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April 28, 2017

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Ed Seedhouse

The first thing a student who wants to improve at chess needs to learn is how to think from the opponent's point of view. Playing without that approach is known among strong players as "hope chess" and is a hallmark of the poor player.

Mind you, one needs more than this to play well, but avoiding the egocentric framing error is a first step.

Also, "hope chess" does break out from time to time even among chess Masters and Grandmasters. It just happens a lot less often than it does in the weaker classes.

TrumpisaJew

"Little Englanders" and the Rothschilds sitting in the tree...........the empire is dead, the dollar replaced the gold backed pound and they want it back. 1929-33 was the death rattle of the House of Rothschild, the death of the British Empire. America paid the price of not stepping in in 1931 and taking the lead. That is what led the bad recession into the Great Depression. It was a system in total anarchy by February of 1933. The Michigan bank panics were the final straw. Then Germany/Japan and the US had a fight over who would control the world.

Best part about the Rothschilds is how they camo their real intentions(aka, people Call Macron a 'Rothschild' which is far from the truth. He worked at a Rothschild sub that does business in the dollar/US system. He is Morgan man like all the Nordic EU countries.) Who do you think finances Putin, the "paleo" movements in Libertarian/Conservative thought that want to cripple the dollar standard and bring back the Roths gold standard?

Jim

"“every screaming headline and every bellicose punch-drunk interview from a Brexiter politician damages us more.”"

So who keeps going on about punishing the UK for leaving, and the massive bill we'll have to pay etc etc etc?

Brexiteers I suppose.

roger

OK, let me put myself in the shoes of a Brexiteer. But what sort of Brexiteer, for there seem to be two main sorts, the hard-up white van man sort and the hard right Britain-would-be-great-if-only-we-got-out-of-Europe sort. To my mind the second group is the more interesting. They drive and fund the poltical parties and newspapers. So the question is why are they so keen on Brexit, what is in it for them?

I can't see how the UK is going to become some kind of New Singapore, the idea of exporting biscuits and doilies to New Zealand etc seems risible and why bother when there is a big market next door. So why? I suspect some notion of 'sovereignty' and limitation of immigration and its impact on housing lies at the root.

Talk of a resurgence of British industry post brexit is I believe a complete con and actually a cover story for a poorer Britain. The lower classes kept in their place through rented housing and poor educational standards. This I suspect is the real unspoken aim of the top level Brexiteers, a Miss Marple Britain where nice people go to public schools and have nice jobs. A new kind of Britain where British cleaning ladies and gardeners are easy to find.

The downside is that I can't see where the money is going to come from. That kind of Britain would become a closed market. Unable to afford much in the way of imports and a two tier manufacturing setup, cheap stuff for locals and good stuff and financial services for export. In short a dead end.

But there is one 'upside'. Such a Britain could be insulated from a rise in the world's population. Other countries might be taking in migrants but we wouldn't. There is a cost to doing this but not a cost borne by the hard right Britain-would-be-great-if-only-we-got-out-of-Europe sort.

I don't think it will work but we will waste 20 years finding out.

TowerBridge

Roger -

I think I have attempted to understand the brexiter mentality and followed the "pete north" blog here:
Whilst I have lots of sympathy with what he says when it comes down to his problems with the EU he makes fundamental factual errors, like where policy comes from (hint: it comes from the member states) so he really falls down on his argument that brexit will mean more democracy, especially as he himself has touched on the hard brexit and WTO rules we'll be following.

In terms of world population, here is a talk by Hans Rosling, who is absolutely fantastic (and who died recently) and gives you some really interesting facts on what's going on in the world (e.g. peak child) : https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies

From Arse To Elbow

But surely Brexit is a performative insult, so the behaviour of the Tories is consistent with the brief.

That's what the 52% (mostly) voted for, and that's what they expect to get: two fingers up to the French, singeing the King of Spain's beard, and an extra line to add to "two world wars and one world cup" to wind-up the Germans.

You're assuming that leavers actually want to "win-win" the negotiation, when all they really want to do is fuck-off the EU. In your chess analogy, we are the pigeon: can't be reasoned with and we're going to crap all over the board.

