William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Britain Free. France, Texas Next? Brexit Open Thread

Last day of class. Your regular broadcast resumes tomorrow.

Wales and England, except in the metropolitan areas (surprise), said Leave and Scotland and Northern Ireland said Remain. With the escape from Brussels and its bureaucracy intent on regulating banana curviness, among other things, Prime Minister Cameron will fall on his sword, though he won’t plunge it straight into his innards, preferring a death of a thousand cuts.

Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage come out shiny. Many celebrities are shocked—and you know how hard that is to do.

Now the same people who loved to recall the horrors of colonialism and the wonderful freedoms won by formerly remotely ruled countries were—more shock—the same people who insisted on Remain. And the same people who would argue against France bolting their masters, and the same people who would spill blood to keep Texas from its independence.

Why?

Although Brexit is already ancient history, it’s well to recall bookies had the odds in favor of Remain. Curious, no? From Zero Hedge:

Two days ago we pointed out something surprising: according to Ladbrokes’ head of political betting, Matthew Shaddick, the key catalyst that moved bookie odds on Monday morning, the first day after the suspended campaign in the aftermath of Jo Cox murder was resumed, “we took a £25,000 bet on Remain this morning which helped move the odds in their direction.” This in turn unleashed a global asset surge, as markets rebounded on expectations the Leave campaign was losing momentum, even as actual polls – still neck and neck – did not validate such an observation…

In other words, a few large bettors are skewing the bookie odds dramatically in the favor of Remain, even as the mass of bettors is betting on Leave, albeit with smaller cash amounts. Another way of putting it: a substantially outsized influence by a wealthy minority over the poor majority, just like in every other aspect of life.

No, come on. Conspiracies only happen in movies. Global elites wouldn’t play such games. Right? As the story linked in the next tweet says, “betting markets gave ‘Remain’ a 96 percent chance to win the election”. Huh.

Besides the bookie boondoggle, political experts everywhere should be (but won’t) wake up blushing. Don’t forget that when a political elite says, “I think X will happen” there are three things happening. (1) He wants X and is hoping his support changes minds; call this an influential forecast. (2) He is wishcasting, which is the true act of ignoring evidence that does not favor X. (3) He actually believes X, which actually happens.

All three were in force in Brexit punditry, but no force was greater than wishcasting. Elites surely thought themselves more powerful than they were, hence the influence. But elites in particular these days don’t see what they don’t want to.

Headline from RT interesting at least for the observation that there is not a similar headline from Trump’s scrupulously honest opponent. Doubtless that headline will come. But you know how it is in politics: Hillary is now forced to react and not comment.

The weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And then there’s the route to separation, which isn’t automatic. Even Johnson is calling for a gradual release. So it’s natural enough for some to suspect a real exit won’t be allowed. Yet the Californians didn’t get their way because they were overruled by the Central Authority, a government to which the majority of Californians committed themselves. In Brexit it was the Central Authority that was rejected. So while nobody knows the exact form of freedom, I think it’ll stick as such.

Your thoughts?

Update

28 Comments

  1. The silence from Hillary and Obama is deafening this morning. How do they spin this? Perhaps the momentum of the British will to take back their country will carry to US shores…

  2. The people all over the west are tired of the endless greater goods, endless self righteous posturing, endless scorn and contempt for the citizens, endless praise of foreigners who hate us, and endless elites being ashamed of the histories and cultures they represent. Trump is a reaction here to the same kind of stuff. All of the polls were wrong. All of the odds makers were wrong. The same is probably now true here too.

  3. Everyone all over the world is saying, “We’ve had enough of this crap!!!” But different groups have had enough of different crap. I have no idea where it’s all going. But when you’ve got two proto-Marxists and The Donals vying for the White House, of all things, utter insanity reigns. We think it’s just us, but it’s not. It’s everywhere. When you look back at the world wars, you can see unrest in every country and the outcome seems preordained. We see different unrest now, but we don’t know what it’s going to lead to any more than peopel back then could have predicted the trenches or the blitzkrieg. May God help us, because I don’t think we can help ourselves. People never can.

  4. A win for the Anglosphere.
    We’ve all been closely watching this, from here in Australia, in the US, Canada.

  5. View from the Solent

    June 24, 2016 at 10:05 am

    This Englishman was pleasantly surprised when I switched on the radio this morning. And the pleasure increased when I saw a breakdown of voting.
    England – ~53% for out. (London is a world unto itself. The only English region which was against).
    Even Wales, traditionally dyed-in-the-wool socialist, was ~52% for out.

    The Scots and Northern Irish went as I expected.

    You have your 4th July. Now we have our June 23rd. Tonight will be lively ….

