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  1. #19426
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    EU. Logic. "When you leave the EU you cant expect to have unfettered access to the EU market when you are no longer a member.
    E.U. Logic (continued). When you leave the EU we expect unfettered access to your fishing grounds when you are no longer a member.

  2. #19427
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    But the point you continue to overlook in your obdurate and blinkered stupidity, you oaf, is that the EU is steadfast in not forsaking its principles in a way that might undermine its policy of cohesion and free competition in return for a mere 3% contribution to its combined GDP that is currently derived from access to British markets. But they do not believe the loony Brexit British government could be so idiotic as to forsake commerce for some half-arsed notion of independence dreamt up by an insane Gove and a vacillating BoJo. Which is why they continue to negotiate in the belief compromise will win and the British will continue to suck EU cock for their cherries.

    Even after all this time you still do not understand the issues, you silly old man.

    But, as an afterthought, perhaps I should add that in my view any deal to be negotiated with the English is quite worthless since they are little more than third world sleaze balls with as much honour as a whore's promise to a $50 John. They have reneged on the WA already, so what's the point? Well, in truth they are sticking at it in order to protect the Irish from the exigencies of a rabble political class pandering to English scum.
    Whoosh!

  3. #19428
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    EU. Logic. "When you leave the EU you cant expect to have unfettered access to the EU market when you are no longer a member.
    E.U. Logic (continued). When you leave the EU we expect unfettered access to your fishing grounds when you are no longer a member.

    You fucking idiot, most of the grounds were already accessible under the London Fisheries Convention of 1964, a convention driven by Britain and which was subsumed by the CFP in 1973.

    Th trouble with you armchair Brexit buffoon loons, is that like the charlatans leading you by the nose, you know fuck all about the issues involved.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  4. #19429
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    You fucking idiot, most of the grounds were already accessible under the London Fisheries Convention of 1964, a convention driven by Britain and which was subsumed by the CFP in 1973.

    Th trouble with you armchair Brexit buffoon loons, is that like the charlatans leading you by the nose, you know fuck all about the issues involved.

    Stupid is as stupid does.
    Thank goodness it will never have even the slightest impact on you, or on what remains of your miserable existence. Given this lack of effect upon your person, I have difficulty reasoning why you would continue to insist on the UK remaining in the EU.
    The whole world has passed you by, and yet here you are, pontificating on the dastardly fate of another country you hate, just because they blackballed your application to move there with the wing man. Now you are stuck in another country you hate with a flat you can’t sell, and even if you could, you have nowhere to go. Oh dear, might as well give up old chap.

    I wonder what it’s like to live such a blighted existence, having fallen from such a high position in the civil service? Poor show old boy. Mandarins expect so much more from their former lackeys. Must be a threadbare life in a tin pot dictatorship, when you can be jailed for criticizing its failure.

  5. #19430
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    EU. Logic. "When you leave the EU you cant expect to have unfettered access to the EU market when you are no longer a member.
    E.U. Logic (continued). When you leave the EU we expect unfettered access to your fishing grounds when you are no longer a member.
    In addition to SA's comment, you fail to understand that the UK wish to sell their fish to the EU tarrif free. That is to say, having membership privilege without being a member.

  6. #19431
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    Thank goodness it will never have even the slightest impact on you, or on what remains of your miserable existence. Given this lack of effect upon your person, I have difficulty reasoning why you would continue to insist on the UK remaining in the EU.
    The whole world has passed you by, and yet here you are, pontificating on the dastardly fate of another country you hate, just because they blackballed your application to move there with the wing man. Now you are stuck in another country you hate with a flat you can’t sell, and even if you could, you have nowhere to go. Oh dear, might as well give up old chap.

    I wonder what it’s like to live such a blighted existence, having fallen from such a high position in the civil service? Poor show old boy. Mandarins expect so much more from their former lackeys. Must be a threadbare life in a tin pot dictatorship, when you can be jailed for criticizing its failure.

    Well, last time I checked I and my wife are free to settle in every EU country and the UK, and we have the wherewithal to sustain that settlement.

    I'm not the down-at-heel chap who quit Thailand because he couldn't qualify for a visa and ended up in a skanky third world Indonesian bothy with a bunch of knuckle-dragging ocker morons for drinking chums.

    Chas, given your in-depth knowledge of Kipper propaganda and Brexitmania, tell me again, what is it the English are going to sell to the world that they couldn't before Brexit??

    You sad sap.

