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Approaching the event horizon

The black hole at the heart of the Out campaign is this. After all those years of demanding this referendum, they can’t agree on what the UK would look like if it chose to self-eject from the European Union.

– Andrew Rawnsley writing in the Observer.

For a real black hole, the event horizon is the boundary from within which nothing, not even light, can ever escape. As Wikipedia puts it “Once a particle is inside the horizon, moving into the hole is as inevitable as moving forward in time.”

The black hole at the heart of the In campaign, and of the European Union itself, is that it was agreed among the elite what the future would look like years ago.

So the Out campaign – a collective noun that must stretch to encompass George Galloway, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson – cannot agree? Glory in it! They cannot agree what the future UK would look like because it wouldn’t be up to them. Outside the EU event horizon the future would not be predetermined. It would be decided by the electorate. For real, I mean, in elections that mattered. Those mad buggers might do anything.

34 comments to Approaching the event horizon

  • CaptDMO

    “..self-eject from the European Union.”
    Hmmm, is there another common term for “self-eject”?

  • Mr Ed

    The law requires a referendum to be held on EU membership. However, that is all. There is no mechanism in the Act that mandates the referendum for the UK to leave the EU in the event of a ‘leave’ vote, and anyway the UK government as determined by the House of Commons would remain as it was before the referendum, so if the UK were to leave, that decision would be a political matter, not a legal one.

    The negotiation of terms regarding any association with the EU after departure, if any, would be a matter for the government of the day if it chose to follow through with the outcome.

    There is really no other proper sensible response to the issue, apart from to suggest what might be done.

  • JohnW

    It means Boris 5.50 would be PM.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Hmm… wasn’t there a UK before there was an EU? That would seem to suggest the shape of an EU-less future UK.

  • Chip

    One wonders how Canada manages to survive with just a free trade agreement with the U.S. and not a shared currency, court or bureaucracy. New Zealand too must be in terminal decline, along with Singapore and the Swiss.

    Have people drunk so deeply of the EU mead that they no longer see an existence without it?

    In an age where technology and information is liberating the individual, there is NO reason for increasingly centralised control. It’s simply power for the sake of power.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    It is nice of Brussels to let you have a referendum. Has Brussels told you how to vote yet?
    And the 23rd of June is the date! Appropriate. For such a momentus occasion, the Sun should stand still. Symbolically, this could be the high-point of ‘ever closer union’. Cameron kept the British Union together- can he keep the European Union together? And should any new currency be called, not the Euro, but the ‘Peon’? (from European=Europeon, gedit?)

  • rxc

    Here in the US, we went thru this once, about 160 years ago. It did not go very well. Lots of people were unhappy and they expressed their feelings in ways that people have still not gotten over, even after all this time.

  • rxc

    I also remember that when I first heard about the “social contract” at about age 12, I did not understand how I could be required to abide by a contract that I had never agreed to, and could never leave it, under any conditions. Even at age 12, with no real sense of politics, or even of morality, I could see that the concept of the “social contract” amounted to totalitarianism. And, what is more amazing is that the concept was presented as a great human accomplishment to a classroom that was almost full of Jews (not me) who were celebrating the recent capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann, for crimes committed in the name of one of the most totalitarian regimes that ever existed.

    The cognitive dissonance (a term I did not even exist at the time) was so deafening that no one could hear it.

  • Gareth

    Chip said:

    Have people drunk so deeply of the EU mead that they no longer see an existence without it?

    For some it appears to be competing with the NHS for national religion status.

    The EU is a cargo cult. They have built the trappings of a democracy in the hopes of giving rise to the demos.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Don’t tell me your troubles. You dummies just had to join the EEC and then the next thing you know you’re stuck in the EU, run by some no’count nogoods from Bruxelles.

    Well let me tell you not so long ago “we” passed TPA, meaning I think “Trans-Pacific Authority,” which gives the Sith authority to dispense with any time-consuming restraints, such as consulting with Congress, on signing onto what the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership, decides It should.

    Sen. Cruz, I’m sorry to say, voted for it. Sen. Sessions didn’t. Sen. C. has a good explanation of his reasons on an Internet Radio show on UT, and Sen. S. has a video of his speech to the Senate of what’s wrong with it, also on UT.

    Sen. S. seems to think that if “we” are dummies enough to follow you dummies’ lead on this, we’re gonna get exactly what you got.

