This is actually heating up as a possibility (who’d a thunk?): Twitter wars on #Brexit: four more months until the June 23rd referendum:
Wiki says the referendum question was amended to read: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? with the possible responses:
Remain a member of the European Union
Leave the European Union
Boris Johnson, the last senior figure in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party still to declare which side he’ll join in the campaign to decide the future of the U.K.’s membership of the European Union will support leaving the bloc, finally declared on Feb. 21 (6781 comments at the time); Cameron nuked his whales just afterward, claiming he’d mentioned an Out vote could lead to a second referendum.
‘Boris Johnson backs Brexit campaign in EU referendum defying David Cameron’s plea not to join leave campaign – live, the Guardian.
The article explains Brexit, names (then) Yes and No campaign notables.
Well, this nukess the notion of a #Brexit, doesn’t it, ha ha? ‘Cost of Brexit would outweigh the benefits, says credit ratings agency Moody’s – Politics live’, Feb. 22; and “Pound falls in value after Johnson backs Brexit.” Well, somebody’s gonna take Boris to the woodshed twleve times a day, eh? The nerve! And Cameron’s claiming it’s all a stunt, and Boris is anglin’ for his job!
Ah, but how I love the scent of fear-mongering denial in the morning:
“Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in an article for the Sunday Telegraph that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Britain to leave the European Union.
“It is not scaremongering to ask which result Putin would favor. If we left, the European Union for the first time in its history would be smaller and weaker. That’s obviously in Russia’s interests,” he argued.
His key reasoning:
“But it’s not Cameron’s deal that will be on the ballot paper in the referendum on Britain’s EU membership. In fact, it may not have even been finalised by June. People will be voting on far more important issues: jobs, investment, employment rights, environmental protection, peace, security and international cooperation.
Labour and the unions played a key role in making sure that employment rights – like guaranteed paid holiday, paid maternity and paternity leave, and agency workers’ protection – were kept out of Cameron’s negotiations. But there is a serious risk that the Tories would use a vote to leave as the chance for a bonfire of rights in its aftermath.
So Labour will be running a positive campaign for the real change we need: to unite opposition to austerity and build a Europe of sustainable growth, jobs and social justice. That can only be achieved by working with allies who share our aims across the continent.”
Some background on the Brussells Summit: Via wsws.org: ‘Brexit referendum to go ahead after UK secures deal with European Union’ By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden
The focus is on immigrant benefits and mainly not, new border fences, and UK opt-outs on EU rules and financial regulations. But the authors say:
“The talks and the agreement expose the wholly reactionary character of the EU as a bastion of the interests of the banks and major corporations. There was not a shred of principle animating any of the 28 heads of state at the summit, only naked, national self-interest.
The most serious divisions were between France and the UK over Cameron’s demands that the City of London banks and finance institutions be exempt from any euro zone financial regulations. French President François Hollande said France’s position was “to make sure financial regulation applied everywhere in Europe, without vetoes or impediments”—a position later echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Writers at wsws.org are claiming that:
“The “Leave” camp is dominated by the right wing of the Tory Party and the anti-immigrant UK Independence Party—the forces Cameron sought to placate by promising an in-out referendum in the Tory Party’s general election manifesto last year. It is headed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, Justice Secretary Michael Gove and five other cabinet members. They represent that section of the Tories who believe greater deregulation and independence will benefit Britain’s banks and businesses, and free them from the influence of the UK’s rivals, Germany and France. This is what they mean by their constant references to “sovereignty”. I really can’t speak to that, myself. Are nationalism, free-reign capitalism, and border controls driving Leave votes?
From the Hellenistic Republic:
‘Greek farmers deliver ultimatum to Tsipras’; After a month of blockading roads in protest at reforms, farmers will sit down with the government this week in Athens for a make-or-break meeting
“Hopes that the government will finally back down in a make-or-break meeting between the prime minister and farmers on Monday have been diluted by economic reality. Athens’ submission to Brussels after months of wrangling over the terms of a third, €86bn bailout last summer, has left very little room for manoeuvre.
Pension reform has been set as the precondition for opening talks on much-needed debt relief. Without significant cuts, creditors at the EU and International Monetary Fund argue the underfunded system – aggravated by six years of recession and heavy unemployment – will simply collapse. “Everything will depend on what the government offers,” says Fouzas, who will be among the farmers’ representatives at the meeting. “As it is Sunday we opened the tolls for a couple of hours ahead of the talks to show goodwill.”
