Welcome To The Brexit California


Excuse me, which way is out?

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”

It’s not long since I last wrote about Brexit but things have been moving apace and the Remainers are biting back with hashtags such a StopBrexit, ExitBrexit (catchy that one) and umpteen others I can’t recall. I was just a child when we voted to join the then EEC but I was firmly against. I had read on a poster that our fishing rights would be affected and I had just got my first fishing rod by collecting tokens off the back of packs of Sugar Puffs. Quite honestly that reasoning still seems a whole lot more sensible than much of what I read today and that’s coming from someone who thought it was France I could see across the River Ribble which turned out to not be the English Channel. The UK is still split around 50:50 and worse still so is opinion among those I most trust.

John Ward over at The Slog frames the argument thus:

1. Do I want to be ruled by government even more distantly bubble-sealed than the one we have now – to which the answer is “No”.
2. Do I want to be in bed with a democratically inverted superstructure of persistent law-breakers, bullies and embezzlers – across the piece from eurogroupe to the ECB – whose sole drive is hubristic power – to which the answer is “No”.
3. Do I want to commit heart and soul to a trading bloc where, in the 46 years since we signed up, the relationship has produced an increase in our indebtedness during every year but one (2000) when we made a net “profit” on fees and trade of….just £7.8 billion – to which the answer is no.

Now, by his own admission that is a biased way to present the argument but it’s his blog and I’m damned if I can find anything to contradict those statements. He goes on “I am not scoring points when I write how it truly baffles me that the Left cannot see how criminally nasty, disingenuous and thoroughly unjust the EC in general (and the ugly Schäuble/Dijesslebleom twins in particular) have been to ClubMed countries”. He has more than a point there and I’m frankly sickened by those claiming the EU is booming, yeah right, solved Greece yet? How about an unemployment rate of almost 10%? Or just for shi… excrement and giggles do something about youth unemployment exceeding 50% in some countries and sign of answers on that? John is right this could be hell.

However as I mentioned things have moved on and freedom of movement, the jewel in the EU crown, is set to change. the BBC reports  “A new immigration system will be in place by March 2019 when the free movement of people between the EU and the UK ends, a minister has said”. So everytime we go the EU it’s going to be us who are the migrants passport checks and all. What swung my mother to the EEC is, having six children, we would be free to work anywhere in Europe and three of us did just that including me. Now everything is going to be that much harder and the world seem a little smaller. In my previous blog I referenced Frances Coppola and that blog is worth revisiting.

She notes ” the UK has gone far beyond Brexit, announcing its intention to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention – which long pre-dates the EU – and establish its own sea borders, which presumably will require military policing. Military policing, to keep out the fishing vessels of the UK’s closest neighbours and allies. Surely this is not what the British people voted for?” Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves? What jolly hockey sticks, how about we release a few volleys at those pesky migrants, coming over here and helping us run the NHS, what knaves. It’s slowly dawning on even the most jingoistic of nationalists we need these workers and if they grasped the fact that our employment problems are all of our own making, they might start talking some sense. I won’t hold my breath, the Tories change their minds faster than I can type.

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

As one, sadly unnamed, Tory MP has said If we don’t carry out Brexit we’ll destroy the party and if we do we’ll destroy the country. Finally someone who has come round to my way of thinking and remember I’m minded to leave but at what price? Turning again to Frances Coppola this time at Forbes on the potential American trade deal. “President Trump is bound to put American interests first in any deal with the UK. Consequently, any deal with the US is bound to benefit the US far more than it benefits the UK”. In other words the surplus we currently run with the Americans will be firmly in their sights for elimination, which Trump would see as winning.

As for Labour their current policy is to stay in the single market and customs union unless they leave one or the other or leave both, although this policy may, or may not, be subject to change at thirty seconds notice. I hope that’s cleared that up. My prediction that we will never leave the EU remains unchanged because the current rabble in charge are incapable of delivering it. So it all ends with the Eagles…

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “

Lyrics reproduced under fair usage, Don Felder, Frey Glenn Lewis, Donald Hugh Henley, Don Henley.
Photo credit: palmspringshotelcalifornia.com. (adds to bucket list).

17 thoughts on “Welcome To The Brexit California

  1. I’m frankly sickened by those claiming the EU is booming, yeah right, solved Greece yet?

    How many of you remember the joke where the Greek mayor goes to see the mayor of the Portuguese twin town?

