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Brexit referendum referendum

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The UK Government has said that having had one referendum on leaving the EU there won't be another one. However, they have no mandate for ruling out another EU referendum and have not ruled out having a referendum on the question of whether they should hold another EU referendum. Holding such a referendum seems like the logical next step, to me.
hippo, Oct 20 2016

(?) Theresa May www.obviouslynot
Obviously not. Some people will believe anything. [MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 27 2016]

//The government, therefore, is obliged to listen to the majority of voters// http://www.bbc.co.u...k-politics-37857785
You see, this is why politicians try to avoid making definitive statements about anything. [DrBob, Nov 03 2016]


       Xenos Referendum?
theircompetitor, Oct 20 2016

       Do you have your Brexit buddy?...   

       //the logical next step// that's where you're going wrong, what's needed is another illogical next step - so as to remain in keeping with the story so far.   

       What we need is some daily method by which the working classes can trample their own dreams, hopes and aspirations, so they don't feel the need to ruin everyone else's.   

       Gladiatorial combat might do the trick, or drugs in the reservoirs.   

       Alternately we could erect some kind of wicker "EU" man, fill it with meat and parade it around the country setting fire to it after long occult ceremonies - this should give the 52% something tangible to think about while the rest of us carry on functioning as a modern connected global economy. It could employ thousands of people to haul it around on creaking hemp-fibred ropes, bringing hope and fear to all those who witness it.   

       Each night, whole communities, presumably too riddled with hate and confusion to properly understand what's going on, could be whipped into cathartic frenzy through chanting, wild dancing and speaking in tongues etc. They could hold these nightly "referenda" all the time, and ritualistically burn the wicker man after wrapping it up in EU flags and such. They could wheel Nigel Farage out, dressed up in great purple robes to talk the usual shit, then get him to light the towering wicker colossus, lighting up each spectator's eyes with the reflected light of their own desperate bewilderment with anything happening beyond their own meagre experience. We could divert the 20% drop in national wealth due to the decimation of the pound into a National programme to farm, construct and transport these vast vegetative behemoths around the country, and continue with the status quo. After some time, they'll begin to warm to the tradition of torching the EU leviathan, that it will become one of those quaint British customs that foreigners (as long as they're not Europeans - the filthy bastards!) can come and gawp, paying large hotel and B&B fees in the process.   

       Occasionally we can murder a politician in the street and call anyone who doesn't like the idea a traitor - that seems to be fairly bland alternative to what's going on right now, no?
zen_tom, Oct 20 2016

       I much prefer a soft brexit to a hard brexit. Prune juice often helps.
bhumphrys, Oct 20 2016

       So, [zen], where do you stand on Brexit then?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2016

       // the democratic process must be respected //   

       But will that not be setting an extremely dangerous precedent... ?   

       "Vox Populi, Vox Dei ..."
8th of 7, Oct 20 2016

       One would think that the populace might have an opportunity to rescind the Brexit by virtue of voting in representatives who favor rescinding the Brexit - this representative democracy thing. In the US we do that every couple of months. But I have realized that some of the British poobahs are not elected but rather appointed by other lesser poobahs - like the lady in charge I have seen in the news. Perhaps more elections generally will allow the dyspeptic British 52% to cool their ardor.
bungston, Oct 20 2016

       //One would think that the populace might have an opportunity to rescind the Brexit by virtue of voting in representatives who favor rescinding the Brexit// But, given that the populace voted for Brexit in the first place...   

       And, in any case, both major parties (and probably the Liberal Democrats too, though nobody knows) were in favour of continuing under Brussels Administration.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2016

       Well, I think it's fair to say that Brexit definitely means Brexit, that much, mercifully, is clear. On the other hand, being stripped of my citizenship, told I'm a citizen of nowhere and having my freedoms taken away on the basis of some sleazy plebiscite, is proving to be a less endearing experience than I'd initially dreaded.   

       On the other hand...at least there's that extra 350 million quid a week going into the NHS. Stocks are up massively, and thankfully, no more fucking Turks - I particularly fucking hate them, with their steam-bathing traditions and delightful gelatinous sweets. No, it's the Biblically accurate floods of Romanians, Poles, and the French we see daily in our streets that is undoubtedly *the biggest* problem in today's Britain - you can't walk for fucking cheese - utter, utter arsehole cunts, the lot of them - send all the bastards home, or at least taunt them on public transport until they all fuck right off. All those French and Germans coming over here, taking EVERY job and sharing our commonly held European values of tolerance, fairness and the general rule of law - it's a complete disgrace. Coming over here, and having the audacity to get a fucking job and pay their taxes? The sheer insolence of it all.   

       And then, all them academics, elites who can read and experts who understand things, they're all bastards too. Conspiring to live happy and enriched lives through actually studying, working hard and improving the lot of themselves, their families and the communities they live in - who do they think they chuffing are? Elitist twats, fucking knowing and doing stuff. As a nation, where did knowing or doing anything ever do us any good? The country has agreed with me on this and said quite clearly and democratically, that they're all cunts too.   

