Tag Archives: Eurocracy

Why would Theresa May call an early election — and why would Labor agree?

Could the fix be in to nullify Brexit?  We thought it was peculiar that the Conservative Party chose an anti-Brexit candidate, Theresa May, to replace David Cameron as Prime Minister.  Now May has called an early election, even though she has a solid majority.  Her stated reason is to obtain a larger “mandate” for the U.K. to negotiate the terms of Brexit with the EU.  This doesn’t seem convincing given that the party publicly got behind Brexit after it passed and Cameron resigned.

A Prime Minister only calls an early election if the polls suggest that the governing party is likely to increase its majority, of course, and indeed polls so indicated when May called the election a couple of weeks ago.  However, under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act passed in 2011, two-thirds of the House of Commons must agree to election prior to expiration of the five-year fixed term.

One obvious question is why a minority party would ever agree if the majority party feels that an early election would be to its advantage.  Perhaps in some cases the minority party has its own polling numbers, or an underdog strategy that it is convinced that it can execute.  But in this case Parliament approved the early election nearly unanimously:  522-13.

What do all of these MPs know that the Tories, or the rest of us, don’t?  Labor could have agreed to an early election to create a pretext to dump Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has never been popular among the caucus, if they lose ground.  The Liberal Democrats also mostly supported the early election; perhaps they figured they had nothing left to lose.

Our conspiracy theory is that Theresa May is hoping to lose her majority, or at least have it reduced, in order to sabotage Brexit.  Maybe Labor is in on it.  We speculated at the time that the establishment would do everything it could to slow-walk and eventually ignore the Brexit vote.  This could be part of that strategy; with the media’s help, perhaps May could attribute any result other than a significant gain in Conservative seats as resounding proof that the electorate has changed its mind on Brexit.

Theresa May might envision getting on the cover of Vanity Fair (or whatever the British equivalent is), and then lucrative sinecures on the globalist lecture and think-tank circuits, as the heroic woman who sacrificed her own position and her party’s interest for the good of her country, and indeed the whole world.

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Don’t be surprised if the U.K. government ignores a Brexit vote

A few media outlets have described the actual process by which the U.K. would leave the European Union (EU) if voters elect to do so this week.  The referendum question is “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”  We would support Brexit if we were British.

Under Article 50 the EU treaty, a country’s departure will be effective two years after the departing member notifies the European Council of its intent to leave.

This period is supposed to provide time for the departing member to negotiate its relationship with the EU—trade deals and the like—but Article 50 makes it clear that the member will depart after two years regardless of whether any such negotiations are completed, unless the EU, including the departing member, unanimously agrees to extend the deadline.

We could see any number of scenarios by which the U.K government simply ignores the will of the voters if Brexit passes.  The referendum is not legally binding.

No doubt the rest of the European Union will drag its feet on negotiations and strike a hard bargain.  The bloc apparently perceives that the U.K. would have little leverage, and we expect the shrill socialists who represent the continental political class to punish the U.K however it can, both to discourage other members from getting the idea to exit and because they despise the U.K.’s individualistic, pro-market, pro-globalization, pro-America identity in general.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation, expected in the event of a Brexit win, could be the first upheaval that would pave the way for U.K. politicians to make excuses to void the will of the voters, especially if the vote is close.  Theresa May and George Osborne, who both have endorsed staying in the EU, are leading candidates to replace Cameron, as is Boris Johnson, who has endorsed leaving.  It may seem odd for the Tories to replace a resigned Cameron with someone else on the losing side, but such fecklessness is what we have come to expect from the Conservative Party.

Could a new pro-EU government try to marshal public support to stay in anyway?  Parliamentary elections are not due until May 2020, around two years after the supposed deadline for the breakup to be finalized.  We could easily envision a scenario whereby, once the media and EU demonization of the U.K. kicks into high gear, the government throws up its hands and says, Wait, the outcome is likely to be much more detrimental to us than we expected, so we need a pause.

What if the political cycle, say a year from now, finds the Tories behind in the polls, perhaps due in part to the negative climate brought about by the negotiations?  We could even see the Tories calling early elections as an act of desperation—perhaps even planning to lose—and using the political turmoil and/or the formation of a new government as excuses to suspend the negotiations and ask the EU to extend the deadline.  If Labor wins the next election, and the process of leaving is not finalized, would they be expected to honor the obsolete vote?  (Current Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has always been considered a Euroskeptic, but he may come around or may not become prime minister if Labor wins; the rest of the caucus is strongly pro-EU of course.)