And as elsewhere, austerity measures are allegedly driving some Syriza supporters to the Communists, some to the neo-fascist Golden Dawn.
The farmers at the roadblocks …”stated they had a “meaningful debate” with prime minister on all issues, although they stated the government did not step back”
In ‘Discontent returns to the streets in Greece’, Colleen Bolger talks to Greek socialists about renewed protests against the SYRIZA government’s acceptance of austerity. She chronicles the increase in both private and public sector union strikes and protests increasing since Nov. of 2015, and the national unity on display on Feb. 4.
Key issues are pension cuts and pay-ins (taxes) to the system. Leftist Popular Unity doesn’t seem to be gaining support, but rumors abound as to future scenarios as workers become more…dissatisfied.
Applause for Yani’s DiEM25 from an Unexpected Source, I’d have thought: ‘It Takes a Greek to Save Europa’ by Pepe Escobar
Pepe may have switched from just enough tequila to just a bit too much ouzo for this one. Doggone, he has some rollicking and raucous fun describing what’s afoot in Europa, and of course a New Greek Foundation Myth of actual democracy rising from the sea anew…not far from the birthplace of democracy. The subject is the DiEM25, of course (Democracy in Europe Movement).
He brilliantly uses some of the Pantheon of Greek deities to set the scene, much as Varoufakis had in his book The Global Minotaur. It’s a fun read.
“Europa, in classical Greek mythology, was this Phoenician princess babe that drove lusty Zeus absolutely bonkers.
A trickster par excellence, Zeus turned into a white bull, lured Europa into riding him, and before she could escape, dove into the Aegean Sea and carried her off to Crete. The product of their inevitable lovemaking was King Minos. So keep in mind that Europa is the Minotaur’s step-grandmother (more on the Minotaur in a minute.)” and so on.
But he says that Yanis claims that it’s slated to be a leaderless movement, and hopes are that it leads to building a more democratic Europe by 2025. (2025???)
Now I’d saved a Tweet of his that named the presenters at the big conference in Berlin, so I’d reckoned they just might be the leaders. Hella lot of academics, intellectual, investment-led recovery, greentechnologies…(centrifugal forces? kinda like Bill Gates meets Davos WEF , eh?
Given that none of the names were familiar to me, and that none of the Greek leftists who’d left Syriza seemed to be on it, I went a-googlin’, and finally found at wsws.org again: ‘What is behind Varoufakis’s “Democracy Movement to Rescue Europe?” The author identifies a lot of the luminaries as very pro-EU; a few snippets:
“This affluent EU constellation, represented in politics, culture and science, and which includes the trade union bureaucracy with its European Works Council system, feels threatened by the growing crisis of the EU and is anxious to defend its privileges.
That is what characterizes DiEM25. Behind the defence of the EU is primarily the defence of their own sinecures and privileges. They regard the break-up of the European Union and the return of national borders as a threat to their privileged position.
Varoufakis and his DiEM25 are responding with an aggressive defence of their social position. It is striking that not a single social demand is raised in their manifesto. Instead, it states that the “lack of a coherent strategy in foreign and immigration policy and the fight against terrorism” must be overcome.
Varoufakis’s Movement to Save the EU complements the policies of German imperialism. In the German Chancellery as well plans are being made to mobilize privileged sections of the petty-bourgeoisie to carry out social attacks, police state measures and military rearmament in the name of defending the EU.
This is why the red carpet was rolled out for Varoufakis in Berlin and why he was feted in the editorial offices and on talk shows. It was therefore no coincidence that Gesine Schwan, who twice ran for the office of German president as the favoured candidate of the Social Democratic Party (2004 and 2009), attended the founding ceremony of DiEM25.”
Well, well, and ouch, Yanis; you seem to have earned a major Trotskyite critic.
Now as to the massive refugee crisis, Enough Is Enough (for News Revo) on Twitter has been following it, and especially the most hideous nationalistic responses.
Not Greece, but sorry Tuskie: yes, the EU certainly did help a hella lot.
Feb. 22 MST
Please say it’s not so.
SPECIAL REPORT 04.02.2016 “Fake life vests soak up chances of survival for shipwrecked refugees”
Sorry; I can’t bring any of it. Read at your own peril, but there is a long history of this hideous perfidy along the Turkish coast. Tumbrils and pitchforks for fake flotation devices profiteers; grrrr.
This post will be old news as soon as I press ‘Publish’; no matter.