Jun. 24th, 2016

danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
This isn't a prediction but more of a prior or a baseline.

As you sow, so shall ye reap and sometimes you are not the harvester but the harvest.

If Scotland is to become independent and pick up any benefit of businesses wanting to keep an Angolphone office inside the EU it will need to become independent within the EU pretty fast. I'd be disappointed if Sturgeon wasn't on a plane to Brussels and Bonn today.

Indyref Part 2 within a year. Yes wins by a narrow margin. Scotland opens popcorn but realises it actually has some work to do so sells the popcorn. Watch the predatory corporation tax rate and the subtlely lax banking regulation. (Let's hope we have the sense to keep some of the tax revenue back for the next crash.)

Chaos in the Tory Party. They either need to back off the central plank of their economic policy of reducing the deficit through spending cuts or they need to magically make the economy not be affected by the referendum result or admit that their economic credibilty is worth about as much as the pound. So, the emergency budget will be devisive - for them - and brutal for the working classes in the North of England and the Midlands. I'd expect May to emerge at Tory leader and the next PM.

Chaos in the Labour Party. Corbyn is utterly pish. Essentially backed Leave.  I thought he'd manage to communicate with people and shift the Overton Window a bit but it feels like he's sitting at his desk writing strident blog posts, filing his paperclips and gazing at the pin-ups in the Morning Star. However, the Labour right hasn't re-organised in to a coherent post-Blarite grouping and, to be honest, doesn't have much in the way of quality to offer either.

I think we probably avoid a snap general election. Jeez, that would be messy.

Plan A - we (they) end up having a second EU referendum post exit negotiations on the question "Do you want to stay in the EU or take the actual deal on offer?"

Plan B - Britain (aka England) gets left to dangle for a year or more and ends up in the European Economic Area but on pretty strict terms, probably including Schengen. (I personally won't be sorry about this. I like the EU, I like free movement, I like every closer union and being forced to join the EEA will be a much needed punch to the nuts of post-imperialist little Englanders. Also, I'll be living in a post-independence Scotland.)

Those are not our Plans A and B but the German's Plans A & B.

Ten or twenty years after England joins the EEA it votes to rejoin the EU finally shorn of its illustions that the rest of the world owes it any favours.

The working class of the North of England and the Midlands continues to be slowly evicerated by the Conservative Party. If you want a vision of the future, imagine a hand-made Italian brogue stamping on a face, forever.

But not I think in my country.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)

The Tartan Shortbread Institute of Scotology has been busy peering in to the future of the UK England to determine if there actually is any future for any of us now. There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that the Institute has secured EU funding from the Social Cohesion Fund. The bad news – well we’ve found ourselves locked up on a small island with a bunch of racists lead by the Chuckle Brothers. To pass the time until our taxi arrives to take us back to Europe here are 25 True Facts about Life After Brexit


  1. A radical change in education policy will be the first act of the new UK government. History, Economics and Science will be removed from the curriculum and replaced with Casual Racism and C’mon Engerland Studies.

  2. The Queen will abdicate and then be deported. Britain will become a republic. There doesn’t appear to be any other way to get round the fact that our Royal Family are unwelcome EU economic migrants who moved here from Germany and Greece to build a better life for themselves and their children.

  3. After stemming a massive run on the banks by personally standing in the streets of Newcastle handing out five euro notes Mark Carney will be given a knighthood for his services to not fucking things up any more than they already are. He won’t be able to accept the knighthood, because he’s Canadian and not a UK citizen.

  4. With the UK leaving the EU the European Union has lost the fifth largest economy in the world and will have to rely on the Germans to run everything and make everything. The Germans seem remarkably unconcerned by this onerous responsibility.

  5. After losing the Labour leadership election to an empty sack of potatoes dressed in a kimono and lightly garnished with gladioli Jeremy Corbyn will become our lead exit negotiator with the EU Commission. Wearing only a heliotrope smoking jacket he will be tasked with negotiating the terms of the UK's exit from the EU. He will bring a touch of vigour and enterprise to the EU that has been sadly missing of late. By the end of the negotiations Pimlico will be a Workers Revolutionary Paradise and the rest of London will belong to Donald Trump.