  7. #19432
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Once UK earnings/prices rises, as it will, your UK BSP will be adjusted to suit.

    "The basic State Pension increases every year by whichever is the highest of the following:

    1. earnings - the average percentage growth in wages (in Great Britain)

    or

    2. prices - the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)

    or

    3. 2.5%"

    The basic State Pension - GOV.UK
    That does not apply to those of us like myself who disclose Thailand as their retirement address. We get no increases, ever.
    I despise the governments past and present for this pettiness. They know I will not be voting so they can laugh at me for contributing my whole life to a broken promise.

  8. #19433
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    EU. Logic. "When you leave the EU you cant expect to have unfettered access to the EU market when you are no longer a member.
    I can see very little . . . actually nothing wrong with this. Perfectly normal - do Commonwealth countries continue to 'enjoy' the same privileges when they leave the Commonwealth? Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    E.U. Logic (continued). When you leave the EU we expect unfettered access to your fishing grounds when you are no longer a member.
    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    most of the grounds were already accessible under the London Fisheries Convention of 1964, a convention driven by Britain and which was subsumed by the CFP in 1973.
    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    the UK wish to sell their fish to the EU tarrif free. That is to say, having membership privilege without being a member.

  9. #19434
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    Troy's post, highlighted by PH, raises a rather troublesome prospect for the Brit trawler man if the Clown persists in his ridiculous jingoism. But on further analysis it gets even worse. Over 72% of the British catch is exported to the EU within 24 hours, principally to markets in Paris and Madrid. If Clown attempts to boycott EU fishermen from their traditional grounds in the Channel and elsewhere then the French have stated unequivocally that those exports will be boycotted. The UK fishery federation have already told the Brexit retards that their industry will collapse in a month if that happens. And how does it get worse? Well, of the total UK sea catch, 60% is from the Scottish and that figure does not include the salmon aquaculture production which is dominated by Scottish producers. They get fucked by BoJo's spastic posturing the fallout will be grievous for the union.

    Brexit is poison but the contagion will ensure independence for Scotland and, inevitably, NI.

  10. #19435
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    In addition to SA's comment, you fail to understand that the UK wish to sell their fish to the EU tarrif free. That is to say, having membership privilege without being a member.
    You fail to understand that it is Europeans that end up paying the tariff. Any decrease in sales due to the higher prices directly effects the processing plants profitability and employment which are mostly in Europe. The UK fishing fleet is relatively small so the decrease in consumption will not effect them. There is no way the UK is going to ban EU fishing they may decrease it over time as the UK fleet slowly increases. The EU will not ban sales. The UK have already signed agreements with Norway and the Faroe Islands re fishing and should have one with Greenland after the recent M.O.A.

  11. #19436
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Well, last time I checked I and my wife are free to settle in every EU country and the UK, and we have the wherewithal to sustain that settlement.

    I'm not the down-at-heel chap who quit Thailand because he couldn't qualify for a visa and ended up in a skanky third world Indonesian bothy with a bunch of knuckle-dragging ocker morons for drinking chums.

    Chas, given your in-depth knowledge of Kipper propaganda and Brexitmania, tell me again, what is it the English are going to sell to the world that they couldn't before Brexit??

    You sad sap.
    The last time you checked, you were moaning and bitching about the FCO and the home office, about how your application was fraught with difficulty, caused by unnecessary red tape and the petty bureaucracy of the civil service. One must assume that application was denied, or withdrawn, as you are still resident in your most amenable location in Thailand.

    Whatís next? Try with the Irish passport?

    You know less than nothing about my reasons for relocation. Suffice it to say that while the financial terms are broadly similar, I no longer have to concern myself with some xenophobic IO every ninety days, or the more rigid interpretation of regulations. I am not bound by property that I cannot sell, because unlike you, I chose not to make a dodgy investment that now hangs round your neck like a millstone.
    According to you, itís possible to access any EU country, so why stay?

    My only sadness is caused by leaving so many good friends behind in Thailand, but I seriously doubt you will have that problem.
    As I am currently surrounded by quality friends here, Bali is a fine tropical location for retirement. I have to resort to this forum if I want to debate with miserable folk who are trapped somewhere they hate.

  12. #19437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post

    The last time you checked, you were moaning and bitching about the FCO and the home office, about how your application was fraught with difficulty, caused by unnecessary red tape and the petty bureaucracy of the civil service.
    I rather think you have me confused with someone else on the forum, but then, you are somewhat addled.

