Sunday, June 26, 2016

looks any different to me

Hello you, the people

Oh no, they say. The whole world is going to come to a crashing end because, look you see, the UK has voted and the majority of voters have said they wish to leave the EU. For those of you who did not vote and did not want to leave – tough, you either should have or you need to start petitioning for a change in the system that prevented you from voting. Don’t make either the problem of someone it has nothing to do with.

Quite a lot of negatives have been thrown around about this decision. A fair number of possible consequences are being discussed and reported on, often as actual fact when they are not but sometimes as the possibilities they are. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned, and am quite interested in learning about, is the fate of this scam of a pyramid scheme of a pension / retirement fund, the “Euro Millions”.

Yes, that is my most recent investment in a “Euro Millions” retirement fund. Yet again, dear reader, I have been told that my pension fund investment has failed, and that my investment has been lost, all due to the bizarre decision to award allocations and payouts on randomly selecting balls what have numbers painted on them.

That’s me not retiring, then. Thanks a lot, European pension fund administrators. Never mind, apparently money shall be worthless soon anyway. The reports all seem to talk as if the UK didn’t exist prior to joining the EU, so pretty soon I imagine we’ll be resorting to a barter system which will see us – dangerously – trading the secret of fire with certain areas of what’s left of the country (I didn’t single out Newcastle or Cornwall) in exchange for whatever small creatures of wildlife they can catch.

Something of a more/less serious, yet all “in my opinion” (for ultimately this is my blog) look at a few of the “we are totes doomed” stories doing the rounds? Doable.

We are already heading for financial ruin.

There was a lot of reporting about how the vote to leave the EU had instantly caused markets to crash, the Pound Sterling to lose value, etc. The most impressive part of this was when Sunderland was directly blamed for a 6% loss in value for the Pound. Except, the leave vote didn’t cause it – people playing with the market assuming that a remain vote would win did.

Various financial market people – stockbrokers, investors, hedge funders, etc – took out “secret” polls and those polls said that the vote would be to remain. So they invested money – most of it belonging to others, some of it being imaginary and very little of it being their own – on what they projected the markets would do in the case of a remain vote that would give them the most actual, real money.

What I don’t get it how people are surprised that these banker financial types have caused the damage themselves. Actually, scrub that – it’s more why aren’t people seeing that they’ve caused it? Have we, at large, forgotten already the damage, the havoc and the chaos their greed caused a little less than ten years ago?

Surprisingly, although perhaps not, what has not been widely reported is the fact that the Pound Sterling quickly made a recovery when it was clear that there was no actual crisis, it was instead silly bankers making foolish bets with the money of others.

Countries do not trade with other countries because they like them, because they are part of a special club or anything like that. It’s pure supply and demand, as well as profits and needs. The UK does not all of a sudden have a lack of what other countries want, and other countries do not all of a sudden not want our business or money.

Yeah, but all the banks and financial institutions will leave now.

Oh, really? There’s more to a presence in the UK, in particular London, than a “seat in the EU”. Banks and financial institutions are not charities, they are in London because that’s the best place for them to be for profits. If they would be better off in Dublin, Paris, Brussels or anywhere else in the EU, they would have long since been there.

Thatcher reconstructed London as the financial centre of the world in the 80s, long before the Maastricht Treaty of the early 90s and all that followed it. It shall continue to be this. They like the stability of the British political system. When they get a load of the generous tax and duty terms a not bound by EU law British government gives them, they’ll be delighted to stay, I would expect.

Scotland will want to leave the UK, again.

Well, the Scottish National Party wants to leave the UK, again. Or at least wants to make a lot of noise about leaving. Yes, the majority vote in Scotland alone was to remain, but a little while ago they voted to remain in the UK and thus must abide by the majority vote. That is how democracy works.

Surely this decision, they say, means there are grounds for a new referendum? Perhaps, but then again the fact that the Scottish National Party won the majority in Scotland but not the UK wasn’t cause for a new referendum. Yes, there is a difference. But let’s address the bits they casually skip over.