  6. Wiff Waff is coming home. It's being carried home by about a million ex-pat Brits from Spain. They have exactly the keen reflexes and go get 'em attitude we need to make ourselves the Wiff Waff capital of the Commonwealth.

  7. The Commonwealth will vote to expel us. No reason, well, no reason other than the fact that we’ve destroyed our own economy so are of no value to them and have just revealed ourselves to still be massively racist dicks. Also, without the Queen we no longer have anyone interesting to send on visits when the governments of Commonwealth nations want to distract their own population from corruption scandals or their own economic woes. Now they don’t have to. Instead they can just point at England, the world’s sixth largest economy and laugh.

  8. The new Prime Minister of the UK will be hand picked by the 1922 Committee from amongst the brightest and best Old Etonions not currently too busy running daddy’s hedge fund or in prison for illegal arms trading. If you are lucky it will Teresa May.

  9. You are shit out of luck. The new Prime Minister of the UK will be Boris Johnson. Unlike Mario Cuomo who campaigned in poetry and governed in prose Johnson will campaign in Latin and govern in incoherent, self-serving gibberish but still, never mind, there’s always the Wiff Waff. And the casual racism. Oh and the UK will still be the world’s seventh largest economy.

  10. The south of England can ignore global warming and the risk of droughts. Hose pipe bans will be a thing of the past. The roses of Kent will be watered by the bitter, bitter tears of EU citizens who are going to be sent back to where they come from. NB this does not apply to Boris Johnson who is an American of Turkish descent or Nigel Farage’s German wife.

  11. Scotland will leave. We will take our Wiff Waff paddles with us.

  12. People worried about the fragile peace in Northern Ireland will thank a catholic God that the IRA are reasonable people.

  13. A moment of national contemplation and celebration will occur giving thanks that this whole sordid affair has passed off without a shot being fired. Well, except for the ones that murdered Jo Cox. A bit like immigrants you personally like, those bullets don’t count.

  14. Port Talbot steel works will close but the Welsh will still be able to make a living doing whatever it is they do in the 21stcentury’s eighth largest economy.

  15. No one will point and laugh at us during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This is largely due to the fact that Brasil has problems of its own with a massive scary plague, inept and corrupt politicians, a tanking economy and uneasy relationship with a colonial past. Birds of a feather.

  16. Pairing off against Jeremy Corbyn and Michael Gove in the Brexit negotiations will be newly appointed EU Commissioner Alex Salmond.  Only kidding. We’re sending Billy Connolly – you boys look like you need cheering up and we have to respect that the EU is negotiating with the world’s ninth largest economy. Negotiations will drag on for years as Connolly attempts but fails to finish an anecdote about a Glaswegian shepherd wrestling a fish supper in his wellies.

  17. London will demand a devolution settlement on a par with Scotland but with full fiscal autonomy. That’s full fiscal autonomy for the rest of England. The bits with no jobs or money. New Premier Sadiq Kahn will cancel fiscal transfers and solidarity payments to the North of England on the grounds that most of the money is made by EU citizens and they don’t see why it should be spent on schools and hospitals in a foreign country.

  18. Round about the time that Scotland and Northern Ireland leave the UK the former Great Britain will realise that the Great in Great Britain refers to its size relative to Brittany when both of those areas were part of the Angevian Empire and just because you call something “great” doesn’t make it actually great unless by “great” you mean xenophobic, myopic and destitute.

  19. In 2019, just ahead of the next English General Election, from out of the sack of potatoes occupying the Opposition dispatch box will emerge Gordon Brown, the King over the Water, who will lead the Labour to a stunning election victory just in time to be served with a repossession notice by the French. They would like Hastings back.

  20. Douglas Carswell will defect to Plaid Cymru.

  21. The main economic activity of the rump of the UK will be betting on how long the recession will last. This will sustain the UK as the twelfth largest economy in the world.

