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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Why the Samizdata System Administrator voted ‘Remain’

Hi! I’m the guy who hosts, and looks after, Samizdata. I’m a software engineer.

Several years ago I did the port from old Samizdata for Perry, largely as a favour, but also because I believe strongly in free speech and that it should be heard. I’ve looked after it since that time.

So I’m basically a free speech activist rather than any stripe of “libertarian”.

And I don’t generally post, but Perry invited me to do so years ago, and I thought this was a worthwhile opportunity.

So why did I vote ‘Remain’?

Well: for various complex reasons I have been called a “foreigner” and told that I should “go back where I came from” for pretty-much the entirety of my life.

Although my mother was from Sutton Coldfield and father was from Birmingham – and he fought in WWII for the Loyal Regiment (N Lancs) at Monte Cassino, got multiple medals and (eventually) an OBE, somehow all this was not enough to overcome my being born abroad and having a “funny accent”, not to mention my obsessions with weird geeky stuff rather “proper” boyhood interests like the lineup of the ’66 World Cup.

I’ve learned that merely having a “funny accent” is enough to make you “not British” – so I have sympathies with immigrant Britons.

So what do I see from the “Leave” side discussion which have been hosted on Samizdata?

Some criticism of “big government” to be sure; I agree with some of this and I have my own issues with increase of state powers – for instance I campaign to mitigate the capabilities of state surveillance.

But what I *mostly* see in this blog are vestiges of British schoolyard class warfare.

From comments I overwhelmingly sense a theme of “Hooray, We Finally Showed Those Yoghurt-Weaving, Guardian-Reading, Statist Cunts!”; this is not only a victory of vindictive spite – rather than any business case that I could support – but also an extremely low bar by any standards.

It’s not even that such positions are tilting at windmills, it’s that these “arguments” are merely people tilting at left-wing strawmen stereotypes, gleefully rubbing their hands at the “success” of a 52/48 “mandate” which – were the statistics reversed – I’m quite sure would not lead to mute, content acceptance of the result.

Yes, Brussels is full of bureaucrats, and yes, big Government is filled with waste of taxation, and yes, all Governments are essentially mafia protection rackets where “Brexit” is essentially an inter-famiglia mafia putsch – all of this I can sympathise with somewhat.

But I work in London.

I enjoy the little cafes staffed by French people who know what a croissant should taste like, and which exist because they are likewise frequented by French people.

I love the East-end street markets with exotic produce, some of which has just been unloaded off Eurostar.

I love the benefits *to me* of free-market competition between coffee shops – each having to upstage the next on quality of their product and service – and invariably part-staffed by young Poles and Romanians who understand customer service in a way that was unknown when I lived in London in the 1980s.

I love that there are tradespeople who are competent and cheap and plentiful, and that they are available because they have freedom of movement and employment and – yes – some degree of welfare if their employment goes titsup.

I can’t remember the last time I heard that sucking-air-backwards-through-the-teeth “Sorry, Guvnor, I can’t get to you until tuesday-after-next”.

Most of all I love that for three years I’ve worked in an office with amazing people of 50+ nationalities, many – possibly most? – of whom are in London because the stupid-arse EU freedom of movement enables them to be. They are not stealing jobs from British people – I know, because I am one of the hiring interviewers, and it’s nearly impossible to find anyone from the UK who is able to work because of how the various Governments of the past 30 years have fucked up STEM education.

Being aware of how Samizdatistas think: although a tirade about state education (and how Brexit could fix it) might seem terribly cathartic, such a political speech will do nothing to fulfil an urgent hiring need *right* *now* – so please don’t bother to pull out an education soapbox.

So: how do I perceive this all?

Doubtless there are some true believers amongst the voters, but this referendum was sold to people as a proxy to “take back control” – of what and of whom is unclear, perhaps “manifest destiny” is the answer? – and it has simultaneously uncorked and enabled some of the nastiest parts of the English psyche. Wellington’s scum of the earth have voted to support the dogwhistle rhetoric from Farage and Johnson; since Cameron is a disconnected slimy git and Corbyn is a glorified shop steward, and neither of them were even *aware* that such folk existed, nor cared for what they thought, you can hardly blame the voters for how they voted.

But the result?

The brexiteers are now on Twitter, nursing hangovers, crowing about the win, and stating their intention to reclaim (e.g.) their Newcastle street from the “wogs” who have taken it over in the past 20 years.

Latent racism, hate and discrimination has been licensed; the blameless European geeks with whom I work are receiving insults from random strangers in shops. They are also scared of being kicked out, which would be a massive loss to UK tax revenue.

And the semi-free-market London which I’ve so far enjoyed will dessicate and die.

“But all of what could still exist in a post-Brexit Britain!” – certainly it could, but, be honest, it won’t.

You won’t be able to get a plumber for toffee, your client from Frankfurt will be tied up in asinine queues at Heathrow immigration, your salads will be tasteless pap – grown expensively in the finest greenhouses of Kent – because risks of delays when shipping from southern Spain make it uneconomic. Your food be served by someone from Penge with one GCSE and a bad attitude because they can’t afford to go to Ibiza with their mates at the weekend.

And people who hate bigger states? What do you think HM Customs is going to do, lay people off when there will be more, shiny, brand new, complex and ever-changing regulations to implement?

All because some politicians sold a vision that they should “control” Britain, so that we eat “British” crap and suffer “British” tradesmen, dealing primarily with Britons because it’s harder to hire more-competent foreigners… and all at inflated prices under a mediocre-strength currency.

So yes, the EU sucks, but I’d rather have it and its bidirectionally porous borders, than Nigel’s return to rose-tinted Britain of 1979.

And I am *so* waiting for the first person to tell me that I should “go back where [I] came from”.

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155 comments to Why the Samizdata System Administrator voted ‘Remain’

  • pollo

    *stands on desk*
    “O Captain! My Captain!”

  • Cal

    Farage hasn’t become PM. Immigration isn’t going to suddenly stop. All the Poles aren’t going to be sent back to Poland. London isn’t going to die. Didn’t you notice all the Indians, Australians, Yanks, Pakistanis, Canadians, Chileans, etc. who work here? They didn’t need the magic EU to get them here. Nobody here is going to tell you to go home.

  • Alex

    You think “Brexiteers” are the bigoted ones, when you post such an extraordinarily bigoted view of your countrymen?

    I have zero problem with immigrants – which is partly the reason I am an ex-UKIP member. I don’t want a closed border. This isn’t, and never was, a choice between a cosmopolitan and modern Britain and a return to the 1950s (or ’79 – not heard that one before). The vast majority of people who voted for Brexit do not want to go back in time.

  • admin

    > when you post such an extraordinarily bigoted view of your countrymen?

    The only place I’ve ever found acceptance is on the Internet.

    What are these “countrymen” that I am supposed to possess?

  • shlomo maistre

    Some reasonable points here. However:

    Reading comments I overwhelmingly sense a theme of “Hooray, We Finally Showed Those Yoghurt-Weaving, Guardian-Reading, Statist Cunts!”

    Exactly.

    I’m a proud monarchist for a variety of practical and moral reasons. I view democracy as an asinine idea and democracy in action as almost always an amusing circus that would be funny if it weren’t so destructive.

    But the alignment of interests that voted for Brexit are precisely those most harmed by democracy. Britons gave statist cunts and indeed the entire global financial, media, and political establishment a big middle fucking finger. This is something to celebrate because it is so rarely even possible with all major political parties in all Western democracies bought and paid for by special interests, lobbyists, and the establishment.

    Fuck the EU. And everything it represents.

  • admin

    Cal: I spent a year living a stone’s throw from Brick Lane. I am well aware of the non-EU populations of London – and boy they know how to party with fireworks at 3am.

    Perhaps you’re arguing that it’s only fair that the racism that my Bengali neighbours used to tell me about, is now being thrown at my French and Romanian software-engineer friends and colleagues?

  • admin

    shlomo: “Britons gave statist cunts and indeed the entire global financial, media, and political establishment a big middle fucking finger.”

    You know, I’m not convinced that they did. I tend to believe in something called “informed consent”, and the big point of that is “informed”.

    When you hear people saying that they “Voted Leave Because [they] Thought It’d Get The Tories Out”, it doesn’t sound like “informed”.

  • Sean MacCartan

    Quiet , isn’t it ?

  • admin

    Too quiet. Perhaps they’re inside the walls?

  • Alex

    I don’t tend to fit in much myself. Growing up with an RP accent on a council estate meant I got beaten up plenty of times. I’m also working class, and don’t fit in naturally with my social “betters”. I don’t presume to judge such people, or to think poorly of people from Penge with low academic achievements.

    When I first got online I found I fitted in better with the then nascent internet culture. I’m pretty cosmopolitan and am quietly frustrated that most of my friends and peers aren’t really very interested in much of what I’m interested in. I live in a city dominated by rugby and while I don’t mind the sport, I’m not terribly interested in it. I’d rather watch an opera or listen to a jazz album. That doesn’t mean I think less of those who prefer rugby.

    You characterise Brexiteers as racists. I spent 10 years on and off in UKIP. I never encountered racists. A few people with some unconventional views, and plenty of people who criticise Islamic political culture, but never racists. But what do I know? After all I’m just one of these ignorant working class people. I didn’t go to university and so apparently I lack the ability to understand anything remotely complex.

    There – I’ve outed myself as an under-educated, poor working class boy from a council estate. I’m sure even some people here will think less of me as a result. I’m used to and fed up with that happening. I’m also fed up with privileged people judging me and the people I know and making baseless assumptions.

  • shlomo maistre

    Admin,

    shlomo: “Britons gave statist cunts and indeed the entire global financial, media, and political establishment a big middle fucking finger.”

    You know, I’m not convinced that they did. I tend to believe in something called “informed consent”, and the big point of that is “informed”.

    When you hear people saying that they “Voted Leave Because [they] Thought It’d Get The Tories Out”, it doesn’t sound like “informed”.

    You’re right that many people who voted Leave were misled about the implications of Leave succeeding. This is likewise true of many of those who voted to Remain.

