Dec 042017
 December 4, 2017  Posted by at 1:44 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Saul Leiter Raining on two 1957


First of all, let me reiterate that I don’t think Brexit is a bad thing per se. Getting rid of Brussels is at least as much of a relief as it is a headache. Moreover, Britain needed a makeover, badly, as has ironically been shown especially after the referendum. But as an outsider it is still top class theater to see it playing out. And the real high value drama hasn’t even started.

But we can already hear the orchestra changing tone, and mood, and the fat lady’s warming up her voice. To see the whole negotiating process being led and conducted by a woman who voted against initiating it in the first place is a guaranteed added bonus. Not sure Shakespeare would have found it a credible plotline, but there you go.

It’s much less amusing to see that poverty in Britain is soaring and a fifth of the population is now poor, including an additional 400,000 children in the past 5 years. But that is a strong indicator of how much of a failed state the country has become, and it makes the Brexit vote outcome that much easier to explain. Still, whether the vote had been Leave or Remain, the real damage had been done long before.

The people doing the negotiations are to a large extent accountable for that damage, they’re all Tories from the Cameron era, and Tony Blair, who’s just as much to blame, is speaking up again as well. The Brexit mess thus functions to expose the abject failure of the entire British political system as much as Donald Trump’s ascent to the US presidency does in America.

It’s now just a matter of learning the right lessons from these events. And that is not that the US would be fine if Trump were not there, or that Brexit itself is the main problem in the UK. It’s that these are the consequences of systems failing across the board, with Blair turning UK’s Labour party into a right wing force, and the DNC doing the same with the Democrats.

Try to take away people’s voices along with their money, and they will speak up. It’s one easy step from there for the other side of the spectrum to claim they are the real voice of the people, and getting the benefit of the doubt. Not that it will end there, but until and unless the left has re-defined itself as actual left again, representing people instead of themselves, there will be no easy way out.

That said, both Trump and Brexit will become mired in cesspools, just not because of Russia but because both turn against their fast impoverishing populations. But even then, redefining is a crucial issue.


As Theresa May is in Brussels to hold talks aimed merely at just getting negotiations started, something she will have to make hefty concessions for, the majority her party had before she called a snap election keeps slip sliding away. Labour would now get that majority. If she were smart, she’d call another election today, lose it and let Corbyn deal with the mess, but she won’t, the Tories are addicted to the smell of power in the morning, and so is May herself.

May seems to have reached some shaky sounding deal with the EU about the Irish border issue (“regulatory alignment”), but that will only lead to more problems (as will all deals she manages to reach in the talks). In this case, her coalition with Northern Ireland DUP party, which keeps her in power to begin with, comes under strain. Every solution will lead to another problem, and she can’t keep everybody happy.

Brexit is Pandora’s gift to Britain. Suppose the DUP accepts open borders with EU member Ireland, why would not Scotland, for instance, demand a similar deal?


Labour Open Up 8-Point Lead Over Conservatives In Latest Opinion Poll

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has extended its lead over the Conservatives to eight points, according to a new poll that will provide grim reading for the Prime Minister. The poll by Survation puts Labour on 45%, with Theresa May’s Conservatives trailing behind on 37%, and the Liberal Democrats under Vince Cable on six%. An eight point lead, the polling company added, would likely put Labour into overall majority territory if such vote share totals were reflected at the ballot box.

Meanwhile, ever more people want a say in what Brexit will look like, via another referendum. Before the negotiations are finished, someone will add up how much Brexit will really cost, and that’ll be the end of it, unless the Tories prevent that second referendum. There will come a point that the Tories realize this whole process will push them out of power for a long time, but it’ll be too late then.


Second Brexit Referendum Has 16-Point Lead As Half Of Britons Back New Vote

Half of Britons want a public vote on the UK’s final Brexit deal with the EU once the Government’s negotiations are over, a new poll suggests. Of the 1,003 people surveyed in the Survation poll , 497, or 50%, said they would “support holding a referendum asking the public if they will accept or reject the deal”. A total of 343, or 34%, said they were against the idea of a public vote, while 164 (16%) said they did not know. Of the people who were in favour of a referendum on the UK’s deal for exiting the EU, 271 (54.5%) had voted Remain in the 2016 Brexit vote, while 145 (29%) voted Leave.

Jeremy Corbyn is set to become UK PM, if he can shake off Tony Blair, but he hasn’t quite screwed up the courage to turn his back on the Brexit vote, so he’s as much in an impossible split as May is. It’s all he can do is to wait until she makes ever more mistakes and then stumbles over them. Meanwhile, he can carefully open up the second referendum option, because it doesn’t directly contradict the outcome of the first.


