The thin fabric

The thin fabric June 25, 2016

Well this has been a shock. I don’t know why I wasn’t more prepared for the Brexit win – just a foolish trust in people’s reluctance to vote for unabashed xenophobia, I guess.
I thought the UKIP poster, above, that coincided with the murder of Jo Cox last week would be a turn-off, for one thing.
A nasty smug-faced git pointing at desperate refugees in order to stir up fear and loathing among the voters – a little too reminiscent of Dr Goebbels, wasn’t it?
Well, no, it turns out it wasn’t.
Many of my friends have been sharing their dismay on social media for the past 16 hours or so. The writer George Szirtes for instance –

Let me make it clear, dear Leavers.
You are not bastards but you have voted for bastards.
You are not racists but the result will be more racism.
You are not stupid but what you have done in this case is stupid, not just for this country but for Europe and beyond.

The founder and director of the women’s rights charity Making Herstory Onjali Rauf:

Woke up with a gasp … that still hasn’t ended. Am in mourning for a UK that once was and will never again be. The rhetoric of racism has won. Lessons of the past ignored. And the future security of our human rights laws, our ability to tackle our government on injustices, and the EU funds which have helped thousands of charities survive to do our government’s dirty work, is in jeopardy. Oh Britain … what have you done?

The political scientist Ishtiaq Ahmed:

So, finally the British people have expressed their choice. The European Union has been a great experiment in peace building and economic prosperty but now nationalism has struck back. I am afraid we are all going to see such a backlash in the rest of the EU.
Britain created a world empire and rule over several continents but now when power is to be shared with others in the European Union they want to separate.
Reminds me of the Muslim League’s stand that in a democracy the Muslims would be in a minority so we want a separate state – FOR THE 7 CENTURIES THE SAME ASHRAF ELITE only wanted to expand as much as they could in India but when it came to democracy they wanted separatism. The British attitude is the same.

The nasty brew of nationalism, racism and xenophobia is on the boil again, with the hideous possibility of a Trump presidency hiding around the corner.
I would like to be able to think Donald Trump couldn’t possibly win the election, but I’m not. It’s not safe to assume things like that. It’s true that even many Republicans detest him, but it’s also true that many people think he’s the best thing since Hitler, and they are feeling empowered by his shameless racism.
We know from history that people can take inspiration from demagogues like Trump, and we know what kind of horrors ensue.
I try to derive some consolation from the thought that we’re all getting a Living History lesson – hey girls and boys, this is what it was like in Germany around 1929 or so! Now do you get a sense of how an advanced country like Germany, with a famous philosopher on every corner, managed to let itself be seduced by a screaming mediocrity like Hitler?
Now do you see how in just a few short years they were looking hard in the other direction while the SS pushed most of the Jews in Europe into gas chambers? Now does it seem less baffling to you that Yugoslavia could collapse into a genocidal nightmare practically overnight? Now do you feel with your own fingers how very thin and weak the barrier is between a functioning society and a howling wilderness of murder and torture?
The physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili was the lucky recipient of some xenophobic tweets this morning, a few of which he retweeted.

Phoenix on the Right ?@BigButterNutJoe  11 hours ago
@jimalkhalili You should absolutely leave. What kind of Brit has a last name like Al-Khalili? Your people have a home.
TJWP ?@Hriob_Zagel  11 hours ago
TJWP Retweeted
Well with an attitude like that you should probably leave since you don’t seem to support the county to begin with. https://twitter.com/jimalkhalili/status/746207671515123714 …
Randolph Carter ?@occidissident  11 hours ago
Randolph Carter Retweeted
That’s a start. Then self-deportation. Take your skill set and benefit your own country, your own people #brexit
https://twitter.com/jimalkhalili/status/746207671515123714 …
Brittany StGermain ?@brittykittybrat  10 hours ago
@jimalkhalili Maybe if immigrants showed more respect to their “foster” countries instead of trying to bring what they “ran” from…hmmmmmmm
Spectre X@SpectreRedux  11 hours ago
Spectre X Retweeted
Yes. And then get the fuck out. Go home, kebab.
https://twitter.com/jimalkhalili/status/746207671515123714 …

Now, of course, it’s “just Twitter” – it’s just pseudonymous people taking the opportunity to act in a way they wouldn’t act anywhere but Twitter. It doesn’t mean anything; it’s pillocks being pillocks; it’s hardly the first step to Auschwitz or Srebrenica. Maybe – but we don’t know, do we?
The first step to Auschwitz or Srebrenica isn’t going to look like the first step to Auschwitz or Srebrenica, is it, because then it would just be Auschwitz or Srebrenica. In other words genocides don’t start out as genocides, and the first step is something much smaller than mass murder.
I wouldn’t have thought something like the murder of Jo Cox could have happened in the UK, either. That is, if you’d asked me, I would have said sure, that could happen – but I would never have expected it. I’ve learned to expect it here, in my hideously violence-prone country, but not there. And yet it did happen.