    I find your protestations unconvincing and must assume you failed to qualify for Thai residence. There's no shame to that, many fall foul of the exigencies of life's adverse circumstances, but you should man up and stop with this silly pride thing.

    However, claiming to have had many good friends in Thailand, particularly Samui, means you are either a bar fly alcoholic or a dribbling idiot.

  13. #19438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    You fail to understand that it is Europeans that end up paying the tariff. Any decrease in sales due to the higher prices directly effects the processing plants profitability and employment which are mostly in Europe. The UK fishing fleet is relatively small so the decrease in consumption will not effect them. There is no way the UK is going to ban EU fishing they may decrease it over time as the UK fleet slowly increases. The EU will not ban sales. The UK have already signed agreements with Norway and the Faroe Islands re fishing and should have one with Greenland after the recent M.O.A.
    One wonders just why it is you cannot process the relatively simple fact that 72% of the UK's catch is sold to the EU's markets, principally Paris and Madrid, within 24 hrs, and it is most certainly not for processing. You are quite plainly away with the pixies in your bizarrely twisted comprehension of the UK's fishing industry. The boycott of British produce will not be because of any official political sanction, you oaf, but will arise out of French citizenry blocking the fucking harbour entrance at Calais. The increase in tariffs will of course deter consumers and suppliers resulting in a significant drop in demand for the British product which will not find alternative markets so easily. And of course, exporting to a consumer thousands of miles away, rather than the 22 miles that is the case now does have significant cost consequences eroding profit margins.

    Your declaration that the UK BoJo loon government will not deter EU fishery activity in British waters is contradicted by stated policy from Gove and the Clown himself.

    You really haven't a fucking clue, have you?

  14. #19439
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    Fooking irish retard. spent your life cocooned in the civil service where sloth and indolence are seen as positive attributes where lateral thinking and innovation are frowned upon and yet you are giving your opinion on private industry that you have no experience in. Your conjecture and lack of knowledge of the private sector is understandable and obvious from your posts. Stick to shuffling pens, dickhead. My toe jam has more experience of private industry than you have in your whole body. Jesus H you are a fooking know it all know nothing wanker. I wont bother explaining how fish export and importation works, a subject I have industry experience in and you have zero knowledge of. it would be too complex for a tiny dull mind like yours. What a jumped up little snivel servant you are. Keep Googling your little percentages, retard, thats the extent of your knowledge on the subject and it is very obvious.

  15. #19440
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    Ah, so you left secondary education early, did you.

    Anyway, back to basics. So, what is it that Britain is now going to sell to the world that it couldn't before Brexit?

  16. #19441
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    ^^ Experience as a fish wife?

    <snigger>

  17. #19442
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    I rather think you have me confused with someone else on the forum, but then, you are somewhat addled.

    I find your protestations unconvincing and must assume you failed to qualify for Thai residence. There's no shame to that, many fall foul of the exigencies of life's adverse circumstances, but you should man up and stop with this silly pride thing.

    However, claiming to have had many good friends in Thailand, particularly Samui, means you are either a bar fly alcoholic or a dribbling idiot.
    Your rather feeble and limited assumptions about me, are incorrect. No surprise there, because your asinine predictions about brexit and FX are also etched with similar flaws.
    This is what happens when you base your wild assumptions on irrational hatred and jealousy.

    I am not confusing you with anyone. You applied and subsequently entered into vituperative complaints about it. Deny it all you want. It doesn’t bother or affect me that you are a reject in life.

  18. #19443
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    Ahh, you mean my comments on Home Office policy on behalf of the less fortunate who fell foul of May's regime that imposed exorbitant fees extorting those British citizens who had the effrontery to foster a family life with foreigners with the result that at any one time over the past eight years up to 15,000 children were separated from one parent or other because the draconian rule discriminated against them? A policy that was particularly harsh on British women who worked abroad, contracted relationships, bore children and then returned with their child(ren) but could not meet the income requirement to sponsor their partners because their responsibilities meant only part time work was possible?

    And from that you inferred that my wife and I could not settle in Europe or the UK?

    You truly are a pitiful little wanker.

    Still waiting for that answer, you dullard. What is it the UK is going to sell abroad that it couldn't before Brexit?

    Scotland has inched that much closer to independence with every utterance issued by the jackass gobshite, BoJo the Clown.

    What larks, eh? You Brexit morons do amuse though, keep it coming Chas.

