I’m not really sure what to make of the appointment of Boris Johnson as the new British Foreign Secretary.

Let’s have a look at the people he needs to impress.
1. The Americans
2. Everyone in Europe

Let’s have a look at the list of the people  he’s insulted:
1. The American President
2. Everyone in Europe

Achievemephobia or genius. Only time will tell.


I read an article in the newspaper about the next British P.M. It mentioned that she was a remain supporter but was determined that once in office she would invoke Article 50 and leave the E.U. I was planning a blog that suggested that, just because you brought a lemon, you didn’t always have to live with it. Anyway, I went searching for the link to the article and instead found this.

Seems that I have been letting economics dominate my thinking. Personally I hate that NZ food standards are defined in Australia. I hate it with a vengeance because I believe that consumers aren’t being given the information to make good informed choices about their food, particularly where it comes from and the conditions of labour under which it is produced. I mean, what the hell does ‘sourced from local and imported ingredients’ mean?
Imagine that lack of control across every aspect of my country –  I’d be as angry as a snake. Now I start to better understand some of the Brexit arguments.

What do I believe is right, mmmm, it’s not the decision but how it is executed. Good luck, new British P.M.

23 June 2016 – The Day Things Changed Forever

23 June 2016 will be remembered as the day that the field of politics changed forever. It will be the last time that a politician calls the constituency’s bluff on a divisive issue using the blunt instrument of a referendum. I wonder if the overall number of referenda actually decline following the events of the past few days.

Personally, I believe that the jury is still out on whether anything else meaningful changes as a result of 23 June.

Brexit: The Vote that Never Was?

This is the the third post on the Brexit. I gave a two visions of the future in my previous posts. Here, I give a third.

My third prediction is that the UK never leaves the EU. You see the issue is that someone has to invoke Article 50 to initiate the leaving process and it may well be that there is never anyone who is both (a) in the position to do this and (b) willing to do it.

It won’t be invoked before October, David Cameron’s taken care of that. With 75% of MPs keen for the UK to stay in the EU, there’s a good possibility that no one willing to take the step gets put in the position to do it.

In the news it seems that this is exactly what may be happening with Conservatives working to keep Boris (the key leaver) from gaining the Prime Ministership. Also, it seems there’s a lot of anger and regret and calls for a second referendum.

If no one invokes Article 50, then it comes down to a general election and once that happens, and especially if EU membership is a major part of the campaign, then is the mandate of the Brexit vote could be invalidated.

I would hope this is the path that gets followed and that representative democracy wins out of populist ‘winner takes all’ referenda driven direct democracy. Representative democracy does seem to have the edge in that it’s a bit harder to feed professional politicians a few loose facts and buzzwords to swing their vote.

Of all things, I never expected to cheerleader for the institution of professional politicians. I must admit that it’s taken a long time and a very serious event to understand the benefit they provide but I appreciate what they bring.

It doesn’t mean I trust professional politicians. I just trust them more than a raw mob of votes sucked in by a few buzzwords and unsubstantiated facts via the media.

Long Term Projects

Another post about Brexit. This will become a study in international politics and relationships for many years to come. In my last post, I mentioned that the Europeans have all the power at the negotiating table. If they use it wisely and well, this will likely be something easily overcome, even if it takes a few years.

Statements that “deserters will face the consequences” are not a good indication of level-headedness. If European leaders want the UK permanently gone despite almost 50% (and likely growing as more of the younger generation get the vote) support for being in Europe, then punitive measures are a great way to go about it.

The other countries that are struggling with some of the policies will notice this and it will affect how they feel about the whole project.

The current emotion and the noises from Europe before the referendum demonstrated how much the European leaders wanted the UK to remain in the union indicating how important they believed the UK was to the overall project for a united Europe. If that’s their goal then they need to think long term and punitive measures are almost always a response to short term thinking. If the EU is really an important and long term project, then bloody treat it like one and if you have a few grumpy old men who look like they are going to lash out because they didn’t feel like they were listened to, make sure they aren’t making decisions that affects it’s future. You can’t rule a community through fear.

Last post, I gave a prediction about what Europe would probably look like. Here’s what’s more likely to happen if it starts to head down a punitive line.

Alternative Map of Europe in 2022

A Strange Path to Independence

The Brexit result was a surprise to everyone, even those who wanted it.

Now the fallout begins and the most surprising thing isn’t the fear and ignorance leading up the the vote, its the extent to which it persists past the vote. For the UK leaders behind the exit vote, there’s a surreal concept that they can exit from the EU in some special way. Exit through negotiation without invoking Article 50. Perhaps this attitude explains how they managed to win the vote – the view that the UK is somehow special and can order world affairs to their liking. This issue is that they aren’t alone at the negotiating table, the Europeans will have their own views.

And, on those views, some of them are just as disturbing and ignorant as those of the British. The out means out with no special treatment to ‘deter others’. The words ‘deserters’ being used showing how emotional it has gotten on the European side of the fence.

Both sides need to take stock and realize the Europeans have the upper hand in this. There’s a lot in their favour. Would the average voter in the UK have voted leave if they’d known Scotland would hold a second referendum or that Northern Ireland would have started using the same language? Personally the UK they were voting for ceased to exist decades ago. They were voting for some ideal that they will never see.

The advantage that the Europeans hold is the younger Brits. Those who don’t care about ‘The War’, those for whom ‘Empire’ is a foreign concept, and those who overwhelmingly voted to stay. When Europe negotiates, its those they should keep in mind because this could simply be a temporary set-back. Perhaps some navel gazing at how the EU operates is in order as it sounds like it may be pushing too far and too fast but in the end, I predict that as the younger generation matures and more of the youth today turns into voters, the UK will want back in. The European dream isn’t dead, it’s just having some growing pains.

The UK may have made the decision to leave but it is the Europeans who will decide how this all ends. Getting punitive will just slam the door and entrench this decision. I believe in a few short years there will likely be a majority in the UK who would want back in and will play more nicely with the EU too.

For those interested, here’s my prediction if the Europeans play for the long game…

The EU in 2016
A Map of the EU in 2016

The EU in 2018
A Map of the EU in 2018

The EU in 2020
A Map of the EU in 2020

The EU in 2022
A Map of the EU in 2022

All in all, a strange path to independence for Scotland and Northern Ireland.