The Brexit thread

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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby coffin_dodger » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:39 am

Iamwhomiam » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:39 pm wrote:And I'm surprised coffin_dodger has given you a pass, as though your remarks weren't hateful and vulgar. Shame on you, coffin_dodger.

I suppose with a worldview as fixed and immutable as your own, that reaction is inevitable. Paradoxically, it's absolutely fine for AD to calmly plaster this board with a relentless campaign of 'hate those that don't conform' - yet, he's deemed a fine, upstanding citizen. As things deteriorate during the incoming future, I can imagine the rhetoric of the Righteous here at RI will become ever more shrill - and even less ineffective.

The mystique of the Financiers was broken back in '08 and the mystique of the Globalists is imminently collapsing - yet somehow all of this mess is the fault of the average Joe that must be punished because they are racists, RACISTS I tell you! And they support Hitler! They want to gas the Jews! They want non-white people removed from their homelands! They want all the goodies for themselves! To blanket smear the entire population of a country in this way is a joke - yet few at RI are laughing. It's all taken as gospel, proclamations of truth issued by dearly-beloved AD, who gets his rocks off stirring the race war pot.

And we have a long-time member who is clearly suffering immensely - who has lost control and cannot return to calm - and your best remedy is to cast them out as an infidel because they offended your sensibilities on an internet forum.
Nice one - your compassion overwhelms me.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby Searcher08 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:58 am

zangtang » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:33 am wrote:i was gonna read that - but then i knew i remembered his name - he is the dark mountain guy - mebe i'll have to revisit what he and his tribe are saying......

- if its a guy mcpherson vibe tho, i shall dismiss it, not out of hand, but because i choose a different attitude (consciously, hopefully) - I have actually
(by which i mean ACTUALLY) imbibed, & come close to living, the mcpherson 'attitude' is not a survivable gambit (perhaps therein the largest and most final joke of all)........

Apart from that, your comments are considered as always, but you know full well that I don't seem to ever take a break from here.........
for the same reasons that you don't....... - this has become as much an addiction as it has a community........
- How, though, you are all managing to get thru this (it hasn't even started yet, & i believe that you all know that...........)
without suitably crippling levels of alcohol, - i don't cannot all possibly be on the straight & narrow...........
- speaking of straight and narrow - i think that if you revisit it, you'll find my 8 lines on AD possibly the most cogent shit i've written since i've been here -
and I've been here since we started doing this in the 'comments' section.
- I am not convinced its a human being.......
you never know - Soros or somesuch cunthood could always be beta-testing their down-range drone faggots..................

- I do hope you like the way i paid it the respect it doesn't deserve.............
yeah, - utter contempt.

American Dream is not an 'it', he is a person.
Flinging insults is something Solace did, please stop emulating her.
Several people have reached out to you via PM. From an outside perspective, alcohol (or weed or TV or RI) doesn't help deal with the crap going on. You need to have a clear mind, a healthy body as much as possible, be free of debt, know how to grow food, have a network of people you trust and love and who trust and love you.

I am thinking Wombat is either going to whack you for a month or two or permaban you very shortly, so I hope this gets to you before that. The addiction for this place is a habit, one that vanishes very quickly when something big and external (like a sudden life altering illness) shows up.

If how you are communicating here maps to how you are behaving in real life, you need to get treatment for addiction. Are you aware of the Iboga route? It is very hard and harsh, but there is a treatment centre in Bath.
You are too smart and perceptive, zt, to sentence yourself to a life spent drunk in front of a computer screen. Too much perspective and too little control in one's life is not a good place to be - but it is surprising how even little tricks can help achieve it. For example, which one of these people used to be an addict?

Watch it. :thumbsup
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby semper occultus » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:58 am

Rescuing the English
Essays Published March 13, 2015 in The Guardian, 13 March 2015

...apart from John Harris in the Guardian - who also gets off his arse and actually talks to real people - one of the few people who seems to get it...
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:14 am

When you cry I taste the salt in your tears

You sound nervous, you seem lonely
I hardly recognize your voice on the telephone

Well my friend, well I see your face so clearly
Little bit tired, little bit worn through the years
You sound nervous, you seem lonely
I hardly recognize your voice on the telephone

In between I remember
Just before we wound up broken down
Drive out to the edge of the highway
Follow that lonesome dead-end roadside sound

We're all in this thing together
Walkin' the line between faith and fear
This life don't last forever
When you cry I taste the salt in your tears

Well my friend, let's put this thing together
And walk the path that worn out feet have trod
If you wanted we can go home forever
Give up your jaded ways, spell your name to God

All we are is a picture in a mirror
Fancy shoes to grace our feet
All that there is is a slow road to freedom
Heaven above and the devil beneath
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby stefano » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:29 am

Thanks, semper, that's very good.