       Plus, in 5 years, we might also get to increase our reliance on long-distance trade links with New Zealand. So that's fabulous.
zen_tom, Oct 20 2016

       //being stripped of my citizenship, told I'm a citizen of nowhere // That is intriguing. What is your present citizenship?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2016

       Hey [zen], UKIP are looking for a new leader and you sound like a perfect fit for the job; failing that, there's good money in being a speech writer* for Boris Johnson.   

       *You can write it down as an aide-memoire, but you'll still have to teach it to him phonetically.
8th of 7, Oct 20 2016

       That boat has sailed. It ain't coming back.
popbottle, Oct 20 2016

       I'm cancelling out that bone! Anything that retard Farage, or Hitler Trump think is a good idea, is by definition an ultra bad one, and both of these two morons are in favour of brexit. Another vote is clearly needed to approve or disapprove the eventual terms and conditions of the actual brexit, the default poistion of that being a remain outcome.
xenzag, Oct 21 2016

       // terms and conditions of the actual brexit //   

       That's easy. "You give us everything we want, and we don't send in a flght of Tornados at treetop hight to drop some stores in EU HQ."
8th of 7, Oct 21 2016

       Careful [Max], you're asking for actual facts? - this is a Brexit thread!   

       Let's bandy around some national stereotypes! Phwooar! Germans eh? Who in their right mind eats pickled cabbage? Twats. Italians? Too fancy by half. Austrians, can't trust them, I mean schnitzel, wtf is that all about? And the Portuguese? Wine fortifying, anchovy loving bastards. Bureaucrats? They're the worst, over there in Bureaubureauland or wherever the fuck they come from.   

       [8th] thanks - I think I'm getting the hang of it, the trick seems to be detaching your sense of connection with reality and immersing yourself instead into a kind of primitive headspace populated only by half-formed emotional gists and stories, the more incoherent the better - if some stick then great, we can develop those and hammer them home, and if some prove to be less resonant, we can just drop them and forget they ever happened. Soon they'll be flocking to hear everything we say, and then we can probably make some money on a book/newspaper deal, or perhaps start some kind of TV/Media outlet and really rake it in. It's a lot easier than having to make sense, or use reason or facts to argue the merits of a case!   

       Meanwhile, as 8th succinctly puts it, we can simply ask for "Everything we want" since we are as a nation, demonstrably sure as to exactly what that is - and if anyone isn't sure, we can point to the crystal-clear result of the near 50-50 referendum we've just had and make up whatever shit we like and wrap it up in terms like "mandate" and "clear will of the people".   

       Then, over the next 5 years, as people lose the worth of their money and pensions, the sane give us a wide berth, as interest rates go up and people start losing their homes, their jobs and incomes, when food and fuel prices start going up, as workers in public services and industry increasingly go on strike in dispute, and the right-wing newspapers start to round on the next group of people to blame, we can complain about how our wonderful Brexit is being stymied by all these left-over foreigners and their globalist sympathisers who didn't shut-up/fuck off when they had the chance. Because again, obviously, having too many Europeans in the country is precisely the most important problem that faces the nation today. That and pretend laws on Banana exports. The British Banana Exporting Industry (The hallowed BBEI) must be positively thrilled at this result. Finally, the proud and traditional British Banana growers of this tropical, sceptered island can look forward to a time when they can grow a banana as straight or as bendy as they choose, and not have to subjugate themselves to the imposition of a cruel fictional law to classify it either as a Class I or Class II banana for onward sale or export! One in your eye Bureaubureaulanders! The Americans had their Tea Party, and we will forever have our fictional Banana specification thing. "No tax without representation" is the American rally-cry - and so for us, "No fruit to undergo seemingly innocuous fictional over-specification - I mean, strictly speaking, it's not a fruit, more of a berry, but let's not get into that here." It's not quite as catchy, but it does at least give us something to chant, which is always important. And that makes me, for one, proud to be an English.
zen_tom, Oct 21 2016

       Jolly good, well done.   

       // detaching your sense of connection with reality and immersing yourself instead into a kind of primitive headspace populated only by half-formed emotional gists and stories, the more incoherent the better //   

       Now you're getting it. Just close your eyes and let the internal narrative take over. Best plug your ears, too ... otherwise you're risking reality - or even worse, facts - leaking in ...   

       // we can simply ask for "Everything we want" since we are as a nation, demonstrably sure as to exactly what that is //   

       No, no, no. Never "ask", particularly when dealing with mere foreigners. You tell Johnny Foreigner how it's going to be, and if they don't jump to it chop-chop, send a gunboat to lob a few shells into their thatched huts or whatever primitive squalid hovel* they squat in.   

       *Most hovels in france and Belguim would need major work** to improve them so as to lift them into the "primitive and squalid" category.   