Corbyn Signals Labour Could Be Open to Second Brexit Referendum

U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn hinted that he could be open to holding a second referendum on Brexit as the consequences of leaving the European Union become clearer. Asked if he was prepared to rule out a second vote after meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Lisbon on Saturday, Corbyn said his party hasn’t fixed its position on the issue. “We’ve not made any decision on a second referendum,’’ Corbyn said at a European Socialist Party conference in the Portuguese capital. “What we’ve said is that we would respect the result of the first referendum.”

And May’s own people are starting to turn their backs on her, slowly at first but that will pick up, because they start fearing for their own future careers if they back her for too long. She has to balance this with her fanatical Brexiteers who are only looking to replace her.


Theresa May Faces New Crisis After Mass Walkout Over Social Policy

Theresa May was plunged into a new crisis on Saturday night after the government’s social mobility adviser revealed he and his team were quitting, warning that the prime minister was failing in her pledge to build a “fairer Britain”. In a major blow to No 10, Alan Milburn, the former Labour cabinet minister who chairs the government’s social mobility commission, said that he and all three of his fellow commissioners were walking out – including a leading conservative, Gillian Shephard. The move will be seen as a direct challenge to May’s vow in Downing Street to place fairness and social justice at the heart of her premiership. In his resignation letter, seen by the Observer, Milburn warns that dealing with Brexit means the government “does not seem to have the necessary bandwidth to ensure the rhetoric of healing social division is matched with the reality.

An interesting suggestion from commission chair Milburn was that while he thought May might actually want to tackle inequality and connected issues, he doesn’t think the government has the time to do that, because all its attention is most be focused on Brexit. That suggests the country effectively has no functioning government at the moment, and perhaps for years to come. Great prospect for a country deep in doodoo.

And it’s not a big surprise in this climate that May tries to keep all kinds of things secret. Not a big surprise, but certainly a big mistake.


Theresa May Under Growing Pressure To Reveal True Cost Of Divorce Bill

Senior Conservatives are demanding Theresa May be clear about how much the British public will be forced to pay to settle the Brexit “divorce bill”. MPs and peers, including former cabinet ministers, say that with the bill agreed this week and likely to be between £40bn and £50bn, the time has come for the Prime Minister to be completely open on how much Brexit will cost. Labour is threatening to bring the matter to a head by calling on Tory MPs to back a plan to let the UK’s spending watchdogs assess the financial settlement and give Parliament a vote on it, The Independent can reveal.

It comes 24 hours before Ms May will sit down with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to secure an agreement-in-principle on the withdrawal terms of Brexit – including the divorce bill, Irish border and EU citizens’ rights. But despite any deal being likely to gain approval at the European Council in mid-December, the British public have not been told by the Government how big the divorce bill is likely to be, or how it is being worked out.

Indeed, secrecy is a policy in Tory Britain.


Irish warn Theresa May: Change Course Or Risk Brexit Chaos

Ministers are under mounting pressure to come clean over the extent of economic damage that a “no deal” outcome could cause to the economy. In the budget, Philip Hammond announced that the Office for Budget Responsibility revised downwards forecasts for UK growth over the next few years, mainly because of concerns of low productivity growth. But the OBR made clear that these downgrades were premised on a benign outcome to Brexit negotiations. Both the Treasury, privately, and leading independent economists recognise that actual growth will be considerably lower than the gloomy budget projections if the UK does not achieve most of its negotiating goals, or if there is a “no deal” result.

Government sources said ministers would this week release sections of assessments into the potential economic impact of Brexit carried out across Whitehall, which until recently they had tried to keep secret. Many MPs believe the published sections will be heavily redacted and will not make clear the extent of potential economic damage. Last night Nicky Morgan, who chairs the Treasury select committee, said it was essential that as many projections as possible were made public.

The latest work by economists at the London School of Economics estimates that, if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal, the impact will be far more severe than the projections in the budget suggested. Thomas Sampson of the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance said Brexit could reduce UK living standards by up to 9% in the most pessimistic case.

The best thing by a mile that May could possible do is to get out of the way before the way steamrollers all over her. But as I said, she won’t. And that is as tragic for her as it is for Britain. It’ll be entertaining to see the show -and May- go down. As long as you don’t live in Britain.