In this context, when I think about why I call myself “English” rather than “British” – and I always do, from habit and instinct more than from any need to make a statement – it is the places I think about. The small places, especially. I think about osiers by the upper Thames, windbent thorns on Dartmoor, black granite outcrops in Calderdale. I think about the lanes and the stone rows and the lock cottages and the pub signs. I think about the names: the harrows and hams and tons, the becks and rills and brooks. Wayland’s Smithy, Grimsditch, Offa’s Dyke, Long Meg. I have always associated England with small, secret things, and Britain with big, bombastic ones. Britain to me is empire and royalty, satanic mills and the white man’s burden. England is the still pool under the willows where nobody will find you all day, and the only sound is the fish jumping in the dappled light. It’s a romantic vision, I know, but then nations are, like people, at least partly romantic things.
Sometimes, the best way of telling new stories is to reclaim old words. The word “parochial” might be a good place to start. “All great civilisations are built on parochialism,” wrote the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh in 1952. “Parochialism is universal; it deals with the fundamentals.” Parochialism is universal: it sounds like a contradiction, but only if you don’t fully grasp its meaning. “Parochial” literally means “of the parish”. It denotes the small and the particular and the specific. It means knowing where you are. It can also mean insular and narrow-minded, but it doesn’t have to, any more than “cosmopolitan” has to mean snobbish and rootless.

This negative meaning has attached itself to the word because contemporary globalised culture is resolutely anti-parochial. It sets out to destroy local particularity and our attachment to it, because if we remain attached to it we may not buy into the placeless nowhere civilisation that is being built around the globe in the name of money. At its best, a radical parochialism may be the most effective means of resisting this global machine. As Kavanagh implied, without a parochial culture, there can be no culture at all.

Have you read The Wanting Seed? It made me think of that - one of Burgess's better ones, mostly about what a world looks like after too much growth, but some of these themes in there as well.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby American Dream » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:07 am

Ashanti Alston brings his own perspective to the question of Nationalism:

Beyond Nationalism, But Not Without It

(from Anarchist Panther zine #1)

What motivates me more than anything else about anarchism and its relevance to Black revolution is that it has offered me some powerful insights into why we have not been able to recover from our defeat (the 60’s revolution) and advance forward to the kinds of untities, organizations and activities that make for invincible revolutionary movements.

There are all kinds of Nationalisms and there are all kinds of reactions to nationalism. I would like to address this issue from the perspective of someone who has moved through and grown within some of the Black Nationalisms specific to the Black Community. I would like to share what that means to me as it pertains to the questions you raised for this ONWARD theme of Anarchism and Nationalism.

"…we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist". – Audre Lorde

Great quote. I’ve taken it from the latest issue of Arsenal #4 (page 4) as it introduces its own discussion into the very same theme. As a Black anarchist TIRED of primarily white anarchists just totally dismissing nationalism, I truly appreciate Arsenal & Onward taking this on as two of the newest newspaper/mags on the scene.

Black nationalism saved my life, in a sense, as a teenager in the 1960’s. It "jarred" my unconscious acceptance of amerikkanism dogging my peoples and helped me to see the larger picture. I am a 60’s child. There was Malcolm, there was H. Rap Brown and Stokeley Carmichael of the Black Power movement, and then there was the Black Panther Party. All were nationalists, all represent, also, an evolution of nationalism within the black community. But because of the totally racist, genocidal dynamic within this Babylonian Empire, the black nationalist understood that we must…we must…we must primarily look to ourselves to free ourselves. Point blank. And none of these thinker felt it was necessary to ‘check in’ with The White Man (from the ruler to the revolutionary) to see if it was okay. Ha! Picture that. It was about our survival as a people, not as that mythical "working class" or that equally mythical "citizen." SO, for me, as this teenager who had just witnessed the 60’s Rebellions in my own hometown, my own thoroughly racist hometown, nationalism was a lifesaver. WE MUST LOVE EACH OTHER. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. WE MUST CONTROL OUR OWN COMMUNITIES. Etcetera, etcetera.