Suppose some other shock hits the U.K. in the next two years:  a successful Scottish secession referendum (although Scotland is more pro-EU than England, the government could still use the disruption as an excuse to rethink Brexit); a major recession; a major Islamic terrorist attack; Russian agitation; some EU action that could be spun as a game-changer; the death of Queen Elizabeth II; the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president; etc., etc., etc.  The media and political class would certainly blame every real or imagined ill that befalls the U.K. over the next two years on the “Leave” vote.

The legitimacy of such excuses wouldn’t matter much.  We have high confidence that the establishment could say, Well, due to the tremendous temporary upheaval caused by ________________, it is just not prudent to continue down this course now.  

Maybe they will decide to call another referendum in light of whatever crisis emerges.  We can easily envision Jean-Claude Juncker, or whichever tinpot socialist bureaucrat represents the continental status quo at the time, shaking hands with some Labor prime minister in Brussels in 2019 or 2020, both with stupid grins on their faces, as they announce agreement to shove the Brexit vote of 2016 down the rabbit hole.

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John Kerry joins the French on the “Daesh” bandwagon

At a meeting in Brussels among the 60 countries fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Secretary Kerry refers to the group as “Daesh.”

Some Arabic media, notably the Gulf News, Dubai’s flagship newspaper, added “Daesh”–which is sort of an acronym of the terrorist group’s name in Arabic—to its style guide in an obvious effort to obscure the “Islamic” element of the name.  The name hasn’t really caught on in the West, except, naturally, for the French, who object to associating Islam with a group that it claims, absent any evidence, that “the vast majority of Muslims finds despicable.”

We haven’t found an explanation of the usage from Sec. Kerry’s office, but we can assume that it’s due to the same concern for political correctness.

The U.S. government apparently hasn’t devised a consistent policy on the group’s name.  Rear Admiral John Kirby, Defense Department spokesman, usually refers to the group as “ISIL” (pronounced “eye-ess-eye-el”), for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.  President Obama usually refers to the group as “ISIL” (pronounced “eye-sl”), probably choosing that moniker over “ISIS” to obscure the “Syria” element of the name, lest we be reminded that his bungling of the “red line” has been a major enabling force for the group.

None of this is to make light of our mandatory—existential—fight against the group and its enablers.  Let’s hope the Brussels meeting was productive.

At least the terrorists hate the name.

 

 

 

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Referendum vote showing the folly of British politics on all sides

We hope that Scotland secedes.  It won’t take long for the country to become a political and economic counterpart to the U.K. kind of like Ecuador is to the U.S.  It would be fun just to see what would happen (the idiocy of both sides’ appeals notwithstanding, there are some fascinating issues for political junkies to watch unfold), and if we’re lucky, it will become a cautionary tale, namely, that Anglo-Saxon values of capitalism, individual liberty, peace through strength, and (relative) fiscal restraint aren’t so bad.

The removal of the Scottish delegation will end Labor’s natural monopoly in the U.K. parliament, and improve the prospects for passage of a get-out-of-the-E.U. vote if it ever happens.  (Best case scenario: Prime Minister David Cameron resigns as a result of the vote, the Tories under Boris Johnson win the next election anyway, and they become capable of articulating a strong moral and economic argument against the E.U. that the more-favorable electorate then endorses in a referendum.)

It’s hard to sympathize with Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond, who is trying, absent all logic, to convince Scots that they can keep as much cake as they want and eat as much as they want too based solely on the fruits of the Scottish economy.  If the voters buy his cynical (bashing Westminster Tories as the cause of Scotland’s malaise), dishonest (downplaying the limitations of the reserves of oil in the North Sea), thuggish (threatening “unpatriotic” businesses who dare voice support for the union) campaign from the far-left playbook, then they will certainly get what they deserve.  Add demagogic to his tactics:  he has extended the franchise to children, apparently counting on their gullibility to his promises of bread and circuses; and to non-British E.U. citizens living in Scotland, probably figuring that they will relish the opportunity to poke a stick in the eye of Europe’s leading light on the world stage.

Salmond’s threats to “nationalize” BP—and the fact that he rationally thinks that this will resonate with voters—tells us everything we need to know about the minds of the Scots.  Pretty clever of him to appeal to the peacenik sentiment too, which is easy when he considers that he can just join the rest of Europe as free riders on the protection of U.K. and United States military power.

