Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit

If you are Hungarian, don't look at this... (Source)
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few days (which I wish I could get away with) you know that the United Kingdom (more properly the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) has voted to leave the European Union. Which isn't so much an alliance, or a union per se, but an economic entity. As the "source of all knowledge" (sic) says -
The European Union (EU) is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It covers an area of 4,324,782 sq km (1,669,808 sq mi), with an estimated population of over 508 million. It operates through a hybrid system of supranational and intergovernmental decision-making. Its institutions are the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the European Court of Auditors. W
Now I pinched that opening graphic from a Wikipedia article about something called Euroscepticism. Long story short -
Euroscepticism (also known as EU-scepticism or anti-EUism) is criticism of, or opposition to, the European Union (EU). Traditionally, the main source of Euroscepticism has been the notion that integration weakens the nation state, and a desire to slow, halt or reverse integration within the EU. Other views often held by Eurosceptics include perceptions of a democratic deficit in the European Union or a belief that it is too bureaucratic. Euroscepticism should not be confused with anti-Europeanism, which refers to the rejection of the culture of Europe and Europeanisation, and sentiments, opinions and discrimination against European ethnic groups. A Eurobarometer survey of EU citizens in 2009 showed that support for membership of the EU was lowest in Latvia, the United Kingdom, and Hungary. Euroscepticism is found in political parties across the political spectrum; however, the rise in radical right-wing parties in Europe is strongly linked to a rise in Euroscepticism in the continent.
I was stationed in Germany after the borders "came down." There was still a border crossing kiosk on the edge of the village we lived in, which was on the Dutch border. It was most convenient to travel back and forth to work via a short cut through the Netherlands than it was to take the "long way" staying totally within Germany.

Ditto when traveling to the nearest U.S. bases at Bitburg and Spangdahlem which led one through the Netherlands, then Belgium, before crossing back into Germany via the Schnee Eifel.

Entering la belle France still required the checking of papers and the like in 1992. A trip to the UK when The WSO was in the sixth grade (which would make it 1996 by my reckoning) required the checking of passports in Dover at the British terminus of the Chunnel (said marvel I got to ride through there and back again).

Now in an age of terrorism and wandering hoards of ne'er-do-wells (who may or may not harbor terrorists in their midst) it seems a bad idea to just let folks wander about one's countryside without a "by your leave."

As it seems wicked easy to get into Europe along its southern flanks (and I can tell you, Italian airport security looks completely lame next to French airport security, I can hardly imagine what Greek security is like), then once you've wandered onto the continent, no doubt having been provided a complementary cup of ouzo at the border, you are now, to paraphrase the old Southwest ad, "free to move about the continent."

Now the Brits have always seemed to me a rather sensible folk. They are under heavy pressure from an influx of Muslims into the country and they've been getting rather tired of the bureaucrats in Brussels trying to run the whole show.

And having said "Eurocrats" making rather a dog's breakfast of the whole thing to boot!

So it's understandable that they would want out of the EU. As Americans I think the best we can do is be supportive of our British cousins, not rush to judgement about the "wisdom" of their move or anything like that. It's their country, they want it back.

I understand that.

Oh boy, do I understand that.

While I have no dog in this hunt I can say this, I think it's the right move.

Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands? (I do believe they are contemplating a similar move.) You know what to do...






38 comments:

  1. Thanks, Sarge. That's pretty much how I think!

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    1. Looks like a majority of your countrymen have similar feelings.