       ** and real drains, done with all proper pipes and running water and stuff.
8th of 7, Oct 21 2016

       [zen tom] It must amaze you like some sort of magic trick how successful the numerous countries are who have never been and never will be in the EU. Take Singapore for example. If only they were in the EU...... or Iceland, or Australia, or New Zealand, or Canada, or Switzerland. The EU is a basket-case, but leaving it was not the right thing to do, and reforming it was.
xenzag, Oct 21 2016

       // reforming it was //   

       We agree entirely. Just like mechanically reclaimed meat; it needs to be smashed down into a viscous puree, then chilled, mixed with synthetic additives, compressed, and extruded in a new form which - after being immersed in boiling lard for ten minutes - can appear almost palatable.   

       As long as it's not inspected too closely.
8th of 7, Oct 21 2016

       [xenzag] and if those countries were located immediately next to the largest trading block in the world, and had a largely guiding role to play in that block's structure, it's make-up, and rule-making, imagine how much better placed on the global stage they'd be than they already are.   

       It's not a blind love affair, just an appreciation of 60 years of peace, a massively stable economy considering the pressures its been under, and we had prime position at the head of the table. A near perfect position where we enjoyed most of the freedoms, the market, the political muscle, and avoided the major downsides, like the Euro, or obligation to Federalise. Now, or rather, 5 years or so from now, we may get to organise a different free trade deal with a much smaller sized portion of the world on much worse terms, with little or no political benefits, at an immense increase in distance and fuel costs. Trade blocks like to be monogamous, so it's not likely we'll be able to trade with all of them on free-terms, so we'll be picking one from a set, and hoping we get the right one for the next 50 years, or trading piecemeal with other nations not yet members of trading blocks, but each in the process of joining one or the other. Yes, reform would have been great, but there's zero chance of us doing that now having left.   

       So rather then help nurse the slightly hungover man on our doorstep back into rude health, we've kicked his head in, quite likely in a way that will ultimately finish him off. Rather than encourage and assist the region as per our moral obligations (the same way they helped drag us out of the mess of the 1970s) and self-interest might suggest, we've turned our back, and will have to deal with the consequences of the region suffering as a result. A weaker Europe on our doorstep isn't something we can isolate ourselves from whatever our membership status is of the EU.   

       Funnily enough, I was just thinking that all post EU Britain would need is to bring back Jimmy Saville, and you'd not be able to tell the difference between the rather grim 70s and the Britain of 50 years later. It'll be coast-to-coast Kes and sex-offending DJs.
zen_tom, Oct 21 2016

       It's strange how we Brits generally cheer for little countries trying to gain independence from their big brothers, but bemoan our desire to be independent of Big Brother.   

       It's also noticeable that there is a strong generational divide between Brexiteers and Bremainers. It would be unkind and far too easy to criticise the young for wanting to maintain the status quo - after all, young people do not cope well with change, perhaps because they have never lived through it. Anyone in England under the age of 45 has never known life outside the EU, so of course they find the idea frightening.   

       We should just have patience with them, and try to help them stop panicking. The young cannot be expected to be as adaptable as the old.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2016

       Haha - Big Brother?! How ironic!
zen_tom, Oct 21 2016

       Frankly, I can't see what the argument is all about. I don't see any difference between having our lives ruined by faceless, uncaring politicians in Brussels & having them ruined by faceless, uncaring politicians in Westminster. A pox on both their houses!
DrBob, Oct 21 2016

       [DrBob] the difference is that the EU - as an institution - doesn't promote xenophobia and right-wing ideology. Meanwhile, an MP was assassinated by a "patriot" and people are increasingly getting spat at on busses. That may be my "Youthful Intransigence" (I'm 42) or it might be a significant shift in public perception born from economic stress. That the decisions made off the back of that will undoubtedly increase those economic stresses in precisely those areas most affected by them already, suggest we'll be in for more foreigner-bashing before the decade is out.
zen_tom, Oct 21 2016

       //the EU - as an institution - doesn't promote xenophobia and right-wing ideology// That is certainly true.   

       However, it is also worth bearing in mind that the unsavoury xenophobic attitudes displayed by some idiots today were developed in a Britain that was part of the EU. So perhaps the EU has unintentionally created the situation in which xenophobia thrives. It's not as if xenophobia has just been invented, post-Brexit-vote.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2016

       // the unsavoury xenophobic attitudes displayed by some idiots today were developed in a Britain that was part of the EU //   

       Donald Trump is British ? Well, who knew, eh ?   

       //the EU - as an institution - doesn't promote xenophobia and right-wing ideology//   

       Well, not openly. The Germans are a bit more subtle than they were mid-20th century.   

       But not much.
8th of 7, Oct 21 2016

       The way I see it, the tragedy of Brexit is this:   

       By my hunch, based on no evidence whatsoever, the vote was against a cultural problem, whereby government is based on unaccountable cliques, rather than on ideas or principles that can be debated publicly and, where necessary, voted down.   

       The tragic mistake was to see the EU as the source of this problem, whereas it's really just one expression of it among many.   

