The Brexit thread

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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby American Dream » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:39 am

http://www.wsm.ie/c/anarchist-observati ... referendum

Observations on Brexit and Lexit in the UK EU membership referendum

Date: Wed, 2016-06-22 13:27

ANARCHISM AND DIRECT DEMOCRACY
1. Anarchists are generally hostile to decision making mechanisms that demand people put their faith in others to make decisions on their behalf without mandate or recall. We favour systems of direct democracy where the people either discuss and vote on an issue directly, or delegate other people to meet up for such discussions but these delegates are both mandated and recallable.

2. However, we insist that even a perfect democracy has no right to oppress a minority. There can be no democratic mandate for racism, sexism or homophobia.

3. Anarchists generally advocate abstaining from the decision making mechanisms allowed for by the boss class as for the most part these, in order to preserve the power of that class, are built around systems of indirect decision making. From parliaments to local councils the general rule is that lawmakers cannot be mandated and they can not be recalled.

4. A referendum can be an exception to this because referendums may allow the people to directly make a decision, if only at the level of selection between the choices offered. However it's not unusual for the choices offered to be no real choice at all.

UK REFERENDUM
5. The UK referendum on continued EU membership is one where little real choice is actually on offer. Crudely the choice could be said to be one between a UK under the control of the British bosses and a UK under the control of British bosses with some oversight by EU bosses. The parts of the left that are invested in the issue on both sides have advanced various arguments as to why one or the other of those setups might result in more favourable legislation for workers in the UK with citizenship. This isn’t a gamble we find at all useful and on that level we would simply abstain or spoil our votes in the referendum.

6. The referendum does not just effect the UK and UK left but also the left in Ireland, including southern Ireland. In particular the somewhat successful ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine of recent governments has led some on the left to believe that austerity was largely a result of the EU imposing its will through the Trokia. This is despite the fact the Trokia role started in November 2010 while austerity began started with the 2007/8 one. In that context it is not surprising that the years of the crisis have seen a strengthening and expansion of anti-EU sentiment in the left and water charge movements in the south.

7. We think this is built on the mistaken premise that austerity would somehow have been kinder if it was implemented by the southern establishment without EU involvement. But leaving that aside, the point to be made is that because of our very different but intertwined histories a UK departure from the EU would have very different implications than a southern Ireland departure. Brexit as advocated would be a turn back towards the politics & economics of the British Empire both in terms of the commonwealth and the post colonial relationship the south had with Britain. This is not an attractive proposition, indeed were the south to Exit with the UK the danger would be that the economy would be stripped back down to a subservient cheap food producer for the cities of the UK.

8. This also sets aside the significant cost for people living in Ireland who do not have citizenship of either the republic or UK. This population, which is now a sizeable section of the working class here, including some of the most marginalised sectors, may lose easy access to the UK and with that lose access to travelling for abortions there. Asylum seekers and people without papers are already in that situation with horrific results as some have been forced to carry through unwanted or unviable pregnancies.

9. Returning to the UK what is very obvious from then Brexit campaign is that in the current context an exit would be on a right wing, racist basis. The core idea that has dominated the campaign has been ‘taking the country back’ and the need for even stricter border controls that those the EU already imposes. Controls that have killed 10,000 people since 2014. In the situation were even parts of the far left have already capitulated to these sentiments, repeating them with a left gloss, it is clear that a post Exit UK government would at the very least turn towards a migration system designed to end free movement within the EU and replace it with a boss friendly points system that favours the white former colonies even more so than is currently the case.

10. This has already been signalled in the determination of who gets to vote in the referendum and who does not. Migrants to the UK, who are the ones likely to suffer the consequences of Brexit are excluded from the vote. Except for those from Ireland and the commonwealth, i.e. those least likely to be effected are the only migrants with a vote. As if to underline the point, most of the very large population of people with British citizenship who have migrated to other countries will also get to vote, providing they have been registered in the UK at some point in the last 15 years.

11. The run up to the referendum and the referendum campaign itself has right wing nationalist and racist positions within the population and political parties. In the preceding week this reached the extreme of the fascist assassination of Jo Cox and, that same day, the unveiling of an official leave campaign poster that reflects the sort of racist hate imagery used by the Nazis in the 1930s. But these are just the extremes of a widespread shift to the right demonstrated by Economist polling that shows for the first time the vast majority of voter segments identify Immigration as the most important issue.