    Sen. S has also changed from his long-time Free Trade position to the opinion that Free Trade has cost us jobs jobs jobs and led to an unfavorable balance of Trade. Unfortunately there are plenty of other reasons for us to let go of manufacturing and buy foreign…as everybody here knows. But the more important concern to me is that TPA gives the Executive altogether too much of the wrong kind of power, and if he’s right it also effectively nullifies a good deal of the U.S.’s own legitimate sovereign power “over” the people of America to this Pacific Union, variant of the EU. I understand Russia is already bargaining to be included.

    Same silly argument as I hear all the time (well up until a few years ago anyway), “No, don’t worry about that, it can’t happen, the Constitution will protect us.” –No, the C. won’t protect us. The C is a piece of paper. Utter commitment to upholding the letter and the spirit of the C, and backing up the commmitment with behavior, will protect us. Any failure of that commitment, and it won’t.

    I don’t know if (a) Sessions and I are full of pea soup, (b) the sitch is as we suspect, but Cruz is in love with his own Theory of the Case, or (C) Cruz thinks something I can’t imagine, or else is making a deal with the devil, which I surely hope is not the case and which, despite some of my remarks and the opinions of others here, I reject without plenty of evidence, which we haven’t go so far. (Speaking of Ted, I do gotta give him a lot of credit for sticking to that No Ethanol nor Other Energy Subsidies stance, through thick and thicker.)

    Anyway, as a charter but nonvoting member of the American Brexit Club, you guys GO! (You’re no dummies, whatever your idiot Provincials say. *g*)

  • Roue le Jour

    I’m not really that opposed to some kind of European structure, its a Europe run by a bunch of revenant communists that should have been bricked up in the basement years ago that I object to.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    You mean the constitution doesn’t fly around the country, helping victims to get their rights? I’m shocked!
    That’s the advantage of having an unwritten constitution- you can always claim that it’s doing good somewhere else. And it can be any colour you fancy!

  • Julie near Chicago

    I know, Nicholas. It’s hard to believe, very hard. But it seems it doesn”t, although once in awhile its spirit does seem to somehow worm its way into the stone-cold heart of some Judge, with salutary results.

    Or possibly his brains were working even if his heart was frozen….

    Still, there is a strong urge to lie down in the dark, curl up in a fœtal position, stick one’s fumb in one’s mouf, squinch one’s eyes tight shut, and whisper softly, over and over:

    The Constitution will save us, the Constitution will save us, the Constitution will save us…..

  • AngryTory

    In real life, it’s worth doing absolutely anything to get out of a black hole – or rather, to do absolutely anything to avoid falling into one. This is literally the last chance for the UK to conduit to exist.

    Here in the US, we went thru this once, about 160 years ago. It did not go very well

    Yeah well, in the US the wrong side won. In the UK, we’ve got nukes. We can and must make sure the right side wins! 60% of English voters chose Independence rather than slavery at the last election: the latest polls are call clear with BREXIT leading by about 55%.

    New Zealand too must be in terminal decline

    Yep. NZ is in terminal decline.

  • David Crawford

    To all of you in Britain good luck and hopefully you win. Just remember one simple fact, they need you worse than you need them, by far. Also remember you have the facts, all they have is emotion. Now go out and make them wish they were never born (as my old high school football coach used to say).

  • David Moore

    Vietnam has just agreed an FTA with the EU. Does anyone seriously think that if a country with a smaller GDP than New Zealand can get a trade deal with the EU, somehow the UK cannot?

  • AngryTory, not sure why I took me so long to see you are just trolling here. Ciao.

  • I sneeze in threes

    We are in the black hole, but have just discovered we are Hawking radiation and so can escape.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I hope so, sneeze. Not only would we then escape, but we’d help cause the black hole to evaporate, for good measure.

  • David Moore:

    The UK could get a free-trade deal with the EU, if the petulant shits in Brussels don’t do everything they can to try to punish (in their minds) the UK after Brexit.

  • mickc

    If its the same one from the LG, good to see you here, and yes, you are absolutely right.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so Natalie.

  • Paul Marks


    That film would be a lot better with the first couple of minutes cut off.

    Chris Tame did not believe in doubling state pensions and all the other statism at the start. It was clearly from a television series where most people who were asked “what would you do if you were Prime Minister” came up with a wish list of spending ideas – I almost turned it off because of the first couple of minutes of headlines and so on.

    Nor was Chris Tame some sort of racist English nationalist.

    If in the vote about the European Union people in the “Out” camp start ranting about “England” we have lost.

    This is the United Kingdom of Great Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

    If people, such as Sean Gabb, insist on saying “England” rather than the United Kingdom (although “Britain” will do at a pinch) they are really helping the other side.

    In Sean’s case – most likely intentionally, out of a desire to be “naughty”.