  6. “European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has reassured [lied to] Britons [rent-seekers] working for the EU executive that he will do everything in his power to keep their jobs safe following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, he wrote in an email seen by Reuters.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-brussels-juncker-idUSKCN0ZA23Y

    Time for a benefit concert? 😉

  7. I don’t think they will let them leave, a gradual release? Right now instead of sulking, EU elitists are trying to come up with plans to keep Britain in. Hold off long enough, cause enough financial pain, and hold another vote to stay in or leave? I don’t know enough about the particular situation to say what is possible. However, we do know progressives never ever give up, if not now then later. It is fine to celebrate, but Britain is not out of the woods yet. This is something that bothers me about ‘conservatives’ they win a small victory, celebrate, and then don’t really continue the fight. The left on the other hand never stops, never gives in, it just retreats, retrenches and attacks again when it is advantageous.

  8. Sander van der Wal

    June 24, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Britain will have two years to leave starting the day they officially announce they are going to leave the EU. After two years all treaties signed by Britain and the EU will be null and void automatically, unless the other member countries are willing to give them more time. Whether that means that the UK will have to keep paying their membership fees I do not know.

    Given that the UK is a net payer, and given that the UK imports for 60 billion euro’s more from the EU than it exports to the EU, I do not think that the other countries are hell bent on revenge. Some probably want to, but changes are cooler heads will prevail. The German chair of the manufacturer irganisation was already arguing for being reasonabke about this. No surprise there with 20% of German export going to the UK.

  9. Not Texas. La Raza has a much larger presence in California. If CA wants to rejoin Mexico, I say good riddance.

  10. Ye Olde Statistician

    June 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    If the EU had remained an economic community and free trade zone, there would have been no problem, I think. But they are trying to become a political überstate regulating the curvature of bananas. Their decibel limit on workplace noise would have made symphony orchestras illegal, but even the Europeans would not put up with that nannyism.

  11. YOS, ironically economic globalism has weakened the argument for the EU as an economic community. Each EU member’s percentage of trade with other EU partners has been declining steadily since 2002. In 2002, on average 68% of trade occurred among EU partners. That has fallen to 62%. This trend is nowhere more striking than in the UK where trade with partners fell from ~62% to ~44%. Moreover, the EU and Germany, in particular, is concerned about the UK’s exist with good reason. The UK has a negative ~80-billion-euro trade deficit with the EU and Germany relies on the UK as a market for ~20% or its exports.

  12. This is wonderful, stayed up all night watching with my Dad.
    Pink champagne was opened early on during the returning numbers as I suggested this might be the only chance we had to celebrate while we were ahead.

    Although I was prepared for losing as it got closer my hopes were up and the erie confidence of the markets and a few other clues made me think this might not be as was being predicted. I ought not be surprised because everybody i’ve spoken to was for leaving going back years even before the date was set. People from very different socioeconomic groups as well.

    Looking at the map of the votes this was better than I feared in that more of the country voted to leave rather than a few counties dragging the rest out. This was by no means the plebeian vote that the media tried to portray.

    I am so impressed with the British people. They were not bullied by the IMF, the CBI, BBC, MSM channels, The FT, Mark Carney, Obama, Junker, Banks or hedge fund managers to name a few.

    Sander Van Der wal,
    We still have to pay the 365 million a year until we exit.
    We have to execute article fifty which just entails writing a letter informing the commission of our intentions.

    At this point the clock starts ticking and there is a two year period before we are officially out. This is not going to happen until after the new leader is elected which is predicted to be after the conference this October. We can negotiate trade deals during the two year extraction period.

    There has been some negativity from the EU officials saying that trade deals take years so we could have ten years before we can do business as before. This however entails Germany, (for example, who sells five times more to us than we sell to them) forgoing these exports to us. Many other nations rely on us to buy luxury goods.

    Since money talks businesses will continue to do business and trade.
    Since many Europeans feel the same as Britain, there will not be the anti sentiment, which may be felt by the bureaucracy, amongst many Europeans.
    Denmark is next, then the Netherlands then perhaps Sweden. Dexit, Nexit
    and (that’s the Bloomberg name suggestions.)

    As for not letting us go, the UKIP element in Europe including Farage will remain working to ensure that the process takes place in keeping with the will of the British people.

    As for being poorer, I’m prepared to be a whole lot poorer, it’s that important to me. Seems many British people felt the same.
    …….
    Thanks to Briggs for his positive comments regarding Brexit as well.

  13. Briggs’s enemies have found me! “UK’s exist” should be “UK’s exit” and “or its exports” should be “of its exports.”

  14. Every 3rd or 4th generation, having lost touch with history, must experiment with fascism one more time.

  15. Shecky, you should have written:

    “Shecky R solemnly declaims: every 3rd or 4th generation, having lost touch with history, must experiment with fascism one more time.”

    It would have been even funnier.

