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Rerversing the dominant submissive British Irish polarity

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 02:09:41 PM EST

I normally read Fintan O'Toole's articles, but when I saw the title of his latest piece "For the first time since 1171, Ireland is more powerful than Britain," I decided to give it a miss. Fintan going over the top again, I thought. But then in an idle moment I chanced upon the article again and got drawn in. It turns out to be some of Fintan's best work.

In considering his writing we must remember he is as much an art and drama critic as a political analyst, and while his political analysis can be a bit off the deep end - as when he suggested all Sinn Fein MPs should resign and allow themselves to be replaced by nationalist candidates not bound by an abstentionist policy - his colour writing on the subtle shifts and nuances of Anglo-Irish relations is second to none.

And far from the triumphalist Irish nationalist piece of guff I was expecting with a title like that, it is actually a very perceptive piece on how Brexit has changed the whole dynamic of Anglo-Irish relations. Essentially he is arguing that the polarity of the dominant-submissive mode of the post colonial British Irish relationship has been reversed: Partially in terms of Irish government policy and presentation, but more particularly in the mind set of Brexiteers.

Crazy as it may seem, they imagine themselves to be engaged in a post-colonial struggle for liberation against an oppressive evil empire (the EU) and cannot understand how Ireland would not be an automatic and natural ally in that struggle - but instead has taken on the role of cheerleader and chief antagonist for the evil empire.

Thankfully he notes that "There is far too much at stake to take any pleasure in this bizarre political reversal." The last thing we need to do is to replace an obsequious deference to our lords and masters with an obnoxious sense of superiority.


As the article is behind a subscriber only paywall I will reproduce what I can here within the bounds of fair use:

It is foolish to read too much into body language, but what we saw in Dublin on Monday morning was startling. The Taoiseach was calm, clear, sure of his tone, which was neither aggressive nor ingratiating.

Boris Johnson was deeply uncertain, unable to stand still at the podium, hesitating between tones - patronisingly matey or grandly demanding? He exuded, not the confidence we would usually take for granted in a visiting British prime minister, but an unease bordering on complete disorientation.

And it is in one way hard to blame him. In the long relationship between Ireland and England, we are on radically new ground. There has never been a moment since Henry II invaded in 1171 when Ireland had more political power than its bigger, richer neighbour. And it has now.

---

One of the key failings of the Brexit project has always been its reliance on an old paradigm of Anglo-Irish relations. Ireland did not have to be taken into account because in the end it would have do whatever suited England.

To the extent that the Brexiteers thought at all about Ireland during the 2016 referendum, it was to suggest that any problems with the Irish Border could be solved by the obvious solution of Ireland rejoining the UK.

Nigel Lawson, chairman of the Leave campaign, suggested before the referendum, "I would be very happy if the Republic of Ireland - I don't think it's going to happen - were to say we made a mistake in getting independence in 1922, and come back within the United Kingdom. That would be great."

Failing that, Ireland would simply leave the EU as it had joined in 1973, in lockstep with the British.

Anyone who had even the slightest notion that either of these scenarios was even remotely possible was being simply delusional. There is more chance of Ireland joining the USA.

Ireland and England have developed over many centuries ways of dealing with each other and none of them really work any more.

There's a whole array of modes - smooth condescension, raw bullying, sycophantic obsequiousness, violent hatred, chippy defensiveness, resentful hostility - that come naturally on either side. They are all now outmoded. In the great sea-change of Brexit, Anglo-Irish relations are taking strange new shapes.

Much of this strangeness consists in a kind of role-reversal. It is not just that, when we strip away the diplomatic niceties, Johnson came to Dublin essentially as a supplicant. (He needs a deal and knows he can't get one without the agreement of Ireland.)

This necessity is humiliating, and we have experienced over the last two years attempts at the standard response: rage at Ireland's failure to know its place and do what it is told.

The Sun's editorial of July 2018 (not in its Irish edition of course), ranting at "gobby Irish PM Leo Varadkar . . . the snivelling suck-up egging on the playground bullies", is at one level merely a repeat of old anti-Irish tropes. ("Gobby" contains the notion of an inferior who has no right to speak until spoken to, and then only with due deference.)

But the evocation of bullying takes us into new psychological terrain - not of the righteous anger of the master but the self-pity of the victim.

This is something much deeper - and much weirder - than a simple sense of affronted superiority. It has to do with the hyped-up psychodrama of Brexit itself, the way it imagines itself as a national revolt by an oppressed people against a foreign empire.

