Macron’s victory in the context of Brexit

Macron’s victory in the context of broken politics: an opportunity for much needed democratic change.

First, a definition: Brexit, unexpected act of collective stupidity. Who benefits economically from Brexit? No one. “Get our country back” is code for bigotry, while for others it was a protest vote. Example: “we voted so no other EU fishermen can use our waters”; and no EU consumers will now buy your fish. In the best scenario the UK could negotiate its way back to its previous status, but without any votes on EU policy. Own goal by team UK.

The citizens might have been duped, but who had the genius idea of proposing the referendum in the first place? Politicians who though it would make them more popular, even at the risk of a national disaster; they don’t even seem to have prepared for the possibility of winning the referendum. And this coming from the Tories, the party of austerity in a recession, the single most stupid thing you could do, with negative consequences for millions.

But then, where’s the opposition? Nowhere to be seen; Brexit is fine for Labour, more interested in postures and internal squabbles than the future of the country. The Lib Dems were long out of the picture, having foolishly tied themselves to the Tories in the coalition. Broken politics in the UK has a specific meaning: none of the traditional parties represent the national interest. If no one represents the UK’s interests, why would Scots remain?

It is in this context that Macron’s victory shows the way: however difficult it may seem, the only way forward is to replace the existing parties with something new and credible. Traditional parties in the UK have been engaging in light populism with terrible consequences, while France faced the prospect of something more direct and even nastier, full on populism, against which its traditional parties have been powerless. It is still early days to tell which way the Macron presidency will turn, but the very first step was bold and necessary: a movement of citizens.

The enemy has been unmasked, faced with populism citizens need to rally, never mind the old nonsense of right and left. Alas no such solution can be glimpsed for the UK in the foreseeable future. Cool headed France shows the way, while hysterical GB can only hobble on and grumble. Plus ça change?

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The causes of populism.

Economics is a big one, but not the main explanation; the US has been in the doldrums but spared a major crisis, mostly because of Obama’s decisions. The loser mentality accounts for a much bigger explanation: the exact opposite of the can do mentality that did so much good for the US in the past.

The US elected a wrecker, but destroying is not enough, something has to be put in place of the current system, and he’s clueless; which means the necessary reforms will not take place in the next four years, and the economy will tank, hurting those who were reckless enough to vote for him the most.

A populist is someone who promises whatever you want to hear to get elected, but then has no idea how to deliver on what he promised.

In this Trump is no different than any other US politician; except he has the nerve to claim never to have made any such promises. A man is only as good as his word, and Trump has none.

What Donald Trump says about the US (it ain’t pretty)

From can do on a grand scale to self righteous whiners: where did it all go wrong?

Trump Crybaby

Crybaby and the end of the GOP.

An ill prepared buffoon would have been driven away in tar and feathers; now he gets to rant on TV and online; and there’s people ready to listen to this drivel. But he’s a mere puppet of circumstance (and Putin), a symptom of a wider problem. Of course electing a man child can only make problems worse.

tarred_and_feathered_by_angusmcleod-d4ehkhe

Tarred and featherd: when the US knew better. (http://angusmcleod.deviantart.com).

Disenfranchised? Or merely self righteous and deluded? Is someone else the source of all your problems? If you think everything’s a conspiracy you’ve surrendered your right to think things through and do something about it. Want to be the victim, or solve things? The latter is called progress, and for a long time the US excelled at it: by doing exactly the opposite of what Trump does.

Yelling harder doesn’t make it right. Somehow the US became a hot bed of angry people; angry because they feel disenfranchised and powerless, because no one listens to what they have to say, which is of course all that matters in whole wide world. Stop yelling and listen to yourself. You are making a scene and it’s ridiculous. Laugh at yourself, it’s healthy, and move on.

Wishful thinking won’t solve problems. Many of the problems are real (the real estate debacle which accounts for a big dent in the American Dream, a recession since 2008, the changing labor market, the ups and downs of many industries), some are self inflicted (invade other countries only to generate more terrorists, hello?), but burying your head in the sand and yelling real hard cannot solve them.

If you think it’s about Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump, think again. Trump only does lies, lechery and spite; none of which makes Clinton a saint, or even a popular choice, but her issues are but a spec compared to Trump’s mountain of dung. You are being bamboozled by a guy who will promise anything and everything for power, at the expense of you and the entire country.

“Making America great again” is idiotic. The media played along in the name of sacrosanct impartiality; you cannot remain impartial in the face of blatant stupidity and lies. You can and should aspire to a new greatness, but you cannot turn back the clock, things have changed way too much: the economy, other economies like China, world wide terrorism. Get a grip or get carried away by the torrent of history.

The US is now the laughing stock of the world, as it prepares to even consider voting for Bozo the Tangerine Tinted Buffoon; but it’s nervous laughter, as previously phlegmatic Brits stunned the world by doing a Brexit*, and Colombians voted against peace: stupidity on a grand scale is very much a possibility. The consequences for the US and the world would be nothing short of catastrophic.

Think it doesn’t matter? Think again. Yes US politics have been nauseating for a long time, and reform is urgent; but thrashing at everything is not the answer: the tree of democracy needs an urgent pruning, not being uprooted in favor of {populist of the month}.

*Brexit: stupid and unexpected thing, done for the wrong reasons.

Brexit is (potentially) great news for the rest of the EU (Joris Luyendijk, The Guardian)

The economic and political realities of the EU, vs British delusions. Not even the remain camp was really in.

Sir Humphrey

We went in to screw the French by splitting them off from the Germans.

The opportunity for the EU is to wake up, improve what is working well, reform what isn’t; social democracy needs teeth against populists, easy one liners and its own technocrats. The UK needs to be cut down to size in its access to EU markets, and used as an example if you don’t want to become the laughing stock of the world: if you’re going to take a decision of this magnitude, at least take it for the right reasons.

UK citizens need to realise the huge mistake they have made by voting for the wrong questions and change their politicians, quickly. The Boris and Fromage clowns need to pay the price, the Tory party has been mismanaging the country, Labour is missing in action, the Liberal Democrats should cease to exist.

RIP Great Britain

Brexit: Little England kills Great Britain, for the silliest of reasons. Pour un oui, pour un non.

Great Britain turns into Little England

From The Economist

Small mindedness, pettiness, emotions triumph over self awareness, pragmatism, phlegm.

When two clowns brought down a realm of ideas, for short lived personal gain over their own country. Scotland becomes independent and later joins the EU, Wales remains hostage, Northern Ireland returns to chaos – or realises its destiny lies reunited with Ireland in the EU, for simple economic and stability reasons.

Clown

Clown number one. They weren’t actually listening to me, were they? (The Guardian)

The lessons for the UK: a much smaller economy, a much smaller state of mind, at the mercy of economic winds and much bigger powers. Welcome to the little leagues.

The lesson for Europe: do not underestimate populism, lack of leadership and sheer stupidity. The reasons for the European Union remain strong, but need to be actively defended, and not by small minded lower case politicians.

Clown number two

C’est la vie, says Fromage. (The Guardian)

We are ruled by people who confuse rhetoric and reality

Nous sommes gouvernés par des personnes qui confondent la rhétorique et la réalité (T. Piketty, Libération). Indeed, and with nefarious consequences.

Reform the EU by establishing more democratic mechanisms… Might get us away from the rule of “professional politicians”, but doesn’t seem to be the answer, as their own rhetoric is divorced from reality: just ask most Brits if the EU is an economic advantage or not.

Fiscal reform… The problem with Hollande (and every other politician) isn’t that he has the wrong policies, it’s that he has no policy at all, and simply changes according to the circumstances.