BREXIT MEETS CRASH2: EU apathy, global market fears, and Gideon Rachman old rope.


Waking the Dead is quite a challenge

The piece in yesterday’s Daily Mail about the launch of ‘GO’ (Grassroots Out) quoted people as politically disparate as Kate Hoey and Nigel Farage on the subject of “standing as one force” in order to maximise the Vote Leave franchise. During last Autumn I did take a major swipe at the Brexit Campaign for not doing that, but still – late is better than never.

However, there were some rather muddled – and at times content-free – rationales behind the move in Dacre the Mad’s organ. Conservative MP Tom Pursglove, for example, was quoted as saying, “I know that all those out there in our country who want the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, have a simple message: get together and make it happen”.

It could well be that the avian-brained Mail hack who took down this meaningless observation got it wrong….it wouldn’t surprise me. But assuming Tom did say that, I’m left asking why – if all those out there have a simple message: get together and make it happen – they need to be, um, gotten together.

It set me to thinking. And it left me with a question: why does Vote Leave need yet another brand called Go when it already has UKip under its wing?

“They have a problem at the lower end of the social scale,” said a source in UK market research, “called apathy. The lower the turnout, the worse the Leave campaign will do”.

In truth, this doesn’t just apply to Brexit: exhaustion among those who now accept that their fate is to be ignored, blamed and then pauperised is what will hold back the WASPI campaign this week, and a united Opposition to the corporatisation of Britain thereafter. There is a sea-change victory in UK politics for anyone who can get the serial abstainers back into the system.

I wonder if perhaps it’s time for the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ strategy. The one thing we know for sure about the politically disaffected is that fame obsession and celebrities are their biggest distraction. Albeit late in the day, is it time to start trawling X-Factor and the Soaps in order to look for evidence of personalities and actors with anti-EU sympathies?

Just a thought.


The global economic and fiscal situation is dire, but despite this one can’t help but laugh. The US Fed was pumping out Good News vibes over the weekend and promising yet more rate rises. I asked if Yellen was on the same planet (beyond America) as the rest of. The next day, another Shanghai plunge sent the world’s markets reeling. Overnight, two dollops of Yuan-slush from the PBOC kept it steady – just. Each time, the manipulators waded in as the correction tested 3,000. Well I never.

The markets will regroup again….for a while. But the corrections will continue, and the Bric debts will get bigger. “Volatility is the new normal,” said a manic talking head on CNN. How fine it would be to be a fly on the wall inside that head.

But if you thought there was no foresight being peddled, then think again. Rachman of the FT (who sounds – and writes with all the engagement of – a pulp-novelist diplomat) contributed another empty column yesterday about his ‘contrarian’ predictions for 2016. These included ‘Britain might Brexit after all’, ‘things are not looking good in China’ and ‘Trump may get the GOP nomination but he won’t be elected’. Hold me upright, I’m fainting.

I suppose one needs a brass neck to get paid money in return for writing this kind of stuff, but if so you’d think the bloke might stick his neck out just a bit more than that. But no, it continues: ‘One strong possibility is that Isis will suffer serious military setbacks over the course of the next 12 months, at least in Iraq and Syria’. What, even with half the planet bombing the crap out of them you mean? Hold the front page, Lois.

Clearly, Giddy got where he is by having an anorexic definition of the word contrarian. Certainly, he didn’t do it by opening his mind:

‘The Iraqi army, backed by western air strikes, has just succeeded in retaking Ramadi.’

Oh right, backed by Western air strikes. Move oudda the way Con Coughlin, there’s a new kiddology on the block.

Yesterday at The Slog: Science finally catches up with neolib claptrap

11 thoughts on “BREXIT MEETS CRASH2: EU apathy, global market fears, and Gideon Rachman old rope.

  1. Brexit is a very good example of lack of leadership, equals it will never happen.
    Boris Johnson cannot walk the talk on this because he’s been bought by Cameron.
    The sheep will take the majority vote ( NO) and we will be slaves to the imbecile elites in Brussels forever more. The westminster muppets will come and go, and like most of the public sector today, it’s not about managing a better Britain, it’s about reading the manual from Brussels on any given subject, and then implementing it.
    But why GAF anymore? We’re a nation of losers.


  2. Jeremy: I agree. There is a chance of full scale civil war in Saudi this year. A writer on the Daily Reckoning, who was writing about the rise of Sunni/Shia conflict more than ten years ago and has been spot on believes the House of Saud will fall this year. Now that would be interesting! You might be lookig at $100 oil sooner than you expected.

    Indeed, I was editing our quarterly newsletter today and I compared the US market today,held up by the FANGs whilst the other shares declined to the Nifty Fifty market in 1971-73 when the 50 shares held it up whilst everything else declined. Then in 1973-74 we had the oil price shock and the market, including the Nifty Fifty fell 45 per cent. As Yogi Berra famously said: it’s deja vu all over again (if Saudi blows).

    As a further aside, the Nifty Fifty of 1973 included such wonderful names as Polaroid, Eastman Kodak and Sears Roebuck all of which eventually went defunct. Nothing is forever. Hello Amazon!