George Carty

So if the working-class Brexiters want to make us more like the old DDR (who cares about freedom to travel or the fact that all the stuff in the shops is crap, as long sas I've got a job for life and a good pension) the wealthy ones want to make us more like a 21st-century version of Tokugawa Japan?

Blissex

«followed the "pete north" blog here: Whilst I have lots of sympathy with what he says when it comes down to his problems with the EU he makes fundamental factual errors,»

I have followed both North blogs but then realized that they are just somewhat more erudite versions of the standard "high tory" "Alan Clark" brexiter attitude.

I reckon that attitude is based on a fundamental confusion between independence and unilateralism, which is accompanied by a sense of humiliation at England being a mere member of a small and weak regional group, and having to compromise with them in the Council of Heads of Government, instead of just ruling the vast and powerful English Empire in Splendid Isolation. Because a global superpower like England proves its independence by making unilateral deals, like the USA and the UK have made with Yugoslavia and Iraq.
:-)

Norman Tebbit just before the referendum:

“It is time that the Brexit campaign seized its chance and set the scene for the debate: it's time for the British to get off our knees. .... Our record of successful self government, democracy and the rule of law is far, far superior to that of the other Member states of the EU. Time and time again, we have rescued the people of the continent from the follies of their leaders. They have never rescued us. ... Freedom beckons. Will a generation of politicians who have never fought for it betray the many thousands who died for it?”

A Conservative MP very recently:

“Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the Flags and Heraldry Committee, said:
“It’s a matter of identity. Having the pink European passports has been a source of humiliation. It merged us into one European identity, which isn’t what we are. The old dark blue design was a distinct, clear and bold statement of what it means to be British, which is just what our citizens need as they travel abroad after Brexit.””

Blissex

«working-class Brexiters want to make us more like the old DDR (who cares about freedom to travel or the fact that all the stuff in the shops is crap, as long as I've got a job for life and a good pension)»

That was the 50s-70s lot of the working class in England in effect, plus cheap terrace housing by the council.

Now the shops that sell to the working class and the lower middle class still sell shoddy stuff only it is made in China, but it is shinier and the advertising is funnier, and can be bought on expensive credit;
and there is no more job for life or good pension, rent has ballooned, and travelling has become unaffordable on agency contracts.

Blissex

«You're assuming that leavers actually want to "win-win" the negotiation, when all they really want to do is fuck-off the EU. In your chess analogy, we are the pigeon: can't be reasoned with and we're going to crap all over the board.»

You have been reading the reader comments "below the line" on the Daily Mail Online website!

For those who haven't I dare them to click here and sort the comments by "Best Rated":

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4457984/United-EU-set-defy-UK-demands-parallel-talks.html#reader-comments

Blissex

«“every screaming headline and every bellicose punch-drunk interview from a Brexiter politician damages us more.”»

Suppose that some politicians had decided that given the mood of Daily Mail readers (their electoral base perhaps? :->) and the consequent red lines "no deal" is highly likely: then their second best is do whatever consolidates and expands their domestic vote without regard to the impact on the negotiations.

The biggest difference in the negotiating position in the UK and the EU27 is that in the UK they are an electoral issue, a party political issues, and they are not an electoral issue in any EU27 state, where they are considered either a technical issue best left to the unlucky Barnier, or entertainment news like Berloscone.

rogerh

Maybe it is wishful thinking but I detect a slight change of mood from the Telegraph regarding Brexit. Not quite as gung ho. I hope that it is just possible that those who kicked off the Brexit project are beginning to realise it was not such a good idea. The smart money may be moving away. This is one to watch, but I suspect the Brexit momentum will now become a perceived liability among the smarter Tories. Their difficulty will be how to roll back the red top newspapers without it being too obvious. THe difficulty is that political systems are like dinosaurs, set fire to their tail and it takes a long time for the brain to feel the heat.

Richard Martin

I am British. Haven't lived in the U.K. since 1977. I think of all the members of my family who fought the Germans and survived the Battle of Britain to maintain our freedom. I cringe at having to witness the Germans today dictating the terms of what Britain "may" or "may not" do. Have we no pride left after losing the greatest empire the world has ever known?