       Just as the American colonists could probably have had representation in the British parliament, if they'd been willing to wait until, say, 1832, so too Britain could have had a more democratic EU, maybe some time in the next generation.   

       I write this from the safe distance of Australia, not having voted in the referendum.
pertinax, Oct 22 2016

       //the vote was against a cultural problem//   

       That was certainly a large part of it. Both major parties PLUS the bankers were all campaigning for "remain". Everybody hates two out those three groups, so of course they voted "leave".   

       The press (and, before the vote, the politicians) overplayed the immigration angle: the rabid xenophobes are an ugly minority, as in most countries. Immigration was a factor, but not the major one. Mostly, people are just sick of the way things are, with no connection between those in power and the average person.   

       There are other reasons, too, behind the majority Brexit vote, but the main one is that people are just sick of the whole bunch.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 22 2016

       Would that bunch be composed of EU regulation curved bananas? Meanwhile the two arrogant euro clowns I'm totally sick of are Tuske and Juncker. (-sp?). Getting away for these two overpaid power mad parasites and their army of unquestioning minions is a good enough reason for any country to leave the Euro mess - and make no mistake, the EU is a total mess, and will get much much worse, especially after the UK leaves.
xenzag, Oct 22 2016

       ^^ Yeah, the red tops were all xenophobic during the campaign...an ugly sight
not_morrison_rm, Oct 22 2016

       ... yet a strangely familiar one ...
8th of 7, Oct 22 2016

       //Immigration was a factor, but not the major one//   

       There is some reason to believe that there is a connection between, on the one hand, the cultural problem I mentioned and, on the other hand, immigration - or, rather, multiculturalism, (which is not the same thing, but is often conflated with it).   

       I would like to refer you to a lecture given by David Riesmann, back in 1952. That was when what they used to call "the post-war consensus" was still being formed. That consensus did a lot to shape the European Union, and Riesmann was one of those to contribute significantly to its formation (the consensus, not the EU).   

       In this lecture, "Values in Context", Riesmann says (among other things) that the extra corruption associated with multi-cultural societies is nothing to worry about. He gives two reasons for this. One is that, supposedly, only multicultural societies have what he calls ideological pluralism - which is, apparently, more important than honesty or accountability. The other is that the economic cost of corruption is negligible, because the broader economy is so healthy.   

       The latter was probably true, back in 1952. Not so much today, I suggest.   

       And the striking thing is that he takes it as read, and as undeniable, that this extra corruption is real, and is not just a fabrication by ignorant xenophobes.
pertinax, Oct 22 2016

       // this extra corruption is real //   

       ... an importantly, not necessarily financial.   

       There is, on average, an innate tendency to favour one's own racial/social/political group. Where there is a dominant group, there can be an impulse to display magnanimity to a minority perceived as disadvantaged, because the overall effect on the "balance of power" is negligible.   

       But where multiple groups perceive themselves as competing, the tendency to show generosity outside the group is curtailed.   

       It's possible for individuals and institutions to be effectively corrupt without a penny ever changing hands.
8th of 7, Oct 22 2016

       Yes, but corruption is so much more fun when you play with real money.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 22 2016

       //the economic cost of corruption is negligible// I suspect that the right amount of corruption is hugely beneficial to society. Put someone in charge of getting something done, and they will quickly realize that they will be out of a job as soon as the thing is done. Give them a 0.5% backhander on the contract to get the thing done, and it will happen much faster.   

       I've often explained to sales reps that it would be more cost effective for them simply to give me twenty quid to specify their product, than to spend ages demonstrating its merits to me and being nice.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 22 2016

       Ignore him, he's just fishing. The most he's ever actually got was a rather dull plastic keyring, which he insisted on showing to absolutely everyone he met for the next six months.
8th of 7, Oct 22 2016

       Not even that, alas. It seems all these reps have something called a "policy". It's completely counterproductive. Anyway, where were we?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 22 2016

       // One would think that the populace might have an opportunity to rescind the Brexit by virtue of voting in representatives who favor rescinding the Brexit - this representative democracy thing. //
This is still a theoretical possibility, provided somehow a general election is called. The main problem is that neither of the major parties has a firm internal policy about EU membership: the parliamentary Tories are I'd say about 70 anti / 30 pro, and the parliamentary Labour party is split into Jeremy Corbyn (nominally pro but actually anti) and everyone else (actually pro but willing to claim anti-hood so that they can "win elections"). While the SNP and the Liberal Democrats are pro-Europe, the parliamentary arithmetic is such that calling an election as a proxy referendum isn't a goer (and in the case of the SNP, while membership of the EU is better for Scotland, leaving the EU increases the case for and prospects of a second independence referendum, so). All in all, we're a bit fucked and the conclusion to be drawn from this is: British people hate forrins and they are willing to harm their own interests to further the aim of getting rid of forrins.

