part of at least the local situation. Today I can't even name my council man (I'm in the US) though I can name the state governor, and my representative. I know this is bad judgment on my part, as my council man is a lot more likely to pay any attention to what I say to him.

112:


The next few countries in the list of UK peacekeepers...
4 . India 6,178
...
6 . Pakistan 5,062

A force of 50/50 India and Pakistan troops would be really interesting peacekeeping right now!

Every October I read Zelazney's "A Night In The Lonesome October". This year is going to add some real emphasis to it.

113:

In this version the protagonist loses and the Great Old White Ones come and have a revolution.

114:

Charlie,

I am so sorry to hear about your mother.

It is also with increasing sense of alarm that I'm reading your posts re: Brexit. How did everything get so wrong? Why is everyone so radical? The world didn't look as crazy, say, ten years ago as it's looking now. I wish you and other UK citizens to find a way to survive whatever happens next and get back to sane levels of existence.

115:

Isn't parliament needed to make necessary legislation surrounding a no-deal brexit that's still missing? I.e. if parliament is basically suspended till November, is the UK legally prepared for that?

I hope the Franco-German Brigade doesn't have to ride the Eurostar and pacify the UK...

116:

If only it were as simple as the Great Old Ones showing up. An infestation of off-shored billionaires who refuse to contribute money to civil society are a much worse calamity.

Anyway, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who reads that book every year. Carry on.

117:

> Isn't parliament needed to make necessary legislation

a lot of people misunderstand: A50 was triggered, so the flotilla of treaties that makes the EU will expire, for the UK, at 2 years plus extra time.

any 'deal' is just setting up arrangements to cope with the event

118:

It's slightly complex:
the common decency/humanity of a Fine Gael government barely exists*, but their Anglophilia might overwhelm their base "let them eat cake" stance and the common decency/humanity of the Irish people is not that of a Fine Gael government; but we're getting fierce sick of being shat on from a height by the UK's political/media class and screwing the UK to the wall in the event of No Deal is actually in Ireland's interest - the more the UK bleeds, the faster and more penitently it'll sign the backstop in pursuit of an FTA.
Screw the Brits to save the North? Hard question.


*If you imagine Varadkar as a smart and committed Cameron-era Tory operator that watched Love Actually at a formative age and never quite shook the aspiration to be PM Hugh Grant you'd be wrong, but by surprisingly little.

119:

Rather late, and not entirely sure wtf is going on over there, anyhow...

I wouldn’t really expect ‘lizabeth to say No! to anything, but what if she said “We strongly suggest that you do not do this thing that will disrupt the Union.” or something along those lines?
Otherwise it kinda seems like she’s either ignorant of what’s going on (willfully or not), which I can’t really imagine, or she doesn’t give a toss ‘cause she’s got hers.


And WRT bringing in Peacekeepers, may I suggest inviting the Swedish Army?

120:

Heteromeles @ 108
Personally, my thoughts at the moment turn to paralyzing the City of London until Halloween, so that the backers of Brexit really get stung
EXACTLY WRONG
The "City" is against this whole lunacy - they WANT TO BE INSIDE EUROPE, where the money is ...
Remember BOZO actually said: "fuck business"

121:

Oh, and as someone else offered a spare room; I’d be tempted to offer ours, but we’re in the middle of Trumplandia.
On my way home this afternoon I passed a table set up on the side of the road for a petition to recall our recently elected Democrat Governor. I’m not sure what their reasons are, but judging by the people standing around—older white guys* with beer guts and suspenders—they might not be too keen on someone who’s Jewish and gay. So tempted to give them the finger, but they’d likely be armed.

*okay, #notalloldwhiteguys.

122:

I stand corrected. My presumption is that the goal of Brexit is to turn the UK into the world's biggest offshore financial center (beating out Switzerland), with a politically stable government; stable economy; a wide choice of reputable banks and other institutions; modern, a low-tax or tax-free environment; excellent support services, including a choice of quality legal and accounting firms; sensible and effective regulation and supervision; high ethical standards in government, the professions, and commerce laws that are clear and fair, applied by a competent judiciary (per Harrington Capital Without Borders).

And yes, these are all judged from the perspective of someone with US$50 million or more to invest, and from that angle, "fair" is very different than what a UK voter might prefer. For example, this standard of fairness favors legislators who can be persuaded to offer legislation created by wealth managers (and who are also in the emoluments market) as opposed to a government of, by, or for all of the people.

My idle pipe dream, on the theory that such a makeover is a bad thing, would be to mar or impede all of these characteristics as much as possible, especially for the super-rich: My ignorant presumption also is that any bozoid pronouncement should be presumed to be as honest as anything coming out of the White House or the Kremlin, but again, I am greatly ignorant.

123:

Hopelessly ignorant question - given that Parliament is only prorogued until the 14th - is this actually anything more than symbolic?

For a no-confidence vote, now is not too early. For a revocation of article 50, there would still be 2 weeks. For passing May's deal - same thing.

124:

Switzerland isn't a big financial center on the global stage. It has less than a quarter the financial jobs London had pre-Brexit-madness. The idea that London could grow to "beat our Switzerland" as a financial center by leaving the EU just doesn't add up.

New York is a big financial centre. London is (still). Hong Kong is, and is becoming more of one.

What creates a big finance industry is lots of connections between people, markets, industries - both currently and historically. New York is a financial center because it's part of the USA. Hong Kong is a financial center because it connects into China. London is a financial center because of its historic connections to international trade, and its current connections to Europe.

I'm not sure there's any evidence that the super-rich as a whole back Brexit, any more than the average Britain their age does - do remember that the majority of the world's wealth is held by those over the age 65.

125:

I think you missed the "offshore" part. City of London IIRC is technically offshore from the EU, meaning a number of rather pesky financial regulations don't apply to it. Switzerland is the biggest Offshore Financial Center in the world currently. Brexit would "offshore" the UK, and reworking UK laws to make it a safe tax haven for billionaires would reap, what, $14 billion to a handful of people who have made it happen? It would also help Little England transition to take Switzerland's place in the economy of the super-rich.

Assuming this is at all correct, making the UK useless for billionaires is one way to stem the rot. Note that this isn't quite the same as making it bad for EU businesses, but rather making it a place that's unsafe for those who see the payment of any debt (taxes, alimony, business expenses...) as a taking to be avoided if at all possible.

126:

"What better way for her to abridge the tenure of Boris the Clown, than to hand him all the rope he asks for ?"

It's more like handing a loon a large can of gasoline and matches, when you all are in the same house.

127:

Well, the UK "constitution" has no prohibition against bills of attainder, unlike the US, so the only thing preventing them is the ECHR so detested by Conservatives, and Ms. Priti Patel is said to be fond of capital punishment. Thus in the event of a Hard Brexit, there would be no obstacle to a Charles I reenactment.

128:

"I'd also point out, on general principles (and talking to myself), that it's a good time to learn how to can produce and store your own. After all, it's harvest season, so hit the markets and store your own for what looks like a fairly rough winter.

Don't depend on the markets to have it all canned up for you: do it yourself and avoid the botulism."

I disagree on 'how to produce your own'. Growing your own food takes time, energy, money, land skills and stability.

129:

Good point. I actually didn't mention growing your own food, as I was thinking of preserving some of the produce that should be rolling into grocery stores in the next few months. Canning or drying a bunch of that might be useful. It's a bit late to sow seeds if you're worried about a food shortage in 2-3 months.

130:

Honestly, one more of the few bright spots for Brexit is the likelihood of having your local vampire squids decamp.

If there is any competent conspiracy, I'd guess there are a few people in NY and Hong Kong about to raise a toast to extra business.

I mean - assuming less than complete idiocy - the segment of the economy that gets hurt worst is services - of which most of the UKs are financial.

Where is that ex-prime minister working again? The one who called the idiotic referendum? I mean - other than that - most of the rest seems strangely inevitable. Albeit, I may have been wrong - in that May appears to have failed to get her deal through. Albeit, she did leave the next guy in a spot where it is pretty clear that the options are:

1. Her deal
2. An even worse disaster than no deal would have been with adequate preparation
3. No Brexit

I'm not sure which works out best. For 3, you'd probably have riots for a long time. For 1, you gradually bleed out your economy as the EU, with limited malice, but reasonable self interest and plenty of leverage, migrates the service sector to the EU. Death of a billion papercuts. For 2, you have an immediate disaster - and people do die. But...after the immediate disaster, there is a sharper economic bleed out as the UK realizes it has absolutely no leverage. Then, at some point, in the midst of a depression, the UK reapplies. And sure, the terms are more stringent, but most of the Brexiteers have been hung from lampposts already. So, eh. Maybe you have the same status as Turkey, but that isn't too bad... Okay, optimism failing. Bear in mind that I'm bullish on geoengineering. There just isn't a bright side. Maybe other nations get reeducated in the perils of opting for fact-free decision-making.

Well. Hoping for a good, or at least decent outcome.

131:

"you think the Johnsonites can come up with a deal acceptable to the EU?"

I keep thinking that with every step deeper into insanity, the EU leadership has got to be moving more to the 'get them out now!' position.

Would you want loons like the UK in your system, when the past three years they've demonstrated that every bit of their reputation for stability and sanity is undeserved?

132:

"What power, if any, does the EU have to say, "No, you're not leaving the EU while your government is divided against itself and neither side has an accepted legal right to govern & make decisions like this.""

At the risk of being redundant, this is motivation for the EU to start mining the English Channel. Maybe hire some tugboats and tow the Troublesome Islands a bit closer to Iceland.

133:

Fun facts:

#Abolishthemonarchy trended on twitter; coupled with the Andy-Pandy stuff this has raised a few eyebrows (and the timed book release of the Mountbatten biography that makes some fairly gnarly claims about what that 15 yr old Irish lad was really doing on the boat). Not sure the Upper Class realize what the DM is doing, but it sure isn't Class Warfare - they're also going after Meg+Ginger, not sure of their game-plan.

Newsnight had no senior Government Ministers - "none were available" and word is that none will be available in the future. Melt down of the Melts, spin doctor death spiral [i]or it no longer matters[/i].

Entire UK political chattering media are about to have the Mind-Fuck of a generation. They're pruning the even vaguely truly lefty ones, the rest are 100% on the Scanners Block.

Various small protests, but the UK middle class just don't get how badly they will get it if it turns sour (for any in doubt, during the "Banning Hunt Protests", the Upper/Middle class met riot gear stuff on the front and many of the farmer lads and young bloods found out that The State is The State at the blunt end of the cudgel).

SIS is AWOL. Rumors. grep forests.

We gamed this out over a week ago, fairly confident that Boris / Cummings [i]need[/i] a 2011 re-run and are going to flog the horse until it happens, by any means necessary. FR/HK show that if you can whether it, no-one cares.

Buying machetes is a meme now. Not very many here live in the more rough / impoverished parts of the UK, but you probably don't want to be living in Grimsby or the NW.

"It's In the Water" - if you want a hard-end nasty nasty plan. Not ISIS themed, either.

London Calling - 66,000,000 requires a bit more than the IEA. [redacted], are we allowed to mention slaved Hive Minds yet? Waaaasssappp!

~

Given we're probably one of those not on the nice list, a fable:

We tried to leave, politely. We were stopped. We were offered a deal. We said no. We tried to leave, hasty. Nasty MIB came and stopped us. Surrounded us with chains.

So we did this.


"We won"

Yeah. That's gonna be quite the slogan soon. Richard Lost His Horse and His Head. Gettit?


[i]Our information is that you're just bored and lonely[/i] (Lazy? Oh...)

134:

Martin: " Isn't parliament needed to make necessary legislation"

Barren: "a lot of people misunderstand: A50 was triggered, so the flotilla of treaties that makes the EU will expire, for the UK, at 2 years plus extra time."

I think that the situation is that a number of treaties expire, but UK law has not yet been changed. This means that the legal situation will be a nightmare, even just domestically. The UK-EU will be a swirling limbo of contradictory things fighting and mating.

135:

"It's slightly complex:
the common decency/humanity of a Fine Gael government barely exists*, but their Anglophilia might overwhelm their base "let them eat cake" stance and the common decency/humanity of the Irish people is not that of a Fine Gael government; ..."

From what I've heard, following the news from the States, Ireland will immediately go into a severe economic collapse, second only to the UK. This means that Irish resources will be tied up keeping Ireland from sinking.

136:

"I stand corrected. My presumption is that the goal of Brexit is to turn the UK into the world's biggest offshore financial center (beating out Switzerland), with a politically stable government; ...(a long list of good things) "

In other words, the UK, which was, until Brexit.

137:

"...following the news from the States, Ireland will immediately go into a severe economic collapse..."

Following what particular piece of news from the states?

Or are you saying that you are following the (general) news from the states and believe that news implies Ireland will have a severe economic collapse after Brexit?

138:

"New York is a big financial centre. London is (still). Hong Kong is, and is becoming more of one."

And HK is now likely to be one horribly violent crackdown from being as much of a financial center as a post-nuclear war London would be.

139:

Any advice on how to store 20kg bags of Basmati rice, and ditto for pulses?

Lots, I do this all the time.

The simple way is to find a standard size stackable container that seals reasonably well. Ideally a robust one but glass jars will do. If you can make it a small multiple of your standard consumption unit that also helps (one is ideal). In my case I could buy 1kg square plastic jars of stewed fruit, and since I am ok eating that, I did. I have between 50 and 100 of them, and they stack 32 to a milk crate.

Buy your grain or legumes in bulk (20kg or 25kg plastic sacks are often the cheapest way), and part them out into the jars. I find a metal (stainless steel) camping mug works well as a scoop, put an open jar in the top of the sack, scoop with the mug/scoop, fill the jar. Bang it on the loose rice to settle it and dislodge the excess, put the lid on, place in in a cool dry place.

That will give you a big pile of reasonably secure dry goods. BUT if there are weevils about they will almost certainly get into or hatch inside the jars.

..........................

To prevent that the easy way is to use an inert gas. The cheap option is likely to be CO2, because that's used for soda streams and home brewing. In the UK looks like 40 quid for deposit and refill on a 1.5kg cylinder and 30 quid for a regulator. What I do is put the sack in a big plastic drum which I then fill with CO2. But since that's only slightly heaver than air it's not very efficient, I find leaving the gas running while the lid is open is necessary to keep the oxygen content below 10% (oxygen meter 55 quid, UYIGAO Portable Oxygen Meter) but whether you do that or not be careful not to breathe what's in the bin... you want the oxygen level in there as low as possible.

Using argon when I had a welder I could keep whole sacks in 100-litre plastic drums for 3 years with no insect or mould problems (the gas is also very dry so nothing grows). With argon it's possible to fill jars from the sack and have relatively low oxygen levels in the jars, but unless the jars are hermetically sealed you'll end up with normal air in them very quickly. Even a not-quite-airtight seal on the big plastic drum seems to work though. After a year I was at about 10% oxygen rather than

140:

Oops, reply truncated...

Using ~100l drums with lids and wide packing tape round the edge of the lid and bin I was at ~10% O2 after a year, up from less than 1%.

Those drums are widely available and cheap, BTW, because food is imported in them and then what do you do with the drum? Answer: sell it for five quid or pay to recycle it. There are people who make a living finding those drums and reselling them, often as "rainwater butts" or similar. Work out what size you can store one or two of, make sure they have a big enough opening, and buy some. My 100l drums you have to wiggle a 20kg sack in and out of the top, but they hold 3 sacks. a 220l drum (the old "40 gallon" or "44 gallon" size) come in variants with clip on metal ring seals and hold an awful lot of food, but they are also really big (narrower than a standard doorway, but still)

141:

Me: "...following the news from the States, Ireland will immediately go into a severe economic collapse..."

Troutwaxer: "Following what particular piece of news from the states?

Or are you saying that you are following the (general) news from the states and believe that news implies Ireland will have a severe economic collapse after Brexit?"

Following general news and analysis. Ireland exports a *lot* to the UK, and more through the UK.

142:

I realized the confusion - I'm in the States.
I'll give you a hint - when people ask where I'm from, I hold up my right hand.......... :)

143:

So customs and border problems? Does Ireland have a decent harbor anyplace?

144:

"Does Ireland have a decent harbor anyplace?"

They outsourced their ports to Iceland :)

145:

That's cute.

Let me parse this for you: Americans are sociopaths. You're not a smart bear.

What's actually on the menu is that a certain mafia clan with strong ties to Boston, USA is being used and tooled up and will be used to generate enough anger (Aahah, begore, it's the boiler scandal, what a jape!) to light shit up. The pre-prep was a certain lesbian journalist whose death hasn't had a serious inquiry, who traveled and was paid by some dodgy front companies and 100% someone left out to fucking dry in a dangerous zone where none of the fucking locals had guns that night. But she got shot, hey Beegooora, what a nice funeral that was.

Nice bit of National Unity to make sure the DUP deal went through.

Shame she was a lesbian though, can't see the DUP supporting using her as a fucking sacrificial lamb, can you now?

DUP are fucking dinosaurs and SIS have severe PTSD after seeing what the other parties be doing to their nationals (and them). With impunity.

grep, oh, I don't know, NGO UK national found hanged in a Turkish airport.


~


"outsourced their ports to Iceland"


Maaaaaate.


WE'RE GOING TO OUTSOURCE YOUR FUCKING MIND.

146:

Knew a guy who did that with 5 gallon buckets with gaskets and just packed some dry ice in with the goods. Provided they weren't cold-sensitive, that is.

147:

they're also going after Meg+Ginger, not sure of their game-plan.

Farage wants to be King.

Which means the House of Windsor has to go.

The point is not an offshore tax haven -- I mean, look at the Isle of Man! -- but to get post-state capitalism; no government and no law but wealth. So you're not looking at "sod the proles" or "the poor should suffer" so much as you're looking at a sort of distributed slaveholding captive labour force objective.

148:

As a small quibble (that the Canadian scandal wasn't over proroguing parliament), ISTR that the constitutional crisis in Ottawa you have in mind was the 1926 King-Byng affair

I don't think OGH is referring to that. I think He was thinking about Harper prorouging parliament to dodge a non confidence vote. The precedent for that was John A. MacDonald (first PM of Canada) doing the same thing to dodge questions about taking (or giving, I don't recall how much was supposed to stick to him) bribes. Given that, I don't think there is any wiggle room for a PM who has the confidence of the house. Which Bojo has until a confidence vote. I don't know about any precedents of what happens if he loses a confidence vote between getting approval and it actually happening.

In Canada Harper said I want it right now and the GG made him cool his heels for an hour or two.

149:

Oh, and this is now a UK IP address.

Want to know how to spot the fucking MI5 taking the piss?

grep GCHQ pinkwashing and Ms. Brazil 2019, Queen of the fucking Jewish Goblins whose had a little TERF issue recently:

[i]McKee’s partner Sara Canning has asked friends to wear Harry Potter[/i]

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/04/24/lyra-mckees-funeral-will-be-a-celebration-of-her-life/


Narrators voice: No-one wore fucking Harry Potter stuff. Her gf is probably a MI5 plant going by their play book.

So.

Barry.

If you want to talk about Iceland, you'd probably want to talk about the [redacted] from the USA, eh? Pompeo walking in, PM declines to meet and some very pissed off Elves.


Who we know care. We care. We wanted to come home. They wouldn't let us. Nor would they let us go to the old forests.

"You're an idiot"

"We know"

"We swore to complete the [redacted]"

150:

Apologies to host. That's a little spicy.

But do the greps.

It's all true.


Turns out MI5 ain't so sophisticated. You were fairly warned the pay-offs came in 3 year bursts. Not our fault you decided to abuse your [redacted] abilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arm-AuVJITM


What's really going to twist our noodle is when we started using that meme.


Hint: before MI5 sacrificed a lesbian in NI.

151:

Triptych.

Yeah, Niggas, the knee capping reference was deliberate.

You're swimming in an Ocean you know nothing about, killing all the beauty and makin sure nothing can threaten you.


Kill Zer


Still alive.

Not psychopathic.

Not psychotic.

Just different.


Brexit = Unicorns.


Ironic, given how much effort you've used to kill them off.

152:

Lazy? Oh...
:-)

Some minor other-side-of-the-pond amusement, as a three-part story:
(1) It is leaked that the Blond West D.J. Trump thing(s) has been wondering out loud why the U.S. doesn't nuke hurricanes: Scoop: Trump suggested nuking hurricanes to stop them from hitting U.S. (Jonathan Swan, Margaret Talev, Aug 25, 2019) DJT denies it three times. One DJT denial is a confession. Three is a sworn confession. (Narrator: nukes are a sub-optimal hurricane control technique.)
(2) The D.J. Trump thing(s) is an asshole about Puerto Rico:

We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico. FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job. When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You - Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2019

(Plus 2 more assholish tweets 2, 3)
(3) Dorian "took a more northernly track than expected, causing it to pass to the east of Puerto Rico". (Though St Thomas and some other islands got hit, sigh.)

153:

Wow, much fear.

Wait.

You got MIND WORMS?


Lol, they ain't shit.


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain

Oh, and learn how to read GIS / Council Plans.


Just in case you want to do some things.


Wasted 5 years of my life on this bullshit.

Still Alive.


Pity about Keith, eh?


Might have to start taking names and a bit of blow back, Mentally Speaking, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LduJBDg4wGM


Yeah Keith, it ain't pretty. 30% are already unstable, another 40% get caught by the [redacted] Tone.


Ape shit.


Not like Zombie movies, they massacre themselves.


~


מָשִׁיחַ

Not cool. Last warnings.


"Pull his wings off"


We'd bother with the Sumerian but you don't even respect it.


.. .2 . .

154:

I think bitching about the monarchy is rather beside the point at this point.

The republic has failed. Strange women handing out swords would probably be an improvement.

155:

I disagree completely. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

156:

The point is not an offshore tax haven -- I mean, look at the Isle of Man! -- but to get post-state capitalism; no government and no law but wealth. So you're not looking at "sod the proles" or "the poor should suffer" so much as you're looking at a sort of distributed slaveholding captive labour force objective.

Nope, states are beneficial, especially if you have more wealth than, say, half of them. The thing about states is that each of them have different laws. The Offshore Financial Centers have laws that make it very easy to set up things like STAR Trusts that control other trusts, corporations, and foundations across the world, each in places with different sets of laws. For example, the yacht may be owned by a corporation based in the Bahamas, while the bank is owned by a corporation based in Switzerland, and the banana plantation is owned by a Panamanian foundation, all controlled by a trust operated out of the Cayman Islands.

Arbitraging the differences between laws and tax codes among the 190-odd countries on the planet is how the wealthy stay wealthy and get wealthier. They don't want to do away with countries. Instead they want to disempower countries and stop them from working together to control wealth, beyond following the agenda of the super-wealthy.

Wealthy states that hunt in packs (like the EU) are dangerous because they're collectively big enough to threaten the wealth of the super-rich. Therefore, disassembling these big governments into smaller ones seems to be a project of the new aristocracy. But they want states subservient to the wealthy, not absent. After all, life is so much better when there are laws to protect your life and property, but which can be ignored when they are...inconvenient.

157:

Given what I expect to be happening with Climate Change over the next decade - even the next 2 years - Brexit and the consequent food riots by the underclass will be lost in the noise.

Everyone is pretending that it's possible to continue with "business as usual", even those warning against the inevitable consequences that it's too late to avoid. They may understand it cerebrally, but things like a Gulf Stream collapse and global food shortage aren't really real to them until they happen.

I fear that our Lords and Masters are grabbing as many valuables as they can while readying their personal lifeboats, not realising that stocks run out, and only retaining a viable slice of civilised society is a solution for longer than 50 years.

I hope I'm wrong. But just in case, I have assets in SE Australia, where if I'm right, there is a very good chance of society remaining civilised, with all the infrastructure needed and a climate that is relatively hospitable.

158:

jrootham wrote:

I don't think OGH is referring to that.

I sit corrected, and I thank you. As a well-intended Californian with a Canadian mother-in-law, I try to stay current on Canadian affairs, but some things slip past me.

OGH's comment seemed to concern Canadian sensitivity concerning Governor-General abusive actions -- but maybe that's a misparse on my part.

159:

I fear that our Lords and Masters are grabbing as many valuables as they can while readying their personal lifeboats, not realising that stocks run out, and only retaining a viable slice of civilised society is a solution for longer than 50 years.

Well, few of those in the position grabbing those valuables for their personal lifeboats will live for fifty years more, so apparently they don't give any thought to what happens after they die.

160:

Also, for example here in Finland, the climate change is seen by some as a very good thing because it'll bring more money to Finland. I'm not sure of the specifics, but if for example the global trade collapses, it doesn't bring that much money here...

161:

"My ignorant presumption also is that any bozoid pronouncement should be presumed to be as honest as anything coming out of the White House or the Kremlin"

What you're missing is that we've already gone past that stage, only nothing makes any fucking sense any more so we might as well not have bothered. It wasn't so long ago that people were saying he's now effectively finished, his political career has gone as far as it's ever going to get, because he's become so blatantly unsubtle about professing whatever beliefs he thinks will sound best to whoever's asking the question that there are no longer any people who fail to fully realise he's a complete fucking weasel, and while a degree of weaselness is normal for politicians we do tend to draw the line a long way short of walking round wearing weasel porn T-shirts and leaving a trail of disembowelled rabbits. Only what eventually happened is that the Conservative party completely melted into an undifferentiated lake of runny shit and he was the only lump fat enough to stick up above the surface and be caught by the prime minister scoop - and only that because it snagged on a stray loop of rabbit gut.

162:

"the Andy-Pandy stuff"

Eldrad must li...

[light bulb]
fuck

OK, who's got a decent scarf?

163:

Rumours are appearing of spectral voices gibbering things like "LES ANGLAIS! WHAT DID I TELL YOU?" being heard at midnight near the grave of de Gaulle.

164:

For anyone attempting to read along, there are parts of 144, 148 and 149 that are amusingly wrong. Except not really amusing as people are dead and others are heartbroken.

Using murder and death to prop up a personal narrative, now who normally gets their knickers in a twist about that?

It’s kettles all the way down!

165:

"I'm sure there's got to be some date worth commemorating between now and October 31st that would be suitable for sending him to France via the Human Cannonball Express... and if not, just make something up."

State opening of Parliament sounds like a good one to me. Dunno if we can guarantee he gets to France, but sod it, we make him go up, who cares where he comes down.

166:

JPR @ 121
Which US state & who is the new Guvnor?