    You were either run out of Samui or you fled the consequences of your stupidity.

  19. #19444
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Ahh, you mean my comments on Home Office policy on behalf of the less fortunate who fell foul of May's regime that imposed exorbitant fees extorting those British citizens who had the effrontery to foster a family life with foreigners with the result that at any one time over the past eight years up to 15,000 children were separated from one parent or other because the draconian rule discriminated against them? A policy that was particularly harsh on British women who worked abroad, contracted relationships, bore children and then returned with their child(ren) but could not meet the income requirement to sponsor their partners because their responsibilities meant only part time work was possible?

    And from that you inferred that my wife and I could not settle in Europe or the UK?

    You truly are a pitiful little wanker.

    Still waiting for that answer, you dullard. What is it the UK is going to sell abroad that it couldn't before Brexit?

    Scotland has inched that much closer to independence with every utterance issued by the jackass gobshite, BoJo the Clown.

    What larks, eh? You Brexit morons do amuse though, keep it coming Chas.

    You were either run out of Samui or you fled the consequences of your stupidity.
    Correct post, but there was no mention of offspring being involved, only that you were expected to have proof of support for importing your partner. All perfectly reasonable. I have a friend who did exactly that a few years ago. Absolutely no quibbling from them.
    As a former civil servant, you will be familiar with messing others about, but when the boot is on the other foot you cry foul.
    Your previous post was correct. The inference was that no country wants a loud mouthed racist bully importing themselves, and partner, without evidence of ones ability to support them in the country you apply to. EU nation’s are no different to UK. Unless you have established a right to remain before 31 December 2020, you will be expected to abide by national rules in force at the time.
    Another excuse for you to play the offended victim.
    In answer to your question, all I will say is, I am still waiting for you to respond to the point I have raised more than once, regarding your use of Farage and UKIP, when the validity of such passed a very long time ago. Plus my comments regarding your foolish predictions on exchange rates have also gone unanswered.
    Nothing you post is to do with the here and now. It is merely your opinion, masquerading as supposed fact, when it is nothing of the sort. You have invented a spiteful narrative based on your own failings, and you are attempting to justify that by being offended.
    Regarding my departure from Thailand, it seems pointless to complain about goal posts being moved, and no two immigration offices using the same criteria to issue a visa, so I picked up my bag of ferrets and exercised something called choice.
    Unlike you, I was free to leave, even while I had a valid visa with 6 months left to run. I’m not marooned by my inability to realize a dodgy asset that no one wants.

    While you continue to pick and choose your responses, I reserve the right to do just that, unless your unreasonable foul mouthed response changes quite dramatically, it will remain unanswered.

  20. #19445
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    You really are a fucking idiot.

    Incidentally, the Rules as implemented by May effectively monetised social behaviour to an extent that is unique in the world with the possible exception of Australia but who gives a fuck about them.

    The thresholds imposed by May effectively meant that nigh on 49% of British men and 64% of women could not sponsor a foreign partner. This policy was not analogous to other EU member states nor indeed the US. As I said, it discriminates against women, particularly women with children, ethnic minorities and those on pension incomes. Now, you fucking moron, I am not a woman, I have no children, I am not a coon and my pensions including lump sums exceed the financial requirements of the UK rules but as I said earlier I and my wife already qualify for settlement in the UK and the entire fucking EU as long as it remains. Unlike you of course who being a sole English spastic is fucked and after 31.12.20 will be treated as if you were a fucking Argie or African if you want to settle in over 27 European states (unless you have over EUR 250,000 to spunk out on some bothy)

    You are quite simply too stupid to comprehend anything very much outside the limit of your intellectual impairment.

    Brexit is a function of the stupid, the right wing Tory, Kippers ( of which there are 4 million ) and the frazzled entering your death phase.

    So, you threw yourself out of Samui because you couldn't qualify for a visa.

    Now, what is it the UK are going to sell to the world it couldn't before Brexit?

    Poor old Chas, forever the Naafi oik.

  21. #19446
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    Meanwhile, how is Bo-Jo getting along with the IMB? Lords, sensibly, not happy.

    Brexit is poison and will make a mockery of even the best leaders....probably why they are staying out of sight.

  22. #19447
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    You really are a fucking idiot.

    Incidentally, the Rules as implemented by May effectively monetised social behaviour to an extent that is unique in the world with the possible exception of Australia but who gives a fuck about them.