Its funny cause as an anarchist searching for some good anarchist shit from the 60’s to be able to hold up and show "proof" that the anarchist were better on the position of Nationalism than the Marxists and Leninists, I found hardly anything! I found some positive stuff from a "libertarian" publication but to my surprise they represented the "anarcho-CAPITIALIST tendency! Yet, I found them to be on point and consistent on RESPECTING nationalism and national liberation. ("The Libertarian Forum" of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Karl Hess, Joseph Peden, and Murray N. Rothbard). They, at least, understood that black people’s nationalist struggle was a struggle against the State, the Babylonian state. They, also, looked at what the nationalist groups were doing in their actual grassroots practice, like creating concrete defenses against repression and alternatives in survival institutions. Thus, they liked what the Panthers were doing on the ground through their programs and supported that kind of nationalism as being compatible with "anarchism on the ground." Paul Goodman made similar observations of the early civil rights movement groups. But it was understood that these groups were dealing with issues of survival against genocide, and that these groups were developing their own analyses and programs to rally their communities. One last thing about the libertarians of LF, they interestingly enough were critical of the Panthers when the Party turned towards Marxism and other authoritarian ideologies because in their "on the ground" practice the survival programs were no longer spontaneous responses to specific oppressions but increasingly had to be kept under the tight control of the Party.

Nationalism and statism are different in that nationalism can be anti-state. But they can have commonalities in that nationalism may only be against a particular kind of state, such as a Racist State, or a Fascist State. Anarchism and nationalism are similar in that they are both anti-statist, but what does it mean when the specific anarchist movements within a specific country are racist and dismissive of any and all nationalism, be it reactionary or revolutionary???? For me, even the nationalism of a Louis Farrakhan is about saving my people, though it is also thoroughly sexist, capitalist, homophobic and potentially fascist. Yet, it has played an important part in keeping a certain black pride and resistance going. Their "on the ground" work is very important in keeping an anti-racist mentality going. As a black anarchist, that’s MY issue to deal with cuz they’se MY FOLKS. But it points to where anarchism and nationalism have differences, and that is in anarchists having NO understanding of what it means to be BLACK in this fucked up society. We do not have the luxury of being so intellectual about this excruciating boot on our collective neck, this modern-day middle-passage into the Prison Industrial Complex, this…that…this…that.

Continues at:
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby slimmouse » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:23 pm

American Dream wrote:You seem like one of those people who find it real hard to stop, even though you are hurting yourself.

I hope you sober up and seriously improve your situation instead of continuing to make the same mistakes.

AD , with all due respect, that was spoken like one of the grossest hypocracies, probably in the history of the universe :wallhead:
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby semper occultus » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:32 pm

...I haven't but will file that away for future book shop rummaging... :thumbsup
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby American Dream » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:49 pm ... 1040049952

Blogs > Peter Marshall

The UK referendum on membership of the European Union and the Freedom of Speech

I don't usually vote at the national level because there is no real choice between the existing parties. They are all committed to a national parliament and have top-down solutions. Voting only encourages career politicians; if it genuinely changed things, they would abolish it.

However, I have recently voted in the referendum to leave the European Union mainly for the following reasons:

I would rather be a citizen of the world than a member of a narrow, largely white, undemocratic, centralized, capitalist superstate of Europe.

I don't see why 70 per cent of UK law should be made by unelected commissionaires in Brussels and UK judges should be overriden.

I don't see why rich European states in the north should dictate terms to poorer countries in the south of Europe, such as Germany with Greece. Greece will never be able to repay its debts.

It comes as no surprise that the head of the IMF, the President of the US and the main transnational corporations would like Britain to remain part of the EU. It would mean business as usual.

I think there is more chance of Britain forming a loose alliance of countries of the world and to create a democratic, participatory, ecological, equal and free society in the future outside the iron fetters of the EU than within it.

I am in reasonably good company on the left as well as the bad company of the 'little Englanders' on the right. What unites them is a belief in greater democratic control over Britain's future although we differ widely over our beliefs, visions and goals.

Obviously, as my books and actions vividly illustrate, I am no racist. I also think we should help and receive political refugees from war-torn countries.

You may disagree with me but I believe in the freedom of thought, expression and action. It is only through adopting these principles that any moral or social improvement can be made.

I may disagree with you but I accept wholeheartedly your claim to express an opinion, whatever it might be.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby semper occultus » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:16 am

Does hand sign made by Merkel, May and now Juncker prove there is a secret EU illuminati?

SPECULATION is mounting there is a secret society within the EU after senior figures were snapped making the same masonic-style hand signal.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker was the latest EU bigwig to be photographed "giving the code" after he was snapped with his hands in the rhombus shape - known as a Merkel Diamond - while talking to Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium during the Te Deum mass at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday.

It comes after new British Prime Minster Theresa May was pictured separately making the same hand gesture earlier this month.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has been snapped so many times making the shape, which involves pressing the thumbs and index fingers together to create a diamond, that her name was added to its official description.