Dipper

Retainers have completely lost the plot. They think they are smart and always right about everything so whenever anyone disagrees it is either because they are stupid or gullible. They have no idea what Leavers are thinking, and just assume the worst and stupidest things at all times.

Blissex's point about the confusion between independence and unilateralism illustrates the point excellently. I'm pretty sure all Leavers get this point and understand that compromises will have to be made, e.g. if we sell into the EU we will have to meet EU regulations and those regulations will be overseen by the European Court. Leavers believe in nation states freely working with each other to get mutually beneficial solutions, not the UK telling everyone else how to do it.


Dipper

and Richard Martin speaks for many I feel.

Before Remainers start going on about Empire, for me the comparison with Empire is a measure of the capability of independent nationhood we have lost, not a statement that recreating the Empire would be a good idea.

George Carty

Hard Brexit will doom Britain, as most of our Mittelstand-equivalent firms were destroyed from 1980 onwards by asset strippers, who closed them down in order to sell off their sites for housing (in Germany this didn't happen as rent controls and mortgage lending restrictions weren't lifted there, meaning that residential land prices didn't rocket as they did in the UK).

This made us heavily dependent on multinational corporations for employment, and why the hell would they continue to produce in a UK that is no longer part of the European Single Market? Most of them enjoy such economies of scale that they only need at most three factories in the entire world (one in the Americas, one in Europe and another in East Asia).

I don't think any Leavers seriously expect to restore the Empire they just fail to realize that the UK market alone is way too small to support contemporary industrial enterprises If you want to know what an isolationist national economy looks like, look at North Korea!

Blissex

They have no idea what Leavers «are thinking, and just assume the worst and stupidest things at all times. Blissex's point about the confusion between independence and unilateralism illustrates the point excellently. I'm pretty sure all Leavers get this point»

For an overwhelming demonstration of the opposite please consult:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4457984/United-EU-set-defy-UK-demands-parallel-talks.html#reader-comments

or even just T May's Lancaster House sppech.

«and understand that compromises will have to be made»

Well, I got that impression by reading for a long time both the North blogs, which are the most "realistic" blogs for "Leavers", and while they clearly understand that trade is not unilateral they somehow and equally clearly think that trade *politics* can be unilateral.
But also I have never read a "Leaver" argue that first and foremost "independence" means "taking back control" of the english armed forces, security services, and foreign policy from the USA, control that was given to the USA by both Churchill and Attlee. Somehow their unhealthy obsession is the much smaller degree of *shared* decision making with the other EU members, which requires fabricating B Johnson style-delusions about the EU Commission and much else.

«for me the comparison with Empire is a measure of the capability of independent nationhood we have lost»

This statement is simply incompatible with your certainty that “the confusion between independence and unilateralism [ ... ] Leavers get this point”.

Because the end of the English Empire has involved absolutely no loss of “independent nationhood”, never mind of its “capability”, just a loss of the ability to impose unilateral decisions as a superpower on lesser nations.

For example, as to trade treaties, in the "good old days" many trade treaties, e.g. between India and the UK, were "negotiated" between Sir Wanker in the Foreign Office and Lord Tossing-Hard in the Colonial office, and were "fair and equitable" to England, for example with freedom of trade and movement from England to India, but of course not from India to England, because that wound be "unfair and unequal".

That was not “the capability of independent nationhood we have lost” but the loss of the power to unilaterally impose "fair and equitable" terms for England on other weaker countries. Except of course in the cases of Yugoslavia and Iraq (but then that was the USA really). That's what seems to me that a lot of "Leavers" feel deeply and genuinely is an outrage and humiliation.

W Churchill's first speech in the Commons was a beautiful example of what some english people mean by “capability of independent nationhood” that England had withing the English Empire:

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1901/feb/18/address-in-answer-to-his-majestys-most#S4V0089P0_19010218_HOC_331

For his adaptability to changed circumstances, a quote from the Suez debate:

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1956/nov/06/debate-on-the-address#S5CV0560P0_19561106_HOC_113
“I do not complain that we do not agree with America on every point. I have never subscribed to the point of view put forward by the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill), who said that we must agree with America at all costs. Obviously the Government have now thrown that overboard.”.

