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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
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Which version of Brexit will Conservatives choose? An election to approve the plan?

Or just let the Tories pick their prime minister, formulate a Brexit plan then implement it on their own?

Britain must have a general election before activating article 50

The government not only finds itself without leadership, it has no plan, no consensus and no clue about what it wants to do in the future. The only thing it agrees on is that the UK should leave the EU. But how, when and to what end all remain unanswered. It enjoys a mandate to quit, but no mandate as to how this should be done.

This is partly the result of the unforgivable cynicism of a Brexit campaign that refused to tell voters what comes next. But it is also a consequence of contradictory opinions: the hedge fund owners who financed the campaign want to turn the City into a low–regulation Dubai; Boris Johnson wanted to open Britain to far-flung continents; Michael Gove wants to close Britain against incomers; and most Brexiteers witter about maintaining access to the single market while not being subject to its rules, apparently oblivious to the glaring contradiction.

This debilitating cocktail of hubris, incompetence and dishonesty must be overcome if the country is to move forward.

First, each Conservative leadership candidate must set out, in detail, what they think our future relationship with Europe should be. Second, the new prime minister, to be announced on 9 September, should immediately publish a white paper setting out a full plan. And third, he or she must then seek a democratic mandate for their plan in an early general election.

The notion that it should be left to Conservative members to handpick a new prime minister for what in effect will be a new government pursuing new priorities is absurd.


One one hand, Conservatives won the Brexit referendum vote and don't have to call a general election. One could argue that they should be permitted to choose the Brexit plan they prefer and go with it. The "low-regulation Dubai" plan, the Boris Johnson "neoliberal fantasy island" plan, the Michael Gove "build a figurative wall" plan or a 'free trade, no rules' plan?

OTOH, one could argue that which plan is chosen by Conservatives should be voted upon by more than just the Conservative majority in parliament. Interesting times ahead for the UK.

I think someone like Trump could do a number on globalization since it is partly the result

of human efforts to tie countries together rather than push them apart. (Of course, it is also the result of modern technology, communications and travel.)

Krugman wrote that there was a mini-globalization period during Woodrow Wilson's era that was reversed by the republicans that followed him in the 1920's. They raised tariffs, restricted immigration and ended that period of globalization by their efforts in favor of a period of nationalism and isolationism. Then FDR came along and promoted internationalism and set up the international organizations that have played a major role in the modern form of globalization.

Much of the republican base, which Trump tapped into, wants to do what 1920's era republicans did and get rid of much that FDR created.

Of course, modern communications and travel make the world a 'smaller' place no matter what any politician does compared to the 1920's. But someone like Trump could destroy much of the infrastructure of globalization and reverse it, at least for a time. Eventually the world would probably get back on the track that it was pre-Trump, just like it did under FDR, but that might take a while.

In Brexit Britain the elites will run amok (conservative elites) "People will learn the hard way."

A week on from the referendum that was going to take back democracy from the elites, and we still don’t know exactly who will be taking back democracy for us. But it will be one representative of the elites or another. At the moment, it looks like Michael Gove or Theresa May will be their political face. Unless someone else in the Tory party offers them a better deal between now and September. The kind of Brexit Britain gets will be decided by those people.

Instead, we will be continuing as we have been for decades, pandering to the elites we’re supposed to be escaping. The elites decide how much they are prepared to contribute in tax towards the social and physical infrastructure they operate in. They’d rather do it privately, bleeding interest for their chiselling loans out of the public sector. They will always have free movement for themselves, and the threat that they will make use of it. It’s so easy for them to get their way.

These men want ordinary people to be angry, because angry people make errors of judgment, blaming each other instead of the elites that plunder ideas about equality, fairness, freedom and democracy for their own ends. Britain. You voted for this. Now, once again, get ready to be told that There Is No Alternative.

No one can predict what sort of outcome might emerge from his capricious gamble, and it doesn’t look like we’ll even get to vote again until all of that is done and dusted. Europe doesn’t crush our democracy. It protects what’s left of it. Now that protection is gone and our limited, gestural, dysfunctional democracy is all we have.


Guardian factcheck: The lies Trump told this week: from US trade policies to his own campaign


“When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing.” – 28 June, Monessen, Pennsylvania

In 2015, five US steelmakers complained that Chinese producers, boosted by government subsidies, were flouting import rules. This spring the Obama administration struck the Chinese companies with a 522% tariff. The US International Trade Commission also announced an investigation into aluminum imports, hinting at more tariffs on the Chinese.