It’s almost as difficult to sympathize with Cameron.  He has long stood for nothing—from opposing the Iraq War because Tony Blair supported it, to trying to outflank Blair on the left on “global warming,” to his now-abandoned-in-name-but-not-in-practice “Big Society” (i.e., big government) nanny state.  His characteristically condescending promises to devolve more power to Scotland if it stays in the union, trotted out only when independence began looking possible in the polls, cannot be called anything other than pathetic.  He started with the arrogant assumption that independence would never come to pass, and has moved on to a ham-handed response when that assumption proved shaky.

We have only one question, however.  The standard media line is that Cameron will have to resign if the Scots vote for independence, but why is no one asking whether Salmond—who seems like a one-issue politician—must resign if they vote no?  Maybe because Cameron is a Tory and Salmond is a socialist?

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It’s easy to hate soccer

So it’s the World Cup, where third-world nations and Euro-trash get to rejoice at their superiority, in at least one realm, over America (and the politically-correct media like the New York Times and ESPN get to lament how uncouth Americans are for not getting with the program, at least until immigration takes its toll and we come to cherish mamacita and fútball and empañadas).  Fine, let ’em have their diversion.  We loathe soccer:

1. It is utterly corrupt at every level, from selection of the World Cup hosts to officiating in matches to recruiting players. This is not surprising when you give huge sums of money to unaccountable bureaucracies staffed by hacks, Eurocrats, and self-styled dealmakers with third-world values. We are certain that every purchasing and hiring decision make by FIFA and national organizations is completely corrupt. In fact, the entire enterprise is an embodiment of a third-world mentality.  One has to love how Sepp Blatter, the blowhard head of FIFA whose tone deafness makes Hillary Clinton seem like Zubin Mehta, talks about how he wants to be re-elected so that he can clean up the corruption in the organization.  Memo to Sepp:  you’ve been at the helm for 16 years.

Countries and individuals that can ill afford it spend way too many intellectual and economic resources pursuing soccer. No doubt productivity will be even lower in Brazil during the World Cup than it normally is (to the extent that that’s even possible), as rabid followers care more about the game than about feeding their families.  Dictatorships like Russia squander national wealth just for the ego-boost of hosting the tournament. Rich third-world countries like Qatar import players from war-torn countries and give them passports to play on the national team. Yet, amusingly, these teams still lose, because they fail to grasp that to build a culture of success requires strategic thinking, long-term planning, and patience—virtues that such countries are incapable of adopting—by building an infrastructure to identify and cultivate talent from a young age. (We suppose it’s reassuring that soccer victory is one outcome for which money cannot buy quick-fix success.)

Of course, all of these follies parallel those of the “Olympic movement.”

2. It inspires thuggery. “Soccer hooligan” is a redundancy. If only fans would devote as much energy to intellectual pursuits—or to going to work—as they do to following their teams at the pub and the stadium, world GDP would be higher. Crazed fans murder players who make mistakes. Riots at and after games ensnare innocent bystanders. Players shamelessly and comically “flop,” and get away with it, as an epidemic. The cringe induced by a grown man diving to the ground, clutching some body part and wailing in faux pain, then popping his head up to see if a penalty was called if he is brushed in the slightest by an opposing player is enough reason to turn the TV off right away.  Players adopt the same banal celebration every time they score:  running wild, with a grin like a five-year-old who just stuck his face into a huge bowl of chocolate pudding.  We prefer the advice from our little-league coach:  Act like you’ve been there before.

It’s amusing—though parallel to the priorities of universities, government agencies, and similar politically-correct bureaucracies—that FIFA cares more about fans chanting “racist” slogans than about corruption.  They even punish national teams or federations for their fans’ words, as if they are responsible.  It’s a convenient distraction from the real rot wrought by FIFA.

3. The formats are stupid. In the World Cup and Olympics, the first round is round-robin (three games per team) and the successive rounds of the tournament are single-elimination. This is contrary to every other sport, in which a team has to win the same number or more games in later rounds (e.g., baseball, in which the first wild-card game is single-elimination, then the division series is best-of-five, then the league championship and world series are best-of-seven). Soccer’s format makes less sense because a good team is less likely to lose in a fluke in a longer series, and you’d think that you would want your better teams to battle it out in a more legitimate test of superiority.  Not to mention that it would seem preferable to have more games when the quality of play is higher and when the teams at that stage have earned it.  (As an analogy, we have an infinitely higher probability of defeating Phil Mickelson in a single-hole golf match than in an 18-hole round.)

Many national and international series are best-of-two. Who ever heard of such a thing? The series invariably go to some absurd tiebreaker, like whichever team has the most natural-born citizens wins (actually, that would be a good one).