It’s been a sad day.
Editor’s note: Over 1.2 million people have signed a petition calling for a second EU referendum:

We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.

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  • Rod Molyneux

    Here we go again, effectively saying that people voted for Brexit because they are ignorant, racist, small minded xenophobic, fascist ( insert noun insult of your choice) . Polling research shows that the number one reason why people voted leave was about the principle of democratic accountability and a desire to regain the ability to hold our law makers to account – a principle which used to be held up as something to be desired by all people and countries wanting to live in a free democratic society. So what leavers have voted for is the exact opposite of your hysterical rant .

  • barriejohn

    I wasn’t surprised at the result of the vote, because, as with your average by-election, disgruntled voters will turn out to vote against the ruling party even – or, maybe, especially – if former supporters, whereas motivating those who are satisfied with the status quo is very difficult indeed. We’ve all lived through by-election after by-election where “protest parties” have won seats and announced a new dawn only to be put firmly in their place come the next general election. Anyway, the In campaign was woeful, and Corbyn’s performance a disgrace, and people were given very few positive reasons for cooperation with our European neighbours. Now, many voters are saying that they regret voting Out, as they only intended their votes as a protest, and some are even suggesting that Boris Johnson himself didn’t envisage being in the position in which he find himself now (see link below). Certainly, his speech yesterday was very strange indeed, and it would appear that we are still likely to have some association with the EU, even if that only means membership of the Single Market. One can also blame the EU leadership for the outcome, to a certain extent, as we were supposed to be part of the “European Project” and not some monolithic entity with laws set in stone. Where was the vision and flexibility to adapt to circumstances, and evolve accordingly? I am very disappointed, but not as despondent as I was when I awoke to the result on Friday morning. It seems unlikely that things will develop the way that most people thought, which may upset a lot of fanatical “exiters”, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that we do, in some way, remain part of Europe!
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/a-pyrrhic-victory-boris-johnson-wakes-up-to-the-costs-of-brexit

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Barriejohn, unless they manage somehow to tow the UK into the mid Atlantic, we will always be a part of Europe. 🙂
    Sorry, I’m so disappointed by this, I’ve got to try to get a smile out of it somehow.

  • remigius

    Barry, re your Editors Note regarding the petition. A lot of people are signing (and reporting on) this petition thinking it may result in a second referendum. They are mistaken.
    The petition was started on Monday 23rd May – a full month before the actual vote, hoping that the rules governing the referendum – as set out in an Act of Parliament – could be changed BEFORE the vote happened but knowing full well that that such a change would not be considered until 5 months AFTER the vote.
    It was badly thought out. An analogy would be me asking for the rules of next months Wimbledon Final to be changed – but not to make that change until next Christmas.

  • Daz

    And the hate continues…
    [Link]

  • I, together with millions of other working-class people, voted for Brexit, and am proud of having done so. The people have spoken!

  • Daz

    @Miss Floribunda Rose
    Well, as one working class person to another, I’m sure you found Michael Gove’s “I think people in this country have had enough of experts” an extremely convincing argument. I didn’t, but then, I prize rationalism and reason over arguments which amount to “We don’t need no fancy book-learnin’!”
    You’re not getting 350 million a week extra for the NHS. That was a lie. Cuts in immigration; a lie. More housing; a lie. Shorter queues at the doctor’s; a lie. Etc, etc et bloody cetera. Instead, we’re quite probably seeing the break-up of the United Kingdom, a Tory government (by the most right-wing faction of that party, to boot) for the foreseeable future, rampant racism in the streets, and in all likelihood a brand shiny new economic depression which may or may not affect the rest of the world, but will surely affect what’s left of the UK—and which will hit the working class worst. All of this was pointed out by those experts you so blithely ignored. If you were aiming for your foot, your shot was perfect.

  • barriejohn

    Two old biddies on the News yesterday:
    “We’ve got our country back.”
    “We remember the old days.”
    “We don’t like being bossed about.”
    Gawd ‘elp us!

  • Vote Trump.

  • barriejohn

    I read an article yesterday which quoted “sources close to the Government” as saying that even Michael Gove didn’t really want Leave to win. That wouldn’t surprise me at all, as almost everyone expected a Remain vote when the campaign started. Johnson and Gove certainly look like two scared bunnies caught in the headlights, with no idea what to do next, but they’d damn well better come up with a plan soon, before our economy crashes completely. I know that we all have our personal views about Alastair Campbell, but this piece is very incisive indeed:
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/boris-johnson-looked-sick-because-he-has-no-idea-how-fix-national-disaster-hes-bequeathed-us-1567413
    As an American friend emailed me yesterday “at least we can now begin to lose our reputation as the most stupid country in the world”.