  • mojo

    Not to be dense, but doesn’t entry into an event horizon freeze the image of the entering object (from an observer’s point of view) while the object itself is spread across the surface of the hole itself? Whatever strange shape might be.

    (and yes, that was a long way for a bad pun)

  • JohnW

    The thing is – the sequence with Boris would have been just a small excerpt from a much longer conversation and we know damn well that Chris would have left Boris in no doubt about his political views and why he held them.
    So unlike UKIP’s media spokesperson who claimed never to have heard of Adam Smith, Boris cannot feign ignorance.

    Dr. Gabb has republished “National Sovereignty or EU Membership: Which is the Least Bad Option?” with the following qualification:”Note: I republish this for obvious reasons. Though I probably will vote to leave, now the referendum has been called, the questions I ask in the speech remain pertinent. SIG”

    Unfortunately, this means our objections to the original post have not been carried forward, which is a shame.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul, thanks for the heads-up on the Tame video. I haven’t listened yet. And JW, thanks for posting.

  • Thailover

    It would look like a fucking sovereign nation instead of a winner nation for loser nations to strap themselves to, in a pathetic and futile attempt to pull themselves up to the level of mediocre and merely unimpressive.

  • NickM

    mojo has a point. He is roughly correct. This is the reason Soviet scientists called them “Frozen Stars”.

    Things do though escape from black holes (Hawking radiation). What doesn’t is information. What survives to the external universe is mass, charge and angular momentum.

  • Mr Tydfil

    Sadly it is too late now, but the Leave campaigns really should have knocked together a credible exit plan to counter the economic Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. The Europhile’s biggest weapon is economic FUD. If it was successfully countered then the Europhile has a much harder time defending the lack of democracy and subordination to EU institutions.

    The WTO Option really is a bad idea and a Swiss-style bilateral would be very difficult to do in the two year time span of Article 50.

    In order to negate the FUD the best solution is the ‘Norway Option’. All those jobs and trade that Remainers claim rely on EU membership actually rely on single market access. By remaining in the EEA we instantly reassure people that Brexit will not endanger jobs and trade.

    Predictably, the retort to this is “Norway obeys all EU rules and has no say”. But Norway only follows about 1 in 5 EU laws (that of EEA relevance) and yes, while Norway does not get a final vote on this law, it is heavily involved in the formation of it, especially at the global level where an increasing amount of EEA law originates. The global level which the EU negotiates on our behalf, our voice lost among 28. And to top it off under Article 102 of the EEA Agreement, EFTA countries in the EEA have the right to opt out of new EU legislation.

    The Leave campaign would have been in a much stronger position if it could have been making these arguments months and months ago.

    Again, it may be too late to get Leavers to rally around a single, credible, realistic plan. What can be done though is that we expose Cameron’s fraud. His “deal” is not legally binding no matter what he says. He has deliberately lied to the House and the country. The media is slowly picking up on this, up until now being far too interested in personality politics, Boris Johnson, Tory divisions, etc.

    Remember, a vote to Leave is also a vote against lying politicians such as Cameron.

  • Laird

    Is there really any “information” we would want to escape from the Black Hole of the EU?

    Anyhow, it appears that “mass, charge and angular momentum” is what is disappearing into the Eurozone right now, mostly from the Middle East.

  • NickM, soviet scientists called them ‘frozen stars’ because the term ‘black hole’, translated literally into Russian, was too like a colloquial and rather vulgar Russian phrase relating to an item of female anatomy. Reference to the irresistible attraction, and the impossibility of escape after entering, did not help Russian scientists – or Russian audiences – to keep a straight face.

    Credit to Natalie Solent, from whom I heard this years ago.

  • NickM

    And I thought they were Syrians, mainly. Obviously they have mass, a small charge and if you spin ’em enough they have angular momentum.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    NickM, we don’t have a nearby black hole to study (thankfully!), so these are still theoretical ideas. However, I did come up with a way for matter to leave such stars.If electrons were crushed together, the properties of the new electrons would differ enough that they would be immune to gravity, because we are assuming that wave-width is useless. I think wave-width is crucial, and that photons with a different wave-width setting are ignored, so if particles change their widths, or size, they change what influences them. Gravity is believed to come in waves, so this should apply to particles in black holes. Bigger particles would be immune to local gravity, and thus escape.
    I also think that these bigger particles would interact with photons faster than our light, but there would be no paradox, since wave-width discrimination would mean they keep to their own kind.
    But, until we go to black holes, all this is theory.

  • mojo

    You first, Nicholas. I think I’m busy that day. 😉