What is at work is not so much nostalgia for empire as a throwback to the binary mindset of imperialism, in which there are only two possible states: dominant or submissive. The normality of being one country among 28 is not possible.

What Fintan may be missing is how this narrative of oppression by the EU is an essential part of the internal English Brexiteer rhetoric. Perhaps it isn't really intended to be taken all that seriously in Ireland at all (who cares?) but is intended to convey a sense that (the overwhelmingly metropolitan) Brexiteers are on the side of the oppressed in the north and midlands of England who have been neglected by their betters, and to redirect their fury from the English ruling classes to "unelected bureaucrats in Brussels".

"Taking back control" was always about the Eton Oxbridge elite taking back control from meddling foreigners, but if a bit of bowdlerized Irish history can be used in support of a bogus internal UK argument, shure what's the harm?

When the room stops spinning and vision is restored, what can be focused on is the breathtaking nature of the shift in self-image. The British are now the people against whom they themselves once unleashed Oliver Cromwell and the Black and Tans, the gallant indigenous occupants of a conquered and colonised territory rising up against their imperial overlords.

---

When Boris Johnson talks, as he has done repeatedly, of the goal of Brexit, being "independent, democratic self-government", the suggestion is that Britain is not independent, is not democratic and does not govern itself - exactly what Irish nationalists would have said of their own country before 1922.

Once you start thinking like this, it is a short step to turning around the whole history of Anglo-Irish relations and imagining England as the victim, Ireland as the big, bad bully. The myth of Perfidious Albion is replaced by the myth of Perfidious Hibernia.

The word that is used over and over in media and political discourse about the backstop is "trap". The Border is not a reality but a clever conspiracy - to which Ireland is a willing and vital party - against an innocent England.

It is worth noting that, in this narrative, there is another reversal of the old stereotypes. The Irish Celt was supposed to be passionate, dreamy, impulsive but conversely not much good at rational thought. The English Saxon was, by contrast, cool, calculating, wily and therefore destined to rule.

Both sides, to a large extent, bought in to this trope and even the idea of the English as innately perfidious carried a rueful admiration - they were treacherous but very good at it.

---

Now, the stereotype is being turned upside-down. Johnson repeatedly evokes the idea of Brexit as a matter of passion and impulse, "courage and self-belief". The Brexiteers, meanwhile, see Ireland as treacherously scheming to stop this romantic upsurge of faith, hope and bravery by trapping it in infuriating matters of pointless detail.

The strangest shift of all is one that is both entirely obvious and entirely unacknowledged: the erosion of English identification with Irish unionism. If Irish nationalism is the imagined model for Brexit's overthrow of EU imperial tyranny, where does that leave the long tradition of sympathy for Irish nationalism's internal enemies? In no-man's land.

---

In 2011, when Queen Elizabeth visited Ireland and performed an exorcism on Anglophobia by acting out a recognition of equality, it seemed that Anglo-Irish relations had become what they had never been: normal. Decades of working together in the EU and on the peace process had worn away the legacy of condescension on the one side and defensiveness on the other.

But neither of those joint experiences matters to the Brexiteers. They approach Ireland instead though a strange swamp of contradictory impulses: rage and envy, thwarted superiority and indulgent self-pity.

Ireland cannot afford to reciprocate. There is far too much at stake to take any pleasure in the bizarre reversals we are experiencing. But it may be quite some time before we can hope to return to the apparently settled normality of 2011.

Display:
The oppressed of the north and midlands of England are the new Irish

I normally read Fintan O'Toole's articles, but when I saw the title of his latest piece "For the first time since 1171, Ireland is more powerful than Britain," I decided to give it a miss. Fintan going over the top again, I thought. But then in an idle moment I chanced upon the article again and got drawn in. It turns out to be some of Fintan's best work.

In considering his writing we must remember he is as much an art and drama critic as a political analyst, and while his political analysis can be a bit off the deep end - as when he suggested all Sinn Fein MPs should resign and allow themselves to be replaced by nationalist candidates not bound by an abstentionist policy - his colour writing on the subtle shifts and nuances of Anglo-Irish relations is second to none.

And far from the triumphalist Irish nationalist piece of guff I was expecting with a title like that, it is actually a very perceptive piece on how Brexit has changed the whole dynamic of Anglo-Irish relations. Essentially he is arguing that the polarity of the dominant-submissive mode of the post colonial British Irish relationship has been reversed: Partially in terms of Irish government policy and presentation, but more particularly in the mind set of Brexiteers.