Mrs May was snapped imitating the 'Merkel diamond' while giving a speech outside the Palace of Westminster on July 11.

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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby American Dream » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:44 am

(i) Blaming the ‘immigrants’

Opinion polls during the referendum campaign, and vox pop reports such as John Harris’s pieces in The Guardian, strongly suggest that the main reason that working class people voted for Leave was that they believed that this would reduce immigration to Britain and thereby reduce competition for jobs, public services and housing. Three complexities need immediate consideration.

First, the term ‘immigrant’ in this context is a vague and elastic term, a ‘chaotic conception’. Exiting the EU could indeed reduce the number of EU citizens coming to Britain. However, the hostility to these (overwhelmingly white) EU citizens seems, for many, to have spilled over into hostility to black Britons (the vast majority of whom are of course not immigrants from anywhere) and to refugees from the Middle East (as featured in UKIP’s notorious poster, and the Mail and Express’s naming of refugees as ‘European’ migrants). This is evident from the attacks that have taken place since the referendum result, which have been not only on Poles and Rumanians but also on black people and people perceived as ‘Muslims’. The Leave campaign and the vote were articulated not only by xenophobia but also racism.

A second complication is that the vote for Brexit was as strong in localities and regions of Britain with very few EU migrants and black people as it was in those with many. British-born people in the former areas were not faced with local competition from ‘immigrants’. Their votes to Leave, however, can be simply explained if one assumes that they have a national rather than local interpretation of the economy: jobs, public services and housing are short at a national scale because of the millions of immigrants in Briton as a whole. This national view is hardly surprising in an economy which has been highly integrated since the 16th century. We should not lose sight, however, of the hostility to immigrants in areas where there are many EU citizens, such as those working in agriculture and food processing in East Anglia. The slave conditions under which East Europeans are employed there appear to British-born working class people, who have decreasing number of these jobs, as caused by the immigrants. A similar point could be made about the huge Brexit vote in outer east London where there are many recent migrants both white and non-white, as well as many black Britons.

A third complication is that some black working class people voted for Brexit, apparently using the same argument as whites: immigrants are competition. This suggests that the real racism which articulates the view of many whites is underlain by economic competition common to the whole working class irrespective of ‘race’ or nationality. However, the very poorest areas in England and Wales mostly voted Remain, in part because of the vote of BME people.

British working class hostility to immigrants is, of course nothing new. In the 19C many English workers were hostile to Irish immigrants, in the late 19C east London trade unionists were hostile to east European Jewish migrants, and in the 1950s and 1960s immigrants from the Caribbean and south Asia were met with hostility and exclusion. In the last few decades, surveys of British working opinion have consistently shown high levels of hostility to immigration. In the last ten years, this feeling has been ably articulated and exploited by UKIP (Ford and Goodwin, 2014). While UKIP won only one seat in the 2015 general election, it is now the second party in the majority of Labour-held constituencies. It has many local councillors, concentrated in the poorest areas. In these areas UKIP’s rise has been aided by street actions and attacks on Muslims by fascist groups such as the EDL and BNP (Rotherham, close to where I live, is a case in point). The hostility to immigrants underlying the working class Leave vote therefore has a strong historical basis. The referendum campaign and result, however, have reinforced and articulated this sentiment and projected it into national politics with a virulence, which is perhaps unprecedented in British history.

...To be sure, the economic-political strategies available to Working Class people are not the only cause of working class xenophobia and racism. The media, not only the notoriously rightwing press but also the main TV channels, has for the last 40 years kept up a continuously stream of anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and blatantly racist ‘stories’. In the Sun, Mail and Express these completely dominate coverage of politics (column inches, front pages), with the direct implication that ‘immigrants’ are the dominant cause of people’s problems. This line of propaganda was reprised by the stars of the Leave campaign, with the chorus of the Sun, Mail and Express fortissimo. The impact of this propaganda is not, however, an independent ‘factor’ in creating anti-immigrant sentiment. Messages from the media and politicians are not indifferently and passively absorbed by people; a message is powerful to the extent that it chimes with people’s views based on their own personal and collective strategies. In this case, anti-immigrant propaganda from above had resonance with the strategy of excluding immigrants developed by working class people themselves from their perceptions of the alternatives.

