Brexit thread III

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  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Can someone define "metropolitan elite" for me?

    An alternative shorthand for the folk I'm talking about might be to say they're the Guardian-reading Labour voters rather than the Sun- or Mirror-reading ones (though in truth many of the latter probably don't read any newspaper these days). They arrived at their support of Labour from a position of well-to-do and well-meaning intellectualism, and often have an unfortunate tendency to assume all other Labour voters also arrived at that position through the same means (and therefore, naturally, will agree with them about everything else). The chief symptom of which at this point in time is that they can't seem to grasp the concept of anyone who votes Labour also being in favour of Brexit - much less that anyone could have voted for Labour their whole life and yet would abandon the Party at the drop of a hat if they came out for Remain.

    Part of Labour's problem is that for decades their (generally) intelligent and affluent leadership have been quite content to take the uneducated masses for granted, turning up in places like Sunderland and Oldham once every five or so years to hoover up votes given to them for no better reason than they're who the area has always voted for. But now the masses in those areas have been given something to actually vote for (even if it is just a fantasy), and the Labour leadership are running scared at the possibility of losing a bunch of those seats almost overnight. Or so it seems to me.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I thought the phrase made my bullshit-meter go off.

    I read on AFZ's helpfully provided Wiki:

    "The term was also regularly used by Nick Griffin, the former leader of the British National Party.[16][17][18]

    Toby Young of The Spectator made a similar claim of metropolitan elitism regarding Gordon Brown over the Bigotgate affair.[19] On the campaign trail for the 2010 United Kingdom general election, the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown had a conversation with a voter who expressed concern about immigration, before describing her as "bigoted" whilst being driven away in a car with a microphone still transmitting. Stephen Glover of the Daily Mail was even more direct in his criticism of Gordon Brown as being a member of the metropolitan elite.[20]

    Toby Young also used the expression whilst writing in the Daily Mail to refer to Sacha Baron-Cohen, a comedian whose alter egos Borat and Brüno have focused on Deep South residents.[21][22] The article was entitled "It's Bruno who's sick, not the ordinary people he treats with contempt", during which he wrote "Baron Cohen is encouraging the sophisticated, liberal elite to look down on those in a lower-income bracket"

    In other words, it's a phrase used by very unpleasant hard right-wingers to denigrate those they disagree with without having to actually address the arguments in hand.

    I suspected as much. It's like "family values" isn't it? No-one ever spells out what that means, because it's code for "bashing the queers and the trannies and the lezzers and the sluts".
  • And like "virtue signalling".
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Can someone define "metropolitan elite" for me?

    An alternative shorthand for the folk I'm talking about might be to say they're the Guardian-reading Labour voters rather than the Sun- or Mirror-reading ones (though in truth many of the latter probably don't read any newspaper these days). They arrived at their support of Labour from a position of well-to-do and well-meaning intellectualism, and often have an unfortunate tendency to assume all other Labour voters also arrived at that position through the same means (and therefore, naturally, will agree with them about everything else). The chief symptom of which at this point in time is that they can't seem to grasp the concept of anyone who votes Labour also being in favour of Brexit - much less that anyone could have voted for Labour their whole life and yet would abandon the Party at the drop of a hat if they came out for Remain.

    Doesn't that rather contradict
    Part of Labour's problem is that for decades their (generally) intelligent and affluent leadership have been quite content to take the uneducated masses for granted, turning up in places like Sunderland and Oldham once every five or so years to hoover up votes given to them for no better reason than they're who the area has always voted for. But now the masses in those areas have been given something to actually vote for (even if it is just a fantasy), and the Labour leadership are running scared at the possibility of losing a bunch of those seats almost overnight. Or so it seems to me.

    How can people who "assume all other Labour voters also arrived at that position through the same means (and therefore, naturally, will agree with them about everything else)" be relying on "uneducated masses ... turning up in places like Sunderland and Oldham once every five or so years to hoover up votes given to them for no better reason than they're who the area has always voted for" since by definition they don't realise they exist?

    And I still don't know if I'm meant to be part of this elite. I mean, I'm relatively well paid, in a professional job, lefty, but live a hundred miles from London. And I don't feel part of any elite.

  • Except Marvin, that's basically bollocks. You are describing no real group within the Labour party.

    Corbyn has many faults; taking traditional Labour voters for granted definitely isn't one. You could level that charge at Blair who is thought to have believed 'of course they'll vote for us, where else can they go?'

