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#1 SteveT

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 07:54 AM

It's not America looking stupid this time!

 

Ok, so someone explain all this to me.  What were they best arguments for both sides?  Was it really just cantankerous old men ruining the UK for everyone?  What's all this talk about the UK falling apart and a global economic catastrophe?



#2 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 11:34 AM

Basically, the EU Referendum was just the Scottish Independence Referendum writ large with a few different starting criteria.

 

The Remain Campaign went on about how we needed to stay in the EU to ensure we kept jobs, science funding and coordinated defence. We would end up outside the EU, unable to influence EU rules, having to pay tarrifs in order to trade with the EU.

 

The Leave Campaign initially talked on about how we send £350 million a year to the EU and get little back in return (the figure was actually false, but once out in the public domain, it latched on like parasite). They argued we could trade with other nations; that US, Aus etc weren't in the EU and they did fine. That it would be silly for the EU to put tarrifs on our trade. They said the EU was undemocratic and that undermined our sovereignty. It eventually went kind of nasty with focus on dirty immigrants and a rather ill-advised poster that mimicked Nazi propaganda.

 

At one point it went all surreal when Bob Geldof and a leading Brexit politician got into a naval battle on the Thames. No idea how the Hell that happened.

 

As for the UK falling apart... it's best exemplified by this graphic of how everyone voted:

 

576cfb1c2200002e00f82c23.png

 

Notice Scotland voted overwhelmingly for remain? Remember the Scottish Independence Referendum? Well, the Scottish National Party is using this as an excuse to hold another Scottish Independence Referendum and some of the big players who voted to remain in the UK the last time round are now saying they're going to vote for independence.

 

Sinn Fein, the pro-Republican party in Northern Ireland is also using this opportunity to break away.

 

And Spain is calling for joint rule of Gibraltar.

 

Some person in London put up a petition on Change.org for London to break away from the UK and it's gone viral.

 

As for global economic collapse, it's primarily because London is a big financial trade centre that has privileged access to the EU Market. Now that the UK is independent, the banks no longer have this access. Many manufacturing jobs are here because we also have preferential access to the EU market. Now those jobs are also likely to go. With the UK being the world's 5th largest economy, all this uncertainty means if its economy takes a nosedive, this is going to cause huge global problems.

 

Added to that the UK Brexit vote has now emboldened independence movements across Europe, so the EU's future is also looking precarious.

 

Frankly, it's opened up a whole can of worms and now there's no turning back.



#3 Veteran

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 04:26 PM

This result certainly isn't boring and it's a scary but brave new world for us. Have to get on with it.

There wasn't enough frivolous reasons for leaving in my opinion for a little levity. We didn't get the World Cup? We don't get any points in Eurovision? Well balls to yous guys, we're leaving!

At the very least, the warnings on websites that tell us they use cookies? Now we don't have to give a fuck!

#4 FŽanen

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 06:05 PM

Am I the only one who thinks that for something this monumental, the change in status quo should require something more like a 60% vote? I'm all for the will of the majority, but in this case it seems like a massive amount of trouble is being caused by a few percentage points difference. I don't know if the UK even has a mechanism for such a thing as a supermajority, but if ever there were a time when it would be required.

 

The results from Scotland and Northern Ireland add some more potential knots to the mix. In the former case, the secession referendum not too long ago was damn close as it is, and I wouldn't be suprised if there are some former unionists who are now questioning whether they'd rather be in the EU or the UK. As for the latter, I can't even begin to make a prediction.



#5 Selena

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 07:07 PM

I have been enjoying the videos of voters who admit they weren't entirely sure what they were voting for. It's comforting to know that it's not just the American voter base that's ill-informed. I'd also feel more confident visiting Britain right now. With pounds tanking, my freedom-ringing US dollars are actually useful now!