    But this does not change the fact that Remain was endorsed by the leaders of all major UK political parties, almost all minor UK political parties, all EU leaders, President Obama, the PM of Japan, the PM of Canada, the IMF, the WTO, the G7, the G-20, NATO, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, Xi Jinping, Chatham House, The Economist, the Financial Times, most mainstream publications, and far more business and finance leaders than the Exit campaign got.

    Businesses and organizations of experts (economists, lawyers, etc) were commissioned to put out reports showing how terrible a Brexit would be. Such as PwC.

    This was an unprecedented effort by the ENTIRE GLOBAL ESTABLISHMENT to use fear, intimidation, and blackmail to deny the British people their G-d given sovereignty.

    The global establishment lost.

  • admin

    Alex> You characterise Brexiteers as racists

    I do not. I characterise racists as people who have found the brexit vote a convenient release for their inner fuckwit ; and I find it sad that they – and they are legion – are contributing to the debate in those terms.

  • Alex

    The brexiteers are now on Twitter, nursing hangovers, crowing about the win, and stating their intention to reclaim (e.g.) their Newcastle street from the “wogs” who have taken it over in the past 20 years.

    I don’t think most people who read the above would read it any other way than characterising “Brexiteers” as racists.

  • Mr Ed

    Cheer up old chap, I live in the Midlands, and I have excellent plumbers and car mechanics available, great value and they happen to be English. I do not recognise your deprecation of British tradesmen. Yes, I know London of old, but maybe it is Londoners that you have problems with. I could point you to a rubbish Sky installer I once used, he was English, but more importantly, he was rubbish.

    And one reason why some of those French people work in London is that their Colbert-esque France has an economy in which it is crushingly difficult and risky to employ people, and worse, to stop employing them. The same with Spain.

    And the EU was, and is, seeking to make the UK more like France economically, and there would be no escape.

    Those Yoghurt-Weaving, Guardian-Reading, Statist Cunts!

    I take you mean the Marxists who would, in a heartbeat, given half a chance, get you some ‘re-education’, if their demented visions became reality. That they are not in a position to implement their deranged dreams is our luck and their judgment, so far.

    Did free movement of labour improve our cafes? Not really, in the 1980s, Rambouts filters were the zenith of coffee in London pubs. It was probably Whitbread the brewer who did a lot to spread good coffee, along with US tv shows and investment in the plant needed to produce steam-powered coffee. Do I need, in a nearby Starbucks, non-English staff? I haven’t noticed any particular problem with the ‘local’ staff.

    Latent racism, hate and discrimination has been licensed; the blameless European geeks with whom I work are receiving insults from random strangers in shops.

    Is this hearsay? If it is latent, how would you know it exists? How frequently does this happen, there are vicious nutters everywhere, I have been assaulted in Spain before it joined the EEC for being not Spanish, there are dickheads everywhere. If you believe that the EU is the answer, you must have asked yourself a strange question.

    And the semi-free-market London which I’ve so far enjoyed will dessicate and die.

    The London you have enjoyed will wither when the credit bubble collapses, having been propped up since 2008 by yet more credit. This is, in many ways, EU-neutral, but a lot of it is a mirage all the same.

    because risks of delays when shipping from southern Spain make it uneconomic.

    It might just be some French workers blockading the passes through the Pyrenees, or the Channel Ports, just some French behaving like the protectionists they are, they aren’t all out in life to improve croissants you know.

    Your food be served by someone from Penge with one GCSE and a bad attitude

    Not likely, that person won’t be able to afford the commute to my favourite restaurant.

    Nigel’s return to rose-tinted Britain of 1979.

    I have no recollection of that being on the menu in this referendum, but I do recall exchange controls for us when in the EEC, lifted by Mrs Thatcher in 1979, and the panic in 1987 when it was rumoured that Mr Kinnock was going to re-introduce exchange controls. I also recall France having exchange controls under Mitterand in 1986, which bemused some German inter-railers I met in St Malo, travelling easily around pre-Schengen Europe.

    there will be more, shiny, brand new, complex and ever-changing regulations to implement?

    I think that you might benefit for studying some European law there.

    Wellington’s scum of the earth have voted to support the dogwhistle rhetoric from Farage and Johnson

    You’ve met them, all 17,000,000 + I take it? Or are you just stereotyping, nay ‘prejudiced’?

    stating their intention to reclaim (e.g.) their Newcastle street from the “wogs” who have taken it over in the past 20 years.

    You provide no link. You have shown no evidence. It is hard to conclude, particularly from the (e.g.) that you do not have that evidence, I would be happy to be proved wrong.

    Just reading that post, and the scorn and contempt that flows, have you ever asked yourself where the problem might lie?

  • Cal

    “Perhaps you’re arguing that it’s only fair that the racism that my Bengali neighbours used to tell me about, is now being thrown at my French and Romanian software-engineer friends and colleagues?”

    Of course not. Why would you think I like bullying and racism from these creeps?

  • Well for me, immigration was utterly irrelevant to why I am a LEAVE supporter. I like the same kind of places as Alec does and for much the same reasons. I am a cosmopolitan public school (that’s private school for US readers) and university educated hipster Londoner by any objective measure, the sort of person who is said to be a sure REMAIN voter. But I support LEAVE and I do so strongly, because there is only one issue that matters, everything else is fluff. Just one.

    I want the laws under which we live to be made by made by an accountable government, one that can be voted out of office by UK voters, rather than a remote unaccountable technocratic bureaucracy in a different country.

    It is that simple.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Brexit will lead to more immigration not less.

  • admin

    shlomo> This was an unprecedented effort by the ENTIRE GLOBAL ESTABLISHMENT to use fear, intimidation, and blackmail to deny the British people their G-d given sovereignty.

    True. There is a great deal invested in maintaining the status quo. As Perry is fond of saying, there is a difference between being “pro-market” versus “pro-business” and I would say that the vested interests you cite were the representing the latter not the former.

    However: to focus on the ends and not the means, if the British people’s God-given* sovereignty is fucked-up, illiberal and stops decent people of any nation doing decent work for decent salary and paying their dues in the process, then either God is a fuckwit or sovereignty is overrated.

  • admin

    Patrick> Brexit will lead to more immigration not less

    I’ve interviewed enough candidates for work to worry about quality, not quantity.

  • Oh yeah…

    Nigel’s return to rose-tinted Britain of 1979.

    I lived through the 1970’s and it was a fucking nightmare. Not sure what that has to do with Brexit or Farage though. The Common Market did not turn thing around, Maggie Thatcher did, and she did it by ending capital controls and by no longer propping up undead zombie industries with tax money from what remained of the functioning economy. And ending confiscatory taxation. THAT is why we are not Venezuela now.

  • admin

    Perry> I want the laws under which we live to be made by made by an accountable government, one that can be voted out of office by UK voters, rather than a remote unaccountable technocratic bureaucracy in a different country.

    Me too. The difference between us being whether what we are willing to sacrifice to get there, in what amount of time. For me the best politicians are the ones who are kept on their toes, and having Article50 hanging over them Damocles-like is a great incentive to negotiation. The collateral damage, on the other hand, I find unacceptable.

  • Nico

    I worry that Brexit won’t happen. This captures the logic best:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/26/an-astute-online-comment-has-many-wondering-whether-brexit-may-ever-happen/?tid=a_inl

    I also worry that the EU might be spiteful and vindictive, imposing punitive tariffs if the UK leaves.

    I don’t worry that the UK might split up: that just won’t happen.

    I think the Tory backbenchers should force a GE, otherwise there will be no exit.

    Good luck friends.

  • admin

    Perry> The Common Market did not turn thing around, Maggie Thatcher did, and she did it by ending capital controls and by no longer propping up undead zombie industries with tax money from what remained of the functioning economy

    Agreed. Maggie was a fan of my father. I don’t think Boris is another Thatcher, I feel that Nigel is a sideshow, and Hannan – for all the apparently clear sanity that he sometimes espouses – is a careerist politician.

  • I don’t think Boris is another Thatcher, I feel that Nigel is a sideshow, and Hannan – for all the apparently clear sanity that he sometimes espouses – is a careerist politician.

    Agreed. But none of that is a reason to vote REMAIN, because we can get rid of Boris or Daniel Hannan if they prove to be a plonker: that is the difference.

  • JohnW

    The complete lack of any sense of irony or even a shred of self-awareness is an absolute joy to behold.

    Let them eat cake with in their “little cafes staffed by French people who know what a croissant should taste like”?

    It was a simple choice between freedom and slavery and you chose slavery which is why you are not only “not a libertarian” but you are not a “free speech” activist either.

  • John (and everyone else), keep it civil please.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Rule by the consent of the governed may produce bad results; it often has. But rule without the consent of the governed can be counted on to produce bad results, because such results can’t be corrected.

  • Perhaps maybe not listen to the doom laden predictions from either side.

    In order to sell EU products (from German cars to French cheese) to the British, will the EU do a reciprocal deal on UK trade? Almost certainly (no guarantees mind)

    In order for us to continue spending money in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, will we agree to a reciprocal agreement on EU tourists for up to 1-month and probably 90-days? Almost certainly (no guarantees mind)

    If someone has a job lined up in Paris will a work visa be issued for them to undertake that job, provided they have the necessary skills that aren’t available in France? Almost certainly (no guarantees mind), because that was what how it used to be done and is equivalent to the points based system proposed by the “Leave” campaign.

    In short, given reciprocity in trade, tourism and jobs, why should it be substantially different from today? The only real difference is that it will be harder to bring in foreign labour to undercut local labour where there are people who can undertake such roles within the UK already.

    So we’re likely to get more UK born Barista’s, but things we don’t have enough of such as doctors, engineers, etc., we will continue to import from Europe, just as we did before free movement became a thing in 1992.

    The things we have done will not end, they will just change. Provided you have the desire, enthusiasm and qualifications to work in Europe you will still be able to do so.

    The only barriers that are being erected are against the criminals, the scroungers and the workshy. If the EU had done this already, THE UK WOULDN’T BE LEAVING!

  • adams

    I walk through my local park in London and I find myself surprised and pleased when the passers by are talking English . Why ? because mostly they are talking languages I can not even identify .Ethnic replacement is taking place without so much as a by your leave and British people in this referendum saw
    their chance to let the political elite (that want us ruled by the fascist EU ) know that they want no more of the multi- culti paradise that is turning them into aliens in their own country .
    You of course operate on a higher level than us knuckle dragging plebs . Your reasons for voting remain are superficial nothings . Enjoy your superb croisants and cosy dream world , while us Brexiters try to regain control of the only country that we care about and possess . The country that our children and grandchildren will have to live in .