Our founding fathers understood trade much better than our current politicians, believe me.” – 28 June, Monessen, Pennsylvania

The men who led the young United States in the 1790s and early 1800s likely did understand trade better than at least one current politician, but they understood it in a world of slavery, plantations and New England shipping. Even then, Trump’s trade ideas would not have necessarily been welcome; the founders had vicious disagreements over it.

But by the late 19th century tariffs had become tools of powerful tycoons, who could impose high prices on goods on the poor and middle class. Their power was reduced by the income tax and other reforms of the early 20th century. Automation and globalization have further complicated trade in the 100 years since.


Trump is an experienced and competent liar. The Guardian recognizes it.

To give UK Conservatives credit, a Conservative prime minister thought he could pacify the far-right

wing of his party (and UKIP) with a referendum on EU membership. The far-right said "Thank you very much. You have no idea what our campaign will look like."

If a conservative political party's establishment, in an attempt to placate its far-right (Tea Party-ish) wing, can convince a country to make fundamental changes based on a referendum, you have to give them credit for completely controlling the political agenda.

The whole referendum was a product of intra-Conservative Party politics. And all Brits will live with the result.

FDR invented the multi-country trade agreement (ITO). republicans defeated it. JFK - Trade Expansion

Act of 1962 granted the White House unprecedented authority to negotiate tariff reductions of up to 50%. It paved the way for the Kennedy Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ("GATT" negotiations, concluding on June 30, 1967 ... . It is one aspect for which the John F. Kennedy administration was known.

LBJ - negotiated and signed the Kennedy Round of GATT.

The Kennedy Round was the sixth session of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) trade negotiations held between 1964 and 1967 in Geneva, Switzerland. Congressional passage of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act in 1962 authorized the White House to conduct mutual tariff negotiations, ultimately leading to the Kennedy Round. Participation greatly increased over previous rounds. Sixty-six nations, representing 80% of world trade, attended the official opening on May 4, 1964, at the Palais des Nations. Despite several disagreements over details, the director general announced the round’s success on May 15, 1967, and the final agreement was signed on June 30, 1967 ... . The round was named after U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated six months before the opening negotiations.

The main objectives of the Kennedy Round were to:

Slash tariffs by half with a minimum of exceptions
Break down farm trade restrictions
Remove non-tariff barriers
Help developing countries


Like it or not, TPP is very much a continuation of FDR/JFK/LBJ's Democratic Party. They all cut tariffs and expanded trade.

You have to go back to Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover (from 1921 to 1933) as the last American presidents who raised tariffs and restricted trade.

The Left imagines a "more democratic EU". So do I. The far-right imagines no EU at all.

... building bridges across Europe, bringing democrats together across borders and political parties, is what Europe needs more than ever to avoid a slide into a xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss.

... though we tried, we could not convince to people of Britain to stay.”

I could not agree more. And I am heartened that the Left campaigned for Remain. I agree with them on that, too.

The question is whether the victory for Brexit brings a "democratic EU" closer or whether it brings the far-right vision of no EU and a xenophobic hyper-nationalism 1930's-like closer. The fact that the Left campaigned for Remain answers that question but does not change the victory for the far-right. We need to deal with that.

A more democratic EU would lead to an open, liberal continent governed together in the long run. The far-right would hate that and will work for their own "Brexit" referendums in the near future. The momentum is now on their side.

What Trump and Brexit have in common.

How Donald Trump Explains ‘Brexit’

Let’s start with immigration. Among Republicans, Trump has tapped into a deep vein of anti-immigrant, pro-nativist sentiment, promising to seal the country’s borders and threatening to deport millions of people. ... Similarly, those voting for Brexit tend to worry about immigration making England less English, and about immigrants taking Britons’ jobs. “Citizens of regions where immigration is perceived as damaging are much more likely to vote for Brexit,” one study found.

Immigration is certainly fair game for a policy debate, but beyond the legitimate questions there’s a dark underbelly to the anti-immigrant sentiment driving both the Donald’s astonishing rise in the United States and Brexit’s surprising success. Trump is openly xenophobic and racist, intentionally riling up his supporters in the worst ways and encouraging them to embrace and express their own bigotries. That's a dangerous road for any nation to start down. Some leaders of Brexit are openly xenophobic and racist and are using the same tactics. It makes fair-minded observers wonder what the real point is here: modest changes in immigration policy, or the rejection of the values that allow for a pluralistic society?