  16. Buying intO Hack’s notions and hoping Joy is right. For once it would be nice to see the forces that prevailed try to actively support Dexit, Nrxit and ….. A strategy that progressives tend to use again and again.

  17. Evidently, slightly more than 50% of UK’s voters didn’t take my early retirement plan into consideration when they cast their votes. Well, life still goes on.

    I do hope that things change for the better for everyone.

  18. Joy,

    As for being poorer, I’m prepared to be a whole lot poorer, it’s that important to me. Seems many British people felt the same.

    How many is “many”? I cannot say I understand the politics there, but I seriously doubt that people are prepared to be a whole lot poorer. A lot poorer! It’s more likely that they expect and probably believe that the change will make things better.

  19. Sadly I’m with Pax on this one. The squid may loosen a tentacle or two but the rest are going to stay dug in deep.

  20. Ye Olde Statistician

    June 24, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    A useful discussion of a united Europe and its origin in fascist and anti-fascist thought can be found here: John Lukacs. 2001. The Last European War: September 1939 – December 1941 (Yale University Press): pp 487 – 496.

    Conscious identification as “European” dates only to about 1900 (although the term became a noun meaning an inhabitant of that continent at the dawn of the Modern Ages). There was an earlier period of pan-European identity, in which people across the continent identified first as Christians and only after as Frenchmen and had, at least among the educated class, a common language in Latin. But this heritage was consciously abrogated and deliberately tossed down the memory hole in the preamble to the constitution of the present Union which skipped directly from praise of Greece and Rome to praise of the Enlightenment.

    “Theodore Darymple” once made the gimlet comment:

    Yet the political difficulties of Belgium do not give the European unionists pause for thought—or, if they do pause, they reach a peculiar conclusion: that what has not worked in two centuries in a small area with only two populations will work in a few years in a much larger area with a multitude of populations.

  21. I forecast that the US stock markets will show continued volatility with sometimes violent excursions in price for the next three to six weeks. It will be a speculator’s market. Securities market instability will remain volatile until another black swan comes along to capture the attention of investors.

    Hillary will NOT be indicted. The fix is in and the Democrats have no other options. Regardless of the seriousness of her actions, or lack thereof, the Obama administration will not let her be indicted.

    The furor over BREXIT will be over by the Republican National Convention.

  22. The difference for the UK is not as great as many imagine. Britain will still want to be part of the European Economic Area, on a par with Norway and Switzerland, and will still participate in some treaties with the EU. The EU is very unpopular in France, but they wouldn’t leave: the French and the Germans regard the EU as their pet project. If anyone else is going to leave, it might be the Netherlands, Denmark, or one of the PIGS.

  23. Astonishing!
    The only concern seems to be how it will affect institutionalised usury.

    Never mind, it’s always the consumers that pay the usurers their unjust claims on the wealth of the Earth…

    Just see what happens to anyone who dares challenge the global financial plutocracy. Gaddafi, Hussein have already been exterminated and their countries and peoples ruined for such “infidelities”. Assad is already having his country and people ruined for the same.

    It’s very dangerous to challenge the plutocracy as even Abe Lincoln and JFK can, or could, attest. Many others, too numerous and relatively unknown to mention, also.

  24. Sander van der Wal

    June 25, 2016 at 3:45 am

    As I Dutchman I don’t expect the Netherlands to leave. There is lots ot pro-leave sentiment, but The Netherlands is not in a position to leave with the kind of economy it has. The country is geared to selling tomato’s to the Germans and shipping German cars to the English (this is a bit of an exageration for rhetoric purposes). Secondly, there are not enough voters to get the pro-leave parties in power, and even then , these parties have not much in common, one being a Right wing Nationalist party, the others being a Left-wing Socialist party and a Weird Left-wing Animal Rights party.

    The changes that France leaves if and when Le Pen is President are bigger, imho.

    There are now already talks among the founding EU members of reforms to the EU making it again more of a free trade zone and less of a new Political superpower. Whether that goes anywhere remains to be seen, but there is some hope in that respect.

  25. JH,
    “many British people felt the same.
    How many is “many”? I cannot say I understand the politics there, but I seriously doubt that people are prepared to be a whole lot poorer. A lot poorer! It’s more likely that they expect and probably believe that the change will make things better”

    JH, some things matter more than money. Truly I know this is hard in this day and age to believe such a thing.

    We’d sooner have the vote than the money. The effect on each household was calculated (as if that were possible( to be about £4000. per year.
    Of course many of us including me think we can do better financially on our own but that is not the driving force. You have to be here to believe it.

    Farage mentioned and it was my observation of attitudes that leave voters would crawl over broken glass to put their cross in the box. We had torrential flooding in various parts, one of the FIVE boroughs of London that voted leave were out in boats to make it to the voting booths! That was Havering a few miles up the road from me.