  • Stephen Mynett

    There was a very good piece in Die Zeit about how the referendum was not binding and the Government still have to make the decision to leave, I hope enough MPs have the guts to do the right thing.
    Re your old couple on the bus Barriejohn, my dad, who is in his eighties, was disgusted by the amount of, who he described as old racists, who voted purely on xenophobic grounds. He also agreed with me that a generation who will soon be dead will leave a complete mess to be cleaned up by a generation who did not want to leave, the divide in the vote between young and old was quite large.

  • barriejohn

    Stephen Mynett: They were on the News!
    I agree with you, but a considerable number of those who either voted Out or abstained are now obviously shocked at the outcome of the vote (one has to wonder why). In theory, MPs can reject the outcome of the referendum, as the vast majority still think that our continued EU membership is beneficial to the country. They are in a strange position, as they were elected by those same voters as pro-EU politicians. The LibDems are already promising to fight the next general election on a “Re-enter” ticket, and this could be their salvation as a party (they are claiming a surge in membership, which doesn’t surprise me), because an awful lot of people are going to be very disillusioned when they realize that exiting Europe DOESN’T mean expelling “foreigners” from our borders, nor billions for the NHS, and may even involve continuing payments to the EU (or UE as the Guardian, naturally, called it!).
    http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/national/lib-dems-plan-eu-return-platform-for-next-election-1-7449843

  • David Anderson

    Miss Floribunda Rose says:
    Sun 26 Jun at 7:55 am
    Vote Trump.
    ¡Gilipollas!

  • Laura Roberts

    I live in the UK but I’m not eligible to vote, hence I’m forced to watch this train wreck as a passenger (or, sure, call me baggage). When I moved here, I was gratified to see some British journalists actually hold politicians’ feet to the fire — something I’d not seen in America since the 1980’s (if then). But this leave/remain referendum was shockingly free of reliable information or data. As others have noted, the “remain” camp seemed relatively blase, while the “leave” voters seemed both irrational and enthusiastic.
    Then there was our mail slot. For weeks we were inundated with slick propaganda that advocated leaving the EU. Mostly it contained vague claims about the cost of remaining in the EU, promises to spend that money on the NHS and other services, and thinly veiled threats of nasty foreigners destroying the country (hmm, does that include me?). Any evidence was conspicuously vague; what was clear was that this was a well-funded and well-organised propaganda campaign, precisely like the fake, Koch-funded “grass roots” Tea Party campaigns I had seen in America several years ago. I had hoped the UK electorate would be wise to such obvious tactics. It appears I was wrong.

  • barriejohn

    Laura: We received a leaflet a few days prior to the referendum stating that it was “OFFICIAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE REFERENDUM ON 23 JUNE 2016”. It was, of course, more Leave propaganda,and featured the claim, again, (“THE FACTS”) that “The EU already costs us £350 million a week” – a “fact” which was prominent in every single communication that we received from them!

  • David Anderson

    I have been living in Galica, Spain for 14 years and I just made the deadline for voting, remain of course.
    I now pass the criteria to apply for Spanish citizenship (already a registered resident). Off on Monday to start the process. No guarantee of acceptance though and knowing the Spanish love of paperwork it will be a long journey.

  • In today’s news…
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/26/racist-incidents-feared-to-be-linked-to-brexit-result-reported-in-england-and-wales?CMP=fb_gu
    “According to reports from the Cambridge News, a number of cards saying “Leave the EU/No more Polish vermin” in both English and Polish were found outside St Peter’s school by teaching assistants and students, including an 11-year-old Polish child, who reported they made him feel “really sad”.
    Cards bearing the same message were posted around a number of properties, police confirmed.”

  • Englishman

    I too voted OUT. Why? The EU is a vile organisation that’s why. It’s not about trade and never has been. It’s all about power, the destruction of the original people of Europe and their replacement with a “mixed” race.
    The sooner the EU is gone the better. Hopefully our exit has started the ball rolling.

  • barriejohn

    Englishman: I would be very interested to know your own ancestry. Where did YOUR antecedents originate, I wonder. It would never do for the pure English blood to be diluted, would it?

  • Stephen Mynett

    I would suggest Scandinavia is the answer Barriejohn, the home of the original Trolls.

