May’s Brexit vote fails

by Chris Becker

The Brexit parliamentary vote has come and gone overnight and it’s bad news for Theresa May. From the BBC:

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been rejected by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.

MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU on 29 March.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has now tabled a vote of no confidence in the government, which could trigger a general election.

Mrs May said she would make time for a debate on the motion on Wednesday.

Pound Sterling went nuts leading up to and after the vote with multi hundred pip moves as everyone expected, but basically back where it started:

Where to from here? With Corbyn’s tabling of a no-confidence motion and May going back to Brussels to do another “deal” while under enormous pressure from within her own party to resign, this sets up another fortnight or more of chaos as the end of March draws ever closer.

Hail Populism.

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


      • Brexit is going to reveal to the world what an empty financialised nothing the UK economy has largely become. Nevertheless, I am sympathetic to the Brexiters, at least the common folk (not the lying, opporturnistic Boris Johnsons, Nigel Farages et al) because the financial sector which has become the heart and soul of the UK economy was built at their expense.

      • I would have thought the way Europe treated the migrant crisis of the last few years has roots in the good parts of Christian values – helping your neighbour, giving him shelter and all that.
        A little different to how the conservative Christians here in Australia treat asylum seekers though. Or maybe not – can only tell from their actions, not their thoughts/prayers.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Yes – Jesus is well known for preaching to allow migrants to fill your cities and do your work for you, to mow your lawns, bring you your meals and generally work for you for slave labour rates…. or was that another Abrahamic religion?

        Either way the thing about helping your neighbour and giving them shelter, is the expectation that once the crisis is over, they leave and return to their house and don’t stay perched at your dining room table asking for an extra serve of dinner for all eternity.

      • Make it abundantly clear, social activism is not Christianity, nor is it an exclusive attribute to that faith r any other. A bit like telling the truth. Its a good idea…

    • If it was a democracy, the corrupt clowns in parliament wouldn’t have a vote at all. The people have already done that in a referendum.

      In a democracy it would be simple – tell Brussels to f*^% off and leave – no f&*()&*% deal at all. The Brits are getting screwed by the corrupt clowns in Parliament who are bought and paid for by the same people who control the EU. The Brits will be another population on the streets rioting any minute. It’s so obvious the people are being ignored and “leave” is not going to happen unless by force.

      • Yes! It’s absolutely essential that ordinary people be ignored in this. they are just too ignorant to understand. The Laft educated classes need to take over and rule with an iron fist – cleverly disguised as usual. The bloke in France had it right. it’s time to use live ammo on anyone not thinking correctly.

      • Taxi drivers not allowed to vote? Surely Elites don’t want taxi drivers to vote, after all, they don’t deserve it – that’s why they are taxi drivers in the first place…

        But am I allowed to vote? I am not a taxi driver, but I disagree with you. Does that make my opinion less important???

      • Truth hurts Macho Man (especially if you’re on the gravy train) – there is a changing of the guard happening before your very eyes

      • I see everyone is losing the plot over a right wing agenda that blew up in their own faces and then bang on about ev’bal forces and something about some concept of democracy that is incoherent at on set.

        LOL the right wing triggered A50 after running a scare campaign based on ideological hot button dog whistles and then after decades of right wing neoliberal government termite’ing could not run a chook raffle let alone negotiate a complicated trade transition of their own making – save expect the EU to hand them a sweet heart deal after creating the mess in the first place.

        Then some around here have the temerity to bang on about lefites and dictators – totalitarians ….. I don’t even know it the term delusional covers it ….

      • +100 Skippy
        The Brexit proposition was a BIG LIE by the right wing – a utopian return to 1950 with a binary question leading to futile destruction.
        The Scots didn’t want it
        The Nthern Irish didn’t want it
        The Welsh didn’t want it
        The sub 50yo didn’t want it

        The group that wanted it were white English over 50

        What should happen is a break up of the UK and England on their own Engexit

      • Bigpadarico,

        What the empty pouch is trying to say is that it really frustrating that it took a bunch of right wingers to get the UK out of the EU.

        Pouchy reckons it was an accident even though it was always clear those righties wanted the UK out and polls since the vote seem to maintain the leave vote. Plus British Labor seems happy with leave.