  • shlomo maistre

    shlomo> This was an unprecedented effort by the ENTIRE GLOBAL ESTABLISHMENT to use fear, intimidation, and blackmail to deny the British people their G-d given sovereignty.

    True. There is a great deal invested in maintaining the status quo. As Perry is fond of saying, there is a difference between being “pro-market” versus “pro-business” and I would say that the vested interests you cite were the representing the latter not the former.

    However: to focus on the ends and not the means, if the British people’s God-given* sovereignty is fucked-up, illiberal and stops decent people of any nation doing decent work for decent salary and paying their dues in the process, then either God is a fuckwit or sovereignty is overrated.

    Well, life isn’t fair.

    National sovereignty by definition means the right to deny anyone entry to the nation for any reason. This does not mean that entry ought to be denied, though.

    In any case, it’s not at all clear that Brexit (assuming it actually happens) will result in less immigration into the UK.

  • admin

    Alex> I don’t think most people who read the above would read it any other way than characterising “Brexiteers” as racists.

    Here’s a tweet for you: https://twitter.com/anthonyprior1/status/746628454586662913

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I also employ quite a few people from the continent (we get a lot of people from Poland, Sweden and Germany) and I can attest to their all-round excellence. That such youngsters, often with far superior education, make a success in London is not in doubt. I am, however, not impressed by this article for several reasons.

    Firstly, while some of the Brexiters have played “dog-whistle” politics on immigration, and Farage is the main example, I think pretty much most of those who I support, such as the Daily Telegraph’s Allister Heath (he is French by birth), have focused on the illiberal nature of the EU not just as it is now, but as it is becoming. As I wrote the other day, while the EU might have been a liberal force in some ways (free migration being an example), it hasn’t been good in standing up for things such as free speech, and its bullying of Google, and other American firms, over anti-trust, isn’t good. The financial regulatory torrent is getting worse, and is imposing enormous IT and HR costs on banks and other players (Admin must surely be aware of all this).

    So yes, like the OP, I applaud the benefits of immigration, but as Patrick Crozier says, I think we could get more, not less, migration. There may be some form of cap, or regulations linked to things such as welfare and so on, but apart from the “lump of labour” protectionists, I don’t expect the UK to close its doors. With over a million Brits enjoying the good life in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, etc, why would a UK government create a hostile atmosphere for Frenchmen or Germans who are living over here? There will be compromises, grumbles and concerns, but I don’t share your pessimism.

    It is true what you say about some British work attitudes in the past, but that is as much to do with the rise of trade union militancy, restrictive practices, and sheer bloody complacency, than it is to do with a lack of immigration. The UK has been a home to foreigners for a long time before the EU (from the Caribbean, Indian sub-continent, Hugenot French, Russian Jews, etc) and they all in their different ways drove new business sectors, and enlivened existing ones. Hell, one reason why Britain had lots of Italian restaurants in the 50s and 60s was that all the Italian PoWs captured in North Africa chose to stay in the UK rather than go back to Italy.

    I share some of the sentiments here, but I think if a person from Sunderland, Manchester, or rural Dorset, were to read this and not be familiar with the case for open borders, etc, they might think you are being a bit of a nob in how you describe the indigenous population. I think you could have made your case without writing off a large chunk of the UK as troglodites.

  • admin

    perry> because we can get rid of Boris or Daniel Hannan if they prove to be a plonker: that is the difference

    …and still my colleagues fret, and they are good people, some Slovak…

  • admin

    john galt> In order for us to continue spending money in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, will we agree to a reciprocal agreement on EU tourists for up to 1-month and probably 90-days? Almost certainly (no guarantees mind)

    90 days? Right. Who will pay for the bureaucrats to validate the bookkeeping?

    edit: Also…

    john galt> things we don’t have enough of such as doctors, engineers, etc., we will continue to import from Europe

    Firstly: these are people, not things,

    Secondly: they still have to want to come here. It has to be an attractive proposition. Low friction.

  • Mr Ed

    Alex> I don’t think most people who read the above would read it any other way than characterising “Brexiteers” as racists.

    Here’s a tweet for you: https://twitter.com/anthonyprior1/status/746628454586662913

    Is it your case that if someone who makes a comment on Twitter about Brexit that one could quite fairly characterise as ‘chauvinist’, that Brexit is therefore bad?

    Because that is how it appears to me.

  • admin

    mr ed> Is it your case that if someone who makes a comment on Twitter about Brexit that one could quite fairly characterise as ‘chauvinist’, that Brexit is therefore bad?

    Nah, I’m going by experiences shared by friends, and these 140-odd reports by admittedly biased remainers:

    https://www.facebook.com/sarah.leblanc.718/media_set?set=a.10101369198638985&type=3&pnref=story

    Also, to reiterate, I am saying that brexit has unleashed the arseholes, not the other way around.

  • Barabas

    One should be careful not to pay too much attention to the political and media spin. Fundamentally this was a vote for democracy and accountability as in “I don’t want to be told what to do by people I never voted in and can’t vote out”!

    Seeing the subsequent whining, wriggling and, frankly, dereliction of duty by those of the political classes who find themselves unexpectedly on the losing side can only reinforce the view that democracy was in danger and had been for some time.

  • Alex

    It was Mr. Ed who asked for proof, not me. One stupid tweet does not all make all who supported Brexit racists, the phrasing of the part of your post that I quoted earlier characterised all “Brexiteers” as racists.

    Patrick put it more eloquently than I did:

    I think you could have made your case without writing off a large chunk of the UK as troglodites.

  • shlomo maistre

    I worry that Brexit won’t happen. This captures the logic best:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/26/an-astute-online-comment-has-many-wondering-whether-brexit-may-ever-happen/?tid=a_inl

    Certainly plausible.

    Failing to activate Article 50 would reveal a vacuum of elected political leadership to assert the United Kingdom’s sovereignty, which is space that the Queen could conceivably fill. Her Majesty commands the allegiance of the UK’s armed forces and the admiration of a strong majority of the British people.

    I do not think that this is likely to happen, but it would be absolutely surreal and inspirational to observe. We are entering uncharted territory.

    If Article 50 is not activated by elected political leaders and the Crown does not fill this leadership void then British sovereignty will have been lost – probably forever.

  • Mr Ed

    admin,

    So you are not saying that Brexit is bad because of it unleashing arseholes, so why then, is it bad? You have not made a case, you have engaged in a diatribe against a segment of the population that you understandably dislike.

    So what, then, is your case, apart from a concern to maintain your dietary preferences?

  • …and still my colleagues fret, and they are good people, some Slovak…

    No doubt they are good people and I am rather fond of a Slovak myself. And I am an open-borders person myself (but provided there is also no welfare).

    But not sure why that means I should stop wishing I lived under an accountable government that could be voted out of office, rather than one who gets voted into office but then is happy to implement rules imposed by a remote unaccountable technocratic bureaucracy that cannot be voted out of office. Even unleashing arseholes seems kind of beside the point.

  • I haven’t read all the above comments, or even the posting itself very thoroughly. My main opinion about the posting so far is that I am very glad that Samizdata has published it. I don’t think that Remain is an automatic choice for libertarians or the libertarian-inclined. I think it’s a matter of weighing this argument against that argument. Like Perry de Havilland, I take the greater ability to sling out really bad politicians that we now have very seriously. But I entirely understand why Mr Admin loves London as it is, and like him I would greatly regret its replacement by something less welcoming of the world. I am less pessimistic than he is about that now happening, but if it does happen, then I might get a case of Brexit Remorse.

  • In any case, it’s not at all clear that Brexit (assuming it actually happens) will result in less immigration into the UK.

    For myself, I have no issue with immigration per se. What I have an issue with is uncontrolled immigration in the form of foreign criminals, sex offenders, pick pockets and other undesirables who bring no added value to either our society or our economy.

    I have absolutely no problem with the apocryphal Polish plumber if he is coming here with his family without recourse to public funds to undertake a job for which there are no UK based applicants.

    That was how it worked pre-1992 and it is how it should work in the future.

    If after the Polish plumber has been here a few years he decides to stay and pay taxes and integrate, why shouldn’t I welcome him with open arms as a valued and contributing member of British society?

    There are not 17-million racists who voted “Leave” last Thursday (although no doubt some of them did), some of them, like myself simply wanted freedom from the bondage of EU tyranny.

    I recognise that part of that was about things like access to schools and particularly access to things like social housing, with accusations of “queue jumping by immigrants”, but by-and-large it was not the French, Poles, Germans, Italians, etc. that were doing that.

    The problem here is that reciprocity assumes a certain amount of equivalence, otherwise it ends up being exploitation. I have no problem extending reciprocity on trade, tourism and jobs to most of the original EU member states and even parts of Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, etc.), but other parts haven’t reached that level of equivalence (Romania, Bulgaria, etc.) and therefore shouldn’t have the same rights of reciprocity.

    Equally, why should our old allies from the Anglosphere suffer because we have to give preferential treatment to Romanian ne’er-do-wells? I’m sure that an Ozzie, New Zealander, American or Canadian would fit into the UK far better than some Turkish guy from the wrong side of the Bosphorus.

    In short it is about choosing who we want as our neighbours rather having to accept the waifs and strays of a population of 500 million, just because they were born within a particular geographic area we now call the European Union.

  • admin

    alex / jp> I think you could have made your case without writing off a large chunk of the UK as troglodites.

    Yeah, but on the other hand, I’m fun to read.

  • Alex

    Apologies to Johnathan for my misattribution of his words to Patrick.

  • Bod

    I find myself in substantial agreement with Perry, despite being not only outside the UK, but having been outside the UK for 20 years, and thus, ineligible to vote.

    London has always been a cosmopolitan city, and will remain being so. Furthermore, just as there has been racial tension in the past, is, in the present, there will be in the future – whether Brexit actually occurs or not. The complaints you have are cris du coeur which while well-meaning have no grounding in reality.

