European Union

The astonishing stupidity of Rachel Smalley

We’ve looked at the retarded nature of Rachel Smalley before. She is perhaps the most annoyingly sanctimonious and solipsistic commentator around. Who can forget her ticking off NASA for naming a spacecraft after an eminent scientist, confusing his name (Kepler) with Kevlar and remonstrating that it isn’t a good look to name a spacecraft after bullet proof vests? Of course, she never lets staff in the NewstalkZB newsroom forget that she is the “only serious journalist” in that organisation.

I was looking forward to her column this morning as much as I looked forward to other lefty commentator reports, but who knew she could be so utterly disdainful of the democratic process.

Referendums have their place. Should a country change its flag, for example? That’s a good use of a referendum. But on the issue of E.U membership, an issue of such profound economic importance, why let ‘Jo public’ decide when some among ‘Jo public’ will be ill-informed, politically ignorant and have little understanding of the impact of their vote on trade, on policy, on Britain’s constitution, on the country’s legal framework, on national unity, on a million things.

That’s not democracy. That is political stupidity.

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NZ/UK trade agreement: first in, best dressed

As predicted, Todd McClay is in action immediately seeking to talk trade with UK and EU ministers.

Trade Minister Todd McClay is seeking meetings about Brexit with his counterparts from the European Union and Britain at a G20 trade ministers meeting in China to which New Zealand has been invited.

He said he wanted to discuss New Zealand’s best way forward in light of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

“In the meantime, it is important for exporters to be assured that our economic relationship with the UK and Europe will remain the same for the foreseeable future.

“Even before Friday’s referendum, we had sought assurances from UK and EU officials that the rules around New Zealand access would not change until they have negotiated new ones with us,” he said.

“We have received those assurances.”   Read more »

I think I’ve died and woken in an alternate universe…where I agree with Bryan Gould

Bryan Gould is a cloth-cap socialist and failed politician.

It is safe to say he is a Euro-skeptic, after opposing the Maastricht Treaty and finally resigning as an MP in protest against Labour’s support for the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The EU result, where 52% of the voting public rejected staying in the EU, will be the first time that Bryan Gould has been on a winning side for some time.

He writes about why the Remainiacs lost:

Among the many hysterical reactions to the Brexit decision, a particular post on Facebook caught my attention.  The author was convinced that the decision to leave was the equivalent of the Visigoths’ sacking of Rome; civilisation itself was apparently in its last days.

It did not seem to occur to him that the decision to leave the EU was the product of a vote in which a majority of his fellow-citizens had simply, as part of their democratic right, acted on a view, or views, on a subject of interest to the whole community, that were just as valid as, but different from, his own.  The barbarians whom he castigated were not invaders from elsewhere; they were Britons like him, enjoying the same right as he had to consider the issues and express a view.   It is what is called democracy.

The fury and hatred aroused by the discovery that there was actually a majority that disagreed with those who thought that they alone were capable of reaching the right and proper decision – and the vitriol with which those sentiments are expressed – provides us with an insight into the mentality of many of those who simply could not believe that any view other than theirs was possible.

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Listen up Lefties

Just days after voting to leave the European Union, more than 2 million Britons and UK residents have signed a petition calling for a second vote, forcing MPs to at least consider a debate on the issue.

Parliament has to consider a debate on any petition posted on its website that attracts more than 100,000 signatures.

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Winston on cloud nine that democracy isn’t in the hands of the media, the experts or politicians

Winston Peters is in grave danger of having a permanent grin affixed to his face, especially if the wind changes.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters hailed the Brexit referendum result as “a stunning 24 hours in world politics.”

“There has never been a national referendum in any country where so many outsiders, foreign power brokers, and financial market manipulators have intruded,” Peters during a speech at the Copthorne Hotel in Rotorua on Saturday.

Peters said “expert after expert” had told voters that Doomsday for the British was soon to come if they voted to leave.

“Anyone watching the BBC yesterday saw all these people giving their views and no one went to the working people and asked for their commentary, but suit after suit was talking about working people’s situation,” he said.

The power class are so up themselves they can’t even see the obvious irony of what they are doing. And that phenomena exists in New Zealand as well.

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By the time Turkey joins the EU, it will just be Germany and bludgers left

Turkey has piped up following the Brexit.

Europe’s politicians are failing to combat rising xenophobia and anti-immigrant views, Turkish officials say, after Britain’s vote to exit the European Union deprived Turkey of what had been a major backer in its quest for EU membership.