    The issue is firstly the notion that working class voters are all Leavers is wrong. Secondly it's not that no one understands why working class voters would vote Leave, it's that we don't believe in pandering.

    I could be wrong. I might be, but based on reading serious analysis by trade experts and economists, I know that Brexit will be bad for the UK. And that's not about trusting a particular opinion - any expert worth listening to will show you their working, as it were. So I know that Brexit will be bad for the UK economy. And most bad for those communities already ravaged by industrial decline and especially austerity.

    So, in no world is 'well they said they wanted Brexit so we must deliver it no matter what' a good position? Especially when the alternative is 'look, it's been 3 years, this is what it looks like, (and it's bad) let's have another vote on it?'

    Oh and in the meantime, I will talk to anyone who's interested and try to persuade them. That's how democracy is supposed to work.

    But, apparently I'm the arrogant one...

    AFZ
  • I just thought it's right wing jargon, like "champagne socialists".
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    In other words, it's a phrase used by very unpleasant hard right-wingers to denigrate those they disagree with without having to actually address the arguments in hand.

    The "arguments in hand" being, according to your post, whether Gordon Brown was right about that woman being bigoted and whether Sacha Baron-Cohen is making a valid point with his stereotypical portrayals of ordinary people?

    What I meant by "metropolitan elite" - and what both of those examples show quite nicely - is the sort of sophisticated, educated middle-class liberals who claim to want what's best for The Poor, but never seem to think that The Poor should have any say in what that actually is. They think anyone who holds a different political opinion to them is either stupid or malicious, and especially that any poor people who disagree must be far too idiotic or gullible to be taken seriously, the poor dears. Any genuine concern they have for the poor - which I don't deny - is often well hidden by that patronisingly paternalistic "I know what's best for you, so shut up and do it" attitude towards them.

    Farage and his ilk are, of course, the opposite - they don't give a shit about the poor, but they'll make a great show of actually listening to what they say and tailor their rallies and pronouncements (though not necessarily policies) accordingly. As of right now that tactic seems to be going fairly well for them.
  • Corbyn has many faults; taking traditional Labour voters for granted definitely isn't one.

    Which is probably one of the reasons he's so reluctant for the Party to side with Remain.
  • Corbyn has many faults; taking traditional Labour voters for granted definitely isn't one.

    Which is probably one of the reasons he's so reluctant for the Party to side with Remain.

    On this, we completely agree. Those that cast Corbyn as a true-believing Leaver conveniently ignore all his public statements for Remain in the campaign. One could argue that Corbyn should have campaigned more for Remain than he did in 2016 but everyone I have heard make that argument ignore both the number of campaign events he did do and that the media framed the whole debate as an argument between two parts of the Conservative party, personified in Boris and Dave.

    AFZ
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    There are a number of problems with Martin's argument. Concentrating on recent evidence we have the the YouGov poll of the last few weeks which broke down Labour's 2017 voting coalition.. This doesn't seem to be an outlier -- if you look at the Lord Ashcroft polls right after right after Brexit, Labour voters were about as euro-skeptic as SNP voters.

    Similarly it looks like a large proportion of Leave votes came from the middle class and pensioners - purely numerically far more people live in the Home Counties than in the North East.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    edited June 21
    As a working class northern lad by birth, working class people do not habitually vote Labour. They tend to vote Labour because they offer more for the working class than any other party. They protect workers’ rights and theoretically create a more even society. If it is out of habit it is because they still believe this to be true.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    As a working class northern lad by birth, working class people do not habitually vote Labour. They tend to vote Labour because they offer more for the working class than any other party. They protect workers’ rights and theoretically create a more even society. If it is out of habit it is because they still believe this to be true.

    That doesn’t explain the many “working class* Tories” who would be better off with a Labour government but habitually vote otherwise.

    *and lower-middles
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Yes I know.
    They tend to be in the South. It is interesting
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    There are a lot in the Midlands too. A lot of constituencies are “former industrial” areas, that are now dormitories for service industries staffed by lower/middles(C2) desperate to upscale to a detached house and a better school catchment area. In the mean time they are content to impoverish themselves in an effort to prove that they are not working class.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    How is it that nobody seems to be asking 'Why are we doing this?' 'Democracy' and 'The will of the people' are not answers. Nor is 'The right-wing press'.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    How is it that nobody seems to be asking 'Why are we doing this?' 'Democracy' and 'The will of the people' are not answers. Nor is 'The right-wing press'.