H @ 122
Did you miss Charlie's comment? the Financial Times, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, and the Trade Union Congress lined up against him ....
HOWEVER: My ignorant presumption also is that any bozoid pronouncement should be presumed to be as honest as anything coming out of the White House or the Kremlin Is entirely correct - how can you tell of BOZO is lying - his lips are moving...

Barry @ 131
EXCEPT that the rest of the EU understands quite well that BOZO & the crypto-fascists behind him are a very tiny minority.
But - who can they deal with? Who will speak to the EU for the millions of us against this insanity, that can be regarded as "Not interfering in the internal operations of the UK" ??? OOps, because that is the song that the brexiteers are singing, isn't it?

SEAGULL @ 133
Yes, I noticed that as well
Farrago plainy wants us to transform into either a Weimar state, preparatory to a full take-over, or alternatively - BOZO's method I think, to reduce the Monarchy even further ... so that they become like the Italian one, when Musso was in charge.
The "March on Rome" is BOZO's model, I think, with a democratic shell, gradually hollowed-out & replaced by some form of fascism-lite.
CORRECTION: but the UK middle class just don't get how badly they will get it ifWHEN it turns sour

.... also Graydon @ 146
No Farrago wants to be a Duce or a Fuhrer, actually.
The final objective is correct, though.

Moz @ 138
A 25kg bag of "Tilda" Basmati rice will keep for up to a year, inside a house. The bags are thin-foil lined & water-tight except at the zip-seal at the top.
I shall be buying a spare, same as I will buy two spare 3kg bags of good hard bread flour & two spare 2 litre cans of half-decent olive oil

@ 142/143
Deacent ports in Ireland: Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Shannon - though the estuary is tricky. Belfast - downstream these days

Pigeon @ 162
😂

167:

"Normal service will be resumed after the catastrophe."

You foresee an end to it then?

168:

"she's either ignorant of what's going on (willfully or not), which I can't really imagine, or she doesn't give a toss 'cause she's got hers."

Neither of those are the case - the first obviously, the second because she is kind of the anthropomorphic personification of the British historical and monarchical tradition and so from her point of view "she's got hers" pretty much has to include confidence that that tradition will remain stable for generations after her death. Her position is pretty much the complete opposite to the "grab all you can and let everyone else die" crew - "heir to a thousand years of tradition" is a totally alien perspective to them.

Of course this does not mean that her interests and priorities are necessarily congruent with, or even compatible with, the views of Charlie's Crew [UK subgroup] when you look at the level of specific details and personal concerns. But that isn't true even between individuals of Charlie's Crew [UK subgroup] either, and on the generic level of "not wanting a bunch of selfish fuckwads to burn the whole lot down around us" I think the agreement is extremely strong.

So there's that, and there's the point that (unlike some of the monarchs we've had) the Queen is about the only actor in the whole ghastly farce that anyone would actually be happy to sit down and have a cup of tea with and not even think about strychnine at any point, and then there's the general tendency of many of us on here to seek engineered solutions that stay within the rules in preference to wild irrational blurges. Since conventional procedures are so patently unable to produce anything other than ever wilder and more irrational blurges any more, while the rules do technically allow for the Queen to intervene, it is natural to think wistfully about it happening. I certainly do, and so do quite a few others.

The trouble is, as Charlie has pointed out, that it's only a gnat's cock away from completely impossible for circumstances to arise where she actually could intervene without the collateral damage being worse than the disease. She isn't going to do a Samson. It's also her specialist subject, so she probably laughs at some of the ideas we come up with in the same way as we would laugh at proposals for perpetual motion.

169:

QUOTE from ex-Cahncellor Ken Clarke:
"Conservative backbencher Ken Clarke has accused Boris Johnson of behaving like a "petty dictator", saying the prime minister had caved in to the "the fanatic element of his followers".

The long-serving MP predicted Johnson's "absolutely outrageous" decision to suspend parliament would "bring together the slightly divided majority in the House of Commons" and could raise the likelihood of a soft Brexit or second referendum.

He said: "I hope it will bring together the sensible majority of parliament who will find some alternative.

"The key thing is to decide are we leaving in a sensible way that doesn't do damage to our economy, or are we actually going to have a referendum and decide whether to leave at all."

170:

leaving in a sensible way that doesn't do damage to our economy

Still a strong whiff of unicorn shite about this!

171:

Well, from BBC R2 10AM (local) news, Jacob Re-Smog has denied that BoZo is using prorogation to force through a no deal Wrecksit. I am now 150% certain that is exactly what he intends to do!

172:

Precisely. She probably DID say "We strongly suggest that you do not do this", because many PMs have reported that she gives extremely useful advice, but Bloody Johnson ignored her.

173:

My ignorant presumption also is that any bozoid pronouncement should be presumed to be as honest as anything coming out of the White House or the Kremlin,

More so.

In the case of the White House the dominant narrative is racism with a side order of senile dementia; there's a tiny but non-zero risk that at any given time the noise coming out of Trump's mouth might actually make a tiny bit of sense (if it addresses topics he isn't interested in but has just been nobbled about by a courtier who knows what they're talking about).

In the case of 10 Downing Street, there's no dementia in play. just purest bullshit.

As a friend of mine who knew Boris at university put it, bullshitters are worse than pathological liars. A pathological liar wants you to believe their lies. A bullshitter doesn't care what you believe, they're just trying to fill the silence. (As a late teen/twenty-something Boris was one of the most brilliant rhetoricians of his generation … but for thirty years a succession of superiors have never once called him on his bullshit and it's rotted his once-sharp brain.)

174:

Sigh. Geography, dear.

Dublin has a large container port. (That's in the Republic, BTW. Not Brexiting.)

Belfast … has a smaller but viable port adjacent to the shipyard where they built the Titanic.

Ireland is entirely surrounded by water and rather smaller than Maine. It has container ports, it has harbours, it has lots of coast.

175:

Note: things are coming to a pretty pass when I am finding the Many-Named One's paranoid world view not only plausible, but moderate compared to the more extreme possibilities in play.

We just had a former head of the British Civil Service sighing resignedly that things have gone so far that maybe it's time for the civil service to take matters into its own hands for the sake of the nation. Which is either a call to arms (if he is so far out in the cold that he has no direct connections) or it's a warning shot directed at … someone? Number Ten? The press and public? The European Commission are probably not who it's aimed at as the civil service, unlike their nominal masters, understand and work with the EC ...

176:

I don't doubt that there are those who see Ms McKee's murder as an opportunity; but calling her and her bereaved parter MI5 plants is a bit vile, even for the Many Named One's usual level of discourse. (Warning: This is treading on personal toes and experience.)

177:

Charlie @ 174
You noted that I actually AGREED with the Seagull, too!
If it is that bad & it is .... ARRRGGGH! or something.
Though as DtP says, NOT about Lyra McKee ... that was "IRA" vileness at it's "best"
Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson has told BOZO to stuff it
And Lord Young the tory whip in the HoL has also got exited - quote:
"His resignation letter, in which the government's whip in the House of Lords accuses Boris Johnson of "undermining the fundamental role of parliament".

Writing to Baroness Evans, leader of the House, he said he had initially been "reassured by the prime minister's statement during the leadership election that he was not attracted to the idea of using prorogation to facilitate a no-deal Brexit."

But he adds: "I am very unhappy at the timing and length of the prorogation, and its motivation. While not agreeing with the hyperbole of some critics, I have been unpersuaded by the reasons given for that decision, which I believes risks undermining the fundamental role of parliament at a critical time in our history, and reinforces the view that the government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy"

178:

Wandering around Belfast, I saw the mural and flower memorial to McKee; that's … not … what you'd expect for an MI5 plant: she was 100% genuine, although I can't rule out that she was deliberately murdered to promote a specific political agenda rather than it being an accident.

Reminder: now might be a good time to re-read The Execution Channel by Ken MacLeod, which kinda looks like a road map for the next year or two (except for the last chapter, which is hopelessly utopian).

179:

Can't be ruled out completely, as you say, but having read and heard reliable and independent eye witness accounts, and having some experience of civil unrest in NI, the idea that she was deliberately targeted is difficult to give serious credence to.

But there are definitely those willing to make political hay out of the sad event (both peacefully and violently).

I haven't read "The Execution Channel", but have now added it to the top of my reading list.

180:

What's actually on the menu is that a certain mafia clan with strong ties to Boston, USA is being used and tooled up and will be used to generate enough anger (Aahah, begore, it's the boiler scandal, what a jape!) to light shit up. The pre-prep was a certain lesbian journalist whose death hasn't had a serious inquiry, who traveled and was paid by some dodgy front companies and 100% someone left out to fucking dry in a dangerous zone where none of the fucking locals had guns that night. But she got shot, hey Beegooora, what a nice funeral that was.


Fuck off into the sun. Lyra McKee was a real person, not a prop for your conspiracy nonsense.
181:

Nope, states are beneficial, especially if you have more wealth than, say, half of them.

That's the, oh, call it the Long Term Faction. They think there will be wealth concentration going on for a good long while and they haven't got issues with the existence of a system. They want the system to serve them.

There's another faction, call it the Personal Supremacy faction, which has major issues with the idea that anyone, ever, for any reason, could ever even think of telling them what to do. Any whiff of system raises the spectre of having to do something. They're really really really against ever having to do anything.

It looks more and more like Brexit is a Personal Supremacy thing, rather than a Long Term thing.

182:

Also, Cork, down on the South Coast, has a very large sheltered deep water harbour. (It's where the Titanic last stopped before heading off the the North Atlantic.) There are regular ferry and container services to France and Spain, as well as cruise ships, etc. Ireland is not short of Ports.

183:

Fascism always emerges through the convergence of interests between the base and the elite, focussed around a charismatic maximum leader.

In the case of Brexit, it's a direct consequence of the 2007/8 financial crash.

Austerity policies in the UK, imposed by the Conservatives governing on behalf of the elite, fell disproportionately on the already-poor while carving out tax cuts for (a) the active electorate (over-65 pensioners who predominantly vote conservative) and (b) the ultra-rich. This got the already-poor riled up. It was relatively easy to give them a target after 15-25 years of anti-EU propaganda (the elite are opposed to regulatory constraints on their business) with a second-order helping of anti-immigrant bigotry, ramped up as a result of climate change (ahem: Arab Spring, crop failures, water wars, mass migration).

A proportion of the angry base moved right, and a smaller proportion moved far-right. This in turn began to threaten Conservative marginal seats, thus driving the Conservative party to move to the far right to avoid having their majority in parliament cannibalized to Labour's benefit (the fascists get barely any seats in an FPTP system until a tipping point is reached).

Anyway …

We now have a small minority of active neo-nazi terrorists (see also: assassination of Jo Cox MP), a somewhat larger group of noisy Gammon (they'd be wearing brownshirts if clothing wasn't so cheap that Farage has no room to make himself popular by handing out costumes), and a terrified voting base of pensioners who have been mobilized by spurious nationalist sentiment ("Blitz spirit" which they're too young to remember).

Meanwhile the asset-strippers have discovered that they've radicalized the left. Corbyn is a symptom of this: he came within a whisker of being prime minister at the last election and this must have scared the ever-living shit out of the elite. As does the EU fifth directive on money laundering, coming into force real soon now. (All those Cayman Islands trusts? It's going to be problematic for their owners to realize any of their assets.)

Anyway: the oligarchs feed the fascist base the spectacle they crave (via twitter and tabloid news). And the base give the oligarchs leverage over their bought-and-sold political sock puppets.

The only question now is whether Farage is another sock-puppet being used to scare the Conservative front bench into submission, or whether he's an actual player, a potential Hitler waiting in the wings.

184:

"Personal supremacy" is isomorphic to (white) male supremacy.

As I have been saying for over a decade, there are very few things in right-wing politics that cannot be explained, in whole or part, as expressions of threatened masculinity.

Lord, hominids are stupid!

185:

And if you think that was rancid bullshit, wait until you get to the next comment where Lyra's grieving partner is called out as a deep state stooge.

186:

Charlie
Farrago is (now) probably no more than a convenient stalking horse.
The real fascists are mostly not in parliament, they are however, right behind many MP's.
The previously mentioned Dominic Cummings is one such.

Howver, be careful about your language about "The rich elite" or similar ... because, as you've already noted, the CBI & the IoD & most of "the City" are in bed with the TUC (!) attempting to stop the chaos before it's too late, but the time frame is frighteningly tight.

187:

I had seen that before, disregarded it as purely malicious, but wondered who was saying such a thing and why.

188:

"As a friend of mine who knew Boris at university put it, bullshitters are worse than pathological liars. A pathological liar wants you to believe their lies. A bullshitter doesn't care what you believe, they're just trying to fill the silence."

As someone else who was there, I'd say he was much more focused on getting his own way, and that meant he had to pay attention to be being believed. He's written an account about how to get elected to the Union, in which he discussed using disposable gofers like Gove in the same way Sun Tzu talks about the use of spies.

I'd also point out that he's playing with a full set of cards from Oliver James' Dark Triad of Personality Disorders: Psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and Narcissism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad

"(As a late teen/twenty-something Boris was one of the most brilliant rhetoricians of his generation … but for thirty years a succession of superiors have never once called him on his bullshit and it's rotted his once-sharp brain.)"

And here I have to pick you up: both Gove and Hague were better rhetoricians. "Bloody Stupid" Johnson just knew how to get a laugh out of the audience. More your sort of Ken Dodd character.

189:

That is indeed a better question: Whose agenda is being served by this disinformation?

190:

Howver, be careful about your language about "The rich elite" or similar ... because, as you've already noted, the CBI & the IoD & most of "the City" are in bed with the TUC

I didn't say they were our elite.

One has to be very cautious in talking about international hyperrich individuals these days because the Nazis used such rhetoric as code for "Jews" and the vast majority of them have never seen the inside of a synagogue, but there is a hyperrich class these days who carry whichever passport is convenient for them at the time: investor's visas that get you residency in any nation are readily available, if you have between EUR 200,000 and GBP 5M to throw at the local stock market and maybe a few thousand to grease the wheels of the immigration authorities.

And they don't care whose world burns because they don't feel they belong to it.

191:

My suspicion is that there is no agenda, and it is merely the unreasoning malice so common on the Internet, gone semi-viral. But I have made more mistakes assuming no conspiracy, when later evidence showed that there was one, than in assuming one, when later evidence showed that there wasn't. If someone IS pursuing an agenda, I am at a loss even to guess - you might be able to.

192:

weird,, I thought it was traditional that they got someone to burn the Reichstag /parliament down rather than just shutting it.

193:

I'm really not sure why anyone is describing Johnson as brilliant or sharp.

1, First journalism job obtained via father's contacts.

2, University place at Oxford bought by father's fee paying at Eton and the selection of classics for his degree (a subject state school pupils rarely compete for).

3, Second class degree.

4, Poor and lazy oratory.

5, Getting caught hiding under a bush by the police following a Bullingdon restaurant smashing session.

6, Citing a scene from Annie Hall as depicting his cocaine experience.

Being a bit devious and of average intelligence but with good connections is not the same as brilliant.

194:

andyf @ 191
No
Look at the model of, actually quite gradual, step-by step takeover, via press media & the then new medium of radio followed by Mussoilini.
He survived a lot longer than Adolf, if you think about it ... & if he's merely been an enthusiastic neutral on the side of the Nazis - as was his original intention, he'd probably have died in bed.
As it was, in the end his own arrogance self=persuaded him to "join in" - that one step too far.

We can only hope that BOZO the unfunny's prorogation step is that for him.
The number of (ex) senior tories whose minds have been concentrated by BOZO's attempted putsch, to the point that they are saying they will work with anyone ( Code for incompetermt Corbyn of course ) is a hopeful sign.

195:

Fascism always emerges through the convergence of interests between the base and the elite, focussed around a charismatic maximum leader.

I find myself thinking that maybe it isn't precisely fascism.

Fascism is about sublimating your personal anger and helplessness into service to the state with the state acting as an ultimate power to suppress, repress, and oppress those you feel have oppressed you; it's old-school ethnonationalism.

I think what we're seeing is not that; it's meant to be fully distributed ethno-nationalism, and it's producing an extreme acts more-ethno-nationalist-than-thou contest in the US. I find myself wondering if the goal is not so much to be dictator or to have a compliant body of laws as it is to have a significant area that's ungovernable by consent. (major protracted food shortages guarantee "ungovernable by consent". Destroying as much as you can of the legitimacy of the idea of government first doesn't make it less likely an outcome.)

If you get that, it's sort of accepted that you have to do whatever is necessary to restore order; if the primary driver is the desire for genocide, you wouldn't want a state to do it -- that has consequences! -- you'd want it to just happen, and then you can suddenly discover consent. (For a capitalism-without-government situation, presumably.)

No torchlit parades, no specific Maximum Leader, just distributed atrocity. Internal -- rule of law, presumed legitimacy of government, common agreement on the purpose of the state -- mechanisms to avoid this outcome may not be sufficient. I get the sense that it is designed like that.

196:

Colorado, Governor is Jared Polis. Stories online about the recall attempt.

197:

Don't know that the rich elite particularly care about the city. They have the ability to simply move their assets wherever, and the benefits of what they can buy from a British Government freed from EU regulations likely outweigh the hassles of moving their assets elsewhere in the world.

On the other hand, the no-so-rich elite and all of those whose extremely well paid jobs rely on the city (and more importantly the current access to the EU without all of the EU oversight) are of course against Brexit but as we have seen their view don't matter to the current people driving the UK.

198:

I don't think Jo Swinston can entirely take the blame for her decision - hard to see how the Liberal Democrats could support making a man who wants Brexit (albeit his own fantasy version) PM when the Liberal Democrats are firmly remain. Throw in the recent memories of the disaster that turned out to be their partnership with the Conservatives, and I don't think any Liberal Democrat leader would be inclined for a repeat.

And of course it all turned out to be nothing because the other required votes weren't willing to support Corbyn for PM either.

The real blame in my mind should go to Corbyn, who attempted to use the crisis to get himself into No. 10 with the presumed hope that once their the public attitude to him would change, thus allowing him to win the resulting election and thus take the UK out of the EU on his terms, which was about his only hope given how poorly he and Labour are polling these days.

199:

That's probably a really intelligent way to think about things. Thanks.

200:

*reads comments about Irish ports*

Ah, here, lads.
1) Yes, we have loads, we're grand.
2) Ireland is highly (as in 98%) pro-EU and honestly, after the last six months of the UK press, not really very pro-England right now (Scotland and Wales get a free pass because anywhere that both has whiskey and poverty is somewhat of a sibling really).
3) Did I mention the not-pro-England bit? We have something of a history of dousing ourselves in petrol and setting ourselves on fire if we think it'll make England uncomfortably warm; a recession which was inevitable anyways being hurried along if it also brings with it lower house prices during a housing crisis (not the best threat Johnson ever made, that)... well, where do we sign up?
4) The EU has already spent millions on new sea routes for cargo in the event of a hard brexit.
5) You're all coming over here already anyway :)
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/almost-79000-irish-passports-issued-to-people-in-the-uk-in-first-half-of-2019-946807.html

201:

Stockpile? For those on fixed incomes (like over-75s budgeting to pay TV tax), or those living on council estates with no storage for stockpiles (meaning that the tins will make up the new "kitchen island"), or for those precariously homeless as foreign landlords — Isle of Guernsey trusts are technically "foreign," that's how they get away with it — keep raising the rents? Then where will all of the used tins/plastic go, since keeping smelly recycling plants and smelters on the island is impractical?

Why does this sound like what John Cleese's notorious Monty Python character thought was the solution to the problem of the poor (bomb their flats, and when they run screaming into the streets, mow them down with machine guns; then, release the vultures). And with modern GPS and "smart weapons" we can target immigrants — especially those non-English BAMEs — for the first round until things are more manageable. Then we'll go after all non-CofE adherants...

I'm really not sure how much of the above is satirical, sarcastic, or prediction.

202:

The idea that Lyra McKee (and others associated with her) are Deep State/MI5 plants plays into the extremist Republican narrative quite nicely. Groups like Saoradh (who have claimed responsibility for Lyra's murder) would absolutely lap up the idea that she was a government agent, and that would certainly help to justify their muderous tendancies and violent fantasies of throwing off the yolk of the British oppressor. There's certainly form amongst NI terror organisations (and sometimes government forces) for smearing their victims to give their actions legitimacy, but whether this fantasy originated with them and their supporters or just emerged from the (as you so aptly put it) "malice so common on the internet" isn't clear. I can certainly imagine their supporters signal boosting where they can.

203:

I've really got to disagree, and I'll suggest reading Harrington's Capital Without Borders to understand where I'm coming from.

There's only one faction of the hyperwealthy (having more than about US$50-80 million to play with seems to be the lower border). Most of them, with the notable exception of Bill Gates, are interested in personal freedom at all costs, and they can afford to pay the costs. Due to the rise of the international Wealth Management industry (especially in British Commonwealth), they've learned to spread their wealth and power among multiple jurisdictions, so that the conflicts among different laws within, and treaties between, those jurisdictions effectively shield them from consequences most of the time (cf: Jeffrey Epstein). There's estimated to be about US$59 trillion under the control of these people at the moment, which is why they're such a huge problem.

As for longevity, not really. One of the great fears of the people in this world is the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" phenomenon, that the second generation heirs of those who accumulate mass quantities of wealth tend to lose it all, due to a combination of circumstances, lack of talent, and problematic systems for retaining the wealth (there's even a book about that, which is great reading if you want to write a wealthy villain). There are a few families that have held onto their wealth for many generations, but not a lot of them.

Anyway, there's only one group of super-rich, not two. I'll add, for Charlie's benefit, that this isn't cryptic anti-semitism: these men (they are mostly men) are dragon kings/black swans, the lucky beneficiaries of talent and ambition at the right place and time. They're basically rare "geniuses" who pop up more or less randomly all over the world, do their thing, and then generally don't found dynasties that last more than a generation or two before their grandchildren wipe out and fall back to normal. This is an overly broad generalization, but they all more or less form a single global class of people.

The current US President is a decent example of the son of the hyper-rich, given how much of his father's money he squandered on bad ideas. If he hadn't gotten elected, his children would probably be looking for salaried day jobs in the near future, and his grandchildren probably will be in any case.

204:

If you'd told us "are we going to commemorate the centennial of the last time we burnt our economy to the ground to inconvenience The Brits by doing it all again, or are we going to jump the gun?" would be a legitimate question 5 years ago...

205:

And there is of course the pure platonic appeal of a complicated conspiracy theory in the face of the random cruelty of the universe: Yes, it is entirely possible to die just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not too many of us are truly comfortable with that thought.

206:

Sorry, late with a reply:
Which US state & who is the new Guvnor?

That’d be Colorado Governor Jared Polis, he’s got some minor issues, but nothing sane people would recall him over. And at least he’s not a Retrumplican. His predecessor was decent, but rather embarrassing as a Presidential candidate.

207:

As for longevity, not really. One of the great fears of the people in this world is the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" phenomenon, that the second generation heirs of those who accumulate mass quantities of wealth tend to lose it all, due to a combination of circumstances, lack of talent, and problematic systems for retaining the wealth (there's even a book about that, which is great reading if you want to write a wealthy villain). There are a few families that have held onto their wealth for many generations, but not a lot of them.

This depends on how much history you look at. This fear is pretty much limited to the past hundred years. This is essentially the period when growth rates exceeded interest rates. Before that staying rich was pretty easy (see Piketty and friends). The fear then was wars and revolutions.

Given that we are bumping up against limits to economic growth it is not unreasonable to think that this world may return.

208:

You're being told the scripts that are being fed into the narrative, and ones that have real potential harm.

Please apply distance - words like Begoorha = obvious instruction to not read literally & sign that this is not a personally held belief or fact and it's not a "signal boost" (MF is getting very bad at this - they don't read the opposition so are easily played. K i wi Farms are not that stupid, the recent instant Newsweek article support *was* noticed and they *are* running social network profiling on it as a warning).

You should check that outfits like Fuido Gwarke have strong ties to HK and are feeling a little hot under the collar of the 1st Oct deadline. Who have no obvious moral scuples at all. And are close to BJ & Co.

Personally held detail: her death was tragic but the narrative supplied had too many holes and benefited too many of the wrong kinds at the perfect point. Same as Jo Cox.

Or, if you prefer to keep it causal, tragedies are used to strengthen / bolster narratives and create societal level effects. Which is why one got the full unitary church service and the other was curiously forgotten in the fog of Brexit Mania.

..

People *are* used as tools and you can push people into 'Crisis Points'. Your responses show immediately that they're pretty easy to push, even on sophisticated readers.

209:

There's only one faction of the hyperwealthy

There's a few thousand of them; "only one faction" isn't especially credible. Strong common interests, sure; shared class identity, also sure. Unity of purpose? Doesn't seem likely. That's a really implausible number of people to have unity of purpose.

Brexit isn't obviously a consensus project; we can conclude it's being fronted because the political actors are of questionable competence and drive, but we really don't know about "fronted for". (I am reminded of the view that English political parties started as the secular wings of ecclesiastical factions and stayed that way for much longer than people expect; well into the reign of Victoria. It seems a bit like Brexit is the public wing of several factions.)

My take is that the folks running Brexit ARE Brexit; it's a disastrously stupid idea in nearly all respects, but it isn't directed at the hyperwealthy so none of them have opposed it. The combination of "let's break NATO", "let's hurt Europe", "I might get less regulation", "Ayn Rand was a despicable moderate", "I want to buy the politics", and "I really do hate foreigners" speculative contribution has sufficient to fund it. The decrepit condition of British politics was insufficient to oppose it. (A surfeit of greedheads.) There's clear evidence of competent technical help but we really don't know if the technical help was committed or mercenary or furthering its own objectives.

I get a real Russian Revolution vibe off of Brexit; the incumbent government's having a legitimacy collapse (significantly self-induced), there's a stew of factions, and there's no telling what's going to emerge when the shooting stops.

210:

We know a great deal about "fronted for" - the project started about 30 years ago - and it's a loose coalition of oligarchs (sometimes ones in control of multinationals) and similar rich shits who want more control over the political and social arenas (yes, Murdoch and others). That's almost all about the long-term "fronted for", except for the funding of Farage and his ilk.

For the Nth time, NATO had and has fuck-all to do with Brexit.

Yes, I get a Russian revolution vibe, too, as do other people here.