Home Forums Brexit Is Pandora’s Gift To Britain

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    Saul Leiter Raining on two 1957   First of all, let me reiterate that I don’t think Brexit is a bad thing per se. Getting rid of Brussels is at l
    [See the full post at: Brexit Is Pandora’s Gift To Britain]

    Dr. D

    They’ve played their cards well: “You voted wrong, now go back and vote until you get it right.”

    Of course being the Anglos, that would be too obvious, so dragging your feet and screwing everything up until it’s a mess, THEN calling a referendum will make it the people’s fault again. Not their leaders, ‘natch.

    On the other hand, take Mish’s option: leave the E.U. tomorrow, pay nothing, clear the market-hobbling uncertainty in days, and make them invade if they want to collect. That may sacrifice some U.K. continental assets, but looks like all that will be in the courts for generations like Jarndyce and Jarndyce, but it’s better than paying AND in court, AND with a vicious ex-wife in your house, so might as well be cut off the sinking ship in the meantime.

    Will they do it? No. They have the opposite of the good of the country in mind. The people may not be well-versed, but unlike their leaders at least they’re smart enough to know up from down and good from bad.


    ” …. the British public will be forced to pay to settle the Brexit “divorce bill”. MPs and peers, including former cabinet ministers, say that with the bill agreed this week and likely to be between £40bn and £50bn, …”

    With 1/5 of the people in poverty!!!!!

    I have stupid question???

    Why would anyone pay back any kind of loans that originated from the printing press?

    Borrowing from the printing press is done by central banks and gov.

    Defaulting/forgiving makes the loan disappear and there is no one injured.


    “…until and unless the left has re-defined itself as actual left again, representing people instead of themselves, there will be no easy way out.”

    Logos. USA, too.

    “Saul Leiter Raining on two 1957”

    Now that’s a GREAT work of art!


    Dr. D, you’re not reacting to my emails, so I’ll just move forward

    Doc Robinson

    The border with Ireland shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Canada and the US don’t have an “open border”, yet somehow they manage when the border goes through towns and even buildings.

    “There are 15 official border crossings along Vermont’s boundary, averaging out to one every six miles.”

    “[In] the community of Derby Line, Vermont/Stanstead, Quebec… a large Victorian house is divided by the boundary.”

    “[Also] bisected by the line is the Haskell Library and Opera House, intentionally built on the line by its benefactors in 1904, to celebrate the friendship between the two countries. The line hits the east side of the building obliquely, where two separate fire escapes had to be built, one in the US, and one for Canada. Many such redundancies and building code complexities have to be tolerated by the building managers. After repairing the roof a few years ago, the building’s owners were sued for not hiring a Canadian contractor to work on the Canadian portion of the roof.”

    source: The Center for Land Use Interpretation


    The people will not pay the Brexit divorce bill. They got no money.
    The rich will not pay. (That’s why they are rich.)
    Therefore, one printing press will pay the other printing press and all will be forgiven.
    Anything else is extortion.


    My mother was born in 1917 – before Ireland was split up by the British. In 1918, there was a General Election (for whole of the British Isles) and the Sinn Féin (Irish Nationalist) got a majority in Ireland for the first time and trounced their more moderate competitors. They refused to attend the Westminster parliament and tried to hold sessions of their own “parliament” in Dublin. The British were not amused and a lot of blood was shed.

    Irish general election, 1918

    Not much later there were lots of Troubles and an Uprising. In the end, the British divided the place up by creating Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The island was divided along county lines so as to ensure that the Protestants had a majority in the north – but not in all the counties that were included in NI were majority protestant. Right now, protestants are a minority in NI.

    My Irish Catholic grandparents had a farm in NI and right on the border. It was a great time for all those in that fortunate position as a tremendous amount of smuggling went on in both directions. During WW2, my mother was in London and she never lacked for food as parcels would arrive regularly from the farm.

    What I am getting at is that the people who live close to the border might well profit from a hard border. It is a lot more difficult to control than the border of the USA and Mexico – because the people on both sides are identical and speak the same language.

    BTW, not many people know that as soon as the Irish Republic was created, its leaders sought to eliminate all those who were not in their very own faction. Loads of Republicans were murdered by other Republicans wearing uniforms.

    De Valera, the first president of Ireland, was running the Republic along semi-fascist lines for decades. He was born in New York of an Irish mother and a Spanish/Basque father. Just like Franco, he always had the Church on his side.

    Éamon de Valera


    I have been advised by a prominent London photography gallerist that the estate of Saul Leiter has determined that this image is not his work.

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