    There were many reasons why people chose ‘Leave’. The simplest, and sadly least honorable, was “furriners bin tekkin ur jerbs” – which is arguably true in some specific local sense, but really is a wash. There are so many other economic effects at play that the sentiment can’t easily be defused, and probably shouldn’t be, and of course, it’s the counterweight to the “Remain” argument that leaving the EU will deny Tarquin that opportunity of getting a Really Good Job in Prague when he finishes his gap year and does his Baccalaureate at the Sorbonne. Tarquin can still go to Paris, and yes, your hot water system might still be repaired by Taduez. Just as in the 50’s and 60’s, Europeans will still be able to open businesses in the UK, and they will continue to do so, if voters elect politicians who pass laws that permit them to do so. If they fail to do so you boot ’em out.

    And that’s the point.

    The compelling reason why “Leave” was essential that flies right over the heads of all those students whose cries of anguish that they’ve been betrayed by “old people and racists” is that while Democracy is a truly awful political system (as the Bremainders are now claiming) it is, sadly the best of all the alternatives. And a vote to Remain would have stripped every adult and child of that kind of system within a generation or two. With no effective ability to repeal or appeal. The Tyranny of 50%+1 will disappear, and with it, you enter the Estate of “Top Men”. And they’re not going to step down for any reason other than (a) the opprobrium of their peers or (b) revolution.

    In conclusion, your view favors short term security at the cost of freedom, ignoring the long-term outcome. Most of us disagree.

  • Mr Ed

    Brexit remorse might be a Corbyn government unrestrained by EU law (insofar as it would slow him down).

    But if Mr Corbyn and M Hollande and some Euro-Commies were running the show in the EU, the situation would be worse.

    It is fascinating how London-centric some people are, you’d think that the M25 was a kind of Berlin Wall.

  • admin

    mr ed> So what, then, is your case, apart from a concern to maintain your dietary preferences?

    “The world is nicer when barriers to free movement of people and trade are lower, and brexit – smaller-government-pursuing as it may ostensibly be – moves in the opposite direction whilst enabling more and petty bureaucracy”

  • Sorry, to clarify: What we now have is a greater ability to sling out bad politicians. I didn’t mean to say that we now have really bad politicians. (And I do not now mean to say either that we do or that we don’t.)

  • pollo

    My fear is that a people stoked and misinformed on immigration by the Leave campaign\UKIP will turn violent when they discover that in or out of the EU we have little control of our borders. We’ve already had a right wing terror attack kill a Labour politician. Whether immigration was a factor in why you voted to Leave or not you’d be naive to ignore the gathering clouds.

  • Bloody hell, the comments are coming in thick and fast. My apology applies to my earlier comment about six or seven comments higher up.

  • Bod

    Petty bureaucracy may be a pain in the ass, but it can be countered if it’s been implemented by locally accountable politicians.

    Incidentally, localized government is also far less capable of passing truly onerous “trade regulations”, and any it does pass is easier to circumvent.

  • Regional

    How many Forreners live and work in Paris or Berlin?
    How many curry eating places are there in Paris or Berlin?
    London is a more cosmopolitan city than either Paris or Berlin.

  • I also think that a lot hinges on what you think the future of the EU is. I am nervous about Brexit, but more pessimistic about the EU. I think that staying in the EU would have ended up being worse.

  • Mr Ed

    “The world is nicer when barriers to free movement of people and trade are lower, and brexit – smaller-government-pursuing as it may ostensibly be – moves in the opposite direction whilst enabling more and petty bureaucracy”

    So Greece is nice then? Greece is in the EU, with free movement and low barriers.

    Why would Brexit move in the opposite direction? If the UK government controls who comes to the UK, rather than have its controls in part set by the EU, it could perhaps remove the welfare magnet and retain the work magnet. It would also be possible to remove criminals from beyond the UK’s borders without ludicrous exceptions.

    Why would there be more and petty bureaucracy? The mandatory nature of EU rules drives bureaucracy in the UK, it need not.

    Such contentions are not conclusions but speculations.

  • Alex

    Pollo, I felt and have always felt that UKIP’s incessant focus on immigration to the detriment of all else was a dire mistake. It stopped the party from being representative of anyone other than those who misattribute all that is wrong with the world to immigration and made people like myself deeply uncomfortable with being a member of such a party (which is more or less why I left).

    However treating the working classes as some sort of pariah class will not help dispel those gathering clouds, quite the reverse. The contempt for the “white working class” as seen in comments from politicians of all parties and much of the Remain camp commentary, before and after the result, has been extraordinary.

  • My fear is that a people stoked and misinformed on immigration by the Leave campaign\UKIP will turn violent when they discover that in or out of the EU we have little control of our borders. We’ve already had a right wing terror attack kill a Labour politician. Whether immigration was a factor in why you voted to Leave or not you’d be naive to ignore the gathering clouds.

    I would hardly describe a local lunatic who murdered an MP as a “Right wing terror attack” any more than I would say the “Leave” campaign was any more misinformed than the “Remain” campaign.

    There have been lies and distortions on both sides and in all fairness the arguments were 50/50. The difference is that the consequences of “Remain” were potentially far greater, but further away, whereas the consequences of “Leave” hit us the moment the markets realised that “Leave” were going to win.

    The difference is that with “Leave” the consequences lie upon the British people and their elected representatives, not with a bunch of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and technocrats in Brussels.

    Do I think the British people can chose a better future than that handed down to us by the Writ of EU Subsidiarity by Martin Schultz and his cronies?

    Yes. Yes I bloody well do. Even if our politicians make a hash of it at least we can throw the buggers out. I can’t do that with Martin Schultz.

  • To repeat the point I made in my above comment, I suspect that many who voted Remain and are now regretting that they lost might (in a few years and rather quietly) come around to being rather relieved that Remain lost. Might. All you can do is guess as best you can.

  • Just a reminder: kindly keep the conversation civil

    samizdata_smite_control

  • Bod

    Brian,

    Admin just ripped the top off a can of chum and threw it in a shark tank. Of course it’s gonna cause some spirited commentary!

    So much to counter. So much to unpack. It *is* kinda unusual around here …

  • admin

    Mr Ed writes, variously:

    >Cheer up old chap, I live in the Midlands, and I have excellent plumbers and car mechanics available, great value and they happen to be English. I do not recognise your deprecation of British tradesmen.

    Wow, I grew up in Droitwich. It was a nightmare of leaking flat roofs and collapsing council estates, I can tell you.

    Are you a yam-yam?

    >And one reason why some of those French people work in London is that their Colbert-esque France has an economy in which it is crushingly difficult and risky to employ people, and worse, to stop employing them. The same with Spain.

    Yes, and we’re about to rip the welcome mat from underneath them. Well done.

    >I take you mean the Marxists who would, in a heartbeat, given half a chance, get you some ‘re-education’, if their demented visions became reality.
    >That they are not in a position to implement their deranged dreams is our luck and their judgment, so far.

    Being a regular diner Chez Hippo, I know this.

    >Did free movement of labour improve our cafes? Not really, in the 1980s, Rambouts filters were the zenith of coffee in London pubs.

    Yes.

    >It was probably Whitbread the brewer who did a lot to spread good coffee,

    …no, it was the Starbucks fad, and Starbucks sucks. If you want to get more non-EU, you should be talking up the Melburnian diaspora who introduced London to the Flat White; but that’d be nowhere without decent pastry.

    >Is this hearsay? If it is latent, how would you know it exists?

    It’s my colleagues, and my business.

    >The London you have enjoyed will wither when the credit bubble collapses, having been propped up since 2008 by yet more credit. This is, in many ways, EU-neutral, but a lot of it is a mirage all the same.

    That’s shifting the focus onto housing, not population nor trade. Nice try.

    >It might just be some French workers blockading the passes through the Pyrenees, or the Channel Ports,

    …aaaaand that’s called a “strawman argument”; so was mine, but at least mine was apposite and perennial – Brexit is long term, oddball strikes are not.

    >>Your food be served by someone from Penge with one GCSE and a bad attitude
    >Not likely, that person won’t be able to afford the commute to my favourite restaurant.

    Touché.

    >>Nigel’s return to rose-tinted Britain of 1979.
    >I have no recollection of that being on the menu in this referendum

    So what 20th century date would you feel better represents Nigel Farage’s goals?

    >>there will be more, shiny, brand new, complex and ever-changing regulations to implement?
    >I think that you might benefit for studying some European law there.

    Oh yeah, totally get that point.

    Wait. No I don’t.

    You’re suggesting that throwing everything up in the air and starting from scratch is less burdensome than “they have a burgundy-coloured EU passport, let them in”?

    >>Wellington’s scum of the earth have voted to support the dogwhistle rhetoric from Farage and Johnson
    >You’ve met them, all 17,000,000 + I take it?

    Yep, last weekend. For tea.

    >Or are you just stereotyping, nay ‘prejudiced’?

    No, I am employing comic effect and sweeping generalisation; but (per the tweet link above) I feel that the historical analogy to a rough lower class who are raised – even ennobled – by subsequent hagiographic reporting, is fair. The truth is likely that Wellington’s forces were vicious, immoral little bastards, as perhaps you must be in warfare to survive. He was at least honest in calling them ‘scum’, not “salt of the earth”.

    If the Brexit vote passed by dint of appeal to people whose political alignment – had they been more informed – would be more BNP than UKIP, then yes, I think the allusion is fair.

    >>stating their intention to reclaim (e.g.) their Newcastle street from the “wogs” who have taken it over in the past 20 years.
    >You provide no link. You have shown no evidence.

    See link to Facebook photo album above. Enjoy.

    >It is hard to conclude, particularly from the (e.g.) that you do not have that evidence, I would be happy to be proved wrong.

    Again, enjoy.

    >Just reading that post, and the scorn and contempt that flows, have you ever asked yourself where the problem might lie?

    In people who want to tell other people how to live, where they can live, who they can love and how they can support the people whom they love.

  • admin

    perry> But not sure why that means I should stop wishing I lived under an accountable government that could be voted out of office, rather than one who gets voted into office but then is happy to implement rules imposed by a remote unaccountable technocratic bureaucracy that cannot be voted out of office

    With you on that. I would just rather try and fix that without amputation.