(ii) Working class anti-statism

Opinion polls suggest that the Leave vote was partly based on disillusionment with the state (in which I include all spatial scales of the state), with government, with the politicians and with their acolytes and ‘experts’. The Leave campaign’s slogan, ‘Take back control’, and its attacks on ‘the establishment’ and ‘experts’, can be understood as appealing to this anti-state sentiment. This disillusionment had two notable effects within the referendum debate. First, the EU itself, qua a level of the state, was regarded as either useless or malignant. Secondly, mainstream politicians and functionaries, both British and international (Lagarde, Obama, EU prime ministers et al.) who argued for Remain were simply not believed.

This disillusionment was, like the hostility to immigration, a product of 40 years of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism has had two distinct effects here. First, neoliberal ideologues have consistently preached that the state is an obstacle to prosperity. The state should be reduced not only quantitatively (taxation and spending) but also qualitatively, in regulating, coordinating and guiding. The Leave campaign drew strongly on this ideology, in pointing to the supposed financial costs to Britain of EU membership, the EU’s supposed profligacy, and the EU’s ‘bureaucracy’ (read laws and regulations) which allegedly strangles business with red tape. The Remain campaign was too much itself enmeshed in this anti-state ideology to point out that many EU regulations are beneficial to workers and the environment, or to the benefits of EU regional funds to poor regions in Britain. It presented the benefits of EU membership solely as the single market in goods and services, that is, absence of state regulation of trade.

Secondly, and more importantly, forty years of neoliberalism in Britain have seen both national and local government (and in a minor way, the EU) unable to protect jobs, public services and affordable housing. After decades of such failure, despite endless promises to do the opposite, a reasonable conclusion is that the state is useless for Working Class people (Gough and Eisenschitz, 2006: Ch.5). The chronic broken promises and outright lies of politicians which are required by neoliberal government have added further fuel to this fire. The result is a generalised contempt for the state and its representatives. The EU referendum gave working class people an opportunity to express this contempt. ... rategy-now
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:49 am

MacCruiskeen » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:38 am wrote:
Ahab wrote:Should've put money on it.

I had two euros on Iceland to beat England (at 10/1). Wish I'd gone with my instinct and bet a hundred.

I'd hate to re-open newish wounds (lol, who am I kidding?) but this short video seems to me to sum up both England's Euro 2016 campaign and Boris Johnson's reaction to his own Brexit victory:

Ye've got to laugh haven't ye?

On serious matters, the upsurge in racism and xenophobia was summed up best for me by some fellow on Twitter (think he works for Channel 4 News, who have their own problems to deal with) when he said: "It's not that 52% of the electorate are racist, it's just that the racists now think 52% of the electorate agree with them."

That seems psychologically accurate to me.

"Go home, we won!" - this shouted at an Asian.

Aye, but how does leaving the European Union make a Bangladeshi or a native of Nepal go home? Commonwealth immigration has always been under the control of Westminster, not the EU. A lot of people who by rights should've been angry at Whitehall/Westminster over Commonwealth affairs, if immigration was their beef, have just run up and delivered a kick to the balls of the European Union instead by mistake - and it turns out the European Union is a big lad.

A lot of people in Britain also seem to be under the mistaken apprehension that the Commonwealth is all white, as if it only ever consisted of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. "It's not fair that EU migrants can come over here without visas while Commonwealth migrants are excluded. That's why I voted Leave." Some of the same folk who say this will be gutted when Jello Bowello from the Republic of Tonga turns up to replace good old Slav Wojtowski at the soul-crushing factory job that their grandfather once held.

Saying that, the situation is complex. Apparently around a third of the Asian vote went to Leave, because they don't want Poles, Romanians, and Bulgarians coming over here and taking their jobs either. It's laughable all round. I've seen black Londoners on Twitter throwing fits over the idea of the villainous Turk invading their English paradise.

The Soldiers of Odin-style far right and the ISIS/Daesh-style Islamists have many beliefs and long-term aims in common, but perhaps the thing that brings them closest together is that they both believe in a secret and hidden wellspring of enthusiastic support for them that lies untapped within their host communities. Just waiting to be unleashed. They both believe that it will only take a trigger event, or series of them, to set the righteous reckoning in motion, and get the vast majority of normies cleaving to one side or the other. The scary thing is that they are probably both right.

My predictions on here have many times been proven bullshit (no second term for Cameron, I said, and no EU referendum on Cameron's watch because he's a coward, plus the Daily Mail will switch to opposing a Leave vote if it comes down to the wire(!), etc. - though for the record I never predicted a Yes vote in 2014) so I don't feel so bad now saying what I think is coming down the line. ISIS' strategy in the West of "eliminating the grey zone" can't fail. It will work as intended. The interests of ISIS and the resurgent far right in Europe coincide exactly, and will work synergystically together to create... a horrendous fucking mess, for a very long time to come.