 

 

 

On a more serious note, this is troubling for multiple reasons. The passions fueling the pro-Brexit movement are yet another example of how nationalist movements are returning around the world. Nations are turning inward. This is dangerous. It happens whenever there's trouble in the global economy -- or when there's something spurring frequent migrations of ethnic/cultural groups. After the Great Depression set in, nationalist groups successfully seized power around the world in the hope of "making their nations great again." No, there's not a fully direct correlation to the 1930s. We don't have leaders overtly installing themselves as dictators. But the public's embrace of nationalist ideals definitely mirrors that era.

 

The economy has technically "recovered" from the Recession, but most of the wealth has drifted to corporate entities rather than workers. Coupled with widespread corruption in existing government and how minimal an impact citizens seemingly have on politics.... people are trying to "take back" their society. Rather than hunker down and do the grunt work to eliminate waste and corruption, people would rather pin things on scapegoats or outright get rid of government power. 

 

If this continues around the globe, tensions could increase between once-cooperative nations. All the post-war efforts to unite former rivals will slowly begin to unravel. Especially between different cultures. I'm worried that if nationalist sympathies increase, we may be looking at another age of major conflict. Or at least a breakdown in global unity.

 

 

 

 

And then, of course, the United Kingdom itself may break apart at the seams! Soon you'll be flying St. George's cross with a dragon in a corner. And I'm pretty sure Wales doesn't really want to be there either, but it's caught up in a dependent relationship. 



#6 Fin

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 09:20 PM

As for the latter, I can't even begin to make a prediction.


God, I'm terrified for what could be on the horizon for the North. It hasn't even been twenty years since The Good Friday Agreement and Sinn Féin rattling sabres doesn't exactly put my mind at ease.

#7 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 05:34 AM

Am I the only one who thinks that for something this monumental, the change in status quo should require something more like a 60% vote? I'm all for the will of the majority, but in this case it seems like a massive amount of trouble is being caused by a few percentage points difference. I don't know if the UK even has a mechanism for such a thing as a supermajority, but if ever there were a time when it would be required.

 

The results from Scotland and Northern Ireland add some more potential knots to the mix. In the former case, the secession referendum not too long ago was damn close as it is, and I wouldn't be suprised if there are some former unionists who are now questioning whether they'd rather be in the EU or the UK. As for the latter, I can't even begin to make a prediction.

 

It's even worse when you count the people who didn't vote. Think about it. Only 72% of the electorate voted, which means a whopping 28% of the electorate didn't vote either way. If you count that 28% as a third option in the referendum, then the numbers recalculate as follows:

 

37% Leave

35% Remain

28% didn't vote

 

 

 

As for the latter, I can't even begin to make a prediction.


God, I'm terrified for what could be on the horizon for the North. It hasn't even been twenty years since The Good Friday Agreement and Sinn Féin rattling sabres doesn't exactly put my mind at ease.

 

 

Another reason why I voted remain. Hardly anybody mentioned Ireland, but it was the most obvious problem with the leave campaign. How are we supposed to break free from the EU and control our borders if we still have a passport-free travel area between Ireland (which is in the EU) and the rest of the UK? I don't think Ireland or even Northern Ireland would stomach a patrolled between separating the two, although I could be wrong.

 

What's your perspective on it?

 

I know one of my Irish work colleagues said it wasn't possible to put a border between the two, but it was late Friday afternoon and he had to leave before he could clarify why.



#8 Chukchi Husky

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 02:51 PM

It seems like everyone I know was either undecided or for leaving the EU. I've even heard one of them say that there's no good convincing argument for staying in the EU. I've even heard it said that it would've been better for the UK to have joined the USA than the EU.

 

The reasons they give for wanting to leave:

The lack of sovereignty.

The bureaucracy.

Forcing all the diverse cultures of Europe into being the same.

Money is taken away from richer countries to help poorer countries.

Britain does far more trade with Canada, India, Pakistan and the countries of the Commonwealth than with Europe.

The EU has caused a rise in far right wing nationalism.

Britain is completely different from the rest of Europe, enough that it shouldn't even be thought of as European.