Blissex

«and Richard Martin speaks for many I feel.»

And I feel that those who make "EU is the Fourth Reich" style arguments and use wording like “Germans today dictating the terms of what Britain "may" or "may not" do” are gripped by the delusional phantasms of unilateral superpowerdom.

gastro george

@Dipper

"I'm pretty sure all Leavers get this point and understand that compromises will have to be made"

Could you tell Theresa May.

@Richard Martin

I'd suggest that you ask somebody from one of the former colonies if the Empire was so great from their POV.

"I cringe at having to witness the Germans today dictating the terms of what Britain "may" or "may not" do."

Britain may do what it likes (and take the inevitable consequences) but I don't really see it as unrealistic for a club to decide an orderly process for how a member should leave it.

Saying "F*ck it, I'm off" and slamming the door is not a known successful negotiating strategy.

Blissex

«Leavers seriously expect to restore the Empire they just fail to realize that the UK market alone is way too small to support contemporary industrial enterprises»

Astonishingly clever Boris Johnson pointed out that 93% of world's population is outside the EU. That makes "Leavers" very satisfied, and that what matters is not numbers but purchasing power and willingness to spend it on imports...


rogerh

We now get to the rub, why do some top Tories still want Brexit? I think they don't want the constraint of sitting in boring committees working through every implication of every change as it affects every member of the European community. They much prefer a bit of hand waving, a few sound bites and leave most of the loose ends untied for future administrations to fall over. They call this 'sovereignty' when in reality it is their right to do a half-baked job. Well we have had plenty of their sovereignty, it does not work and the days of gunboats and military adventures are over. Their difficulty is that shorn of political influence their skills at hand waving are worth nothing. The Brexiteers are not so much stupid as wilfully misled by those who want a free ride.

gastro george

For anybody thinking that this is going well, read this thread.

gastro george

Failed URL, try this: https://twitter.com/JeremyCliffe/status/858814982271717378

TowerBridge

Thank you for that Blissex. I found it most amusing.

I worry - and dipper has confirmed this above- that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the EU is. It starts with the idea that the EU is somehow "over there" and that we are completely seperately "over here" and *we* have to do what *they* say.

But *we* are *they* and everything the EU has done has done either upon our instructions or with our explicit consent (often subject to carve outs). So when people like dipper and Peter North blame the EU for whatever "crime" has been committed, they should be blaming the UK government too, but unfortunately its easier and fits with the superiority narrative you outlined above to blame jonny foreigner.

Dipper

@TowerBridge

well yes and no.

The problem is that the EU was founded to restrain German expansionism, hence the almost unconscious urge to build structures and political parties that contain Germany by enabling German influence to spread peacefully.

Given that, the UK really needed to work hard on creating alliances with other countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands to bring a significant counter-weight to the Franco-German platform. Cameron in particular didn't do that and was left without influence and isolated.

Successive UK governments made choices about how they would interpret EU laws, e.g. Freedom of Movement was embraced enthusiastically and well beyond what was necessary to comply. They didn't have to do that but chose to do it with the result that the EC predicted a 25% increase in the UK in a 35-45 year time horizon to 80 million.

And so to the referendum. The choice was between leaving, or remaining with at best a continuation of the policies that had been used in the last 20+ years. The key thing about leaving the EU for me and many others is it sticks our politicians on the spot, makes them accountable for the UK. No more running away and hiding behind "EU laws.". To that extent, it was about the UK and not the EU.

The "superiority narrative" you mention is not something I've encountered in any fellow leaver at all. It's one of those things that Remainers dream up to discredit anyone who disagrees with them, and avoid facing any real issues or discussions about what our future in the EU would actually have been like.

gastro george

@Dipper

"the UK really needed to work hard on creating alliances with other countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands to bring a significant counter-weight to the Franco-German platform"

This was literally the reason why the UK supported EU expansion to the East.

Blissex

«So when people like dipper and Peter North blame the EU for whatever "crime" has been committed, they should be blaming the UK government too,»

Both North bloggers actually in their "high brow" :-) moments don't commit that mistake: I think that they claim they equally detest the UK too, almost as much as they detest the EU, for being run by "faceless unaccountable ukcrats" in Whitehall instead of Brussels.

