Saturday, 2 April 2016

Review of the week: the hysteria just keeps on going on... and its not at all useful

Well, what a week it’s been!

The hysteria continues, and to be blunt, it’s getting boring.  Project Fear and Project Dream continue their relatively negative campaigns, both claiming that the other will result in the immediate end of the world.  Naturally, negative campaigning is all they can do to pierce through the arrogance, stupidity and incompetence of mainstream media (the “Blogosfear”).

In this post:
  • A sample of this week’s hysteria from the Blogosfear
  • The way forward: avoid the Blogosfear?

A sample of this week’s hysteria from the Blogosfear

In no particular order, this week’s stupidity includes:
  • Brexit will increase migration to Britain, because of the increase in the minimum wage on 01Apr2016;
  • Civil servants don’t think that Brexit negotiations could be fully concluded within the two year period set by the Cameron agreement of 19Feb2016, and if the negotiations are incomplete, Britain will face trade barriers and it’ll all be an immediate end of the world and all that crap.  Stupid, because serious people with brains would already have calculated (with nobody telling them what to think!) that the two-year period is an interim period of a multi-decade process of weeding out European law from the British statute book… and some of that European law we might actually want to keep! (wait a minute, are these the same civil servants that we trust to run the country…?)
  • According to a mere journalist, Brexit will cause patent protection enforcement will collapse entirely.  A massive hit against all those patent trolls out there, I’m sure we’ll all be in tears for them;
  • The Bank of England said that Brexit would cause sterling to fall (relative to other currencies) and that borrowing costs would rise.  It’s classic economical and financial illiteracy, as one would expect from a central bank, as follows:
    • With central banks (including the BoE) still printing money, the short-term fear of the central banks is consumer-price deflation, even though the short-term consequence of money-printing is asset-price inflation.  Yet, the central banks have chosen still to keep interest rates (borrowing costs) low.  So Brexit per se has no logical connection to the BoE’s choice of base rate.  The claim that Brexit will change borrowing costs is thus bullshit.
    • If investors abandon the United Kingdom in the short-term, they will sell their holdings in British Pounds and, yes, the currency will fall.  But a fallen currency means higher import prices (consumer-price inflation) and lower export prices (foreign consumer-price deflation) (neither of which influence the cost of borrowing, by the way).  With central banks engaged in “currency wars” since 2008, desperate to “stimulate” their respective economies, this is precisely what a central bank supposedly wants to see happen!  To present it as a problem caused by Brexit is thus bullshit.
  • Finally, Brexit would cause an exodus of British ex-pats from Europe back to Blighty.  According to the Telegraph (reporting from the Times), British ex-pats see their futures in their new homes dependant upon state benefits that they can squeeze out of their host countries, and each host country would be entitled to discriminate Brits if they ceased to be EU citizens... as if the European Convention of Human Rights, a membership requirement of joining the European Union, didn’t exist.

To be slightly fair to one participant of the Blogosfear, the BBC did at least acknowledge that:

“Reality Check verdict: Without a crystal ball, neither side can be certain their hopes, fears or forecasts will turn out to be true”

There’s more from the Blogosfear on  Supposedly reserved for “evidence-based coverage”, the headlines seem to point towards yet more speculative opinion.  That said, some of that speculation might be worth considering; that Twitter feed is how I found Marek Dabrowski’s comment.

The way forward: avoid the Blogosfear?

Perhaps the better way forward is for the masses to do some serious reading from people who have put serious thought to it.

The Brexiteers have set out a way to adapt to life outside the European Union.  Is there an equivalent exercise by the EurIneers to show how the UK adapts to life inside a European Union already changed by Cameron’s Agreement of 19Feb2016?

I still haven’t found a coherent, forward-looking, empirically-based strategic view of what this integrated Europe might be.  Any offers?

The Brexit campaign is much more organised in this respect.  I’ve already found two documents that set out how Brexit could work in practice.  Having started to read them, I am astonished by the Flexcit Plan’s realisation that some Brexit plans - including nominees for a Brexit plan competition - contained basic errors about the mechanics of the European Union.

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