  • Barry Duke

    So, Englishman, is this what you intended when you voted to leave? http://imgur.com/91d2wYO

  • barriejohn

    Ophelia: I’m not surprised by that at all. My nieces live in Peterborough, and “everyone” there was voting Out because of their antipathy towards “the immigrants”. This is a bit rich when you consider that Peterborough was a New Town, and that most of its present inhabitants migrated there from the 1960s onwards. My brother-in-law and sister, and other friends of mine, moved there from Swindon in the 1970s. Funnily enough, Swindon has a large number of immigrants, but seems to avoid the tensions that exist elsewhere (though I did know members of the BNP who lived there). There is a large Polish community, but that has existed since the Second World War. However, those of us who moved there during its expansion in the mid-1950s weren’t always made to feel welcome. Most of the town worked “inside” (ie in the Railway Works), and the massive housebuilding programme undertaken by the forward-thinking Town Clerk, David Murray John (who also brought modern industries to the town, as he could see that the writing was on the wall for the railway industry), was largely financed by the old GLC. Indeed, they paid a subsidy for years for every person relocating from London to Swindon, but the “old” Swindonians complained bitterly (yes, you’ve guessed it) that they had sons and daughters who had been on the housing list for years and were being leapfrogged by these “outsiders”! I am just perplexed that people who are virtual economic migrants themselves (or whose parents were) should be so prejudiced against those in the same situation as themselves. I also wonder whether I shall be forced to relocate to Ireland (the home of my grandfather), and have asked about this but been reassured that this will not be necessary. This, of course, has nothing to do with the colour of my skin, but is because of…well, all sorts of reasons which are difficult to explain really!

  • The Poles generally tend to dislike non-whites. That’s why they don’t want any immigrants from Africa or Asia settling in their country. The same is true of most Eastern Europeans. Sad, but true. Also, non-whites tend to be far more racist than whites, especially Asians. Sad, but true. Jesus H. Effing Christ, what sort of a world do we live in?

  • I wonder if Nigel will ever be elevated to the peerage? I do hope so. If any man deserves such an honour, it is he.

  • Knickerless Sturgeon seems to be trying to make the most of it all, doesn’t she? Is it true she has a ginger sporran between her legs and enjoys tossing Salmond’s caber? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

  • Stephen Mynett

    It has been known for ages that a Brexit vote would lead to another independence referendum in Scotland, so Nicola Sturgeon is only reacting as expected. Everyone, who could think, knew this would be the situation. Had the SNP wished they could have backed Brexit to ensure their independence claims but, unlike other knee-jerk idiots, they realise the value of EU membership.

  • Englishman

    Barry Duke says:
    Sun 26 Jun at 8:31 pm
    So, Englishman, is this what you intended when you voted to leave? http://imgur.com/91d2wYO
    Is this a Twitter link? Don’t you have anything more reliable than some random bloke?
    The UK has just done something which nobody expected. So in the short term there is going to be some fallout. It’s a unique situation and people still don’t know how to react. Once things settle down somewhat things will change.

  • Englishman

    barriejohn says:
    Sun 26 Jun at 8:21 pm
    Englishman: I would be very interested to know your own ancestry. Where did YOUR antecedents originate, I wonder. It would never do for the pure English blood to be diluted, would it?
    I don’t know my ancestry other than I was born in Yorkshire. BTW, why does it matter? I used “Englishman” to denote the country where I was born, nothing more. I also have a naturalistic world-view so from my perspective country of origin is just down to luck.
    As for the the “pure English blood being diluted”, why is it a good thing for this to happen? Why should English people allow their culture to be diluted?
    The EU WANTS white genocide, It WANTS a non-white race across EUROPE.

  • Englishman

    Stephen Mynett says:
    Sun 26 Jun at 8:25 pm
    I would suggest Scandinavia is the answer Barriejohn, the home of the original Trolls.
    “An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).”
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

  • Mac

    There you have it … Read the above, discarding the usual childish responses … Think about the differences and divisions that exist between the respondents. Then you will understand why humans will always be in conflict with one another and that concensus will never be achieved … On anything.

  • Englishman

    Barry Duke says:
    Sun 26 Jun at 8:31 pm
    So, Englishman, is this what you intended when you voted to leave? http://imgur.com/91d2wYO
    “George Osborne has said the UK is ready to face the future “from a position of strength” and indicated there will be no immediate emergency Budget.
    He said there would still need to be an “adjustment” in the UK economy.
    However, it was perfectly sensible to wait for a new prime minister” before taking any such action.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36637732

  • barriejohn

    Christ Almighty, what a load of bollocks.

  • leave

    I VOTED LEAVE. SCOTLANDS FIRST MINISTER WILL RUIN SCOTLAN D IS IT WORTH IT DOES SHE REALLY WANT TO PAY FOR HER PRESCRIPTIONS AND THE YOUNG TO PAY FOR THEIR STUDENTS FEES

  • I wonder if any of the men (where are the women, by the way?) in that infamous poster ended up in Cologne or bathing in various German and Austrian swimming pools? Oh well, better Cologne than Rotherham I suppose…..