        Pouchy also has a theory that it was deliberate because the righties reckon that they will control the UK more easily out of the EU even though righties run the EU.

        Clear as mud!

        So does Pouchy support Brexit like lefty Bill Mitchell? You see a lot of lefties support Brexit as well. Though not fake lefties like middle class cosmopolitan readers of the guardian.

        Yes, but for more sophisticated reasons than you or I could comprehend.

        Or perhaps he does not because, like Yanis, he holds out hope for a democratic EU to be delivered by a unicorn.

        Hope that helps.

      • “If it was a democracy, the corrupt clowns in parliament wouldn’t have a vote at all. The people have already done that in a referendum.
        In a democracy it would be simple – tell Brussels to f*^% off and leave – no f&*()&*% deal at all. ”

        The ignorance is strong in this one …

      • HadronCollisionMEMBER

        2 questions, 1 point

        Point, it’s good to have skippy back
        Q1/ Is anyone closer to understanding Dear Skip? I’m not though I’d dearly love to
        Q2/ who or what is Pouchy (@pfh)

        On another note, can’t we just be nice? It’s very sad to see MB become like Lanier’s BUMMER take on social media. P’raps we can pretend we’re talking over an Old Fashioned each?

      • HadronCollision,

        The Empty Pouch is our furry friend who is not very nice (and deliberately and proudly incomprehensible …don’t waste your time). I long ago reached the conclusion that civility is wasted on the roo.

        Apart from the marsupial I am peaches and cream.

      • White people over 50 shouldn’t be able to vote. There were just too many of them. Pity, hey stomper?

      • @Hadron
        If the message is being obscured that much, it probably isn’t worth a great deal.
        They don’t put Vaseline on the lens when photographing models.

      • Macho man is right. The people have spoken, but the elected representatives of the people should feel free to ignore what the people think as the people are nothing but common gutter scum, and shouldn’t have a say anyway.

      • “The people have spoken, but the elected representatives of the people should feel free to ignore what the people think as the people are nothing but common gutter scum, and shouldn’t have a say anyway.”
        Spoken like the founders of Westminster democracy.(Maybe not in public though)

      • Correct. No negotiation – just up and leave. May’s Brexit deal was an absolute stinker — anyone with an IQ in double figures could see that.

      • Quite hilarious about some above inability to reconcile well documented events, in the lead up to Brexit, let alone 50 odd years of U.K. history and I don’t think its just an information management issue. I mean for all the E.U. faults its actually less neoliberal than the U.K. and those that are pushing the A50 bus have been the well spring of neoliberalism in the U.K. from onset.

        Surreal is putting it lightly.

  1. “Hail Populism.”
    Yes! Much better we have a Left Dictator who is politically correct and who will teach those deplorables who live outside the Capital cities, and who work and actually produce ‘stuff,’ a damned good lesson. Re-education camps are required across the length and breadth of the UK and Australia to make sure everyone outside the cities starts to think correctly!

    • Flawse ….

      What are you on about … it was a political ploy originally, that went off the rails, all rest it just Bernays speak for the unwashed. The ultras own this completely mismanaged clown car and no amount of reductive ideological grandstanding can hide that fact.

      You do understand the ramifications are larger than Lehman imploding right, so remind me again how that worked out again – ????? – for all the so called people that produce stuff ….

      • Yes Skippy I agree. We must stop these ordinary people EVER being heard. Everything should be run by astute intellectuals like yourself!!!

      • Remind me how that worked out for

        for all the so called people that produce stuff

        Ok – since 2008 almost 300 million people have been lifted out of grinding poverty into middle class western lifestyles in the second biggest increase in living standards in sheer numbers for the human population in all of history. The first biggest being after the 2000 crash.

        Of course Chinese don’t really count – only us whities.

      • Sorry but your projections are not a substitute for rational argument flawse. I mean if the best you can do is strawman and concoct right from the get go, completely oblivious to the public facts of the matter, and then topped off with a manic mig bawhahah, its akin to dealing with some doctrinaire fundamentalist.

