Saturday salon 18/6

1. Orlando shootings

Clearly the biggest news event of week was the Orlando shootings, followed now by Jo Cox’s murder in Britain.

Most security experts say that security authorities can’t ultimately defend against a lone gunman who suddenly decides to launch an attack. I’m glad, however, that the authorities in the US are pursuing whether gunman Omar Mateen’s wife knew anything of his intentions.

In Britain it seems there had been threats and the police were looking at guarding Cox at home and in the office. The fact that she was murdered out interacting with voters is a blow to democracy.

I don’t intend personally here to comment on the motivation in either case, clearly an outrage to our humanity, just comment on some aspects of the political by-wash.

Donald Trump immediately leapt on the ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ theme and doubled down on his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country. Some think that Trump has lost the plot entirely. Even Republicans are worrying that he’ll take down their candidates for Congress.

Bruce Schapiro told Phillip Adams that some are hoping that Trump will crash in the November election and that out of the wreckage the will may be found for Congress to do something about gun control. We are told that the rifle he used is America’s favourite, easily purchased, even by people the FBI have put on the ‘no-fly’ list.

Meanwhile LGBTI leaders have urged Turnbull to ditch the marriage equality plebiscite, because of all the hatred that is going to be aired.

He should, but he won’t.

2. Brexit

On 23 June the Brits will decide whether they want to leave Europe. There is a good Q&A at The Independent, as yet another poll shows the Brexit camp winning, this time 53-47.

Seems David Cameron may not have wanted a referendum, but felt he had to “shoot the Ukip fox”. Others counselled that there may be unforeseen consequences.

It seems the Bank of England’s warning about global financial risk is being ignored. Certainly over $50 billion has been wiped off our stock market in the last few days, attributed to Brexit.

There were two articles in the Fin Review reprinted from Der Spiegel. One said, please stay, we need you to balance German power, and for cultural and economic reasons. It also warned that if Britain goes, others may follow, putting the European project in jeopardy.

The other said, you might as well go, as you have prevented us from doing some of the things we wanted to do in order to further European integration and we’d be better off without you.

The opinion in Germany, as in the rest of Europe, heavily favours Britain staying.

However, Brexit proponents think they can do a trade deal with the EU to retain their access. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble says out is out, and Britain won’t be given access like Switzerland and Norway.

Seems they will be made to pay, and to accept all the rules they complain about, without the capacity to affect making rules. Anything less may encourage others to go.

The “fox” that Cameron wanted to slay is of course about immigration. Many Brits don’t like the eastern Europeans in Britain who can’t speak English. Apparently there are 300,000 French and 2.3 million other EU nationals in Britain. Many of them may have to go home, as well as the Brits working in the EU.

3. Cleverman

Series based on superheroes are not my genre, so I’m not personally watching Cleverman. I heard the producer interviewed on local radio, and was impressed by how it has been received overseas, and how it uses authentic Aboriginal stories in its plot lines. Then I Googled and got this:

    We need to talk about Cleverman. Like, seriously. It’s great. And yet, it’s really not.

    Long before it debuted on our screens, this six-part ABC series was generating all kinds of excitement. It screened at the Berlin Film Festival, it had a guaranteed berth in the US on the Sundance Channel, and it had sold to the BBC, too.

    A home-grown story that combines horror, speculative fiction and the Dreaming, it was clearly something to be proud of, long before any of us had seen a second of it. But halfway through its first season (a second has already been commissioned), I reckon it’s time to admit Cleverman doesn’t quite match the hype.

And then this:

    The third episode of ABC’s hotly anticipated Cleverman shed more viewers with 257,000 tuning in at 9:30pm, down on last week’s audience of 330,000.

A shame, really. We are told that the Aboriginal stories are the equivalent of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Obviously they need a better realisation.

Introduction to Saturday salon

Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

    The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

74 thoughts on “Saturday salon 18/6”

  1. If I were a Pom i’d probably vote leave.
    If a proposal to form an AU ( Asian Union ) similar to the EU construct, with laws and regulations written up in say Jakarta that bind us. Or complete open borders ( where i stray from Libertarians ) would be terrible imho.