  • Bod

    And therein lies the problem – by design – there is no mechanism to remedy that unaccountable technocratic bureaucracy. By the very nature of the EU, the European Parliament gets a shot at vetoing new directives.

    Hence the will of the people has to prevail every time, while the technocrats only have to prevail once.

  • I would just rather try and fix that without amputation.

    I would have preferred that too. Not only was I once pro-EU, I actually worked (indirectly) for the European Investment Bank. But I eventually concluded it could not be fixed short of radical amputation (working with the EIB was quite an eye opener), and no amount of wishful thinking on my part was going to change that. Ironically Brexit might actually provide the shock needed to reform the EU.

  • admin

    shlomo> National sovereignty by definition means the right to deny anyone entry to the nation for any reason

    “Nation”. Really interesting concept, with a loose definition.

    What do you feel about the SNP’s recent statements, to the effect that EU citizens will always be welcome?

  • Bod

    Ah, and that’s where I differ from PdH.

    I don’t think that kind of reform is at all likely or even possible. The blueprints for the design of the EU were cribbed directly from The Road to Serfdom; to reform the EU would be to dismantle its foundational philosophy.

    Top Men gonna Top Man.

  • admin

    perry> Ironically Brexit might actually provide the shock needed to reform the EU

    I kinda live in hope that it acts as a kick up the arse for the EU pols and then settles down to being the EC that it was originally intended, plus free movement of labour.

  • Ironically Brexit might actually provide the shock needed to reform the EU.

    I hope you are right, but without full democratic accountability I can’t see that happening. I feel a bit like a rat leaving a sinking ship, but at least I am a living rat leaving a sinking ship, with my home and family still relatively safe.

    I genuinely worry for those we’ve left behind as I said to my friend in Köln this morning.

  • I don’t think that kind of reform is at all likely or even possible.

    I do not think it is ‘likely’ either to be honest, I just think post-Brexit is might at least be possible. I would not care to place a wager on it though.

  • admin

    adams> …while us Brexiters try to regain control of the only country that we care about and possess

    And when you have that control, what are you going to do with it, hm?

    Be a “Great Leader”?

  • Bod

    Maybe Adams just wants to cede control to someone he trusts more than a committee in Brussels. Someone he can replace if he’s disappointed in his legislative record via an electoral process.

    I don’t think it’s an ignoble ambition, frankly.

  • Cristina

    Fret not, voters. The next referendum will be in two years. The mistake shall be corrected.

  • admin

    >I don’t think it’s an ignoble ambition, frankly.

    Nor I; but perhaps his county could declare independence to achieve that?

    Or some other, equally arbitrary unit of government?

  • Bod

    perhaps his county could declare independence to achieve that?

    The administrative unit under consideration last week was the UK. This fact was well-publicised. Everyone knew . In a very minor way, Adams and over 17 million other people did precisely what you suggest, and prevailed in a legally convened and conducted vote.

    Now, if the “Remainers” want to try and declare UDD (Unilateral Declaration of Dependence) *next* week for London, or Canary Wharf, or 17 Limehouse Lane, any other arbitrary unit of government – I’m not sure I’d personally have an objection, because frankly, I’d love to be a Nation of One.

    A part of me agrees with the currently popular phrase: “The people have spoken, the bastards”. However, no matter how icky, disgusting, regressive, whatever you want to call them – and sadly – for whatever *REASON* they voted the way they did, “Leave” won.

    Remainers still have plenty of opportunities to affect the details of how, when and on what terms the divorce occurs, unless they decide that they want to throw their toys out of the pram.

  • I was hired as a contractor by a large multinational bank to write some networking drivers when the English financial markets were deregulated in the mid-1980s . I worked in London on the project for a month or two, got everything working and returned to the USA . There were no hassles or regulations at all . I flew over, did the work and went home . I don’t see why it should be any different for folks from Europe .

  • Bod

    … if the EU or the UK erect barriers (foolishly) which impede you doing so.

    Which I wouldn’t rule out.

  • the other rob

    Re: Wogs, Newcastle, etc.

    I grew up as a Geordie Wog. Well, half a one anyway. I’m sorry for the hard time that admin had, but, you know, there will always be assholes.

    One of my fondest memories is coming home for Christmas after my first term at Cambridge and bumping into the local skinhead crew on a train. Clearly, I was never a skin, but it was handshakes and back slaps all round. They were made up that one of their own (we were at school together. I once made their alpha cry, during a fight – mind, the littlest one was an amateur boxer and he made me cry in turn) had made it to Cambridge.

    I, long ago, made my own Brexit (the old “You may all go to hell and I shall go to Texas” gambit). I do recognise the type of people that admin refers to – we have dicks here too -but I don’t think that it’s fair to lump the bulk of Brits or Brexiteers in with them.

    A remain vote would have been a small beneficence to me, with the free movement and all, but I’m happy to sacrifice that, for the good of what I now call the old country.

  • Thailover

    You can have as much production as you (people) can physically manage.
    You can have as much freedom as you wish.
    You can have whatever people from where ever they come from in London as long as they want.

    The only thing standing in your way is political beaurocracy, and that’s created by “you” too.

    All this, ‘without the monstrocity of the EU, things will be necessarily worse and more beauocratically bogged down’ is complete nonsense. It could be more bogged down or it could be much, much, much freer.

    It’s all in what you force your politicians to do.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    And when you have that control, what are you going to do with it, hm?

    Be a “Great Leader”?

    Make UK Great Again!

    MUGA FTW!

  • Thailover

    admin wrote,
    “Alex> I don’t think most people who read the above would read it any other way than characterising “Brexiteers” as racists. Here’s a tweet for you: https://twitter.com/anthonyprior1/status/746628454586662913

    Oh that’s completely absurd. By the same flawed reasoning, people who eat borscht are Stalinists, so down with beet soup!

  • NickM

    admin,
    You are absolutely right about the “Go back where you came from”. A German fella I know just yesterday to “Fuck of back to the Fatherland”. He’s been here years. He is married to an English woman and they have kids. And this was in leafy Cheshire.

  • Mr Ed

    I kinda live in hope that it acts as a kick up the arse for the EU pols and then settles down to being the EC that it was originally intended, plus free movement of labour.

    Did you get your money back for that brudge?

  • Mr Ed

    ‘bridge’, sorry.

  • Mr Ed

    That’s shifting the focus onto housing, not population nor trade. Nice try.

    No it’s not. That’s your ignorance of economics and of the inter-connectedness of all prices.

  • admin

    Mr Ed> That’s your ignorance of economics and of the inter-connectedness of all prices.

    Actually, again, I have listened to (and agreed with) PdeH enough, over enough booze, to have a reasonable grasp of economics.

    But I am also trying to make space for humans. This morning a friend who has been in the UK for 20+ years, writes:

    «Yesterday I was talking in Sinhalese to another Sri Lankan in the street when a middle class white couple shouted “English!!” at us. Anyone who thinks Brexit had nothing to do with immigration, racism and xenophobia in the minds of many of the voting public needs to really look at what’s going on around them.»

    …and consider that those who I characterise as Wellington’s “scum of the earth”, above, probably were not voting out of love for Adam Smith, Stigler, or Friedman.

  • gunit

    In short, you are wrong. There’s a reason every single Leftist in the universe supports open borders. They are not stupid.
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/hans-hermann-hoppe/on-free-immigration-and-forced-integration/

  • Mr Ed

    Sri Lanka is not in the EU, so what has that got to do with anything? Would that couple not have been shouted at, had Remain prevailed?

    You make a bizarre appeal to ‘authority’ by claiming that you have a reasonable grasp of economics by virtue of dining, rather than by using reason. Do you accept that all prices are inter-connected or not?

    You appear to have a problem with acknowledging when you are wrong, and to be prone to making sweeping generalisations and unsustainable extrapolations. Not rare traits by any means, and this is a polemic, so some licence may be expected.

    I have said enough here.

  • admin

    gunit> There’s a reason every single Leftist in the universe supports open borders

    You know, I’m not sure that that’s a defensible statement; but worse, perhaps you can explain to me how curtailing peoples’ freedom of movement is commensurate with liberty?

  • admin

    Mr Ed> You make a bizarre appeal to ‘authority’ by claiming that you have a reasonable grasp of economics by virtue of dining,

    Perry is definitely an expert on both Economics and Dining.

    Mr Ed>rather than by using reason. Do you accept that all prices are inter-connected or not?

    Answer first for me whether “the end justifies the means”, and – after that – whether gingering-up a constituency of naive, even ignorant working-class with promises of “controls” over “immigration”[*] is an honourable way to go about pursuit of a more representative government?

    Also, re: representation and electedness of officials, I can’t recall the last time I saw someone on Samizdata calling for the dissolution of the House of Lords. Whyso? The last apparent posting to discuss the matter was by Paul Marks in 2007; you would think if representative government was such a Samizdata hot button, there’d be more than 1 post in 9 years…

    [*]…promises which you immediately backtrack on, because you *are* a politician, after all…

  • shlomo maistre

    Admin,

    shlomo> National sovereignty by definition means the right to deny anyone entry to the nation for any reason

    “Nation”. Really interesting concept, with a loose definition.

    What do you feel about the SNP’s recent statements, to the effect that EU citizens will always be welcome?

    There are a lot of layers to what I think about most things. My short answer is that I don’t really care, democracy is a horrible system of government, and the SNP is making noise to appease its voter base.

    But basically I’m not a huge fan of mass immigration in general. And frankly (in response to another comment you made above regarding your Sri Lankan friend) there are a lot of benefits to society for everyone to speak the same language. A little social pressure to encourage assimilation is healthy and indicates a cohesive cultural fabric.

    But anyway, the fact remains that it is far from clear that immigration into the UK will fall much due to Brexit. So no need to get your panties in such a bunch.

    I sort of, kind of understand why you voted Remain, but I disagree with your position. Democracy is an inherently destructive form of government that gives rise to mass debt, the erosion of culture, and the disintegration of social order; I’m eternally pessimistic about the prospects of any democratic machination to render any lasting, material benefit to society, but the middle finger the British just showed the global establishment is probably unprecedented in modern history and definitely worth celebrating even if for that reason alone.