        What part about the right wing selling the uniformed a pig in a poke on some political lark, that went astray, and they had to stick to their guns or be seen as the propagandists for – self enrichment – they are – is difficult to understand. I mean since at least Thatcher [Hayek devotee] has the right gave a damn about voters or common people, compounded by new labour [Washington consensus – neoliberal] getting on the band wagon with the right on all but social ID agendas.

        What part about the well documented actions of David Cameron, in the lead up to this whole shemozzle, is somehow to be confused with lefites or undemocratic anything, when at the end of the day the entire agency emanates out of the right wing party. Including all the disinformation on what was happening in the lead up and what would happen post triggering A50.

        Lastly I have absolutely no idea what your banging on about when you carry on about some telling others how to act, when that has always been the core of the right wing philosophy.

      • “Reductive ideological grandstanding” – simplistic ideological narratives which have little or no connection to reality spoken like a booming voice from above to give it a faux sense of authority.

      • Alpha Omega ….

        In Americas case it was the largest transfer of wealth upwards and after a brief moment of some friction in limiting the FIRE sectors looting machinations its now back to full steam ahead with crapification of workers rights and share of productivity.

        I think you confuse debt slaves with middle class something or the other.

      • On this I agree with you Skippy. The referendum was the first real thing the British have ever had a vote on. The no vote was a general protest vote by those misled over several generations of biased press and false populists such as Farage.
        @Alpha Omega, there is no way dragging in racist slurs helps the discussion. If you have an issue with certain skin hues that’s your choice.

      • Skippy
        You are just an idiot. You have to frame anyone who disagrees with you as extreme right wing or ‘stupid’ right wing. Pretty standard stuff from people like you these days. Anyone who thinks differently to you is either evil or without any rational thought. Either way they need re-educating – by force if necessary.

        The Brexit issue is NOT about Left and Right. An analysis of the voting pattern makes that very clear. If anything it’s more about London add in Edinburgh if you like) vs the rest of the UK. The people who voted for it are the globalist elite types as clearly indicated by Chris becker in the comment that started this. Then clowns like you want to dress it up as some Right Wing extreme movement.
        Why can’t you just see that there is a massive problem that has developed across the Western world that has divided the ruling elite off from ordinary people? Are you really so dumb and myopic that you can’t see it? I guess so.

      • Flawse …

        You can’t seem to wrap your head around that neoliberalism is a right wing ideological agenda pushed post WWII, that has older roots in the ideological beliefs that enabled the great depression and then prolonged its effects.

        I only respond to the obvious ideological doctrinaire dogma that you have used since I read your first comment and the rest till now, especially your monetarist leanings.

        Here let me help you … The EU was originally set up as a trading block to buffer the machinations of the big American c-corps gaining market share, back in the day, now, if you want to grumble about some aspects of the EU I would note that Thatcher had a part in injecting the neoliberal aspect by propagating its key ideological authors views that with aligned with the right wing political sphere e.g. born – gifted to rule. Now America and England have both been the core neoliberal economic countries exporting this gift to humanity since that time, albeit once the USSR was out of the picture the need to play nice with the unwashed was no longer applicable the gloves were taken off.

        So at this stage of the game England has been having its cake and eat it too after joining the single market but not the currency union, and now that some of the wing nut far right managed to misinform its populist followers in exactly what a badly managed exit or crash out might actually entail … yet its everybody else fault … ?????

        Please remind me again with your economic prowess what is the harbinger of all economic ills again – ???? – and how the right wing elites are well prepared to weather out any of it. Heck I even disagree with Corbyn’s scorched earth agenda to dis-empower the Tory’s [fire sector BFF].

        What part of a Lehman like disorganize unwinding is a good thing in your book based on some rudimentary philosophical musings …. and the results …. seriously.

      • @skippy

        In Americas case it was the largest transfer of wealth upwards and after a brief moment of some friction in limiting the FIRE sectors looting machinations its now back to full steam ahead with crapification of workers rights and share of productivity.

        I think you confuse debt slaves with middle class something or the other.

        Why don’t you at least read what you are responding to and then have some sense of logic and rationality about your posts.

        As to your ongoing conversation regarding the right wing pushing Brexit – do you have any idea how ludicrous that is ?

        Its not a conservative agenda – the EU was a conservative wet dream as London became the powerhouse not just of Europe but of the planet and allowed the mass enslavement of migrants to clean their toilets.