    I can’t blame a Pom that wants the sovereignty thats been taken away back

  2. The attempt to regain autonomy as a state and as a people is understandable.

    The initial impetus of the EU was based on the desire for peace, to bind the core countries so close together that economically, socially, culturally that they would never again descend into bloody chaos.

    Britain was on the fringe, and the basic motivation for joining was said to be economic. Ironically that is exactly where they will be hurt the most.

    There are also unintended political consequences, one being that Scotland may peal away and join Europe. If they do, there is a chance that Wales and Northern Island will follow.

    The closeness of the vote even if Stay gets up will change the future for Europe.

    I don’t think it’s remotely possible that Australia will be involved in a supra-national movement of a similar kind in this region.

  3. Trade ties were a good deterrent to conflict, always are, but regulatory constraints and dictates have undone many of the benefits.

    Brexit, the movie doco gives a perspective.
    (If you have an hour to spare in a rainy day.)

  4. Brian: It is hardly surprising that Brexit is driving the share markets crazy. The nature of modern share markets linked to high speed computers means that any threat of disturbance destabilizes the system.
    Hardly surprising either that economists don’t like it. Their models assume free markets and they tend not to like things that separate reality from their models.
    We had thirty years of stable, growing economies after WWll. One of the features of these economies was that governments, not multinationals or the WTO, had control of a nations economy.
    No matter what happens to the Brexit vote it would be a good thing for the EU to have a look at what it has become and to ask itself whether this is what it wants to be. Is it good for Greece? Good for the UK or, for that matter, good for any of the countries in the EU in its present form?

  5. On Brexit, the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has said that there was a need for reflection on how they are going about things.

    The 300.000 French I understand are mainly working in the finance sector, where London is something of a hub. Dislocation on that scale would be traumatic, which suggests that it won’t entirely happen.

    There are also companies head-quartered in London because it has access to the EU.

    It will be very disruptive and introduces uncertainty, which markets don’t like.

    An interesting aspect is that the British government is not bound by the decision, although it’s likely to act in line with the vote, Cameron would be gone in a flash, and the process would play out over years. So more uncertainty but more choices.

  6. I understand that two weeks ago the Leave forces consulted Lynton Crosby, who advised them, concentrate on immigration, forget everything else. I believe that the man who murdered Jo Cox, when asked for his name by the police, shouted “Death to all traitors!”

    Somehow there should be a law against the likes of Crosby/Textor and the Koch brothers that would prevent the harm they do. If I were a benevolent dictator, I’d lock them up.

  7. The EU might work better if it was more like Australia with the central government controlling the economy and things like wages and conditions, social services, human rights etc. and the individual countries behaving more like the Australian states. It is not going to work very well while members can compete by reducing things like wages and social services. It just becomes a rush to the bottom.

  8. Not really zoot, just another making links ( prematurely ) because they desire it so, to align with their already established narrative.
    Nothing more.

  9. No, I think James O’Brien in zoot’s links raises awkward questions some would rather not talk about.

    Jumpy, I’m not saying Crosby’s actions caused Cox’s death. I am saying that his ‘anything-it-takes’ use of emotional scare campaigns do damage to rational discourse and informed decisionmaking.

    Crosby’s tactics create an environment where hate is more likely to be expressed.

    In both the British and American cases, there appear to be personality and possibly mental health issues, and a whole mix of things, which is why I don’t feel able to talk about motivation.

    Talking about Textor/Crosby’s impact on the possibility of reasonable public discourse is a different matter.

    You might ask why Malcolm Turnbull, the great conversationalist when he wasn’t leader, no longer has conversations to any extent. He deals in paternalistic lecturing, sloganeering and even rants.

    He’s been told how to win elections and he’s doing it.

  10. zoot

    Jumpy, are you saying it’s far to early to link the Florida massacre to radical Islam?

    Well you just did with that comment Mate, why did you ?

  11. Brian you clearly linked the leavers with Coxs murder in a single paragraph.

    I understand that two weeks ago the Leave forces consulted Lynton Crosby, who advised them, concentrate on immigration, forget everything else. I believe that the man who murdered Jo Cox, when asked for his name by the police, shouted “Death to all traitors!”