Crazy as it may seem, they imagine themselves to be engaged in a post-colonial struggle for liberation against an oppressive evil empire (the EU) and cannot understand how Ireland would not be an automatic and natural ally in that struggle - but instead has taken on the role of cheerleader and chief antagonist for the evil empire.

Thankfully he notes that "There is far too much at stake to take any pleasure in this bizarre political reversal." The last thing we need to do is to replace an obsequious deference to our lords and masters with an obnoxious sense of superiority.

What Fintan may be missing is how this narrative of oppression by the EU is an essential part of the internal English Brexiteer rhetoric. Perhaps it isn't really intended to be taken all that seriously in Ireland at all (who cares?) but is intended to convey a sense that (the overwhelmingly metropolitan) Brexiteers are on the side of the oppressed in the north and midlands of England who have been neglected by their betters, and to redirect their fury from the English ruling classes to "unelected bureaucrats in Brussels".

"Taking back control" was always about the Eton Oxbridge elite taking back control from meddling foreigners, but if a bit of bowdlerized Irish history can be used in support of a bogus internal UK argument, shure what's the harm?



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 02:26:00 PM EST
The normality of being one country among 28 is not possible.

Let alone one nation among 193 in the UN, and only fifth in economic size. Quite the comedown from the glory days pre-WW I. Of course most could ignore this decline until the '50s, when Great Britain had to shed her colonial glory.

Now England's challenge is preventing a run-amok elite from taking the whole nation even further down in a failed attempt to retain their class dominance.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 03:31:01 PM EST
Yet the Tories keep winning elections, like the Republicans in the USA. Don't know about the UK, but in the USA it is the poorest voters, those most abused by the elite, that keep voting for them!
Stockholm Syndrome?
by StillInTheWilderness on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 05:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it is the success of distraction and deflection strategies, whereby the elite successfully persuade the oppressed that their downfall is all due to immigrants, welfare spongers, meddling bureaucrats, unfair trade deals, or foreigners. Take your pick.

Marketing works best at a subliminal emotional level appealing to deep seated needs to be secure, wanted, respected, valued, virile, sexy, high status, and more important/right than the other guy. So you take something people want, find someone to blame for them not having it, and hammer home the message again and again. This takes money and access to media.

Libruls talking down to people in complex jargon they don't understand just doesn't cut it. Most people in the UK don't have a clue what the EU actually does, but are sure the EU is to blame. Most people in the UK know Johnson is a Charleton, but they don't care - he is their Charleton and he speaks to them in their language.

Juncker? He speaks French doesn't he?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 05:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 06:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Help from auto-(in)correct?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 06:31:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that's why democracy can't work.

It's approximately stable if you have an educated population and a genuine plurality of debate in the media. But when you have industrial systems of persuasion applied to populations who are deliberately denied education and access to heterodox views, it simply implements the desires of those who own the means of persuasion.

Marx was wrong - it's not the powers of production that should be put into public hands, but the media.

And that isn't necessarily a good idea either, for obvious reasons.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 06:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
are media of production.

Perhaps you are interested to know exactly WHO owns the means/media of production--if it is not you? This information may be published but is not easily ascertained.

Likewise, the question seldom, satisfactorily answered by producer-consumers is WHICH product of their labors is more desirable than another?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 10:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty clear for the UK. Murdoch owns the bulk of the media, both newsprint and TV, the Independent is owned by a former Russian oligarch and the Guardian by a Labor Lord. And the BBC cowers in fear of Murdoch.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 05:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The BBC actually cower in fear of the Daily Mail, the newspaper that supported the nazis right up till Sept 2nd 1939 and whose politics have barely changed since, owned by the tax exile Lord rothermere.

But aside from that, yes.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 11:23:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clear in the US as well.  The media are concentrated in the hands of very few.  And frankly the diversity was always a sham.  Over 60 years ago the CIA was referring to its media plants and front organizations as its "Mighty Wurlitzer" which it could play to control public opinion and demonize everyone from Gus Hall to unions to civil rights activists.
by rifek on Fri Sep 20th, 2019 at 06:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When discussing Americans doing or not doing something remember:

  • 66% reject the Theory of Evolution

  • 56% reject 14% "Aren't Sure" their children should be forced to learn Arabic numerals

  • 33% of Republicans think colleges and universities have had a positive impact on the course of the country

So, in general, we're not dealing with the sharpest knives in the drawer.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 06:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In general we're dealing with people who can't find their asses using both hands.
by rifek on Fri Sep 20th, 2019 at 06:49:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No.