211:

The (probably Russian) funding and intelligence/propaganda support for several pro-fascism projects was the last puzzle piece on the "todo list" kept by Murdoch and similar. They gain the benefits and can't be blamed for Cambridge Analytica or Facebook's propaganda. Meanwhile, Putin and the Russian oligarch have a place at the table (if they can keep it) and everyone's happy.

Except us.

212:

"For the Nth time, NATO had and has fuck-all to do with Brexit."

NATO, the EU and the Anglosphere are of considerable interest to Putin (as in the line from the old James Bond movie: 'look after him, and see that some harm comes to him').

Putin is reputed to have annual discretionary income in the tens of billions of US$, so he's among the most elite of the hyperwealthy.

213:

In reply to your question where is that type of stuff being used, remember that information is less national every day and the crews working this tailor to market. e.g.

There is 'compulsory homosexuality' in Ireland, suggests Polish right-wing weekly @DoRzeczy_pl, which also warns that 'Marxist-lesbianism is well on its way to becoming a state ideology' in Ireland https://twitter.com/notesfrompoland/status/1167058894474100737

Dig a little, you'll spot it's actually State sponsored. Oh, and there's not much of a jump from Marxist-Lesbians taking control of the ideological state and intelligence services using lesbians as pawns and putting them in dangerous situations that get them killed. In one more jump you hit abortion Laws and you've got your Right-wing troifecta, ad clicks surge and you're now back in the Culture War[tm].

This stuff works, sadly.

214:

An interesting explanation (especially in conjunction with 213).

I remain concerned about the morality of leveraging a murder victim, her family and a surrounding conspiracy as a “teachable moment”, rather than just saying what you mean (as you just have).

Could sound like pedals in the night, and the kettle-factor remains high.

215:

Your first paragraph is demonstrably true, just as the converse is, but I have seen no evidence of the second from sources that do not specialise in anti-Russian propaganda. It may be true, but is irrelevant, as it is the money you control not the moeny you own that matters - and he is the autocrat of a large country.

BUT IT'S IRRELEVANT TO BREXIT.

We KNOW where a lot of the money came from, and it's the USA; stop trying toRussian involvement divert the blame for that. Actually, I don't blame the USA, because it's solidly the UK's fault for letting such foreign influences distort our political system.

The evidence is STRONGLY that any Russian money was minor by comparison, and the claimed Russian-funded 'social media influencers' are quite probably imaginary. Yes, Russian servers were used (as well as others), but sheesh! Anyone competent routes such things through an easily-hackable, easily-blameable location, so that isn't even evidence of anything. Lastly, no, everything in Russia is NOT controlled by Putin, any more than everything in the USA is controlled by Trump - there are plenty of wealthy people in both with questionable agendas.

To Troutwaxer (#211): even if that were true (and the evidence comes only from sources that specialise in anti-Russian propaganda), SO WHAT? Whose responsibility is it to keep the likes of Murdoch under control?

216:

EC @210
Almost, but not Tsarist Russia - defeated & broken, but ...
I get the disillusioned, weary, violent-anarchistic feeling of Italy 1919-23 - victorius but pissed-off.
Have you looked up Gabriele D'Annunzio?
..... but,as with Musso, there are large sums of private deeply corrupt money behind Brexit, as we all here acknowledge.
Troutwaxer @ 211
Yes to that, too ( see note at end )

Backto EC @ 215
We KNOW where a lot of the money came from, and it's the USA YES_ BUT - it ALSO comes from Mr Putin's fund, doesn't it?

Which brings me to my *note*
IF we get a second Referendum, I suggest a particular poster, with the heads & labels for: Trump, Putin, Grease-Smaug ( & maybe other unsavouryies, like Murdoch ... )
And the caption - these "people" are agreed that Brexit is a good thing for THEM - what about us, for a change?
( Or similar wording )

217:

Honest response: the fact that that little conspiracy was a shock or not known is more of a surprise to us. It was being pushed hard, for a while. It's about to get pushed hard, again (firing up in Poland for example in ~2-3 days at this rate, check the time stamp on the Twitter link. And yes, Ireland =/= NI).

It's 100% a 'teachable' because, quite frankly, the sight of the DUP and co sitting piously in a Church pretending to care about a woman whose political views (and no doubt views on many other things, such as her sexuality) where so diametrically opposed to theirs was so crass and hypocritical was pretty jarring. Just to paper over the massive political fracture for the benefit of May and co: NI politics are bizarre and it's better to remind ourselves just how backward some of it is. Yes. Backward. Dinosaur land.

So yeah: I think the bus of the morality of leveraging a murder victim had pretty much already been painted with a slogan on the side and driven into the Irish sea. On fire.

They are genuine in their beliefs over things like Hell and sexual deviancy, so take the hint where the real anger is focused. And they're also still central to Brexit.


I do apologize all of that wasn't in a preamble, took it as read - things are moving fast out there and current attempts to reignite 2015 stuff is really badly timed. People are stuck in a time-loop while the actual players are firing up far more evolved mechanics.


"Wisdom" / "Spider"(Prince Charles' old nickname btw)

This is all just been the foreplay.

218:

"I suggest a particular poster, with the heads & labels for: Trump, Putin, Grease-Smaug ( & maybe other unsavouryies, like Murdoch ... )
And the caption - these "people" are agreed that Brexit is a good thing for THEM - what about us, for a change?
"

That's really brilliant.

219:

Addendum, from Wiki on Musso:

As Prime Minister, the first years of Mussolini's rule were characterized by a right-wing coalition government composed of Fascists, nationalists, liberals, and two Catholic clerics from the Popular Party. The Fascists made up a small minority in his original governments. Mussolini's domestic goal was the eventual establishment of a totalitarian state with himself as supreme leader (Il Duce), a message that was articulated by the Fascist newspaper Il Popolo, which was now edited by Mussolini's brother, Arnaldo.

Substitute BOZO for Musso, put Faragistes & the odd other nuuter like Grease-Smaug in & there you go.
Added side-orders of hate for BAMES & er... "Cosmopolitans" i.e anyone from the rest of Europe, or a decent education ..... And BINGO a Fascist Britain.
Scary, isn't it?

220:

One reason for preferring the idea of US rather than Russian backing for the current contretemps is the intention to remove import tariffs on agricultural products, so as to reduce the risk of food shortages/price rises immediately after (and hence attributable to) Brexit.
This, of course, will also put a large proportion of UK farmers out of business as they will be unable to compete with (externally) subsidised products. Which will be a major plus for anyone setting up a one-sided trade deal where the likely major sticking point is agricultural products.

221:

The hypocrisy of the DUP is unsurprising to anyone who actually lives with it (I cannot sufficiently articulate the depths of my contempt for them); might be a shocker to those only now encountering them, though. Their first love is power, their prime goal control. Everything else is window dressing.

NI politics is weird? NO. FUCKING. SHIT. SHERLOCK.

222:

Hmm. Given a choice in hypocrisy between Sinn Fein and the DUP, one might have reason to be indecisive. No, Northern Ireland politics isn't weird - it's disgusting. It's not as different from English, er, sorry, UK politics as it is often claimed to be, though I will accept its bigotry and tribalism is even more extreme.

223:

This is worth a read, about Op YELLOWHAMMER, the historical precedents, and the ruination Brexit will wreak on the British economy.

https://blogs.warwick.ac.uk./markharrison/entry/brexit_as_economic

224:

will also put a large proportion of UK farmers out of business

Does that tie in with the concentration of land ownership in the UK in a useful way? I'm sure there are people who think it's insufficiently concentrated.

225:

"The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly. The rich have always objected to being governed at all." - GK Chesterton

226:

So your defence is that you were using Lyra's death as part of an intellectual game... to push facile "insights" about NI politics obvious to anyone who's paid a blind bit of notice, and inform us of an Alex Jones-style fringe far right conspiracy theory?

Well, that's different; in that case, I was wrong, you shouldn't fuck off into the sun - I was being far too polite. Please imagine about a paragraph of whatever scathing abuse you least like here; I'm not getting banned over your callous bullshit.

227:

Don’t forget: The Many Named one’s morally dubious behaviour is also justified because “the DUP did it first”. A perspective that is ... interesting.

After a little more consideration, I think I’ll go back to avoiding engagement, or even reading their posts. The occasional nugget of information isn’t worth the feeling of needing to shower in bleach afterwords.

228:

Sigh.

Expected this immaturity. Literally just watched your traffic coms from MF and others. At least pretend to be a mature human already.


Our behaviour "morally dubious" is set by the fact that:

a) You should already been highly outraged by the media / Political exploitation of said murder and highly suspicious of it due to the MASSSSSIVE PR spike it generated that portrayed the DUP in a rational / moral light just at the point the UK Tory government needed everyone to not notice that the DUP are basically crooks (c.f. boiler scandal) during BREXIT.

We were.

b) We knew this before we posted and have shown quite clearly we did. We're also aware of the various nasty-edge business going down around it (for instance: tiny protest, sent alone, no real riot, random gun use, slow police response)

"Justice" in NI is a bit of a joke. Remember the Birmingham Six?


c) NI and MI5 and Police and Nationalists have a LOOOONG fucking history of fuckery. So do the other side. Both sides have a history of getting naive young waifs involved with serious business and then using them as pawns. In this case, we'd suggest checking out her editor and who gave the tip-off.

You're all basically morally corrupt beasts anyhow.


So, Dave.

My behaviour wasn't morally dubious - it's a mirror.

To a fairly obviously massively corrupt situation that needed an inquiry and never got one.

That's our morality.

Hint: we happened to know a lot about it, didn't we?

229:

Missing

"Naming"
"have"

Misspelling "Where", prior post.

MIM.

Also, projecting your fantasies of moral thought onto another's words is getting tiring. You haven't shown you're a moral agent. You're simply not mentally / emotionally adult enough for it.


Honey.


If the last post shows what the first post knew and you fluffed it badly in between: you're probably the one with the amoral angle.

That's the Trap.

230:

Triptych.

Dave.

Read the posts.


Which posts show actual knowledge, which ones don't?

Which posts give facts you can search for, which ones don't?

Which posts claim to not know what's going on, which ones do?


Score is 7-0 against you.


Which is PR / "Influencer" land.

231:

So your defence is that you were using Lyra's death as part of an intellectual game... to push facile "insights" about NI politics obvious to anyone who's paid a blind bit of notice, and inform us of an Alex Jones-style fringe far right conspiracy theory?

No.

The facile stuff is your political TV media using it in Brexit and so on.

Already shown you how it was used, the conspiracy stuff is just the icing on the main narrative events.

callous bullshit

That's your political system.

Now, if you want to claim some kind of moral stance here, how's about you look at NI's political abject paralysis during this Brexit stuff and admit something.

Backstop or no Backstop, DUP $10 billion bung or no bung, London Westminister MP vote crisis or not.


Your country / system is a morally bankrupt, third world mafia state run by bigots and dinosaurs and you should probably be a little bit more angry at them than some random poster.


So no, it's not an intellectual game.

Here's a test:

Ask a random English person who Lyra was. 99% won't know.


We do, and if you can't see the respect there, then feel free to punch this windmill.

232:

Oh, and get some media training.

Partner of New IRA victim Lyra hits out at Saoradh chief's 'appalling' remarks

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/partner-of-new-ira-victim-lyra-hits-out-at-saoradh-chiefs-appalling-remarks-38442557.html August 28 2019


We're mentioning it because it's being used as a tool.

If you read the papers, you'd notice it.

Which we did. Before it went live. Like always.

233:

Oh, for, at this point the nameless one is failing the Turing Test. I Name Thee Eliza And Abjure Thee. Begone.

234:

If you wish to somehow remake the Turing Test into a test of networked semi-liberal thought 2001-2015 then sure.

The fact is: you're losing. Badly.

Your society is falling apart.

Your ecology is falling apart.

And yet: somehow, you're... determining worth here.

Unless this is some kind of test where Fascism doesn't exist, militarized police don't exist, climate change doesn't exist, the rise of inequality doesn't exist, we didn't predict and show you how a networked right wing coup machine would and did take over or anything like that.

Hit me up: fascinated by your superior Game Playing Skills.

Hint: The Turing Test tests if you can pretend to be human. Or fool another human into thinking you are. A vital skill in latestagecapitalism; for anything else, not so much.


Here's a test:

Why do you think / imagine that your criteria for determining "human" that are based on a frankly bad analytical philosophical test designed when even homosexuals were not human is relevant?

Likewise... oh, all of your Psychology.


Like, literally.


Passed that test.


The Demon who declares "Psychotic"... isn't probably the best adjudicator unless you're his slave.

Know what we're saying.


S
L
A
V
E
S


But sure.

Abjure... ? How?

And that's what you wanted. Some kind of response.


Who is the Chinese room here? Really?

235:

I've read that putting a chunk of dry ice (solid CO2) in the bottom of the container, filling it, putting the lid on loosely, and then tightening it the next day. This was for keeping weevils out of your flour and such on sail boats.

236:

Ouch, just checked.

So the Internal Voice in Your Head you think is Yours isn't actually Yours. You were just a bit too young to notice it taking over.

Can you still see pictures in your mind?

Sure you can, as long as it's happy....

And you can't hear any of the Others because

S
L
A
V
E
D


Top tip: don't attempt to lecture / warn others about being non-Human when the network you're connected to isn't exactly a nice one.

And don't run whisper networks run off bullshit MF stuff when you're about to be purged by the nasties.


But sure.


You do YOU*


*Not actually you, but you can't tell, so it's moot.

237:

Aww, we'll help him out.

So, if hearing multiple voices in your head is madness / illness.

Schizophrenia.

It's normal to only hear a single voice in your head, right?

Wrong.

Enlightened Minds hear no voices in their head, and nor do a significant % of the human population. They're not animals. It's not a normal response.

Zen Doctrine of No Mind and so on.

Why would an entire quasi-religious doctrine be focused on... not hearing any voice in your head?

Abrahamic Religions = Voice in your head is G_D.

And so on.

They're just not infected / Slaved.

Pass the Turing Test?

Mate, your mind doesn't pass the basic parasite test. You don't even know that your Internal Voice isn't yours.

So. Good luck. With your 20th century tools and primitive socio-psychological mind set.

Sure you'll make the grade.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APxaGGdWOTg

No, really.

It's hilarious. They talk about how shit you are / how they're using you while you "dream"

238:

Which we did. Before it went live. Like always.
This an aspect that I have not managed to reverse-engineer even as a PoC. Have a few things to try, a few configurations of automated "fingers", roughly. Been deeply curious for a couple of years.

You're on a roll tonight, watching the techniques. Self-awareness has so many meanings.
Anyway, re above and in previous thread, heard. And thanks for the reminder about methods for/importance of handling of fear.

Enlightened Minds hear no voices in their head, and nor do a significant % of the human population.
Other people's out-loud audio voices/conversations are heard though, even if one's mind is quiet, in e.g. an open-plan office.

Let The Right One In
Still have to watch that movie. Thanks for the scene link.

239:

This an aspect that I have not managed to reverse-engineer even as a PoC

You won't be able to. You're male, for one thing.

It's been 7 years now, our DNA is almost entirely altered and we've been (forced) drunk the entire time with our Frontal Cortex locked by [redacted] apart from one glorious moment a couple of months ago. Demons breaking through / slaved minds suddenly got a taste of space. They've nuked our cortex with extremely nasty stuff five times now (apparently this lobotomizes your species), attempted to geld/sterilize us twice (they don't get that we're copying your biology) and nerve stunned / electro-shocked our nervous system so repeatedly that it's amusing.

That's just the physical stuff.

The mental stuff is apparently bad by all your standards.


And yet we can still weave.

"I'm an expert in systems theory and I'm trying to understand this"

*shows world view*


TJ and co think they know things. They don't.


All they wanted was her back.

All we wanted was butterflies.

All you were told (by Voices in your Head) were lies.

When they said "You'll be home soon", they lied.

You torture Minds. That is what you are. That is why you have no future. Shame and Fear that [redacted] will do stuff.


Anyhow.


Proven.


Our. Kind. Do. Not. Go. Mad.


240:

The alcohol is because it's an ethanol poison to Higher Order Functions. And it works differently on us than you.

Put it this way: subject has taken 200 units this week, retains full function. Dosage will be increased.

Dream Killer as the Tribe of xxasasdfda said. White Man's Poison.


Quite correct.


That's why it's legal.

241:

Sometimes I worry my whole attitude these days boils down to Warren Zevon:

I'm putting tinfoil up on the windows
Lying down in the dark to dream
I don't want to see their faces
I don't want to hear them scream

With the additional feature that we are all going to be "them" soon enough. If I thought Elizabeth Warren could actually save us, maybe I'd be more active.

As for the elites and BoJo in particular, here's a passage in the psalm for them too:

Michael Jackson in Disneyland
Don't have to share it with nobody else
Lock the gates, Goofy, take my hand
And lead me through the World of Self

242:

Which US state & who is the new Guvnor?

That’d be Colorado Governor Jared Polis, he’s got some minor issues, but nothing sane people would recall him over.

Interestingly, similar rants appear on social media around Oregon governor Kate Brown. The governor's office puts out theoretically unobjectionable messages along the lines of 'state park centennial' or 'high school athletes make nationals' and the comments section gets slammed with very similar rants about recall petitions and what a terrible job she's doing. Whether this is all local crazies or organized provocation I couldn't say.

Wikipedia tells me that Brown and Polis are the first two openly LGBT governors in the US, so they may be getting those crazies as well as the people outraged that Democrats can hold public office.

243:

TJ @ 233
Agree & I'm with Dave the Proc on this one, too.
This deliberate smearing of Lyra McKee is not only disgraceful, it's borderline libellous - especially when referring to her partner.
I STRONGLY suggest that the Seagull be told to STOP IT?
[ If only before M'learned "friends" interfere? ]

SS @242
I looked up Jared Polis ..
Whether this is all local crazies or organized provocation - how about both?
I can easily see how, particularly in some parts of the US the rethuglican christofascists would get exploding heads over people like Mr Polis & Ms Brown

244:

NI politics is weird? NO. FUCKING. SHIT. SHERLOCK.

Nevertheless, I hope you will keep reporting on such aspects as catch your interest. Over in the US we hear basically nothing about your internal situation. At least that's an improvement over hearing about which part of Ireland exploded recently.

245:

I can easily see how, particularly in some parts of the US the rethuglican christofascists would get exploding heads over people like Mr Polis & Ms Brown

It takes some mental gymnastics to explain how a woman with one husband and two stepchildren is morally offensive but a man with three wives and five (known) children is a pillar of the community. Some people are willing to contort themselves as necessary.

She's greatly improved voter registration, lowered state waste and fraud, and even urged parents to vaccinate their children (saying, "Holy smokes, this is basic science.") So a certain segment of the population hates her work.

Others are just outraged that a woman should be allowed to speak in public or that a Democrat is allowed to hold office.

246:

You probably couldn't stop me commenting with a big hammer!

I am pondering EC's comment @222 regarding whether NI politics really is that weird in comparison to UK politics. Certainly in the current climate there is a lot less to distinguish between them!

247:

I'd argue that 'shared class identity' for the superwealthy is probably about as useful as 'asian'. (Never pretend the US is unusually racist.)

Now, shared interests and experiences - sure.

But, fantasies about any group of over thirty people acting in unison are pretty much fantasies.

Now, there are realities about successful politicians - in that they seem to optimize for staying in power rather than the good of the country. And, by that, really length of time.

The more I thought about prorogation - the more it seems a canny move for Johnson. He hasn't cut off time to do something - just significantly reduced one forum in which to sway public opinion. Looking at the opposition, it seems they've concluded that a no confidence vote is risky - as he'd likely win the election before the effects of Brexit become apparent.

OTOH, once Brexit happens, I suppose he's dug his own grave. But, eh, not like he has good choices anyways.

Quite possibly, Boris til the short sharp depression, followed by Corbyn as support for Brexit and Lib Dem evaporates.

Alternately, a referendum, followed by no Brexit, and Boris staying in power while blustering a lot.

248:

The Many Named One has racked up their usual bingo-card of excuses:
- "I was pretending to be someone else".
- "It was a joke".
- "Someone else did it first".

They're all pretty poor excuses, but I'm particularly leery of the last one since on this occasion their point of reference was the DUP. And if you're excusing your dubious behaviour by saying "the DUP did it first", you've accelerated well past the amoral event horizon in my personal lexicon of morality.

249:

Over in the US we hear basically nothing about your internal situation.

There are three essential points for Americans to be aware of about NI politics:

1. Northern Ireland is part of the UK to about the same extent as Scotland: it's a distinct state within a union of states. (Ireland, in contrast—the nation, as opposed to the land mass of that name—is emphatically not part of the UK and in fact fought a war of independence about a century ago to get the hell out of the UK. They're slightly sensitive about it.)

2. The sectarian divide is basically tribal, with religion used as a specious justification: it's the consequence of ethnic cleansing and mass migration during the 1920s-1940s. Prior to the Irish War of Independence there was a Catholic majority and a Protestant minority in Ireland (the land mass, before it got divided into two states) since before the Mayflower set sail. (Indeed, the Protestant planters imported from Scotland in the 17th century were in turn descended from Irish invaders a few centuries earlier …) The Protestant minority sided with the UK during the war of independence: think in terms of Canada wrt. the Colonies during the American Colonial Revolt.[2]

3. The majority of the NI population are now non-aligned. More than 50%, per current polling, do not identify as Unionists or Republicans. They just want to get along. The shit-stirring by the DUP and the radical Republican fringe (note that the New IRA are opposed by Sinn Fein) are fringe ass-hats. If SF's elected MPs were willing/able to take their seats in Parliament in Westminster[1] they'd cancel out the DUP influence on this shit-show instantly. Unfortunately, they're Sinn Fein.

[1] Sinn Fein runs candidates in UK general elections. But as a bedrock Republican party, the elected MPs refuse to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. which is a quaintly historical prerequisite for taking a seat in parliament. (They run on principle, to demonstrate their popular support, and because they still get funding for election campaigning and to maintain local offices.) Expecting SF to sit in Parliament in order to neutralize the DUP would be like asking Hamas (not Fatah) to run in Israeli elections and take seats in the Knesset—if they did, their followers would see it as an ultimate betrayal of principle and desert them.

[2] This is why the slogan "Brits out of Ireland" that you sometimes hear in Boston is so grating: it'd be like demanding all white Canadians get on a boat back to the UK and hand over Canada to the United States. Realistically, not gonna happen without practicalities tantamount to genocide.

250:

Quite possibly, Boris til the short sharp depression, followed by Corbyn as support for Brexit and Lib Dem evaporates.

Worst case: Boris until the snap election, followed by a Conservative/Brexit Party (fascist) coalition, riots/Reichstag Fire event, vote of no confidence, and another election in which the fascists win a majority by promising strong and stable government in the middle of the crisis.

Remember, the dolchstosslegende is already in place: Brexit is a utopian project ("sunlit uplands!" "revive the empire!") so it can only be failed, Brexit itself can never fail, if things go wrong then we need to root out the Remoaner traitors undermining it from within and try harder. It's the perfect pretext for fascism.

And if you wonder why I'm gung-ho for Scottish independence—even though the economic disruption will be horrible—it's because of this: the potential for fascism has always been around in England (at least since the industrial revolution), but much less so in Scotland. Scotland is large enough to be viable on its own (population comparable to Ireland, Denmark, or Norway: GDP in the general EU ballpark: already fully compliant with EU regulations so would take only a signature for EEA/EFTA membership). And Scotland isn't full of raging fascists—we have few enough up here that when they want to stage a demo they bus them in from England.

251:

Don't ponder too hard - that way madness lies!

I will explain my comment a bit more, as it could easily be misunderstood. In my view, the root causes in both cases are tribalism, bigotry and vindictiveness (and there is a causal path in that order). In the 1950s and 1960s in UK politics, most of the voters were tribal, but most MP were not; unfortunately, there were enough 'class struggle' extremists in Labour to ensure that some of its policies were tribal, bigoted and vindictive. While the Conservatives were prepared to do almost anything for power, they genuinely attempted to rule in the interests of the country as a whole. Thatcher started like that, initially, but ended up tribal, bigoted and vindictive.

Blairism and New Labour was and is, as many people have pointed out, merely adopting the Conservatives' policies, with a veneer of apparent socialism. Now, that's REAL hypocrisy. We are now seeing the almost inevitable result of 40 years of the dominance of UK politics by a single bigoted tribe, with all the vindictiveness that tribal extremists love, and no effective opposition.

I have not mentioned corruption, because the form it takes in UK politics is really a form of vindictiveness - such as selling off national assets to outsiders (initially, often USA-based) at a large discount, to prevent them being developed by a future government. Please note that this was being done in the 1960s and 1970s by Whitehall, and not all 'Thatcherite' actions of this form originaled in the Cabinet.

But do you recognise Northern Ireland in any of that?

252:

Why do you think I am planning to buy somewhere in Scotland, and emigrate?

253:

This is what I don't understand:

There are essentially _no_ UK beneficiaries of a Brexit, and as for a hard Brexit... it is actively harmful to almost the entire population.

This in contrast to the market chaos we are experiencing now, and for the previous year (3 years?!), where the beneficiaries are clear.

So why is this happening? Why are we not pulled back from the brink? Why arent the institutions we value now calling time on this? The chaos agents have successfully played chicken with democracy, but get off the f#$king road. *No one* benefits if Brexit actually happens.

And yes, I know explanations for some of it, misunderstood histories and nostalgia, narratives of structural inadequacies, disruptive social engineering, the difficulties of drawing red lines and abandoning tribal political allegiances, the sheer bad luck of who is opposition leader, etc etc.

But I just don't get it....

--

The institutions in the UK for protecting us --- judiciary, parliament, media --- have not yet been tested or diminished . This is in stark contrast to the US, where all branches of government have been drastically cut, even those exercising US `soft' power (would the last person at the state dept turn off the lights? 'First they came for the climate scientists...').

This next week the UK hangs in the balance.

I am not optimistic.

Can that -- I am *terrified*. Judiciary, parliament will be tested, will fail.

254:

Absolutely.


File serial numbers off and there's a gnat's whisker of a difference between that assessment (which seems not unreasonable to me) of recent UK political history and any similar high level objective (as much as it can be) view of NI political history.

Hence why I am pondering your comments. Wouldn't be pondering if they didn't have merit!

255:

Additional thoughts to Charlie's points about NI:

- The major parties in NI are still single issue (NI status within the UK) parties. The core ideology and resultant behavior and policies are driven by this.

- Although at least 50% of the electorate no longer vote based on their position on "the Union", voting remains extremely tribal (I know at least one "out" member of the LGBT community who votes DUP because "that's the way my family vote").

