2016 — 27 June: Monday

Trigger warning: Watching the carnage in Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards" last night — how well it mirrors our enlightened post-Brexit times! — I realised I'm not a great fan of politicians.1 They have no monopoly on the supply of wisdom or correctness. Or even commonsense. It is their job (apparently) to lie to different sets of people in different ways at different times to reconcile the irreconcilable.

Ambrose Bierce shared my opinion, given this definition from his The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary:


Plus, they have no shortage of hindsight-assisted opinions. Ex-politicans, more so. Ironically, they can (like a stopped clock) sometimes be wholly correct, and here's one such in full spate. (Link.)

I've just been told by the BBC that BoJo says he still believes "we can retain access to the single market while restricting immigration". Personally, I suspect BoJo knows better, but dare not start speaking the truth at this late stage of our one-act Tragedy.

Now here's an interesting comment.

Yet more evidence...

... that I lack any "economics theory" genes. I wonder, however, if Big Bro uses Goethe's Vickrey auction for his stamp collecting?


Back from a brief supplies expotition, including getting some go-juice for tomorrow's further-flung foray out into the wilds of Hampshire — and happily listening to old Igor as "Composer of the Week", ignoring my mobile, and making a start on a pair of the latest Linux magazines to distract me from other possibly more serious stuff — I now see this tiny glimmer of diplomatic sanity emerging from the EU gloom:

Brussels has also emphatically ruled out informal talks on a possible trade deal before the UK triggers article 50. "No notification, no negotiation," one official said on Sunday. A diplomat added: "If they treat their referendum as a non-event, we will also treat their referendum as a non-event."

Various in Grauniad

Which, in my view, is about the most sensible suggestion I've heard in the last couple of months. Should we hold a referendum on accepting it?


... I'm being urged to lobby my MP:

Britain, absurdly, is the only significant country (other than Saudi Arabia) without a written constitution. We have what are termed "constitutional conventions", along with a lot of history and traditions. Nothing in these precedents allots any place to the results of referendums or requires our sovereign parliament to take a blind bit of notice of them...
Referendums are alien to our traditions, they are inappropriate for complex decision-making, and without careful incorporation in a written constitution, the public expectation aroused by the result can damage our democracy.

Geoffrey Robertson in Grauniad

"The pound is stable," explained [Boris] Johnson, minutes before the pound was revealed to have fallen to a 31-year low, on a morning of financial activity we'll call Episode V: The Experts Strike Back. (Link.)

If this wasn't real, it would be high-quality satire indeed. And a lot funnier. (Link.)



1  Hard to see how anyone can be after the spasm of whatever it was (lancing a Tory boil, perhaps?) that has so undermined the "Untied" Kingdom recently.