It’s the only sport in which the clock moves forward, not backward. Instead of the obvious logic of stopping it when there’s a break in the action, they keep it running and then add an arbitrary, and approximate, amount of time at the end to make up for the delays.  Meanwhile, the team that’s ahead stalls for time.  One never really knows how long the game will go. And there seems to be no mechanism to add more time in a second instance if time during the first extension is squandered.

When a game cannot end in a tie, such as an elimination game, each team gets a number of “shootout” kicks against solely the goalie.  This is also a silly way to end a game; 75% of such kicks are successful, so—speaking of flukes—the winner is basically the beneficiary of random chance.  Our solution would be to just keep playing until someone scores; perhaps remove one player from each team every 15 minutes.

They use stupidly ambiguous, unique, and highfalutin terms like “pitch” (for field); “match” (for game); “fixture” (for future game); “friendly,” which is supposed to be an adjective not a noun (for exhibition game), etc. ESPN.com seems to be trying too hard in calling the standings “tables.”  (ESPN, an American site, even writes its World Cup recaps in pretentious British English, with a healthy dose of overwrought floridity.)

4. It’s boring. Most “strategy” seems to involve keeping the ball away from the other team and hoping for a miracle goal, many of which come by own goals. Almost every game seems to end 0-0 or 1-0. The over/under on number of goals scored is two for every single game. (Betting the over and paying referees to gift goal opportunities is how fixers usually succeed—it would be simple to obviate this process by making it impossible to know in advance who the referees will be for a given game, but they don’t bother). When one points out the obvious tedium of the game, a self-righteous fan will inevitably respond that “you just don’t understand it.” These same pretentious lemmings call it “the beautiful game”; we prefer Steve Czaban’s moniker: “the dreadful game.”

But it’s true that we don’t understand soccer.  We actually don’t want to.  We don’t understand why coaches never replace a player with a yellow card (if he gets a second yellow card, then the team has to play short-handed for the rest of the game and the player has to sit out the next game), or why they never replace the goalie with a striker when they’re down 1-0 at the end, or why they never seem to play with any urgency even when they’re behind.  We don’t understand why, after the goalie gets possession after a stopped goal attempt, he usually launches the ball three-quarters of the way down the field—giving his team a 50/50 chance of picking it up—instead of dumping it off to one of his own defenders and ensuring that his team keeps possession.

Soccer is an animalistic affair. The game’s premise is to nullify one of the key evolutionary advantages—manual dexterity derived from bipedalism—that separates humans from other land mammals. Feral thug Luis Suarez exemplifies how the game turns men into lower animals by repeatedly biting his opponents.

Very few states of affairs console us about United States culture to a greater extent than do our poor soccer results and indifference about the game.

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Scotland may not be able to join the E.U. if it secedes. Is that a threat or a promise?

So apparently all right-thinking people believe that Scotland should not secede from the United Kingdom.  The Brits are threatening that Scotland may not be allowed to use the pound (though it’s unclear why they would even need permission, especially since they’re using it already), and the European Union is “threatening” that it may not let an independent Scotland join.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the U.K.’s inertia prevented it from leaving the E.U. even though perhaps a majority would prefer to, while the naturally socialist Scots aren’t allowed to join even though membership is a better fit culturally for them?

This Anglophile would love to see the U.K. cast aside Scotland—which is kind of like our Puerto Rico but with (a little bit of) oil—and its near-unanimous delegation of Labor M.P.s, exit the E.U., and let the Scots try their like with membership and adoption of the euro.  England would only emerge stronger.

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Barroso’s overstepping could be the death knell of the European Union

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso might have given the greatest gift imaginable to British Euroskeptics—and reasonable people throughout Europe—in declaring that a federal Europe is inevitable, or, in Eurocrat speak, coming political changes will “transcend the limits of the intergovernmental method.”

Kudos to Barroso for articulating the elites’ objective so transparently. Luckily, the U.K., for one, is still a democracy, and there is a good chance that its citizens will say, not so fast. He goes downright Orwellian in his proclamations about the inevitable march of history: “If you believe in the democratic resilience of Europe, if you take Europe’s citizens seriously, you have to fight with rational arguments and unwavering convictions. . .” His assertion that all of polite society (“mainstream forces in European politics”) must agree sounds chillingly totalitarian.

Prediction: The U.K. will demand a scaling back of the country’s membership in the European Union in the upcoming referendum, sending the bloc into political turmoil. Let’s hope that they go all the way and exit.

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