       The horrible truth is that there is a referendum result and notwithstanding it is a stupid result arrived at out of ignorance, complacency and lies, the result is the only firm part of the political landscape, so the MPs will cling to the fucker like the Raft of the Medusa.
calum, Oct 24 2016

       // hugely beneficial to society//   

       At the risk of sounding like a whining pinko Trotskyist, I suggest "hugely beneficial for that part of society best placed to distribute backhanders, having both the necessary money and the necessary connections, and not so much for everyone else".
pertinax, Oct 24 2016

       //it is a stupid result arrived at out of ignorance, complacency and lies, //   

       You see, that's where I have an issue. The "remain" campaign had many good points and made a number of valid arguments. I actually liked Cameron and agreed with many of his points. People who voted "remain" did so for good reasons which, on balance, led to their choice.   

       The people who voted "leave" also did so for good reasons. They largely recognised the "remain" arguments as valid, but did not consider those arguments as important as other points. And those "other points" were not, by and large, that they "hate forrins" - my mother was one, for instance.   

       In other words, voters on both sides considered the arguments, weighed them, and came to a conclusion. It is not surprising that different people weighed the different factors differently and came to different conclusions.   

       But, almost universally, everyone who voted "leave" (which is the majority of people who voted) is said to be stupid, racist, isolationist, or just plain evil. We're not: we just came to a different conclusion than you did.   

       Fucking deal with it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2016

       // my mother was one //   

       Your mother was an Alien ... that's not quite the same thing ...   

       It's significant that the margin for "leave" was so small - much smaller than the opinion swings shown in parliamentary elections.   

       The 1975 referendum was a 67 yes, 33 no split. Much more decisive.   

       It suggests, as [MB] indicates, that the arguments are fairly evenly balanced.
8th of 7, Oct 24 2016

       //the margin for "leave" was so small//   

       Yes, and that's probably true on a per-voter basis. Most people who voted one way understood that there were reasons for voting the other way too. Yet the small majority who "won" the referendum are widely accused of being simple-minded, argument-blind idiots. I don't understand why the "remainers" can't imagine a balanced decision coming down on the other side of the argument.   

       If anything, I would say that "leavers" are a more reasonable and moderate lot than the "remainers" who seek to cast dissenters as idiots or xenophobes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2016

       //In other words, voters on both sides considered the arguments, weighed them, and came to a conclusion. It is not surprising that different people weighed the different factors differently and came to different conclusions.//
And thus Max reveals he is at heart an optimist about human nature. I think that leave and remain voters alike voted in the same way that they vote in other elections - largely without considering the options or the consequences of their decisions. Given the insipidity of the Remain campaign and the disingenuousness of the Leave campaign I can't blame the voters for making low-information decisions.

       I don't dispute that there are cogent reasons for leaving the EU. Likewise, though, I have only met one leave voter who did not put forward border controls and too many forrins as one of their major reasons for voting to leave and, based on further discussion with the leave voters, it was clearly the issue that they understood most comprehensively / clearly. Granted, It could be that my sample size is skewed by the fact that I only meet leave voters at the EDL rallies I attend with my granny but my granny has been dead since 1995 and I don't even know what an England is.   

       // If anything, I would say that "leavers" are a more reasonable and moderate lot than the "remainers" who seek to cast dissenters as idiots or xenophobes //
It is easier to be sanguine when you have what you want. I find that as a white middle class male with a well paying job and only first world problems (brouilly stain in the chaise longue) to worry about, I am less likely to be protesting about anything much really.
calum, Oct 24 2016

       //I think that leave and remain voters alike voted in the same way that they vote in other elections// I dunno. Most people I talked to before the vote were genuinely unsure, because they could see arguments on both sides, and were also well aware of the hype promulgated by each camp.   

       Another factor, of course, is that the bankers all wanted us to remain. How many people feel charitably towards the bankers?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2016

       I feel charitable about them insofar as their financial security is strongly correlated with my financial security. This may be particularly true of the services sector but having seen what happens when the banks shite it (2008-2013) and call in all their loans, I wasn't then and amn't now keen to fuck them up any more, at least until the Fourth International comes good. And this is maybe my point - if the banks were making reasonable (if strongly worded and inexpertly spun) points about the potential economic consequences of a Leave vote and people chose to disregard it because they think that bankers are dicks, well, then they have applied an arguably incorrect weighting to the potential economic consequences.
calum, Oct 24 2016

       // if the banks were making reasonable (if strongly worded and inexpertly spun) points about the potential economic consequences of a Leave vote //   

       The problem there is that the banks no longer have any implied credibility. They've blown that.   

       Decades ago, banks used to be slightly less distrusted than Governments and journalists. Now, they have been shown up as just as greedy, venal and self serving as the others*, and no-one trusts them.   

       So it doesn't matter what they say; the presumption now is "They're lying to us - for their own sly motives - again", even when they're telling the truth.   

       The net result is that voters make decisions based on an arguably incorrect weighting.   

