Monday, 27 June 2016

A Warning

Since Friday morning six a.m. I have done little but follow the unfolding Brexit horror story; on the TV news, in political debates, newspapers, both digital and paper; I have opened every chime on my phone and checked news of developments on my tablet for hours every day. And when there were no new developments I read the old ones over again. And comments. And political blogs.

In a word, I’ve been obsessed. Still am. But I want out now. Enough, for heaven’s sake. You will understand if I tell you that I have done this in two languages other than English, namely from the EU viewpoint via German and French sources as well. As my French is pretty poor I earned myself several severe headaches into the bargain.

After months of relentless bombardment with ‘project fear’ on the one hand and a merciless diet of lies, some of them whoppers, rebutted and shown for the lies they were, but taken as gospel by people desperate to believe them, on the other, the populace has voted. Lots of them have since woken up saying "WTF have I done”, particularly now that the liars are back-pedalling like mad on their promises and the ‘project fear’ lot are suddenly not quite so certain that Armageddon, a nuclear holocaust, world war III, and economic collapse loom. It’s too late, in spite of a three-million-signatures-strong (so far) petition to reverse the process. We have ‘project farce’.

The funniest result is that the winning side now has absolutely no plan on how to implement vox pop’s wish. “There’s no hurry to execute withdrawal” they say. now that the repercussions are becoming apparent. I am allowing myself a smidgeon of Schadenfreude seeing that I am on the losing side.

The winners have been handed a poisoned chalice.  'Le Monde' said that it’s like a death sentence without an executioner. Nobody wants to carry out the sentence.

Now for the warning: many of my readers are US citizens. You are being offered a poisoned chalice yourself. Before you accept it make absolutely sure you know what you’re doing. And that you have a shrewd idea what the wrong decision will mean for you.

Good Luck to all of us.



47 comments:

  1. I hear you loud and clear, Friko. I have also been following the Brexit fiasco obsessively. The day AFTER the vote, the most googled phrase in the UK was "what is the EU" -- a little late. And I also learned that the young people were very angry about the way the vote went, but they themselves didn't bother to vote. I hope this has been a wake up call for us in the US. I sure don't want an incompressible jizztrumpet for president. :-)

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    1. I agree with DJan and I live in Canada. We just got rid of the horrible Steven Harper.....thank God. Good luck to you my friend. I don't like that Jizztrumpet either. He disgusts me.

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    2. The young vote - the figures have been amended ... I think quite a large percentage came out to vote in the end ...

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  2. Some newspaper ... a Dutch one , I think ... has suggested that the only way to get Farage out of the way where he can do no more harm , is to give him a peerage .
    Or a gag .

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  3. Unfortunately the warning comes too late. I did not vote for either of our presumed candidates in the primary elections. I am horrified by the choice that we must make. With Britain in disarray and the US circling the political drain, I wonder what is to become of us.

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  4. Dear Friko, during May and early June, I was obsessed by live web cam sites featuring peregrine falcon next boxes in Norwich and in Bath. I encourage others to take on the same obsession. We all seemed to learn quite a lot from our steady viewing.

    Well, eventually the chicks grew wings, preened themselves and tried flying. Some made it; some did not.
    One of the mama falcons got driven away from her four chicks early on by an interloping female falcon, and the quad's dad had to take over. Lots of dramas.

    Well, about 10 days ago I transferred my obsession to the In or Out referendum, and have also learned a lot. Our 2016 political season has been the most awful I can recall, and that includes the Nixon era.

    On Friday morning, I bought some British pounds, and expect to be purchasing more.

    The weekend UK developments and those of today (and they continue as I type) are riveting in a horrible way. There are so many moving parts with different agendas, not all located in the UK, and resolving this tangle is going to require much thinking and leadership. Historic times, don't you think? xo

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  5. Sigh. Scary times and turbulent waters ahead.

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  6. As we are seven hours behind the events we heard the start of the results before going to bed and stayed glued to the internet for some time afterwards.

    Gracious me! The dear leaders getting a large and active flea in the ear!

    Having just visited mother it seemed from what I heard that people had no more confidence - or interest - in Johnson than in Cameron: they just wanted to express their fury at the way in which British society had developed.

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  7. Stocks and bonds are down +++ every where since Britex ... trades will be down because of that ... but it will pay in the future to buy now ... 'cause things will pick up again sooner or later ... with or without U. Love, cat.

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  8. Lawdie love us all. We are caught in this massive spiral of global collapse and I do wonder if this is the beginning of the end for this astonishingly dimwitted species.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. I am watching the Brexit situation from the USA and hope the Brexit goes smoothly and peacefully. Perhaps other countries will follow the UK's lead.

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  10. As is so often the case, acting out of anger and frustration leads to unwise decisions. The world is indeed changing before our very eyes.