        Brexit is a populist movement of the working class. Its that simple – it was the fore-runner to the Gilet Jaunes.

        Anyone who doesn’t get that – you – is just a bolted on neo-liberal politically correct parrot who can’t think of anything to say but “NAZIS”.

        Its just such low hanging fruit for the intellectually disabled.

      • Alpha Omega …

        The right wing and especially the ultras pushed it or are you arguing that labour did it.

    • Flawse,

      Bill Mitchell is one of the sensible lefties that has no problem with Brexit.

      “…The UK Guardian continued its anti-Brexit bias in its article (January 4, 2019) – Brexit anxiety drags UK economy almost to standstill. Read the words which clearly mean – Brexit anxiety causes UK economy to stall. No nuance. No comparability. Just plain, unproven bias….”

      Might be that the conspiracy theories run by the Guardian and it’s avid readership just reflect sour grapes that a majority voted leave.

      • A. Bill is not a leftie …. sigh …

        B. not unlike the whole debacle with Greece, some academic sorts don’t have a lot of knowlage or experience when it comes to how things actually work in reality e.g. how contracts and payment system function and how much work is done in the back ground to initiate it and keep it functioning i.e. its not a light switch you can turn off and on. Same drama that Yanis had with the perception they could just start printing moeny or use mobile phones, yet then again he wanted to stay in the EU single market never the less.

      • Bwahahahaaaaaa!!!!
        “some academic sorts don’t have a lot of knowlage or experience when it comes to how things actually work in reality ”
        But…But…..Bill knows exactly how an economy should be run in practice…or is he off your hero list now that he’s admitted that CAD’s aren’t all good?

      • Praise Be!

        The Empty Pouch reckons Bill Mitchell is not a leftie! LMAO.

        Under the bus goes Bill.

        At least Michael Hudson gets the week off. Or is Hudson a brexiter as well?

        Is Hudson even a leftie?

        Being Trotsky’s Godson could mean anything you know.


      • OK …

        Please advise how long it takes to set up a trade contract, methodology to roll it out, and finally workout any unforeseen bugs.

        Bill is a member of the MMT community and his expertise is in pointing out the inherent flaws in the monetarist or quasi monetarist preferences forwarded by the neoliberal camp based on ideological preferences alone – not to mention the wonky metrics used to support those perspectives AKA that mainstream economics has been adjudicating without a functional model of both the monetary system or finance for decades.

        Hudson himself is an expert in various aspects of his day to day experiences and the classical economic views he uses to unpack them, yet, like with Greece no amount of economic philosophy can change overnight what actually occurs in real time and going to the table without any creditable bargain power, whilst making a ninny out of yourself, actually compounds error and makes any reasonable economic philosophy built on evidence and not deductive musings moot or worse discredited.

        I also think you two have a propensity for extenuating taking people and stuff out of context and then attempting to correlate that into something its not, because of some peoples propensity to put their ideological authors up on a pedestal confounding.

        The hilarious part of all this is the suggestion the lefties have any agency at all, I mean, after the 60s and the hippies fobbed off the traditional left for some cultural utopia – the left [????] – has completely forgone any knowlage about monetary or finance realities. Must be some sort of Pavlovian talking point hangover due to intellectual rigor mortis, caught in a never ending time loop against a non existent combatant due to environmental conditioning … free will … chortle …

  2. The opposite of populism is elitism. Populism is just another word for policies the elite do not like

    • bigpadaricoMEMBER

      Populism = stuff the Great Mass of Evil Stupid People want that is against the interests of the Really Virtuous and Smart People Who Run The World.

    • I’ve struggled with definitions of populism and trying to find one that matches the intent and leaving it with a useful meaning in the corpus of language.

      So far the best I came to was that it is the use of policies to get elected with no regard to the ideology or long term consequences of the policies and purely for the purpose of gaining power.

      This means that popular policies are not necessarily populist if sincerely held and believed in by someone. Which makes it harder to assess but possible over time.

      • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

        Great contribution. Thank you. I’m going to try and remember / re-use that when it next comes up in discussion elsewhere.