12. The referendum opened with sections of the far left deciding to also support an Exit position, the so called Lexit (for Left-Exit). This appears to have been an electoral opportunist calculation that an Exit would damage the government, perhaps forcing an election and that in the election ‘the Party’ might make some minor gains. This is dressed up for public consumption in welfare state nostalgia and NHS protection as if the reality was anything other than the welfare state has been dismantled not by the EU but by successive domestic governments. And that the NHS is likewise targeted not by the EU but by the Tories. Those leading the mainstream Exit campaign are the same people who have argued against minimum wages and limiting working time. If Lexit was originally foolish opportunism choosing to continue to advocate a Lexit vote now that the reality of the campaign is clear is criminal stupidity. We do hope the stakes are not so high but it is worth recalling that this sort of foolishness is not new, in the early 1930s the German Communist Party coined "After Hitler, our turn!".

FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY AND A PROGRESSIVE DEMOLITION OF THE EU
13. The EU is properly understood as part of the modern state rather than some separate entity above it. The state has layers of decision making bodies to make rules to impose on us, each layer with its own characteristic. And layers of court bodies to impose those rules with finally layers of armed personnel to impose them. Demands for reform that simply amount to shifting powers from one layer to another change nothing fundamental – indeed post EU Britain would not eliminate international treaties but simply have them at another level.

14. For the left in Ireland, a tiny country on the margins of Europe, there is no road to freedom that does not involve a common struggle with workers across Europe and the planet. Retreating into nationalist isolation under the likes of Denis O’Brien is no alternative. For the left in the UK a return to the nationalist colonialism of Empire is even less of a way forward. The path forward will involve the demolition of the EU but not on a nationalist country by country basis. That demolition can only be progressive if it’s the work of the working masses of the European continent, regardless of their citizenship, and hand in hand with those on the open prison that is the European periphery.
---
About this text
Work on this text began too late for us to agree it by simple majority vote. It failed to reach the needed supermajority for it to be published as WSM policy because a minority felt that the language used in relation to Lexit supporters was too harsh. So it's published here as an opinion piece that is indicative of where our views on the questions lie.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby Sounder » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:02 am

Well, at least now we know who the 'one worlders' are.
All these things will continue as long as coercion remains a central element of our mentality.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:10 am

Brexit could not have made it without the power of xenophobia and reaction but there's always been a clear culprit driving this process, and it is the neoliberal outrages of the real-existing European Union. It's gone like it went and I hope people make lemonade. This need not lead to Le Pen and Trump as presidents, Farage as interior minister under Boris, and the right in power around Europe. It can mean Corbyn, Podemos, the reversal of neoliberalism and democratization of the EU.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby stefano » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:21 am

JackRiddler » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:10 pm wrote:Brexit could not have made it without the power of xenophobia and reaction but there's always been a clear culprit driving this process, and it is the neoliberal outrages of the real-existing European Union. It's gone like it went and I hope people make lemonade. This need not lead to Le Pen and Trump as presidents, Farage as interior minister under Boris, and the right in power around Europe. It can mean Corbyn, Podemos, the reversal of neoliberalism and democratization of the EU.

Yeah... it probably won't, though. This was overwhelmingly a Little Englander thing, and those are the people who are going to keep driving it. A real fuckup for Britain, but as you say, the EU's neoliberalism, enthusiastically adopted by New Labour, made it happen. Just last week I thought if I were British I'd vote leave, as a protest against all that shit.

I think this is going to have a chilling effect on nationalisms on the rest of the continent, though, and will tend to make the EU less dismissive of national-level concerns, so there's that.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:17 am

The age gap is pretty depressing (I was looking for a straight table but found this instead, cross-indexed by 2015 party vote).

Image
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby Searcher08 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:18 am

stefano » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:21 pm wrote:
JackRiddler » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:10 pm wrote:Brexit could not have made it without the power of xenophobia and reaction but there's always been a clear culprit driving this process, and it is the neoliberal outrages of the real-existing European Union. It's gone like it went and I hope people make lemonade. This need not lead to Le Pen and Trump as presidents, Farage as interior minister under Boris, and the right in power around Europe. It can mean Corbyn, Podemos, the reversal of neoliberalism and democratization of the EU.

Yeah... it probably won't, though. This was overwhelmingly a Little Englander thing, and those are the people who are going to keep driving it. A real fuckup for Britain, but as you say, the EU's neoliberalism, enthusiastically adopted by New Labour, made it happen. Just last week I thought if I were British I'd vote leave, as a protest against all that shit.