    Then talked of some fascist fantasy about harsh punishment;

    Somehow there should be a law against the likes of Crosby/Textor and the Koch brothers that would prevent the harm they do. If I were a benevolent dictator, I’d lock them up.

    That sounds to me like creating/encouraging an environment of which you denounce, with very little evidence, to produce a toxic narrative.

    That’s how it reads.

  12. Raises the question though, who was the last benevolent dictator and how did that go..
    ( consider this a get out question Brian )

  13. Jumpy, I don’t need a get out question. I wouldn’t have mentioned benevolent dictators unless there had been a few good stories.

    My favourite is Frederick the Great, mentioned in the standard introduction to SS. For example, he introduced compulsory schooling about 120 years before the Brits, and passed a law whereby judges had to be qualified jurists. Sensible stuff like that which was new.

    Catherine II of Russia was also great, perhaps not so much for ordinary people. Maria Theresa is another possibility.

    The main problem is that there is no way of ensuring that a dictator is actually benevolent.

  14. OK Jumpy, I’ve now seen your comment.

    All I’m saying is that it would be better for the body politic, and indeed for the wellbeing of individuals within it, if Crosby/Textor didn’t do what they do.

    In an open democracy that values free speech it’s hard to prevent such toxicity, but we should try to imagine a better world where their kind of shite doesn’t exist.

    If we don’t we will do it hard, given the entrenchment of power and privilege.

  15. BTW Jumpy, King Fred the Great in the famous Miller Arnold case, where the judges unjustly favoured the local nobleman over the miller, overturned their judgement and locked them up in a castle for a year to concentrate their minds, while issuing a proclamation that the prince and the pauper are equal before the law.

    Could you honestly say we have such equality before the law in our society?

    We have to do better.

  16. Fred did a good thing there, individual rights.
    Pity it didn’t extend to the conscript he forced to invade and kill or be killed.

    Mixing where we are now back to the start, would Fred have even joined the EU ?
    And if he found himself where England finds itself now, what would he dictate ?

  17. BTW Jumpy, have you managed to Google up a replacement for GDP yet (or are you still cooking)?

  18. Jumpy, I don’t think it’s profitable to ask what Fred would have done now. Times have changed.

    Fred saw himself as a servant of the state. The state was Prussia, but it was complicated. The Brandenburg part was part of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the Hapsburgs in Austria. He saw his power as limiting the Emperor’s power over his citizens.

    He had his limitations even in his own times. I don’t think he would have coped with Muslims. The Jews got a pretty fair deal under him, but they weren’t considered citizens. And he didn’t think much about women at all, except when he had to, like he was at war with Maria Theresa and Elizabeth of Russia.

  19. Sorry zoot, no, not definitively.
    But identifying error is only a step in finding the truth.

  20. Jumpy: On Brexit …. by coincidence, I’ve been reading about Italian Unification – and heck, there are parallels between the behaviours of the Brussels and Strasbourg officials and the behaviours of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont or Savoy) officials who followed Garibaldi and his liberators through Sicily and into the mainland part of the Kingdom of Naples (or The Two Sicilies, if you like). The people of non-metropolitan England are not a conquered people so why are they treated by unelected EU officials as such? A bit of respect and a bit of give-and-take would have prevented any talk of a Brexit. Too late now.

  21. Graham, everyone has suffered from the ‘democratic deficit’ of Brussels and everyone, as far as I can see, has complained, Germans too.

    Mark was here yesterday and he was talking about when he arrived in London in 2014 and was trying to get something sorted, I forget what, and couldn’t find anyone who spoke English. And some of these foreigners have jobs, whereas some of the English don’t.

    So it’s kind of understandable, but shooting yourself in the foot is not necessarily the best way forward.

  22. On a more personal note, yesterday was a strange and ultimately difficult day hereabouts.

    We went to the Inspire Festival to hear Mark on a panel on ‘democracy’. Stimulating ideas, carried on with friends over lunch, then a stroll along the river.

