Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Recent Comments:

In story: PM Theresa May: Stirred not Shaken

Re: Dominic Raab Resignation
( / )
As I have said before, Ian Dunt's writing on Brexit at politics.co.uk always appeals to me. He has a comment of Raab's achievements and resignation Raab resigns: The shabby end of a pitiful career

The conclusion to his articles are gems in themselves. How about this (from the above) for criticism of the whole process.

[May's] priorities have been wrong-headed, her appointments catastrophic, and her strategies unsound. She had a poor hand and she played it badly. But at least she has tried to do something. The ministers resigning now are worse. Their irresponsibility is unparalleled in recent British history. They have demanded the impossible and then left in outrage when that is what it turned out to be.

But ultimately it's all shades of grey. There is one name for all these indignities, whatever form they come in, and that name is Brexit.

[Brexit] started this. It caused May to invent her tragic red lines. It motivated her dimwitted secretary of state. It drove the UK to waste two and half years trying to secure a situation which is worse than the one it had at the start of the process. It tore the two main parties apart. It reduced Britain to an international laughing stock. It is now threatening to put us into a subservient position with an institution we used to be a leading member of. It is threatening the quality of life of countless people in this country. It is simply a patriotic outrage.

How many times must it be said? This is the worst idea which has emerged from mainstream British politics in our lifetime. The puzzle cannot be solved. Whichever angle you look at it from, it creates the same outcome. It is a travesty of logic and decency. The fact that anyone can seriously pretend otherwise says more about their psychology than it does about their politics.

by oldremainmer48 on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
It's quite a spectacle to see the Daily Mail (!) trying to whip the hardline Brexiteers into backing this deal, not just the remainers. Maybe their magic will work?!

For remainers this could seem like soft Brexit. All roads would logically lead to a withdrawal agreement like this. It looks like a min-cut/max-flow problem: the minimum you get is the maximum you could hope for.

But when it comes to the future relationship this essentially blind Brexit with the hope that circumstances/inertia will lead to something soft?! Or that Brexitism has exerted itself just by getting actual legal Brexit and there will no further appetite to keep going like this for a decade after March.

by epochepoque on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
European Conservatives and Reformists [ECR] Group puts forward Czech MEP as their Spitzenkandidat nominee
hmm, EPP, ALDE, and Who? for the holidays. I detect a promotional pattern to Campaign '19.

"The ECR group in the European Parliament was founded by the UK Tories, when then Prime Minister David Cameron left the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) in 2009. ..."

by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: Living Off the Planet
( / )
Earlier today euractiv had a Baltimore minute of EV-envy for production in China. Then all three stories fell out of the timeline before I could boost them. Go figure.

by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: Economy & Finance
( / )
Germany hegemony? That was a popular broomstick. Is it still? Rlly?
U.S. envoy for Iran warns EU banks, firms against non-dollar Iran trade
Criticizing EU efforts to bypass sanctions, Hook reiterated a warning that such an EU effort sent "the wrong signal, at the wrong time."

However, he added that waivers from sanctions granted to eight* of Iran's biggest oil importers were to ensure the U.S. measures did not harm allies or raise oil prices.

Upset by Trump's Iran waivers, Saudis push for deep oil output cut

----------
* USA Today (Nov: Italy, Greece, Japan, China, S Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, India) completes Bloomberg reporting, "The European Union as a whole won't get a waiver." Duration of the waivers is another story all together.

archived
EU Takes Measures to Protect Business with Iran
US Foreign Policy from Crisis to Crisis

by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: "Women and minorities" Wave
( / )
under the radar, of course
Trump endorses U.S. House prison reform bill
What's in your 'swag bag'?

by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
anglophone fiction w/o 11 Nov 2018
How Raab tripped on 'Barnier's staircase'
new demands on Britain ... a somewhat crude infographic ... trade-off between rights and obligations ... a draft deal that addressed fears of disruptive checks on the Irish land border by promising that Britain could negotiate an EU customs union ...scores more pages added to the draft treaty aimed at ensuring a "level playing field" ... "No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied."
&tc. Michael Gove is willing to replace Raab < wipes tears >

by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: another money quote
( / )
A "David" graft operation --NYC,NY, Arlington, VA, and Nashville, TN [?] joined by tax incentives.
Amazon to get billions in breaks for HQ2 development
Each would have up to 25,000 jobs and Amazon will create a new facility in Nashville with 5,000 jobs.
[...]
New York City, NY Total Incentive - $1.525 billion ...
Arlington, VA Total Incentive - $573 million ...
Nashville, TN [?] Total Incentive - up to $102 million
Average compensation demanded for jobs saved or created is $150,000 (while average US line worker's compensation, inc. OT, is $28K, gross). What Would France Do?

