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    Charles Grant From the Centre for European reform

    "My take-away from a day of meetings in Brussels: The issue of the Irish border is much more likely to scupper a deal on Brexit in December than money or citizens' rights. 'There is no solution that can satisfy IRE and UK', says one EU ambassador." @CER_EU

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      Meanwhile Andrew Neil is continuing to push his "Germany on the edge" narrative and issued a lot of Trumpian tweets in the night with dark hints at traitorous behaviour.

      "nce the German political crisis started to unfold I’ve been inundated by tweets saying there is no crisis and that the UK is rubbish. I wonder why that is?"

      'Yes. I belatedly get the party line. Whatever happens in Germany is brilliant. Whatever happens in Blighty is crap. Apologies for being a slow learner. '

      'Latest polls have CDU and SPD weakening since election. Might not mean much. But you are symptomatic of a trend on my Twitter feed that mitigates German problems and relishes British ones. I wonder why.'

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        This is the front page of the daily Express. Do they have any readers under 70?

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          Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
          That Labour amendment was silly. It buys into the brexiter idea that the single market can be replicated by not having any tariffs, and that's really not how it works.
          It was really very very silly, but nevertheless got a whole load of people frothing, thus muddying the whole farrago further. EEG, Labour were hardly 'whipped', a one-line motion just says 'this is the result we want' sort of thing.

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            Weirdly the Express seems to be trying to get in on the Mail Online action with a shit-ton of algorithmic stories about videogames.

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              Heh.

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                it is astonishing that Neil is able to simultaneously be the BBC's go-to senior interviewer/presenter on "Issues that Face the Nation" and chair the very right wing pro Brexit and anti Climate Change denying Spectator magazine.

                And be so ignorant.

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                  Neil is a good interviewer, and I think it's better to have people who are competent (other than on Germany) than non-partisan. But you need to have someone from somewhere else on the spectrum to counterbalance that.

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                    I'm starting to wonder if the mad fucking brexiters are deliberately throwing Ireland to the wolves. Not out of lack of care, but because it'll be politically expedient.
                    So we crash out with no deal. The world goes to shit for anyone not sitting on a trust fund etc. You need a distraction.

                    Ireland now has a hard border again. All it would take is a couple of old school Republicans or Prods to kick off a bit, the army are back out in Northern Ireland, bombs start going off and bobs your uncle, you have a fantastic distraction from the daily grind of a sunken economy and the rampaging loss of employment rights etc. Nothing like a boogieman with semtex to unite a country behind the authoritarians in charge.

                    These fuckers don't want the 1950s back, they want the 1970s back.

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                      Originally posted by hobbes View Post
                      I'm starting to wonder if the mad fucking brexiters are deliberately throwing Ireland to the wolves. Not out of lack of care, but because it'll be politically expedient.
                      So we crash out with no deal. The world goes to shit for anyone not sitting on a trust fund etc. You need a distraction.

                      Ireland now has a hard border again. All it would take is a couple of old school Republicans or Prods to kick off a bit, the army are back out in Northern Ireland, bombs start going off and bobs your uncle, you have a fantastic distraction from the daily grind of a sunken economy and the rampaging loss of employment rights etc. Nothing like a boogieman with semtex to unite a country behind the authoritarians in charge.

                      These fuckers don't want the 1950s back, they want the 1970s back.
                      It's all a conspiracy, don't you know!

                      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-42075126

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                        Originally posted by hobbes View Post
                        I'm starting to wonder if the mad fucking brexiters are deliberately throwing Ireland to the wolves. Not out of lack of care, but because it'll be politically expedient.
                        So we crash out with no deal. The world goes to shit for anyone not sitting on a trust fund etc. You need a distraction.

                        Ireland now has a hard border again. All it would take is a couple of old school Republicans or Prods to kick off a bit, the army are back out in Northern Ireland, bombs start going off and bobs your uncle, you have a fantastic distraction from the daily grind of a sunken economy and the rampaging loss of employment rights etc. Nothing like a boogieman with semtex to unite a country behind the authoritarians in charge.

                        These fuckers don't want the 1950s back, they want the 1970s back.
                        They're doing it because they don't understand. None of them understand. The only reason that the border doesn't exist is because NI and the Republic are in the customs union. If you leave the customs union, you need a customs border. There's no other way around this. there is no trade deal that can be negotiated that gets around this. Quite literally the only solution for this is for Northern Ireland to remain in the Single market and the Customs union. The UK Govt are in a particular bind because they are a) stupid b) deluded c) trapped by an even more stupid, deluded and psychotic wing of their party, oh, and they're dependent on the DUP who are a bunch of ignorant, arrogant, and profoundly stupid bigots.

                        The thing is that they have some bullshit going on about future trade deals and what is possible, but this NI border issue is the first time that plan has to confront Reality, and the way that they are responding is not positive. Not positive at all.

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                          UK GDP growth will be under 2% annually until 2022:

                          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...-a8069321.html

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                            They're doing it because they don't understand. None of them understand.
                            I'm wondering if some of them do understand. That's the point. By allowing the troubles to kick off again, they get a gold-plated distraction. At the very least they don't care and would see that as a useful by-product.

