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UK Politics: And Brexit came swirling down

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9 minutes ago, Risto said:

Yeah, but they are ready to break free from duties, not the money of that ridiculously outdated social position :D

Well yeah, if they're gonna resign from their roles as "senior" royals, then they should also cease being paid from the sovereign grant and daddy's largesse as well.  But if they do?  Then good for them, I don't see why anyone should give a shit.

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5 minutes ago, DMC said:

Well yeah, if they're gonna resign from their roles as "senior" royals, then they should also cease being paid from the sovereign grant and daddy's largesse as well.  But if they do?  Then good for them, I don't see why anyone should give a shit.

Well, they outlined their "divorce" from royals. They want to cease the sovereign grant which is around 5% of their earnings, but they still count on Charles' money plus living in the newly renovated house :D

But, at the end, you are right... If they want to be free, great... It just seems they are not so keen on leaving behind those lucrative titles they now have.

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1 hour ago, Risto said:

On the other hand, we have been discussing racism to death. This morning, I have watched an interview on ITV, where Camilla Tominney, an award winning journalist and a royal correspondent, spoke that there is a lot of anti-Americanism around Meghan, a lot of misogyny but not so much of racism. Basically, she admits that there are certain articles and press that have been indeed racist, but that we can't speak about general sentiment towards Meghan as being racist as much as misogynist (Harry also has an agenda) and directed towards her American roots. She spoke about multiculturalism and diversity in the Palace's establishment and I think that we can all agree that Palace's establishment in many ways are not just some mindless workers, but actually people of considerate power. 

What, exactly, is the point of determining the exact percentage of hostility to Markle that came from racism, as opposed to other markers of her Otherness (including being a woman)? I don't even understand how it became about trying to parse the exact makeup of the toxic stew your press has been brewing up, except that HoI somehow decided that trying to trick me into saying that it was only about racism was going to be some kind of massive rhetorical victory for him (poor pet, I know he needs one eventually).

I was pretty clear in my own comments about saying that the hostility to her comes from being a half-black American woman -- all of those are involved. Probably being divorced and an actress factored into that too. But again, what is the goal of this forensic analysis of her unfair treatment? If you can determine that she's being shit upon solely because she's an American or something, you don't have to feel as bad about the xenophobia in your culture?

The only point I was trying to make about all of this is it's fucking shitty to look at a woman who's getting unfairly bashed by tabloids, royal correspondents, and social media, and huffily saying that she doesn't deserve sympathy because she should have known it was coming.

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Harry is still a prince, Meghan is still a duchess, and he's still in the line of succession right?

So they're basically gambling that they're better off as independent contractors than as employees, is what this all sounds like to me.  Good for them I guess, though it's probably a lot easier to cut the cord when you know you have such a safety net.  It's not like their kid is going to end up homeless as a top 10 heir regardless of how they do financially from here.  And I certainly get the appeal of being your own boss.

One thing I don't understand, is that Harry and Meghan were reportedly upset about an official photo portrait of QE2, Charles, William, and William's kid.  That's the line of succession, and it's utterly clear based on their ages who is where in line there.  I don't suppose it's knowable as to whether Harry and Meghan actually felt slighted somehow, or if it was just claimed they were.  I'm going to go out on a very sturdy limb and assume the British media is every bit as awful as the American media, fwiw.

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7 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

The only point I was trying to make about all of this is it's fucking shitty to look at a woman who's getting unfairly bashed by tabloids, royal correspondents, and social media, and huffily saying that she doesn't deserve sympathy because she should have known it was coming.

I agree with what you said. But, here is a deal. All those royal correspondents have been rather sympathetic towards her. There were several of them on couches in Britain, US and Australia news saying that they understand where Meghan comes from, that this is more about Harry's personal agency than her influence etc. Unfortunately, tabloids and social media are something no one, not a royal or a celebrity can control. We have heard it so many times - the darkest places on the net are the comment sections. 

The more I think about this, and for some reason I think about this, I am more inclined to sympathize with her. But I can't sympathize with decision to separate from royals and outline an idea by which you are still paid by royals. That is one of the biggest issues here.

13 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

Harry is still a prince, Meghan is still a duchess, and he's still in the line of succession right?

So they're basically gambling that they're better off as independent contractors than as employees, is what this all sounds like to me.  Good for them I guess, though it's probably a lot easier to cut the cord when you know you have such a safety net.  It's not like their kid is going to end up homeless as a top 10 heir regardless of how they do financially from here.  And I certainly get the appeal of being your own boss.