  • Barry Duke

    Typing in capital letters, Leave, signals HYSTERIA. Don’t do again!

  • remigius

    Barry, the word ‘Hysteria’ is derived from the utterly discredited notion that certain mental disorders are caused by the female reproductive system.
    This site should be a safe space – free from the vile misogynistic, phallocentric rhetoric that you so wantonly espouse. You should personally apologise to each and every woman on Planet Earth for your crass, belittling, and downright insulting remark.
    I feel triggered – I’m going for a lie-down.

  • remigius

    Ophelia and barriejohn. I agree that the attacks on the Polish community here in the UK is shameful – however they are not unexpected.
    In the run-up to the referendum politicians, political commentators and the media – from both campaigns – were telling the public that the Poles cannot be trusted.
    They have a lot to answer for.

  • Stephen Mynett

    One Polish community centre that had graffiti sprayed on it was set up by their airmen during the war. My dad did his National Service in the RAF and said the Polish flyers were a fantastic bunch and would take on any job, in fact they could be quite scary to fly with as they had no fear.
    While it is disgusting that this happens, judging by some of the comments made here it is no surprise.

  • PerUnitVolume

    When the EU was being set up, I noticed that it was being deliberately sabotaged from the get go and also saw that the only things actually allowed to exist and function were those few items that could be easily exploited for shallow and financial gains for the rich.
    All else was carefully maneuvered to be a plumber’s mistake, such as anything aimed towards helping regular people.
    When I saw the deliberate fuck-ups being carefully constructed, I was not surprised in the least.
    Then, once their claws were in good and tight, they started ramping up the deliberate importation of people who would make better slaves than the current herd of high-maintenance peasants. Immigration numbers skyrocketed and they made sure that they would spend very little on these new peasants to induce severe social stresses on all their uppity locals and give them justifications for “cracking down” with every new problem, every violent act no matter who did it.
    Here’s the good part: Most of these immigrants are political and economic refugees deliberately sent to the EU to invade, to supplant the local culture with their own, to burden everyone and create problems that could then be “dealt with”.
    Things have gotten truly ridiculous with the nonsensical numbers of refugees, all muslim, when there are no more jobs for any of them than there were before, no places to put them, and no reason to have allowed them entry in the first place.
    Why would you invite millions of people who hate you, your culture, your religion or lack of it, your skin color, your unwillingness to submit to their rule, who will infiltrate and sabotage until the whole area is a muslim theocracy?
    And why would you do so knowing there is no place to house them, no jobs for them, no food for them, who don’t speak your language, who are mosty brain-damaged, ignorant, barely able to do more than eat and shit and complain about how they need to stop five times a day to remind themselves that their end goal is the eradication of everything that is not Islam?
    You may think multi-culturalism is something to be desired, but it is extremely xenophobic and damaging to everyone involved.
    You can’t live together if everyone has opposing moral values no matter how warm and fuzzy you think it is to have multiple vectors of xenophobia all constrained in a small area. But the idiots running things know this already. That is why they put as much pressure on as they could hoping for situations they can exploit.
    You’ve got a muslim mayor running around trying very very hard to create a lawless city-state in the middle of your country. He wants very badly to be like a king of a small area. If he succeeds, you’ll know the house of Saud’s timetable is one step closer to fruition.
    If Brexit had not won, you would have seen things get much worse in a very horrible direction. The ECHR violates all ethical standards by insisting that delusional ideologies be given special privileges.
    Somewhere down the line, more and more refugees would pile on until they could overwhelm any region with simple numbers and a few sharp sticks.
    You were staring right in the face of your enemies and they were smiling.
    You dodged a bullet with Brexit and don’t you fucking forget it. Now you’ve got a bit of breathing space and should start removing all the traitors who have been openly sabotaging your country at the direction of the Saudis.
    They’ve done everyone brown. But that doesn’t mean you can’t realize what simpletons you were and actually try for once in your sodden lives to CLEAN YOUR FUCKING HOUSE of all traitors.
    The world isn’t all friends yet. We don’t even have everyone on the same page as regards what is real and what is not. Nobody seems inclined to do anything about all the lying sacks of shit everywhere, so your enemies will still have lots of operatives and employees in place to do more damage.
    You complain that there are a bunch of racist tits being racist tits while touting your own sack of xenophobia in the same breath.
    When you are attacked by an enemy, do you then think that their culture is wonderful?
    What if a traitor deliberately fucks everything up and appears astonishingly incompetent yet always appears smug and satisfied that they had done a good job and earned all that wonderful cash and enjoys warm relationships with muslims?
    Would you even fucking notice? I do.
    And just in case someone wants to accuse me of racism, you don’t know jack shit about the word. A religion is not a race.
    I’m anti-religion. I don’t give a fuck what someone looks like if they are rational.
    Xenophobia against enemies is called prudence, dear, not bigotry.