Then there is the issue of antipathy toward elites. Trump is a rich and connected New Yorker, a Wharton grad, and the coddled inheritor of a real-estate fortune, sure. Nevertheless, with his middle finger raised to the Republican Establishment and to common standards of propriety, he has ridden a wave of distaste for the more buttoned-up masters of the universe. ... Similarly, the leave campaign has painted the remain campaign as urbane, out of touch, and beholden to a bunch of inept pencil pushers in Brussels, and has argued against trusting experts, elites, the powerful. “People in this country have had enough of experts,” said Michael Gove, the justice secretary and a leader of the leave movement.

Now, they might have a point on some of that. But in both cases, this anti-elite sentiment seems to have morphed into a blithe anti-empiricism. (Numbers are only for technocrats these days, it seems.) ... Trump’s policy proposals are the most banana-pants, math-challenged economic fantasy imaginable: He promises to pay off the national debt while also cutting taxes, insists a crippling trade war would help the economy, and so on. His supporters seem not to care. Be wary of political causes that are unfazed by facts that would seem to undercut their core assertions.


Facts and science have a liberal bias. Neither conservatives in the US nor 'Brexit' supporters in the UK base their cases on facts.

Interview with white nationalist Trump supporter (ex-delegate)

The white supremacist who became a Donald Trump delegate has some surprising thoughts on women

The epic battle from here on out is not the battle between progressives and conservatives, which has occupied the media and the politicians for the last 40 years. From here on out, the battle is between the globalists and the nationalists.

Donald Trump promotes a nationalist platform, and the rest of the mainstream—whether it’s the Mitt Romney Republicans, or the Hillary Clinton Democrats—they promote the globalist platform. That’s the epic battle everyone’s dealing with, and Donald Trump—Donald Trump is the herald, the leader, the founder of the resurgence of the nationalist platform.

Globalists promote multiculturalism and diversity, and that is killing the white race. Nationalism promotes a homogenous population. Globalism is empire-building by corporations. We’re past the colonial stage of empire building by governments, so we need to get past the empire building by big business.

And also, one big issue is that nationalism supports a strong, male leader. You want to have strong men in charge. And globalism promotes the touchy-feely, feminist approach we’ve had for so long. That’s why you have Angela Merkel, and Hillary Clinton. The issue of globalism supports feminism, and nationalism supports patriarchy ...


This guy has some weird ideas about Trump, nationalism and patriarchy. Not that he is not correct that Trump is a patriarchal nationalist. But that nationalism necessarily promotes patriarchy and a 'homogenous population'. One example would be Marine Le Pen in France. She is the leader of the right wing National Front. I doubt she is patriarchal.

"... if Trump accomplished his most notable policies ... he would quickly send the economy spiraling

into another recession." Or worse!

Most economists agree that if Trump accomplished his most notable policies — mass deportations, getting into aggressive trade wars, slashing taxes for the wealthiest — he would quickly send the economy spiraling into another recession.

For a populist candidate who has sold himself as a common man fighting for Joe Average, preying on vulnerable, average Americans is certainly not a good look — which is why Donald is so furious that Judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered the public release of company records. This fiasco affirms what many people already knew: Trump is a snake-oil peddling charlatan for the 21st century; the lovechild of P.T. Barnum and George Wallace.

One of his most vocal advocates, Breitbart writer (and full-time troll) Milo Yiannopoulos, provided an insight on Twitter when he was asked what Trump policies he actually supports, and replied that Trumpists just want to “burn everything down.” In other words, the policies (or lack thereof) don’t matter, they just want to watch the establishment squirm. This may be accurate for his most dedicated (and privileged) supporters, but surely there are voters who believe that he will somehow bring back jobs, deport 11 million people, and so on — they don’t know how, and they don’t really care how, but they have faith (just like the students at Trump University).

One underlying theme of Trump’s presidential campaign has been his hostile, anti-intellectual attitude — he is almost disdainful towards facts and expert opinion. The billionaire seems to pride himself on his ignorance, and has no desire to learn or familiarize himself with the issues — even now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee. In many ways, he is a reflection of much of America. Proud, prejudiced, patriotic, ignorant, materialistic, belligerent.

"Trumpists just want to “burn everything down.”
"... he policies (or lack thereof) don’t matter, they just want to watch the establishment squirm."

That's a great explanation of the attitude of Trump supporters.
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