Follow the money. Money inducement, parts cash and status, furnishes masses of people for elites' political purposes. Of necessity masses of people reasonably expect money income more than than any ideology or politician to mitigate their grievances.

In the USA it is the poorest voters ...keep voting for [Republican Party]

This statement is not true. I trust you to search public sources to find data description of historical party control of federal government --POTUS, senate, house--1900 to present.

More difficult to locate and digest is US textbook editions for secondary school students, AP Government, for example. This material summarizes historical differences in parties' regional controls and electioneering for local, state, and federal governments. Republican Party historically has been successful controlling "down ticket" class antagonism by relating money inducements to local necessities. Beginning with "free trade," name these necessities.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 08:20:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that until about 1970, the republican party tended to be the party of business while the democratic party tended to be the party of labor. The combination of the racist Southern Strategy, the inclusion of fundamentalists, and the conversion of blue collar Catholics by leveraging the question of abortion changed the picture. The democrats lost control of the lower income working class and immigrant voters.

Overall, the GOP is probably still the party of the wealthy, but the shift was when they managed to shift some working class voters to their side. Those voters are suckers.

by asdf on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 08:49:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I have posted this before. wikiwtf source. See if you can locate it. Integrate the data with your theory of US poor people's preference for GOP- or DNC- controlled governments.

archived
bi-partisan purges of "commies"


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 10:23:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1931-1995 democrats control both houses almost continuously. Southern strategy gets Nixon in in 1969.

It's not like this is my own unique and personally-developed hypothesis.

by asdf on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 12:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"1931-1995 democrats control both houses almost continuously" and defeated communism, socialism, and collective bargaining rights at home and abroad.

Now, to whom do you owe the honors of decoding "The Southern Strategy" that purportedly induced poor people who presumably had been Democratic Party voters to elect Nixon, Reagan, two Bush, and a Trump?

Not to mention state legislature delegates and governors who enjoyed the pleasure of Republican Party company.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 12:37:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Union votes to strike at General Motors' US plants
Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. plan to go on strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the United Auto Workers and the automaker will resume.
"shrinking middle-class" purportedly abandoned by labor unions and GI bills
"We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most," union Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement, referring to union concessions that helped GM survive bankruptcy protection in 2009.
nod to DNC bank recap, "Car Czar" unit, which pretended that UAW had not agreed with GM in 2007 (RNC admin) to a two-tier pension and wage shaft.
The announcement came hours after the union let its contract with GM expire Saturday night. If there is a strike, picketers would shut down a total of 53 GM facilities, including 33 manufacturing sites and 22 parts distribution warehouses. GM has factories in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Indiana and Kansas.
"productivity" pride and "free trade" growth myths bite poor people in ass, right?
A strike would bring to a halt GM's U.S. production, and would likely stop the company from making vehicles in Canada and Mexico as well. That would mean fewer vehicles for consumers [!] to choose from on dealer lots, and it would make it impossible to build specially ordered cars and trucks.
Partisan "bickering" seems to be working well for middle-classes in the EU, too.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 01:24:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Overnight "roughly 49,000" has become 46,000.

In Union Auto Workers Set to Strike at GM Plants , "A strike by the union's 49,200 members means a halt to GM's production across all its plants in the U.S., and would likely affect production in Canada and Mexico as well."

Which fact is true? And aren't you relieved that it's not your job, responsibility, or "mandate" to decide?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 03:05:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"48,000 hourly workers"

White House says not involved in contract talks with GM, UAW union

"The Trump Administration, including Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro, are not involved in the negotiations between the UAW and GM," said White House spokesman Judd Deere.

Politico reported earlier Tuesday that the two senior White House officials were "both involved in the talks," citing an unnamed person.
[...]
A UAW spokesman said he could not comment on a report about White House involvement because "we don't know about it."



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 at 06:47:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GM Strikers Say 'No More Tiers!'
"It's uplifting because we're making a stand," she said. "We're not accepting concessions from a company posting billions of dollars of profit. And because we're all together. There's safety in numbers. We're standing up for ourselves in solidarity."