      • Yes. I find defining it as such allows one to ask a person whether they really mean ‘popular’ or ‘populist’ and that one needs a distinction between the two if it is worth retaining the word. If they object and try to hang on to using the word just when they disagree with a popular policy then I ask them to provide their definition and ask whether mine is better or more generally applicable and useful.

      • It appears that the definition of populism differs depending on what side of the Atlantic you find yourself.

        In Europe, populism is used as a pejorative (as it is in Australia) based on the history of fascism, where Mussolini and Hitler are held up as the poster children of populism. Given their appalling legacy, it’s hard to dissociate populism from the negative.

        In America, populism until the advent of Trump has not been viewed in the same way. Given the romanticism of the rebel figure in US history, a populist is not necessarily associated with negative consequences on the proviso that the “enemy” they fight is a tyrannical figure or force that the populace needs to be freed from.

        The problem with Populism is that it is often (and I would contend deliberately) confused with Popular opinion (i.e. the will of the masses). As such, “elites” on both sides of the political divide can shout down anyone who raises an idea that has gravity with the masses as a populist and decry that their solution is no such thing and just the rantings of a loon against an imagined enemy (see Dick Smith in regards to population and the immigration debate)

        Until we can regain some common sense in public discourse and actually listen to arguments and debate them on their merit and not from some intransigent ideological perspective, we will continue to see the word used and abused in order to shut down conversations that need to be had.

    • Yes. This is the reason why I have tried to negotiate a useful agreed meaning for the word. Even where some interlocutors have not agreed and wanted to continue using it in their way it has forced them to acknowledge they are using a certain definition of it that confounds with popular.

    • Yep. You either believe in democracy or you do not. A dictatorship is not necessarily bad – look at Singapore and China.

  3. Letters from Lisbon,

    Post from Portugal is rare so I opened it up ,
    In big bold letters the it said ‘Participate’

    You are EU citizen living Ultramarino (Across the Oceans)

    You have to a right to representations in EU elections, blah,blah blah,
    Cynical Benji thinks this is a Portuguese ploy to get more bank from Brussels,
    Hopeful Benji hopes this a genuine recognition that ordinary people’s resentment of Elites is starting to fester and it’s a release valve mechanism,

    Cynical Benji usually wins .

  4. That’s just great. Nothing better than seeing the poms self-destruct. Plus it looks like the only half decent tennis player they’ve produced since they invented the game is busted, the new princess has bad fashion sense and their champion bike riders are all on asthma puffers. August will be a perfect time to go over and give them a hiding in the cricket. For a while there they were getting a bit full of themselves.

  5. Matteo Salvini from Italy and the Polish are garnering support right across the EU from disaffected member states and forming a powerful anti-EU coalition.

    I have not really seen this brought up much on here and it seriously surprises me that this isn’t getting more attention considering the level of attention paid previously to Greece and Italy as harbingers of EU doom.

    The failure of the Brexit vote is going to empower these nations and from Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, (Pigs) plus the southern former Yugo balkan states PLUS Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech the reality is the EU is now in more danger that at any point post 2008. Northern Balkans want in due to the red / gas scare.

    Britain is leaving – all the southern states want out and now along with most of the eastern ones. France and Germany are now more isolated than ever. The northern socialists don’t really give two hoots and do whatever suits them best.

    Its on.

    The result like the Gilet Jaunes is either G36 (automatic machine guns) or populist concessions. If its populist concessions expect a massive turnaround in migrant sentiment. Going to get super nasty.

  6. The real problems go back to 1986 when Thatcher agreed to join the Single Market. She liked its liberalizing aspects in terms of services and trade. However the single market also had aspects driving a closer political union. Thatcher was strongly opposed to that but she believed the other European states would never reach a consensus on political union and that it would never happen. It was a serious misjudgement and it was a factor in the rise of the Euro sceptics in the Tory party. The EU was always for Britain a trading area and when it started exhibiting political union facets, the opposition in Britain took off in earnest.

    • Thanks Astrolin

      That’s about the most sensible comment here and the debate should have started from that point.