  • admin

    shlomo> democracy is a horrible system of government

    You’re not a fan of Churchill’s observation, then?

    shlomo> there are a lot of benefits to society for everyone to speak the same language

    – oh, my friend speaks perfect english. And several other languages. That any given language is being spoken in the street should be no third party’s business; what are they doing, trying to eavesdrop?

    shlomo> it is far from clear that immigration into the UK will fall much due to Brexit

    I’m not exercised about falls or rises in numbers. I am concerned with impact upon people, how they feel, why they are here, why they may leave, and what that will do to the Britain in which I live.

    And to date I haven’t even mentioned how this move fucks-up my future job prospects.

    edit: And, reciprocally, I am eternally pessimistic about politicians, and horrified at those who exchange one set of politicians for another and expect to get precisely [some new thing] that they wanted.

  • shlomo maistre

    Also, re: representation and electedness of officials, I can’t recall the last time I saw someone on Samizdata calling for the dissolution of the House of Lords. Whyso? The last apparent posting to discuss the matter was by Paul Marks in 2007; you would think if representative government was such a Samizdata hot button, there’d be more than 1 post in 9 years…

    Um, I can speak to this 🙂 As someone who has been sporadically commenting on Samizdata threads for over two years primarily to dispel myths almost all Samizdatistas & their commentariat hold regarding the compatibility of personal liberty and democracy (hint: they are compatible much as oil and water are) I can attest to the reality that representative government is ’round these parts generally held in fairly high regard – or at the very least as the least bad form of government. Not many here, for instance, sympathize more with the Cavaliers over the Roundheads.

  • “I kinda live in hope that it acts as a kick up the arse for the EU pols and then settles down to being the EC that it was originally intended, plus free movement of labour.”—Admin

    I’m afraid that this is not going to happen because of the Euro. The only way in which the single currency can possibly work is for the participating countries to form, in essence, a united states of Europe. The most essential thing is to have a central Treasury, and a single Chancellor, and to try to create an optimal currency area (OCA) through fiscal transfers.

    I don’t think that there is, politically, the appetite for that (and it is far from certain that the Euro countries could ever form an OCA in any case), but the EU is going to try it anyway. This is why “ever closer union” is enshrined in the treaties—and why Cameron was so desperate to try to gain us an exemption from that aspiration. Unfortunately he did not (his reported opt-out was meaningless because it was not written as an addendum to the treaties—as such, the ECJ would have forced us into it anyway).

    DK

  • you would think if representative government was such a Samizdata hot button, there’d be more than 1 post in 9 years

    To me it is about accountable government rather than representative government. As Guy Herbert once said: democracy makes a good brake but a bad steering wheel. For all I care, MPs could be chosen by lottery or on the basis of having great legs (i.e. I am not all that concerned about my government being “representative”), just as long as there is some mechanism to throw them out or at least overturn their laws (i.e. they are “accountable”). That is not the case with the EU, short of leaving it. Accountable matters as a way of limiting government, and limiting government which is pretty much entirely what Samizdata is about.

  • admin

    perry> To me it is about accountable government rather than representative government

    I know a couple peers, and even they have a challenge to present themselves – and the rest of the HoL – as either; and they are under the very noses of Samizdata yet remain basically undiscussed.

  • shlomo maistre

    Admin,

    shlomo> democracy is a horrible system of government

    You’re not a fan of Churchill’s observation, then?

    I’m not a fan of Churchill’s propaganda, no. I know that hereditary monarchy is the best form of government.

    shlomo> there are a lot of benefits to society for everyone to speak the same language

    – oh, my friend speaks perfect english. And several other languages. That any given language is being spoken in the street should be no third party’s business; what are they doing, trying to eavesdrop?

    And yet my point remains that there are a lot of benefits to society for everyone to speak the same language. And a little social pressure to assimilate indicates a healthy society and a strong culture.

    edit: And, reciprocally, I am eternally pessimistic about politicians, and horrified at those who exchange one set of politicians for another and expect to get precisely [some new thing] that they wanted.

    I am heartened by this result, but would much rather have King Charles I rule the UK than any mere politician. And when I say rule I don’t mean in a figurehead capacity as the current Queen does – I mean with absolute authority. But I don’t want to hijack this thread with talk of monarchy because this is a genuinely beautiful moment for those who want accountable, representative, and limited government. So back to what I was saying before: fuck the EU. Woot.

  • admin

    johnw> The complete lack of any sense of irony or even a shred of self-awareness is an absolute joy to behold. Let them eat cake with in their “little cafes staffed by French people who know what a croissant should taste like”?

    JohnW makes an acid observation – that I argue on behalf of apparent trivia; but I’ve learned that the Samizdata audience is not swung by big arguments of macroeconomics, where big names and fat books can be lobbed as ammunition.

    So I thought instead to paint pictures about the many small impacts. It seems to be an effective tactic for engagement.

  • gunit

    admin, I so not believe much is served by debating things in internet forums. I only ask you to read the article by Hoppe. If you’ve heard of him then you’ll know he’s a very prominent libertarian theorist. He doesn’t need me to explain things for him. I only left the short comment I did so the post didn’t get spam blocked.

  • admin

    shlomo> I know that hereditary monarchy is the best form of government

    Constitutional or otherwise? [reads on] Oh dear. Charles I – it didn’t turn out too well for him.

    shlomo> And a little social pressure to assimilate indicates a healthy society and a strong culture.

    Assimilate… nah, not entirely, only up to a slight point, else you end up with boring food and brown shirts for everyone.

  • shlomo maistre

    alex / jp> I think you could have made your case without writing off a large chunk of the UK as troglodites.

    Yeah, but on the other hand, I’m fun to read.

    lol

    I like that response. It’s funny because it’s true.

  • I only ask you to read the article by Hoppe

    Ah yes, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, of whom my friend and prominent London libertarian Paul Coulam once said “probably set libertarianism back fifty years” 😀

  • Jon

    I’m not sure anyone else has said it, because I get lost in the to-ing and fro-ing of the comments and occasionally have to go back to work and then forget where I got to, but thank you for the work you do to maintain the site.

    FWIW – I voted Leave precisely because I’ve seen it get harder to hire people from countries with great STEM education systems as the ‘highly skilled migrant programme’ has become ever more byzantine. I hope that a more realistic approach to immigration will defuse it as a hot button issue, and allow us to bring people to this country who can do more than serve coffee and produce croissants. Like hanging onto some of the excellent foreign-born kids being taught in British unis in the hope that one of them gets our tech sector out of the build/ get bought by Google cycle to allow a real ecosystem to flourish.

  • shlomo maistre

    Yeah, Admin, thank you for maintaining this site. This is one of the best blogs on the interwebz.

  • Jacob

    It would be wonderful if, following Brexit, Britain dumped all EU imposed regulations and limitations, and declared total free trade and free movement of people from all countries (EU and all others). Free entry of goods from the whole world (no custom duties). This would be the right thing to do, even without reciprocity.
    Dumping EU regulations (and any other ones) in labor relations and finance would also be nice.
    This is an utopic dream.

    It is entirely possible that EU regulations imposed on member countries MORE freedom than they would have adopted locally.
    Returning total control to local governments might result in less freedoms, not more, less responsible economic policy, etc.

  • Returning total control to local governments might result in less freedoms, not more, less responsible economic policy, etc.

    All true and all irrelevant.

  • John B

    Well you voted according to your self-interest which is quite correct and proper, but 17.5 million others did the same and they outnumbered you and since you do not know each of them you do not know how the self-interest of each is served by their vote, or what they think so may I suggest you do not assign them collective pejorative attributes, based on some comments you have read and your own prejudices: too much of that goes on these days.

    That London (where I lived and worked for 26 years) which you so like was built and became the cosmopolitan place it is long before the EU (1992) or the EEC (1957) and Britain joining it (1973) – and many of those cosmopolitan infuences come from people fleeing tyranny on the Continent. Get a history book.

    And London and Britain’s success was built on free trade, not ‘semi-free trade’ which is what the protectionist Continental Countries prefer.

    Britain imported foodstuffs well enough long before the EEC/EU – do you not know any history? What were the U-Boats for in WWII or for that matter in WWI, but to cut off Britain’s food supply because Britain imported most of what it ate? What do you think the British East India Company was about?

    The EU is only part of Europe and a small part of the World entire. Britain once again free to trade freely with whom it pleases and without the drag-anchor of an inward looking, protectionist, stagnant EU economy will not only benefit the British, but also benefit the people of poor Countries who will prosper when the British are free to buy what they produce.

    You may well be very experienced in what you do, but you seem, from what you write, to have little experience of the wider World outside your bubble.

    And as for me. I am retired living in France these last 15 years, I speak French. I spent over two decades in business import/export with Continental Europe, parts of the Middle East and North America so I travelled regularly and widely and met many nice people and had wonderful experiences of different cultures, traditions, lifestyles: unlike you therefore I have wider experience of the implications of the EU for business and friendship among people.

    I understand what trade is, what business is, what people are, enough to know that the EU is just another attempt at hegemonic political and economic control of Europe for the benefit of a few elites at the expense of the suppression of the general population into social conformity at a cost to their prosperity and freedom.

  • admin (June 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm): “The world is nicer when barriers to free movement of people and trade are lower.”

    I wrote my poem because that that is not always and everywhere true. Mr Ed, at June 26, 2016 at 10:59 pm above, makes a related point in prose.

    Wellington’s scum of the earth beat Napoleon. To say you wouldn’t accept them as allies is to say you’d let Napoleon win. Suppose, just for the sake of argument (I do not in fact accept it), that brexitters are as well-represented by the people you compare to the scum of the earth as Wellington’s soldiers were by his remark. (In fact, having read some of their letters and biographies, I know many were not so bad.) Were it truly the case that our only choice lay between Britain becoming the world of my poem and some kind of reversion to the world of my youth – if we truly had no medium between normalising murderous new prejudices or normalising a reversion to some attitudes of 1979 – I’d know my choice.

    You presumably think the danger of reversion real and, for whatever reason, the danger of my poem exaggerated or illusory. We can agree to disagree on that for this thread. I merely invite you to notice that you do not have a nobler goal, just a different expectation.

    Like many (nearly all?) on samizdata, I believe that simpliciter, free movement and free trade are good. Just as you say you would accept greater British control as good except for some concerns about consequences, so I’d agree with your remark – except for some concerns about already visible consequences.