Most people are confused because they don't actually understand what the pair wants. Financial independence? OK. Ability to govern their own affairs? OK to that too. Freedom? We all understand that. But, what they actually outlined is some mutant of American celebrity life and royal personna, which is simply not working, or has been unprecedented up until now.

They want to use their titles for financial gain, but they can't easily do that, They want to support causes, but they have to remember that Monarchy is supposed to be politically neutral. On the other hand, there are complex issues of funding their employees, security detail, their causes etc. It's a thing - either you are member of a team, or not. 

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44 minutes ago, Risto said:

but they still count on Charles' money plus living in the newly renovated house :D

Yeah if they continue to take money from the Duchy of Corwall that's a problem, we'll see. As for the house, meh.  I'm assuming if they vacated it'd just be filled by some other royal anyway, so whatever.  As for their meaningless titles, don't give a shit.  Seems pretty petty to take them away, as petty as bestowing meaningless titles in the first place.

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I know I've been banging on about David Graeber a lot recently, but this analysis is really worth a read IMO.

The Center Blows Itself Up: Care and Spite in the Brexit Election

Quote

The media treated the election largely as a referendum on the head of the opposition, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and to some extent, it was. It is crucial here to understand that the political-journalist establishment in the UK had never, at any point, accepted the results of the 2015 leadership election that placed Corbyn at the head of the Labour party. To get a sense of what happened from an American perspective, imagine the Democratic Party eliminated its presidential primary system and replaced it with a summer of public debates followed by a single vote of all members, and that, as a result, Noam Chomsky became the Democratic candidate. For thirty years, Corbyn had been considered at best an entertaining gadfly. Under no conditions was he now going to be treated as a legitimate national leader, let alone, potential head of government.

 

Quote

Accusing Corbyn of being personally indifferent, or even sympathetic, to what happened when the floor was opened to everyone was a textbook application of Karl Rove’s famous principle of swiftboating: if one really wishes to discredit a political opponent, one attacks not his weaknesses, but his strengths. Until then, even Corbyn’s enemies had admitted he was an honest man and a dedicated antiracist. Suddenly, he stood accused of being himself, personally, anti-Semitic, and of being a lying weasel for denying it.

 

Quote

The peculiar fusion of public and private, market forces and administrative oversight, the world of hallmarks, benchmarks, and stakeholders that characterizes what I’ve been calling centrism is a direct expression of the sensibilities of the professional-managerial classes. To them alone, it makes a certain sort of sense. But they had become the base of the center-left, and centrism is endlessly presented in the media as the only viable political position.

For most care-givers, however, these people are the enemy. If you are a nurse, for example, you are keenly aware that it’s the administrators upstairs who are your real, immediate class antagonist. The professional-managerials are the ones who are not only soaking up all the money for their inflated salaries, but hire useless flunkies who then justify their existence by creating endless reams of administrative paperwork whose primary effect is to make it more difficult to actually provide care.

This central class divide now runs directly through the middle of most parties on the left. Like the Democrats in the US, Labour incorporates both the teachers and the school administrators, both the nurses and their managers. It makes becoming the spokespeople for the revolt of the caring classes extraordinarily difficult.

 

Quote

All this also helps explain the otherwise mysterious popular appeal of the disorganized, impulsive, shambolic (but nonetheless cut-to-the-chase, get-things-done) personas cultivated by men like Trump and Johnson. Yes, they are children of privilege in every possible sense of the term. Yes, they are pathological liars. Yes, they don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. But they also present themselves as the precise opposite of the infuriating administrator whose endless appeal to rules and demand for additional meetings, paperwork, and motivational seminars makes it impossible for you to do your job. In the UK, the game of Brexit politics has been to maneuver the Labour left into a position where it is forced to identify itself with that same infuriating administrator.

 

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Ugh. No, it really isn't. It's an apologia for Corbyn from someone who can't accept that he was a failure. 

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14 hours ago, DMC said:

Well yeah, if they're gonna resign from their roles as "senior" royals, then they should also cease being paid from the sovereign grant and daddy's largesse as well.  But if they do?  Then good for them, I don't see why anyone should give a shit.

Are we 100 on this one? I know the denials have been made, but a picture says a thousand words.

