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Showing posts from February, 2017

News from Abroad

Some people have drawn parallels between the shock of Brexit in the UK and the shock of the advent of Donald Trump as President of the United States. In particular on both sides of the Atlantic there is a powerful sense of the role of the media in both events. Of course, Trump himself is a product of celebrity culture who managed, improbably, to turn a reality TV show into a platform for government. Through the power of the alternative media he was able to create a platform and a power base. The supporters of Brexit many of whom, such as Nigel Farage, are close to Trump also followed an alternative media playbook.

Both the Leave campaign and the Trump campaign played fast and loose with the truth, or to put it plainly- they lied.

There are doubtless many other parallels in the campaign, but what has happened since the the advent of May and Trump- May unelected as PM and Trump 3 million votes behind in the popular vote- is instructive. Neither government can claim a fully legitimate mand…

An Unreasonable Brexit could be fatal for the UK

The weeks pass and the position of the Conservative Brexit government grows ever more unreasonable. Many people who voted to leave the EU would still have been perfectly happy with an "economic association", indeed it was the default option for probably the majority of those who voted to leave: "we should have an economic not political union". Leaving aside the practicalities of how much economic issues require political engagement, the idea of limited economic cooperation is not unreasonable.

However the current position of the Conservative government is that Brexit means the end of British membership of any European cooperation groups, whether political or economic. Brexit means not merely withdrawal from the EU, but the outer group of European Free Trade Area (EFTA) nations that are members of the EEA. It even means the withdrawal from the EU customs union. This total withdrawal is not the majority position of the British people: 48% voted to remain full members …