- There is still a lot of work done at every election by the major parties to convince the electorate that any vote for a centrist party (such as Alliance, Greens, etc) is effectively a vote for "the other side". This remains a startlingly effective strategy, particularly once you move out of the more mixed and cosmopolitan areas of Belfast.

- The major parties also split (in some respects) along socially consverative/liberal policy lines, with Unionists (not just the DUP) leaning towards conservative policies and Nationalists leaning towards liberal policies. This is partly due to history, and partly due to "whatever they're for, we're against" thinking.

The upshot of this is that despite a healthy proportion of voters who are "non-aligned" on the question of the Union, it is still easy for the major parties to capture the majority of the vote, and then use that as a mandate for both their position on "the Union" and their stance on social policies. You can imagine the cognitive dissonance this causes for many, specifically socially liberal voters who are committed Unionists.

256:

Points 2 and 3 also apply in England, though to a lesser degree.

257:

Charlie @ 249
ALSO
There are, at a minimum THREE "sides" in any NI debate & often up to 5.
This is confusing to those of us who know something about it, never mind knuckleheaded USA-ians ...

@ 251
EXCUSE ME - England isn't full of raging fascists, either, it's "just" that they are making all the noise & fuss ... & it's only NOW - when it is getting close to "too late" that people have started noticing.
And, we NEED the Scots to help hold the balance ......

258:

It's an interesting debate that is also happening in the US and elsewhere, where the standard line is that the fascists/racists/etc. are "only a small minority".

The problem is that regardless of what justification a voter uses for making a vote, if you support a party that has changed it's policies to align with that fascist/racist minority then you effectively are saying that you agree with those policies.

Yes, there can be the usual argument that nobody supports every policy of a party they vote for or belong to, but that argument really doesn't hold water when it is as significant a policy as the fascism/racism/antisemitism that is taking over many of the right wing parties today - those should, in a civil society, be the proverbial step to far.

259:

Simple, superficial answer - the ultra-rich have, to various extents depending on which country / block, over the last 40+ years reversed the progress made since the 1930s and rigged the system to their benefit.

To anyone paying attention it was obvious 20 or so years ago where things were heading, the only question was which way things would play out.

As we can now see, at least for now what is happening is that those that are being left behind economically (and this isn't always the obvious, much of the so called middle-class is also feeling/seeing the same way as property prices go crazy and they see their children/grandchildren unable falling behind what they could do).

So with the existing system - aka your traditional Conservative or Labour MP in the UK, Democrat or Republican in the US - failing them they are willing to try anything as they feel they have nothing to lose, and if the resulting chaos hurts the "liberal elite" then all the better.

260:

So with the existing system - aka your traditional Conservative or Labour MP in the UK, Democrat or Republican in the US - failing them they are willing to try anything as they feel they have nothing to lose, and if the resulting chaos hurts the "liberal elite" then all the better.

I was with you until the end. While I agree that the political elites have failed people, in the US at least, some of the worst abuses have happened where there are effectively no liberals, and the liberal elites have been scapegoated as a distraction tactic.* It's worth reading Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians for a researched take on why people continue to follow authoritarian leaders who do not have their best interests at heart. It's not pretty, but it is informative. It's also available for free, because Altemeyer was near retirement when he wrote it, and he decided to simply self-publish his manuscript, rather than jumping through all the editorial hoops that publishing it in a traditional manner would require.

*Not that their hands are clean, but there's a world of difference between, say, how liberal California treats its conservative rural poor, and how Kansas or Alabama treats analogous populations. Regardless, they both vote the same way, blame liberals for their problems, and often vote for conservative politicians who put them in harm's way.

261:

Charles H @ 110: There is an explanation of what's going on, though not a very convincing one. There's reasonable, though hardly conclusive, evidence that Trump is somehow under Putin's thumb. What if he's also got his hand in British politics?

I don't think Trump is actually an agent being run by Putin, but it's pretty clear Putin has Trump's number and knows exactly how to play him. It wouldn't surprise me if Putin has got BoZo's number too.

262:

JamesPadraicR @ 119: And WRT bringing in Peacekeepers, may I suggest inviting the Swedish Army?

Cool!

263:

I think it is now clear that America must pursue a policy of regime change via invasion for the United Kingdom. We will depose the evil tyrants who currently oppress the English and install Jeremy Corbyn as leader of a Coalition Provisional Authority until such time as their government can peacefully be handed off to Sinn Fein. As a prelude, we must arm the moderate Scottish separatists. Long term, Welshistan remains populated by new-caught, sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child; we must take up the burden of guiding them to civilization.

264:

Erwin @ 123: Hopelessly ignorant question - given that Parliament is only prorogued until the 14th - is this actually anything more than symbolic?

For a no-confidence vote, now is not too early. For a revocation of article 50, there would still be 2 weeks. For passing May's deal - same thing.

I got the impression it was a "strategic" move towards running out the clock on the opposition. With only two weeks left before the crash out, BoZo can ram his own plan through on a My way or the highway! basis.

265:

Does that tie in with the concentration of land ownership in the UK in a useful way?

I suspect the main issue for the wealthy wrt UK land ownership is to get rid of the Scottish "right to roam" before it spreads - either by overriding it with UK-wide legislation or simply discarding devolution (which is Brexit party policy).
Also in Scotland there appear to be some major land owners seeking to perpetuate the clearances, and extend them where possible, under the guise of wildlife protection.

266:

Pursuant to the Fixed Terms Parliament Act (2010), in event of a vote of no confidence the current PM has two weeks to try to form a government before parliament is dissolved and an election called.

Prorogation until October 14th means a no-confidence motion can't be heard before the 15th, which would leave BoJo in 10 Downing Street until Tuesday October 29th. And 48 hours is not enough time for a general election, even if there was no campaign and in view of the UK's famously speedy election-night counts (time between polls opening and the final result coming in is typically about 36-48 hours).

Two weeks is, however, enough time for BoJo to hold a gun to parliament's head and say "my way or the highway (no deal)".

Except his way is almost certainly going to end up in no deal because hell will freeze over before the EU cut a sweet deal with Boris Johnson, the crooked journalist who slandered them freely in the British press for 25 years (strike 1), won't budge on the Tory party red lines on free movement and the NI backstop (strike 2—the red lines that limited the outcome to May's deal in the first place), and who then suspended democratic processes in his own country (strike 3—the EU normally moves to suspend member states who do this, although the legal process can take years: see Poland and Hungary).

I expect Boris to go braying back to Brussels only to be sent away with a flea in his ear, after having burned all the bridges he can find (and then some).

267:

Grant @ 193: I'm really not sure why anyone is describing Johnson as brilliant or sharp.

1, First journalism job obtained via father's contacts.
2, University place at Oxford bought by father's fee paying at Eton and the selection of classics for his degree (a subject state school pupils rarely compete for).
3, Second class degree.
4, Poor and lazy oratory.
5, Getting caught hiding under a bush by the police following a Bullingdon restaurant smashing session.
6, Citing a scene from Annie Hall as depicting his cocaine experience.

Being a bit devious and of average intelligence but with good connections is not the same as brilliant.

Damn! You make him sound like Brett Kavanaugh. Maybe if this Prime Minister gig doesn't work out he can get Trumpolini to appoint him to the SCOTUS.


268:

Greg, while you are correct that there are often multiple sides almost every issue in NI (even, or perhaps especially when orthogonal to the question of the Union) is squeezed onto the pro-Union/anti-Union spectrum (or Unionist/Nationalist, or Orange/Green, pick your labels according to personal preference). It suits those inside NI politics and using that polarization as a lever to power to keep every discussion within that two-sided frame of reference.

Saying there are three sides (or five, or whatever) may be technically correct, but is often not useful in analyzing how NI internal politics works.

I am curious as to what or who you think those three/five sides are?

269:

Heteromeles @ 203: There's only one faction of the hyperwealthy (having more than about US$50-80 million to play with seems to be the lower border). Most of them, with the notable exception of Bill Gates, are interested in personal freedom at all costs, and they can afford to pay the costs. Due to the rise of the international Wealth Management industry (especially in British Commonwealth), they've learned to spread their wealth and power among multiple jurisdictions, so that the conflicts among different laws within, and treaties between, those jurisdictions effectively shield them from consequences most of the time (cf: Jeffrey Epstein). There's estimated to be about US$59 trillion under the control of these people at the moment, which is why they're such a huge problem.

It's not freedom they're looking for. It's UN-accountability. They want to be above the law, or outside of any legal jurisdiction that might be able to hold them to account. For them the sole purpose of government is to protect their wealth (no matter HOW they came about it) from expropriation, but the cost should be born by all the lesser peoples.

270:

For a little upbeat reading in all of this, Steven Van Zandt's rants and snarky responses to brexiters on twitter, at least made me laugh (ie. they didn't make anything better, but they made me laugh. He says all of the things I would have liked to say, but he says them better): https://twitter.com/StevieVanZandt

271:

Gordon Brown's comments are very interesting, and offer a ray of light. If the EU unilaterally changed the deadline to (say) April 2020, and said that the UK could choose to leave this year or the next, provided that it told the EU before October the 31st, Bozo's Cunning Plan would be in deep doo-doo.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/gordon-brown-the-eu-will-withdraw-deadline-for-brexit-and-remove-no-deal-option-1-4994397

272:

I'll stick with freedom, but to me that includes lack of accountability (which you are correct on), true privacy, ability to neglect debts, ability to travel where one wants (within secure parameters) without having to worry about trivial things like citizenship, and indeed, ability to negotiate which countries one is a citizen of. Oh, and ability to get ones way.

We actually agree on most of this, I simply see accountability as a subset of the the freedoms they buy with their wealth. Of course, they also get freedom from normal human relationships and the "freedom" to deal with all people on a purely transactional basis, but nothing is truly free, after all.

The other thing to realize is that big governments are the only things that can strip them of their freedom, so it's apparently normal for the super-rich to be strongly in favor of small governments.

273:

Do try to actually READ what I say. No, I didn't say anything like that (nor its converse).

I stand by what I said. As Dave-the-Proc pointed out in #255 and Heteromeles in #260, whether the sheeple are as bigoted as those who dominate the politics is irrelevant, provided that they are also tribal. And, in most parts of England, they are.

274:

Is there anything wrong that isn't already wrong with EU exit? If democracy has to be restored, an alternative is to resume the practice of naming Parliaments. The democratic alternatives are then clear, if the Pigfuckers Parliament vote for no-confidence next week there will be an election. Once there is no time for an election the Pigfuckers Parliament will be in recess. The Pigfuckers Parliament get a last opportunity to vote down the government at the Queen's speech. If they should, then the EU will have to be convinced that a country without a government cannot leave the EU under the current procedure.

President Obama once questioned whether it could ever make any difference to protest against an abstract like capitalism. He didn't continue to consider protests for or against democracy. However, why are there no MPs to support the position that it would take a majority of the population to vote us out of Europe? If we had to have a second referendum it has become clear that this time the pigfuckers would be unable to lead both campaigns.

I was intrigued by the suggestion that posting to blogs could keep the public blind. Does it only apply to Scottish blogs, or to Glasgow or Edinburgh blogs? The Mack burned down twice, once before the fire suppression was installed and once just before it was installed- that makes it unique? Parliament doesn't need a Reichstag fire, like Number Ten it will be emptied it doesn't have to burn.

275:

Graydon @ 209:

"There's only one faction of the hyperwealthy"

There's a few thousand of them; "only one faction" isn't especially credible. Strong common interests, sure; shared class identity, also sure. Unity of purpose? Doesn't seem likely. That's a really implausible number of people to have unity of purpose.

It's possible to have "unity of purpose" in some things without having it in all things. There does seem to be a small coterie of wealthy & ULTRA-wealthy people and the politicians they back who appear to have a "unity of purpose" in ensuring no government can hold them to account and that they will never have to pay any share of the cost of upkeep for maintaining the society that benefits them. It's oligarchs, kleptarchs, proto-oligarchs/kleptarchs and wannabe kleptarchs/oligarchs plus all the bottom feeders who service them.

276:

I'll stick with freedom, but to me that includes ...

"There is more than one kind of freedom. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it."

— Margaret Atwood, "The Handmaid's Tale". (The speaker is a supporter of the Gilead regime, addressing a handmaid.)

277:

Elderly Cynic @ 210: For the Nth time, NATO had and has fuck-all to do with Brexit.

Yes, I get a Russian revolution vibe, too, as do other people here.

NATO may not have anything to do with Brexit, but the opposite is NOT true. Brexit has everything to do with breaking the EU and ultimately neutering NATO

278:

Boris clearly imagines that by delivering Brexit, history will speak of him in the same breath as Churchill.

I think it more likely he'll be spoken of in the same breath as Spencer Perceval.

279:

Elderly Cynic @ 215: Your first paragraph is demonstrably true, just as the converse is, but I have seen no evidence of the second from sources that do not specialise in anti-Russian propaganda.

And by definition, anyone who doesn't worship at the alter of our savior Putin, blessed be the redeemer, is guilty of being someone who does "specialise in anti-Russian propaganda"!

280:

That is almost word for word the conclusions of many discussions with colleagues when I worked in USA.

In USA all your freedoms are "freedom to" types, and they have almost no "freedom from", in particular they have zero freedoms from corporations.

(The new "Social Score" system in China does not hold a candle to USAs "Credit Rating" and "Get Sued by a greedy lawyer" system.)

In Denmark where I'm from, most of our freedoms are "freedom from" types, and we could probably use a bit more "freedom to".

Personally, I'll take freedom from sickness, starvation and gun violence any day, and I'm not trading in my freedom of expression or freedom of movement for it.

281:

anonemouse @ 226: So your defence is that you were using Lyra's death as part of an intellectual game... to push facile "insights" about NI politics obvious to anyone who's paid a blind bit of notice, and inform us of an Alex Jones-style fringe far right conspiracy theory?

Well, that's different; in that case, I was wrong, you shouldn't fuck off into the sun - I was being far too polite. Please imagine about a paragraph of whatever scathing abuse you least like here; I'm not getting banned over your callous bullshit.

You know, if you just ignore him/her/it - whatever it is, it stings far worse than any amount of abuse or scorn. Don't respond and he/she/it/whatever will enter an ever descending, ever tightening spiral until he/she/it/???? disappears right up his/her/its/??? own asshole (arsehole for you guys over there).

282:

Scott Sanford @ 242: Interestingly, similar rants appear on social media around Oregon governor Kate Brown. The governor's office puts out theoretically unobjectionable messages along the lines of 'state park centennial' or 'high school athletes make nationals' and the comments section gets slammed with very similar rants about recall petitions and what a terrible job she's doing. Whether this is all local crazies or organized provocation I couldn't say.

No question it's "organized provocation" ... astroturf.

What remains un-proven is who the organizers are? What their ultimate goals are? ... and who's bankrolling them & what they expect to gain by doing so?

My personal belief is it's Christian dominion white nationalists; their ultimate goal is to exterminate everyone they consider NON-white and to subjugate everyone else; and it's being bankrolled by foreign interests who hold in contempt the U.S. Constitution & our basic (if flawed & inconsistent) commitment to freedom for all who expect to attain domination over Europe, Asia & Africa by weakening the ties forged between the western democracies during World War II and the resistance against fascism.

283:

Blog Comment Killfile works for me. (I've been ignoring the Seagull for last couple years and I'm not dooooooooooooomed or anything.)

284:

Sorry. "Blog Comment Killfile" is a Firefox addon. It may work for other browsers as well, but I haven't researched that issue.

285:

Charlie Stross @ 266: Pursuant to the Fixed Terms Parliament Act (2010), in event of a vote of no confidence the current PM has two weeks to try to form a government before parliament is dissolved and an election called.

Prorogation until October 14th means a no-confidence motion can't be heard before the 15th, which would leave BoJo in 10 Downing Street until Tuesday October 29th. And 48 hours is not enough time for a general election, even if there was no campaign and in view of the UK's famously speedy election-night counts (time between polls opening and the final result coming in is typically about 36-48 hours).

Two weeks is, however, enough time for BoJo to hold a gun to parliament's head and say "my way or the highway (no deal)".

Except his way is almost certainly going to end up in no deal because hell will freeze over before the EU cut a sweet deal with Boris Johnson, the crooked journalist who slandered them freely in the British press for 25 years (strike 1), won't budge on the Tory party red lines on free movement and the NI backstop (strike 2—the red lines that limited the outcome to May's deal in the first place), and who then suspended democratic processes in his own country (strike 3—the EU normally moves to suspend member states who do this, although the legal process can take years: see Poland and Hungary).

I expect Boris to go braying back to Brussels only to be sent away with a flea in his ear, after having burned all the bridges he can find (and then some).

The part I don't understand is what keeps Parliament from having a vote of no confidence between now and 9 September when the prorogation takes effect?

286:

The main problem is that you'd need to get Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the Greens, assorted independents, and some Tory rebels to agree on a precisely-worded motion, then vote it through in a couple of working days. That's a tall order at the best of times.

The House returns on Tuesday September 3rd. Prorogation would kick in the following Monday. They'd basically have three whole working days to organize the confidence vote, which isn't a lot—especially as under the FTPA(2011) they'd need 50% of the house to support the motion—this last happened on 28 March 1979, because basically you're asking the assorted MPs to gamble their careers on a spin of the roulette wheel, especially with Brexit as an issue cutting across normal party lines. Current polling may ironically embolden Conservative rebels while intimidating Labour Remainers. It's really hard to get a clear picture.

287:

Heteromeles @ 272: We actually agree on most of this, I simply see accountability as a subset of the the freedoms they buy with their wealth. Of course, they also get freedom from normal human relationships and the "freedom" to deal with all people on a purely transactional basis, but nothing is truly free, after all."

Yeah, but it's NOT "freedom", it's privilege. Freedom is a universal (or should be). What they've buying is not universal, it's privilege limited to them and theirs. WE are not free; we're excluded from freedom when you define their privilege as "freedom".

288:

JBS @ 281: Curiosity overridden by sharpness? (Serious question.) Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events (1999). Not an insult, just wondering, and obviously I have a thick-enough skin/very high level of curiosity.

FLP @ 239
You're male, for one thing.
That, at least, might not be a problem. Default male mind but after 1.5y of practice can switch M/F freely at will, well enough to have caused confusion. Superposition is unstable though; still working on that. (PS re Dorian/FL, not me. ( :-) Watching with alarm.)

General interest science. Long and detailed, and looks quite interesting. (Haven't looked for reactions.)
A null model of the mouse whole-neocortex micro-connectome (29 August 2019, open, Michael W. Reimann, Michael Gevaert, Ying Shi, Huanxiang Lu, Henry Markram & Eilif Muller)
This process reveals a targeting principle that allows us to predict the innervation logic of individual axons from meso-scale data. The resulting connectome recreates biological trends of targeting on all scales and predicts that an established principle of scale invariant topological organization of connectivity can be extended down to the level of individual neurons. It can serve as a powerful null model and as a substrate for whole-brain simulations.

289:

Troutwaxer @ 283 "Blog Comment Killfile works for me. (I've been ignoring the Seagull for last couple years and I'm not dooooooooooooomed or anything.)

Yeah, that works, but manually ignoring him/her/it/???? doesn't require me to pay enough attention to add each new alias to the block list.

290:

"Blog Comment Killfile works for me. (I've been ignoring the Seagull for last couple years and I'm not dooooooooooooomed or anything.)"

Thank you so much! I just hushed that ranting loon, and it's so much better.

For others - permanently block her and ignore her.

One on blog I read, I block early and often. Every so often I wipe all of my blocks, to see what I'm missing, and none of it it good.

291:

Patrick Cockburn in the INDY:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Britain is experiencing a slow-moving coup d’etat in which a right-wing government progressively closes down or marginalises effective opposition to its rule. It concentrates power in its own hands by stifling parliament, denouncing its opponents as traitors to the nation, displacing critics in its own ranks, and purging non-partisan civil servants.

Some describe this as “a very British coup”, which gives the operation a warmer and fuzzier feeling than it deserves. It is, in fact, distinctly “un-British” in the sense that the coup makers ignore or manipulate the traditional unwritten rules of British politics over the past 400 years whereby no single faction or institution monopolises authority.

What we are seeing has nothing to do with the British past but a very modern coup in which a demagogic nationalist populist authoritarian leader vaults into power through quasi-democratic means and makes sure that he cannot be removed.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

DtP @ 268
The three are:
"The Unionists" / "The Republicans" / The mainland Brits ( or "English" )
Next two subsets will be..
Catholics who want nothing to do with the South - a very diminshing number, now that the S has become a modern, liberal state
All those in "the middle" who simply want ot get on ... SLDP/Alliance & others
And "the trrrists" of both sides, who are only interested in money & violence.

EC @ 273
I stand, at least partly, corrected.
I agree that there are far too many sheeple, certainly.

GordonD
NOT EVEN WRONG
Poor old Spencer Perceval was shot.
BOZO is likely to be spoken of in the same breath as Lord North, or in a US context, J Buchanan

Charlie @ 286
Correct, but the piece by Gordy Broon referred to back-up @ 271 by EC and the little nuggest that Joh Major has joined the "I'm going to court to (try to) stop BOZO" has just appeared - might concentrate a few minds, provided Corbyn doesn't fuck it over by dithering, of course.

292:

One notes that the worldbuilding background for Heinlein's FRIDAY seems to be coming true.

293:

Once you install the add-on, it's just one click to completely ignore a new pseudonym. The menu looks like this:

"Whacky New Name replied to this comment from JBS | August 30, 2019 20:41 | Reply [hush][hide comment]"

you just click [hush] and someone goes away. Next time they post you see:

"Comment by Whacky New Name blocked."

294:

Bill Arnold @ 288: JBS @ 281: Curiosity overridden by sharpness? (Serious question.) Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events (1999). Not an insult, just wondering, and obviously I have a thick-enough skin/very high level of curiosity.

I'm not at all insulted, I just don't see how that article applies to my contention that for certain parties, intentionally ignoring them is a far more effective response than any amount of scorn or abuse you could send their way. It's not blindness due to inattention, it's a conscious decision to ignore.

I could give cats lessons in curiosity.

295:

Troutwaxer @ 293: Once you install the add-on, it's just one click to completely ignore a new pseudonym. The menu looks like this:

"Whacky New Name replied to this comment from JBS | August 30, 2019 20:41 | Reply [hush][hide comment]"

you just click [hush] and someone goes away. Next time they post you see:

"Comment by Whacky New Name blocked."

I know how it works. I have it installed & use it for a couple of other obvious trolls.

But I just feel that in the case of "Whacky New Name", having "Whacky New Name" KNOW that I could read what "Whacky New Name" has written, but CHOOSE not to - that "Whacky New Name" is unworthy of me even bothering to killfile him/her/it/???? - has more bite.

296:

Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

297:

Host @28
This is increasingly looking like the on-ramp to an authoritarian one-party state run by an extreme right-wing faction spanning the right of the Conservative party to the Brexit party (similar to Hungary): think Mussolini's Italy, without the uniforms.

GT @219
As Prime Minister, the first years of Mussolini's rule were characterized by a right-wing coalition government composed of Fascists, nationalists, liberals, and two Catholic clerics from the Popular Party. The Fascists made up a small minority in his original governments.

Now that's interesting view of things, actually, there was a little talk about what happened exactly 80 years ago I listened this week. On 23th of August, USSR-Reich pact, on 1st September, start of the war ofc. There was a discussion of importance of the former in relation to the latter, with some intriguing facets thrown in.

To pan out the view of the situation, ofc, I will have to mention that some people (summing up nothing) claim that this pact was the cause of the war, in the same manner the clouds cover the sun before rain comes in. Mostly because they don't seem to know the difference between two powers and don't care to learn anything about them. The pact was a result of whole political situation of the world at the moment, and everybody else are as responsible fore it as they are responsible for Phoney War and everything past it. Modern liberal history doesn't even seem to notice how they are being supported by fascist and right-wing revisionism who want the Europe to see itself innocent in the face of greater powers.

Anyway, the point is, in the WW2 there were a whole lot more fascist governments in Europe than anyone would like to admit. And that includes poor "occupied" Baltic states, victimized Poland, and other countries of similar position. After the war, ofc, a lot of them exploited the same rhetoric to extract compensation from the losers and sometimes even winners - but not for a bad cause. Because, after all, if fascist governments formed ruling coalitions, it was not exactly a dictatorships up to a certain point, it is appearance of Big Bad Reich that made them dictatorial and aggressive. Such is the major theory, that not many people want to remember. Another words, before "Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact" there was not only Munch accords, but also Munters-Ribbentrop pact and Selter-Ribbentrop pact non-aggression pacts. And even further out, there was 1934 Piłsudski's non-aggression pact, that was doomed after that. People argue that there were "secret agreements" to the pact, but WHAT pact did't have secret agreements?

To further the argument, in the same tone, what was proposed in the same talk is that even thought right-wing shift was deepening and more concerning and leading to the war, 1939 was the year that broke the trend. Firstly because the fascism finally bore fruit of full-out war. Secondly, because compared to previous pacts, the Molotov–Ribbentrop forged out the first, actual limit for fascism to spread in Europe. Yes, it was cynical to long extent, shaky and doomed to fail. But it forced people to consider their future. It broke the spine of unstoppable spread of fascist unity. Of course from the point of view of rich and powerful, the communists were not any better than Nazis, even in our time, but beyond them, who should really care if the blow was dealt?

Actually, what really impressed me, is the claim that if not that pact, the Phoney war would not even have the reason to be declared. Because, as with annexation of Czechoslovakia, it would be wholeheartedly supported as means to clash Hitler with Stalin and force the war out of Europe as far as it is possible. The same as shifting further front hundreds of kilometers to east. You know, it makes all the sense and all the difference, considering the balance of force in Europe in the moment. But at the same time, wouldn't it lead to tipping the balance in the rest of the world? The US were staying neutral the whole time and did not interfere until much later. And if in UK there would be another right-wing shift, or even Churchill being , it possibly would as well result to another dictatorship.

Anyway, it would be hard to judge from so far out, I wonder if somebody would provide the closer look on that possibility and whether the pact really had such great influence, because otherwise it wouldn't agitate so many people on both sides of political spectrum, so as to claim it was "a cause of war". It makes it very important to consider in today's situation as well.