Firstly, I am not convinced that the SNP actually want an independent Scotland. If they got it, then by the logic that UKIP are now dead because their sole objective has been achieved, once Scotland is independent then there is no need for the SNP. I am struck by the thought that blaming England for holding them back is of more appeal to them than achieving what they say they want.

Secondly, an independent Scotland would not be granted membership of the EU. This was made clear at the time of the Scottish referendum and no statement has been made which says this is any different now. An independent Scotland would have to have its own currency (it is not getting the Pound without UK control) and apply like any other country. If you believe the doom and gloom that says the UK has “no friends”, Scotland would have less than zero friends if it went independent now. Thirdly, and finally, perhaps Scotland wants to hold on and sees what kind of deals the UK cuts with European nations – and countries around the world – before deciding they don’t want a part of it. Who knows, maybe fairer and better deals will be brokered, and Scotland will find it prosperous and pleasant to be part of the UK.

Sinn Fein says Ireland should be united.

Like Scotland, the majority vote in Northern Ireland was to remain in the EU. Sinn Fein jumped on this as an excuse to push their manifesto for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to become one country.

Overall, perhaps it is time for this referendum to happen. I’m not going to claim any expertise or knowledge about the Irish situation, but I am going to claim, quite passionately, that countries should be allowed to choose their own destiny. If you think that contradicts my comments on Scotland, look again and note that I didn’t say they should not vote again, they should just think long and hard about if they want to rush into another referendum right now.

The comment I would pass on an Irish referendum is that nothing about the general election results, either recently or over the years, has said that the people of Northern Ireland want to vote for a break from the UK and a unification with the Republic. Unless I am wildly misreading election results.

Sure, go ahead with a referendum in Ireland. If there are assurances that Sinn Fein will accept the democratic result, and that there’s a guarantee of no reactivation of the IRA should the vote not go their way, then great. I would expect Sinn Fein to campaign, until the end of time if need be, for a united Ireland. It’s just the return to violent measures to express this ambition that I get concerned about.

London is going to breakaway as an independent state and remain in the EU.

Sure, why not? It’s not as crazy or as implausible as you might at first think. If you doubt me, please go and read up on the special situation which exists for the London Borough of the City of London.

If they want to put an expanded City of London in the EU, and shift the UK’s Parliament to another area, go for it. The are would be run by private concerns, financiers and bankers, etc, and would be welcomed into the EU faster that Switzerland and all its lovely banks would be. That’s the Switzerland that has not died as a result of not being in the EU, just to clarify. Just so the City of London knows, however, that their EU problems are their problems.

A lot of people kick off and complain about big business “not paying taxes” without understanding how tax, employment and the economy all work. As Chancellor of the Exchequer I would call all these big businesses in and do a deal. Not shady and not hidden. I’d say “you pay all your VAT, you employ hundreds of thousands who pay tax and with their salary are able to keep the economy cash rich. Let us not punish you by taxing the profits of the success you get on top of this contribution”. Does that make me a “capitalist dog pig”? Probably. But I see more value in having many people employed and cash flowing through families and the economy than I do in chasing employers out of the country. Who cares if someone down the line makes an awful lot of money out of it so long as lots of people get decent money along the way – making money is why people start businesses instead of charities.

The economy is going to f*****g tank and we are f*****d

That’s what George Osborne said would happen. George Osborne, who for virtually all of his political life was booed and hated, but all of a sudden got loved by remain campaigners when he spoke of the impending doom and destruction which would come if the UK voted to leave.

Imagine you are on an aeroplane. Let’s say it is going from London to Glasgow via Birmingham. Someone taps the pilot on the shoulder and says “actually, we need to go via Manchester not Birmingham”. The pilot says that he doesn’t know how to do that, and so he has no choice but to crash the plane. This is exactly what George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, did when he announced “if we leave the EU we have no economic plan and we will raise taxes”. Let that sink in.

The sad and scary thing is that Osborne and Cameron should be celebrated. As much as you lefties don’t want to hear this, Labour left an absolute mess of an economy, to the extent of leaving actual notes with “sorry there’s no money left” written on them as they were kicked out of office. Osborne and Cameron made tough and unpopular decisions, but took them to rebuild an economy that is thriving. All this will be erased, the pair will be recalled for threatening to make people poor and for refusing to lead the electorate in the way they wished to be led.