The pointless EU rules and regulations.

It helped to bring an end to British industry.

Immigration.


Edited by Chukchi Husky, 25 June 2016 - 02:53 PM.


#9 Egann

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 07:43 PM

I do not see this having any lasting negative products. Politicians will squeal like crazy, the markets will fumble, and soothsayers will see signs in the heavens, but that's not the same as there being a problem long term.

 

Fact is the EU has lots of problems that need fixing. Immigration, fiscal policy, state soverignty...the list is pretty bloody long, and fact is most of the involved politicians buried their heads in the sand rather than address them (see also: Greece). They've also put interests where they have no interests (see also: Twitter Safety Council filled with European Commission proxy organizations.) Now they're going to have to change things if they want to restore faith in the EU. So ignoring the screams of lazy politicians who would rather make a PR stink than do the work of their elected offices, the EU will be made better by this. By the same token, the UK will probably be back in the EU soon enough. They're certainly going to have a "join again or not" discussion in the future. Choice is good, right? Heck, they'll probably be providing input on the changes the EU will be making, too.

 

So no matter how I see it, this vote was what a "win" looks like. It'll just be kinda messy for a bit while hurt feelings fly everywhere.


Edited by Egann, 26 June 2016 - 08:13 AM.


#10 Selena

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 04:31 PM

 

I do not see this having any lasting negative products.

 

 

 

Frankly, this is spoken by someone who won't ever have to deal with being verbally or physically assaulted on a British street for being an undesirable. Racial intolerance is already growing both in the UK and the US as a result of these movements. So even if the economic fallout is temporary, the nationalist sentiment is a pretty important issue to the people who have to face increased hatred and bigotry. 

 

The economic fallout is minor in comparison -- because most economic slumps do eventually recover. It takes a lot longer for bigotry to filter out of society, and policies like this take the shame out of being prejudiced.

 

The sentiments were there long before Drumpf or Brexit were things, but now racists and xenophobes feel increasingly justified in their narrow-minded hatred.

 

 

 

 

 

Policy-wise, this is the European equivalent of "the US federal government is broken and corrupt -- better off just eliminating as much of it as we can rather than actually find ways to fix it." In either case, it means you're awful at governing. If you eliminate the higher level of government, that doesn't somehow end corruption. It just moves the corruption and stagnation closer to home. European nations and US states are pretty damn fucked up on their own. So are local jurisdictions. For every system humans create, there's always someone who's going to find a way to punch loopholes through it for their own personal profit.

 

Efficient governing requires constant effort and constant -- and significant -- public involvement. That's where things start going wrong. When the peasants don't educate themselves and assume someone else will fix things. Such is the downside of democratic governments. The average person is dumb and lazy and uninterested in the political process. Unless that can somehow be corrected, inefficiency in government will be an issue on every single regional level.

 

You can fix all of these problems without having to cut off all your economic ties and throw a tantrum. There's also no guarantee that EU officials will see it as a "punishment" for their own misdeeds. 



#11 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 06:04 AM

Cue the inevitable racist backlash.

 

To be fair to the Leave Campaign, though, I was expecting this to happen regardless of which way we voted. On the other hand, it is the leave campaign's fault for focusing so much on immigration. Not all of them were racists, to be fair, but they should have been a lot more careful about the racists that inevitably flocked to their side.



#12 Fin

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 06:28 AM

Another reason why I voted remain. Hardly anybody mentioned Ireland, but it was the most obvious problem with the leave campaign. How are we supposed to break free from the EU and control our borders if we still have a passport-free travel area between Ireland (which is in the EU) and the rest of the UK? I don't think Ireland or even Northern Ireland would stomach a patrolled between separating the two, although I could be wrong.
 
What's your perspective on it?
 
I know one of my Irish work colleagues said it wasn't possible to put a border between the two, but it was late Friday afternoon and he had to leave before he could clarify why.