by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
A lot will depend on how many MPs believe this really is last chance saloon and there is no chance of negotiating another (better) deal. But as time goes on No deal will look the increasingly inevitable alternative and may persuade some to swallow their doubts.  It is also unclear at present how remainers will vote: FOR, as it is the softest Brexit on offer. Or AGAINST, in the hope of precipitating a crisis that will lead to a second referendum. If there is a leadership challenge that will suck the air out of the room for a couple of weeks. It's still all to play for.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
Is there a small chance this could still survive on tactics alone? The council session is next week and then there will be a vote before Christmas (?). So a few weeks to debate and actually read the deal. Time to cool off after venting frustrations. Also, the 'unpalatable' alternatives (no-deal, no-Brexit) will come into view. Could the maths be overcome because everything else is so bad?



by epochepoque on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Hegelian
( / )
And climate change and resulting unprecedented droughts is one of the causative factors for the northward migration of Africans which is causing such political trauma in Europe. It is not coincidental that Trump is against both climate change remedial action and further migration into the USA.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
JUST TO ADD SOME MORE FUEL: Why the Left Should Embrace Brexit  Jacobin

Nothing better reflects the muddled thinking of the mainstream European left than its stance on Brexit. Each week seems to produce a new chapter for the Brexit scare story: withdrawing from the EU will be an economic disaster for the UK; tens of thousands of jobs will be lost; human rights will be eviscerated; the principles of fair trials, free speech, and decent labor standards will all be compromised. In short, Brexit will transform Britain into a dystopia, a failed state -- or worse, an international pariah -- cut off from the civilized world. Against this backdrop it's easy to see why Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is often criticized for his unwillingness to adopt a pro-Remain agenda.

The Left's anti-Brexit hysteria, however, is based on a mixture of bad economics, flawed understanding of the European Union, and lack of political imagination. Not only is there no reason to believe that Brexit would be an economic apocalypse; more importantly, abandoning the EU provides the British left -- and the European left more generally -- with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show that a radical break with neoliberalism, and with the institutions that support it, is possible.


The authors argue that the economic arguments against Brexit are contaminated by the neo-liberal assumptions embedded in the economic analysis.


by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Hegelian
( / )
We may not have time for anything to swing back.  Let's not forget that the real backstop here is climate change, and we have a government here in the US Hell-bent on making it happen.
by rifek on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
Apres May, le deluge?
by rifek on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Okay, then
( / )
I can't imagine even the stupidest, neolib, Blairite Labour MP not wanting to hang this sack of sewage entirely on the Tory doorpost.
by rifek on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
The thing Corbyn should be maneuvering for is keeping the Tories in government through the post-Brexit slow-motion train wreck.
by rifek on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Hegelian
( / )
The former communist bloc countries didn't go through the same learning experience as "western" Europe. East Germany is still very different from West Germany. They washed away their war guilt by replacing right wing totalitarianism with what morphed into Stalinist totalitarianism. Not a whole lot different in many ways but without the guilty association with Nazism, Fascism, and collaborators.

Yes every country has its unsavoury undercurrents, and sometimes they can seize power. So far, the EU, for all its faults, has been able to hold the line. Maybe it too will succumb in time - with more and more national governments moving to far right, there is only so much the EU can do.

But defeating Brexiteers and the politics they represent will be an important victory, even if it results in significant economic dislocation all round. It will signal that there are some values the EU is not prepared to compromise on. It will not throw Ireland or a beleagured nationalist community in the North under a bus. It will not sacrifice free movement or worker rights on the altar on de-regulated capitalism. It will not allow UK disaster capitalists to game the system and have their cake and eat it.

That cake has been very painstakingly built up, and is for our children and grand children to inherit. Nobody eats it without contributing to its continued growth and welfare.

You can point to Greece and any number of other shortcomings in the EU. But lets not ignore a kleptocratic Greek elites role in their disaster. Ireland had a similar bad experience when our economic and political elites "lost the run of themselves". Mistakes were made at EU level as well, but generally the institutions were as helpful as they could be within their limited mandates.

The rise of the far right in Europe has many causes - fears about immigrants overwhelming traditional cultures, the legacy of government austerity in the wake of the financial crash, globalization and its impact on regional, economic and social inequality. The EU is not blameless, but generally it isn't the primary causative factor either, however much nationalists like to paint it in those colours.