Osborne's statements about how he would have no plan and less of a clue as to how to run the economy if there was a change is something that should have seen him sacked or forced to resign before any vote. That he has gotten away with this - so far - and remains in his office is a disgrace.

The leave vote should not stand because old people voted leave.

I’ve more or less addressed this in another blog post, which hopefully I will link on to for you here somewhere

Young people taking to twitter and similar to demand that certain people’s votes be taken away is quite a sad reflection on how the concept of democracy is taught and understood. It’s also a casual rejection of years of fighting – politically and through war – for the right to the freedom of vote.

Two million people, probably more, have signed a petition to demand a law change in regards of referendums and have it imposed retrospectively on the result of the EU referendum. They are, then, basically requesting that a democratic decision be rejected until such a time that a democratic answer which they like is given. I don’t have the patience to point out the flaws or folly in this; just as well as those calling for it would have zero interest in hearing it.

There are mixed figures on this, but reports suggest that 31% - 44% of eligible, registered voters aged 18 – 24 did in fact vote in the referendum. Various reasons have been given for this. They include, but are not limited to, people being at Glastonbury, people being on holiday, it was raining, people of that age don’t know how to vote, they thought remain would win so didn’t bother and there should be “an app” to vote via.

I really hope that the ones in this age bracket who are kicking off and demanding that the vote does not stand are those in the percentage that actually did take the couple of minutes required to vote. Sadly I suspect it is the usual keyboard wielding social justice warriors with fake profiles who are doing most of it.

Those who are truly upset about the result and are adamant that they want to be part of Europe have, at the least or possibly as a max, two years to move to an EU country freely. In all likelihood they will be allowed to remain, or be given an easy path to apply to stay. Like our celebrity friends below, however, I suspect that their "not racist" stance ends around the time they are offered the chance of living in a non-English speaking country....

We are a racist country for voting leave.

Really, I am so sick and f*****g tired of social justice warriors not understanding what racism is and accusing anything that they don’t like – or simply cannot understand- of being racist and trying to shame or guilt people into doing things their way.

There are many who have voted leave because they don’t like foreigners. It would be silly not to acknowledge such people exist, for they always have. The dislike, indeed hatred, they have is not always down to skin colour or ethnic origin. It’s xenophobia to hate other countries, not racism. But the right word to use doesn’t matter to those brave souls on the social networks; they want to use the word with the most punch.

To try and put this racism argument to bed, let’s bewilderingly look at this screenshot from the Daily Mail. Look very closely at the EU leaders we have just voted to no longer have a relationship with.

Notice anything? Why, yes – Angela’s not there, so all you can see are a load of ageing, overweight, fatcat, white male bureaucrats . So, predominantly white British UK has voted to leave an organization of tres predominantly white people. Where’s this racism, then, what am I missing, please?

If you note the headline, you will see that the EU President makes it clear that Europe doesn’t really like us. Go ahead and scream “racism” at all of Europe, then. Also, the fact that Tony Blair will now never ever be President of Europe is an ace reason to celebrate the leave vote.

All too often today people feel bullied into allowing people to do whatever the hell they want, no matter how much it costs of hurts others, because those taken advantage of are scared of being labelled "racist" if they speak up to stop it or reintroduced being fair. This has got to stop.

Like, totes loads of important celebs are upset with the vote.

In some respects we really did f*** over the future back in the 80s, man. Sorry. Back in the 80s, Bob Geldof had a point and did an incredible thing with Band Aid and Live Aid. The Smiths made a valid point about choice, and how you don’t have to settle for the traditions of how things always have been. U2 made people aware of people like Martin Luther King, and that not all of Ireland wanted violence. We didn’t know we were creating a world where anyone of any level of fame would be assumed to have a view and opinion on absolutely anything and that it was a view which was worth listening to and reporting as actual news.