  22. Bob Geldolf will organise a fund raising concert on a barge in the Thames for impoverished Mackums. No one will go.

  23. The third runway at Heathrow will finally go ahead. At long last someone will find a use for all those sodding Wiff Waff paddles. They can be used to guide the private jets of Russian Mafioso to their personal tax free terminal building. The Pret a Manger in Terminal Five will overtake the UK to become the world’s seventeenth largest economy.

  24. Freed of costly regulations like workers’ rights, paid holiday and health and safety legislation the working classes of the North will enjoy a cultural renaissance where they rediscover the whole point of class solidarity, internationalism and organised labour. Paul Mason will martyr himself with a searing blog about international capitalism or something. The General Strike of 2026 will bring the world’s 47thlargest economy to its knees.

  25. England will be knocked out of the 2022 World Cup at the semi-final stage by Germany on penalties. An embarrassed Angela Merkell will be heard to mutter “You really can’t help some people can you?”



























danieldwilliam: (machievelli)

A serious thought about the EU Referendum and the possibility of a second Scottish Independence referendum.

I was, and am, in favour of Scottish Independence within the EU.

I was, and am, in favour of the UK remaining part of the EU.

I wish I could have both. If we can not have both I think we should pick the EU over the UK.

Ideally, for me, Scotland would become independent from the UK whilst both were in the EU. There would be a natural and pre-existing trading arrangement. We (Scotland) would have to ride out a few years adjusting to running our own country, getting a workable currency and setting our tax rates right. It would be difficult in the short term but I think, on balance, probably, better economically and politically in the medium term. This is a guess not a promise and I might be wrong. Other people thought so and I respect their thought processes and their right to their own values and risk preferences.

But we don't live in an ideal world. There appears to be no sweet spot where we can have easy trading relationships with both the rest of the UK and the other 27 members of the EU. The next few years are going to be economically challenging in exactly the same way as Scottish Indepdence was always going to be. Avoiding the sunk cost fallacy we have to make the best of the situation we are in today, not the best of the situation we thought we were in a week ago. We have to go forward from where we are. Where we are, today,  is in flux, with both peril and opportunity on all sides.

And so, it might now be the case that Scottish Indepedence as  part of the EU is the best option for my country even if it wasn't when the rest of the UK was an EU member state.

If that is the case I think we should do it quickly. To quote the first and greatest British playwright

"Thereis a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of theirlife is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."

and

"If it were donewhen 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly"

The position of the SNP before the EU referendum as I saw it was a) to reserve the right to hold a second referendum to Scottish people, and b) to actually wait until there was a pent up demand for independence. Fair and resonable under the circumstances in my view. But slow, so slow, so flat footed.

I think those circumstances have changed. We have a very strong vote for Remain in Scotland. Is that a proxy for a vote for Independence? Maybes Aye, Maybes Nay. There's only one way to find out soon. And find out soon we must. There is an opportunity for Scotland to profit from England's error. If we move quickly, quickly to establish a firm invitation to remain in the EU, quickly to hold and win an independence referendum and then quickly to set our trade and taxation policy so as to predate on England's uncertain future by encouraging international businesses currently located in England who want an Anglophone location in the EU to relocate to Scotland rather than Ireland. Which if they are going to do, they will do sooner rather than later.

Are the people of Scotland up for this? Only one way to find out. If we wait until we are certain the opportunity to walk away from the implosion of the UK with at least our own country and economy and people intact will be gone.

So I think Sturgon should get on a plane and fly round every European capital and ask them to jointly and severally invite Scotland to stay in the EU. If successful she should announce a referendum to be held before Christmas. If that is for independence then we negotiate SExit alongside Brexit and stay in the EU.

If unsuccessful we are not any worse off. If we wait to see how damaging Brexit will be and how that actually affects public opinion the damage to us will be done and the opportunity to ameliorate that damage with some prudent, sharp business will be lost.

To be clear - I am absolutely advocating that we (Scotland) conspire to stab our closest ally and dearest friend in the back. Et tu Scotus. We should not stand with them whilst they try to work out how to be a non-European nation. We should take advantage of their distress to prosper ourselves. What choice have they left us? What choice have we left ourselves.

I vote for #IndyRef2 within six months.

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