  • barriejohn

    Stephen Mynett: That’s what I have heard as well. Do you remember the following?
    https://youtu.be/NulIlf6qOks
    It spelt the end of Stan Boardman’s TV career, and of live chat shows, though Freddie Starr and Oliver Reid did poor old Des no favours either!

  • Lurker111

    I read numerous stories that people had cast “Leave” votes as a protest, not really expecting that the Leave vote would have any impact. Bizarre.
    With respect to one of the quoted tweets:
    ‘@jimalkhalili Maybe if immigrants showed more respect to their “foster” countries instead of trying to bring what they “ran” from’
    This tweet actually contains a valid philosophical point: People who leave their country by voting with their feet are leaving, very often, because their country’s system _failed_. And if so, why go to a country where things work better and bring elements of that failure with you? it’s a point that can be legitimately raised.

  • barriejohn

    @PerUnitVolume: Just the same xenophobic nonsense that we have been subjected to over the past few weeks by the Brexiters. The fatal flaw in your argument is that we have an ageing population and falling birth rates in Europe, and especial difficulties in countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece, so who exactly is going to pay for spiralling health-care, pensions and benefit costs, or provide the hospital care and personal care that many, like my mother and late father, need? Contrary to what many people imagine, we have never paid into a true National Insurance scheme, so expenditure has to come from current income and not from some enormous pot of money that has been invested, and tax raised from pensioners’ income just won’t meet the costs. Farage is a lying bastard anyway, as he hasn’t just been angling for a UK exit from the EU, but disintegration of the organization, and a return to a Europe of mainly fascist, squabbling nation states like we had…before the First World War. How long before NATO collapses, with the Americans saying “We’re not getting involved in European wars” again, with Russian tanks rolling into Eastern Europe (they’ve already threatened to reduce the USA to “radioactive dust” – or hadn’t you heard?). At least I am living in Great Britain, and not the Ukraine, though Putin, or his successor, may not stop at the Channel next time!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_European_Union

  • tom80

    I voted out t because, as Abraham Lincoln put it, at the end of the Gettysberg address : Government of the people ,for the people ,by the people shall not perish from this earth. It’s the best definition of democracy I know of and in the EU the Westminster parliament was not sovereign: It could not control our own borders for instance. Many other laws were brought in by the EU and we could not vote out the people who framed them. Iwant to live in a democracy.

  • PerUnitVolume

    @barriejohn
    I am both distressed and angry that your mother does not have access to good healthcare and hope things get better in some way for you and your family.
    My apologies to anyone who thinks I am advocating or supporting treating anyone badly, and would much rather see people taken care of, including any refugees regardless of their personal ideologies.
    I want everyone in the world to be healthy, physically and mentally. If someone is delusional, this is a health concern in the end and should be treated as such.
    Healthcare should be a basic human right and the only thing keeping universal healthcare from being properly paid for is the hostile intent of those in charge who, more often than not, do not understand that a government cannot be run like a business, who insist that everything must be paid for by the poor while their own wealth stays untouched.
    They insist that any money printed must go to them and not the poor, to business and not the government, towards making more profits for the rich and not “thrown away” on helping people survive unless they can profit from it in some way.
    You say it is a fatal flaw in my argument yet I did not address healthcare in my previous post, or touch upon the macroeconomic aspects of Brexit. Sorry.
    Universal healthcare, or nationalized / socialized healthcare is just that: a government responsibility to protect and help all citizens to survive with a minimum of health and safety. They do it with national defense, yet somehow the general public is not considered part of that. This is irrational and ridiculous and shows the truly nasty intent of those in charge. Their xenophobia is towards the “lower classes” and anyone not related to them or their friends. They hate the poor for being their victims, just like many bullies hate their victims, and they will fight against helping the poor with such things as healthcare, survival, or even the rule of law.
    Consider a scenario where all the money in the world vanishes instantly. Did it harm anyone? Only if they were sitting on a large stack of it. Their bloated arses would come slamming down but that’s about it.
    Did all the food and housing and all that vanish with the money? No. The world still exists. Money is imaginary. This is a basic fact of economics and of currency in general: it doesn’t actually exist as such.
    The answer, then, is to treat this imaginary thing being hoarded and denied to others as a serious mental health concern and not as something that “must” be considered in terms of “having to come from somewhere specific” in order to get anything done at all.
    It is those who worship money who are the worst sorts to have in charge of it. They cannot be reasonably expected to act rationally in the face of their obsessive mental disorder but just try to pry them away from it!
    When something so necessary, like healthcare, is constantly undermined by greed, by the seeking and, yes, even demanding that profits be generated regardless of topic, department, or responsibility, you see very bad healthcare.
    Healthcare MUST be at COST and absolutely nothing more. No profits, no “market share”, no greed-based outlook should ever be applied to something so basic as human survival, yet that is what we always see.
    Those refugees must be helped to survive, even if they are sworn enemies. Their lives are important, their mental state more so.
    But in terms of location, it is healthier and safer to keep them at distance and help them shake off their delusional madness in some other way.
    Mere proximity to rational people does not confer mental health to those who have suffered lifelong abuse and indoctrination into their delusional cults, so there is no compelling reason to bring them into your country as immigrants.
    Wouldn’t it make more sense to help them realize their error rather than assume they will cleave to your local culture?
    But you were talking healthcare and budgets.
    We have the whole modern world as a resource. Currency is imaginary and meant to represent some flight of fancy concerning “value”, a subjective term.
    Imagine a world without money yet a thousand times nicer, with things for everyone to do and learn. We have the technology but not the leadership. All we have is nasty greedy mentally ill people in charge.
    Brexit was about getting out of a bad agreement with bad governance ruining everything. Money is not magical. It does not confer ability or intelligence or rationalism no matter how large the amount.
    Please examine your preconceived notions about money and study Keynesian Macroeconomics – the London school of economics is not the place for this. Those pinheads are still using debunked macro, not Keynesian, which might have something to do with all of these problems, hm.
    Sorry for the wall of text and sorrier to hear of your family having any problems, barriejohn.