Not an original insight or anything, but I just wanted to say it. It's not even a prediction since it's already happening.

Boris Johnson is the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. Theresa May is the Prime Minister. Liam Fox has a serious Cabinet position. Now, I may be a traitor to the UK with my belief in Scottish independence, but at least I don't claim to embody absolute loyalty to the British state while working consistently in the interests of a foreign power... One of the above does. He's been working on his war for many years now, between booze-ups, even while the other wars were still ongoing. I hate to say it, but it will come.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:03 pm

Ahab, new or not, your comment really brings the picture together. Who do you mean at the end, I do not know.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby American Dream » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:40 pm ... nd-brexit/

Racism, multiculturalism and Brexit

Posted on July 4, 2016 by Robbie Shilliam

I take it as a given (by polls) that the most influential reason why people voted Brexit was not to restore British sovereignty in the abstract but more precisely to “take it back” in order to stop more of “them” coming over. I also take it as understood that this statement does not infer that all who voted for Brexit are racists. Structural racism does not make of every individual a racist but implicates every individual, variously, in the reproduction and/or contestation of racial structures.

I’m sorry I hard to start with Political Theory 101 and Political Reality 101 but I’m afraid that’s the quality of some of the responses to Brexit so far.

Glad that’s over with.

Because I want to move away from an analysis that puts the white English voter at stage-centre and key interlocutor of the Brexit drama. I haven’t got anything that’s too formulated; just some thoughts about the other kinds of relationalities in Britain’s postimperial and multicultural polity that are implicated in the referendum.

Let me give you two examples. They emerge from the fact that, while 73% of Black peoples voted to Remain – the HIGHEST % of any demographic parsed so far, some Black people voted Brexit and it doesn’t make them any less black for doing so.

I have heard solid and compelling anecdotes of Black people voting Brexit because, in their experience, white employers were preferring white (Eastern) Europeans to Black people. In other words, they felt that EU migration was eroding the tentative gains made against structural (and often anti-Black) racism in the UK.

I’ve also heard a number of people of African heritage in the UK talk about the opportunity that Brexit might give to a renewal of links with the Commonwealth. We might dismiss these ideas as post-traumatic-imperial-melancholy. But some of the arguments I have heard reference the UK’s effective abandoning of the Commonwealth with the European Communities Acct of 1972. And now they see an opportunity to focus back on the Commonwealth, especially regarding reparations for slavery, the ills of colonial rule, and the inequitable settlements at independence. Some even talk of a renewal of pan-Africanism through renewed commonwealth links.

In other words, these responses are parsing Brexit in some way shape and form through a postcolonial (global) justice framework.

Yesterday all this got me thinking back to one of the things that really shook me when I was living in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was this: government and society seemed intent on painting over the historical challenge of “biculturalism” with a gloss of “multiculturalism”. Let me explain.

The “bicultural” challenge is code for “reparations regarding settler colonialism”. More specifically, biculturalism emerges from a movement by Māori people to get their “partners” to honour the Treaty of Waitangi that was signed in 1840. Article 2 of that Treaty assures that Māori shall retain control over Māori things – including land, language, culture, etc. Through intensified Māori and Pasifika activism and struggles in the 70s and early 80s the bicultural model was to some extent “constitutionalised” in the Waitangi Tribunal process, which ultimately sought to repair – fiscally and otherwise – successive breaches to the Treaty by settler governments.

Yet, at the same time that this bicultural “settlement” was being crafted in the mid 80s, NZ took a neoliberal turn (termed “Rogernomics” after Finance Minister Roger Douglass of the 4th Labour government). Consequent to this “opening up” of the economy, different peoples started to move to and settle in Aotearoa NZ. Like many global population flows of the 1990s onwards, these peoples did NOT all travel the well-worn colonial/imperial routes.

Previously, those old routes facilitated the increasing arrival of Pasifika peoples post-war, for example. In fact, in the late 1960s and early 1970s many Māori and Pasifika activists were calling THIS movement “multicultural”. There lies a hidden conceptual history of a very different mobilization of the concept “multiculturalism” that does not place the white man as the foundational cosmopolitan.

But anyway, the 1990s saw the arrivals of peoples from especially China but also India, other South East Asian departure points, and, of course, small refugee populations. All this gave rise to a “new” kind of “multiculturalism”, buoyed by a paternalistic refugee industry, restaurants serving “kiwi hot” (not hot at all) South East Asian cuisine, internet cafes, flat whites and long blacks.

