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 downfall of the US, predicted.

5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win (Michael Moore, huffingtonpost, 07/23/2016).

  1. The resentfuls.
  2. The resentfuls.
  3. Hillary Clinton.
  4. Sanders voters; another kind of resentful?
  5. Vote for the heck of it; more resentment.

So 4 resentment reasons, one unpopular candidate. Self interest? Self esteem? The country’s interest? Pride in your country? Nowhere to be seen. And now they are the laughing stock of the world. But then, there has always been more than a touch of insanity in the US.

 

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Welcome to the age of stupidity.

Fear won: The troll in power.

Yell real hard, lie, grope, repeat. An understanding of the facts? The stakes at hand? Solutions? Not needed, in fact they’re just a nuisance. Your own personal power is everything, at the expense of your own country.

Guess what, we’ve been before, it’s called history, and democratic ideals have been but a blip. Real ideals, not loud talk debunked by facts. A real upholding of democracy, not sustaining puppet regimes and invading other countries. Welcome to the Middle Ages part II.

Brexit was a very bad omen, Trump confirms it: democracy is fragile and requires an active defense. Citizens will be easily misled by politicians looking for short term gain, at the expense of the entire country.

In understanding why the US debacle happened, we must resist blaming the victim. Trump remains a loser even in victory.

The United States of resentment, not of progress: it’s always someone else’s fault, it’s all a conspiracy. A woman president? After a black president? No way.

Basic apathy. A Democrat after eight years of another Democrat? Not likely. Bubbles: not everyone appreciates reason in the US, not when you resent those that got an education.

Personal ambition above all else. The US does love its cowboys, black hat or white hat. Everything else sounds like a wimpy compromise.

Consequences, oh yeah, those:

Uncertainty. What mood will President Grope wake up in? What daily act of insanity will that entail? This won’t be Trump the menace, this will be Trump unhinged, on top of the world, with zero checks and balances. This is Trump’s alternate reality with no connection to the real one. If the unthinkable has happened, let’s think beyond: dictator Trump, for however long he lives? There’s nothing to stop him.

The first casualty: the economy, of course, thanks to that uncertainty. All those millions of resentfuls will be the first to get fired, thanks for playing, suckers. But the one in power doesn’t care about the economy or the suckers, they’re just part of the game, ask Putin. Everything that was taken for granted needs to be verified, and that’s going to make everything more expensive.

The United States has been cut down to size. You cannot aspire to greatness when you stoop so low. Yes, you were stupid enough to vote for him, and thanks to the Internet you won’t have to travel abroad to feel the weight of disdain: So, this is an american? What new act of stupidity will you perform today? You just provided the perfect excuse for petty dictators the world over to pour bile on any alternative: so, this is what democracy produces? A Trump? What’s he got that I don’t have?

Remember children, good guys always lose, lie, yell your way to power like President Trump did, these are your values, they’ve always been, never mind so called christianity, which was always an excuse.

Other countries need to take stock: you don’t reason with a madman, and you certainly don’t expect him to be the world’s sheriff. Given the state of the US economy and the protectionist rants, you won’t even be able to count on it to buy your products.

What do we do now?

We cannot leave politics in the hands of politicians. We cannot take so much for granted. We cannot be shocked by stupidity, we cannot let it pass unabated. We need to build a positive alternative, as we cannot go back to the old solution of compromises. We need to succeed where everyone else failed; and we need to show this alternative as better at each step of the way.

The media is toothless, both old and young, it can only talk to its own bubbles. We need to be the media. We need something better than the daily news of fear, and we need to keep in check the feral politician. The principle is easy, and old: Cui Bono? Who profits from this?

The new economy is here to stay, but needs to adapt to the reality of these new middle ages: generate value, solve problems, but take into account that a lot that was taken for granted will need to be validated. You cannot take reason for granted, you cannot take rights for granted.

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.

Political expediency vs national interest in the UK

The brexit omnishambles continues: May appoints Boris as foreign minister. Really.

Yes he would do less damage to her on a short leash, as opposed to running loose as a backbencher. No, this is not what Britain needs: A new foreign minister with zero credibility. If he lied to brits he will be lying to everyone else – and EU officials know it. Britain is now the butt of jokes.

Theresa May

First day in office and she’s already debased her premiership. (The Guardian)

The only solution is for all counterparties to cut him down to size and treat him like the buffoon he is. They need to make sure all negotiations are made directly with May, as if he wasn’t in the room. The EU need to seriously press for a quick brexit; are visas feasible?

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 09.29.43

You know you’re in trouble when a unitedstater (a) gets the joke and (b) tries not to laugh at you. US State Dept. spokesman trying very hard not to laugh at Boris Johnson, and brits in general. (The Guardian).

Lesson for everyone: Politicians running in a closed mental loop will always put self interest first, national interests a distant second.

Britishness vs Englishness

Bifes Mal Passados (which translates as uncooked steaks?): Portuguese academic describes English as ‘filthy, violent and drunk’. Anyone who has been to England has experienced at least two out of three with his or her own eyes, every single Friday is drink till you drop day; what’s interesting is the reaction in the UK to this:

Britishness: The world seen from a higher plane, stiff upper lip, fair play, the rule of law, self deprecating, sophisticated, dark sense of humour which is much appreciated everywhere, one of the important places in the world.

Englishness: The world seen from a much smaller place, feel outraged when faced with the obvious, lash out, pettiness, ignorant provincials from an island to the north west of Europe.

What they have in common: geography, truly, unmistakably and irredeemably dreadful food. When faced with the latter the British will shrug and accept it, think of the saving graces at Waitrose; the English will utter something about the great English breakfast (disgusting) or look to start a fist fight.

How did this sense of Englishness survive Britishness, given rising standards of living over centuries? Should the Union be dissolved simply on this evidence?

10 things you need to know about the global food system (The Guardian)

Informative and entertaining 12 minute video from feedingninebillion.com.

Their four proposed solutions:

  1. Science and tech: Local solutions for local challenges. As opposed to one size fits all, like North American products for Europe, o European methods for sub saharan Africa.
  2. Improve distribution; short term food aid. The naysayers will forget their christian roots in the altar of mammon and talk about communism; it’s plain morality and common sense, although not without putting corruption in the picture.
  3. Local food systems as a buffer. Not as the way to feed everyone.
  4. Stronger regulation, for farmers, for finance, for the environment. “Left unregulated, financial institutions behave badly” amen! The baying naysayers will see this as unnecessary government meddling in spite of the obvious market crisis; government intervention does need to be transparently controlled,

I would propose a fifth: consumer responsibility helped by transparency: Where does our food come from? Who does the farmer have to pay to produce? Which nasty corporations would we not want to ultimately be buying from (taking into account that only a handful of them supply most of the grain for instance)?

All solutions depend on the willingness to do something, which goes against dogma (the market gods know what they’re doing, we don’t want to make them angry) and sheer stupidity (the party of no in the US); unchecked government action is not enough.