James Corden, who lives and works in America, is sad about the result. The Beckhams, who now live and “work” in America, are very upset by the result. Shame. It all feels quite like the Scottish Referendum. You know, when Spanish living Sean Connery and London born, LA living Rod Stewart were celebrated for supporting independence, yet NY living Bowie had lots of Scots deleting illegally downloaded albums in anger as a result of him expressing a wish for the UK to remain as is.

JK Rowling. Sigh. I can’t believe I am writing this. Yes, she lives in a dreamland, where she demolished castles in order to build palaces for herself. Sure, once she was poor but now she is rich and thus immune to the effects of anything. But, all credit as always when it was due – she pushed, pressed and argued for a remain vote from the start. I will listen to her as she’s had the courage of her convictions, rather than just casually dropping in on the whole matter. I don’t like her, and I am pretty sure as an English leave voter she woudn’t care a sod for me, but damn I respect her and anyone that knocks her stance is missing the point of democracy.

Our “special relationship” with America will be dead.

One of the best things ever in the world is the “special relationship” that America and Britain has. No one really knows what it is, or what it involves, but all see it as important and something which must be preserved. In particular the leaders.

Barack Obama before the vote was all “UK must vote remain, the relationship with America will suffer if not”. Barack Obama after the vote – “this is a wake up call for world politics, we will always maintain our special relationship with the UK and shall stand by them”. Possible President Trump has said much the same, only he has said it all along. And any US President – with many even risking to have another go with a Clinton to prove that “any but Trump” would do – will say the same. And any UK leader will say the same, for, in the case of Thatcher, better or, in the case of Blair, worse.

The UK is responsible for the end of the EU

Following the UK vote to leave, demand has grown in countries like France, the Netherlands and Finland for a similar chance, as there is an increasing wish amongst the electorate to get out too. In all likelihood the Netherlands will be first, as an anti-EU party is likely to win a general election in less than a year. France might get there first, or not long after. There are also concerns that a growing right wing movement in Germany will rise once again and also demand the same say.

A basic socio-political lesson for you all, then. The ugly face of right wing politics and left wing politics only rise and gain popularity by the “status quo” disillusioning people and pushing them their way. Obama was right; this result is a wake up call.

Yes, absolutely, all other countries in Europe should give the people a chance to vote on whether or not they wish to remain in the EU. If that means the effective end of the EU, then so be it – how ludicrous is it to impose a system of rule on people that the majority does not want? Or are we forgetting all that fuss about ending apartheid all of a sudden?

The future is uncertain.

Yeah, that’s why it is called the future, rather than the past And even then, it’s not like we can all agree on what actually happened in the past, not what with history being written by the victors and so forth.

Look, I really loved the TV show FlashFoward too, and was angry when it got cancelled. But it is fiction. There is no way to know what the future would bring, ever. You can anticipate, make an educated guess and do things which could possibly make stuff come about as intended, but it cannot be done for certain.

If you’re stressed and worried and upset and fearful because you’re being told that we have no idea what the future will bring, try and take some solace in the fact that no, you would not have known that if the vote was to remain. We’ll find out, hopefully for the better but maybe we will have to face some for the worse on the way.

So, on a more serious note, this failure of my pension funding. It is, as I have said before, a right bloody shame that the grand idea of a grand Europe just didn’t work out. It was a good idea, but this “Euro Millions” business is just all a con. I cannot keep investing time and money into a system that is clearly never, ever going to pay me what it promises.

Other than the images of my failed Euro Millions pension investment, twerker and the joys of the Daily Mail,  the images used to beautify this post have been sourced from places that state they are free to use and require no attribution. That said, thanks to all who made them available.

Again, the above is my opinion, humble or otherwise, one man’s coffee is another’s whisky, etc. If you’ve taken “offence” at any of the above you have mistakenly read it thinking I intended for you to agree with or accept anything I said.

Let me depart, then, and check how my speculative investment in the thoroughly modest and often unsuccessful UK “lottery” pension scheme has got on.

Not at all well, as it turns out. So, my pension fund planning was as successful in the EU as it has so far been looking at options outside of it.

Well, anyway, thanks for reading all of this. I would hope that some if not most would disagree with things I have said, which is how it should be. Nice one, though, if what I've written in parts makes some kind of sense.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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