       *Banks have always been just as greedy, venal and self serving as they are now perceived, but in the past the public weren't so aware of it.
8th of 7, Oct 24 2016

       //they have applied an arguably incorrect weighting to the potential economic consequences// Well, so far the pound has slumped against other currencies as expected, but we're barely past the referendum. And in the meantime, imports are more expensive but exports are stronger. Personally I don't think it's going to make any difference overall.   

       Oh, and most of my consultancy income is in dollars, which is quite nice at the moment, thanks.   

       And as for the banks, ironically they are winners from Brexit: any time there is economic turbulence, money moves around. And whenever money moves, the banks get their slice. They are laughing all the way to themselves.   

       This may also be the time to point out that the collective noun for bankers is a "wunch".
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2016

       //could see arguments on both sides, and were also well aware of the hype promulgated by each camp.//   

       I thought both campaigns were poorly fought. Even within the confinements of modern political campaigning, there were much sharper arguments to be made. This revealed what many already knew: our best politicians seem like average middle management. What I read into the opinions of the younger and older demographics was "Oh hell, you're going to give this bunch of morons more power/less protections?" Vs. "Having an additional layer of morons doesn't help, and I think selling my jam is now illegal".   

       I think the political class behave like middle management because they essentially are. Imagine a focused, bright & talented individual managed to sneak past the selection by local popularity contest, navigate the intra party politics and get themselves elected PM. Now, with the levers of government control in front of them they can enact change. Except every lever has little labels on it: Defense> don't move this down, or NATO will be V.upset. Health> moving this in any direction, or leaving it alone will make everyone angry. Tax: move this too much the IMF will get upset and add a 1/4% to our debt interest rate, don't take it out of anything else, wouldn't want to upset the UN or WTO.   

       Allowing economic migration, which several successive governments did, is one of the few ways to generate tax with minimal education and health spending. A short- term kick the can down the road for the massive demographic problem. One look at Japan's finances demonstrates the scale of the problem. But is it fair to co-opt 350-400k of Poland's most motivated? That's like our WW2 losses. Did anyone mention any of the bigger problems? Was there any thought beyond the vote at all? The Syrian situation is awful, but what about precedent? What if Nigeria becomes untenable and 117 million is the size of the next crisis?   

       The hypothetical PM can't really do much of anything, and so miniscule complications of the tax and benefit system is about all that gets announced. I suspect the EU is even more paralyzed, and there's definite evidence to suggest little to no brain power.   

       The draft legislation on kettles, toasters, etc. (Ecodesign consultation) demonstrated that energy policy was being discussed without a single person in the room that understood energy. Similarly, mandating car engine sizes is moronic, you can get 750bhp out of a 900cc engine for your articulated truck, you may not like the efficiency, reliability or complexity.   

       I'm also fairly sure the "harmonization" of vehicular laws that allowed the helmet free riding of super fast quads was just an EU attempt to assassinate Rik Mayall and Ozzy.   

       //collective noun for bankers is a "wunch"//   

       I'm not going to look that up. I am going to assume that it is true because the world is better that way. I will also propagate this cast iron fact far and wide.
bs0u0155, Oct 24 2016

       //I thought...// You make some very well- considered and rational points, and do so in a reasonable manner. What are you doing here?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 24 2016

       //What are you doing here?//   

       Waiting for a 500ml bottle of FBS from the -80 to melt. Then I can go and get some gin and be irrational and sentimental.   

       I expect I'll get a bit misty eyed about staring out of a VW camper on childhood holidays, marveling at the stylishly unreliable hydraulic cars with the insane yellow headlights. The gunpoint searches on the Spanish border, or the fact that Portugal had an enviably relaxed attitude toward surfacing the entire length of the few roads they managed to start. I'll move on to this being a chilling example of cultural enbeigeing. Then I'll ramble about the change from 240V to 230V, "20 winds to 1, simple ratio to make a mains to 12V transformer... 230 is 19.16 recurring to 1, you show me point-one-six-reccuringth of a wind!!!" Then I'll point out that European 220V is a perfect multiple of the rest of the world's 110V... and that the proposed 1600W EU max for kettles is all you can get out of a US socket "global government by the back door!" I'll suggest conspiratorially "the socket by the back door to be precise!!" then I'll have a little laugh "what's the point in anything if you can't lord it over johnny foreigner about the quality of our electrical system, we get that, they get snoozes or whatever they go in for... enjoy the fruits of your own civilization!" I'll say, before suggesting ordering a pizza.
bs0u0155, Oct 24 2016

AusCan531, Oct 25 2016

       //This needs a new topic   

       Howabout a Brexit referendum referendum referendum?   

       NB "a perfect multiple of the rest of the world's 110V." Ahem, Japan is on 100v, with a different frequency (?) depending if you're in the Tokyo/Kanto half or the Osaka/Kansai half.
not_morrison_rm, Oct 25 2016

       What, so one half-cycle is on a different frequency to the other half-cycle ? That's a good trick ...   