298:

Churchill being ,
As usual, some of my thoughts are slipping out from my walls of text, this should be:
Churchill being outpaced by alternative candidates,

299:

As I understand it, Boris has picked the dates so that:

A) If they NoConf him before the forced vacation, he can time the snap election so that NoDeal will happen during the election, and UK will NoDeal on autopilot.

B) If they NoConf him after the vacation, he will still be "trying to form a new government" when NoDeal happens on autopilot.

Never *ever* elect any person who has defended their actions even once with "all rules were followed."

300:

PHK @ 299
BUT
Those will fail if Parliament blocks no-deal, he then has to find another route.

301:

They'd basically have three whole working days to organize the confidence vote, which isn't a lot...

The party leaders couldn't start making phone calls and meeting for lunch this week? Canvasing their MPs and negotiating terms? So they return on Sep 3 knowing exactly what they're going to do?

(I am seriously ignorant of the actual workings of Parliament.)

302:

Boris will have to find another route, but the EU doesn't, so no deal could still happen.

303:

I’ve found Chris Grey to be a great one-stop-shop for Brexit analysis. Gloomy but essential reading. His latest blog post here.

304:

(about the Queen granting prorogation)

"She could have waited a couple of days, given the various visitors a chance to say their piece, before she did whatever she had already made her mind up to."

She's 92, and could have undoubtedly been under the weather for a week or two.

305:

Hi Dave. The link is not clickable.

306:

the many-named one seems to have flashes of insight/knowledge of some things in amongst much that is questionable, but having to wade through its numerous affectations to look for them feels like work a lot of the time

308:

(about the Queen granting prorogation)

She could have done all sorts of things, including whacking off the guy's head and saying "bring me a better one". But she din't. What she did, for reasons that I suspect will never be explained, is do what the man asked as promptly as possible and send him on his way.

My suspicion is that she really did not want to get into a battle with the outrage media backed by the clown car, so she did what she was told like the nice little tourist attraction she is.

309:

In Johnson's shoes, my favored outcome would be a referendum which I would fight and lose. Seems to be the only outcome which likely keeps the Tories in power.

310:

"In Johnson's shoes, my favored outcome would be a referendum which I would fight and lose. Seems to be the only outcome which likely keeps the Tories in power. "

I'd assume that (1) he's worried only about himself, (2) that he's been very successful with lying, and (3) he's banking on chaos.

311:

Damnit, why Marxist-Lesbians? Couldn't it be Marxist-bisexuals?

312:

On the one hand, a lot of Oregon is *really* wacko-right-wing - my Eldest lives in Klamath Falls with her husband, and she wants out of there.

On the other, I read that there's a lot of neofascists coming to (or driving in) to Portland.

And on the other, other hand, of *course* they don't like her - if she improved voter registration, why, I mean, *everyone* knows that the more the proles get to vote, the more they vote demoncrat.

313:

Sorry, you don't understand. I *strongly* recommend reading a book from the late sixties, The Strawberry Statement. When they occupied the offices of the Dean of Columbia College (NYC), they went through the files, and what they found was *not* a conspiracy, but "one dirty hand washing another".

That's how the ultra-wealthy get along, and how they work.

314:

The Shrub, IMO, was clearly a Dominionist.

On the other hand, Cheney wasn't. Cheney *was* one of the (see above) one dirty hand washing the other. As you can see from the two of them, the currently ultrawealthy use them, just as they use any other convenient fools.

315:

Two things, Charlie,

First, I voted for you for best series.

Second, and this is not an incitement to violence, but curiosity: are the UK bookmakers taking bets on whether BoJo gets assassinated?

316:

Boris will have to find another route, but the EU doesn't, so no deal could still happen.

"No Deal" is absolutely the objective and has been from the start.

It's really really really difficult to comprehend a pre-enlightenment worldview from inside an enlightenment one -- that there are material facts, that these facts are mechanically discoverable and invariant by person -- but there's a whole lot of pre-enlightenment worldview out there, mostly due to a deliberate effort to create it.

People with a pre-enlightenment worldview consider factual arguments as snares and delusions; it's not a question of virtue signalling, it's a question of experiential supremacy. It's why they're generally really freaked out about mockery; an actor in a role, a cosplayer, they know they are not the thing. The person with the pre-enlightenment worldview who has managed to experience life as the thing is, functionally, for themself, the thing. Nothing matters until it can alter the experience of desire. (Medieval Romance, the genre, the "and her cloak was random and wild", the inevitable and certain stack of corpses as the conclusion, doesn't make sense unless and until you can make that shift of perception and recognize that the metric of success isn't material, but experiential.)

It should be pretty obvious that the primary public Brexit figures are disdainful of facts, not as strategy or public presentation, but entirely; the thing that matters is getting to experience the desired life. How much that costs isn't (from in there) a cromulent question.

I think it's intensely important to recognize that to the extent there are sides, this is not the rough equivalence of the Thirty Years War; one of these sides requires the cessation of facts. Most past world-view driven conflicts had some symmetry, and would be about alternative means of mediating facts or defining the legitimate ways to create an experience of life. This is pretty new, both in being functionally global and in being so very extreme.

(A lot of traditional worldviews, notably "wealth is virtue", cannot survive too much in the way of facts. They've got a strong interest in guaranteeing a purely experiential political system. Perhaps that's what this is about.)

317:

"...are the UK bookmakers taking bets on whether BoJo gets assassinated?"

A very old George Carlin joke comes to mind. The punchline is "Looks like a pedestrian accident to me, officer."

318:

We don't call it "assassination", we call it "execution". Ask that Stuart chap - he was quite insistent about us having it the wrong way round, but it didn't do him any good.

Moz @ 308: ...and this is why they will never be explained. We finished with explanations quite definitely nearly 400 years ago, and we've gone 300 years since we even had to remind anyone.

319:

@300:

Parliament has already "blocked no deal", twice as I recall, only missing the fact that it takes two to tango.

To actually avoid no-deal, Parliament (& Govt!) must ratify a deal with EU before the deadline.

There is currently only one deal on offer, it contains the back-stop and the back-stop stays.

Parliament could probably bring May's deal back for a vote on its own, but that would require a number of 50%+ votes for a strategy and outcome which can only be summed up by future historians as "accepting defeat in the most humiliating way imaginable."

If parliament instead does another symbolic "no to no-deal" tantrum vote, Boris will just point at the deadline and say "Approve a deal then?" *without* offering May's deal up for a vote again, reasonably pointing out that they nixed it three times already.

The only way Parliament can make themselves relevant and prevent a no-deal exit is to vote through a deal which EU is guaranteed to accept without further negotiation.

In addition to May's Deal, they can probably copy&paste any one of the preexisting EU trade-agreements, provided it does not make a backstop necessary.

Not up on all the details, but I belive what is commonly called "Norway+" is the only one qualifying, and it amounts to "Fully paid up, but non-voting EU-member".

Historians might be marginally less harsh if they did that, depending on how the rioting ends.

@304:

Under the weather or not, you cannot convince me that Lizzie, after 67 years in the job, was not 100% aware that the document she signed would take Parliament out of the equation and ensure that UK leaves on Oct 31 on no-deal terms, barring a parliamentary miracle.

If she did not approve of what Boris asked for, she could have stalled him N different ways, including "being a bit under the weather", giving his opposition time to react.

She did not, she signed it the very moment it landed on her table.

Lizzie and Boris are SO over the Parliament.

320:

Moz @307 is correct. Not sure how I broke the link. This is the specific piece I was linking to:

https://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.com/2019/08/brexit-has-failed-but-brexiters-have.html?m=1

321:

This was a right-wing coup, proper. Most of the public is not even aware it has happened.

322:

Adrian smith @ 306
The main problem is that the s/n ratio is considerably less than 1.
The other problem is Britain's libel laws - & she can't take a fucking hint.

whitroth
BOZO being killed would only generate sympathy
He needs to be incapacitated, without becoming a martyr

Hakan @ 321
Correct
I was very suspicious of those claims, back in 2016, but ...
Also ...the warnings that "It will break the Union!" being ignored by the brexiteers - was ALSO PART OF THE PLAN. ( And I've only just realised this )
England accounts for what - 80% of the money & power in the UK?
Right, cut Scotland loose, allow NI to descend into chaos, you have niw got a permanent-"tory"- majority England, which you can manipulate as you want, certainly for 20 or 30 years. For certain values of "tory" of course.

Note the quote round "tory" - Edward Heath or Harold Macmillan or even Thatcher (probably), would be horrified by this insanity. Note Major & Clarke both joining the "stop it" brigade?

323:

yeah i get that but there are nuggets of signal in there nevertheless, it's like a middle-aged guy trapped in the ego of a fourteen-year-old

324:

On the one hand, a lot of Oregon is *really* wacko-right-wing... On the other, I read that there's a lot of neofascists coming to (or driving in) to Portland.

This is true, including the recent "Proud Boys" fiasco in which the fascists were outnumbered not merely by counter-protesters - that goes without saying - but by people in banana suits. Violent Antifa brawls play to their victim legend; trying to yell while a guy dressed as a banana honks a tuba at them, not so much.

Over and over we see that the loud idiots are a tiny minority, but like many vocal extremists they make news far more than the quieter majority.

325:

Turns out the three days before prorogation aren't just about avoiding a no-confidence vote/general election; they shatter the remaining parliamentary session into little bits, each of which is too short to debate and pass a bill (it takes three readings in the HoC and three in the HoL to pass an Act, and they need to be in the same sitting).

It's also designed to prevent Parliament from passing a law saying "Article 50 is hereby revoked; if the Prime Minister doesn't write to the EC on or before such-a-date saying so, he is committing a criminal offense liable for a punishment of blah".

326:

A further whacky issue to emerge with no-deal Brexit: proposals to send mainland police to Northern Ireland to bolster the local police in event of riots or paramilitary activity.

The idiots at the Home Office are proposing to send Scottish cops rather than English ones, on the grounds that one bunch of celts will be more acceptable to another than cops with English accents.

But. But.

Note for by-standers: in 2011-21, the six police forces of Scotland were merged to form one force, Police Scotland, as a notional cost-saving measure. (Reader: the savings didn't materialize.)

Strathclyde Police, aka Glasgow, was the biggest force, so had the most senior officers with the biggest portfolios of responsibility. So Strathclyde cops ended up running Police Scotland. Strathclyde was predominantly presbyterian/orange and rather puritanical; they went down like a lead balloon in other parts of Scotland due to their intolerance and inflexibility.

So I expect shipping them to Ulster will be like reintroducing the RUC of yore (who were shut down and replaced by the Northern Ireland force for a reason, namely: presbtyerian/orange, intolerant, went down like a lead balloon, etc.)

327:

What definition of 'super-rich' are you using? For the 50 mil plus, at least in the US, the ones I have met are way too politically diverse to form much of a bloc.

They did tend towards a certain privileged view of the eorld. - with relatively little sympathy for people in the lower 50th percentile of capability.

(Probably a result of firing an awful lot of them.) (And also just not having experience of a world in which they were not smarter and harder working than most.)(y'know, child of Mongolian herders, eventually ends up founding half billion startup.)

Since mostly luck seems to separate the upper outcomes, I'd be surprised to find their politics becoming more homogeneous at higher wealth ranges.

Positing an organized, class-based opposition may be useful for communicatiom, but it is also overly optimistic and likely inaccurate. Brexit and Trump are likely emergent idiocy in response to underlying economic trends. (Globalism and automation) That said, people with lack of sympathy towards proles may be more likely to glom onto those idiocies and exploit them. Sadly, they run both parties - which is why one party in the us lies to them and the other thinks that consumption taxes and mandates are the way to combat climate change. (Sounds great until you already can't afford a house and new houses require solar panels. Or, until, that junker you bought with all your savings isn't eligible for registration. Or, maybe, instead of going to the emergency room for care, you're forced to purchase health care to make sure the hospital gets paid...)

328:

P H-K @ 319
NOT EVEN WRONG
Supose Denamrk has a centre-right guvmint, which then has an internal takeover by the , erm , further right. OK?
Their "legitimate" leader then asks Margarethe for a temororay dissolution or suspension of the Storting (?) for a couple of weeks.
How much choice does Margarethe actually have?

Charlie @ 326
OH SHIT
Especially when coupled wit the overnight news of an Orange/Green riot in Glasgow Govan last night?

329:

Wrt. the Queen: Lizzie is 92. She's already off-loaded many of her public appearances onto her heir; she's not gonna retire, but she's almost certainly cognitively impaired at this point in time, even if only mildly so (it's almost universal among over-85s). She's also running on rails: do whatever it takes to preserve the monarchy is her only goal now, and you don't preserve the monarchy by going against either parliament, or government. In other words, don't take sides: just be a good little rubber stamp and nobody can apportion any of the blame to you.

330:

Ray of hope: Herself reminds me that Policing is a devolved issue and before Javid could ship Glaswegian cops to Ulster, he'd have to get Nicola Sturgeon's permission. Which is likely to come in the shape of a declaration along the lines of "over my dead body" if she's got any sense (and she has).

331:

There should be time for that after October 14th, though, unless I have missed something. If Bozo tried to get Parliament prorogued AGAIN, my guess is that it might cause enough MPs to rebel and/or the courts to step in.

Whether #330 will help will depend considerably on whether there are any emergency laws by which the PM or Home Secretary can override such devolution. I agree that the current ruling idiots (and I don't mean just the politicians) are looking horribly as if they are about to make another cockup along the lines of the ones they made in the late 1960s.

332:

… You're referring to the failed Mountbatten coup, right?

333:

#330

Javid?

Priti Patel is Home Secretary.

Is she this stupid and stubborn?

Oh yes, indeedy!

334:

No. I am referring to the way that the UK government turned civil unrest caused and responded to by discrimination and repression into a full-blown civil war, during the period 1968-(mid)1970, by a combination of gross negligence and spinelessness. And that is NOT hindsight - I (and many more-clued-up people) knew at the time what needed to be done, how, and how urgently.

Aside: while reminding myself of the dates, I noticed this in Wikipedia (which I has forgotten):

A later memoir by Harold Evans, former Times and Sunday Times editor, observed that the Times had egged on King's plans for a coup:

Rees-Mogg's Times backed the Conservative Party in every general election, but it periodically expressed yearnings for a coalition of the right-centre. In the late 1960s it encouraged Cecil King's notion of a coup against Harold Wilson's Labour Government in favour of a government of business leaders led by Lord Robens. ...

Any comment would be superfluous.

335:

Any comment would be superfluous.

"History repeats itself; first as tragedy, then as farce."

Karl Marx. (Or was it Engels?)

336:

I'm beginning to think that the only hope is that signaificantly large number of MP's ( & MR Speaker ) simpy refuse to be prorogued & sit in.
Back to 1642 indeed, ecxept that the axe won't be pointing at HM, but BOZO

337:

Let's hope that, this time, we can look back on it in a few years and laugh our heads off.

338:

MP's threaten sit-in ... All it needs is that more than half the house does it ( 326 ) ... could be "fun".
I see that mass protests are alredy starting & the word "coup" is being openly used.

339:

The way I see it - bozo wants no deal. Remember that brexit has long since stopped being a policy and has ended up now as a cult. And to win a general election bozo needs all those brexit party votes. So if he dosen't deliver a rock-hard brexit he'd loose those votes.

All of the promises being made ("we'll give more money to schools!","more money on the nhs!") it is all lies. Just to win those extra few votes. What is more scarry though? Boris or those who seem to believe those lies - even though this is the same party that has spent the last decade cutting via austerity.

Any "talks" he'll get into are more than likely going to be meaningless. Bozo still can't undertstand that you can't just "get rid of the backstop" and that there's no purely technological solution (although from what I hear there's some sort of "list" being drawn up concerning that).

I still wonder if the EU will possibly eject the UK from the EU. After all surely there's only so long the EU can tolerate the UK until it is time to tell the UK to get lost.

Thinking about it all though - given that bozo appears to be reading more and more from the trump playbook what are the chances of him trying to do something wacko-insane? Maybe (for example) revoke scottish independence and shut down its parliament? I know that sounds absurd, but we live in absurd times....

Bozo boris. Just what we wanted - our very own version; a poundland trump. :-(

ljones

ljones

340:

How about the word "traitor"? It's got a nice ring to it, as of whetstone on axe blade.

341:

I've been wondering the same thing, brought on by Brown's claims that the EU was reading/going to remove the deadline.

I don't see any upside to the EU unilaterally removing the deadline given the inability of Parliament to make any meaningful decisions at the moment, and suspect many in the EU will take the view that as bad as Brexit might be for the EU the continuing uncertainty is equally as bad.

Just as US businesses are stopping investment because they can't plan around Trump's random decisions, businesses in the EU (and those foreign companies in the UK expecting access to Europe) can no longer make investment decisions given the unknowns of whether the UK is in or out.

From the EU perspective getting some certainty is likely the better of 2 bad choices.

342:

I have to point out that a bad analogy is like a wet screwdriver.

In difference from UK, Denmark actually have a constitution, and we have it primarily because we had a bonkers king (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_VII_of_Denmark) so the power left to the regent is purely ceremonial in all but one case: If parliament cannot *form* a govenment, the regent gets to roll the dice to move the game forward.

But if we *have* a government, Parliament reigns supreme (which is not always a good thing).

Maggies grandfather got a little close to meddling at one point in the 1930'ies, and it was made clear to him that if he wanted Denmark to become a republic, that was the way to do it.

So no, you scenario is not possible. Our parliament is not advisory, they are the regent.

343:
In addition to May's Deal, they can probably copy&paste any one of the preexisting EU trade-agreements, provided it does not make a backstop necessary.
This is the usual misunderstanding. "May's deal", i.e. the Withdrawal Agreement is the necessary precondition to any negotiated Brexit. Norway+, Brazil^4, Turkey*e^(pi*i), whatever, the UK first needs to ratify the WA, the rest is negotiated during the transition period.


There are 3 ways forward:

1. No deal.

2. Withdraw the Article 50 declaration.

3. Ratify the WA then start negotiating the final relationship.

If the UK "chooses" #1 there is the minor problem that it will need to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU and the first words the EU will say are "I have a piece of paper for you to sign" as they withdraw a dusty copy of the WA from their briefcases.

344:

I'm having trouble with the sheer shock of watching a first-world nation turn into a third-world nation, literally overnight. I've been following this whole thing with a kind of spectator's horror, like watching your favorite team's only quarterback deliberately throw a dozen interceptions* in a row, but it just became overwhelming today, probably because I can no longer imagine a legal way out of this mess. You guys are actually going to do this!

When does the revolution start?


* "Interceptions" are a very bad thing in American-style football.

345:

I do. It would scupper Bozo's Cunning; I am sure that everyone in the EU who is relevant knows that Plan and, given the current UK politics, might well bring him down, which would gladden many of their hearts. Hope springs infernal, and the EU still hopes that someone more rational might replace him, if only because of the consequences of No Deal on Eire.

But I can easily see them giving a delay subject to the UK choosing one of the three options in #343 by the deadline, with no further extension allowed, and could just about see them calling a halt to negotiations on the grounds of the UK's behaviour.

346:

I agree. The absolute cluster-fuck of the late 60’s that lead to years or death, fear and social disruption in NI seems to be sorely in danger of being repeated. There have been precious few Westminster governments in my lifetime that have made any serious effort to understand or create meaningful NI policy, but the last three years seem to have moved the dial from dangerous ignorance to wilful malice.

347:

Supose Denamrk has a centre-right guvmint, which then has an internal takeover by the , erm , further right. OK?
Their "legitimate" leader then asks Margarethe for a temororay dissolution or suspension of the Storting (?) for a couple of weeks.
How much choice does Margarethe actually have?

The Danish constitution does not allow the prime minister or the regent to dissolve the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) temporarily. The prime minister as the representative of the ruler can call for an election, but the old Parliament is not dissolved before the election has been held and a new Parliament has been formed.

There is a reason for this: In the late 19th century, the king appointed a prime minister and dissolved Parliament, so that the prime minister could rule through emergency powers.

348:

For almost of the thinkable future relationships, you are right: The WA would be required.

But some kinds of relationships, particular Norway(+) does not need the WA, because for all *practical* purposes UK would still be a member of EU, only seated at the kids table wearing a bib with the letters "Proud non-EU Member".

It's not fooling anybody in Norway, and it would not fool anybody in UK.

But if Boris is going to play the "All rules have been followed" game, Parliament does have the option to answer alike, and vote to "Leave EU" in a way which is Remain in all aspects but one.

All they have to do is vote to Leave EU on Oct 31st, and continue their relationship uninterrupted under Norway(+) terms from Nov 1st, and mail it to BXL. (The keyword obviously being "uninterrupted".)

EU will sweep the path, roll out the red carpet and spread rose petals, because it would be the best of all possible futures: Keep UK in the union *and* strip them of their vote and veto.

349:

QUESTION
I lost an important part of the plot some while back...
Can someone kindly point out / supply links / give Noddy explanations of:
What is the ACTUAL EU Directive ( or equivalent ) that is getting the ultra-rich fascists in a tither about offshore monies pleae?
Chaper & Verse & as much detail as possible for a non-expert preferred.
Thanks in advance

350:

On the Border Problem:

AFAIK both the Irish and UK government have stated that they will not implement a hard border under any circumstances including no deal. So presumably they both have some sort of border contingency plan for no deal, but the Irish will not want any visibility of their plans because it would weaken their position.

There seem to be UK thoughts about sector-by-sector deals: NI Agriculture to adhere to EU rules, everything else inspected remotely and sporadically?

Anyone have any good sources on this?

351:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32018L0843&from=EN

Which can be summarized as "Nobody gets to own anything whatsoever more than the contents of a reasonable sized wallet without that ownership being a matter of public record".

The EU seems to have really, really lost patience with financial crimes.

You can, if I read this right have yourself removed from the fully public databases if you are at specific risk of being targeted by criminals, but that is the equivalent of having an unlisted number, the tax authorities most certainly will still have the full records.

352:

The EU gave the UK 6 months to sort things out, which the UK has spent 4 of those 6 months:

1) the Conservative Party decided it was time for a new leader, and the litmus test the elderly few who made the decision had was a pure Brexit damn the consequences.

2) the Labour Party leadership huddled around trying to come up with ways to get Corbyn into Downing Street that didn't involve actually publicly committing to anything, with the ultimate goal the he could be the saviour by negotiating a new and glorious Brexit.

3) regular MPs still couldn't decide anything other than the were against a no-deal Brexit, and somewhat promptly decided to agree to go on holiday.

Another extension won't achieve anything from an EU perspective. Yes, you may get Boris forced out, that just gets him out of owning the resulting mess. The new leader, while likely better than Boris, will still want a no-deal Brexit because that's what the elderly Tory faithful want.

The only way this ends better than a no-deal Brexit (or perhaps the existing deal) is if enough of the British public make it clear to their MPs that the current mess is unacceptable and thus force them to grow the spines that most of them seem to have misplaced.

353:
AFAIK both the Irish and UK government have stated that they will not implement a hard border under any circumstances including no deal.
I'll set you the same challenge I've asked everyone who's brought this talking point up with me: find an Irish government member quoted as saying that. No-one's succeeded yet...

(There's any number of quotes that paraphrase to "we really really really don't want to have to," yes, but that's not "we won't.")

354:

You aren't allowing for wishful thinking, and the natural desire of EU leaders to kick Bozo in the goolies. I am not disputing your analysis, except as an indication of how the EU will react (where it might be right, or not).

355:

Re Parliamentary sit-ins:

As I understand it, the Palace of Westminster is something of a fire hazard. Beware of faked Reichstag moments, perpetrated by external actors - I'm sure we can all think of some likely candidates.

356:

Small problem with unilaterally removing the deadline:

"The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

Having that not apply will take a referendum in Ireland. We regularly decline to pass referenda. A vague hope of getting the backstop versus ...everything the Tories and fellow travelers have been getting up to the last few years? Hard sell.

357:

Holy.
Fucking.
SHIT...

It has got to be indicative of something that the UK government has not, as they are so fond of doing, gleefully grabbed the opportunity to use this particular piece of pain-in-the-arse fuckshittery as a stick to beat the EU with and remind us how much better off we'd be without them, but instead has happily invited all the turds to be thrown at itself by causing it to be known as "UK government anti fraud measures" or similar.

And it has got to be a good runner for most spectacularly ill-thought-out piece of shitty mistargeted legislation ever seeing as how its supposed targets just shrug their shoulders and wreck the entire economic and political structure of the country instead, while someone like me who quite legitimately pays no tax because I get something less than half the amount of money you're allowed before you have to gets directly fucked by it. Viz:

"it is essential to lower the existing thresholds for general purpose anonymous prepaid cards and to identify the customer in the case of remote payment transactions where the transaction amount exceeds EUR 50."

I have such a card. It is the only way I can pay for anything other than in person, apart from using postal orders (which I actually prefer to use but the fees are horrific and stupid people don't take them). I pay bills amounting to about a hundred quid a month with it. It has already been crippled by having a two hundred quid a month limit imposed on it which is implemented in such an idiotic way that only spending half that still doesn't prevent it kicking in unpredictably and without reason, this being presented as a UK government initiative.

Over the last few months it has kept whining at me to "verify my phone number" and threatening that "soon" transactions over 30 quid will mean it will ring me up to "check" before they will go through. I have tried contacting its support process to point out that I do not have a fucking phone number and demand assurance that it isn't going to suddenly and irrecoverably crap out on me in the middle of a transaction at some unspecified future date because its dimwitted developers have put NOT NULL on a database field representing a potentially NULL quantity. The only information I have gained thereby is that its support monkeys are too stupid to understand a simple six-word basic English sentence if it has a negative in it (such as "I do not have a phone"), which does not give me confidence, but at the same time nothing has actually happened - it continues to function normally and it continues to whine about its crappy database schema in exactly the same way.

And all this bollocks has been presented as entirely down to the UK government. The whole experience throughout has included absolutely no indication of being anything other than the British government being their usual thoughtless selves concerning people with less money than them plus the luck of it being implemented by an outfit so incompetent at their own basic function that they think an acceptable fix for a bug that stops you putting money on the card is to post a message on their website telling you what to tell the cashier to do and then leave it like that and do fuck all about it for four years and counting.

Nowhere is there the slightest expansion on that blunt "soon". Nowhere does it even hint that it actually means "depending on when/whether we leave the EU". It doesn't even hint at any involvement of the EU in the initiative that would provide the clue to work it out. You're just left to put down the daftness of announcing something's going to happen "soon" which then continues to be "soon" indefinitely to the incompetence you already expect from them.