      • Thanks Flawse and the other one was of course the single currency. Thatcher was dead set against that. When it came to deciding in the late 1990s, Blair was for it, Brown was against. Brown’s senior adviser Ed Balls relates a number of phone calls Paul Keating made to Brown in the late 1990s urging Britain to keep its currency and not join the Euro. That turned out to be correct, the Euro is essentially a German export subsidy scheme. Black Wednesday in 1993 was probably a decisive moment in the rise of the Eurosceptics and the chancellor at that time Norman Lamont is now a leading Brexit advocate. This talk from three weeks ago by Varoufakis to the Oxford Union called The Euro Has Never Been More Problematic is a very interesting one

    • She liked it because she was beholden to the views of Hayek and how the market was a better distribution mechanism to reward productiveness and negate governments influence in determining social policy thus spreading freedom and liberty [tm]…. cough there is only TINA [sounds a bit totalitarian – eh] and their is no such animal as society aka atomtistic individualism within the market place …. sweet dreams …

      • That is why she liked the Single Market but she misjudged the determination of the other Europeans led by Monsieur Delor to implement the politically unifying aspects of the scheme

      • Absolutism and binary dichotomies are all you know – its actually quite depressing just how much nuance and intellectual rigor your lack.

      • Alpha Omega …

        Actually your projections without any means to evaluate how you arrive at them and then use it to question the historical perspective, I offered, is anti intellectual and smacks of what you decry. You have to respond with some historical foot note that supports your claims, just saying stuff off the cuff is a rhetorical device muddying the waters and deflect from the actual history, its not controversial imo – it happened and its well documented.

        Must be difficult dealing with those that don’t subscribe to some reductive ideological group per se rabid anti property rights sorts or rabid everything should be someones property rights sorts. I would also note the high emotional state of such sorts and how that bleeds though any discussion – fight to the death … sigh.

      • HadronCollisionMEMBER

        Is it the case skippy is a test Machine Learning/NLP project for a uni student (who wrote the code after a few too many Hibikis?).

      • HadronCollision…

        Be great if you could manage the topic and present something in relationship to it.

  7. kiwikarynMEMBER

    Most of Europe fought two world wars, lost millions of people, only to hand over sovereignty of their countries to Germany a few years later without so much as a whimper. What a waste.

    • I think its an interesting point, however consider what may have happened if there were no world wars. Surely Germany would have risen to be a very great country and dominate most of its neighbours economically anyway. The Franco Prussian war of 1871 and subsequent decades indicated the declining power of France vis a vis Germany. Britain had more power in relation to Germany but by 1900 in terms of output and innovation was falling behind the Germans. Germany could have risen to rival America but for the First World War, its inventions and productivity were of a high standard in 1914

      • Turkey before that, Poland before that, Italy before that……hell even Athens.

        But as always pride and arrogance tripped them onto their sword.

        I remember my year 7 history teach talking about Europe and what kept it stable was the constant warring of states. The borders of European fiefdoms, kingdoms, principalities, city states etc was fluid like the bubbles rising and bursting in a boiling cauldron.

        The rise of the nation state post Westphalia and the symbiotic “patriotism” of the citizen and soldier gave rise to the great national armies (ex Roma) starting with Napoleon but in reality World War 1.

        The greatest threat to the general peace and prosperity of humanity has been the rise and rise of consolidated oligopolies of states and unions of states. The ultimate inescapable conclusion of capitalism is monopoly – thats why the board game is thus titled – same with the nation states. The soviet union being the best / worst example.

        The United States has worked well due to common language, common ancestry, common ideals, values, goals, etc.

        The only possible future for Europe is devolution back into truly sovereign nation states with Thatchers original vision in mind of a trading bloc.

        The mission creep from Brussels should stand forever as blinding reminder of what happens when moral zealots enslave society to their hallucinatory ethical crusades which rise from the regurgitated morass of self loathing from their cathartic search for self absolution for entirely concocted perceptions of past sins.

        Brussels is the new Church – political correctness the new morality and individualism is the Original Sin.


  8. reusachtigeMEMBER

    All I know or care about is that I am really popular at the parties so to me populism is a very pleasurable experience so I am all for it!

  9. Notice the language that is used in the news to describe Brexit… ”This is going to be catastrophic for England” “This is going hurt the people” etc… All doom and gloom, fear, scare the people. I’m pretty sure when Germany were bombing England that was “catastrophic” and the people endured that with classic English stoicism, so I’m pretty sure they can survive Brexit.