13 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

What, exactly, is the point of determining the exact percentage of hostility to Markle that came from racism, as opposed to other markers of her Otherness (including being a woman)? 

Probably worth noting that Risto needs racism to be overt and obvious to actually call it racism. The idea that it works on a spectrum and that there’s unconscious biases seems to be lost on him.

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

Are we 100 on this one? I know the denials have been made, but a picture says a thousand words.

Meh, he's still his father even without the blood.  Which, yeah.

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12 minutes ago, DMC said:

Meh, he's still his father even without the blood.  Which, yeah.

At least he didn’t turn out to be like Joffrey.

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On 1/11/2020 at 3:36 PM, DMC said:

You're right that the German president has considerable formal power (e.g. Article 81) when there is upheaval within the Bundestag, but even in 2017 Steinmeier did not employ any formal powers of his office.  All he did was "appeal" to Schulz to end the stalemate as a SDP party elder.  And, for a more recent example, let's take the Israeli elections.  Does it suck they have to have a third round elections?  Of course.  But I'd rather have that than Rivlin putting his thumb on the scale for either Bibi/Likud or Gantz/Blue & White.  Again, though, that's just my preference of constitutional design.

Sorry, folks, the German President has essentially zero power. He is the ultimate figurehead. The office is a joke and isn't needed, just as no state actually does need some sort ceremonial moron embodying it. One could hire and actor for that kind of stuff. In a working democracy the people running the government could and should also represent the state - reflecting the fact (or fiction) that the people have the power and form the state, and the state changes as people vote, etc.

The one point where the President has any power is when there is there is a stalemate in the Bundestag itself, i.e. when nobody gets a majority of votes, which never happened and is not likely to happen ever. In the final ballot bare majority is enough, you don't have to get half of the votes. But, if for some reason even that didn't happen, then the President can either name the most prominent candidate or he can dissolve the Bundestag and order a new election.

The fact that this is different in many countries is just a silly remnant of how things were/still are in constitutional monarchies. But you don't need a president to replace a monarch if you concentrate the duties in the head of government - as was done back in the day where the constitutional monarchies weren't constitutional yet.

As for hereditary heads of state:

Aside from it being bad in principle, being a remnant of a time when a single family essentially owned the state (which is the 'tradition' that accompanies any royal family which hasn't been installed in modernity for some reason) I'd say that there are severe human rights violations with this thing going on. To force children into roles they would most likely never want to fulfill for themselves if they had ever been given a proper choice on the matter (see how the British press especially target and destroy those people marrying into their so-called royal family) is very problematic, especially if you think about it that the state actually outsources the duty of molding a new 'king' or 'queen' to their royal parents and their court officials.

These people are definitely in a much worse position than equally privileged billionaires children - who may or may not be expected by their parents to take over the various companies they control, but who are definitely not expected by an entire state to eventually take on a burden (perhaps only in old age, which makes everything even sillier) they may have no inclination to at all.

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30 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

At least he didn’t turn out to be like Joffrey.

Do you that Meghan will try to take out the Royal family in a blast of fire, like Cersei?

I have been shocked by some of the stuff that gets written about Meghan on some social media (Quora is especially horrible).

Edited by SeanF

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14 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Do you that Meghan will try to take out the Royal family in a blast of fire, like Cersei?

I have been shocked by some of the stuff that gets written about Meghan on some social media (Quora is especially horrible).

I’m not shocked in the slightest. It was always going to play out this way assuming she didn’t want to play the royal game, and even then it still might have ended this way.

And she should steal the crown jewels. Lord knows that’s the least she deserves after being subjected to the terrible food, let alone the negative press attention.

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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Sorry, folks, the German President has essentially zero power. He is the ultimate figurehead.

No, that's factually wrong.  The German President does have constitutional political powers available to her that are significantly broader in scope to many other states with similar arrangements.  In other words, there are far more ultimate figureheads.

22 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

no state actually does need some sort ceremonial moron embodying it. One could hire and actor for that kind of stuff.

Well, sure.  I wouldn't be opposed to an actor running to be a ceremonial head of state.  That makes sense.  Still doesn't negate the worth of having someone else doing that bs (that's still necessary bs) as opposed to the head of government wasting their time.

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14 hours ago, Risto said:

I agree with what you said. But, here is a deal. All those royal correspondents have been rather sympathetic towards her. There were several of them on couches in Britain, US and Australia news saying that they understand where Meghan comes from, that this is more about Harry's personal agency than her influence etc. Unfortunately, tabloids and social media are something no one, not a royal or a celebrity can control. We have heard it so many times - the darkest places on the net are the comment sections. 

