Gloating For Europe



There are few text books on how to be an adult. I don’t mean those self-help or advisory books written by do-gooders with a sample size of one, reverse engineering things they did as a definitive model of parenting or existence.

There’s nothing in there that details your attraction to “lounge wear” as you age. Or the daily hazard of sitting on your own testicles when you wear lounge wear. It’s all mindfulness, keto diets, gender neutral toys and the bold step.

My underlying secret to adulthood, parenting and existence is that I make it up every day and hope for the best.

I accept that because I’m just a normal people, doing normal things. The consequences of my actions are to myself and those I know. It is rarely a global or national impact.

Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I get it wrong. Most of the time it’s of little consequence, sometimes I have to deal with consequences. Hopefully I’ll learn from the bad stuff as much as wI’ll learn from the good stuff. Sometimes I don’t and end up sitting on my testicles again, even though I did the exact same thing the day before.

For us all, as long as we accept our weaknesses and lack of omniscience, society will probably still function. The problem comes when we expect others to have the characteristics we lack. On paper, it’s not unreasonable to expect politicians and world leaders to be competent.

I can spend my days under the dark cloud of imposter complex, pressing the right buttons, hopefully faking competence enough to fly under the radar of any real scrutiny. But we at least expect our politicians to know what they’re doing. They can’t be like me, they can’t be just making it up on the spot?

There’s a looming potential crisis that is starting to get scarier and scarier. Two sides locked in an immature battle of wills. Trading childish insults like two gamers on FIFA…or more accurately like me and my son on Pokken Tournament DX. At least he has the excuse that he’s seven.

Neither side accepting the bigger picture of impending disaster choosing to continue blindly with fingers in their ears, in the hopes that their supporters don’t stop and realise neither has an absolute clue what they’re doing.

It’s another Brexit article. At least this time it was only 400 words and an anecdote about my testicles to get to the point. I’ll tell you all my secrets, but I lied about my past.

Brexit is happening and it’s currently looking like it’s going to happen along the lines of Worst Case Scenario as was always likely in the diplomatic pissing competition the referendum created.

The problem is that there is a certain view of the harder it is for Britain and the bigger the impact on them, the better. That’ll show them to have a referendum. That’ll show the proles for not listening to their big city bourgeoisie betters. It’s the father of f**kups and you did it on purpose.

Except things don’t quite work like that. It isn’t just the UK. You can’t unravel an integrated economic, trade and governance system, even for one nation, without consequences on all. Ireland especially. The complexity of the arrangements goes some way to proving the point the Vote Leave Campaign had about bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, Leave don’t get any credit for that as they had no idea of the complexity of processes and agreements, they were more concerned that small business owners couldn’t sack an employee because she was pregnant and had to do stuff like make sure the work didn’t harm the unborn child and fill in a form too. It’s like Agincourt all over again.

The entire EU system is overly complicated and overly bureaucratic. It’s like bad coding and programming. Cut and paste rules from older code that seems to work, older redundant code left in place or just boxed off in the hope it wasn’t relevant and won’t do any harm.

Occasionally the European Courts had to step in and point out what the rules meant. Rather than admit a drafting error and change the rules to something more reasonable, the EC doubles down on the ruling, pretends that’s what they meant all along and tells everyone to just get along with it. Pretty much like every government does anyway.

The scariest thing is that I’ve got to a point where I sympathise with a British Tory Government. The sympathy comes from what I interpret as a bit too much gloating over just how bad this could be for Britain.

The vocal Remainers take a perverse pleasure in reminding Leavers that they are basically going to be screwed. It’s a laugh a minute as it looks like those most vulnerable at the moment are going to be in an even worse position post Brexit.

Then blame them for voting Labour too because Corbyn hasn’t any policy about reversing a process that even the top legal minds aren’t sure can be reversed. But he should do it any way.

There is some truth to the Tory incompetence in the whole process, it is naïve at best for them to expect the EU to give in to their demands when they are the ones leaving. However, there is justification for their view. It will be bad for the UK, but it will also be bad for the EU. Both will be hit by this process so it is on both sides to get an agreement.

The EU should have had a plan for a member leaving. It doesn’t. They didn’t expect any one to leave. The rules around Article 50 are vague and unspecific. There was no planning by the EU for this eventuality. Not even when the European Parliament started to become filled with Eurosceptic parties on the left and right three years ago.

It’s not like it’s been a staple of business contracts to have detailed conditions on exiting the contract and a requirement for an exit plan for years. It’s not as if there wasn’t a model that could have been used.

The EU seems to be getting all the sympathy, but its position of a hard Brexit is going to have a significant impact on numerous current EU members. Ireland being one.
It is clear the EU doesn’t want this to be easy for the UK so that other member states don’t get any notions of leaving either. But that line is as naïve and malicious as the UK’s.

The line being spun to Ireland and others a vague promise that we can all mop up the multi-national exodus from the UK. But that is a long-term impact. The short-term should be worrying everyone.

Car manufacturing in the EU relies on bits and pieces of cars being manufactured in different plants in the EU and then shipped to another plant in the EU and being assembled into a car. No tariffs and no border controls. In 18 months, with the hard Brexit, anything made in the UK will no longer benefit from this.

It isn’t just finished goods, it’s parts too. Manufacturing in Poland is likely to be hit unless there is a deal on tariffs and or assembled parts being moved to and from the UK. The lead-in to moving the UK-based work to within the EU is pretty much past the point where it would be finished in time for Brexit. Sorry Poland.

And what will happen when there is no agreement on movement of labour? The newest EU members like Romania still have significant unemployment. Like Latvia before them, like Ireland, they benefit from mass economic emigration as they save on welfare payments. In 2015 there were 220,000 Romanian immigrants in the UK (Tony Blair said it would be a tenth of that). Where do they go? Back home? Romania couldn’t cope with that.