    When we got home there was a message from my brother.

    His grandson, a bright young man, soon to embark on his chosen role as a high school teacher, bought a second hand motorbike on Tuesday. On Friday he was involved in an accident, hit while turning right on a green arrow by a car that ran the red light. This may be contested, but that’s how it appears.

    He’s now in intensive care, stabilised, but in an induced coma. Lucky that although projected through the air and wrapped around a lamp post, there was no damage to his head, or bones broken. Some damage to internal organs and internal bleeding.

    The prognosis after one operation and more to come is a week in intensive care, and perhaps two weeks in a ward after that, if all goes well.

    Emergency services and the Royal Brisbane have been excellent.

    Fortuitously the first person on the scene was a doctor, followed closely by two policemen, who happened to be in the area, and were able to take witness statements.

    Also in his favour was the high quality leather coat and helmet he was wearing. The coat has metal plates inserted into panels in the front and back, and his helmet has a heavily reinforced support around the back of the neck to help prevent neck injuries.

    Life is so fragile. Our thoughts are with him and we live with hope.

  23. Not good, John, I’ve sent you an email explaining a bit more.

    Knowing the spot well, I suspect there were a few outward bound cars stopped at the lights and the car came through on the inside lane.

  24. Brian: Sorry to hear about your brother’s grandson. Hope he makes a full recovery and as soon as possible. Sounds like he was saved by good protective equipment and by sheer good luck.

  25. Zoot: Although I do not follow the lifestyle of the victims of that latest atrocity, it would be unthinkable not to have sympathy for them and their loved ones.

    And the good news is …. that following his successful condemnation of Sin (which used to be a matter between God and one’s own soul), Pastor Jimenez is now off to preach to the unbelievers and turn them away from all their sins and abominations in Ghazni, Kunduz, Kandahar, Helmand and other parts of Afghanistan. It is expected he will have a few thousand eager converts in his first week …. after all, they have so much in common. (Confirmation of this story is on the way ….)

    Brian: No, I was just mentioning why I thought Brexit was inevitable. The English are indeed shooting themselves in the foot with Brexit – if they’re not in the game, they can’t change the rules. They might have saved themselves a lot of grief if they had sent a few busloads of their famous football hooligans to Brussels for a bit of percussive discussion with the unelected and unaccountable aristocrats there.

  26. With respect to the two stories of recent days. Given the ready availability of assault weapons, sadly it is predictable that a future carnage will occur. We got lucky because we do not have a politically well connected small arms weapons manufacturing industry. There will be different circumstances. I predict it will be committed by a male acting alone with individual problems, which somehow cannot be recognized and addressed.

    The murder of Jo Cox is a reminder of how important it is to watch what we say and our contribution to the political climate.. The referendum on marriage equality I suspect, despite Malcolm’s assertions, will almost inevitably descend into hate speech. It is far better, cheaper and more democratic to allow all sides to present their arguments to a parliamentary committee and let our representatives sought it out. The rest of us can be active spectators appreciating the different points of view. I don’t see the point of holding this referendum., However, I would accept a plebiscite on the TPP, which might be seen as a direct threat to national sovereignty over questions related to the environment and consumer rights.

    Sorry to hear of the accident, Brian.

  27. Thanks for thoughts in the accident. Late today, last I heard, he was having an operation to take out the internal dressings that had been put in to stem the bleeding, which appears to have stopped. So one step at a time and all is going well so far.

  28. wmmbb, excellent comment. A parliamentary committee is a good idea as an alternative if we need one. From commentary today there is no certainty that a proposal to conduct a plebiscite will get through the senate, so if Turnbull gets re-elected the thing may fall at the first hurdle.

  29. wmmbb: Okay, I know this sounds like overloading the curriculum but I think a better way of preventing violent outbursts of hate might be to push assertiveness and negotiation training in schools. A lot of blind, violent hatred comes from feeling bad about something but being unable to express that in a purposeful but non-violent way. You are right about weapons manufacturers and merchants in the U.S. being part of the problem: they have hard cold cash incentives to encourage the culture of blasting away anything that causes you fear or dislike. Nationalizing their enterprises would be a logical first step – but that will never happen – so just get ready for more and more senseless massacres. Maybe after a few thousand more innocent deaths the Americans will wake up to themselves; then again, maybe not.