But what I distinctly remember is how many white New Zealanders – primarily from settler stock – preferred multiculturalism as a lifestyle over biculturalism as a responsibility. And from a political-economy perspective, because these new arrivants brought capital and skills (not just labour), multiculturalism promised far more easy access to and positioning within the global economy than biculturalism ever could. None of this, of course, has stopped a casual and occasionally not-so casual racism towards these new peoples.

Still, just how much Government structures have differentiated multiculturalism from biculturalism (read colonial legacies) can be gleaned by the fact that there is Te Puni Kōkiri (effectively, Ministry of Māori Affairs), Ministry for Pacific Peoples, and then an Office of Ethnic Communities (for all other non-whites), part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Anyway, I remember one elder Māori activist tell me, bluntly, and with great concern, that Chinese were going to outbreed Māori. In fact, I think the % of Chinese living in NZ is now as great if not slightly greater than the indigenous population (around 15% – unless things have changed drastically).Racist you might say?

Perhaps. Or we could take the line that racism can only be an exercise of power, and indigenous people – similar to Black peoples in the West – do not hold that kind of structural power to make a structural difference on another group of people. Then this would count as xenophobia, or prejudice?

Again, perhaps. But I don’t think this was the intention. Really, this elder was conveying to me a deeper concern: how can you have a harmonious multicultural society that has been placed precariously upon a foundation that is out of skew because its colonial wrongs have never been righted? The ethical dilemma being communicated to me was actually this: how can Māori ensure the well-being of all those who live in their lands (their duty as tangata whenua) if they are not able to be meaningful partners – at least! – in the governance of those lands?

I want to return to Brexit UK. And think along similar lines, even though it is a very different context.

The struggles from the 60s onwards by “minority” peoples in the UK to a) address racism and racialized inequalities IN the place where they now live and b) confront postcolonial legacies in the points of departure of their parents/grandparents: neither of these inter-linked struggles have been adequately resolved or sufficiently addressed. They are not history. These wrongs are living. And for some “minority” groups more than others.

Nonetheless, our multicultural make up is now composed significantly through migrations that are NOT from the old British imperial and commonwealth circuits. Some of these routes are from outside of Europe, but many – and increasingly half – are from inside the EU.

In the last week the media has been awash with reports of quotidian and/or organized racism or xenophobia against Polish peoples, Jewish peoples, Muslim peoples, South Asian peoples, and Black and African peoples etc. In short, what we have right at this moment in time is a mini conflagration of racism and xenophobia. It was always there, of course, but it has now seen the light of day in an intensely political fashion.

How could a white English person tell a Pole and a Black person to fuck off back home, at the same time? Well, I would argue, that’s because of the one constant. English nationalism is necessarily postimperial and necessarily has a racialized – white – dimension to it.

In empire, Englishness assured that white people could differentiate themselves from the “darker” peoples of the colonies and dominions. They had to do this because by the late 19th century all were subjects to the British crown same way. So the racial-colonial division became articulated as English and/versus British. The Commonwealth always had and has its racial divisions codified as old and new members. And the “Anglosphere” still finds it hard to include within its reach the biggest national demographic of English speakers – India. Then there’s “expats” versus “migrants”.. etc etc.

Of course, when those who considered themselves British came to live in England – well that proximity was problem enough, and to all “classes”. But then when children grew up in England as, ostensibly “English”: all hell broke loose. Only in 1985 did the British government categorically disavow the eugenicist claim that the poor schooling of African-Caribbean children was due to the fact that they were educationally sub-normal.

So against this history it becomes clear just how seminal English nationalism is to the situation we are presently in. Even against other ostensibly white people, even “working-class” white people, it’s still the (post)imperially-crafted nature of English whiteness that is doing the talking, spitting, hitting.

That’s why I am convinced that ANY agitation to return public services and even meaningful jobs to areas hardest-hit by neoliberalism WILL fail if it does not unquestionably oppose racism and xenophobia. More, even: both agitation and opposition have to be intractably and organically connected. To my mind, English nationalism is the key faultline – from a cultural, political-economic and ideological point of view. Anyway you cut it.

But enough of the white English. What, now, of those Black peoples who I mentioned at the beginning? People who can’t so easily take succour in English nationalism, even if they and their parents were born in England?

I think this position resonates with that of the Māori elder I was talking about. It’s something to do with the sedementations of migrations and movements upon a base that was always skewed, wonky, uneven, fractured. Here’s how I visualise it: multiculturalism, placed on top of postcolonial racism, and then, in a granular way, falling partly into that base, while nonetheless keeping a somewhat defined stratum.