  • Mass immigration from the third world into the Western world may well result in the eradication of atheism. Muslims, African evangelical Christians, Eastern European Catholics, all breeding like wabbits, will cause the demise of Western culture. Time for another pink gin. Cheers.

  • John Hopkins

    If contributors to this forum cannot frame their discussion and arguments without gratuitous use of vulgar language (as has been occurring for some time), I shall become so bored as to withdraw from it.

  • John

    I think we all need to bear in mind that the information provided to people on which to base their voting intentions was largely rubbish.
    The “Remain” camp largely used the “politics of fear” approach to such an extent that all their messages ended up losing all credibility – which is why Gove’s message to ignore “experts” gained such resonance, especially when the “experts” seemed to be largely contradicting one another.
    They almost promised famine, pestilence and that the Black Death would stalk the land again if people did not vote as they told them to – which was clearly absurd.
    Cameron, of course, was a complete fool even promising a referendum in the first place in a misguided attempt to spike the UKIP guns at the last general election and in order to placate his own Eurosceptic MPs.
    Not only did he and his political arch-schemer Osborne get it totally wrong but they ensured – through a long assault on junior doctors and the NHS – that many people would vote against “Remain” simply to spite them.
    What they never provided was any positive reason to vote for the “Remain” option – only a shallow “politics of fear” to try to frighten voters into supporting them.
    Well, we all see how that worked out, don’t we?
    The “Leave” campaigners clearly recognized successive governments’ failures to plan for increased migration in terms of increasing availability of housing, school places and healthcare services.
    Support for them was clearly an indictment of the failure of successive governments to plan the integration of migrants in any sensible way.
    Finally, the result also marked a very real failure of the EU to make any meaningful concessions to keep Britain in the EU. Their failure to adopt policies to control migration levels – due in large part to the other idiot, Merkel – as well as the decimation of the UK fishing industry and the UK steel industry – led to a large scale revolt against the EU’s failure to defend the working lives and quality of life for large numbers of UK workers.
    Ultimately, democracy works in the round as it is always easy to find oddball characters who have strange voting reasons but these few do not detract from the far greater wisdom of a combined national vote.
    It is all too easy for a metropolitan elite to dismiss the concerns of ordinary people and to label them as stupid.
    We should avoid falling into this trap and we need to ask very serious questions about the kind of political leadership this country has to offer today.
    Relying upon a bunch of toffish Bullingdon Club old boys to set the political agenda has clearly not worked well for the British people.
    Time for a change – time for normal people to be involved in the running and governance of our country.

  • remigius

    John, I totally agree. This whole fiasco should never have begun in the first place.
    It’s been like a car journey with David Cameron in the drivers seat and we the electorate as a couple of noisy kids in the back.
    After listening to us whining on for the entire trip, he foolishly decided to let us have a go at steering.
    Now the car is upside-down in a ditch, there’s a massive bill to pay, we’re not going to end up where we wanted to be, everyone is laughing at us – and the bloody kids are whining more than ever.