  10. If you missed it a bit higher:
    Reader JayMC hit it on the head what the proper meaning of populism is:

    “the use of policies to get elected with no regard to the ideology or long term consequences of the policies and purely for the purpose of gaining power”

    There’s both left and right wing versions of course…and different versions around the world with different flavours.
    What’s missing in the debate over that word is what astrolin, flawse and others have rightly commented on: conflating populism with the genuine but “popular” backlash to the hollowing out of the middle class through the adoption of neo-liberal ideologies in the last 30-40 years.
    Underneath the reality of this genuine backlash, where it seems representative democracy isn’t working, is of course your rabid extreme left SJWs and extreme right bigots, who use big social shifts and changes in the popular mood to leverage their own agenda, and because of modern media/social media have the loudest voice or are GIVEN the loudest voice by mainstream media at everyones peril, drowning out a reasonable debate.
    So popular movements can be hijacked into populist regimes – look at Trump as one of many examples. He tapped into a genuine concern about the place of the US in the world, the declining prospects for Middle America and an anti-establishment/anti-elite bent (i.e “drain the swamp”) that has been totalling mishandled or even ignored by the US Democrats, who conflated this concern with populism and wrote off “the deplorables”.
    Populism is a warning sign for liberal democracies – it begets extreme left wing socialism like we see in Venezuela and extreme right wing nationalism that is rising in many parts of Europe and the US, and indeed Australia.

    • +1
      you may recall a week ago we had an article on the globals and I suggested Brexit was going to be one of the things to watch, … correct

      I have been on the phone to the UK this morning and the people don’t understand what the deal or no deal means … will be a fun time to watch both sides blame each other … I’m now expecting a hard exit 1 April, and people finding out that they can now trade with anyone in the world on an equal basis is actually a good thing

      • genuine question: how would you solve the border problem between Northern Ireland and Ireland ?

      • good question – border control is going to be a major issue, how does one go in and out of check points, what control mechanism is used. Ive been to Europe a few times and find it easy to cross borders but going forward … watch this space

      • Genuine answer:
        The same way they did it pre EU? The way the do it across the American continent?
        So probably not all that well but somehow things continue along anyway.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        Not only that, but they are free to set their own taxes and subsidies to attract investment into the UK. This is one of Germany’s biggest fears. That the UK does an Ireland, but with no EU court to make them pay back taxes when half of the world’s corporations move there.

    • Chris ….

      Misinformed back lash by any group is the same as populism i.e. go around and ask how many people you know what neoliberalism is, whence it came, and what its core axioms are founded on. One could even argue the fact that most are so ill-informed is the direct result of neoliberalism and its views on education [widgets for the market and the IP of all knowlage for profit] with a side of setting up tidy little pigeonholes for people to put themselves and others into … then some are confused about social cohesion [cough atomtistic individualism]… all life is reduced to a market framework, where user function may vary and if your not going up the value chain its self inflicted because one is a defective commodity.

      BTW poor people, marginalized people, the left, had anything to do with making neoliberalism dominate.

      I posted this more than once and the ability of some to completely wash history is not a good look.

      The main points of neo-liberalism include:

      THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say “an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.” It’s like Reagan’s “supply-side” and “trickle-down” economics — but somehow the wealth didn’t trickle down very much.

      CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, they don’t oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

      DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.

      PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

      ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”

      That’s 1997 stuff and anyone forwarding its observations at the time would be labeled a socialist pinko anti freedom commie. This must be the neoliberal denial period I guess.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”

        Skippy are 100% correct in identifying the true evil within the promotion of Individualism, i.e. the destruction of society, where advancement through common sacrifice for an undetermined future benefit is put aside to allow individuals the maximum opportunity for individual freedom with no responsibility towards or desire to sacrifice for, the society and social institutions that provide them with the shelter that makes this possible.

        But culturally where does these notions that elevate the individual above society arise? Where is the source of Neoliberalism and the promotion of “Self over Society” ? In whose interest is it for society to be deconstructed into atomised individuals – conversely, who or what culture fears a unified society and culture?

        The resulting outcome of Neoliberalism is the much lauded “Meritocracy” BUT the reality is, this Meritocracy is simply another version of “Winner takes all” with no obligations other than to take.

