Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    That image of reported racism tweets is chilling.

    It's from a Facebook album which is growing alarmingly large.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit,

    The "there is no plan" moment on Channel 4, as cited in The Economist:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit,

    Bagehot in The Economist is particularly blunt: Anarchy in the UK:

    Sixty hours have gone by since a puffy-eyed David Cameron appeared outside 10 Downing Street and announced his resignation. The pound has tumbled. Investment decisions have been suspended; already firms talk of moving operations overseas. Britain’s EU commissioner has resigned. Sensitive political acts—the Chilcot report’s publication, decisions on a new London airport runway and the renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent—are looming. European leaders are shuttling about the continent meeting and discussing what to do next. Those more sympathetic to Britain are looking for signs from London of how they can usefully influence discussions. At home mounting evidence suggests a spike in racist and xenophobic attacks on immigrants. Scotland is heading for another independence referendum. Northern Ireland’s peace settlement may hang by a thread.

    But at the top of British politics, a vacuum yawns wide. The phones are ringing, but no-one is picking up.

    Mr Cameron has said nothing since Friday morning. George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, has been silent. (This afternoon I texted several of his advisers to ask whether he would make a statement before the markets open tomorrow. As I write this I have received no replies.) The prime minister’s loyalist allies in Westminster and in the media are largely mute.

    Apart from ashen-faced, mumbled statements from the Vote Leave headquarters on Friday, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have also ducked the limelight; Mr Johnson is meeting friends and allies today at his house near Oxford in what are believed to be talks about his impending leadership bid. Neither seems to have the foggiest as to what should happen next. Today Mr Gove’s wife committed to Facebook the hope that “clever people” might offer to “lend their advice and expertise.” And Mr Johnson’s sister, Rachel, tweeted: “Everyone keeps saying ‘we are where we are’ but nobody seems to have the slightest clue where that is.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    Len McCluskey of UNITE Union has said that any attempt to keep Corbyn off the ballot would break the party, it’d certainly see some serious problems relating to their funding.

    He's also implied UNITE could try and deselect the errant MPs.

    Holy, what a mess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    That’s not really correct. The president of the (unelected) Commission is nominated by the (unelected) Council

    The Council is composed of the elected heads of state or government of the member nations, who in turn elect a (non-voting) President for the Council, and for the Commission. The latter must be approved (or "elected") by the European Parliament.

    and the “parliament” gets to vote yea or nay.

    Or dissolve the whole show if it sees fit.

    The president then appoints Commissioners based on “suggestions” from member states.

    They're not suggestions, they're appointments by the member states, although the commissioners are expected to act in the interests of Europe as a whole, rather than individual national interest.

    It's worth noting that there are large policy areas where the Commission has no powers, most notably foreign policy.

    It's unusual, but designed to keep a stake for all member nations and to provide stability. We can only imagine how a directly-elected Commission would play out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Starting the cannabis…, in reply to Worik Stanton,

    I am so in disagreement with this.

    People are still getting busted. Ask them if it is “de facto decriminalised”. Use a phone for personal safety.

    No, I'm not saying people aren't getting busted. And the disproportionate impact of the law on Maori seems to be as much of a factor as ever (regrettably, race is still a key factor in who gets busted even in Colorado).

    But the number of arrests and prosecutions for use and possession has been falling significantly, while use and possession haven't. Something is happening.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Starting the cannabis…, in reply to Howard Edwards,

    However this also means that big food and pharmaceutical corporate retailers aren't interested in breaking into the local cannabis market so all retailing and distribution is effectively local (which IMHO is a good thing for both consumers and retailers.)

    That's a very interesting point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Attachment

    Migrants refusing to assimilate, forming enclaves in order to launch us vs them culture wars.

    Wow. In one sentence you just set the terms of a culture war and externalised the blame for it.

    No one is obliged to "assimilate" to some mythical British ideal. One of Britain's historical strengths has been the vitality offered by immigrant cultures. And the image I have attached (click to enlarge) paints a rather different story as to who doesn't want to get along.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit,

    And meanwhile, among the Tories, Anna Sourbry on Boris Johnson:

    "I don't honestly believe that he believed what he was saying to people ... I think he didn't think that they would win."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21134 posts Report Reply

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