Strikers are hoping to make up ground lost since the United Auto Workers agreed to two-tier wages in 2007, followed by the Great Recession and the auto bailout, when GM got $50 billion from the taxpayers and even more concessions.

The company has since rebounded, making $35 billion in profits over the past three years. GM paid no federal income taxes last year and gifted CEO Mary Barra $22 million.

archived "Amazon of airlines"
Lemmesee: base-cut, two-tier compensation structure? I bet they fell for it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 at 08:19:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those suckers believe in Reaganomics, trickle down economy and in what Americans profess as the "American Dream". Hollywood fantasy ... ohh Reagan was a bad actor and Trump a poor showmaster of the Apprentice. 😎

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 10:33:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How quickly the world wishes it could forget that
"legacy."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 11:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-PM David Cameron 'sorry' for creating Brexit divisions
Cameron, who served as prime minister from 2010 to 2016, spoke to The Times newspaper to promote his soon-to-be-published memoir. He had supported remaining in the EU and resigned the morning after the 2016 referendum, staying out of electoral politics and largely out of the public eye since then.
ROLE model: Uber, 2018, Afiniti, 2019
He said the Brexit referendum turned into a Conservative Party "psychodrama" and that he had been "hugely depressed" about leaving his post as prime minister.
[...]
Cameron also turned to Twitter on Saturday to draw more attention to his book and the excerpts being published in The Times, tweeting "for 3 years I have kept relatively quiet about politics. But I think it's right former PMs write their memoirs, to explain what they did and why."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 12:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I won't be buying it in paperback, either.

I'll wait for Netflix's "Brexit" series. Sorry Dave will presumably figure for 2 or 3 minutes in the pilot episode.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 02:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The forgotten man
Cameron saw the opportunity to demand guarantees for the UK's financial sector only to pump out Eurosceptic rage when EU leaders told him where to go.

"You have missed a great opportunity to be quiet," was Nikolas Sarkozy's retort to Cameron.

Several years later, after being presented with a bill for several billion euros as a result of an adjustment to the EU budget remissions, the then Prime Minister turned puce with anger. And that was before his cack-handed attempts to renegotiate the UK's membership status.

< pick teeth, suck vigorously >
archived in the shade of T. May
"Cameron veto", 2011
"Special Enterprise Zones" for All, 2017-2018
it just might confuse Arlene and Sammy!
The UK to remain within a reformed EU?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 at 04:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The progressive drive for egalitarianism is probably way overrated. Deep down, humans are hierarchical species as other primates. (The best evidence for that is... don't laugh or fume, but male reproductive inequality.) Both the aristocracies and the oppressed ever know their stations in evolutionary and historical continuity. Most people would rather follow, be impressed than lead, impress others. The Soviet experience (with scarcely any indebted or destitute poor, and with the party rulers not that terribly out of majority's league) shows that people rather hate equal treatment, and can't wait to get ahead of neighbors.

Like I suggested in other thread, if progressives are so much totally into egalitarianism, democracy, non-domination, poor utilitarianism, they might be dramatically knocking off the political balance by positioning themselves as  innately unattractive, hesitant, undependable wannabe leaders. Choosing and supporting leadership must be as emotional, possibly irrational matter as... it escapes me...

by das monde on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 06:26:05 PM EST
I organise a tennis tournament every week. Its 12 people, mixed doubles, different permutations every 40 minutes. When I was away it was difficult to find anyone willing to organise it in my absence. People weren't even prepared to organise buying balls or deciding permutations.

I used to get a lot of stick that so and so won't play with so and so, or somebody else isn't trying. Some don't like particular courts, others complained someone else had taken their place when they were away. Some are alleged to call balls out when they're in and others are alleged to cheat on scoring.

We are talking grown adults here. Average age 60+. There is no prize for winning.

After several bust ups and flaming rows I just started to lay down the law. If you didn't like it, you didn't have to play. There hasn't been a problem since. People have even volunteered to run it while I am away.

So much for egalitarian, participative, decision making. I do a draw, and then I cheat to try to keep the parings as even as possible. No one has complained since. Dictatorship rools

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 06:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, when you get old, your eldest son will naturally fall into place as the subsequent leader. That is the way of humans.
by asdf on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 07:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, it's a bit more Oedipal than that. He would kill me first...:-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 08:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you have an eldest son. If not, you're not genetically predisposed for leadership.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 08:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you are saying my eldest son has retro-actively genetically engineered me for leadership? He would like that. Mind you it took considerable skills of leadership to get him to do anything in his early teens... but I maintain those skills were acquired through bitter experience.