I think this is going to have a chilling effect on nationalisms on the rest of the continent, though, and will tend to make the EU less dismissive of national-level concerns, so there's that.



Thousands Of British Refugees Make Dangerous Journey Across The Irish Sea

Image

THE IRISH coast guard has today issued a nationwide warning for the East Coast as hundreds of thousands of British refugees risk their lives to cross the Irish sea in an attempt to flee the impoverished and unstable nation.

Dinghies overflowing with desperate migrants are so far half way through their journey, many with women and children aboard, wishing to make a new start on the Emerald Isle.

“We have rescued hundreds of people from crafts due to overcrowding,” winchman Derek Ryan of Rescue 117 told WWN today. “It’s a terrible situation as many of these people are only hoping for a better quality of life in the EU”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called an emergency meeting in the Dáil this afternoon to help find a solution to the influx of British refugees.

It is expected many of those landing on the Irish coast will have to be quarantined, as they are not a part of the European Union.

“Emergency prefabs will be erected to help cope and house these poor unfortunate people,” Mr. Kenny stated. “I urge everyone to do what they can to help support the migrants in anyway, whether that be waiting with hots cups of tea on the shoreline, to giving them fresh clothes to wear”.

An estimated 450,000 people have already fled the UK mainland to neighbouring EU countries.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:26 am

:P


ourselves alone
Last edited by seemslikeadream on Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby stefano » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:27 am

Here's the one you want:

Image

Then there's this one:

Image
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby stefano » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:33 am

Searcher08 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:18 pm wrote:Thousands Of British Refugees Make Dangerous Journey Across The Irish Sea

Ha.

But seriously though...

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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby 82_28 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:32 am

I know it seems totally unconnected but as I brought up in the first page of this thread, the NFL is looking to expand to London. National Football League. I have no fucking idea what's going on with just about anything any more. If London gets a football team it would mean Britain has joined the US. Yes, yes. Sounds stupid as hell, but the NFL is huge, the Olympics are already tanking without having taken place yet.

***Again, American football refers to the length of the ball and not that it is played with the foot, though it is in some cases -- field goals and punts it is indeed played with the foot*** Though you can always devise a fake play when one is going to use the foot. But whatever. I just thought it to be the canary in the coal mine or harbinger of Britain seeking to join up with the US and shit. Again, I got no idea.

Everything everywhere is in turmoil. There is an underlying reason.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby NeonLX » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:01 am

82_28 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:32 am wrote:I know it seems totally unconnected but as I brought up in the first page of this thread, the NFL is looking to expand to London. National Football League. I have no fucking idea what's going on with just about anything any more. If London gets a football team it would mean Britain has joined the US. Yes, yes. Sounds stupid as hell, but the NFL is huge, the Olympics are already tanking without having taken place yet.

***Again, American football refers to the length of the ball and not that it is played with the foot, though it is in some cases -- field goals and punts it is indeed played with the foot*** Though you can always devise a fake play when one is going to use the foot. But whatever. I just thought it to be the canary in the coal mine or harbinger of Britain seeking to join up with the US and shit. Again, I got no idea.

Everything everywhere is in turmoil. There is an underlying reason.


A friend of mine from Australia insists that we, meaning the U.S. Australia and Canada, are still under the English crown, in spite of that "independence" thing back in the day. Something about the London Corporation. We are all "POMS" (Products of Mother England). I did some googling and it could be legit. Or not.
America is a fucked society because there is no room for essential human dignity. Its all about what you have, not who you are.--Joe Hillshoist
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:02 am

82_28 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:32 am wrote:Everything everywhere is in turmoil. There is an underlying reason.


Yep, and it probably ain't the Illuminati.

My bet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overshoot_(population)
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:08 am

82_28 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:32 am wrote:Everything everywhere is in turmoil. There is an underlying reason.



bush/cheney/wars/refugees
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Postby Perelandra » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:23 am

Wombaticus Rex » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:02 am wrote:
82_28 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:32 am wrote:Everything everywhere is in turmoil. There is an underlying reason.


Yep, and it probably ain't the Illuminati.
My bet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overshoot_(population)

:thumbsup
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Re: The Brexit thread

Postby NeonLX » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:24 am

^^^^^^Obomb'em & Killary have kept the fire burning too. :(
America is a fucked society because there is no room for essential human dignity. Its all about what you have, not who you are.--Joe Hillshoist
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