Their "high brow" idea seems to be that both the EU and UK are tools that enable the elites to "retreat into the state" as sociologist Peter Mair has argued with similar arguments by Colin Crouch as to "post-democracy".

That is an interesting if idealistic position, but my impression is that they too like most "Leavers" are in effect most outraged by the humiliation that the UK is a mere part of the EU instead of ruling it with "fair but stern" unilateralism.

Accordingly I have half-jokingly proposed that if the EU were merely renamed "The English Empire of the British Isles and Her Majesty's Continental Dominions", and the EU passport was blue, and the EU Commission was relocated to the Docklands, without any substantive change, and the EU parliament seats were recoated in green leather and arranged as two sets of benches, then english opposition to the EU would evaporate. :-)

Blissex

«The "superiority narrative" you mention is not something I've encountered in any fellow leaver at all. It's one of those things that Remainers dream up»

Amazing that I have quoted Norman Tebbit on the Daily Telegraph using the expression “far far superior” only a few comments above.

I find also it funny that this is written just after quoting approvingly “I cringe at having to witness the Germans today dictating the terms of what Britain "may" or "may not" do. Have we no pride left after losing the greatest empire the world has ever known?”, which to me seems infused with the same feeling.

Blissex

«their skills at hand waving are worth nothing»

Boris has a declared income of £600,000 and is Foreign Secretary, his skills may be worth nothing or more likely a large negative amount to this country, but they are surely worth quite a bit to him. :-)

Blissex

«fundamental misunderstanding of what the EU is. It starts with the idea that the EU is somehow "over there" and that we are completely seperately "over here" and *we* have to do what *they* say.»

As to that there is a beautiful quote from Peter North:

http://peterjnorth.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/brexit-back-to-basics.html
“it does not give us sufficient powers of veto”

Blissex

«alliances with other countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands to bring a significant counter-weight to the Franco-German platform.»

The Netherlands here don't fit. The EU, from the original six to today, is a joint France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany project to stop after 1,200 years the frankish succession wars between neustrians and austrasian franks, by declaring a draw (also because the aristocracy has rather declined in influence).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Frankish_Empire_481_to_814-en.svg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Droysens-21a.jpg

Countries like the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Portugal, who have not been part of the core frankish empire, but have had for 1,200 years tight ties to it have been invited to join because "better together" as the world is no longer european-centric and current conditions favour continent-sized powers.

«Cameron in particular didn't do that and was left without influence and isolated.»

Cameron followed on on previous UK strategy as described in the famous "yes minister" sketch, but even countries outside the frankish core for fed up with that, as most of them got over their empires, or never had them.

The swedish, polish, spanish, finnish elites have long realized that their options are to be USA protectorates like the UK or have some better leverage by sticking together. In an ideal world Russia would join in too, but perhaps that is a cultural bridge too far for now.

Gulliver

@ Blissex & Roger - When reading both North EU Blogs it is important to also understand their affiliation to The Harrogate Agenda, which can be described as a political revolution based on the Swiss model with respect to referenda etc. It has been pointed out that for THA to have any traction a "hard" Brexit, resulting in a severely detrimental effect on living standards' is a fundamental requirement, no one is going to want revolution if their standard of living remains largely unchanged.

So on the one hand we have both North's correctly and it has to be said quite meticulously criticising the government on the way they are going about Brexit, on the other they require a bad Brexit if their underlying aim is to be realised.

Billy Whiz

@Dipper
" I'd suggest that you ask somebody from one of the former colonies if the Empire was so great from their POV."
Worked out pretty damn well for the people in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a whole bunch of other places...

gastro george

Yeh, yeh, very clever, you know perfectly well that I meant the colonised, not the colonisers.

Billy Whiz

Colonisation by the British was probably the least bad thing that could have happened to the people of a preindustrialised society in an age of expanding European maritime power

gastro george

FYI, India, for example, had a thriving textile industry prior to being colonised. It was effectively wiped out by the British.

Billy Whiz

I think there was more to the Indian economy that textiles, and even that cherry-picked example assumes the British Raj had a supernatural power over market forces

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