Politics

Brexit and delusion on a religious scale (essay)

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #10188

    Davis
    Moderator

    If you ever want to catch the modern political equivalent of the lunacy of religious zealots along with their misguided faith, stubborn stupidity and self-destruction taking everyone else down with them…look no further than Brexit.

    Take for instance the Telegraphs article titled (paywall): The EU is taking a huge gamble that we will surrender if it keeps pushing. What if we don’t?

    They talk about the UK as though it is somehow more influential, more powerful with a greater bargaining power than an alliance of 28 countries whose GDP and trade influence is exponentially larger than the UK. To sum the article up, the EU is a boogeyman so offended by one team player leaving that they will punish the UK or hold out on negotiations until the UK submits and decides to stay, and plays hardball risking everything just to score some petty points with the enormous gigantic essential land of the British. What if the UK decides to say no to the big bad EU? Somehow the UK will beat a powerful union of 28 economically important countries through sheer British amazingness. The EU devil is trying to tempt the UK christian soldiers into selling their souls and when the UK says no…will magically become a glorious world power while the EU mourns over its loss. Amen. Overestimating your importance was one of the many fatal flaws that Greek drama hilighted.

    The mighty shall not fallThis article in the London Times illustrates the delusions of Brexiteers well. It is written in the format of a Leaver living in a magical world where the UK is still the ultimate power and using devious long term deceptive conspiratorial plans…it will triumph. Yet its clear she is lampooning the Brexit religion. I like how she mocks the UK post-exit strategy. The EU talks in good faith with the UK, make an exit deal and then the  UK goes, actually we’re only offering this. And somehow by magic…28 powerful countries are so vulnerable to the UK’s exceptional celestial might realise their danger and submit to whatever the UK is willing to give. Walmart fears ruin when a small yet robust product supplier deides to reneg on a deal and Wallmart gives into whatever this supplier offers cause Wallmart will be woulnded if it doesn’t. Religion gets in the way of simple math. 28 countries facing a notable but small loss while the UK facing a catastrophic loss with its closest 28 trading partners…the EU still cannot say no to Britishness. It reminds me of those from a small sect of a Church which was burnt down by lightening with everyone inside dying and yet still believe that they are the chosen ones.

    All economic and financial activity leads to LondonThen the author refers to Borris johnson as somehow capable of measured thought (the guy who invented EU paranoia while working as a bored correspondent in Brussels and honestly doesn’t really care about the EU). While bitching and complaining about May’s attempt to find some sanity in an insane situation, he trashes it and never offers a single alternative attempting to become Prime Minister in the process. His resignation speech says it all (after he first agreed to a new deal and then pulled a hissyfit over it. She then mocks the evocative language hard Brexiteers use: “a new spirit, a new appetite” as the UK steers itself on its own to political and economic exceptionalism. Its the religious jargon of faith. Fantastic beasts like Unicorns or talking bushes factor into it. Somehow the UK will magically become a solo act that will grow even better after pissing on its neighbors and reverting to unfavorable international trade rules. Praise the lord.

    I was born in Germany but since I had no desire to do military service I lost that passport forever. My father was born in the UK and so I have British Citizenship. I depend on that passport for easy access to all EU countries (work, residence, study, whatever). I will now have to give up that passport once the UK leaves as I will lose those rights (I lived in the UK for a couple years when I  was 20 and they were some of the funnest years ever and it takes a very fond place in my heart as it does with most Europeans) and now take a Spanish one. And while I’ve always wanted a Spanish passport anyways, it still breaks my heart to see the UK leave what is arguably the most successful global project in history with powerful humanist ideals based on collective decision making of total unanimity and an incredibly strong influence on changing their neighbours into fairer, kinder, safer and just countries. I hate to watch the UK crash and burn like a sinking ship. I despise the toxic effects of a political religion spreading fear, disinformation, lunacy, dogma and self-destruction taking down both the believers and the sane.

    #10189

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Nationalism is a bit like a drug. You don’t have to think or work and yet you feel better. You see the far left align with immigrants and you imagine the death of your national culture and way of life. There are elements of truth to the fears.

    I see a gaggle of hooded women on a sidewalk covered from head to toe in black. It’s 95 degF and humid. A blond in a bikini top rides by them on her bike. They are on their way to the Middle Eastern Market, next to a gas station; strange writing in a another alphabet followed by prices with dollar signs. They do not value freedom of speech. They do not value equality of the sexes. The murder of a homosexual is alright in their eyes. And yet here they are. A pickup truck drives by displaying two flags, one is the stars and stripes, the other is the stars and bars and I think, well the murder of a homosexual is alright in their eyes as well. I hate religion.