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    2. Wolfman of BadenochJune 25, 2016 at 6:10 PM

      My old Brighton pensioner will not be surprised that I have a different take on the situation. The USA is the largest single market in the world. It consists of 50 independent States (aka European countries) that create their own laws, raise their own taxes, have their own armed forces (National Guard) and has a common currency (US $) within a single federal government (Washington DC). The USA is held by many right wingers to be an ideal democracy, but the EU is not! I don't hear many Texans wanting to leave the Union, no matter how much they dislike one administration or another. The population of the UK did not have the sense to see this. Immigration into the UK, is not a problem outside of the metropolitan areas. In my lifetime I have experienced the inwards movement of people into London of holocaust survivors, free Polish ex-servicemen, refugees from Indian partition, Ugandan Asians, etc etc. The list is long, but there has always been a movement of people into the UK. The problem with the complaints about the EU migration is the direct effect it had on the artisan classes, especially the building trade. Before Poland joined the EU, building tradesmen could and did charge whatever they liked for an indifferent product. The influx of good Polish tradesmen, who worked for less, turned up on time and produced a , generally, better quality job took work away from the white van man. The resentment at this loss has been a festering sore in British politics.
      The other factor is the resentment in the Regions of the UK of the Westminster bubble. Successive UK Governments, since Mrs Thatcher, have been centralising power in Westminster and this has led to a feeling of isolation. The English Regions do not realise how much they have in common with the policy of the SNP in Scotland. The Referendum gave the English Regions the chance to give Westminster a kicking. In Scotland we voted to stay because of the promises the English made to us at the time of the Independence Referendum. We would be worse off outside the UK and would not be allowed to join the EU if we left the UK. Scotland benefits greatly from the UK 's membership of the EU so people voted to stay within the UK. We are now feeling betrayed and deceived by our English neighbours who asked us to vote for a false concept of the UK. The English only want Scotland for its resources, hence our First Minster's request for Indy2. There are areas , near where I live, that have a lower population today than after the Jacobite Revolt. The notion that the UK is full is a falsehood. The Scottish Highlands cannot get anymore infrastructure improvements without investment in people , which brings more people. The EU assisted with this improvement, Wednesday did not and will not pay any in the future.

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    3. Interesting moniker sir, something a Scotsman would recognize.

      I realize Scotland was not for Brexit. You provide good reasons why.

      Tha an àm ri teachd dh'fhaodadh a bhith inntinneach gu dearbh.

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  2. Doncha know it's a bad thing when the slaves throw off their chains?

    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. juvat:

      Since when are the thoughts/feeling of the slaves considered by the overlords?

      Paul

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    2. Oh, oh! I know this one...

      Never?

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    3. LOL

      Paul

      P.S. I need to get my URL? in gear, I keep having to jump through your " I am not a robot " hoops. Albeit, they do seem to be less demanding of late.

      PLQ

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    4. And that is pissing me off, I turned verification off, I guess Blogger keeps it on for Any Mouse comments?

      They change their effing protocols every other day, I swear. Can't complain much though, I mean it is free.

      I just ran a test, even with verification off, one must jump through hoops and pass a quiz to leave an Anonymous comment. I guess I have no control over that.

      Blogger has no problem with spammers leaving comments on 3 year old posts though. So if anyone wishes to leaves a comment on a post over a week old it goes to moderation automagically. I try to keep up with those type comments so they don't sit in the penalty box too long.

      Sigh...

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    5. Paul, the answer to your question. When they're drug kicking, screaming and crying to the guillotine, gallows or firing squad, begging to be shown the mercy they never granted others. It will happen again. Soon if they play games with this election.

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    6. juvat:

      I likes the cut of your jib. ARRRR! You know why pirates say ARRRR, don't you? It's because they can't remember the next letter. So, I'll sign on with your crew or you can sign on with mine. Either way, I'm with you when they play games with the upcoming election.

      Paul

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  3. I've had some interesting conversations with a farmer friend in Herefordshire regarding this.

    His beefs included unchecked illegal immigration, bureaucratic fiat, 10,000 eu bureaucrats each knocking down 150,000 UK Pounds (more than the PM makes by far) with an incredible list of perks and bennies, including cash stipends to every member of bureaucrat families for life, crap nations on permanent vacation funded by UK, France and Germany, unwritten eu policy banning prosecution of special protected terrorist classes, etc., etc. Also something about eu regulation on straightness of bananas and keeping vacuum cleaner suction low so as to reverse global warming.