       Actually ... one half-cycle could be a pure sine. The other could be pure sine, but at twice the frequency, with the peak voltage adjusted so that the areas under the curves are identical, giving equal energy delivery on each half-cycle.   

       Resistive loads and some motors probably wouldn't notice; switchmodes would probably cope, too. But some devices might behave very oddly ...
8th of 7, Oct 25 2016

       //Ahem, Japan is on 100v// That seems a little weedy...   

       //with a different frequency (?) depending if you're in the Tokyo/Kanto half or the Osaka/Kansai half.//   

       Wow, they really have got problems. That seems so solvable, build an interconnect, then just advance one substation at a time. Of course it's also an opportunity. Naturally 400+V 3 phase is the way to go. Careful design could produce a light, efficient, slightly warm 20kW vacuum cleaner that would have no problem dealing with even the trickiest dust. Also pretty useful for charging electric cars, and those snazzy trains they like.
bs0u0155, Oct 25 2016

       // and yet we blew it //   

       But could it have gone any other way ? We think not.   

       There's a thought experiment called something like "The coffee dilemma" ...   

       A group of people - say 12 - get together for a weekly meeting. They agree that they would like a break halfway through for a hot drink. They also agree to pay an equal contribution.   

       But -   

       Four people want tea. Five want coffee, two want decaf coffee. One wants hot chocolate. Three take sugar, two want lo-cal sweetener.   

       Easc participant contributes 1 currency unit to the cost. In terms of what they are going to consume, this is fair.   

       However, when the delegated person gets to a shop to buy provisions, there's a problem. Sufficient tea costs three units; coffee costs four units; decaf another four units; sugar two units, and lo-cal sweetner two units. A small jar of chocolate is three units, and powdered milk is three units. Grand total 21 units.   

       What to do ?   

       There's an important point about ethics and choices in there, but we can't remember what it is ... it's about choosing the least worst option.   

       The answer is probably to buy orange squash. That way, no-one's happy, but at least there's no favouritism.
8th of 7, Oct 25 2016

       [8th], your lengthy example makes an excellent point. I just wish I knew what it was.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 25 2016

       I have been pondering this some more and I think that the main problem with the referendum question was that it the wrong amount of specificity: in essence it was "are you happy with the status quo wrt to the EU?" without any associated proposal for what changing the status quo would look like. Hence gnomic bollocks like "Brexit means Brexit". The Scottish Independence Referendum was not significantly more specific, though the Independentians did expend a fair amount of effort on setting out proposals for what they thought it should look like, but that question could equally have been recast as "are you happy with the status quo wrt to the UK?"   

       I appreciate that there might be very good and long winded reasons for wanting a referendum question that is fairly specific about what is being asked (not least of all because any vote against the status quo might actually represent a practical mandate for whichever poor buggers survive the political bloodbath and end up having to implement). But I don't agree that this is how we should be doing it. Instead, I think we need an approach to referenda which is significantly - actually entirely - less concerned with specifics. Each referendum should consist of the follow text only:
What do you think about it, then?
with the responses being limited to:
JFDI; or

       The advantages are somefold:
1. saves time buggering around with the electoral commission
2. gives the winning side a clear and open ended mandate to do whatever it is that post hoc they decide the question was
3. gives the politically disengaged an option which reflects their preferences, so turn out should be high
4. and so on and so forth
calum, Oct 25 2016

       //the insipidity of the Remain campaign//   

       I think this insipidity is easily explicable. Imagine a gathering at Bremain HQ. Someone begins to articulate an argument in the form "You know, it's not really the fault of the EU at all; it's the fault of ..." At this point, they realise that every single other group whose fault it might be is represented in the room with them, and they decide not to make the argument after all.   

       To put it another way, a full-throated defence of the EU would have required a pungent "nostra culpa" from the British establishment, which they were not willing to disgorge. And thus the argument was lost.
pertinax, Oct 26 2016

       //stupid, racist, isolationist//   

       Ah, now there's a quite interesting reason why opposition to the establishment is intrinsically racist. To demonstrate it, I call upon the observations of three well-known thinkers, namely, Karl Marx, C. P. Snow and Anon.   

       From Marx, we learn that the culture of any society is the culture of its ruling class*.   

       From daily observation (thank you, Anon), we learn that, when you've only brought a hammer, everything looks like a nail.   

       From C. P. Snow, we learn that ... Well, in one of his later books, written during the late sixties, he was observing the rising generation of the ruling class, and what he observed about them was that they were entirely non-judgemental - *except* about racism.   

       So, per Snow, we have a starting point where we only carry one moral tool - namely, anti-racism.   

       In order to express disapproval of anything else in an acceptable way, per Anon, we have to extend the definition of racism to include that thing, or at least re-describe that thing in such a way that it sounds like racism.   

       From this point, we could imagine the definition of racism extending in any random or picturesque direction, but here Marx steps in, and reminds us that the mostly likely such extensions are whichever ones favour the interests of the class that dominates the culture.   