    #10190

    Davis
    Moderator

    Nationalism is a bit like a drug. You don’t have to think or work and yet you feel better. You see the far left align with immigrants and you imagine the death of your national culture and way of life. There are elements of truth to the fears.

    To  some extent, yes!

    #10196

    We have had peace in Ireland for 20 years now. No daily reports of IRA bombings, kidnappings, murders, bank robberies and none from the Unionist side either. Thousands of people travel in both direction across the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic every day. Some people live in the “South” and work in the “North” and vice versa. The vast majority of people no longer care about “the cause” (A United Ireland). All they care about is peace……and the economy (stupid). There is a generation of people in their twenties who have no recollection of just how bad it was for everyone.

    I cross “the border” on my way to Belfast a few times a year to have face to face meetings with clients. I can drive through Unionist (Protestant) enclaves without becoming a target because of my car’s number plate. Last week I organized a demo for a new client in Dublin with a firm from Belfast. Twenty years ago this would not have happened. (How would two Palestinian business people feel if asked to attend a business meeting with strangers in Jerusalem?) We got to talking about other projects after the meeting and discovered that we are both involved in another area of business that could have excellent potential. We even discussed forming a company and were both prepared to invest seed capital in it.

    We used to have subtle ways of working out which “side” the other person was from. In the “bad old days” we would not have even shared a coffee together. We are so past that bullshit that it is like trying to remember what life was like before cell phones. I “know” they are not Catholics and are from the Unionist part of Belfast. They “know” I am not a Protestant or a Unionist. It is no longer “a thing”.

    One of the main reasons peace has prevailed is membership of the EU. Both Britain and Ireland are members of it so the “ownership” of Northern Ireland did not really matter as we were all members of the European Union anyway, so the border was somewhat irrelevant. The funny thing is that all those people crossing it every day hardly even know where it is. It is only after a few miles driving that you notice road signs are in MPH or KPH, depending on the direction of travel.

    Then we discussed Brexit. How can Britain leave and not have a border with the South again. The south (i.e. the Irish Republic) will remain in the EU. If the UK government does not put a border in place then “immigrants” from Eastern Europe who can travel freely within the EU can just travel to Ireland and take a bus from Dublin to Belfast (about 2 hours) or even just walk across into the UK. Then they can travel on to England.

    One of the key reasons Brexit happened was because the UK wanted to “take back control” of its borders. If they have no border in Ireland then they have no control. They cannot operate a border checkpoint for people traveling from Belfast to England via plane or ferry because if they do it would mean that UK citizens would be required to carry UK passports when traveling within their own country.

    If they put the border back then the Peace Agreement is in danger of failing. If this happens the IRA will be back in action. As Gerry Adams once said….”They haven’t gone away, you know?” Yes, we know Gerry, they were off training FARC rebels in Columbia or in training camps in Libya or wherever. Nobody in Ireland wants this. Most people in Ireland do not even want a united Ireland. We just want peace.

    So until we know what flavor of Brexit we are going to be served with my new business colleagues and I have decided not to take our idea further until we do know. Borders can be dangerous places, especially when Nationalists get near them.

    #10199

    Davis
    Moderator

    The control of the border issue is all the more ridiculous considering the UK and Ireland were the ony Western European countries not part of the Schengen treaty meaning people still had to present passports or ID at the border while I could drive from Lisbon to Warsaw without a single border check. The UK really had the best arrangement, a British Isles border union not part of the rest of Europe. They’ve now walled themselves into an impossible problem. Allow a hard border with Ireland and the Conservatives minority government will lose essential support from one of the Northern Ireland parties and lose the vote. Or have an open border with Ireland meaning foreigners and goods could travel to Ireland, cross the border to the North and then fly to London…making a total mockery of border and customs autonomy. The EU is unlikely to undermine their own fundamental principles of unity and not giving special treatment. It would be disasterous to do so, the EU would lose part of what makes it so strong, influential and an emerging power. The rest of Europe just watches the events in dismay utterly gobsmacked by the lunacy and very very sad. It was traumatic for most Europeans when the UK rejected their Union. My German, Spanish and Belgian friends were speechless the day after a referendum asking me to explain how that could have happened. Much of Europe is still traumatised by it, care about the UK, utterly hate to lose it and would be relieved if another referendum were held. However, others (I sit on the fence) have noted that since the UK started withdrawl proceedures, the EU has started integrating much faster and bolder policy changes have been proposed that never would have with the UK at the table. Any country can veto anything and the UK frequently threatened to veto further integration (that UK newspapers might turn into a pointless flaming controvery). While the project in itself is better off without the UK, the European Union will always be sad losing the incredibly unique culture, personality and economic/financial prowess of the UK.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Davis.
    #10204

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I sure hope the “Department for Exiting the European Union” works out the Ireland border kinks before exit day next year. And what will Scotland do, seeing how they are not into this?