If you have to have a driving licence to drive a car, how much more important is it to have a parenting licence to become a parent? The skills required are several orders of magnitude greater, and the consequences for getting it wrong so much more serious.

Mind you it is hard for me not to take a little vicarious pleasure as he struggles with parenthood. I find the duties of grandparenthood a breeze by comparison. I think some kids are genetically predisposed to force their parents to develop great leadership skills, and he is coming along nicely...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 08:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My meaning was that the genetic make-up of natural-born leaders determines the procreation of eldest sons. It's the default.

Think of all those kings who couldn't sire a son and heir. They were all pussies, especially Henry VIII who blamed his wives.

(Disclaimer: IANAN-BL but I'm not blaming anyone).

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 11:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The nature joke is that natural born leaders (say, in a wolf-pack) tend to choose more submissive females for procreation - so the next pack is again a fine mix of alphas, betas, omegas. (Youtube)
by das monde on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 12:54:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The more sophisticated, human joke is on you (but you already knew that).

Anyway, what are you doing on the profoundly unnatural internet, instead of being out clubbing mammoths, with the rest of the rightwing leadership wannabes?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 06:16:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Massive social media addictions show that the internet satisfies very natural human wishes, anticipations. Thank you for all the niggardly rejections! Here is better than on Tinder!

Returning to the subject:

"Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols." (John Calvin, 1559)

by das monde on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 09:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Natural's not in it

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 10:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This thread amply demonstrates ET's need for emoji. Our rating system simply fails before the task.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 02:55:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[smiley face]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 10:45:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Solid gold toilet stolen from Winston Churchill's birthplace
"after previously being shown to appreciative audiences at the Guggenheim Museum in New York"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 12:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Said birthplace being Blenheim Palace, built by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, 1st Prince of Mindelheim, 1st Count of Nellenburg, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, KG, PC, celebrated military leader of England against... oh, the Continent.

Further proof, if proof were necessary, of the inherent superiority of aristocratic lineage. Don't try to fight it.

Fortunately, (your link):

The artist intended the golden toilet to be a pointed satire about excessive wealth. Cattelan has previously said: "Whatever you eat, a $200 lunch or a $2 hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise."

Next thing they'll be telling us that Her Majesty the Queen shits.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 08:15:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Horses sweat, gentlemen perspire, ladies glow.
Horses shit, gentlemen defecate, ladies relieve themselves...

Get it right man!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 08:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Her Majesty the Queen obtains the same result, toilet-wise.

Is that better?

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 11:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As Cat might say, you are making assumptions not in evidence...
Apparently Diana used colonic irrigation but then she was de-HRMed...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 11:25:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can't make assumptions not in evidence, where's the fun?

Diana was married to Charlie, and can therefore be excused for using colonic irrigation and indeed whatever else.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 11:38:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be more fun if you could produce the evidence...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 01:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In times gone by, eg in the reign of Louis XIV, the Gentleman of the Bedchamber in charge of the royal stool displayed the result to the Court. Those were the days.

Perhaps now the UK is going to break free of its chains...

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 04:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is going rapidly down hill, or should I say down stream. I had not realized the UK has been bound by its toilet chains. As Dr. Freud might have said we are becoming too anally fixated. As Boris (the Incredible Hulk) bestrides the world stage striking fear in the hearts of mere mortals, let us hope that it is not the UK that is going down a golden toilet...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 05:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a lawyer would say when objecting to a question suborning testimony from a witness,

assumes facts not in evidence (p 36)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 02:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CIA apparently obtained evidence on Brezhnev by tapping the plumbing during a conference, and diagnosed the liver disease that eventually killed him. In an unpublished (in fact unfinished) novel of mine, Putin travels with a portaloo in order to keep his medical secrets.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 06:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually that was Gorbachev.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 03:48:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you publish it in instalments here? We might even inspire you to finish it!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 04:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conceptual art at its finest! For the artist the golden toilet was a 'found object'.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 02:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 03:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More of a foundation object, if you ask me, although I wouldn't say no if I found it in my back garden...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 04:10:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"poor utilitarianism"  =>  "pure utilitarianism"

Reading Napoleon: A Life by Adam Zamoyski now:

