Rejoining the EU?

In the YouTube video Who the hell thinks Brexit is going well? LBC’s James O’Brien he cites (with caveats) that 2% of the UK population think Brexit is going well. And 10% for fairly well. Also mentioned is Von der Leyen remarking about the UK rejoining the EU which is predictably rubbished by the usual suspects. What caught my attention was the “next generation” remark which was not far off my thinking of the subject.

The Conservative party has completely nailed its colours to the mast of hard Brexit and all but purged anyone who even remotely disagrees with this. Their gene pool leaves little prospect of a reversal because there does not appear to be anyone in sight who would be willing and able to drive such a change.
Conservative-leaning business-orientated people I come across privately agree Brexit is a disaster but within the party the main concern is trying to out-do whatever the former UKIP lot end up calling themselves come the election.

Labour have never been warm towards the EU and its predecessor organisations, and this hostility was a major reason they had the SDP split that helped see them out of office for almost two decades. In Euro-election campaigns they did the complete cop-out of not mentioning Europe at all, with one of their 1999 party political broadcasts consisting of borderline brain-dead droning on about the Conservatives. The Labour Leave “wipe the smiles off their faces” is a contender for the most dishonesty short-termist thing of any British political campaign.

Labour know the Conservatives will use Europe as a wedge issue against them in the Red Wall seats, which is why Kier Starmer has already ruled out rejoining the customs union. While not anti-Europe the enthusiasm to spend the political capital is absent.

The Liberal Democrats and Greens are in favour of rejoining but they are in no position to do anything about it.

If the UK was to rejoin the EU it will not be the deal they used to have prior to the referendum because the EU as a whole will simply not tolerate the sort of farting around seen in the Brexit negotiations. No rebate and no opt-outs, it will be take it or leave it. One such opt-out was the long-term commitment to join the Euro and this is something that the UK public will find hard to swallow even if in practice it is put off indefinitely. The EU has moved on so there may well be other things that are not paletable.

And then there is the issue of whether the EU would even allow the UK back in. They saw how UK politics developed since the referendum and while they might not go as far as needing the UK to ditch FPTP they will want changes to how the UK conducts itself.

I might just about see the UK rejoining the EU within my life-time but the time-scale is so long that it will have no bearing on my working life.

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Wasted referendum

On Mothers Day weekend there was two referendum, one on family and the other on care. Both badly run and both lost. And it was only after the polls closed that I even heard about them. I agree with the trend of removing dogma from the Irish constitution, but in this instance the government screwed up.

My personal view is the clauses should simply have been deleted, rather than replace them with what in the case of the care amendment was at best shameless virtue-signalling. Notably the latter got not only much wider ‘No’ margin of the two amendments, but it was also the widest in Irish history.

The constitution is the wrong forum for what is social policy and hence should be silent on the matters, and instead focus exclusively on what it is supposed to do: Set the ground rules of the process of government. Stuff that by and large does not change over time. In my life-time there has been four referendum on divorce and six on abortion.

Ultimately these referendum are part of the clear-out of the constitution that has been happening over the last decade, but unlike the 2018 blasphemy referendum which was a straight-forward deletion, politicians left behind too many loose ends that got tugged on. Putting a half-arsed effort into constitutional amendments related to a women’s place in society the day before Mothers’ Day backfired because a lot of Irish are sick & tired of symbolism.

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Feral youths

Varadker promises a ‘crackdown’ on “far-right” groups following the rioting that was sparked off by yesterday’s stabbing. The problem is that most of the rioters were not part of any such groups and in reality the whole riot was little different to what happens at Halloween every single year.

Ireland has traditionally been very liberal when it comes to immigration, but Ireland had a hyper-critical and deliberately engineered housing crisis long before the current fighting in Ukraine kicked off and it was clear that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael had no intention of doing anything other than keep property prices up via squashing supply. To then bring in 100,000 people almost overnight would inevitably be seen as treating foreigners better than locals, which is on top of existing ill-feeling with private house buyers having to compete with deep-pocketed local authorities. Classic shortage politics.

There is not much out there about the details of the stabbing that started all this but it is alleged that far-right groups falsely claimed the perpetrator was an immigrant in order to stir up trouble. But why created an environment where they could easily do such a thing? Ultimately blaming someone for the spark is the go-to excuse for those who filled the room with gas.

However this is all an excuse rather than a reason. Just look at who was rioting.

The real elephant in the room is the way undisciplined youths were allowed to thrive in Ireland. I have personally been harassed by feral children on the Luas who know that softy-softy “child protection“ laws mean that they can do what they like without consequence and I as an adult have to simply suck it up. Any adult in that situation who does anything else gets months of guilty-until-proven-innocent hell even on the most patently false abuse charges. And these kids full well know this.

Three or so years on and we now see someone who looks circa 20 shovelling burning boxes into the back seat of a Garda squad car. Maybe it was the same teenager who rammed a Garda car in Cherry Orchard and then got off scot-free. Clearly no concept of consequences.

At least when the French riot they have purpose. This riot is long-brewing social failure.

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