  11. reusachtigeMEMBER

    It’s hilarious just how much skippy’s high-brow “hey I’m so intellectual you can’t comprehend my intelligence” is spot-on representative of the elite. For that reason I love the guy because I am also elite in my own field of expertise, and that is what humans exist for, relations.

    • No the elite really can’t think for themselves, breeding and setting up offspring to elite social networking tertiary education schools, and after flexian job prospects makes it difficult to relate to others outside the bubble. I mean look how Chelsea Clinton mangled Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil quote out of context.

      They are much more prone to hire creative class writers with flexible ethics [flexian – Milton, Greenspan, Noble prize, et la ] and a burning desire to move up the value chain seeking a risk adverse life for themselves and their offspring in doing so.

      In fact to take an intellectual position on all of this means, not engaging in it, and with that, diminishing prospects for moving up the value chain e.g. attempting to be ethical in a sea of corruption. In addition it means changing ones stance on something when information makes previous positions untenable e.g. Keynes said if the information changes does so your mind.

      Oh and its not a function of belief systems, especially ones that function on the perspective of how many followers equals truth …. On that note I would remind Lars blog is just a click away …

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Ever since the flamming cladding issues came to the fore I’ve been wondering if your account is a real person’s and it is skip’s that is the parody account. After that comment I’m now sure that’s exactly how it really is!

      • TTW …

        Years ago on this blog alone I was pointing out how the currant system creates these dramas through incentives. Even pointing out my experiences back in the States with the construction of DIA [Denver international airport] and how the game was rigged at onset, how the then newly minted Mayor of Denver Federico Peña was the key man in organizing it at the behest of his betters, and how he moved up the value chain with his good works –

        This is also highlighted by my observations years ago about how the ramp up in Oz track – spec RE et al was due to funds out of Singapore using native Australians with licenses to set up front house for their investment vehicles and the never ending lowering of not only building standards but the lowering of skill require to build them through so called market efficiencies aka putting sales and MBAs to the forefront and giving the flick to all the old talent – can you say 20 something 2 year journeyman chippie being supervise of more than 10 RE sites at a time, but rocking up at the pub with a business ute and smart phone back in the early 2000s would get you relations. Too bad about all those defects with your new home, but the industry does set the standard ….

        I could go on and on, but yeah, your still scratching your head about how it all went so wrong ….

  12. I reckon it’ll be a hard Brexit. There’s no time left for stuffing around with new deals or anything else, and Theresa is screwed.

    This is gonna be interesting. Sigh.

    • I think so too.
      But I don’t think that’s a bad option other then population movement. When I’m trying to trade with the UK they have to give preferential treatment to EU … when we can use other global providers at a significant discount. The businesses and people have sort of forgotten about this. It will create opportunities and many complications … people adapt

    • Parliamentary rules disallow any mechanism by which anything could change before the final date, only option is if the EU gives them a bit more time [few months] to sort it out, but that does not mean they will alter their position and that is all dependent on how the dust settles in the mean time.

      In the mean time all the contacts I have that work in and around the U.K. and E.U. for sometime reflect that their employers have made contingency plans to leave the U.K. and many qualified critical skills people are looking to move.

      So first victim will be trade flows and with it VoM and if anyone thinks in this currant global market that others are going to hand out sweet deals to the U.K. at a cost to themselves, after past history, and risk factors …. I’ve got a bed time story dressed up as an ideology to sell …

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        But how many global corporations will move to the UK when they drop the corporate tax rate to 10%, remove all the EU regulations that strangle competitive manufacturing, and obtain free trade agreements with the US, China and the rest of the world? People focus on what the UK might lose (banking industry) without considering what they may gain (most of the companies that went to Ireland thinking they would pay stuff all taxes until the EU court declared the Irish tax rate to be illegal)

      • Actually its not just the FIRE or London City were talking about here and what does the tax rate got to do with anything when its almost non existent, not to mention the short skirt game has never worked out in the long run – see America with classic examples like walmartification and now Amazon HQ.

        I would reiterate my statement from last night about a Lehman like moment emanating out of the U.K. and knock on effects through the global system. Killing demand is not a good method of attracting anything to do business with you and others might not be very keen on doing business considering the long term costs associated.