    Plenty of people *are* asking those questions - they just rarely get airtime, because of the overall direction of the press and because the BBC (especially post Gilligan) take their cues from 'what the papers say'.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    The government promised to enact the result of referendum. Not to do so would be seen as suicide for both the PM and the party. It has gone beyond the will of the people and has become about keeping the Tories together. That is why they are continuing with it. There has been a rise in the number of people who say they would vote to stay. That is why they don’t want a second referendum. Brexiteers could lose.
  • Interesting point in the interview of Boris on BBC. He was rattling on about a transition period, and Laura K. immediately pointed out that you only get that with a deal. But which deal? Boris sheepishly confessed that he would need a deal. Thousands of Brexiters hurl boots and bricks at the TV, no, Boris, no deal.

    The dots are not connecting here.
  • I don't think the dots have ever connected, especially not when someone advocates leaving the EU without anything negotiated. The Brexiteers have always painted a rosy picture of how leaving the EU will Make Britain Great Again, but even if a fraction of that picture is to be achieved it needs a deal with the EU - simply walking out of all the trade and cultural arrangements with our nearest neighbours and largest trading bloc will be diametrically opposed to Making Britain Great Again.
  • There were some interviews yesterday on Woman's Hour with 2 women MEPs from the Brexit party and the things June Mummery were saying were "interesting". We can of course get our waters back when we leave the EU. We will then be a fishing country again, and etc. She was challenged on quotas and fishing stocks but talked over that.

    Today there will be interviews with Remain supporting MEPs.
  • There were some interviews yesterday on Woman's Hour with 2 women MEPs from the Brexit party and the things June Mummery were saying were "interesting". We can of course get our waters back when we leave the EU. We will then be a fishing country again, and etc. She was challenged on quotas and fishing stocks but talked over that.

    Today there will be interviews with Remain supporting MEPs.

    I heard that bit of Woman's Hour yesterday and wondered why they were interviewing two rabid anti-EU types, both lacking any rational ideas for a positive way forward. When it finished, I was a bit shocked to find somehow both ranters have become UK MEPs (admittedly for the Brexit party).
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    There were some interviews yesterday on Woman's Hour with 2 women MEPs from the Brexit party and the things June Mummery were saying were "interesting". We can of course get our waters back when we leave the EU. We will then be a fishing country again, and etc. She was challenged on quotas and fishing stocks but talked over that.

    Today there will be interviews with Remain supporting MEPs.

    I heard that bit of Woman's Hour yesterday and wondered why they were interviewing two rabid anti-EU types, both lacking any rational ideas for a positive way forward. When it finished, I was a bit shocked to find somehow both ranters have become UK MEPs (admittedly for the Brexit party).

    Who knows what impact of sending a bunch of frothing ignoramauses to Brussels for a decade or so has had on the standing of the UK with the other member states.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    There were some interviews yesterday on Woman's Hour with 2 women MEPs from the Brexit party and the things June Mummery were saying were "interesting". We can of course get our waters back when we leave the EU. We will then be a fishing country again, and etc. She was challenged on quotas and fishing stocks but talked over that.

    Today there will be interviews with Remain supporting MEPs.

    Interestingly, we are now a fishing country and we land a lot of fish. A good deal of it, especially shellfish, is bought on the quayside by the French who ship it back to Britanny where it is sold in their restaurants for about half the price it is sold in British restaurants!
  • And that trade ceases when we leave the EU without a deal.
  • Which is why I am currently eating fish at every opportunity when I eat out.

    Seriously.

    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.

    They'll have to either buy permits to fish in our waters or buy the fish from British fishermen. Either way that strikes me as better for Britain than letting anyone and everyone just help themselves to the fish in our waters without us seeing any benefit at all.

    There are plenty of aspects of Brexit that I fear will be worse for Britain than the status quo, but fishing rights isn't one of them.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.

    They'll have to either buy permits to fish in our waters or buy the fish from British fishermen.

    That's not strictly true - the vast majority of fishing rights in this country are already owned by large conglomerates and a large percentage of those are owned overseas.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.

    They'll have to either buy permits to fish in our waters or buy the fish from British fishermen.

    That's not strictly true - the vast majority of fishing rights in this country are already owned by large conglomerates and a large percentage of those are owned overseas.

    Or to put it another way, a lot of people/companies have already bought permits to fish in our waters. That doesn't contradict anything I said.