    Your suggestion of taking a lot of things to parliamentary committees would have been admirable 30 or 40 years ago – but not nowadays, given the appallingly low quality of people who are now shovelled into parliament as well as their abysmal ignorance of the daily lives of ordinary people. After parties and preselection have been radically reformed, perhaps – but until that happens: no way! It think the last worthy member of a parliamentary committee was Senator Andrew Bartlett (QLD) and he has been out of office quite a long time.

  30. Okay, I know this sounds like overloading the curriculum but I think a better way of preventing violent outbursts of hate might be to push assertiveness and negotiation training in schools.

    Graham, if schooling is compulsory the least we can do is teach kids how to interact with each other.

    Social education used to be taught in preschools through imaginative role play. Now they waste time on numbers and letters, teaching stuff early that they would pick up quickly later on anyway. As they do in Finland.

    Social education is crap later because they don’t tend to take it seriously. But that’s a long story.

  31. My brother’s grandson is doing fine and they are looking at bringing him out of the induced coma tomorrow. So one step at a time and all good so far.

    The RBH has been truly brilliant, so something in the public health system is working.

    One eye witness stayed until the ambulance came, got the name and then went to visit in hospital on Sunday, where he told the family exactly what he saw.

  32. The polls in Britain have tipped to slightly favouring Stay in Britain.

    Our sharemarket has put on about one and a half per cent today, I think that’s about $45 billion.

  33. Graham: I have found that assertion and negotiation training do make industrial relations a lot easier.

  34. Brian: There is no reason why social interaction – and – letters and numbers – and – history – and physics/kinematics – and – whatever can’t be combined in imaginative and enjoyable play for pre-schoolers. Time enough for formal subjects later.

    John D.: Ain’t that the truth! 🙂

    Brian, again: Glad the young fellow is improving. All the best.

  35. Jumpy, a couple of things upthread. The characterisation of what I said as “fascist dreaming” is off beam. There is nothing benevolent about fascist dictators. And you well know that I was just expressing a wish.

    Secondly having a crack at Fred over conscription is a bit much. In the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) Brandenburg had no standing army. Half its population died in those 30 years.

    Third, I can’t find the link, but you may have seen on the news the giant billboard using Syrian refugees to beat up emotion about immigration. Commentators have made the link between this beat-up and the Jo Cox murder. Crosby advised them to go down that track and for Crosby/Textor it’s anything it takes.

  36. I’d like to do a post tonight on the great Medicare kerfuffle, but first priority is the State of Origin. The Blues, as usual, look too big, too fast, too skilful, but history says the Maroons will win on their home turf. I’d be happy if we thump them by 20 points or more. Bugger this notion of an even match!

  37. They were big, fast and skilful, but somehow we did it. Four tries on the edges.

    That’s 10 out of the last 11 series. Unbelievable!

  38. Has there been some sort of sporting contest, over your way?

    In Victoria we’re a bit distracted with firefighters and talking about drowning women we don’t like.

  39. Ambi, if you live in Victoria, I guess we all have our problems!

    Here’s the match report. If you see the pic of Dane Gagai and Corey Oates further down, wingers really do fly!

    Then Gus Gould, not our favourite person on the planet, sunk the boot into Paul Gallen, not a favourite either.

    Gallen is retiring at the end of this series, but Loz says he’ll play game three. No looking to the future for the Blues!

    But we did hear about the firefighters and drowning women. Re the latter, you do seem to have your share of loathsome characters!

  40. Word on Brexit is that ‘Leave’ is going to win. Last I heard our sharemarket was down by 2.6%.

  41. We’ve produced a few good wingers in my District for the Maroons-Dane Gagai, Brett Dallas, Big Dell, Dale Shearer.

  42. Brexit, yeh, so many bankster elites had their trading positions blown to smithereens betting the wrong way, good.

    But the Poms exposed the EU lie that noone would ever leave.