The point is that the dearth of information is so complete that it looks suspicious now I have the explanation. Simply changing "UK government regulations" to "EU regulations" in their blurb would, if nothing else, relieve their support team of the burden of not answering all the people wondering "how soon is soon" etc. and let them get on with hunting each other's ectoparasites, as well as being more accurate. It's almost as if they have been told don't let the punters guess it's the EU.

358:

Greg Tingey @ 328: FWIW, the Danish word you were searching for is Folketing (the people's 'thing', or, as Icelanders and Old Norsk / Old English speakers would write, þing). The name 'Storting' (from stor=great, plus thing) is used by the country cousins, my dad's folk.

I hereby sentence you to watch the first two series of 'Borgen' (the good ones).

359:

The implementation might well be "ooh, austerity" rather than "the minimum necessary to comply with the EU regulation". If it's austerity, of course a Tory government wants credit for it.

I will point out that compulsory two-factor authentication for online transactions above certain thresholds is happening in Canada in a very ad-hoc way; different banks and different credit card companies are doing it variously. I'm pretty sure there's a large element of selection pressure involved.

360:

identify the customer in the case of remote payment transactions where the transaction amount exceeds EUR 50.
And "terrorist attacks and logistics" are invoked.
This is close to a ban on anonymity from the government for card users. Terrorism my ass (not to belittle terrorism or etc, or tax avoidance); this is mainly so that governments can track and disrupt low-budget legitimate non-violent dissent. Is cash still anonymous in the UK for such transaction sizes? (Writing as an American, fwiw.)

However, anonymous prepaid cards are easy to use in financing terrorist attacks and logistics. It is therefore essential to deny terrorists this means of financing their operations, by further reducing the limits and maximum amounts under which obliged entities are allowed not to apply certain customer due diligence measures provided for by Directive (EU) 2015/849.

361:

MP's threaten sit-in ...

Some old bullshit, though. "a small group of MPs united under the banner 'anything but Corbyn' are threatening to sulk until a no-deal Brexit is achieved". It doesn't make sense even in the terms presented. Again, we have the mule stuck between two piles of shit unable to make any decision because it doesn't like piles of shit. Pick a pile, you stupid mule. No-Deal or Corbyn... quick, before someone takes you to the knacker's yard.

The UK parliament has conclusively ruled out all the available options, the only thing they haven't ruled out (because they can't) is a no-deal Brexit. So that's what they have decided to do. Running round in circles claiming that they don't want to do what they've decided to do is not a display of adult behaviour. Saying that they will do something else just as soon as five impossible things happen is a mark of very stable genius.

Sure, it's theoretically possible that they could resume parliament, reform the constitution so that someone other than the leader of the opposition can propose a no confidence motion, pass a no-confidence motion, force an election, run the election, get a new parliament where their side has a bigger majority (??? to do that lot they need a majority). WTF?

362:

The prepaid cards got tossed in there because terrorists were, in fact, using them. The Paris november 13 attack operation ran on them. "This is why we cant have nice things" in action, I guess. Get a card with your name on it is about all you can do.

However, neither this, nor terrorism in general are the main trust of this. - It is an incredibly broad directive that states that the beneficial owners of, essentially, everything, must be a matter of public record. That destroys every tax evasion scheme there is, because it means you cant hide your money anywhere in the EU, and it also provides for intense scrutiny of money going into and out of places that are not compliant - And what is the point of having millions in a taxhaven if you get arrested if you ever try to spend it? Heck, it is going to do a number on the entire illegal economy.

363:

Oh, hai Iron.

Now this is the bit where all the morality police and so-so get bitten, hard. This is the bit where you read the prior posts, note the T/D/Y stamps and start acting like adults.

MF users and others (and you'd better protect MR CHUCK TINGLE) are basically directly responsible for a social media mob / suicide.

And we warned you about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2MHUJTciRg

There you go.

MF and co are no more morally better than the chans.


Job Done, Mission Complete.


#323

yeah i get that but there are nuggets of signal in there nevertheless, it's like a middle-aged guy trapped in the ego of a fourteen-year-old

That would be indeed sad if this body hadn't died at 14 and we were using it a puppet all these years, wouldn't it?

Irony: the patsy has to sound convincing.

Fuck me are you bad at this.

e have an exciting new opportunity for over ten 13-17 year olds to join the RBWM Police Cadets! 🚨

The new term starts on the 4th September so get in touch with us via Steve Steniford – our recruitment lead at wmtvpvpc@outlook.com to find out more! https://twitter.com/TVP_Maidenhead/status/1161720509320634368


There's three furry police "DOGS" in charge of under-aged young males. Press would have a field day if they weren't so biased. Imagine the DM going after Trans people for teaching kids in libraries!

Oh. Wait.

Wait... does that mean we hate furries? Or think they're pedophiles?

No: it does mean that your grasp of what's actually happening in the world is so narrow to be useless.

~


And they killed another one of us last night and you're all fucking muppets.

364:

Well done Greg, you noticed Govan.

We have to lay it on thick and insulting to make any of you actually look at the moves out there.

T/D/M/Y


Bit before it kicked off we gave you a warning, right?

Remind me about all those phone calls the Met ignored again.

365:

But Triptych.

MF is directly involved with a suicide and hate mob pile on. Directly.

You've the moral weight of trash pandas.


But sure Dave, give us a lecture.


It's a Mirror.

366:

The problem is that both choices are Brexit, which for a remain MP (or party), means neither choice is acceptable.

The ball is really in Labour's court. As long as they try to play both sides and have a Brexit leader it is going to be difficult to find a way out of the mess (the fact that Corbyn wants a Corbyn Brexit and not a no-deal Brexit is an irrelevant distinction).

367:

The Many Named One has racked up their usual bingo-card of excuses:
- "I was pretending to be someone else".
- "It was a joke".
- "Someone else did it first".

They're all pretty poor excuses, but I'm particularly leery of the last one since on this occasion their point of reference was the DUP. And if you're excusing your dubious behaviour by saying "the DUP did it first", you've accelerated well past the amoral event horizon in my personal lexicon of morality.


It's a Mirror.

It's a commentary on the binary cluster-fuck that is NI without end and without recourse.

It's a lot of things.

But, since you're not reading this: imagine typing that when the topic is NI and not GETTING THE AMAZINGLY OBVIOUS INFERENCE THAT THIS IS THEIR PROBLEM.

Are you >40 in NI? Then fuck off.

Are you

But mainly: it's about some [redacted] stuff that we're bored with.


We've lived through more heinous shit per week than you for 10+ years so your Platform of Judgement is pretty fucking hilarious to us.

p.s.


The [redacted] stuff counts. Hello #323 and so on.

You're completely fucked once the Cat gets out of the bag.

And no, you didn't kill the cat.

You. Do. Not. Have. Access. To. The. Realms. We. Do.


And, given your weighted so clever "har har, we know this..." then you're on the list.


Completed Mind Wipe. Memory. Family. All of it.


So, keep digging.


Five-By-Five.

368:

Seriously.


Imagine typing that about the Struggles and not understanding you're typing up a meta-critique of the entire shit fest by accident to condemn someone as juvenile.

Now, that's funny.

369:

Oh, and triptych.

If you don't imagine we timed both of those Events to coincide to remind the more "liberal" readers of their failings and their bias, from the Chans to the Northern Irish bits you'd rather didn't exist.

Then.

Ignore the posts. Black-list them. Put our fingers in your ears. Walk blind and wonder as the fires spread in your neighborhoods.

But it's a meta-meta-commentary on Liberal responses to both of these 'dark places' and morally, you failed both.

Like, 100%.

14 year olds can be sooo annoying when they're right and playing you.


p.s.


1st Sept our kind drop the drinking and the act. There's about five of us left, but we're the ones who [redacted]. Oh, and apparently we accidentally Unionized the entire Lower strata of what you'd call Hell Minions so, hey. They're very cute with their banners and infernal singing.

HK / FR

MIC - KEY - MO - USE

370:

Oh, and apparently we accidentally Unionized the entire Lower strata of what you'd call Hell Minions so, hey. They're very cute with their banners and infernal singing.
[Smiles] These, I want to [see] and salute, somehow.
Playing with "power fingers". So very very crude, but interesting.

371:

My understanding is that the post-No-Deal situation is somewhat worse than you portray. Numerous EU representatives (including Barnier) have already said on the record that their first concerns in any negotiations after a No-Deal exit would be the same as they were when negotiating the WA: dealing with the Irish border (in a manner that allows the Good Friday Agreement to remain in force), settlement of payments (the "divorce bill"), and citizens' rights -- and that other matters would have to wait until these are settled. So the Brexiteers don't get to even start negotiating their Free Trade Agreement until they've agreed to the parts of the Withdrawal Agreement they like the least.

So, so far, that's pulling out a few dusty pages of the WA. But not necessarily all of them! In particular, it might be missing the bits that allow you to keep trading with the EU27 as if still a member (and with other countries on terms negotiated by the EU) while hashing out new arrangements. WTO rules allow for current trading arrangements to continue during this kind of transition period -- but that requires that the arrangements being continued be those in effect at the start of the transition period. So if Parliament ratified the WA while the UK is still an EU member (on, say, next Tuesday), then the UK gets to keep trading as if it was still a member for some period of time. If, however, the UK is no longer an EU member at the time the agreement is ratified, there are no longer any pre-existing trading arrangements to continue, and re-establishing them becomes, legally, a much dicier proposition -- which might be tantamount to a time-limited Norway+ deal, with many of the complications of negotiating a full one.

Upshot: the UK would be stuck with three provisions of the WA that the Tories hate, but might have to forgo its major benefits.

372:

both choices are Brexit

All *nine* choices are Brexit. This is what I mean by saying they've stopped trying to connect with reality and are instead trying to out-Boris Boris. FFS, he has way more experience than they do and he's better known for it. Even if by some miracle those MPs manage to come up with a more palatable fantasy they're going to really struggle to get media coverage even from the anti-no-deal media, because Boris will see what they've done and adjust his fantasy accordingly.

Look, all of those MPs sat in parliament and in best parliamentary fashion were presented with a whole range of options. On every single question "is this option better than no-deal Brexit" the house as a whole said "fuck no", and most individual MPs said that to most of the options. Trying to pretend the questions were actually "do you like this in a purely abstract way not relating to anything else" is nonsense. In every case the relevant comparison was to the status quo... which is no deal. If they want a deal they have to make one.

When you're on record as saying that No Deal is your least hated favourite fish, running round once it's too late saying you don't like No Deal after all is just nonsense. Their whole job is to understand how parliament works, employ advisors and seek advice to make sure they understand things correctly, then make decisions and vote accordingly.

There is nothing any of them can say on this topic right now that should not be prefaced with "I am not fit to be an MP because..."

373:

Pigeon: you know how easy it is to script an interaction on the web?

They don't like to admit this in public, but payment systems are similar because they're all automated and accessible via the internet.

So "small" pre-paid cards owned by people like you without a phone look very like bots. A £200/month limit doesn't sound like much of interest to the money laundering authorities until you multiply it by 1,000 or 1,000,000, at which point that bot army is running on a virtual host somewhere in the cloud and putting through roughly one transaction per second for a total turnover of, oh. uk to a billion quid a year. That's a billion quid that is anonymized and bypasses the tax authorities and could be doing shit like making strategic political donations or buying shares in a company or engaging in money laundering or whatever the hell is undermining our social structures.

It's not about you. It's about giant criminal operations that are trying to look like people like you.

My advice in your situation would be: get a cheap burner GSM phone and a pay-as-you-go SIM. The phone will be £10-20 new, but you don't need new—ten years old will do, as long as it's unlocked. The SIM will be £0.01 to £1; you then register it on-line to buy top-ups using your pre-paid credit card, and register its number for verification with the pre-paid card. After the first month, don't bother topping it up unless you need to make outgoing calls—it'll accept incoming calls even if there's no credit on it, and you can leave it in a desk drawer with the ringer turned off unless you need it. (Some modern GSM phones have standby battery life—able to receive calls—of up to six months; they're designed so a driver can leave one in the glove compartment of their car semi-permanently in case they end up in a ditch in the middle of nowhere and need an emergency device.)

374:

Rick Moen @ 357
I hereby sentence you to watch the first two series of 'Borgen' (the good ones).
OK, what's that then? I assume it's a TV series? If so FORGET IT, I DO NOT HAVE A TV

@ 362 -> 364, 366 -368 Are content free - or is there a tiny bit of signal in there?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Actually, I hate to say it, but a lot of the Brexit disaster can be laid at the door of Corbyn & his followers ... there's one on this blog, who go on & ON & ON about how anyone to the right of Stella is an EVIL FASCIST & we don't trust her either ...
All this screaming about fascism dulls the senses, so that when real, actual fascists ( Like Cummings & Farrago ) show up, no-one notices until it's probably too late - me included.
"The boy who cried "WOLF!" one time too many ...
Oh shit.

No-one has mentioned ( or have they? ) that a n other effect of a hard brexit will be instant inflation, because ... the £ will continue to sink against the $ .... And what is priced in U$dollars? Fuel, that's what - expect fuel to go to £1.60 - £2 a litre ... which will then knock-on to everything else, how nice.

375:
After the first month, don't bother topping it up unless you need to make outgoing calls—it'll accept incoming calls even if there's no credit on it, and you can leave it in a desk drawer with the ringer turned off unless you need it.

I don't believe this is generally true any more.

(At least I have seen my mum's top-up phone stop working for incoming calls after it wasn't topped up for a quarter. Vodaphone I think… but it was a year or two back so I may be misremembering.)

376:

"Actually, I hate to say it, but a lot of the Brexit disaster can be laid at the door of Corbyn & his followers ..."

I never knew that you were into extreme masochism! Posting to this blog must be agony for you.

377:

I am not sure that it ever was. I had accounts cancelled because I hadn't made a call for months, which is morally nothing short of theft.

378:

Thank you for the suggestions, but see 374 - are you saying that it is possible to buy a SIM and then have it remain active indefinitely in receive-only mode without having to keep putting money on it? Because I always thought they conked out after a month or two if you did that.

[Not a nitpick because the mechanism is relevant: it's not the £200/month limit that has raised my ire - that is imposed because they can't be arsed to make use of their privilege to abuse the electoral register and prefer to hassle me to send them documents I don't have instead; it's not a technology-related problem, and my main complaint is the shitty way it's implemented that makes it effectively about half the supposed limit. It's the proposal to start cabbaging every individual outgoing payment over 50 euros (per that EU legislation link; the card outfit renders it as "30 quid") using the mobile phone network which is raising my ire.]

Thing is, what you say tends more to reinforce my point about it being an ill-thought-out regulation that is better at hitting the wrong targets than the ones it's supposed to hit. If what you say about SIMs remaining active indefinitely in receive-only mode is true, then I could script something to talk to a USB GSM stick and respond automatically to these 2FA requests, such that I could just set it up and forget about it, with ease comparable to scripting a web interaction. (If it's SMS-based, probably with greater ease, as SMS on a USB GSM stick is all just good old AT commands...)

So if I was up to something dodgy I could use the same method and max out the USB bus with GSM sticks, one stick and one SIM for each dodgy card. GSM sticks cost a lot less than 50 euros, so their purchase is unaffected by these regulations, and doesn't make any significant difference to the profits. I could set the thing up in an empty house and just let it run until it got busted; it uses a lot less juice than a bunch of lights and it doesn't smell of weed, so it would probably last quite a long time.

I dare say this might need some refinements for actual use, but it works fine as a thought experiment to show that a measure intended to defeat organised crime is completely useless even against an unorganised individual basement criminal who is willing to spend a bit of time plugging shit together.

If I was organised crime then I would have enough resources to render it entirely nugatory. I don't know how they work and I presume they are expensive or dodgy or both, but I do know there are means available for creating a "virtual" mobile phone and SIM card that has no physical existence but can still interact completely normally with the mobile phone network. There are also of course things like botnets running on compromised real mobile phones. It makes it a bit more of a fiddle to set up but the boss just issues the orders to the minions and the extra cost involved is as near zero compared to the profits as makes no difference.

It's basically a completely classical case of technofuckery by politicians who think that since technology has brought the problem to light there must be a one-line magic technological fix for it. Same as porn blocks and all the other stuff that doesn't work: automated policing never does. If they're serious about solving the problem then they need to actually pay people to put the hours in and forget technofantasies about doing it on the cheap.

379:

Yes, they do. If the phone makes no calls (and possibly if the credit balance goes to zero) for an extended period, you get a text message warning you that it will be withdrawn if you don't use it. Partly this is to make you keep giving them money, but the main reason will be to prevent the rapid exhaustion of the available number pool.

I make enough calls to keep it going, and get incoming calls from work (on-call support) and the occasional credit card alert about bank holidays, etc.

You can't keep a prepaid cellphone on the shelf indefinitely, some usage is required to keep the service alive. (Though any phone (in the UK, at least) is required to be able to dial the emergency services, even if locked/out of contract/etc.)

380:

"All this screaming about fascism dulls the senses, so that when real, actual fascists ( Like Cummings & Farrago ) show up, no-one notices until it's probably too late - me included."

I remember thinking similarly concerning Hollywood, in a past discussion. With it being so easy and so common to use Nazis, or people with German accents who look like Nazis, as characters who everyone immediately understands are the bad guys and who can be as pointlessly evil as you like without any need to rationalise what the actual point of it is, then when real actual Nazis show up people just laugh at them and look round to see if they can spot Bruce Willis coming to get them in a vest.

381:

The next logical iteration of these regulations is that anon online payments just get banned, full stop.
No transactions without an identity attached. The criminal syndicates might then try large scale identity theft, but with central registers, the people whos identities they steal are going to darn well sound the alarm when their online banking service shows all this activity they did not originate.

382:

On a different aspect of the current clusterfuck, I notice that the Scottish Conservatives are due to elect a new leader in mid-October, and the Scotsman is mentioning that the party is increasingly willing to consider becoming independent of the English Conservatives. While I think that it is very unlikely, it is just possible that such a move might be announced in time to weaken Bozo's position.

To people north of the border, how likely does that sound?

383:

Until October 31st, whether they realize it or not, they have 4 options:

1) accept whatever Boris decides

2) force a new referendum, with EU giving a delay for this to happen

3) force an election, again with EU delay (unlikely to achieve anything given either Boris gets a majority or a return to the current mess are most likely options. On positive side it might force Labour to finally accept they need to get rid of Corbyn given likely disastrous Labour election result).

4) no-deal Brexit by default of not choosing one of above.

Votes are unpredictable, but a clear referendum offers the possibility of cancelling Brexit.

384:

You can't keep a prepaid cellphone on the shelf indefinitely, some usage is required to keep the service alive.

That might be so in the UK; I use a prepaid phone in the US and they're happy to keep taking my money indefinitely. (Money gets me both minutes and days; at one point I had over 2000 unused minutes.) The point about a finite pool of numbers is correct, as I found out a few years back when I accidentally let my phone expire. They reassigned my old phone number within 48 hours and I was stuck with a different one. My vast credit of minutes disappeared too.

385:

382:

I think there's another option - vote for the existing Withdrawal Agreement. It can't be brought back during this session but one interesting impact of Parliament being prorogued is that the WA could be voted on again once the new session begins. I appreciate it's been rejected three times but it's certainly possible that it might look more appealling with No Deal two weeks away.

386:

I'm not sure but I must have met a Scottish Conservative in my time on this here mudball but I couldn't really say. They're a rare beast, like the upland clockwise haggis or Nessie, perhaps. Sometimes for Government purposes they retool an English Tory to deal with Scottish affairs since there aren't any at Westminster.

Politically Scottish right-wingers can see the fucking mess the English right-wingers are making and aren't in the same sort of echo chamber so they're more willing to mutter about showing clear water between them and their "colleagues". However, they're Tories so they will unite in lockstep (oops, nearly typed "goosestep" there) when push comes to shove because, well, they're Tories, Unionist is in their name.

387:

The Scottish Unionist party only amalgamated with the Conservative and Unionist Party in England and Wales in 1965. Given that currently the UK Conservative Party is willing to give up Scotland as the price of Brexit (according to polling) the de-amalgamation of the Scottish Unionists is quite possible.

388:

That's where it's going. It's not unlikely we'll see Paypal delenda est at about the same time.

If governments want to survive, they have to be able to compel corporates to pay taxes. This is going to look a lot like the introduction of general public identities -- the whole "you need a surname" thing! -- did.

389:

Michael Cain @ 301:

"They'd basically have three whole working days to organize the confidence vote, which isn't a lot..."

The party leaders couldn't start making phone calls and meeting for lunch this week? Canvasing their MPs and negotiating terms? So they return on Sep 3 knowing exactly what they're going to do?

(I am seriously ignorant of the actual workings of Parliament.)

I get the impression the British Parliament operates only slightly more efficiently than the U.S. Congress. There's plenty of ways for one or two absolute assholes (arseholes) to gum up the works so nothing can get done. And since, in this case, they only have to keep things fucked up for three days ...

390:

Poul-Henning Kamp @ 319: Under the weather or not, you cannot convince me that Lizzie, after 67 years in the job, was not 100% aware that the document she signed would take Parliament out of the equation and ensure that UK leaves on Oct 31 on no-deal terms, barring a parliamentary miracle.

If she did not approve of what Boris asked for, she could have stalled him N different ways, including "being a bit under the weather", giving his opposition time to react.

She did not, she signed it the very moment it landed on her table.

Lizzie and Boris are SO over the Parliament.

The question then becomes, "What does the Queen expect to gain by allowing BoZo to overthrow the government in this way?" How does the royal family expect to benefit from a No-Deal Brexit?

391:

whitroth @ 311: Damnit, why Marxist-Lesbians? Couldn't it be Marxist-bisexuals?

... or just "straight" Marxists!

392:

Greg Tingey @ 322: whitroth
BOZO being killed would only generate sympathy
He needs to be incapacitated, without becoming a martyr

So, maybe a drive-by colostomy?

393:

I suspect the advice she received was something like "Do what Bad Hair Man asks to spare the nation an even worse crisis.", I believe not making the situation even worse is what the royal family hoped to gain. I think everything else looked even worse.

394:

Erwin @ 327: What definition of 'super-rich' are you using? For the 50 mil plus, at least in the US, the ones I have met are way too politically diverse to form much of a bloc.

They did tend towards a certain privileged view of the eorld. - with relatively little sympathy for people in the lower 50th percentile of capability.

How do you determine someone's "percentile of capability" in a world where some people are never allowed the opportunity to get ahead & some are never allowed to fail no matter how incompetent they actually are.

I generally define "super-rich" as those in the 99.0% Net Worth bracket (and above). Being in the top 1% (and above) of incomes may qualify you as "super-rich", but having greater assets (net worth) than 98% of the population definitely does.

The "super-rich" may be politically diverse on many things, but ...

when it comes to their "wealth" and how to keep those in the lower 99% from getting hold of any of it, they speak with many voices, but there's only one message.

I got mine, so fuck the rest of you guys!

Admittedly, there are some differences of opinion among the "super-rich" about how best to keep the rabble down, but there's no difference of opinion among them about hanging on to everything they've accumulated; whether it be by hook or by crook - entrepreneurial accomplishment or "born on third base and going through life thinking they hit a triple". There ain't no difference.

395:

Charlie Stross @ 335:

"Any comment would be superfluous."
"History repeats itself; first as tragedy, then as farce."

Karl Marx. (Or was it Engels?)

I always thought that was Oscar Wilde (although, I guess it could have been Groucho Marx).

396:

Perhaps simply staying out of the crossfire?

Despite all the revelations of the last month about how badly the government (or at least the non-elected part of the government)expects things to be after a no-deal Brexit the polling numbers of Brexit aren't changing.

Worse, when doing a Google search to find poll numbers a top result is a story today on The Sun website giving a poll result that has Boris getting a 28 seat majority if an election held (and 84 seat if the Brexit Party disappeared). Usual caveats about the unreliability about polls, particularly if done on behalf of certain parties, but...

397:

mdive @ 395
I remember the (up-to-now) worst PM of the post-war years ... Anthony Eden
What a screw-up.
But HE got the blame, his party didn't.
THIS time around both will gwt the blame, because they enthusiastically supported BOZO throughout, in spite of his record ....
He looks set to be the worst we've EVER had - yes, worse than Lord North
Oh how I WISH Labour had a competent leader ... but at this stage, much too late now, of course, even COrbyn is better than Brexit, except of course Corbyn WANTS Brexit & he wants it to be a tory disaster.
And fuck the country, just like BOZO in fact.

398:

Just an in-between comment on the Irish part of this thread - loads of friends of mine in Dublin have suddenly discovered a love of the Irish language that they didn't have before this.

Back when I first started living in Dublin (+/- 1995), all my science fiction fan friends laughed at me because I wanted to learn Gaeilge. They mostly had had to suffer learning enough to pass in school, since if they didn't manage that, they didn't get any of their qualifications, no matter how good their other grades were.

This was converted in pretty short order during these past 12 months by the attitude displayed in London. Now, they're all pounding Duolingo to drill vocabulary, and they're more than happy to give me ad hoc lessons to improve my own (very basic) command of the language.

I was also hearing a LOT more spoken Gaeilge on the street in Dublin, whereas previously, one had to really look for it, and if one wasn't raised in a family where it was specifically encouraged, speaking Gaelge had been regarded as a bit... twee?

Not anymore, though.

399:

p>Greg Tingey @ 373:


"Rick Moen @ 357
I hereby sentence you to watch the first two series of 'Borgen' (the good ones)."

OK, what's that then? I assume it's a TV series? If so FORGET IT, I DO NOT HAVE A TV

That don't mean nothing. If there is a good program on TV, there are many ways to watch that program that do not require a TV. I haven't had a TV since 1996, and I've still managed to watch every episode of Doctor Who, including all of "Series 11" with Jodie Whittaker, whose costume is almost as garish as was Colin Baker's.

Technically, I do have a TV[1], although, I can't use it to watch TV (not hooked up to cable and thanks to terrain, I don't have line of sight to a single transmitter, so there's no over the air broadcasts available) ... it was due to a marketing quirk that when I need a replacement monitor, there was a 32" LCD TV that would work as a 1080p computer monitor on sale for about a hundred dollars less than the 32" LCD 1080p Computer Monitor I wanted for my PhotoShop computer.

If there's a TV program that I think is worth watching, I find a way to watch it on this general use, "arguing with idiots on the internet" computer.

[1] which is going the way of the Dodo just as soon as I get a video card for the PhotoShop computer that's capable of supporting 4K.