The short version is that a border could bring up a lot of bad memories of living during the Troubles for people which could threaten what is a precarious peace. I just saw this thread on twitter from a Northern Irish person that goes into more detail.



#13 Egann

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 01:29 PM

 

 

I do not see this having any lasting negative products.

 

 

 

Frankly, this is spoken by someone who won't ever have to deal with being verbally or physically assaulted on a British street for being an undesirable. Racial intolerance is already growing both in the UK and the US as a result of these movements. So even if the economic fallout is temporary, the nationalist sentiment is a pretty important issue to the people who have to face increased hatred and bigotry. 

 

The economic fallout is minor in comparison -- because most economic slumps do eventually recover. It takes a lot longer for bigotry to filter out of society, and policies like this take the shame out of being prejudiced.

 

The sentiments were there long before Drumpf or Brexit were things, but now racists and xenophobes feel increasingly justified in their narrow-minded hatred.

 

 

 

 

 

Policy-wise, this is the European equivalent of "the US federal government is broken and corrupt -- better off just eliminating as much of it as we can rather than actually find ways to fix it." In either case, it means you're awful at governing. If you eliminate the higher level of government, that doesn't somehow end corruption. It just moves the corruption and stagnation closer to home. European nations and US states are pretty damn fucked up on their own. So are local jurisdictions. For every system humans create, there's always someone who's going to find a way to punch loopholes through it for their own personal profit.

 

Efficient governing requires constant effort and constant -- and significant -- public involvement. That's where things start going wrong. When the peasants don't educate themselves and assume someone else will fix things. Such is the downside of democratic governments. The average person is dumb and lazy and uninterested in the political process. Unless that can somehow be corrected, inefficiency in government will be an issue on every single regional level.

 

You can fix all of these problems without having to cut off all your economic ties and throw a tantrum. There's also no guarantee that EU officials will see it as a "punishment" for their own misdeeds. 

 

I note how exquisitely careful you were about avoiding saying things which were untrue. Congratulations, because with the amount of misinformation and disinformation flying around about Brexit, that's actually a mark of significant accomplishment.

 

That said, I don't think the racial fallout is something we should judge the outcome by. No election result justifies criminal activity. Now, if the UK government decided to stop prosecuting racially motivated crimes because of this--or more likely started selectively prosecuting cases from one group and ignoring those of another--that could become an issue. But that's arguably already a problem elsewhere in the EU--Arab refugees, for instance, chanted Adolf Hitler and Allahu akbar in a protest in Germany, for instance. I've heard German nationals would probably have been put in prison for doing the exact same thing, which, if true, would make that an interesting case of racism. Just because it happened to fall in the xenophilic direction would not change the fact it would still be racism.

 

Besides, I suspect that a political victory isn't a good motivator for racism. In the South, the KKK went from an old-boys network to a domestic terrorism wing because they lost the Civil War and had no political control whatsoever during reconstruction. They had no political control whatsoever for the better part of a decade, which made every policy change a loss. The losses, in turn, made recruiting easier for a hate group like the KKK because appeals to fear grow stronger after a loss. You would think victories would have a cooling effect, but what I remember of the history is they had little to no effect, one way or the other. I don't see any reason to expect this vote to have generation-long repercussions, although some nuts seem to be falling from the tree during the shakeup.

 

 

And yes, I do agree that this is like saying the US needs to be fixed. It does. But the United States is also old and stable enough to swallow it's own problems. It won't make a move to fix itself unless there's a significant competitive pressure to do so. Even insiders trying to force the issue would probably fail because changing big systems is actually really hard. By contrast, the EU is new and Brexit can be turned into an incentive for internal reform. If successful, that could turn into an incentive for the US to reform. Of course, if they don't, more countries will want to leave, and I can't really fault them.

 

Of course, neither government will like changing. They never do.



#14 Egann

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 07:28 PM

Double post for CGP Gray Vid:

 


Edited by Egann, 15 July 2016 - 07:29 PM.





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