    Wonder who’ll be nextit……

  43. Yes, Brian. We live in Victoria.

    Today in our regional town, not particularly high above sea level, we had a brief snow flurry around 2pm.

  44. 52- 48 Leave.
    And the sky only fell in for Cameron.. or are others gunna fall on their sword ?

  45. Steve Cobio should be offering a trade deal to the UK right now, announced during this election campaign as a helping hand to our Mates the UK.

    Golden opportunity ( in spite of Mal being on the stay side )

  46. Almost missed this Brian;

    Secondly having a crack at Fred over conscription is a bit much. In the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) Brandenburg had no standing army. Half its population died in those 30 years.

    Fred wasn’t born till 1712.

  47. From the twit feed below;

    BREAKING: Swiss central bank says it has intervened in currency markets to limit franc’s rise after UK vote.

    The Pound being down must be a good thing if the Swiss attitude is anything to go by.

  48. Jumpy:

    Almost missed this Brian;

    Secondly having a crack at Fred over conscription is a bit much. In the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) Brandenburg had no standing army. Half its population died in those 30 years.

    Fred wasn’t born till 1712.

    The point is, jumpy, that if you were a continental power you actually had to have some means of defending yourself. The ruler of Brandenburg/Prussia in 1618-48 was helpless and hopeless. Fred was the fourth of four competent rulers thereafter who built up the military capacity. Prussia at that time was not a great power, but if your territory is between the great powers on Austria, France and Russia, you need to defend yourself. Prussia showed that it could.

    And because of his competence in that regard Prussia had about 40 years of peace until Napoleon came along.

    The point is, jumpy, what is worse, having a conscript army or letting your people be exposed to the ravages inflicted by other hostile powers?

    In Fred’s time people still knew about Schwedentrunk, the horrible form of torture executed by the Swedes, and the massacre of the people of Magdeburg, by Imperial forces.

  49. He invaded places with those armies, have we chanced our position on what defence means to align with Bush Jr ?

  50. jumpy, it was stuff that happened on the northern European plain when there were no natural boundaries. Wikipedia says:

    Silesia was strategically important to Prussia because “it significantly blunted the capacity of Prussia’s two chief foes—Austria and Russia—to meddle in Prussian affairs”.[1] Prussian victory (and possession of Silesia) foreshadowed a wider struggle for control over the German-speaking peoples that would culminate in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866.

    What Wikipedia doesn’t say was that the ruler of Saxony to Fred’s south had married into the Polish ruling family and he saw himself being cut off from his eastern province of Prussia, which was from memory 745 km over dirt road the other side of Poland.

    Poland had been a great power and it was a pre-emptive strike to prevent himself from being threatened by a solid block to his south and east.

    Brandenburg was originally an almost indefensible slab of featureless swamp and forests. You couldn’t sit around and wait for things to happen.

    Bush jnr has nothing to do with it. Not similar at all.

  51. Brian: Thanks for mentioning Saxony’s Stark Augustus. He started out in the family tradition of being the defender of Protestantism – but as soon as a whiff of the Polish crown came along, he became more Catholic than the Pope: ( a bit like some world leaders in our own time, I suppose) His army was exceptionally well funded but in the traditional manner – so when he came up against Fred’s well-trained, well-disciplined, dirt-cheap, conscript army, he got a real flogging. Mind you, having an utterly corrupt minister like Bruehl didn’t help matters.

    The long and the short of it was that Fred and Prussia definitely got more bang for their buck than did the King of Saxony and Poland.

  52. Thanks, Graham, my main source was Christopher Clark’s book Iron Kingdom, a history of Prussia, of particular interest because my ancestors were from Silesia on the male side and Posen, with a Polish name on the female side.

    Fred had the advantage that he was King, minister for defence, commander in chief and battlefield general, so he had no communication problems. Apparently the Prussian armies were ace at turning, changing direction.