'What I have done so far is nothing,' he said to Miot de Melito and the Italian statesman Francesco Melzi d'Eril as they strolled in the gardens of Mombello one summer day. 'I am only at the beginning of the career I must pursue. Do you think it is to enhance the position of the lawyers of the directory, the Carnots, the Barrases, that I have been winning victories in Italy? And do you think it is in order to establish a republic? What nonsense! A republic of thirty million people! With our manners and our vices! It is an impossibility! It is a dream with which the French are in love, but it will pass like so many others. They want glory, they want their vanity to be satisfied, but liberty? They don't understand it all.
by das monde on Sun Sep 15th, 2019 at 07:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not much of a leader. Didn't father any successful sons.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 06:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither then Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great.
by das monde on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 09:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Doesn't this rather weaken your thesis about dominant males spreading their genes around?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 10:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My thesis? That obsession with the best seed is a nature trap?
by das monde on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 11:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
India's democratic dictatorship
Amid much fanfare, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has completed a hundred days of its second term. Despite his government's poor record, Modi remains immensely popular personally [...]

Modi's enduring popularity may mystify his critics. Most of the out-of-the-box solutions he has attempted have done more harm than good. For example, his government's disastrous demonetization of 86% of India's currency in 2016 was probably the single biggest blow to the Indian economy since independence, costing millions of jobs and undermining growth. But that does not seem to bother most voters, for whom he comes across as a decisive, no-nonsense leader, willing to break with tradition and attempt bold solutions to India's intractable problems.

by das monde on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 10:02:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh fuck off.

This is just nonsense designed to justify people being dicks. You want to be a dick, that's fine, but own it, don't call on just so stories about evolution to say that you can't help it.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 12:58:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you seen this?

by das monde on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 09:32:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a good film that I felt made a good fist of explaining what happened in 2008.

Sadly, it's unlikely to be aired on TV again soon cos Ken Spacey, but worth watching imo

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 11:39:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and simile suicide by an obscure US American author for the edification of obscure US American readers.

Profiles in Courage: the Tories Have It, the Republicans Don't

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 02:14:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland sceptical of Britain's claim of backstop breakthrough
The Irish Government and the two main Opposition parties have responded coolly to suggestions from two British ministers yesterday that there was potential for a breakthrough on the Northern Irish backstop impasse.

In separate interviews aimed at talking up the prospects of a deal, home secretary Priti Patel, and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay contended that discussions centred on overcoming the problem the backstop has caused for prime minster Boris Johnson's government were progressing, and that a deal was still possible by October 31st.

However, a[n Irish] Government spokesman said the position has not changed since the meeting between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and prime minister last week, in relation to the backstop.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 at 09:26:06 AM EST
A revived Stormont assembly could be part of the Brexit solution, the Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith has said.

Sorry, what was the [Irish] question again?

No, Stormont is a dysfunctional British institution. Restoring it is undoubtedly a prerequisite to a Brexit solution... and the Failure of successive Westminster governments to do so is a sure sign that they have no grasp of the problems, let alone of the solutions.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 09:07:17 AM EST
Stormont was designed to be dysfuntional.

when it was set up after the Partition, it was intended to cement Uionist control of the six counties of N Ireland.

After the GFA, it required Big Beasts from both sides of the divide to work together to achieve anything. However, after they departed the scene, Stormont reverted to its historic role as a vehicle for the Unionist veto on any semblance of progress

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 11:47:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The assembly and executive haven't met in Stormont for almost 3 years - and won't again at least until Brexit is sorted to the satisfaction of nationalists - which will entail either a N. I. backstop or no Brexit at all. In practice N.I. won't be leaving the EU any time soon...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 12:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BoJo and the empty lectern:

Boris Johnson humiliated by Luxembourg PM at 'empty chair' press conference -Guardian

Bettel, who gave a wave to the crowds and offered a defence of their right to demonstrate after Johnson's decision to leave, did not mince his words as he took the lectern next to the one left empty by the British prime minister's no-show, with the union flag still in position.

He mocked the varying suggestions in recent weeks from Johnson that there had been good progress in the Brexit talks and that it would take the strength of the comic hero, the Incredible Hulk, to leave the EU with a deal.

Bettel said: "I asked also Mr Johnson: I read in the papers a few days ago that it goes from `big progress', to Hulk, to David Cameron proposing a second Brexit [referendum]. And Mr Johnson said there won't be a second referendum, because I asked him: wouldn't that be a solution to get out of the situation?"