    On the other hand, there was some sense of economic stability. And the 12th-century immigrant clans provided a ready market for diseased sheep. Their cash of course, came from welfare, so the math on that gets a little dodgy.

    I understand the welfare wahabis are threatening to move en mass to france in the biggest cross-channel invasion since 1944. I believe they're calling it operation underallah.

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    1. Pity the poor French.

      Unless you unleash the French security forces, ya know give 'em carte blanche, then it's pity the poor "12th-century immigrant clans." (I like the term BTW.)

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  4. Just seeing how Brexit has affected world markets tells me the EU has too many fingers in the pie.

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    1. And for the most part it wasn't their pie.

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  5. As you said, no dog in this hunt. They don't need our buttinski. That said, as a crypto-anarchists, I say, "Bravo"!

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    1. Trying to be cute and not realizing the term generally refers to computer users.

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    2. To me the term implies that one is a secret anarchist. I know of these computer types of whom you speak. Scum of the earth, every last one.

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  6. Me . . . I've never been much good at the "Geo-Political" stuff. All I know is that I worked with the Brits in Berlin and found them to be good folks. I visited their countries a few times and enjoyed myself. I like Shakespeare. Can't stand James Corden! So . . . for the nonce, I'll just sit here in the viewing stands and see how this all shakes out. I wish them all the best.

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    1. I lived in Europe for 7+ years. My personal take was that initially the EU was a good idea, but it grew into the culture destroying life time sinecure for bureaucrats that it became.

      If they want to keep it, best they start over with new overlords. Of course, Eurocrats don't understand "service before self." Well, for that matter, neither do our own bureaucrats.

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  7. The few Brits I've known over the years have been fine folks. Enjoying their cup and generous with a pour. My Flight Commander (whilst learning about delta winged flight) at Perrin AFB Texas was an RAF Flight L/T. I don't know any now, my last acquaintance with some know-how about it all is a retired L/C in the RCAF. He likes scotch, not rum. Go figure.
    Those in Europe have always seemed, as portrayed in history anyway, had a penchant for the bureaucratic spawning which have observed neatly in our lifetime. How cool is that?

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  8. I still believe the God's Word in John's Revelation is accurate and there will be an all-encompassing one world order some day. It wasn't George Bush's idea ;-) We have seen a lot of events that point that way and especially interesting is how the hearts of men have changed from a notion of sovereignty for themselves and their Nation to a desire for a "big brother" government to take care of them from cradle to grave.

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    1. I do believe that is what we engineers like to call a "requirement."

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  9. Being governed by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels gave our brethren across the pond a small taste of what we felt like with old King George. I congratulate them for making the right decision.

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    1. Now if only we can tame our own unelected bureaucrats...

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  10. Our Congress should immediately pass a law granting the UK trade preferences and privileges equal to or greater than the EU. For that matter, make it the entire Commonwealth.

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    1. And that sounds like a capital idea.

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  11. THREE TIMES THREE FOR THE UK!

    HIP! HIP! HUZZAH!
    HIP! HIP! HUZZAH!
    HIP! HIP! HUZZAH!

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    1. Excited are we?

      I'm interested in what Scotland does next.

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  12. Spending the night in Montpelier where the elite suddenly decided to force property owners here into their 'special Hell' of 'Design Review' for old buildings which should fall under expert historic design review mandates before so much as a broken window can be repaired. Needless to say, the 200 owners of listed buildings are apoplectic. That's the EU in a nutshell. Like Erondites, it will not survive.

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    1. Ah yes, the "Historical Commission." My fair town by the bay has one of those. 'Tis a pain they are. No one wants to buy an older building to fix it up as the so-called "historical" types (my Dad called them "hysterical" types) will charge in and tell you what you can and can't do. Seems that money crossing the correct palms will always grease the skids. "Well, he's got a permit dontcha know!"

      Bureaucrats of all stripes, a pox on their houses!

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  13. "Bureaucrats of all stripes, a pox on their houses!"

    I'm more the death by quartering type myself.

    Paul

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)