    When I say much poorer, I’m talking Scarlet Ohara poor! Scratching in the dirt to grow carrots! I’d have to go vegetarian though.
    Whether everybody has that passion I don’t know but I wouldn’t say I am unusual.

    I have more faith in British manufacturing ability and most importantly innovation than any of the mealy mouthed liberals who have had the microphone and the power by virtue of pretending to be Conservatives, for far too long. Britain has more friends around the world than Europe and the MSM propaganda would have you believe. There is more than the now 435 million people over the channel. Britain has friends from the commonwealth and from those who were Ex empire. There are even some in our armed forces from around the world. They all want to trade.

    This is the beginning of the end of PC and globalisation. Finito Finis, finished.

    As for the Netherlands not having the ability to be independent I say the same to them. My friends’ husband is a farmer from Holland. He has made a fortune selling cucumbers and tomatoes to Tescos. He is retired now but if he is anything like the average Dutchman in attitude towards Europe the Netherlands will do fine.
    …Whatever did they do before! However did they cope all those years?

    …Whatever did Greece do before Germany “helped” them to be in more debt than they ever can hope to pay?
    …Before Iceland ‘helped themselves’ to 6 billion pounds. (The debt which the Euro-file Scotsman who sold our gold reserves wrote off! Furthermore, he told the world what he was going to do! He was not an elected politician either, like President Junker.

    It was never about the money.

  26. Ye Olde Statistician

    June 25, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Whatever did they do before! However did they cope all those years?

    To be fair, they started two world-wide wars and previously in the 18th century fought the Great Wars for Empire, which were world-wide in scope if not ferocity. That’s the flip side of nationalism and why it should never be confused with patriotism. (The patria is not the nation.) Firm borders often meant protective tariffs, which are like training wheels on bicycles: fine for those just getting started, but irksome as time goes on, invites counter-tariffs, and makes goods more expensive at home and abroad.

  27. “To be fair, they started two world-wide wars”
    The Netherlands? better check your history book or read the comment carefully.
    I don’t remember them causing the wars. The war was between Germany and Russia. They are still the flash point. Britain will not sacrifice herself to save bullies who can’t manage their own egos. Same goes for the USA. If they can’t handle a free Britain they can go and do the other thing.

    ” and previously in the 18th century fought the Great Wars for Empire, which were world-wide in scope if not ferocity. That’s the flip side of nationalism and why it should never be confused with patriotism. ”
    YOS nobody’s confused and it’s no good implying that they are. How ill thought out your remark was.

    This vote turn out was the largest than in all other voting events in British history. Source? Telegraph.
    To shake your head over British independence is shameful.
    Don’t say ‘to be fair’ it’s a contradiction with respect to your point.

  28. Ye Olde Statistician

    June 30, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    “To be fair, they started two world-wide wars”

    The Netherlands?

    No, the Europeans, before they had the Union.

    When each State went its own ways, those ways often collided: The Bourbon-Hapsburg wars; the Mantuan Succession; the Anglo-Dutch wars; the Great Northern War; the Franco-Spanish wars; the wars of the Spanish Succession, the Polish Succession, the two Silesian wars (the “Austrian Succession”); a third Silesian war; the Seven Years War; the wars of the French Revolution; the various Napoleonic Wars; the war of Swedish independence; the Crimean War; the wars of Italian unification; the wars of German unification; the Franco-Prussian war; the first and second Balkan wars; the First and Second World Wars – these do not exhaust the list. Never in European history have there been so many standing armies, fighting so continually, as in the Age of the Nation State.

    The war was between Germany and Russia.

    The von Schlieffen Plan focused the bulk of the German Imperial Army — seven armies, including the semi-independent Saxon and Bavarian armies — on the invasion of France, violating Belgian neutrality on the way. Action against Russia by the Eighth Army was to be only a holding action. Only the ineptness of the Russian offensive changed that. The initial conflict was between the Serbs and the Dual Monarchy over the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    The second war began with Germany and the Soviet Union as allies, and (after a preliminary annexation of Czechoslovakia) involved attacks on Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Benelux countries, and France. There was no war between Germany and the Soviets until Barbarossa — undertaken to deprive the UK of her only possible continental ally before the anticipated US intervention could take place.

    All of these wars were undertaken in the name of making the borders of the State correspond with the borders of the Nation.

    Had the Union confined itself to a tariff union and mutual non-aggression pact, the issue of British particularity might never have come up. But the Euroweenies insisted on micromanaging everyone’s life — for example, by outlawing serving olive oil in dishes in restaurants, or setting workplace decibel levels such as to make symphonic orchestras illegal. That and the effort to create what we used to call the New Soviet Man back before “Soviet” became embarrassing.

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