The reality is that many of the factors cannot be addressed satisfactorily at national level and the EU needs more powers, not less, if it is to make a more effective contribution towards alleviating them. The success of the nationalists has been to simultaneously blame the EU for being all powerful and at the same time ensuring that it is as ineffectual as possible.

We will not miss UK nationalism in that regard.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Hegelian
( / )
The EU may be built on those realisations, but that didn't stop Hungary, didn't stop Austria and isn't stopping Poland much either.

Every Presidential election France flirts with Front National, the german secret service seem to be working hand in glove with people far beyond AfD.

Yes, Britain could do lots of things, but I look at europe and I'm not reasured the EU exists to pour oil on troubled water.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In my youth I used to be a sort of Hegelian believing that politics is like a pendulum - if it swings a long way in one direction, it will swing a long way in the opposite direction sooner or later. The assumption was that there was a natural state of equilibrium somewhere in the middle.

As I grew older, I realised that the centre, too, could move, and there was no telling how far it could move in one direction or the other. It was like Jews in Germany in the 1920's and 1930's thinking "how bad can it get?", on the assumption that sooner or later a central equilibrium based on human decency would re-assert itself. After all, they were on such good terms with their neighbours.

Now my advice to those who say it has to get worse before it can get better is "just don't go there". There is no guarantee things will not just get worse and worse and there are virtually no depths to which the collective human psyche cannot sink. Even atrocities get rationalised and normalised if they happen often enough.

So you will often find me here advocating for slow incremental steps in a better direction, not only because they are better in themselves, but because they can build a positive momentum and make more incremental improvements more likely in the future. At worst they can stop any momentum in the opposite direction.

Not very exciting, I know, and very far from the flights of idealistic fancy of my youth, where the assumption was that if you break things up, things can only get better. They can, but unfortunately the opposite is often more likely, especially if you disturb the human beast of anxiety, insecurity, fear, anger and felt deprivation.

We may laugh at them now, but the Tory Brexiteer idiots may soon become the new normal, the new moderates, to be displaced by something far more dangerous. The EU is built on a lot of these realisations. Unfortunately the generation which learned those lessons the hard way is fast dying out.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: "Women and minorities" Wave
( / )
NEW script: "Women and people of color"
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Using Instagram Stories to Lift the Veil on Congress and It's Genius
"We don't need to be making the process seem any more complicated than it actually is"
## Mental disorder is a communicable disease.


by Cat on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
I'll take the bet. In 10 years, maybe. 10 months, no. (Things move slowly around here. We think in centuries...)

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
Let's hope they buy Italian bonds, it'll bring down the spread. ;)

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
Sooner or later, surely (SURELY?), politicians will go into crisis mode and sort out some sort of shonky compromise to keep the shops stocked.

That's the gist of what I'm saying about Labour helping to push the current deal through.

How bad will they let it get?

by eurogreen on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Except for the "AI" nonsense the major power have been working on this for decades.  The basic technology for micro-drone swarms has been lying around since the mid-80s.  

by ATinNM on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
A barrel of laughs. I will definitely check him out.

However. Any thinker is heavily inluenced by personal experience. Ill health, unhappy family, body odour...

...

No sooner had Leopardi undergone his philosophical, essentially nihilist conversion than his thinking began to revolve around this central paradox: one studied and educated oneself under an imperative to find the truth, yet to live a happy life, which necessarily meant a purposeful active life, one needed to be impelled by illusion, not truth - or certainly not ultimate, philosophical truths.

A more happily socialised thinker might draw more positive conclusions.

by eurogreen on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
Just like Netanyahu joining the attacks on Soros, while also complaining about antisemitism (not to mention his Deputy Foreign Minister, who revived the Judenzählung myth).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: you mean privatisation?
( / )
Yes, sorry.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 12 - 18 November 2018

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
by generic on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Deal done?

Re: Deal done?
( / )
yea, all of those.

tbh, predicting which bits of the economic supply chain  will implode first is pretty impossible.

I imagine that once it becomes inevitable, all sorts of things will just begin to wind down. Food supplies will crawl to a halt simply because no EU lorry driver is gonna risk being caught on the wrong side of the channel.

Thre will be a run on the pound as people stash their money abroad in safer currencies.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]

News and Views

 12 - 18 November 2018

by Bjinse - Nov 13, 37 comments

Your take on this week's news

 4 - 11 November 2018

by Bjinse - Nov 6, 110 comments

Your take on this week's news

 November Open Thread

by Bjinse - Nov 6, 45 comments

Days decrease, and autumn grows, threads in everything

 October Open Thread

by Bjinse - Oct 1, 82 comments

Pale amber sunlight falls across, the reddening October threads

Occasional Series
Click for full list


Top Diaries