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  11. I can understand why somebody would be obsessed over this event. Repercussions have great possibilities.

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  12. Oh, do I know the feeling! It's good to see so many in the UK fighting back forcefully, and I'm rooting for you and all my friends in England (every one of which, it probably goes without saying, voted Remain), that there will be a way out of this mess. I won't speak here to what's going on my side of the pond other than to say, while of course nothing can be taken for granted, I'm heartened by the fighting spirit in the forces for good, on prominent display again today.

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  13. I too have been horrified, fascinated, and hope-against-hopeful about this, and I appreciate your view which pretty much confirms what I've come to see. We do live in interesting times, but I have faith in cooler heads to make the adjustments and for unexpected boons to appear with the lumps of coal. Thanks!

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  14. For much of Friday, I was walking around with a heavy heart. I feel more resigned now - and what could I do anyway - but I still read up about the subject as much as I've been doing before.
    Up until yesterday, I thought there would be at least one tiny good thing coming out of it: The drop in the GBP making my Yorkshire holiday a little less expensive. Unfortunately, the Euro dropped about the same, so there was no difference when I paid the remainder of the rent for our cottage in Ripon yesterday.
    I know exactly what you mean about the bit of Schadenfreude!

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  15. Whatever happened to the idea of an informed citizenry, anywhere?

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  16. poisoned chalice indeed...Best to you!

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  17. It's interesting that your post brought to mind this, from Schopenhauer: "The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short."

    Granted, time devoted to understanding recent events re: the EU/Brexit mess is more important and slightly different than deciding whether or not to read, say, "Fifty Shades of Grey." Still, I think the point is relevant. There could be weeks or months of chaos now, and a constant state of upheaval won't do you any good.

    Here, I worked for, contributed to, and voted for my candidate in the primaries. He didn't win, and now I am left with what I consider an unfortunate choice: at best. But, this is June, and the election is in November. It's time to get on with life, checking in now and then to see what the latest idiocy might be. Life and the days are too short to obsess over things I have no control over. Just a slight caveat, added to your welcome warning. :-)

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  18. I have done the same as you. Both France and Germany I have heard from their gov't are pushing hard for UK to exit fast. They want a strong EU and will do what it takes to be so. England has put itself in a weaken position now since even the locals are lost. London wanted to remain. People are wondering if they can form a solution to remain. Scotland too wanted to remain. Seems that Great Britain is not going to be so great and business as usual has gone. I"ve heard a few state it will free up how they can imort and export more freely. Naïve thought. Likely it will have a reverse effect.
    Haven used the train crossing fron London to paris via the tunnel with ease I shdder how the two will now set up barriers and obstacles there and who knowd where else.
    I am happy to be a Canadian at the moment abd I have a feeling some will want to head there for a new start.
    Let us hope for a positive outcome. There just must be one..........

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  19. Friko, I am one of your US readers and hear your warning loud and clear - it has been my clarion call for caution here in our circus season. My concerns have been rising over these months and while hope is always there, I fear a similar outcome and that the poisoned chalice will be passed further around.

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  20. I too am horrified and distressed by the outcome - the worst possible decision taken on the basis of the worst possible campaign(s). Which is not to say there isn't a lot of substance to the concerns that led to the Leave campaign winning: and one thing I noticed from the newspapers while on the continent last week is that there is plenty of concern over the over-bureaucratisation and corporate capture of the central EU institutions, and plenty of people (not just the extreme right nutters) at least saying this is time to think again about the project. There might just be a faint possibility of something better coming out of this. Otherwise this might, in the medium to long term, turn out to be as monumental an act of folly as the US Senate walking away from the League of Nations and the post-WW1 security architecture.

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  21. It's been so crazy and surprising. You all have my sympathies as you begin to iron this mess out. This is truly an odd, unsettling time in world affairs. Having said that, I still cannot imagine Trump emerging victorious. (He is going down in the ratings as we speak...or rather, as HE speaks.) Sadly, I am no fan of Hilary, either. So my problem is that there is no one on the ticket that remotely appeals to me, an appalling situation. Good luck to us both. "/

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  22. We'll have to see how things pan out over there, but I am really hopeful that we will make the right choices when the time comes. I don't want to lose all my faith in humanity's ability to reason.

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  23. I totally empathize. Word here is that the vast majority of your younger UK voters elected 'remain' as their choice. Older voters carried the day, sadly. You've been around the block a few times. You know how ignorant folks in our generation can be, although it wasn't that long ago our parents lived through a depression and war because too many were uninformed and believed the con artists who told you there were quick fixes.

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  24. I listened to a bit on NPR with the German ambassador to the US, and also a quote from the German Chancellor - I liked that they were saying that it wasn't okay for Britain to take it's time exiting. Which is fair, but I still hope somehow this will get fixed. Such a scary wave of xenophobia going on right now.