    If some of the aforementioned "angry French fishermen" have already got permits to fish in our waters then good luck to them, but if that's the case then I fail to see why they'd be so angry..
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.

    They'll have to either buy permits to fish in our waters or buy the fish from British fishermen.

    That's not strictly true - the vast majority of fishing rights in this country are already owned by large conglomerates and a large percentage of those are owned overseas.

    Or to put it another way, a lot of people/companies have already bought permits to fish in our waters. That doesn't contradict anything I said.

    Your conclusions are false; that trade is already priced in; any change post Brexit would involve either higher tariffs, or the removal of a market, both of which would make those rights worth less. To the extent that the UK wants to benefit, it already benefits as much as it would.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.

    They'll have to either buy permits to fish in our waters or buy the fish from British fishermen.

    That's not strictly true - the vast majority of fishing rights in this country are already owned by large conglomerates and a large percentage of those are owned overseas.

    Or to put it another way, a lot of people/companies have already bought permits to fish in our waters. That doesn't contradict anything I said.

    Your conclusions are false; that trade is already priced in; any change post Brexit would involve either higher tariffs, or the removal of a market, both of which would make those rights worth less. To the extent that the UK wants to benefit, it already benefits as much as it would.

    Not really. At the moment fishermen from all EU nations have the right to fish in any EU waters (subject to quotas); after Brexit only UK fishermen will have that automatic right (again, subject to quotas). Britain currently gets just under a third of the quota for fish caught in British waters, even though British waters contribute over half of all fish caught in the EU. Even if the UK maintains quotas at the EU levels and the overall tonnage of fish caught is kept constant, that's a heck of a lot of extra fish our fishermen could be catching and therefore a heck of a lot of extra trade that could be going through the UK - the alternative being that other countries (i.e. the EU) would have to pay us for the right to fish our waters. Either way, we win.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    The French also fish a lot, and I mean a lot, in UK waters under existing regulations. This will not be possible after a hard Brexit. Gilets jaunes are nothing on a bunch of angry French fishermen.

    They'll have to either buy permits to fish in our waters or buy the fish from British fishermen.

    That's not strictly true - the vast majority of fishing rights in this country are already owned by large conglomerates and a large percentage of those are owned overseas.

    Or to put it another way, a lot of people/companies have already bought permits to fish in our waters. That doesn't contradict anything I said.

    Your conclusions are false; that trade is already priced in; any change post Brexit would involve either higher tariffs, or the removal of a market, both of which would make those rights worth less. To the extent that the UK wants to benefit, it already benefits as much as it would.

    Not really. At the moment fishermen from all EU nations have the right to fish in any EU waters (subject to quotas); after Brexit only UK fishermen will have that automatic right (again, subject to quotas). Britain currently gets just under a third of the quota for fish caught in British waters, even though British waters contribute over half of all fish caught in the EU. Even if the UK maintains quotas at the EU levels and the overall tonnage of fish caught is kept constant, that's a heck of a lot of extra fish our fishermen could be catching and therefore a heck of a lot of extra trade that could be going through the UK - the alternative being that other countries (i.e. the EU) would have to pay us for the right to fish our waters. Either way, we win.

    Not necessarily. We fish a lot in European waters (our scallop fishing in French waters is well-documented. While French fishermen have a close season for scallops in addition to quatas I have read that the British dont observe this close season. Rick Stein and co could lose in a big way.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited June 25
    Either way, we win.

    Well, if you call tearing up painstakingly negotiated international agreements with your immediate neighbours, with all the bad feeling and mistrust for the future that is likely to generate, "winning"... sounds like a really down-to-earth approach to the Good Friday Agreement too.

    The perception that "winning" can be measured solely in terms of financial gain is a big part of the UK's fundamental misunderstanding of what the EU is all about.
  • In regard to fisheries there will need to be international cooperation on maintaining stocks, including setting quotas and designating marine conservation areas, as well as maintaining markets to sell fish that have been caught. The only way the UK fishermen can "win" from Brexit is if there's an agreement with the EU that to all intents and purposes changes nothing - except that the UK won't have as big a say in setting those quotas etc.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited June 26
    And the FT shooting down Boris's arguments about implementing Article 24 of GATT to implement a no deal Brexit is worth reading.
    There has been a lot of nonsense over the past three years, but this is a strong contender for the most absurd of all.