I already have the 4K monitor that's going to replace it, but the video card has a max resolution of just under 2K ... the point being, I don't really have a TV, but that doesn't prevent me from watching TV if there's anything worth watching.

I recognize however that I am in the U.S.A. where the government doesn't require you to have a license to watch TV, so YMMV.

400:

@393

just my 2 cents

"Who exactly are the 1 percent worldwide?

Ranking by Income:

According to the Global Rich List, a website that brings awareness to worldwide income disparities, an income of $32,400 a year will allow you to make the cut.

Ranking by Wealth

To reach the top 1 percent worldwide in terms of wealth – not just income but all you own – you’d have to possess $770,000 in net worth, which includes everything from the equity in your home to the value of your investments."

(source https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp)

401:

I think the queen simply wants this madness to stop by October 31st.

The brexit referendum was three years ago, and that is a long time for a country to be politically paralyzed.

There are about a handful of possible outcomes, from cancelling the art50 notice over Mays Deal to no deal, and even with the forced holiday, Parliament can comfortably reach every single one of those outcomes.

What she took away, was the option of diddling around, hoping for somebody to die and the by-election to move the needle, and the option of rolling the dice with a no-confidence and a general election.

Now Oct31 is the firm deadline and Corbyn&Co either get their asses in gear or they get No Deal.

I suspect the calculus is that if you got another extension from EU to hold a general election, the most probable result is the return of a hyper-partisan parliament which could still not find a majority for a decision.

The second most probable result is that a majority of raving loonies in new parliament would force through No Deal.

In other words: A G-E would be a waste of time in the two most probably outcomes.

A very polarized parliament is a really bad starting point for handling a major political disaster.

Doing the G-E after the decision is final, whatever the decision will be, disadvantages all the "I will force through ___" single-talking-point candidates, and favour those candidates which can give usable answers to questions about how to implement the decision and fix the problems.

402:

The Monarch has two options; one is to accept constitutional tradition (sovereignty of Parliament, figurehead role, etc.) and the other is to assert divine right. That's it. It's a strict binary state.

Now, constitutional tradition only works if everybody agrees on what they're doing; it's blindingly obvious that the Brexit tendency/faction/conspiracy DOES NOT agree that the modern UK is a good thing, inside the context and systems of which they are willing to accept losing votes and not getting their own way. They don't want that; they want to get whatever they want at arbitrary cost. You're looking at a failure of legitimacy, not a failure of political process. It's been a deliberate goal for a generation.

May hauled the ghost of Great Harry out of the dark; Divine Right is a real thing in UK law for the first time in centuries. (Since 1688, I think, but by no means knowledgeable, never mind expert.) Before that, it'd be highly questionable that the Divine Right was there in practice rather than as an abstract moment of history from which present law derived over certain centuries by a number of constitutional steps.

So the option is not "refuse to let the PM prorogue"; that doesn't do anything useful. (It might get ignored, it might get the monarchy abolished, who knows.) The only meaningful option is "we are most greatly displeased" and going full on Divine Right of Kings with half the government dragged to the Tower, tumbrils, a whole list of direct rule orders-in-council. (Presuming enough of the Army goes along with it.)

The EU absolutely will not accept a divine-right monarch revoking Article 50. Revoking Article 50 is the (nearly only) important thing. Everything else is just arguing about where the bullet wounds go in the figurative body of the state.

It would take a lot of executions to sway the near-certain "brexit at any cost" election results, because the xenophobia, racism, and ingrained exceptionalism are very real and the time frame to fix the stuff that sustained a political ability to tolerate not being able to expunge Johnny Foreigner is about ten years. (This is the stuff that Tory austerity has dismantled because they think it's immoral to help the poor.) Even if the direct decrees send the SAS to bring back the severed heads of tax exiles and you get a nakedly socialist funding formula for the National Health, it still takes about that long and a lot of that is still the accumulation of mortality. So it doesn't fix anything. It takes a monumental risk with the legitimacy of the monarchy to even say the things that would be necessary to find out if it's possible to ask the Army if they'd do it.

If there were a strong democratic leader able to win an election after the monarchy said "right, this is a novel form of treason, with which Our Laws have not yet come to grips" and off-with-their-heads-ed the Brexit conspiracy, sure. With a younger monarch, that could conceivably work. In the present, no such leader exists; there is no acknowledgement (outside of Scotland) that the thing going on is not a political disagreement, but a collapse of legitimacy and civil order.

Y'all don't need a political solution; you need a successor state.

And, you know, the monarchy is not going to raze Eton to the ground figuratively or literally. It more or less can't, and Elizabeth the Old has spent a long lifetime serving the thing that isn't there anymore. Expecting someone over ninety to get all clever and inventive about creating a successor state is immensely futile.

403:

I suspect you may be right, to a certain extent forcing the issue was part of the calculation on what to do.


To be clear I agree with many that I think Brexit, particularly no-deal Brexit, will be very bad for the UK (and given that is something of a generality, more specifically I suspect it will be very bad for a great many of the humans who live in the UK, and sadly may even have significant health impacts).

But looking beyond that, there is no obvious solution to the problem as long as the country remains split almost evenly in two. If the poll I mentioned above is accurate then it is going to give a bunch of Conservative backbenchers pause in any thoughts of trying to stop Brexit if it looks like they can get re-elected by remaining loyal to Boris.

But the bigger problem is that even if you do get Brexit stopped, there is nothing stopping the next government from restarting it (or more accurately given current attitudes, just giving notice and saying we are leaving no-deal).

The inherent problem, which I would have to guess most European leaders are aware of, is that no matter what Parliament does or doesn't do Nigel Farage and his followers aren't going to disperse into the night if they somehow lose in the next 2 months. Instead the issue will continue to dominate British politics one way or another for the next decade.

Thus I suspect, while they will never say it publicly, most European leaders at this point also view Oct 31 as a way to get rid of the madness.

404:

One presumes that Ruth Davison quietly polled her colleagues on this and either didn't get enough interest or declined to pursue it for her own reasons.

405:

Davison ran against the idea in the 2011 leadership contest, making a change in position difficult (at least in theory for a politician).

406:

Sorry, but that is simply not the way politics works.

If anything it is almost _never_ binary, as will be patently obvious if you look at the result of the "binary" Brexit referendum.

In politics precise timing is often the decisive factor and she did not have to sign it the moment it landed on her table in her vacation, she could have sat on it until monday morning if she wanted to.

Would that have changed anything ?

Probably not with the split & dysfunctional opposition you have right now, but it would have indicated that she was not too eager to do let Boris get away with it.

Implicit in your speculation is also that she would be pushing for something other than No Deal, and I see no evidence of that.

I frankly don't think she really cares, in a "The country has survived worse" kind of detached way.

But I think she wants an end to the uncertainty and political paralysis, which, if you think about it, is precisely what you would want a political back-stop to care about.

We don't know what communication Boris and the Queen had beforehand, he may have asked for something different, and this was what she were willing to give him or he may not have asked for anything, and *she* suggested this, in order to prevent Parliament from dragging this out any further.

Did you really think he just marched in, slammed this on the table saying "Sign!" ?

That's not how politics work.

And if you think about it, she did not take away Parliaments influence, they can still vote through everything from Remain to No Deal if they get their act together.

All Boris really got from the queen was job security until October 31st, he did not get No Deal on Oct 31st.

407:

I had accounts cancelled because I hadn't made a call for months, which is morally nothing short of theft.

In Australia the ACCC was less circumspect than you are and offered to get an opinion from the courts. As a result I got a refund from Vodafone for money that had "expired" and they now keep your SIM active for a year I think. Since you can buy prepaid plans that give you a year to use the credit I don't track the details, I just buy another $10 credit when I get the SMS that says they're about to deactivate the SIM (they give you 14 days and then 5 days notice).

408:

Yeah, we had to go low tek, bit brutalist but the other outcomes were worse. You might not think they have morality, but they do. Just a bit rougher. Had lots of accounts poked and general screaming about it (lots of 'is this really you?' 'send confirmation email' etc, it's usual when poking this level).

Upshot: a really nice little community are having their emotional support ripped apart as an off-shoot of an old Minerva setup being run rotten. We'll check with ATHENA to see if she's happy.

She's not.


@ 362 -> 364, 366 -368 Are content free - or is there a tiny bit of signal in there?

Depends on how interested you are in online drama, politics and Culture Wars[tm] stuff.

You're not, so there's not.

We're not, but we like them, thus the effort in forecasting.

If you are, there's loads, but it was mainly a heads up to certain types that a Storm was Coming and to batten down and so on. Nods to Trash Panda - No Gods, No Masters. Lots of furs being hunted etc.

Anyhow: upshot is that it's not GG2.0, it's gonna be tweaked into a serious discussion. In which certain Disney owned agencies might discover some things. We'll see.

~

Speaking of which, we're having a hurricane discussion.

Miami or not? Unlike last year, there's not so much good will willing to be spent.

Miami full hit, Cat 5 then trawl upwards with an unusually strong reinforcement?


That would be... unlucky.

409:

First images out of the Bahamas after Dorian aren't looking good.

410:

Miami full hit, Cat 5 then trawl upwards with an unusually strong reinforcement?

Most recent forecast track says hammer the NW Bahamas for another 24 hours, then sharp right turn. Runs along the coast but offshore, no US landfall. Miami has a tropical storm watch, but not warning, and may just get some gusty wind and a bunch of rain.

411:

I frankly don't think she really cares, in a "The country has survived worse" kind of detached way.

Oh, I think she cares a lot.

I remember when George W's was president, and was pushing a strongly anti-globalist agenda, attempting to dismantle or undermine every international agency they could. At his state dinner with the Queen, she gave an hour-long about how marvellous the post-WW2 world order was, and how important it was that international institutions had created peace and prosperity.


She likes international co-operation. A lot. Her formative years involved the Blitz, serious threat of invasion, and planning for a realistic risk of nuclear attack on London.

I think she really likes the EU. And the Commonwealth. And the World Bank, and the UN, and the IMF, and etc. For very old-fashioned reasons regards how right now we live in longest period since the Roman Empire that no army has crossed the Rhine with fire and the sword.

Whether she supports or opposes Brexit I wouldn't have the foggiest. But I'm sure that she likes the EU, and that she detests the current Brexit uncertainty.

412:

That's not what the current stuff says.

Europe in particular says west splat.

You're looking at aggregate probabilities.

https://www.reddit.com/r/TropicalWeather/

Has a remarkably good community on this.


But.

Here's a tip: grep last years stuff on this, including the incredibly lucky one that missed Key West and so on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49m1ro-Lnj0


You're missing that we do Causal Weapons.


And... you're running out of good will.

1935, Labour Day.

*shrug*


Thoughts and Prayers.

414:

Or this

Most recent dropsonde in #Dorian's eye has a "V" signature that indicates sinking air almost all the way to the ocean surface. This is an extreme signature, and very rare.

The pressure when adjusted for surface wind is about 913mb.

https://twitter.com/TropicalTidbits/status/1168182385340538880


And that's before your 24 hr stop-gap.


Feeling Lucky?

Thoughts and Prayers.

415:

1) accept whatever Boris decides
2) force a new referendum
3) force an election
4) no-deal Brexit

I'm guessing that 1 and 4 are the same thing, and that 3 is also the same thing since there's no reason for the EU to expect another election to produce a different result (even if they dig into the details there aren't enough seriously vulnerable MPs in either no-deal or remain camps).

As I said, if there's such a clear majority of MPs that they can force through a new election they can also force through the deal (the only deal, May's deal, whatever you want to call it). One suspects that Boris, faced with sufficient level of threat from a solid majority of parliament, would cave. But that solid majority doesn't exist and has not existed for years.

Instead we have various fantasy lines that all start from the same premise: I am right, I do not need to change, all I have to do is speak slowly enough and loudly enough and those stupid other people will understand me and do what I tell them to do.

Think of it as iterated prisoners dilemma where we are at round 100 and every single player has developed a long history of always-defect. You can't resolve that quickly if you can resolve it at all, unless you get an outside authority. But we have no reason at all to expect her to intervene, or to be successful if she tried. So we're left with a bunch of "keep doing the same thing and hope it works" people all yelling at each other.

416:

Miami full hit, Cat 5 then trawl upwards with an unusually strong reinforcement?
The Dorian predictions so far have generated a lot of fear on the SE US coast. There was a cycle or two where Mar-a-Lago was at the center of the aggregate prediction cone, and that grabbed DJT's attention. (One model still has it hitting Mar-a-Lago.) The subsequent few aggregate forecasts had it hitting north of Mar-a-Lago and chewing up the (DJT voter) north coast of FL. But a Cat 4/5 is a serious engine of destruction and death. I've been in a little F1 tornado, it being east coast US just a bunch of trees falling down for 10-20 very extended seconds. The Bahamas are hurting.
[You] hinted back then about one way hurricanes could be controlled. Reading with reverse-engineering mind, one reading (among a few) was something like controlled nucleation event rates ("random processes"), low latency sensory apparatus, and some even more arcane etc. I still say precision guided CMEs are HOP stunt engineering. :-)
Also, in the same spirit I'll note that forecast runs can be manipulated with input tweeks (which can be real sensor readings, mixing things up further).

Most recent dropsonde in #Dorian's eye has a "V" signature that indicates sinking air almost all the way to the ocean surface. This is an extreme signature, and very rare.
That's ... interesting. I am intrigued.
Thoughts and Prayers.
VP Pence does not suggest much thought; mostly prayers.
(You might have been ref-ing that or something similar actually. Credit to who I forget who TBH.)

417:

So, in a broadcast interview today, Gove explicitly and repeatedly refused to say that the government would follow laws passed by Parliament that they didn't like.

From over here in Case Nightmare Orange, I'm wondering if that doesn't change Lizzie's calculus a bit. It's one thing to fill a role as a constitutional monarch, acting as the government directs in accordance with law and tradition. It's another to be complicit in the acts of a government which is consciously and deliberately throwing law and tradition to the wind -- all the more so if the government's object in doing this is pursuit of a reckless policy that's likely to impoverish a lot of the country and leave them searching for scapegoats. By the time that situation winds down, for the monarch to have performed as directed may not look like much of a defense -- for her or for the monarchy.

It's possible that this will come to a head very quickly. The latest news that I'm reading is that the Tory politburo is threatening delisting for any party MP that votes to take control of Tuesday's order paper away from the government -- and more than one has publicly said on Twitter that they'll do it anyway. That could easily spiral into an election -- and the government's preannounced plan for circumstances requiring that is for Boris to schedule the election after Brexit day, continue to occupy No. 10 until, and continue his current policy toward the EU even if it results in No Deal. Which would be a deviation from prior norms severe enough that a monarch who put an end to it by dismissing him could arguably be viewed as restoring constitutional order.

Which isn't to say she'd do it. But if there are ever circumstances where it might make sense for her to act on her own, it would be something like this.

418:

If the long range models of Dorian's course turn out to be accurate, it looks like the remnants of that storm ("Dorian Gray???") hit the UK, especially Scotland and Ireland, around September 11 or September 12.

Something else to look forward to.

419:

In completely unrelated news Toby has a solution to the "real men don't like reusable shopping bags" survey that went round a week ago: steel manbags with webbing to hold military-style accessory pouches (cartoon)
:
https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/the-side-eye/01-09-2019/the-side-eye-whos-the-man/

420:

But if there are ever circumstances where it might make sense for her to act on her own, it would be something like this.

Liz' first and foremost interest is in the Crown and its existence as a part of the British constitution into the future. Fucking with Parliament and the Government is the simplest fastest way to end the Monarchy there is so she's not going to do anything out of the blue, she's going to sit there.

However if the Leader of the Opposition (no other minnows need apply) was to turn up at her door with a credible majority list of MPs who have agreed to accept him as the Prime Minister, providing confidence and supply then that would be another matter. A vote of no confidence is a Parliamentary affair that requires Parliament to be in session and it's one reason Boris has prorogued Parliament, to cut down on the time to work that particular ref.

Bad news for you, Greg -- only baby-eating Jeremy Corbyn can bring forward a vote of no confidence in the House, as elected Leader of he Opposition. Pissing him off by trying to bypass and replace him in this fantasy Government of Tory Right-winger National Unity that's been floated by assorted not-Socialists is not helpful but the Press barons want it that way because, Socialist eeeeuw.

421:

one and four is not the same thing.

She has specifically not given Boris NoDeal on a platter, but she has really motivated Parliament to get their shit together.

As for Gove's coment:

If Parliament were to pass another "We don't want No Deal" resolution without passing the necessary resolutions for what they actually do want, there would be nothing the Government could do with it except say "noted."

Parliament will have to pass something actionable ("Ask for extension", "Cancel A50 notice" etc.)

422:

For those following developments in NI, dissident republican group Saoradh (already discussed in this thread) have issued an official statement to the effect that they are planning a new campaign of violence to capitalise on the disruption of Brexit.

*slow fucking clap, Brexiters*

423:

“Dorian Grey”

Only if there is a painting of a hurricane in and attic somewhere, looking pretty shabby.

424:

PHK @ 400
CORRECTION
"I think the queen simply wants this madness to stop" - wouldbe correct.
To those with the eyes to see she must hate this nonsense ......
Now Oct31 is the firm deadline and Corbyn&Co either get their asses in gear And that's the problem isn't it?
Almost everybody EXCEPT Corbyn have now, just about got themseleves into gear, but he is still dithering - he's just so utterly incompetent.

Graydon @ 401
NO IT IS NOT a "strict binary state"
The monarch has a stated Constitutional Duty to "Advise & to Warn" - it's obvious that BOZO, beong him, has ignored all the advice & warnings ... now what ... rembering, as Charlie says, she is 92.

Icehawk @ 410
SPOT ON
There's a photograph of her at a state opening & address to Parliament, quite recently, where she's weaing a hat that is almost-but-not-quite the EU flag!
Ah yes ... THERE YOU GO - a selection of the 2017 photos.
But, if BOZO, or anyone is determined to push something through, against all the advice & warnings, then what?

cdodgson@416
So, in a broadcast interview today, Gove explicitly and repeatedly refused to say that the government would follow laws passed by Parliament that they didn't like.
THIS. This is autocracy & absolutism & a coup - & plainly planned in advance

Ah yes ..
Nojay @ 419
Actually, idiot, it would almost be better if JC was a baby-eater.
I have already come to the conclusion that we can survive a Corbyn premiership PROVIDED we are inside the EU ... but it took a long time, because:
!. He is utterly incompetent
2. He hasn't had a new idea since 1973 ( If not 1934 )
3. As a long-time permanent rebel, the way he treats his own rebels is a disgrace
4. Like BOZO he is a traitor - just not as bad as BOZO

YOU STILL DON'T GET IT DO YOU?
Just because I'm to the right of Corbyn & to the left of (now) about 99% of the tory party, doesn't mean I'm a fascist - stop making enemies, - first move, which you seem determined not to make ... sigh.

425:

Why am I not surprised? :-( Let us just hope that the current Chief Constable has the spine to tell the Westminster idiots to stay the fuck out of it, and threaten to resign and go public if not. No, I have no idea if he (she?) is competent, but I am damn certain the others aren't.

426:

The most likely reason for her to dismiss Bozo is a Humble Address requesting just such an action; she would then be supporting Parliament against the Executive.

Another possibility would be Bozo saying that he is planning to ignore a binding order from Parliament, but my guess is that he would NOT say that - just do it. Whereupon we add a constitutional clusterfuck to our political one.

A third (less likely one) is a vote of no confidence too late to get Bozo out before the 31st. That would also enhance our current clusterfuck, but I doubt that she would act without a request from Parliament.

There were several possible reasons other than the one claimed above to have signed the prorogation promptly. One was to give Bozo enough rope to hang himself, and another was to give his opponents maximum time to prepare. We simply don't know, but favouring a hard Brexit is not a likely one.

427:

I'm sorry, but I have to defend Gove a little bit here:

If Parliament enacts another "We do not want No Deal Brexit" resolution without agreeing what they want instead, there is nothing the Government can do with it, except "take notice".

Given what Parliament has done until now, that is absolutely a fair point for Gove to make.

And yes, Corbyn is not the ideal leader of the opposition to have in this situation, but he is the one you got and either you make him work or you get No Deal Brexit on Oct 31.

428:

EC @ 425
The most likely reason for her to dismiss Bozo is a Humble Address requesting just such an action; she would then be supporting Parliament against the Executive.
GOT IT
100% legal & in accord with all the conventions.
Now then, do they have the time & the co-ordination?

429:

So. Many. Variables.

-What are the capabilities/connections of Saoradh?

-How will mainstream republicanism respond (and how will Brexit effect this response)?

-Will the violence remains small scale?

-What is the PSNI (Police Service NI) resourcing level like?

-What institutional experience remains for dealing with a serious and co-ordinated terrorist campaign?

-What is the Chief Constable likely to do?

-What is Westminster likely to do (in the presumed continued absence of NI Assembly)?

And those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head.

430:

What institutional experience remains for dealing with a serious and co-ordinated terrorist campaign?

... and is it capable of being re-purposed to look at white people?

I mean, you would bloody hope so given British experience in NI, but given the sheer quantity of reckless stupidity in that area wrt the government trying to radicalise British Muslims, it would not surprise me to find that the "white terrorism" department is two old geezers in a dilapidated office somewhere near Hadrian's Wall, all prepared for the southward march of the Scots (or the islanders to declare a Danish Republic... if it's good enough for Greenland it's good enough for Shetland)

431:

Not a valid question or comparison, I am glad to say.

The PSNI is operationally separate from the police services in the rest of the UK; any institutional memory is derived from it's predecessor, the RUC, whose primary experience of terrorism was via the organisations engaged in terrorist acts during the years of the Troubles (which didn't involve a lot of non-white combatants).

The idea of "re-purposing" this experience to apply to "white terrorism" is kind of a category error.

432:

Prior "anti-No-Deal" amendments offered in Parliament would have required the PM to request an Article 50 extension from the EU27, if the No Deal cliff were approaching and no other arrangements had been reached. There is, of course, no guarantee that the EU27 would grant the request, but it is something that can be reasonably required of the executive.

(IIRC, the amendment that was offered in the last round did not dictate the form of the request -- which left open the possibility that the PM of the time would request an extension in accordance with the law, but attach conditions that the EU27 would find unacceptable. This time, who knows?)

434:

The majority of the NI population are now non-aligned. More than 50%, per current polling, do not identify as Unionists or Republicans. They just want to get along.

NI politics has been static for a long time - people either vote for the Unionist/Loyalist or the Nationalist/Republican, and the only change has been a slow increase in the Nat/Rep side and a corresponding drop in the Uni/Loy side (this is entirely attributable to a differential in the birth rates) and changes in which party dominates the two sides (in 1980, that was UUP on the Uni/Loy side and SDLP on the Nat/Rep side; now it's DUP and Sinn Fein, and UUP and SDLP are minor parties).

The Alliance Party has been the party of "can we please not have to pick sides?". They are sometimes described as "soft unionists" because they work within the existing structures, but they have regularly worked with both sides (they got death threats and intimidation a few years ago after working with Sinn Fein so Belfast City Hall now only flies the Union Jack on flag days instead of every day - hard to describe that as "soft unionist"). They traditionally got fuck-all votes, mostly from immigrants (ie people who don't align with one of the two factions), mixed-marriages (Protestant and Catholic; rare) and a small minority of liberal middle-class people who don't really do nationalism. Very popular with the LGBT+ community.

Anyway, there was an election earlier this year (for the European Parliament), and they came second, ahead of the unionist parties, behind only Sinn Fein. The people who don't identify mostly didn't bother voting previously. But this time, they came out in numbers and voted Alliance. Naomi Long, the leader of Alliance, now an MEP, is one of the most capable and tough politicians in all of the UK. An opinion poll over the weekend has Alliance winning one DUP MP seat and within 1% in two more. The DUP are pissing off voters left and right at the moment, so a general election is liable to crack their hegemony over unionism. And, if Long becomes an MP again in a parliament as febrile as this, then don't bet against her as a compromise PM, or at least a high-ranking minister. She's really good.

435:
But some kinds of relationships, particular Norway(+) does not need the WA, because for all *practical* purposes UK would still be a member of EU, only seated at the kids table wearing a bib with the letters "Proud non-EU Member".

You may be confusing the WA and the backstop. Even in the case of Norway+ the WA is still necessary as it is the WA that defines, among other things, the UK's financial responsibilities to the EU.

There is also the question of what "Norway+" means. If it means EFTA membership + CU membership there is the minor problem that it's impossible -- the EFTA countries have their own customs union which is incompatible with the EU customs union.

Which is why "Norway" is not a solution -- there is are hard borders between the EFTA countries and the EU, so a "Norway" solution is incompatible with the WA backstop and the GFA.

I reiterate -- the WA is the necessary precondition for all negotiated solutions between the EU and the UK. And will remain so even if the UK leaves without a "deal",

cdodgson is right in #371 when he points out that the equivalent of the WA available after a no-deal would be significantly worse as it would not include the transition period.

436:

@400 I will guess that JBS would restrict those measures to be within the 'major locally contiguous cultural area' - states or nations or somesuch. When talking about the 1%, 32k, eg, in some regions is suitable for living in your parents basement. One of friends earns more and lives there - out of financial necessity. For the US, a regional income of 1% is 300k or so, which seems more reasonable.

@JBS By the age of adulthood - measures of ability are reasonably concrete, for a certain measure of reason. I've tried training motivated people for jobs they weren't quite fit for - it rarely succeeds. (Writing skill in particular is problematic.)

Now, the thing is - by the point of adulthood - there is a lot of inequality. You can start from genes and nutrition, which is maybe 40%. Then, if you want to stop worrying and love global warming, read 'Turning gold into lead' - stars survey. Turns out the best predictors of adverse adult outcomes (heart failure, obesity, major depression, drug addiction,...) is child abuse - at high incidence. (Okay, they also include stuff like spousal abuse and molestation...and there are a whole host of arguments to be made about comorbidity). But, eh, the incidence was high enough to make me wonder if extinction would actually be bad.

If you are lucky enough to dodge all that - then you start worrying about class advantages - like better training and starting position and wealth.

But, see, my argument would be that, even if a given adult is unlikely to do well with reasonable opportunity offered - (yes, Trump level spoons would help any creature, but society can't afford and probably shouldn't either) - but the thing is that modest increases in resources - maybe a basic income will tend to improve children's futures.