Politico is even blunter:

It was a remarkable performance on many levels, not least because the dressing down of the British leader for mishandling Brexit came not from one of the EU's great powers, the president of France or the chancellor of Germany, but from the prime minister of tiny Luxembourg. And it showed not only just how deep anger now runs among the EU27 but also how fiercely united they remain in loyalty to Ireland and the so-called backstop provision to protect the Irish border that Johnson on Monday continued to insist must be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement.
by Bernard on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 12:00:40 PM EST
by generic on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 12:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Incredible Hulk?

My favourite episode of that is where a small group of people shouted at him, so he ran away.

Or as Monty Python sang;-
Brave Sir Boris ran away.
Bravely ran away away.
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Sir Boris turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Swiftly taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the brave, Sir Boris!

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 01:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, sure, the EU leadership is completely fed up. They are angry, they are dressing down the British leader, they are fiercely united, they are not going to give in to a clown like Johnson. No way is the EU going to put up with this nonsense any longer.

This time around, they really mean it. They are going to really clamp down, no more fooling around. In fact, they will issue a lot of very serious and important statements to go along with the next extension.

by asdf on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 04:30:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, maybe not. But I think the mood music is different this time. Lst time the EU gave us 6 months and warned us not to waste our time getting our act together. 6 wasted months later, I would not be the least bit surprised if they didn't more or less tell us to fuck off and not come back til we've grwon up

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 04:38:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My ten bucks USD sez extension.
by asdf on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 04:40:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would agree. One thing though: Boris has to ask for an extension, as mandated by the law voted by the HoC. The default outcome, if Boris doesn't move, is still the UK out without a deal at All Hallows eve.

The EU can, and has been, very creative in  kicking the can down the road, but even then, it cannot last forever.

by Bernard on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 05:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Johnson will send the letter, that I do not doubt, if only because the yella sheets scream he won't.

He's a contrary bastid, and he can count on parliament not making the best of the time their granted.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 05:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
parliament not making the best of the time their granted.

You mean like the last time an A50 extension was agreed upon by the EU Council, Donald Tusk pleaded with Britain: "don't waste this time", and then the British Parliament immediately went into a ten-day recess?

Yes, I remember that one: you could hear the collective "What the f*ck?" all over Europe.

by Bernard on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 at 05:50:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the EU Council will have to ask themselves the question: Have things moved on since we last granted an extension?

The answer is obviously subjective - Boris is hardly an improvement on Theresa - but at least the UK government is showing an urgency to get this matter resolved.

My own view is that Boris is desperate to Brexit on 31st. October because he senses the initiative slipping away from Brexiteers and if he doesn't achieve Brexit then he is opening the door to a second referendum and a reversal of the first.

So the very act of extension could make Remain a good bit more likely, and since this is still the ideal outcome from an EU Council perspective they will not wish to spurn the opportunity especially as it will really annoy the Brexiteers.

But the UK Parliament has to find a way to enforce its will first...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 at 06:48:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris is hardly an improvement on Theresa

Seems to me Boris is considerably worse than May. She negotiated in good faith, and came up with a compromise proposal that the EU was ok with, and tried three times to get it through an unruly, uncooperative, and illogical parliament. Boris is not even pretending to negotiate, has no clue about what sort of compromise might work, and has zero intention of getting anything through parliament.

The only question about BoJo is the exact proportion of privilege, cluelessness, and bluster in his character.

by asdf on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 at 11:29:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on their performance up to that point, having a 10-day session would have been a complete waste of time. So they interpreted his comment to mean they should have a holiday.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 at 07:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wales voted for Brexit, but was it the Welsh?

The question of why Wales voted to leave the European Union can in large part be answered by the number of English retired people who have moved across the border, new research has found.

Despite being one of the biggest beneficiaries of EU funding, Wales voted leave by a majority of 52% to 48% in the 2016 referendum - a result that took some analysts by surprise.

However, work by Danny Dorling, professor of geography at Oxford, found that the result could in part be attributed to the influence of English voters.

"If you look at the more genuinely Welsh areas, especially the Welsh-speaking ones, they did not want to leave the EU," Dorling told the Sunday Times. "Wales was made to look like a Brexit-supporting nation by its English settlers."

Around 21% (650,000) of people living in Wales were born in England, with nearly a quarter aged over 65, and the country voted for Brexit by a majority of just 82,000.



Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sun Sep 22nd, 2019 at 03:32:34 PM EST


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