    I liked the tweet accompanying it:
    We at the FT are deeply resentful that we even have to waste time discussing this Article 24 of the Gatt Brexiter nonsense, but here's the demolition if you need it.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    That FT link is behind a paywall, but Beattie's entire twitter thread on the topic is there. I wonder ho many members of the Tory party at large will read either.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Obviously the main commentary on recent events are in thread on the next PM. I note though that Hunt's recent stance would effectively push the UK out of the EU early.
  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    My thoughts are firming in up on the following points:

    1. The Brexit now on offer is dramatically different to the one promised in 2016
    2. Remaining in the EU (on current favourable terms) is much easier than rejoining after leaving
    3. There are huge issues trying to deal with the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border under any form of Brexit
    4. Opinion polls consistently show a lead for Remain across all parts of the UK.

    Thus, in terms of good governance and democracy the case for another referendum with the option to remain is overwhelming.

    I know the above statement will come as no surprise to anyone who's read any of my previous posts but I think it's now so clear-cut that it's worth restating. Not only is a bad idea and difficult to reverse, but the best evidence we have is that the majority of the country don't want it.

    AFZ
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Yes I agree but that won’t matter
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Consensus building on the left hand side is occurring. Accords with what Corbyn has said about needing to carry the movement with him if Labour is to change policy. He seems to have achieved Unite’s support which is very helpful.

    Possible we’ll see a policy change following the next shadow cabinet meeting.

    The party is gearing up for a snap general election by the look of it, they have had all MPs confirm if they are standing or not and we’ll be into manifesto consultation in the next couple of week I think.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Was there a members' consultation that I missed, or does Unite's support actually mean Mr McCluskey's support?
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    Union leaders are elected Ricardus.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Union leaders are elected Ricardus.

    Very narrowly in Mr McCluskey's case, and for the past three years his views have been out of step with his members' on this issue. Which matters, because Labour currently rejects the idea that being elected leader gives you a democratic mandate to do whatever you want.

    Ok, I am being a bit carping here. But I do wish Mr Corbyn would tell Mr McCluskey to just sod off now and again.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Union leaders are elected Ricardus.

    Very narrowly in Mr McCluskey's case, and for the past three years his views have been out of step with his members' on this issue. Which matters, because Labour currently rejects the idea that being elected leader gives you a democratic mandate to do whatever you want.

    Ok, I am being a bit carping here. But I do wish Mr Corbyn would tell Mr McCluskey to just sod off now and again.

    It's quite right that Labour doesn't give a leader carte blanche, whether elected, appointed or anointed. It doesn't make a party or trade union one's personal fiefdom.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    True, but there also trade union conferences just like party conferences etc. In case you really care about this, here is how Unite is organised.
  • + Nick Baines in the Harold Wilson Lecture at Huddersfield University asks "What is the Will of the People?" The lecture is found from the link.

    It's an interesting lecture encapsulating much of that discussed on this thread (and earlier versions), but with more emphasis on the differences between parliamentary and national sovereignties and the implication to the UK constitution and electoral process
  • Interesting point by Varadkar recently that Britain is in decline, economically and politically. Hence, Brexit is a symptom of this, and not simply a cause. Of course, it is touted as a reversal of decline, and a path to glory - as Trump's poodle?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Rather than a symptom, Brexit is the result of the decline. I suggest that that's the reason for the strong Brexit vote in the industrial areas in the Midlands and north-east: England (and it is England rather than the UK) has declined since joining the EEC, let's make it great again by leaving
  • I think this from Philip Hammond is telling:
    I don't think Whitehall really ever believed that they would actually carry out the [no deal] plans we laid so carefully over two years."

    Certainly France has made actual plans, built actual infrastructure, and deployed actual staff with a view to No Deal. I think we've taken the possibility much more seriously here than across the water.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Rather than a symptom, Brexit is the result of the decline. I suggest that that's the reason for the strong Brexit vote in the industrial areas in the Midlands and north-east: England (and it is England rather than the UK) has declined since joining the EEC, let's make it great again by leaving

    To make it clear, that part I have now put in italics is what the claim on the ground is, rather than an actual description.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    One of the things that annoys me about public discourse about nations and politicians is a refusal to be honest about what “great” means.

    Are we in decline because we don’t have an empire ? Was the empire a good thing ?

    By ‘great’ nations we tend to mean the ability to use coercive power without regard to the opinion of the world at large.

    When we talk about ‘strongman’ leaders we tend to mean politicians able to exert their will without regard to others. Without negotiation or compromise.

    Why do we aspire to these things, they are not good things.
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