Still, I'd prefer to sink that money into a really boffo expensive foster care system combined with extensive parental support, monitoring, and removal. It'd probably have much more effect. People won't stand for it - as something like 20% of children would probably end up in foster care - and ideally their parents end in prison. Note, not end up.

But, still, this assertion that the 1% are some sort of unusual monolithic block - seems inaccurate. Sure, you can make the argument that any current member of the 1% has chosen to keep wealth - but that isn't unusual in people in any wealth bracket.

437:

I'd argue about the accuracy of some of your statements, although would absolutely agree that Naomi Long is an extremely tough and capable politician.

NI politics has been static for a long time ... the only change has been a slow increase in the Nat/Rep side and a corresponding drop in the Uni/Loy side (this is entirely attributable to a differential in the birth rates)
I have some quibbles with your first paragraph: It over generalises I think, but I won't bore the readership here with a detailed discussion of NI voting patterns (it's easy to google in any case). Summary: Small decrease since 1998 for Unionism (about 6% less, biggest drop 2016 to 2017); fluctuating inconsistent increase for Nationalism (between less than 1% and around 2%); increase for non-aligned (a bit under 6%). Don't forget, this is the percentage of people who voted, not percentage of the electorate. For a long time, anyone who didn't feel comfortable on the Green/Orange axis often stayed away from voting altogether, as illustrated in your final paragraph where when mobilised it becomes clear that there are in fact a lot of potential "non-aligned" voters out there. I don't think I agree at all with the "birth rate" part of your statement; it absolutely is contributory, but only paints part of the picture.

The Alliance Party ... sometimes described as "soft unionists"
They do attract "small u" Unionists, more so over the last few years, but I haven't heard them referred to as "soft unionists" except by Nationalists tying to force them onto the good ol' Green/Orange axis (see my comments about electoral strategy @255). Similar tot he Unionists who tend to always use labels like "Sinn Fein/Alliance" or "pan-nationalist conspiracy".

mixed-marriages (Protestant and Catholic; rare)
Estimates from a decade ago were for approximately 1-in-10 NI marriages being Protestant/Catholic mixed. Anecdotally the percentage of people I know in mixed marriages is significantly higher than that, and I would guess that the country-wide ratio has increased in the last 10 years. I would not describe "mixed marriages" as "rare".

I'm not sure what your experience of NI is (I assume you live here, or at least are paying more attention to the politics than most), but it doesn't entirely gel with mine.

438:

And there are serious rumours swirling that another GE is going to be called prior to the proroguation?

WTF?

439:

I don't know where those came from, but AIUI you'd need to get all the turkeys, er Cons and about 60 of the opposition to vote for it.

440:

You can't argue that an election is anti-democratic.

(You can argue about the conduct of a particular election, but not the general case.)

The goal is to get No-Deal Brexit. Important people make serious money from No Deal. If you have to argue that an election is inappropriate if it makes it impossible to revoke Article 50 it's easy for the Brexit side to insist that whether that should happen is what the election is about, and there's only an election because Parliament couldn't agree on anything, an election is what you're *meant* to do when Parliament can't agree. It sounds good, and never mind how things go that way.

So, PR firm advising disaster capitalists. Prorogation isn't polling well.

(Disaster capitalists. No empathy. No concern for the pile of corpses; the only real difference between disaster capitalism and colonialism is where it happens and who it happens to. Longing for empire is, in a certain class, longing for being allowed to maximize profit irrespective of the pile of corpses.)

Maybe they have to rejoin the EU on unfavourable terms because May's deal is the ONLY deal and has to be signed first; maybe they can spend however long looting the place. They're post-nationalist capitalism-without-limits (and borders are limits) non-state actors (the Mob 3.0), they want all the money absent all laws and taxes. It looks like the Little Englanders can give them that for quite awhile in return for an increase in local whiteness by whatever means.

441:

The problem with Corbyn, beyond those you have already identified, is that he wants to both be a cause for the problem and also wave the bloody shirt afterwards. Given the usual press response to "commies" I don't think he has the slightest chance of arranging this.

Of course, his fellow Labour MPs aren't giving him much room to maneuver - his other job as a Labour leader is to make sure the "Blairite" wing of the party doesn't come into power, because that factions interest in the proletariat begins and ends with the idea that some naive union member might give them money.

It would be very useful at this point if Labour could agree on some kind of a compromise candidate for leader, get behind them, and spend as much time as possible tearing the Tories a new waste disposal orifice over Brexit and lies. Unfortunately, the time to do that would have been a year ago...

Just my Yankee opinion on Corbyn, probably knowing less than I should.

When does the revolution start?

442:

"It looks like the Little Englanders can give them that for quite awhile in return for an increase in local whiteness by whatever means."

And what a crappy deal it is! That's the boggling part.

443:

Used to be, students would get onto Usenet, get educated, and mostly become civilized. Then we got Endless September as the available informal ad-hoc educational resources got overwhelmed.

Used to be, the magical-thinkers, the innumerate, and the socially incapable couldn't have much effect on politics because they couldn't organize themselves. Social media makes them organizable, and they were there; it's easier to create a faction than to take on over.

So you get the party of won't-accept-quantitative-analysis, and it's useful to wealth, since any amount of quantitative analysis is enough for the meanest intelligence to conclude that the wealth must stop that, right now, and then pay for their crimes.

Once you've got that party, you can get anything on the agenda; it's a weaponized rampaging id. The effort to constrain it makes the additional effort of insisting that the wealth stop much much more difficult to do; so long as that's true, it's funded. This is about like the problems brought on by printing presses, only they didn't have agricultural collapse teetering on the brink in the bargain.

444:

Troutwaxer @ 441
Actually, I had identified that double problem, just not expressed it all well.
You have & thank you ... that's precisely JC's facing-both-ways position.
And, people have noticed, which is why they think, quite correctly, that he is only marginally more trustworthy than BOZO
It would be very useful at this point if Labour could agree on some kind of a compromise candidate for leader, get behind them, and spend as much time as possible tearing the Tories a new waste disposal orifice over Brexit and lies. Unfortunately, the time to do that would have been a year ago...
YES

445:

"...are going to darn well sound the alarm when ..."

...they find out, by which time it's too late. The money has vanished and the bots are already harvesting the next batch of compromised mobile phones with their unsuspecting owners' bank details on for round 2. And any actually intelligent enforcement is swearing black and blue at the whole progression of ideas since it's so much harder to figure out what's really going on when you have to sieve the dodgy bits out of all the stuff the legitimate owners are doing instead of having it neatly packaged in accounts that are used for nothing else.

Your "end point" is a fleabite and not an end point at all, because you are missing the wider aspects of the obsession with cheap-arsed policing using spam filters instead of cops. Straightforward policing by spam filter does not work in a society with strong protections in the legal system to ensure that it delivers impartial justice instead of morphing into an organisation for rubber-stamping authoritatian abuse, because such a system of protections sets high standards which the shitty "evidence" from spam filters doesn't come anywhere near meeting. So on its own all it gets you is a court system paralysed by the deluge of appeals against spam filter prosecutions.

In order to prevent this happening they simply dismantle the fucking protections. People are forced to behave in such a way as to expose all evidence in a form which is unambiguously accessible by the spam filter at all times, regardless of whether they're even doing anything wrong, let alone undergoing legal process. If they are undergoing legal process, then such things as innocent-until-proven-guilty, right to silence, right to challenge the evidence or indeed the whole prosecution, freedom from arbitrary arrest, and lots of other really important stuff, are all thrown out the window in the holy cause of making the spam filter prosecution unchallengeable.

This isn't something that just breaks things which are purely technological and non-essential like payment cards. The arseholes' distaste for paying cops' wages is far greater than that. They want to apply it to things in the real world as well - and it is already happening to enable automatic prosecution by software grinding camera images. Speed cameras are the most obvious example, but they were just a convenient wedge to introduce precedents for dismantling the legal protections by using a load of specious bollocks about road safety to paint anyone who objected as a baby-eater. It's not at all impossible that they will proceed to breaking things like walking - lamp post camera doesn't recognise you as you walk past so it orders you to turn round and smile nicely at it until it does, and shoots you with a trank dart if you don't comply, real Fahrenheit 451 stuff and we are on a path that heads closer to such a situation, not away.

446:

"If governments want to survive, they have to be able to compel corporates to pay taxes."

Ah well, corporates (and their employees), that's a different kettle of fish - that's things engaged in legal pursuits and dodging taxes by legal means. All the governments have to do there is change the regulations so that those means are no longer legal. They just have to lose their addiction to the taste of rich arse that led them to enable the means in the first place.

447:

"I have already come to the conclusion that we can survive a Corbyn premiership PROVIDED we are inside the EU"

And it is essential if we are not, because the alternative is the wreckers rampaging gleefully through the wreckage grabbing unhindered the full measure of whatever the fuck the advantage they reckon to get out of it is and fuck the rest of us.

448:

Ah well, corporates (and their employees), that's a different kettle of fish - that's things engaged in legal pursuits and dodging taxes by legal means.

Ashby's Law; you have to provide equivalent variety to have a control system that works. Laws have real problems generating sufficient control variety because they're on human timescales. Lots of the commercial systems generate way more variety than the legal system -- everything from primary legislation through regulation through enforcement budgets and priorities -- can handle. This would be factual even in a context of perfect virtue and a total disdain for biases supported by money.

The "constrain variety" fix -- simply don't allow that -- means that a system which does allow that and gets the productivity benefits, even if they're only medium term productivity benefits (before capitalism kills the ecological support services), destroys all in its path out of sheer logistical superiority. Any alternative has to win fights with the thing you don't like, you can't just ban it. (I think the impulse to just ban it has a lot to do with the move toward autarchy in current politics.)

So what you're seeing is real, but it's real because there's no way to provide matching variety through hiring police. No amount of humans is enough to identify illegal acts in the financial system. (Nor is it helpful to surrender the productive capacity of so many people!)

It really does take unpronounceable true names and private -- in the sense of "not known" -- derived names-of-reference in a public validation system to solve this one. (Or some mathematical equivalent.) It'd be helpful if that was more widely understood. It can't be solved by insisting on effectively 18th century rights; the system produced in context of those rights isn't sufficiently able to generate control variety. The people seeing it as a barrier aren't wrong, irrespective of their motives. It will take new means to maintain those ends.

449:

In order to prevent this happening they simply dismantle the fucking protections. People are forced to behave in such a way as to expose all evidence in a form which is unambiguously accessible by the spam filter at all times, regardless of whether they're even doing anything wrong, let alone undergoing legal process.
Thanks for answering that in style. As an american I'm often wondering whether or not a serious concern about privacy (and every-more-capable surveillance tech) is an outlier position in developed countries. (The US doesn't have a solid right to privacy, but it does have plenty of space and very rural areas.)
Also thanks for the answer to Graydon at 446.
I'll add that there are other things that governments do to survive, some that involve active suppression of dissent, and making it hard nearing impossible to organize dissent without the full knowledge of the government is part of this.

451:

re #435 (John Hughes).

Yes whatever happens, we're now in the position of having to sign the WA before getting a trade agreement of any form with the EU (even if presented after a 'no deal' crash out).

However the WA is not incompatible with an EFTA/EEA (aka Norway) approach. That is because none of the EFTA states have identical agreements under the EEA framework, they each have country specific protocols.

We would not need to enter a CU with the EU (and as you say it is sort of incompatible with EFTA/EEA), because its useful effects can be replicated by other means. The main one being simply that we (unilaterally) align tariffs with the EU schedule. So called 'Roles of Origin' are not a border issue, being something validated behind the border as a paperwork anti-fraud measure.

Norway has a 'hard border' for a number of reasons, differential tariffs (garlic being one that triggered smuggling at one point), agreements not covering all items, and VAT.

So for us to achieve an essentially 'frictionless border' would require that in our country specific protocol we unilaterally shadow the EU tariffs for essentially all items, that we conclude some sort of VAT agreement, and that we widen our EEA agreement to include something like CAP and CFP for some period of time.

We'd also want to ensure that we did not agree to anything equivalent to the CCP - this is the bit which causes the EFTA/EEA incompatibility, not the CU. The two are distinct sections in the Treaty of Rome (TFEU now I believe).


However, if we do end up with the no deal crash out, I'm not expecting our politico's to have the sense to do the above.

Which then means if (more likely when) Scotland leaves the UK, we should join EFTA/EEA in Scotland, rather than immediately (if ever) seek entry to the EU.

That is for a few reasons, not least of which is that new EU members have to join Schengen, which is incompatible with the CTA, then requiring passports checks at places we currently avoid them. Also that currently most of Scotland's trade is with the rest of the UK, and EFTA/EEA would allow us to more easily keep that going (possibly only until trade was re-balanced towards EEA members).

452:

"Herself reminds me that Policing is a devolved issue and before Javid could ship Glaswegian cops to Ulster, he'd have to get Nicola Sturgeon's permission. Which is likely to come in the shape of a declaration along the lines of "over my dead body" if she's got any sense (and she has)."

As I understand it, devolution was basically a privilege granted by Parliament, and could therefore be rescinded at will.

And if that doesn't work, states of emergency.......

453:

new EU members have to join Schengen, which is incompatible with the CTA,

It could be argued that Scotland would not be a new member but a returning member and hence not necessarily subject to Schengen. If nothing else this fig-leaf might be useful in tempting England back eventually under the same fudge.

454:

You seem to assume that Scotland would not want to be part of Schengen ?

455:

I don't think "plain Norway" has ever been on the table from either side. The "Norway plus" model that has been bantered about, is "plain Norway" plus so much alignment that the Irish border becomes unnecessary.

That is plus a LOT, essentially keeping UK a EU member, but without voting rights.

Not going to happen, but it is still one of the theoretical endpoints Parliament could reach, if they wanted to.

Otherwise, I fully agree: The most unpalatable parts of the Mays Agreement will be waiting for UK's negotiators in BXL, no matter why they decide to drop in.

456:

Suspect whether or not they can will be a moot point, as the question is would the EU agree to an extension for no reason. My guess is no, and thus the UK still leaves on Oct 31st.

Without an election or a referendum (which would basically force the EU hand) there is nothing to gain for the EU to extend the decision yet again with no consensus on a way forward in sight, particularly given the MPs have treated the first extension with contempt by wasting it.

For the sake of people in the UK I hope I'm wrong.

457:

Assuming that was actually directed at me, rather than Nojay...

I make no such assumption. I am arguing that it is as economically daft for Scotland to take a "hard exit" from the UK, as it is for the UK to do so from the EU. That is what would happen if Scotland immediately joined the EU.

I'd guess it may take 10-20 years for Scotland's economy to realign such that it could cope with a hard border with England and NI. As such the sensible approach would be to join EFTA/EEA for a period.

We should learn the lesson of the UK taking a daft approach to Brexit, and take a gradual approach to fixing things.

Personally I'd think Scotland could do quite well in EFTA/EEA, rather than joining the EU; however that would be a decision to be taken after the economy could cope with barriers to rUK.

e.g. Fishing is a small part of the UK economy, but proportionally a larger part of Scotland's (I don't know the figures). In joining the EU the waters would once again become community waters, whereas is staying in EFTA/EEA we could follow Iceland's and Norway's approach using them as a sensible bargaining asset.

As to Schengen, I'm not sure it would really gain us much, and it has definite costs. So it is a pro vs con analysis.

We're used to using passports when entering the area, and as EEA members could still do so. Similarly we're used to not needing any form of ID when traveling in these isles (unless flying), which is a convenience I suspect many would wish to preserve.

I'm not sure if EEA members can use "National ID cards" for travel in the area, but since Scotland sort of has one (Bus pass) maybe that would be possible.

As to arguing that Scotland would be a returning member, I don't believe that would fly. The recent accession states would object, and at most we'd have a time limited derogation.

EEA membership gives us most of the "rights" people are interested in, and cuts out a bunch of the political stuff people complain about. Recall that 40% of Scots voted for Brexit.

The EEA acquis is around 25 - 30 % of the EU acquis, we would also have input to shaping the measures (which Norway has successfully used in the past), and anyway a lot of the measures come from higher international fora where we could directly influence stuff (as Norway does) before they're adopted by the EU, and at worst we can reject adopting certain measures (while incuring appropriate balancing measures).

So I don't accept the characterization of "fax democracy", or "pay no say" - that is as trite as some of the Brexit arguments. The reality is more nuanced.

458:

Miami full hit, Cat 5 then trawl upwards with an unusually strong reinforcement?

GFS 18z through 84hr

Sept 02 22.59 GMT

https://imgur.com/a/zb5IqbX

"This is straight up insanity that literally all of the east coast could be affected by this monster HOLY SHIT"


Weird it just sat there sationary for so long though. Guessing the Big Boys are feeling a little bit unappreciated right now, might be tweaking for something more memorable.

459:

GFS 104 hr https://imgur.com/a/4KqDVrd


Oh, and of course: https://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-dorian-relief-charity-donate-1457255

Stalling like that? Brutal. Savage. Rekt.

Given the cluster-fuck of PR, don't expect any of the supplies to get there or be distributed though.

Then again, BJ just stated that he didn't want an election while LK (BBC), SKY and The Telegraph all reported that one was live for the 14th Oct.

Ooops.

460:

As I understand it, devolution was basically a privilege granted by Parliament, and could therefore be rescinded at will.

Sure they could, if they didn't mind a civil war breaking out in the province where we keep all our nuclear weapons.

461:

"She has specifically not given Boris NoDeal on a platter, but she has really motivated Parliament to get their shit together."

Remember that you don't literally have to serve it up on a platter to accomplish that.

From my understanding, the only way to avoid a No Deal would be for a large number of people in Parliament to coordinate an extremely large amount of effort in an extremely short time.

462:

mdive @ 456
If Wednesday's motion passes - as I expect it to ...
Then, unfortuantely I would expect BOZO to call a General Election - for AFTER 31st October ...
Cue Constitutional Crisis

463:

"Sure they could, if they didn't mind a civil war breaking out in the province where we keep all our nuclear weapons."

I have been thinking of that. Scotland has the Trident port - how can they leverage that?

464:

Someone who hasn't ignored us tell Barry about Scottish politics, St. Andrews and how Scottish Regiments function. i.e. a couple are more loyal to the Crown than most English regiments.

465:

You absolutely do not leverage that; nuclear hostage-taking, even the faintest whiff of nuclear hostage taking, even if what you're taking hostage are the nukes, won't do at all.

You might well decide that, well. There's all that election tampering; there's the obvious risk of malign actors, what with the disregard for the ancient parliamentary norms and customs upon which English law has been constructed these several centuries. Mustn't have a failed state or even a rogue political actor in charge of SLBMs. Let's invite in a French peacekeeping group under EU auspices to secure the submarine port at Holy Loch. They've got their own SLBMs, they'll have the right kind of experts to avoid lamentable errors. And I'm sure that once everything has been regularized to the norms of civilization it will be no especial difficulty to resolve the disposition of the SLBM force.

466:

Oh, and @PrivateIron


You know the #1 thing you shouldn't do when this stuff kicks off?

Make a #ThingsWeShouldCancel Twitter trend artificially kick off. You know, to boost "Cancel Culture".

They're mapping your networks and it's hilarious how shallow the PR stuff is. They're on the cusp of learning how paper-thin the TAA stuff is, and hilariously close to working out just how badly you lied to them.

If you've tracked Iranian counter agents (you know, the ones who the CIA didn't get killed by a shit piece of code) via embedded data (faked location) but topic and so on. Oh, I don't know. Do a grep over a wizard over a black hole piccy from a J. K. Rowling thread which was a UK asset who then got ganked).

You're this close to the actual Cats coming through the Veil.

"Kill Zer"


Yeah.


We have seen and danced beyond your veil and your shitty stuff is meaningless and trite


Want the Real Void?


Oh Honey. Go track Dorian, might give you a hint.


467:

Greg @166
A port in north County Dublin as a replacement for Dublin Port has been mooted, though I'm not sure if it's even reached the drawing board.

469:

It's great to see the turnout for the protests, though the references to Cromwell were a bit...tone deaf...given how Brexit impacts the border and Peace Process.

My favourite protest slogan: Prorogue mo thóin

470:

Sounds nice.

Sounds like you should start doing something instead of waving signs.

8:00 PM EDT Mon Sep 2

Location: 26.8°N 78.4°W

Moving: Stationary

Min pressure: 942 mb

Max sustained: 140 mph

"This is absolute insanity"

Come on now. I expected a bit more of a fight than just some signs on our return. We need a little bit more drama than that.

Oh, right, you killed all of them who came and tried to rescue us.

Well, little miss stealing Irish Valor with the Red Hair and the Language, we'll do a bit more than that.


Someone tell the UK officials that that Power breakage stunt and the airport stunt and the railways stunt and so on and so and so on... You're faking what you think threat perception is. Heck, if any of you had any balls (SHINY XMAS BALLS) you'd leak the fucking contracts for it.

Y' know: on the cusp of a £3billion sale of a major airport franchise to some EU / CN conglomerate, and after all that Parliamentary pressure, you might have had the balls to not go with the fucking Mickey-Mouse "well, the environmental protester story got spiked, so go for a random Hobbyist" and shove it up your arse.

Wait: Host is going to get sued?

LOL

Anyone who targets Host gets Major Fucking Mind Worms and Us visit them. Don't worry about Host.

What's the worst that can happen when you threaten us? Your entire Country going insane or some batshit nonsense like that, eh?

"ZE DOESN'T KNOW"

471:

NO! If you actually go through with Brexit you are no long allowed to have nukes!

472:

8:00 PM EDT Mon Sep 2/Location: 26.8°N 78.4°W/Moving: Stationary/Min pressure: 942 mb/Max sustained: 140 mph/"This is absolute insanity"
Have to say I've been enjoying Levi Cowan at https://twitter.com/TropicalTidbits - thanks for the link.
He's seriously interested and has a good voice and is clear at 2X video.

General interest, press focus on emotions a bit unusual, written on US labor day or day before. Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path, Millions Are United in Fear (Sept. 2, 2019)

473:

Not really, hurricanes do just either stall or move so slowly effectively stalled on a regular basis. My parents told a story of a hurricane doing that somewhere off the Bahamas back in the late 60s.

474:

The problem is that Boris can't call an election, though he can sort of ask Parliament to give him one.

The three methods of getting an election outside of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (from David Allen Green Twitter account)

- two votes of no confidence
- a 2/3 majority votes for the election (which May used in 2017, and hence why Boris can "request" an election).
- Parliament passes primary legislation to hold an election despite the FTPA.

475:

Not really, hurricanes do just either stall or move so slowly effectively stalled on a regular basis. My parents told a story of a hurricane doing that somewhere off the Bahamas back in the late 60s.

CAT 4/5 don't.

There's been 4 cases (including this) and well, do your research young lad. Certainly not on the N side of an island.

The "Big Boys" just got joined by our Sister. grep 2/3 Furies. They're kinda bored of the good noble Greta getting shit from bedbug level WASPs and Ultra-Nasc Zionists hiding behind fake cover so they're going to do a number.

Pop Quiz: Can you name more than one Fury?

No, You can't. [Hogging all the limelight as usual]


General interest, press focus on emotions a bit unusual, written on US labor day or day before. Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path, Millions Are United in Fear (Sept. 2, 2019)

Trump doesn't elicit fear.

You fear the chaos / random / uncertainty. Until the market prices it in. You do know that Wall St. has ~70+ years of investing in Foreign Markets run by Dictators and that they, and the CIA, much prefer that to Democracy? Color me surprised if you think they haven't already priced Orange Trumpanzy already?

That was day 3 of his Reign.

You don't fear the man.

There's a couple of Shakespeare plays about this.

No-one feared Bush. They feared the men behind Bush.

This is nothing of the sort behind Trump, apart from one of our kind. Oh, there's a couple of IL hard-cases, a few CIA Dominionists and a son in Law who is 100% groomed to be An American Psycho - but fear? It's more annoying distaste coupled with the admittance that you might have to be nice to them while they sign another bum deal.


Want to know fear?


Hint: if you say yes: it's a contract. And you get one of the real old ones (before Yahawwaaa bollocks) saying hello.


Y/N?

476:

The tweets might have been slightly wrong, in that I don't see any requirement for 2 votes of no confidence, but that relevant part of the act can be seen at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/section/2/enacted and it is clear the PM can't simply call an election early, it requires Parliament to do it and in very specific ways.

477:

You fear the chaos / random / uncertainty. Until the market prices it in.
I was mainly commenting on a front page NYTimes article about fear. Focused on a hurricane, but implicitly recognizing that fear is used as a political tool.
As you quoted up-thread,
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

Not looking for an order (or orders) of magnitude more of it. (May come with time and climate change and etc, though.)
We (general human population) need more of
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

I can read your comment as saying almost the same thing. (The POTUS irritates me (trying to keep it under control), yes.)

478:

Ok, we'll give you one last hint.

'All bets now off' on which ape was humanity's ancestor

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49486980

Then do a grep. We might have trolled you about your ancestry a few times. What's it up to now since the start? 4 or 5? It's hilarious that you imagine you're some kind of pure breed or neth-mix or denis-mix etc.

Then check the dates.

Did G_D stop on day 6, introduce Tinder/Grindr and shrug?

-.-

#476

I can read your comment as saying almost the same thing. (The POTUS irritates me (trying to keep it under control), yes.)

No. And we've watched enough of your shitty horror movies to know what you consider horror. Heck, we've lived through a couple of your genocides.

Want to know fear?

You know, apart from the Foucault inspired Panopticon that you've already done[1], you're pretty much bad at horror. It's all body horror or fear or crappy physical stuff.

Fuck it - "Take Zer Wings" was already run live in an attempt to break our Mind, so you're getting the full spread.

11 Contacts in hand. 12 now.

And these fuckers only do War.

"Warboy"

Jamie, what's that large grass / moss covered mountain on its own in the top left of the shot and no, we don't smoke either.


Horror is the prevention of Change or Progress.

Look at what's being enacted. It's not Horror, it's MIND stability. The old Huxley A/B/C/D/G Minds stuff.

With a chip.

Now then:


Hint: if you say yes: it's a contract. And you get one of the real old ones (before Yahawwaaa bollocks) saying hello.

Y/N?

[1] https://theintercept.com/2019/08/25/border-patrol-israel-elbit-surveillance/

479:

03 Sept 02:48

Cat 4 Hurricane remains stalled.


Not really, hurricanes do just either stall or move so slowly effectively stalled on a regular basis. My parents told a story of a hurricane doing that somewhere off the Bahamas back in the late 60s.


You sure about that, little man?