    #10231

    Matt
    Participant

    To my understanding, you’re entirely missing the point. The pro-brexit side has never claimed the UK will be better off after leaving the EU… just that it will remain an independent country. The alternative they believe they are voting against, is effectively becoming a state in the EU. Border control is just a visible wedge issue which illustrates this to many people.

     

    Full disclaimer: I’m not a UK citizen, this is just what I’ve gathered from listening to various UK speakers around the time of the brexit vote. Personally, I would of done a whole lot more research before casting my vote.

    #10233

    Davis
    Moderator

    The pro-brexit side has never claimed the UK will be better off after leaving the EU

     WHAT?????? They never stop claiming this. I’ve never heard a pro-Brexit MP or activist who admitted the opposite. They make endless claims that [magically] they will be better off. Unfortunately, I don’t think UK politics is covered much in the US  media. there are so may other things to report on. If you listened to Nigel Farage, Borris Johnson and other leading Brexiters…they will unequivocally claim the UK will be better off…as many times as their imagination allows.

    just that it will remain an independent country.

     They are an independent country. All EU members are independent countries. Through various treaties they have agreed to allow some parts of trade and law to be jointly made. It’s an extreme version of NAFTA will organisational bodies and political mechanisms. Make no mistake, UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany etc are independent countries. They have their own constitutions, political system, courts, military, education, welfare system, health care, charter of rights etc.The only thing that limits them are minimal financial policies (if they joined the Euro) and specific policies which they clearly agreed to when they were made. Most of the agreements which do actually limit the UK government are all things highly in the interest of the average Brit (labour protections, mandatory standards in Health Care, enviromental laws, human rights, consumer protection, minimal public transit, fiscal responsibility). These are all things most Right wing parties in countries would love to repeal and it is no surprise that the most Euroskeptic parties are the conservative ones. They wanted Brexit so they could chip away at policies that clash with libertarian policies…but they sold it as the protection of Britishness. And even many conservatives found this too extreme and voted against Brexit. It was transparently scummy if you paid enough attention.

    The alternative they believe they are voting against, is effectively becoming a state in the EU.

    Yes, Farage and Johnson did an incredible job convincing most British people that the EU was more than it actually is…which was not actually so hard considering an overwhelming number of British people had no idea what the EU was nor how it worked. Fearing further integration is ridiculous. All integration happens by absolute consensus. If the UK doesn’t want it, they veto it. Farage and Borris were given multiple opportunities to give five things that the EU specifically won’t let the UK do and they never answered it.

    Border control is just a visible wedge issue which illustrates this to many people.

    The UK is not in the Schengen zone, the only country they argreed to have open borders with was with Ireland. When I take the train to Portugal or fly to Belgium, there is no pasport or customs control. When I fly to London there is passport control. EU citizens are allowed free movement and residence in the EU, this is something the UK agreed to multiple times as it slowly evolved. The UK can still deny any non-EU citizen entry and they can even deport any EU citizen that doesn’t honor the commitments of residency. 200 Spaniards were deported from Belgium last year for only having worked for three months and then claimed welfare for two years.

    And it is an incredible understatement to say EU free movement was a wedge issue. It has been objectively demonstrated through strategically worded surveys that racism  towards residents from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria was a driving force behind voting leave.

    Personally, I would of done a whole lot more research before casting my vote.

    This is the ultimate tragedy. It was the most ill informed vote in modern European history.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Davis.
    #10240

    Davis
    Moderator

    It couldn’t illustrate things better. One of the very men who insist the Uk out of the EU will be better for the UK, financially and politically…set up another major fund…not in London but in Dublin Irns in the EU):

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/22/jacob-rees-mogg-second-irish-fund-scm

    I mean…selling something as one thing and doing the utter opposite. You can only get away with this by a distracted uninformed electorate. The pathetic excuse that “they have funds elsewhere and always planned on doing so” makes no sense. The only reason they’d set it up in Dublin is because the conditions of having a fund in Dublin are better than they predict it will be in London post-brexit. Pants on fire.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Davis.
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