  53. Cheers, Brian: Some of my ancestors were the usual mixture of Silesian Catholic landholders. However, one ancestor was a Prussian Protestant younger son. When Fred’s mob got a hiding at the Battle of Kolin (yes, the mighty Prussian army didn’t win every battle), this fellow was smart enough to leave the field at the same speed as Fred, (going too fast doesn’t always mean you win) so when the war was over, Fred made sure he was amply rewarded. Then, because the locals resented these upstart foreign Protestant victors being given good land, he married into an old local family (no, she wasn’t ugly) and quickly became one of the boys – even if he did follow that damned-for-all-eternity religion. Definitely don’t need a much-advertised genealogy firm to tell me who I think I am; besides, passed-down family stories are far more interesting than documentary research, though it’s nice to bump into documents that confirm or modify what you were told. 🙂

  54. Graham, that’s interesting.

    Our ancestry grinds to a halt in the mid 18 hundreds. The guy who emigrated from Lower Silesia was a teenager with his slightly older sister. Their mum was a house-servant and was not married to their dad, who no-one knows anything about. The mum took the two teenagers to Hamburg where they got on the boat, but she herself simply disappeared.

    During the Seven Years War, or third Silesian war, I think Fred won exactly half the battles, and was pretty much stuffed in 1762, when the Russian Empress died and was replaced by a Fredophile. The war was called off and it didn’t start again, but Fred did well in the settlement.

  55. But the Poms exposed the EU lie that noone would ever leave.

    No-one ever said that as far as I know. Greenland did leave, 1982, I think. A procedure has been set out for leaving.

    On trade, the word is that our trade with the the EU is second after China. Well have to wait for the Brits to do a deal with the EU to see how that is configured before we can seriously talk to the Brits.

  56. Briton will (eventually )no longer be beholden to the myriad of EU tarrifs and quotas. Let’s hope when the dust settles they don’t introduce their own.
    Bananas for example.
    The market is opened up so the consumers get more options and ( potentialy ) less expensive goods.
    Why should the Poms subsidise the French for more expensive beef also ?

  57. Disagree Brian, your ancestry didn’t grind to a halt then; though it might have seemed to have done so. Try going over what each of you knows about the next generation closer and you are sure to find clues to earlier times. It might be only a single name or placename or circumstance but it will be a clue worth following. You could try gleaning the odd item of two out of what happened generations earlier (especially wars and regime changes) and then working forward; you never know what you’ll find. It can be good fun if you don’t blow a lot of money on it (apart from internet time, photocopying and the like). Watch out for inaccuracies in supposedly impeccable sources, such as the Mormons’ database.

  58. Jumpy, it’s pointless talking about individual agricultural products. I understand that British farmers are net recipients of EU agricultural subsidies. They may not find their own treasury so generous.

  59. Briton will (eventually )no longer be beholden to the myriad of EU tarrifs and quotas.

    As long as they don’t want to trade with the EU.

  60. I think it’s clear that the UK won’t get the same deal as Norway and Switzerland. To do so would encourage others to leave.

    Also those three are relatively small economies with specific factors contributing to their success. The UK is the fifth largest in the world and second in Europe. We’ll just have to see how things work out.

  61. I think it’s clear that the UK won’t get the same deal as Norway and Switzerland.

    Agreed, there will be nasty recrimination by the unelected Eurocrats toward any Democratic entity or process that threatens to diminish their power.

  62. Iceland, Norway and the Swiss do OK.

    And when they sell to (or buy from) the EU they are, by definition, subject to EU tariffs and quotas .

    Agreed, there will be nasty recrimination by the unelected Eurocrats toward any Democratic entity or process that threatens to diminish their power.

    I would have thought any recrimination would have come from the elected Members of the European Parliament. I bow to your superior knowledge.

  63. there will be nasty recrimination by the unelected Eurocrats toward any Democratic entity or process that threatens to diminish their power.

    The Europeans know that if they hurt the Brits they hurt themselves.

    As to the Eurocrats, the European officials will be thinking a lot about the ‘democratic deficit’ and where it all went wrong. The leaders of the founding members are meeting in Berlin, as are the finance ministers. I think the politicians will set the framework.

    Apparently Cameron has to front up to a meeting of EU leaders next week. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall.

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