How to address this challenge? Ideally, I would say this: First we need to attend to the long-standing and deeply-entrenched colonial wrongs that continue to visit racialized inequality and discrimination upon “minority” peoples in the UK (some more than others). And second, after that is resolved, we could deal with the xenophobia that emanates from an English nationalism even towards EU migrants. For hopefully, by that point, English nationalism would be neutered and could no longer be either a lived identification or an instrument to be wielded by elites as they seek to divide and rule.

But that’s just abstract thinking. We live in a racially sedimented society (global formation, even), which, being unevenly laid, makes the layers intractably blurred: they can’t be neatly separated out in any kind of strategic or political sense.

So, thinking about this kaladescope of racism and xenophobia, of postcoloniality and multiculturalism, I want to take those Black peoples who voted for – or sympathised with – Brexit seriously. Even though I voted for Remain, no apologies!

What does that mean? Not too sure. I would like to know what you think. But I could say, at least, that for me it means cleaving to some small, albeit important principles, as we go forward from here.

Every locality – whether regional, town, city, or intra-city – will have its specific ecology of this sedimentation that I am talking about. The political economy of the UK is complex when you get down to the level. There can be no abstract model to fit everywhere. Everywhere, the articualtion of colonial wrongs with multicultural xenophobias will be of a particular history and mix, and must be engaged with in light of those balances of forces.

The point is, though, that everywhere they DO articulate. That means that we must push for the redressing of living colonial wrongs as we push against the demonization of non-EU (but not traditionally commonwealth) and EU migrants.

That means that we should take care to keep our moral and political sensibilities fluid, while retaining fundamental pinciples. If a Black youth voted exit because she witnessed East Europeans were taking her jobs, we should not presume that she hates East Europeans. Perhaps she voted against white racist employees? In any case, the conversation has to begin from a recognition of the intersectionalities of race and xenophobia, colonial wrongs and multicultural prejudices. Nor a willful exclusion of either. Everything, all at once, necessarily in fluid hierarchies, but always in relation.

Hence the terrain of struggle is not narrowly national, even though the intensity of the fall-out from Brexit is – at least at the moment. To be intersectional in the sense I am talking about here means that our arguments and actions, even if they take place mostly in the UK, have to be informed by a horizon that includes not just the UK and EU but also the Commonwealth (especially the brown and black commonwealth and under-wealth) and those places and peoples scarred by fifteen years of fallout of the war on terror fought by the UK and the EU, amongst others.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:17 pm

JackRiddler » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:03 pm wrote:Ahab, new or not, your comment really brings the picture together. Who do you mean at the end, I do not know.

Sorry Jack, I've been away, but I was referring to the notorious charity scammer Dr. Liam Fox, MP - who has recently been appointed Minister for Making Sure That TTIP Passes In Full (his alternate job title is Secretary of State For International Trade) by Theresa May.

I did a thread about him ages ago, and his fake neocon charity The Atlantic Bridge, and his attempts to - in my view, illegally - organize an alternate (even worse) foreign policy for the UK while he was serving as Defence Secretary. It's a bit of a laborious read, and there is a fair amount in it that is worth skipping over, but a lot of it is still relevant - perhaps more relevant now than ever: ... =8&t=33314

He's been caught again, just this past week, running another dubious charity - a Jim Dowson-esque scam, where the public's sympathy for veterans is played upon to gather cash for the furtherance of hard-right objectives that many of the donors would refuse to fund if they were told the truth. I fucking despise him.

His latest charity scam received £500,000 of public money from George Osborne's Treasury, and nothing much will ever be said or done about it. Brexit probably brings that value down to about £420,000, so I guess we win some and lose some, eh?

On the subject of minorities and immigrants voting for Brexit because they don't much like minorities and immigrants, I suppose it's an age-old story. The German, Dutch, and English migrants to old New York fought viciously to suppress the Irish, Italian, and Jewish ones who followed them. The Irish figured the game out, and became the cops. I know many third-generation Irish people in Scotland who are seethingly angry about immigration from Europe and places further afield - they seem to forget that the authorities here once published a pamphlet entitled ‘The Menace of the Irish race to our Scottish Nationality.’

Reminding them of it doesn't help.

The attitude is: "Pull up the ladder - I'm aboard."

I hadn't seen these till the last week, but John Harris comes through with the goods again! I hate praising him, he'll inevitably become insufferable like Glenn Greenwald and others, but for the time being...

5 min 58 secs in this one.

7min 09 secs in this

A triumph of integration - even our minorities can be xenophobic bigots. That's aspiration for ye lad.
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