    “Look,” says the Portuguese mayor, pointing to the bridge crossing a wooded valley. Then he takes the Greek to see his wonderful new home… you see, the bridge was only single lane, yet it should have been two lane. The money that wasn’t used went into someone’s pocket. Sorry house.

    A few years later, the Greek mayor invites his Portuguese friend to see his wonderful new home. It’s much finer than the Portuguese home… and the Portuguese mayor asks where the money came from.

    “Do you see the bridge?” says the Greek. “No,” says the Portuguese mayor.

    It’s not the corruption that I’m interested in here; it’s the fact that the money was borrowed and will have to be paid back. Paid back, irrespective of what it was spent on. Two lane bridges across desolate areas of Portugal do not enhance an area that is already in the doldrums. An airport in the middle of Spain didn’t inspire much by way of economic activity either.

    But the ECB was offering lots of money at very low rates, thanks to the ratings agencies – you know, the guys who couldn’t tell if a distinctly odd security really did smell, and because someone was breathing down their neck, rated them AAA anyway – the ratings agencies that saw the whole of Europe as being as stable as Germany.

    Everybody and his goat was building, borrowing, buying.

    The problem hit the fan when the Americans pulled the plug on their distinctly odd securities (that is to say, they couldn’t maintain their fraud any longer) and the result was called the “Crash of 2007” instead of the “American Ponzi Scheme Crash of 2007”. That was when the hedge funds realized they could make a stack out of playing the derivative game with European bonds.

    At the very moment the Ratings Agencies woke up to the fact that European economies were still, well, diverse.

    So let’s look at the Greek problem if the American ratings agencies hadn’t assumed that Europe was one homogenous entity… and Greece had to pay a reasonable sum on its borrowings…

    … wouldn’t that be a different tale.

    And the Wall Street hedge funds are still profiteering from Greece by playing some very nasty games.

    solved the Wall Street hedge funds yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gemma,
      Yes corruption from which Germany gas richly profited from too. If this was a game of Cluedo i’d say It was the Americans, in the City of London with the toxic derivatives.


      1. Could you tell me where Germany has profited from this? (Are you following John Ward’s ideas here that the money paid out of the German treasury goes into the Bundesbank and thus comes full circle?)

        My point is that the money paid to the Greeks is paid into the coffers of American hedge funds, only this isn’t spoken about in the mainstream media because people – that is to say, stock market investors – might get the idea that the markets are rigged and no longer free.

        Under Basel 3 regulations, a European bank cannot hold Greek bonds because they were de-rated. They were de-rated because they had been attacked by hedge funds using derivative contracts which in the dystopian world of the US market place are bought and sold as if they were the real thing.

        But that’s America’s strength: it can profit by rigging the market and profit from the result. It’s how to make a profit in an economy that produces surprisingly little.

        What I’d like to know is how Germany profited from the Greek tragedy.


        1. Gemma, you have to be very naive to believe Germany isn’t just as corrupt as most other western nations and KwF profits from Greece to this day from bond repayments not to mention dodgy submarine deals and many others from the past. Note I am not singling Germany out.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Cross posted comment from another blog:

            Jive Bunny
            2 hours
            You may be interested to know I am a “remainer/Bremainer/Bremoaner” or any other derogatory term you wish to apply. The EU is actually doing OK but not booming whilst Italy specifically is a basket case and always has been even when it was out of the EU and later the EZ so EU membership seems to have had little effect on it.
            That said the UK is doing OK too but most of this was hard baked in 2 – 2.5 years ago by monetary policy at that time. The weakening of the GBP against the US dollar is related to the dollar being in a strengthening phase which should start waning next year. The GBP got itself and gave itself a further push down by voting Brexit and then Carney pushed it further down with his rate cut.
            The UK was always heading for inflation this year and next regardless of Brexit due to monetary policy 2 years ago but the collapse in the GBP has worsened the effect while the collapse in oil price has lessened the effect. The GBP collapsed following Brexit vote because investors looked into the future and didn’t like what they saw so sold and ran abroad.
            Brexit problems are structural and will take time to play out . The first order effect has been the loss of investor confidence via sell outs of UK companies and money moved abroad resulting in a falling GBP (although it has staged a partial recovery in recent weeks) and thence providing an extra push up on prices of imported goods and commodities.
            The second order effect will be continuing increasing prices if the UK insists on hard Brexit (i.e. no movement of labour/closed borders to immigration) as of course the EU will retaliate via tariffs on UK exports to the EU, whereby the UK will retaliate via tariffs on EU exports to the UK.
            The UK exports 15% of it’s GDP to the EU while the EU exports 3% of it’s GDP to the UK. Although individual EU countries will be hit harder than others it is clear who will suffer the most.
            The argument is that the EU politicians will be leaned on by EU businesses not to go down the tariff route and the politicians will comply. The reality is that in such an event EU politicians will tell the EU businesses to concentrate on increasing market share in the remaining 26 EU free trade countries to replace lost UK sales as the EU/EZ is the pet project of EU politicians and in politics hard headed commerce rarely plays a role when projects and political dreams are in play.
            The further assumption in the UK is that once the foreigners are gone there will be jobs for all. In fact the UK already has full employment notwithstanding arguments about underemployment which has always been there since records began.
            Another assumption is that rising prices don’t matter because employers will simply pay higher pay rises to pace inflation. The track record on that in the UK over the last 10 years does not back up the fantasy.
            Personally I believe many UK people think certain work is benneath them and there is a real probability of labour shortages in certain industries where the British won’t work like food production which will lead to shortages and price rises.
            The things I have outlined will take place over about 3 – 5 years after a hard Brexit has been implemented and not overnight or even over a few months.
            Having said all this I am heartened and simultaneously alarmed by what I am hearing from UK politicians re a transitional period where the UK will still have a CAP (vehemently argued against by people who want Brexit) and open borders (another major plank of Brexit) which will likely lead to no tariffs on either side during the transitional period but I begin to suspect they are softening the electorate up for a change of direction to rejoining the EU The reason I am alarmed at such a turn is that any rejoining of the EU would require a commitment ti adopt the Euro which would be a disaster for the UK, I just can’t work out if it would be as disastrous as Brexit.
            The UK was in the sweet spot prior to Brexit with EU membership but still retaining the GBP, that has now gone, all paths from here are hard.


          2. you have to be very naive to believe Germany isn’t just as corrupt as most other western nations

            I know the truth about Germany, I know what is wrong with the country. But it is not what the papers want you to believe!!!

            I can understand that what the papers tell you is what you want to hear… but that is the problem for the British!! If you lived in Europe, you’d know how the Germans scoff at the stuff the American propaganda mill produces – but they’d not tell you if you don’t speak to them in German.


          3. “I deal with reality as I find it”

            Does that “reality” include speaking any other language than English, to a level where you are able to think in it? Only then will you be able to let go of the shackles the British media have invented for you. If you have not, then you cannot know the difference between what has been invented and what has been reported. This is essential if one is to deal with reality as it is found…


  2. “I was just a child when we voted to join the then EEC” – I really do wish people would get it right. ‘We’ NEVER voted to join the then EEC. ‘We’ (not including me!), after being bombarded with scare stories from various capitalist vested interests did vote not to pull OUT of the EEC, about which the aim to become a supranational and largely corporate entity was already writ large upon the wall.


    1. Hi Jacob,
      There were two referenda the latter of which you reference. The cold war was at it’s height and trade union power rampant. The EU has always been a neoliberal project so of course vested interests were at play.

      The great betrayal was the abandonment of Full Employment, the EEC a mere distraction from that. Who knew what either idea would grow into.


      1. Evenin’ Bill. There was only one referendum – in 1975 – about Common Market/EEC membership. Where do you get the idea that there were two? It was also quite clear, to those who bothered to do the research, what the EEC was on track to grow into. That’s precisely why I voted to pull out.


          1. Maybe so… There were 2 elections in ’74. Incidentally, this from Tony Benn in ’75: “He(ath) has a deep contempt for Britain, the British people and parliamentary democracy. He is trying to climb back to power via the Treaty of Rome, and put Britain under government from Brussels for ever. In 1970 Mr Heath solemnly promised that he would not take Britain into the Common Market without the full-hearted consent of the British people. He broke his pledged word then, and he now says he will not accept a ‘No’ vote on Thursday. Heath promised more jobs and higher living standards inside the EEC. These promises were all broken, and he now tells us we are so poor we cannot come out; beggars can’t be choosers. That is false, too. Heath’s leadership has been a total disaster for the British people. The Tory Party threw him out.”


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