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  25. I'm thinking of having an embargo on newspapers and the TV news to give me time to recover my natural optimism, sadly missing in the last few days. Like you, I have been obsessively following recent tumultuous events with a heavy heart and concern for our children who feel so badly let down. Here's to a brighter future.

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  26. Well, the interesting thing to me is that Brexit seems to be more of a movement, while the Trump phenomenon seems more like a personality cult. But as you suggest, both are "counterrevolutions" against modernity, technology, a one-world order. I think these people are misguided; but they have some legitimate concerns (see Bernie Sanders) and political leaders ignore them at their peril.

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  27. Nobody has the foggiest idea what a wrong decision in the US would mean and only few understand the stakes at hand. People are rebelling against the status quo, it has not been working for too many and the many are not being given an ear. While the situation in Great Britain seems dire, Switzerland has managed eventually just fine outside the EU. Maybe EU policies will get an overhaul? As a Bernie Sanders supporter I rather feel hopeful, not despondent, because for the first time in a long time here in the US we are talking about issues that matter. Bernie lies it out rather clearly, I am with him and this movement of steering the US back left away from predatory capitalism and corporate control. I take the long view where there is more then a silver lining to be treasured. I hope for you personally there are not too many challenging after effects, but I like to trust that you will weather the storm just fine.

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  28. Like most people, I did not think this would happen. I have my opinions, but I never comment on the politics of other countries as I don't know all the facts. However, this seems to be a decision that may not be good for the UK, and possibly not for other countries as well, including the US. I guess that right now all we can do is hope for the best and pray that those in charge will do the right thing.

    Your warning to the US is right on. These are very difficult times and I fear what will happen in November.

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  29. All I can say is that I'm totally freaked out by this outcome and the ramifications internationally scare the pants off of me. Not to mention the horrors of here in the states. Your words should be well heeded.

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  30. I followed what was happening with Brexit, too, and couldn't believe the result.
    Believe me I'm well aware of the poisoned chalice we're being offered. I'm also acutely distressed learning the numbers of our populace who seem all too willing to drink the potion. What is happening to the world?

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  31. I am most definitely seeing and noticing the backpedaling going on...the people here in Germany are not quite sure that to think. The sentiment seems to be "let them leave, we do not need them".

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  32. Friko, what I've learned from this Brexit is that apparently it's not only the US with a divided people. It's scary to think that so many people can't see the dangers ahead... for all of us.

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  33. So much upheaval now. Let us hope that some good will come from it, that no-one can see yet.

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  34. Beautiful, thoughtful, balanced post. Like you, I am on the losing side, but no one lost and no one won. We all lost.

    Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  35. As a true European at heart I followed the Brexit vote and have been devastated by it. And I fear that I might be in that same position again come November.

    This is something I read on Facebook one day: "America and Britain are having a competition on who can fuck themselves up the most. Britain is in the lead, but America has a trump card." That pretty much sums it up.

    Scary.

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  36. It just defies understanding. One has an image of a crowd of people saying 'but we didn't mean to REALLY leave!'

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  37. I was thinking of you during the fiasco...the world is a big sorry mess and the ability of politicians to spin things is beyond belief. I see all of the instigators in the Brexit are resigning or stepping down. Are they cowards or have they made their fortune on this.

    Your Millie is right...nothing like a warm pub to weather a storm.
    God Keep you safe!

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  38. My son in law (in Switzerland, with my daughter and grandson) is English, has been following this with his friends over in London. lots of profanity there.
    America has to choose which chalice to hold. God help us.

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  39. Brexit and Trump seem to have revealed the worst of both our poor countries. I can only hope that the Good prevails. Scary times make for frightened, foolish, and easily led people.

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  40. Unlike other writers whose offerings I get eventually get tired of, you are among the best. Whatever your topic, whatever your mood, you're just bloody good. Here I sit in my Canadian kitchen on a dank Saturday morning, suffused with pleasure at the way you put words together. I miss our old days.

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  41. Hi Friko - I moved the next day and got up as the vote the came in ... I had plenty of packing still to do! Not helpful - but there we go.

    Since your posting so much has happened ... I feel quite heartened, albeit I voted Remain and campaigned under the European Movement's banner, about the present developments ... we cannot rush this - in fact we'd be in the major dog poo if we did ...

    America - at least I don't have to listen to the backstabbing any more - except on occasions I guess ... but I totally endorse your last paragraph ...

    We are in interesting times ... take care and enjoy your garden and gentle walks with Millie ... cheers for now - Hilary

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  42. having been in Scotland when all this occurred, I missed your post til now. my hosts were heard to be mumbling 'stupid stupid people' for days afterwards. unfortunately, stupid seems to be carrying the day. over here, much the same is happening. republicans have cut funding to education for decades and feed their constituents a steady diet of lies and fear mongering. what a colossal mess.

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