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                              I tend to agree. Some of the Brexiteers, at least, must be pretty well briefed on the North.

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                                I don't know about well briefed. Maybe they're interested but if you're a crazy moron then it doesn't matter how interested you are.

                                Hobbes, I don't think that there is enough joined up thinking for that. You can get to the UK's position on Northern ireland, simply by applying the thinking they apply to their entire attitude to customs, borders and trade with respect to the UK as a whole.

                                The other thing is that when people are talking about a collapse in the peace process, they're not really talking about the republicans really. The Provos simply aren't going to do anything given that their ultimate aim is power in Dublin. But also they can smell the end of Northern Ireland, and the surest way to delay that would be to get involved in a troubles II. That leaves you with the Dissident IRA. Now they're going to be mostly too busy with smuggling to get up to too much, but the thing about them is that they are riddled with informers, and also if mainstream sinn fein are as hostile to them as they currently seem to be, then they will be swimming in very shallow pools of support. They occasionally shoot or blow up someone, but that sort of thing is very likely to get them arrested, so they run their protection rackets and smuggling and their plotting.

                                No the problem is the loyalists. Garcia had Naomi long on his podcast there a couple of months ago and she used to be in the PUP, which is the political wing of the UVF, and in the course of the chat, she casually mentioned that the UVF has 10,000 members. The unionist population is largely concentrated in the eastern counties, and a lot of areas are in serious danger of falling into gangsterism. These areas are suffering a lot economically in the course of the last recession, because a) they had something to lose b) they have an industrial base that suffered during the collapse of commodity prices, and is seeing production being switched to Eastern Europe. The idea is that the factory closes, the town starts to die, and the local gangsters scramble to grab as much of the shrinking pie as possible, causing the town to die even quicker.

                                Brexit will cause complete economic havoc in these areas, and things could go south, very fast indeed. The most likely path to a return to violence is that Loyalists will kick off in order to provide a "defending the community" figleaf for their gangsterism. (the IRA doesn't feel that need. That vague figleaf is always there for them.)

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                                  Spotlight are going to be remaking their Loyalist gangster exposes then.

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                                    Either way, the press will paint it is as "those uppity paddies kicking off again" and once the army are deployed things Could go bad really quickly.
                                    However I do of course bow to your infinitly superior knowledge on the subject. (That's not sarcasm, in case you thought it was. You do of course have a vastly greater knowledge of the subject than I do.)

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                                      they want the 1970s back.
                                      They really, really don't. The 70s in general was their worst nightmare, which is why Fox and Co's forebears spent that decade plotting and scheming against the way things were.

                                      I think it's rooted in a very profound, complacent, callous and at-time bigoted ignorance of and indifference to Ireland that runs through English political culture, and isn't, alas, limited to the mad right.

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                                        I think you could/should substitute "not-England" for "Ireland".

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                                          No, people who have plenty to say about, say, American or even Russian or German politics, really don't give a fuck about our nearest ex-colony.

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                                            In general, yes, but I think the indifference and ignorance of Ireland is particularly bad given the post-colonial relationship to them and the fact the UK actually shares a fucking border with them. And The Troubles.

                                            One of the weird kinks about being Irish-American in the UK is you de facto become a representative of Ireland if the real thing isn't around, because I can't keep my mouth shut when people talk abject shite about the place. Not necessarily because of my yearning for the auld green sod, but because I'm interested enough in the place to know a thing or two about it and the Kuenssbergian shite above insults my intelligence.

                                            Edit: E10 is certainly right about the interest in US politics versus Irish politics.

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                                              I think the relationship with Germany and Ireland is different. The segment of the British ruling class that is driving Brexit, a bizarre alliance of the the colonial upper class, often born abroad and a Loyalist white-indentified working class, both with fantasies of Empire are scared of Germany, better educated, better organised which is the industrial power that Britain should have been.

                                              They are not scared of Ireland which they see as really still part of Britain, the upper classes still have connections with the Irish aristocracy. The Irish upper class still seems proud of that British connection. (that for example the Royal Irish Academy is still so called astonished me on my last visit. )

                                              Agree with Hobbes that we have much to learn from Berbaslug.
                                              Last edited by Nefertiti2; 22-11-2017, 18:25.

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                                                Gibraltar looks fucked too.

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                                                  My gran thought I’d be using sterling when I moved to Ireland. No one in the UK knows what a Taoiseach is. The general assumption seems to be Ireland is still in the shit from the bailout like Greece. A country just next door and no one has a clue. Which disturbs me cos folk left and right might buy the bullshit that Kuenssberg, Ministers and civil servants are all pushing. It’ll be the bog trotters to blame when all your planes are grounded next March.
                                                  Last edited by Lang Spoon; 22-11-2017, 18:25.

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                                                    The Financial Time's Sarah O'Connor

                                                    "Of everything today, this is surely the most important (via @resfoundation) "Pay is not set to return to its 2008 peak until the middle of the next decade, with Britain now facing a 17-year pay downturn." 17 years. Half my life. Astonishing."

                                                    if you haven't read her portrait of Blackpool in the FT last week do- it was extraordinary journalism

                                                    Life Expectancy in Blackpool is falling.

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