The more I think about this, and for some reason I think about this, I am more inclined to sympathize with her. But I can't sympathize with decision to separate from royals and outline an idea by which you are still paid by royals. That is one of the biggest issues here.

Most people are confused because they don't actually understand what the pair wants. Financial independence? OK. Ability to govern their own affairs? OK to that too. Freedom? We all understand that. But, what they actually outlined is some mutant of American celebrity life and royal personna, which is simply not working, or has been unprecedented up until now.

They want to use their titles for financial gain, but they can't easily do that, They want to support causes, but they have to remember that Monarchy is supposed to be politically neutral. On the other hand, there are complex issues of funding their employees, security detail, their causes etc. It's a thing - either you are member of a team, or not. 

If I told my boss I was quitting and leaving the country, but still expected to get 95% of my salary and benefits, still have access to corporate housing and staff, and earn money on the side merchandising the company, I would be laughed at and/or referred for a mental evaluation.  

I might have expected some degree of ridicule that a couple who are worth between $30-$40M need to 'work toward' financial independence.  This is classic have your cake and eat it to, that simple.  They don't want to follow the rules of royal protocol, but want to retain all the perks of being a royal including the ability to cash in on it as well as to keep getting a multi million yearly 'allowance' from Charles.

By all means if you are sick of royal BS and constraints and British tabloids, fuck off to Canada or anywhere else, great.  But then leave it, leave the titles and the $$ and make your own way, don't be half assed about it, retaining the perks and money but refusing to comply with the rest of the package. 

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

No, that's factually wrong.  The German President does have constitutional political powers available to her that are significantly broader in scope to many other states with similar arrangements.  In other words, there are far more ultimate figureheads.

Hum? Judging from the pronoun you chose there, I just have to assume you are talking about the chancellor (head of goverment), who indeed has siginificant powers (mainly because she/he has the backing of the parliament). With the German President it's less so. It's indeed a figurehead position, more comparable to the Queen. I am curious which miraculous powers you attribute to him (note, there's never been a female president, Germans are no better than Americans afterall)

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19 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Hum? Judging from the pronoun you chose there, I just have to assume you are talking about the chancellor

No.  Oftentimes when the pronoun should be neutral - as is the case when describing an office such as the German president, I'll use "her" instead of "him" or the laborious "him or her" because it makes me feel like a good liberal.  Amusing anecdote -  I used to do this often, almost habitually, when writing papers about POTUS.  But right after Trump was elected, my advisor (a woman) told me to stop it.  "It's too soon," she said.

ETA:  Sorry missed this - 

Quote

I am curious which miraculous powers you attribute to him

My point is from a comparative standpoint of elected ceremonial heads of state, the German president has considerably more constitutional abilities than in many other states.  I'm not saying the office has any type of miraculous powers, but its reserve powers are significantly more expansive than in other states/alternative models of constitutional design.

Edited by DMC

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

No.  Oftentimes when the pronoun should be neutral - as is the case when describing an office such as the German president, I'll use "her" instead of "him" or the laborious "him or her"

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

No.  Oftentimes when the pronoun should be neutral - as is the case when describing an office such as the German president, I'll use "her" instead of "him" or the laborious "him or her" because it makes me feel like a good liberal.  Amusing anecdote -  I used to do this often, almost habitually, when writing papers about POTUS.  But right after Trump was elected, my advisor (a woman) told me to stop it.  "It's too soon," she said.

ETA:  Sorry missed this - 

My point is from a comparative standpoint of elected ceremonial heads of state, the German president has considerably more constitutional abilities than in many other states.  I'm not saying the office has any type of miraculous powers, but its reserve powers are significantly more expansive than in other states/alternative models of constitutional design.

Fair enough, but in everyday politics, the German President is indeed pretty toothless. He shows up for the ceremonial events, gives speeches, hands out honours to deserving citizens etc. and maybe has an influence over political dialogue. Historically, I can think of only one President who stood tall in the political landscape next to the chancellor. That was von Weizsäcker. He had the gravitas to make him look like (he'd be) the superior chancellor next to Kohl (may that fat f*** rot in hell).

Anyway, we're getting sidetracked, as that has very little to do with UK politics.

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