  • PerUnitVolume

    @remigius – You’ve got it all backwards. The drunken sots have been murdering children by driving over them and their families and never find themselves in such a deep ditch that they couldn’t throw some gore under the wheels for a little better traction to get back on their intended course.
    I’m guessing you didn’t want to leave the EU, right?
    When will you notice that the slobs steering the UK have never, at any time, allowed anyone to even get close to the steering wheel, as it were?
    Even now, after having their bluff called, they refuse to stand aside but insist that they are the ones who must continue to steer the country despite everyone screaming for them to stop murdering people?
    They are constitutionally incapable of releasing their death grip on the wheel. Nothing happens without their say-so, so if you don’t like it, it might be time to realize where the problems actually originate instead of blaming the victims who scream with outrage at the horrible things these self-appointed criminals keep doing with the country.
    There is no massive bill to pay that couldn’t be paid with the money they’ve stolen, robbed, cheated, swindled, murdered to get and betrayed every trust to remain in control of, even after all these centuries of low-minded criminality that is the hallmark of the leadership in the UK since before it was the UK.
    No-one is laughing at you unless you insist on being ridiculous.
    Calling everyone a bunch of fucking whining kids really shows how you feel about people wanting fairness and justice in their lives.
    No, you will probably never see any of those sadistic reptiles ever release their death-grip. They’ve got you all wrapped up in their narrative, I would guess.
    How does it feel to be brainwashed? Oh, I remember now. Sorry. You aren’t responsible for your madness. Have a nice day you poor sod.

  • remigius

    “…and the bloody kids are whining more than ever.”
    I rest my case!

  • Rick scarbo

    Let’s give the brexit era what they want – more democratic accountability.
    Banish the unelected Lords, separation of church and state and abolish the monarchy.
    I’ll believe that the brexiters voted for democracy when they fight for this as well.

  • PerUnitVolume

    Yeah, you’d like a flame war, a little bit of scum like you. Piss off, remigius.

  • barriejohn

    PerUnitVolume: Why don’t YOU “piss off” instead? I’m not averse to the use of a little florid language myself when emotions are high, but I sympathize with John Hopkins (above), as you sound like an arrogant teenager who can’t believe his luck that he’s found a forum on which to display the wonders of his genius (maybe you are!). And no one beats me for cynicism where politics is concerned, but I have had many close friends and family members involved, and the claim that the majority of our MPs are “self-appointed criminals” is beneath contempt.

  • Stephen Mynett

    I think one of the problems with modern MPs is that they have had little experience of life outside of politics, years ago most MPS had some sort of business or working background so could relate to the sort of people they were representing. A lot now have gone straight from university into political research or working within a political structure and have not had the experience of a normal working life, this does put a distance between them and those they are representing

  • PerUnitVolume

    @barriejohn – I tried to piss off. I really did.
    I’m just not very good at it, as you can see here.
    I need to vent. If you have a comment section underneath articles I have something to say about the articles and thus we see comments appear.
    If you don’t want comments, don’t have a fucking comment section, eh?

  • remigius

    “If YOU don’t want comments, don’t have a fucking comment section, eh?”
    Another fuckin’ illiterate who cannot tell the difference between barriejohn (commenter) and Barry Duke (editor).

  • PerUnitVolume

    I knew they were different blokes, thanks just the same.
    He complains about my comments but without a comment section how could I even say anything in the first place? Maybe I should have put it that way.
    Thanks for your trolling, giving me an excuse to post again, rimjob-easyus.

  • remigius

    “Thanks for your trolling…”
    Oh this just keeps getting better and better. You suggested I want a flame war – but you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m quite happy just to sit back with a bag of Kettle Chips and watch you make a complete arse of yourself.

  • PerUnitVolume

    …said the troll.
    Enjoy your chips. I’ve never seen an arse eat but there you are, proving me wrong. Alas.

  • Collingwood

    I voted for Brexit, am a Labour voter .Not bothered by immigration or refugees settling here. Mr. Cameron gave me a vote and I made a choice to leave the EU. Think that the EU was set up on quite noble ideals but now feel decades later that something isn’t right . The life of an ordinary chap like myself now seems very much in the hands of layers of bureaucrats and cliques of ‘experts’and I wanted a change. ‘Remain ‘ supporters were so fixated on UKIP that they missed the fact that many Labour supporters are Euro-sceptics ( in England and Wales at least ) :

  • Edwin Salter

    If in doubt it’s always worth looking at the personalities. There was an unused ad for Remain which showed Johnson, Gove, Farage & IDS with a caption asking if you want to live on a small island dominated by them. And the exchanges above well illustrate unpleasant appearances. But the disgruntled, old and foolish found it easiest to blame foreigners and to put their faith in the self-confident posh types (who by widening the rich-poor gap and cutting all that is in common have created huge disadvantage and resentment). Farcically, these incompetents have self-destructed. Now we have a horrid mess to confront (another ad showed a grenade – ‘you can’t put the pin back’). Reason and evidence would help – as always.