Electron Dance
29Jun/169

Discussion: The Fat Finger

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Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the June edition of the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

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  1. Totally understand how Brexit chucked everything off the schedule. It had a similar effect on me.

    Hasn’t “neoliberalism” been around for ages? I’ve heard it so often my brain doesn’t interpret it literally anymore; it parses it as “shady self-congratulatory capitalism that thinks it’s doing good by not being 100% ruthless” or something.

  2. Oh I think I was too hurried with that particular line. It’s not that I don’t know what neoliberalism means, but more that it seems – to me, at least – to be overused. If you’re critiquing capitalism these days, you’ve just got to throw in the word neoliberal or neoliberalism. That’s all.

  3. My in-laws are in Northern Ireland and the whole thing is very worrisome. Aside from the uncertainty about the border, and all the possible complications about calling for a new reunification vote (seems like there’s some concern about the UK considering pulling out of the ECHR, which would really muck up the Good Friday accords), their farm depends on the Common Agricultural Program in a big way. Another promise the Leavers are backtracking on seems to have been that subsidized regions would be looked after, not that NI seems to have mostly fallen for it.

    …can I go completely off-topic now? I have some thoughts about level select screens.

  4. I don’t know what is going on in your country but none of it seems good. Latest developments in the Tory leadership battle look very bad for the UK staying in the common market, and the EU apparently quietly told Sturgeon that if the UK leaves the EU, Scotland leaves, setting the stage for a public announcement of Indyref2 once Article 50 is triggered by PM May or PM Gove. And Gove wants Brexit max, no common market. Goodbye, financial center of Europe!

    David Cameron will go down as one of the worst PMs in history.

  5. Matt, the only Brexit “benefit” I’ve been getting from politicians is the ability to shred worker rights to make us more attractive to employers. Undercut the EU with his outdated… worker protections. I don’t know what to make of CAP evaporating; this country doesn’t seem to love its farmers much anyway, having let supermarkets wring them dry. CAP is another one of those things with positive intent but has all sorts of deleterious effects. I do not know what exiting the CAP is going to do. And to think the Leave brigade were demanding this without any plan whatsoever.

    And you don’t need me to give you permission to go off-topic. I’ve seen it happen before without any approval.

    Eric, I read Scotland probably needs to go independent before the UK leaves so they can get into this “transitional holding pen” arrangement. If Gove is elected, I guess that’s Game, Set and Brexit? No one is going to be attempting to find a way to save any kind of relationship with Europe? I don’t know. Perhaps once Gove has seen all of the consequences after the civil service does their research, he’ll pause and go, “Well. Shit.”

  6. Like you, Joel, I’m appalled at the near-complete lack of any factual or even rational rigour to the EU referendum debates and campaigns. It’s transparently clear that the Leave campaigners did not want to win. Now they’re left trying to figure out how to stop riding a tiger and put it back in its cage.

    If we don’t push to establish new narratives that are not those of the Tories and the Labour right, we are fucked. More neoliberalism and more post-fact politics will deepen and exacerbate our present crises. At least being within the EU meant the decline was slower.

    There was a characteristically excellent article by James Meek on the CAP and British farmers in a recent issue of the London Review of Books that is worth seeking out.

  7. If there’s one thing I’ve been feeling and sort of brought to a head with the Brexit crisis is that I should be doing something with myself, politically speaking. I don’t know what that is, but it rankles how ragey I get about the situation but I’m doing nothing except nodding along with like-minded folks.

    I will seek out the article by James Meek, cheers!

  8. Thanks for taking the time to write the Brexit newsletter and for linking to so many interesting articles.

    I’m kind of exhausted by it all now and things haven’t even begun. I shared a lot of what I deemed reliable information on the run up to the vote but, truth be told, the people I knew who were voting Leave wouldn’t have read any of it anyway: their minds were made up. The thing is, these very people, when I read what they were writing elsewhere, were speaking absolute bollocks. Right up the day of the vote too. This was everywhere. Post-fact post-expert Britain is very much a thing and its terrifying. As James O’Brien alluded to, if we don’t trust experts then who the hell do we trust?

    I’ve read plenty of arguments for the economy and the benefits of being in the EU but honestly, the Leavers I know were mostly concerned with immigration and ‘taking back control’. Bleurgh. Again, I presented factual article after factual article about the realities of EU/non-EU immigration and the single market but it fell on deaf ears. I did as much as I could. Well, without shouting at people at least, which I really wanted to do as we got closer to the vote.

    I wished I’d bet on Brexit because I called it that the British people would want to Leave! I live in the East Midlands, apparently a Brexit heartland. I also work for local government in the district that’s home to Sports Direct’s 3000 worker ‘sweatshop’ warehouse so I can smell it in the air. I saw nothing but Leave signs and posters everywhere I went. Years of anti-immigration tabloid rhetoric. Blanket mistrust and disillusionment with the establishment and an electorate that hasn’t tagged on to the media being a part of that very establishment. It’s scary.

    The real champions here for me are the Scots. Bless them for rejecting Labour in the GE and bless them for unanimously voting Remain. I joked how we should move to Scotland after the GE and now I’m wishing we had. I’m also proud of my parents and my mad nan for voting Remain.

    My big fear is the apparent legitimisation of racism that’s arisen from the result. I’d argue that’s the worst thing to come from all of this. And like I said earlier, it’s only just begun. Unsettling times.

    And sorry for the grab bag of thoughts here! Great post, as always Joel.

  9. It’s alright, Gregg. It was just so… shocking to wake up and find out the population had voted to throw themselves off a cliff. No big. He-Man figured out how to fly like a bird once while in free-fall.

    All the options ahead kind of worry me.

    Finding a way to “annul” the result – such as the legal intervention that was launched today by an “anonymous” group of clients – will cause huge upset with those people who voted for Leave.

    On the other hand, many of the Leave operators were more interested in getting rid of regulation as opposed to being concerned with immigration, because immigration is vital / cheap labour depending your perspective. The “Leave” option was remarkably opaque, and it could mean many different things to many different people. The only thing it assures is that we technically leave the EU. Not that we leave the common market. Not that we curb immigration. Which means that “leaving the EU” is no guarantee that the voters will feel any sense of fulfilment.

    In other words, we could easily fall into the worst of both worlds. Paying to stay in the common market without any say, and having all the Leave voters feeling pissed off that nothing seems to have changed. Well, it has changed, just for the worse.


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