    Lastly, thanks for hosting the site. If you in fact program it as well, can I request a means to search comment threads. It should be separable from searching posts, but I occasionally could use a search for some comment I vaguely recall. (The other rob’s personal story above, for example: I could see myself one day mentioning it in some discussion about categorising people as simply racist or not-racist, etc.) If it’s already there and I’m just blind not to see it, by all means say.

  • Alex

    (Message from The Management: Nope, not acceptable, not even close. House rule is be civil. And there was even a warning earlier in the thread. Comment deleted.)

    samizdata_smite_control

  • Ellen

    Admin > “Nah, I’m going by experiences shared by friends, and these 140-odd reports by admittedly biased remainers:”

    Pauline Kael > “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”

    You seem to be a cosmopolitan. Do not assume everybody is. I don’t think you even begin to recognize how biased your surroundings are.

  • admin

    Ellen: with lefty friends telling me to “check [my] privilege”, and others accusing me of bias on the ostensible right, I must be doing *something* right. 🙂

  • When I checked my privilege, I found that it was awesomely splendiferous, what with me being an unapologetic cosmopolitan English capitalist guy! 😉

  • JohnW

    Perry,
    Moi aussi.

    But doesn’t it feel great to know everything is now on us!

  • admin

    no disagreement there. 🙂

  • JohnW

    admin – In that case, what do you think of this?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alec, thanks from me too for the excellent re-do of the site, and all your work to keep it that way. I’ve said so all along! 🙂

    . . .

    John B, just above: Excellent.

    . . .

    Niall: Ditto. Heh…and thanks for the reminder. It must be a couple of years since I’ve grumbled about the busted Search function! I now return to my Sacred Duty:

    I too wish there were a decent search function here, as there used to be — it was excellent back then; but I’ve assumed that the present nonexistent search function is WordPress’s obeisance to the maxim, “If it ain’t broke you’re doing something wrong.” *frown*

    I’ve seen these broken “search” routines leaving website after website emitting the bombed-out remains of great buildings and the stench of rotting bodies — victims of the vilest of curses, rained down by the sites’ users upon the owners, sysadmins, software designers, etc. who had to turn a perfectly functional (though there is no “perfect”) Search function into a useless steaming pile.

    . . .

    Nomination for SQOTD:

    “When I checked my privilege, I found that it was awesomely splendiferous.”

    –PdH, the rest of the remark omitted for the sake of style and also of not needing context to make sense of it should it show up elsewhere. *g* —-And besides, it’s so you. LOL 😉

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Emitting the bombed-out remains”? Oh well, try this:

    “… littered with the bombed-out remains of great buildings and emitting the stench of rotting bodies …”

  • admin

    johnw> In that case, what do you think of this?

    It’s called a YouTube video. What of it? Am I meant to speculatively watch it and presume what point you are trying to make, please?

  • Must confess I also never watch linked videos unless there is a preamble that convinces me to.

  • Alisa

    Just a general point, without any intent to attribute any views and positions to anyone in particular: opposition to uncontrolled mass immigration* is not always the result of racism or xenophobia – rather, it is often based on what may be called culturalism. The difference is that the former two sentiments are largely based on emotion rather than reason (not that there is anything wrong with emotion per se, only that it is far less than perfect as a basis for public policy), while the latter seems quite rational to me – although I do realize that others may differ on that as much as on racism and xenophobia.

    *The technicalities of how one goes about implementing such opposition in practice is a separate issue.

  • Thailover

    admin wrote,
    “and Hannan – for all the apparently clear sanity that he sometimes espouses – is a careerist politician.”

    Hannon, bewilderingly enough, is an Obama supporter, or as I call him, President Abomination.

  • Hannon, bewilderingly enough, is an Obama supporter

    Seriously? My ghasts have been well and truly flabbered! I am utterly astonished to hear that!

  • Thailover

    Alica, Post June 28

    I was about to make the exact same point. I really don’t give a damn what someone looks like and I surely don’t favor people who “look like me”. Rather I’m concerned with the importation, by the thousands if not millions, of people who insist on carrying on their cultural characteristics that created an environment that they are, arguably, trying their damnedest to escape from, OR trying their damnedest to foist upon others against their will.

    If we were to import East Indian doctors and engineers, or Chinese medical doctors, I would say that’s great. But if we’re importing people who literally hate the collective “us”, literally hate the values expounded in our US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and want to see our nation destroyed and to implement their own caliphate, then saying ‘no’ to that is NOT “racism” and not xenophobia. Rather that’s walking around common sense. That’s to NOT have a national death wish like some European nations (or at least those nation’s leaders) seem to have.

    It’s “politically correct” for white people to hate themselves, hate their “whiteness“, hate “racism and sexism”, which are conveniently defined by (racist) SJW’s as only commitable by whites, most notably by white males.

    And so it’s politically correct for “white European” nations to destroy themselves by importing “diverse” people. What they fail to take into consideration is that they’re not merely importing DIFFERENT looking people, (which is irrelevant), they’re importing people of failed nations, failed uncivilized cultures with a failed uncivilized value system. (People that literally want to torture to death the SJW’s, the LGBTQ’s, etc). And even when a committed leftist like Sam Harris says something about how human flourishing as a basis for morality has real world consequences and should be considered in our moral standards, the illiberal left soundly balk at this notion, continuing on with their Neo-Marxist pseudo-religion of self destruction instead. The Illiberal left seem to simutaniously insist that (a) “good and bad” are arbitrary and divorced from reality, i.e. objective facts, and (b) that THEIR value system is objectivly good and anything else is “conservative/right wing” and is bad. (Yes, in their view, anything right of extreme left wing is “right wing”, even the freedom position of libertarians and Objectivists). Like most considerations by the far illiberal left, it never occurs to them that (a) and (b) are contradictions.

  • Thailover

    admit wrote,

    “It’s called a YouTube video. What of it? Am I meant to speculatively watch it and presume what point you are trying to make, please?”

    I respect Perry, but he seems terribly concerned about your feelings during your interactive visit. Even with that in mind, and even at the risk of being acerbic, I suggest that JohnW asking your opinion about the subject of a linked video is perfectly legitimate, especially since it’s tied to previous thread comments.

    If you don’t want to watch an hour-long video about the views of Ayn Rand, why don’t you just say so instead of this song and dance?

  • Thailover

    Shlomo said,

    “I’m not a fan of Churchill’s propaganda, no. I know that hereditary monarchy is the best form of government.”

    LOL. You wouldn’t be trolling us now, would you old fella? ‘Reminds me of Kant talking of the maturity of individualism and self sovereignty whilst also fawning over Frederic the Great and being ruled by him in the exact same document.

  • Thailover

    Perry,
    Yes indeed. After Hannon delivered this speech, he became a superstar to the right-wing talking heads in the US, and was regularly interviewed by the likes of Sean Hannity and other right wing pundits. And in such interviews he was keen on making it clear that he’s a supporter of Pres Obama “and his policies”; a position I find bewildering in context.

  • Thailover

    Ah, so my comments are now awaiting moderation.
    over….nothing.

    So are eggshells now officially sprinkled n the floor of Samizdata?
    Lets forebear critical thinking.
    Affirmative positive thinking is now en voge, or should I say enforced.

  • Ah, so my comments are now awaiting moderation.
    over….nothing.

    Dude, we call it Smite-bot, and it is not an actual person. And Smite-bot moderates things based on unfathomable algorithms. They are usually correct but occasionally not. You have no idea how much goes on under the hood to keep things civil and shiny and (above all) spam-free, and if the cost of that is a few false positives that have to wait until I have time to un-smite them, well that is just the way it goes.

    Here are some cats to cheer you up.

    Bolloxsmite400

    Fugitsmite400

    Iizjustafluffysmite

    OhnoesIbinsmitedonsamizdata

    Thisiswhatitfeelsliketogetsmitedonsamizdata400

  • Laird

    Thailover, admin’s objection (and his refusal to watch the linked video) is not because it’s an “hour-long video about the views of Ayn Rand” (if that’s indeed what it is), it’s because the post in which the link is embedded doesn’t describe what it is. I haven’t watched it, either, for precisely that reason. And in fact, I have made that complaint here before (not necessarily about videos, but also about links to written articles): I want some clue as to what it’s about before I spend any time looking at it. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.

    Oh, and Shlomo’s support of hereditary monarchy is well known to those of us who have been around here for a while; he’s not trolling you. And, personally, I find some merit in his arguments. Not that I’m convinced, mind you, but he’s not totally off the rails. Anyway, that’s an entirely different discussion.

  • Thailover

    Admin wrote,
    “From comments I overwhelmingly sense a theme of “Hooray, We Finally Showed Those Yoghurt-Weaving, Guardian-Reading, Statist Cunts!”

    Alas, I have failed to master the art of yoghurt weaving.

    (Note to thread censors, the copy and paste quote above is from the thread root post. If you don’t care for certain ‘dirty words’, I’m afraid you’ll have to delete the entire thread. ‘To sooth your feelings of course which are of the topmost paramount concern, outweighing…well, content.)

    😉

  • Note to thread censors

    Which bit about “it is a bot” is unclear? If something you did trips the anti-spam defences for some unknown reason, and has to get un-smited manually, that is the price we pay for the comments not being completely overrun by Mexican narco-snuff-porn, adverts for knock off Rolex watches, xXx Big Tits links, PayDayLoans in Texas…

  • Thailover

    Perry, nice cats. Too bad the smite-bot isn’t human, as it probably won’t be able to enjoy my proudly egotistical sarcasm.

    Laird, I’m afraid that explanation doesn’t quite ring true, since to know the linked word was a youtube video, clicking it results in being faced with a video titled “Ayn Rand: Philosophy, Objectivism, Self Interest (full interview with Yaron Brook)”

    ‘Kinda hard to miss that banner.
    I’m perfectly sympathetic to people not wanting to watch an hour long video on Ayn Rand. After all, I would rather eat fried eggplant and tofu (ackk!) than read Atlas Shrugged, and I’m a ‘fanboy’ of Objectivism.