    The thresholds imposed by May effectively meant that nigh on 49% of British men and 64% of women could not sponsor a foreign partner. This policy was not analogous to other EU member states nor indeed the US. As I said, it discriminates against women, particularly women with children, ethnic minorities and those on pension incomes. Now, you fucking moron, I am not a woman, I have no children, I am not a coon and my pensions including lump sums exceed the financial requirements of the UK rules but as I said earlier I and my wife already qualify for settlement in the UK and the entire fucking EU as long as it remains. Unlike you of course who being a sole English spastic is fucked and after 31.12.20 will be treated as if you were a fucking Argie or African if you want to settle in over 27 European states (unless you have over EUR 250,000 to spunk out on some bothy)

    You are quite simply too stupid to comprehend anything very much outside the limit of your intellectual impairment.

    Brexit is a function of the stupid, the right wing Tory, Kippers ( of which there are 4 million ) and the frazzled entering your death phase.

    So, you threw yourself out of Samui because you couldn't qualify for a visa.

    Now, what is it the UK are going to sell to the world it couldn't before Brexit?

    Poor old Chas, forever the Naafi oik.
    Like the Thai visa and my decision regarding future abodes, I have choices, most of which are denied to you because of your self imposed predicament.

    Ergo, I have options. You don’t.

  23. #19448
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    I think it may well be time you got yourself a brain scan.

  24. #19449
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    The UK and Canada have agreed a deal to continue trading under the same terms as the current EU agreement after the Brexit transition period ends.

    The government said it paved the way for negotiations to begin next year on a new comprehensive deal with Canada.

    The PM and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau made the "agreement in principle" in a video call, the Department for International Trade said.

    The agreement does not give any new benefits to businesses.

    But it rolls over the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement reached by the EU and Canada after seven years of negotiations.

    How many trade deals has the UK done so far?
    Boris Johnson said the extension was "a fantastic agreement for Britain", adding: "Our negotiators have been working flat out to secure trade deals for the UK and from as early next year we have agreed to start work on a new, bespoke trade deal with Canada that will go even further in meeting the needs of our economy."

    Welcoming the continuity deal, Mr Trudeau suggested a new comprehensive trade agreement with the UK would take several years to negotiate.

    Speaking during the video call, which also included International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and her counterpart Mary Ng, Mr Trudeau said: "Now we get to continue to work on a bespoke agreement, a comprehensive agreement over the coming years that will really maximise our trade opportunities and boost things for everyone."

    Labour's shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry welcomed the "necessary" deal.

    "It is now vital that Boris Johnson and Liz Truss show the same urgency in securing the other 14 outstanding continuity agreements with countries like Mexico, Ghana and Singapore, where a total of £60bn of UK trade is still at risk and time is beginning to run out," she added.

    Before it is formally signed, the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement will be subject to final legal checks.

    The UK has now left the EU, but its trading relationship remains the same until the end of the year. That's because it's in an 11-month transition - designed to give both sides some time to negotiate a new trade deal.

    No new trade deals can start until the transition period ends on 31 December.

  25. #19450
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    I find yesterdays opinion piece from the The Guardian interesting.

    Brexit stems from a civil war in capitalism – we are all just collateral damage
    - George Monbiot -

    To one sort of capitalist, the insecurity and chaos that Brexit will bring is horrifying. To the other, it is highly profitable

    Where there is chaos, the government will multiply it. Where people are pushed to the brink, it will shove them over. Boris Johnson ignored the pleas of businesses and politicians across the UK – especially in Northern Ireland – to extend the Brexit transition process. Never mind the pandemic, never mind unemployment, poverty and insecurity – nothing must prevent our experiment in unassisted flight. We will leap from the white cliffs on 1 January, come what may.

    Perhaps, after so much macho bluster, the government will take the last of its last chances and strike a deal this week. If so, with scarcely any time for refinement, the agreement is likely to be rushed and bodged. In any event, pain will follow. Disruption at the border is likely to be felt across the nation.

    So it is worth repeating the big question: why are we doing this to ourselves? I believe the answer is that Brexit is the outcome of a civil war within capitalism.

    Broadly speaking, there are two dominant forms of capitalist enterprise. The first could be described as housetrained capitalism. It seeks an accommodation with the administrative state, and benefits from stability, predictability and the regulations that exclude dirtier and rougher competitors. It can coexist with a tame and feeble form of democracy.