It’s unlikely Germany or France could (or would) accommodate them. And that’s just the Romanian Diaspora, there are 3 million EU citizens in the UK. Where will they go if the EU continues to not accommodate a deal?

Of the 3 million, just under half hare working at the moment. That’s 1.5 million jobs the EU needs to replace. Where will that come from? Some companies will move and take those employees with them. Some will close altogether. Some will move work to existing locations. There’s no guarantee the work will follow.

Then there’s the 900,000 who are family or looking for work. That’s a lot of people to be accommodated elsewhere within the EU. But the EU’s stance is going to force a hard exit whereby those people may have to relocate.

No deal is possibly as disastrous for the EU as much as the UK. Ireland stands to lose considerably with Brexit. While we try to seduce the multi-nationals to base themselves here. It isn’t without competition from elsewhere. It’s also likely to be more financial companies basing themselves in Dublin.

That’s unlikely to help the border businesses or employees that will be affected by a hard border. It won’t help the regions who aren’t quite meeting the pace of recovery that Dublin has. We’re unlikely to get any manufacturing, we just don’t have the infrastructure and again, a fair portion of the service industry for manufacturing is based in the North. Oops.

Instead we’ll have a few big names setting up an office on in the Docklands. Announce huge jobs, but forget to mention that most of those jobs will already be filled by the company. But at least there’ll be a few part time cleaning jobs going and we’ll always need more baristas.

I was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the government that behind the scenes Ireland (and others) were lobbying for a softer Brexit. To convince the EU to stop acting the maggot and think of the impact on EU members.

Then we get a budget that has no preparation for Brexit. Good luck border towns, at least you’ll get a fiver a week more when you’re out of work.

I get it, it’s fun to laugh at the Brits, a bit like the What Could Go Wrong gifs on Reddit and idiots getting predictably hurt. But it’s time to stop buying the EU line that their position is correct or justified. It’s time to stop thinking of them as master negotiators against the flailing UK delegation.

They failed to plan for any member state exiting. They are willing to sacrifice several smaller members in order to provide a deterrent to leave and prove some petty point.

If the motivation for the EU really was harmony and prosperity for all member states, then their position shouldn’t be dragging down smaller nations in order that France and Germany keep up the impression of being strong and decisive.

I suspect the truth is that just like the UK had no idea what was embodied in membership, the EU didn’t either and they’re just making it up as they go along.

Like me.

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11 thoughts on “Gloating For Europe

  1. Clampers Outside!

    Enjoyed that :)

    ” It is clear the EU doesn’t want this to be easy for the UK so that other member states don’t get any notions of leaving either. But that line is as naïve and malicious as the UK’s. ” Well said !

    1. Mayor Quimby

      ” It is clear the EU doesn’t want this to be easy for the UK so that other member states don’t get any notions of leaving either. But that line is as naïve and malicious as the UK’s. ”

      Only an idiot would join a club that doesn’t favour its members over non-members

      1. Termagant

        But that’s not what the EU is doing. Britain getting left out in the cold, buggered to death by a vengeful Frenchman, doesn’t do any of the clubmembers any good. Can’t buy from them the things you wish to buy, can’t sell to them the things you wish to sell. It’s bad business. The EU has transitioned over the past couple of decades from a democratic supranational co-op to a more feudal model – a discrete entity called the EU, landless but powerful, to which all Union members are mere vassal states. A hard Brexit benefits nobody but this entity, helping to perpetuate its existence as more and more of the peasants start recognising how ugly and power-hungry it really is. I want a friendly Brexit transition. You do too. The German automotive industry does. Everyone does, except the people in charge.

  2. Charger Salmons

    Great read and some very salient points.
    And you’d be surprised how many Irish people confide in me,one of Her Majesty’s citizens,that the EU is making a huge mistake with its hardline approach.
    The talks are currently deadlocked because the EU mistakenly think the UK will agree to a divorce bill without knowing what the future trading relations will be.
    And the EU,who are only just beginning to realise that the UK is serious about carrying through the democratic vote of the referendum.sadly underestimate how obstinate the British can be when backed into a corner.
    A Sky News poll yesterday reported 74% of people think no deal is better than a bad deal – so that must include many Remainers too.
    I’m not as pessimistic as you about the outcome but Leo Varadkar is deluded if he thinks siding wholly with the EU in these negotiations will earn Ireland kudos for the future.
    Anyway,not that any of this matters as there now follows about a hundred ” F@ck the Brits they deserve it ” posts.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      I’m sure he’s fine, although possibly reeling at your assertion that someone, somewhere, confides in you.

  3. Pluto

    ”But it’s time to stop buying the EU line that their position is correct or justified. It’s time to stop thinking of them as master negotiators against the flailing UK delegation.

    They failed to plan for any member state exiting. They are willing to sacrifice several smaller members in order to provide a deterrent to leave and prove some petty point.”

    – This a third-rate article.

  4. Otis Blue

    The wonder isn’ that the EU has difficulties; rather it’s that it exists at all.

    And of course there’s nothing wrong with Britain choosing to leave. The problem lies in the fact that they have no coherent strategy to do so. Therein lies the problem and that’s precisely why the EU will screw them.

    The chickens will come to roost and you’re correct in saying that the consequences for Ireland are likely to be considerable. The ‘possible’ gains have been oversold and assurances from the EU about our special status are little more than tactical. Have no doubt that Ireland’s position in the EU is substantially weakened without John Bull.

    First they came for the brits, then they came for our corporation tax rates.


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