       So that's why Brexit is "racist".   

       Of course, in some cases, it may also be actually racist, which muddies the waters rather.   

       *Of course, Marx's interpretation of this was more paranoid than it needed to be - but the observation per se is good.
pertinax, Oct 26 2016

       The Marx, or a Freudian slip?
theircompetitor, Oct 26 2016

       //But some devices might behave very oddly ...   

       Yep, so the washing machine you bought in Osaka, wouldn't work in Tokyo.   

       I'm more interested in apres Brexit, do I get two passports or what when Scotland calves off...will the Remain bods head north over the border.....
not_morrison_rm, Oct 26 2016

       ... preferably in cattle trucks, at gunpoint.
8th of 7, Oct 26 2016

       Test launches from Trident submarines ?   

       Dropping a concrete dummy IRV in someone's back yard with a note attached saying, "Oh, by the way, we have real ones, too" does tend to get their attention.
8th of 7, Oct 26 2016

       Arguably, the problem with the Brexit referendum is the same that was/will be faced by the mice in the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy in their efforts to determine the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. The answer that was produced was, like the referendum result, clear and easy to comprehend. What became obvious though was that the question had never been properly defined. In HHGTTG the mice sought to resolve this by building The Earth; In the case of the referendum, I think we need a new referendum to determine what the actual question to the first referendum was.
hippo, Oct 27 2016

       Brexit cannot exist until there is a vote to approve or decline the negotiated terms, whatever they turn out to be. If these are voted against, then the UK should remain in Europe. It's simple stuff, but probably beyond the brainless numpties who constitute the current UK government, along with its equally cretinous opposition.
xenzag, Oct 27 2016

       //If these are voted against, then the UK should remain in Europe//   

       Well, no. My understanding is that the referendum result is not legally binding - i.e. the government could simply say "bugger the lot of you - we're staying in" if it chose. However, this would be political suicide and would be disastrous.   

       The government, therefore, is obliged to listen to the majority of voters and get us out of the EU. How this is done, and on what terms, is in the hands of the government. If we don't like the way they're doing it, we can vote them out at the next general election - just as we would vote out a government whose policies on anything else we didn't like.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 27 2016

       If we don't like the terms we can say no to them, which defacto means remaining - ie a laughable mess that only a shower of total morons could devise. Hey let's build a boat, powered by the force of a turbine driven by the influx of water coming in through a large hole in its side that unfortunately also causes it to sink rather rapidly. What is the collective name for a large assembly of dim brains? A Titanicus of retards?
xenzag, Oct 27 2016

       Who is your "we" - is it "we" the British people, or "we" the British government? Ultimately, only the government can legally decide whether to activate Article 50 or not. Once it's activated, my understanding is that we are out (after 2 years) whether we like it or not. And of course the terms of the deal will not become apparent until long after After 50 is activated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 27 2016

       But that doesn't matter ...   

       In the Emerald Isle corner, a sovereign nation state with its own armed forces and a good notion of how to use them.   

       In the wishy-washy pinko corner, a nearly-bankrupt and disparate talking shop for twenty-odd self-interested gravy-train passengers, with no armed forces, no central command, and no ability to make rapid decisions, relying instead on unsatisfactory consensus ....   

       // If we don't like the terms we can say no to them, which defacto means remaining //   

       The "terms" are basically "We're off. You will do as we say, or else. Or you can try and stop us. C'mon, then, if you're feeling lucky, give it your best shot."   

       All it needs is a leader with the guts to ignore the "rules".
8th of 7, Oct 27 2016

       //All it needs is a leader with the guts to ignore the "rules".//   

       Well given that Theresa May was once the leader of a pack of Mods in Eastborne, and had several run-ins with the police <link>, she may be just the man for the job.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 27 2016

       Where these the same mods (with their crap little scooters) that had the shit beaten out of them by the Matchless, Norton and BSA riding rockers?
xenzag, Oct 27 2016

       I think that Max may well be making a version of the same mistake I made when I asked Theresa May to sign my copy of Englishman In New York.
calum, Oct 27 2016

       //The government, therefore, is obliged to listen to the majority of voters//

Hmm! Have you actually paid any attention to the way that government operates in this country, Max? (I wouldn't blame you if you hadn't. It's more depressing than switching on the TV when you get home from work to find that EastEnders is now running 24 hours a day on BBC1 plus repeats on BBC2 & an omnibus version on Sundays on the World Service).

Apart from 1945, when a large proportion of the electorate were still under arms & looking a bit angry and 1649, when even God's Own Englishman had to accede to the demands of a rather well-armed & trained citizenry (the demand being that King Charles' head be lopped off with all due dispatch), no parliament has ever done what it was elected to do much beyond the day after the election.

"Ah!", you say. "But this was a referendum, not an election". "Oh, no, no!" say I, "That's what you think!". It was an election to decide who ran the Tory party. The rest is mere table decoration. Rather like Charles I's head.
DrBob, Oct 30 2016


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