  • Thailover

    Perry, the argument could be made that Samizdata could use more tranny porn spam.
    🙂

  • Snide

    Nah, it is all Brexit Porn these days, videos of Nigel bending over Jean-Claude and giving him a good hard one 😉

  • JohnW

    It’s called a YouTube video. What of it? Am I meant to speculatively watch it and presume what point you are trying to make, please?

    It is a brief introduction to the basics of Libertarianism – the Objectivist version of Classical Liberalism.

    The show is hosted by a former opponent of Libertarianism who would have said exactly what you said – 2 or 3 years ago.

    I don’t expect you to watch it all but I would be interested to know if any of it makes any sense to you – as someone who has expressed no interest in libertarian ideas.

    I have no objection to you saying ‘It is total BS.’

    The reason I ask is because when Perry cautioned us to civil I thought he made a fair point – certainly from a basic division of labour/Darwinist/economic viewpoint and your reaction would be interesting from a pedagogical perspective.

  • Thailover

    Laird,
    Then you’re missing some of the joys of hyperlink, even if clicking may sometimes run the risk of facing Niall’s poetry.
    😉

  • JohnW

    Admin, just in case you cannot be bothered to watch any of the youtube link I posted perhaps it may interest to read this:

    “Go into the London Stock Exchange – a more respectable place than many a court – and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith, and only apply the word infidel to people who go bankrupt. Here the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist and the Anglican accepts a promise from the Quaker. On leaving these peaceful and free assemblies some go to the Synagogue and others for a drink, this one goes to be baptized in a great bath in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that one has his son’s foreskin cut and has some Hebrew words he doesn’t understand mumbled over the child, others go to their church and await the inspiration of God with their hats on, and everybody is happy.”

    Voltaire, 1773.

    My point being, this quote may be new to you but it is not new to those of us who voted for Brexit.

    If you conclude the above quote supports your position then you couldn’t be more wrong. The process of imposing homogenous values leads to conflict and war, because such a policy always leads to political suppression, intellectual stagnation and moral corruption.

    It is freedom that creates a diverse, peaceful and thriving society not vice versa. We have known that in this country since 1689 [Locke, On Toleration.]

  • Laird

    Thailover, you don’t know the title of the video until you click on the link, which I won’t do without some clue in the post as to what it is. Which is precisely what I said. You know it’s a YouTube video by hovering over the link; no need to click on it for find that out. So I don’t know just what it is about my post that you think doesn’t “ring true.”

    As to missing “the joys of hyperlink”, I have quite enough joy in my life without wasting time clicking on mystery links.

  • Thailover

    gunit said,

    “There’s a reason every single Leftist in the universe supports open borders. They are not stupid.”

    Indeed, the nanny state proponents are in favor of ‘importing’ the needful and nonproductive. It allegedly justifies the existence of the nanny state and the “redistribution” of (i.e. confiscation of) privately owned wealth. It also explains why they pretend that requiring an ID to vote is as much a horror as child rape, even when an ID is required for basically anything else we do in society involving finance or even when renting a car or moving van. Of course, if one were attempting to prevent legal voting, that would be a scandal, but what ID proponents are trying to prevent is ILLEGAL voting.

    What these nanny state egalitarians don’t seem to understand though is that wealth isn’t grown on trees, it’s CREATED, mostly from the investment or reinvestment by capitalists/corporations. The capitalist system (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) creates an environment where a company NEEDS to constantly innovate in order to retain market share. The profit motive, or “greed”, absolutely DRIVES our technological progress forwards and drastically improves the lives of everyone, consumer, producer, and laborer. ‘Not to mention driving wages up and prices down in order to retain competitiveness. This is as true of medical advances as it is of advancements in ‘toys’ like smartphones. If they “redistribute” everyone’s wealth, including taxing the lifeblood out of corporations, then where would the money come from to create and innovate more products and services that necessarily improve our lives?

  • Thailover

    Laird,
    Stay calm my friend. It was crystal-clear from what you wrote that you neither clicked on the link nor knew what it led to. No, the ‘knowing that it was a youtube video’ part was referring to what admin wrote in an earlier post. Perhaps he can ‘hover’ and perhaps even click, I on the other hand can’t. I’m using Samsung tablet with a ‘droid’ living somewhere inside.

  • JohnW

    This is a link to Paul Joseph Watson’s recent tweet where he shows the reaction of virtue signalling SJWs to Nigel Farage’s Brexit success.

    I am not surprised or upset by the reaction of Generation Snowflake even though I know others have been imprisoned for less.

    I have read John Rawls – he made the spectacles through which they see the world.

    But he had many, many helpers.

  • JohnW

    This is a link to a retweet by Sargon of Arkaad showing a rather amusing Vichy postcard!

    “Plus ça change,” as they say in Doncaster.

  • Thailover

    “retweet by Sargon of Arkaad”

    ‘Brilliant.

  • Laird

    Now there’s a link I clicked! Interesting.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Perry, I’ve hinted at it before, but now I’ll be plainspoken:

    You, or whoever picked them out and gave them English, are a fine and honourable gentleman indeed, as shown in the SmiteCats that you took the opportunity to loose again here.

    I did manage to save copies of them, but the still photographs are dead indeed in comparison with the real ones, thriving and vital in the wilds of Samizdata.

    My heart leaps for joy. :>))))

  • tl;dr version:

    If the state didn’t build the roads no one would be able to get anywhere!

  • JohnW

    If the state didn’t build the roads no one would be able to get anywhere!

    Biblical!

  • I agree with those who say that a hint of what a link is about makes a big difference to whether I will click it; those who hope I’ll click their links now have that information and can decide for themselves. My own reference to my poem at June 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm above indicates what kind of very general indication I think sufficient. Often the URL, or the words of the link, are more than sufficient. But if the link is totally opaque and the background gives little indication then I’m less likely to invest my oh-so-valuable time. (You can tell how valuable it is because I spent a minute typing this. 🙂 Somehow, clicking on links to learn the views of others, instead of communicating my own wisdom to the world, always seems a more questionable activity, requiring just a bit more reflection. 🙂 ))

  • BTW I clearly didn’t provide enough information to motivate admin to read it and respond. That’s OK and I’ll take ownership of that. Anyway, if the choice is between admin keeping the site up and admin taking time from that to respond to my literary effusions, well, as I said in that earlier comment, “I know my choice”.

  • admin

    Phelps> If the state didn’t build the roads no one would be able to get anywhere!

    – oh piffle, arguments about charging for infrastructure as common good in uneconomic areas with scarce resources are a libertarian swamp which one simply wastes time discussing. Ask Brian Micklethwait.

    Niall> I clearly didn’t provide enough information to motivate admin to read it and respond

    – nah, I just have a real life to contend with, too.

    I stand by my position that replacing one set of useless politicians with another lacking all of will, focus and a plan, and calling it “victory” is more foolhardy than beneficial.

    Welcome to the decade of “…and **now** what do we do?”

  • I stand by my position that replacing one set of useless politicians with another lacking all of will, focus and a plan, and calling it “victory” is more foolhardy than beneficial.

    Well the EU certainly had a vision, but it was and is a terrible one, based on vast remote regulatory political structures, a vision based on the Acquis Communautaire (the ‘Ratchet’) in which once the EU asserted power over something, that was it, there was no longer any means to take that power back short of treaty changes agreed by 27 nations or exit. So exit it was.

    The whole point of Brexit was not to follow a plan but to require that controllers be accountable to the controlled. It was to stop the useless politicians of which you speak from being completely insulated by multiple layers of bureaucracy and treaties from the people they controlled: us.

  • admin

    > The whole point of Brexit was not to follow a plan but to require that controllers be accountable to the controlled

    Concur – its intent is to shift the quality of the environment. But then, an earthquake would have similar effect. To change the nature of politicians – and their desire for control – is a greater challenge.

    This rips the rug out from underneath them, and everyone else besides. Change will certainly happen, but its alignment, at best and most helpful, is “Chaotic Good” rather than anything even approaching “Neutral Good”.

  • Alisa

    To change the nature of politicians – and their desire for control – is a greater challenge.

    Not a challenge at all – one does not challenge oneself with things that are unchangeable, such as human nature. Better to accept the fact that politicians will never change, and to adjust the system in such a manner as to minimize their control over your life. One of the way of doing that is replacing them as often as possible (much like socks).

  • To change the nature of politicians – and their desire for control – is a greater challenge.

    I agree with Alisa but I also see what you mean and agree with that too… the US Constitution was an attempt to hobble politicians by placing certain negative rights beyond politics and I think that approach is the best we can ever hope for.

    If the EU had been constrained by a series of restriction along the lines of “The superstate shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”… then I would have remained a supporter of the EU, for indeed I once was.

    But that was not the case.

  • Having a plan is of less than no value if reality despises the plan. The euro, Merkel’s mass migration, etc., etc. – on so many issues, the EU had a plan for achieving some goal and ended up somewhere quite different. The brexitters have a plan: leave the EU, trade with the world (under existing GATT plus EAA plus whatever trade deals can be negotiated), have a points system or similar for immigration, etc., etc. Because the EUrocrats can’t be voted out, their plan is always for sure what they will do next. Because the brexitters do not know who will win any given leadership contest or election, their plan covers a wider range of options at the moment – which is a virtue!

    The brexitters claims and actual beliefs for what their plan will achieve are both less extravagant than the equivalents of the euro enthusiasts back in 2000. However they certainly expect better economic growth than if we’d stayed in the EU, a reduced risk of terrorism and immigrant crime relative to what we’d get with in-EU borders, a reduction in ethnic tensions resulting from that, etc., etc. More immediately, they expect to have our EU net contribution to spend (or reduce taxes with – one may wish 🙂 ); they think any economic contraction will be uncertainty-caused, not real, and not enough to reduce that to zero.

    Saying they have no plan is absurd; just the ‘project fear’ line. Saying you are sure their outcome fifteen years hence will be less like their expectations than it has proved for the euro’s backers is not the easiest case to make. I think a plan for the structure of that argument is certainly called for – and a realistic appraisal of the chance it will persuade if presented. 🙂

  • Thailover

    admin wrote,
    “I stand by my position that replacing one set of useless politicians with another lacking all of will, focus and a plan, and calling it “victory” is more foolhardy than beneficial.”

    That’s operating under the assumption that political interference is good. The more stymied and bumfuzzled into inaction they are, the better.