  3. OAH – many never heard of Al Qaeda until the Twin Towers, but we knew about Mr Bin as far back as 1995. Not many know his family was a wealthy family from the Hadramawt, who became rich through frankincense – yeah the stuff which built the Nabatean kingdoms of Petra (Jordan) and Madain Salah (Saudi, lesser known). Their family built the very first fort at Diriyah (I visited there in the Najd)

    I may be one of the only Westerners top have sat on a Saudi throne. Whilst visiting the King Khaled Research Centre in 1996 I sat on his old purple toilet (with a solid gold flush). The place used to be his private menagerie.

    What many don’t know is the Kingdom is full of fascinating wildlife which because no busloads of tourists ever get there is full of awesome stuff to see. Archaeology, caves, ibex/gazelles, fossils aplenty. I spent my weekends exploring the desert just before Khobar Towers spelt the death knell for most expats. I left shortly after.

    What the Kingdom needs ironically is to continue the House of Saud, but down a moderate line as the present leader is hopeless with a “junior” defence minister. The present king should do a “Pope Francis” and let the modernizers in. War over before it begins, sorted.


  4. I sort of get the short-term thinking on this current EU hocky-cocky stuff. Yes the EU’s structure has been sequestrated for purposes other than “Unity in Diversity”. I’m no fan of the bunch of Bubble brained fiscal Cuckoos directing it to serve their own self interested egotistical, frankly short sited & idiotic ends.

    What perturbs me is, the “Global Block Dynamics” If the UK draws away from Europe what strategic use is it & too who? As of now, the US only seems interested in a trade conduit to the EU, They still have more than a little disdain for any degree of European unity. With a/their nice mess brewing in the sand pit & after the historic extortion of Lend Lease, I’m not sure what the special in the relationship alludes too. Russia seems pally to some degree with China , well at least to the cordial point of minding there own mutual self interests. All those dubious Dubi Gold shenanigans, seem to point to a push to wrestle for the Dollars place in global trade too.

    To go back to something akin to the situation of pure confrontation of “Us & Them” in the Cold war period, leaves me questioning if being fixed to the excessively aggressive & paranoid right wing stance of the US is a price worth the UK paying again?

    But what options, the Structure of the EU has grown beyond a sensible remit. It no longer acts as a conduit to facilitate agreement between all EU nations. It now dictates & worse still it does so at the behest of the largest & wealthiest member states. That’s not what I see as the foundation & seat of “Unity”. It’s ended-up resembling a crap rip-off of the Corporate businesses model were the board feels it has no need to listening to it’s share holders as it has a Monopoly. it no longer cares for it’s customers or it’s products, par for the course. Not really a surprise with all the “Blunting Edge”, steady as we go, Teutonic development input to it’s original implementation. I still think the concept is a worthy one, but as it stands it has been taken in the wrong direction.

    I see two as a standing argument waiting to happen & three as a discussion. Uncle Sam like George, struggles with us & them & them. Fixing the EU looks like the more progressive bet. But some love same old, same old.

    I’ll be waiting to see what, if anything Yani’s spanner can stick do to it’s works.

    As for “The Market”… Looks like the “expectation”, in the bottle marked Helium, wasn’t. Oddly the voices inside seem to think hot air might do the trick.. After all confidence & self belief is all it takes, Tw_ts! The fourth iteration of raw reality is a long way from the ground guys.


  5. @ BG – “Fixing the EU’ . Does anyone seriously believe that’s on the cards? That the EU has any intention of giving up any of its powers? We’ve been given the old argument of Britain effecting change from within for YEARS! What effectively has been accomplished? I would have thought the clear anti-democratic fascistic direction of the EU should be sufficient to induce any sentient person to want to leave it. Do we really want Germany or France dictating the rules of the game to us forever, always to their advantage? Can anyone see them losing their primacy? Those British chickens scared of ‘standing alone’ should take a look at the success of many other small countries doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read so much verbiage about leaving EU that is long winded and for someone who has the concentration span of a gnat I require an unequivocal ,succinct ,accurate list to support out. Eg
    1. Completely unelected
    2. Accounts have not been signed off in 20 years
    3. Undemocratic
    4. CAP abuses
    5. Imports from EU exceed exports to EU by ?
    6 how many countries have non tariff agreements ? Etc etc
    Any help to add and publish would be appreciated


  7. ‘standing alone’… thanks for giving me a smile alexei. Well everything else is fixed! Everything I see is above the control of nationhood, welcome to “Markethood”. It really is hotel California, but they might have got the place wrong. We are living on an inside out Bubble & %99.999rec is what we have to work with. I’m back to my balm of lucidity.

    I except your view, discredit where discredit is due.


  8. A civil war in Saudi Arabia sounds wonderful. They are bound to need more airplanes and tanks after theirs are captured by the rebels.
    Open up the capped off oil wells in the US and start digging in those Canadian Tar Sands……… let the good times roll.


  9. “is it time to start trawling X-Factor and the Soaps in order to look for evidence of personalities and actors with anti-EU sympathies?”

    I think you’re onto something here John. Trouble is I can’t think of any soi-disant ‘star’ interested in anything but themselves. I nominate Dame Barbara Windsor. If only!


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