The Brexit campaign and the rise of Europe’s populist right have cast further doubt over Turkey’s decade-long accession negotiations, a process which was in its early years an anchor for economic and social reforms in the country.

President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday (local time) blamed Islamophobia for holding up Turkey’s accession process, accusing the bloc of double standards and warning that more countries could seek to leave.   Read more »

SST Editor predicts Boris will get the Commonwealth Cold Shoulder – yeah, nah

Jonathan Milne is a good guy, but prone to histrionics from time to time. He’s a bit wet too, but for a journalist he is pretty ethical and straight up.

He comments on Boris Johnson and shows his liberal y-fronts in the process.

Boris Johnson was a gift from his classical Greek gods to a young journalist in search of a story.

When he was a Conservative Party education spokesman and I was in London writing for The Times Educational Supplement, I’d give him a call when I needed a story on deadline. I knew if I talked to him long enough, he’d say something outrageous, something seemingly ridiculous, something secretly smart in its populist appeal.

Well, in leading Britain to its own “independence day”, Johnson has outdone himself. This scholar of Latin and ancient Greek, who turned against Europe and incited scepticism as the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent, has now persuaded Britain to turn in on itself and essentially shut down its borders with the continent.

Once, Johnson was seen as a lovable tousle-haired toff, tottering around London on his pushbike. Now, carried by an uncomfortable coalition of struggling blue-collar workers and the monied blue-blooded upper classes, he could soon be Prime Minister. A poll running on the Telegraph website yesterday showed him already far ahead of his Conservative colleagues with 44 per cent support to become Prime Minister.   Read more »

Key dampens down Winston’s rallying cry for the people to take back power

Winston Peters was the only NZ politician to predict Brexit occurring.

Understandably, he is crowing about it and telling voters that they too can take back their country…by voting for him of course.

John Key has other ideas:

Prime Minister John Key is not buying the line from NZ First leader Winston Peters that the UK vote to leave the European Union is a wake-up call for democracies everywhere, including New Zealand.

“I don’t think you can really compare and contrast something that’s happening half a world away with very different circumstances,” Mr Key told reporters on Saturday.

If anything, New Zealanders may appreciate the stability they have.

On Friday (NZT) the UK voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, causing turmoil in world financial markets and triggering the exit of UK Prime Minister David Cameron by October.

New Zealand is in a vastly different position to the UK, Mr Key says.

“We can control our migration, they can’t,” he says.

The New Zealand economy is also in a much stronger position than the UK’s, he says.

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EU reacts with petulance, exactly like Brexit campaigners predicted

The EU technocrats have reacted badly to a sovereign nation exercising its democratic rights.

A senior EU leader has confirmed the bloc wants Britain out as soon as possible, warning that David Cameron’s decision to delay the start of Brexit negotiations until his successor is in place may not be fast enough.

Cameron announced on Friday morning that he would step down as prime minister by the autumn, after the British public caused a political earthquake by voting 52%-48% to leave the European Union.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, told the Guardian that EU lawyers were studying whether it was possible to speed up the triggering of article 50 of the Lisbon treaty – the untested procedure for leaving the union.

As the EU’s institutions scrambled to respond to the bodyblow of Britain’s exit, Schulz said uncertainty was “the opposite of what we need”, adding that it was difficult to accept that “a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party”.

“I doubt it is only in the hands of the government of the United Kingdom,” he said. “We have to take note of this unilateral declaration that they want to wait until October, but that must not be the last word.”

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Get ready for Nexit, Frexit and ItaLeave

After the result of the EU referendum in the UK there are now calls for the Netherlands, France and Italy to also have referenda on the issue.

The plague is spreading.

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union fired up populist eurosceptic parties across the continent on Friday (Saturday NZ Time), giving fresh voice to their calls to leave the bloc or its euro currency.

Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and France demanded referendums on membership of the union, while Italy’s 5-Star movement said it would pursue its own proposal for a vote on the euro.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-immigrant PVV party, said he would make a Dutch referendum on EU membership a central theme of his campaign to become prime minister in next year’s parliamentary election.

“I congratulate the British people for beating the political elite in both London and Brussels and I think we can do the same,” Wilders told Reuters. “We should have a referendum about a ‘Nexit’ as soon as possible.”

On Thursday (Friday NZT), Britons voted to leave the 28-nation EU, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.

“There is no future any more (for the EU),” Wilders said.   Read more »