    The second could be described as warlord capitalism. This sees all restraints on accumulation – including taxes, regulations and the public ownership of essential services – as illegitimate. Nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of profit-making. Its justifying ideology was formulated by Friedrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty and by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. These books sweep away social complexity and other people’s interests. They fetishise something they call “liberty”, which turns out to mean total freedom for plutocrats, at society’s expense.

    In unguarded moments, the warlords and their supporters go all the way. Hayek, for example, on a visit to Pinochet’s Chile, said he preferred a “liberal dictatorship” to “a democratic government devoid of liberalism”. Peter Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, confessed: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” Last month, Mike Lee, senior Republican senator for Utah, claimed that “democracy isn’t the objective” of the US political system, “liberty, peace, and prosperity are”.

    Brexit represents an astonishing opportunity for warlord capitalism. It is a chance not just to rip up specific rules, which it overtly aims to do, but also to tear down the uneasy truce between capitalism and democracy under which public protections in general are created and enforced. In Steve Bannon’s words, it enables “the deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is not a threat but an opportunity for money’s warlords. Peter Hargreaves, the billionaire who donated £3.2m to the Leave.EU campaign, explained that after Brexit: “We will get out there and we will become incredibly successful because we will be insecure again. And insecurity is fantastic.”

    The chaos it is likely to cause will be used as its own justification: times are tough, so we must slash regulations and liberate business to make us rich again. Johnson’s government will seek to use a no-deal or thin-deal Brexit to destroy at least some of the constraints on the most brutal forms of capitalism.

    Housetrained capitalists are horrified by Brexit. Not only does it dampen economic activity in general, but it threatens to destroy the market advantage for businesses that play by the rules. Without regulatory constraints, the warlords would wipe them out. Like other august institutions of capital, the Confederation of British Industry warned that leaving Europe would cause a major economic shock. In response to these concerns, Johnson, while he was foreign secretary, made a remark that might previously have seemed unthinkable, coming from the mouth of a senior Conservative, “fuck business”.

    Johnson’s government is what warlord money buys. It could be seen as the perfect expression of the Pollution Paradox, a concept that I think is essential to understanding our politics. What this means is that the dirtier or more damaging an enterprise is, the more money it must spend on politics to ensure it’s not regulated out of existence. As a result, political funding comes to be dominated by the most harmful companies and oligarchs, which then wield the greatest political influence. They crowd out their more accommodating rivals.

    It isn’t just about pollution. Damaging enterprises with an interest in buying political results include banks developing exotic financial instruments; property developers who resent the planning laws; junk food companies; bosses seeking to destroy employment rights; and plutocrats hoping to avoid tax. It’s why we’ll never have a healthy democracy without a radical reform of campaign finance.

    Understood in this light, Brexit is scarcely about the UK at all. Oligarchs who have shown great interest in the subject tend to have weak or incomplete ties to this country. According to Andy Wigmore of Leave.EU, the campaign was assisted by the US billionaire Robert Mercer. By far the biggest individual donors to the Brexit party are Christopher Harborne, who is based in Thailand, and Jeremy Hosking, who has businesses listed in Dublin and Delaware. The newspaper owners who went to such lengths to make Brexit happen are domiciled offshore. For people like Rupert Murdoch, I believe, the UK is a beachhead among the richest and most powerful nations. Turning Chile or Indonesia into a giant free port is one thing. The UK is a much bigger prize.

    None of this is what we were told we were voting for. I see Nigel Farage and similar blowhards as little more than smoke bombs, creating a camouflaging cloud of xenophobia and culture wars. The persistent trick of modern politics – that appears to fool us repeatedly – is to disguise economic and political interests as cultural movements. Throughout this saga, the media has reported the smokescreen, not the manoeuvres.

    This, perhaps, was the remain campaign’s greatest failure. It largely refrained from calling out the oligarchs whose money helped to persuade us to leave the EU. Any such charge would have rebounded on a campaign funded by the likes of David Sainsbury, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. When Dominic Cummings and others in the leave campaign claimed they were fighting “the elites”, they were partly right. In terms of funding, this was a battle between competing elites. So the remainers, fatally compromised by the money they had taken, instead became locked in a culture war they were bound to lose, confronting xenophobia with bromides about the benefits of integration. They failed to strike at the heart of the matter.

    Brexit, treading on the heels of the pandemic, is likely to harm the lives and freedoms of millions of people in the UK. But it’s not about us. We are just caught in the crossfire of capitalism’s civil war.
    May the bridges I burn light my way

    Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny...

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